The word Dieting carries some distain, because it requires altering one of our most vital daily activities. It is always satisfying when a desired result can be achieved by doing something SMARTER rather than mindlessly following RULES. Counting calories can be monotonous at best. Regarding our appetites, we need to realize we have inherited the pondering of our ancient ancestors, which is survival. Prehistoric meals were opportunistic, occurring only when hunters had success. Those who ate more, especially fat, had more reserve when game was scarce, and they survived. We have survivor’s genes!
In the Mayo Clinic book Guide to Stress Free Living, Dr. Amit Sood mentions how to maintain a vigorous physique by adhering to the four S principles: slow, small, savor, and smart.
SLOW: means to relax your eating process. Initially, concentrate on taking more chews per fork portion, not just rushing with the fewest chews necessary to allow a swallow. Allow the act of mastication to provide mealtime fulfillment instead of the stuffing of your belly. Chewing satisfies (ergo, chewing gum). Also, after swallowing, allow a few seconds to expire before the next fork portion. There is no woe with going s-l-o-w.
SMALL: means to allow just a partial filling of your fork or spoon to serve yourself the next bite. It will be just as satisfying and will reduce your caloric intake considerably.
SAVOR: means to enjoy the tastes and texture of each bite. It is fun to relish the spices, varied flavors, the content’s essences, and the mouthfeel of what you are eating. Doing so provides added satisfaction in consuming what will become part of you.
SMART: means to choose what you consume according to its nutritional value, not according to its caloric content. Avoid foods that contain a lot of salt, are high in calories, high in saturated fat, or are processed. Fruits and veggies are a bonus for your body, especially dark green veggies and berries.
Adopting the four S principles will allow your brain to decide sooner that you are satiated with smaller amounts and that more enjoyment accrues, especially when you stand before a mirror. In addition, try to eat with others so it becomes a social time as well.
An added recommendation is that three meals a day is a convention from European settlers who focused on a 9 to 5 workday. The Bible has reference to two meals a day in the morning and evening. Romans ate one meal daily, and eating more was considered gluttony. Hello, fellow gluttons. It is hard to break what you were brought up doing, but consider whether you need to eat conventionally or smartly.
At mealtime, my bride and I frequently ask each other, “Are you hungry”? If each of us answers NO, we thankfully skip and do not miss the unnecessary meal. The FAT cells ante up the calories we burn until the next mealtime and shrink. SHRINK, YOU FREELOADERS!