You want a weight loss plan that works and it seems like everyone has the answer, but few seem to have any permanent success.
... I have become a little more than a little irritated over the years searching for answers, that every new thing I read about, I've had to wade through masses of text before the author cuts to the chase. So, I shall tell you right from the start, the solutions I have discovered, through arduous experience, that are most likely to help.
Firstly there are a series books by a chap called Dr Michael Mosely, particularly his book called "Fast 800" which involves cutting calories, eating in a "mediterranean diet" style, and short periods of fasting (12 to 16 hours) every few days
So that worked for me - I lost a stone, put a little back on when I stopped, then got my weight down again to a total of about 1.5 stone. Some months later I lost another 7lb, but managed to put a good deal of that back on. My weight started creeping up again a little and I never managed to get back on track. However, although I did put weight back on, this was the first time I didn't go back up to my original weight and beyond.
However it was a bit of a worry that the weight could possibly creep back on slowly. So I started hunting again, and came across....
...... a second book.....
....that explains a simple and clever psychological trick that will help you to keep on track and change your habits for life, what ever diet you choose. It's called "Never Binge Again" in which it is explained that anything outside of your eating plan should be regarded as a binge, and, more importantly,how to resist temptation - very highly recommended and written by Glenn Livingston.
So if you want to look these up without reading the story of how and why I think these are the best, please feel free.
Youll find them here for Amazon UK:
Or for Amazon US:Fast 800
But if you're curious then read on:
I have indeed had roughly 30 years experience of diet failure. My weight first rocketed at around the time I managed to produce 4 children within the space of 5 years, and can say in my own experience, as I explained above, it is a fasting diet that has eventually worked. I, surprisingly, found it the easiest way to lose weight and possibly the safest and healthiest. If you think fasting sounds scary, it isn't. It's not as painful as you think, so read on.........
When the latest diet comes out you think "Yessss! this is it!" You try it, it works, you lose some weight and it's really, really easy. Then there's a birthday or a wedding, or a friend orders a pizza and you're off the diet for a day and somehow you can't get back onto it. Very likely you go back to your previous ways and put the weight back on and more.
You've heard all this before? You feel ashamed and defeated? keep reading....
Why should you read any further? After all, I have no qualifications. I am not a famous weight loss guru, and neither do I have a bunch of letters after my name or the word Doctor in front of it, nor have I written a weight loss plan of my own.
I do however have experience; tons of it; years and years of it, and I think I have some understanding of the whole tricky, tangled and convoluted subject.
But first, let's first consult some skinny people. (Some, not all)
1. That it is your own fault - you're just weak and greedy and don't care what you look like
2. That they are superior to you because they are not fat and that it is their own superiority that keeps them slim
3. That losing weight is easy, just eat less and exercise more.
4. That people in famine areas are thin because they are not eating, so that is exactly what you must do too - see, easy, who needs a weight loss plan?!
And although you know in your heart that it's not your fault you believe them.
May I add here that I also was a skinny person right up until my late 20s and that I used to say all these things too.
So stop believing them, its not your fault, you are no more greedy stupid or weak than they are. It's just that the natural mechanism that tells you that you don't need to eat any more has gone awry. Your body is not telling you that enough is enough. And further than that, your body/brain/hormones are actually telling you that the eating of that doughnut/ biscuit/slab of buttery toast is quite literally a life and death situation. It's a lie, you know it's a lie, but when there is a niggling unresistable voice telling you you'll die if you don't eat that doughnut right this second. You cannot help yourself
Probably every weight loss plan works, but not necessarily permanently and not necessarily in a healthy way
Are we all agreed, that to lose weight you must take in less than you use? This is a hard pill to swallow. No-one wants to admit to this fact, but it's just the way it is
As far as I can see there are three basic ways to do this.
1. Exercise more
2. Cut out certain foods
3. Eat less
Or of course, any combination of the above
Do you know how many calories you use up climbing a flight of stairs? No? From my research it apparently takes between 2 to 5 calories to go up and down an average flight of 12 stairs. Go look it up.
Assuming that you use 5 calories that means you would need to go up and down the stairs approximately 40 times to use up the calories in a slice of buttered toast. I think I'll put that in big writing for you-
Assuming that you used 5 calories to go up and then down a flight of stairs, that means you would need to go up and down the stairs approximately 40 times to use up the calories in a slice of buttered toast
Easier to just not eat the toast don't you think?
So, yeah, you should do exercise for health, but it's not going to do a great deal to help you lose weight.
There are many weight loss plans that rely on cutting out food groups such as carbs, sugar and fat. Yeah, it all work for varying reasons.
This is what I found happens when you do this. You can stick to it, but eventually you will start to crave for the missing foods, weeks months or even years down the line. So then you eat more of the allowed foods to try and obtain enough of what is missing. As you eat larger and larger portions the whole diet eventually collapses and you are now in the habit of eating larger portions than you used to, so when you succumb to just one doughnut, you end up eating the whole pack.
