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Hello. Carb addict here – sometimes recovering, sometimes less so – and with the best or the worst of the holiday season approaching, depending how you look at it, I would like to challenge others to join me in solidifying better eating habits.

As background, while I certainly don’t enjoy it when I put on a few extra pounds, that doesn’t really factor into my personal motivation very much. My own reasons for controlling what I eat happen to centre around mood, sleep, and preventing joint pain.

If you are someone who is concerned with carrying excess weight, here’s a great review of the science of weight on health. (TLDR: Weight indeed is a marker of health, but it’s not the only one.)

No matter what the reason, if you want to make some choices in what and how you eat, here is some good, pardon the totally obvious pun, food for thought – because the “what” part really isn’t rocket science, and it’s usually about the “why.”

  • Maybe food rules are actually counterproductive in the long run, with “intuitive eating” being the way to go… if you’re ready to do it. As with implementing Buddhist practices, say, it’s simple but not necessarily easy.
  • Cheat meals can actually lead to negative psychological effects and hinder progress toward a weight loss goal. It’s hard to think of them as being much but a binge, really. Here are two science-based alternatives, “planned hedonic variations” and “slack with a cost.”
  • Maybe restoring the relationship between nutrition and the pleasure of eating is what we need to do. A lot of research and a convincing slow-build argument may well lead to one little square of chocolate helping us achieve the end of craving.

I know that myself, I get closer each year toward being able to make good food choices consistently, and any downward spirals are less frequent and less severe, but definitely I’m not there yet.

So as we close down Thanksgiving and edge closer to the myriad of December temptations, I am committing to 365 days of not eating sweets or starches on my own… because really, it doesn’t feel good to end up scarfing down whatever they have somewhere, even 7-11, and hoping no one will recognize me as a personal trainer!

August 2023 update: my previous challenge wasn’t quite right — too strict, surprise — so I modified it to include budgeted “treats.” Apparently I still do need some sort of food rules at the moment, and this is working better to keep me on track. Life is a work in progress!

Will you join me in committing to whatever your own personal challenge may be?

As always, stay in touch!