From the results of my last blood test a few months ago, my cholesterol and especially my LDL (“bad” cholesterol) had risen, so my cardiologist agreed to give me a chance to clean up my diet and start again in a few months. To test . My disappointing grades reflected some over-indulgence during the holidays, which also led to a few extra pounds.
So this was a great opportunity to work on better food. I’ve had great success in the past sticking to a mostly plant-based diet, making sure I’m getting enough protein, as I’ve described here. My downfall is when I relapse and eat too many snacks. I wanted this to also be an opportunity to be free from compulsive eating, so I came up with my “Freedom From Compulsion” diet. I’ve talked before about “training the senses” to be free from compulsions. What I added was that in addition to eating healthy foods, I need to plan in advance what to have at each meal. I don’t care about that, I can just decide something right before the meal. But the key is that I don’t get to “renegotiate” what I eat at mealtime, like deciding I’m still hungry and want dessert. I am also not allowed to decide between meals that I need a snack.
I use the affirmation “no mess, no negotiations, no exceptions”. If I’m tempted to break the rules, I do some kind of mindfulness practice until the urge passes (like repeating a mantra or taking a mindful walk).
This has worked great. After a few days, the little voice that wants to whisper with very reasonable arguments why it’s okay to break the rules “just this once” just goes away (I call that voice my gremlin). And it’s wonderful to be able to eat healthy and delicious until I’m full, but not always have to have those annoying little fights to myself to resist the temptation. What motivates me is that I also consider this part of my mental training for self-transformation. Spiritual teachers from various traditions emphasize the importance of minimizing “attachments” (to things you crave) and “aversions” (to things you don’t like), and food is a perfect area to work on this.
I don’t think I’m the only one with a gremlin
I’ve lost the extra weight I needed and hope to get better cholesterol results in a few weeks. But that’s an added benefit. Locking up my gremlin is the most important achievement.
If you want to try this, I recommend that you first be generous with yourself about the portion sizes you can plan ahead of time. Now is not a good time to intentionally cut calories, just stick to the kinds of foods you think are healthy, and work towards being free from compulsive eating. You could always tighten it up later, but the top priority is freedom from coercion.
Published by BionicOldGuy
I am a mechanical engineer born in 1953, Ph. D, Stanford, 1980. I have been in the mechanical CAE field for decades. I also have a lifelong interest in outdoor activities and fitness. I had both hips replaced and a heart valve replacement due to a genetic condition. This blog describes my adventures to stay active despite these bumps in the road. View all posts from BionicOldGuy
Published March 18, 202217 March 2022
This post The “Freedom From Compulsion” Diet – BionicOldGuy was original published at “https://bionicoldguy.home.blog/2022/03/18/the-freedom-from-compulsion-diet/”