Weight Off My Mind

Firstly my apologies to those subscribers who have messaged me asking when I’m going to write another post. Well here it is, and it’s a little different from my normal scribblings. It’s about dieting – something I’ve never even done before, never mind written about.

It all started when someone who has been called my ‘foodie friend’ told me she was going to go on a diet which claimed to help you drop 14lbs (6.4kgs) in 7 days.

My initial reaction was that was not possible and could even be potentially harmful to lose that much weight in such a short time. My fears were not eased by the notes accompanying the diet which stated that the diet should only be followed for one week, and should not be repeated for a significant period. However, reading the diet revealed nothing alarming – no drugs, no strange concoctions, no bizarre eating patterns. In fact there were three meals a day, they looked appetising and there was nothing on the diet that I didn’t like. (Full diet is reproduced at the end of this post).

So in moral support, to experience dieting, as an experiment and because who couldn’t do without losing a couple of pounds, I decided to do it with her.

It was at that point my ‘foodie friend’ decided she could not do it until July as the diet involves abstinence from alcohol and, because she actually has a social diary, she knew she could not achieve this for another few weeks.

“But you do it and tell me how you get on, then if it’s good I’ll do it,” she said, presumably implying that if it caused irreparable damage to my health or proved too difficult to stick to, she’d just give it a miss and forget it was her idea in the first place. In fact it’s been amazing how many people have said: “Let me know if it works and I’ll do it” which suggests I may have a career as a human guinea pig ahead of me if times get hard.

What were my expectations?
Well I never thought I’d lose 14lbs (6.4kgs). To be honest I didn’t really want to either. Half a stone (3.2kgs) would be ideal as it would get me back to a more reasonable running weight. I felt that if I lost about 2-4lbs (1-2kgs) then the diet would be no better than any other diet as that amount of weight loss was probably achievable on most of them, especially in the first week. I thought that anything over 5lbs (2.25kgs) would be pretty good, especially as I’m really not too overweight, I exercise regularly and eat reasonably healthily. Perhaps that target could be increased if someone had a lot of weight to lose, but I felt it was a realistic target for me.

Some things to take into account when evaluating my experience (see I can remember some of the science I learned at school):

  • I am not really overweight – honestly I’m not, but I’m not including photos so you’re just going to have to take my word for it.
  • I have never dieted before.
  • I walk or run for about an hour every day – in fact during the course of the diet I ran a total of about 20 miles.
  • I did not cheat in any way and stuck to the diet, to the letter.
  • I like everything listed on the diet so it was no hardship for me to eat any of it.
  • When the diet did not specify amount – I ate quite a lot of it. But the diet claims to work using the chemical reactions between foods, not the quantity of it, so this should not have affected the potential weight loss.

What were my impressions?

  • I can’t say I was ever hungry (see earlier comment about eating a lot) but I was peckish a couple of times.
  • I was dizzy once but I genuinely think I just got out of the chair too quickly.
  • I had no stomach problems or strange reactions.
  • I was surprised how much I thought about food. I suppose it’s like when I worked permanent nights and all we’d talk about was how much sleep we’d all got the previous ‘day’. I found myself fancying a chocolate when I spotted the box, even though the box has been there untouched since Christmas – or is it the previous Christmas?
  • I can’t say I noticed a loss of energy although my running pace dropped by a minute a kilometre (for non-runners: this is quite a lot) so it must have been depleted to some extent.

What were my results?
I lost just over 7lbs (3.3kg) which I regard as a fairly impressive weight loss in a week of eating reasonably well, involving food I like and never being hungry.

How could I have lost more?
To be honest I’m not sure I could given my starting weight. Perhaps someone significantly heavier could lose more weight, especially in their opening week of dieting.

I could have cut down on my portions but the diet does not require this and if I had cut down then I’m sure I’d have been hungry and therefore would have been far more tempted to cheat.
I could have skipped some of the ingredients in the meals but I can’t see how dropping the celery from the salad or the tomatoes from accompanying the eggs, would have materially affected the outcome.
I could have – and still should – drink more water which might have taken the edge off any hunger caused by reducing the portions.
Overall I still struggle to see how most people can lose 14lbs (6.4kgs) in a week, but if like me you regard more than 7lbs (3.3kgs) as an impressive result in only 7 days then I would certainly say this is not a bad diet to try if you’re looking for a quick fix to those unwanted pounds. But please be realistic with your expectations – just remember how long it took you to put that weight on, why would it come off in a fraction of the time?

The Diet
Allowed drinks: Black coffee, black tea, lemon tea, grapefruit juice, tonic water, soda water and tap water (unlimited amounts).

Salad consists of: Lettuce, tomato and celery only.

Day 1
Breakfast: 1 slice of dry toast and grilled tomatoes

Lunch: Any amount of fresh fruit
Dinner: 2 hard boiled eggs, salad and grapefruit

Day 2
Breakfast: Grapefruit and 1 boiled egg

Lunch: Roast chicken (any amount) and tomatoes
Dinner: Grilled steak and salad

Day 3
Breakfast: Grapefruit and 1 boiled egg

Lunch: 2 hard boiled eggs and salad
Dinner: 2 grilled lamb chops, celery and cucumber

Day 4
Breakfast: 1 slice of dry toast and 2 poached eggs

Lunch: Any amount of fresh fruit
Dinner: 2 grilled lamb chops, celery and cucumber

Day 5
Breakfast: 1 slice of dry toast and 2 poached eggs

Lunch: 2 poached eggs and tomatoes
Dinner: Fresh or tinned fish and salad

Day 6
Breakfast: 1 boiled egg and 1 glass of grapefruit juice

Lunch: Any amount of fresh fruit
Dinner: Roast chicken, carrots and cabbage

Day 7
Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs and tomatoes

Lunch: 2 poached eggs and spinach
Dinner: Grilled steak and salad

 Notes:

  • Refrain from all foods not included above.
  • No substitutes allowed.
  • Eat only what is shown or do without.
  • No eating between meals.
  • No alcoholic drinks, milk, butter, oil or fat.

The Barefoot Bohemian

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