Lessons Learned from a Short Diet

healthy chicken meal

A ‘Life’ post today for a change. A couple of weeks ago, I had to go on a 3-day strict diet prior to undergoing a medical procedure. The procedure isn’t important I just had to have an empty bowel. Some of you may have gone through this yourselves but I thought I set out my experiences during the diet and what I learned from that.

On days 1 and 2  of the diet, I was only allowed to eat from the following: clear soup, eggs (poached or boiled), chicken, white fish, cheese, margarine, jelly marmalade or jelly jam, jelly, tea, coffee, Bovril, skimmed milk, boiled white rice, white bread (or toast).  Day 3 was fluids only – fruit juice, clear soup, Bovril, tea, coffee or water.

That’s not too bad I hear you say – and really it wasn’t. As you can see, the main meal on days 1 and 2 was basically plain chicken and white rice or white fish and white rice with a snack of a cheese sandwich or poached egg. Basic plain food, no sauces, no desserts, no junk. I managed to get through it all right, but it was quite difficult sitting down with the rest of the family and watching them eat regular meals as I ate my plain dish. To make things harder and give me a real challenge, we all went out to a restaurant on the evening of day 2. Watching the food being served up on our table and adjacent tables was a real temptation as I sat with just a glass of juice. My daughter gave me two strips of chargrilled chicken from her dish and it tasted just heavenly. Which takes me to my first point. I think if I hadn’t been on a diet and had chosen that chicken dish in the restaurant, I really wouldn’t have appreciated it as much as I should. I would have chomped through it without really stopping to savour the flavour, and I would probably have eaten too quickly and too much.

The third day of the diet actually wasn’t too bad. Even though it was only fluids, I went to bed that night not actually feeling hungry but feeling surprisingly good.

Lessons learned

During the diet, I actually bought a cookbook in a charity shop – Happy Days with the Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver. I couldn’t resist it. Yes, it helped me get through it all! On the night after my medical procedure, I decided I would try and cook more flavoursome meals in future, and eat smaller portions. The book actually makes the good point to slow down when you’re eating. ‘If you eat your food too quickly, your brain won’t pick up on the fact that you’re actually full up as quickly as it should, so you will carry on stuffing yourself until you’ve eaten too much. Eating slowly will ensure that your brain tells you when you’re full.’ I’m also going to try and cut down on biscuits and the junk which I didn’t really miss during the short diet.

Have you had to go on a diet? How did you manage? Did you feel better after it or learn anything in the process? Drop a comment below.

Image credit: Chicken pineapple salad and bread by Steve A Johnson

One Response

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