Monday, August 1, 2011

Let's Break Some Rules - Rule #3

San Juan Mountain from the Animas Mountain Trail
Durango, Colorado - May 24, 2011

Welcome to August!  I don't what it's like in your neck of the woods, but if I was expecting anything different here in East Tennessee, it didn't happen.  It is HOT.  It is HUMID.  It is MISERABLE.  I have finally allowed myself to give in to it and not beat myself up for failing to reach 10,000 steps every day.  Yes, I could go to the mall and I have done that on many days.  But my walking is as much for the mental exercise as the physical and I despise the mall.  I come out more stressed than I went in and it just doesn't work for me.  I am such an early morning person that I can often be out by 6 to get a good walk in, but these days, the humidity level at 6 a.m. is horrid, so like I said, I'm just giving myself a break.  

So let's get back to breaking some rules.  If you haven't read the introduction to these, it will make more sense if you read this post and this post.
Here's is Diet Rule #3 To Bbreak as copied directly from the article in Family Circle magazine (2/11).

Old Rule: Choose a wide variety of foods. You'll get more nutrients and eat healthier that way.

Break It: People who are most successful at weight loss actually eat a smaller variety of foods, according to NWCR findings. That's because these dieters find meals and snacks that are "safe"—that satisfy them without putting on pounds—and then stick to them. Other research shows that having a wide variety of foods on hand (even different flavored yogurts or multicolored candies) causes you to eat as much as 50 percent more.

Revised Plan: Eat a large variety of foods only from certain groups: fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. At the grocery store put a new veggie in your cart along with your usual staples, and buy several kinds of fruit to pack in your lunch each week. Branch out from brown rice to other high-fiber grains, like bulgur or quinoa. And in terms of high-fat, high-calorie stuff—like desserts or salty snacks—limit your options by stocking only one kind (if any) in your house.

Sharon's take on this one:  I'll have to say I thought this was somewhat poorly worded and confusing.  I also think that again, it's a matter of finding what works for you.  Personally, I find eating a smaller variety of foods is best.  I don't enjoy cooking and I know what I like.  I find the things that are satisfying and keep me from feeling deprived.  It would be very dangerous for me to have a wide variety of different foods lurking in the pantry that are partially uneaten.  Right now, I just don't have the fortitude to think through five different choices and choose one serving of one thing.  So I even have to take slight exception to the revised plan for the same reason. Shouldn't these be the food groups from which we are eating anyway??  What I enjoy doing is choosing from the fruits and vegetables that are currently in season and can be found at the farmer's market.  When those pass, I'll choose the next group.  That's plenty of variety for me and a whole lot safer.  One of my favorite vendors told me last Saturday morning that this was the last of her blackberries.  These have been the plumpest, juiciest, most beautiful blackberries I've ever tasted and I will look forward to them next year, but that's o.k. because I already have my eye on something else for next week.  I feel as if I've rambled on and said little in the way of clarification which further indicates I wasn't totally satisfied that this "rule" was clearly defined.  I am anxious to hear what you have to say.

In other news............... On Saturday, I turned another year older.  Considering the alternative, I was more than happy to do so!!  It was a great birthday.  Allow me a moment to reminisce.  It was on my birthday last year, that we enjoyed our very last outing with my FIL.  We went to Sam's.  He and Mr. B were instructed to wait on the "old farts" bench while MIL and I went all the way to the rear of the store for me to get some produce.  In a minute, MIL said "I want you to look."  And there came FIL and Mr. B grinning from ear to ear.  He had walked all the way to the back of the store and was so proud.  As it turns out, that was the last time he ever went anywhere with us.  One week later, we took him to the hospital and two weeks later, he was gone.  MIL took us to breakfast Saturday morning.  It was a tad bittersweet, but we shared some memories of that trip to Sam's a year ago and then moved on to celebrating my birthday, something that really got lost in the shuffle last year.  And we are STILL celebrating.  

Mr. B finished teaching his summer class last week and faculty does not have to report back until August 17, so on Wednesday, we are headed to Atlanta for some shopping at the Dekalb Farmer's Market, Whole Foods and Trader Joes.  Then on Sunday, we'll head to Beech Mountain, North Carolina where we sincerely hope to find some cooler temperatures and where I intend to put my hiking boots to good use.  

So tell me what you think of Diet Rule To Break #3.  Does it make perfect sense to you or did you find it vague and somewhat contradictory?


  1. I know for me, I need to have a very defined set of parameters for weight loss. For me that means a small selection of 'safe' foods.

    I was a little relieved to see that thinking is OK now. (At least I read the vague nature of the wording to mean I am doing the right thing!) I have often thought I needed to expand my list of typical foods. Now, I'm not going to worry about it.

    Have a great trip with Mr B. 65MD is out of school as of noon today and faculty meetings start mid month. We're staying put for now.

  2. I tend to eat many of the same things over and over. I find something I like and it healthy and it's just easier. I like the routine. Sometimes I get bored and change things up. Sometimes I eat the same thing one day to the next, if I am not cooking a family dinner. I do like the idea of having a big variety within the parameters of healthy options BUT sometimes having more options, for me, means eating more. (I'll want both the fudgesicle and the pudding; both the blueberries and the strawberries and the apricots...)

  3. It is slightly contradictory. Part of the problem is that people writing articles are trying to rehash old material and say something new when they're really saying nothing at all.

    It is obviously good to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. It is also obviously not so good to eat oatmeal and blueberries for two meals every single day (yes, this is one of my things). Like you, I think it's about finding what works. I go in cycles with eating the same thing repeatedly until I don't want it at all for months.

  4. Happy Belated Birthday! It was absolutely MISERABLE here today with the humidity. I think it was like 99 but felt like 116! Sometimes I do a variety, but I tend to stay with about the same foods, mainly b/c of my finances. (and also ease of preparing and fixing! LOL) Though having access to Trader Joes and Whole Foods has definitely introduced a lot of new things to me. Stay cool!

  5. Belated happy birthday wishes!

    I see both sides of this one. I think experimenting with new foods and varieties of foods can be helpful (Cammy meets cottage cheese at the age of 52), but I tend to eat the same dozen or so foods in various combinations. I may tinker with the 'recipes' from time to time, but it's still the same dishes.

  6. I do not subscribe to that rule either. I have found many foods from all the food groups that are part of my healthy eating now. But, I do find that I stick to the same things because they work (just as you said). Something else that I have found is that I generally eat a very large breakfast (like 500 calories) because this is when I usually exercise. I eat my main hot meal at lunch and then a giant salad for dinner. So, my meals are also fairly regimented, again because it works for me.

    I, too, eat mostly whole grains. I have cut out most cold cereals that I used to eat and eat mainly oatmeal for breakfast (no matter the outdoor temp), too. I tried the steel cut oats, but found them not to give me any more energy than the old fashioned kind, so went back to old fashioned oats, which are think are processed.

    So, that is my take on this rule. BTW: I am back from a great trip to WA! TTFN, michele

  7. For the first time ever, I've allowed some variety in my diet. I used to only have apples for fruit, maybe some watermelon in the summer. Now I have raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, apples, watermelon and cantaloupe in the fridge. Love the variety. However, it does put a little pressure on to make sure everything gets eaten! Enjoying our produce this year to, so amazing!

    Keep focused!

  8. Happy birthday Sharon! Hope you had some whole grains and fruit for your birthday LOL! I don't know what I think. Sometimes I eat the same thing over and over, and then I forget all about it and am eating other things over and over. I like food so much that when I find something I like I tend to eat it repeatedly. I like Michael Pollan's advice: Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.