It is not unusual for someone wishing to lose weight, to try and find the best (and quickest) diet out there. After all, who really wants to try TOO hard to lose weight, when there are oh so many so called ‘tried and tested’ instant solutions out there?
I, for one, had never before dieted. At home, it was a type of taboo to even think about abstaining from the family meals. Therefore, when I found myself needing to lose weight whilst living alone in a foreign country, the dieting world seemed more like a scientific jungle of complicated facts and calculations. Only the long-term, hard-core dieters appeared to possess a type of innate ‘know-how’ of tips and tricks, which I simply had to discover on my own. The risks, side effects, and general feasibility of certain diets needed to be researched and compared with others, in order to determine what course of action to take.
So, in this particular article, I have endeavored to compile a chronological list of the myriad of diets I tried, in the hope that it may help others decide what to do to lose their own weight. I must add that, although not every diet on this list was as effective as I had hoped, I really believe that it was the constant change from one diet to another, which kept my metabolism from slowing down, and kept my dieting experience interesting. So, here is the list, along with my personal rating out of 10….enjoy, and be safe! :
Starting Weight: 68kg , 150 lbs
- Duration: 11 days (out of a possible 14)
- Weight lost: 1.8kg, 4lbs
- My rating: 5/10
Essentially, this diet is a detox designed to flush out all the unwanted junk in your system. For 14 days, one is meant to live off a single type of homemade drink (a delightfully strange blend of lemon juice (for nutrition), Cayenne pepper (for the metabolism), Maple Syrup (for your body’s needed calorie intake) and of course water (to, well…live!)). Of course, to the ordinary (and sane) individual, the mere thought of living off of such a drink would be ludicrous. After all, do we not have teeth to CHEW our food? That said, however, I found this more like an interesting challenge. My colleagues would see me sipping away at my curious drink, and try to advise me that if I carried on for too long, I may pass out! Nevertheless, I carried on with it for 11 days, after which I began to feel uncomfortable and light-headed. I had heard that when people stop the detox, the put back on all of the weight they lost; so, being adamant that this would not happen to me, I decided to ‘quit whilst I was ahead’ (4 pounds ahead..), and immediately switch to a different diet.
*** new weight: 146 lbs
High Protein Meal Replacement Milkshakes
- Duration: 3 weeks
- Weight lost: 4kg, 8.8lbs
- My rating: 6/10
My second type of diet was also partially liquid based, in the form of two large daily glasses of scrumptious french vanilla milkshake. But this was not a normal, McDonald’s-style 1000 Kcal shake…oh no! I would purchase this as a powdered mix from the pharmacy, to be added to milk, and then shaken into a splendid frothy milkshake of approx 280 calories (when made with skimmed milk)! Each glass would represent a meal in the day; the third time you would eat, you would have to consume a healthy, balanced meal. Essentially, they did taste splendidly sweet, and made a lovely change from the Maple Syrup drink I was previously drinking. After researching further about the specifics of the diet, I did find that in order to avoid stepping into the ‘fad diet’ zone (of instant weight gain after the diet ends), it was best to combine it with a few hours of exercise. I hit the gym roughly 3 times a day during the course of this diet, and managed to avoid putting back on any of the weight I lost; whilst simultaneously getting more toned in the process.
*** new weight: 137.2 lbs
- Duration: 1 week
- Weight lost: 1.3kg, 3lbs
- My rating: 7/10
Having always held a soft spot for spicy, homemade vegetable soups, I thoroughly enjoyed implementing this diet into my everyday routine. It was super healthy, I could adjust the amount of spices and the consistency however I wished, and best of all, the ingredients changed every few days; keeping the whole diet simple, fresh and exciting to try! Although I didn’t stay on it for more than a week, I still often go back to it in the winter; as it contains a really nutritious array of ingredients, and there are no limits to how many portions you can eat! You can refill your bowl over and over again, until your stomach is full and you feel satisfied. Ok, so it might not be a good diet to help you train your mind and body to control your portions, but it does help you shed a few pounds, get rid of that bloated feeling, and make your complexion radiant.
*** new weight: 134.2 lbs
- Weight lost: 1.9kg, 4.2 lbs
- My rating: 5/10
Ok, so the name is self explanatory…but the concept is a fairly modern phenomenon…why eat normal, adult sized meals (which often come with the hefty, adult-sized calories), when one can now find and buy an array of scrumptious, baby-sized food products? Ranging from exotic looking tubed broccoli and pea pure, to the more classic fruit flavoured puree pots. I spent a fun two weeks gorging on these delicious baby-products; choosing to ignore the ludicrous price tag that came with them. I did work out in the gym alongside this diet, which certainly helped me lose the weight. Essentially, this diet is a basic restriction of calories, with the added bonus of purely consuming 100% natural ingredients. Well, if it’s good enough for a baby, what possible harm could it do me? To this day, I often opt for baby food whilst stuck for what to buy as a snack at a supermarket. Thumbs up for flavour…shame about the excessive prices!
*** new weight: 130 lbs
South Beach Diet
- Duration: 13 weeks
- Weight lost: 7kg, 15.4 lbs
- My rating: 9.5/10
When asked about my favourite diet of all time, South Beach wins by a long shot. It incorporates everything that a diet should; the simplicity of a having two food lists (essentially a ‘yes’ list, and a ‘don’t even think about it’ list); several daily snacks, with the understanding that modern day humans need to munch on something between meals; and the added cherry on top being the dramatic weight loss factor! Before starting South Beach, I had hit a type of weight loss plateau (dieting jargon which means that you basically have stopped losing any weight, no matter how much exercise you do!). However, this diet helped me really understand the food I was eating; what it contained and its individual affect on my body. Unlike other diets, South Beachers are encouraged to research the food groups, and train themselves to eat foods which are good for you, whilst simultaneously count calories. A hand full of almonds, although to an ordinary calorie counter may seem far too calorific, to a South Beacher would be a great high protein snack. The programme is divided into three progressive phases; starting out highly restrictive in Phase 1, and eventually becoming a ‘life’ plan in the third phase. Generally speaking, it is a high protein- low carb diet, which restricts salt and sugar intake. I would say that I have never completely let go of this diet, and consider myself to be still in Phase 3. It is easy to understand, and to stick to wherever you are. It follows a logical path, and unless you’re one of those closet sugar fiends, you will have no problems shedding a lot of weight following this diet.
*** new weight: 112 lbs
Since my hard-core dieting days, a year has passed, and I have put on a few pounds (currently 123 lbs). However, I feel that I am currently at a stable weight.
We are all made differently, and indubitably control our weights using different techniques. What has worked for me may not work for everyone. The most important thing to remember is to keep it new, exciting and safe…don’t think of dieting as a painful struggle; but instead, a fresh challenge to conquer!! So, what are you waiting for?
All the best,