In my twenties I weighed about eight and a half stone, not that I bothered weighing myself as I ate what I liked and never got fat. I should have appreciated it more at the time- slimness is wasted on youth! Since then I have gradually gained 17 pounds in the form of ‘stealth fat ‘. This is the kind of fat that doesn’t make you look obviously overweight, but settles around your middle like a waistcoat. Easy to gain and very difficult to lose. The truth is we are all busy and over-stretched and food becomes a way to treat ourselves and give us a much needed energy boost. I have bought countless diet books over the years and tried various different approaches. I have given up with them all (as most people seem to do). This time I have really thought about why I give up and what would be a more sustainable approach. Well, like most women I am rushing from pillar to post: working, running my boys around, shopping, cooking, cleaning, gardening etc etc. I am tired and that does not put me in the mood for a kale smoothie. If a diet involves giving up tea, coffee, sugar, wine, dairy, gluten and all carbs then it’s just not going to happen. Well not for more than about 4 hours anyway. I have come up with a more realistic approach which builds in the things I can’t ( or won’t ) do without. To lose some weight I need to cut my calories to 1400 a day for weekdays and 1600 a day for weekends (I look forward to nice breakfast at the weekends, so I have upped the allowance) I want to build in 2 cups of coffee, 2 cups of tea, 2 snacks a day and 4 glasses of wine throughout the week. I will have to forego the buttered toast and evening cheese and biscuits. Something had to go.
2x Cups of coffee with milk 50 calories =100 calories
2x Cups of tea with milk 20 calories = 40 calories
2x Snack 100 calories = 200 calories
Glass of wine 160 calories= average 90 calories per day
Snacks and drinks = 430 calories per day
Meals = 970 calories per day
Total 1400 calories per day
So a typical day should look like:
Breakfast 250 calories
Snack 100 calories
Lunch 320 calories
Snack 100 calories
Dinner 400 calories
Drinks 230 calories
Total 1400 calories (weekdays)
An extra 200 calories per day at weekends to account for a bigger breakfast. If I am eating out then I will have to sacrifice the snacks and choose wisely from the menu.
On the first week of this new plan I have lost 2 pounds which, whilst not dramatic, is steady and sustainable. I have not felt hungry or deprived and have managed to make it work in a household with other family members who are all skinny and hungry and definitely don’t need to cut calories. Lucky them!
Let’s see if I can stick to it. I do hope so, as I am going to a wedding in two weeks and need to be able to squeeze into the dress I am planning to wear. That should focus the mind.
Next time: my favourite 100 calorie snacks. X