Adventures in Banting

I used to be that kid who ate anything and everything and never gained an ounce. Then, in college and grad school, I discovered long-distance running. So I’ve always been skinny. But since turning 30 and moving away from as much running and spending more time sitting at work, I’ve found that I’m starting to round out a bit. So lately, I’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier to lose some weight.

I discovered William Banting’s “Letter on Corpulence” through a low-carb blog I used to read. I have since determined that low-carb is not the diet for me, but actually reading Banting’s writing, I realized that his diet is not really low-carb, as it is lower-carb. He doesn’t eliminate carbohydrate-rich foods from his diet, but instead tries to de-emphasize them and eat more protein and vegetables. And eat less sugar. That’s something I can get behind.

So I’ve been “banting” the last couple of weeks, focusing on lean proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, some fruit, and some whole grains. Then, this weekend, for Memorial Day, I visited a friend of mine whose lost a truly stunning amount of weight recently, through exercise, calorie-counting, and just general commitment to healthier eating. We had a most un-traditional meal of fresh vegetable salads and a couple white wine spritzers, followed by a vigorous 45-minute walk outside in the sunshine. We returned to a lovely dessert of vanilla ice cream, strawberry compote made with strawberries from her garden, and a little crumbled up cookie on top. It was a fantastic and light meal that left me feeling good.

So this week, I’m re-invigorating my efforts to focus my diet on healthy foods, whole grains, enough protein, and plenty of vegetables and fresh-raw fruits. It’s certainly the season for it, with impulse-bought produce. Not to say that I’ve been perfect. Like Banting, I have a certain weakness for bread and butter, but I’ve only indulged once or twice. And I’ve tried to add some more activity to my day, mostly walking. I’m already starting to notice a difference in how I feel.