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How to lose the lockdown load

Here’s how I lost 24lbs in lockdown by walking and portion control.

The problem with being a former slimming club consultant and a half-trained naturopathic nutritionist is that you know how to lose weight. And that knowledge can be a burden.

I can talk anyone to sleep about motivation techniques, but I can’t always apply them to myself.

You see, the thing about motivation is that the time has to be right. You have to get so far down, recognise why you’re feeling that way and then vow to do something about it. Then, and this is the most important part, stick with it. Consistency is everything when it comes to weight loss. You know this, right?

It’s also vital to understand that one size doesn’t fit all. So, if your mate has had amazing results on the Ketogenic (low carb) diet interspersed with Intermittent Fasting, that’s great. But it may not work for you.I’ve devoured every fact about the keto diet, but it doesn’t work for me

I know this because I’ve tried most diets and I lose weight very, very sloooowly. It’s important to know your weight loss style, what works, what doesn’t and you can only do this by trial and error.

I’ve devoured every fact about the Keto diet. I understand how it works and it’s very successful for those who are committed. But it doesn’t work for me. It bungs me up – yes, I’ve tried drinking lots of water – and makes me feel so miserable that I give up. Even those amazing before and after pics don’t work on my stubborn brain.

Calorie restriction, however, does work for me. I can have a varied diet – protein, healthy carbs, lots of veg and apart from the odd hunger pang, I feel tip-top while I’m doing it.

Maybe it’s my personality, I’m a rebel at heart and the only thing that works is reining myself right in. If a diet states I can have a large portion of chicken, I’ll eat a full one. So you see where I’m coming from.

For a greedy guts like me, who believes more is more when it comes to food, having a smaller portion gives me the discipline I need to see the pounds drop off.

And so they have, since January I’ve lost 24 big fat whoppers, most of those at a time when people are complaining of gaining a stone under lockdown.

So this is what I did. It may not work for you, but then again, it just might. But consistency has been the key to success here.

So, in January after the break-up of a relationship, I jumped on the scales and realised I’d gained a stone and a half. Too much booze, too many big dinners and too many arguments. Mentally and physically I was at a low ebb. I’ve decided men make me fat.

So after covering myself up in big, black jumpers and leggings, I decided to stop wallowing in self-pity and I ordered a Clean 15 Aloe Vera 15-day detox pack.

I’d previously tried a Clean 9 and had lost six pounds which stayed off, so I knew it worked for me. It’s basically a daily dose of aloe vera, a protein drink, herbal tablets to boost metabolism, fibre to keep you regular and a strictly calorie-controlled diet with exercise programme for 9 or 15 days, depending on the pack you choose.

Again, I lost six pounds and that spurred me on to continue. I’m not an advocate for crash diets, but sometimes they’re the boost we all need to get started and there’s nothing nasty about aloe vera.

Now my beloved Labrador Lola had died a few months earlier and I was missing her, but also missing getting out in the fresh air. So I started walking. At first I couldn’t walk for more than an hour without needing a wee, but that has improved immensely over time. I managed a whole four hours during lockdown. Just call me iron bladder!

So an hourly walk became longer. Soon I was up to 10,000 steps, then 15,000 and even 20,000 at times. Walking was a revelation. It’s the ultimate social event. My friend and I have tramped for hours in all weathers, discussing our love lives, during lockdown. Three times a week we walk 15,000 steps with smaller walks in between. She’s been following Keto and has lost over a stone in six weeks.

Now, food and booze. OK, I’ll admit now that I’ve still enjoyed my favourite Sauvignon Blanc.  I’ve also tucked into a good breakfast of wholemeal toast with avocado or egg, something filling. I’ve skipped lunch because I’m usually walking and I’ve had a very healthy dinner courtesy of my son-in-law Rodrigo Campos Klaric @rodcamp. He’s Peruvian and a chef and has not an inch of fat on him and it’s easy to see why. He eats and drinks in moderation and works out in the house every day. It’s his way of life, he doesn’t make a big deal of it.

So his meals consist of a protein – meat, fish, a small portion of carb, like rice or potato skins, and a huge salad or mass of vegetables with plenty of olive oil or butter. Good fat really doesn’t make you fat.

Being Peruvian, he’s one of the few people I know who can cook quinoa properly – now that’s a slow-release, high protein carb and that’s why it’s called the food of the gods. It keeps you fuller for longer and doesn’t have the same carb load as rice or pasta.

So, calorie wise, I’ve probably been having around 1600 – 1900 a day, but with all the walking, I’ve lost weight, lots of inches and my flabby thighs have firmed up. It hasn’t been miserable at all. I haven’t felt hungry or tired. Of course, I’ve had days when I’ve gone mad, eaten and drunk everything to hand and rolled around in bed because I’m too full to sleep. But that’s just me. I’ve practised gluttony for most of my life so I’m an expert.

It’s taken me 10 months to lose 24 pounds – that’s not much more than two pounds a month. It may not be enough for someone who wants instant results, but if you started today you’d be clear of some of that lockdown bulge by Christmas. And, more importantly, you’ll feel great doing it and it will stay off.

Exercise, healthy, fresh food and portion control. It’s not rocket science, but it works.

Diane at the start of her weightloss journey

Start today and lose the lockdown load!

Diane Cooke
Diane Cooke is a three times award-winning journalist who has worked for UK national/regional newspapers, magazines and websites.

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