Week 11 – Sun 14th December

weight loss 14.12

Well, I’m eleven weeks in now. Just to remind you all, I started the ketogenic diet at 15 stone, 10 pounds. My goal is 12 and a half stone, by mid-March 2015. This means a target weight-loss of 2lb per week.

Week Eleven’s target-weight therefore? 14 stone, 2 pounds. Waistline measurement only once a month, so not this week.

This week has presented particular challenges. We’re away on holiday in the German Christmas Markets. This is truly a land of carb-temptation! Beer, noodles, cake, dumplings, mulled-wine – all things a ketogenic-diet strictly forbids. Okay, at the time of writing this, we’ve only been here one day, but I must admit to having broken the rules and cheated, even on day one. I’ve had a couple of beers and food that looked carb-free but I have my doubts…

This morning the ketone-strips tested negative so I think I’ve pushed myself out of ketosis. Knowing how volatile the pounds and ounces can be, I step tentatively onto the scales… Can just one day’s cheating be reflected in weight…?

14 stone, 8 pounds. That’s another pound off! The downward trend continues and this week’s reading presents a 1lb weight-loss from last week. The ‘1lb pattern’ seems to have settled into a routine over the last four weeks, so I’m pleased. I’m officially 6lb behind target, but as I’ve stated in previous posts, I’ve accepted that speed is not an issue. As long as I’m losing weight, that’s all that counts. I’m now 1 stone & 2 pounds lighter than I was eleven weeks ago. This is a brilliant feeling – I’m now just about 14 and a half stone – that sounds so much better than 15 stone 10!

Being on holiday is hard on a diet – not because the food on a ketogenic regime is unappetising, simply because cooking it is so much harder. Out of necessity a large number of meals are consumed in pubs and restaurants, where one never truly knows what one’s eating, irrespective of the waitresses’ assurances.

The holiday-apartment also only seems equipped to cook the most basic of meals – boiling pasta etc (not keto-friendly!).  I have a lot of kitchen equipment at home – things like a food-processor to make cauliflower-rice and a spiraliser to do courgette-noodles. None of this exists in the holiday-flat; even fresh coffee is difficult! Add to this, the large store-cupboard of ingredients I have at home. I can make cakes and sweet things, but on holiday I don’t really want to go to all the expense of buying things in for just one week. We wouldn’t use half of them, and I’d have to end up binning food which I hate. In short therefore; a ketogenic diet relies 100% on real home-cooked food, when the ability to do this is curtailed, things become more of a challenge!

In spite of that, I’m here to have a good time. If I gain a pound or two over the week, then that’ll be no real problem – I can always lose them again! I didn’t come to Germany to spend my entire time in the kitchen, so some compromise is in order. I’m still highly motivated to achieve my goals (holiday or no holiday) – the plan is a long-term thing; so ‘short-term’ is simply a temporary obstacle!

Please do ‘look in’ on me next week to see if I make further progress towards my targets. Or there’s always the alternative that I’ve gained a few pounds!  Either way, I find it really positive to have people read this – the support is a massive encouragement!

Thanks again for reading, and have a great week,

Adam.

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Week 10 – Sun 7th December

weight loss in lbs

Well, I’m ten weeks in now. Just to remind you all, I started the ketogenic diet at 15 stone, 10 pounds. My goal is 12 and a half stone, by mid-March 2015. This means a target weight-loss of 2lb per week.

Week Ten’s target-weight therefore? 14 stone, 4 pounds. Waistline measurement only once a month, so not this week.

I step tentatively onto the scales…

14 stone, 9 pounds. Another pound off! The downward trend is sure and steady; this week’s reading presents a 1lb weight-loss from last week. The ‘1lb pattern’ seems to have settled into a routine for the last three weeks, so I’m pleased that there’s some sort of regularity to the whole thing. I’m now 5lb behind target, but I’ve very much accepted that speed is not an issue. As long as I’m losing weight, that’s all that counts. I’m now 1 stone & 1 pound lighter than I was ten weeks ago, which is a brilliant feeling and worth celebrating!

A lot of people have said to me that the body can only tolerate a 1-2 lb weight-loss per week. These figures would support that statement, which is positive. The ketostix are still showing a dark purple a lot of the time, so I can be sure that the weight-loss is body-fat; not just water!

This week, I’ve plotted my weigh-in results into a graph (shown above). Although I have divergence from the plan, the trend very much shows that everything is going in the right direction. If I can keep the 1lb weekly reduction in place, then I’ll be at 13.5 stone (approximately) by mid-March’s end date, which will still be a brilliant outcome. At that point, I’ll see how I feel and take things from there. If it takes a further 4-6 months to reach my target, then that’s no skin off my nose. What will I do when I get there anyway… start eating huge quantities of carbs again??? Hardly! The weigh-ins are simply a means of tracking progress; without this it would be difficult to assess how things were going. In short, I am pleased!

