Many of the folks that visit this blog are minimalists or are considering becoming minimalists. We typically apply the concept of minimalism to the items around us that take up space. This can include furniture, knick knacks, books, magazines, kitchen items, and various other random clutter.
What about food? Can we apply the concept of minimalism to the food we eat and the beverages we drink? I had already been doing this, but didn’t realize it until I read a post on Annienygma.com about Minimalism and Food and then another about Minimalist Snacking.
I read in the news recently that the US is no longer the most obese nation, we’ve been surpassed by Mexico. Even so, being number two on the list of most obese nations is nothing to brag about.
Just as consumerism is huge in the US, so is eating huge portions and drinking lots of soda. And, just as we won’t convince everyone that less stuff is better, we won’t convince everyone that applying minimalism to diet is better.
What I am hoping is that we can convince a few people that already apply minimalism in their lives to consider applying it to diet.
How to apply minimalism to diet
- Minimize portions – Eat smaller portions by eating half your meal at restaurants and using smaller plates at home. And no second helpings!
- Minimize the unhealthy food – Eat healthier meals by reducing the extra toppings and adding more fruits and vegetables.
- Minimize snacking – Make a conscious effort to avoid snacking. When you do snack, choose very small portions or choose healthy snacks like apples or carrots.
- Minimize your beverages – Water is the ultimate minimalist beverage. Drink more water and cut out the sodas, pop, soft drinks, cola, Coke, and Pepsi. Diet drinks count in this also. Stick to water!
- Minimize empty calories – This is essentially a repeat of snacking and beverages combined, but it’s so important it bears repeating. Empty calories have no nutrition. They taste good but are detrimental to our health and our weight.
In my own life, the two biggest factors in weight gain have been large portion sizes and sodas. Last year when I started P90X I decided to stop cold turkey on sodas. I had given them up before for short periods of time, but never stuck with it. I never really had much incentive to stop before, other than knowing they weren’t good for me. When I started working out and trying to lose my spare tire, I had more incentive.
Consider that a bottle of Coke has 240 calories. Drink two or three of those a day and it adds up really fast. Three of those is 720 calories. It takes me two hours of bike riding to burn that many calories. How could I possibly lose weight if I’m adding those empty calories in addition to my normal meal time calories? Looking back on my soda drinking, it’s easy to see how I added pounds over the years.
Don’t fall for the low calorie diet drinks either. Applying minimalism to drinks means eliminating all the other various toxins and junk including any artificially flavored or colored beverage.
One benefit of drinking only water has been better skin. Dream has always had problems with acne. When she switched to water, it cleared up completely. It seems when she takes in too much sugar her body can’t process it and it manifests as skin issues like acne. I suspect this could be a similar issue for many people that suffer from acne as an adult. If you’ve tried every other acne treatment, then try drinking only water and limiting other sweets. I bet you’ll see an improvement.
Another benefit of cutting out sodas for me and sodas and coffee for Dream, was that we eliminated caffeine from our diet. I know many of you are thinking that you could never do that. I hear you, I used to think I needed some caffeine to get through the day. After being off of caffeine for a couple of months I noticed something amazing. I wasn’t sleepy during the day anymore! Imagine that, eliminating caffeine actually made me less tired. The midafternoon crash went away, and I’m alert and awake all day long. Even on nights when I don’t get enough sleep I’m less tired than prior nights when was fully rested but included caffeine in my daily ritual.
I mentioned a while back that we often split a single meal when we eat out for dinner. We have the same tastes so this works well for us. It saves money and cuts down the portion size from gargantuan to reasonable.
There are lots of ways to apply minimalism to diet. Take a few minutes to think of some ways you could apply minimalism to diet and share them in the comments below. If you are already applying minimalism to diet, then tell us what you are doing so we can learn from your example.
- How Many Calories Can You Burn In 10 Minutes? (lifehack.org)
- 10 Benefits of Green Smoothies (lifehack.org)
- Real Life Minimalists: Lena (missminimalist.com)
- STOP! Before You Pop Open That Diet Soda… (denver.cbslocal.com)
- imabonehead: There Are Dangers in Drinking Diet Soda – The Daily Beast (thedailybeast.com)
- Diet Soda, Artificial Sweeteners Could Lead to Obesity, Diabetes, Study Shows (designntrend.com)