A quick example of how “normal” and sustainable the Dia nutritional approach to a healthy lifestyle really is, especially Phase 2 and Phase 3 (these phases offer more flexibility than the 2-week Phase 1 induction, which is crucial to relinquish carb cravings, jump-start fat metabolism, and prove through experience that you can live and feel great with far less carbohydrate-laden foods than you might imagine):
Our family very rarely orders in, but it’s fun to do so once in a while – and it can easily be tweaked so you can enjoy a nourishing meal with your family that doesn’t even have to count as a “splurge” meal. Tonight we decided to order delivery from a local steak house / pizza restaurant. I thoroughly enjoyed a fantastic burger (I tossed the bun), a Caesar side salad (my daughter ate most of the croutons), one slice of pizza (= one carb serving), and a glass of red wine. This is a totally acceptable meal during all but the first 2 weeks of the Dia nutrition plan! As long as you stay within your overall nutritional targets and/or general guidelines, this meal is completely “on plan.”
I live on Phase 3 – the healthy lifestyle / maintenance phase, and I never, ever feel like I’m on a “diet” or that I can’t eat what I wish to eat. (Seriously – ask my husband or my close friends how much I eat – and how much I savor good food!) This works NOT because I’m genetically lucky (I’m not – I have family history of diabetes and obesity on both sides of my family, and I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my pregnancy. In fact, I have been dealt an exceptionally poor hand when it comes to genetics and blood sugar/insulin regulation). Rather, this works because I understand and appreciate the hormonal power of carbohydrate-dense foods to stimulate fat storage, and so I enjoy them in moderation and only the ones that are truly “worth it” to me. The hamburger bun? No. Not even tempting. In fact, the burger is far more flavorful without the white carbs diluting the good part. 🙂 One slice of excellent pizza? Totally worth it. I love good food, I love cooking, I love enjoying social events and festive meals with plentiful food and wine – but I indulge with conscious empowerment and with the insight to maximize all the wonderful things food provides for us – nutrients, health, strength, energy, pleasure – while avoiding the discomfort of overeating or feeling like I’m helplessly riding a wave of weight gain.
Once you have the hang of it, the Dia nutrition plan is profoundly powerful to meet your goals, maintain your fitness, and sustain a healthy, satisfying, deeply nourishing and delicious life.
The hard part is getting past the inertia (and fear) of changing how you live, eat, shop, cook right now. It’s difficult to make new habits. It takes work, perseverance, the discomfort of change, de-commissioning our auto-pilot survival mode on family meals and firing up a totally new, demanding (at first) agenda. That’s why a community-supported challenge like this can be so essential to get through and move past the hardest part of establishing a healthy lifestyle. As we share meal ideas, recipes, tips, grocery lists, restaurant strategies, great new ways to prep vegetables, etc… we overcome the perpetual question of “what to eat?!” and enjoy expanding our culinary horizons.
Once you’re in your groove, you can re-engage your new, “Dia-cized” auto-pilot and cruise with confidence that you are in control of your health, your body, your fitness – and as you hit your stride, you will pause one day and notice that it has become effortless. You’re not on a diet. You’re not striving to make the scale budge. You’re simply enjoying your healthy, active life and eating in a way that serves your goals.
Structure can be liberating. The Dia nutrition plan provides you with real science and safe, proven strategies to help you make informed decisions, whether you’re striving to improve your current fitness level, to boost and stabilize your energy and, or to maintain a healthy lifestyle for decades to come. My goal is to empower each of you with the insight, understanding and lived experience to make Dia your own and to embrace a healthy, informed and liberated relationship with food that lasts a lifetime.