If I can share any learnings from my experiences over the last 10 weeks, it would be as follows:

1. Weight-loss is erratic and hard to quantify. There’s no one thing I’ve done any differently at any point; the body seems comfortable to go at its own pace – so who am I to argue…? As one kind reader kindly pointed out to me (Janet) – my body doesn’t know it’s ‘weigh-in Sunday’; the measurement is something I have imposed, not visa versa! Learning one therefore – your body goes at its own pace. Let it!

2. Plateaus are completely normal. The body seems to waiver around a certain weight for a while, before it kick starts into losing a bit more. Ways to get around these plateaus? Short keto-fasts are one method. My body doesn’t seem to respond in any way to quantity (i.e. if I eat more one day, less another; progress isn’t affected), but missing a meal for whatever reason really kick starts ketone production. Insisting that I eat something at certain times seems an entirely pointless exercise! One of the great things about a keto-diet, is that hunger is reduced. I see no need to eat when I’m not hungry; that is probably one of the practices which led to weight-gain in the first place! Learning two therefore – listen to your body! Eat when you want to; not when the clock tells you to. If your body needs food, it will let you know.

3. Food restriction and portion-control are completely unnecessary on the keto-plan. As long as you stick to the varied and delicious foodstuffs which are low in carb, you can pretty much eat what you want! To illustrate this, December thus far has been dedicated to ‘Christmas food’. In the last week, I’ve eaten chocolate roulade, gin and tonic jellies, huge roast dinners, hollandaise sauce and a whole host of other high-calorie meals. Despite this, weight-loss is continuing at a pleasing rate. Learning three therefore – stick to the low-carb food-list and you can eat whatever you like! This includes puddings and alcohol too. Enjoy your food and don’t fight it – this is not a punishment!

In summary, I’m feeling incredibly motivated and LOVING the visual & physical benefits of losing weight. People keep noticing I’m looking slimmer, which leaves me flushed with pride! I’m feeling great and am fitting back into clothes I haven’t worn for a long time. I’ve also gone down a belt size – the stomach no longer hangs over the trousers!! This is my new favourite thing!

My one big challenge will be an impending holiday. We’re off to Germany next week to visit the Christmas Markets. From the 13th Dec, the state of  ketosis moves to foreign climes! Posts may be a little sporadic and less frequent I’m afraid. Next week’s weigh-in also depends on whether or not the apartment has weighing scales in the bathroom! So watch this space.

Germany is the land of beer & carb-laden foods, so I anticipate I may waiver a little and partake in some mulled-wine and wonderful German beer! Life is there to be enjoyed however, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it, if things digress for a week or so.

Please do ‘look in’ on me next week (scales depending) to see if I make further progress towards my targets. I find it really positive to have people read this – the support is a massive encouragement!

Thanks again for reading, and have a great week,

Adam.

Week 9 – Sun 30th November

Well, I’m nine weeks in now. Just to remind you all, I started the ketogenic diet at 15 stone, 10 pounds. My goal is 12 and a half stone, by mid-March 2015. This means a target weight-loss of 2lb per week.

Week Nine’s target-weight therefore? 14 stone, 6 pounds. It’s also the second of my once monthly ‘waistline measurements’ today, which is always nerve-racking!

When I started the diet, my waist-circumference was 45 inches. All the the health-literature states that if your waist is above 40 inches, then you enter the danger-zone for developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. This is something I am keen to avoid; plus I hate the ‘pot-bellied’ look, which was starting to creep in. On the health front, my partner is a type 1 diabetic; so if I developed type 2 through poor lifestyle choices, then that would be a slap in the face to both him and me!

The tape-measure Is a different kettle of fish entirely from the weighing-scales!  With regards weight, there’s no ‘negotiation’ in the process. The scales say what they say, there’s no getting out of it! The tape-measure is a little more open to interpretation. A series of questions present themselves – have I measured at exactly the same point as last time…? Is the tape completely level…? Am I breathing in too much; or have I pushed my stomach out artificially to capture the ‘worst case scenario’…? It is an exercise in frank self-honesty, which is never easy.

And so I stand in front of the mirror & ask myself all the above questions. I look down at the tape, ‘hum & ha’ a little, then take the average of about 10 measurements – 43 inches definitely! I’ve lost two inches from the circumference of my waistline, which is fantastic! Just three more to go before I’m out of the danger zone.

