A couple of months ago, the geekdaddy and I started the 5:2 diet, as made popular by the Horizon programme investigating the health benefits of intermittent fasting. We didn’t particularly start it in order to lose weight, rather for the health benefits in terms of decreased risks of cancer, heart disease and other nasties. But although we said it wasn’t about losing weight, we had been interested to read reports of other people losing weight whilst following this particular eating plan, and there’s no doubt both of us do need to lose weight.
Things started off going well. The fast days were difficult, but we managed them. We discovered that rather than just eating one single meal on a fast day, it helped to have a low calorie cup soup in the evenings to stave off the hunger pangs. Initially we did both lose a couple of pounds. But it was just a couple, and after the first two or three weeks the weight loss stopped completely.
Still we pressed on, reassuring ourselves that the health benefits alone were worth it. But it got harder. The health benefits are not visible, and it was really difficult to stick to an extreme eating plan without any visible benefit whatsoever. And after a while we just didn’t have the motivation to fast any more.
And so I find myself feeling lost once again. I know I need to lose weight, I know I’m overweight, and I know I will be more healthy if I lose weight. I think I need to lose about 3 stone, but I’m lost as to how to do it. Some people seem to drop weight very easily when they want to – my Mum for example has just lost four pounds by just changing her brand of margarine – but weight loss has never come easily to me. I enjoy food. I enjoy eating, and no matter how conscious I am of the effect of that doughnut on my waistline, I haven’t yet found a way to stop myself from eating it.
On the whole I think I eat healthily. I cook sensible meals for the family, I eat my fruit and veg, possibly not five a day, but usually three or four at least. I try to avoid nasty processed foods where possible. I know I have a dreadful weakness when it comes to cakes and chocolate, and I know on the whole I eat big portions of things. I also don’t do any exercise, which can’t help matters either. But whenever I’ve tried the age old “just eat less and exercise more” diet, I have failed to lose anything. I don’t believe I can be doing things so very wrong to have weight loss methods that work for so many other people not work for me.
I have lost weight in the past. I lost most weight following the Atkins diet, but had to stick to induction levels of carbohydrate to maintain my weight, which was practically impossible without planning meals at a microscopic level, and didn’t strike me as “healthy” long term. I lost almost 2 stone following the Slimming World diet after the geekson was born. But when my maternity leave ended I found it impossible to make eating choices at the work canteen that fitted the diet, and the weight came back again. I’m constantly trying to find a sustainable change that I can make to my eating habits that fits in with my lifestyle, and I haven’t yet found one.
So at the moment I have no plan. I refuse to stress about this stuff over Christmas because, let’s face it, there are plenty of other things to stress about over Christmas. But I suspect come the New Year I’ll be one of the millions of people making yet another New Year’s resolution to lose weight. I just hope in the next few weeks I can come up with an idea of how I might achieve that.
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