I have found the most effective diet plan and antidote to overindulging ever. It's called the Will-Skip-Meals-for-Books diet.
Okay, okay that's a bit extreme. But books are sometimes as delicious as food. Speaking of which, in the last two weeks, I've managed to lose 2 kg (let's hope it stays off!), fit back into a pair of cute pre-UK shorts that I couldn't fit into when I first got back (a couple more weeks to go and I'm sure I'll happily fit into all the rest of my shorts, pants, and pencil skirts!), while feeling less hungry and totally not deprived.
I'm not a nutritionist but an ardent gourmand so some might probably criticize my strategy, but I am quite happy (and so is my wallet) eating a tiny (but good) lunch and breakfast, and then indulging until I'm full on whatever for dinner.
For breakfast, I'll usually have a coffee / tea without sugar and something low-carb (which today meant leftover meatballs from a massive cookout the night before).
Lunch is usually a small salad with no salt but lots of vinegar and olive oil to excite my tastebuds and an indulgence - an absolutely gorgeous pastry (my favourite is the vanilla chocolate twist) from artisan bakery Sun Moulin.
Dinner is pretty much whatever I like, which, over the past week has been pizza, Swedish meatballs, aglio olio, quiche lorraine, and the regular glorious stuff of heart attacks - and as much of it as I like. If the occasion calls for a heavy lunch, like free-flow banana leaf rice at Paandi's with the family over the weekend, then I swap my lunch and dinner, and nibble on something light at night.
That doesn't sound restrictive at all, does it?!? But before you criticize my questionable approach to 'dieting', there are several scientifically-proven diets that may support this way of eating, like Slow Food, which promotes mindful, unrushed, fully-savoured eating of wholesome, nutritious food, and the Paleo diet, which claims we should eat like our caveman ancestors - ie eating until full or skipping meals when not hungry, which is supposedly a more natural way to eat and keeps metabolism levels spiked as well.
There is also the very sensual 'French Women Don't Get Fat' approach, which looks at food and weight not through the lenses of guilt or deprivation but learning to get the most from the things you most enjoy. And of course, every famous Hollywood diet, whether it's the Dukan Diet, South Beach Diet, Zone diet, or whatever (all of which are too un-sexy and restrictive for me though) - all advocate high intakes of protein and vegetables, and minimal intake of grain and processed carbs.
Plus, delayed gratification makes everything better. A friend calls this, in the context of food, "hungry sauce" - describing how hunger or cravings are like a magic gravy that makes food so much tastier.
Of course, use your common sense. Don't starve yourself or binge eat. Your body knows what it needs, so listen to it. This is what works for me. I find I am less tired and sleepy at work eating a light lunch, and I feel more energetic when my stomach is quite empty during the day. For me, dinner is the best meal of the day because it's the only one I don't have to keep time of, and yes, for me pastry is an absolutely necessary indulgence and motivator. So find what works for you.
Now, go feast! Bon Appétit!
Or temporarily feast your eyes on these wholesome, delicious food blogs: