UPDATE as of August 13, 2007: I am now over 25 pounds down on this diet. It does work!
I have been on a sensible diet and have lost 12 pounds in the last four weeks. I learned this diet from a group called “Food Addicts Anonymous.” I have seen it work on some morbidly obese people who used it to get down to a normal, healthy weight.
Losing weight isn’t as difficult as many people think, once you get into it and are committed to it. There is a simple formula. Eat three meals a day, carefully weighed and measured, with nothing in between. You can eat no bread, wheat flour or sugar, because these foods have a high glycemic index, which causes you to become ravenously hungry sometime after eating them. I would explain the mechanics of this, but I don’t want to bore you.
When you eat low glycemic index foods, you don’t feel unnaturally hungry. On this diet, you don’t starve and rarely feel hungry (after the first week or so). A note of caution: it is always a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning any weight-loss regimen, especially if you are diabetic.
You need to buy yourself two things: an accurate weight scale (common bathroom scales are too inaccurate to give you good feedback on your progress). The scale should measure to the nearest tenth of a pound. The second thing you need to buy is a food scale. You can get these at Bed, Bath and Beyond. You will need to weigh each meal to control your portions.
Here’s my diet in a nutshell:
1. Breakfast: 1/3 cup of oat bran, sweetened with Splenda. Add water and microwave for just under 2 minutes. 8 oz of nonfat, unsweetened yogurt. One apple or 6 oz of other fruits like berries, guava, etc. No bananas right now – they are highly glycemic.
2. Lunch: 4 oz of meat (or protein like bean curd or beans), 6 oz of vegetables (no rice or potatoes). Best veggies are green ones, but squash is okay (I love squash). One apple or 6 oz of other fruit, as above.
3. Dinner: Same as lunch, but substitute a 12 oz salad for the fruit. Use heavier veggies in the salad or you will feel like a cow with all that lettuce: use tomatoes, onions, broccoli, celery, carrots to give it more weight. Use 1 tablespoon of regular salad dressing or 2 of diet salad dressing.
4. Drinks: No alcohol, no drinks with sugar. You can drink as many diet sodas as you like, and coffee or tea sweetened with a no calorie sweetner (I like Splenda best).
At first the weight will seem to fall off. I lost six pounds the first week, but that is largely water weight. After that, you should lose 2 to 3 pounds per week on average, though you will have some days when you don’t lose any or seem to gain a half pound, but don’t worry about it. It is probably water or the amount of food in your system. (I always weigh myself first thing in the morning when I’m on empty.)
You will notice your clothes fitting more loosely in a couple of weeks and may notice the weight loss first in your face. You will look better and feel better too.
But what if you can’t hack it on your own? Then you might want to join Food Addicts Anonymous. They will assign you a coach to whom you must report daily on your planned meals, any problems you are having and your progress. You will be asked to attend three meetings a week to hear speakers on food-related issues and to read certain books. It’s a tough regimen to follow and it’s like being in “food boot camp.” For the seriously overweight, however, it may be a better way to go.