How to Pick the Right Eating Lifestyle

Posted in Uncategorized by Steph Auteri on January 1, 2008

They say that couples who move in together gain weight together. Yet as I’ve slowly put on pounds, I’ve found that my husband only grows more concave. Christmas didn’t help, of course. In the Christmas cookies alone, there are untold amounts of brown sugar, butter, and condensed milk.

Which is why people are always trying out new diets in their attempt to make good in the new year.

About a year ago, an online bud of mine suggested Dr. Joshi’s Holistic Detox to me. I read through it, horrified by the fact that I would have to cut out pretty much every single thing I enjoyed eating. I wussed out.

Now I’m thinking I should give it a try. It’s not just the extra pounds I’ve packed on. I’ve been feeling exceptionally bloated lately. I’ve been suffering from acid reflux. My energy levels are frustratingly low. Could this be the answer to my problems? But check out these hardcore top ten rules of the detox:

  • no red meat
  • no dairy produce
  • no fruit, except for bananas
  • no wheat, gluten, or yeast
  • no alcohol
  • no biscuits, cakes, or doughnuts
  • no jams or spreads, except for honey
  • no coffee (even decaf) or tea, except for herbal teas
  • no sugar, chocolate, or sweets
  • no artificially produced flavorings, such as ketchup, vinegar, or mustard

Hard core.

I’m finding that lots of people are looking for a stricter kick in the ass at the start of the New Year. My mother wants me to do the Weight Watchers Kick-Start plan with her. My friend Nicole is doing the Great American Detox Diet with her husband. And the entire front of my local Barnes & Noble is filled with diet and exercise tomes (I picked up a copy of Slim for Life out of curiosity).

What are your favorite ways to kick start the new year, and flush out the impurities that the holidays invariably introduce into your system?


8 Responses to 'How to Pick the Right Eating Lifestyle'

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  1. Alicia said,

    My fool-proof method of getting healthy and fit is signing up for a half-marathon in the spring, for which I must consistently train over the next several months. Receiving updates from the race director and commiting to beating my previous time keep me on track. Once Lent begins, I also cut out all junk food – cookies, candy, french fries, chips – as part of my lenten sacrifice. It’s hard at first, but after two weeks or so, my body doesn’t crave salty and sweet anymore…until Easter, when I binge and return to my bad habits of old.

  2. Unfortunately most weight loss diets are actually fad diets. All to often diets that describe themselves as being new or revolutionary are actually diets.

  3. stephanerd said,

    @alicia: I so admire your resolve to do what you do.

    @weight gain diets: You’re so right. I find it’s best to take each new, popular diet with a grain of sale, and take the best from each plan to create a personalized healthy lifestyle. I think it’s also important to practice mindful eating. Susan Albers has a couple of good books on the topic.

  4. susan said,

    portion control, folks. that’s it. don’t give up anything you love. just eat less of it. no mystery there.

  5. stephanerd said,

    @susan: Yup. Portion size. With my bottomless pit of a stomach, that’s always been my biggest problem.

    I often feel that the secret is just portion control, mindfulness, and common sense. plus some exercise. I just love it when people tell me what to eat, as I’m crap at menu planning. 🙂

  6. I am now reneging on my previous suggestion – I now doubt some of Joshi’s (not actually a real doctor it turns out) detox commandments. At best, they kinda set you up for failure, because even if you can make it through the three weeks, it’s almost impossible to stay saintly enough for it to make a difference in the long run because it’s just too strict. My guy and I felt better after doing it, but we couldn’t keep it up and when our lives got stressful, we just started all our bad habits up again. I think the doing a “partial” and longer lasting detox is a better way to go. We did notice that cutting down on sugar helped us to cut down on our cravings of sugar, which meant we could still treat ourselves occasionally without feeling the urge to overdo it.
    Honestly, I think people would get more results from Weight Watchers than Joshi’s diet.

  7. stephanerd said,

    @neonfoxtongue: Thanks for the update! After doing one week of the Weight Watchers Kick-Start with my mom, I’m still unsure what good these short-term, extreme detoxes can actually do in the long run. In the short-term, they mess with your metabolism, causing you to gain much more weight when you end up leaving the extreme deprivations behind. In the end, it’s really all about common sense: eat mindfully, be aware of your portion sizes, and stop eating too much of the processed crap.

    It’s interesting to hear that Joshi is not actually a doctor. At the very least, some of his food suggestions and juice recipes seemed worth keeping around.

  8. I totally agree about the metabolism messing and suspect that some of the weight I’ve gained since doing the detox has something to do with that (although not enough exercise and ‘nesting’ are also to blame). I do think that some of his advice is decent, but again, it’s all the common sense stuff re: sugars and processed foods. I will say that some of his recipes are really awesome – we still regularly make the coriander fish.

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