This ‘waist-shrinkage’ also accounts for the fact that everyone’s saying ‘I’ve lost a lot of weight’. My trousers are sitting far more comfortably, and a belt-notch has gone down (I love when that happens).

So with regards the actual pounds and ounces, how have I fared? I step tentatively onto the scales…

14 stone, 10 pounds. Another pound off! The downward trend is continuing and this week’s reading presents a 1lb weight-loss from last week. I may be 4lb behind target, but that really doesn’t bother me. I’m losing weight and that’s all that counts. I’m now a full stone lighter than I was nine weeks ago. The one-stone milestone has been crossed!!!

I’ve already accepted that this will all take longer than I’d first estimated. Weight-loss clearly slows down the older you get. In my twenties, just cutting out bread for a week would shift a couple of pounds. Nowadays, the body seems reluctant to slim down and takes it one slow step at a time…

A lot of people have said to me that the body can only tolerate a 1-2 loss per week. These figures would support that statement, which is positive. The ketostix are still showing a dark purple a lot of the time, so I can be sure that the weight-loss is body-fat; not just water!

Am I experiencing diet-fatigue? Not at all. The ketogenic-diet is incredibly easy to follow. The food is delicious and varied, so much so that this in no way feels like a diet! The plan is to eat liberally from the ketogenic ‘food pool’ and not worry about portion-size or cutting things out. That’s certainly what I’m doing, and I’m still losing weight.

In summary, I’m feeling incredibly motivated and wouldn’t go back to old my old ‘carb-ridden’ ways for all the tea in China! My one big challenge will be an impending holiday.

I’m off to Germany to visit the Christmas Markets in 10 days, and that will be hard. Germany is the land of beer & carb-laden foods, so I anticipate I may waiver a little and partake in some mulled-wine and wonderful German beer! Until then however, my resolve is firm!

Please do ‘look in’ on me next week to see if I make further progress towards my targets. I find it really positive to have people read this – the support is a massive encouragement!

Thanks again for reading, and have a great week,

Adam.

Week 8 – Sun 23rd November

Well, I’m eight weeks in now. Just to remind you all, I started the ketogenic diet at 15 stone, 10 pounds. My goal is 12 and a half stone, by mid-March 2015. This means a target weight-loss of 2lb per week.

Week Eight’s target-weight therefore? 14 stone, 8 pounds. Waistline measurement only once a month, so not this week.

If you ever have the bright idea to start a blog and publish your weight to the world; there’s no being precious about the results. Whether the outcome is good or bad, I’m committed to recording my progress as honestly as I can. Although I must admit, this isn’t easy.

I’m beginning to accept that this may take a lot longer than I’d first thought. My initial estimation of timescales was based on how easily weight fell off in my twenties. Things seem to be slowing down a lot now…

As long as the trend is downwards, I don’t mind how long it takes. I’ll get there in the end! And so, I step nervously onto the scales…

14 stone, 11 pounds. Thank goodness. The upward trend has stopped! A 1lb weight-loss from the week before is a definite sign that the plan is working; albeit slowly! I’m behind target by 3lb, but that really doesn’t bother me. I’m losing weight and that’s the main thing. I’m now 13 pounds lighter than I was eight weeks ago, so that’s definitely worth celebrating.

As I said last week; the great thing is that the regime is still incredibly easy to follow. I can honestly say this is no way feels like a diet! Could I restrict my food intake a little more and cut out puddings to speed things up? Yes, I’m sure I could. But I’m keen that this doesn’t become one of those exercises in punishment that standard diets have always been.

The plan is to eat liberally from the ketogenic ‘food pool’ and not worry about portion-size or cutting things out. This is certainly what I’m doing, and I’m still losing weight.

Portion-size is certainly not a problem. The fat-intake of LCHF means that you feel full and have no desire to pick. This is a huge difference to every diet I’ve ever done – always before I was feeling the need to reach for food every ten minutes. That is no longer the case and I could happily miss a meal without noticing. The volume of food I’m eating has radically reduced, and with it, a pleasing ‘stomach-shrinkage’, which means that the bulge sticks out less (I love that!). It must also mean that my blood-sugars are completely stable and under control.

All is good therefore. Several people have told me over the last few days “my, you’ve lost a lot of weight!” This is naturally music to the dieter’s ears and more than makes up for any concerns as to progress or the fickle nature of the scales. Speed is therefore of no consequence. It took me quite some time to get this fat; it will take an equal length of time to lose it again!

Food is still a joy, and I’m in no way tiring of the perceived ‘restrictions’. In actual fact, it’s quite the opposite! Sugary cakes and sweets suddenly look completely unnatural and the site of them really puts me off. They’re now the last thing I want to eat, which I find really positive.

