I am not a practising Christian, but I always find Lent to be a great time to make changes in my life. Somehow I feel less pressure than I do with New Year’s resolutions, and the 40 day period of Lent feels like a manageable chunk of time to change behaviour. If it sticks, great, if it doesn’t then there is no shame.
This year I have been trying to shed a few pounds. It is nice to try and follow the advice that I routinely give to patients as it gives me the opportunity to see how hard it is on the receiving end and how hard it is to summon up one’s own willpower and draw on one’s own support networks in order to resist the desire to eat more than is good for you.
My goal is to lose the weight by making a sustainable change in my diet, rather than engage in a weight loss diet per se. It is always hard to know what you can eat following a diet, and it is very easy to rebound from weight loss and put it straight back on again.
My chosen text is the Holford Diet by Patrick Holford. There is a fair amount to it, but essentially, all foods are given a GL score so that you can work out how much you are allowed to eat. Once you get the hang of it, it is not too bad and it gives you a good insight into how your body works and what drives your hunger.
Simply, if you divide up a plate of food, half of it should be green, leafy vegetables, a quarter should be carbohydrate and a quarter should be protein. Within the plan, you can have three square meals and two snacks, but your total for a day while you are finding your correct weight is 40 GL per day. If you do it right, the weight should fall away gradually and the good part is that you don’t get hungry and feel more energetic.
I have had a few wobbles and got through a huge pile of cabbage, but so far so good, and I will wait and see how I feel by Easter.