Everyone I know of my age is trying to lose a bit of weight. And, if they’re not, they probably should be.
I was shocked into my latest regime after spending two days in a bijou Seville apartment with a mirror lined bathroom. When I told my friend and her daughter about this, the daughter asked, “Do you mean there were mirrors on the floor too?” Fortunately not – but the horror of seeing my body from every other angle was enough to trigger my latest efforts to lose a bit of weight.
I had for too long been avoiding the scales – I was afraid that the results would cause me to gain more weight instead of losing it.
In the end I decided to weigh myself in kilos instead of stones, as going metric would enable a certain amount of denial on my part.
I also decided to weigh myself daily. This would A) hopefully inspire me and B) prevent complacency from setting in.
But the results, over the last seven weeks, have been comparable to watching paint dry – or at least dry, and then get wet again, as weight has a funny habit of fluctuating hugely from one day to the next.
Along the way I am, of course, trying to bear in mind all the diet tips I’ve ever come across- many of them contradictory…
. Count the calories – to lose weight a calorie calculator worked out I need to consume no more than 1200 a day.
. Forget the calories – another theory is that you can eat all the calories you like, as long as they’re the right ones. Protein is in, carbs are out. A high protein duet has been shown to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories a dat, while also helping you to feel more satiated so you eat up to 441 fewer calories daily. And cutting carbs can help to double or trebble your weight loss compared to a normal low fat diet...
. Eat an apple before your meal and you’ll consume 15% fewer calories with your meal.
. At the first sign of hunger, have a glass of water. It may just be thirst sending the wrong signal. Drinking water before a meal can also boost metabolism by 24-30% over the next hour or two.
. Don’t drink juice close to a meal – the sugar encourages overeating, with juice drinkers eating 3% more calories than those who avoid them.
. Drink coffee… it can increase fat burning by up to 10-29%.
. Drink green tea… its catechins are supposed to help boost metabolism.
. Avoid fizzy drinks. Full stop. The full calorie versions are loaded with sugar (10 tsps per can of coke), but the low cal ones are even worse as their artificial sweeteners increase appetite.
. Use a smaller plate – you’ll trick yourself into thinking you’ve had enough.
. Don’t go back for seconds for at least half an hour – it takes 20 minutes for satiety to set in.
. Don’t drink alcohol with your meal – it makes you less guarded and more likely to over-indulge. Plus it’s loaded with its own calories.
. Don’t “diet” – just eat healthily… Tried that, and it didn’t work!