Friday, October 8, 2010

Start With Satisfying Food

"I can't get no satisfaction." The Rolling Stones
Where to start in the quest for the best body you can have? Experts like Craig Ballantyne, Dr. John Beratdi, and Brad Pilon agree. (Just google their names if they don't ring a bell.) You can't out train a bad diet so food comes first, but what kind of food? Diets, being restrictive by their very nature, almost always ban or limit certain foods, at least at times. Even the diets that encourage you to cheat your way thin require days of clean eating. By the way, I consider clean eating to consist of fresh, wholesome, unprocessed foods, but once again that's wide open for interpretation. One man may consider organic butter from grass fed cows to be "clean", while another would avoid dairy all together. What to do? Realize that once you are an adult the food you put in your mouth is your responsibility, and your choice. It is personal, and you, brave transforming individual, are on a quest to find the foods that satisfy you within your calorie budget. Ooops, I came out and took a stand there didn't I when I mentioned calorie budget? Here's more honesty, right now I am following Atkins ongoing weight loss, the low carb, full fat-allowing way of eating that continues to invite controversy as it's followers quietly drop pounds. If you read Atkins New Diet Revolution, you will see that Dr. Atkins didn't ask anyone to count calories, he simply asked people to eat until comfortably full, but as someone who can even overeat rich foods like prime rib and brie, I know that I need boundaries. Here's something interesting that I discovered. I tracked my calories for the first week of induction, allowing myself to get comfortably full, and guess what? My calories were coming in at around 1200 each day, a calorie deficit that has almost always allowed me to lose weight, no matter what I was eating. So what's going on here? This way of eating lets me reach satiety while keeping calories low. It's not either/or, it's both/and.
Let's take a closer look at satiety, which is defined as the state of being full. Satiey comes from the latin satis which means "enough". I believe that there are two crucial elements to fat release. You have to find a way of eating that lets you get up from the table when you're comfortably full, and a way of moving that you're consistently eager to do. To try to distill it down, I call it "Up from the table, and into the gym." Satiety is what gets you up from the table. You have to build a menu of foods that nourish, fill, and please you, at least most of the time. Even if you have an iron will, over time episodes of less than perfect eating are bound to occur whether you planned them, for example by allowing a cheat, or re-feed, or special occasion meal, or whether you didn't, for example when your flight gets cancelled, and you're caught famished at the airport. I'll close for now, as Tippy the Wonder Dog wants his walk, but I'll be back with more musings on satisfying food.