So as the New Year has set in, I’m trying to kick start my health lifestyle plan to make 2015 a little less bloated than last year.
Now I’ve never tried any official ‘diet’, such as Atkins or 5:2, as I’ve pretty much thought that they were all fads. Plus, having spent most of my life trying to put on weight, tipping the scales backwards has never really been a priority.
However, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve more recently noticed that the burger or takeaway that I have doesn’t quite shift so easily, so I’m exercising a preventative – or maintenance – method.
I’ve also got an extra motivation for my health kick – my hubby is doing the same.
He’s taken inspiration from a programme called Kenzai, which originates from Japan. Having seen impressive results from others, Kenzai does seem to succeed where other diets have failed, and that may mainly be down to the fact that the diet still allows you to eat carbs.
In a nutshell, the Kenzai programme forbids artificial sugar, salt and fat. So fruit instead of sweets, lemon juice instead of salt, and no butter (I’m still looking for a substitute for that).
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are carefully weighed, with a certain amount of carbs, meat and veg allowed each day.
While it’s universally acknowledged that 80% of weight loss or gain is down to the food you eat, the Kenzai diet is also supplemented with an exercise plan, presumably to combat the remaining 20%.
Now hubby’s not doing the full-blown plan, which is a personalised programme where you recieve mentoring advice and daily lessons on healthy living, but he’s taking a few learning from the programme.
For effective results, you need a few tools to help you – namely a digital set of scales (for weighing your food, not yourself), a skipping rope, a resistance band, and push up bars.
The programme lasts for three months, and you’re allowed one ‘cheat’ day, where you can eat what you like, every 25 days. I know, it sounds like a killer.
But truth time, I’m not doing the full blown programme either, purely because my objective is to tone up and be healthy, not lose too much weight. However, as a fully supportive spouse, we’re eating the same meals (while I may have the odd ‘cheat’ outside of my 25-day ration).
Kenzai – How it’s been so far
Honestly speaking, the first week of our new health kick has been a bit of a shock to the system. The reduced portions felt a little restricting, and it really was a bit of a faff having to do so much prep such as chopping and grilling various vegetables, chicken, etc. Being brought up on curry, and being a fan of the one-dish meal, our new-found regime which requires forward planning for all meals – is taking a bit of getting used to.
But by far the hardest bit is getting used to the flavour, or lack of. For me, salt is the glue that brings all flavours together, and margarine is the moisture that every slice of bread needs. Missing these key things make meals slightly unsatisfying.
However, I am getting used to it and actually finding that my body is adapting to new diet. For example, I fell off the wagon yesterday and had this…
But before you start judging me, I have to say that getting through the plate was a chore, and I only managed to finish half my meal. This would have been unthinkable for my former, less health conscious self.
So one thing that is apparent from the diet is that my taste buds, and appetite, are adapting.
Taking inspiration from a diet plan, rather than just cutting down, has also made us very efficient.
There’s none of this oven food malarkey or emergency lunches from bad places. Food is now a military operation, prepared to exacting standards. We get up early to have poached eggs or oil-free vegetable omelette on wholemeal toast, lunch is grilled chicken Caesar salad minus the parmesan cheese and with mayo swapped for yoghurt dressing.
So while I’m flaky as heck with this, my husband seems to be doing a better job than me. He’s also finding that committing to something, rather than just doing ‘everything in moderation’ is encouraging discipline without room for fail.
So essentially, we’re going to be very boring over the next few months. However, any foodie inspiration or good recipes I’ve cooked up, I’ll be sure to share.