The first step in starting a new diet is deciding what to eat. This is a full stop issue for some people. They get to the what to eat, get overwhelmed, see something they don’t want to eat, and stop trying.
What should be an extrememly simple act has turned into a stress filled, politically charged, statement about who you are and what you stand for. Side eye judgements in the cereal aisle as you reach for the muesli. Covert conveyor manoeuvres as you tuck that pack of Tim Tams under the economy sized bag of organic, locally grown Swiss chard. The all out horror if you suggest you ate a white potato once and liked it.
I’ll cut through all the BS, marketing, and drama for you…ready?…eat the food that makes your body happy and you can afford. That’s it. Your diet in its simplest stripped down form is what you eat, and any time I use the word diet on this blog that is precisely what I mean.
Now you may have other motivators. Maybe your food needs to help you run races, heal from an injury, or save people from burning buildings. Maybe you need your food to meet religious, ethical, or other guidelines. Maybe you have a medical condition, or live with someone who does. Maybe your food needs to be easy to prepare or entertaining. All these motivators are perfectly valid for you, but be cautious when applying them to other people. I’ll discuss my personal views on some of these topics and how I incorporate them into my life later.
Your food’s #1 priority should be to nourish and fuel you. Everything else is as negotiable as you let it be.
Finding the foods that make your body feel good can be tricky, but once you find them everything becomes simpler. Burgers check all my boxes. They are energy dense, easily portable, macro balanced, easy to share, my body likes them, they are fairly inexpensive, and they are easily accessible.
Fries and soda are usually too expensive for me. I rarely have the calorie budget for them. I don’t like them enough to spend hours working for them. In the case of soda anything over about 1/4 c., 80 mL, makes my body freak out. So I followed my burger with some baked apples after I got home. Felt energized and happy.
This was an effortless decision. I wasn’t tempted by my husband’s fries because I knew if I ate them I would either be
spending hours working them off or facing a reversal of my progress. I didn’t want to do either.
From his point of view he loves fries and they fit perfectly into his diet plan.
My parting suggestion is to take a deep breath and take your diet on your own terms. Don’t let anyone, even yourself, convince you that dieting is all about deprivation and starvation. Don’t short change yourself either. We live in a time of unprecedented variety in the developed world. Branch out as far as your ethics, budget, and physical needs will take you.
Thank you for reading.