The Best Approach to a Diet is …
The best approach to a diet is not the diet itself but a lifestyle that facilitates a good diet. Ask yourself “are you trying to lose weight” or “are you looking to be healthy for the rest of your life”? Do you eat at morning, noon and night out of tradition or do you eat according to your own body’s clock? Do you eat portions handed to you or do you eat according to your caloric needs?
Answering those questions truthfully is the start of a healthy existence where you not only look great, but feel great as well and have that energy level that allows you to focus on the life style you wish to live. May that be an exhilarating career, writing that novel, a frequent essayist, artistic endeavors, helping others, coaching, and the list goes on. Combine a good diet (food combo) with effective time management and a little exercise and you will have a winning lifestyle. One that affords physical and mental comfort at the same time.
Let’s solve the the not so mysterious mystery. What constitutes a good diet? Think of concentric circles where the primary central core is vegetables. Vegetables offer it all! Protein, nutrients, vitamins, fiber, all the good stuff. You can eat them raw, cook them, saute them, use spices, skewers, you name it! The next outer circle is fruits. They are the source of guess what? Energy, nutrients, vitamins, and fiber as well! Then there is the third core out being lean proteins. They are chicken, turkey, pork, and fish/seafood. Outer core four would be multi-grain breads, low sugar yogurts, nuts, milk, and cheese.
In a perfect world, that is not so perfect, we aim for distributions not perfection. My favorite is the 80/20 rule known as a Pareto Distribution. So applying the 80/20 rule to diet. Your diet would consist of 80% vegetables, fruits and lean proteins with the remaining 20% consisting of multi-grain breads, low sugar yogurts, nuts, milk, and cheese. In regards to acceptable fluids: water, tea, coffee, and yes beer, wine and spirits in moderation.
Just think what gourmet food really is? Real chefs do not prepare junk. They prepare and present the best there is to eat. And guess what? That is what we just listed above. Their secret is spices, food combination (for example matching vegetables with lean meats and seafood) and cooking times. Chefs bring out the best in food. In general, help yourself to spices. They are the enhancement that brings out the best there is in taste. Good eating is not just for the rich. It is available to all.
Executive Summary: Keep in mind Henry David Thoreau the master of “Live Simply” ate primarily vegetables, fruits, nuts and bread. Eat a healthy diet in combination with simple time management concepts and yes a little exercise will put you on track to a happier lifestyle. The harmony of mind and body!