Thursday, 19 May 2011

Yesterday, I hit the fibre jackpot. M&S do a new Tuna and three bean "fuller for longer" salad that contains 30g fibre - which is 126% of your recommended daily fibre allowance - and three quarters of mine. After a little bit of American-style jumping and wooping (I clearly still haven't fully recovered from the enthusiastic USA-style of Jenny Craig on week #19), I got a grip, paid for the thing and left. It turns out that there may be something of an inverse correlation between fibre and taste - it wasn't actually all that nice - but it fit the brief and filled me up, at least.

Yesterday, I also made the Tomato and Red Lentil soup from Audrey's book (fry off one onion, two carrots, two celery sticks , add 6oz split red lentils, tin chopped tomatoes, one tblsp tomato paste, 2l stock, cook for 35 mins, blend). I'm learning a LOT of new soups on my diets. Maybe I'll write a recipe book...

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The fibre challenge...

According to Audrey, I have to eat 40g of fibre per day. So far today, I've had three pieces of wholemeal toast, a sprouted bean salad, cabbage, leeks, cous cous, salad, bran flakes and a ton of fruit, and I still think that I haven't managed 40g fibre.

To get 40g of fibre, I could also eat 400 cherry tomatoes, 8 bowls of bran flakes or 30 jars of tartare sauce. I think that I'm going to struggle.

I am enjoying this though - I'm full all the time, and I'm sure that my colon is in rude health! And spending a lot of time in the loo. But luckily I've found a blogging app for my iPhone, so I can do two things at once.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Food for F2 week

So far for breakfast, I've had a slice of toast, bran flakes, the probiotic yoghurt and half a grapefruit. Green grapes for a snack, and the aubergine and lentil salad for lunch. The greenish banana made me feel a bit greenish, so I'm avoiding it for now. Full to bursting with healthy fibre goodness. Am a bit worried about the bursting.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Week 21: Audrey Eyton's F2 diet

By the end of week 20, following The Cambridge Diet, I have lost a moderately impressive 3lbs - bringing my weight to a much happier 9st13lbs. I found 'stage 4' quite difficult to manage - turns out I'm an 'all or nothing' kinda gal, and using the diet products as 'inbetween' snacks for me didn't give as much control as I wanted - compared to sole source, where you only have their products. I still have a reservation about the nature of the products - the fact that it's all chocolate bars and sweet shakes (ok, there are soups, but the point remains...), and the extreme calorie restriction, but I guess the proof is in the pudding (literally, in the case of the chocolate desserts), and if you're seriously overweight, then this seems to work as a starting point for a weightloss journey.

Week 21 is going to be Audrey Peyton's F2 diet. This is a sequel to her multi-million selling F-Plan diet. Now, it's not often that the sequel is better than the original (think Pirates of the Caribbean, Look Who's Talking 2, any of the Star Wars films - although I'm relying on husband for this information, as I slept through every single dull moment).

I'm beginning to notice a formula to these diet books - start by establishing your credentials (Audrey was Beauty Editor of a best-selling womens magazine), then slag off all other diets (Atkins comes in for the most abuse here, possibly because it really is the most discredited, although it helps that he's dead and therefore can't defend himself). You must then establish the 'science' behind your plan - although I use this term loosely, as there is rarely any supporting evidence, before finally actually revealing what your plan is...

A note on the 'science': There's a nod to gender: Audrey notes that the carb-weightloss effect is a girl-boy thing - girls crave carbs on a primitive level, from a time when digging for tubers was a girls work. If this is true, I wonder whether girls in later generations of my daughters will eat more red-meat, as a direct result of my leather-handbag addiction. On statistics: she says that an American is seventeen times more likely to get heart disease than a rural chinese (unsourced, much to my annoyance). A quick google search tells me that in reality (according the World Bank), the average life expectancy of an American is five years more than a Chinese, and Audrey fails to even consider other likely factors, such as exercise (I doubt rural china is as heavily reliant on America than the car), pollution and access to health and education.

Next follows a brilliantly descriptive chapter on poo - illustrating six types, from the nutty/pebbly variety, to the fluffy - and everything in between. Apparently, we should aim for type 4 or 5 - smooth, sausage like, and preferably floating.

So, what actually is this diet? Get to the point, Audrey!! It's basically just a high-fibre, low-GI plan which is designed to benefit your health as well as your waistline. Advantages: high fibre foods are lower calorie and more filling, more calories are wasted (that is, excreted), you feel more full and your blood sugar levels stay steady.

