Eating healthy is a multi-billion dollar market. I make a point to not fall for the marketing machine. At first I had to weed through the BS that everyone was trying to sell, so I could get to a permanent way of eating that is healthy and sustainable for me.
I automatically put anything labeled “reduced calories” right back on the shelf. Go for whole foods…meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, etc.
For example, those Trop 50 Orange Juice commercials frustrate me. I mean, REALLY? Save calories on your orange juice. How about eating a full breakfast with normal orange juice? Then go run around the block three times. THAT is how it is done.
I like to cook and can go on for pages about food and eating. However, I’ll spare you the diatribe and boil it down to some key points.
- Eat a balanced diet– protein, fruit and vegetables every day. Full meals. Bread is fine. Pasta is fine. I stopped worrying about “carbs”. Carbs are good for sex. I need them. Meats are usually leaner cuts… more sirloin than ribeye.
- Portion control– Each thing on my plate is be no bigger than my fist. For example I put a steak, baked potato and string beans on the plate. The steak should be no bigger than my fist. The potato should be no bigger than my fist….you get the idea.
- Don’t skip meals– I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I also have snacks. I range my calorie intake between 1800 and 2200 calories in a day. Starving myself all day, just means I’m gonna stuff my pie hole with crap before bedtime.
- Pay attention to what I eat– More vegetables and fruit. Less french fries. Once I started paying attention, I began to make better choices. I cut out soda and that grande mocha with whip. Instead, I’ll drink a bottle of water or have a plain latte with a packet of sugar.
Here is my typical day of food
Breakfast – at home, I eat oatmeal, or yogurt with fruit, coffee and orange juice. On the road, I get McDonalds: Egg Mcmuffin and a plain latte (no flavor), or Starbucks: oatmeal and a plain latte depending on which is closer to the hotel.
Dinner – on the road, I usually eat out, and stick to smaller plates. I like tapas if I can find it…otherwise I go for thai or a soup & sandwich place. At home, I cook. Pasta, steaks, chicken…normal American fare. I buy a lot of rotisserie chickens.
Snacks – trail mix, a granola bar, yogurt, cottage cheese with fruit, a plain latte.
Alchohol – I usually have two beers or two glasses of wine a night. I need to cut this back….at least skip a few days once in a while.
I kept a food journal for the first year of eating healthier. I wrote down everything that I put in my mouth. You don’t need to do that. I was a little obsessive about it. I still have the book on my desk as a reminder. It was a useful exercise for me. I had no idea how much junk I was stuffing in my mouth.
A note on calorie counting. I counted calories for a long time, but don’t count them anymore. For me to lose weight I need to keep right at 1750 calories a day and exercise normally. To maintain weight, I need to stay under 2200 calories. Nowadays, I know the right amount of food and what is over eating. I’ll have wings and a pitcher of beer on Sunday then run 5 miles on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…
You don’t have to be perfect, just better.
Continued in Part 3: What Kind of Exercise?