He was on Good Food this past week talking with Evan Kleiman about his non-diet diet and how it's changed the way he thinks about food. Did you know he's lost 35 pounds?!Bittman calls his diet "less meat-arianism" and it mainly consists of eating a vegan diet during the day with a regular dinner in the evening. He does emphasize that this is a way of eating that works for him, implying that he understands that it might not be for everyone. However you choose to do it, the idea is simply to cut down on animal products and processed foods. Not only is this healthier for us as individuals, but it is better for our food system as a whole.
For me, the most interesting part of the interview came when Bittman was asked if he felt deprived following his diet. Deprivation and self-sacrifice is a struggle for many of us who try to follow a diet, whether it's a self-designed one like Bittman's or a popular dieting program like South Beach. Bittman answered that, yes, there are times that he feels deprived. However, he is able to handle his cravings for junk food and pizza because he knows he can look forward to his daily reward of dinner.
Bittman also made the point that there's a difference between deprivation and discipline. Discipline means being aware of our needs, and being able identifying true needs verses things that we're simply craving at the moment. Plus, it sounds like it helps if we give ourselves some wiggle room and aren't too hard on ourselves if we, like Mark Bittman, put a little half-and-half in our coffee!
What do you think of Mark Bittman's diet plan? How do you manage deprivation, reward, and discipline in your own eating?
• Also in this episode of Good Food: Tunisian pie, urban farming, wine gadgets, and eating raw chicken! Download the entire episode on the Good Food website.
(Image: Mark Bittman)