About a month ago, I ran the Las Vegas half marathon. I am usually an avid running and triathlon racer, but life had been pretty busy, and I hadn’t raced much during the 2008 season. I wasn’t looking to set a PR (personal record), but rather to “get back in the saddle” for racing. I ate fairly well, did my workouts somewhat diligently leading up to it, and had a solid race.
The week that followed, my parents were visiting. I let my guard down a little bit—partly because we like to get together over long meals and partly because I always feel “hungry” for a few days after a long race.
So I ate. I ate dessert a couple of nights. I had TWO LOAVES of wonderful hot French bread slathered in butter at a restaurant; I had chile; I had cornbread. I had pizza. I drank wine. I had desserts.
None of these things sound so horrible (like cruising through McDonalds and ordering two Big Macs, an order of large fries and a soda would) but the end result was that on Monday morning I had gained 3.5 pounds. A 3.5 pound gain in one week! A pound of fat is the caloric equal of 3500. And there was a pretty good chance that I had not ingested 10,500 calories more than I could burn off (I’m fairly active, remember?).
But the number on the scale was there. Call it “holidayitis”, call it water retention. Whatever. The number was there!
I am not a fan of crash diets, nor is this a recount about my personal crash dieting experience. I think that crash diets (which are diets that severely reduce food and calorie intake) are counterproductive—you might lose weight initially by severely restricting calorie intake for a day or two, but then your body goes into a Little Shop of Horrorsesque “Feed me Seymour mode” and ultimately you “over” or hyper consume during the following days to quell the self- imposed deprivation. This is an article about my experience of cutting out the “junky” foods and subsequently losing a couple pounds which I had put on after a week of overindulging.
I am also not a fan of counting calories. My theory is that if you eat healthy, unprocessed food; and the majority of your diet comes from raw or living foods; you will get almost all of the nutrients you need. And when you get all of your nutrients, your body doesn’t feel hungry. I also believe that the raw foodists get it—they have discovered this happy little secret that the rest of the country has yet to: Eat as much (if not all) of your food “raw” and your body will feel light. You will have energy. You will be happy and even. And you will look and feel your best.
Over the last three days, I ate at least an avocado every day; 1-3 handfuls of raw nuts (walnut and almonds seem to be my favorite) and for something crunchy and salty, I “uncooked” a batch of flax crackers (a raw food). I ate when I wanted-for me that is usually 5-7 times a day-and as much as I wanted.
Got on the scale this morning and I had lost 3.5 pounds. I was somewhat hungry but not ravenous. I made a delicious bowl of Oat “porridge”—raw oats blended with a banana, apple, chia seeds, water and cinnamon. And I felt great. My head was clear. My body felt rested. And my clothes were looser.