From Nia Shank's Blog, who inspired my writing of this post!
First of all, I LOVE Bob Harper! Buuuuuut.... what was he THINKING with these "skinny" rules!? I have a few issues with this before we even examine the actual rules...
1. Why call them th skinny rules? Who wants to be skinny? Is that really something healthy to attain? How about "The Fit Rules" or the "Strong Rules"? When I think of being SKINNY, I think of being hungry and having no energy or strength. (Been there, done that!)
2. He calls these rules non-negotiable. Really? Any "diet" with the term "non-negotiable" freaks me out, as I believe it can lead expectations that cannot be met.
3. TWENTY rules!!?? That's a lot of rules.
Alright, now I will get to the actual rules and my take on them.
1. Drink a large glass of water 30 minutes before every meal, no excuses
Well, I definitely do not do this. I just drink throughout the day, whenever I'm thirsty. When I Googled "why drink water before a meal", all the studies I came across said the reasons are:
- If you're drinking water instead of a beverage with calories, you're consuming less calories
- Water can make you feel full, so you will consume less calories during the meal.
Drinking water is a much better choice than soda or something with artificial sweeteners... but to the whole "feeling full and eating less" part of it.... Isn't the whole point of eating a meal to consume food? I guess drinking water before the meal could be a good trick if you don't want to EAT at a meal. And I have read that sometimes you think you're hungry when you're actually thirsty.
What do you think of Rule #1? Do you think drinking a glass of water helps you eat less? Are you TRYING to eat less?
2. Don't drink your calories
I would say I follow this rule 80% of the time. The other 20%? Well, when I drink my calories it's either in the form of coffee creamer, milk (I LOVE MILK!!!), or vodka.
Do you ever drink your calories? What do you drink?
3. Eat protein at every meal- or stay hungry and grouchy
I pretty much follow this rule. I try to eat protein as much as possible- especially on days I lift. Even if it's a food that is mostly made up of carbs (like my cereal), there is usually some amount of protein involved.
Do you include protein in every meal?
4. Slash your intake of refined flours and grains
I love how this rule says "slash"! (I'm not being sarcastic here, I'm serious.) It doesn't say DON'T EVER eat refined flours and grains, it just suggests you cut back on them a lot. I can stand behind that. I don't believe in banning anything! (And with Bob calling these "non negotiable rules", there is a lot that he is pretty much banning!)
5. Eat 30-50 grams of fiber a day
Yikes! I don't count my fiber! Maybe I should start? I do log my food for free at mynetdiary.com, but if I wanted it to track more than just macro nutrients (carbs, protein, fat) I'd have to upgrade my membership and *gulp* pay.
6. Eat apples and berries every single day
Whoa, I definitely do NOT do this! I used to eat like 2 apples a day, but they never filled me up! So I stopped. And berries? I eat them if they're on sale at Aldi!
7. No carbs after lunch
(Sorry, I can't even respond to this one, it's SO STUPID.)
8. Read food labels so you know what you are eating
Yup, been doing this for awhile. I used to look only at calories, but there is SO much more to consider. Macro nutrients, trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium... Know how to read a food label so you can pick the better choice.
GOOD RULE, BOB!
9. Stop guessing about portion size and get it right for good!
Notice on the food label that everything is based on the portion size, yet there could be more than one portion in the container. Beeeeeeeeeeeee careful!
10. No more added sweeteners including artificial ones
I am still going strong on this one! I accidentally had a sip of an artificially sweetened coffee drink on vacation (then I purposefully drank the rest), and I purposefully had some Crystal Lite a few weeks ago. Other than that, COLD TURKEY BABY!
Do you consume artificial sweeteners?
11. Get rid of those white potatoes
Good advice. Sweet potatoes are much better for you. But again, I ask, "All the time?? You mean I can never have a white potato EVER?"
12. Make one day a week meatless
Oh my word, why? From a nutrition standpoint, as long as you are eating quality meat that is not high in saturated fat and cholesterol, what is the point? I eat chicken breast on all the days of the week! This does not account for vegetarians and vegans... obviously they have other reasons for not eating meat. I am just looking at it from a nutrition standpoint.
Do you do Meatless Mondays?
13. Get rid of fast foods and fried foods
A very good piece of advice. I avoid these like the plague. But if I'm out to eat and planning on having a treat, you may see french fries on my plate! If one could cut these items 100% from your diet, that would be awesome. But enjoying them once in awhile is probably more of a realistic goal.
14. Eat a real breakfast
I could not agree with this more. Your body needs energy. Feed it! Breakfast is literally breaking the fast your body was in overnight. Awaken your body, rev up your metabolism, and eat breakfast. Don't wait until you are starving. I don't know about you, but once I'm starving it's hard to catch up to my hunger...
Do you eat breakfast?
15. Make your own food and eat at home at least ten times a week
This is good advice as well, simply because anything you make at home is going to probably be healthier than something you would get at a restaurant. Restaurant food is most likely fried and loaded with salt. But is there anyone out there that DOESN'T eat at home ten times a week? I mean, if you did that you would be eating out more than once a day! Who has the money for that!?
How often do you eat out?
16. Banish high salt foods
I'm working on this one. I love me some sodium. But a high sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure, kidney stones (ouch!) and osteoporosis. I need to get my arse in gear on this one!
17. Eat your vegetables, just do it!
Yes! Yes! Yes! Try these two yummy recipes!!! Roasted butternut squash and roasted cauliflower. Wegmans is the sh!t!!
18.Go to bed hungry
No! No! No! This sounds like a punishment.
I can't sleep if I'm hungry. It's okay to eat before you go to bed, but be mindful of WHAT you eat and count it as part of your daily caloric intake.
19. Sleep right
Very good advice. Do you notice that when you're tired you reach for food? I do. Luckily, I am usually able to get lots of sleep. It just means I have less time to watch TV, study, clean my house, etc. Do not feel lazy for sleeping. Some people love to brag how they are just so busy that they barely get any sleep. I never feel bad about getting sleep! It is SO important!
How much sleep do you get?
20. Plan one splurge meal a week
Oh, so these rules are NON NEGOTIABLE except your splurge meal?????
This is what I do. I try to limit my slurges/treats/cheats/whatever you want to call them. But I splurge at least once a day! I'd rather have ice cream EVERY night, than one huge crappy meal on the weekend. And I have found when I ALLOW myself things in moderation, I crave them less. I never feel like I CAN'T have something.
However, some people really like the concept of one cheat meal and that helps them keep on track.
I think on this one, it is whatever floats YOUR boat.
Do you do one cheat meal/day a week or do you spread your "cheats" into each and every day?
Okay, so I counted, and there are 11 non-negotiable "skinny" rules that I do NOT follow to a T. I wonder if I am going to drop dead tomorrow? Or get fat tomorrow? Probably not. I think the message of this post is to adapt a diet that works for YOU and that you can ADHERE to LONG TERM.
I cannot adhere to never eating french fries again and going to bed hungry every night. If I made those rules for myself, I would fail miserably. But I will cheer the advice to eat veggies, get lots of sleep, slash simple carbs, and know how to read a food label. Some of his rules are good for everyone and some are just terrible.
Bob, I love you, but come on. NO CARBS AFTER LUNCH!!!??
What "Skinny Rules" do you follow?