Monday, 31 October 2011

Diet #34, Diet pills (aka cheating)

Those of you who follow my blog regularly can probably already predict how this might go. I spent two whole days following the diet religiously, ploughing my way through home-made cookie after cookie, taking little tupperwares to birthday parties, the park, even to work. I ate around 20 of the little buggers before I wanted to die of boredom. And then came half term. Three days off work, playdates with Sadie's friends, and the healthy cookies turned into chocolate chip cookies.

 Then Iced Fingers

Then Millionaires Shortbread

Luckily, I've gone back to work, and the cakefest has come to an end.

As I've been blogging, I've had lots of lovely supportive emails from family and friends, even strangers who've read about what I've been doing and offered help and advice. The most surprising of all came from a cousin (a Doctor, with an amazing Phd in Clincal Psychology), who emailed to tell me her 'secret', how she'd lost all of her baby weight after having an impressive FOUR children.

She emailed to tell me that she'd used "a combination coctail called T-Burn and Fat Attack.  The T-Burn is a stimulant that increases metabolism and cuts hunger, and the Fat Attack sucks out the fat molecules from the food and also has something in to deal with hunger... When I was taking them, I would eat a small breakfast, get a venti latte at Starbucks (more stimulant!) wasn't hungry at lunch, and would eat a healthy dinner. No snacking - I just wasn't hungry! It's manufactured here (in the US) by Klik Nutrition. And yes it's sort of cheating, but not really, cos I'm goal oreinted...I had a goal and this worked!!!"

I'm a terrible chicken, and the thought of buying drugs over the internet from the US terrified me. Not to mention the fact that I can imagine that I would immediately get addicted, and my next blog will be some sort of plea to raise enough money to fund my drug habit. In the same way that some people ask "What Would Jesus Do?" my general mantra for life is "How would I be judged if it ended up in the Daily Mail?". This was not looking good.

So, a compromise. I popped into the very respectable Holland & Barratt, to find out what I could buy over the counter here in the UK. The woman behind the counter looked at me very strangely, before assessing my requirements. Her: Do you do any exercise? Me: No. Her: Do you eat sweets? Me: Yes. Ever so politely, she didn't tell me to get off my fat arse and move more - instead, she recommended two different products - one hideously expensive, and one cheap. So guess which one I went for? And so now I'm taking two "Fat Metaboliser" tablets a day. At only £6.45 for two weeks supply, it's cheaper than most of the things I've tried.

The ingredients include B6 (to metabolise fat), Chromium (decreases fat, increases muscle mass), Cayenne Pepper (from the maple syrup diet), Green Tea (more fat burning), L-Carnitine Tartrate (speeds up metabolism), Kola Nut (more caffeine than coffee - makes me a little crazy), and Uva Ursi (aka Bearberry, a diuretic). Two tablets a day, with one very specific instruction DO NOT TAKE NEAR BEDTIME.

Starting weight is 10st 1lb - slowly creeping down. Can this help? Or will you come back in one week to find a gibbering wreck who hasn't slept for a week?

Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Cookies...

Lots of healthy ingredients...

...Chuck it all in, give it a stir... 

...And make two trays of cookies.

And they taste delicious.
Not sure I'll still think that after I've eaten little else for a week.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Diet #33, The Cookie Diet

Diet #32 was the "Revolutionary Diet". I mean revolutionary in the ironic sense: Just Eat Less! But calorie restriction is just too sensible. It might make good sense, but where's the fun in just eating smaller portions? 

And what could be less sensible than diet  number #33, the Cookie Diet? This diet was created by Dr Sanford Siegal. We're off to a good start, as he appears to be both old and still alive - so he's already one up compared with Drs Atkins and Tarnower (of Scarsdale fame). According to his website, Dr Siegal mixes every batch of his secret amino acid protein blend with his own hands in his private bakery. A month's supply costs 'only' $219.80 (plus P&P).

