Every once and a while, a new nutrition fad comes a long that will help cure cancer, dissolve body fat and rid our bodies of many other unwanted issues. It used to be the low-fat, then low-carb, then low-fat again, then the grapefruit diet, then the Atkins diet, then intermittent fasting, then carb-backloading…you get the point. And the truth is some of these worked. As matter of fact, all of them will work…for 6 weeks.
The latest and greatest fadis gluten-free. EVERYTHING is gluten free now! All pizza places have gluten-free pizza, there are gluten-free cookies, gluten-free bread, gluten-free mac & cheese. Heck, even our pets get gluten-free now! But do we really even understand what gluten is, or how it actually effects, or even if we really need to worry about taking it out?!
It’s not overly important, for our purposes, to understand what gluten is. Just understand that gluten is a mixture of proteins either added to or already in products to help them maintain shape. There are a couple of gluten sensitivity diseases, most importantly of which is Celiac Disease. Only about 1% of the population is thought to have Celiac disease. Other diseases related to gluten are non-Celiac gluten sensitivity, which has a host of symptoms that come across as “normal” pains, and wheat allergy.
The point of this article is not to teach you about gluten. Can your health benefit from going gluten-free? Yes, in many ways. Does EVERYONE have to go gluten-free? Absolutely not. But the point is that, even though gluten-free may increase our health, replacing regular junk with gluten-free junk does nothing but give you a reason to eat junk.
Maybe, instead of trying the gluten-free diet this year, we should try the glutton-free diet first. See, gluten is just a small detail of a much larger problem. If you’re instantly going after the small detail and not attacking the big issue, failure will not be far behind. We live in a world of abundance. We have plenty of clothes in our closets, plenty of cars to choose from and plenty…PLENTY of food in our pantries! Then we’re taught to finish everything on our plates. This is a dangerous mindset. Even though we think we’re doing good by not wasting anything, the feedback loop we are giving our body is that we can’t stop eating until we are stuffed to the brim!
First, attack the glutton issue. Understand how a portion should look on your plate (your ONE plate…not your 3 plates!). If your big dinner plate is overflowing with food, good chance you have too much. Easy fix?! Grab a smaller plate. Instead of using big dinner plates, use small side-dish plates. This will instantly cut down your portions. Next, chew slow. Very slow. Shoot for 20 chews per bite. Finally, wait 10 minutes after you finish your plate. Half the issue is wolfing down your first plate then immediately going back for more. You haven’t given your body time to figure out if that was enough food! Sit for 10 minutes, let it digest, then figure it out. Be comfortable with throwing food away. Or, if you’d like, put it in a compost. Or just put in the woods for the animals to enjoy!
The moral of the story is, we are all looking for the fine details that will help is be healthier or happier or fitter or skinnier, while overlooking the purple elephant in the room. Attack the big issues first, then cut out the gluten!