Monday 16 September 2019

I am not being ruled by my gut any more

Two more pounds down in week 4, which brings us to nine pounds lost
Two more pounds down in week 4, which brings us to nine pounds lost
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

There are those of you who are saying that the Diet of Diets is not an original diet and that it is actually based on the big new fad in losing weight - the two-meal day. And I'll concede you're right. Fitness guru Max Lowery is the poster boy for the two-meal day, but everyone from Brian O'Driscoll to 5:2 guru Dr Michael Mosley practises this style of eating. It also obviously contains the notion of intermittent fasting. For those of us who think the 5:2 version of intermittent fasting is a bit extreme, this is a more leisurely version.

In my defence, the Diet of Diets is original to me. In that I am taking the basic idea, which my lawyers stress I should point out, nobody actually owns, and I am working around it for my life. The idea of the two-meal day, breakfast being the handiest meal to skip, is just the basis for the Diet of Diets. But I like to think that as I go I am building a philosophy around it.

One of the main things I am coming to understand is that life gets in the way and you have to let life get in the way.

For example, it's birthday season in my house and we had another one during the week that involved a huge bowl of my spicy 'Nduja pasta followed by a slice of amaretti cake and half a bucket of whipped cream. I even threw some spare cream into the pasta sauce to cut the spiciness of the 'Nduja. And I loved every bite of it, and I didn't beat myself up, and then I moved on to the next day, skipped my breakfast again and on we went. There was also a two-day period when I was on the toast. I got some tummy bug and all that would do it for me was hot buttery toast. Everything else tasted too rich, too strong. And I just went with it, but again, didn't bother with the breakfast.

In many ways this is one of the easiest diets I've done, and, trust me, I've done a few. There's no calorie counting, no denial, no obsessing over food all the time the way there can be with some diets. And once you get used to skipping breakfast it's not even much of a hardship. Admittedly, I'm making the dinners a bit healthier, but not in a denial way.

I just try to keep a bit of a lid on the carbs and on the portion size, I eat a bit less meat on weekdays and more greens and fresh fruit and veg in general. And of course I try not to eat too much junk, just the odd bit of chocolate when I need it.

Key is always have some nice fruit to hand - I'm enjoying blood oranges from Italy at the moment, not cheap but a nice treat. No foods are banned; this is not about denial or obsessing about what I can't have. And the weight is coming off in a steady and hopefully sustainable way. Two more pounds down in week four, which brings us to nine pounds altogether.

I have also tried to add some proper exercise into the situation. I am trying to do a proper swim in the morning. Nothing drastic, half an hour tops. But it clears the head for the day, I feel good after it, and I guess exercise is helping my general health.

I like to think that I am just developing healthy eating habits here that will be sustainable so I don't yo-yo up again, but again, if life gets in the way, I will allow it.

I am also finding I am at that sweet spot now where I am actually starting to notice the weight loss. I feel better in myself in general and, on a very superficial note, I am starting to fit into my clothes again. That might seem frivolous, but it doesn't start the day on a good note or fill you with confidence when you're bet into your clothes with your gut squeezing against shirt buttons and your jeans cutting into you. There's still a gut straining there, and it goes right around my body, 360-degree style, but it's in retreat now. I will not be ruled by my gut any more.

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