I went to a local meeting tonight to see if it might be helpful to me, but it wan't very interactive and I'm more in need of help putting together simple healthy meals (I'm an ME sufferer with a fuzzy brain, too late in life to this cooking thing!) than having someone weigh me and do sums (I'm supposed to be a scientist, by golly!).
As a recently diagnosed diabetic I've been seeing a dietician, but it's too little too seldom (every 3-4 months) to be useful at all. I had more luck on the NHS Counterweight course a couple of years ago (and have been doing a bit of followup with my practice nurse in recent weeks).
I've been getting to grips with calories in recent months, keeping a daily tally, and eventually I managed to bring my intake down from 2500 kcal to less than 2000 (my target is supposed to be 1850, and I do beat that regularly, but I'm already losing a little weight: 2 kilos in a few weeks after a couple of years of being level).
I'm not sure if this PEP stuff (fine as it sounds) is ideal for me, I actually find it easier just to tally the calories than figure out what may or may not be a "free check" or whatever, and my practice nurse tells me I seem to know what I need to do to achieve a healthy balance of food types.
Since I often have trouble just putting together a meal, I've been putting some effort into choosing my ready meals better (and rescuing a completely bland "Tesco Light" dish with my herb & spice grinders and chilli sauce!), adding some microwave-steamed veg, not ignoring the "serves 2" labels, etc...
But I do much prefer to make something rather more tasty from scratch when I can manage it! Still working on getting the portion sizes, erm, realistic, learning the basics of soup-making, and so on.
Tried a risotto and salad from a Jamie Oliver "30 minute meal" recently. It was absolutely delish, but took me three hours to make and I scoffed 1100 kcals with most of a bottle of Pinot Grigio!
More often, I'll spend ages scouring for an interesting recipe which I can actually pull together the ingredients for, by which time I'm too knackered to cook it!
Too often, I just wander into the kitchen, open all the cupboards, stare and scratch my head for half an hour, and dig something non-ideal out of the freezer to nuke... If it's relatively healthy, half an hour later I'm probably still peckish and have just about enough energy to pull open a bag of crisps, argh!
I'd really like to be able to prepare a bunch of healthy mini-meals on a good day which I can dig into in the coming days, but that seems unrealistic given my lack of planning ability (not inherent, but due to my chronic fatigue) and lack of culinary ability.
So, I'm starting to solve some of my problems, but have loads more to overcome, and I'm sure many of you have been going through the same for similar or entirely different reasons! I'm keen to hear what approaches you've found useful to tackle them.
Also, what aspects of this web site might help me make progress in this direction?