Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not enormously overweight ,or anything like it, but the time has come to shed a few pounds. Around eleven altogether, which in modern money is roughly five kilos.
Ever since the Christmas indulgence I've been unable to lose the effects of the traditional feast, and though I've not put on a lot, what went on, stayed on. I'm a pretty active active guy too, going away hillwalking regularly, as my recent blogs will show, and the occasional big trip on the mountain bike. But despite all that effort, it refuses to shift. I'm guessing it's the dreaded middle age thing!
If ever there was a sceptic of diets, then I must hold the record. I know many people who have gone on them for long periods of time, and given up. Some return to their previous weight once the stop and have to start all over again. And some had gone on a crash diet and it had aged them dramatically. I knew of very few real success stories.
The reason for me starting this diet is quite simple: a number of years ago I hurt my back, and in 2003 had a spinal operation. I need to keep my weight to around 82kilos or I start to suffer from aches and pains again, which if I don't do something about the cause, can lead to serious problems. At the start of this diet I weighed 86.5kilos. That was the main reason, but I'm also noticing the beginning of man boobs, and that's just not going to happen!
Anyway, a friend of mine, Louise, introduced me to a diet called the "up and down" diet. So, still a sceptic, I started five days ago. It goes like this: first day is a down day, so using a calorie intake calculator, I worked out that I could only have just short of 600 calories on a down day. That's barely a few mouthfulls of salad leaves, I can tell you! Then the next day is an up day, and pretty much a normal eating day, but keeping an eye on not going wild with cream cakes etc. On this day I can have between 2500 and 2800 calories, which is about the normal amount for an active male. I also make sure on my up days I go for a long cycle.
One of the things I'd heard was that most people on a diet drink diet coke, as it contains zero calories, and they think this wont impact on their diet. However, a bit of research uncovered that the artificial sweetness in diet coke, or any sweet, diet product, creates an insulin spike reaction in your body, which then switches off the fat burning gene! So if this is you, ditch the diet drinks!
Just 5 days in and I've dropped a kilo! That's two pounds in under a week! Apparently it works by tricking your mind. Regular diets, where the calorie intake is reduced every day, makes the body go into starvation mode, and it becomes much more difficult to shed the pounds. This one switches on your "SIRT 1" gene, which when triggered, burns fat. It works because you're not on a restricted calorie intake every day, so your body doen't go into starvation mode.
I have to be careful that I still get enough nutrients etc every day, so one meal is replaced with a Slimfast milkshake product, which contains everything I need. And already I feel great! I'm living proof that it definitely works. Granted, on the down days I'm pretty hungry, and the smell of cooking food from anywhere drives me mad, but I'm starting to get used to it, and hopefully I'll stick to it.
Afterall, I don't fancy man boobs, or a tummy the size of a small country!