Tuesday, July 24, 2012

50 Days To Change My World Part 2 - Fad Diets

Five days in to my 50 day countdown to my 50th birthday and following this post, here is the first update (a bit late). After five days of trying to eat sensibly I lost 400g (which could be 1lb as my scales only do 100g increments). Extrapolate this to the full time available and I will have lost 4kg. Sorry, not good enough for the emotional cost of exposing my efforts in public. (I'm only doing this as a desperate attempt to get me to stick to it.)

In a bid to up the ante I found myself googling things like: drastic fad diets for quick weight loss. This goes against everything I believe in about healthy and moderate eating for life being the best way to look and feel great. I humbly apologise to my guru and idol Mireille Guiliano (French Women Don't Get Fat, Knopf 2005) but I'm desperate.

I once did the cabbage diet (when it was called Scarsdale) and only lost a few pounds out of the promised 10+ over the week. I once ate only protein and was losing 2lbs a day and running a low fever. By day 5 I could feel my heart racing and I felt sick, so I stopped.

My mother, back in the 1970s, had a book in the house (which means she bought it, which tells a lot about me) called Fad Diets (maybe 100 FDs or The Best FDs?). Clever author made them all up - brilliant money maker. I could have written it myself and I was only 14. One diet was a hard-boiled egg and a tomato six times a day with plenty of water and tea or coffee (no milk). I did this one for a couple of days. I added two Ryvita crackers to each meal but still gave up through boredom. It worked though - obviously. Another fad diet was six yogurts during the day. I don't know if it was suggested but my idea was to choose something small and up to 200 calories, and eat it six times a day. You can change the foods every day but not during the day as that would be less of a fad and starts to get complicated (like a real diet).

The high protein with plenty of fruit and vegetables but very restricted and prescriptive diets are great for a fortnight's blast. Even they say not to do them for more than two weeks as they're very low calorie and low carb.  However, I could enjoy lean chicken or fish with a scantily dressed salad for supper every night for a while. However, I'm no longer a single person who can have no other food in the house and go to bed at 7pm with a book in order to avoid the kitchen. I have (as we all do) my own personal restrictions and temptations:

1. I don't have meat in the house so no chicken and salad based meals. I could have salmon every night but fish is very expensive here. Or eggs but these things often do eggs for breakfast or lunch.

2. I have to (because I want to) sit and eat supper with my 3yo every evening. I want us to eat (basically) the same so it has to be something she likes as well.

3. I'm not prepared to gamble with my health even for a few weeks.

4. I will only eat real food and with as little processing and chemical input as possible. I prefer to be satisfied by and luxuriate in a full-fat yogurt than a 0% fat with added aspartime which leaves me still craving for something richer. Ditto for a good drizzle of healthy olive oil on my salad. I am not afraid of a bit of fat.

5. I know me, even though it is healthier and cheaper to eat an orange (or grapefruit) a day, in my house they tend to sit around until they go moldy and have to be chucked. I will benefit more from my glass of 100% fruit juice.

6. I am not afraid of a bit of fat (see 4.) but sugar is the enemy in my book. Luckily I'm not that partial to sweet food so I can easily go without dessert and prefer a bunch of grapes instead.

7.  There is probably a lot of truth in the belief that going wheat-free does you a lot of good and you feel great but I need to have something filling, quick and easy that I enjoy in order to stick to it so my toast is still in. I can't do it all at once and it may be too restrictive if you are already meat-free.

8. You need to restrict calories. Simples.

So with all of the above in mind, I have written my own (not so fad) diet and started it today. This post is quite long enough already so I'll report back with full details and results soon. (i.e. as soon as there are results.)

You can read Part 3 - Style makover, here.
50 Days Part 4 - Happiness Shows

25 comments:

  1. Looking forward to reading your diet! Also, fad diets are really just fads. I'm rooting for you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for rooting for me. But a fad can be ok for a short period right? Just to give yourself a kick-start. I agree that a fad isn't for life.

      Delete
  2. Can't wait to hear what you came up with! And I hope it's something you can stick to! Good luck!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks NL, I hope I can stick to it too! Big embarrassment factor to deal with if I don't - which is the point of sharing it here.

