As usual for this time of year, I am trying to lose weight. I don’t like to call it a New Year’s resolution but something about a new year makes me want to start working on my new, healthier lifestyle. I’ll admit I have found it difficult this month. My stomach might feel empty but I’m full of excuses. First I was on holiday, surrounded by lovely food. Then I got back and it’s cold so eating is comforting. It’s easy to get tables at great restaurants in January. Work has been busy. This last one is the biggest and most ever-present excuse and one which I realise I must overcome if I am ever to succeed.
There is no side stepping the issue: The best way to a healthier diet is to prepare everything you eat yourself. That’s the only way you can be sure of what’s in it. But it takes time, organisation and effort. Oh, and desire, which I definitely don’t have for cooking. I wish there was a way you could lose weight by eating fast food as put forward in The New York Times yesterday. Reading the comments to Drive-Thru Dieting, I have to agree that there are no short cuts to eating healthily.
It is so much easier to grab a sandwich, or even a wholesome soup, from Pret or Eat at lunchtime than to prepare lunch before I’ve even had my breakfast. But even the ‘healthy options’ with ‘less than 5% fat’ are not good for those wishing to shed the pounds. As this article explains, fast-food companies are now marketing ‘low-calorie’ options, but you can never be sure what that means. Even if it is low in calories, it may contain high levels of salt. According to a paper in the NEJM this month, cutting back on salt even by a small amount can reduce cases of heart disease and stroke as much as losing weight, lowering cholesterol or even stopping smoking.
So there’s only one thing for it. As well as cycling and joining a tennis league (help), I am going to have to make all my meals from scratch. That’ll be the day.