The Porridge Diet

My Porridge Diet

I went to the Doctors after a funny turn. I had eaten a pie made by a well known branded supermarket. I started to feel a bit queasy and faint after the last mouthful and began to shake uncontrollably, I lost all co ordination of my arms, I could not put two words together, and my head was lolling from side to side. I really thought I was having some kind of brain seizure, or even a stroke. I started to feel myself falling into a black hole and could not focus my eyes on anything. My family were fussing around me and telling me to try to lift my arms in the air? Why I don’t know but I couldn’t do it anyway.

I felt absolutely terrible, and I do not know how but I managed to stumble up the staircase, and throw myself on the bed. I felt exhausted, like the life force had been drained out of me. It was horrible, like nothing I have ever felt before. I slept for the next 12 hours, woke up in the morning, felt like I had been kicked in the head by a horse but got up and went to work. I felt a bit better but not great. I would not have made a doctor’s appointment but for my family nagging me so I did. I was convinced the pie had done it; I was allergic to the pastry, which was the reason, an allergic reaction that was all.

A few days passed and I felt my old self again, but at 54 I thought it might be better to still keep the Doctors appointment. Along I went and told the Doc what had happened. She didn’t seem particularly worried and told me I had had a half faint, she used the medical term, but basically it was nothing to do with the pie, just a faint, nearly. I was a bit put out to tell the truth, how could I have felt that bad and it be nothing to worry about. She took my blood pressure. She looked bemused and then told me she thought her machine was not working properly. She took it again and told me it was. She looked very serious and told me it was very high and asked me if I had been doing physical activity before arriving to see her. What a laugh me? Me to physical activity, absolutely not, and I told her. She then asked me when I had last had by cholesterol blood tests. Ooh I was beginning to get a bit worried now; I had forgotten to get them done. The last time I had them checked was about 5 years previously and it had been high, about 8 I think. Apparently there is a scale and it should be under 6, preferably about 3 or 4. The Doctor had told me to lose weight, cut down my fat intake to 11 grams a day and do some exercise. I did just that got it down to 5 and never went back. And now here I was, back in the same place I had been five years ago. There is just one bit difference. I am now post menopausal, and my resolve, determination, and sheer guts went when my periods stopped.

‘I want you to have some blood tests done and to come back the day after tomorrow so as I can check your blood pressure, it is very high’ I agreed walked out of the surgery and went back to work. I knew my unhealthy life style was catching up on me fast. I am 5ft 8’’ and weighed at that time, 16 stone. I was in a size 22, could not walk very far, and just loved to eat. Anything would do, preferably bread, cheese, cakes, biscuits, butter. Not one bit of exercise did I do, none, I rolled out of bed, got in the car, drove one mile to work, parked the car got out and sat at a desk all day.

I went straight on the internet and started to check out the body mass indexes and each and every one of them showed me to be obese and in the 20% bracket as high risk of death through heart related disease, in other words a heart attack. That was a sobering surfing session. It did not matter what BMI chart I checked I was on the way to certain death. I had also seen my father pass away 18 months previously. He was ill but the underlying reason his body gave up was from diabetes. That’s a horrible way to go I can tell you, huge bloated legs, rotting ulcers, blindness. You see, when you get diabetes they don’t actually tell you how it kills you. Yea you can lead a normal life whilst you are younger, eat less sugar, etc. They tell you that no medication is required, but what they don’t tell you is that as you age it destroys the tiny blood vessels that feed the fresh blood to the body extremities like the toes, the legs and the eyes, and basically you rot. But like most people, even having seen it first hand, it would not be me. Now staring me in the face was the fact that it could very well be me, I was on a one way ticket to poor health, no quality of life, looking gross, and ending up being an invalid at best, if I was not dead first.

I have been lucky through my life, no operations, no illness, only the childhood stuff, no stays in hospital, only to have my kids. I have been blessed, God has given me a good body and I have abused it, because I never thought it would happen to me.

I figured out that I had been lucky but now that luck was running out fast. I groaned inside, oh how I hated the new treadmill I knew I was going to have to get on. The feeling of starvation, the tears when the scales showed no weight loss week after week, the feeling of loss, not being able to eat when I wanted and what I wanted. It felt like grief and worst of all since the menopause had hit me losing weight had been so hard I had given up time after time. I decided to try and think more radically, not to think of being slim, bouncing around a beach in a bikini, looking svelt and beautiful. Nah, I had to change my mind set. But how and what was going to motivate me. My health seemed to me the best port of call. I would concentrate on that, throw the scales away, think about my old age.

