Being a purveyor of diets over half a lifetime now, I’ve tried a few. This one works simply because it is simple. I’ve tried a plethora of diet regimes and they all tend to come unstuck at one point or other, mainly due to a breakdown in resolve to keep up the early good work. With this one, that principle holds the same, but at least this regime is simple.
THREE: Meals per day. Breakfast, lunch and tea must all be observed, and normal ‘one plate’ meals consumed i.e. no ‘seconds.’ The objective is simply to eat to fill the stomach but not overfill it. Watch quantity; go for typical average quantities and some fats can be enjoyed. Ensure you get at least two serves of grains, and five serves of vegetables in these three meals.
TWO: Pieces of fruit per day. I normally advocate these between meal times so we have something to look forward to that might take the edge of our hunger. Snacking per se on this diet regime is out. Snacking is probably the worst, most dangerous concept for the person who seeks to lose weight. Make a resolution to give up snacking, forever. This is the single-most important weight loss step. Food is fuel, and it’s not to be consumed to meet comfort needs.
ONE: Treat per week. It is granted that it’s impossible to expect people to go without birthday cake, ice cream or a little chocolate. One serve per week will do us no harm, but the trick is to be self-disciplined enough to hold out for this ONE treat and enjoy it, using the power of delayed gratification.
M. Scott Peck’s wonderful book Wisdom from the Road Less Traveled speaks about the principle of delaying gratification as “a process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure by meeting and experiencing the pain first and getting it over with. It is the only decent way to live.”
Don’t get too scientific about this process. Our consistent application over weeks, months, and indeed years, is by far more important. The extra weight we might carry now will only leave our bodies for good if we get into the right habits to sustain the weight loss.
Don’t make or create any more flexibility in your diet other than these rules or, of course, advice you might received from your doctor. Self-discipline is the key. Add one day to another, then another; before you know it you’ll have formed new habits and weight loss will be the inevitable result.
Copyright © 2008, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
 M. Scott Peck, Wisdom from the Road Less Traveled (Kansas City, Ariel Books – Andrews McKeel Publishing, 2001), p. 28.