After a year of trying to change my dietary lifestyle Im finding that I need to mix things up a little to keep my head in the game. In an attempt to do just that I checked a book out of the library entitled, The Fat Fallacy; Applying the French Diet to the American Lifestyle, by Will Clower MD.
Having never been to France I find it a little hard to believe that only about 5% of their population is overweight but that's what I am told so I will try to wrap my brain around it. One thing I do believe though is that fat does not make you fat. We have lived under this sort of heresy for 30 years now in this country and in spite of all the fat free products on the market we are not getting thinner.
Clower points out that the French eat real butter, real cream, whole milk, whole yogurt and olive oil and they are not fat. The diet he ultimately espouses happens to be the one I have used this entire year. He uses good fats to control appetite and blood sugar. I don't have a doctors degree but I do have a body that tells me what works and what doesn't.
Clower suggests that one should end their meals with a small chunk of cheese, a little wine and a tiny square of dark chocolate. When you do this you dont find yourself snacking so much in between meals. I can tell you this is so true. A couple of nuts, a tiny dice of cheese, a boiled egg, it all helps stabilize blood sugar and helps one with feeling full. I have never been a lover of fat free cheese or fat free salad dressings. This book will give you the freedom to eat full fat foods again and love the flavor of it again. Clower stresses watching the calories too which is what Ive been doing.
There's one basic thing though that Clower says the French owe their health to and that I have not totally managed to accomplish, well maybe not even half way accomplish, and that is to eat most of my food in its real form. I have tried this many times in the past and never really managed to do it. But in the past I didn't manage to lose weight either and this year I have.
So this coming year I am going to continue to count calories but I am going to rev up a few things in my diet. I'm upping my calories to 1400, adding exercise three times a week, drinking water, and above all I am going to eat foods in their real form. My focus will be on whole grains, fish, veggies, fruits, quality breads, quality dairy products, nuts, and lots of clear water. Believe it or not the French are said to drink coffee all day long. I qualify there in a big way.
The real reason one has to watch calories on this diet is because of the use of whole fats but with the fats comes appetite control so its not that bad. Without the fats Im always hungry and its a vicious cycle.
So while I focused on calories only this year I did gravitate toward whole foods just because they are lower in calories but I really didn't change other areas. Now that the calories are pretty much old hat and I can tell from a glance what I'm doing I now have the groundwork laid to move on and add a few more good habits. I have another year and a half until I'm 50 and when I reach that age I hope to be fit and healthy. I started this diet with 2 years and five months until I reached 50. I was 102 lbs above where I wanted to be. I hope to end this year with a 50 pound loss and only have 52 pounds to lose in the next year and five months.
I'm feeling confident I can do this.
So with the New Year coming up I am facing a new diet year. I am not in a race or a competition. Im willing to just plug away at this to get where I want to be. Habits do not form overnight. So I steadily plow onward.