I’ve known since I heard the term as a teenager that I was an emotional eater. You need look no further for proof than photos of me at happy periods in my life where I’m thin and stressful periods of my life (where I’m rotund). After stepping on the scales this weekend at my parents’ house and realizing I’ve gained 15 pounds since my surgery, I’m looking for ways to turn the tide. I’m reading a book called “Never Binge Again…” (the actual title is comically long) by Glenn Livingston Ph.D that actually offers some good advice that’s a little different than other approaches. It’s not a diet book, per se, more of cognitive behavioral therapy wrapped in a fun package that aims at stabbing at the heart of the bad habits and learned and innate behaviors that have me tipping the scales at a terrifyingly high number. The approach he outlines actually seems to do away with a lot of the touchy feely mumbo jumbo and gimmicks of diet plans, and focuses on a general approach that can help with weight loss as much as it can breaking other bad habits (though this book is specifically geared toward shutting up the little monster (“The Pig”) in your brain that keeps you shoveling ice cream in your mouth even when you’re not hungry and don’t like the taste all that much).
One of the steps in this plan is to create a simple food plan that I can go all-in on. Given how well intermittent fasting and living as a vegan worked for me in the past, mine is fairly straightforward:
Food Plan to Enprison the Pig
- Consume calories for only 4 hours each day (which hours is unimportant, though during the daylight is preferable) which I’ll measure using the Zero app on my phone
- Consume no animal-based products (honey is OK)
- Consume at least 1 cup of leafy greens every day
- Drink at least 64 oz (half a gallon) of water each day
This is a good place to start. Once I get comfortable with this, I’ll move towards minimizing processed foods and refined carbohydrates, but that would be a lot to start out with. We don’t learn how to ride a bike or drive a car on the first attempt, especially if we’re asked to master the physics of how balancing on two wheels works or memorize all the roadways in the country first. The first steps need to be basic and manageable. After doing this for a month or two, I’ll see about raising the stakes. The Pig may only have the simple motivation of eating whatever it wants in whatever quantity it wants, but it’s also devilishly cunning when it comes to circumnavigating complex schemes to control it. Simple clear cut steps are the best way to cage the little bastard and stop him from ruining my life on a daily basis.