Over the past few months, I’ve been on a diet, of sorts. Not a very strict one, mind – I’m following the simple rule of eat smaller portions of healthier food and do more exercise. But it’s starting to pay off – I’ve lost an inch or so off my waistline and my slight double chin is receding. I don’t weigh myself so I can’t give you any numbers, and to be honest I feel weighing myself regularly would potentially be counter-productive, especially if the result of increased exercise was greater muscle volume, in which case my overall weight probably wouldn’t change much anyway. But the physical changes are noticeable, both by me and others.
The main changes have been:
- Walking to work each day – last year I did this every day but being unemployed meant I didn’t need to go anywhere every day. I now get 30 minutes of walking (with hills!) in each direction.
- Cutting out snacks – instead of reaching for chocolate at around 10:30am when I get a little peckish, I wait for lunch.
- Making my own lunch – rather than buying sandwiches. This means I can more accurately monitor what’s in the sandwiches and thus try and reduce my fat and calorie intake.
- Smaller portions – I no longer eat until I’m full to bursting, just until I’m comfortable.
- Less eating out and takeaways – again, allowing better monitoring of intake
- Fewer desserts – I don’t routinely have something after dinner anymore.
I haven’t banned all snacks and still have a chocolate bar and a packet of crisps at lunchtime – I’d rather lose weight steadily and have something to look forward to at mealtimes than go on an uninspiring crash diet.
I don’t really have a target, other than to make sure all of my trousers fit comfortably (some are a little tight). Thus far I’ve managed to lose enough off my waistline for my shorts to fit and to be too slim for one of my belts, which is slightly annoying but then it’s not the only belt I own. I can also more confidently wear some of my smaller t-shirts without having a visible belly. Also, not eating as much food and preparing more of it myself means I’m saving money, which can only be a good thing – trips to the cash machine are now generally only a weekly occurrence.
Of course, it’s not without downsides – the now too-large belt notwithstanding. Sometimes I’ll eat a meal and still be hungry, however, in the past I’ve found that shoving biscuits and sweets down my throat when hungry actually doesn’t make me any less hungry. And if I do have a snack there’s a smidgen of guilt attached. But hopefully by the end of the summer I’ll be happy with my figure and can re-introduce some of the niceties back into my diet. Some of the changes, such as the extra exercise, smaller portions and making my own lunch, I intend to make permanent, however.
(Note: I may or may not have eaten some Haribo Tropifrutti while writing this entry. Enabling guilt mode.)