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Fall Thoughts: A Simple Way of Eating

After sharing a few examples of extreme ways of eating, I've been thinking about some of the more simplified ways of eating that I've tried in the past. I think somewhere between the "simplicity" of the No S Diet and the "sensibility" of the 800 Gram Challenge, you probably have a lifestyle that would work for many people.  

The No S Diet: "As simple as possible but not simpler"

What is it: The No S Diet is a "simple program of moderation."  It can be summed up in 14 words: No Sweets, No Seconds, No Snacks, except (sometimes) on days that start with S.  

What's the science: There's really not any science; this is more of a habit-based way to moderate your eating. 

Who created it?  Librarian by trade and computer programmer by accident, Reinhard Engels.  

Why did I stop doing it:  I'm not sure.  I love the simplicity as I re-read about it! I'm sure I was lured away by the promise of low-carb/keto diets and then just found myself down many other rabbit holes.  

Do you enjoy the allowed foods? 
  • Since all foods are allowed, you should be able to find foods you enjoy.  
  • Sweets are items that are primary sugar (like muffins, donuts, cake, cookies).  
  • Fruit is not considered to be a sweet, and neither is alcohol.  
  • You can even eat sweets on Saturdays, Sundays or Special Days (like your birthday or anniversary.) 
Does the diet make you feel good?  
  • This is up to you.  You can easily only choose foods that agree with you on this diet.  
  • You could need to adjust the size of your meals so that you aren't lured into snacking due to hunger. 
  • The author suggests it could take three weeks for you to right-size your intake.  
Does the diet fit your lifestyle? 
  • This diet should fit any lifestyle.  
  • Your meals can be as simple or complex as you'd like.  
  • You can do this diet without tracking anything; you are encouraged to keep your meal to a plate. 
  • If you're a grazer and do best snacking throughout the day, this might not be the best choice for you.
Does the diet fit your budget? 
  • I think this diet is very budget friendly because there's a wide variety of choice.  
Can the diet peacefully co-exist with your partner/family? 
  • I think the answer is yes because food choices aren't restricted.  
The 800 Gram Challenge: "The most sensible diet you'll ever do"

What is it: At the most simple level, you add 800 grams of fruits and veggies to your daily intake.  Veggies include starchy vegetables like potatoes plus beans.  Commercial French fries are not included, nor are smoothies from places like Jamba Juice.  However, you can make your own oven-baked french fries and fruit smoothies at home. 

What's the science: This way of eating is based on meta analysis that shows the benefit of people adding 800 grams of fruits and veggies to their diet for reducing risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke and overall mortality. 

Who created it? EC Synkowski, founder of OptimizeMe Nutrition, who has a Masters in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine.  

Why did I stop doing it:  We came back from a vacation and I was up a few pounds, so I switched to low carb/keto.  In retrospect, I wish I'd just stayed with it! 

Do you enjoy the allowed foods? 
  • To succeed on the 800 gram challenge, you should enjoy several fruits and veggies.  Remember that potatoes and beans count toward the grams. 
  • I don't personally love vegetables, but even I like roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli, raw carrots, corn, asparagus, grapefruit, sliced apples, and more.  
  • Fruits that I used to avoid on low carb are also allowed like fresh pineapple.  
Does the diet make you feel good?  
  • I think fruits and vegetables probably make most people feel good.  
  • If there's one that you don't like or that doesn't work for your digestion, you can exclude it.  
  • You never have to be hungry because you can always eat fruits or vegetables. 
  • If you are doing a low-carb diet for medical reasons, you can choose lower carb fruits like berries and increase your vegetables.  
  • You could feel bad if you try to eat all of your grams in one sitting.  
Does the diet fit your lifestyle? 
  • I feel like most people can develop a habit of adding 1-2 fruits or vegetables to most meals a day. 
  • People who have a hard time getting fresh produce can use frozen and canned fruits and vegetables. Even applesauce (just apples!) is allowed for grams.  
  • There are many meals that you can create to include grams, including chili/taco filling, pot roast with carrots and potatoes, and so on.  
  • All you have to track is 800 grams, which you can simply note on a post-it.  Once you get used to eating 800 grams, you can pretty much eyeball it.  
  • If you don't enjoy fruits and vegetables, this diet could be a challenge for you.  
Does the diet fit your budget? 
  • Fresh fruit, especially pre-sliced, can get pricey.  But, the diet allows for canned and frozen options, so I think this can fit many budgets.  
Can the diet peacefully co-exist with your partner/family? 
  • I think the answer is yes in most cases, especially if you can figure out what fruits and vegetables people in your family enjoy.  


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