I’m sure you can vaguely remember your middle school health class lectures about the food pyramid and what portions of each type of food you should be eating. I’m also sure you have heard all about the new diets lately, especially the paleo diet, that eliminate a number of the food groups from this pyramid. These diets have become increasingly popular lately, but are they sustainable for your life? Read on to find out more, as well as some healthy alternatives.
The premise of the majority of these diets is to do things the “caveman way”, and eat only foods that a hunter/gatherer would have access to. Presumably, most carbs consumed are unnatural or unhealthy carbs, which trigger the body to store fat rather than burn it. I think we can all agree that we do not want that, however, I believe that the best way to fail at a healthy lifestyle is to deprive yourself of everything you want constantly or to limit eating to the point of always being hungry. I think there has to be some sort of balance between eating healthfully and eating what you want.
My favorite trick to staying full and satisfied is to load up my plate with fruits and veggies. A full plate gives your mind the satisfaction of eating enough, but the fruits and veggies are calorie dense. They are also filling, so when you do get to the part of the meal where you are indulging a little, you will be less inclined to pig out! Your plate is supposed to be about 60-75% fruits and veggies, so try to visualize that when you are serving yourself.
I also tend to alternate days between carbs and sweets. So if I have sourdough bread for lunch one day, I won’t have ice cream or any other dessert that night. That way, I make sure not to over do it with two of the not-so-healthy food groups, but still enjoy them from time to time.
Here is my dinner from this evening, loaded up with fruit salad, spinach salad, and corn, with some of my favorite pulled pork on the side.
Have you tried the paleo diet? What do you think of it? Even if you haven’t, leave your thoughts in the comments below!