Yes, I am jumping on the bandwagon.  It has been several years since I’ve actually made resolutions for New Years.  Most of my resolutions (and they were rarely, if ever, consciously made) surrounded school.  But this year, I have a couple resolutions for the New Year.

First: get back to my blogs.  They’re dusty and neglected.  That is no good.  So – hopefully – regular updates again.  I will be participating in the blog a week challenge set up by WordPress, so the competition (even if it is only with myself) should helpful.

Second: Diet.  This, I feel, is an ugly word.  It is also the topic I wish to blog on.

After several years of changing eating habits to healthier ones to aid my weight loss, but never really taking a good look at things, I have finally sat down with the national guidelines and my mother.  Both are good places to start.  With these two sources, I have formed a diet tailored to me.  This is pretty simple, actually, and can be done by anyone.  Here’s how:

First basic assumption: It is healthier to eat many small meals than three large ones. Five is good, six is optimal (each eaten 2 to 3 hours apart, I prefer 3).  Figure out what works best for you, I actually have a plan for both five and six meals depending on when I wake up.

Second basic assumption: You need to drink more water, even if you already drink the generally accepted 64 oz. If you are not trying to lose weight, 2-2.2 liters per day for women, 3 for men.  If you are trying to lose weight (and as this is a diet, this is probably the rule of thumb you should use) a number of ounces equal to half as much as you weigh OR the minimums mention above, whichever is higher.  This is actually a lot easier than it sounds.  A really good tip is to drink about 8 oz or more about fifteen minutes before you eat.  This naturally helps you eat a little less.

Third basic assumption: Portion control will be vital. I have been amazed, as I’ve looked at my diet (and I have not been doing this or even prepping for it for very long) that my food volume is not going down a whole lot.  The portions are just getting reapportioned appropriately.

Fourth basic assumption: The national guidelines are not perfect, neither is your body.  Expect to fudge a little. My main example of this is grain: I have very little trouble eating the healthier grains.  My body does not seem to process carbs well (my cholesterol, in that area, is much higher than it should be).  I should not be going anywhere near 11 servings of grain.  However, without so many carbs for energy, there needs to be more protein than the national guidelines call for.  The reasons for the high grain, low protien guidelines is the lack of fiber (easy enough to get through good grains, veggies, and fruits) and presence of too much fat in the general diet.  These are not conditions my diet suffers from.  And so, to make the Diet more appropriate, I had to play around with some portions.  This is a GOOD thing.

Fifth basic assumption: The diet is for you. I arranged a five and six meal schedule so that, if I were to get up late, I had a back up plan immediately.  For some people, that works, for others, they can’t have a back up plan or they will constantly fall back on it.  Also, after looking up all the guidelines and discussing/changing them according to my needs with my mother, I decided when I was eating what.  I chose to put most of my sugars (in this case, 2 servings fruit and 2 servings grain) in the morning.  This would give me a natural boost that would last much longer than any fake sugar or caffeine could.  Others might prefer something a little more substantial, like a protein or dairy.

Sixth basic assumption: This diet is doable. The worst thing in the world is to start (or make) a diet so complicated that you’ll never get anywhere with it.  Make the diet simple for you.  Make it make sense (this is, of course, mostly accomplished by the previous step – you know what makes sense to eat when to you). The easiest way to make things seem doable, though, is to make a check list of some sort.  I have one.  An entire weeks worth of each category (Grain, Protein, Dairy, Fruit, Vegetable, and Water) broken up into servings with a letter for each day next to the serving.  I cross off the letter when the serving has been eaten.  Breaking it into parts not only helps the diet be manageable, it also makes the amount of food seem more.  I also never have to wonder if I’ve eaten enough of one thing or the other.

And that’s how you design your own diet.  Most of the design comes from knowing your body type/weaknesses (caaaaaaaaarrrrrrrbs) and what sorts of foods do what to you (like the sugars in the morning, or not a lot of dairy by itself as it can make me sleepy).  The rest of it is pretty generic health knowledge put into practice.

Cheers!

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If you’re interested, here are my meal plans:

5 Meals a Day:

1) 2F, 2G

2) 1D, 1G

3) 1D, 1F, 2P, 1G, 2V

4) 1D, 2P, 1G, 2V

5) 1G, 1V

6 Meals a Day:

1) 2F, 2G

2) 1D

3) 1D, 1F, 2P, 1G, 2V

4) 1G, 1V

5) 1D, 2P, 1G, 2V

6) 1G

And, in both of them, minimum 64 oz water, preferably much more.

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