Saturday, 23 August 2008

How to put on two and a half stone in ten years

What I think is not going to do you any good is skipping meals. I have a friend who tries to lose weight by going as long as possible without food - it doesn't work, needless to say. He might get through the day eating hardly anything, but he's not going to feel well while he's doing it and sooner or later he will be so hungry that he will overeat vastly, usually in the evening which plays havoc with one's digestion.

Badgerdaddy says his downfall is crisps and alcohol - the worst thing there is that they go together and while one is imbibing the latter one loses track of how much one is eating of the former. And they are so awfully moreish. I think my downfall was eating for the sake of it, because I wanted to not because I needed to.

So, I'd have quite a light breakfast, often dry toast, but sometimes (once or twice a week) with butter and marmalade. I'd probably not eat during the morning, but if I had coffee with a friend and biscuits were passed round, I'd eat one, even though I didn't need it. At lunchtime, I would often have much what I do now, such as home-made soup, salad or leftovers, but too often I would eat cheese, possibly toasted or have the bacon and eggs I didn't eat at breakfast. I was reasonably sensible - for example, if I had scrambled eggs, I'd use a little butter in the cooking but I wouldn't butter the toast too.

Then came mid afternoon. I think that this was the biggest problem, because I had gradually developed something of a biscuit habit. Two or three chocolate digestives were not a rare treat but a frequent one. And I might, if I fancied it, have a few crisps, olives or nuts with the first glass of wine of the evening. Dinner was pretty okay, all I've done there is moderate the fat I use in cooking. More wine, a total of 2-3 glasses in an evening. I might occasionally scoff a whole (small) packet of crisps or eat a Kit-kat or something during the day. And if there was chocolate around, I might have one after dinner. Never more than two, I don't have an urge to finish a boxful or a bar and I prefer a small amount of good chocolate to a lot of cheap. I hardly ever ate puddings.

The thing is, this isn't that bad. But it was enough to put on 3 or 4 pounds in a year. Do that for a few years and you hardly notice the creep until it's damn difficult to shift. Which is why I must not lapse, ever again. That is, if I want a crisp I'll have one, but I think about it first, made the decision that I really want it and then just have one or two. I won't eat the packet and if I'm alone I won't even bother to open it.

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