I have been dieting for about a year and a half now and I always have a dieting plan. However, my only plan that I stick to is to just have a plan. I have done low carb, Weight Watchers, HCG, and calorie counting (so far!). Every time I feel like a diet really isn’t working for me anymore or I am sick of it, I just move on to a different diet plan. There’s so many different diets out there — why not try them all? I figure it’s better than falling off the dieting bandwagon all together.
I haven’t been so great about counting anything in particular in regards to food for about a month now. I am still running many days a week and I more or less stick to eating foods that I know are good for me, I just haven’t been counting them.
I have started reading The Best Life Diet book by Bob Greene. I like that the book doesn’t instruct you to count anything and doesn’t even give you specific foods to eat. In fact, its not really a diet book, it teaches you how to live this way – diet & exercise. I think that is where a lot of diets fail to follow through. I need to be on a diet that works with real life and that I don’t want to “go off”.
This one is relatively simple. So simple that I may take some elements that I am not already doing in my life and merging it into Phase 2. This may work for someone who is just entering the world of diet & exercise and needs a place to begin that will not overwhelm them.
- Increase your activity level
- Stop eating 2 hours before bedtime
- Eat 3 meals a day + 1 snack
- Stay hydrated
- Eliminate alcohol
- Take daily supplements (multivitamin, calcium, & omega-3 fatty acid)
These objectives are meant to get you to move more than you are now and to get you used to eating just 3 meals a day. You do phase 1 for 4 weeks.
I already do most of those objectives. The eating before bed is one that I have a little trouble with some nights. Especially the nights I run late in the evening. I need to start taking daily supplements. I have started to incorporate strength training into my weekly exercise routine.
It also suggests to eat breakfast as your largest meal of the day, followed by lunch, and finally a smaller dinner. This is totally backwards from the way I have always eaten but it makes sense. The book says “consuming most of your calories later in the day means that you’re eating them when you’re least able to burn them off” and “breakfast is like giving your metabolism a little jolt”. The diet book (and website) give numerous examples of healthy meals and snacks to eat. They don’t really limit your foods in phase one, which is why I want to merge the first 2 phases, because I don’t feel I eat “bad” now anyway.
This phase offers insight to something rarely addressed in other diets – accessing the level of hunger you feel and why. I sometimes have difficulty deciding if I really am hungry or maybe just bored or in a situation that I associate with food (like watching tv or at the movies).
This phase also asks you to eliminate just 6 foods from your diet: soda, trans fats, fried foods, white bread, regular pasta, and high-fat dairy products.
Eliminating these foods was the dieting direction that I was working on taking myself towards anyway. I was really focusing on whole grains and whole wheat pastas before I read this. Soda and fried foods are not really a problem for me. I never drink regular soda (not ever in my life) and I occasionally have diet soda but it is rare and I wouldn’t have a problem consciously cutting it out forever. I’m assuming that high-fat dairy products means ice cream — my total weakness. That will be a tough obstacle to overcome. But I am satisfied with low fat ice cream like Skinny Cow brand products.
Other objectives of this phase:
- Continue all objectives of Phase 1
- Move up your activity level (the book has designated levels)
- Understand the physical nature of your hunger
- Understand the emotional reasons for your hunger
- Use the hunger scale
- Portion out food
The rest of the book’s discussion of Phase 2 covers understanding hunger, which I find very interesting and will cover in a different post on here because I think it is so rarely addressed and understood.
So that’s what I’m working on right now in Nicole’s dieting world. I think it’s kind of funny that a year and a half ago, when I started to try to lose weight, I struggled with the exercising part and could easily follow a diet plan. Now it is the opposite. Exercise (running) has become so ingrained in me as a vital part of my life that I don’t struggle with doing it anymore. I think I depend on it now. Dieting, on the other hand, can be confusing the more you read into how the body works. Plus, I have lost about half of my total goal and I’m getting into the harder-to-lose pounds now. I don’t think the last half will come off as easily as the first half. I hope I’m wrong.
Stay tuned for my post about understanding hunger…
Comment below if you have tried The Best Life Diet or have any questions about it. As of writing this post, I have not finished the book yet :)