Cognitive Dieting

I recently dropped 28 pounds in exactly 8 weeks. What is interesting about this particular span of time is that I did it with virtually no nightly running of any kind.

Being a prolific runner for more than two years, I would normally run 5 miles every night. But I had to sideline my nocturnal activity to pursue a pay check. Actually, two pay checks, I was banging out double shifts at two different jobs.

The only cardio I got was the bike ride between the two locations.

This forced to me give serious thought to how I would nourish myself during a 16 hour day. I landed heavily on a high protein approach.

My meals consisted mostly of tuna, chicken, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, black beans and frozen spinach. I kept walnuts, string cheese and protein bars in my knapsack for emergencies. Emergencies hardly ever arose.

Because I increased my protein intake to one gram for every pound of body weight.

And I didn’t do, ugh, portion control.

My energy levels remained constant throughout my long day. I worked hard and I slept hard. I felt great.

I also didn’t listen to that “slow metabolism because of aging” baloney. I’m 74, and my metabolism is a furnace.

The takeaway here is losing weight is a head game.

You can watch that lady in the leotard tell you how she dropped tons of weight and lost 9 inches by dancing to videos on her TV set, but she is leaving out the mental end. The cognitive end. The most important end.

I tell clients when they sit down to a meal, to eat their protein first. By itself. This will allow you to out think that ravenous voice in your head that tells you to start stuffing your face.

Which is why I call my approach “cognitive.” Cognitive skills are the core skills your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention. Working together, they take incoming information and move it into the bank of knowledge you use every day at school, at work, and in life. It is in direct contrast to emotional processes.

Like emotional hunger. Or the lies you tell yourself.

Emotional hunger tells you that you’re hungry when you’re bored. It tells you that you’re being deprived when you’re not.

It tells you you have to eat something soon or you will perish.

In my eight weeks I felt absolutely no hunger or deprivation whatsoever.

I lost body fat, not muscle, because protein is muscle sparing and hard to digest. It creates a “thermic” effect which ramps up your metabolism and keeps the fat burning process going.

If you want to slim down, avoid disease, live a quality life and not spend your social security check on medications and Medicare deductibles, use your head.

Always. 🙂

Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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