Monday 23 September 2019

The Diet of Diets continues to deliver

A Gwyneth granola bar can taste as nice as a Hobnob
A Gwyneth granola bar can taste as nice as a Hobnob
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

I wasn't holding out much hope for week three of the Diet of Diets. There were two nights out, when actually the completely arbitrary rules of the diet that I make up as I go along only allow for one moderate night out. But the philosophy of this diet is that you have to live too.

I'm also thinking that perhaps we need to designate just one day of the weekend for throwing caution to the wind. I am tending to throw caution to the wind from Friday lunchtime to Sunday night. Which is enough to undo all the good work from the week.

But, fair play to me, I lost two pounds again, which brings us a total of half a stone in three weeks, without too much effort. I think the one golden rule I have stuck to, even on the bad days, has been not to eat breakfast, so this has perhaps been my saving grace. The no-breakfast thing has become an engrained habit at this stage. I'm so used to it it takes very little willpower as long as I keep myself busy. And I'll sometimes break the fast with a piece of fruit at noon, or maybe 11. In general it's all becoming easier as the habits take hold. I'm out of the habit of eating crap during the week and even of snacking at all. I know lots of diets promote snacking but apparently snacking between meals was a concept developed by the food industry to sell us more crap, so I'm including a not-too-strict no-snacking clause in the Diet of Diets. If I do have a snack I try and keep it at fruit, or else a Gwyneth granola bar, of which my wife is kindly knocking out a batch occasionally. They're supposed to be healthy but to the junk-deprived, they're as nice as a Hobnob. One should probably be enough. But they're a bit more-ish. You can look up the recipe. It's been a lifesaver having some little treat that isn't too bad. My lawyers have asked me to stress at this point that neither Gwyneth Paltrow nor Goop endorses the Diet of Diets or has any affiliation with it.

I think the no-breakfast is interesting. It starts the day on the right note. I think because I don't reward myself with food straightaway in the morning, it almost changes your mindset for the day. It's like food becomes slightly less crucial to you. When you start your day with breakfast, you are basically saying, this day is going to be all about food. And you also start this rollercoaster whereby you'll be hungry again by 11. Somehow, not having breakfast nearly makes me have less food cravings for the morning.

Some of you have been asking about dinners. What should you have? I don't know really. As I say I'm only making this up as I go along. I would say that we are not into banning or eliminating foods here at the Diet of Diets. That's getting you into the wrong mindset, a mindset of self-denial. Part of the thing that gets me through the day is knowing that I can have whatever I want for my dinner. You usually know yourself what feels healthy and right, and when you have eaten enough but not too much. The other day I knew I needed a big bloody steak drowned in peppercorn sauce with spuds so I had it. But I had new potatoes, and not too many of them. And I ate a load of broccoli with it. It's just common sense really isn't it? I basically try not to have too many carbs, eat lots of greens, and not eat too much meat. But I try to keep it tasty too.

I think there was an element of fooling myself about week three. I wasn't fully committed. But that's OK too. Week four I'm going to knuckle down a bit more. So let's drink more water and let's limit alcohol to a few glasses of wine on just one occasion. If I really feel like a beer I will have just one nice one and enjoy it. I feel if we get into it properly this week we can do another two pounds, possibly three.

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