And physically? Any changes to how I’m feeling?

No, still feeling in great shape! Any side-effects of the ‘big switch to ketosis’ are long gone. If you asked me to go back to my precious way of eating, the answer would be a definite NO!

Am I missing anything at all? In all honesty, the only thing is beer. Country pubs at the week-end look so appealing, but I know I’d be annoyed with myself for cheating. I’m off to Germany on holiday to visit the Christmas Markets in a few weeks, so I may indulge myself then, but certainly not at present!

Please do ‘look in’ on me next week to see if I make further progress towards my targets. I find it really positive to have people read this – the support is a massive encouragement!

Thanks again for reading, and have a great week,

Adam.

Compare my BMI.com (well sort of). When it comes to weight, think global, act local!

The god old BEEB has just published a wonderful new tool. I found out about it via the Diet Doctor. Thank you Dr Eenfeldt!

The ‘body fat calculator’ measures your BMI and then quantifies it by comparing it against the rest of the world.

It tells me that I’m  just into the overweight bracket with a body-mass-index of 25. I knew that already, so no great shakes there! But what I didn’t know was the comparison. This at least goes some way to making one feel better about oneself!

I am well below the national average for UK males of my age; I have a lower BMI than 73% of males in this country in their 30s. That must mean we’re an obese bunch!

But on a global level I fare slightly worse. I have a higher BMI than 60% of males my age in the world. This is definitely a case of think global, act local when it comes to weight!

Apparently this best mirrors the population of Estonia. So for any Estonian readers out thereilusat päeva! It seems we have a lot in common.

The hyperlink is below. If you have any interesting results, I’d be keen to hear them via comments.

Global Weight Comparison

Thanks for reading and enjoy the day.

Adam.

The ‘weighting game’. Putting off the diet we ALL KNOW we need…

If you’re overweight, I’m pretty certain this fact won’t have escaped your notice! So many of us lead our daily lives, aware that we’re carrying extra weight; but yet we do nothing about it.

If you’re anything like me, you hate the slow gain of the pounds, but seem powerless to fix it! The mirror becomes something to be ignored from the neck downwards and you start to only wear the bigger, shapeless clothes, which cocoon you, but end up making you look worse!

One thing I’m keen to understand in myself is why don’t we act? Why do we ignore it? What is it that makes us sit there, slowly allowing ourselves to get fatter? Whilst all the time we know it’s happening and yet we do nothing.

If you like your body-fat, then I can understand this reticence. Speaking personally though, I hate it!

For years, I’ve loathed Summer because shorts & t-shirts reveal what trousers & jackets do not. Other people are swimming & sunbathing; I’m sweating & mummified! In spite of this hatred; each Summer for the last five years has been the same.  Always just that little bit over-weight; just enough to make me feel miserable about it, but obviously not sufficient to prompt a permanent fix!

I’ve thought long and hard about this. Most things in life, if I don’t like them; I make a genuine effort to sort them out. With weight however, this has never been something I’ve managed to do. Does this mean that I haven’t really been that bothered about it; that I’ve simply been going through the motions to make others think that I’m “on it”…? No; I’ve hated it! Absolutely, totally & truly. So why no fix?

To answer this, I’ve thought back to each time that I’ve ‘been bothered’ enough to go on a diet. Did I start these in a half-hearted way? Was I just fooling myself & paying lip-service to losing weight…? No. Each time has been a full on ‘fridge-clearing, dawn-jogging, total commitment’ attempt!

In spite of this conviction, I’ve always made mediocre progress. After this, things just fizzle out when the results are sufficient to appease self-loathing & re-justify the things I’ve been denying myself! Each time, the diet has finished, but the stomach-fat has still been there; the bingo-wings have still hung stubborn & the chest has still sagged in a pitiful, vile & repugnant way.

Each time, such results have been so far from the ultimate solution I’d planned. But why? What was it that made things stall each time? Did something major happen to make my high hopes drain away…?

When I try to answer this, I can never identify a turning point, when the diet officially stopped and the bad habits returned. The ruin of good intentions has been a slow thing, day by day, week by week; and then I may as well not have bothered! I’m straight back to square one!

Was it that my resolve weakened? Did I cease wanting to be slim? No; each time, that desire has remained constant.

If I’m honest with myself, it’s simply that things have always just got too hard! The diet itself has always been my downfall. The endless restrictions, the hunger-pangs; that feeling of ‘not joining in’ when everyone else is eating & drinking. It just gets to the point where you strip all the fun out of life & simply can’t bear it any more. The need to live a normal life becomes stronger than the need to lose weight. And so you give in, and so does your aspiration!

