I turn down foods with added sugar, refined oil, and alcohol than ever.
People seem to assume there’s some morality behind it. While I avoid packaging, there’s a more visceral motivation behind them. It’s about laziness, as I’ll explain.
Various changes to my diet have led to losing unwanted body fat. When I started these changes, a few years ago, in my 40s, I got definition on my abs that I never had before, and I’ve been athletic since high school. I love that the changes took no effort, just changing my diet.
I couldn’t have anticipated how good fitness would feel. It’s part of what drives my fitness sidchas. You can call me vain for liking how I look in the mirror, and I won’t deny some vanity, but my usual way of describing it is that I believe we’ve evolved to find beauty in what’s healthiest, so I find finding efficient, healthy bodies attractive natural. Of course, everyone is free to define beauty, health, and so on for as he or she pleases.
I also ask, “Do you think after Michelangelo carved David that he looked at what he sculpted?” I’m sure he did. Centuries of others have looked at what he sculpted and I’m sure people will continue as long as the statue endures. That’s what I’m doing with what I sculpted.
The physical element of fitness is only one part. This resting pulse result is another.
Plus I can score full points on this test of non-cardiac health:
The laziness explanation
Once I tasted effortless, joyful fitness, there was no going back. I temporarily lost my ab definition on my cross-country tour and restoring it is one of my top priorities. I don’t like unwanted fat. I applaud people who find levels of fat I don’t want for myself desirable for them.
Refined sugar and oil in all their forms (honey, maple syrup, agave, olive oil, etc) and alcohol give calories with no nutrition. They don’t contribute to making me feel full. I have to use mental effort to stop myself from consuming them. For one thing, I don’t like to work to stop eating food I like.
Meanwhile eating sweet or oily whole foods provides nutrition and leads me to stop eating. I’m happy to eat nuts, avocados, apples, dates, olives, and so on. I can eat one apple easily but a second apple takes work. If I eat such foods in proportion to all the vegetables, legumes, grains, and everything else I eat until I’m stuffed, my body fills up before I can eat too much. I suspect my mind and body evolved to regulate eating to optimize health based on a diet like I’m eating, but I can’t see any way to prove it.
All I know is I eat delicious foods until full every meal and achieve a body I love. I won’t tolerate a less fit body.
If I eat foods with refined sugar, fat, or alcohol, I have to either stop myself or eat less later, which take mental work, or exercise more. I’m too lazy to do either of those.
That’s the laziness motivating me: given that I won’t tolerate unfitness, eating refined sugar, fat, or alcohol requires more work than I’m willing to do. I love exercise, but I don’t have time for extra exercise. I’m busy.
Since the food I make without them tastes better than food with them (another reason motivating me), I’ll stick with foods without fiber removed.
Read my weekly newsletter
On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees