A day on the diet
I’m still wasting away on this diet, having lost 2 stone 4lb so far. (A stone is 14lb, so that’s 32lb in total). Only 8lb more to go before I hit my target of 11 stone, which will take me into the ‘healthy’ range of the BMI.
I’m losing between 1-2lbs a week, but that has been prolonged by the fact that I hit a plateau just after Christmas when I stayed around the 12 stone mark and spent six weeks dieting but seeing no change at all. Fortunately it then started to shift again in February, and I’m back on the regular loss of 1-2lbs a week.
I don’t know that I’ve managed to locate what makes this diet work. It’s certainly not calorie counting, because I can eat as much as I like of certain foods, and we even get “oh, well, obviously you haven’t been eating enough,” as one of the standard pieces of advice for people who don’t lose weight in a week. One of the rules of this diet is to eat often and not allow yourself to get hungry.
That suits me down to the ground. I think the secret of this diet is some kind of combination of low-fat and food-combining. But whatever it is, it results in meals that are big, tasty and filling, and no need to go without snacks. I thought I’d show you a typical day, so you could see. Bear in mind that I’m a vegetarian. The lack of meat is not the diet’s fault but mine 🙂
Two weetabix from daily allowance of “Healthy Extra” Fibre choices (I get two of these choices a day, so I could spend my other one on a couple of slices of bread later in the day if I wanted. In practice I rarely use both.) Milk on weetabix and in coffee from 350ml allowance of skimmed milk per day. One of my Healthy Extra Fat choices (I get two of these a day too, which allows me to have a small amount of milk & cheese every day.) And a banana, of which I’m allowed an unlimited supply.
Mushroom omelette, cooked with Fry Light spray-on cooking oil, with baked beans (I use reduced sugar and salt beans because I want to, but I don’t have to.) This is all free (unrestricted) food, so if I was still hungry after that plateful, I could have another one.
Afternoon Tea (snack)
I get hungry again around 4pm, so a bowl full of frozen fruit salad topped with zero fat fromage frais keeps the wolf at bay. I use frozen fruit rather than fresh because it keeps better and is less expensive. And again, it’s unrestricted, so I can eat as much as I want of it.
Cauliflower and broccoli curry on boiled brown rice. I use brown rice because I want to – I prefer it and think it keeps me full longer than white. This is all free food too, so I can eat as much as I can find room for, and then come back for seconds later if I like.
Pretty much I can use any vegetable or fruit you can think of (except avocado, which is too fatty) in any combination with pasta, potatoes, rice, noodles, couscous, quinoa, any pulses and beans and any amount of spices. Also any zero-fat yoghurt, skimmed milk cheese & fromage frais, and eggs. That gives me a pretty wide variety of food I can eat without calculating points, or incurring guilt. Then I have treat points I can use up on chocolate/nuts/desserts/eating out/extra bread or extra real cheese etc.
I still can’t get over sitting down to a heaped plate of homemade chips, egg & (vegetarian) sausages and knowing that it’s diet food. But over two stone lost since September 2010 can’t be argued with in terms of evidence that it does in fact work.
I did once lose an equivalent amount through a combination of strict calorie counting and exercise, but I was ravenously hungry for the whole two years, and I did not enjoy the exercise, so as soon as I reached my target on that one, I stopped doing both things and put it all back on. It was unmaintenable for me because I thought then, and still think, that being thin was not worth the grief.
With this diet, however, I can imagine myself staying on a slightly tweaked-for-maintenance version for the rest of my life. It has the bonus that it’s all very healthy, and having to make things from fresh ingredients is teaching me to cook for the first time in my life. (Not something I particularly enjoy, but something from which I get a certain feeling of accomplishment.)
And yes, I can’t deny I get a pang at having to go for the fruit salad (again!) when everyone else is eating fruitcake and brownies and caramel slices. But it’s a pang I can live with, when I consider how much more stamina I have, and how I’ve suddenly gone from being the person who was ill most in my family to being the person who is ill least.