HOLLYWOOD—This plethora of food, this horn of plenty is a blessing by any other name, yet it is this abundance—not starvation—that will most often vex your new way of eating and living as you seek to lighten up 30 pounds in 30 days.
The temptations come both every day and this time of year, feverishly so, in the form of holidays, celebrations, the leering look and wink of a loved one offering a special ‘treat.’ As we head into the season to indulge, which I invite you to see the phenomenon a whole new way: as a great opportunity to practice managing abundance. There is a crucial need to develop inner programming for determining what enough and creative strategies to encourage reduced consumption. These notions will hold you in good stead when you segue from the lightening up quickly mode to the mode of lifelong fitness.
IMAGINE SMALLER – Let’s start with one of the biggest pieces of furniture in your house: the refrigerator. Chiefly I keep fresh fruits and vegetables coming in and out of my refrigerator, but they only last a few days. I also keep a few condiments (ketchup, mayonnaise, sometimes butter). As it is, my modestly sized Reagan-era 17 cubic foot Whirlpool that gapes with emptiness.
Truly, there’s almost nothing in my refrigerator. My own plan is to get a pony refrigerator with a small freezer compartment for ice–ice for the ritual glass of water before going to sleep, at least three hours after your last bite of food. Think about it: a large refrigerator encourages storing more, storing processed foods and more spoilage. A smaller refrigerator encourages peak veggie freshness and discourages keeping items that shouldn’t be on the 30 pounds in 30 days plan, anyway, such as cheese.
BUY SMALLER – Preferring smaller cups and portions, it is only natural to have a liking for smaller condiments and supplies. The best place for the storeroom is the store, rather than have my house be a warehouse for bulk size items. So I will sometimes, forego, the “better deal” and pay a premium for a smaller container. On the one hand, a larger container sits there practically insisting on being used before it spoils, and it encourages overconsumption. On the other hand, a smaller container heightens appreciation for what we’re getting, and more moderate consumption, which is exactly what we seek in managing abundance.
NUTS IN THEIR SHELL – Nuts figure in the 30 pounds in 30 days plan: they nicely replace of the pleasure of breads and starchy foods which are now verboten; Brazil nuts and almonds are a good source of calcium, and walnuts are loaded with vitamin E and omega-3 fats. Finding nuts in their shell is a good idea. This obstacle, placed by nature, between the outside and what we want inside is an object lesson in delayed gratification. And it helps to moderate consumption. The whole bag of pre-shelled almond, for example, lends itself too easily to eat-one-you – eat the whole-bag syndrome.
When nuts in their shell are unavailable, a tip for controlling consumption is to measure out so much for one time, say half a cup.
THE ONE-HALF RULE: If you are eating out, where you have little control over plate and serving size, a general rule of thumb is half of the serving will constitute a satisfactory portion. Cooks and restaurants and moms, it is my observations, following the dictates of hospitality, generally give twice as much as we need to eat. Here’s the rule: eat half and leave the rest to box up and have tomorrow.
BE THE BOSS – You know it’s amazing the things we can do for another person, especially when it’s The Boss. When another person is barking orders can work overtime, multi-task like crazy, and take on twice as much as we could have ever imagined. Choosing smaller portions and containers, including smaller refrigerators and using baskets instead of shopping carts, is an aid for becoming our own boss and practicing greater control over food choices in a world of delirious abundance. The boss within each of us will be an invaluable ally in lightening up 30 pounds in 30 days and enjoying lifelong fitness success.
Humorist Grady Miller is the author of “Lighten Up Now: The Grady Diet,” available on Kindle. He can be reached at email@example.com.