I admit it. I’m guilty of trying fad diets. Not all of them, of course, but I’ve experimented with a few. Like most of us, I have a few pounds I’d like to lose. Ever since I turned 40, it seems, the extra weight just started accumulating. Experts say our metabolism slows down when we reach middle age. All I know is that somehow those extra pounds have all gathered around my mid-section. What’s a woman to do?
Fad diets promise miracles, yet they rarely deliver. Funny thing is these diets have been around for a while. I remember when I was growing up, my mom would go on the egg and grapefruit diet. Remember that? Then when I was in college, the cabbage soup diet became popular. I made a few batches, but after a while that cabbage soup just didn’t taste good anymore.
Periodically, a new diet comes along that seems to make sense to me, and I’ll give it a try. I might succeed in losing a few pounds, but eventually I lose interest and go back to my old ways. Bam!—those pounds return faster than you can wave a magic wand.
I know what the answer is: eat healthy and eat in moderation. I try to do that. I eat lots of veggies and not much meat. I rarely eat processed foods and stopped eating junk food many moons ago. Yet, the weight lingers.
So I’m trying one more fad diet. It makes sense to me, and so far, it seems to be working. It’s pretty simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. I have given up bread and pasta. Eliminating flour is a component of the Paleo diet, which Dr. Carraway writes about in his column this month, as well as a few others, such as the Atkins Diet. The latter, however, always seemed extreme to me because it encourages you to eat a lot of meat and fat and few fruit and veggies.
Fortunately, I’m not gluten-intolerant, but according to William Davis, M.D., who wrote the New York Times best-seller Wheat Belly, the hybridized wheat that’s found in practically all the bread and pasta (and pizza dough, bagels, doughnuts, cookies, and cake) we eat wreaks havoc with our blood sugar levels. All I know is that I feel less hungry on this diet, and you know what? I don’t miss bread all that much.
My husband is also giving up bread and pasta, and we find ourselves getting creative at meal time. Instead of pizza dough, we’ll use eggplant slices topped with tomatoes, cheese, and veggies. Instead of pasta, we create thin slices of zucchini using a potato peeler and serve those with pasta sauce. We’re trying to reduce our starch intake overall, but occasionally enjoy potatoes and rice with our meal.
I’ll keep you posted on how this diet works for us. It does take willpower, and I’m sure the day will come when I will have some bread or pasta or pizza. But I’m feeling really good about this decision, and yes, I’m losing a few pounds!
In this month’s cover story, you’ll find information about food sensitivities and allergies. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, everything you put in your mouth affects your health and well being. Try to eat mindfully and stop eating when you’re full. One more thing: get some exercise. It will help you lose weight, feel better, and live longer. Here’s to your health!