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Well, I could make a lot of money selling the next, hot, new diet. And why not? Everyone else is. Just think the Expat Diet!
"Oh, are you on Expat? So, am I!"
I can hear it now to the tune of cash registers ringing. Sign me up.
I hate diets. I hate diet ads and diet products and diet plans. I hate promises of that easy magic pill that lets you sleep away fat or some other b.s. And it is just that.
There's no magic pill. Get over it already. We're onto you diet people and you are not going to lie to us anymore. Or make us give up bread. You were a cruel, cruel man, Dr. Atkins.
So, here is my anti-diet. I had to learn this when I was pregnant and could not tolerate the glucola long enough to get through the test. So, I got to be treated for gestational diabetes. I got a lovely monitor and a food plan. Not diet plan. Food plan.
Most of it was common sense and a lot of pokes in the finger. It was also a lot of work. It was like I was walking — waddling — around all friggin' day either eating, getting ready to eat, or planning what I would eat next. I have vowed never to become diabetic.
But, I didn't take a vow that I would not gain weight like every other working mom, too busy to exercise much. So, here I sit, with my few extra pounds, tight waistband, and my food plan out again, trying to get back on track. I learned a few good lessons from the experience:
- How many servings of each type of food I should eat each day
- All the different colors and kinds of veggies I can eat on the plan
- Small meals and healthy snacks work best for me
- When is best to eat, and what combinations of foods are best (eat proteins with carbs)
- The true size of a portion
- The tremendous amount of healthy food I can eat for the same amount of calories as a small bit of unhealthy food
- Glucola tastes awful, makes me throw up, and pass out
So, here's the easy plan I am going to try. See the plate photo at the top of the post? It's a normal size plate. I will not overload it or mound the servings to the rim. I will have three of these a day with half the plate holding fruit and veggies, one-fourth the plate holding a lean meat, and the other fourth holding a whole grain.
I will try to eat most, not all, of my meals like this. Sure, I will have to make adjustments for things like pasta dishes and other combination dishes. If I get hungry, I'll try to have a healthy snack. I will aim for 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruits per day, more veggies than fruit. I will try to make sure most, if not all, of my fats are healthy fats.
It won't work every day. I know this because I am a realist. But, I will aim to make it happen most of the time. And I will try to remember my portion sizes.
- One serving of meat = 3 oz.
- One serving of vegetable = 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw
- One serving of fruit = examples are 1 small apple, or 1 cup berries, or 1/4 cup dried fruit
- Grains/Legumes/Starches = 1/3 cup cooked pasta, or 1/2 cup mashed potato, 1 slice whole grain bread (note that potatoes are not in the vegetable category).
- Milk = 1 cup skim, or 3-4 oz. sweetened yogurt
Oh yeah, ketchup? Does not count as a vegetable. Sorry, but no way, unless you eat half a cup of ketchup. Fries count as a starchy vegetable, not a vegetable. Ready for this? You only get 10-15 fries per serving. That's like the corner of the supersize box, you know? Or maybe just licking the grease off the bottom of the carton even.
As far as number of servings of each food type to eat daily, the food guide pyramid is a good resource — if you can decipher the new food pyramid diagram, that is. Luckily, they have a handy calculator on the site. It also has tracking tools and a worksheet if you are more interested.
It's not a bad idea to check these guidelines out since this is the kind of plan that school lunches will be based on if they ever update the guidelines from the 70s. This is basic, healthy eating guidelines. It is not a diet. I hate diets. Almost as much as I hate sit ups.
Because I also hate to count servings (and don't have time), I will just stick to my plate, eat a lot of different colors of fruits and veggies, and take the stairs. And, yeah, once in a while, I'm still going to eat ice cream. Because I am a realist, and I really love ice cream. But, I really hate sit ups.