From the category archives:

My Weight Loss Diary

Has it really been a month since my last  update?

Apologies for that, the weeks have just flown by and we now find ourselves in March.

So how have I been getting on? Pretty good actually. Here’s my latest stats:

As you can see, I’ve lost all the weight I put on over Christmas, plus another Kilo. More importantly, my Lean Mass and Fat Mass are pretty near the centre of the chart.

What this means is… I’m at a healthy weight, with a healthy amount of muscle compared to fat. I reckon I need to get the fat mass down to 14% for it to be dead centre.

All I’ve been doing to get to this stage is exactly the same thing I’ve done for the last year… eat five or six small, well balanced meals a day, and about 30-60 minutes exercise. Of course, I didn’t start off doing 30-60 minutes exercise! That’s what I do  now because I’m stronger and fitter than I was when I started. If you’ve been following from the beginning you’ll know in the first months I was doing about 5 minutes exercise a day, and I’ve built on that over a year so that I’m giving my body a chance to adapt. More importantly, I’m allowing my habits to change gradually rather than trying to change them overnight.

I’ve also been making sure the calories I consume are very slightly less than what I’m burning up each day, and sure enough, over time you HAVE to lose weight.

The challenge I face now is losing the remaining fat without losing muscle. I’ve promised myself six pack abs and the only way to get them is to lose what remains of the fat on my gut. The trouble with fat is that it comes off last where it went on first. For a guy, the stomach gets fat first, then it spreads across the rest of the body. When you lose weight, it comes off in reverse, coming off your face and butt and chest and finally your gut. So I’m in danger of looking ‘skinny’ by the time it’s gone from my gut unless I make sure my muscles get bigger to compensate for this.

I’ve done a lot of study on this subject over the last year and  discovered that the best way to lose fat is by doing regular cardio (20 minutes a day) combined with resistance exercises (weight lifting) to build muscle, combined with restricting your calorie intake by around 10% a day. Of course, if you are restricting your calories, you run the risk of not giving your body the required nutrients it needs to build muscle, so you have to make sure the calories you do consume are useful ones.

At this stage my eating has become very healthy indeed. But I’m also making sure I eat enough protein throughout the day to allow my muscles to grow despite eating reduced calories. According to my research, if you want to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time you should consume 1g of protein per 1lb of bodyweight you are. So in my case I need to eat between 140-150 grams of protein a day, throughout the day. This is probably around double what is considered ‘average’ but then the average person eats predominantly carbohydrates as the majority part of their diet. For me at the moment it is more like 35% protein, 35% carbs, 30% fat (good fats!).

Now before you start thinking there must be a lot of work involved tracking not only my calories, but also the protein content in my meals… think again. I discovered a free app on the iPhone that does it all for me. It even scans the bar codes on products you get at the store and logs all the information for you, giving you a daily, weekly and monthly tally of how you’re doing.

They have a free website that does it to:

http://www.myfitnesspal.com

It seems like a bit of a hassle at first but you quickly save your regular meals into the planner and it’s then just a matter of pressing one button and your whole meal is entered with all the nutritional breakdown logged. So I can see at a glance how many calories I’ve consumed and exactly how much protein I’ve had in any given day.

So that’s it for now. I hope you find this useful. Give it a go and you’ll find it gets quite addictive. Just make sure you put everything in. I even include cups of tea because being a Brit I drink it with a drop of milk and those calories add up!

 

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Well, I thought it would be prudent to show you how I got on over my two week Christmas holiday. I was actually quite shocked when I got back:

So what happened?

Well, I put on 4.5Kgs in two weeks, that’s what happened. That’s 10lbs, which is over two thirds of a pound a day!

Now, I knew I would put on weight. The holiday consisted of starting my first beer, a Piton Lager, probably sometime around 11am and not stopping until I went to bed. Breakfast was a big fry up, lunch always involved copious amounts of bread and butter, and dinner was always followed by dessert. In between meals there was an abundance of crisps, nuts, more beer, chocolate bars… you name it, it was a no holds barred eat fest that Adam Richman would have been proud of.Adam Richman and Food Freaks Grilled Cheese Truck at Brooklyn´s Bounty Wine & Food Fest

Basically, for a two week period I reverted back to eating exactly how I used to eat before I started on my weight loss journey. I did this for two reasons. Firstly, I was on holiday and figured that I would allow myself to eat and drink anything I fancied, whenever I fancied, safe in the knowledge that any weight I may put on, I’d be able to lose pretty quickly again after my holiday. Secondly, I wanted to see how it would make me feel to go back to my old ways.

