I am not a dietitian or a doctor. I am simply the unappointed food police of our running group and my diet can be pretty strict when March training begins. Over the course of time our group leader coined the term “The Dave Diet” and it has now evolved into a plan that works great for weight loss and spring training. Some of my friends have, albeit reluctantly, opted to take the plunge and are having great success. One member in particular says the she has never felt this good.
Changing your diet requires a change in your lifestyle and your way of thinking about food. Six years ago I quit smoking and was twenty-five pounds heavier, so I decided to use the same mindset to lose weight. If you really want to feel better mentally and physically “bad” foods must be equated to feeling bad or poison for your body. Whenever my urge for a cigarette was strong, I would think about how it would really make me feel. Food is the same way and many people walk around not even realizing how good they could feel if they just changed some bad habits.
Just like smoking, drugs or alcohol, if you want to be free from it you must remove the temptation. The next time you are in a grocery store, don’t even walk down the aisle with the cookies or comfort food. Don’t keep it in the house because it’s far too easy to get weak as the evening hours roll in. Sometimes dining with friends at a restaurant or a party can be difficult. These people will tell you “Come on, a little bit won’t hurt”. I have news for you, that is the same line drug dealers use. They secretly or subconsciously are jealous of your efforts. Don’t let them derail you! If they are offended you will not eat a piece of cake with them, they are really not your friends and have no respect for the goals you are trying to reach. This is a lifestyle change and you must separate yourself from the places that try to draw you over to the unhealthy way of living.
Not only is your mindset important, cleaning out your digestive system so that it operates efficiently is just as important. The longer food sits in your body the likelihood of it turning to fat increases. So, with that said, let’s get to the YES’s and NO’s of my diet.
- No bread of ANY kind. I mean pick the croutons off your salad. This also includes pasta. One of the worst things you can eat if you are trying to lose weight is bread. After two weeks you can eat tortilla and flatbreads in moderation.
- Sometimes you feel like a nut………..but you better not! No nuts of any kind. People are going to tell you I am wrong, but any health benefits derived from these tasty terrors can be gained ten fold by eating a piece of salmon. Nuts are hard to digest and full of fat.
- Obviously, sweets are off the menu. No cookies, cakes or candy. Don’t even walk down the goody aisle and tempt yourself.
- No red meat.
- Nothing fried EVER!
- For the first two weeks no dairy unless it is skim milk. Again, most dairy is hard to digest and full of fat.
- No beer or mixed drinks.
- Raw vegetables are good in so many ways. They promote a healthy digestive system, are low in calories and full of vitamins.
- Fruit is great as a snack or dessert. (NO pineapple)
- Tortilla bread is great for making a wrap with raw vegetables and chicken or turkey.
- Meat such as chicken, fish and turkey are all very healthy when cooked with some common sense and can be prepared in many ways.
- If you want something to put on your salad or other food, there are many low fat options available. Compare labels when you are shopping and you will be amazed at the difference. ALWAYS look for the healthier choice. If there is not a low calorie option, don’t buy it.
- Red wine. If you want to go out for a drink with friends, red wine is the best alternative.
- 8 – 10 glasses of water daily
You have to start thinking about what you are putting into your body. I can not stress enough the importance of reading labels on packages before buying. That cheesecake will make you feel good for ten minutes but will make you feel bad for far longer. This may sound overwhelming but it can be accomplished when you decide that you want a better way of living and feeling. Before you know it you will find that your desire for unhealthy foods has all but disappeared.
Portion control is important. No matter how healthy you are eating it will not matter if you are eating it by the truck load. Take some of your meals and separate them in half on the plate. Then after finishing the fist half, wait five minutes before eating the rest. Many times you will find that you are already full and don’t even want the remainder.
Finally, as you make progress you will find yourself in a danger zone of sorts. Usually after a week or two of eating healthy and losing weight, it is easy to fall into the “a little bit won’t hurt me” trap. This is the wrong path to choose because it can snowball and unravel everything you have already worked so hard to accomplish. Be alert and strong during this period and the road to a healthier, happier you will be much smoother. If you do falter, get back on that horse and don’t use that momentary weakness put you right back to square one. It’s only one mistake and there is no need to be depressed and give up. Good luck, good health and remember, run for fun but race to place!
© Copyright 2012 The Hornet, All rights Reserved. Written For: Adventures In Running