      Delete
  3. Sounds interesting! Good luck! The only diet that works for me is the ELMM diet, which stands for eat less, move more. It works wonders! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know that one and I agree on the theory. In practice it never seems to happen with me.

      Delete
  4. Go for it! I think a kickstart is a fine thing. It's why I love fasting. Somehow it's easier not to eat at all than to eat small portions or just little bits of things.
    Wheat can be a real bugger for some people (it bloats me up like nothing on earth) - dunno if you can get spelt bread but that is a good substitute.
    Good luck, hon... xxxx

    Oh, and exercise! Don't forget that little fly in the ointment. Find something you love and the pounds will just drop off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree about all or nothing - you don't suggest that an alcoholic have just a small drink once a day. I will investigate the wheat thing some time as I'm interested in it and it's even on my day Zero list. Atm it's too much to take on all at once. As for exercise - I'll google it and see what it means.

      Delete
    2. Hi Jane
      When you fast, what do you do?
      I only ask as I did lots of fasts as part of my Yoga Teacher Training and am doing the Lemonade Diet now (aka master cleanse).
      Looking forward to hearing what you do.
      Liska x

      Delete
    3. Hi Liska

      Well, I tend to fast by just drinking water...for one or up to three days usually. I've done the Master Cleanse and it's a nice way of fasting as blood sugar never drops. Some people have problems on a water only fast so it's a good alternative. I like straight juicing too - and that's another good option for people who don't want to be too hardcore. :)

      Rachel - ho ho ho to the googling exercise! you know it makes sense. Find something you like...yeah, yeah...I know. ;)

      Delete
    4. I know you're right Jane, I find a heavy dose of facetiousness helps to deflect attention from my obvious stubborn stupidity.

      Delete
  5. Good luck! I look forward to what you report back with. As I like to eat as much as possible with Little A, this makes it more challenging to get back to a better, balanced diet. I try to include as much wheat free pasta as possible. But I think like you, I'm going to need to make a commitment to a life style/diet chnage of some sorts. It might mean on some days that I don't eat with my daughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking forward to having something to report!

      Delete
  6. Good luck Rachel. with your own diet you could be the British/ Israeli Mireille Guiliano.....looking forward to reading.
    Gilly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gilly. There are a few differences between Mireille Guiliano and me - but let's not be picky as I like that idea.

      Delete
  7. Looking forward to seeing your diet, especially as I totally agree with points 2,3 and 4. I somehow think that your diet is going to be a lot healthier than the one that I came up with!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'll see. If it works I'll post it within the next couple of days.

      Delete
  8. Ooh good luck. I've got to say, the hard boiled egg and tomato diet would make me miserable in five minutes :0(. You never know, depending on what you come up with..you could have the world's next best selling diet on your hands!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha I wish. I have to say that hard boled eggs are one of my favourite foods and tomatoes are the perfect accompaniment - which is probably why I was attracted to that one.

      Delete
  9. French women (the ones I've seen - sorry big tar and brush spring to mind) are miserable. In Paris I watched why they nursed a glass of water all night whilst puffing away on a fag watching their other halfs eat a giant burger. Quality. Careful of the fruit juice as has load of sugar albeit natural and I woudl say don't drink calories they are a waste! Other than that sounds like a plan stan. Have been out on the bike with my son most nights - been great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the low down on French women - makes me feel a lot better. I usually also don't drink calories but the OJ helps me with my vitamin pills (I have low Vit D)and repaces breakfast. I know that my one glass is about 120 calories so I've factored it in. Sometimes it has to be about convenience rather than absolute healthiest choices.

      Delete
    2. Also, juices made from concentrate are bad for you - can't remember why but Anthony Robbins had some strong reasons for saying so, if only I could remember what they were.
      Liska x

      Delete
    3. Hmm I wonder why if they only contain the fruit and water.

      Delete
  10. I agree-sugar is the enemy.

    Personally the best 'diet' for me has been the maintenance part of the low Gi diet. Having PCOS so being insulin resistant means eating wholegrain carbs, lean proteins and tonnes of fruit and veg along with lots of exercise keeps me slim. I would say I mostly follow that 80 percent of the time with treats 20%. I'm currently pregnant and trying to eat as healthily as possible without denying myself ever of course. Good luck with your diet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks HonestMum. I think what you describe has to be the basis of any healthy diet.

      Delete