After All This Lovely Food, Some Weight Loss May Be Required

Loving the Food but Feeling Fatter By The Day

Corned Beef hash, a fattening but tasty breakfast

Corned beef hash and pancakes for breakfast

Having been here a few days now, one of the main things I’ve noticed about America is that the food is terrific. I’ve been completely amazed by the boldness of the flavours and I’ve absolutely loved pretty much everything I’ve tried so far. My jeans are tighter, I’ve had to let my belt out a notch and I know that by the time I get home I’ll have gained at least 10 pounds. I don’t really want to even think about losing weight before we get home, but an unexpected turn of events gave me time to have a look at the options.

We’d been up in the mountains in Colorado Springs for about 24 hours when Sam started to feel unwell.  We didn’t know whether it was altitude sickness – the town here is at an altitude three times the height of Ben Nevis, or some kind of bug.  However while we were confined to the hotel room I had to entertain myself for a while.

As I was lolling on the sofa in our suite (I love America, I’ve never been able to afford had a hotel suite before!) feeling the roll of belly fat draping itself over the top of my waistband. I thought I’d take a few moments to look at some of the weight loss programs available on the internet.

It’s not just my jeans feeling tighter…

It would appear that we’re all getting fatter without even knowing it.  And eating the fabulous food I’ve discovered here I can easily imagine how that’s happened.  According to the CDC the average American is 23lb overweight.

What I really want to know is how to lose weight fast.  I don’t enjoy dieting (who does!) so if I can just lose the weight and then maintain a new slimmer shape then I’ll be happy.  I’d also like to look a bit better than I did in our photos from the first few days of the holiday. I look like I have a tiny head on a rather chubby body. If I’m honest, it’s one of the reasons why there are now so many photos of the scenery and not so many of Sam or me.

Losing weight without public humiliation

So what to do? I’ve never fancied standing in a room having my vital statistics read out in front of a pose of strangers. it seems far too much like public humiliation because I’ve put on a couple of pounds.  So I instantly rule out the Weight Watchers approach which some of my friends swear by,  I prefer the more subtle approach.  The ‘don’t mention it to anyone, let them tell me how good I look’ version of losing weight. It also gets round the well meaning but irritating people who say “should you really be eating that cake?”

I’m happy with bit of exercise, but don’t want to go overboard, and I certainly can’t fit going to the gym into my existing daily routine. – Not to mention the extra expense joining a gym brings with it. For this reason any weight loss program which involves exercise has to be able to be done at home.

So I’ve found a website which allows me to compare weight loss programs so I can take a look at the ones which might ‘fit’ the bill. As I’m a bit obsessive about things, Sam hates it when I try calorie counting, so I’m looking for something which doesn’t involve consulting the calorie books before every meal.

Sharpen the mind as well as the body…

I know how much better I feel mentally when I manage to lever myself off the sofa and do some (regular) exercise. So weight loss plans which include an exercise program and can be done in the privacy and comfort of my own living room might be an option.  The Venus Factor seems to be designed for women, so I’d like to think that it’ll have exercises which focus on the specific female areas of concern – droopy bums, flabby stomachs and also do something for my growing bat wings.

I was also fascinated to learn about the effect that leptin has on the body.  Having read Gary Taubes book, “Why we get fat and what to do about it” I had thought that one of the the key factors in gaining weight was insulin resistance.

Here is Gary Taubes talking about weight loss and how the scientific evidence doesn’t support the “Calories In, Calories Out” model of weight maintenance which we’ve been fed for the last 40 years. The key factor is, in fact, hormone balance.

It would appear from what I’ve read (and watched) that the key hormone in weight gain appears now to be Leptin, a fairly recently discovered hormone which works in a very similar way to insulin. In many ways if you read Gary’s book and substitute the word Leptin for Insulin, it still all makes perfect sense.

Leptin controls the laying down of fat within the body and it also has a partner hormone, Ghrelin, which controls appetite.  What I’ve found really fascinating is that following gastric band surgery in an obese person, the amounts of Leptin and Ghrelin in their bodies changed and the person became less hungry – despite having had no drugs which could have caused this effect.  It would be fascinating to see if hypnotic gastric band treatment would have the same effect.

The problem with Leptin and Insulin is that resistance to these two hormones takes a while to build up, so I don’t expect instant results from changing my diet. Which is a shame as I’d have preferred a quick weight loss solution to getting thinner and looking a little less like a blob in the photos, however at least I know that there is an answer which means that with a little application, on my next holiday I can get out the swimsuit, if not the bikini!

The joy of a hotel suite

One of the wonderful things about our suite here at the Homewood Suites in Colorado Springs (which I highly recommend if you’re ever in the area, the staff are wonderful) is that we have a kitchenette. complete with Microwave, stovetop and a garbage disposal (another thing I’ve only ever seen on TV) So while Sam is recovering I can go to our local supermarket (and buy something to heat up for dinner.  Soup seems like a nice, healthy and slimming meal.



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