Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Alternate day fasting

All through my school life, I was called fat and made fun of. Which is strange, because I don't think I was fat. There were children who were a lot fatter than I was, who weren't bullied for it. Which I found confusing.

By the time I was sixteen, I was a size sixteen, which I thought of then as enormous, even though I think it was probably my natural size. I still don't think I was particularly fat.

It must be said that in the 1970s there weren't a lot of clothes that went above a 14, and so I found it difficult to find the sort of clothes my friends were wearing. Eventually, I went on a diet. I lost a bit of weight. I felt better about myself and stopped dieting. I not only put back on all the weight I had lost, I put on more.

This started a cycle which continued for about ten years... I would lose weight by dieting. As soon as I stopped dieting I would put the weight back on. I decided it was probably worse for me to yo-yo diet all the time, and I stopped dieting. By then I had tried a lot of different diets... low fat, low calorie, low carbohydrate, using milk shakes, using grapefruit etc etc.

I started to get free lunches at work, moved in with my future husband, who was a very good cook, and gave up smoking, and put on more weight. I had three children and put on more weight I began doing a mostly sedentary job from home... and put on more weight.

I've always said that I wouldn't diet until I found a plan that I could see myself maintaining for the rest of my life. And last weekend I think I discovered it. Horizon was about to broadcast a programme in which they talk about the alternate day fast, where you have 500 calories one day and a normal diet the following day.

I read the article on the BBC website, and then started researching for myself. This diet apparently has health benefits. People who follow it properly will not only lose weight, but also reduce their level for many of the markers of the diseases which our culture suffers from - heart disease, cancer etc.

So, I'm doing it. This week is my first week. And I really think I can do this for the rest of my life. The genius part of it is that you only have to diet for one day... and then you can eat normally for a day. And then you do it again.

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