What to expect: You’ve bought whatever combination of fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat, spices, fish, fowl, and coffee or tea makes sense to you. If so inclined, you’ve found recipes for grain-free substitutes for ingredients. You’ve maybe read the labels if you have processed food around. Time to take the plunge.
1. First Two Days. You might feel weird the first two days, because your body is used to the sugar high from cereal, bread, and so on. You might feel a little shaky or have a slight headache. Feel free to gripe. I’ll bet that on the third morning you wake up feeling more energetic than you have in ages. I’ll also bet that you will have lost a pound by now.
2. Dining with Friends. I don’t know about you, nonexistent reader, but I hate calling attention to myself. I hate the idea of everyone at the table wrinkling their brows over my “weird diet” or of a host feeling anxious about “what can you eat?” I try to keep it brief and simple. I urge people to make whatever they normally would and say that I’ll skip anything not on my list. This isn’t a perfect solution. Sometimes people put you on the spot or have Strong Opinions to share. Sometimes the hostess serves bread, a rice casserole, candied yams, and chocolate cake. If that happens, just eat a little bit of everything (a LITTLE), decline the cake on the grounds that you’re full, and don’t worry about it.
3. Restaurants. It’s easier in a restaurant, because you aren’t going to hurt anyone’s feelings or get them in a tizzy. If you order a burger without a bun, they will often set it in a bed if lettuce and tomatoes. If the meal comes with fries or the salad has croutons, push them aside.
4. Weaknesses and Mental Tricks. I have a weakness for desserts, yours may be different. What if you feel resentful and deprived because everyone else is slathering butter on warm sourdough bread, sipping wine, and groaning in ecstasy over the double fudge chocolate torte? Some ideas –
First, this isn’t forever, unless you have a metabolic or medical condition (in which case, I am not a doctor, etc.). This is about losing weight, simply and briskly, without joining a group, keeping a notebook, etc. If you are walking 35 minutes a day (more on that in a minute) and are not eating second helpings, you can lose 40 pounds in 2 or 3 months. Then you can OCCASIONALLY have chocolate cake.
2. At restaurants I sometimes just get up and walk away when the waiter is taking dessert orders. I come back in a minute when the danger is past.
3. Just make it a rule, so you aren’t having will-power battles 50 times a day.
4. Dissociate a little, just don’t think about the presence of whatever tempts you.
5. Just do it. You don’t have to like it, just do it.