Posts Tagged ‘south beach diet’

The Diet-Rites of Lunchtime

It’s Five Things Wednesday …

I’ve always enjoyed lunch.  It’s my favorite time of day to eat, lunch cuisine (sandwiches and the like) appeals to me more than that associated with other meals, it’s a break from the workday, etc.  There are lots of different kinds of lunches – the small business lunch, the catching up with friends lunch, the service club lunch, the solitary lunch in the car with the radio and/or a book and many others, not the least interesting of which is the compulsory lunch with co-workers.  Yesterday was one of those.

I don’t mean the kind of lunch where you and some co-workers go off-site to chat or to work on a project or do anything constructive, I mean the “we’re all leaving at 11:20 to get the big table so we can celebrate X. You’re coming, aren’t you?” lunch.

At compulsory lunch with co-workers, nobody wants to talk about, you know, work, because we’re off-site and we’re supposed to be having fun.  Let’s face it, you’ve already shared all the outside-work stuff you intend to share with the co-workers you intend to share it with.  So you make an hour of (hopefully) creative small talk about the weather, vacation plans and if one or more in the group are actively losing weight (and they always are) the topic of the day is … dieting!

What’s that you say?  It’s odd to talk about how much you’re not eating while you’re eating?  You are correct.  But compulsory lunch with co-workers is odd.  No way around it.

In honor of yesterday’s compulsory lunch with co-workers, here are five ways people I know are obsessing about weight-loss:

1.  Eat food, not too much, mostly vegetables.  You knew this was on the list, didn’t you?  You can hardly get through any of my posts without me preaching the gospel according to Pollan.  For the record, it fell on deaf ears yesterday.  Eat things that are clearly good for you?  Be careful of Frankenfood?  Not magic-bullet-y enough.

2.  Coconut Water.  No, not coconut milk, like you might use in a nice curry, coconut water.  Maybe you’ve heard of it.  Maybe you drink it regularly.  I’d never heard of it until yesterday.  Apparently it’s really good for you.  For now I’m stickin’ with regular ol’ water.  Maybe with some bubbles and some lemon in it.

3.  Massive Calorie Restriction.  I’m sure I could get by on 600 calories a day.  But I wouldn’t be much fun.  And I’m pretty sure when they let me (somebody would have to stay after me about this – I damn sure wouldn’t do it to myself) get back normal nutritive sustenance I’d be headed for the cake aisle at the Publix.  Regardless, three times this week I’ve had conversations with people doing this to themselves.  Apparently it’s hip and cool.  And really, I suppose if you’re going to starve yourself, you may as well brag about it.  **I note that one other person who is serious about weight loss was in this group and is restricting himself fairly severely, but was by no means “bragging about it.”  He felt as uncomfortable about it being the center of attention as I did, if not more so.

4.  Atkins/South Beach. Anybody who tells you not to eat vegetables is not doing you any favors.  Plus, this is old news.  No fun to talk about it.

5.  Lean Cuisine.  The anti-Pollan.  Dieting always comes back to fake food.   I’ve eaten a lot of these over the years.  I don’t anymore.  The list of ingredients on this (randomly picked) Lean Cuisine meal is 13 lines long.  But you don’t have to think about it.  Just pop it in the microwave et voila, a self-contained meal unit with specified levels of calories, fat, fiber and protein.  One step away from a science-fiction meal-in-a-pill.  It’s the ultimate magic diet bullet.  Without snark, I will say that I understand.  Sometimes you need something simple, fast and not super-greasy.  I’ve just sworn it off.  Maybe it will work for you.

Five Resources That Help(ed) Me Understand Food Better

It’s Five-Things-Wednesday …

Regular readers know I’m a veteran of the diet wars.  Along the way I’ve picked up some nuggets of wisdom from which I’m now able to piece together reasonable nutritional advice (for myself).  Here are five sources I recommend … but remember, nothing you read (except this blog) is necessarily entirely correct, honorable and true.  Not all good advice applies to all people.  Use these resources, but read them all with a critical eye and an experimental mind.

1.)  Yeah, I know, broken record on my part.  Go read his stuff.

2.)  The South Beach Diet.  In case I wasn’t clear enough above, I’ll say it a different way:  Do not start the South Beach Diet.  Do, however, read the book and learn about things like the glycemic index and how different foods affect the way your body works.  It’s a quick read and it can lead you to other resources you may find helpful.  I should add that when I was “on” the South Beach Diet about seven years ago, I was amazed at the rapid results, dismayed by the (high) cost eating that way and always hungry.  And when I went “off” said diet I gained what I’d lost (and more) almost as quickly as I lost it.  I suppose if you are able to employ a personal chef and shopper and are not encumbered with a job or a desire for bread, it might work long-term.

3.)  The End of Overeating.  You may have missed my recent post on this.  Go here and read all about it.

4.)  Dead Weight.  This infographic from the fine people at works as a nice motivator for me.  It reminds me that, no, a second helping of pecan pie isn’t worth the cardiac arrest it might eventually induce.  I don’t always remember, but I’m doing a better job.  Let me disclaim here, however, as I’ve done in other posts, that the BMI is just a tool, and that like all other tools it should be used in context.  Used as a blunt instrument and applied to everything health-related, it’s as helpful as a ball-peen hammer in a nanotech lab.

5.)  Common Sense.  No, not the Tom Paine pamphlet (although it wouldn’t hurt you to go read that as soon as you finish reading this post).  There is no end of good and bad information available to me on the internets, from well-meaning friends, from Big Ag, from Big Pharma, etc., about what is healthy and what is not.  It’s my responsibility to consider as much of that information as I can, critically, and within context.  What’s in the food I’m putting in my belly?  How does that food make me feel?  How does my body use it?  Does my body reject it or is it of value to me?  I inherited some genes that make food stick to my ribs (tenaciously), but my body is my responsibility.   I’m obliged to use my portion of good sense to keep it in working order.


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