From vegetarian to paleo to keto diets, it seems like a new diet and fitness fad pops up every minute. I had never paid any attention to them until I noticed I had added more than an inch or two to my waistline. I decided to do something about it.
I considered all my options very carefully and started with joining a gym for a month. If anyone took the time to check how many times I came in, I’d probably get a refund. I decided to try out a diet. My biggest dilemma with all of the weight loss plans I researched, was that I only wanted to lose a couple of inches of my waistline. With my newfound weight, my otherwise nonexistent butt had taken on some form of shape and I was filling out my jeans. But I also have an affinity for crop tops and itty bitty slinky dresses and I didn’t like the way my love handles were hanging out of them.
I took a deep dive into the world of diet fads and came out with two solutions for my peculiar problem. First of all, I had to find a way to cut down on carbs to trim my waistline. That seems easy enough if your favourite food isn’t any kind of pasta and you consider a whole box of pizza a snack. I also needed to control my portions. The problem was I needed to find a diet where I could still eat anything I wanted while doing these things. And that’s how I found intermittent fasting. With it, in theory, I could eat anything I wanted just not anytime I wanted.
There’s no one way to do intermittent fasting. There’s the 5:2 method where you eat regularly for 5 days a week and fast for 2 days. Then there’s the Alternate-Day-Fasting where you fast every other day. The most suitable for me, however, seemed to be the 16/8 method. With it, I’d be fasting 16 hours a day and eating for 8. Following the diet meant I could only eat between 11 am and 8 pm. If I had dinner at 10 pm I couldn’t eat till 1 pm the next day. It seemed easy enough in theory. Here’s how my first week went.
In an attempt to cut out carbs from my diet I switched from my usual pastry filled breakfast to fruit smoothies. On Monday morning I woke up nice and early and dutifully made my breakfast made up of bananas, an avocado, apples and some greek yoghurt. I got into work at about 9:30 am and popped my smoothie in the fridge. On a regular day, I’d be having meat pie and tea with enough milk to give the office admin manager a mini-stroke for breakfast as soon as I got in at 9 am. Today I had to wait till 11 am to have my smoothie.
It was easy enough, an extra two hours wasn’t going to kill me. At 11 am I had my smoothie and the minute I dropped the bottle, I realised I was even hungrier than before I had the smoothie. While I’d have had my lunch at 3 pm I had it at 1 pm, which meant that by 5 pm I was hungry again. I stopped by Cakes and Cream on my way home and bought a couple of slices. The plan was to have a bit of it every day for the rest of the week. Never a full slice at a go. I had two slices before 8 pm and consumed half a box of leftover pizza before going to bed.
Feeling bad about all the junk I ate the night before, I decided to fast for 17 hours instead. Still determined to stick to my smoothie breakfast I had one at 12 pm. This time I loaded up on the yoghurt and drank it very slowly. I read somewhere that eating slowly can help you fill up faster. By 12:30 pm I realised not everything you read is true. By 1:30 pm I had a headache, by 2 pm I was snapping at my coworkers for no reason. I had my lunch at 3 pm to prevent myself from having a large dinner like the day before, and it worked. By 7:30 pm I had some spaghetti and stir fry and called it a day.
I got into work at 9 am. I couldn’t make my usual smoothie because NEPA was well being NEPA and my generator had given up on me the night before. My plan was simple, fill up on water until I could have my lunch at 2 pm. The only flaw in my plan was that water is no remedy for hunger and our Admin guy had just stocked up on biscuits that morning. I nibbled on one at 9:30 and planned to have just a couple with a cup of green tea at 11 am. By 10:30 I was halfway through the pack.
I managed to reign in my appetite to have a lunch of Jollof rice, plantain and beef at 3 pm and some dodgy slices of pizza I didn’t know were still in my freezer for dinner at 9 pm. I also found a slice of cake and I Googled how many calories are contained in 3 slices of pizza and a slice of cake as I ate. Coming to the realisation that the number was ten times my weight didn’t stop me for finishing them off.
I woke up knowing trying to stick to my ‘diet’ was going to be tough. On Thursdays, I work remotely which meant I’d be home all day in super close proximity to my freezer which was almost always full of leftovers. My first mistake was opting to eat a full meal of rice and stew for breakfast. By 1 pm I had talked myself into believing I deserved a cheat day for being somewhat well behaved for 3 whole days. I nibbled on some pringles at 2, tore into a bar of chocolate at 4, ordered rice from TFC at 5 and couldn’t help but throw in a burger into my order. By 6 my food came and I started with my rice. I meant to keep the burger for later but I ended up eating it almost immediately after the rice. Thankfully I ended up feeling too bloated and uncomfortable for the rest of the day to eat anything else. As far as cheat days go I didn’t think I did too badly.
It’s back to regular programming and I find myself busier than usual at work. I barely have time to gulp down my smoothie at 12 pm before getting into a flurry of activities that stopped me from having lunch until 4 pm. I get home and for the first time the whole week I can’t find anything to eat in my freezer. I settled for making another smoothie for dinner.
Saturday & Sunday
I realise I have two weddings and a party on Sunday. I declared the whole weekend a ‘cheat weekend’ and promise myself to continue my diet on Monday. This week we go again.