I am not a person who loses weight easily. Some people just cut out the snacks and they lose. Some lose by cutting out soda. Others may be able to lose by cutting down on bread and white flour. A diet high in protein drops pounds for some. None of these methods work for me. I have found something that does. In this post I will share with you, how I lost 20 pounds.
With the stress of both of my parents being ill, and dying within the previous year and a half to two years, I had packed on some extra pounds. These pounds were in addition to the 20 extra pounds or so, I had already been carrying around for a few years.
Fortunately, I was able to dress in ways that covered up most of my weight gain. Though people may have noticed I gained some weight; most would be shocked to know just how much I had gained.
I dreaded going to the doctor and stepping on the scale; because I was ashamed of the number it brought up. I don’t ever tell anyone what I weigh; but the dreaded scale revealed what I was desperately trying to hide.
I think I surprised some of the nurses (much to my chagrin); because they would put the weight on the scales lower than it needed to be, and they would have to move it up. Ugh. I would diet for three weeks to a month before the appointment; only to lose a few pounds. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Surely I’m not alone.
My weight loss method is not speedy; especially after I have lost the first 10 pounds. In fact, I find that my body adjusts to the way I am eating, and I stop losing and go on a plateau. This is very frustrating; because I am sticking to the diet just as I was when I was losing; but with no success. I think this may happen to others as well. It is a critical time; because the discouragement often leads to giving up and scraping the diet.
I have found some strategies to deal with this plateau:
Realize the plateau is temporary and wait it out. It may be our body adjusting to the new weight. A couple to three weeks and the weight will start to drop again.
Add more exercise than you have been doing. This burns more calories and may contribute to jump starting weight loss again.
Change what you have been eating. Use a little different tactic. Sometimes our body will be fooled into starting to lose again, by our change in eating habits.
Take a week off; and eat normally (just don’t overdo). Then start back with a new attitude. Maybe our body will follow suit. You may gain a couple pounds during your week off; but they may fall off quickly and take some others with them.
Another problem I deal with in sticking to a diet is that I get hungry for those foods which are not allowed. People solve this problem in different ways. Some are very determined and willing to sacrifice their favorite foods on the altar of lost pounds. I find after three weeks or so (when I go on my plateau); I tend to lose that resolve.
My way of handling this problem is by strictly observing my diet for 5 days (or 4 if it works out better), and then take two or three days off of the diet. During this time; I eat whatever it was I was hungry for all week (within reason).
I don’t overdo, and have a whole pizza, hoagie, or a 1/2 gallon of ice cream. I don’t buy a whole box of doughnuts, and eat them all through those two days. I don’t eat a whole bag of potato chips, or cheese curls, or down a whole liter of soda. I use discretion; but I indulge in whatever I have been hungry for during the two or three days off from my diet.
During the time off, I generally do gain 2 to 3 pounds. But I find that these pounds usually drop within the first couple days of my diet. That leaves me with two or three days to lose more weight. So normally (when not on the dreaded plateau), I am still ahead, for the week, by a couple pounds.
How did I manage to lose 20 pounds?
As I mentioned, I don’t lose weight easily; but there is one diet that has always yielded some weight loss for me. It is an old diet from the 70’s, developed by a doctor named, Dr. Herman Tarnower. Yes, that’s right, the old Scarsdale Diet. It has stood the test of time. Many are still using this rather simple diet to drop pounds.
The Scarsdale Diet has an added benefit of fast weight loss during the first couple weeks. This jump start to your diet wets your appetite to lose more. The diet boasts of a weight loss of up to 20 pounds during the first fourteen days. I have never had that good of results; but when I was younger, I may have lost 10 to 12 pounds in the first 14 days.
My daughter and I decided that we really don’t lose more than a pound or two in the second week of the diet (which is just a repeat of the first week) So we cut it down to one week on the diet, and then one week off, and then back on, etc.
