A diet is not a temporary thing
A lot of people know me as the integration person, but there’s more to life than just integration (IMHO there is at least). You can find me in the gym several times a week and if you need some advice on food, you can always ask me 🙂 I notice a lot of people are saying they are “going to diet” to get rid of those extra kilos, especially now, after the holidays. And what are you going to do after the weight has been lost (or not)?
My greatest exasperation is the fact that most people think a diet is temporary. It’s not and it should not be temporary. So when people say they are dieting, they are actually saying that they are finally going to pay attention on what they are eating. Biggest problem… 9 out of 10 times it’s just for a couple of months, if not, weeks. And then they fall back into their normal habit of “just eating” and ending up doing the same thing the next year. Trying to pay attention that is.
Losing weight is not rocket science. It basically comes down to one thing: eat less calories than you burn. Either eat less or burn more – by moving more. If you’d ask me… do both. Of course I am not talking about losing weight in an obesity situation – there are way more factors into play there. But for the average person it’s mostly related to willpower. I just don’t buy garbage, so I can’t eat garbage.
My diet’s been a mess
So my own diet has been a mess lately. And I exactly know why. I have been working like crazy the last couple of months, which is not good for my rhythm, nor is it good for my mood. Not a good mood translates to less willpower, translates to just eating more “garbage” than normal, translates to gaining weight. Especially now, during the holidays, that’s not the best place to be in.
OK, I have to admit, the damage for me is about uhrm… about 3-4 kilos. So what are we talking about exactly? Well, damage-control! I have added a couple of kilos, but it’s within limits. Although I was not in my happiest place, I still kinda had control over what I was eating, I just didn’t care too much. Losing those few kilos is “peanuts”… if I find the willpower 😉
So that’s up for January and February on my list.
Find a stable diet
I have to get back to a stable diet again, as should everybody else. You ought to know what you are eating, all year long. The best way to find out what you are eating is merely counting those calories. There are several apps that can help you with that (like fatsecret). Once I get rid of most of the chocolate on the premises, I will start counting them again, just to get back to a stable diet again. A diet can vary of course, it all depends on your goals, especially for active people it may very from month to month.
You ought to know what you are eating, all year long.
A stable diet – for me – is making sure my intake matches with how much I burn. I avoid garbage as much as possible, though allow my guilty pleasures (Nutella).
When it comes down to a stable diet, I have a few simple ground rules for an average week:
- Eating as little sugar as possible.
Sugar is evil and should be avoided. You should rather eat unsaturated fat, which can be found in nuts or peanut butter.
- I don’t eat garbage from Monday through Friday. Allow guilty pleasures in the weekend.
This all comes down to willpower. I keep (sugary) snacks as far from my desk as possible. I also skip celebratory cake if a colleague celebrates his or hers birthday. That allows me to enjoy my guilty pleasures during the weekend.
- We cook fresh food – at least 5 times a week.
Try to cook fresh meals at least 5 times a week. Takeaway is allowed, once a week, sometimes twice. Depends on how busy life is. I hate it when I have to eat catered food, because I don’t know what I am eating exactly, especially Chinese food.
- I make my own lunch.
Making your own lunch and taking it to work makes sure you know exactly what and how much you are eating. I see a lot of people buying stuff everyday at work. This has two negative effects: (1) You don’t know what you are eating and (2) on my wallet.
Hopefully this helps people getting their diet in order -> WHICH IS NOT A TEMPORARY THING!