To most, the word diet means deprivation for prolonged periods of time until you reach a weight loss goal. Low fat, low carbs, fewer calories, raw foods, excessive amounts of water, weight loss supplements, writing down everything you eat all day long and eating the same foods all day. These scenarios are enough to give you a full blown eating disorder in a matter of days. It isn’t possible to live a happy and productive life with this on your mind every minute of the day. We need a simpler approach.
Here is a simple but unusual suggestion that works. Are you ready? Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. For those who dropped mathematics at an early age or just weren’t paying attention, that means only purchase foods on the outside of the grocery store. Stay out of the aisles. This may seem overly simplistic, but it really isn’t. Picture your neighbourhood grocery store for a moment. Chances are the fresh produce section (fruits and vegetables), the meat and seafood departments, eggs and the dairy case are all located around the perimeter of the store. This is where you need to concentrate all of your shopping time. Why? Fresh foods are healthier than their ready-to-eat food counterparts that you find in the aisles. They are loaded with the protein, fibre and healthy fats that your body needs to run at a high level and they will keep you fuller for longer making it less likely you will overeat them.
Have you ever wondered why all of those boxed foods that you see in the aisles are so much cheaper than the foods on the perimeter? It’s because they are so easy to produce and they last forever. Next time you see a box of Special K, pick it up and read the ingredients. Chances are there are at least half a dozen words you can’t pronounce. These unpronounceable words are the sole reason these foods can “keep” on the shelves for months on end. If the truth were known, they don’t really keep because they are already dead. They are edible, but the life force, all the vitamins and nutrients they contain that promotes the regeneration of new cells and organelles, are non-existent. You are eating empty calories. Protein, fibre and fat keep your insulin levels balanced and your body satiated. Processed foods contain negligible amounts of all three leaving you in a constant state of hunger.
By sticking to the perimeter only, you will help avoid the temptation of processed foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt. A good thing to remind yourself is, “if you can’t see it, you can’t buy it”. Try this for a month and I promise you that you will have more energy, think clearer and lose that unwanted fat you gained over the summer.