Everyone’s looking for a fast way to lose weight, and Nine producer Victoria Owens writes how she found one that helped her strip off kilos gained on a trip to Europe.
Summer is here… finally! But if the idea of jumping into a bikini makes you want to jump back under the covers then listen up, because here’s a trick on how you can lose your excess baggage before the holidays kick in.
I miraculously lost 4kg in a week — and I’ve managed to keep it off and lose another 3kgs in the following weeks. This might not sound like much, but for anyone who’s struggled to lose those last few kilos, it’s a bit of a game changer.
My need to lose weight all started when I first got on the scales after my recent European holiday.
I had just spent three weeks eating and drinking my way through Italy and France.. and I did not hold back. Why would I when I’m in the land of the best wine, meat, cheese and — let’s not forget — gelato!
So I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised when I got home to discover I’d put on a fair bit of weight — I was now 72kg, about 7kg more than I had been. My BMI had jumped into the danger zone quicker than I had been jumping into the Mediterranean.
But it wasn’t just that. My clothes were tighter, I had developed a not-so-sexy extra layer around my belly and was basically feeling pretty crap.
It probably didn’t help that I assured myself the weight would magically drop off once I was back working. Not so! Now in my mid-30s, I quickly realised it isn’t so easy to shift those extra kilos anymore. So after failing to lose any weight after being back for a couple of months I realised I had to make a change.
A colleague suggested I try home-delivery weight-loss program Be Fit Food — she had done it before and promised great results, but only if I could stick to it.
It’s a low-calorie, high-protein, rapid weight-loss meal plan, covering every breakfast, lunch and dinner for seven days. The program is the brainchild of Dr Geoffrey Draper, a weight-loss surgeon, and Kate Save, a weight-loss dietitian and exercise physiologist, who successfully pitched Be Fit Food on Shark Tank.
It’s based on the ketogenic diet, which essentially restricts carbohydrates so that your body turns to burning fat for energy instead. This very low-calorie diet is only intended for a short time, anywhere from one to two weeks — and I’d have to agree it would be hard to do any more.
Save says the diet is safe, won’t make you any more likely to regain weight once you finish it, and provides all the necessary nutrients.
“Consuming more natural foods and less processed foods can improve the functioning of your body better than anything else,” she told Coach. “More fruit and vegetables, low-GI whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean meat, poultry and fish, and a balance of healthy fats will result in your body being fuelled to work at its best — Be Fit Food follows these exact principles.
Here’s the lowdown on what I thought of it:
You’ll be sent all your high-protein, low-calorie meals each week (including a protein ball snack each day, which I’m now obsessed with). This means you won’t need to hit the supermarket or cook (a bonus for busy ladies and gents).
But — and this is a pretty big but — this means no going out to lunches or dinners, no booze, no office cake and no more cappuccinos (although black coffee is allowed).
Why? Because you won’t achieve the results you’re after if you stray from the diet. It’s around $ 200/week — which works out to be approx $ 8/meal, so won’t break the budget either.
The food is delicious and the meals do fill you up… for about an hour or so. Then you’ll be counting down until the next moment you can eat again.
(Sidenote: I chose to do this using the 16:8 intermittent fasting method as well, which means I could eat all my meals during an eight-hour window. That has also helped me to keep the weight off.)
Most of the food is pretty tasty and includes a great variety of meals. The trio of green soup, the ginger fish and the Spanish eggs are among my favourites, but I’d say 90 percent of meals are pretty damn tasty, and not just because you’re hungry.
There were even mornings when my colleagues wanted to steal my food — which never happens with my own home-cooked meals.
Did I mention the no cocktails or cappuccinos? Switching to long blacks was an adjustment and saying no to a glass of wine at the end of the day was harder than I thought — especially during the silly season.
I’m not going to lie, my social life took a hit while I was on this rapid diet. Luckily my friends didn’t mind that I BYO’d my own dinner to their homes and swapped wine for water.
The constant feeling of hunger between meals was also tricky — it was certainly a downside for anyone sitting near my desk during this time, and surprisingly hunger pains kept me up in the middle of the night on the odd occasion.
Food-wise, I’d avoid the porridge dishes. It was the only meal I truly questioned when it came to taste.
The Be Fit Foodies advise it’s probably best not to do too much serious exercise while on this diet, because it’s so low on carbs. I’d have to agree with this advice: some mornings I felt pretty weak or slow. But I managed to keep up my 10,000 steps a day and this seemed to help the process.
It struck me how quickly my body adjusted to eating less. Sticking to this diet hardcore for a couple of weeks left me with more energy, made me feel lighter and gave me a clearer head. It has helped me reset my brain to eat less and be more mindful of what I’m putting in my mouth.
Now I’ve managed to stick to my 16:8 way of eating, as well as avoid afternoon snacking. Seriously.
After losing 4kgs in the first week, I continued with another round a week later and have since lost 7kg in total — and have a bucketload more confidence in my body again.
Plus thanks to a recent (unrelated) blood test to check my health, my doctor informed me that I’m in the best health I have been in for a long time.
So if you, like me, need that little extra shove in the right direction to change your weight, change your mindset or even just change your eating habits — I’d say give it a whirl. After all, it’s only a week or two out of your life.