Sometimes the easiest ways to manage your weight are the simplest. Buying into all sorts of crazy diets supported by expensively packaged products, or cutting back on calories far too much do nothing but shock our wallets and our bodies - often in damaging ways. If people suddenly experience weight loss as the result of a fad diet or drastic caloric deprivation, they cling to these methods like life preservers, afraid to let go. Then when they do, more often than not, the weight comes back.
Neither fad diets nor extreme calorie restriction can be permanently sustained or healthy. I've never heard of a commercial weight loss program that doesn't promote their packaged products over whole, natural foods. Amazingly, thanks to slick marketing, we're convinced that a pre-packaged 300-calorie box of spaghetti bolognese containing dozens of ingredients is healthier than something we can make in our own kitchen - almost purely based on the fact that it's 300 calories.
A few years ago, I took a course given by Dr. Dan Kalish who specializes in weight loss, digestion problems and hormone balancing. The information I took away from the course really helped me gain a different perspective on diets - and what people will do just to shed a pound. In any case, I was reading through his blog the other day, and came across a post simply called The Cereal Bowl Diet. Here's what Kalish suggests, and why I think you should try it if you want to lose weight.
The Cereal Bowl Diet
If you don't already have them, buy a few good-size cereal bowls. While you're shopping for the cereal bowls, head over to the produce department of your closest grocery store and load up on a good variety of vegetables. Try to shop for what's in season. I found this great cheat sheet of seasonal vegetables. I highly recommend eating plenty of cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc) as they do an incredible job detoxing the liver!
- Once a day, fill a cereal bowl up with any chopped vegetable. Load the bowl up and eat it. Kalish suggests adding dressing to make the vegetable taste better. I suggest to go easy on the dressing. Use it for dipping and not dousing your vegetables.
- At another point in the day, fill your cereal bowl up with cooked vegetables (steamed, roasted, etc.) and enjoy them.
- Eat each of these bowls before you eat anything else.
- Choose a variety of vegetables, and change up your choices throughout the week.
- Continue doing this everyday for two weeks.
Taken straight from Kalish's blog, here are his top 10 reasons why you should try this "diet."
10. You’ve always wanted to eat more vegetables, know it is good for you, have yet to really do it every day and for this you feel guilty, rather than feeling guilty about not eating vegetables you will actually be eating vegetables.
9. You will crave less sugar and refined carbs.
8. You will for sure lose weight.
7. After a month you will have more energy.
6. It’s an easy way to improve your digestion and regularity.
5. It’s an obvious way to prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
4. Will make your eyesight sharper, your bones stronger and you hair, skin and nails more attractive (unless you are bald in which case the top of your head will look fantastic).
3. Will improve your moral fiber and allow you to feel somewhat superior when people talk about the latest fad diet, since you know you are doing something quite a bit smarter.
2. Is among the most sound nutrition advice you could possibly follow, no downside to eating vegetables, no reason to ever stop, this is a diet change you can use for every lunch and dinner for the rest of your life.
AND THE #1 REASON TO FOLLOW THE CEREAL BOWL DIET:
Because I said so. It will make your mother happy, after all, how many times did she remind you to eat your vegetables?