When I was a kid it was 4-4-3-2, and then they switched to the food pyramid, and now (as you can read here at UPI.com) the government is going to use a plate that reminds consumers to eat half a plate of fruits and vegetables. I'm tired of these gimmicks, and I think they are too complex and pointless.
According to the article, "As the food icon's Web site -- ChooseMyPlate.gov -- explains, people should enjoy their food but eat less of it and avoid oversized portions. In addition, Americans are urged to make half of their plate fruits and vegetables, make the one-quarter of the plate grains -- and half of those should be whole grains -- and switch to fat-free or low-fat 1 percent milk."
Who the heck wants to keep track of what they eat. I don't. I can't even keep track of my check book.
Likewise, the article notes, "Finally, MyPlate advises Americans to compare sodium in processed foods such as soup, bread and frozen meals and choose food with lower sodium numbers, and to drink water instead of sugary drinks."
So basically they want us to spend time reading labels instead of enjoying food and having fun living. Plus they want us to drink boring and tasteless water instead of sugary drinks. I actually recommend this in my diet below, yet I allow you at least the option of fitting sugary drinks into your diet.
Several years ago I came up with my own food plan and it's called the Rick Frea Common Sense Diet. It's simpler than any gimmick created by the government and it mostly involves common sense. Here's my diet:
1. Eat one portion of protein and one portion of carbohydrate every 2-3 hours five or six times each day. Scratch the idea of three large meals a day and eating as much as you can to make it to the next meal. Smaller meals more often keep your metabolism going around the clock.
2. Serving portions are generally the size of your fist or the palm of your hand, not the serving size on the box which generally tend to be too small to fill the normal size stomach. However, if your portions are slightly more or less the sun will still rise tomorrow.
3. You can eat all the vegetables you want but no less than two servings a day, and two of your carbs each day should be a fruit.
4. For fun food and drink you have two choices. You can either have one treat each day, or you can save your treats and have what I like to call a free day. On this day you can eat and drink anything you want such as alcohol, fried food, cake, cookies, candy bars, or whatever you want.
5. Drink 8-10 glasses of water each day. But this isn't mandatory to keep your metabolism going, it's simply a good way of making your stomach feel full. If you'd rather drink coffee go ahead, and drink as much coffee feel you need.
6. Adjust your diet according to your life. If you have a bad day at work, or a party at work, or your friend brings in a case of donuts to work and everyone else is having fun, go ahead and take a dip. Just remember your goal is to stay in shape or get in shape.
That's it. No calorie counting. No fat counting. You can eat pretty much anything on this diet and you're guaranteed to lose weight, or at least maintain what you have.