I never had any problems with my weight – until I made the big mistake and started dieting. I had got it in my head that it would be a good idea to drop a dress size or two, despite being comfortably in the healthy BMI zone. So I joined a gym and started eating less and doing more, as the received wisdom goes of the “calorie theory” goes.

Everything went well at first. I did lose a few kgs, and lost cms. But then everything stalled. In the reviews at the gym the instructors were baffled about the lack of progress: “But you are here all the time and work so hard!” And so I did, but all it did was maintaining status quo.

It was no surprise then that I eventually lost motivation for rigorous exercise. But it was a surprise how fast I started gaining weight, as I was still maintaining what I thought was a healthy diet. I kept a detailed food diary for a few weeks, trying to eat as normally as possible, just to find out whether was I eating more than I thought. The result? I was consuming about 1700 kcal per day on average! I should be loosing weight, not struggling just to maintain it! I then had some blood tests done, but my thyroid and everything else seemed to be in order.

After that, I had a few more attempts at calorie counting, and couple of months of gym 5 times a week. The results were meagre, nothing like they should have been if loosing weight was simply about eating less and doing more, and a deficit of 7000 kcal equalling 1 kg’s loss of body fat. It was simply not worth it, having my whole life revolving around it, and being miserable.

Then one day I was at my hairdresser’s and browsing a glossy magazine. Ok, yet another “loose a dress size in a week” fad diet, I thought. But I read on, as I had nothing better to do. And then I got interested. This was not about starving yourself, excersicing like mad or taking some miracle pills. This might actually explain my weight problems. Phase 1 is only 5 days, so I might as well have a go.

I memorised the simple rules and wrote down the guru’s name, “Zoe Harcombe”. Back at home, I went online and searched more information. I got more interested, and did the 5 day program.

And I did lose weight. Not sure how much, as my electronic scales needed new batteries and I could not weigh myself, but some pairs of size 16 trousers (that I had had to purchase recently, size 14 ones had started to be too uncomfortable) were suddenly so loose that they almost fell off me.

Then the Christmas came and although the magazine article had many useful rules of thumb, and Zoe Harcombe‘s website even had a short Christmas survival guide, I felt I needed more information about the hows and whys before really embarking on this journey. So I bought the book, and did more research, to find out more about the science behind it all, and to really understand how it works.

Now I’m ready. Let the journey begin!

Start weight: 76.7 kg. Start BMI 27.8.

  1. January 25th, 2010

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