Today’s post is all about how I – somewhat inadvertently – dropped four dress sizes and lost more than two stone in less than a year whilst eating loads. Then, when I had lost too much, how I regained a dress size! I learned some lessons and now often say ‘if anyone ever asks me how to lose weight, I will now be able to tell them exactly how!’
All you have to do now is listen and then do it!
As many of you know, I am a hyper-sensitive, someone who is hyper-reactive to food and other stuff. This has worsened over the years – mainly due to PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), I now know – and has resulted in me eating the same diet as some of the the longest-living people on the planet apparently!
On this enforced extremely Primal, pure diet, I went from size 14 to size 6 in under a year and lost more than two stone. My visceral body fat measurement was fantastically healthy, my bone density was good and I looked darned healthy (up until the size 6 bit anyway!). My mood was good, my skin glowed and my energy rocketed.
I ate every two hours or so – I always have really – and as much as I could. I did not stint on food whatsoever; I just stuck to the foods I could tolerate and ate loads. I ate lots of fat, loads of fruit sugar and generally ate whatever I wanted when I wanted, within my restrictions, of course.
My Weight Loss Diet
This is really simple. Eat as much of the following as you like, but nothing else. And I mean: nothing else. Aim for 3 months, then extend your diet as you wish, healthily, of course.
Unfarmed fish and seafood. From supermarkets or fishmongers, plenty of oily and white varieties, whatever you want, just nothing farmed. Seafood-wise, I tended to go for prawns, fresh crab, lobster (once in a while!), crayfish and scallops. Not in any sauces like brine etc, plain only. I also had tuna and sardines in olive oil. I mostly pan-fried, roasted, baked, grilled, souped etc.
Root veg. Lots of. I ate mainly sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots and squashes. No potatoes. I roasted a load most days with green veg below and ate them with my fish, cold as snacks (surprisingly nice) and in soups to thicken.
Other veg. Lots of brassicas. I ate broccoli, cabbage, sprouts (roasted to caramelise rather than dull-boiled) and cauliflower (riced, roasted, souped) mostly. Other staples were roasted or pan-fried asparagus and fennel.
Fruit. Again, lots of. Don’t worry about quantities. I ate a whole melon for breakfast most days. Mango, pineapple, bananas were my staples. In the earlier days, apples, pears and berries. As many melon varieties as you can get.
Fats: plenty of good olive oil (I used tons of this for roasting veg almost daily, in soups etc), avocados and a little coconut milk for making curries/smoothies etc
Herbs and spices. Very few for me, but you can have whatever you like. I had capers in salt, Maldon seasalt and latterly root ginger. I would like to have had turmeric and cumin seeds at least!
Drinks. Reverse osmosis filtered water and black (fresh-ground bean) coffee.
That’s it. I didn’t eat anything else because I couldn’t. Makes life quite simple if a little dull, but it taught me how you can lose weight if you’re serious.
My Weight Gain Lesson
I was losing too much weight because I had to stay on this diet for well over a year. You don’t, and I don’t suggest you do! You can still use it as your core diet but add some stuff in like 100% grass-fed meat, the odd glass of Cava or two, some eggs and extend the fruit and veg out. If you’re doing OK with those additions, add some ground nuts as a kind of flour to bake with and a little really good honey or stevia.
For a long-term diet to keep the weight off, use the Belly Fat book below.
Of course, I couldn’t do any of those additions and was beginning to look far too thin and scrawny! In desperation, I added a bag of plantain crisps every day. Within 4 months, I had gained almost a stone and gone back up to a size 10! Not the healthiest way to gain weight, I know, but needs must for me.
However, it did give me a clue about how to advise others to lose weight easily.
Cut Just One Thing Out!
I had a conversation with someone the other day who just cannot stick to ‘diets’ and always yo-yos straight back and puts on even more. I told them how much weight I had managed to gain in a short space of time on one bag of crisps a day!
If they just stopped one bag of crisps, one portion of their biscuits, one of their latte’s, one chocolate bar, one crumpet or whatever their ‘go-to’ snack or ‘baddie’ was, it would mean they would lose weight over a few months without even really trying. If I can gain almost a stone and 1-2 dress sizes in 4 months just by introducing one snack, they stood to lose the equivalent by cutting one out.
Most people get overwhelmed by dieting. I’ve shown you a failsafe way to lose weight if you want to do it, but also don’t underestimate what one small change will do over time. Think: if you cut one portion of your ‘go-to’ out each day, how much do you think you will have lost by the end of the year? At least a stone!
So, follow me on the ‘Purehealth Pure Primal’ diet I’ve accidentally invented if you are really serious about getting healthy, changing your palate for good and losing that stubborn weight. It will definitely work.
If that’s too much for you for now, cut one ‘baddie’ out and relax; you will lose weight anyway.
Ah, but will it make you happy?
This surprised me a bit. I often longed to be a size 8, imagining how wonderful life would be if I could learn to like the image in the mirror in front of me. But, trust me, it didn’t make me any happier. I learned that I would rather be able to eat healthily and -please God or whoever – restriction-free and enjoy life, even if I was holding a bit more weight than I should than be skinny, socially left out and miserable!
I know: I am a nutritionist and I am supposed to get you to lose weight! However, think about why you are doing it and how much you need to lose.
If you’re doing it for health reasons, of course it’s a must.
If you’re doing it because deep-down you know your diet is crap and needs an overhaul, get on with changing it.
If you’re doing it because you are quite hefty and it’s affecting you emotionally or physically, do yourself a favour and follow the diet as outlined – you will feel much better. It’s not forever and you don’t need to go too far.
If you’re doing it because you don’t like yourself and you’re not that overweight, cut the one thing out, start meditation, talk to someone about self-esteem and chill about your weight. Trust me: I learned that all that grieving over albeit not a lot of fat in some people’s eyes, though it was to me, is just not worth it. Lowering stress and hence cortisol will help you lose fat anyway, so just chill!
I hope that helps. It’s not scientific by any means and what works for one doesn’t have to work for another, of course, but I share what happened to me and the lessons I learned for you in case they help you.
If you need some inspiration, get the Belly Fat book here for a somewhat less restrictive diet! – and follow me on Pinterest, where there are tons of recipes to help you – use the AIP board if you’re doing similar to me:
Meantime, I am through the PTSD treatment, thankfully, and am working on extending my diet at last. Wish me luck – and I wish you much success too!