Spoiler alert. New Year’s resolutions do not work. Neither do diets. Diets mean counting calories and hanging out for the next meal. When I was young and thin I ate when I was hungry and didn’t give food much thought till the next time I was out of fuel. I’ve gone back to those days and have  been on a non diet diet for the past eight months. I have lost 12 kilos.

Here’s what works for me: half an hour at the gym three times a week (mostly treadmill) and not eating in between meals. Now that gyms are closed, I stick to my eating plan and keep active around the house. 

This is a esurrected piece from pre corona days. When (although technically January 2020 was still relatively free of worry) there were carefree New Year’s celebrations and New Year’s resolutions to be made.

I’ve heard that it is better to give than to receive so I tested out that theory last New Year. I combined my New Year’s resolution with the inspirational truism and offered my excess weight to friends, fellow countrymen and friendly strangers but they were having none of it. It was post the festive season and people had plenty of their own to give away. The competition and I gathered on dark street corners, flipping open belted raincoats at the propitious moment. Please sir, was the plaintive plea, take a kilo home for the missus and the kids, they will thank you.

That tactic did not go down a treat, so I decided cold turkey was the go. If I wanted to lose the kilos I needed to give up eating altogether. That didn’t work any longer than it took to wolf down a chocolate croissant. I needed to nourish the brain cells while planning my strategies.

The in between meals are even harder to give away than the fat. And pre dinner nibbles are my downfall. That’s why I love breakfast, there’s no thinking involved. It’s either cereal, or eggs on toast with the trimmings. It’s quick to make and easily scoffed down. Just talking about it gives me an urge for a Spanish omelette. I sat al fresco at my favourite greasy spoon munching at a Danish and slugging down a full cream cafe au lait and complaining to my best friend about being big boned. She’d heard it all before and wasn’t having any of it any more.

She took me around to a local gym and introduced me to the equipment. It was a vast, intimidating and confusing array of tortured metal. Each piece specialised in toning up different muscles I was told. The only two I recognised from a past life were the bike and the treadmill. I chose the latter thinking it couldn’t be too hard given that I’ve had a fair bit of practice in walking (although not recently). After five minutes of that I felt light headed. Perhaps I’d lost a kilo off my head. Did I want to try out the aerobics class, the thin lady in a leotard asked? I checked out the taut bodies that had poured themselves into spandex and decided that I didn’t.

When I got home and weighed myself I discovered that even though I had developed a swelled head from all the huffing and puffing on that treadmill, I hadn’t even managed that one kilo. Should I try sensible eating and long walks? I’ll give it some thought once I’ve finished that chocolate cake I have stashed away at the back of the pantry.

11 thoughts on “Diets don’t work

  1. Love the spoilers. We tend to over eat and count constant eating as healthy. I’ve been trying intermittent fasting and have been slowly reducing sweets (my weakness) and have been absolutely amazed at how little food compared to what I thought I should eat, my body needs to feel satisfied.

  2. Haha, just catching up with this one. The seafood platter we had was high protein – do you think I managed to lose any weight eating it? I’m just happy to hold my own during lockdown. But my girlfriend is trying your idea. Intuitive eating, she calls it. The thing is, it sounds as if you, like my girlfriend, were slim in your younger years. I was always a chubber.

    • I was slim in my younger years, Gwen. You look as if you’ve overcome your chubber-ness. 🙂 It’s taken me a while to find something that works If anything proves that I won’t relapse this time round, it’s being in lockdown. But can’t wait to go back to the gym.
      Hope it works for your girlfriend.

      • I’ve never overcome it. I’ve been a yo-yo all my adult life. I had a poster that read – “I keep losing weight, but it keeps finding me!”
        I’m trying to tell myself to be content with strong, healthy and not obese. I was doing exercise physio and pilates before lockdown. I’m hoping to get back to that. I could really feel the benefit.

      • Glad you got rid of that poster. Losing weight isn’t enough, so you’re right, strong and healthy is important. But I have to ask you what are physio exercises?

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