Thursday, 21 May 2009

Three week weight loss challenge success!

I weighed in this morning at 99.9kg, 20 days after starting my three week weight loss challenge. Therefore, I've lost 3kg! Not quite the 6kg I was hoping for when I first started, but it became clear that that target was neither sensible nor achievable in a sustainable way.

My belt is looser, my 5k time is a bit quicker, I feel better when I see myself in the mirror in the morning - all good!

I think the eating rules which I set out in my Three week weight loss challenge post have a lot to do with it. In fact, those eating rules seem to have generated quite a bit of discussion in the blogosphere.

One of the things I liked about them was that it was very easy to remember them, and therefore live by them. Any book you read on the subject is 150 pages or more of "eat that, don't eat that" with long "do/don't" lists at the back - impossible to memorise! But my handy five rules are so simple that anyone can remember them.

Within the discussion that my eating rules (note that I call them eating rules, not diet rules!) a few good thoughts came out - so I'm going to amend my eating rules (and add a sixth).

Firstly, I wasn't clear when I mentioned no carbs after breakfast. The carbs I was talking about were those calorie-rich carbs (processed and non-processed) like pasta, rice, cereal, potato, cous cous etc. I wasn't referring to other vegetables that also contain carbohydrate.

Secondly, I should have included a rule to always grill, bake, steam or stir fry whenever possible, and don't saute or deep fry.

So, my six golden eating rules for weight loss success are:

1) Lots of water - your cells need it, and your liver needs it (and as your liver controls insulin, sugar metabolism and fat storage, it's a good idea to keep him happy)
2) Not too much alcohol - lots of calories, dehydrates your liver (and makes him unhappy) and makes doner kebabs too appealing to resist
3) Lots of vegetables - generally low calories, and packed with minerals and vitamins and stuff
4) Restrict high-calorie carbs (pasta, rice, cereal, potato, cous cous) other than for breakfast - not for any special reason other than (i) they are packed with calories which you probably don't need at any time other than breakfast, and (ii) when I eat carbs at lunchtime, I feel sleepy in the afternoon
5) Restrict chemicals, additives and 'unnatural foods' (processed foods, any drink which isn't water, tea, or fresh fruit juice) - I'm not saying here that it's impossible for our bodies to deal with chemicals (as some diets try to say) but that they need to be filtered out someway, which puts more pressure on the liver
6) Always grill, bake, steam or stir fry whenever possible, and don't saute or deep fry

I'm now setting myself the next target - another 3kg in 3 weeks - which means I need to weigh 97kg by 12 June - which also happens to be the day before my birthday! I'm also going to be upping my exercise levels over the next few weeks (especially now that the weather is becoming so much better) and have found a couple of great websites/guides which focus on using compound exercises and 'functional' exercises for increasing fitness and strength and burning fat. I'll tell you more next time. Wish me luck!