Monday, March 5, 2018

Reset Your Palate: BMI = 28.9

Resetting my palate has been a crucial key in my ongoing descent from class III obesity (BMI of 43) towards a BMI of under 25. It has changed the way I view food and made it much easier for me to make healthy choices. Foods that previously seemed dull now seem tempting and I’m now averse to foods that are overly sweet or salty. I’m afraid to say, however, that it is not something you can do overnight.

For almost 7 weeks, I struggled to quit snacking while I forced myself to eat terribly bland meals. I boiled plain starches like potatoes or pasta, usually with some mixed veggies, and only topped them with reduced-sodium tomato sauce. When I just couldn’t bring myself to eat that I would allow myself a few dashes of a sugar-free hot sauce. I garnished my plate with a couple ounces of cold roast pork, chicken, or beef.

When you are used to indulging your taste-buds without restraint, switching over to old-fashioned hospital food isn’t easy. I might have gone a little overboard with blandness, but my previous half-measured attempts at improving my diet had gotten me nowhere. Eliminating sugar and going low-sodium had a big impact, though, and it wasn’t long before I was craving a bigger variety of veggies and some whole grains.

Now, when I see veggies I see flavour. Where I see whole grains, I see a meal that will keep me satisfied for hours. Since giving up processed meat I no longer feel thirsty all day and, when I am thirsty, I find that water is what I crave to quench my thirst.

Another side-effect of my old-fashioned hospital food was that I got back into the habit of putting my food on a plate and sitting down to eat. When my diet was at it’s worst I typically ate standing up because I was in such a hurry to gulp down comfort foods. I often ate while walking because I was starving and couldn’t make my way home from the store without breaking open a bag of snack chips or at least having a sip of soda.

I now eat at meal time, take the time to plate my food and set the table, and I take my time eating and enjoy my food a lot more. Resetting your palate isn’t easy but 6 or 7 weeks of struggling through bland food has allowed me to truly enjoy eating healthy for the past year while my BMI continues to descend slowly.

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