Posted: December 28, 2010 in DIET

I have a confession.  I do NOT like the word diet.  I never have.  Why?  First, it CAN have negative implications.  People hear diet and their thought process immediately goes to – I’m fat.  I need to lose weight.  I’m not good enough.  And about a hundred other negative thoughts that are not healthy.  Second, “diet” is all too often used as a temporary, obligatory thing.  For example, I am going to diet until my vacation.  I am going to diet until my wedding.  My high school reunion is coming up, I’m going to start a diet.  Ok, these are all good reasons but they are temporary. And, what happens after the vacation, wedding, high school reunion? People often revert back to bad eating habits.

I imagine that some of you reading this may be confused.  You may be thinking ok cool, finally someone that says I don’t have to diet.  To those people, I say nice try. My problem with the word “diet” is the way that it is used.  All the above uses are negative. So, let me try to change you way of thinking.  For now on, when you refer to diet, USE THE WORD TO DESCRIBE THE WAY YOU EAT EVERY SINGLE DAY.  For example, I don’t eat any junk food as part of my diet. My diet consists of clean, healthy foods. Do you see the difference?  Used this way, diet reflects a lifestyle choice.

The following are the rules I believe in and try to follow. I encourage everyone to do what works from them.  However, if you want to follow along here it is:

1. I eat small meals every 3-4 hours with good clean foods like:

  • Complex carbohydrates like legumes as well as whole grains such as brown rice and oats.
  • Lean proteins such as chicken breast and lean turkey.
  • Healthy fats like olive oil, avocado and raw almonds (check labels) – just keep it in moderation
  • Green leafy vegetables

2.  I avoiding eating any of this garbage: Sugar, artificial sweeteners, fruit juice (unless squeezed from the fruit itself), regular AND diet soda, processed foods, saturated and trans fats, alcohol, and basically any form of junk food.  At the end of the day, come on, you guys know what’s bad for you.

3.  I try to avoid carbs after 3:00 PM. There is some debate about it’s effectiveness but it has worked for me.

4.  I eat 3 cups of green leafy vegetables a day. Spinach is a personal favorite.

5.  I drink a minimum of 3 liters of water a day.  I will probably actually drink way more than that.  The workouts will make sure of that.

6.  And now for the last rule so good news – I have one cheat meal every week – usually on Fridays for dinner.What is a cheat meal?  A cheat meal is your choice, your treat.  It is your chance to well, cheat.  It is great for both your metabolism and mental state.  I find that if you know you are going to cheat you won’t break your diet.  Want that slice of pizza?  That’s fine – on cheat night 😉


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