Just as sex combines exercise and sleep (read my last post if that came out of nowhere for you), SOUP combines two more elements that I believe are essential for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle: water and vegetables.
Our bodies are 60% water, so let’s start there. A research study showed that drinking 16oz (one bottle) of water before each meal helped people lose more weight and keep that weight off. It makes sense, right? If your stomach is full of water, there’s less room for food.
But water is so boring! Yes, yes it is. Dress it up with lemon if you have to, but chug it down. Because if your pee is still Crayola Crayon Laser Lemon Yellow after lunch, you’re not drinking enough water.
Another great reason to drink water is that if you’re drinking water, you’re not drinking soda, juice, tea, coffee, etc. Calorie-wise, that’s HUGE! Now, I love my coffee. And I love it about as close to melted coffee ice cream as you can get. So, I’m not saying that you can never drink anything other than water; I am saying that most of what you drink should be water.
“ You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst.” (Nehemiah 9:20, NIV)
And now, the moment you’ve all been dreading…. Time to eat your vegetables.
Yes, your mother was right.
At a family reunion a couple of years ago, I looked around at the plates of all of my skinny relatives and noticed two things when I compared their plates to mine. 1. They had less on their plate. 2. Half of their plate was covered by veggies.
Vegetables (or “rabbit food” as my siblings and I used to call them) have lots of fiber, nutrients, and vitamins and very, very few calories. (Which means you can pig out on them and that’s a good thing!) They, along with whole grains and legumes, were the original menu planned by God in the Garden of Eden.
One theory I heard is that your body will continue to crave food until all of its nutritional requirements are met. That means that if you fill your body with crap, it will ask for more in hopes that it will get the nutrients it needs. If you fill your body with vegetables, your body gets what it needs and stops asking.
So, here are a few rules for vegetables:
Rule 1: Half of your plate should be full of vegetables at lunch and dinner.
Rule 2: It is ALWAYS okay to snack on vegetables. 10am, 3pm, midnight, I don’t care…eat them until you’re sick.
Rule 3 (The Rule of Thumb): If you can do plain ol’ naked veggies, please do. I rarely can. I eat a whole lot more of them when they have a little extra flavor (read that “fat and salt”) added. So, the Rule of Thumb. Look at your hand; your palm and four fingers represent the amount of veggies you’re preparing and your thumb represents the maximum amount of “flavor” you can add to it. Bowl of green beans? Thumb of butter and salt. Baby carrots? Thumb of Ranch dressing. Keep in mind, the less fat and salt you add, the better. Perhaps it should be called the “Rule of Half a Thumb”?
You will learn to like vegetables, I promise. After eating them all the time for months, I actually started to crave them. (Don’t worry, I still like chocolate; the insanity hasn’t spread that far!)
“Better a small serving of vegetables with love
than a fattened calf with hatred.” (Proverbs 15:17, NIV)