Okay, obviously I’ve become very lazy and lax about this. Somewhere in week 8, I went on holiday and ate myself sick. I think I successfully wiped out 2 months of the diet in 4 days – there was beer and vodka, too-much-gelato, about 4 meals a day, big plates of Belgian chips, curries and oily kuih.
Evidently, there is no self-discipline when a girl is on holiday – and rightly so!
Since I’ve been back, I’ve been good again about eating normal, human-sized meals (as opposed to giant-sized servings) and working out.
But here’s the thing about TRA. I’m starting to get a sneaking suspicion that it’s just a case of stone soup: you know, that story of how some weary travellers convince some villagers to give them some food by promising them the magical wonders of a stone soup. The villagers stand by in awe as the travellers start to boil up three stones in a pot of water; but then slowly, the travellers begin to say that the stone would only ‘work’ best if there was some salt and pepper in the water; and then carrots, and turnips, onion and potatoes…. Unwittingly, the villagers give up more and more vegetables for the soup, transforming the pot into a veritable treasure of deliciousness – believing all the while of course, that it is all by the magic of the stones.
With TRA, there are a variety of pills that you need to take at precise times before and after meals. These are supposed to be appetite suppressants, fat & carb blockers, and fat burners that you take to boost your metabolism, burn off visceral fat, build protein etc. These are like the stones.
Then, while you are on the TRA program, there are certain basic diet rules you must follow:
– You have guidelines for the portions of protein / carbs / veg / fruit that you should eat at each meal
– You must have three meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner
– No snacking, except on fruit
– You should maintain at least 4 hours between each meal
– Exercise is not necessary but you are promised better results if you do
* Clearly, these are like the vegetables, salt and pepper that were added to the stone soup.
I say this because I’ve been having a good long, hard think about my weekly weigh-in results and my eating / exercising habits throughout the weeks. The weeks that reflected the best results (drops in fat percentage, weight and centimeters & increase in muscle) were also the weeks that I was most diligent and disciplined with what I ate and worked out the hardest, for the longest periods of time. On the weeks that I ‘cheated’, wasn’t so disciplined and didn’t exercise as hard, my results would barely move or even go backwards.
Whatever weight or centimeters I have lost have not been phenomenal – those results have been pretty much reflected the same rate of weight-loss that I have always experienced if I just ate and exercised well.
So is TRA really working? Or is it just a dud stone? Is it actually the disciplined diet habits and extra hours at the gym that’s working the real magic?
It’s not all bad though. I have to say that there are good things too, which have perhaps helped somehow, even if just a little. Things like:
– I haven’t felt peckish or inclined to snack while I’ve been on this programme – a huge, HUGE plus for me as a compulsive snacker.
– I don’t overeat at meals anymore (sometime I am often prone to doing, out of sheer greed). Perhaps the pills on the program really do help to manage cravings, binges and the limits of your appetite – which in turns helps tremendously with controlling eating habits.
– My skin and hair are amazing!
– The scales may not agree, but everyone (and literally, everyone!) who has seen me in recent weeks have told me I’m looking great. Pictures on Facebook as proof!
I’m on the last month now – another 3 – 4 weeks to go of the program. I don’t have to take meal replacement drinks anymore (which I had to do for one meal a day, every day for the first 2 months) so it’s just three complete meals a day, with the pills.
I’m endeavouring to be more disciplined about it (not quite the decadence of holiday eating) but also not going to be too strict about it. I’ve become lazy about this, I know. I’m just so much more inclined to go with the philosophy that as long as you’re eating in moderation and doing enough exercise to balance things out, you’re in the good-to-go zone. Also an infinitely more enjoyable place to be than counting out portions of broccoli and measuring the precise quantities of tofu. Lastly, I think I look great in my Bebe dress; this photo should not reflect nor signal any grave health concerns!