My (new) fat year

the complete f planReaders of Tales from Baggins Bottom will remember an old regular feature, My Fat Year. They may also remember how I yo-yo’d so much between losing and gaining weight despite trying several commercial diets that many suggested having some blood tests.

I’ve had those blood tests, numerous tests in fact, in a bid to find out why I lose a few pounds and then put it all straight back on again. And the outcome is … there is nothing physically wrong with me to cause me to gain or retain weight. I’m not even menopausal yet, apparently, so they couldn’t blame it on my age either.

And so I’m trying again. But this time, instead of throwing yet more pounds at the diet industry, I’m changing our actual regular diet. We’re going to try and eat more fibre. (And I mean more natural fibre rather than dietary supplements or pills.)

For Christmas, I received a very generous gift voucher for Amazon. I’ve so far bought around 18 books and spent only £15 of this voucher (apx $20). But one of the books I’ve bought is a compilation, and it’s The Complete F-Plan Diet by Audrey Eyton.

Originally written in 1982, before the diet revolution in the UK, this version has now been updated to include latest research and scientific findings. For example, it no longer recommends throwing a handful of Kellogg’s All Bran at everything – although I quite like the taste of Kellogg’s All Bran – because, although it is very high in fibre, there’s not a lot else in it for what many apparently deem to be an almost unpalatable taste.

We have absolutely no intention of throwing out what’s left of the Christmas food. As this book suggests, we’re doing it gradually. And as we replace food we’ve used, we’ll replace it with the high fibre or brown versions. I’m even looking for baking recipes that use wholemeal self-raising (self-rising) flour rather than white SR flour.

I’ve only just started reading the book, only just started to learn about a high-fibre diet, but we’re already putting some of the suggestions into action, such as chewing each mouthful at least 20 times (I think that’s my figure, though, as it’s more than what we’re currently doing but not quite the 50-odd+ times the book actually seems to suggest in places). And already we’re filling up with food a lot quicker, and we’re leaving some for Mister Manners … just while we get used to reducing the portion sizes to sufficient amounts to keep us sated.

We’ll probably also add organic produce where we can. Again, before organic became trendy, I used to buy organic food and there was quite a limited choice. This meant I had to be more creative with what was on offer and I made use of seasonal fruit and vegetables. But I lost weight then – and kept it off. (This was a few years ago.)

And we’ll keep things as local as we can too, such as only buying milk from a Yorkshire dairy (we started a new milkman off just before Christmas, and his milk comes from Barnsley), only buying pork from one of the many pig farms in this and neighbouring counties, and maybe visiting farmers’ markets to find local cheeses, fruit and vegetables.

We’re going to eat fewer crisps and sweets, try to stick to 3 meals a day, and I (at least) want to stop eating after 9pm. I used to stop eating at 8pm, so I need to get back to there if I can. I think that will help a lot.

And I need to get more active again, starting with walking the dog every day again. We really need to be getting out more at weekends again too.

I have no idea if this will work this time, but even if it doesn’t, at least I’ll know that we’re putting allegedly better food inside our bodies so we should, at least, be healthier if not slimmer.

If I can, I have around 3 stone to lose (apx 42lb). And I’ve already started to practise by writing everything down in a food diary without worrying about calories at this stage.

Wish me luck! And do feel free to share your own stories and suggestions in the comments below.