Monday, August 12, 2013

Weight-losing Time!

So, when we went off to Crete in April my weight was hovering at about 13 stone 3 pounds. I know this because I’m quite anal about this sort of thing and record my weight in my journal just about every morning. I even did a graph of it last year… Anyway, that weight wasn’t ideal. It didn’t pass the shop window test i.e. when I saw my reflection in a shop window I was horrified and immediately attempted to pull my gut in. I expected to lose some more weight on Crete because we’re more active there and the heat operates as an appetite suppressant. I soon became fitter because of the gardening, extra walking and then swimming a number of miles each week when the sea was warm enough. My gut receded quite a bit too. However my weight climbed to 13st 6lb. This is a case of fit fat man: I built up muscle and tightened everything up but lost none of the original fat.

Next, because of an accumulation of small facts about our own health and that of others around us, a tipping point being us coming back to England so Caroline can go into hospital, we decided to give up smoking. Now I damned well knew my weight was going to climb as a result of this but didn’t mind too much if I could manage to kick the habit. Well I have kicked the habit and my weight has duly climbed, but perhaps not as much as expected because I got straight into cycling and weight training, plus a walk at the weekend, the moment we got back here. However, it now stands at 13st 9lb and I don’t pass the shop window test even if I prepare beforehand by sucking in my gut (and yes I’m sucking in my gut in the picture here).


Time to lose some weight.

My approach to this is probably not the best and I know that some tut-tut about it when I talk about it. It is surely unhealthy, completely the wrong thing to do etc etc. Bollocks. I occasionally have days off – days when I eat nothing at all. I find it easier to do this than eat a small amount. No no no, cry the diet experts. I think they’re talking out of their backsides. In evolutionary terms fat goes on to get us through times when there isn’t much food available. The simple fact is that the less you put in your gob the less ends up around your waist. Also, I find that after the ensuing night’s sleep I feel no hungrier in the morning than usual, which brings home to you how hunger is just a mental thing.

The other thing I do is cut out four main carbs: potatoes, pasta, rice and bread. What I do is go out and buy cabbage. Savoy is my preference though red cabbage is good too. Then, instead of those carbs I have a pile of boiled cabbage. Spaghetti Bolognese? Yup the meat sauce goes on the pile of cabbage. Steak? Pile of cabbage where the chips normally sit. I also eat slowly, finish hungry and wait. The hunger passes in half an hour. Sometimes if there’s an oversupply of veg available – runner beans, courgettes or whatever – I just double up on them instead of the cabbage. But you get the idea.

This all starts today. Caroline is going on a shopping trip to Westfield and will be eating out. I’ll take my eight mile bike ride to my mother’s and, when back here, try to eat nothing at all. Maybe I’ll fail but even then I’ll try to make that failure an apple or a raw carrot.  

17 comments:

dm said...

Tim Ferris has some interesting ideas around losing weight using cold in his 4 Hour Body book...

Phil Ballard said...

Try drinking more water - "they say" that sometimes when you think you're hungry, you're actually a little dehydrated.
But then, "they" say a lot of things ....

robann said...

The whole weight loss/diet industry is a giant con. It's simple maths - eat less calories than you burn and you'll lose weight. Doesn't matter how this is done (less fat or less carbs or smaller portions etc etc).

The hard part is sticking to it when evolution has programmed us to consume as many calories as possible. In nature if you get too fat to hunt or gather you'll automatically lose weight... We haven't evolved for pizza delivery and drive through burgers yet.

Neal Asher said...

dm, I don't think I can fit in my fridge.

Phil, well I'm certainly drinking more tea, which counts I guess.

Agreed, robann, you just have to stuff less in your face. My strategy is, as you see, bulk low calorie vegetable matter rather than the carbs. I must admit to laughing hollowly when I see these 'lose weight easily' and 'eat what you like' diets.

Michael Hollis said...

Sounds like you should look at Intermittent Fasting (the 5:2 diet). I've been doing it for a year now, and I've noticed a big difference.

Basically twice a week I fast for 20 hours, nothing with any calorific content, so water black tea and coffee or diet soft drinks. Then the other four I eat as normal, but don't gorge. I do 9pm to 5pm, so eat a normal dinner, but others eat breakfast and some eat lunch instead.

There's some adjustment period, but after about a month I found it fine. You might want to do 16/8 instead at first, and slowly raise it to 20/4.

Thud said...

I've a bit of heavy site work for you here moving sandstone carvings...may bugger your hands up though!

Neal Asher said...

Well, there you go: yesterday I ate nothing at all - I just drank tea all day. I didn't just sit on my arse all day either.I went for an 8 mile cycle and later got the lawnmower out (though the lawn here is not exactly huge). The result this morning was a weight drop of 5lb. Of course I know that I haven't lost 5lb of fat and that this is mostly about fluids, but it's still good and still helps with the steady decline in my average weight. It was also good with the sit-ups and press-ups this morning, because I hardly noticed doing them.

wm brunton said...

You'llbe back smoking...

Neal Asher said...

No I won't, Bill. I at least know my mind well enough to realise the e-cig has supplanted that.

packrat54 said...

Try the "Lose It" app or website, I've had success counting calories with it plus regular exercise.

Neal Asher said...

This is good: http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/10-unbelievable-diet-rules-backed-science-154500466.html

Silvermute said...

I gave up smoking in January (used E-cigs for about 8 weeks to get me through the worst of the cluck) and have been clean since then. I noticed increased appetite and some weight gain immediately after quitting, but one seems to drift back to the pre-quit greed/weight status over a few months.

My biggest problem is regaining my sense of smell: the entire world appears to smell of arse (but I do live in Gateshead...)

Neal Asher said...

Silvermute, I have found some things smell wonderful - frying onions being one of them - but I've also started to notice a lot more BO.

Lynn said...

Warm weather an appetite suppressant? It just increases my appetite for ice cream.

I have heard of the fasting diet. (Eat what you want for four days, fast for 3 or something like that) No matter what diet you choose there will be one group of people telling you "that's the only one that works" and another group shouting "No! That's wrong wrong wrong."

Neal Asher said...

Well, Lynn, I do find my appetite for white wine and beer increasing, which can't be good.

Just about every diet 'works' but on the basis of putting less in the gob.

Ricardo said...

Like the pose - been practising?

Neal Asher said...

Nah, I'm just naturally cool.