The Ds of diets

Losing weight is one of those common misadventures we all have atleast twice a year as important occasions rear their heads. I have been struggling with where my weight is and where it should be for the last year. Calories have been counted, restricted and discussed in great length. Exercise has been attempted and for the large part, forsaken at regular intervals.

I read it everywhere: it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. But understanding that and acting upon it are two very different things. I’m sure anyone who has ever attempted a diet gets this. You can try and succeed for a few days but following through – in my case at least – is the harder part. For the past four weeks I’ve been low carbing during weekdays and not on weekends. There has been minimal exercise, some walks and a bit of dancing. Trouble is, while I want to lose weight I need a significant amount to fall off to motivate me. But to lose the siginificant amount I need to stick with it for more than four days. Ha ha. This is the difficult part.

My new approach is to set smaller goals. Weighing in at 86kgs earlier this year it was my aim to be 58kg by my birthday. That’s the number Dr Nick reckons I need to attain to be healthy and hearty. With a naturally low blood pressure, weight control is incredibly important to avoid long term health problems in my case. I have lost a bit of weight this year, but since then I have been stagnant, maintaining what was lost but not moving downwards at all. This was done purely through the four months of calorie counting I did.

Currently, I weight 81.6kgs and my short term aim, birthday goal or 6 week milestone (whatever tickles you) is to be 75kgs on my birthday, the 7th of August. That’s 6.6kgs to lose in just under 6 weeks, quite doable with regular exercise and a good diet plan.

I’m choosing the low carb approach along with running and Jillian Michaels DVDs for the next 6 weeks, beginning today. It’s the 2nd of July so I have 37 days to do this. Tone, tighten and lose some weight. I’ve enjoyed Jillian before, she really does give you a workout and its 30 minutes of my day that I can concentrate entirely on my body. The low carb approach has a lot to do with the fact that my mother is Indian. We eat rotis, rice and puri’s (all 100% carbs) at almost every meal. I’ve never eaten much meat and vegetables I can take or leave. The new Atkins approach, Induction phase encourages losing weight by cutting carbs to 20grams a day, with 15 of those precious grams coming from vegetables. And no sugars or fats. I need to learn to control my portions and understand the value of a healthy food versus something laden with fats and carbs. My favourite food being ice cream probably hasn’t helped.

While I know that fad diets aren’t a way of life, I also like the fact that if I follow the Atkins plan, once I’m within 7kgs of my goal weight I go into a second phase that helps me find how many carbs a day is enough. I’m hoping with exercise becoming a regular feature of my day, the second phase is all I’ll need to maintain my weight within a 5kgs radius. That to me would be healthy; moderate meals, not being deprived but not feasting on chocolate and ice cream all the time; coupled with daily exercise.

So, now that I’ve brought you up to speed, let’s see how this goes. I’ll do weekly progress reports on Wednesdays, as a way of holding myself accountable. If you’re on a similar journey or will be, I’d love to hear how you’re going or what you will be doing.



  1. I would highly recommend adding some weight training with free weights to your exercise plan. If you train with high reps and low weights you will get the cardio weight loss burn on the spot but your body keeps burning calories at a higher rate for 24 hours after you finish training. Muscle also burns more calories at rest so if you increase your muscle mass you will burn through more calories just sitting around. It’s an absolute killer when you start but it’s amazing how fast you can build fitness in just two sessions a week. And Zumba. I swear by high intensity Zumba.

    1. Thanks Abbi, the 30 day shred actually does have a similar kind of weight training, can’t feel my arms afterwards but I’m guessing that’s a good thing…

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