What did I want from it, because it with us a lot longer than our young years. Or maybe what did I not want from it. That seemed the easiest starting point. I went for a walk in the local shops and sat at a coffee shop, outside, it was a bit cold but hey, it would burn more calories. No stop, don’t even go there, calories, forget them this now had to be something I could maintain for the rest of my life, not just for few months. Firstly I took my walk and had my coffee and counted the overweight people passing by, then I looked at their gait, how they walked, what they had on, how they held themselves. I also had to remind myself that I was not that young anymore and I would not look 18 again because I might drop 3 stone or more. I had to rewire my head regarding my own body image, and what I actually wanted to achieve.

· Firstly I did not want to be a burden on my family through failing health

· I did not want to have to spend hours at hospitals having tests

· I did not want to lose my mobility

· I did not want to lose my independence

· I did not want to lose my capabilities of earning a living

· I definitely did not want to end up with diabetes

· I did not want to be someone that people stared at because they are so overweight

· I did not want to depend on medication for the rest of my life

· I did not want to fail, the last and the most important reason for me.

I had started the process that would make me succeed. I did not realise it at the time, but looking back this was a great grounding to make me do something I really feared. I had little in my life, the kids had gone, I worked to earn money not as a career that I enjoyed as in the past, I looked after an ageing mother. Food was the only thing that gave me pleasure. I woke up thinking about my breakfast, then worked out what I would have for lunch and planned the evening meal. That was what my day consisted of. I had been partial to a tipple of wine in the past but it played havoc with my stomach and my head so I gave that up years ago. Now it was going to have to change and I did not, could not and would not fail.

I went through a grieving process, I really did, and it was like losing a friend, my reason for living, my comfort, my everything. I suppose eating to excess is like being an addict, the thought of giving up something that fills your life, gives you your only pleasure, never being able to do it again must be like giving up taking illegal drugs. There are withdrawal symptoms, unbearable hunger for one, loss of routine for another, it’s horrible, the thought of having to go through this was horrible, scary and something I sooo did not want to do but I reminded myself every second of every day why I was doing it.

I loved flapjacks, and it was someone’s birthday at work and they had left some in the kitchen. I went to make a hot drink and popped on in my mouth. I bit down on it and then remembered I was not supposed to eat any fat. I so wanted it, to chew it, feel the sweetness and texture on my tongue, but I spat it out into my hand and threw it in the bin. What was I doing it was only one tiny bit of flapjack. I had to start somewhere and that was where I did.

Now I loved flapjacks so much I thought about rolled oats, porridge, that’s all they are. Well if I ate porridge then I would be sort of eating what I loved. So porridge became my mainstay during the first few months of the new me. Now I am lucky that I like porridge, I always have, it was given to me every morning when I was a child, made with milk, covered in a crust of sugar with big blob of butter in the middle of it. Now my challenge was how to make it healthier. I could not bear it being made with water so it had to be made with milk, so skimmed was the option. Sugar substitute came next, in the sugary form, not tablet. Now for the butter substitute, olive spread, good fats in olives. That was that, the new healthy porridge substitute that I had every morning. Now the great thing about porridge is it fills you up for ages and ages, three to four hours.

I even had it for my evening meal. I did cheat and get on the scales in the first week of the new eating regime, bad mistake, not one ounce had shifted. This was when I decided that the scales had to go. They did, right into the rubbish bin. I could not live on porridge forever, so instead of biscuits, cakes etc. I made myself and I mean made myself eat fruit. Now I hated fruit, sour, watery, disgusting but it was sweet. So for breakfast it was porridge, for lunch a banana and apple. Nothing seemed to make the weight come off. Now like I said I drove the car everywhere. Get rid of it that was the answer. Well not really get rid of it, just do not use it so much. I started to get the bus to work, walk to the local shops, walk everywhere. I hated that as well at first, now I walk everywhere. I don’t do any running sort of exercise, yet, but just incorporating walking into your everyday life is easy but it does not just happen, you have to make it happen and that takes a little bit of effort, like getting up a bit earlier, buying less shopping because you have to carry it home, looking up the bus timetables and remembering them, taking a raincoat in case the heavens open, not much just a few adjustments.

