There are still people I meet who ask me how I lost so much weight and, more and more, how I am managing to keep it off. Almost always they are disappointed when I tell them. They can even seem a bit annoyed, as if I really do have a secret, but I’m not telling them what it is. They don’t seem to like the truth, which is that I am doing it by keeping things very simple.
Many people seem to have complicated targets when they are trying to lose weight. Yes, they want to lose weight, but they also want to eat ‘good fats’, eat more protein and less carbohydrates, go to the gym five times a week, drop three dress sizes, lose four inches off their thighs, look good for their daughter’s wedding in six month’s time. And so on. As I never stop saying, we are all different, and maybe people manage to achieve several targets at once, which is terrific. But it’s too complicated for me – I need to keep it simple!
When I started with Nutracheck I had just one target – I was going to lose 10% of my body weight. That’s it. I started to weigh everything, put it all in my food diary, and made sure my calories were under the total every day. I didn’t care whether the food was red meat, good fat, full of salt, processed, or had been driven by truck from Cambodia – I just counted the calories, and I lost weight. I weighed myself every morning to see how I was doing. I couldn’t even complicate life with exercise, because I was crippled with arthritis in my knees.
When I had lost the 10% I set my next goal as another 10%, and kept on with the same system. But now, my knees were getting better, so I started to walk a little. I didn’t join a gym or buy a cross-trainer – I just walked. And if the weather was bad I walked inside the house. I bought a pedometer, recorded my steps every day, and tried to increase the number of them gradually. If my weight loss slowed down, I ate fewer calories for a few days.
I kept losing weight like that until my BMI was under 25 – I didn’t worry about whether or not BMI was a perfect measure. Then I reckoned that was time for maintenance. Now life got slightly more complicated, because I wanted to check that my diet was OK for the long-term. Nutritionist Emma gave me some advice, and I adjusted what I ate a little. Apart from anything else, I had to start eating more, so that I would stop losing weight. But I still follow that simple approach – eat low calorie, walk as much as I can, record both my weight and steps every day, and don’t worry about anything else, least of all the truck from Cambodia.