The Tough Economic Times Diet
Jay Leno joked last night that “the economy was so bad that women in LA had to resort to diet and exercise to look good.”
I couldn’t help but chuckle at that one. Because the REAL dark irony is that a whole food diet and lifestyle will help you look a million times better than anyone botoxed or pumped full of collagen. Trust me, I assisted the dermatologist back in the day.
During these Tough Economic Times (TET) times we can at least laugh because laughter is still free AND it burns calories.
Despite the “Obesity Tax,” politicians have yet to tax us for laughter. Perhaps I shouldn’t give them any ideas!
Feel free to leave your frugal “TET Diet” tip in the comments section.
As with everything, going with the flow seems to be the most logical cure for this economic crisis.
As we learn to move away from “Unfulfilled Consumerism” and make choices that are healthier for the environment as well as our pocketbooks, we can certainly remind ourselves of some great dieting tips brought on by these “tough economic times.”
Weight Loss Tips We can Learn from these Tough Economic Times:
1. Drink a cozy warm mug of water in lieu of your expensive latte. Warm water gives your intestines a bath, aids elimination, while still making you feel like you have a warm drink to comfort you during the traumatic morning time (well for me). For more detox on the cheap just add a squeeze of fresh lemon.
2. Eat less. Yes! I am guessing that since 1/3 of America is obese and many of us are overweight that we can just eat less. I love the Swedish Proverb, ““Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”
Maybe it is just because I am Swedish, or maybe it’s because it’s great advice. But longevity studies indicate that the less we eat (within reason) the longer we live. Never starve yourself as that slows your metabolism down. Instead try eating five small meals a day. Focus on whole foods and simply stop bit before you actually feel full (more on this later).
3. Chew chew chew your food! If we are eating less we need to be chewing more so that we can spend our time eating and not feeling like we are deprived because we are eating less. Spend the same amount of time eating less food. It works.
4. Take a break. Everyone needs a break, especially your poor stomach. At the beginning of your meal, visually or physically divide your plate in half. When you reach that half way point, take a little break. Let your body digest for a few minutes, it takes about twenty minutes to register that we are even full so give yourself some time to ENJOY your food, and you may as a result spend less time eating. That is more leftovers for later, remember “The Doggie Bag” is the hot new trend of 2009.
5. Share your food. Not only will you look cool while you feel generous, but you’ll be reminded of how much you actually have, while secretly saddling those around you with those unnecessary calories. We all know that the easiest way to look thinner is to fatten up those around us *wink*
6. Split your food. If you aren’t the sharing type then visually split your food in half and eat the next portion of it the next day. Restaurants have trained us to think that a normal portion size is over 2-3 times of what it truly is.
I try to make three meals out of every restaurant meal. A habit I got in after waiting tables and throwing pounds and pounds of food away after clearing tables all day. It was such a waste!
It may not have been cool before to ask for that “to go” box, but it sure is now. Set the example. Take the doggie bag, and remember that you can also save money on kibble by feeding your dogs leftover meat, veggies, cottage cheese, yogurt (non-sweetened), potatoes, and rice. Just don’t give them too many grains, bread, wheat, sweets, etc.
7. Focus on disease prevention. Staying healthy and eating the basic boring whole foods diet is exactly what prevents disease, and it is cheap!
8. Walk everywhere. I know gas prices are down but still, it is really fun to challenge yourself with basic exercise errands around your urban area.
9. Find a walking buddy. If you live in suburbia and can’t challenge yourself with walking to your errands, find a walking buddy (aka free counseling.) Since no one can afford real counseling during these tough economic times, remember that nothing makes people vent their stress like a nice long walk. Walking means burning calories, and spending time that we could be wasting eating.
11. Drink water and only water. If your only beverage of choice is filtered tap water you will save oodles on both your pocket book and waistline. We never want to drink our calories. Read “One Soda per Day Can Change Your Waistline.”
12. Stressed? That is great, try eating less instead of eating more. It is not normal for us to be “running from the proverbial bear” while we are trying to digest a double bacon cheeseburger, curly fries, and a chocolate shake.
Under stress, our digestive systems essentially shut down while blood and oxygen are shunted to our muscles and cardiovascular system. The more stressed you are, the more you will benefit from a nourishing diet eaten while you are calm and sitting down. Try a few minutes of breathing exercises before your meal. Over-indulgence is not your friend during TET times.
13. Plant your own food. Spring is the time to start thinking about cheap food you can plant and grow to enjoy later. I love planting zuchini, squash, potatoes, onions, garlic, and so forth because they are so simple to grow as I mentioned in my article “The Top Eleven Laziest Foods to Grow.” If you don’t want to grow your own, make your kids do it by “Planting an Organic Kids Garden,” and that teaching activity should help kids eat more veggies. Don’t forget to let some “Berries Run Wild” on your property.
14. Grow your own herbs. Do you need to take stock in the tons and tons of supplements you are paying top dollar for in your cupboards, when the herb growing season is about to start? Many healing plants chock full of the antioxidants you are paying top dollar for, literally grow like weeds in your back yard! If you don’t spray your yard with pesticides you can use rosemary, dandelion, stinging nettles, garlic…and if you aren’t sure what to do with an herb growing in your yard…just ask me! If you are stressed you can easily grow lemon balm and lavender as I mentioned in, “The Fifteen Most Fabulous Herbal Sedatives.”
15. Eat at the Kitchen Table! If you can afford to eat out, then by all means please go out and stimulate the economy. But for everyone on the TET Diet, eating out is bad for our wallets and our waistlines. When we eat out at poor quality cheap fast food, fried, fatty places we are likely causing disease and not preventing it.
You should at least be eating one meal a day at the kitchen table if not two. Kitchen Table time is important family bonding time, improves posture, digestion, and saves us in both the long and short run. If you can make three meals at the kitchen table a day then you get gold star!
What is your TET Diet tip?