Seventy-five blogs ago, way back In February 2015, I wrote about how I was keen to eat big meals, but without many calories. I described the big salads that I had for lunch nearly every day.
That salad filled a really big bowl (holding more than two pints), and it took 30 minutes to eat! After that, I didn't get hungry until well into the evening. The salad was always a bit different, because I could vary what went into it so much, but the one I described in the blog contained lettuce (two types), watercress, spinach, celery, apple, tomato, celeriac, courgette, red pepper, radish, carrot, sugar snaps and spring onion. There were also small amounts of smoked salmon and ham, and splashes of soy sauce and lime juice (no dressing). A huge meal, which gave me 14 portions of fruit and veg, but only 310 calories.
Three years after that blog, and four-and-a-half years after the start of my weight-loss journey, I am still asked whether I continue to eat so much 'rabbit food'. As I sit here, eating my monster lunchtime salad, I can clearly say that the answer is yes! In fact, it also strikes me that I am still eating my big bowl of porridge for breakfast too. Quite often, after explaining that yes, I still eat enormous quantities of no-dressing salad and made-with-water porridge, I hear something like "you're lucky - I don't like salad or porridge". And now we come to what I really want to get across in this blog!
Those four-and-a-half years ago, when I signed up with Nutracheck, I realised that I did not handle hunger very well, and that my diet was only going to work if I could still eat a lot - but of low-calorie foods. Obviously it couldn't work if I still ate a lot of high-calorie foods, because that was what made me fat to begin with! So I found out what was low-calorie, and I started to eat it. That was much more important to me than whether I particularly liked it. I was determined to make this diet work, and I was not going to be put off by my food preferences, especially because a lot of those preferences would not fit into a weight-loss programme.
I had always eaten occasional porridge and salad, and found them OK, but now I really got down to it. What about things I didn't like much, or at all? I just kept eating them - again and again and again. Quite quickly I found that I was enjoying them, and enjoying them a lot. And, what's more, I also discovered several foods that I had never tried before (persimmon and Alpro yoghurt to name just two).
The result? Nowadays I have a vast range of foods I enjoy eating - much more than in my pre-Nutracheck days. I love porridge, but can't abide it made with anything other than water. I love salad, and cannot get enough of it. I got to this happy stage by eating them often, until I came to like them.
So now I am in the situation where I enjoy eating more than I ever have in my life before. And what I am eating and enjoying so much is low in calories, and is helping me to maintain my weight. I am definitely not depriving myself! I could never go back to my old eating habits, unless I was really keen to get reacquainted with high-calorie food (and I'm not!)
Steve lost a massive 10st with Nutracheck. He now regularly writes about how he maintains his weight loss.