What seemed to be working has now turned you into a glutton, and it's flippin' hard to now kick the habit of overeating.
And you can't convince me that it is healthy to eat, what is in effect, an unbalanced diet! Although to be honest, I was once fooled and ended up having 2 operations and a fair bit of radiation because of the resulting kidney stone.
What about just eating less? This makes more sense because you are still eating a balanced diet and taking in all the nutrients your body needs. But having said that, what you are eating at present is probably not balanced anyway. So as well as reducing calories it's probably worth looking at your propensity towards too much fat sugar but without cutting them out altogether. it's the added extra fats and sugars that are probably your problem
But anyway, to start burning your excess fat you need to take in less calories than your body needs, so that when it runs out of supplies from your gut, it has to turn to using up storage.
Fine. So how long can you last at being hungry day after day for months on end?
No wonder it is well nigh impossible to lose weight.
Look at skinny people around you and ask yourself what they do differently to you?
Some exercise, some don't. Some eat healthy some don't Some are young, some are old. Some just seem to sit on their backsides and eat biscuits. So what is different?
The most glaring difference is that most don't follow a weight loss plan
And there's another thing that I notice with thin people is that they can wait. They have no fear of going hungry for an hour or two. You ask at about 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon "Would you like a biscuit?" and they will more than likely say they'll wait for their evening meal now as they've not long had their lunch and they don't want to spoil their appetite.
Take another look at that phrase "I don't want to spoil my appetite" You could rephrase that as "I don't want to spoil my hunger" In other words they want their hunger to grow. Unlike me, and possibly you too, they don't want to assuage the first twinges of hunger, they are not afraid of being hungry and they actually want to make themselves hungrier. They want to encourage hunger!
Take a long soul searching look at yourself. Yes too much fried stuff, too many pies, too much food generally, too much refined sugar, too big an appetite - these all contribute to your weight problem, and may even have triggered it.
But let's get to the very root of why, whatever it is you are eating, you eat too much of it. Not why it started, but why it is happening now.
I may be wrong, but would guess it's a fear, a phobia even, of being without food.
Maybe a weight loss plan that deals with the fear of hunger would be a solution?
One thing that backs me up on this is that what most weight loss plans promise is that you "can lose weight without going hungry". They are pandering to your fear of being hungry so that youwill choose their diet. What they mean is, you can fill yourself up with fewer calories, but a full stomach is not the same as a satiated brain.
In hindsight, I can see that this is the reason why I found that the 2 solutions Ive talked about work well. Both deal with the notion that just because you are hungry now, it doesn't mean that you have to eat right this minute and that it's OK to be hungry for a while. It's not going to harm you or kill you.
The first book I mentioned - fast 800 - goes also into the health benefits of fasting even for short periods. The second book - Never Binge Again - goes into the reasons why we eat too much, especially of the wrong things, and that it is a natural survival mechanism gone wrong in an age of plenty, and how to deal with it. It also explains that it's OK to feel hunger.
I think back to my youth and whining at my mother after school that I am hungry. She would say to me to have a biscuit while I am waiting. I suppose I never got into the habit of waiting for food.
It is also like never growing out of the baby stage of our lives - screaming "I want it now!" A baby wants it now because it needs it now. We food addicts need to grow up and learn that we are not fast growing babies any more. We need to learn to wait sometimes
In my own experience, fear of hunger goes hand in had with food addiction. You want food and more food and the thought of being without it can send you into panic. I don't know about other addictions but I can relate this also to smoking. If I ever arrived at work without my ciggies, the panic was real. I was fooled into thinking cigarettes were vital for life (I didn't actually think that, but that's how you feel) and would be so distressed and would hunt through the ashtray for ciggy stubs from which I could extract enough tobacco to roll even half a new ciggie. Logically of course I would come to no harm from not having a cigarette all day, but it's a cruel trick. Food addiction can be the same. If I forget my lunch I'm not going to die. But even if I do forget even only half of my lunch panic sets in as if it's a life and death matter
Do you ever? ...……..
..... Worry about being caught in a situation where you will have no food to hand?
Pop some biscuits or a bag of crisps (chips) in your bag before you go out, just in case.
Make sandwiches for a journey even thought it is only going to be 2 hours long
Add a few extras to your packed lunch - just in case
Panic if you have eaten all of your lunch before lunchtime - how will you cope when midday comes?
Buy a snack from a vending machine on the way home from work because you are getting a bit hungry and It will be at least another hour before you sit down to a meal ......
..... or anything similar?
If so, it's obvious you 'just' need to eat less, but that's easier said than done
It's very popular these days to follow a low carb high protein weight loss. These diets do tend to work because they don't give blood sugar spikes which means you won't feel so hungry when that sugar is put away into storage causing a blood sugar level. Plus they will send you into ketosis (fat burning) because you are not providing your body with the immediate energy of carbohydrates.
However there is a healthier way of dong that.... Eat less by having fasting periods
"Whoah! I can't do that! No way!"
