Monday 19 March 2018

Yvonnes' diet challenge

The biggest change for me was breakfast. Previous to this, I had quinoa porridge with honey and almond milk, which I did miss for a while.

A month in, however, I find myself looking forward to my new breakfast, which usually consists of turkey rashers or maybe eggs and spinach.

For lunch and dinner I have fish or poultry with veg and/or salad and I also have two or three snacks, some nuts and seeds, celery and hummus, or an apple. I knew that if I was to stick to the rules, I would have to be prepared, so from the start I made sure that I had the ingredients for the next six meals in the cupboard. I also bring all my food for the day to work with me, including dinner, as I am rarely home before 8pm. As a result, food has become functional as opposed to particularly enjoyable, which might sound like a negative, but I have actually found that I now have no problem resisting the biscuits etc that are passed around the office, which is definitely a first for me.

The regime does allow for a cheat meal once a week, where you can eat whatever you want, but I chose not to do that as I am an 'all or nothing' person and operate better under strict guidelines. This turned out to be a mistake. The cheat meal is not just to ensure that you don't feel deprived, physiologically it is important because it tops up glycogen in the muscles and can help burn fat.

Keeping a food diary is time consuming, but I find it good discipline and it helps me to keep on track.

Seeing what I eat on paper also helps me to vary what I eat so I don't get bored. In a way, the food is a bigger adjustment than the exercise as it requires complete self discipline and personal responsibilty, whereas the exercise is impossible to cheat with Damien watching.

Irish Independent

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