Lose weight in time for the Christmas party…

Written by Sarah Crombie

Being your typical female I try to maintain a healthy weight.

Being your typical female I try to maintain a healthy weight. After gaining a ridiculous amount of blubber during pregnancy I followed several diets till I found one that worked- the pounds fell off very evenly and regularly (breastfeeding most definitely helped but that is a whole other article) until I was three pounds off my ideal weight. Then it got stuck…for twelve desperate hungry months. I tried every diet I could lay my paws on-

Slimming World/Weight Watchers

I’ll join a club I thought. Weighing in before some beady-eyed consultant would help me stay on track. Slimming World, with the limitless red and green days I found myself eating the weight equivalent of a hippo in pasta and I actually gained weight. Weight watchers lacked the necessary beady eyes, the rather large consultant demonstrated how to control portion sizes by shovelling handfuls of muesli into her mouth. This also cost £5 on average per week which could be given to starving kittens.

The Cabbage soup diet

A quick fix should get it off. It is only seven days after all. Day three and there are some nasty gases creeping out of my backside, I am afraid to go out or be in close proximity to anyone. I am seriously thirsty and spend most of the day on the loo. I lost five pound- and my goal reached. Then I ate normally and watched my waist expand before I had even finished my Weetabix and the five pound returned. If you are desperate to loose weight last minute for a specific day then give it a go – be warned that your little black dress will spend most of its show time in a toilet cubicle.

The British Heart Foundation diet

Loose ten pounds in three days, I only needed to loose three so this would be easy. The diet where you eat specific foods in measured quantities for three days. I have never been so hungry – I am obsessed with food and the three days last a life time. Shaky and weak I head to the scales and have lost half a pound. Great.

The Atkins Diet, obsessive excessive exercising, Calorie and fat counting, grapefruit…..after twelve months of trying and failing to loose my three pounds (and keep it off) I am tired of counting and weighing. Yes, the exercise combined with calorie counting works best but I can only maintain this for a week. I become so obsessed with food I can’t think of anything else making my life dull, boring and hungry.

Dr Michael Mosley

Listening to Radio four recently I heard about this chap called Dr Michael Mosley who had recently featured on Horizon with some research on a new diet. My ears pricked..a new diet?

It is called intermittent fasting – reducing your food intake on alternate days. For five days of the week I eat what ever I wish, then the other two I eat no more than five hundred calories. (600 for men). Contrary to popular opinion, fasting can be a healthy way to lose weight. It can reduce levels of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1, which leads to accelerated ageing), switches on DNA repair genes and reduces blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. Sounds good to me! I gave it a go.

Astounding results

The fast days were hard, but no harder than following a restricted diet anyway. The thought that kept me going was that it was just one day, twenty four hours, I could do this. I did do it, then ate normally for three days, before the second fast. The rules are easy, you can spend your 500 calories as you wish, I tend to have a graze through the evenings on rice cakes and fruit instead of eating throughout the day.

When weigh day came..I had lost three pounds! My three pounds finally left me, after the bizarre grieving for them was over I continued following the fasting rules through a second week believing my three pounds would not let go without a fight- another pound off! The best thing about this diet is that you can eat what you want as you only fast for two days (not consecutively though). I am not on a diet, I have made Dr Hilary Jones’ so called ‘lifestyle change’. Throw your slimming world books in the bin, sod the weekly fees and let go of your last few pounds with minimum effort. You might just look younger, reduce your cancer risk and lower your blood pressure at the same time.

(Research is ongoing, anybody wanting to follow this diet is recommended to discuss with their practitioner first).