But there is a way of eating less and losing weight that will not leave you constantly hungry. Note the word 'constantly'. You will however need to loose your fear of hunger - a lot easier than you think. The diet is one that you will most likely have heard of, but like me, didn't take much notice of it.
Go hungry for months? No! The weight loss plan I have found after all these decades of dieting that actually works and is standing the test of time is a lot easier than it sounds.
Around May 2018 I had ballooned to my heaviest ever - 15.5 stone (about 220lb). I was thinking that maybe I should give up and be happy with the size I am, despite it being unhealthy because every time I lose weight I eventually end end up heavier than before. I was tired. I could hardly get up stairs.
A blood test however, showed a thyroid deficiency. and I was put on thyroxine. I lost half a stone but no more.
Then I came across a diet book in a charity sale. I flicked through it and realised it was going to be a humorous read even if it wasn't going to be any use to me and bought it for 50p.
Well, it pulled apart and made a mockery of every diet you can think of and a few made up ones too. However, one diet stood out as maybe worth pursuing, (probably why the book was written) and that is the 5:2 diet - fast for 2 days, eat normally for the remaining five days of the week and keep to a Mediterranean diet.
The book is called The Grumpy Dieter's Handbook
It goes through most of the weight loss plans you can think of plus a few invented by the author, and quite honestly it doesn't just make you laugh with the witty comments, but makes you realise just how stupid you have been to follow all this crap (and make yourself ill in many cases)
However, I do think that the author is secretly recommending the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet, because, although I have heard of this diet I never really took much notice of it, but now I have started to wonder if this is the way to go, and there are several reasons why I think this is the case.
(Just as an aside - we all laugh at the grapefruit diet of the 70s, but although it was indeed quite daft, it has been proved that eating grapefruit before a meal does actually help you lose weight, although nobody really knows why)
Why the 5:2 diet?
1. It's doable for long periods because you don't go hungry the whole time
2. It has been proven to be good for health in many ways including reducing cholesterol. I think you are clever enough to look this up yourself for proof. It has stood the test of time.
3. Even if you don't loose much or any weight you will improve your health in other ways
4. You are very likely treating the cause of your weight problems instead of just dealing with the symptoms
5. There is scientific proof
Maybe you have tried it and found it too difficult? But.......
So I decided to buy the 5:2 diet book, and when searching on Amazon I noted that the author, Michael Mosley was about to publish a revised and better version, called the Fast 800 diet, very shortly in the new year of 2018/2019. So I ordered it, read it, followed the instructions and lost a stone within a month.
In September 2019 although I stopped dieting, I had not put weight back on.
Michael Mosley has also written another even more fascinating book, The Clever Gut Diet which is not just about weight loss but other health problems and is also fascinating, and the most fascinating parts of it to me is the role of antibiotics in weight gain! and the fact that we actually physically have a second brain around our gut - that's awesome!
The encouraging thing about Michael Mosley's writings are that they are all scientifically based. He has also tested them himself and has had MRI scans to prove the worth of the diet. He has swallowed a camera and given himself a tapeworm - oh gosh all sorts - to prove and test his theories.
The Fast 800 diet is also a lot more flexible than the 5:2 diet.
And another great thing is that it is not all about weight loss. There are a multitude of other proven health benefits to intermittent fasting.
I would love to go into this weight loss plan more, but, well I could never explain is as well as it is set out in the book
You need to read his books, seriously....
For UK residents:
and the witty book that lead me to them:
For US residents
and the witty book that lead me to them:
You can also find help, encouragement, explanations, recipes and more at Dr Michael Mosley's fast 800 website
and I was in a rut. Still fasting occasionally, but only preventing any weight gain. Also into my 60s and slowing down. The need to lose weight is becoming urgent. SO with a little more searching for another weight loss plan, I came across a book called "Never Binge Again" It sounded good, so I went to amazon to purchase the kindle version only to find that I had already bought it some time ago. Aha It came back to me. I'd thought it looked a bit silly and faddy so didn't read it - well I should have done!
It explains a very simple but clever psychological trick to help keep you on your food plan. I'll say no more, but let the author explain himself...
In fact teh book is not a weight loss plan at all - you choose good healthy ways to eat better and eat less and the behaviour suggestions and thought processes outlined in the book will help
BACK ON TRACK!
It's the end of March 2021. As with many of us, plans in many areas of life have been put on holdover the last year. I've just been reminded of an experiment that I started just over a year ago and abandoned when the pandemic hit us. So, I'm beginning it again, using the two approaches afore mentioned plus dealing with something someone has given the term "the pleasure trap".
You can watch my progress as I make notes along the way:
Learn about the Pleasure Trap
More weight loss plan ideas and recipe pages to come:
Healthy diet recipes (t3 draft)
Healthy desserts (t3 draft)
weight loss recipes (t3 draft)
healthy dessert (t3 draft)
low fat recipes? (a word about) (t3 draft)
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