Diet, oh that four letter word we all hate. Most of us have tried at least a few different diets during our lifetimes. Low Carb, Low Calorie, Weight Watchers, Atkins, DASH, Pritikin, and the list goes on and on.
What if instead of thinking of a diet as something we “go on” to reach a magic number on the scale or dress size for a special event, we looked at our “diet” as the way we eat for a lifetime. I know this isn’t a novel idea. Most professionals suggest making changes in our diets that are sustainable and provide us with a rich variety of foods so our bodies get all the nutrition we need.
Interestingly enough, not many people needed “diets” in the past. Most people were thin and were able to maintain a consistent weight without knowing the calorie content of every bite of food that went into their mouths. They just ate. Of course, some people were heavy, but they were in the minority. Today, take a trip to the mall or grocery store. Thin people seem to be in the minority.
What’s the problem?
How did we get here? Many people blame TV and all the labor-saving devices we have now. Certainly, many of us have a more sedentary lifestyle than our predecessors. But my father was an office manager at an insurance company. He was a suit and tie guy. When he was at home, he may have mowed the grass and worked around the house, but he didn’t go to the gym and pump iron or go on a three mile run several times a week. He died when I was young, so I don’t have a lot of memories of him, but I know he was thin. The pictures of my parents and their friends show a group of slim and slender people. So, how did they do it?
Real food vs. Processed food
I think the reason is that they ate food. Real food. Not processed food. Not food like substances. Not food with an ingredients list that would take a chemist to understand all the ingredients. Food. Dr. Ben Edwards of Veritas Medical calls it God food. He says we should eat God food, not man food. Many other experts agree that we need to eat food with real ingredients, nutrient dense, and full of flavor to satisfy and nourish us.
We are on this journey. Do we make perfect choices all the time? Nope. But we are aware, and our poor choices are fewer and farther between than in our past. Most of the things you will find in our kitchen are real foods. We try to limit processed foods as much as possible. We limit sugar. Sugar has nothing to bring to the nutritional equation but taste. And, oh the taste. We do indulge in sugar occasionally. Some months more occasionally than others. But in between holidays and special occasions, we are mindful of the sugar we are eating. Cutting out processed foods like cereals, cookies, crackers, and sweetened drinks goes a long way to limiting our sugar intake.
Take the first step
So I want to encourage you to look at your pantry and refrigerator. Read the labels on your food packages. Be aware and begin to replace processed foods with real foods. Eating real food is a good first step. It is a step in the direction of reclaiming our health. We will explore other aspects of diets, and I will share some of the things we have learned, and hopefully, you can take that next with us and more. Let’s get on down the road of healthy eating for the Diet of a Lifetime!