Monday, 31 January 2011

The Maple Syrup diet... not going well. I gave up by lunchtime (ok, by 10.30, please don't hate me). It actually tasted ok, but all the pepper sank to the bottom and burned my throat. Am going to try again tomorrow, but without the pepper.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Diet #10 The Maple Syrup diet

This was made famous when Beyonce used this to lose 1.5stones for her role in Dreamgirls. Who wouldn't want to look like this?

Recipe: Mix 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (around 20ml) with 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of cayenne pepper or ginger and half a pint of hot or cold water. 6-9 glasses per day.

You can do this as a full detox (just the drink for 10 days) or a 'relaxed' version (substituting one or two meals with 2-3 glasses of drink - and still no red meat, sweets, fried food, dairy etc). I'm going to do the full detox for as many days as I can and then switch to the relaxed version... Start weight for today, 10st 2lb.

In some ways, the most exciting thing about this diet is that it comes with a bag, and I LOVE a bag!!

Trying to find a new diet...

Week 4 back at work: trying to juggle working full time with two small children is difficult!! Eating less is not a problem per se, but trying to find something that fits with my lifestyle is tricky. Here's an example - I don't have time to prepare and consume breakfast (scarsdale diet: half a grapefruit, protein bread - whatever that is), when I'm tearing round like a headless chicken trying to make sure that two small children are awake/washed/dressed in appropriate clothing/fed/bags packed/out the house on time, at the same time as making sure that I remember to look smart, hair clean, make-up on, handbag packed, wear matching shoes (after the one time I went out in odd boots, which were different shapes and different heel heights AND I didn't even notice until lunchtime, I'm extra careful).

But after a terrible week last week (one ill baby, plus let's just say not the best 'time of the month' to be dieting) I'm desperate to lose weight this week. My weight is hovering around the 10st2lb mark, and as prophesised in my original post, I'm still trying to lose that half stone that just won't budge.

So I'm skipping up and down the list trying to find something that suits me at the moment. I looked at the Dukan diet - this is their three day diet plan generously supplied for free by BREAKFAST every day: Coffee with sweetener, 1 or 2 small fat-free yoghurts OR 225g of fat-free cottage cheese, one slice of turkey, chicken or low-fat ham OR one egg OR one Dukan oat bran galette, LUNCH  eggs OR crabsticks and a chicken leg OR airdryed beef and swordfish, DINNER prawns with mayonnaise and ham souffle OR moules marinere and baked salmon OR sautee shrimps and sautee chicken escalopes. Apart from the fact that buying and preparing this food is massively impractical, Dr Pierre Dukan doesn't work all that well with my kosher diet.

Then I look at the Scarsdale Diet (again, hugely prescriptive, check it out here) and gave up when I read this:

"The majority of eating plans available on the market today recommend no in between meal snacking what so ever, the Scarsdale diet menu however is different. It allows for carrots, celery and low sodium veggie soups snacking".
Carrots and Celery? Wow! Revolutionary!!

I am quickly learning that any diets that I do either have to be easy to follow, with a wide range of food to try from, ie stuff that's already in my fridge - eggs/cereal/meat etc (think Atkins, WeightWatchers), or have to supply the food to me so that I don't have to think about it (Slim.Fast, Dietchef).

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to whittle down the list to a few that don't seem to difficult to follow, and that I want to do. Weightwatchers, Jenny Craig, DietChef, Gluten-free diet, Shangri-la diet (because an American cousin swears by it), Detox diet, the Sonoma diet (because there's a picture of a glass of wine next to the plan) and possibly the South Beach diet.

I'd also like this blog to become interactive. If you've got a diet that you've liked (or hated, but stuck to), please email me and I might give it a go for you.

In the meantime, I've just this second decided that I'm going to do something crazy and extreme to kickstart this week. I'm going to do the maple syrup diet for three days (or less, if I die after day 1). Starting just as soon as I look up the recipe and buy the ingredients...

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Diet #9, The cereal diet

I'm not finding this diet as difficult as I thought I would - but I think that this is because the giant bowls of cereal I've been eating are the equivalent of two normal bowls. Most of the other diets I've done I've hated for the first three days and then got into, but this one's been quite easy from the start, probably because eating cereal for breakfast is not a huge departure from the norm. Although you're allowed to snack normally on this diet, I've been tring to be a bit sensible, to boost the weightloss. Hopefully, I might still lose a pound or two. I should add that it was my wedding anniversary at the weekend, and after a big curry at Beit Hamadras in Hendon, my start weight was more like 10st 2lb.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Bored Bored Bored (and on to diet #9...)

