Every day we are bombarded by the media with new ways to lose weight. Obviously, it is not an easy thing to do, otherwise we would not be so obsessed with the latest “diet” and I would not be writing this post!
Before you try to lose weight you should ask yourself a question, “Why do I want to lose weight?”. This might seem a bit strange but it helps to have an idea of how committed you are. If the answer is short term, for example “I need to get in that dress by Saturday” or “I need to look good on the beach” then you are looking for a quick fix and the “Juice Diet” below may help you. That is not to say that it’s unhealthy, it can actually give you a great kick start towards better health but the major advantage is that you will lose some weight quickly!
If your answer was more long term, for example “I want to lose weight to improve my health” or “I want to improve my fitness and stamina” then the “Detox” route or the “5:2” plan could help you. It might be helpful for you to read a post I came across on a blog (A Light Perspective) called “How I lost 20kg, the harsh truth that no-one tells you about weight loss”. It makes for a really interesting read.
There is a general rule of thumb with weight loss, which is, if you lose weight quickly then it’s more likely to go back on quickly. The opposite is also true, losing weight slowly allows the body time to adjust and you are more likely to keep the weight off.
My own experience with weight loss is through pregnancy, I put on over 2 stone with my first baby and she only weighed 5lbs at birth! The rest was all me and all due to overeating, thinking that I could “eat for two”. How wrong I was, but I did manage to lose the weight (and more) by going to the gym (a lot) and following a low fat diet (very restrictive).
So, I lost the weight (3 stone)….only to get pregnant again! This time I was more careful, but when baby two came along I was left feeling fat, bloated and tired with awful breakouts on my skin. With 2 small children, I couldn’t lose weight the way I had before, I couldn’t face it to be honest. I did try a few “diets” (Atkins (horrible), Hay diet (good, but restrictive), meal replacements (lost weight but went straight back on!).
Finally, I came across a book by Jane Scrivner: “Detox Yourself” which covered everything I wanted to achieve:
- Lose weight
- Increase your energy levels
- Boost your immune system
- Improve your complexion
I embarked on the programme and was amazed by the results, you can read more about it in my blog post: Detox Yourself.
The results of my detox stayed with me for several years, my palate had been re-educated and I was eating a lot more healthily. In fact, 3 years later, when I got pregnant with my third child at the age of 38, I had never been healthier and I had a great pregnancy without any major weight gain. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight within 4 weeks!
So, should that be happy ever after? Well, unfortunately, it’s not that easy! Life can get in the way of healthy eating, whether it’s Christmas or holidays or ill health; losing weight is the easy bit, it’s keeping it off that’s hard! After a few years my weight started to creep up and I needed to lose a few pounds before it got out of control.
Around the same time I saw an article about Jason Vale, a nutritionist to the stars, who advocates “juicing”. That is, replacing meals with juiced fruit and vegetables. The article was in Closer magazine, and detailed how he helped Katie Price drop her baby weight after the birth of Junior. She followed a juice plan for 3 months, but the programme I followed from the magazine was “Lose 7 lbs in 7 days” and it worked. This has now become a way of life for me when I want to lose a few pounds, in fact I now have one day a week when all I drink is juice, to give my body a rest and it helps keep my weight under control. The 7 day plan is a great one to follow before going on holiday or to lose a few pounds to fit into a dress for a special event!
I have reproduced the plan in my post: Juice Plan: Lose up to 7lbs in a week and also the recipes for the juices required. You will need a juicer! You don’t have to spend a lot of money, just make sure it has a wide enough chute to take whole apples etc. My Breville juicer is ancient but still going strong, I found a review of juicers on The Independent website and the Logik was a great low cost option, just £29.99 from appliances planet.
I mentioned the 5:2 diet above and this is something I have written about in the past (see 5:2 Diet or Intermittent fasting); I’m intrigued by the health benefits this offers. I read Michael Mosely’s book: “The Fast Diet” and it made a lot of sense, I like the fact that he embarked on this as a scientific project and was impressed by his personal results which included:
- Weight loss
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced cholesterol
- Better blood glucose levels (which had been pre-diabetic)
I tried the Fast Diet myself and lost an impressive 5lbs in 2 days, but, personally, I couldn’t maintain it week in week out. I find juicing easier as it fits into my life, in a way I suppose they are similar, they both restrict calories for a short period of time. If you want to try the 5:2 diet I have reproduced some of Xanthe Clay’s excellent recipes, all under 250 calories and delicious!
Whatever method of weight loss you decide to follow, I wish you every success; it is not an easy thing to do, it takes dedication and perseverance but the results are worth it! Please do let me know how you get on….