Back to the porridge, its great stuff, but after three months boring as hell. A mouthful has not passed my lips since the last four months. I cannot face another bowl of porridge, but it worked it started to shift the weight. Once I started to see results, and I mean seen them not let the scales tell me I began to be more motivated. I started to think that fruit, although I hated it needed to be eaten. I have tried to get enthusiastic about it in the past, and just could not. I think it the apples and bananas thing, that so boring. I started to buy those pots of fruit cut up into slices, mango, strawberries, blueberries, melon, pineapple, different stuff. It became something I had to eat every day because it was sweet and I needed sweet. So lunch then became a banana, a pot of mixed fruit and that was it. The porridge took a back seat. I had now started to need less food, I suppose my stomach had started to shrink. I am not saying it was easy I still really wanted to eat crusty hot bread dripping in butter and lumps of full fat cheddar cheese, but I had to fall back onto my will power and remember my reasons for starting this in the first place. My long term health.

I had to go back to the Docs to have my bloods tested again to see if the cholesterol readings were down. I proudly entered the surgery and had to hop on the scales. The doc was pleased that I had lost about 15 pounds and she told me we were going in the right directions, but the blood tests were still showing my cholesterol as high, 7 I think. I was disappointed; I wanted it to be 4 or 5. The doctor explained to me that getting cholesterol down is a hard long term job. She told me that putting on weight takes time to shift and it’s the same for the cholesterol. She told me to come back in three months for another test.

It’s nearly time to go back and my eating is really under control now. I look back and remember what a normal days eating was for me and cannot believe the amount I was eating and how much of it was fat and sugar. Breakfast would be a donut, then coffee, MacDonald’s breakfast at about 10am. I would munch on a few biscuits later in the morning and then go out for lunch and buy a prawn sandwich, a cookie and another coffee. Someone would bring in some tiger rolls and cheddar cheese slices, and I would whoof a couple during the afternoon and more biscuits. I would go out to the shop, buy a chocolate bar eat that driving home and then once in the house would scoff a couple of pieces of cake. Then I would cook dinner, mashed potatoes with butter and cheese, peas, fried chicken, then a large bowl of some gooey creamy pudding. Then at about 9pm a few crackers and cheese, a chocolate bar and hot chocolate. I would crash, exhausted into my bed, and absolutely drained of any energy whatsoever $6. I would lie in bet watching TV and then feel hungry again, so back downstairs, tea, biscuits or another piece of cake. That was a normal day. One thing I have learnt is that eating sweet stuff makes you feel more hungry, and makes you eat more. If there is one habit that HAS to be broken it is to resist the sweet stuff otherwise the cycle will never be broken as hunger is there all the time.

It would start again the next day, I now realise I was out of control. If I had not had a wakeup call when would it have ended? Probably never, I would have ended up dead by the age of 60. Scary really scary.

The upside to the controlled eating is that I do not sleep as much, I don’t have to go to the fat girls shop to buy my clothes, I have much more energy, can concentrate much more, I enjoy having a relationship with my husband again because of my regained confidence, and I can run around with my granddaughter who is three. I can carry her up the stairs; I can lift her out the bath and take her swimming. I have always refused to go on beach holidays, now we are going on one and I have the confidence to put on my swimming costume and sit around a pool or on the beach. Now I do not kid myself that I have the best body shape in the world, I have the middle age thickening around the waist; I have cellulite at the top of my legs and my boobs hand a bit south. I am not 20 anymore, but I now look my age, not 10 years older. I have had to do this on my own, all my family are thin and healthy. I did get encouragement from them, but they got bored of doing the support bit. I thought about a slimming club, but thought nah its gonna cost me money and I can do this without it costing me a fortune.

Once the first month is over, it’s easy street. I can treat myself to a biscuit now without needing another one and another. I can have the odd bag of crisps and dips, very now and then. I still do not drink alcohol, and I never eat yogurts, bread, fried rice, butter, cheese, cream, roast potatoes, burgers, mayonnaise, or fried bacon and eggs. Sound boring, and I would never have believed that someone like me could turn her nose up at those foods that I so loved. I now cannot stand to eat these foods; I just do not like them anymore. I hated tomatoes, lettuce, beetroot, tuna, crisp breads, olive oil spread, tinned fruit, lean meat, chicken without the crispy skin, pork without the crackling, poached eggs, pulses, fresh vegetables now this is what I eat. My tastes have changed but it has not been easy, but every time I feel like falling off the wagon I go back to the very beginning, remember how ill I felt that day at the docs, and the warning message she gave me about being in that 20% of in the danger zone. I remind myself about why I am doing this

· I do not want to be a burden on my family through failing health

· I did not want to have to spend hours at hospitals having tests and intrusive treatments

· I did not want to lose my mobility

· I did not want to lose my independence

· I did not want to lose my capabilities of earning a living

· I definitely did not want to end up with diabetes

· I did not want to be someone that people stared at because they are so overweight

· I did not want to depend on medication for the rest of my life

· I did not want to fail, the last and the most important reason for me.

