Once we reach a certain age
(and I certainly fall well into
the "men over 40" bracket),
dieting becomes less easy.
What worked in our younger
years - always assuming we
needed to diet at all, rather
than just maybe skip breakfast
- doesn't seem anywhere near
as effective. So what can you
do to get rid of that not-sopretty beer belly and the man
Keep a food diary for a couple of days
This maybe boring but it's quite easy.
And - so long as you're honest with yourself and don't quietly
"forget" to write down all the crisps and chocolate bars and
cans of pop and other quick drinks - it's probably the easiest
place to spot where you can cut the calories and almost not
Once you've jotted down absolutely everything you've eaten
over the last couple of days, it's time to examine it.
Most people who do this find that one or two things almost leap
off the page at them.
It could be the two or three teaspoons of sugar in every cup of
tea or coffee.
It could be the "essential" chocolate bar or cream cake (or both).
Or it could just be that all the portions are super-sized at an
And those are the places to start. Because it's fairly easy to
either downsize some of the portions you're eating or reduce
your intake of other things like sugar or take one less drink
after work or whatever.
Take a look for the "wrong" calories
These could be empty calories like the ones found in beer and
Or they could be hidden sugar - read up on all the words on the
label that sneaky manufacturers use to disguise just how
much sugar they're adding. Sugar, fructose, sucrose,
dextrose, corn syrup, etc. etc, etc.
And if it's sugars don't think that switching to diet drinks will
work. Our bodies haven't got a clue about saccharin or any of
the other artificial sweeteners so we react as though they're
real sugar. With consequences that aren't exactly favourable
for our health.
Fat isn't necessarily bad - it depends which studies you read
whether it is or not - but it's probably a good idea to reduce it in
your diet. Which could be as simple as switching to lower fat
milk, not adding as much milk, not pouring on extra cream,
using leaner meat or even using a non-stick pan to reduce the
amount of fat you use to cook.
If you're not madly overweight, doing just those few things could
set you on the path to being a new, lighter, you with almost no
If you're quite a few pounds heavier than you should be, take a
closer look at portion size and calorie counts. Preferably before
your doctor gives you an ultimatum.
The good news is that small adjustments to your diet can be very
easy to make and can have a lasting, positive, impact.
So resolve to at least look at them and ideally actually do
something about it!