Saturday Swapit #17

Welcome to Saturday Swapit, a platform to share ideas, tips and diet stories to support others who may be finding it a struggle to keep to plan, are fed up with boring recipes, or things just aren’t working out the way they’d hoped.
As always, thank you to my readers for leaving comments and pingbacks to their own posts on the topic of the week. I appreciate it.

I am not, nor do I claim to be, a professional dietician, nutritionist or diet programme consultant.
I rejoined SW in May 2019 and have managed to stay within my target parameters since August 2019.

Saturday Swapit is not intended as a diet programme, and anyone who wants or needs to lose serious weight should consult a medical professional or their GP.
This week, the topic is diets for health conditions, and SHOULD NOT be taken as advice or expertise.

When you think about it, DIET is a four letter word, as is FOOD. We are all on diets one way or another, but some are more restrictive than others, some are balanced and others are, well, not.

To lose weight, we are told to go ‘on a diet’. It’s just some terminology, because you’re already on one, so why do we feel embarrassed,  self conscious or even angry because we have ‘been told’. It’s more a question of modifying our food intake, be it calorie counting, syns, points, low carbs, fat free, or high fibre, they all have their place in the dieting stakes and vocabulary.
But what happens when changing your diet is imperative to your health?
It’s some wake up call.
In October 2011, I decided to get checked out for diabetes. I had no warning symptoms, but my mother was diabetic as was her father and brother, so I was just being prudent.
I was diagnosed as Type 2, but it could be controlled by diet.
From what I knew about diabetes, it was a sugar counting game, but simply cutting out all sweet stuff from my diet was counterproductive as sometimes I really needed something sweet to kick start my metabolism. Surprisingly enough, I was not given a diet sheet by the doctor, nor leaflets or a list of websites to visit.
The internet is a minefield of information and rather than concentrate on what I couldn’t or shouldn’t have, I took a bigger interest in what I could.
I found out by accident that I didn’t have to buy Diabetic chocolate and could have ordinary stuff as long as it had a high cocoa content, like 70% plus. It’s cheaper too.
Naturally, I couldn’t have it every day, but I could have it once in a while.
I thought I was doing great with grapes, but they are high in natural sugar and since my last diabetic check a couple of months ago when I was told a portion is only 5, I have not bought any as I was getting through 500g in 2 or 3 days.  Oops.
So what else can I have?
To be honest, just about everything I like, and when I joined SW originally in 2016, included in my welcome pack and literature was a leaflet on diabetes.  It did not list what I could or couldn’t have, but was a general guide to a good balanced diet as is everything else.
That is the key.
Whatever diet you are on, there must be balance, and that is not a pint of lager in one hand and a cream cake in the other.
It’s not until you see a list of foods that you can have, that you realise how much choice is actually available. Gone are the days when a diet meant no bread, let alone butter, no chocolate, biscuits, cakes, or sweets, an abundance of cottage cheese, lettuce and green stuff, and desserts were either plain yogurt or a low fat variety that might have one meager piece of fruit in it.
I went through the SW bible and hi-lighted everything I liked or was likely to have. The choices are phenomenal. Nothing is off limits, but you have to be honest with yourself and only have the ‘bad stuff’ in moderation, carefully weighing the portion size allowed.
Hubby has had problems with his digestive system for a few years now, and at one stage he was told he suffered from GERD, aka Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
The first thing we did was download a list of foods to avoid and were surprised to find that most of them were not regular things in our diet anyway. I found this (source) which covers the bases very well IMO.
Once again, it was a matter of modifying his food intake, and by keeping a food diary, we could eliminate things that were triggers for him. It was interesting that although he could not eat fresh tomatoes or anything cooked with fresh tomatoes, he could have them out of a tin.
We changed our meal times (how wonderful to be retired and able to do so) and now have our main meal during the day instead of in the evening as we did when we were working. By trial and error we discovered that not only is the meal size important, but also the time he has it. He cannot have anything too bulky after 4pm, and definitely nothing at all, not even a drink, after 8pm.
When surgery was on the cards, anything he ate had to be in liquid form, so we invested in a blender and I would make our stews as normal then whizz them down to a broth.
It has been a long eighteen months trying to get the balance right, but now, using the meal size, times, and making sure whatever is served is moist and not too chunky as our guide, he can eat most things as he did before. The surgery failed but we are not back where we started as we’ve already been through the pitfalls and causes of reflux, so are prepared.

There are food allergies and food intolerances which are addressed with diet control and food avoidance (source).
Supermarkets now stock a range of gluten free products, packaging has warnings about ingredients as well as the dietary information in respect of calories, fats, carbs, sugars and salt.
And of course, there is the internet.
As I have said before, everyone is different and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. I have tried so many diets in the past and SW worked for me, so I am sticking with it. I am not a consultant, and definitely not a food expert.
I can only stress that medical/professional advice should be sought before starting any diet programme for whatever reasons.

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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8 Responses to Saturday Swapit #17

  1. Pingback: Saturday Swap-It #17 4-30-2022 – Sparks From A Combustible Mind

  2. I was on some kind of diet from my 20s until my digestive system went into meltdown in my late 40s. I thing (I believe, I hope) that I’m finally almost eating like a normal person. I can’t eat a lot. I lost a lot of my stomach due to ulcers and then lost it again five years later because the first surgery was poorly done and the ulceration got worse. My son is now on what I think — for normal people who don’t have OTHER issues like diabetes — that works IF YOU STICK TO IT — is Weight Watchers. IF you really embrace not only the diet but also the concept that you need to not just change how much and what you eat, but you idea of volume, snacking, and lots more. So far so good. Three weeks and he’s down 11 pounds. Of course he’s a big, tall MAN and they lose weight a lot faster than women do — all that long muscle tissue — but he has really done a great job sticking with it. He doesn’t cheat.

    Dieting is hard and all those quick fix diets that send you prepared foods just set you up to regain it all in the end because you never learn how to eat regular food that you prepare yourself. And most of the dieticians you meet look they have never needed a diet and have such unrealistic ideas about food, especially the price of food. It’s good people are talking about it. There’s too much hype and too little real conversation about it.

    • Thank you so much for commenting Marilyn. I agree with you about the prepared diets or quick fixes as you only regain what you’ve lost and usually a bit more.
      Congratulations to your son. That is wonderful! I tried WW but it didn’t work for me, yet SW does. Similar concepts and ideas, but it is a case of being honest with yourself, not cheating and changing the way you look at food. Everyone is different and when you do find something that works, because you’ve ‘followed the rules’ sotospeak, and grown use to smaller portions or different varieties, it’s easier to stick to. I have lapses and crave sweet stuff sometimes, but I just accept I’m only human and then get back on plan.
      IMO many dieticians and nutritionists have never had to watch their weight or face the despondency when things don’t go accordingly when trying to lose those unwanted pounds/stones.
      Hype is right, which is why I am hoping Saturday Swapit will give some realism to a hard cause and some encouragement too.
      Thanks again!

  3. murisopsis says:

    At work the staff was constantly on crazy diets. The one that really made me laugh was the rainbow diet where they were only to eat or drink red food, blue food, yellow food etc. And in such limited quantities! That didn’t last too long and boy, were they crabby! I don’t think the super complicated and restrictive diets work at all. I still think Sparky’s mom had it right “Eat to live not live to eat!”

    • Go with your last sentence most definitely. Friends tried the traffic light diet, another the F plan, someone else fruit only for 5 days then what you wanted over the weekend, and I’ve heard there’s a variation to that of 5 to 2, where you ‘diet’ for five days and eat normally for two.

  4. Pingback: Saturday Swapit #18 | pensitivity101

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