I mean, really. Weight Watchers. Atkins. Overeaters Anonymous. South Beach. Jenny Craig. Curves. Bowflex. Five-minute workouts. Come on. Where did it all come from? Just find a form of exercise you can stand and make it a part of your daily life for twenty mintes - it's really not that difficult. As for dieting, well, let me just say that the only reason the low-carb diets work is because they make people eat a decent amount of protein which, in this white-bread, additive-and-preservative world, we often don't do. Protein helps with muscle repair, among other things, and keeps you feeling full for longer than carbohydrates do. Thus, you don't eat as much. Also, many people (myself included) tend toward a state of 'carb addiction' - if we fill our diet with lots of cereal, chips, cookies, pasta, etc. and don't balance it out, we end up actually wanting more carbohydrates. And massive amounts of carbs do make you gain weight over time. That's another reason to make sure you don't go overboard. Lowering your carb intake is fine. But carbs are the body's natural number-one source of fuel, and we only burn protein (read: lean muscle) when there are no carbs left to burn. That's not a good state to be in, regardless of what Atkins would have you believe - your body is essentially eating its own flesh.
In general, I like the old 40-30-30 rule - 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat. I adjust those a little for myself: I try to keep the fat at 20%; if I have a big event coming up, I'll eat a lot of pasta to amp up the carbs; if I've just had a tough workout, I'll aim for more protein than usual as well as high carbs. But, despite how this may sound, I do not have a calorie counter in my head, I don't really know how much a 'gram' is, and I don't spend every waking moment debating what I'm going to eat next. The basic question I usually ask myself is, is it naturally-occurring?
Yes? Fruit, vegetables, meat, milk, whole wheat/grain bread, whole-grain cereal, nuts, seeds, berries? Great. Go wild. (Well, just not too wild on the red meat.)
Sort of? Cheese, pasta, yogurt? Okay, eat it, just not too much.
No? White bread, chips, cookies, sugary cereal, Ben & Jerry's? Try to avoid it most of the time.
And no, I don't stick to it angelically. I love energy bars, for one (but I stick with Balance bars, which have 15 grams of protein), and also, it's an ingrained habit to have something sweet after lunch and dinner, whether that's a little square of chocolate or a dish of frozen yogurt. Also, I am a self-proclaimed 'freezer food' eater, mostly because I can't cook - I love Lean Pockets and SmartOnes dinners. But for me, it still usually works out, because (a) I have low blood pressure and therefore don't really have to worry about sodium, and (b) when I'm at school and in 'real' training, I'm supposed to eat around 2600 calories a day. But I do find that that provides a decent guideline for most people. Obviously, different people have different needs, but I've never heard of a fat caveman, have you?
Okay, so that was my eating tirade. I don't actually have much more to say, though, besides:
1.) Three schools down (UF, U Pitt, Chapel Hill), four to go. That took most of the morning.
2.) I get paid on Friday! Third-to-last payday... second-to-last decent one... *sniff*
3.) Confession: Hilary Duff's new song, "Wake Up," is stuck in my head.
4.) That Air France plane that just crashed is the exact type I'm supposed to fly on. Gulp.
5.) 21 more days!