Foods that are good for you: a revamped post from Oct 2013

I wrote the original post almost five years ago. You can view it here.
I hadn’t been to Slimming World then, but for new readers, it will give you some background of my never-ending battle against the bulges. It’s over 1500 words long so get yourself a cuppa and the biscuits before you get stuck in.
If you don’t fancy the long haul, I’ve tried to condense it a little here.

Basically:

There aren’t any.

If you believe everything you read, what the Experts say is good for you one week, is bad for you the next.

If you’re expecting facts, figures, charts, recipes and diet tips, you can get loads off the internet. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a magical ‘cure’ for being overweight, you won’t find it here. Likewise, if you’re hoping for a guaranteed successful diet, you won’t find that here either.
What you may find is the occasional cliché, some personal experience and hopefully a little bit of humour.

First and foremost, I am by no means a professional medical person, a dietician or a nutritionist.
I have however received my fair share of put downs, fat jokes, bullying, the see-saw of weightloss/gain and lack of self worth.

So if any of the following helps anyone, this is a worthwhile post.

“You are what you eat”.
Yeah, right. There is an absolute fortune to be made in the diet business, but the only slimness guaranteed is that of your wallet when you pay out ridiculous amounts for the latest fad.
I’ve tried loads of diets over the years and learnt something from each of them.
High Fibre diets give you wind, Chocolate Bar diets give you spots, Liquid diets have no bulk and the weight you lose goes back on fast (plus a bit more) when you stop, the Traffic Light diet makes you colour blind with all that green, and a Low Fat diet means you can have lots of liquorice allsorts, marshmallows and jelly babies because they’re all fat free.

Seriously, diet is a four letter word… F O O D.
If more of us were educated properly about nutrition and understanding our body’s calorific needs instead of trying to tick all the boxes on some GP’s misguided chart, perhaps obesity wouldn’t be so apparent in our children. You don’t need to fork out hundreds of pounds for pills to restrict your appetite.

“A little of what you fancy does you good”.
As with so many things, you can still have more or less whatever you like, just in moderation. It’s knowing which is the More and which the Less!
Chocolate immediately comes to mind,  it’s a natural anti-depressant and even if you are diabetic, you don’t need to delete it from your food list, or buy the expensive ‘diabetic’ stuff.

The key to success is balance and variety.
Looking up some stuff on the internet for this post, I discovered the Food Plate.

food plate

There is even a market for specifically divided plates with each section labelled so that you get your quantities right when you dish up your dinner!

The USDA suggests that 50% of your calories come from carbohydrates, about 30-35% from fat, and about 15-20% from protein.

For a 2000 calorie per day diet, that equals 250 grams carbohydrates, 67 grams fat and 75 grams protein per day.

That’s a quote off the internet by the way.

On practically every food purchase label there will be an RDA (recommended daily amount) breakdown. What you decide to have as your carbs, proteins and fats is up to you. We are all individuals afterall, so our tastes and preferences vary.

When I left school at 16, my weight was around 145 pounds. I had a chip (of the non edible variety) on my shoulder the size of Gibraltar thanks to a teacher who drilled into me that I was fat and unfit. The curse of trying to conform in the weight stakes thus began here.
By the time I was 17, I was smoking 20 cigarettes a day, chewing gum by the multi pack, and dropped to 120 pounds.
I married at 21, quit smoking and my weight increased to 170 pounds thanks to that and birth control pills. Divorced at 25, the weight dropped by 10 pounds.
In 1991 I tipped the scales at 180 pounds, increasing over the next 4 years by another 40.
I joined a slimming group, stuck religiously to their diet sheets only to be told every week I’d lost a quarter of a pound for a £3 outlay. It was soul destroying, so I joined an exercise class and thoroughly enjoyed it until I hurt my back. I started swimming twice a week instead, but that didn’t seem to help so I decided to get medical help.
My GP (a male with a tick list) was useless, telling me I would only lose weight on a diet of 300 calories or less a day. I walked out of his surgery in disgust and never went back.

My next attack was investing in 3 books:
calorie counting, balanced eating and a journal.

I wrote down everything I ate (no cheating), then calculated the calories and the percentage of carbs, proteins and fats. It looked like I was doing all the right things, but the weight continued to go on. I ate nothing but salads for over a month, and the scales were still going in the wrong direction. I didn’t understand and again sought medical help. I was at another surgery now so had a different GP and she was wonderful.

I showed her my journal, and the first thing she told me was to forget dieting as my body was automatically going into starvation/survival mode at any reduced intake. She said to eat sensibly, increase my exercise if I could, and let it find its natural level.
With her support, I lost 20 pounds in a year.
No longer paranoid about ratios, I checked the food labels when we went shopping which became a bit of a minefield as what we thought was good for us, actually wasn’t.  Low Fat may have meant exactly that, but in most cases there was an increase in sugars or salt.

My diary proved we were not eating enough fruit and veg.
The “Five a Day” campaign was coming into its own, but basically we just weren’t fruity or veggy people.
I started experimenting in the kitchen, making sauces and meals like lasagne from scratch, thus knowing exactly what went into each dish. We changed our eating habits and ditched the deep fat fryer.

We had an apple tree in the cottage. We dug out a veg plot and had success with tomatoes, onions, green beans, peas, leeks, potatoes, and rhubarb. This resolved our fruit and veg issue, as there is nothing like the taste of your own fresh produce.

I’m convinced that all those stupid faddy diets and years of abusing my body trying to be an “acceptable weight and shape” were a serious contributory factor to being diagnosed with borderline type 2 diabetes in 2011.

Surprisingly, Tom Hanks believes that it was the extreme diet regimes for certain film roles that triggered his diabetes too.

Now that’s food for thought isn’t it?

 

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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5 Responses to Foods that are good for you: a revamped post from Oct 2013

  1. Sadje says:

    Saved you post to read later so that I don’t miss out anything. I am in the same boat as you. A lifetime dieter!

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