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I’ve never really been one for diet fads or exercise.

Food and wine pairing at the fine dining resta...

Food and wine pairing at the fine dining restaurant, The Flute, in downtown Mumbai. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s not that I’m one of those lucky skinny bitches with an irritatingly fast metabolic rate who end up slimmer than before they had babies; I’m just fundamentally too lazy to be arsed.

I also REALLY like food.

I honestly believe that a little extra meat on your bones looks a damn sight healthier than the skeletal look as you age.

Lucky that!

Having said that, I admit that I am a good (ahem!) 20kg heavier than I was on my wedding day and I don’t really want to get any heavier, so to maintain this new (just about acceptable) middle aged weight, I’ve had to make some radical adjustments to my lifestyle.

Such as:

  • Working my ass off in whatever my latest fad exercise is
  • Walking the dog when I can be bothered or she makes me feel guilty enough
  • Creating a personal diet plan that includes wine suits me.

The problem with all those commercial ‘diets’ with controlled eating plans, those ‘questionably thick’ shakes, putrid soups or just lemon juice (WTF), is that they don’t allow for you having a life, and although they might bring results in the short term, maintaining that new weight proves difficult once you get off the diet treadmill.

Scientists have proven that once you reach middle age (just when your comfort-eating skills have maximised), your body doesn’t need the same amount of calories as it did before – it also takes malicious pleasure in depositing the surplus.

I am a strong advocate of ‘The Replacing Food With Wine Diet.’

You see, the biggest problem I have with watching my weight is that I am an alcoholic.

The fact is, that I enjoy a glass or two of wine in the evening so much, that I am happy to sacrifice food for it.

And there’s nothing controversial in that statement – even Weightwatchers allow you to drink wine if you save the points elsewhere. If you need any more justification, wine is apparently now beneficial for heart health (well, this week anyway).

There’s actually no massive secret to maintaining a healthy weight when you reach middle age, but it does involve hard work and discipline in the form of exercise and a calorie-controlled diet.

Deciding what those calories will be is the fun part.

Here’s an example of my typical day (give or take a few hundred calories):

Breakfast

Bowl of cereal or scrambled eggs on toast, juice and coffee

Morning Snack

A real coffee or some fruit

Lunch

Sandwich and fruit,

or soup, bread and fruit,

or crackers, cheese and fruit

or (a Weightwatcher’s favourite), beans on toast

(Sneaky biscuit)

Lunchtime is when I eat carbs. If I don’t eat carbs at lunchtime, I put on weight because I start gnawing on my own arm or attack the cookie jar by 4pm.

Afternoon Snack

Cup of tea and biscuit

Dinner

Lean meat or fish, with salad.

Reward Time For Being So Inhumanely Stoic (Orgasm Time)

1-2 glasses of wine and a few squares of the darkest, sexiest chocolate I can find.

This diet seems to work for me – at the moment. I probably consume in the region of 1500 to 1700 calories per day, but I do try to exercise at least three times a week. I know the recommended amount of exercise is 30 minutes per day but P.L.E.A.S.E!

My diet is noticeably low in fat/cholesterol due to a genetic cholesterol issue, but sometimes if I’m feeling really crazy, I might sneak in a yoghurt or smoothie instead of fruit.

I’m not what you’d call slim, but my weight hasn’t really changed over the last three years, and with menopause looming, I realise that my diet plan will need revising at some point – I may then be forced to cut out food altogether.

Crème brûlée (Creme Brulee)

Crème brûlée (Creme Brulee) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rest assured, I am no saint and at the weekends I love to ‘eat all the pies’ as much as the next person. But I do make informed choices. If I do have a big meal out, I’ll try and cut back the next day and I always endeavour to opt for Asian food (except Chinese) which is usually less fatty. (Actually that’s a blatant lie – my penchant for Creme Brulee, may go some way to explaining my Rubenesque hips).

But the best thing about The Replacing Food With Wine Diet is that you always feel content because you’re pissed full all the time.

Have you found a diet that works for you?

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