The old saying goes “feed a cold and starve a fever”.
And this week I’ve had a stonking cold.
But while it was tempting to hit the comfort foods, I’m proud to say I resisted.
So I was a little disappointed (more than a little) when the scales showed I lost just ½lb this week.
I can understand why, having abandoned the gym mid-week to shiver on the couch.
Plus I lost track of what I was eating – so I probably served myself a few too many portions of the healthy stuff.
But feeling sorry for myself with a tickly throat, congestion headache and blocked nose, I just prayed for a miracle when I got on the scales.
I felt so deserving of a good weight loss.
But I’m determined not to be disheartened, especially at this early stage.
I’m back on track. And this is a marathon, not a sprint.
I’ve still lost 4 and a half lbs in 3 weeks.
As long as I’m losing, I’m winning.
I read an article, in which nutritionists and doctors from the British Dietetic Association gave the top 10 reasons.
And sadly I can relate to all of them:
Thinking short term
Starving yourself for short periods will only end in failure – because it’s too difficult. Dieticians recommend a woman eat 1300-1500 calories a day to lose weight. Any less and you will give up and binge out of hunger.
Deluding yourself about what you’ve eaten
Many people forget that biscuit, or piece of birthday cake, or somehow hide from themselves the fact that they have eaten them. But they add up. Writing everything down – everything – both food and drink, is the only way.
Not including exercise in your regime
Exercise boosts metabolism, meaning your body burns calories faster.
And for each pound of muscle added, you need an extra 75 calories to maintain it, so toning up will also help you lose weight. Exercising for around 20 to 30 minutes a day will do the trick.
Banning certain foods
Denying favourite foods makes it unlikely you’ll stick to a diet. People should have an occasional treat, otherwise they will be miserable.
You may think skipping a meal is a weight loss bonus. But you are only fooling yourself. Your blood sugar level will drop, making you crave sweets. Research has proved people who skip breakfast eat more calories a day than those who don’t.
Thinking healthy food is low calorie food
Even some healthy foods are fattening. A tablespoon of olive oil contains 100 calories. An avocado contains 190 calories and almost 20 grams of fat, and a handful of peanuts contains 150 calories – and 13 grams of fat.
Weighing out food is one of the most off-putting aspects of dieting. But many dieters unconsciously go larger on portions after several weeks.
Not counting drinks
A standard cappuccino has 120 calories – and 8 grams of fat.
Alcohol and fizzy drinks are other big calorie traps. Alcohol contains as many calories as fat and boosts appetite (well, who hasn’t had the wine munchies?)
Weighing yourself too often
Getting on the scales too often can make weight loss more difficult. Weight fluctuates throughout the month because of water retention. And if you’re toning up, muscle is heavier than fat. Weigh yourself once a week at most and first thing in the morning.
I could add a couple of my own to this list.
Looking for immediate results is one. First sign of a setback like I’ve just had, and I’m usually reaching for the biscuit tin, telling myself “this isn’t working”. I’m impatient. I want to be slim – and I want it now!
Having friends or colleagues who struggle with their weight can also make you feel in good company. Especially if they’ve thrown in the towel, or they’re bigger than you are. It’s taboo to admit it, but let’s be honest here, how many of us have looked around the office, or the school playground and thought “Well I might be big – but I’m not as big as her”
It’s hard. If it wasn’t, we’d all look like Cameron Diaz.
And I can’t pretend I’m not bricking it over my next weigh-in. One bad week is enough. Two in a row is a serious head-f*ck.
Pray for me.