Can I offer up a challenge today? Oh good, I'm glad you wanna play! I want to challenge the way you think about food and dieting today. So many people equate nutrition with calories, when the two have absolutely NOTHING to do with each other. Ever watch biggest loser? Yeah, me too. And every season I am disgusted by the way they talk about calories, and by how low-calorie the diets the contestants are on. I listened to a podcast of Jillian Michaels explaining how she would put 400 pound men on a 1200 calorie diet. Wow, that is very, very low, kids.
Calories are a measure of energy. A calorie is defined as the amount of energy it takes to heat one ml of water by one degree Celsius.
Nutrition refers to the breakdown of food, and what impacts it makes to the body.
You will not get thinner, healthier, stronger, by following a low-calorie diet. You might get thinner for a while, but I bet that you might get sick. Or tired. Or feel starved. Or just really hate it and quit.
Instead, I challenge you to to consider the nutrients that the food contains. Pick foods that are yummy and rich in nutrients. Pick foods that haven't been processed so far that your great-grandparents* (I'm assuming here your great grandparents would be over the age of 90. If not, adjust accordingly) wouldn't know what the heck they are. Try ignoring calories, and eating a diet full of the foods that your great-grandparents would recognize, for a few weeks. Eat those fruits, veggies, whole grains, and maybe some meat even, and see what happens. I imagine that you'll start to feel good. I imagine you'll have more energy. And when these things happen, imagine what you'll be able to do. What would you be able to accomplish with even 10% more energy?
I know that I'm talking about something radical here, folks. Asking people to give up convenience foods, sodas, twinkies... It's a major transition. But how many crash diets have you tried? How many times have you read a diet book, bought their expensive supplements and shakes, and tried it for a week or two? The great thing about this is it really isn't expensive. You don't need anything fancy, except maybe the family cookbook/recipe box, and pinterest (because you would be amazed how much GOOD food there is on pinterest!). You can find great quality food at a farmer's market, or even at a local natural foods grocery store (Natural Grocers, Vitamin Cottage, Sprouts, Sunflower Market, and Trader Joe's are a few examples). These stores usually emphasize produce and bulk foods, making it easy to spot the best choices.
What do you think? Will you accept my challenge, or is my soap box too darn high, and I need to get off before someone kicks it out from under me?