My primary indulgence, the one I think about every single day, is food. I love cooking & eating. It’s my passion, my greatest pleasure, so my Lenten penance is to cut out some of the foods that I adore the most. I don’t really have a sweet tooth, but I love fried food and I adore Mexican cooking – which isn’t exactly known for its health benefits, so this Lent, (which starts today, Ash Wednesday), they are forbidden. The side effect: I am going to get healthy and lose some of my avoirdupois before I head to California at the beginning of April.

I will be following a low GI (glycaemic index) plan as well as co-opting a few other nutrition tricks. This means that I can eat some carbs, but they have to be good ones (generally not the white or over-processed ones as these convert into sugar more rapidly, affecting our blood glucose levels, & increasing hunger pangs). Low GI carbs don’t cause these sugar rushes and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

I’m apple-shaped, meaning I store fat around my middle, increasing substantially my exposure to these diseases, compared to women who store fat around their bottoms and hips (the traditional pear shape), and so this diet is aimed at shifting some of this dangerous fat for health as well as vanity reasons.

My plan is this: minimal carbs, (mainly mid GI basmati rice & no alcohol, potatoes, sugar, biscuits/cookies, cakes or doughnuts). A lot of protein (beans, whole eggs, tofu, a little cheese), soup, low fat yoghurt for calcium, and fruit & vegetables in such abundance that I may turn green. It’s been proved that hot liquids increase satiety or fullness, so I’m going to be adding vegetable stock based sauces to all cooked vegetables too. There will be a lot of chewing involved: not only this better for my digestion, but al dente & chunky vegetables are lower GI, as the more processed a food (whether pureed, mashed or over cooked), the quicker it breaks down into sugar in your bloodstream.

I’m not going to be calorie counting, but I will be keeping an eye on portion size. Doing Weightwatchers successfully a few years ago shows me just how small a sensible portion of food really is. No protein portions larger than a pack of playing cards, only a few tablespoons of rice, and as many vegetables as I can eat.

Fortunately my preference is for healthy foods – I never, ever buy processed ingredients, preferring to cook everything from scratch (bar baked beans obviously), I don’t drink sodas & fizzy drinks or that much alcohol, eat crisps, buy crap very often, or eat that unhealthily at home. My problems are with portion size, butter (oh god, butter I love you), take out & restaurants where I always eat exactly what I want, when I want (if you don’t cook it, it doesn’t count has always been my rule), & rewarding myself with snacks like doughnuts when I am feeling down.

NO more.

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8 comments

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That is so the diet I follow – except when I go “insane” and eat a bag of chips and a pint of ice cream for dinner. And I’m, by nature, an apple too. I think it’s a sound eating plan for everyone, but particularly for those prone to hyperinsulemia. Portion control really is the key, no? I sometimes weigh things (if portion size isn’t clear to me from past experience or by the label) to be sure that I’m not inhaling a day’s worth of calories without realizing it!

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I have followed the low GI diet for almost a year now for epilepsy, having never been on a diet before (unless a diet of crisps and chocolate counts). It is SO easy to live with! Although the weight thing wasn’t an issue, I feel much healthier and happier with my food choices, have more energy, and would definitely stick to it even if I didn’t have to. Good Luck LLG! P.S I think Snickers bars are Low GI?

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I’m happy for you, LLG. I bet you’ll feel better in many ways as a result of embarking upon this new eating plan.

I’m sure you’ll be entirely ready for California when you get here. 😀 The question is: will we be ready for you!?

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good luck with this. I’m a buxom apple too and it’s a pain. I’m also not very tall so while I’m a fairly normal dress size I look bigger than my 5ft 8 friends. I’m trying to be very good from now on too as I have a holiday coming up in April. I am allowing myself take out skinny chai teas as a daily treat but otherwise it’s fresh soups and fruit all the way for me for a bit.

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Good luck. I’m pretty much the same with regard to eating pretty well (cook from scratch, lots of veg, no junk food) but huge portion sizes. Alas I also have a sweet tooth as well as a savoury one!

I’m no alcohol, caffeine, meat or sweet stuff for Lent. It’s the only time of year I ever successfully give things up so I’m making the most of it.

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I can’t bear being an apple shape and would willingly swap my flat bum and skinny legs for ample hips and thighs and ditch the large bust and rounded belly that looks as if my 8 year old is still living in it! I to have starting a healthy eating plan as am meeting up with an old friend who I haven’t see for 3 years in April and the last time we met, I was three stone lighter… pass that Slimming World book!
Oh and when moaning about the size of your tum, do all your friends say “well at least you haven’t got a fat bum” because mine do and I want to stab them (espec the size 8 ones!) I myself am thinking of moving to the US so that I can say I am a size 12 instead of the dreaded British size 16!

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Lots of good ideas in there thanks for sharing that with us! however as a result of talking about food i’m now hungry…

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Sounds like a realistic plan (with the exception of giving up butter, which I don’t think I could ever do)-keep us updated on your progress!

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