Easiest Diet Ever

Pounds gained since Thanksgiving: 10

Pounds lost since last week: 5

How I did it: No carbs, no sugar, no alcohol. That’s it. This eating program is easier than it sounds. Obviously, since I always do things the easy way if possible. I have spent decades calculating and recording calories and fat in little notebooks, sweating with Richard Simmons, slogging through the  January snow to the gym.

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My simple plan requires none of the above. No calorie counting. No notebooks. No exercise. The best part is it works. Fast. Many years of gaining and losing plus dozens of diet/health/cook books analyzed and tried have taught me a few things.

  1. All calories are not created equal
  2. All bodies do not react to calories the same way
  3. Personality & inclination win out over willpower

This is why my diet may not be right for you. I’m pretty sure if you do it, it will work. There’s a boatload of science that backs me up. But not everyone wants to give up bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, cereal and sugar. It sounds too hard because these are the very foods we crave.

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For me, it’s way more difficult to constantly monitor my calories, fat, and exercise levels. That’s just how I’m made. I’d rather do other things with my time and body than go through the torture of a traditional diet. Also, I have gone through the torture of traditional to trendy diets. Many times. I’ve detoxed and gone vegan, Weight Watched and South Beached.

And it was all I could do to keep the weight off. It took everything. It took, I finally realized, more willpower than I actually had left by my mid-50s. (I started dieting in my mid-30s). So a couple of years ago I did the easy thing. For me. I cut out carbs and sugar. It was also the healthy thing for me as all my important medical numbers stabilized: blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, liver function, iron levels.

Another reason it’s easy is because you really don’t have to think about it and you can eat this way on vacation, in restaurants, at other people’s dinner parties. You have the steak and broccoli and skip the bread and potatoes. You keep the oil and butter but omit the wine. After a day (or two) you won’t crave carbs or sugar anymore, you won’t obsess about what’s going in your mouth next and you won’t overeat. Snack on fruit, cheese and nuts if you’re hungry but after a few days, you won’t be.

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If you’re like me. I’m impatient by nature, also indolent. This is a tough combo but the character is carved deep. I accept who I am and after much trial and error (I’m also stubborn) I have learned how to work with my core personality to (mostly) stay a healthy weight.

If you’ve been obese, if your doctor has said you are pre-diabetic, if you notice that you have to work way harder than some of your friends to lose pounds and maintain weight loss, if your activity is more cerebral than physical (I’m a writer and a reader and I love yoga more than zumba), you might be like me.

Not everybody is. My husband loves potatoes and rice and bread and cereal. Also cookies and cake. He works out like a fiend three times a week at his health club. He’s been the same size since we married 30 years ago. This is not a problem for us. In the past I would have to ban certain foods from the house.

But the beauty of the low carb lifestyle is that I can have all these foods in the house, I can even prepare them for him, and not be tempted to indulge. Because I know if I don’t eat carbs the number on the scale will drop approximately a pound a day. And it’s easy to ignore the mashed potatoes because metabolic magic takes away those insatiable cravings that make me feel like a weak loser with no willpower.

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I love the feeling of being in control. I love zipping my jeans with ease. I love not having to think so hard about my body. But like I said, that’s just me. It might not be you.

Here’s the sugar lining: after I lose this holiday ten pounds, I will slowly add a few carbs to my diet. So I can have a glass of wine once in a while. I can have a little pasta or  garlic bread or pancakes. And I will not gain weight. If I do…I simply cut the carbs again until I’m back in my skinny jeans. Well, skinny for me.

 

 

22 Comments on “Easiest Diet Ever

  1. I absolutely LOVED this post!!! Thank you for writing it.:) Low carb has always worked for me as well…though I find it hard to stick to. If I had more money to buy low carb things, it might be different, but I don’t. Plus have 3 sons who think they need to eat all of the time…LOL “Carb foods” are a lot cheaper to buy to fix them, which sucks. But even with my lack of low carb around this place, I will still do it…because I KNOW that it works for me. I can’t eat just “a little bread, potato chips, cookies, etc.” I end up eating A LOT when it comes to carbs & then feel like crap. So here’s to low carbing & losing this weight! Congrats on your 5 lb loss!! xoxoxox

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    • Ruby, thank you:) I am same as you, cannot do a few chips! Or cookies…and you are so right about the cost. (and feeding teenagers:) When my boys were home, we had a lot of high carb foods around and I could not control my eating. They needed the calories, I did not. But even with that high cost factor, it is nice to know what works. It’s so nice to be able to control myself around carbs, if I can just get through that first 48 hours. And you are so right, it does get difficult to stick to with a lot of carbs around. Good luck to you!

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    • Natalia, I have read that sourdough has a lower GI than other breads due to the “sour” aspect of it. (It’s my favorite too!) So after I am off the weight loss and on maintenance, I feel okay about eating sourdough. It’s one of those “good” carbs.

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  2. I dabble with these changes as needed, too. I find it’s better to get a handle on pounds 5 or 10 at a time than to let them add up. I don’t beat myself up when I slip up because it happens.

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    • I like your attitude Sharon. I have been working harder than ever to catch the pounds before they get out of hand (as they have in the past!) The minute the jeans get tight I know it’s time to watch it. Glad to know I’m not the only one who slips up:)

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    • Bob, I think those are ok on the no carb plan. Let me just say, no carbs works only up to a point. Easy to lose 5 or 10 pounds but the minute you have a piece of toast, you’ll gain again.

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  5. Hi it’s Bob again!,
    So I am really struggling with this whole diet thing are you avoiding all carbs such as quinoa and vegetables that have carbs even if it is small or are you just avoiding bread, sugar, and alcohol. I really need to get this weight off. Thanks

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    • Hi Bob, I’m sorry to hear you are still struggling. I am too. When I was on the no-carb diet, I ate veggies. It’s very difficult to stay no-carb and since I wrote this post I am back to eating carbs in a limited way. As these things happen, I am back to Weight Watcher. The last time I was a member, they didn’t make any mention of carbs, but these days they seem to have gotten the memo. I still lost weight with WW (even with carbs) but it is a slower process. WW is all about portion control. And for me, WW meetings give me a psychological lift. There is something about having to face that WW scale on Friday that makes me behave myself most of the time. I have a scale at home, but it is not the same. I think it’s peer pressure. Good luck to you Bob.

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