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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Step One: A diet you can live with

Diet is a word that tends to make people cringe.  I don't blame you.  The reality is that diet really just means "the stuff you eat".  However, when people talk about dieting, they almost always are talking about the process of limiting what foods one consumes in an effort to lose weight.  Unsurprisingly, the word "diet" is now associated with "sacrifice".  It's not really something most of us are interested in.

I'd love to tell you that the word association is completely off base, but it's not.  If you want to lose weight or just live a healthier lifestyle, you're going to have to sacrifice to some extent.  The trick is not to have to sacrifice too much.

Contrary to what some folks will tell you, there is no magic bullet to weight loss.  Everyone on this planet is different, so why should there be a one size fits all approach to weight loss.  Just talk to the people who know who've lost 20 or more pounds.  I'm willing to bet that if you talk to three of them, there will be three variations on the same theme.

The reason for that is everyone has a slightly different body chemistry, hormonal balance, and a whole host of other crap that you can't really change.  The trick is to find something that will work for you and move forward.

For me, the best approach seems to be a paleo diet.  If you're not familiar with it, the short version is lots of lean meat and vegetables, but no grains or legumes.  White potatoes are kind of a no-no while trying to lose weight too.   For me, the advantage is that paleo isn't what most think of as a diet, but is really a lifestyle change.  That, right there, is the real key to losing any weight.  Changing your lifestyle is essential to accomplishing any significant change, not just weight loss.  Paleo eating is a way to do just that.

For more reading, I recommend you check out The Paleo Diet Revised: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat by Dr. Loren Cordain (Phd., not MD).  This is the first book I happened to read on the subject, and is a great primer on the subject.

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