This is another mid-week report on my progress rolling out the Karma Sense Eating Plan.
The Executive Summary Shtick
For those who wondered why someone as goofy as I am would start each post with an “Executive Summary”, keep in mind, that I spend a significant amount of my life working in a business environment in which “cutting to the chase” is of the utmost importance. The Executive Summary is a habit I’ve opted to keep that supports my successful navigation through the corporate jungle.
The Inclusiveness of the Karma Sense Eating Plan
I keep mentioning that the Karma Sense Eating Plan is inclusive. It caters to different tastes, values, and goals. You’ll note as I start rolling out the details of the 5 mantras, summarized here:
- Eat Slowly and Stop Before You’re Full
- Eat Protein in Every Meal
- Eat More Vegetables and Fruits
- Eat Whole Food Carbohydrates After Vigorous Exercise
- Eat Good Fats Daily and Get a Balance of the Different Types of Good Fats
that these are all about what to do to have a healthful and well-balanced diet. They’re not about taking away. The intent is to make sure you get the nutrition you need to thrive, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This means that you can eat with Karma Sense while including whatever food type is currently labeled as the source of all evil.
However, this doesn’t mean that the plan encourages consumption of the bad Karma that the food industry inflicts upon us. I personally won’t touch anything that has partially hydrogenated anything with a 10-foot pole. I mean if you need to hydrogenate your stuff, finish the job! With the exception of beer and wine, which I can rationalize as being healthful in moderation, I won’t drink beverages that have calories or artificial sweeteners. I break out in hives when I order iced tea in the southeast U.S. and it comes sweetened (I’ll never learn.) And I avoid pork because it is so hard for me to find humanely raised versions. Pigs are probably the most intelligent animals we Americans consume. To me, eating a pig is like eating a dolphin (the mammal). I won’t do it.
But that’s me. You have your own tastes and taboos. If you follow the guidance of the 5 mantras, you’ll maximize your nutrition goodness and still have some room to include your (no-reason-to-feel) guilty pleasures. The Karma Sense Eating Plan recognizes that even though certain foods do not necessarily improve your health profile, it doesn’t mean that the occasional transgression will kick off the end-of-days.
In a discussion with one of my Integrative Health Coach colleagues, she reminded me of something I had taken for granted and that the authoritarian nutrition dictatorship ignores. The human body is a healing machine. In its never-ending quest to achieve homeostasis it fights back any foreign invaders that attack it. Whether it’s pollution, bacteria, or ranch-flavored-chocolate-covered-cheese-puffs, the body will prevail as long as we manage and moderate the intake.
And it is with this in mind that the Karma Sense Eating plan supports cravings. Even in more “managed” versions where you’re working with a coach to meet specific goals and timelines, your tastes must be respected.
If you are looking for a more spiritual discussion on health and wellness than the über-wonky stuff I post, visit my colleague Jacqueline Messick’s site here. She is the one who reminded me of this cool insight.
The KSEP Mantras and Losing Weight
Many people engage in some sort of nutrition plan to lose weight and the Karma Source Eating Plan can support that goal. There are a limited amount of variables that affect your weight and body composition. They’re in the graph below (Another graph?!? I can feel your eyes rolling from here):
Moving left to right you have almost no control over your genes. You have limited power to drive your physiology. Most of that power comes from how well you manage the variables to the right, Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Mindset. The Karma Sense Eating Plan does a little to manage Physical Activity but not until mantra #4 and even then, barely. The Karma Sense Eating Plan is all about good nutrition and an improved mindset.
So we have these five things that affect your weight. That seems pretty manageable. But taken all together they multiply, divide, and conspire with each other so that one size can never fit all (You are not “N”) when it comes to losing weight.
I’ve said before and I’ll say again (I know because I’ve already written the yet-to-be-published posts) that the simple equation of eating fewer calories than you burn is the only way to lose weight. Many experts will tell you that it takes a deficit of 3500 calories spread over time to equal one pound of weight loss. Fortunately, there is a critical mass of other experts who will tell you that this is technically true but meaningless as it applies to any one individual. And that is not only because of genes, physiology and so on. All that calorie info you see on food packages and the internet? Those charts that tell you what 2 hours on the elliptical burns? They’re estimates. Estimates that are almost always wrong.
And then there’s this, research shows that for diet adherence, the less complex the rules, the better. I don’t fully support this, but I’ll get to that shortly. The 5 mantras for the Karma Sense Eating Plan are nothing if not simple. They are specifically designed to manage portion size and to make sure that you get filled up with the most satiating and nutrient-dense foods possible at the expense of eating calorie dense foods. For many people, this is enough to drive weight loss.
But, I think some people need more support and more complex rules. If the rules are too simple, they’re open to interpretation. For example, if you find yourself negotiating with the “less complex rules” of your diet plan (Do ranch-flavored-chocolate-covered-cheese-puffs count as protein? There’s 2 grams in a 12 oz bag?), that plan is not for you. On the other hand, if the rules are too complex or too strict, it raises different problems but the same result. Non-adherence.
In summary the Karma Sense Eating Plan can stand on its own as a weight loss plan. Some people may want more information, support and structure. That’s fine. There are plenty of resources available to provide that. Let me know if I can help.
The Atlantic magazine recently published an article about people who are pathological about good Karma. It discusses a variety of relevant topics including how our desire to be generous at our own expense evolved and how we balance it if it conflicts with our own self-preservation. If you’re interested in the subject, it’s relatively short for an Atlantic article without compromising on the usual quality. And the best part? The particular pathologically generous subject of the article was giving away french fries.
This weekend I’ll publish the next installment of the Karma Sense Eating Plan which opens up the Eating component and focuses on mantra #1, Eat Slowly and Stop Before You’re Full. More importantly, it talks about Batman.