So, I tried this thing last week. I don’t like to call it a diet; as soon as I hear that word I start eating like a horse. When I put down dietary rules and restrictions, I just start rebelling against them! Crazy, right? Anyway this “challenge” really worked well. I lost weight, got my waist back and I feel fabulous; lighter, energised, refreshed, head is clearer. Positively buzzing really.
I knew something had to be done when I realised all I could think about was warm, buttery toast. All day long! You see I am a comfort-eater (aren’t we all?). When I’m stressed or feeling down I eat toast and drink tea. Like all the time!
Look, I know I am a personal trainer,I’m supposed to have something like 10% body fat (right, like I’m going to waste my life on that goal!). I’ve done all the nutrition and weight management courses and I know all the theory. But still, life gets in the way. I’ve got hormones, damn it! The reality is I too am susceptible to bad diets and weight gain. Most people are. Only those lucky sods who have that desirable, most sought-after LEAN GENE seem to get away with being able to eat whatever their heart desires with little or no fat deposition! Externally anyway.
So, the other week I decided that I had to try a challenge (Not a diet!) to shed a few pounds and more importantly “feel better”. After all, multiple slices of processed bread, sneaky spreads of chocolate or jam and gallons of tea can only lead to a tired, heavy and generally sad body. Not to mention brain too.
The challenge? Nude till Noon!
Basically I can eat any “nude foods” I want until 12pm. Then back to my normal diet, which is actually quite healthy minus the piles of toast.
What’s a NUDE FOOD?
Anything natural, raw, unprocessed. “Low Human Intervention” foods. I heard some famous “juice dude” on the radio use that term. I like it. Foods that haven’t been messed about by man (or woman, let’s not be sexist here). And if they are in a packet eg. yohgurt, honey etc then make sure there are only one or two ingredients
Anyway, I can eat as much as I want till noon. No calorie counting, no restrictions on quantity, as long as it’s NUDE. Then I can, if I want, go back to a normal diet and incorporate foods such as cereals, rusks and bread etc.
You have to think out of the box a little for breakfast. Instead of reaching for the cereal box, or in my case, frantically grabbing the loaf of bread, you need to have thought about something a little different. Also you must make sure you eat enough protein; think eggs, chickpeas,nuts, lentils, yoghurt, oats etc
A few examples from my week:
- Carrots (straight up, neat!)
- Leftover soups (my favourite)
- Fruit, nuts and plain yoghurt(squirt of honey, if I feel I need it)
- Half a can of chickpeas, sprinkle of salt, pepper, lemon juice
- Egg…alone or with a salad
- Leftover dinner – who says you can’t! I had a small bowl of rice and dhal(lentils) and I felt great all day!
- Smoothies, with coconut water or milk, fruit veg and drop of honey
- Lots of green tea- drop of Manuka honey if I feel my sugar’s dropping!
- Coconut water, water, mint tea, fruit tea….
The magic is this:
- By consuming almost no refined sugars for the first 4-5 hours of the day, your body adapts. It doesn’t crave more food, especially sugary foods. So actually you don’t want to binge on biscuits or toast with Nutella (mmmm) or heavily processed foods the rest of the day. In fact, you feel pleasantly satisfied in the hunger department. Blood sugar levels remain pretty stable.
- You break a bad habit and yet by not rigidly restricting any food types you feel “safe” in the knowledge that you can have a little of what you like every day. The thing is, what you like changes quite quickly…I no longer crave toast uncontrollably. I have a slice in the evening though because I just love toast and it gives me comfort…so I’m gonna have it!
- Your mind becomes clear, you FEEL good. And for me that is worth more than the weight loss. I don’t weigh myself much at all. But I can “feel” my weight. I can feel my tiredness or low mood and those have definitely improved drastically in just one week.
- It’s simple. Not real strict rules. Just eat natural till noon. No counting calories, or avoiding food groups or even the things you love. Of course, you have to be sensible. You are doing this for your health so try and help yourself stay healthy the rest of the day to. Cook your own meals and maybe save a ready meal or take- away for the end of the week. My treat is a cooked breakfast (toast, fried egg and cuppa tea on a Sunday after my walk or jog!)
So, now the hard task of keeping it up. Takes a long time to form a habit; two or three months! And I need to make sure I stay on top of it; will re-read my last post about making resolutions into lifetime habits , and put some strategies into place.
Fancy joining me? If you do, you can share your unusual breakfast ideas by posting a photo on the Bloomin Health twitter feed: @bloominhealth
You don’t really have anything to lose. If anything it’s a win win diet if you ask me. Try it.