Use This Hack to Optimize Your Diet: Introducing The Delay Diet

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What is the delay diet? The delay diet is a diet where one considers how they feel after a meal (not before or during) in choosing what to eat.

This practice is simple. It can dramatically and naturally shape food preferences, help one feel better overall and even lose weight.

Important note: if you’re considering changing your diet please consult a physician.

Milkshakes, french fries, and pizza are mouthwatering foods, as this was written or as it’s read one’s mouth may salivate. And this is by design. These sweet, salty, crispy and fatty foods speak to our brain, which demands calories. This food can make people high, cheese literally has similar effects on the brain as opiods. The impact of this innate biology is that we typically crave foods that provide an immediate physiological reward – the issue with this is that, we often end up craving and eating foods that aren’t as good for us as other available options.

People often then divide foods into healthy/unhealthy and do their best to stay on the rails. This system is flawed as people often break then binge on supposed unhealthy foods. When foods are categorized as healthy/unhealthy, the desire to eat unhealthy never goes away. Instead it’s suppressed causing the aforementioned binge eating or worse, metabolic slowing due to caloric restriction which in turn causes people to keep storing fat despite their switch to healthy and calorie restricted diets.

This push and pull is immensely frustrating. Some people now are even giving into their obesity. Calling it natural and even healthy fat – unfortunately the health ramifications of obesity such as increased likelyhood of certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes remain despite these attempts to change the cultural acceptability of being obese.

This is where the delay diet comes in. It’s a paradigm shifting mindset of concientous eating that no longer divides food into healthy and unhealthy. Instead it has people consider how they feel after a meal — this consideration is developed over time, so when one is deciding to eat they should ask themselves:

  • How will I feel after the meal?
  • How will I feel 1-2 hours after the meal? 6 hours? the next day?
  • Will this food cause acid reflux or an uncomfortable bowel movement?
  • Will my mood be impacted for the better or worse?
  • How will my energy levels be over these different time periods?
  • Will I want to take a nap or take on the world?

Once one starts asking these questions, a unique diet profile occurs.

For myself for instance, I discovered lattes leave a bad after taste in my mouth for 30-90 minutes, I feel generally icky. Espresso and black coffee do not have the same impact, so I determined in this instance milk in this context was a no go. Since then coffee and espresso, without milk have been an easy choice.

One summer I had frequent bouts of stomach trouble. Discouragingly I determined this was part of life, though after meditating on what I was eating and when my stomach troubles occurred, I identified cherry tomatoes as a stomach irritant. (a gross but important note, is that the stomach itself is linked to the end of the colon, this can make some foods cause immediate bowel issues without the food having actually passed the length of the digestive track.)

I was a person who was always sleepy after lunch. I’d typically pound a coffee when getting back to the office. Like most nine to fivers I was having either fast food, or a homemade sandwich – both foods made me sleepy. The common denominator here as bread. When I eliminate bread from my lunch and instead opt for a salad, I’m not sleepy when I get back to the office. In fact I return energized and ready to take on the second half of the day. I do get hunger pangs later in the afternoon, but I’m able to satiate these with nuts, jerky, fresh fruit or even fresh popped popcorn.

One more example was my irritability. I noticed I was moody and often short with people. My brothers were as well. Through introspection we determined this was largely linked to being “hangry”, namely the highs and lows caused by sugar laden or processed food consumption. By being conscientious of our moodiness often an hour or so after a sugary snack we collectively determined having frequent snacks on the form of non processed, and non-high glucose index foods dramatically contributed to mood stability.

The incredible thing about this diet is these are my antidotes only. For you, what foods makes you feel which way after a meal will be different.

It’s important to note too this is not a rigid diet. I still eat processed foods and even have a milkshake from time to time, though I usually aim to have sweets in the evening so that the in evitable crash happens while I sleep.

To get started, simply begin considering how you feel over the 24 hours following your next meal (you can even start right now. When did you last eat? What did you eat? How do you feel?).

Repeat this process over and over again and interesting patterns on what foods do what to you will emerge.

Important note: if you’re considering changing your diet please consult a physician.

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