The challenge: to get rid of the “bad” stuff from our diets.
Most all of us when we realize that we need to “lose a few pounds” immediately step into “diet” mode and start eliminating things from our diet. We are often left hungry, moody, and look for every quick weight loss scam out there thus leaving us broker. We “ban” ourselves from eating foods that are good for us in an attempt to shed a few pounds. Sometimes we lose them and then we immediately return to our old ways and the cycle continues.
Why make the change:
The key to success in long term weight loss is to make changes that will stick. We need to reprogram our brain to a completely different way of eating. We have been falsely led to believe that everything in the store is good for us. Even if the label says “natural” we think that it is good for us.
That is so not the case.
We need to be eating food that is found mostly in its natural state. Sometimes this may sound overwhelming and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. The key to changing our lifestyle diet to a more basic, simple one is to get rid of the most processed things one food at a time.
How to make the change:
When you think of changing your diet, picture returning your diet to a basic one. Think, “what would you do if there was no local store to buy your packaged food?” What would you serve for dinner tonight? You want to return to a diet where you can buy things in bulk and eat off of them for a long time. Think rice, dried beans, whole wheat flour, and popcorn seeds.
For most of us, myself included when I purchased my first bulk buy of those items, for the most part they sat in my basement only slowly getting used. I enjoyed buying snack mix instead of making popcorn for snacks. Oatmeal wasn’t as appealing as cold cereal. Dried beans?? Those took too much time to make, I wanted canned ones.
I then had to do things slowly. I made a list. A list of how I wanted to rid our foods of packaged, processed foods and return to a more whole foods centered diet.
Here is our list:
- eliminate white flour, sugar, bread, and pasta
- replace sugary drinks and sodas with water
- avoid packaged foods with more than 5 ingredients
- replace fake margarine’s and vegetable oils with real butter and olive/coconut oils
- replace table salt with sea or Himalayan salt
- replace snack foods with fresh fruit or veges
- stop eating out and start making meals
- work on replacing a few items in my pantry each month that I buy as a “convenience food”. Example–canned beans, taco seasoning, ranch mix, etc.
- Make most of my grocery budget go to fresh fruits and vegetables
Did we make these changes overnight? No we slowly worked on them. It has been about a year and a half since we have begun this list and we are still working on completing it.
I am realizing the impact foods has on my children’s health as well as their temperament. I realize that we have more energy, don’t feel as sluggish halfway through the day, and I realize that I probably eat more now that I have switched to a basic, plain diet. Thus resulting in me not feeling the need to snack or like I am missing out on foods.
I used to believe in 3 meals a day with 2-3 snacks but I realize that when I feed my children “real” foods that they can go much longer and feel fuller longer periods of time throughout the day.
It has been a slow journey but with each new choice, it takes some time getting used to and then it usually sticks. I have found that it takes 5-10 times of offering new foods to my children before they even eat it. I used to despise trail mix myself, thought it was gross but you know it has become my new favorite snack foods for the day. Everything takes time, it takes time to reprogram our taste buds to something more basic and simple. Thus the reason for this challenge, if you can start by changing one new thing a week or month, then its better than not beginning at all.