So at the beginning of this post, when I state “so many of us lead our daily lives, aware that we’re carrying weight; but do nothing about it” – do I imply that we haven’t tried? No. That’s the last thing I mean. It’s worse that this – we’ve tried and we’ve failed! We’ve probably failed so many times that we can no longer bear it!

And so, with a sigh, we resign ourselves to our dumpy, fat, overweight bodies, and just accept them. The alternative remains a dream – it’ll never happen! Maybe in January I’ll try again. Maybe not. Who knows…

So; I still haven’t got there yet. Why I am writing this so soon into the ‘long diet journey’? What’s prompted this introspection? I don’t normally ask such questions of myself, why now…?

The reason I’m writing this, is that this time around things feel a little bit different! I’m not going to lie to you, every diet is difficult; but on the ketogenic-diet I haven’t experienced that apathy when the scales don’t say what I want to hear. I have keto-strips to give me a solid 100% sign that the diet’s working. The food itself in no way feels like diet food (take a look at the puddings section of this blog if you don’t believe me). Sure, there are things I must go without, but in their place there are other things I can have which don’t feel like deprivation! Above all; I’m not hungry all the time.

It’s the combination of all these things that gives me a sense of positivity this time around. People have said to me “I can’t believe you’re advertising your weight online”. Well, with the ketogenic-diet this doesn’t really worry me. The frustration of missed targets stays just that – frustration! It doesn’t turn to apathy!

The journey may be a long one. I expect it may be longer than I’d planned. But all in all, it’s not a hard one to make. This time I’m going to achieve that ultimate solution I so desire. Next summer is not going to be spent in a jacket & jeans. And that’s a promise.

I feel I should be writing this once it’s all over; once I’ve achieved my target-weight. But for some reason I’m keen to share it ahead of this, so that people get a ‘live’, fly-on-the-wall progress-report.

And besides; resolve is something that can start to waiver. I’ve just said above that past attempts have fizzled out despite my best intentions. Well if I that happens here, I want to know about it! I’m not going to play the weighting-game! If I track my positivity, I track when it starts to wane. And currently, it’s going strong!

My final thought is that positivity will always be infectious. If others are inspired to ditch the weighting-game, then I’ll be thrilled. For most things in life ‘try before you buy’ is not an option. Well for this, I hope to give you that opportunity. If it’s not for you, then at least you’ll have read the science, seen the results and lived through the practice! There’s no book to buy or motivational DVD. This blog simply gives you the whole picture – and I hope it helps.

So wish me luck. Two stone plus to go!

Thanks for reading,

Adam.

Week 7 – Sun 16th November

Well, I’m seven weeks in now. Just to remind you all, I started the ketogenic diet at 15 stone, 10 pounds. My goal is 12 and a half stone, by mid-March 2015. This means a target weight-loss of 2lb per week.

Week Sevens’s target-weight therefore? 14 stone, 10 pounds. Waistline measurement only once a month, so not this week.

The last seven days have been really hard. Last week I experienced a 1lb weight-gain for no reason, to find myself 2lb behind target. The week has consequently been filled with a rather unhealthy cocktail of paranoia and stressing.

I’m absolutely amazed at the kind, supportive responses I’ve received however. Wow, I’ve got a positive and encouraging audience! This makes the whole thing so much easier and the feedback is immensely gratifying. One lovely reader in particular (Janet) wrote:

Adam – Don’t worry about your weight this week. Your body doesn’t know its Sunday! You will probably have lost inches rather than lbs. Two weeks ago I reached my goal weight […] Then last week I put on 2.5lbs without doing anything different from normal. Devastating – but this week I lost 2lb. No rhyme nor reason. Keep going and don’t be disheartened. The weight will come off eventually. A normal weight loss is between 1lb and 2lb per week so you’ve done really well to lose as much as you have.”

Thank you so much for the kind words Janet. They were really motivating. And a huge congratulation to you for achieving your own weight-loss goals. You’re a lesson to us all!

So, have I fared any better this week? If I’ve actually gained weight again, I think I’ll go into a state of despair… I tentatively step onto the scales…

14 stone, 12 pounds. Thank goodness. The upward trend has stopped! A 2lb weight-loss from the week before and a sign at least that this is all working. Okay so I’m still behind target by a whole 2lb, but if I’m honest with you, as long as I’m losing weight I don’t particularly mind. And besides, I’m now 12 pounds lighter than I was seven weeks ago, so that’s got to be a big positive right? I’m also back into the ’14-stone bracket’ which feels great.

