Eating like and Adult

Recently J and I have been considering and discussing each of our respective gym, food and body goals. He wants to bulk up, and I want to slim down. By which I mean he wants to gain muscle, and I want to lose fat. While both of us are reasonably (reeeeasonably) happy with our exercise regimes, we both know our food needs to change in order to see the results we want. The question is- can we eat the same things, and still achieve our (very different) goals? We’re going to give it a shot.

We’ve got a window of opportunity coming up which provides us with a neat two months to makes some changes. It’s not a deadline, nor will life particularly change in any other way during this time- it’s just an opportunity to measure some time in ways other than setting deadlines. So yesterday J suggested we use this time to really bunker down and commit to some new habits. The question was, is there a set of new habits we can both commit to, that will help us achieve our respective goals?

I’ve played with the idea of Paleo for a while. Pete Evans’ The Paleo Way certainly seems appealing, with its many positive Facebook testimonials and its daily meal planners and recipes. But J isn’t sold on paleo as a way to bulk, and I’m not sold on the idea of ridding my life of dairy. I’ve also played with the idea of Cyndi O’Meara’s Hunter Gatherer Elimination Protocol. I like the idea of elimination foods then slowly reintroducing them to see how my body feels when I consume them. But even Cyndi admits that this protocol is, at its heart, a paleo diet. Then there’s Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar. I’m coming around to this one, although I haven’t read terribly much about it yet. But I do think there’s elements in there I could adopt. Then of course there’s Low Carb High Fat, which is the lifestyle of choice for some in my household at the moment. I could write a lot about LCHF, but I’m not going to. It will turn into a rant, and I’ll start arguing for and against it at the same time.

I’ve written before about how I’m confused about what I should or shouldn’t be eating, and which diet is best, so when J suggested we start down this path I was worried that I was heading towards another slippery slide of confusion. Then he suggested that we eat like adults. We. Eat. Like. Adults. At first I thought this wouldn’t work for me. It’s too broad, there’s no parametres, and I can talk myself out of/around it too easily. Who knows- maybe I will. But I’m going to attempt a list of what eating like an adult means to me, and once I’ve got that then J and I can figure out what it means for us. For this to work we both need to be doing similar stuff. Really similar stuff. Preparing two different types of meals won’t work, and handing him a big plate of processed carbs while I suck up the green veg won’t work either. My Eat Like An Adult list will come later (maybe later today). This will be interesting.

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Food confusion. Seriously, what should we eat?

help!

Whole foods. Paleo. No sugar. Low Sugar. No carbs. No processed carbs. No fat. High Fat. Low carb, high fat (LCHF).

I literally have no idea what I should be eating.

I think I’ve managed to flood my brain with concepts, theories, science, ideas, and talk from very passionate and committed people. I didn’t set out looking for a ‘new’ or ‘better’ way to eat, it kind of fell into my lap, but regardless of how it happened I now find myself mightily confused. Cut out sugar? Makes sense. Cut out refined carbs? Makes sense. Cut carbs completely and eat large quantities of fat? Listen to enough science, hear enough anecdotes, and it makes sense. Once you get your head around it.

So then, Paleo. Cut the carbs, cut the sugar, eat lots of good fats but not crazy high amounts (as opposed to LCHF, where you really up the Fat content), don’t have dairy, etc… So do you go with Paleo or LCHF? Or just go with cutting sugar like Sarah Wilson did? But then, where do you draw the line with the sugar cutting? It is ultimately removing processed sugars only? Natural sugars too? Removing carbs too, because they convert to sugars? And if that’s the case, are we back at Paleo? But if LCHF is right, then aren’t you better going that step further than Paleo, cutting carbs completely, upping fats, and letting your body enter Ketosis and burn fats for fuel? Is LCHF right, or is Ketosis damaging the body?

And, the biggest question of all – how do you do whatever it is you do that works for you, and keep a healthy and sustainable weight, while keeping your sanity? How to do you it without obsessing over it? Without spending every spare moment thinking about? Without becoming a nutritional evangelist? Clearly you have to spend time on food preparation to succeed on any of these ways of eating – how do you do that without it becoming all you think about? Without it becoming part of your identity? What if you just want to keep being you, keep your normal identity, without being the person that’s Paleo/LCHF/Sugar-free, etc etc?

I’m confused. Quite confused.