The Rules
  • Eat around 40 grams of fibre per day
  • Breakfast on half a grapefruit, a bowl of high-fibre cereal and a greenish banana each day
  • Have a low-fat probiotic drink each day
  • Eat large quantities of vegetables and pulses - including at least two from the 'F2 Star Bioactive Veg and Pulses' list - at least 15 grams daily (there is a list of 24, including lentils, peas, beans, carrots, spinach, brocolli and sugarsnaps)
  • Eat at least two F2 Star Bioactive Fruits daily (a list of 12, inclduing apples, nectarines, grapes and plums)
  • Eat two slices of fibre-rich wholemeal bread each day
  • Eat grain based foods, such as wholewheat pasta, bulgur wheat and couscous
  • Ration fat-containing foods to 10 units daily (a handy guide to almost every food is included)
  • Choose fish instead of meat (or better yet, be vegeatarian), limit red meat to twice a week
  • Drink water freely
With all of this in mind, the weekly Ocado order has been placed. As well as vegetables, I've included ingredients for two of the soups - Spicy Sweet Potato and Red Lentil and Tomato, and some probiotic drinks.

By way of measuring the success of this diet, as well as the weightloss element, I might try to add some pictures to the charmingly titled 'rate my poo', in order to ascertain whether they really do improve over the course of the week.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Cambridge Diet - progress so far...

Yesterday was a freaking disaster. I had a teeny tiny shake for breakfast, and by lunchtime I was STARVING. I hoovered up both of the salads that I'd bought from M&S for yesterday and today, and then, like a mini-vortex, swept up almost anything edible within my path. I did manage to restrain myself at dinner, with a salmon fillet and salad, and I still think that I stayed pretty much within my daily allowance of 1200 calories.

Today, I'm trying to be more sensible, and stick to what Liane suggested. I had breakfast at home before work - which normally I try to avoid seeing as Poppy insists on eating all the cheese off my toast, and my coffee is NEVER ever hot, as I'm trying to make sure that bags are packed, children are dressed (is it just me? I always seem to forget their socks and coats...). I had my chocolate milkshake 'diet' mid-morning (yum), a salad for lunch, and another 'diet' for a mid-afternoon snack (note: calling the 'chewy' chocolate bar chewy is an not an over-exaggeration, it's like chewing gum in a protein-rich chocolate bar), and I'll have an apple to keep me going if I'm really starving. Healthy supper, and no snacking for me tonight.

A note to the followers of this diet: I have the utmost admiration for you. The 450-calorie daily allowance might be carefully calculated to allow you to survive, but it is hardcore, 'extreme dieting', and I salute anyone who sticks to this!!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Diet #20, The Cambridge Diet

Oh. My. G-d. Three weeks until holiday and I STILL haven't lost any real weight. I bought a new bikini this week, and the 360 degree changing room mirrors reminded me of the horror of my 'mummy tummy' from every unflattering angle! This is the bikini. This in NOT what I look like. Goddammit!! Definitely time to get back on the diet wagon.

A quick call to Liane at from The Cambridge Diet, and I've arranged to try it for a week. Similar to slimfast, this is a meal replacement system in the form of shakes and bars (and soups and mousses). The difference is that this one feels quite highly medicalised, compared with the slick 'commercial-ness' of slimfast. You meet with a local consultant, who weighs and measures you, runs through the programme and then gives you a week's worth of food. Unlike (say) weightwatchers, where the heavier you are, the more calories you start with, with Cambridge, you start with fewer. So, Step 1, 'Sole Source', can be as few as 435 calories, spread across 3 'diets' throughout the day.

As I arrive at Liane's, I meet a very slim girl on her way out. Immediately filled with great confidence that this must be a fantastic diet if I could leave looking like her, I am slightly disappointed to learn that she'd just been there to have her nails done (Liane's other source of work!). The consultation itself was a lot more medicalised than expected. I was hoping for a biscuit and a cup of tea and a nice heart-to-heart about why I was such a bloater in the first place. However, seeing as, for most of her clients, that biscuit represents virtually their entire day's calorie allowance, I was quite clearly deluding myself.

As I'm a bit lighter than their average dieter, I've skipped straight to 'Stage 4', which is based on 1200 calories a day.  This involves eating two of their products, alongside 3 small healthy meals during the day (150-300 calories each). Apparently, I can't cram all the calories into one session (which is a shame, because I'm having lunch at Gordon Ramsey's Maze on Monday), and under absolutely no circumstances must I drink this week! My 14 products cost £27, and the average client will spend £35-£45 per week.