Living in a farmhouse 7 km from the nearest shop for the last two months has been good for me, and I'm now wearing the same size jeans I was over twenty years ago. I've given some thought as to why I should have lost weight, given that my health is excellent and there's no obvious medical cause, and it comes down to a few, basic principles.
My weight loss was slow, over two months. I really only noticed when the jeans I bought in early April refused to stay up without my wearing a belt. I've got rid of most of a belly that I've had for decades. I'm never hungry, except perhaps just before a meal, and I enjoy my food.
So for those who are interested in these things, this is my "accidental" diet.
- One cup of real (not instant) coffee in the morning. I take milk and sugar, but the tea I drink for the rest of the day is plain black. I also drink a few glasses of plain tap water each day.
- Real porridge, not instant, for breakfast. If cooked properly it's almost as fast as instant. Using a small cup (or 1/2 cup) as a measure the proportions are 1 cup oats, 2 1/2 cups water. I like a tiny bit of salt too. Cook it slowly on top of the stove. It must boil for a short time. Soak the pan in cold water for a while, then the porridge comes off easily. I eat it with a teaspoon of sugar and a little milk.
- For a snack I have fruit, usually a mandarin or an orange or a small apple. I've stopped eating bananas, perhaps because the ones I ate in Malaysia were so delicious and supermarket ones just don't come near them.
- For lunch I have either a cheese sandwich with pickles of some sort, using wholemeal or multigrain bread and butter, or, if I'm home, a couple of eggs on toast. I only have two slices of bread per day, often I'll buy a loaf and it will go mouldy before I've finished it.
- For dinner, some combination of vegetables and meat, even if it's only baked beans and sausages with eggs if I haven't had them for lunch. No bread.
As a general rule, a beer or a glass of wine at most once a week. I don't enjoy drinking on my own, so it hasn't been a great sacrifice.
I have one small packet of biscuits per week to go with my cup of tea. Sometimes I make some home-made muffins or bake a cake, or as a treat, I have toast and butter and strawberry jam or marmalade.
The general principles are:
- Lots of fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese and eggs. I cook with olive oil or butter or both. I use butter when I bake.
- Little or no processed foods (that includes instant coffee and dairy spread). Two slices of bread maximum per day, very few bought cakes or biscuits.
- Very little alcohol.
Please note that I'm not a dietitian or any other sort of expert, this is something that just happens to work for me.