Simplify Your Diet

The Sumo Diet
Sumo wrestlers eat two giant meals every day as part of their training.  Lunch is followed by a nap and dinner is right before bed.  The goal is to put on massive amounts of weight.  As they get heavier, they get stronger.  However, their life expectancy isn’t the best.

Do you know what the typical daily eating habit is for most people in the United States?  No breakfast, lunch on the go, and a big dinner often late at night before bed.  Most people don’t realize they are training themselves into obesity.  Unless your goal is to get really heavy, I suggest you pass on the Sumo diet.

Eating large meals especially right before you go to sleep is really a bad idea.  I have learned that it is much healthier to eat small meals under 800 calories throughout the day.  I have been doing this for years and I love how it makes me feel.  If you can’t exercise within 30 minutes of eating any meal, then you are probably eating too much.

Fad Diets
Fad diets promise quick results which is why people love them.  The problem is that they don’t work in the long run.  People stop following them and end up worse than before.  The latest fad is the Keto diet.  The diet starves the body of carbs to cause the liver to go into ketosis.  That doesn’t even sound healthy.  In fact, the purpose of the diet was originally to help cancer and epilepsy patients.

Some people believe the Bible promotes certain foods and diets.  I have heard of the Hallelujah and Daniel diets.  My studies show that Jesus declared all foods religiously clean.  The original purpose of declaring some foods unclean was about spiritual holiness.  God wanted his chosen people (Jewish) to, “Be Holy because I am Holy.”  The Bible doesn’t tell us what to eat specifically.  However, in the very beginning when it was a “perfect” world in the Garden of Eden, humans and animals were vegetarian.  Later on after Noah came out of the ark, God allowed the eating of well-cooked meat.  This knowledge along with all of my other research has led me to simplify my diet into what some call the flexitarian diet.

Flexitarian Diet
I confess that I have a sweet tooth.  I love dessert.  Eating dessert after meals was a bad habit and eventually caught up to me.  I don’t believe habits are hereditary but this one is close.  My sweet tooth definitely came from my mother.  Growing up, I always had dessert if I finished my dinner and that made me a little chubby.  Yet, I was so active in sports that it didn’t pose a problem until later in life.  In my 30’s my weight fluctuated between 215 and 235 lbs.  Fortunately, I am 6’4” and could hide that extra weight.  Nobody ever called me fat except the doctor’s charts.  According to those charts I was borderline obese.  I didn’t pay much attention until my bloodwork came back and I had high cholesterol.  So I had to make a choice.  Live with it or make a change.

When I hit 40 years old I decided to make a commitment to my health.  I did three specific things.  I thank my wife, Jaime, for her inspiration.  She hasn’t eaten a dessert in over 7 years.  Talk about willpower.  My goal was just 1 year.  No desserts for 1 year.  I also limited dairy.  Dairy is high in bad fats and I can get calcium elsewhere. I also stopped eating about 2-3 hours before bedtime.  In that year I lost about 40 lbs.  My goal weight was 210 lbs.  The last time I weighed that was high school.  I accomplished it in one year doing three simple things.  Not eating close to bedtime, cutting out most dairy and passing on dessert.  Since then, I have continued to improve my diet.  I am now 44 and I weigh a healthy weight of 185 lbs.  My cholesterol dropped 40 points and my waist size went from 36 to 32.  I look good and I feel good.  I also get a lot of compliments.  Most importantly, I have maintained my weight and eating habits for a couple years now.  I still workout regularly and I have lots of energy.

People ask me if I eat bad foods once in a while.  Yes I do.  My rule is if someone offers me something homemade, I can’t be rude.  I have a little, just a little.  Unless it is my Mom’s carrot cake on my birthday, then I have more than a little.  My Mom makes the best carrot cake in the world.

People also ask me all the time what do I eat.  I try to keep it simple.  My daily goal is 100% unprocessed foods.  My main focus is vegetables.  Everyone talks about carbs, fats and protein.  I don’t think about those.  I think about vitamins and minerals.  When I researched all the vitamins and minerals my body needs, I was amazed that vegetables are the answer to almost every one.  By focusing on vegetables and adding in grains, beans, fruits and nuts, I am able to get plenty of protein, carbs and fats. I always aim for organic or grow it myself because I don’t want to put pesticides in my body.  I also try to eat as much raw foods as possible. Cooking removes a lot of the vitamins and minerals.

A Typical Day of Eating
I always start my day with a glass of water when I wake up.  Our bodies dehydrate while we sleep.  I drink plenty more throughout the day.  I like my water to not be acidic.  Thankfully, my tap water has a pH of 7 which is neutral and it’s free.  I love a cup or two of decaf coffee with a little almond creamer.  For breakfast I eat oatmeal, quinoa or protein blueberry pancakes and once a week some egg whites.  My mid-morning snack is typically a piece of fruit, a low sugar protein bar or a smoothie.  For lunch, I like to eat a salad or pita wrap loaded with nuts, beans and veggies.  Then, I will eat snacks when I get hungry like raw nuts, green smoothies, homemade protein bars, etc.  My dinner is a lot like lunch but I do like potatoes, brown rice, and squash because they are filling.  I also occasionally eat wild-caught salmon, sardines and organic lean meat.  Sometimes I have a bowl of fortified bran cereal with almond milk after dinner or an apple with a nut butter if it isn’t too close to bedtime.

I don’t know what this sounds like to you but it works well for me.  I believe it is a simple diet.  It is simple because the focus is on vegetables not processed foods.  I love fresh, living, vibrant vegetables that help your body perform.  Processed foods are often completely void of any vitamins and minerals.  They just taste good.  I love this saying, “If it IS a plant, then eat it but if it came FROM a plant, don’t eat it.”  We also have a saying on our cupboard in the kitchen.  “I desire great health more than pleasure from food.”

Here are some of my suggestions for you to simplify your diet and experience great health:

  1. Log everything you eat for a month to see patterns (i.e. Myfitnesspal).

 

  1. Don’t eat a couple hours before bedtime (Say no to the sumo diet).

 

  1. Make a list of healthy meals you can make instead of eating out.

 

  1. Make a list of grocery items to prepare to eat healthy.

 

  1. Plan your meals for the day or week.

 

  1. Eat smaller meals under 800 calories.

 

  1. Fill up on raw and organic vegetables first and then go from there.

 

  1. Grow your own vegetables.

 

  1. Beans are a great protein not just a magical fruit.

 

  1. Eat meat occasionally and avoid dairy.

 

  1. Do your best to eliminate all processed foods.

 

  1. Satisfy your sweet tooth with natural sweeteners like fruit.

 

I hope this helps you and please add your comments below.