What To Eat cover

AWARD WINNER

Does any diet work?

What To Eat cover

AWARD WINNER

One big debate in the nutritional world is whether it is carbohydrates that are behind the obesity epidemic. The argument is that we should cut carbs and not just calories.

Gary Taubes is at the forefront of the anti-carbs group. The Nutrition and Metabolism Society and Zoe Harcombe are other champions of this cause.

Sugar – the Bitter Truth, is an interesting lecture on YouTube by Robert Lustig, an expert on childhood obesity at the University of California.

One of the revelations for me was the way we live in an ‘obesogenic’ world that encourages you to eat too much. David Kessler’s The End of Overeating gives a detailed analysis of how the food industry tempts us down the road to ruin and how to develop strategies to lose weight and keep it off.

It was something of a challenge to me, as a food writer, to discover that I didn’t need to eat nearly as much as I was eating and that to eat less would make me feel so much better.

My quest was for a ‘good food’ diet that was an everyday way of eating rather than drastic short-term weight loss.

I discovered that small shifts in diet and lifestyle were the most effective strategy.

Here are some tips that work for me:

Use a smaller plate and glass. Cut out second helpings. Sit down to eat and take your time over every meal. Be aware of sugar and other processed carbohydrates, especially at night. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Have a bigger breakfast and a smaller supper – and you often need a minimal supper if you’ve had a proper lunch (so long as you don’t drink alcohol). Don’t go on a crash diet based on deprivation but work out how to tweak what you like to eat. Work out the reasons why you might be overweight, thinking it through for yourself rather than following someone else’s diet plan. Find ways to drink well. Be active and take more strenuous exercise two days a week.

MY JOURNEY WENT…

From realizing my figure had turned from hourglass to pint glass…

…to feeling cross about diet books

…to taking a journey to the centre of my body

…to talking to the anti-carb evangelists

…to the experiments of dieters past and present

…to opening my eyes to how we live in an ‘obesogenic’ world

…to hearing the Meal Professor talk about the psychology of eating and the bottomless soup bowl

…to finding small and effective adjustments to my way of eating

…to tackling the mindless ‘glug glug glug’ of afterwork wine

…to yo-yo-s and virtuous circles