I have to say, half way through the second week I was already pretty sick of it. I suffered from digestion problems and the inevitable unpleasant side effects that I don’t have to spell out here. I began feeling more and more lethargic and by the end of the two weeks found myself gravitating towards the chicken salads and away from the  steak and fries.

By the time I got back I was more than ready to get back to my now ‘normal’ lifestyle of good food and moderate exercise.

I was still really surprised by how much I had gained though and then I realised something. When I was 85Kg I actually needed more calories per day just to stay alive. Now I was only 67.5Kgs I needed fewer calories per day anyway, so by resorting to eating like I used to do, I was massively over eating. So not only was I eating bad food, I was eating far too much of it.

So that’s a lesson learned there.

I can’t see myself doing that again. As you can see, apart from a blip last weekend when I had friends down and we had a heavy drinking weekend, the weight has been falling off pretty fast just by reverting back to my normal routine. But I think for my next holiday, whilst I will certainly eat and drink some bad stuff, I won’t go overboard like that again. It’s not even fun.

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Successful Weight Loss

January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

I’ve had a hectic few weeks going off to St Lucia for my Christmas vacation so I haven’t had a chance to update the site for a while.

So I thought it was time to share with you where I had got to just before Christmas.

Check this out:

Just to confirm, that’s 149lbs or 10st 9lbs!

Remember I started at 13st 5lbs (187lbs, 85kgs) in January 2011 so over the course of a year I’ve lost 2st 10lbs (38lbs,17.5kg).

That might not sound like a huge amount but as a percentage of my initial body weight it’s actually over 20%! And I’ve done it whilst also increasing my muscle mass which weighs more than fat, so my overall fat has gone down massively.

I’ve done this without dieting, without joining a gym and without giving up anything I like. I’ve not used pills, not been to dieting groups, and I’ve never, ever gone hungry.

What I have done, however, is make regular tiny changes to my everyday habits. I’ve set myself a realistic LONG TERM goal, and I’ve allowed myself to lose weight easily and naturally without putting pressure on myself which inevitably has set me up to fail in the past.

I’ve done things backwards to how the TV shows do it. None of this diving in to strict diets and four hour a day exercise regimes which make you lose a lot of weight in the beginning and then leaves you no way of stepping it up when you start to plateau or get bored.

I started gradually, cutting down on drinking so much, swapping fries for boiled potatoes once in a while, eating the odd apple here and there instead of a chocolate bar. I started exercising just for a few minutes (literally!) a day. Not so much that I would resist doing it, or find an excuse not to do it.

Gradually, week by week, I found myself exercising a little more each day (still not much though, a year later and I still only do 15-20 minutes a day). I found myself eating more healthy meals than unhealthy ones, and I drink alcohol mainly only on weekends these days instead of every day.

And none of it is forced. I want to do it. And as my weight has been falling off it’s encouraged me to keep going.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t have blow outs. On every vacation last year I put weight back on. Mainly due to drinking everyday, doing no exercise at all, and eating like a pig. Good fun but by the end of the vacation I always find myself ready to eat healthy again (especially when I step on the scales and realise how much I’ve put on). But I don’t feel bad about it, I don’t scold myself for it. I enjoy the blow outs knowing full well that it’ll all come off again as soon as I get back to my normal routine.

Want to see what I look like now?

Check this out:

CLICK HERE

Not bad, eh? But it doesn’t stop here. I’ve still got a bit of flab around the torso and I’ve still promised myself a 6 pack. How about I get that done by my summer holiday? It’s possible to get it done in a couple of months but that would require strict diet and plenty of exercise and remember, that’s not my style. I’m going to get it the easy way, the lazy way. Watch this space!

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Still losing weight.

November 9, 2011

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, I’ve had a busy month what with school half term and just life in general.

I’ve been off the boil the last few weeks and haven’t paid much attention to my gut goal, however I’m pleased to say that despite going up a bit over the half term, I’ve got back on track and am half a kilo lighter than this time last month. Ok, it’s only a pound but it’s still my lowest yet and I’ve done little to achieve this.

I had my first cold in three years and, being a man, this was clearly a death bed scenario (well it  felt like it!) and I didn’t get to do any exercise at all except for eating comfort food to make myself feel better.

Still, I’m back on track now and I’ve got six weeks to go before my Christmas holiday so that’s a good source of inspiration to lose another 5 pounds if possible and be at my best weight since I was a teenager!

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