South Beach Diet, North Beach Diet. I Don’t Live Near The Beach.

So far since September I have lost close to 2o lbs. I’m enjoying that my pants are getting baggy, and that people are starting to comment on my weight loss. I am also benefiting from increased stamina, and strength, when I play squash (my favorite sport).

Now here is the secret.. I am not following any particular diet. No South Beach, No Atkins, No Herbal Magic or Dr. Bernstien. You name it and I am probably not following it.

So how am I doing it?

I was reading a post by Scott H Young called ‘Walk Your Talk…One Step At A Time’

and it recalled the hole idea of taking things on in small increments. Change doesn’t happen in one massive leap, but by taking small steps you will soon realize your goal.

People seem to think that they are for the most part stupid and can’t figure things out (probably because they think we descended from monkeys). I have come to realize that we are not broken and we do not require fixing. We are whole, and fully capable of accomplishing amazing things when we have all the information at hand.

All right back to the weight loss.

Lets deal with facts that even if we haven’t been told about we could probably figure it out on our own.

  • Junk food in large quantities is bad for you. – Once in a while in small amounts is OK, but eating an entire bag of M&M’s or a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is probably not the best thing.
  • Healthy foods are good for you. – If I put an apple and a candy in front of you, I’m positive you could tell me right away which is good for you.
  • If you consume more calories than you burn daily you will gain weight.
  • If you consume less calories than you burn daily you will lose weight. – Even if you weren’t told that the average calorie in take is between 2000-3000 calories per day. Through trial and error you would notice that if you ate less than what you normally do you would either stop gaining or start to lose.
  • Less refined it better than more refined. – If you eat two pieces of 12 grain bread, you will feel far more satisfied than if you eat two pieces of white fluffy Wonder Bread. You might not know that it is because the more refined grains (white flour) , sugars (white sugar and high fructose corn syrup) and starches, are nutrient deficient and have high fast burning calories, and that less refined foods are more nutrient rich, and have slower burning calories (longer energy), but if you are perceptive you would notice the difference regardless.
  • Exercise is good. – This would explain why sedentary couch potatoes are obese and unhealthy.

Now lets look at the very available food pyramid. Most diets whether expressed or not do hold at some level to the pyramid.

So looking at the pyramid, you can deduce that you should have a fair bit of less refined grains in your diet, a sizable amount of fruits and vegetable, some dairy and meats, and very little junk food.

In line with taking baby steps I decided to start cutting back and cutting out. I looked at my diet and realized that I was consuming a lot of Soda ( Coke specifically) and candy. Though I’m not ready to give up ice cream and chocolate, I figured that I could handle cutting out pop and strait sugar sweet. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was consuming hundreds of extra calories from the coke and candy. Amazingly, just with cutting out those two things, in 3 months I got rid of almost 20 lbs.

This was the first step, I am now onto the next step of cutting back on the quantities of some foods – A little less bread, a little less cheese and meat – and increasing others – fruits and vegetables. Again I am starting to lose more weight.

The greatest thing about this is that I am not married to a fad. One of the reasons we have a hard time following diets is because people don’t like being told by others what to do. When you make your own choices they are much easier to follow.

So what can you do.

1. Analyze your eating habits – Be honest with yourself look at your diet and see if there is anything that could you could handle cutting back on cutting out, or adding (fruits and veggies).

2. Pick one small thing – Pick a step that is moderately easy to achieve. For example if you put two tea spoons of sugar in your coffee, try cutting back by one. By the way if you have 3 cups of coffee a day, changing nothing else in your diet you would lose 14-18 lbs over the course of a year.

3. Set a 30 day goal. – Do this small step for 30 days. If you mess up don’t worry and don’t berate yourself just start again. Stick with it until you do it for 30 days in a row.

4. Repeat steps 1-3. - Keep repeating the process until you reach your goal.

If you would like some greater understanding of the food body relationship I would recommend two books.

Eating Well For Optimum Health – Dr. Andrew Weil

YOU – The Owners Manual – Roizen and Oz

Though I have not followed either of their diets they do offer great insights on how your body works and the way food fuels it.

Things don’t need to be complicated. Use your intuitive abilities, take small steps, realize your goals.

Be on of the steps in helping me reach my goal? Check out my “Help 500″ Project.

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