Am I lighter yet!?
Here I am in my 50th year having spent all of my adult life on the yo-yo diet. It’s a diet plan you don’t often see advertised anywhere but it’s the one that most of us ‘fatties desperate to lose weight’ are on, except, and here’s the cunning part… no one calls it the yo-yo diet plan… no… no… we have other names for it…. You know them well. They are on the TV, they are in your magazines, your friends are all doing them. And you know what…. Having worked in a female dominated profession all of my life I have watched line after line of woman (for it is indeed mostly women who attend these churches of fat loss) try to lose weight using such methods and end up being the same weight (or even bigger) further down the line. Because underpinning all of these diet regimes is the unspoken yo-yo diet. The ecstatic highs of those first few pounds lost, followed by the inevitable slow down, followed by falling of the wagon, followed by the inevitable weight gain.
Now…. don’t get me wrong these schemes can work because essentially they are all based on the same fundamental principle. Eat less, move more. As a life longer advocate of the yo-yo diet plan I decided I needed to do something about it as I do want to lose weight. Now, let me be clear… I have no objection to people who weigh more than other people and are happy with that. I don’t necessarily accept this drain on the NHS argument. We are, in the main, a drain on the NHS at some point in our lives as there are not a lot of people who have the perfect lifestyle. So for one reason or another, and the other, in my view, is our genes and the fact we live in bodies that eventually break down, we end up needing health care. And, thank goodness, we can get it. So if you are heavier than others and happy – good on you! I’m not happy with being the size I am and that’s not because of some desire to conform to some ideal (although I’m sure you can make a sound argument from a theoretical base that it is!) but because I genuinely don’t like how I look or how my clothes fit.
So, as I want to get off the yo-yo diet wagon what do I do!? Go to an expert! Not someone who is peddling a particular brand or product but someone who just knows stuff and can keep me right. And for me that’s Stephen Davies, fitness expert, personal trainer, superhero, general good guy… and a cheeky chappy to boot. You can follow him on Instagram here.
“There’s no secret formula”, he tells me but hands me a colour coded sheet of do’s and don’ts! As I gaze at my diet ‘rules of thumb’ I immediately go to the column that says never! Takeaway food, fast food and carbonated drinks it says! That’s ok I ponder – don’t do that much anyway! I then look at ‘once a week’. Alcohol! Once a week!! Oh dear! And so it goes. On analysis what we are looking at here, as Stephen describes it, is a low carbohydrate diet. He goes into explaining the way the body breaks down carbs and uses them or doesn’t and this is what I need. To be told ‘why’ as well as ‘what’. He’s clear though… he’s not saying carbs are evil just that I’ve got to be careful about how much of them, and which ones, I eat.
Our friend at 4everfitness say:
Carbohydrates are vital to a balanced diet so you should never cut them out completely. Instead, focus on getting the right types of carbs (such as brown rice, oats and brown pasta) while getting rid of useless carbs such as white bread and the complex carbs you get from alcohol
So less carbs, and that includes less alcohol, but, interestingly, when it comes to all the stuff I can eat I can eat as much as I like. And that includes fruit, vegetables, good quality protein like chicken and fish, nuts, and plenty of water! There’s even some small opportunities for a treat or two. You see, this is the thing, it’s not complicated, it’s just hard. After a lifetime of eating ‘well’ it’s just about realigning some ideas in your head I reckon. Previously I’d make a meal that seemed healthy to me – wholemeal pasta, tuna, homemade tomato sauce, onions etc etc… – but the main part would be the pasta. So, go small on the pasta, big on the side salad, and slip some veg into the sauce! Boom! (As I now seem to be becoming fond of saying!)
I’m a week in and doing well. Stephen and I are going to keep you up to date with how it’s going.
You know the biggest motivator I’m finding is telling people what I’m doing, getting encouragement from people I admire and respect, and not wanting to let people down who are going out of their way to help me.
Come one! Let’s do it! Let’s change!