Looking to slim down in the new year? Click here for this one weird trick to a flat belly -- oh I'm just kidding. No weird tricks or quick fixes here. But we've been talking about this one food rule that's supposed to let you eat whatever you want. A food loophole! Wanna hear it?
One rule -- it seems simple, but wait until you hear what it is. Like I said, no weird tricks or quick fixes here, and the road to great health is never easy. But the simplicity of the food rule is compelling. And it could change your life.
Eat anything you want. Just cook it yourself.
So ... can you actually do that and stay slim? Hell yeah! If you're a TOTAL FREAK.
Let me explain. See, I've been following this rule (more or less, definitely not 100 percent) for years. I pretty much DO eat whatever I want. I'm on the slim side and my last health checkup was glowing. But also:
- I'm obsessed with food -- all aspects of it, from how it's grown to the best way to cook it. I think about food all the time. Which means I'm willing to sacrifice time and energy shopping and cooking.
- I actually like vegetables.
- I've cultivated an aversion to super-sweet and junky foods. So I don't crave them as much.
- I've been gifted with a very kind metabolism.
Like I said, it works if you're a freak.
But maybe your end goal isn't to be skinny -- it's just to be healthy. I have a number of friends who follow this rule even more strictly than I do, and they are not so slim. Some would even describe themselves as fat -- unabashedly, thank you very much. But all of them would also describe themselves as healthy, and that's where we get this whole conversation about eating wrong, every damn time.
Skinny does not necessarily equal healthy. When I was in high school, I lived on Doritos and Pepsi, and I never exercised. But I weighed 100 pounds. On the other hand, fat isn't necessarily unhealthy.
Here's the really profound thing about cooking most of your food: It will change your relationship with eating for the better.
Cooking slows you down. You think more about the ingredients and how they're transformed in the process of cooking. It extends your experience with food, so it's not about the end result (just eating) but an entire process with smells, colors, textures. The more sensual your experience with food, the slower you go, the more there is to enjoy and, I think, the less you need to eat because you're being fed in multiple ways.
You may still have a body that demands a lot of calories or that metabolizes frugally. But I think once you get the hang of cooking more of your food (and it doesn't have to be complicated), you'll start feeling more fed and satisfied. And you'll feel the difference from your very cells. Will it make you skinny? Meh. You may drop a few pounds. But you'll feel better, and that's what's most important.
How much of your food do you cook yourself?
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