In our new beach-side setting meal times are all over the place. Today - Thursday, in fact, meals are sparse and few because we are living with Michael Mosely's Fast Diet.
Today is a fast day. 500 calories for me and 600 for him. We had rolled oats porridge for breakfast with milk,berries, LSA and nuts. I simply can not give up my morning and evening cuppa with a dash of milk so we are trying to adjust the overall daily calorie load for that. Herbal tea and water highlights the rest of the day. I am trying not to obsess about the small piece of Scotch Fillet and vegetables that I will prepare for us for this evening's meal.
By now you've probably heard about 5:2 or the Fast Diet. I'm trying it because every other approach seems to have failed in the long term and because the behavioural changes required are not huge, which is the point. Anything that the doctor tells me about health issues all seem to be affected by weight.
I have lost weight before, but it required enormous discipline and after 60 years I am stll trying to still the emotional eater in me. When the Vet is very stressed, as he has been over the last 6 months, he loses weight no matter what he eats. When I am very stressed, as I have been over the last 6 months, my guards are down and I reach for the sugary concoction with coffee and the weight stacks on.
The Body Trim approach contained far too much protein for me and I hated eating frequent small snacks. I dislike protein bars and find them very irksome. However, this approach is obviously well-structured and works for some.
I lost about 12 kilos on the 'No Sugar' mindset, but the behavioural changes required for a comfort eater were huge, especially when going out for coffee. Virtually no one stocks light savoury snacks to have with a coffee when all around you are tucking into cakes. However, I fully appreciate the 'No Sugar' approach and I have made huge adjustments in how I eat. I no longer drink fruit juice. I avoid high sugar foods, and I count sugar grams per 100 gram serving size. I plan to keep on doing as much as I can there, but I don't live in a social vacuum and there are dietray traps all around. It's a huge minefield out there!
However, the weight has piled back on despite these adjustments, which is disastrous for my legs/knees, thyroid medication and just about anything else you can think of. I think that weight issues for 60 year old women must be a lot more complex than people realise.
My husband, despite all, is a wonderful support and is accompanying me on this Fast Diet journey for the health benefits this approach purports to produce. This is a great help in behavioural terms because I am not forced to watch him eat.
We've been doing this for a few weeks now and are managing it quite well, despite my despair at my weight not melting away. Nothing has shifted.
As on all restrictive diets you find yourself obsessing about food a little at first, but it is actually relatively easy to do. The point is that counting calories/portion sizes etc is not an 'all the time' thing; it is just two days a week.
My medical practice has suggested that I see a dietician, and I will - eventually. After years of reading up about food issues, I honestly question what a dietician can add that will change my life. And what if she/he advocates some sugar or 'a balanced' diet? What then?
Meanwhile, here at the (F)retirement House Near the Beach, gardens are being created and renovations are being planned.
This morning after breakfast we walked down to the beach, and as we walked along the sand, marvelled that this activity was no longer relegated to longed-for holidays.