Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hollywood's dieting rollercoaster

Front and center in today's NY Times Sunday Styles, here's one more article casting the spotlight on the ups and downs of celebrity diets. The yo-yo diets of Hollywood figures like Kristie Alley, Oprah, and Valerie Bertinelli and the emotional rollercoaster battles that often go along with them. More evidence, eaten up (literally) by the press, that diets just don't work. With continued talk and attention, I think we're finally, slowly starting to grasp hold of the idea that deprivation isn't really worth it (or effective), and that stringent programs, and boxed meals and liquid lunches are plain old miserable and usually serve to do nothing but screw with our metabolisms and set us back another 5, 10, 20 (or more) pounds. Not fun and certainly not pleasurable. Our bodies don't register what the hell we're attempting to do. And then throw into the equation the massive wrench of all the underlying emotional and pyschological factors that tie directly to what we toss into our grocery carts...and how much of it we're eating in a given sitting. Somehow, we've made eating an incredibly complicated (and sometimes painful) experience. It's sad, unfortunate, frustrating, and unthinkable -- how could we have possibly veered so far from the basics?
Yes, the basics that you learned in kindergarten (the whole 5 food group thing). I harp on it alot, and I'll continue to do so...but fresh, real food in the appropriate portions (often about 15-30% less of what many of us are currently eating at each meal) does a body good -- real good. I was thoroughly impressed with a straightword, in your face, article in this month's issue of GQ magazine. It's not online, so snag a copy from the news stand. Page 98-104. It's written for the alpha-male, but you know what, the alpha-male just wants the facts - plain and simple. And that's precisely what the article serves up. Five basic guidelines to eat by:

1. Recognize the need to start reducing now. (read: portion sizes!)
2. Learn your portions. (see above. think the good 'ol fist trick here)
3. Eat your fill of fruits, veggies, lean protein like meat and diary. Make it interesting and curb calories by sauteing, roasting, and grilling vegetables and lean sources of protein. *they also note to have the fruit/veg component of your diet outweigh the amount of meat you're eating. simple way to cut daily calories by a few hundred - that adds up over the year...10, 20, 30 lbs.
4. Keep it simple. Don't try to change too much too fast, you'll drive yourself nuts. Try incorporating healthier habits one at a time and make them stick. Their example - swapping a salad for lunch instead of a burger and fries.
5. Indulge every once in a while. Please!!! I'm a full supporter of this statement. Any food can be included somehow into a healthful, balanced diet - it's all about figuring out the right amounts and the frequency to make it work for you. Don't let nachos, chocolate, wine, fries derail you. Indulge occasionally and love it. You'll end up being that much more conscious of what's on your plate.

nice job GQ. today's lesson: think like a male, simple and straightforward!

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