How I Didn’t Lose Weight

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Ushah Kazi

Married to books, in a relationship with food, playing dress up since 1993. An unabashed pop-culture junkie. Come talk movies and lifestyle with me!

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Okay, so as I stumble down this rabbit hole, the weight loss is beginning to show. Who knew? You lose a few pounds, and suddenly you’re smaller. In my case, I made the decision to share this journey with all of you. The reason behind this was rather selfish. Because you see, I have in fact tried to lose weight before. And, I have fallen off of multiple bandwagons. So, I wanted to be held accountable. And nothing holds you accountable like a frenemy commenting on your fourth chin.

And, as the pounds fall off, I have been approached by many of you. In person, on the phone, in my inbox, you name it. And you all have the same question; how did I lose the weight? The answer is approximately ninety pictures long (hint: it’s my Instagram profile). There was no easy, overnight fix. In fact, I am still very much in the process. So, while I want to, I cannot give you a ‘five easy ways to lose twenty pounds’ type of spiel.

Sorry.

But, what I can do, is give you a rundown of everything that didn’t help me lose weight.

 

Let’s Recount Some Of My Greatest Fails!

Like I said; multiple bandwagons. And these were no picnic. Really, I cannot believe some of the things that I did to myself. But, if we’re going to focus on the silver lining, this means that I did this stuff so that you shouldn’t have to!

Particularly when, for reasons that I will never understand, some people are still doing these things. , So, let’s treat this as a cautionary tale, about fad diets. They are unhealthy, unsafe and frankly unnecessary. And, I’d love it if we could acknowledge their inherent ludicrousness, and move on.

 

The Cabbage Soup Diet

Let’s just rip this Band-Aid off. Once upon a time, when I was fifteen and stupid, I embarked on this monstrosity. If this diet worked for you, as many have claimed, then more power to you. For me, this was the first in a long line of ludicrous ‘get skinny in seven days’ ventures.

As the name implies, the diet revolves around cabbage soup. And claims that you could lose up to 10 pounds in a week.

As I have now come to find out, the average person can hope to lose 1 to 2 pounds in a week. We’re talking sustainable weight loss, mind you. So, in a month, losing 8 pounds is pretty impressive. Also, how much you lose, is strongly impacted by how much you have to lose. If you’re 600 pounds overweight, you’ll lose weight faster than if you were 60 pounds overweight.

Do you see where I’m going with this? To promise a number, especially one this high, in a week is poppycock. It’s isn’t sustainable, or necessary. Especially when the diet asks you to cut out entire food groups.

For the first three days, for example, you’re only supposed to eat fruits and vegetables. And no mention is made of maintaining your protein intake.

This diet was always a recipe for disaster. Because of the exceptionally low caloric intake, I did lose weight (as I remember, I lost 4 pounds). But, as soon as I stopped, I put the weight back on. Because of which, I’m thinking we can put the weight loss down to water-weight.

But the bulge was just one half of the battle. In terms of energy, stamina and overall health, I felt like a jacket potato without the jacket.

 

General Motors Diet 

According to legend, this diet was developed in 1985 by General Motors to get their employees to lose weight, fast.  

A claim that has since been rebuked. However, this hasn’t stopped people from embarking on this ridiculously restrictive diet. It certainly didn’t stop me, when I was around eighteen. It was that time of the year, some high-school (or A Level college) event was around the corner. And I needed to lose weight.

To a much younger me, the tagline of ‘lose 15 pounds in a week’ sounded too good to pass on. Kindly refer to my dirge for the previous diets’ unrealistic weekly goal. And arrive at how ridiculous the GM claim is.

Anyway, I embarked on the full seven days. Eliminating food groups. Chomping down leafy greens and losing sleep in the process. I did lose weight, but I can’t remember how much. It wasn’t 15 pounds, or even close, this much I remember.

I also remember that I was very faint by the seventh day. I also remember that a day later, I devoured an entire cheesecake. For context, this is what I looked like at eighteen.

At approximately eighteen years old

Needless to say, an entire cheesecake was not my daily diet. It was an anomaly, possibly triggered by the restrictive seven days.

 

Master Cleanse  

This one is supposed to go on for ten days. I lasted for one whole day. Now, in hindsight, I didn’t do it properly. The rules ask you to ease your way into a completely liquid diet. Yes, ease.

As, for the first four days you are allowed the luxuriantly decadent diet of raw vegetables, smoothies, and soups.

I, jumped right into the cayenne pepper spiked lemonade. Because at nineteen, I was beginning to see fad diets for the celebrity endorsed cash-grabs that they are. I suppose I knew that I wouldn’t lose weight. And, I knew it wouldn’t be healthy, sustainable, or even effective. So, in a way, I just wanted to get it over with.

So, jump I did. And I landed headfirst, into a cacophony of practically rancid lemonade.

I didn’t lose weight (surprise surprise) but, I did have heartburns for a week. Which was just the most glorious fun.

 

Bonus…

Lemon Water First Thing In The Morning   

This is not diet, nor is it necessarily a bad idea. But, we’re talking about my epic fails. So, let’s talk!

I have been the purveyor of ‘lemon water will solve everything’, to a delirious extent.

Now, while I can’t imagine that water with some lemon juice in it will harm anyone. But, I also don’t think it can magically make last night’s Popeye’s binge disappear either.

In the past though, that’s exactly what I subconsciously believed. That’s right; I was that girl. But you don’t have to be. If you want to lose weight and gain health, great! But, with all the information that we now have, please make some sensible choices.

Not eating for seven days isn’t going to undo the past seven years of bad choices. A glass of lemon water won’t ‘melt your fat’. And, now more than ever, I think we can put the desire for a quick fix to rest. Make healthy, mindful changes, to your lifestyle. And slowly but surely, you’ll lose weight. But most importantly, you’re health will improve.

Which by the way, in case the magazines forgot to tell you, is he most important thing.

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