I’m no expert but here are my 10 top tips

Read the Reluctant Runner in the Free Press each week.
Read the Reluctant Runner in the Free Press each week.

Another week, another milestone. On Saturday, my trusty bathroom scales confirmed that I have lost exactly three stones.

If I was a pointless reality TV star, that would lead to offers of a fitness DVD to rival Davina McCall’s coming out in time for Christmas.

Fortunately for everybody, that’s not going to happen, and publishers are not exactly queuing up to get me to write a book about my recipe for success.

Besides, there are only so many recipes you can do when it feels like you are eating porridge, soup, Ryvitas and yogurt every day.

And while I don’t class myself as an expert on this diet and nutrition malarkey, something has worked. Forget about the celebrity endorsements, here are my top food tips for dropping a size or two.

1) Speak to an expert: An actual, proper expert. They will give you professional advice about how to get the best results. They will also give you your starting weight. It’s stark but it really hits home when you see your figures in black and white.

2) Fail to prepare...: Prepare to fail. Plan your week’s meals well in advance. Know exactly what you are having on each night and then make your shopping list.

And stick to it at the supermarket.

3) Cook in bulk: If the recipe says it makes six portions, cook the full amount. Portion it up and then put the extra ones into the freezer for another night.

It helps with your planning ahead, but also means you don’t reach straight for the pizza when you need a quick meal.

4) Weigh your portions: I used to guess how much pasta to throw in the pan, or how big a bowl of cereal should be. Turns out I was way out. So now I weigh pasta (75g for a normal portion, 50g if you are really trying to lose the weight), rice, cereal (45g), porridge (40g) and all sorts of other foods.

5) Bread is the devil: Well, that’s a bit over the top but I read it on a message sent out to the young Bridlington boxers who are trying to make their weight for tomorrow’s show at the Spa.

I had bread with almost every meal (toast for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and garlic bread with my tea). It was tough but I tried to just have it a couple of days a week.

6) Alcohol: OK, you won’t like this. I was lucky that I am not a big drinker so giving up completely for a couple of months didn’t bother me.

But it is an easy way to lose hundreds of calories.

7) Get some books: I couldn’t have done it by eating salad, quinoa and couscous. But I found some books (there’s a great one at the library in Bridlington) which show you how the make healthier versions of your favourite dishes, like spaghetti bolognaise, steak pie and currries.

8) Be prepared to spend a bit: My Christmas present was a health fryer. It means I can have chips which taste better than oven chips but only using a tiny amount of oil. No deep frying. See it as an investment in yourself.

9) Know your weakness: In my case, it was pinching left-overs off the kids’ plates before I was washing up. And cheese. And bread.

For other people it might be eating late at night. If you know the biggest temptations, it’s easier to beat them.

10) Accept that it requires willpower: Some days I really wanted a cheese toastie, or a bar of chocolate. But it really is no pain, no gain.