Do I think I’ll catch up the 2lb target-lag at any stage? Probably not, but that hardly matters. This is a life-change, not a race. As long as I get there in the end, that’s the important thing!

As I said last week: body-fat is a strange thing. It’s like a stubborn squatter – impervious to eviction! I’ve been in a constant state of ketosis the whole time; surely the weight should be literally ‘falling off’! My body feels slimmer, only the scales don’t reflect that. I went on the Atkins in my mid 20s. Every time I sneezed I seemed to lose a pound! Ten years on however, the weight-loss seems to be increasingly difficult. It certainly doesn’t fall off the way it did when I was younger. This gives me even more motivation to get it right now. If it’s harder in my mid-thirties, I can only imagine it’ll be harder still in my mid-forties! Best tackle it now therefore, before health problems ensue & I double the difficulty of meeting my targets with age.

As I also said last week, a further positive is that the diet is still incredibly easy to follow. I have no hunger pangs whatsoever and in no way feel that a ketogenic-diet lacks variety. Take a look at my pin-board here, to see the breadth of food we’ve being eating over the last seven weeks. It doesn’t feel like a diet, just simply a change!

And physically? Any changes to how I’m feeling?

No, still feeling in great shape! Because ketosis is a constant source of energy (unlike glycolysis which fuels in fitful peaks and troughs); there’s a strange sense of ‘background power’ when I exercise; almost as if I could go on forever. This feels really amazing, like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

Nicholas-James says that he’s finding the same. In fact, last week he ran his old 3-mile jogging-route without even getting out of breath! And this without any requirement to refuel on diabetic top-ups such as jelly-babies or fruit-juice. Now his body simply does it all for him! It just goes to show therefore that a ketogenic diet is brilliant for type-1 diabetics!

All in all then, I think I’m over the negativity of last week. The positives of this hugely outweigh the negatives, and we’re both feeling a lot better. I feel motivated to continue, and who knows, maybe even catch up a little lost ground!

Please do ‘look in’ on me next week to see if I meet my targets. I find it really positive to have people read this – the support is a massive encouragement!

Thanks again for reading, and have a great week,

Adam.

Week 6 – Sun 9th November

Well, I’m six weeks in now. Just to remind you all, I started the ketogenic diet at 15 stone, 10 pounds. My goal is 12 and a half stone, by mid-March 2015. This means a target weight-loss of 2lb per week.

Week Six’s target-weight therefore? 14 stone, 12 pounds. Waistline measurement only once a month, so not this week.

I step onto the scales…

15 stone, 0 pounds. I’m devastated! Completely behind target by a whole 2lb, & a 1lb weight-gain from the week before! I cannot understand this at all.

Okay, so I’m still 10 pounds lighter than I was six weeks ago. But I’m back into the ’15-stone bracket’ which makes all my efforts feel totally pointless.

Body fat is a strange thing. It’s like a stubborn squatter – impervious to eviction! I’ve been in a constant state of ketosis the whole time; surely the weight should be literally ‘falling off’! My body feels slimmer, only the scales don’t reflect that.

I’m aware that, as fat-cells deplete their stores of triglycerides (the body’s ‘storage’ form of fat), the cell temporarily displaces lost fat with water. Eventually, the cell realises that it’s not going to be re-filled any time soon, and sulkily shrinks down to ’empty’. Water is heavy stuff, so you can actually be burning body fat for quite some time yet see no reduction in weight (read more about this here). This is the most likely explanation, but it’s difficult to simply ‘take it on faith’!

Another thing that may equally be to blame, is that I’ve had a birthday this week. 36 years-young! Although I’ve still been incredibly good with the carbs, I took Thursday & Friday off work. This means I was at home for fours days on the trot. Implication? More cooking, bigger lunches and puddings! Even low-carb pudding contributes to calorific intake; so if the volume of food I’ve been eating increased over the last few days, it stands to reason that my calorific intake also increased in equal measure.

I suppose I must simply keep telling myself that weight is a fluid thing. Everyone who diets has goods weeks and bad weeks. I’d just rather leave the bad weeks to someone else!

On the positive side however, the diet is still incredibly easy to follow. I have no hunger pangs whatsoever, feel completely relaxed about food and in no way feel that a ketogenic-diet lacks variety. If anything, it’s pushing me to cook & expand my repertoire a lot more. I’m constantly thinking ahead of time, planning nice, interesting things to cook so I can post them on this blog!

And physically? Any changes to how I’m feeling?