Diet #8 was the grapefruit diet (quick recap: 800 calories a day and half a grapefruit before each meal). The 800 calories part seemed like a bit too much work, so I figured if grapefruits are really that wondrous, surely they should work even if I eat normally. Apparently not so much! Although I have enjoyed overdosing on citrus fruit this week (averaging 2 per day), I might even have avoided a winter bug or two thanks to the vitamin c boost, but I've only lost a pound, which I think is more luck than design!

On to diet #9. Sitting watching television tonight, I saw an ad for the Special K diet. This is only my list somewhere, so I thought I'd give it a go. It's easy to get started. You put some basic information into the website myspecialk and it designs a tailor-made diet plan for you. Note to the folks at Kelloggs  - there are a few fairly obvious flaws with this. Firstly, Sunday's menu doesn't include any cereal - not the best marketing campaign ever. Secondly, the diet is massively detailed. I'd have to spend my whole months salary at Ocado to be able to buy the ingredients needed for the week's menu. Here's a sample:

  • Saturday:
    • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and tomatoes (gross), pineapple juice (yuck).
    • Lunch: Rice cakes and crispbread, assorted toppings. Pear.
    • Dinner: Tomato spagetti with crab (bleurgh) and mixed salad.
  • Sunday
    • Cereal, fresh strawberries, orange juice.
    • Pork roast, meringue nest with mixed berries.
    • [starter] French onion soup, [dessert] bananas and dates. errr, main course??
  • Monday
    • Low fat breakfast cereal with banana and orange juice.
    • Boiled egg and watercress sandwich, yoghurt (eurgh).
    • Spagetti bolognese, side salad, watermelon.
  • Tuesday
    • Porridge and raisins, orange juice.
    • Chicken, houmous and beansprout pitta.
    •  Fishfingers, peas, sweetcorn, mixed salad (which is coincidentally my daughters favourite dinner - she'd like this diet, then).

There's another 10 days of this two-week plan, but honestly, I'm bored too bored to even see what's on the menu for Wednesday, let alone the rest of the fortnight. I wonder whether a single person has ever stuck to this diet?

Instead, I'm going to do the original Kelloggs diet - a bowl of cereal for breakfast, one for lunch, and a healthy dinner. Tomorrow's my wedding anniversary, so I'll start on Monday and do it for six days. Start weight, 10 stone exactly.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Diet #8, the Grapefruit Diet

I can't believe I haven't blogged (or dieted) since the 19th December. The blood type diet was useless - in the last few weeks, I've learned that I need structured diets. Clear do's and don't's, and the easier the better.

Please forgive my absence, but I've had a busy few weeks. I've had a weeks holiday in Eilat (not that I'm complaining, but a week of unlimited buffet has not been kind to my waistline), had a new au pair start (French, teeny-tiny but with a huge appetite), settled both kids into new nurseries and gone back to work (where they seem to have saved all the sweets/cakes/chocolate from the year for my return).

Amazingly, I didn't actually gain as much weight as I thought I would have - 10st 1lb this morning (that's how much I weigh, not what I've gained). Looking back, this is what I weighed after I regained the weight I lost on Atkins!

Working through the list alphabetically, I've skipped a few. Dietchef promised me a week's food, but haven't delivered quite yet. The cabbage soup diet looks hideous (cabbage soup daily, plus on day one unlimited fruit, no bananas; day two, unlimited veg, one baked potato; day three unlimited fruit and veg, no potato; day four, eight bananas, skimmed milk; day five unlimited soup, beef and tomatoes; day six, beef and vegetables; day seven unlimited rice, fruit and vegetables). Dukan is new and followers rave about it, and the F-plan diet looks interesting (but too complicated for this week), so I think I'll come back to them later.

Instead, this week, I'll be following the Grapefruit Diet. A simple concept, 800 calories a day, and half a grapefruit before each meal. Apparently grapefruits contain fat-burning enzymes, although I suspect it's the severe calorie restriction that has the most impact. Grapefruits are ordered from Ocado, so watch this space