I’ve been overweight for pretty much as long as I can remember and therefore been trying to lose weight for most of my adult life. Some people say they have tried every diet going, I can’t claim that one, but I have followed a number of ‘plans’ all claiming to help me lose weight. With some certainty I can say that they do – I haven’t come across a ‘plan’ yet which doesn’t, if it didn’t the plan would disappear fairly quickly. My problem though is that I inevitably fall off them sooner or later and lapse back in to my old ways of eating pretty much what I want and gaining weight as a result.
Over the years I’ve followed Slimming World (in the old days, with ‘Red’ days and ‘Green’ days), Weight Watchers (many different variants of what is essentially the same plan), Diet Chef and of course plain old calorie counting. All of the plans have their advantages and disadvantages but they all boil down to the same one thing – eat less, do more. People following these plans often seem to forget this simple rule, so I think I’ll write a bit about that at some point…
At the moment though, I’m following what I would mostly consider to be a Slimming World plan, but with a few slight modifications. I’m not sure whether this is a good thing, or something that would be frowned upon by the company or my consultant, but it’s my life, my health and my journey so I figure it’s my decision. Besides, I do ALL the cooking in my house, so I also need to support and fit in with the better half who is also on this journey with me but choosing not to follow the SW plan. Here is what is working for me at the moment:
- Cook all my own main meals avoiding as much processed food as I can.
- Bulk out my main meals using lots of low calorie dense vegetables – aiming for at least a third by weight.
- Limiting my portion sizes by counting the calories and aiming for under 600 calories for my main evening meal.
- Recording my calorie intake using an online service.
- Doing some exercise and recording the calorie burn, but at the present time trying not to use the extra calories earned.
- Attending a regular Slimming World class for the mutual support and encouragement that it offers.
So, why am I doing it this way and not sticking rigidly to the Slimming World plan of counting nothing except my ‘Syns’? Simply because the wife has chosen to lose some weight using the Slimfast plan and one of the key requirements of that plan is to have a 600 calorie main meal. Because I do all the cooking and because cooking for two of us pretty much means I just cook some food and divide it equally between us, I have to try and cook a meal which is less than 1200 calories in total. This is actually surprisingly easy when you build in the foundations of the Slimming World plan – avoiding high calorie dense foods and then bulking out the meal with at least a third of a plate of low calorie dense ‘super free’ vegetables. I tend not to serve my food with vegetables, but build them in to the recipe somehow.
In terms of other meals, I stick to a fairly regular (and quick) breakfast of Weetabix and milk (Slimming World HeA and HeB) and lunch is either a simple salad with cold meat and bulked out with a mugshot or, more recently, an extra portion of the previous nights dinner but that will be the subject of another post – strategies for controlling my calorie intake…