The new me is slimmer, sleeker and sylph-like. Well, may be that’s an exaggeration. But there is nearly two and three-quarter stones less of me; that’s 38 lbs to those in the US, over 17 kgs to our European neighbours. (That’s more than my baggage allowance!)
Back in January, after the usual Christmas excess, I decided my trousers were too small and needed replacing – but surely they didn’t have to be that large? A focussing moment. My long-suffering wife, Julie, had undergone a similar epiphany, so, as a joint effort, we decided to diet – again.
Being an able researcher she surfed the inter web and found the 5:2 Diet. Basically, you work out your normal daily calorie requirements, relevant to age, size, activity etc., and consume that for five days. The other two days you fast, eating only 500 – 600 calories. The theory sounded good.
Luckily, Julie is good with the cooking thing. She dusted off the Hairy Bikers’ diet cook books and found some really tasty low-cal dinners. Home made soups and salads played their part, too.
By making it a healthy eating regime, rather than a diet, we could eat what we fancied, but reduce the portion size, (and frequency of takeaways), without feeling ravenously hungry, and without having to ban certain foods.
The difficult part was keeping the fast days below 600 calories. We found we could get to 750 – 800 calories easily, so using the science of mathematics, we reckoned that by fasting for three days we could achieve the same result over a week. This fitted well with our lifestyle; Tuesdays and Thursdays were no problem, as we were at work all day, and only needed to focus during the evening. Sundays was always a busy day, doing all the things you can’t do during the week.
But what about the traditional Sunday roast?
Sorted! Sunday roast as normal. The only difference was the amount of meat (chicken is good – well, not for the chicken, of course), and number of roast potatoes. An increase in the variety of vegetables made up the difference.
We’ve followed this routine for six months, and to be honest, it is so easy that we don’t really consider it to be ‘dieting’, and we are now comfortable with the new portion sizes, reduced pizza deliveries, and slimmer figures.
For those who need numbers, instead of buying 40” trousers, I’m in 34”, and Julie … well, it’s not for me to give away a lady’s secrets, but how about a drop of three (UK) dress sizes?
I’ve reached my comfort zone and, although happy with what I have achieved, I am comfortable continuing the new healthy eating regime. I have re-introduced alcohol, inasmuch as I have a glass of something after work on Friday, and I am not so strict on fast days as Julie continues to be – her target is another 7 lbs (3 kgs). All I have to do is to monitor my weight and maintain it.
Not every fancy new diet works. Not every fancy new diet suits all people. It’s taken a long time for us to find something that worked for us: it may not work for you. Our daughter had huge(?) success with one of those meet-and-weigh organisations, yet others don’t get the promised results. I think it has to be down to your frame of mind: if you want to lose weight badly enough, you’ll find the strength – like giving up smoking. (Don’t get me going on smoking!)
I wish you good luck, and strength to achieve your goals – whatever they are.