It can be confusing navigating the sea of weight-loss diets available out there. There are seemingly hundreds of plans out there: the abs diet, the wine diet, the gluten free diet, the low-carb diet, the no-carb diet and everything in-between. Most overweight people such as myself tend to be experts on the subject mainly because we have tried them all, and as in my case, has also failed miserably at sticking to them. My friend Todd once pointed out one very obvious, yet fundamental rule of dieting: they all work…if you follow them.
The first diet I ever encountered was Weight Watchers. When I was younger, my mother was a member of that weight loss program. What I associated most with the diet were those bizarre Weight Watchers dehydrated packaged meals that the program offered. The meals would fill our pantry and mother never seemed to eat them, and looking back it’s hard for me to blame her. Even when I was young, they always look disgusting. Apparently my mother’s diet operated on the assumption that if you provide food so gross to a dieter, they will lose weight simply by preferring to starve themselves rather than eating the meals!
Years later, my friend Marc went on a pre-packaged frozen meal delivery diet. I noticed a similar phenomenon inside his freezer, piles and piles of uneaten BistroMD “meals.” I had the pleasure of sampling his frozen sweet potato pancakes and it immediately became clear to me why so many of his meals have remained untouched.
These days it seems there is a diet out there marketed to every type of person. Most recently these diets are variations of the low-carb/no-carb diet. Thanks to a man named Dr. Atkins, these carb-cutting diets have been come almost de rigueur for those looking to shed their spare tire or fifth wheel. Low- carb diets come in all forms. For women, there is the “South Beach Diet.”
And its more masculinized form, the “paleo diet.” (For the record…I think almond flour should be banned! BANNED I TELL YOU!)
For myself, I once cooked out of a recipe book titled “The Wine Diet.” In that cookbook, the only permissible carbohydrates were those that contained no less than 10% alcohol.
A lot of recent diet trends regulate not just what you put in your body but how you put that food in your body. My favorite of these trends is Intermittent Fasting (IF in CrossFit-speak.) IF dictates that one it is limiting your food intake in a 24-hour cycle to just 4 to 8 hours a day. In addition to speeding up your body’s ability to oxidize fat, proponents of IF suggests that it can also prolong your lifespan. I personally am fond of IF because it means you only have to worry about your diet for 6 hours a day… The other 12 waking hours can be spent worrying about being hungry!
As it turns out, for the past few weeks I have been more or less following an IF diet, I just thought it was called skipping dinner. The only way I have ever been able to lose weight is by going to bed feeling a little hungry, and IF helps me accomplish this.
In addition to only eating between the hours of 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, I am trying my best to avoid any overcomplicated fad diet, such as the one’s mentioned above. I much prefer a more basic “don’t eat crap” diet, which mainly means limiting my consumption of sugary foods, processed foods and booze.
So there is my diet plan, 2 simple rules, eat a day’s worth of calories for breakfast and lunch, and make sure the food isn’t overly processed junk. I’ve been able to follow them for 16 days…only 134 to go.