Friday, January 8, 2010

Don't Diet

If you are concerned about your body weight and want to change it, don't diet. A rapid and extreme change in your eating habits may be difficult for your body to get used to, and when you don't get the results you want, you'll get discouraged. And how will you make any progress if you are discouraged and revert to your old eating habits?

Author and investigative journalist Michael Pollan has made a name for himself with books such as Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food. He also was interviewed and featured in the film Food Inc. In his much talked about In Defense of Food, he set the guideline "Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants." While being minimal in explanation, a lot of research was done to come to the conclusion that this is the best way to nourish your body.

In a Food Network episode of Good Eats ("Live and Let Diet"), Alton Brown shared his insight on losing 50 pounds over the course of 9 months without "going on a diet." As reblogged, here are the four categories into which he organized food, and examples of the foods to eat (or not).

Eat Daily
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Leafy greens
  • Nuts (1 oz a day)
  • Carrots
  • Green tea

Eat at least 3 times a week

  • Oily fish
  • Yogurt
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Avocado

Eat only 1 time a week

  • Red meat
  • Pasta
  • Dessert
  • Alcohol

Never eat

  • Fast food
  • Soda
  • Processed meals
  • Canned soup
  • “Diet” anything

And eat breakfast, every single godforsaken day.

And it keeps getting better. Michael Pollan has released a new book, Food Rules, with 64 ways to choose the types of foods that will most benefit your body. While 64 may seem like a lot of guidelines to follow, the purpose is not to abide by every single rule, every time you eat. If you were to choose at least one rule from each of the three categories (Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.), you'd already be on your way to giving your body what it needs. And even "junk" foods aren't a complete long as you make them yourself. As I've been turning the pages of In Defense of Food, I'm absolutely fascinated with the research and conclusions in the book. I ordered my copy of Food Rules a couple nights ago and can't wait to get it! Expect another update as soon as I do, and I'll feature some of my favorite rules!

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