Diets don’t really work. A committed change to the way you choose to live is what will. So that new Blood group/south beach/atkins diet you started? Its only as good as its ability to fit into your lifestyle. Or you can change your lifestyle completely.. everyday.. for the rest of your life.
That being said…. you’ll get no judgement from me. I’ve been there myself.
Many years ago, when I quit competitive basketball and got into IT, i started to gain weight. As a person who started sport at the age of 9 and had no idea how to handle a non-skinny body.. i panicked.
I had NEVER dieted before that. All I ever cared about was playing well. I was willing to be whatever it took for me to be the best player out there. The focus was never on how my body looked. But i had also, never lived in a body that was heavy and hadn’t moved in a while. I had no idea how to carry it around, dress it or like it.
So i started my first diet. Several diets and many rounds of depression later. I gave up, found my first love(exercise) again, found joy in moving like i always had, ate food not junk… and all else just fell into place.
Listed here are all crazy diets i tried. Beware, this is a personal account, and while i hope it will provide an insight into what each one is about. At the end of the day, what works is personal and unique to each of us.
1) The Low-Fat Diet
Bit of a no brainer. Everyone did it at one point. We were told that fat makes us fat.. so i avoided it all costs. My already dry skin got drier. My cravings got stronger and i found myself binge eating french fries by the time the week was over.
2) The Atkins/The Low Carb Diet
Forget low fat. Try low carb. At only 20 gms of carbs a day in the initial phase( which I realise, now, is ridiculous), I was moody and irritable. If someone had warned me ahead I would have called my friends first and told them not to come over.
Working out on that allotment of carbs was a nightmare. And as a bonus, i smelt terrible. Ketosis they call it. They even convinced me its a good thing(your body dissolving its fat to save itself).
If they’d told me ahead, i would have called all my friends first and told them not to come anywhere near me.
3) The 7 day GM diet.
Day 1: Feel light headed on a diet of fruits.
Day 2: The only veggies i liked raw(back then) are cucumber and carrot. Having eaten my weights worth of them, i feel gaseous and nauseous.
Day 3: Gnaw my own knuckles in desperation
Day 7: Rejoice
Day 8 and beyond: Put on all the weight I lost right back… and then some.
4) The Beyonce Master Cleanse
I do not know how she did it. But 2 days of severe diarrhoea was all it took to convince me out of it. Lemon water? Seriously?
5) The Starve-All-Day-Party-At-Night Diet
Starved all day… MORE than made up for it at night
6) The Eat-Chapathi-Instead-Of-Rice Diet
Bloated-ness was my friend in misery. Enough said.
7) The Skinny Bitch diet.
Basically went vegan. I was skinny-fat and a mega bitch. I refuse to put my friends and family through it again.
The Every Other Day Diet.
Requires you to fast one day and eat the other day. This is what it usually went like for me
Day 1: Fast virtuously for the first 3 hours of the day. By noon any food my colleagues eat is being looked at with jealousy.
By 2-ish pm i feel like a martyr that has sacrificed all. Any food talk is quietened by murderous glances.
Given i was in the US and staying with colleagues, if it was my turn to cook, lord help them co-workers. Food would be prepared dramatically(think hindi movie ‘maa’ sentiment) and thrown not served at the table.
Day 2: Euphoria. Its an eat-all-you-want fest. Except, your stomach hurts after a while. And you kinda feel sick.
Day 3: Clinical depression
Day 4: No Euphoria this time. Just a sense of foreboding because you know its all going to end very soon.
Needless to say.. i didn’t last the week.
So what do i do now? I eat. Everytime I’m hungry. I eat foods as close to their natural state as possible, but if i absolutely want that bag of potato chips.. i will have it. And my weight? Its been stable for 6 years 🙂