The Pursuit of Healthiness

The Pursuit of Healthiness
Your Guide to Getting Healthy

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Liquid Diet (and I'm Not Talking Cleanses!)

Thursday I had the misfortune of having all four of my wisdom teeth extracted. 10:00 a.m. I went in and at noon I walked out, feeling and talking like Kramer. For the next few hours I felt fine, numbness aside. Then, little by little, the numbness wore off and an awful pain started in.

The doc gave me a list of things I had to follow from Thursday to Monday: rinse with saltwater, don't drink anything carbonated, take the painkillers (which, evidently, are also sleeping pills, considering the fact that I've been sleeping at least fourteen hours every day). But the number one thing on the list was to eat foods that require minimal chewing. I stocked my fridge with sugar free chocolate pudding cups, Special K chocolate shakes, pina coloda protein shakes, cottage cheese, mac and cheese (one of my personal favorite foods) and Yoplait light yogurt. These are the six foods that I've been living off of. Doesn't sound all that healthy, right? Then why have I noticed that my jeans are fitting better, my stomach is smaller, and I've lost two pounds in the last two days (without exercising at all because doing so is off limits according to my doctor)?

Well this is why! For one thing, repetitious eating has been shown to limit the amount of food you eat. The reason for that is become your palette isn't being subjected to something new constantly. When you eat something tantalizing and new for dinner every night, your brain savors it and wants more, so you eat more. If you eat, say, mac and cheese like I've eaten for the last three nights, the first night your brain thinks, "Yay! This is good!" Second night it's like, "Oh ok, not exactly exciting but whatever it's still pretty good." By the third night it's saying, "This again? So boring!" When you subject your brain to food you like more often, you stop thinking of it as taboo. You stop craving it and you stop piling it on your plate.

Now take a look at the list again. The pudding is sugar free. The shakes are both less than 200 calories and are high in protein. The cottage cheese and mac and cheese are high in calcium and the cottage cheese is low in fat and calories. The yogurt is low in fat and calories and high in protein. While they all taste great, they are also all healthy takes on their original, high-calorie counterparts.

I'm also in a little pain and because of that I'm eating a lot slower, helping me get filled up faster and making my mind remind me to stop eating as soon as I'm full. I'm not saying that you should go take out your teeth to lose weight, but I am saying to eat repetitiously, sticking to healthier variety of foods and a healthier amount of each. It's way easier than you think!

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