“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Bad news for me, team: I lost nearly 15 lbs in a single month doing nothing but changing the way I eat. I didn’t step foot in a gym, didn’t exercise at home due to an erratic work schedule, and made no other significant changes to my day-to-day life.
Why bad news you ask? Because it’s become abundantly clearly in record time that while I knew my diet was affecting me, I didn’t at all realize the extent. To see this much change this quickly has been startling.
Now, let’s be clear, I also changed up my birth control in this time frame (see here for the recap) which, based only on anecdote and personal experience, I thought may also have affected my weight (remember, the science is still out on this point). There’s no way to tell if this may have had an effect, but I fully intend to talk to my doctor about it at a follow up appointment this month. There’s a working theory that I may be negatively affected by some unknown food item group (which is the most stupid, millennial thing to type) but that’s still up for medical confirmation. More info on that if and when my delightful GP helps me figure it out.
So, what did I do exactly? I’m sorry to say that there is nothing here you haven’t heard or read about before and there are no tricks, I simply cut out all the foods that make life worth living: no dairy, no sugar, no alcohol, no grain based anything. I massively upped my intake of fresh fruit and veg and have eaten more eggs this month than probably at any other point in my life. Seriously, if I never eat a hardboiled egg again, it will be too soon. I virtually eliminated all snacking, even healthy ones, and instead stuffed myself full at almost every meal with salad. I don’t care who tells you they love kale, there’s a 50/50% chance they are lying to you and dying a bit on the inside.
It worked. I’m feeling great. Damn it.
I didn’t tie this to a New Year’s resolution, I didn’t talk too much about about it or make a big deal out of it online or to friends, and I certainly didn’t have any weight expectations going into this. Like my birth control choice, I decided at the end of last year to try and proactively sort out some behind the scenes health and body issues that have bugged me for a long time and evaluating food groups is part of that overall project. The weight loss is just a welcome, if startling, side effect.
I was looking forward to reintroducing a lot of food back into my diet…but honestly I think my consumption of these things will have to stay reduced if I want to continue trying to be more healthy. Things like dairy and alcohol are not food groups I ingested a lot of anyway before this started, but bread on the other hand… And while I don’t and never have eaten processed foods and have made good headway in reducing my sugar intake over recent years, clearly I could have been doing more to eliminate something which I suspect is one of the main culprits to my recent health roller coaster.
Final disclosures: I remain an unrepentant omnivore and moderate, I don’t think foods should be eliminated from anyone’s diet without medical advice and I’m certainly not urging anyone to do so. That being said if you do feel physically crappy for extended periods of time, notice changes to your body or brain rhythms, or sense that something is “not quite right” internally, talk to someone about it. Seek answers and options. I’m trying to be a less passive passenger in my own body than I have been for several years, and to have this many positive outcomes so quickly has been extraordinary.
To the comments! Have you made any big health adjustments in your life? What were your motivations, and what were the outcomes, both good and bad?
12 thoughts on “A Month of Healthy Eating”
I tried the “Clean” diet a few years ago which sounds similar. It was totally worth it with the same benefits as you described. I want to do it again but … ice cream.
Ho boy….indeed. Ice cream.
I intend to cut out processed sugar, after busy season and before exam season. Had good results with that in the past but wow is it hard!
It is everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I found it listed in the ingredients list for a quartered roast chicken the other day.
This is fantastic. Good for you! I have to shed 15-20 lbs. at least (more like 30 to 40) and dread the discipline it would take to really get rid of all of it NOW.
So 6 years ago (OMG!) I lost about 25 pounds in the course of 3 and a half months by counting calories and either jogging for 30 min or biking for 45 min/day. Then I got pregnant and stopped doing the calorie counting (and gained).
In the 6 years since, I’ve tried multiple times to do the calorie count thing but keep failing and it’s hard because I knew I succeeded at it at one point in my life. So I’m trying that again. Mostly my issue is eating seconds, portion size, and snacking. I don’t anticipate losing 15 pounds in a month because I’m still eating carbs and such, but if I take care of portion size and seconds I’ll lose something in the next 6 months. I already have biking 40 min/day in my routine (20 min to work, 20 min back).
Also, I don’t own a scale. I used to but have since decided against it. I weigh myself at my annual physical and if I’m visiting a friend who happens to have a scale in the bathroom (maybe once a year). So my weight-tracking is less fluctuating and that’s nice.
Calorie counting seems effective for a lot of people, but it takes a planning and effort that I’ve never really been able to do. I really admire how active you and your family are! Getting more exercise is next on the list of goals for me.
Amen to snacking, it’s the downfall of us all.
Yeah, when I can’t do calorie counting because I don’t have the planning for it, I follow the “No S” diet (http://nosdiet.com/). It’s simple and you don’t have to withhold anything from your regular diet: eat a reasonable portion and then be done.
So easy. So tricky at the same time.