Weight is like a speeding train. Health is like a train. You’ve got to slow the train before you can reroute it.
During the first two weeks of the one year diet, the only thing we had to accomplish was to get the processed food out of our homes. Mission accomplished. Mostly by eating it :) Nailed it!
On to phase 2. For the month coming up, our one and only job is to stabilize our eating at a higher level of leanness. That means finding ways to add more fruit and veggies, eating mostly whole grains rather than white, and reducing added sugar. We’re not worried about fat. We still use butter and caramelize onions with oil, and I drink whole milk in my coffee – but we do remember that fat is not a freebie. As for protein, we’re trying to eat some protein in all our meals and snacks.
If you’d like to come along, you’ve got one job for the next month and it’s going to take commitment. Prepare your own food from scratch every day for the entire month. That’s breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Keep added sugar to under 6 teaspoons (24 grams) per day, but other than that there are no restrictions. You don’t need to tally anything else, not even calories. Eat wholesome food, get healthy and the weight will follow.
Yes of course you can go out to dinner once a week or so. Indulgences are fine. This is a lifetime thing. Just don’t call it “cheating”. Can we get the judgement out of eating already? Never say “I was bad” either when you go overboard omg don’t get me started cuz that’s another blog post.
Big bonus points for any fitness you do during phase 2. You don’t have to exercise yet during phase 2 though. You do have to cook. Yup it will take some effort but you are so worth it. Your health is priceless and there are no magic bullets. Some people think they can eat processed food all day with a “super food” chaser. Nope. A big mac with a side of green tea and kale isn’t the same as a meal with two veggies, a whole grain and beef patty.
The foundation of the one year diet is the three pillars of health.
- FOOD: Make your own food. Cut out the processed. Food is love.
- FITNESS: Move your body a little every day. Thirty minutes is the goal.
- PEOPLE: Keep good people in your life. Your people affect your health.
In phase 2 we concentrate on the first pillar, food. Glorious food.
The One Year Diet Phase 2 – HOW TO
- No junk food in your home. Eat it if you must but it doesn’t come into your home, your car, your desk.
- Don’t drink your sugar, chew it. Cut out fruit juices and soda pop whether real or artificial sugar. When you drink sugar it doesn’t register in your brain like say, a cookie. Artificial sugar may increase sugar cravings according to some studies.
- Weigh in and measure your waist around the belly button on the 1st and 15th of every month. Write it down in a paper calendar. The waist tells the story. Your body needs time to adjust so don’t worry about the weight. It will follow the health.
- Breakfast: Find a breakfast you like and make it happen every day. You want zero added sugar at breakfast. Include a big piece of fruit or veggies. My favourite lean and delicious breakfast tastes like dessert. It’s a 6 to 8 ounces of plain 0% fat Greek yogurt with sweet fresh fruit, sprinkled a half cup of homemade granola. (Recipe to follow.)
The no added sugar thing at breakfast is important. Save your sugar quota for later in the day. You’ll be needing it. Humans’ daily added sugar limit is 6 teaspoons (24 grams) and it is shockingly easy to use up a day’s added sugar allowance before the workday starts. Manufacturers tuck sugar into healthy sounding breakfast foods like flavoured yogurt and granola, so be your own detective. Fruit yogurts can have so much added sugar you might as well be eating ice cream. For instance a little container of Yoplait Greek blueberry yogurt has 3 1/2 teaspoons (14 grams) of added sugar.
- Make dinner every night and take the leftovers for lunch. Include two different coloured veggies. Add a half cup or so of whole grains or other unprocessed carb like sweet potato or white potato with the skin. Choose your favourite protein – fish, meat or tofu. My fastest satisfying dinner: season a piece of meat with salt and pepper and fry. Steam two veggies for a few minutes until bright and tender crisp. (I choose veggies by colour.) Spoon pre-cooked grain like quinoa on the plate. (I make extra ahead of time and freeze in individual ziplock bags.)
- Snacks are meals, not extras, so meal rules apply to snacks. That is, no processed food; tally any added sugar (6 teaspoons/24 grams max per day); whole grains and carbs are better than white; fruits and veggies are fantastic; protein satisfies hunger. My favourite snacks are leftover dinners or robust salads like a sweet grated carrot and red cabbage salad with toasted almonds. Recipe coming.
I’ll be posting some of our meals here. Like spaghetti carbonara with prosciutto, parmesan and provolone, with zucchini noodles swapped out for half of the pasta.
Food is love. For phase 2 our one job is to stabilize our eating with consistent homemade meals and a higher level of leanness.
People who love to eat are always the best people