Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Inverted Diet II: BMI = 29.6

You take off a few pounds but then it all comes back. It seems that the only way to slim down is to live in starvation. I know, I’ve been there and got the t-shirt. Then I needed a bigger t-shirt, so I just repeated the process. It’s embarrassing to admit that I fell into that cycle because I know, as a cook, how to prepare a balanced diet.

When I got so heavy that a little slip on the ice left me crushed by my own weight (I now miss 50% of one of my vertebrae), I finally had to face the truth. Facing that truth hurt more than my injury. When I honestly audited my diet and then looked to the Canada Food Guide to review the structure of a healthy diet, I had to admit to myself that my diet was upside down.

I got most of my calories from fat, sugar, and low-fibre carbs. Veggies were just a garnish on my plate. If I ate a serving of whole-grains in a day, then it was because I wasn’t paying attention. It’s no wonder I couldn’t lose any weight – I was malnourished. The best analogy I can think of is that bilge pumps won’t help you if your boat is capsized. If your diet is upside-down, then you’ll be so starved of nutrition that you can’t possibly expect a short-term stunt diet to do anything for you.

I honestly thought that I would never overcome my cravings for calorie-dense snack foods. I couldn’t understand why snack chips and dips were so compelling to me. The fact is that I lost my instincts to seek out veggies and whole grains. Those healthy foods would only bring me relief if I ate them regularly whereas foods like deep-fried onion rings made me feel good instantly. Well, they made me feel good for the duration I was eating them, at least, but they were making me sick, fat, and unhappy in the long-run.

I just couldn’t imagine that my groceries would ever again look like the photo above. I had stopped buying decent groceries because I knew I would just end up throwing out all the fruits and veggies after they went bad. Up-righting my diet was very hard because I had to break many bad habits and then learn to eat my veggies again. Now that my diet is back upright, and very balanced (most of the time), the cravings for unhealthy food and late-night snacks have all but vanished.

My meals are now huge but free of added sugars, processed meats, and fried food. I try to get at least 2 servings of whole grains and 2 servings of fruits/veggies in every meal. Once I got into the habit of stuffing myself with healthy, balanced meals, I was no longer starving and driven to seek out comfort from calorie-dense junk-food.

I know how scary it is to think of the prospect of living life without comfort foods (most of the time) but I promise you that I feel so much better that I no longer crave comfort foods (most of the time). My weekly indulgence meals bring me far more satisfaction than eating that food every day of the week.

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