My journey so far...hope it helps others starting out

Hi all,

Apologies in advance for this rambling post, but I thought it may help others who are on the weight loss journey; something that can seems like an uphill walk, rather than a flat sprint for much of the time.

You'll see my previous posts explaining how confused I am about food and diets. Today's news from the National Obesity Forum (et al.) doesn't help to clear the water, although I suspect there are many aspects of it that we perpetual dieters recognise.

My background is that I'm a 44-year old male living in England. I've steadily put on weight since my teens and never been able to shake it off. I don't consider myself to overeat, don't drink (boring I know but I just ca't do it) and ride my bike every day, covering between 2 to 5 miles (not a lot but it helps). Oh, and I'm happy with life...good business, great family etc...

Meals are mostly homemade and we have a takeaway once every week or so. We don't eat 'ready meals' and don't cook with extra fat. I eat fruit and veg.

My heart attack and stroke risk are low (according to my GP).

Now, onto the nitty gritty of my post. I've been to Slimming World since mid March and have managed to lose 10 1/2lbs. Now, this is a low fat, high carb diet 9although they have tweaked their guidelines recently to encourage the eating of more fruit and veg).

I do struggle with the idea of things like mug shots (full of dried rubbish) and fat-free yoghurts (loaded with added sugar) being free food. I just don't understand how this can be so.

I've noticed that the moment I stop eating the 'SW way' the weight just comes back again.

So, perhaps it is possible to be overweight and healthy? This is a conclusion I am coming to more and more. Perhaps it's just something in us that means that you are prone to be a particular shape and carry that extra weight.

Yes I'll carry on SW for a while because it works, but I'll have to wean myself off it and some point and start eating normal food. I just don't consider SW to be healthy food (at least the stuff in packets).

There can't be anything wrong with an odd homemade biscuit or homemade cake can there? We know what has gone into those and I'd argue they are way better for you than the absolute junk that fills things like SW's HiFi bars.

This post isn't to kick against SW or Weight Watchers. I think I'm just trying to show that you can lose weight with these dieting regimes, but ultimately there has to be a way to come to terms with your own weight in your own mind and feel comfirtable with it, safe in the knowledge you do not overest/over drink....despite what people might think (I often joke that people think I eat chocolate cake all day, otherwise I wouldn't be 'so fat').

It's probably a positive factor i todays report as well, as it may well show that being overweight isn't down to 'eating to much'.

Anyhow, I've rambled on too much, just something I'd like to bring to fellow weight fighters.

I guess it's all in the mind?

The journey continues ...

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  • I read the BBC article referring to the National Obesity Forum article and found it more confusing than anything.

    I personally keep my fat intake low, although I do have some healthy fats like avocados, nuts and seeds as well as a small amount of olive and hemp oil.

    Eating whole foods and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and limited processed foods would be my recommendation if I was a nutritionist (which I am not).

    Home-made biscuits and cake, although much better than store-bought ones are still a bit high in fats and sugar, but are fine for occasional consumption, I feel.

    Have you read books like "Salt, Sugar, Fat" by Michael Moss, "Fat Chance" by Robert Lustig and "How Not to Die" by Micheal Greger and Gene Stone? They make fascinating reading.

  • I replace sugar with xylitol and use a low fat, low cholesterol spread instead of butter to making the occasional cake & biscuits. I think It is possible to find creative ways to replace sweet things. I really like the bran cake recipe on the nhs plan (again replacing the sugar with xylitol).

    My desire for cakes and sweet stuff is becoming less though since doing the nhs 12 week plan. Calorie counting is slowly but surely being effective combined with doing a bit more exercise.

  • It is funny how our tastes adapt, I gave up sugar entirely last summer and since then my cravings for sweet things has almost gone (not quite, LOL, I do enjoy dried fruits and my beloved Nakd Bars).

  • I look forward to getting to that place too! Am on my way...

  • I also go to SW and find the diet reasonably easy but I am dreadful at the odd 'one won't hurt' mindset. However, I do think it is easy to get hung up on dieting. Members at the meeting who are now at their final weight, discuss things like 'I am going out for a meal on my birthday, I need to plan what I can eat from the menu'. I think life is too short to have to deprive yourself on your birthday, mothers day, holidays, Christmas, etc. Maybe moderation in all things is the best way?

  • As a 48yr old male I've was in the same position a few years back. Over past four years have lost 1 stone but, more importantly, five inches off my waist. Have achieved this with a combination of a sensible amount of aerobic exercise (which it sounds like you are already doing) and two 1hr sessions of weight training each week (one chest/arms, one legs). I train at home with simple weights - nothing expensive - £40 on Gumtree. The weight training will make you feel/look much better and also increase your metabolic rate which will tone you and burn fat. Very important - don't over weight train as you will plateau very quickly and probably injure yourself - pain but no gain. Slowly does it... within a few weeks you will begin to see improvements and your core strength will increase. Muscles only grow between training sessions so the rest period is the most important factor. Within a month you will see muscles and shape where previously there was flab. Clothes will also start to fit better and self esteem improve. A larger chest makes your waist look smaller but with a sensible regime you will have a larger chest and also a smaller waist. Diet is also very important, I'd be interested in understanding how many carbs you are eating and what type. Avoid processed carbs (pasta, bread etc) and increase complex carbs (sweet potato, wholegrains etc). I'd probably cut your carbs down to one quarter of your daily calorific intake and increase healthy proteins (chicken, fish, turkey, free-range eggs). When you begin to weight train you will start enjoying veg/salad and find you want a much greater % of veg/salad on your plate. Best of luck.

  • I agree with you. I didn't like the sw diet and didn't agree with eating lots of pasta and rice as well as the other foods full of goodness knows what. I have decided to go for good fats and protein with small amount of complex carbs. Most importantly for me exercise has helped by gettingrid of the visceral fat which is the dangerous one.

    It's challenging as I love carbs

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