I plan to make my own cookies - and to use a spoon!! It was easy to find a recipe online, basically lots of bran flakes, almonds, oats and fresh fruit, and the idea is that you eat cookies for breakfast, lunch and snacks, and a healthy meal for either lunch or dinner.

Here's a handy illustration, if you're having problems understanding how this might work. One or two cookies every hour, and one balanced meal every day.

If this is the first time you've read my blog, then welcome!! It started back in November with a simple idea - to lose that pesky half a stone that didn't vanish after the birth of baby number two. It didn't seem like a lot. Probably all it required was a little less chocolate and a little more self-control. But driven by the boredom of maternity leave and the desire to do something more interesting instead, I decided to work my way through 52 diets in 52 weeks, and see how I got on. I'm up to #33, and over the last few months, I've already tried many of the mainstream diets, and a few crazy ones too. I've tried to be honest about how easy they are to follow, how much they have allowed me to continue with normal life, how expensive they've been and most importantly, how much weight it's been possible to lose (or gain, in some cases!!).

I set myself a few rules, which I've mostly stuck to. Nothing crazy or dangerous. Breatharianism (living on fresh air alone), for example, didn't appeal. But some did - I've listed a few of my favourite below, but I'd love you to read through the rest, and let me know what you think...

It all began with the six-meals-a-day diet which you can read here. Followed by my personal favourite, The 100-Mile diet. I've also tried Slimfast and Atkins , I've juiced myself slim, and eaten three apples a day. I hope you enjoy reading is as much as I've enjoyed living it.

I've still got 19 diets to go - so please feel free to follow my blog, share it with your friends, check back on my progress and suggest any new diets you think I might have overlooked.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Diet #32, The Revolutionary Diet

Amazingly, my Revolutionary Diet was front page news this week; I have captured the prevailing zeitgeist (I've been dying to say that for ages!!) This is from yesterday's Evening Standard...

Scarily, though, according to Thursday's Standard, the average recommended calories has actually increased, to 2605 for men and 2079 for women - which means that my 1200 per day, which I'm managing on perfectly well, is well below the suggested level.

Happily, though, it's working!! I've lost three pounds, and I can eat whatever I like (within reason), no stupid rules, no crazy fads (think weird shakes/cabbage soup/green bananas), just lots of fruit and veg, reasonable size portions and chocolate if I fancy some (which mostly, I don't, strangely). I've been using this great little free app on my iPhone, called Shape Up, and tracking my daily food, which I would recommend downloading if you want to give it a try.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Diet #32: The Revolutionary diet

I've been a bit slack in my dieting/blogging recently - something to do with a full time job, two children, a new shopping centre opening on my doorstep... End result - I've lost weight - from my purse but not on the scales.

The Scarsdale Diet was a bit too difficult to stick to - particularly with friends tempting me out for lunch and dinner all week! Apparently the Bel Sit don't know what a 'Scarsdale Highball' is - so I had to settle for the pizza instead.

In the prologue of the Scarsdale book, there's a hint that all did not end well for Dr Tarnower ("...until his tragic and untimely death..."). Turns out that this diet killed him - although not in an Atkins/heart attack kind of way. His diet was so successful that his fame and notoriety attracted a string of beautiful women - and overcome with jealousy, one of them shot him. For the full story, you can rent the film, Mrs Harris, starring Chloe Sevigny as the lover. If anyone murders me over this blog, I think I'd rather Rene Zellweger played me. She has kindly agreed to gain some weight in order to really get under the skin of the part.

Look how she's shamelessly copied my look, for the part.

Uncanny, right??

Anyhow, I've called diet #32 the Revolutionary Diet, in the ironic sense. After 32 weeks, one or two people might have mentioned that there's really only one way to lose weight - eat less, move more. So, for next week, that's what I'm going to try. A few rules: 1200 calorie a day limit. Two litres of water a day. Seven portions of fruit and vegetables. More protein, less carbs. 30 minutes of excercise every day. And if that doesn't work, I've bought some pills from Holland & Barratt.