To Do or Diet?

The only time I've ever lost a significant amount of weight has been when I've fallen madly in love or fallen madly out of love. 
Now the likelihood of either of those happening in the immediate future, is in the hands of the Gods/Goddesses but I have some special events coming up this summer and I would like to look and feel my best, so dear readers, I am about to embark on a "diet". And if any of you are up for joining me, please continue reading and feel free to comment.

I will start with my disclaimer- I am not a dietitian so all my blogs over the next few weeks will be purely based on my own research, dieting anecdotes from friends and colleagues, opinion based on a long career in the food (and,somewhat importantly, fashion) industry and an ongoing interest in nutrition.
I also hope, like a gazillion blogs before me, writing it down and sharing it, will keep me on track. In future posts I will explore popular diets, changing scientific opinion meal planning and of course some useful recipes.

It seems logical to me that before an eating plan for weight loss can be made, whatever diet we are following, we need an honest look at our current eating and drinking habits. The following will be my tasks for week one and include a few new habits to start pre-diet.

1. Diary.
Make a diary for a week, use a notebook, memo on your phone, or any one of the free diary apps available.
Write down everything you eat and drink, at what time and how you felt before, ie hungry, bored, grumpy etc and how you felt afterwards.

What are your non-negotiables? You know you better than anyone. One of mine is my coffee. I like my coffee with a teaspoon of sugar. Sweet and strong. I've tried it without, manageable but pleasure free. I've tried all the sweeteners from aspartame to Xylitol and to me they all taste revolting so now I have only one coffee per day instead of 3, exactly as I like it with real cane sugar. Is yours pizza and bowling on a Friday night? Sunday lunch with the family? Think about what you absolutely need to keep in your life that will help you from perhaps deviating or giving up on a weight loss plan.

3. Water
Few of us drink enough water and it's the dieters friend. We often mistake thirst for hunger so try having a large glass of water 10 minutes before you have a meal or before grabbing a snack or gin and tonic for that matter!

4. Sleep
There has been significant new research into the link between sleep and obesity. Try to note in your diary the amount and quality of your sleep each day. I'll be covering that in future posts and you'll have a record you can refer to and see if any dietary changes affect your sleep, good or bad..

5. Exercise
I do my 10,000 steps each day and four yoga classes a week but it's never gonna make me slim while I'm knocking back the Picpoul de Pinet and espresso martinis. Sadly, weight loss relates to about 90% what we eat and only 10% exercise we take. But exercise does other positive things for us like improve mood and sleep, build muscle, and stoke our metabolism .Try to do a little more this week and note that down in your diary too.

Good luck and check you next week

Love Food X