Monday, August 11, 2014

So I started eating properly...

I'm going to write a long post about food and exercise and dieting and stuff. If for some reason you're interested it's under the cut.

So, my New Year's resolution for 2014 was to stop eating so much junk food.

My staple diet at the time was bacon and egg for breakfast, burgers or pizza for lunch, and lots of red meat for dinner. Back in school I was skinny-scrawny, but after I started to work, I discovered the joy of being able to buy muffins for breakfast on the way to work, buying fizzy drinks every single lunchbreak, and eating takeaways for lunch everyday, i.e. the freshman 15.

I (incredibly luckily) wasn't getting super overweight (I was still well under 80kg), but I was starting to get a bit of a belly, so I decided to make some changes.

So, first step was to completely cut out burgers, pizza, fries and cake. (I cut out soda years ago when I had to get dental fillings). Lunch become food like chicken salad, chicken + avo wraps, or just instant soup. I kept this up for about 3 or 4 months, and noticed absolutely no change at all.

Next step was to start running every morning, starting with a 1km run and planning to increase this when it stopped taking me a lousy 10 minutes of wheezing like someone with emphysema.

Round about the same time I started counting my calories too and eating at a 500 calorie deficit (1800~1900 a day). This meant granola and yogurt for breakfast, the same chicken wrap staple, and no more peanut butter sandwiches (which were a whopping 400 calories each, using up a quarter of my daily allowance in one go).

After about 3 months of this, my weight was sitting at 74kg and it just stalled there. At a height of 170cm that's a BMI of 25.6 (overweight starts at 25). I did manage to get my 1km run time to just under 5 minutes (but my lungs couldn't manage 2km), but I still wasn't happy. So at the end of June I made a new change.

Now, this is the part where I sound like some daytime TV informercial trying to sell you useless kitchen gadgets. We've all heard of the whole low carb high fat/keto/banting/Tim Noakes diet. It was a monumental sacrifice for me to give up pasta and potatoes, but little did I know fruit juice was banned as well. If there was one thing I ate or drank religiously, it was close to a liter of orange juice every day. But I managed to cut everything out cold turkey.

That's 8.5kg in just under 7 weeks. That 74kg stall I hit suddenly disappeared and I'm finally beginning to see returns. And the best part is I'm not having to eat flavourless fish 3 days a week to try and be healthy (I can't cook fish to save my life). I have discovered such joys as meatza ("pizza base" made of ground minced beef), jalapeno poppers, and bacon weave. It doesn't feel like a diet at all when you're eating steak with thick slabs of mozzarella melted on top of it. 

I also no longer have the problem of falling asleep as soon as I get home at 5pm. That used to be me, 5 days a week. Weekends would involve obligatory daytime cat naps as well. No amount of coffee or tea or exercise made any difference. I'd also like to think I'm less prone to mood swings and negativity (but that last part might just be getting better at avoiding and blocking negative influences (aka almost everything)).

So yeah. I'm on a "fad diet". Almost 2 months and counting. I'm getting results, and I can probably keep it up indefinitely. I don't really crave bread, spaghetti, chocolate or potatoes that much anymore, but now and then I think of instant potato gnocchi forlornly. 

But yeah. Keto combined with a measly 7 minutes of exercise twice a day (I stopped running for ~reasons~), and maybe my stomach won't exceed my belt line by Christmas!

Edit: Progress, one month later