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How I have lost over 100 pounds and don’t know how: The Dion Almaer Diet Plan

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JavaScript guru Dion Almaer talks about losing 100 lb and a lot of misinformed ideas.

Can we call this the "Dion Diet"?

. Drink water (yup, before that, I have persuaded myself that I “don’t like water”) and stopped drinking soda and foofy drinks. Substitute frappacinos for an espresso, or a black coffee.

. Eat a high protein diet (yay omelets for breakfast!)

. Eat vegetables (I really didn’t before. Now I love cooking up veggies in some olive oil. I mean that, I truly enjoy the taste [this has been key… enjoyment over suffering])

Stay away from sugar

Stay away from wheat/gluten 

So he pretty much gave up dairy, too.

The Dion diet is pretty much a high protein low carb diet. 

The Dion Diet has unplanned intermittent fasting:

As well as what I was eating, I started to notice that there was a large change in whenI prescribed to the “listen to your body, and eat when it is hungry, not because it is a certain time” routine. In the past my diet was mainly carbs, and I was always hungry. I wouldn’t have one slice of pizza, I would absent-mindedly swallow a pie. I would trick myself to think “you are thirsty! you need a Dr. Pepper!” when I was craving the sugar. Now that I had re-balanced to a protein diet I found that I wasn’t regularly that hungry at all. I would rarely eat past 6pm, and my dinner would be a small meal. I hadn’t planned it, but I had started to intermittently fast (which I realized when reading the “8 hour diet”).

The real lesson Dion learned was mindfulness:

It turns out the biggest gift that I have been given through all of this is the change in mindset that occurred with the success. I realized that, if I can make this change, what else could I do? At the same time I started to be concerned that I was rarely present and in the moment. I was always thinking about this, that, and the other. The next meeting. Tomorrows plans. Anything but what was going on in the moment. Was I an automaton moving through life?

This triggered a memory of when I saw Jon Kabat-Zinn give a talk at Google on Mindfulness, Stress Reduction and Healing (He also lead a mindfulness session).

Impressive... he looks good, and this sort of reinforces the natural eating of the other discussions... He's right "diet" is not a great word to choose. "Healthy lifestyle" is so much more positive. Words matter. They reinforce the actions. 

It's being mindful. Rather than randomly eat he pays attention to what he puts in his mouth.

I was taught this kind of eating one time when I went to a mindfulness talk given by my friend, Meng Tan. We all ate silently for 5 minutes, paying attention to the food we were eating. It definitely gave the whole experience a whole new dimension. I am reminded that I should do that more regularly.

Here is an interesting article about mindful eating...

Great article, Rich!

Today’s experiment in eating, however, involves becoming aware of that reflexive urge to plow through your meal like Cookie Monster on a shortbread bender. Resist it. Leave the fork on the table. Chew slowly. Stop talking. Tune in to the texture of the pasta, the flavor of the cheese, the bright color of the sauce in the bowl, the aroma of the rising steam.

Continue this way throughout the course of a meal, and you’ll experience the third-eye-opening pleasures and frustrations of a practice known as mindful eating.

The concept has roots in Buddhist teachings. Just as there are forms of meditation that involve sitting, breathing, standing and walking, many Buddhist teachers encourage their students to meditate with food, expanding consciousness by paying close attention to the sensation and purpose of each morsel. In one common exercise, a student is given three raisins, or a tangerine, to spend 10 or 20 minutes gazing at, musing on, holding and patiently masticating.

Mindful Eating:

O.K., so you don’t happen to live in a Buddhist monastery. You can still give mindful eating a spin by incorporating a few chilled-out gestures and rituals into your regular calorie intake.

WHEN YOU EAT, JUST EAT. Unplug the electronica. For now, at least, focus on the food.

CONSIDER SILENCE. Avoiding chatter for 30 minutes might be impossible in some families, especially with young children, but specialists suggest that greenhorns start with short periods of quiet.

TRY IT WEEKLY. Sometimes there’s no way to avoid wolfing down onion rings in your cubicle. But if you set aside one sit-down meal a week as an experiment in mindfulness, the insights may influence everything else you do.

PLANT A GARDEN, AND COOK. Anything that reconnects you with the process of creating food will magnify your mindfulness.

CHEW PATIENTLY. It’s not easy, but try to slow down, aiming for 25 to 30 chews for each mouthful.

USE FLOWERS AND CANDLES. Put them on the table before dinner. Rituals that create a serene environment help foster what one advocate calls “that moment of gratitude.”

FIND A BUDDHIST CONGREGATION where the members invite people in for a day of mindfulness. For New Yorkers, it’s an easy drive to the Blue Cliff Monastery, about 90 minutes north of the city: on the Web.

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