Is it Really a Diet?

In the sense that whatever you eat is your diet, I suppose it is.  A steady diet of fast food isn’t healthy, but the use of the word “diet” in that phrase is still correct.  In this case though, I mean the word diet as in a controlled way of eating in order to lose weight.

The problem I have calling our diet of whole foods a “diet” is that it doesn’t feel like any kind of diet I’ve ever been on.  Our last diet involved very close calorie counting and alternating between higher protein and higher carb days.  We had to use a nutrition web site just to be sure the carb and protein ratios were right.

It felt like a diet!  It was a lot of work and took way too much time out of each day if you didn’t want to just repeat the same foods all the time.

Now we aren’t counting calories. Seriously. I could guess at how many calories some of the meals are but I don’t bother.  We just concentrate on eating healthy whole foods while including plenty of veggies.

Our last diet worked, but it wasn’t sustainable.  We had a cheat day every weekend where we could eat anything we wanted.  We looked forward to those cheat days.  I take that back. What I should have said was we really looked forward to those cheat days.

We started out our whole foods diet with a cheat day the weekend after each paycheck (so half as many.)  Now we don’t have a scheduled cheat day at all.  The truth is that we just kind of lost interest in them over time.

It isn’t because we’re scared of the impact.  It’s just that we aren’t craving the foods we would normally eat on a cheat day.  Much of the food we make ourselves is just so much tastier.  Plus the whole foods don’t leave us feeling sluggish and tired.

Tonight we had beef fajitas with peppers, onions, sour cream, cheese and cilantro.  (Carrie will post the recipe soon.)  It was delicious!  For desert, we had popcorn popped in clarified butter.  Also yummy!  I’m not stuffed.  But I definitely am full.  I am not the least bit hungry. Not only that but I won’t be hungry until breakfast time in the morning.

So, what happens if you eat healthy foods until you are full and don’t count calories?  Apparently you lose weight.  As of this morning, I’ve lost about 37 pounds since we started four months ago.

But how does that compare to our last diet?  I just checked and over the same amount of time I had lost about 45 pounds.  So only eight more pounds despite a LOT of effort, exercise and hunger (three things which have played no part at all in this weight loss.)

More importantly, I only lost six more pounds after that.  That was followed by eight months in which I gained all of the weight back plus eight additional pounds.  

It took a little effort to eat a whole foods diet at first. Now it has gone from only a little work to being nearly effortless.  The meals are delicious and filling.  We’re both feeling better than we have in years. (Something surprising related to that coming soon… within a few weeks.)

I’m losing weight slowly but I can keep eating this way for life.  In fact I’m confident that we can keep eating this way and losing weight slowly for years… until we eventually get to the weight we should be… and even afterwards.

I guess it is a diet, but it is an easy one to stay on once you get going with it.

2 thoughts on “Is it Really a Diet?

  1. I agree whole heartily! I consider a “diet” something you plan on quitting, eating whole foods is a lifestyle. The weight loss can be slower but the other benefits exceed that anyway!

  2. So true Sam! I would much rather lose slowly and NOT feel as if I’m on a diet vs feeling deprived ALL the time and losing a little faster ONLY to gain it all back plus some later anyhow! Slower is better :D WHILE eating great tasting foods!

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