The Newcastle Diet – Starting and Why

I’ve decided to give The Newcastle Diet a try. It’s a bit extreme, so let me tell you why. I’m not diabetic. But I’m sure I’m not a terrible way off if I keep gaining weight. I’ve been having tons of sweets cravings lately, and simply doing moderate or slightly lowering calories wasn’t working. Over the past two years I’ve done two things that have helped me lose some weight:

  1. Keto
  2. Fasting

And I don’t mean intermittent fasting, which I found didn’t work at all. And I was endlessly miserable, similar to lowering calories. I mean a full-on fast. I lost a great amount of weight in two weeks, mostly water, and when all was said and done, kept off 6-8 pounds. That weight is still off.

After that stabilized and I couldn’t lose anymore, I dabbled in keto. I lost water plus some fat on that, but was endlessly hungry, and never had that energy surge. I had trouble with constipation and found the restriction on veggies to be, quite frankly, dumb. After I plateaued for almost two months, I lost interest. Once the water weight came back, I maintained for awhile, then started to gain back.

Next I tried simply walking. I walked every single day, usually for 40-60 minutes, and tried to work on emotional eating. I lost some of the keto weight again, but again stalled. So I started to wonder, what if I use extreme diets to lose some weight, come off the diet, stabilize, then move onto a new extreme diet? Whatever that is. And instead of doing it once per year, just keep consistently working to not gain back, and slowly tick away at weight loss.

The Newcastle Diet is a very low calorie (800 calories total) diet. They used shakes for 600 calories, then allow for 200 calories of non-starchy veggies, and that’s it. I chose it because low carb, high fat did NOT work for me for appetite. And I needed some fiber for regular stools. When I try to cut calories, I often do it by cutting fat. Extra fat makes me feel sick to my stomach.

When I fasted, I lost muscle. This diet attempts to retain as much muscle as possible by going high protein. Those who participated, after 3-4 days, claimed their appetites leveled off, and it might be some combination of what happens when you fast longer term (first few days suck, then you adapt and hunger comes in short bursts you can outlast, intermittent fasting, for me, was essentially the worst few days over and over and over, and when I adapted, I never lost weight, I just ate more during the eating widow), as well as all of the fiber from the veggies.

Instead of only doing shakes, which I am doing, I’m also adding in high protein soups, which will give me a savory option. And then protein bars when shakes (which are only an option for me at home) and hot water for soup aren’t convenient. Then I’m planning to adjust veggie options each week. Maybe some roasted veggies, or soups with veggies, or simply raw veggies to chew.

At this point, my plan is to go 6-12 weeks. I haven’t decided if I will be strict the entire time or give an option for an off meal once a week. Sometimes an off meal gives me a compromise so I stick to it longer term. Sometimes I’ll go a few weeks then really need a one meal break. If I do one meal, I usually bounce back. Longer than a day (a whole weekend) is often hard to recover from. So, I’m leaving that option open. Though I’d like to make it through the month of March, if possible, without a break. I WILL allow myself some berries if I really want berries. Or even a small amount of potato. It seems silly to quit entirely if fruits or veggies are what I want!

So, there it is! I started today. 217 pounds for those keeping track. My goal “weight” is actually a pants size. I’m kind of between 18s (wearing most of my 18 jeans) and 16 (wearing 16 dress pants). So first goalpost is 16 jeans. Then 14 dress pants. And we’ll see how it goes! I ave a small headache and am kind of fussy, but otherwise, not terrible!

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