I love food. I love to eat. Taste, temperature, texture – all of it is such a pleasure. Here’s what I don’t love: buying new jeans in a larger size. My “magic” pants – the black slacks that fit me no matter what – stretching dangerously at the seams when I’m just standing in them, so sitting down in them is out of the realm of even my strong denial. And what I really hate are words like menopot and midlife weight gain. So what’s a woman in the fabulous age to do, aside from buying lots of new pants and several different leg lengths of Spanx to go with them?
The knee jerk reaction is to diet. My knee jerked so hard in this direction that it gave out on me. Now, in addition to finding pants that fit, I have to try to look stylish while limping. (Where’s the HBO show where I get to see problems like this? Where is Samantha And The City?) Each year, the publishing industry outdoes itself by recycling basic dieting knowledge into new diets that ooze the promise that This Is The One That Will Work for YOU. This year’s diet trend? Fasting. Yeah, it’s come to this: Not eating is the new diet.
There’s Dave Zinczenko’s The 8-Hour Diet, The 5:2 Diet by Kate Harrison, and now Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer’s The Fast Diet (v. clever – it’s fasting, and it’s fast! Get it?). Dr. Mosley’s plan is to eat normally for five days and then nearly fast, eating tiny meals totaling 500 calories, for two days. Sounded doable, so I tried it over the weekend. Any of the ancillary benefits, such as clearer thinking, were cancelled out by the sound of my stomach rumbling constantly. The bennie of extra energy was also lost on me; all I could manage was a long nap.
So I looked back to my mentor in fabulousness, Nana, for guidance. When she started having issues with weight at around 50, she started eating half of the size portion she’d normally have taken. Half a sandwich. Half a glass of wine. If she was truly hungry, she’d take a bit more. Both she and my mother eat very slowly, which gives the stomach a chance to send that important text to the brain: I’m good. No need to take more. I’m going to try this out for a month, starting today. And if it works, next January, look for the hot new diet book – Nana’s Fabulous 50/50 Diet Plan. (I’m kidding. Well, maybe just half…)