I got myself out for a walk this morning. I walked up the street to this pedestrian bridge I'd noticed, it looks a bit like the Sydney Harbour Bridge in miniature.
Home for breakfast of chicken, cucumber and tomato, grapes, and tea.
The extra food yesterday didn't do my weight loss any harm, nice drop in the scales. I should relax my intake more often! Actually that is a possibility to consider as a valid part of the plan. Some people protest against "cheat days" or "cheat meals" because if you are eating properly then it's a sustainable lifestyle and if you want to "cheat" then your diet isn't properly sustainable. I hate the word cheat for that reason, even if the diet includes "cheat meals" it makes it sound like you are doing something wrong. A planned indulgence is different, and I do think a healthy relationship with food can include them. They are part of the sustainable lifestyle, not outside it. Problem is, once you ease up the tension on the reins the appetite can bolt.
The Mediterranean plan I am following is based on a book by Michael Mosley, and is designed as an 8 week strict period to stabilise blood sugar levels. He has also written a book on intermittent fasting called the 5:2 diet or the Fast diet where you eat "normally" - healthy food but more calories - for 5 days and "fast" - only around 500 calories - on two days a week. Just like interval training in exercise (where you exercise really hard for short periods interspersed with recovery periods), this on/off method is supposed to have greater health benefits than steady diet or exercise. Dr Mosley suggests moving on to the 5:2 diet after the 8 week plan for continued weight loss at a slower rate as well as all the health benefits of intermittent fasting. I'm thinking about it - but 500 calories is so low! I suppose it's better than a total fast. It would be nice to be able to eat more on the other days and still lose weight. He still doesn't promote indulgence meals, the extra food from the Mediterranean Diet of low carb, lots of vegetables, moderate protein and fat, almost no processed food. Why isn't there a cake diet?
Some friends of mine went on an extremely strict diet for a while, I'm not sure exactly what the rules were other than being super low carb, but it had one indulgence day a week when you could eat anything you wanted. It was supposed to shake up their metabolism so they didn't go into starvation mode (or something like that). They lost a lot of weight, the first time I'd ever seen my friend quite slender, so restricted eating 90% of the time then binging every Sunday did work, but the husband fainted once (or was it twice?) at work and hit his head on the wall and had to go to hospital. So that sounds a bit extreme to me.
Lunch was two bowls of tomato soup (saving a few calories for afternoon tea).
Then I made time for my meditation Headspace, which I haven't been doing every day.
We had some visitors for afternoon tea, I offered a mix of healthy and unhealthy and had a bit of each myself. A few grapes, one biscuit (cookie), one mini chocolate.
Then family over for dinner, roast leg of lamb and mixed tomatoes (pictured) plus roast potato, pumpkin, carrot, zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower.
Ice cream and raspberries for dessert. I served myself a half-size portion but then my sister-in-law asked if she could have that one. Instead of dividing up one I'd already dished out, or just eating half, I ate a whole portion. If I had no ice cream at all, I would have been good for the day. So I ended up a bit over.
Overall a pretty good day. And feeling much more optimistic.