Are fad diets a thing of the past? I think they may be, although when I look at Facebook I still see strange ads promising that I can lose kgs of fat by the weekend following this old trick … I’ve never bothered to click as I just don’t believe it can be true.
You have to understand yourself (your weaknesses and your strengths, the things you enjoy and the things you hate) to be able to work out how to keep to a better regime. Whether the issue is studying, keeping the house tidy, sorting out your paperwork, losing weight or getting fit, you have to be realistic about what you can achieve and what you’ll never be able to stick to, to stand any chance of success.
The latest best selling diets are based on the 5:2 principle, where you eat normally for 5 days and make a special effort to eat less on 2 days a week. This seems to be a great idea, if it works for you. No banned food groups, no odd foods you have to eat, and you only have to manage hunger pangs on a couple of days a week. Fit eating less to days when you are busy anyway – extra busy at work or out on a shopping expedition for example – and it should be relatively easy.
Regarding weight loss, I know that my major failing is not controlling portion size. I usually eat quite good food with most things made from fresh or frozen ingredients, and I rarely eat processed food. I’m lucky that I like fruit and vegetables, so eating my 5 a day is a piece of cake, (pardon the c word!). However, when food is tasty I have often been unable to resist going back for another helping. This applies to chocolate, crisps and other snacks too. I find it relatively easy not to start eating them, but once I start it’s really difficult to stop.
So for me it’s the ELEM diet, through which I have lost 10lbs in a couple of months. No snacking, other than fruit. No alcohol during the week, unless it’s a special occasion. (Have you seen how many calories there are in a glass of wine??? And think about how much money you save through not buying that extra bottle or two of wine every week.) Regular exercise, including walking every day, some pilates and a bit of gym work. And a big effort to serve up smaller portions and not to go back in for second helpings. I do this every day, but less so at weekends and when we are eating with friends, so there is a bit of a cross-over with the 5:2 diet.
So far this seems to be a regime I can stick to. And as I can see a loss of about a pound a week, I am motivated not to weaken.
What works for you?
Home made butternut squash and chilli soup. Yum!