Sunday, 22 July 2012

Cutting Out Column 3 = Pounds Lost

Today I am very pleased to introduce Jacqui, from  "Fancy a coffee and a chat?" who kindly agreed to be a guest blogger.  Jacqui raises some very interesting points about the dangers of hidden fats.

Over the years my wardrobe has increased in size due the need to store a whole range of clothes in a whole range of sizes. When I put on a few more pounds which required the next dress size up, I hung onto my previous clothes for when I lost those few pounds and could get back into them.

It didn’t happen!

I played golf 3 times a week and walked 2 dogs 3 times a day, I walked miles and miles and miles. Surely this would shift those stubborn pounds.
It didn’t happen!

There seemed to be some magic correlation between the increasing years and the increasing dress size. I couldn’t reverse the trend. I was the heaviest I’d ever been and desperate not to move up into the next dress size.

Then it happened. Life hit me like a brick wall.

Routine tests after an accident, where, by some quirk of fate I actually drove into a brick wall with my car, showed me to have a higher than normal cholesterol level, my triglyceride were at +3. My doctor told me I needed to get that back to normal or they would put me on statins. I’d never heard of statins but as an ‘under 60 but getting there fast’ I felt too young to be taking medication long term for a condition that can be controlled by eating properly. All I had to do was dramatically reduce my intake of saturated fats.

I agreed that I would try and turn it around in 3 months and scheduled a follow up cholesterol test for the end of September.

As soon as I got home I fired up my laptop and started to read up on saturated fats. I needed an easy reference to foods I could have and more importantly, those I needed to avoid. I found this list:

I got my husband onside with my new eating regime and we went shopping for wholemeal bread, pasta & rice. We bought Quorn to replace mince in spaghetti bolognese. We bought a sack of potatoes and baked them all so I only needed to reheat in the microwave. We bought a block of Edam and grated the entire lot and stored in the fridge so I could have a little sprinkling of cheese when the need arose. (Oh how I love cheese, I miss cheese but I’m learning). I replaced bacon rashers with turkey rashers, vegetable oil with sunflower oil, margarine with high polyunsaturate spread. I checked every label for the content of saturated fat. It took 3 times longer to do our shopping but in the end I had food for a week that was as low in fat as it could get.

The recommended daily intake of saturated fat for an adult woman is 20gms. I had been seriously over this amount. For example, when I sat down with a good book, a frothy coffee and 2 short bread fingers, I was having over 12 gms of saturated fat. More than half my daily allowance in 2 biscuits! We had been buying a frozen fruit lattice pudding from the supermarket. It didn’t seem that big and we would have half each with a little drop of cream after dinner sometimes. I looked at the label, each serving was 6 gms of saturated fat, not too bad until I read one serving was one sixth of the pudding, we were having half each – a staggering 18 gms of saturated fat in one pudding, not even a whole meal.


And so, for 4 weeks I have lived a low fat diet. I don’t count calories, I don’t weigh food, I don’t measure portion sizes. I have simply cut out anything from column 3. I have loads from column 1 and I have column 2 in moderation.

I am not hungry. I am not bored with my meals and I am not constantly thinking of food. I have found a  fat-free recipe for banana cake where the banana is used instead of fat and apple sauce is used as a sweetener. I have found a no-fat recipe for chocolate brownies which means I can have something nice with a coffee when I get the cravings.

And I drink water instead of fizzy drinks. I have more than trebled my daily intake of water.

And the result – I have dropped a dress size in 4 weeks. At first I kept a daily diary of everything I ate, but now I know what I can eat and don’t feel I even need to keep a record of it.

Today I’ve had:
Breakfast – muesli with fresh fruit (sliced banana & strawberries) and semi-skimmed milk
Lunch – roast chicken salad sandwich (brown bread of course, no margarine, no salad dressing)
Dinner – Salmon fillet with vegetable stir-fry and asparagus follows by low-fat yoghurt.

And as a reward for writing this I can now look forward to a coffee and a slice of banana cake.
It really is that simple. Today I wore a blouse and a pair of trousers that have not been out of my wardrobe in over 2 years. I have a new set of clothes that haven’t cost me a penny.

Finally I have broken the relationship where my size increases with my age.

Finally, it did happen!

And it feels really, really good.

Thanks, Jacqui, for your inspiring words.

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