I have lost and gained hundreds of pounds on Weight Watchers and other diets. So when the New Year came, and with it, a predictable resolution to lose weight, I decided to try something different. My husband, Michael, and I want to make this the year we get back down to where we were when we got married 17 years ago. Fifty pounds less of each of us. Wow—100 pounds. (That’s the weight of my 84-year-old, former ballerina mother-in-law when she’s fully clothed and soaking wet.)
With the holidays’ epic sugar consumption behind me (Mallomars, take me away!), I decided to try the G.I. Diet (that stands for Glycemic Index), and to put my husband on it as well. In three weeks, he has lost 10 pounds, which means I may soon have to kill him as punishment for his gender-enhanced ability to lose weight. On my end: I’m not a big fan of the scale, but I already feel better than I have in years and am wearing a size smaller pants. After my three weeks on the diet, I did finally find the courage to step on the scale and face the music. Five years of denial meant it wasn’t going to be pretty. But at least now I get to reap the reward of seeing my number go down each week as my clothes get baggier.
In the past, I always resented my husband when we dieted together—basically, it felt like I was dieting for both of us! But now something is different. He keeps telling me that this diet makes a lot of sense, and that he doesn’t feel deprived. There truly is so much you can eat on it: lots of lean protein, veggies, fruit, good carbs, some fat (including small portions of nuts). Pretty much the whole 9 yards. And the book is so easy to follow, with charts outlining the foods to avoid (red light), be wary of (yellow light) and eat freely (green light). Basic premise is to keep your glycemic index in check, and therefore, stop craving sugar and all those yummy carbs that turn to sugar in your body.
Michael is finding the no alcohol till you hit your target weight daunting. So he cheated with some red wine and a vodka gimlet, which made him much happier (and me too, because it cut down on the griping!), and didn’t seem to impede his weight loss. We love that the diet suggests that you don’t treat it as a “straitjacket.” “If you are on the program 90% of the time you are ahead of the game.” I can’t do without my tablespoons of half and half in my caffeinated coffee—and I don’t have to!
So we’ve made it through 25 days on this diet (but who’s counting?), and it honestly doesn’t feel like we’re on one. I actually think I am eating more than I have in years!
As my husband says, “My wife is the best cook in America.” Perhaps I am. (We’ve certainly got the pounds to prove it. Sigh.) I’m still cooking, which I think is the key to success of any diet, but with much less fat and more fiber than I used to, and no sugar. Instead of bad-carb overloading (I never met a carb I didn’t like!) and ordering in Chinese, I’ve tried the recipes in the book, including Homey Oatmeal, Minestrone Soup (I used fresh dill instead of parsley or basil as suggested, and it worked just fine), Cream of Spinach Soup, Chicken Paella, Berry Crumble, Basmati Rice Pudding, and this delightful thing that tastes like cheesecake filling. Really tasty stuff. So clearly, I’m feeling very inspired right now.
I’ll let you know how we’re doing down the road, and wish me luck to stay the course! Tonight, G.I. Spaghetti and Meatballs (2/3 cup is a whole lot more than you think! My favorite is Barilla Enriched Pasta with Fiber, ALA Omega-3 & Protein). Viva Italia! Stay tuned.