There is no escape: after the holiday season, it’s diet season. The same magazines that were encouraging me to “shed a few kilos” before Christmas in order to fit into my (inexistent) party dress are now telling me to diet once again so I can become a “new and fit” me. Apparently, all my pre-Christmas efforts didn’t go well… (which makes sense as I didn’t fully engage in any).
To be honest, the magazines aren’t the only ones subtly pushing me towards a little weight shifting. Every time I open my cupboard my clothes shout out “don’t even bother!” I have reached a point where I can only fit into one pair of jeans (because they’re the stretchy type) and am thankful for the cold weather because sporting oversized sweaters doesn’t look too strange. I can’t stand wearing my bra and well, even my underpants are tight – which must be the ultimate sign. So yes, one can say that I really do need to lose some weight.
Will I be buying diet books or following diet recipes from the magazines? Start ingesting vomit-worthy diet drinks, roam the Internet in search of the perfect diet pill or engage in some new detox fad? I think not.
First of all, I’ve learnt the hard way that I’m not the type of person to follow a set program, count calories or eat things I don’t like just because they have a low GI. I refuse to go all protein, fibre or grapefruity – for the simple reason that it’s downright cruel to my system and I wouldn’t last a week without turning into a very irritable and depressive being.
Also, I’m not stupid. Like most people, I know exactly where my unwanted kilos come from and I know that in order to lose them the best diet is also the most simple one: eat less, drink less and move more. I’m not saying it’s an easy diet – I like my chocolate, wine/beer and couch sitting as much as the next person – but it’s by far the easiest for me, and it works.
My perfect diet…
Women’s magazines have taught me a few things throughout the years (it’s not because I don’t follow their diets that I can’t read about them!), so most of this is based on “standard dieting”.
- I eat breakfast (nothing new here), and 5 to 6 smaller (or medium’ish…) meals during the day (nothing new there either!).
- I don’t eat after 7 pm (very hard – that’s when I normally start pigging out) but often drink a glass of wine before bedtime. The wine is more for my own comfort. I don’t care about the sugar it contains, what matters is that it’s alcohol and it’s diuretic. Basically, in the morning, I may have a small headache, but I weigh a little less (because of the water loss, but still, it keeps spirits high!)
- I go “logically healthy” (I eat what I know is good for me). I eat more vegetables than usual, take fruit and yogurts instead of cake, continue having meat and fish and develop a true liking for soup and hard-boiled eggs.
- I try to avoid bread and to cut down the pasta (one of my deadly sins). I keep dark chocolate in the house though. (It’s good for you and also, I’m an addict). I put even more chilli on my food than I normally do (on cheese, on chocolate, on salad… don’t know why).
- When I get a hunger pang, I eat pickled gherkins and caperberries in huge quantities.
- I don’t start jogging or doing sit-ups because I’m not that kind of person. But it would probably do me good. If I’m really motivated, I get out an old stretching video I have and do some moves in front of the TV. It’s the kind of exercise that doesn’t get me too sweaty but still makes me feel good (about my incredible willpower).
- Then there’s the water issue. Supposedly, it’s important to drink massive amounts of this. While you’ll never get me to bounce around lightly with a 1 litres bottle of Evian sticking out of my bag (I mean, who does?), I do try to drink water throughout the day, but “spice it up” with lemon juice or herbs so I don’t feel like gagging after the second glass. I also replace some of my cuppas of PG tea with green tea (a little suffering when on a diet is normal after all…). I never ever try Chinese diet tea unless I have an urge to spend half the day running to the toilet!
After three weeks of this “personal diet”, I generally lose between 4 and 6 kilos – and keep them off (until I start over-eating again).
Now you may be asking yourself why, if it’s that simple, I can’t fit into my underwear today. I have no valid answer. I know I feel much better when I can wear (all) my clothes and fit into my bra. I know that it’s not that great an effort to lose a few kilos – even for the food-loving person that I am. I sit here trying to find convincing excuses but I really can’t think of any. So I suppose that means I’ll be starting a diet.