On the whole, in great shape! I still feel increasingly active and want to get moving and out-and-about. Because ketosis is a constant source of energy (unlike glycolysis which fuels in fitful peaks and troughs); there’s a strange sense of ‘background power’ when I exercise; almost as if I could go on forever. This feeling is interesting, new and rather novel!

All in all, I shouldn’t grumble! I’m still well on the way to being a new slimmerfitter me, and there’s no looking back. I just hope I fare better next week, to regain a little of the lost ground. I don’t mind missing my targets if the general trend is a downward one. But if the ‘upward trend’ continues, maybe I’ll have to start reassessing the whole thing!

Please do ‘look in’ on me next week to see if I meet my targets. I find it really positive to have people read this – the support is a massive encouragement!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week,

Adam.

Week 5 – Sun 2nd November

Well, I’m five weeks in now. Just to remind you all, I started the ketogenic diet at 15 stone, 10 pounds. My goal is 12 and a half stone, by mid-March 2015. This means a target weight-loss of 2lb per week.

Week Five’s target-weight therefore? 15 stone, 0 pounds. Waistline measurement only once a month, so not this week.

I step onto the scales…

14 stone, 13 pounds. Ahead of target and a 2lb reduction from last week! I’m now 11 pounds lighter than I was five weeks ago. I’ve crossed the ’15-stone barrier’ & am now comfortably back in the ’14 stone something’ territory.  If feels brilliant!

It’s been a strange week for ‘weight’. The scales really do vary; as does self-perception. The more weight one starts to lose, the more one looks at oneself and is critical of the remaining fat. I suppose that’s what spurs one on to carry on losing it.

I must admit that I’m starting to feel a little impatient now… Not that the diet is simply a weight-loss thing, to be dropped when the weight is gone; but I want results and I want them now!! It all makes me feel like a petulant child. I suppose I just want to fast-track all the anxiety of ‘have I lost anything…?, when can I go and buy new clothes…?‘ &tc. Well, I suppose I shouldn’t be such a spoilt brat! I’m ahead of target and shifting body-fat fast! So all in all I’m very pleased. I can be forgiven a little impatience, can I not…?

Nicholas James has also lost a stone, which is really good going. His blood-sugars are super-stable and he feels fighting fit and full of energy! Positives all round therefore.

And physically? How am I feeling aside from the weight?

Pretty good. I feel increasingly active and want to get moving. I still feel too heavy to jog; the bouncing up and down of michelin-man-style tyres would be a little depressing (and uncomfortable!). I expect I’ll need to get down to somewhere in the region of 14 stone before jogging is back on the cards.

I’m still thirsty a lot but I’ve got used to it now. Peppermint-tea throughout the day helps with the paranoia of acetone on the breath – a side-effect of ketosis. I think this might be on the wane, but I’m not going to take any chances! I’m hoping that, as ketogenic-adaptation kicks in (more on that in another post); this side-effect will disappear completely. Only time will tell.

All in all, it’s been a good week. I’m pleased with the results and so glad to be back in the ’14-bracket’. My next target is to dip below 14 stone, 10lb; which’ll mean I’ve lost a full stone. I doubt that will be next week, as it’s a further 3lbs but I’ll give it a go!

I’m well on the way to being a new slimmer, fitter me, and there’s no looking back. Please do ‘look in’ on me next week however, to see if I meet my targets. I find it really positive to have people read this – the support is a massive encouragement!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week,

Adam.

The pros & cons of pounds & ounces. Or… Weighing up ‘weighing in’…

Should we ‘scale down’ the weighing-scales? This is a difficult question; and one I feel should very much be a matter of personal preference.

At the start of this process, I vowed to myself that I’d never become a ‘weighing-scales’ addict. I wouldn’t measure too often, or obsess about the latest reading. Instead, I’d take a ‘measured’ approach and trust more in the fit of my clothes and other markers. These include energy-levels, general well-being, as well as the ultimate indicator – the mirror!

Without monitoring progress however, how would I assess whether or not I was on track to meet my targets?

This conundrum led me to the decision to ‘weigh in’ once a week. This interval would allow me to keep a healthy distance from data. Hopefully I’d just crest along smoothly, and get a nice surprise once a week.

And then it all went wrong.

Week 2 saw the worst thing a dieter can experience – gaining weight, rather than losing it! This was really distressing. I’d tried so hard and had been in ketosis the whole time. I simply couldn’t understand the fluctuation. I consequently mulled it over for a while & managed to identify the problem. I changed my diet accordingly and succeeded in bringing things back on track.

A week is a long time to wait for diet-disappointment. Would this trend have been spotted earlier if I’d have ‘weighed in’ more often? I think it would.

