I’m on a diet. Again.
These days, the question isn’t, “Are you on a diet?”—it’s, “What diet are you on?” Everyone seems to be trying to eat healthier or lose weight, and doing so in different ways: eating small meals, fasting, high-protein, liquids only, no meat, no dairy, no carbs, no fats, no gluten—
No fun. Whoever said the first three letters in “diet” is “die” certainly had that right.
I don’t like broadcasting the fact that I’m dieting, but inevitably, when I’m at my neighborhood church group or Bible study or out to dinner with friends, someone offers me a fattening dessert or snack, and I fess up. The usual response is, “Why are you on a diet? You’re not fat.”
To which I respond, “That’s why I’m not fat.”
Many of you can relate to the bewildering fact that our bodies and metabolism change as we age. When I was in my twenties, I ate whatever I wanted and never gained an ounce. Good times.
In my thirties, I still ate what I wanted and went on occasional diets that lasted maybe a week. That’s all it took to bring my weight down. Then, when I turned forty, I found that I needed to exercise and diet together in order to keep my weight under control.
But when I turned fifty, everything changed yet again. I would diet and exercise, get on the scale to see how much weight I’d lost, and…you guessed it. Not one pound.
“Honey,” I told my husband. “I finally figured out why I’m not losing weight. Brace yourself.”
“What’s wrong?” he asked, concerned.
“I think I’m a plant,” I said.
“Yep, your wife is a plant. There’s no other explanation for it. I starve myself, I exercise, and nothing happens. I must be using sunlight to make my own food.”
Fortunately, thanks to Chris Powell’s diet plan from his book Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution, I came to the relieving conclusion that I’m not a member of the kingdom plantae. His diet is not only good for your body, it really causes you to lose weight. Here are the basics:
- Every day, eat five small meals.
- On Monday-Saturday, breakfast consists of a lean protein and a healthy carb—no fats.
- On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the other four meals consist of a lean protein and a healthy fat—no carbs. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, the other four meals consist of a lean protein and a healthy carb—no fats. Do this for three weeks in a row. Here’s my favorite part of the diet—Sundays are free days. Not a pig-out day, but a time to eat some of the foods we’ve been craving during the week
- During the fourth week, all five meals Monday-Saturday consist of a lean protein and a carb—no fats at all this week. This “jump start” boosts your metabolism. Sunday is still a free day.
- Continue this three-week/one-week cycle until you get to your desired weight. After that, all five meals each day can include a lean protein, healthy fat, and healthy carb.
In his book, Chris Powell also talks about portion size, what constitutes healthy fats and carbs, and even provides recipes. And, of course, exercise is a big part of this diet as well, which he explains in detail.
But I gotta level with you about one thing—
This diet is not easy.
I’m a pretty disciplined person, but along with keeping my weight down, resisting candy, desserts, and fast food has become more difficult for me over the years. So how do I manage?
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you already know the answer.
Does our big God care about my struggle to stay healthy? You betcha. I’m not bothering God one little bit when I ask him to control my urge to stuff myself with huge portions or junk foods on a regular basis. Notice I said on a regular basis. I enjoy ice cream, pizza, chips, and pop on occasion without the slightest twinge of guilt. I also live a little at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other special days. But, as a general rule, I try my best to eat food that will benefit my body and to exercise almost every day—not only to feel good, but out of obedience to my Lord. God wants me to be healthy, not only so that I have the energy to serve him, but also so that I can rejoice in him and glorify him. If I feel crummy and tired all the time, because I’m not taking care of my body, I will fail to give him one hundred percent of myself.
So, as tough as dieting can be, I try to honor him with a healthy body. And, like King David wrote in Psalm 139:14, ” I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)