“I Before E, Except After C” – Trite Nutrition Rules To Banish

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Weight gain is never a trending topic, so it’s best to leave it in the fridge tucked comfortably in between the mayonnaise and sour cream. Unless it’s taco night or high-noon tea sandwich hour…

There are always exceptions to rules. We are told to abide by many rules on a daily basis…don’t speed, dentist twice a year, mandatory vaccinations, “hide your kids, hide your wife”…and these are all reinforced with consequences. It’s knowledge and scare tactics rolled all into one. (Celebrity Fit Club anyone?)

Living a healthy lifestyle is very much equivalent to the cliche of riding a bike. Once you learn, you never forget. Yadda Yadda. I have personally held a few “nutritional rules” on a food pedestal prior to my changes in diet.

The first rule I used to obsess over (and occasionally still do) is counting calories. In college, I would not eat for an entire day and then binge at night after classes thinking the calories I had then would balance my day out. On top of that, I had realized I was consuming more than 2,000 calories in one sitting. (way over limit for suggested cals per day) This is a surefire way to weight gain rather than weight loss.

The human mind is plagued with rules like this one too: Don’t eat after 7 P.M. Your body begins a cellular repair stage once sleep induces, so yeah, you should not have a 4-course meal ten minutes before hitting the sack. However most of us work and have commutes that don’t allow for dinner to be eaten until after 8 or 9 P.M. As long as you stick to a normal, well-balanced meal at those times, and have been ensuring your blood sugar is steady throughout the day, this will not lead to weight gain.

Roller Coaster ride dieting is also another nutritional favorite faux-pas. People cannot seem to just stay on a train that rides over flat land with the occasional bump in the rail. Instead they choose instant gratification and succumb to the roller coaster ride of oversaturation and ineffective diets. When will everyone realize a pill, cutting out entire food groups, and chemically enriched foods will not provide you with eternal happiness? We’ve all heard this before…money cannot buy happiness. You are only making the slimey, gut-sucking CEO’s richer when buying into these schemes.

The oldest adage since the dawn of neanderthals has been tried and it’s true. “Eat in moderation.” There is no need to eliminate entire food groups or exercise for 7 hours to burn off your gluttonous binge. Take every day one bite at a time. If you have a guilty dinner, clean your plate and recharge your mentality. You savored the moment and now you can restart your track back to healthier eating.

After reading several nutrition books and dabbling with my own roller coaster ride friends trial and error, I have found the word moderation to be the number one concept I retained. I have chocolate, carbs, chips, ice cream, cheeseburgers, and lattes all the time, but not all at once. (Thanks to Bethenny Frankel for that one!)

These nutritional rules still need to remain in your commandments:

-Make sure you consume 3-5 servings of veggies and fruits per day
-Definitely bulk up on protein. Women do not get enough! Every meal consumed should have 10-20 grams. This acts a defense against dopamine (the craving enzyme in your brain), so you will not get as hungry as quickly.
Treat yourself to an indulgence of your choice every day
Don’t plan cheat days– you’ll end up having more than your bargained for. It’s in your palate’s hands. Don’t try to sober your mentality into believing planning one will help prevent further in the future.
-Make exercise a regular habit so it will prevent you from thinking you can burn off that giant piece of cheesecake in just one workout. Trust me, you won’t. According to livestrong.com, it would take 4 hours of elevated cardio to do so. Unless you love marathons, I would not advise of maintaining your binges in this fashion.
-A favorite motivation of mine when it comes to not diving into the deep end of the pudding cup is placing a picture of a piece of clothing or motivational face that inspires you in plain view. (I usually have my motivation on my phone backgrounds.) Just don’t go all Black Swan over it. Competition and craving assimilation is an innate part of our vitality.

Peace, love, and rules!

~C.C.D.

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