The quickest way to lose weight isn't the best

Judith Wills / 04 April 2014

Diet and wellbeing blogger Judith Wills looks at recent research which proves that a diet for quick weight loss is not necessarily the best.

Now hear this. I am about to prove that the way I go about losing weight is absolutely and definitely the right way. Apart from making total sense anyway, without recourse to science and research, the way I eat is a version of 'moderation in all things'.

More accurately, it is 'moderation in naughty self-indulgent low-nutrient very high energy things such as cream buns, cheesecake, foccacia bread, white chocolate and wine'. Well, actually, my idea of moderating wine is to drink less than I used to, and enough said about that.

And cram in as much vegetation as possible, with meat, fish, dairy and grains as good quality as I can afford and also in moderation.

So today I have back up for what I've been counselling for years – that 'seven a day' is better than 'five a day, according to new research from University College London. A pity they don't go a small step further and say that at least four of the seven a day should be vegetables rather than fruit (I believe veggies concur more benefit to health and wellbeing than do fruits).

And, even better, I found a small story today that didn't get much media coverage, which does show my diet works best in the long run. A study from Cambridge University conducted on obese women over two years found that the best way to lose weight initially was to follow the 'stone age' diet – another form of the low-carb Atkins diet which returns every year or two in a slightly different form – eating vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds and small amounts of animal protein but avoiding dairy and grains. On such a diet the women lost an average of a stone in six months, while other women – on a diet higher in carbohydrates and dairy – lost only 6lbs.

How does that show your diet is right, I hear you say? Well it doesn't – but wait. Once the initial dieting period was over, and as the two years passed, the women on the alternative diet in the study, a diet that included moderate amounts of dairy and grains, gradually caught up (in the amount of weight they lost) with the stone age dieters, whose weight loss slowed down.

So – as short-term weight loss is a complete waste of time and energy, my way, which bans very little foods types and follows a moderate route, is, obviously, the one to choose.

No-one mentions alcohol but let us just say that alcohol drinks were first invented about 12,000 years ago, and in the middle ages in many parts of the world, beer was consumed instead of water (as the water was often unfit to drink). Wine – well the Romans enjoyed it.

So much for theory – yes I'm doing well at the moment and thoroughly enjoying what I eat and seeing a steady drop on the scales. Soon I will take a photo to show you.

And in case anyone's wondering how I got on after my initial problems with practising mindfulness, things all calmed down, my temper returned to normal and I do think that short and frequent bouts of sitting with eyes closed and focussing on breathing are helping me to avoid anxiety and probably to avoid temptation – those cream buns, cheesecakes, etc – too.

Me, no longer a sceptic? Well not quite – I shan't be purchasing one of those office desks come treadmills – I have enough trouble typing and thinking while sitting down. Have never been very good as thinking on my feet, let alone when they are walking.

Lemon chicken with sweet potatoes and olivesAte last night:

Lemon Chicken with sweet potatoes and olives. Just saw a photo of it in one of the weekend supplements and thought it looked nice. And it was. It's just another version of a roast supper on a tray but nevertheless... You just brown some chicken leg pieces (two per person if hungry, one piece if not) then put them in a roasting pan with chunks of sweet potato (I hadn't got enough sweet potato so I also sliced two small Maris Pipers as well), some fresh or dried oregano and thyme, and toss in 2 tbsp olive oil. I added a sliced red onion but that's optional. Season and bake at 190C for around 30 minutes, then add the juice of a lemon, some lemon slices and a handful of black stoned olives. I also drizzled in a little chicken stock. Cook for a further 15 minutes (put a knife in the veg and chicken to make sure everything is cooked through) and serve.

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