Future You will want the freedom to go where you want, when you want. You’ll want it bad. Future You will want health enough to travel and do everything you are working so hard for today. Present You gives so much time and attention to the people you love, and to your work – well Future You needs your help too. Future You is counting on Present You to step up to the plate. You are the only person who can bequeath the gift of health to Future You.
Welcome to the One Year Diet phase 2. In phase 2 you’ve got just one job – to stabilize your eating at a higher level of leanness. The rules are simple:
- Vegetables and fruit on half your plate. (More veggies than fruit.)
- White meat more than red.
- Whole carbs in small portions.
- Fats and oils – watch your portions. (Essential for health but they’re not a freebie.)
- Sugar – keep it under 6 teaspoons (24 grams) per day. This is the only math you do in the One Year Diet.
Don’t count calories. They naturally happen when you follow the five rules. Exception – if you have a junk food attack, determine the amount of weight you just gained, then come on back to phase 2 with us. We’ll be here when you get back. (FYI 3500 calories of processed food is roughly a pound gained.)
(If you’re joining us on the One Year Diet today, Hello! Welcome, and please start at Phase 1.)
Phase 2 is about eating food that satisfies you and nourishes you and makes you feel like you’re loved. It’s about cutting out (almost all) processed food and cooking your own food. Studies show that people gain less weight with whole food than processed food, even when the calories and macronutrients are the same. A calorie is not a calorie.
Cooking your own food is essential. You can’t outsource your feeding to a factory. Think about it. A corporation has to keep costs down and sell more product in order to survive. Translation – the corp uses cheaper ingredients and engineers your food to get you to eat a lot. What’s cheap? Foods made with salt, sugar, refined carbs, and vegetable oil that don’t go bad for a year or more. What’s expensive? Fruits, veggies, whole grains and most protein because of their short shelf life. You have to take charge. You are the best boss of your own food.
Things to keep in mind on your healthy living journey:
- Snacks are meals.
- When you indulge now and then, enjoy! Food is for celebration. Food is love.
- Eat junk food if you must but don’t let it enter your home (or car, or work desk).
What does a phase 2 day look like on the One Year Diet?
(Actually a phase 2 day looks like every other food day for the rest of your life.)
Plain Greek yogurt, sweet fruit and home-made granola. It tastes like dessert but it’s full of protein, vitamins and whole grains. It’s filling and rewarding. You feel like you’ve taken care of yourself and started your day right. Recipe coming to You Next Year.
Veggie Roti Pizza. Fresh & frozen veggies sprinkled with cheddar over handmade roti from the local Indian restaurant. (10 minutes of prep time.) I made this at lunchtime but my most common lunch is leftover dinner from last night. Recipe coming to You Next Year.
Red Pepper, Purple Cabbage, Carrot & Kale Salad with Ginger, Sesame, Honey dressing and toasted almonds. Served with Lemon Sautéed Halibut. Yummy, wholesome, satisfying, lean meal. There are no carbs except a drizzle of honey.
Leftovers are my normal snack but I’m sure you are more imaginative. Choose food that makes you full unlike say, chips and chocolate which just make you want more. Try to include protein and veggies if you can. Stay away from added sugar and save it for treats. Some ideas:
- Hummus and veggies, or hummus with small amount of whole-grain pita. (Full of protein and it fills you up.)
- Homemade guacamole with sweet peppers (Not processed guac.)
- Economy (i.e. smallest) hamburger from fast-food chain with no fries, drinks or other add-ons. (Only go there if the joint doesn’t trigger cravings for more.)
- Scrambled egg or hard-boiled egg
- 90% dark chocolate (You can only eat so much, unlike milk chocolate.)
- Dates with almonds (Dates are full of sugar but they have fibre, vitamins and minerals, and you can only eat so many before you’re full.)
- Mini can of fish. (Straight out of the can.)
- Sun-dried tomatoes, not packed in oil. (Salty with satisfying umame.)
- Cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto
- Apple slices or celery sticks with nut butter
If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart.
Cesar Chavez, Farmworker Champion