Monday, March 4, 2013

The Feel-Good Diet

Over in England, the book topping the Amazon bestseller list is called The Fast Diet. The crux of the diet is that you can eat what you like for five days, as long as you "fast" for two days. On the "fast" days, you consume two 250-300 calorie meals, and that's it. It's gluttony meets detox, week after week.

While I won't argue that some people may get results from a diet like this, I already know it's not for me. For one thing, I would totally abuse the "eat what you like" credo, which would likely negate the "fast" days. I also know I'd be miserable during the fast days. Hunger makes me cranky and whiny. I might even pass out (friends and family know I occasionally do this anyway, just for dramatic effect- say, at a favorite vacation restaurant, or while 13 weeks pregnant).

But the main reason I would never do a diet like this one? It would make me unhappy. And why do people diet in the first place? Apart from health reasons, it's usually because they think being thinner will make them happier. And maybe it will. But is it worth being miserable on the road to thin?

Personally, I'd like to shed those last 10-12 pounds to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight. I'd like to lose another two pant sizes. And I'd like to do both of those things before summer. But I'm not willing to take drastic measures. I'm not willing to sacrifice my happiness for my waistline. (Or my hip line, or my butt line.)

Instead, I'm going on a diet I just made up. It's called the Feel-Good Diet. Here's what it involves:

1. Exercise, at least half an hour, five days a week. Exercise gives me tons of energy and endorphins, and helps with the baby-carrying muscles.

2. Eat meals/snacks that make me feel good, not just in the moment, but in the hours afterward. For me, this means cutting out sugary desserts and fat-laden meals, and eating more veggies, fruits and lean protein. It also means eating smaller meals more frequently, something I like to do anyway.

3. Drink a little wine and/or have a little dark chocolate every night.

4. Get as much sleep as possible, considering my six month old boy still wakes up 3-4 times a night at best.

5. If I screw up the diet, I won't stress about it.

I know this is going to work for me, because the only way I lose weight is by not obsessing over it. I've done food journals and counting Points. I've weighed myself every day, and weighed myself once a month. I've gone to personal trainers and nutritionists. And none of those things have worked as well as just relaxing about it and eating well in moderation. (Except the personal trainer. I credit her ass-kicking and circuit-designing for at least a five-pound loss in 2011.)

So that's my Feel-Good Diet. (Patent pending.) Anyone want to go on it with me?

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