I lost 1 stone in 6 weeks on the “do I really look like that?!” plan.

Hoorah. I’ve just hit my target of losing a stone, not a Money Diet but a real one. It all started when I saw myself on the beach in a friend’s wedding video, and my belly didn’t resemble my own self image.

So I immediately said to the MSF “I’m on a diet”. She asked “when?” and I replied, “now.” When we got home I weighed myself… gulp… 13 stone 8; I’d always been 12 and a half stone. The last time something similar happened I was 27… I think there are certain ages where you start putting on weight without any life change… I think 36 was the latest watershed.

I wanted to note down what I’d done somewhere, so I can remember in case I need to do it again, so where better than my blog?

My Diet Plan.

This was less a methodology, more a “I’m going to cut down and eat healthily” mission. I’ve always exercised, so I stepped up gym visits a little and started spending longer there. Yet most of it came down to using a bit of discipline, to try and turn around my admittedly dire dietary habits.

  • No drinks with calories. I’d never realised the calories in most drinks, especially fruit juice. So I switched to water and the odd diet Coke (caffeine free). Luckily I’m not a big drinker, so cutting out alcohol wasn’t a problem. Hardest was cutting back on coffee: I switched to a touch of skimmed milk at home and a “skinny decaf cappuccino” if out at work meetings, rather than my customary “latte” – after all, there’s less milk in a cappuccino.
  • No crisps. Without doubt the most painful bit of all was cutting out my salt and vinegar crisp habit (see past New crisp flavour hits the spot blog). Chocolate went too.
  • Fruit snacks to beat hunger pains. A bag of clementines/satsumas was permanently on standby in the office (10-30 calories each).
  • Breakfast change. Breakfast has morphed into a bowl of special K, or a generic equivalent. While not a big change some days, it has been a huge one for filming/GMTV days (usually 2-3 a week). Previously, in between my two GMTV slots on a Tue morning, I used to nip to the canteen and grab a baguette with two fried eggs and some mushrooms.
  • Counting calories. This has been the most fun bit. As is probably evident by now, I’m a numbers nerd, and it informs everything I do. So I’ve started to learn and count calories quite consistently. On a typical diet day I was having between 1,250 and 1,750. Now I’m lightening up and am on about 2,250 which is still slightly under the suggested 2,500.
  • Don’t eat even when still hungry. After eating I always feel hungry, and in the old days I would simply keep eating and stuff myself. Now I always try and wait an hour after eating my meal to see if I’m still genuinely hungry or the food just hasn’t registered yet.
  • Smaller portions. Same food. Smaller portions.
  • Not not eating late. This was my big failure; while I know you shouldn’t eat before going to bed, my work style doesn’t fit that. I usually finish work at 9pm or 10pm, so dinner is often pushed out.

Forgive me sounding like a diet ad cliché, but I feel so much better since losing the weight and eating more healthily. I’ve got more energy and stamina and a bit more of a spring to my step. I work hideous hours and this is helping me survive through them more.

The next challenge is to end the diet. I don’t need to lose any more weight, but I’m sticking to it out of a slight fear of suddenly putting all the weight back on. Then again, with the winter holidays coming up, maybe I need to keep hold of the reins a little longer.

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