It's that time again.
I've locked away the biscuits, put the crisps out of reach and stopped buying chocolate.
Yep, my belly's going to pot and I need to act now. I've reached that age. The age where I can no longer just shovel any old lump of sugar-coated deep-fried lard into my mouth and hope to get away with it. I need to resist the siren call of the chocolate digestives. I wouldn't be the first man I know to wake up one morning only to discover they were fat and bald.
Having said that, I'm actually quite looking forward to the going bald bit. Obviously there will be some initial comb-over uncertainty. Is it there or isn't it? Then enough will fall out, the trauma will pass and I'll shave off what's left. I'll be able to buy some funky hats. No more shampoo and conditioner each morning - just a quick polish and I'll be away. I could even grow a beard and pretend my head's on upside down.
Yes, bald I can live with. Fat, not really. It's not so much my overall weight it's just the feeling that I'm developing jowls that might quickly grow and merge to become a third chin. It's not worth thinking about. You may even not be thinking about it. You're probably munching away on some deep-fried sugar-enhanced lard as you read this, secure in the knowledge that you're that little bit younger than me. Still, I'm going to give you my top tips for not turning into the dad from Family Guy anyway. One day you will thank me - the day you wake up merely bald.
Essentially, the secret to losing weight is to eat less and exercise more. It's not much of a secret really - it's startlingly obvious. Unfortunately, it's also not much fun. If anyone else reckons they have a better secret, however, then chances are that it's expensive, nonsense or bad for you in the long term. It may even be all three.
I don't know about you, but I'm running round the place constantly already. I don't have time or energy to exercise more. This only leaves eating less.
I can't be bothered to count calories. My theory is to eat the same food as always at meals but have smaller portions, while cutting out the biscuits, chocolate and cake inbetween. (Actually, it's Sarah's theory but it's a good one so I'm stealing it). The major downside to this theory is feeling a bit hungry most of the time. I can't imagine it's possible to lose weight without feeling hungry most of the time, though. Drat.
Cutting out lots of things entirely is much easier to monitor than allowing yourself a little bit of everything. Don't cut out all the treats, however. I know from experience that this just isn't sustainable. Going cold-turkey on chocolate, biscuits, crisps, cake, Sam's left-over sandwiches, doughnuts AND beer at the same time is too much to ask of your body and sanity. Keep something to look forward to. (Hint: Beer). By the way, it's worth cutting out the left-overs even if you're not trying to control your weight. Sam's two-and-a-half. What are the chances of him not having a stomach bug or a minor cold? Anything he's touched or breathed on is a potential biohazard. Incinerate those sandwiches and bury the remains.
Don't go crazy on the dieting. Eating nothing but watermelon for a month is all very well but it's not going to help maintain your new weight once you get there. I know I'd spend the entire month dreaming of the big binge I could have once it was over. Eating the same but a little healthier and a little less is the way to go. It's slow, though. (But even minimal exercise to give some semblance of muscle tone to my sagging stomach can make it look like things are progressing faster).
Oh, and don't drink coffee as a distraction from feeling hungry. That never goes well...
There are, of course, other ways to lose weight. The most effective in my experience is to catch chickenpox. I lost a stone in ten days by that method a couple of years ago. This is, however, a one-shot deal and has the unfortunate side-effect of causing you to shed scabs for a couple of weeks afterwards. The extra hoovering involved is a definite disincentive.
Another alternative is to not sleep. Once the new baby arrives this will almost certainly be your default method for keeping your jeans loose. The extra calories you'll need to stay awake all night will mean you'll be able to eat a steady diet of Mars bars, cake and Sugar Puffs without piling on the pounds. The poor nutrition won't be awfully good for your general health but you'll be too busy hallucinating to care.
Make the most of it.
Yours in a woman's world,