A 45-year-old fat man trying to find his inner skinny dude.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nutritional Knowledge on a Macro Level

The other night, about 3am, I had an idea for a blog entry.  It was some horrible thing someone had done to me when I was a kid.  When I woke up, it was gone.  I've been trying to remember it for a couple of days.  Must not be that big a deal, right?  Riiiight.  It'll come back.  Those things always do.

But here's something.  I have noticed for a long time how accepted theories of nutrition change from time to time.  Remember how fat made you fat?  Now fats (good fats--in ifish, nuts, avocados, etc., not from red meat) are a known desirable part of any diet.  Remember how margarine was supposed to be better than butter.  Now it's not--trans fats are bad, and margarine is much more heavily processed than butter.

When I was in first or second grade, we were told that pizza is the perfect food.  That's because it was made of all four food groups:  milk, fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, and meat.  Hell, even the four food groups aren't around anymore.  Now we have a pyramid.  Still, pizza as the perfect food!  That was music to my ears. 

I have been learning these past few months, about what foods are useful to me and what foods can make me their bitch by their very existence.  Pizza is tough.  If I am in control, my powers of resolve can limit my intake.  Not getting meat on it helps, too.  But if I'm tired or sad or agitated, forget it.  I can eat mine and yours.  I can want more.  It doesn't even have to be particularly good pizza. 

I also really believe that not all calories are the same.  In the last several weeks, my consumption of processed foods had risen (if not my calories).  I've slowed that down, am eating more "real" food, and my weight has dropped a bit.  I'm working out a bit more, too, but I think the food matters more than the gym.  In any event, I know that I feel better with real food.  And it is very rare for me to find a kind of candy or dessert that I think is worth the calories.  That doesn't mean I won't eat them.  I have it on good authority that some of my mom's Christmas cookies are on the way.  I'll eat them and like them.  But not all of them.  And I won't love them.  Amazingly, I LOVE the ripe pears from Harry & David.  Those are worth every calorie. 

The point is that all food presents a learning experience (or a reminder).  Lots of calories aren't going to screw me up.  They will, however, slow me down.

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