Not so good this week I’m afraid, in fact between us we have gained almost a kilo.
I could make all sorts of excuses, but the crux of the matter is nobody forced us to eat the stuff, so we only have ourselves to blame and tomorrow is another day.
One of the things I found soul destroying all those years ago trying to get my weight under control was doing everything by the book/diet plan/weightwatchers/whatever and gaining rather than losing.
It was a miracle I didn’t turn green with all the salad stuff I was eating, but I gained weight because I retained the water as there was no bulk there.
Note: drink plenty of water when you are trying to lose weight. It does help and it’s also good for you.
Every week I would pay my £2.80 to be told ‘You’ve lost a quarter’, that being the grand total of four ounces on a set of scales that didn’t actually register anything less than a pound.
After 10 weeks (so I should have been at least two and a half pounds lighter) I weighed a pound more than when I started, so kicked them into touch and joined a keep fit and diet class ** with a friend. The aerobics were fun and I learned a lot about food, especially the food I ate.
I’m disappointed but not surprised we’ve gained this week.
Also I’m not going to lose sleep over it. These things happen, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up.
Let’s face it, we couldn’t offend our friend on Thursday and not eat the chocolate gateaux he brought though we did ask him to save us from ourselves and take back the extra large bag of chocolate misshaped biscuits and chocolate bars.
Because we were out on the boat and therefore not connected to mains electricity, we were drinking quite a lot of fruit juice (more sugars) on our trip rather than tea or coffee.
I prepared a mixed meat salad for our lunch, with coleslaw as the men both like it, and I cooked up some tiny new potatoes in their skins.
Our friend had also brought with him a large loaf of three seed bread, which was very nice on the side even if I had no butter (or spread) to put on it. (At £3 and his preference, we asked him to take that back too as we are quite happy with our 55p wholemeal from the supermarket.)
Of course, the ice cream we had on our walk in the afternoon didn’t help, but we had showed willing and only had a single scoop compared to his double (he has an exceptionally big appetite and we stand a fighting chance of sticking almost to our guns if I’m in charge of the kitchen and portion size).
This was just one day when we ‘slacked’ in our food watch, but sometimes that is all it takes, and although in our case the results weren’t disastrous, I can at least explain why.
** A young woman in our diet class was stunned when she gained 17lbs (yes, seventeen pounds) over the Christmas fortnight between classes. She was adamant she hadn’t gorged herself with food and had been realistic in her portion sizes of roast dinner, pudding and cake.
It was however all down to alcohol, as she had several glasses of wine with her meals over the holidays, and that accounted for the majority of her weight gain.
My point here is that it isn’t just food you have to watch when counting calories.
Hubby and I aren’t drinkers, so I know it’s easy for me to say. Just be aware that calories aren’t necessarily solid!
PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT, NOR CLAIM TO BE, A FOOD/DIET EXPERT. BEFORE STARTING ANY DIET PROGRAMME, YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR GP, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF WEIGHT TO LOSE.
Here are some personal tips and observations (no particular order):
1. If you decide to weigh yourself every day, expect it to fluctuate.
It’s probably best to record your weight on the same day each week under the same circumstances (we find first thing in the morning after our ‘ablutions’ and before getting dressed).
2. Don’t have the same thing every day or on specific days.
This leads to boredom and you could also be missing out on vital minerals, proteins and vitamins. Eat a variety of food and keep a food diary.
3. Don’t starve yourself.
If you feel hungry all the time, it affects your mood, your level of tiredness, and more importantly, your body may well go into ‘starvation mode’, automatically storing everything you eat as fat rather than breaking it down in the body.
Also, never go food shopping when you’re hungry.
Plan your meals, shop accordingly and stick to your list.
4. If you overindulge one day, cut back the next.
Don’t fret about it, that may lead to comfort eating by way of biscuits and chocolate.
On the other hand, if you are aware of a forthcoming event that involves those extra goodies (business lunches, parties etc), prepare in advance by cutting down on your portion sizes two or three days beforehand.
5. If you can, increase your exercise.
We’re lucky that we have the dog and she is cheaper than a gym membership.
Usual things as suggested by the experts:
get off the bus a stop earlier and walk,
use the stairs not the lift,
for short journeys (weather permitting of course) walk instead of using the car.
You can even exercise sitting down at your desk or watching TV (‘sitting down exercise’ as a search in google brings up a lot of suggestions).
I did chair dancing once when my Mum had just had her second knee replacement. A lot of people joined in by putting their chairs in a circle and to the beat of Celebration (Kool and the Gang, 1980), we were doing a sit down version of the Hokey Cokey.
6. Buy smaller dinner plates.
You really will eat less as the plate looks fuller with a smaller portion. The eyes tell the brain to tell the stomach you are eating a lot.
7. If you fancy something nice, have it.
But in small doses like once a week/fortnight or as a reward to yourself.
8. Just because it says DIET on the label doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
Read the label.
Low fat may mean higher carbs , sugars and salt.
Low calorie could mean higher fat.
9. Don’t despair or give up if the weight doesn’t come off as fast as you think it should, especially if you are doing all the right things.
Bear in mind you could be losing inches as your body tones up, and muscle weighs heavier than fat.
10. Enjoy your food.
Find ways of making the most boring ingredients different. Experiment with herbs instead of using salt or sauces.
Change your cooking habits, grill instead of fry, or even dry fry using a non stick pan.
Don’t buy biscuits, crisps, sweets, chocolate etc, not even with the intention of keeping them for a well deserved treat. They will haunt and taunt you from the cupboard, and before you know it, all will be gone. If you have the inconvenience of having to go out for it, the craving soon passes, believe me.
11. Share with a friend.
Exchange tips and recipes. Exercise together. Compare notes and support each other.
12. Remember that what works for one person might not necessarily work for you.
We are all individuals, and everyone needs a certain amount of fats, proteins, sugars, etc in their diet, which is why we need a variety of food to sustain us.
You just need to find what works for you without making yourself ill or breaking the bank.
There are books, clubs, help and support groups nationwide to get you started if that’s the way you want to go. I’m not knocking it.