Something about the Cooking the Books diet…


So anyways, last week I confessed all about my visit to the dreaded doctor- and found her not quite as dreaded as I’d thought.

Here comes the next confession- Hubby & I have been told to lose (at least) 20kgs.

Naturally, that came as a surprise to me….not.

We’ve had the conversation:

Me: We have to lose weight.

Him: I know.

Me: How do you want to do it?

Him: You work it out.

Me: Ok, we’ll start Monday, but no more junk is coming into this house.

Him: (grinning) Got it.

Don’t get me wrong- we don’t have much junk at all in this house- except for the chocolate biscuits I know that he has snuck in and hidden up where he thinks I don’t know they’re hidden and couldn’t reach even if I’d wanted to.

I’m not really the dieting type- although I did once stick to a yeast free diet for 2 whole months. As an aside, I felt great. The doctor suggested a few:

‘There are a lot of people doing well on 5:2,’ she said.

‘I’m not sure that would teach me the moderation I need to learn. And I’m not good when I’m hungry.’

‘If you’re time poor, the home delivery options are good options,’ she said.

‘Nah, I don’t eat processed foods and feel cheated if dinner goes ding.’

‘Plenty of people are doing paleo,’ she said.


‘Fair point- it can be a bit extreme. With your hormones doing what they do, insulin resistance is a risk, paleo would be good. Low GI is also a good option for you,’ she said. ‘Or maybe CSIRO- just watch the meat portion sizes.’

I nodded a bit at those- they seemed doable. I talked over the options with a friend…and yumcha:

Me: I could try a different one for a month at a time. You know, mix it up a bit so it seems more like a challenge then a diet. Then I could blog it. I’ll start with CSIRO, then Low GI, possibly 5:2, and maybe FODMAP… Depending on how the blood results come back, I might need to add liver cleansing or the anti cholesterol one into the mix. Besides, my current lead character needs to lose weight- I could call it research.’

Her: You could. What about paleo?

Me: No bread and rice? Not going to happen. Although, I do like the idea of bacon.

Her: On the Mediterranean one you get to have red wine and olive oil.

Me: I like the sound of that. Of course, I could just make better friends with salad and eat less…

Neither of us had much to say about that.

It reminded me of that scene in Absolutely Fabulous where Edina, dressed like an over-stuffed orange (for spiritual reasons…ok, it was only that or the dreaded kaftan that fitted) is trying to talk her doctors into giving her more diet pills. Saffy says something like: Mum, all you need to do is eat less, drink less and take more exercise.

Eddy replies with something like: Darling, if it was that easy everyone would be doing it.

Sadly, generally speaking, theoretically speaking, it is a little like that…with an added side serve of head-space.

Some people are good at this stuff- they’re the ones who say they can’t understand why others choose not to be. But the confessional is a judgement free space, so naturally none of you will write in to tell me that.

The thing is, nutritionally speaking, hubby and I are relatively good cooks and we eat well. Our meals are all prepared from scratch. I don’t eat sugar. At all. Nor am I tempted to. I do, however, drink fermented sugar…and in the current paleo craze of fermenting anything that used to be food, that has to count…right? No, I didn’t think so.

Although we eat out a lot, the problem isn’t so much what we eat, but how much of it we eat. It’s a portion size thing- and that’s going to take some mindfulness and adjusting to.

Just lately….ok, it isn’t just lately…he hasn’t been getting home until after 7. That’s when we start cooking. This means that we’re plonked in front of the telly watching last nights Masterchef and mindlessly eating too much of whatever should be a smaller size. And, even though I’m still walking most days, I’m not exercising as much as I was. I’m blaming dark mornings and cold temperatures…and yes, I know that summer bodies are made in winter.

I get why diets can be good- as long as you’re not constantly on or off them. It’s the structure. The planning is done, the lists are written. It’s that structure that I’m missing.

I figure then, surely I can take that structure, add a little of this, a little of that, and spend an hour on a Sunday going through my cookbooks (after all, I am the cookbook queen…speaking of which, I have a new Yottam Ottolenghi I’m dying to try out…) and planning a menu? It would appeal to my need for control, satisfy my dislike for being told what to do and when to eat, and remove the midweek excuses. I’ll take the best bits of low GI, CSIRO and Mediterranean. Naturally it will also be a version of 5:2- five days following a plan, with two days off for good behaviour. Maybe I could call it the Cooking The Books Diet… What do you think? Am I onto something…or am I onto something?

Linking up in the confessional booth with My Home Truths



4 comments on “Something about the Cooking the Books diet…”
  1. Deborah says:

    Planning sounds like the way to go. I need to lose about 50kg now and it KILLS me that I can’t get my act together. And I’m so with Saffy – I know it bloody comes down to eating less and moving more. So why is it so bloody hard?!!!

    1. Jo says:

      My usual mantra is “how hard can it be?” but seriously?

  2. I love the sound of the Cooking the books diet! We have issues with portion sizes too. I had some success overcoming that through Weight Watchers but I don’t want to head back there for a third time. I need to sort it out but it is damn hard. Good luck and definitely keep us posted with your menu ideas!

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