Up until about a year ago, I had permanently been on some sort of diet. Completely disordered eating, the cabbage soup diet, the Dukan diet, Atkins, the juice diet, the GI diet and many more. With summer approaching sooner than ever and holidays just around the corner, I thought I might share some of my experiences of these diets and how none of them ever actually worked.
The first diet I tried a few years ago was the Atkins diet. On Atkins you can eat as much protein and fat as you like but no carbohydrates what so ever. I've never been a mad meat eater, I like a good steak but generally meat isn't a high priority. The first day was a shock, I went through packets of sandwich meat and a few tins of tuna. The next day I had bacon and eggs for breakfast, which at the time of my life I would have never eaten for breakfast. By half way through the second day, my breath was terrible. I managed to sustain this horrific diet for about two weeks and lost around 4 pounds. It wasn't worth it. And once I went back to the way I normally eat, I gained it all again anyway. It was a quick fix and nothing more. I need vegetables and fresh fruit and most importantly chocolate and Atkins didn't allow any of them.
The next was a juice diet. You basically eat nothing and just drink juice and smoothie. Obviously this didn't last long. I think it was maybe two days before my will power gave in and I longed to chew something in my mouth again. I can't remember if I lost any weight. The fact that I don't remember suggests that if I did it probably wasn't anything dramatic.
The diet I tried was the Cambridge diet. This was possibly the worst of all and it cost the most. You had to go and see a person who would give you all the products you needed for a week of the diet. They would weigh you and you would pay them and then return again the next week. A weeks worth of food cost about £50. For your £50 you got 3 'meals' for each day. These consisted of porridge, ready made shakes, these ghastly chocolate bar things and cereal bars. Every single one was disgusting. During my first week I lost two lbs. TWO POUNDS. I was pissed off to say the least. I was talking to my mum's friend about it and I remember her saying to me "Two pounds? I could lose that by doing a big poo!" Gross but true. I carried on for another week, lost one pound more and decided it was a waste of time.
The Dukan diet was next. It isn't as harsh as the Atkins; you are allowed a few vegetables but no fruit. I stuck to this one a lot longer as it was more manageable and lost around a pound a week which is the suggested amount of weight to lose. But again, once I stopped following the diet, I put all of the weight back on.
I've learnt a lot from the serial dieting that I've put myself through. It just doesn't work. In fact, I've realised for me the opposite works. If I eat whatever the hell I want, I don't crave other things and generally tend to eat less because I'm satisfied. My best friend has a gorgeous figure yet she has never worried about what she eats. I decided to see a few months ago what would happen if I tried it and it really does work. I not saying it's okay to eat 5 cakes in a row but everything in moderation is fine. I'm not skinny but I am a normal healthy weight and a size 8/10 which isn't too bad. However, summer is still just around the corner so I've upped my exercise but I am still eating what I want. The results aren't fast but they are lasting.
Quick fixes just don't work in the long run. Diets are a waste of time. Lifestyle changes are the only thing which will make a difference.