I tend to lose 5 or 6 pounds during that first week. (Sometimes 7 or 8 if I’m lucky) Which is still a good loss for one week. Then after a week of being off; I would find I had gained back 4 or 5 of the 6 to 8 I lost. Also each time I went back on the diet; my body usually decided that it would cut a pound off of my regular loss. So, I found, cutting down the days I was off of the diet yielded better results for me.
My journey to losing 20 pounds.
I went on the Scarsdale Diet a couple weeks before Thanksgiving in 2016. I was on the diet for the whole week the first time, and off 3 days (I think) I knew I needed to be off for Thanksgiving, because I was having a family dinner, and there was no way I was not eating with them. 🙂 If I remember correctly; that was a 5 day diet with two days off.
So I skipped the first day of the diet; which is more or less a protein preparation day. The second day (I call fruit salad day) became the first day of my diet. Then I skipped the last day of the diet to fit my schedule.
The same thing worked out well around Christmas; and I was able to be off on Christmas day and my birthday (the day after). New Years worked out well too; and I started out 2017 ten pounds lighter. It felt so good; but I had so much more to lose.
Since I decided that the first day of the diet wasn’t really necessary, I proceeded to cut it out completely. I went to a 6 day diet; and then to a 5 day diet; with weekends off. This has been working well for me.
I did go through a plateau (as mentioned above); and I tried suffering it through; but I was stuck at 16 pounds for a couple weeks and then at 18 for a few weeks. I tried exercising more; but the bad weather was limiting getting outside. Finally, I adjusted my eating. Since I wasn’t really losing; I figured I had nothing to lose. (pun intended)
For one group of 5 days, I ate a lot of protein. I boiled some eggs and added skimmed milk and a little extra meat. The next week I made cabbage soup, and celery soup and added that to my diet. I also drank some milk and started a snack of an apple and nuts at 3pm.
This week I was surprised to find that I was down the two pounds, that I couldn’t seem to lose!
Yay! I can now say that I have lost 20 pounds!
That may not mean much to you; but it means a lot to me. And I can see a difference in my body and the way my clothes are fitting, too.
You may be wondering if you will be able
to lose weight using the same method.
Everyone is different; so I can’t guarantee that this diet will work the same for you; but the original Scarsdale Diet has proved itself over the years; with weight loss being achieved by many. How much you will lose depends on how closely you follow the diet; and your own body makeup.
You can’t expect to lose if you don’t adhere closely to the diet. My advice would be, for the first week or two at least; you would be better served to follow the diet (or at least the first week of it) for maximum weight loss. If it seems to be working, keep doing what you are doing.
After that, if you want to play around with it; you may come up with what works best for you. One thing I think you will notice, while on the diet, is that you will feel better. I notice less bloat, gas and heartburn; and I have more energy.
If you decide to use something close to my method;
I have some other advice.
Use common sense on your days off of the diet.
Don’t binge sweets or salty snacks.
Limit high calorie foods.
Limit sodas and other high calorie drinks.
Remember, you will be able to have the offending food or drink on another time off.
Weigh in. Be aware of how many pounds you are gaining.
If you gain too much on your days off; you will have to lose more before you are actually dropping another pound. For example:
Suppose you had lost 10 pounds, and on your days off you gained 3 pounds back. You have to lose those 3 pounds before you start to lose more than 10 pounds. If you gain more than 3 pounds; it will be harder to lose more pounds, above what you have gained. This could result in your weight remaining the same. Which is counterproductive to your ultimate goal of continuing a steady weight loss.
For your information:
During the time I have lost this weight, I have used a teaspoon of coconut oil in my coffee. I have also drank eight glasses of water; and one to three glasses of cider vinegar water a day. I am not sure if these actions contributed in any way to increased weight loss; but in the interests of complete disclosure; I thought I should mention them.
If you are interested in reading the book by Dr. Tarnower,
I found a couple used at Amazon. Just scroll down
and click on the Shop now button:
If you are not interested in the book:
This is the one week plan I took from the Original Scarsdale Diet.
