When you’re starting a diet it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. The key is to make small changes gradually.
The first decision that I made in this path to well-being was to exercise, just because I thought it would be a great diversion. And I could probably get more reading done on the elliptical than I could in my room with perezhilton.com beckoning to be refreshed every 10 minutes to see if Britney Spears has done anything else crazy yet.
Turned out I really liked to sweat! It was like sweating out all my worries, and I felt mighty accomplished when I was finished. But I wasn’t ready to give up my precious Rice Krispy treats, ready-to-order pizzas, and blended coffee drinks at Hinman just yet. You, dear reader, may also be attached to food in such a way.
If the hit documentary Super Size Me has taught us one thing, it’s that food high in fat and carbohydrates is both delicious and addictive. Director Morgan Spurlock got into bad moods and had headaches whenever he was hungry, but when sat down to eat his Quarter Pounder, fries, and large Coke, he felt a lot better. He had conditioned his body to only crave the things that were turning his liver into paté.
So how in the world are we supposed to get into the habit of eating things that are good for us when as a culture we only seem to have the time and money for things that are fast, cheap, easy and addictive?
The solution I found was to eat more. Yes, you read correctly.
By eating more of the good stuff at the beginning of my meals, when it came time for the bad stuff I ate less and less of it. Starting out with a bowl of broth-based soup, a cup of steamed broccoli or a salad can really set the tone for your entire meal. Foods with high water content will fill you up and cost fewer calories. You’ll learn what it feels like to be satisfied instead of stuffed. Also, eating fewer fatty and sugary foods will make them more enjoyable when you do choose to indulge.
Indulge? But won’t that set me back a week, Angélica? On the contrary: If you’re exercising and eating right most of the time, your body will be better equipped to bounce back from those extra 2 beers or that piece of chocolate cake once or twice a week. (Banning anything completely is just likely to discourage you and make you binge.) I like to throw in maybe ten extra minutes of cardio as well that day, just to make myself feel like I’m still right on track. Whatever it takes to keep the momentum going.
Don’t get discouraged. With about 55 more pounds to lose myself, I’ll be with you every step of the way.