Sunday, 16 January 2011
My Special K fetish
I’ve endured the ritual humiliation of WeightWatchers and Slimming World; I’ve detoxed every which way and drunk endless dreary milk shakes. Yeah, they all worked for a bit...but, as we all know, diets simply don’t really work longterm.
Then, weirdly, bizarrely, something just clicked a few months ago. I wish I could tell you exactly what it was, but I can’t quite pinpoint it. Simply put, I stopped wanting to kill myself slowly with food. I gave up booze; I gave up meat. Fast food and ready meals went out the window. I tried to eat chocolate but it made me feel ill.
Okay so, being me, I took it to extremes and for a while I stopped eating altogether. But that little experiment came to an abrupt end when I nearly passed out doing 80 mph down the fast lane of the M5.
I’m marginally more sensible now but, even so, I wouldn’t recommend following my example. What you might want to try, instead, is taking a look at the new Special K website.
Now, let me confess upfront - I have a Special K love affair that is bordering on the fetishistic. It started back in the 1970s (when my mother was using it for her own round of dieting) and has endured intact to date. Not remotely as a diet food, let me quickly add, but as my late night comfort snack – a vast bowl (none of your berry nonsense, thank you very much - the pure original unadultered flakes), with a sprinkling of sugar and topped with creamy milk. Do I still want to eat it on my new health kick? Er, yup. So, when Kellogg’s invited me to a briefing on the cereal’s new website, I was there before you could say ‘less than 2% fat.’
You simply log in your details – weight and height plus your weight goal and your lifestyle – and the site will come up with your ideal plan. So it will be tailor-made, regardless of if you simply want to lose a few pounds so you can fit into your old jeans, or you’re a new mum wanting to shed baby pounds, or an older woman wanting to regain her confidence and her curves.
There’s no sign-up or subscription fees – it’s totally free. I like that. A lot. I also like some of the other features – the online food diary (research shows keeping track really helps); an emotional tracker (so you can figure out your food triggers); a desktop widget and iPhone/Android apps and (love this) the option to ‘buddy’ other members in your area or with your goals or “issues”. A busy forum is another motivational tool. I’ve hung around a lot of online fora (some would say far too many!) and they really can be hugely supportive. Oh, okay, so some can be pretty repellent but...well.... this one looks nice. :-)
What’s it missing? I would have liked to have seen a little more focus on self-esteem and some visualisation/self-hypnosis techniques would have been a bonus (like those offered on Pete Cohen’s plan – which, I have to say, does cost).
There are vegetarian options but, to be fully inclusive, it would have been good to have seen vegan diets included and also options for coeliacs and those with other intolerances and allergies.
Still. If you do want to commit to getting yourself to a fit and healthy weight, I think it’s a useful resource.
Just think – if you lost two pounds a week, what would you weigh come summer? Tempting?
A rare recipe (make the most of it!) from the Standard meal plan
Mixed Bean Salad with Rocket, Mozzarella and Tomato
60g aduki beans, boiled in unsalted water (or tinned)
60g black eyed beans (ditto)
120g butter beans (ditto)
55g sliced mozzarella
Large tomato, sliced or chopped
1 tbs low-fat dressing (I'd be tempted to drizzle a bit of my favourite argan oil instead)
Mix it all up and add an average wholemeal roll.
Then have some grapes and kiwi fruit for pudd...