If I had read this six months ago I would have thought bore on you clever cow, and I did think that about people who seemed to have their lives under control and could be thin, slim, fit and energetic. I was jealous and made excuses for myself. This is not really about porridge; it’s about motivation, and a starting point. It worked for me, for someone else it may be eating four apples a day. It does not really matter, as long as something works to start the treadmill off and once on it you stay on it. It’s OK to fall off, it hurts a bit, but you just have to brush yourself down, and get back on it and start again.....


Comments 32 comments

HooFoo 6 years ago

Today I sat down with a bowl of porridge thinking, today I'll start. I was wondering if I could live on mainly porridge and came across you!

Great, well done - I could be a mirror image of your former self. This was just what I needed to read - thanks and all the best!

I started on rolled oats for brekky about 10 wks ago, have lost10kg. I am eating lesss red meat. 6 years ago

amanda 6 years ago

im starting my porridge diet 2mro.17/01/ 16 stone and 5,4.reading ur long long letter has gave me 47 and want to be around for the next 33 years!to see my granchildren grow up.when thay come along!my B.P is high on medication my knees or a comfort eater it has to stop NOW.every month i will up date u to how im doing.thank u and congratulations to u well done every time i start to go of the rails i will read what u wrote.thank u x

london55 6 years ago

Its so great to have positive comments about my porridge diet. It works, honestly it does....good luck to all those people out there who care more about their health than what they look like, having a great figure is just a side line lol

fadibody profile image

fadibody 6 years ago

Great hub! I had learned a lot from your article. Thanks for sharing!

 5 years ago

I'm slim anyways but, to get tubby in the winter months, and for last 2 weeks have been living mainly off porridge and maple syrup, crab sticks for the meat cravings and fruit and raw veg! I think it's s great diet, the porridge not only keeps me feeling full throughout the day, but also makes me regular. Which means I'm not feeling sluggish in mornings. It's fab! Really agree also that its totally about changing your attitude, i see people on diets eating 'diet snickers' and 'diet crisp' and laugh, if you don't kick that craving all together your more likely to fail! I didn't think about artificial sweetness for porridge that's great will try it tomorrow! Really happy for you, keep up good work!

london55 profile image

london55 5 years ago from London Author

Thanks to much for your comment, I must admit I have gone of the rails a bit lately, although I have not put any weight on my bad habits are starting to creep back in. I gave myself a good talking to, went to the supermarket and brought some more porridge....and back on it. Had some at 10am its now 2.20pm and not even peckish. I still struggle with the sweet stuff and had a digestive biscuit to get rid of it. Its a battle to keep that weight off but just think PORRIDGE.

tummyfat 5 years ago

Thanks for putting the article out. This should help a lot of people in a similar situation. Staying healthy is very important indeed. Getting rid of women’s and men’s excess weight should be the number one priority for any man or woman.


carol mcpherson 5 years ago

OMG! it is just me! 53 and failing, will need to take courage from you and give myself a good talking to. Going to be a grandmother soon and want to be there.

Thanks, it is insperational

syliconsystems profile image

syliconsystems 5 years ago from United State

Good work

Teenage Diet 5 years ago


That was one long article but I enjoyed every bit.

You sure know your stuff.


j. holland 5 years ago

Thank you

Liz 5 years ago

I just loved your story... well done... I love porridge and I think it's greatly undervalued... Bring back the value of porridge I say... Who says it only has to be for breakfast? I've started to eat it like the Scots used to eat it... cooked with water and add a little salt.... delicious (I know salt is not to be encouraged but it's a whole lot better than sugar) I don't like artificial sweeteners so I'm happy not to go there...

I take inspiration from your story.... thanks...

Nisha 5 years ago

:) From today I shall start my new eating plan

london55 profile image

london55 5 years ago from London Author

Glad my hub is still inspiring people......