Scarsdale Diet Day One:
Breakfast: Coffee or tea with sugar substitute and a half of a grapefruit and a slice of protein bread (same all days)
Note: I don’t use sugar substitute since I hate sweet coffee
Lunch: Assorted cold cuts with tomatoes (sliced, broiled or stewed) and coffee or tea
Dinner: As much broiled fish or shellfish as you like along with a slice of protein bread, unlimited salad &grapefruit
Note: I use coconut oil and brown my fish and season with lemon. I often skip the bread and grapefruit.
Scarsdale Diet Day Two:
Lunch: As much fruit salad as you like with coffee or tea
Dinner: As much lean, broiled hamburger as you like & unlimited tomatoes, celery, cucumbers or brussel sprouts, with coffee or tea
Note: I sometimes swap brussel sprouts with either asparagus or green beans.
Scarsdale Diet Day Three:
Lunch: As much tuna salad as you like with a grapefruit and coffee or tea
Dinner: As much broiled lean pork as you like along with unlimited green salad, with coffee or tea
Note: I hardly ever have pork on hand, so I substitute chicken or fish. Also, I love mayonnaise on my tuna salad and I indulge. I love tuna salad day.
Scarsdale Diet Day Four:
Lunch: Two eggs any style, cottage cheese, string beans or tomatoes, and a slice of protein bread, with coffee or tea
Dinner: As much broiled, barbecued or roast chicken (with skin removed) as you like along with unlimited green beans, spinach or green peppers, with coffee or tea.
Note: I usually don’t make barbecued chicken; but I often sprinkle my chicken with hot sauce.
Scarsdale Diet Day Five:
Lunch: Assorted low fat cheese slices, unlimited amounts of spinach, and a slice of protein bread, with coffee or tea
Dinner: As much broiled fish or shellfish as you like along with unlimited salad, & a slice of protein bread, with coffee or tea
Note: I love cheese day. I steam fresh spinach if I have it. It goes great with the cheese. I buy the mozzarella (part skim) sticks or farmer’s cheese usually. I often skip the protein bread, except at breakfast. If I am extra hungry before bed, I have a piece of toast.
Scarsdale Diet Day Six:
Lunch: As much fruit salad as you like, with coffee or tea
Dinner: As much broiled or roast turkey or chicken as you like with unlimited salad of tomatoes and lettuce, and a grapefruit, with coffee or tea
Note: It is best to use all fresh fruit for lunch; but I usually start with a can of fruit cocktail and then add fresh apple and bananas and any other fresh fruit I have on hand. Sometimes I use half a can of pineapple, too.
Scarsdale Diet Day Seven:
Lunch: Cold or hot chicken or turkey, tomatoes, carrots, cooked cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower and a grapefruit or melon, coffee or tea
Dinner: Plenty of broiled (grilled) steak, all visible fat removed before eating along with a salad of lettuce, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes and Brussels sprouts, with coffee or tea
What am I doing different?
At this point in my journey, I am cutting out the first and last days; and sometimes the second day (fruit salad) I have found I don’t digest red meat very well; so I don’t mind missing the day I have the hamburger, or the day I have the steak (which I don’t usually keep on hand anyway).
I feel free to exchange fish for chicken, or the other way around. I substitute chicken or fish, for the pork most of the time. I also exchange green beans, spinach, asparagus, cabbage, and broccoli, according to what I feel like eating or have on hand.
Please keep in mind that I have re-arranged the orginal diet for my own purposes. I am not telling you to follow my plan. I am only relating what has been working for me.
I would, however, recommend the Orginal Scarsdale Diet. If adhered to, it has a proven record of weight loss in those who have tried it. It has been around for forty years and still being used by many. That’s a pretty good record, don’t you think?
I hope this information is helpful to you. I bring you information as I see it; and then it is up to you to decide if it is useful for you, or how it may be useful for you. Any decisions about your own diet is for you to make.
Thanks for dropping by. Come back again soon. I love company, and my door is always open.
Please feel free to express your thoughts in the comment section below. If you have any questions; I will be glad to answer to the best of my ability.
At your service,