"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Operation Get Fit: The Sundowner Diet.

Update: A month of Asian binging has pushed my weight up to 56.5kg, but I did drop 1kg in 2 days and I have now been sitting on 55.5kg for a couple of days now. And I credit the Sundowner Diet. 

The diet: no carbs (potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, noodles etc.) after sunset. Which is, at present, about 7:30pm, but can be as early as 5pm in winter. This in conjunction with a diet high in protein and fibre and low in fat and carbs is the key to healthy eating and non-crazy weight control.

The Sundowner Diet has joined a list of celebrity fads, most of which were invented in the 20s. But this one, I think, has a little bit of credibility, and the proof is in the (lack of) pudding - I have been on this diet for a week, and this is the longest time gluttonous yours truly has ever stuck to a diet. And it makes so much sense.

The main sources of energy are fat, carbs and protein, and too much of any is never a good thing. This is why soulfood, which dates back to African slavery in America, is chockers full of fat - to keep up with the hard labour of the black slaves. But fat and carbs consumed that aren't burnt become, well, fat - namely spare tires, muffin tops and fat thighs. And because nobody runs marathons after dinner, dinner shouldn't comprise of fat and carbs.

So what do I eat? What I love: protein. Dairy and meat, just the low fat kind - so semi skim milk, lean meat, small amounts of cheese (but not my favourite, uber-fatty cheddar) and eggs. And lots of vegies - just not potatoes - and fruit (mangoes and passionfruit are in season! Yay!) And the stuff that is all so often pushed around and forced down - rice - is completely obliterated from my dinner time menu. Bread and noodles, which I like, are eaten before the sunset deadline.

And I have been exercising! Swimming and walking, and I hope to get back to ice skating before I completely forget how to lace my boots up. After I came back I was bloated from air travel, aeroplane food and massive quantaties of Asian delicacies, and evidence of it popped up in quirks like moodiness, strange pains, breathlessness and the gag reflexes of a pregnant woman, which was just lovely, I tell you. Aside from the odd hot-chip cravings and having to pick up dog shit in the park, healthy eating and exercising has been a joy.

The thing about this diet is that it is encouraging a very balanced diet, which is not what you can say about other diets. Do I get hungry at night? Yeah, sometimes, but that happens: diet or no diet. Plus, I am getting all my energy from all the veggies and meat I have been consuming, and no carbs conbined with my awe-inspiring caffeine tolerance means that I am getting a very good night's sleep.   

So there you go. I'm a Sundowner, and proud of it.

1 comment:

Adelaide Dupont said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences of the Sundowner.

Interesting to know that most celebrity diets had their roots in the 1920s. Body image was becoming a mass issue at that point, due to cinematic and magazine exposures. It trickled down to the people.

Once you discover the wonderful world of cheese, there is no going back! Lots of lovely French and Swiss soft cheeses out there to enjoy.

"Nobody runs marathons after dinner"? If anything, a bit of running in the evening - along with an early (16:30-17:00) dinner - makes me more enthusiastic for the tasks ahead.

If you take an early dinner in winter, why not all the time?

(And study consumes at least as much effort as a marathon, I am sure!)

So the only exercise you got in Asia worthy of the name was picking up after Bella? (Dear dog, she must void!)

Hope you get back to iceskating soon. And swimming and walking...at what intensity? (I find intensity, duration and frequency quite important in any exercise programme).