This post is particularly for fatgirlwantsalife but I thought I'd share it more widely. I've been on my weightloss journey for coming up to 5 years now (end of this month) and have used a number of different ways to get the scales moving in a downwards direction - as I have found sticking to the "same old routine" lulls the body into knowing what you're throwing at it (and the body has a great way of "adapting"!)
Since mid October 2016, I've been using the Blood Sugar Diet (BSD) to get my weight moving again.
The Blood Sugar Diet was developed for and aimed primarily at those with diabetes or who are pre-diabetic. It's follows the principles of the Mediterranean Diet, but aims to cut out grains (no bread, oats or rice), potatoes, pasta, sugar and sugar products, fruit which is high in sugar (think tropical). Also cutting out processed foods which contain a lot of added and hidden sugar (lots of ready made sauces, condiments), bread, cakes.
So what do I eat? I have cut out as far as possible refined carbs, and try to limit carbs as much as possible. Carbohydrates are found in things like vegetables, but this way of life concentrates on the vegetables that grow above ground. These contain less sugar - so things like spinach, beans, peppers, salad stuff, sprouts, cabbage, etc. I still eat some root vegetables, but in moderation.
I concentrate on getting "healthy" (non-saturated) fats into my meals, including lean meats (non-processed), oily fish, some varieties of nuts, cheese, whole milk products (yogurt), avocados, eggs. I have increased the amount of "legumes" (lentils, beans). The ideas is that these foods keep you feeling fuller for longer and reduce the need to snack between meals. And indeed I have found that to be the case. So this morning, for example, I have eaten a brunch of 50g of smoked salmon and scrambled egg with a teaspoon of added double cream and some flat mushrooms fried in butter and vegetable oil.
Michael Mosley (he of the 5:2 Fasting diet!) introduced the 8 week Blood Sugar Diet, whereby you follow the principles of BSD eating for 8 - 12 weeks, limiting your daily calorie intake to 800 calories. Whilst some may argue 800 calories is far too low and this is yet another wacky idea to make him money, there is also a lot of evidence starting to emerge about the effects of "complex" carbohydrates on our bodies. Read more here: thebloodsugardiet.com/
Another website I refer to regularly (lots of infographics and lovely recipes) is: dietdoctor.com/low-carb#advice
The advantage of the 8 weeks is that many people experience a good / rapid rate of loss and providing they're eating the healthy fats and proteins, they shouldn't feel hungry hungry. In addition, many of those with raised blood sugar levels may find that within weeks, their blood sugar levels falling back towards normal.
What happens after 8 weeks? You can continue for a maximum of 12 weeks if you are able to. Then a break for at least 12 weeks before commencing another 8 week round (if required). During the break, it's advised to stick to the principles of the BSD but not to limit the calories.
Cutting out snacking is a big part of the BSD. I found my need to snack during the 8 weeks was greatly reduced. I would also drink a pint of water instead of snacking and often this was enough to satisfy any craving I had. If I do feel the need to eat, I often have a sliced apple and small amount of cheese (30g).
There is a FaceBook page with over 10,500 members - each and every day there are many success stories from around the world of people who have used it to successfully lose weight and / or improve their health (blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugars) as well as to help with things like Fibromyalgia and PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). facebook.com/search/top/?q=...
I'm not advocating that following BSD will get rid of symptoms, but I read on a daily basis about people who have found benefits )other than weight loss and blood sugar levels) to this way of eating.
In my own experience I found many positive benefits to cutting out as much sugar as possible during 8 weeks:
More energy (waking at 6am and feeling refreshed - not being able to go back to sleep!)
Less general pain (which I experience on a daily basis because of my disability)
Feeling generally more alert
Here's another great article about the BSD experience...
For those who like to understand the science behind any hype like this, Newcastle University have undertaken a study about reversing Type 2 diabetes:
I managed to lose 13lbs in 7 weeks of following the BSD - and I was very strict with myself. In the first week I lost 6lbs, which was the most I've ever lost in a week in all the time I have been trying to lose weight! I have always tried to reduct the amounts of bread, pasta and rice that I eat but I now am really not tempted to eat these items at all..... my body just doesn't respond well to them.
I don't proclaim to be an expert, but I can admit to being a fan of the Blood Sugar Diet!