As regular readers of this blog will know, I put quite a bit of thought into diet and weight loss.
I have come to the conclusion that the secret is not to stick ridgedly to one of the above, although it does usually help with losing the odd few pounds or stones. No, the secret is to find a good way of eating that suits you and stick to that for life.
For me, a person who loves cream, wine, butter and mayonnaise, doing without those things is such a hard task that as soon as I have lost my weight, I’m right back there tucking into the things I love best. I am on a low carb diet, which was originally The Atkins Diet but which I now call my Way of Eating. Most people I know would find my diet disgusting, but I love it. I really mean that. I feel no great loss at my lack of potatoes, rice and pasta, I substitute cauliflower mash or salad with loads of dressing, both of which I adore.
For others, those who hate fatty foods, then a lifetime of pasta and jacket potatoes with absolutely no fat, might work better. Eating loads of carbohydrates and no fat works equally as well as eating loads of fat and no carbohydrates.
For most people though somewhere between these two extremes is more acceptable. In my opinion, based on experience, my own and first hand anecdotes, there is a sliding scale of the ratio between carbohydrates and fat. If you raise the fat you must lower the carbs and vice versa.
So we need to think about the way of eating that suits us best and stick to it.
Some things though I am convinced of (excuse the poor grammar):
You should not eat sugar, on its own or in products, at all – sorry, but once you give it up you don’t miss it and it does cause cravings that are hard to resist
If you need to drink then stick to spirits and diet mixers rather than wine.
Make as much of your food as you can, don’t buy ready meals.
Don’t count calories and stop eating when you have had enough (this is a hard one, and easier for me without carbs).
Don’t keep weighing yourself, judge your weight, gain or loss, from the fit of your clothes. Weigh occasionally but not daily, or even weekly.
Try not to hate yourself if you are overweight. To paraphrase Caitlin Moran in How to be a Woman: If you have a recognisably human shape then you are not fat.