Choosing a diet
Technically, my diet began on 18th of August 2019. I may tell you later what my starting weight was... right now, when I look at the number, I'm still a little dismayed that it took a ridiculous and annoying ad campaign to really prod me into action.
There are, of course, lots of diets – keto, intermittent fasting, Weight Watchers. There are fad diets where you only eat one kind of food over a period of time, like grapefruit or cabbage soup. But there’s only one diet that’s ever really worked for me – and that’s calorie control. I’m limiting myself to 1800 calories a day. I know that I burn around 2600 if I’m sitting around the house – closer to 4200 on a working day. As long as I eat fewer calories than I burn, I’ll lose weight.
So, everything I eat during the day is entered into an app that adds up how many calories I'm having. It's a bit more complex than that – but I'll fill in the details later.
While Weight Watchers and Slimming World are calorie-controlled diets too, there are several things I prefer about counting my own:
When you have a limited number of calories to eat you tend to choose the stuff that’s good for you over fatty, carb-heavy choices naturally.
You begin to realise that some of your healthy snacks were not as healthy as you thought. For example, I’ve often fallen back on cereal as an evening snack – but some cereals are full of sugar and empty calories.
You think about portion control more and that resets your perception of what a “portion” is. I haven’t felt uncomfortably full since I started counting calories.
You appreciate and relish treats – like a couple of squares of chocolate.
You can still pretty much eat what you want – as long as it fits in your plan.
It’s also vital to measure and record what you eat.
My first update wasn’t very optimistic – I didn’t lose any weight in the first two weeks. In fact, I put a couple of pounds on. The truth is, my slow start was down to estimating my calorific intake instead of directly documenting and calculating it. I switched to that method and I’ve now lost 3lbs. I’m back on track.
As for the campaign – that has yet to start in earnest. I tweeted my story two weeks ago, copying in Cancer Research UK and Anomaly. There was no response. I think it’s a case where they might believe that if they stay quiet, I’ll go away.
I’m not going anywhere.
In my next update I’ll talk a bit about what I’m doing to manage my hypoglycaemia as I diet.