Talk of cutting out rice and potatoes after dinner made me think, "nooooooo...."
That's how my diet brain worked too. It had sponged up all the nonsense from low-carb, paleo, and keto, the current darlings of diet culture. I thought that if I wanted to be healthy and fit, I had to really moderate my carb intake, all carbs. It was the responsible thing to do. And of course, I could eat as much protein and fat as I wanted because they were slimming (?!), and magical hormones, and thermic effect of food, and blah, blah, blah, face palm.
I just wanted to share that now starch is the center of my meals (I almost wrote universe! 🤣). I'm a very high-starch eater - oats, potatoes, rice, beans, corn, bread, pasta, bring it! It's the base of every meal, even at night, especially at night. It's funny because my diet brain also defaults to wanting to cut those things out. In the course of "doing the opposite," I rediscovered how much I enjoy those foods and how much my body thrives when I eat plenty of them. I have so much more energy than when I was compensating for lack of carbs by eating giant protein portions and nearly half my food intake as fat. That made me feel...vaguely nauseous? Tired. It had me daydreaming of sugar and processed carbs all the time, eating too much candy. Somehow candy was ok but potatoes were dangerous. It's funny how the mind works.
Anyway, I actively did the opposite. I bought more potatoes, looked for new rice dishes, different kinds of pasta. I didn't tell myself stories about what this meant, I just noticed how I was feeling and how my body was responding. It went, "more please!" in terms of starch, but then a funny thing happened where these nutritious starches started crowding out the sugar and the heaping quantities of fat. I still eat sugar and fat every day, but I don't crave them as much. I don't feel crazy around them. And, sort of to my amazement, my muscles and workouts began thriving on the starch. I can remember in olden times, like when I first started bodybuilding in the eighties, those guys ate huge quantities of starchy carbs, so did runners, and well, all athletes. It was common knowledge that glycogen in your muscles from oats, rice, and potatoes was good and you didn't want to run out of it, which was called "bonking" or "hitting the wall." Carb loading was a thing. These athletes weren't crazy! It improved their performance. But then dieters and the food industry translated the "carbs are great" message into eating weird processed snack food all day long (Snackwells!) and that didn't go so well. So, the diet industry invented low-carb as a solution to sell you new garbage like keto brownies.
I would tell a weird bedtime story, wouldn't I? "And then, children, they invented chocolate with sugar alcohols and people started crapping themselves."
I don't even remember what the heck I was getting at. Oh, yes, trust yourself and what your own body is telling you over whatever the current whackball diet wisdom says. Change things up, but most importantly, really pay attention to how your food is making you feel - if you have enough energy, if you're too full, if you have cravings, if your digestion is off. Don't eat a certain way because you're supposed to, or not supposed to, or scared to do it any other way. Approach your eating with curiosity and kindness. Avoid absolutes. Stay flexible. That will bring you peace and good health in a way that following diet rules never will.