So my 12 days on the McDougall plan are well and truly up. I am going to get right into it and let you guys know how it went.
Did I stick to it 100%? No. Did I still see some good results? Yes.
I ended up having some snacks here and there which weren’t specified in the plan and didn’t fit the guidelines. I also went out for dinner with family whereby I had some food which would have contained oil and been higher in fat- again, not part of the guidelines. But in short, the majority of my main meals were within the plan’s guidelines throughout the 12 days.
Even though I hadn’t stuck to the plan 100%, I definitely took away some positives from the experience, and dare say lost some weight!
From consciously trying to follow the plan, I have found that I have become much more conscious of fats and oils in the food I eat. It also encouraged me to add more veggies into my everyday meals. I was taking chopped capsicum, carrot and lettuce with my pasta to work- something I rarely ever did before. And you know what? I didn’t hate it.
I think one of the best things that comes from a plan like this is that it really throws you into the deep end of eating whole-foods and forces you to eat in a way you don’t normally eat, but for the better. It gets you use to eating better foods more often and opens you up to some new foods that you never thought you’d like. I mean, I was pretty convinced brown rice with blended banana and apple sauce wouldn’t be enjoyable, but I actually liked it (just not for breakfast).
The two biggest changes I noticed during the plan were weight loss and more settled digestion.
In the past I had gone on a low fat diet, eating as much as I wanted (in fact, even more considering I was avoiding a lot of calories from fat) of fruit, veg, legumes, rice, breads, pasta, etc. and I lost weight. The same thing was happening during the 12 day plan. This has been encouraging for me so even though I am not continuing the plan now, I am still making the choice to eat more low-fat meals like the ones I was eating on the plan while still enjoying treats throughout the week of higher fat foods.
My digestion was also a lot more consistent and settled during the plan as well. I found that the meals being made up of whole foods, low in fat, and having more veggies really helped my digestion and I had less bloating and tummy issues throughout the plan. It helped to keep my eating more consistent and to the same group of basic foods which is always easier for the body to process.
Overall, the 12 day plan provided me a helpful guideline and structure which has given me kick-start to healthier habits. The great thing about the plan as well is that I can always go back to the book and cook the recipes or read it again for more motivation, as it does have some great anecdotes of people who have turned their health around on the plan.
If you’re thinking of giving it a try, I would recommend it. I like that it doesn’t restrict calories and affords you enough food to be satiated while still eating versions of foods a lot of us love such as pizza and pasta.
Even though I am still not doing the plan now, I am eating more of the foods I did on the plan, and as I stick to lower fat foods for the majority of my meals, I will hopefully keep losing weight and enjoying a more settled belly.