As some may have noticed, I haven’t been posting here recently. Life gets in the way, and priorities change – I haven’t been reading all too much about health and fitness related research and hence have had not much to say.
For most people, it’s times like this when all hell breaks loose on the diet front. Meal schedules become irregular and stress-eating ensues.
Fortunately, I’ve been playing around with my food for long enough to avoid that fate.
You don’t have to be following any particular diet approach , you just have to be willing to listen to your body and to modify your approach accordingly.
By the phrase “listen to your body”, what I mean is to cultivate an awareness of your body’s response towards a certain way of eating. This starts with a simple question, “Does my energy fall or drop after eating X food?” Over time, it will evolve to have your own idiosyncratic twist.
This comes from observing competitive bodybuilders. Getting lean is largely dependent on controlling your diet. Hence when it comes time to diet for a contest, newbies to the field would weigh their portions and count calories, aiming to hit their macro-nutritional targets for the day. As you’d expect, this level of precision takes a whole lot of effort, but after many weeks of struggle, the aspiring bodybuilder is lean and ripped on stage. The hard work has paid off.
However, when you look at the way some of the veterans go about their contest preparation diet, you see a vastly different picture. They can eat “by feel“, without counting calories, and without consciously worrying about carbs and protein and fat, they manage to get extremely lean, all without sacrificing their well-being.
If you look at the actual execution of such a diet, the person manages to pick foods that both provide nutrients to the body and comfort to the mind. They instinctively stick to the foods that they like (which turns out to be foods which treat them best), while avoiding those which don’t enhance their well-being. Hence, they can seemingly “get away with” eating ice cream on a contest preparation diet. That’s a luxury that they now get to enjoy after a lifetime of practice, it’s a classic case of learning the rules so you can break them!
The good news, is that such people attain their level of dietary awareness completely by chance – by virtue of doing their thing long enough, chance would have it that they’d stumble upon what works .
The corollary to that, is that by making a little time everyday to consciously reflect upon how your food is treating you, you can accelerate this process by a factor of 2 or 3. Sure, you’re still going to be doing it for 5-10 years, but every meal is a practice opportunity, and I trust that you’re going to be eating a fair bit over the next 5-10 years =).
So what are you waiting for, start playing with your food now!
 – To qualify this, in dealing with a linear, predictable, and generally bounded task like eating, one can stumble their way to the truth pretty easily.
In a stochastic, non-linear field like predicting the stock market or anticipating consumer response to a product, this assumption goes out the door.
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