Roughly two-thirds of the American population is overweight; approximately 30% of our population is clinically obese.
“Let food be thy medicine and they medicine be food.” (Hippocrates)
It ain’t that complicated…we’re given one body with which to play out or mission on this earth. Run down the vehicle and we won’t be so effective. Daniel Plan team member, Dr. Mark Hyman says “You cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet.” I have (for years at a time, I might add) struggled with the balance of food as fuel vs. food as comfort and enjoyment. I’ve had phases of deprivation and punishment, but have settled happily on using food as nourishment with lovely moments of sheer bliss in a well prepared meal. No guilt, no starving, no shame.
That said, this study finds me sitting on my ample derriere with a couple pounds to lose. I created a list of my top ten food guidelines to bring me back to balance:
- Drink water when you’re hungry. By the time you are thirsty, your body is already in dehydration mode. Your brain often registers the need for water as hunger. Drink water, wait 20 minutes for the gut/brain connection. If you’re still hungry, then eat.
- Shop the perimeter of the market. The whole, fresh, healthy foods are generally there. Do this first, then decide if you need to go to the center. You will…you need toilet paper. Especially if you haven’t eaten fresh fruits and vegetables for a while. But that’s another conversation…
- Eat at regular intervals. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If your blood sugar has spikes and valleys, it just isn’t efficient. Not to mention the fact that you’re no good to be around when you need a nap at 2:00 pm.
- Eat from smaller plates. I’m not recommending a saucer, just a normal size plate. We don’t need a plate the size of a platter or charger…especially if you’re one that tends to “fill up”.
- Maintain balance of nutrients. Get a fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in at each meal/snack. With training (that’s time) you will find what ratio is correct for you.
- Sneak in some vegetables. My favorite places include smoothies (half cup of raw broccoli), soups (chopped), tomato sauce (combination of chopped and blended), and gravy. And my Mom used to make a mean zucchini-chocolate cake. But that’s probably not what I should be thinking about right now. But in August I’ll attach that recipe!
- Eat protein the size of your palm. Yeah, children need smaller portions than the NBA player that can palm the ball. and my big mitt does not give me the right to have a super-thick cut chop. Be reasonable.
- Eat colorful meals. A meal of pulled pork, mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed corn, and a roll just looks blah…and probably could use some help in the nutrient density department. Each food should be a different color; you’re almost guaranteed to add some vitamins and nutrients!
- Eat mindfully, not mindlessly. I always thought that “mindfully” meant “with thought”. In recent readings from a Buddhist monk, he suggested that “mindfulness” translated to Christians as “with the Holy Spirit”. How would your meals change if you ate whilst filled with the Holy Spirit? With the Holy Spirit working through you?
- Sit, pause, and give thanks. Be thankful to EVERYONE that made the meal possible. It’s often a long train of hands from farmer to picker to store clerk, to preparer, to server. Humbling at times.