I had a conversation with my doctor recently about my diet. Actually, it was about my weight and then about my diet.
In the last six years (mostly in the first four of those) I have managed to stack on a load of weight, which has been compounded by a series of injuries which meant I dropped from doing 11-14 hours a week at the gym, to zero. Combine that with a sweet tooth, a desk job and a seemingly insatiable appetite and it is pretty much a recipe for disaster.
My doctor is a convert to the latest way of thinking – which may have been around for a while as I do not read about diets when I can be reading about ice cream – based on the theory that the anti-fat movement that started a while ago to stop people having heart attacks, is all wrong. The theory is that the traditional food pyramid is the wrong way around and fat is good.
This sounds promising I think and sit up a little in my chair.
Fat, she continues, is the food that gives you the feeling of satiation – of being full and not wanting any more to eat. Without it, we are constantly craving more food and energy. The most readily available food will generally be a form of carbohydrate and this stuff is the work of the devil – especially sugar. Sugar gives your brain a temporary rush of energy, she explained, but does not leave you satisfied, so a short time after you feel the need to eat again. White sugar might as well be cocaine, except that the body converts used sugar to fat and there it sits, around your waist (or in my case around everywhere else as well).
I can certainly agree with the frequency theory. It seems to me, especially during times when we are not busy at work, that it is always the right time for a snack, and this is my biggest pitfall. I spend my days constantly grazing, never too full to refuse another biscuit or liquorice allsort (the team’s current afternoon vice).
Meat and veggies was the way to go, with butter and cream, she says. I could cut out sugar and not even crave it, because the fat would sort that out. This sounds too good to be true, cream and butter? Could she be serious?
But I am a vegetarian.
She gets googling. The search term is LCHF, which is for low carb high fat. It becomes eggs for breakfast and cheese for dinner, and lunch and veggies. Unfortunately chickpeas and lentils, which I also like, are actually carbs, even though they are known as legumes, which is French for vegetable, so they are also on the naughty list.
I love cheese. If you have asked me a week ago if I would like to eat cheese every day, I would have sighed, gazed at my stomach and said, ‘If only!’. But now I can eat cheese, except I cannot eat all the carbs that I normally use to deliver the cheese, like bread or pizza bases or pasta.
I sort of started the next day, except I may have had a Kit Kat, but it was with dark chocolate so I figured that was OK. I ate a fried egg for breakfast (eep!) with avocado. By lunchtime I was starving, but weirdly I was starving in my stomach but crucially not my head. Could this be the placebo effect in action? I did not have long to find out because the next day I had to fly and all rules went out of the window as I consumed airline food and an Italian meal.
I started again properly this week – having only fallen off the wagon with an ice cream or two on the flight and maybe some bread. And a chocolate. Three chocolates.
Each morning I have had an egg for breakfast on a cauliflower hash brown (don’t even ask), coleslaw and grated cheddar for lunch, a reduced amount of fruit and some other form of cheese and veggies for dinner.
It is currently 8pm and much later than I wold normally eat. I am hungry, but the idea of more cheese is delaying the meal. I have tried Cheddar, Haloumi and Brie and there is also sliced Swiss cheese in the fridge but somehow I am finding it tough getting excited about it, because I have discovered this week that ALL CHEESE NOW TASTES THE SAME.
Also eggs are pretty boring and I miss jam. Still, only 30 kilos to go.