My husband is a wise man. He is, after all, a bona fide rocket scientist (aka aerospace engineer). As well as being useful to have around for inquisitive little boys who want to know how planes fly, why the sky is blue and when, exactly, it is going to rain next according to the radar, he has occasional epiphanies about subjects entirely unrelated to aviation.
Yesterday’s pearl of wisdom was about the food choices we make.
We were talking about food choices because we’re starting the 5:2 Fast Diet together in a couple of days. I started out aiming high, I even bought the 8-week Blood Sugar Diet book which promises average weight loss of 14kgs in 8 weeks.
In the end I concluded that 56 consecutive days of specified meals and recipes seemed unrealistic on top of 4 days a week of work, two small children and a household to run.
Instead, we’re doing the 5:2 Fast Diet – which is essentially a part-time Blood Sugar Diet. You ‘fast’ (eat just 800 calories of food) for 2 days a week and eat normally for 5. I have many friends who rave about it and I’ve watched them lose weight slowly and steadily over the past year or so.
The food choice epiphany
Mr D turned to me in the kitchen and said, ‘You know, there are really just 3 basic food choices we make every time we eat – Will I eat? What will I eat? How much of it will I eat? And at any point in the decision process we can make better food choices by changing our decision at the next step.’
Food choice 1: Will I eat?
Advertising and marketing has us convinced that we must satisfy every craving and quieten rumbly tummies between meals or we’ll get super cranky and irrational.
The truth is that a low level of hunger is actually normal. It doesn’t mean we have to eat straight away or that we’ll turn into monsters if we don’t. We can actually make the decision not to eat every time it occurs to us to stuff another snack in our mouth.
Food choice 2: What will I eat?
You’ve decided you’re going to eat. Okay. Maybe you’re actually properly hungry, maybe you’re just bored or emotional.
The next decision is what will you eat? A mandarine to tide you over, a few crackers, or an entire Big Mac meal with a chocolate sundae because you happen to be passing the golden arches and it seemed like a good idea at the time?
Food choice 3: How much will I eat?
You’re tired. You’re going to eat and it’s going to be something as high as possible in sugar and fat, with no nutritional value whatsoever.
Okay, I get it. You absolutely have to have chocolate. But will it be a single Freddo frog? Or a family block of Cadbury’s because it’s on special, you’ve already opened it and you may as well eat the whole thing to hide the evidence…
Eating healthy is not a single choice
I’m not preaching here. You won’t find Instagram photos of me at the gym, or in my running gear, or flaunting my oh-so-defined abs. I don’t have any. I need as much help as the next person to make good food choices.
But this 3-stage food choice idea made perfect sense to me. It’s a sliding scale of bad-food doom, where you get a second and third chance to mitigate the effects of your previous bad food choices if you stop and think for a moment.
Do you make good food choices? Got any tips?
Have you done the 5:2 Fast Diet? Did it work? (Please say ‘yes’).