As a recovering anorexic, I could tell you the most successful fast diets, but they won’t help you to stay slim unless you have the willpower to continue with ever more restrictive regimes, until finally you have beaten the sensation of hunger and are eating virtually nothing.
In other words, you’re an anorexic too.
What happens with most people who diet is that their weight yo-yos. This is because the the initial weight loss is achieved through the body using up its fat reserves, but then it goes into siege mode.
So, as soon as you’ve achieved your goal weight/got fed up with going to the gym five nights a week, and you go back to your normal eating patterns, the body will start to store some of this food as fat because you have alerted it to the possibility of another potential famine.
You start to put weight back on…
And so the cycle begins again.
What I’ve discovered over the years is that the best way to achieve a good body weight is to eat smaller amounts little and often, combining foods from the three major food groups to ensure that the body’s metabolism can process it correctly. If you start counting calories by cutting out carbs or proteins or fats, your body can’t do its job properly because it needs elements from all of them to maintain the optimum levels of glucose and insulin, which allow the body to function without being tired or hyperactive.
In addition, you have to get out and do some exercise every day: a brisk 20 minute walk or a yoga class – or, better still, don’t take the car, walk to the yoga class. Don’t exercise solely with the idea of losing weight, do it because it is all part of achieving a healthy lifestyle.
If you choose something like yoga, you will discover that it helps to keep your mind in shape as well as your body. Focussing on the body’s physical movements in the various postures and the breathing techniques means that your mind cannot run off in all directions, planning the day’s activities and the shopping list. It has to become still and just think about what the body is doing and the effects of that action. And, at the end of every class, is a short period of relaxation, where you just lie down and try to empty your mind totally.
This de-stressing is hugely beneficial and, done regularly, you will notice that you are much calmer and more relaxed about every area of your life.
There are a huge range of different diets on the market these days and some of the most successful involve cyclical eating by tricking the body into thinking it’s getting more calories than it actually is. I posted some weightloss diet reviews showing some good examples of these.
Exercising is the best way to get your metabolism working, but it’s no good getting into the habit of saying, I can eat two biscuits today because I will work it off tomorrow. The trick is not to eat the biscuits at all. In order to stop yourself from even thinking about sweet things after dinner you need to find something to keep your hands busy.
That’s how I discovered knitting.
My Nan used to knit everything – socks, jumpers, hats, scarves. You name it, she could produce it from her two busy needles. As a child, she tried to teach all of us ‘grands’, but all I could make was a very uneven scarf in plain knit – I couldn’t even manage to purl. I was always adding in or losing stitches so the width tended to vary dramatically throughout its length and there were often holes!
However, when I became an anorexic, I decided to learn how to knit, just so I could focus on something other than food. I worked with a group of girls who had formed a knitting club and so there was always someone who was an expert to show me how to get started and sort me out when I made a complete hash of it… or just to explain some of the hieroglyphics and shortforms that seem to crop up in a lot of knitting patterns.
I grew to love it, knitting and purling and all the other more complicated stuff, especially cabling and colour changes. I knitted for myself and then I started branching out to family and friends, even designing my own pictures for the front of jumpers – well, it was the ’80s. Pretty much anything whacky went.
It’s an extraordinarily relaxing pastime with a worthwhile end result and, once you have the basic skillset, it’s very easy to progress onto the more advanced stitches and designs.
As part of my new internet business, I’m always on the look out for ebooks that I can market and, recently, I found this easy-knit book.
The site includes a free email beginners course which takes you through how to cast on and knit a simple scarf. After that, everything else that you need to know about the different stitches, yarns and patterns is included in the book, which you download onto your computer. It even helps you to understand all those abbreviations you get in the more advanced knitting patterns.
So, for anyone who wants something useful to keep their fingers away from the biscuit tin whilst they’re working on their new eating strategy, then this is a great skill to learn and a quick and simple way to acquire it.
For those of you who are already adept in the art, there is also a book on Knitting for Profit. This is a carefully researched plan that guides you through everything you need to know to make a successful business out of your hobby.
How to get free patterns and free yarns, how to choose which garments will sell and the best wools in which to produce them, as well as how to market and to whom.