A weighty challenge

Do you always feel like you’re on a diet? Lose weight then put it all back on again, lured back into you’re old way, getting stuck in a dieting yoyo?  I’ve tried most of them during my lifetime, – Atkins (lasted 48 hours – it made me so ill!), weight watchers, Rosemary Connolly’s fat free, food combining to name a few. Most of the time, I had some success and would lose some weight, but always managed to put it back on again.

Whilst never being massively overweight, I’ve also never been particularly small and never felt comfortable. Looking back, I realise not feeling right was more to do with not eating the right foods for me, rather than being too heavy and needing to ‘diet’. But it was being on a particular diet – Carol Vorderman’s 28 day detox plan – that made me realise there was more to this eating malarky that meets the eye. This plan is plant based, cutting out any food source that can cause inflammation in the body (including wheat, alcohol and caffeine). Lacking the understanding I have now, it was hard, but I felt so good. More energy, less headaches and generally lighter in body and spirit. But I didn’t continue with it long term, so slowly the weight started creeping back on.

It was however, the start of my journey to wellness through a plant based whole food diet. And once I applied the principles properly, I lost weight without even trying. But not so much that I’m an unhealthy size. I’ve plateaued at a healthy 57kg and eat loads more now than I used to, it’s just all whole and plant. I’ve seen this in others too (my daughter lost 10kg over 6 months, a colleague at work must have lost half his body weight over the last year or so), and it’s backed up by research; at the Annal Meeting of the Obesity Society in America last week, research comparing different diets revealed that a fully plant based diet lead to the greatest weight loss without having to restrict calories* and The Permanente Journal states that current research is so strong that a plant based diet should be recommended to improve overall health and well being, including weight loss**

clogger burger
A Clogger Burger!

Although he enjoys the food I cook for him, my husband has been reluctant to go fully plant based; he does enjoy his meat and cheese! But a month away living in a hotel in Mexico eating too much meat and dairy not only expanded his waist line a bit too much, it made him feel pretty unwell in general. This was followed by our family holiday in the US, with large portions and gut-busting burgers. So much food! So much so, that on the way home, he declared his intention to eat a plant based diet for a month to kick start some weight loss (96kg at the mo) and a training plan to cycle up Ventoux (mountain in France) next year (see his blog http://cyclingseagull.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/the-next-challenge). Four days in and he’s doing really well, commenting on how he’s eating so much more than he would normally. The weekend is going to be his first challenge though – a day trip to watch football in Birmingham with the boys, which usually means many beers, burgers and pies. Beer is the first challenge, as like wine, many brands use animal products for fining (see my blog post http://foodiesensitive.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/milk-in-wine-surely-not.html). Luckily, the Barnivore website has come to the rescue, and even has an app which he rapidly downloaded.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how he gets on with eating this way over the next month – I know it works, but social situations make it challenging at times. Hopefully more and more people will get on board and reap the health benefits of eating plant based; once mainstream, and easily accessible, eating out and socialising will become less challenging. And my man will be more streamlined!* http://www.obesity.org/news-center/plant-based-diets-show-more-weight-loss-without-emphasizing-caloric-restriction.htm
**http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/

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