Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Diet bet and the perfect diet


I am planning to try a diet bet, starting on Monday. I've read of a few other people doing them and it all seems legit. No idea if it will help me or not but I'll give it a go. What happens is you join a group (or start your own) that is starting on a day that suits you and you pay the ante - generally around $25. If you lose the requisite amount of weight (4% of bodyweight in 4 weeks or 10% in 6 months depending on the group) you get to share the pot. It seems that on average around 40% of people succeed so after the facilitators take their cut you get between 1.5x and 2x your money back. If you don't lose the weight you lose your ante. At my current weight I would have to lose 3.3 kg (7.3 pounds) in the 4 weeks, which I would love to do before Christmas and it seems like it should be do-able. Any extra motivation would be awesome.

I felt quite unwell again yesterday, maybe too much running around the day before, but I rested up and I'm mostly better again today. I did some more clothes shopping today and bought a couple of pretty tops for Christmas. As it is always very hot here on the day, middle of summer, dress is casual. I found something I was very happy with today. I am so glad that I am not hating my body at the moment. Of course I want to lose weight, I wish I was 25 kg lighter right this second, but that is no reason to hate myself as I am. I am still me and can still look quite nice. I picked up my tailored pants (with the legs shortened for me) and I also lightened my hair again, all ready for the wedding. Ready to face the extended family and pretend I don't feel like a hen amongst flamingos.

With worries about my pre-diabetes possibly getting worse - my blood glucose levels have been consistently high for days after even moderate amounts of carbohydrate - I revisited my recommendations for the diabetic diet. It is all so confusing. My diabetes nutritionist told me to eat regular doses of carbohydrate at every meal and snack, in amounts that seemed bewilderingly large to me although some other people in my class still didn't think it was enough, to keep my blood glucose steady. The official guidelines seem to be the same for Australia, US, UK etc. But there is a huge community of diabetics out there on the forums who say it is much better to eat almost no carbohydrate at all. They eat less in a whole day than the dieticians say to eat in a single snack. There is a lot of support for LC/HF (low carb/high fat) diets. These people say that low carb is much better than moderate carbs for keeping blood sugars low. On the nutritionist recommended diet they seem to expect you to gradually get worse and need various medication, that is the normal progression. And the LC/HF people say that of course that is the progression if you keep eating lots of carbs!

I personally don't like eating high fat, it makes me feel sick and greasy. And I am unwilling to approve any diet that greatly restricts fruit and even many vegetables. But I don't think lots of carbs is good either (and I'd never lose any weight, which is very important for diabetic health). Is there a compromise?

I think I have a pretty clear idea now of what I think the "perfect" diet is (for me, at least), and it is summed up by Michael Pollan's "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

"Eat food" means to eat real food - vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy and meat. Nothing that has a shelf life of several years - if it won't rot, it isn't real food. And mostly plant food is healthiest, lots of fruit and vegetables of as many varieties as you can get.
I don't ban fruit from my "perfect" diet even though it has natural sugars. I don't ban grain even though it has gluten. I don't ban dairy even though it has lots of fat. I don't have sensitivities to any particular foods so that would be an issue for some but not me. But there is very little room in my perfect diet for anything heavily processed. Basically anything that comes in a packet. If it needs a label with nutritional information on it, I probably shouldn't be eating it. And there needs to be portion control even with the best of foods.
So why don't I follow this perfect diet? Because the other junk is so tempting! Still working on it, every day.
I saw a bit of a documentary the other day about meat consumption and they were saying that for environmental sustainability (with the world's population continuing to expand but the land available remaining the same) we should be consuming around 100 grams of meat per person per day. I eat a lot more meat than that. But we are running out of forests to cut down to make more farm land for our cows and sheep so rich people can keep stuffing themselves with meat. It's another thing to take into consideration.

1 comment:

  1. It is legit, I did one. I won mine, by the skin of my teeth, but I didn't like the anxiety it gave me! LOL