Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Beck Diet Solution, Day 2: Pick Two Reasonable Diets

Thank you, thank you, thank you to those brave and willing souls that posted your Advantages yesterday. I have a feeling that we are really going to learn a lot about ourselves and each other through this process.

It's not too late to go back to yesterday's post and complete Day 1, making your Advantages Response Card. In my experience, it is the reading of that card twice a day that is the glue that sticks together the new brain (thought processes) that you are creating with this program. I also added things and refined my list along the way in my first go-around, so know that you will likely do that too. Like a fine wine, your ARC will improve with age!

Today's task is to choose two diet plans--one that you will start with and one that is available as a back up plan in case you learn that the first just doesn't meet your needs. The back up plan is crucial, because how many of us have gone on a diet, hated it, and then just given up on losing weight for the moment? And then that moment turns into three years. I know I've done that. With a back-up plan, you can switch to it and move on without interruption.

Beck goes into great detail about how to chose a healthy diet. I highly recommend reading Beck if you are at all concerned that you do not know which diet plan to follow. Something tells me that if you are here reading HGK, you have already self-selected and that I am writing to an audience that is overwhelmingly either Vegan, or Plant-stong, or working you way toward becoming Plant-strong.

Beck makes some shockingly insightful suggestions as a part of Day 2. I am only going to share three of them here with you:

(1) Different types of diets work for different personality types, so you have to know yourself and chose what works for your type. The two main types are Set Eating Plans (ex. Eat to Live) and Counting Systems (ex. Weight Watchers). And yes, there are some plans that contain elements of both.

I know that I can stay on a counting and measuring system for many, many months and then I completely lose all motivation to continue that level of analysis of what I am consuming. So I can safely say at this point, counting and measuring is not for me. Although it absolutely does work if you work it, and can be safe and healthy as long as you don't use your allotment on processed, sugary, fatty and salty foods.

I also know that I can stay on a Set Eating Plan for many years, as evidenced by my recent experiences on a plant-based diet. It is actually easier for me to have fewer food choices, and I am driven by the idea that there are great food choices, good food choices and bad food choices. I love knowing that vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains fuel my body the best and keep me healthy. That I should try to only eat from those food groups is a box I like to be in.

For some people that may set up a situation where when they slip-up, let's say on vacation or at a party, they beat themselves to a pulp, but stick with Beck through this program and you can end that cycle.

(2) Your chosen diet should be based on how healthy it is, not on how quickly it promises that you will lose weight. Rapid weight loss diets that are very calorie restricted are not doable for any length of time, and we all know the binging that happens after, so let the idea of rapid weight loss go.

(3) Your chosen diet must allow planned indulgences. "Even with a set eating plan, I've found that most people do better if they formulate a rule about what they can and what they usually can't eat, meaning they can periodically plan--in advance--to have small portions of 'can't eat' foods." Judith S. Beck


Somehow I missed this idea on my first two Beck go-arounds. It wasn't until I heard Rip Esselstyn say, "It's Plant-strong, not Plant-Perfect" that I started to forgive myself for my "indulgences." But the reality is, we are not and will never be perfect-all-of-the-time eaters. So I really appreciate Beck's advice here. The key is that the indulgences are planned. Without that, we are just free falling into our old eating patterns.

So what are my two plans? It's no surprise. Eat to Live and The Engine 2 Diet/Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

Oh, that's three plans.

Oh well!

But this time, I am going to follow Beck's advice about the indulgences. And they will be planned! I'm also going to be paying a lot more attention to watching/limiting the nuts, seeds, avocado, tofu and other calorie packed, although otherwise nutritious, components of my diet.

Notice Beck does not say, "Start the diet today." There are actually two weeks of exercises that lead up to starting on an eating plan. If you are already on an eating plan that is working for you, just continue what you are doing while following Beck's daily exercises.

What are your two reasonable diets?

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