Adam 5 years ago

I'm eating porridge right now.

swimmomscoggan 5 years ago

Hi london55, I loved your testimonial. I am 46 and about 50lbs overweight.I too sit too much, office job, drive to work and sit and watch TV when I'm at home. I have diabetes. I hate that I have it! I feel normal so it's hard to change my habits. I know that if I don't, I will suffer the affects of this disease. I started swimming two days a week for about 30 minutes at a time, that's all I have time for before work. I started eating more vegetables, fruit and whole grains. This morning I made my self a bowl of Steel cut oatmeal (porridge)with 1/2 an apple and walnuts. I cooked it in almond milk. It was yummy. Since I started two weeks ago I have lost 2 lbs. I figure if this keeps up I can loose 4-5lbs a month! I found more inspiration from your article and I plan on bookmarking it so I can reread it as often as necessary.

I am going to make my own list,Thank you

london55 profile image

london55 5 years ago from London Author

Swimmonscoggan, hi thanks for reading and commenting. I have to read it for inspiration to and I wrote it lol. I stopped smoking two weeks ago and its so hard to not nibble all day on sweets and other rubbish, so the old main stay is out of the cupboard again, porridge...Good luck and keep at it, by summer you will be fit, healthy and happy...

Lalamoo 5 years ago

What an inspiration you are. I too am where you were and just about to start trying to sort out my overeating. Well done and keep going. I gave up smoking about 3 years ago, think of the damage that does and how smoking related diseases can be like diabetes, eating away at you from the inside. I still miss it but will never go back. Have to do the same thing with food.

szdora 5 years ago


What a great story! I needed that little push in the `back part`.

I have printed it out, highlighted the `important parts`, hanged them on the wall in every corner of my house - even at the back of the WC door and let`s start eating porridge! You are great! Thank you!

Tors 5 years ago


I started the porridge diet about 3 days ago. Then thought I would google it to see if anyone else has done. I'm so glad I read your story. I eat porridge for breakfast and lunch and have a salad for dinner. I also walk over 4 miles a day doing the school run. Thanks for sharing your story :-)

Jaz 4 years ago

What a brilliant post & inspiring story :)

Adam 4 years ago

Very well written and of course more importantly well done!

Sasha 4 years ago

I just ate some porridge..this is the first time I ever made it by myself..great article 4 years ago

I was looking for cornmeal porridge when I came across your blog. Very insightful and entertaining. I am encouraged and will certainly will try this.

Ddraigcoch profile image

Ddraigcoch 4 years ago from UK

Glad someone else has been on the same battle I am on right now. Slim fast for breakfast, porridge made with water and sweetener for lunch and Dinner. Being asked if you are pregnant again and only 32 is very upsetting.

OranebUranubusman 4 years ago

It is my first time in life I had porridge in my bf I had never tasted it b4 but trust me after reading ur story I will make it a routine coz I really need to loose weight

Kwc 4 years ago

I can relate to this so much because I had a very similar experience. The Porridge was a saving grace but after a while it became somewhat boring, I've now crept up half a stone so i'm straight back on the porridge tomorrow along with my 2 apples a day and fresh chicken /tuna salad or stirfry in the evening. I also drink a lot of green tea which is a great help in keeping healthy and controlling weight loss . Well done you keep up the good work.

levy 4 years ago


eagle-eye 3 years ago

u can add a teaspoon of peanut butter- no sugar, yummy

michelle 3 years ago

I am 29, 17 stone, addicted to food and incredibly lazy, I started to feel very bad about my life recently, I have a one year old son and he loves his 100% oats with milk in the mornings, I started to wonder whether this cholesterol-busting food could be a start to a healthy lifestyle for me, just like yourself I love the sweets! cakes, biscuits, sugar, sugar, sugar! I decided to do some research on the internet on "porridge diet" and there it was, your wonderful, full of inspiration hub page, I am you but just younger, thank you sooooooooooooo much, I am embarking on a no-sugar porridege diet with some healthy fruit when I crave 'the sweets'. Thank you again and God bless you with a long long healthy life!!

Julie 3 months ago

Hi what a fab article im 49 years old 5.8" and weighs 12 stone 8 I started the porridge diet 5 days ago and have already lost 5 pounds I'm delighted, I had a heart attack 10 months ago so I'm trying to get to 11 stone but I love this diet its so easy

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