I must admit to having stepped onto the scales most mornings since then. Yes; there’s inevitably the daily confusion of ‘how on earth has that happened?’; but a more frequent benchmark enables me to spot any problems and address them as soon as they occur.

My ‘corrective action’ may be as simple as having a smaller portion for dinner, or taking a little bit more exercise than planned. So far, this seems to be working.

And after all; if I hadn’t avoided the scales for so long prior to now; I probably would never have gained so much weight in the first place!

So for many, the jury’s still out on the weighing-scales. For me however, I’m a convert. It takes a lot of time, effort, planning & money to initiate a lifestyle-change to this extent. I really want it to work. Why risk all that for no reason?

There’s an old saying which states ‘you don’t fatten a pig by weighing it all the time’. Well, I think the opposite is true if you’re trying to slim it down!

For the time being then, I’m keeping the scales and shall heed their advice. Maybe at the end of all this, I’ll have a ceremonial purge and rid myself of them forever.

Or maybe I won’t. Who knows? Ask me when I’m there.

Thanks for reading,

Adam.

Week 4 – Sun 26th October

Well, I’m four weeks in now. Just to remind you all, I started the ketogenic diet at 15 stone, 10 pounds. My goal is 12 and a half stone, by mid-March 2015. This means a target weight-loss of 2lb per week.

Week Four’s target weight therefore? 15 stone, 2 pounds.

It’s also a nerve-racking day, because it’s the first of my monthly waistline-measurements. When I started the diet, my waist-circumference was 45 inches. Above 40 inches and you enter the danger-zone for developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. My partner is already type 1 diabetic; so if I developed type 2 through poor lifestyle choices, then that would verge on the ridiculous!

I step onto the scales…

15 stone, 1 pound. Ahead of target and a 3lb reduction from last week! I’m now 9 pounds lighter than I was four weeks ago. I’ve crossed the half-a-stone barrier, which is brilliant; and I’m rapidly approaching the ’15’ milestone, which feels really positive.

I’ll be so pleased once I make it back into the ’14 stone’ territory. I’d been so shocked when I stepped on the scales some 6 weeks ago. In my mind, I’d maybe put on a couple of pounds; I’d thought I was ’14 stone something‘…; but to then discover I was 15 stone 10 was horrific! It had crept up so gradually, that I’d never really noticed it.

I’m a little nervous of the tape-measure. Scales are fairly ‘plain speaking’ when it comes to weight. Yes, you can shimmy around on tiptoes or balance on one leg to try and get ‘a more favourable reading’, but ultimately you know you’re just cheating yourself. The tape-measure is a little harder. Have I measured at exactly the same point as last time…? Is it completely level…? Am I breathing in too much, or am I pushing my stomach out artificially to go for ‘worst case scenario’…? In short, the tape-measure feels a little bit like an audition!

With trepidation, I stand in front of the mirror and ask myself all the above questions, to try and come up with a realistic answer. 44 inches definite! I’ve lost one inch from the circumference of my waistline, which is brilliant! Just four more to go before I’m out of the danger zone.

As I said last week; there’s a stage of weight-loss when you start to feel a bit slimmer. I’m definitely there now. Because I love cooking, I spend a lot of time in an apron. Four weeks ago, this tied under the stomach, which looked and felt dreadful. Now, it’s back to tying around me! The trousers are starting to follow suit, but I’ve never particularly been a fan of ‘armpit-huggers’, so these tend to sit more around the hips than the stomach.

And physically? How am I feeling aside from the weight?

Pretty brilliant actually. The headaches have completely gone and energy-levels are incomparable to what they were before I started this. I feel active and want to be moving around outside a lot more (whereas previously the sofa and a book were the main draw!). Mood is so much better and grumpiness nearly gone. As before, the fact this is working is definitely boosting my optimism!

I’m still thirsty a lot of the time. I haven’t yet discovered whether this has to do with ‘losing weight as the fat cells deplete’; or whether it’s a side-effect of the ketosis itself. Body-temp feels normal, but as I haven’t been tracking this, I have no point of comparison!

The one thing I’m slightly paranoid about is acetone on the breath – a side-effect of ketosis. I’m sure this hasn’t been a problem (certainly no-one has said anything), but I hate the fact they might! To counter this I’ve been sucking sugar-free mints. I’ve always been a peppermint-tea drinker throughout the day, so this also helps combat my paranoia. I’m hoping that, as ketogenic-adaptation kicks in (more on that in another post); this side-effect and others will disappear completely. Only time will tell on this one!

All in all, it’s been a really good week. Motivation is very high; and I really feel that I can 100% achieve my goals if I stay focussed. Still missing trips to the pub, but as these were part of the problem, it serves me right!

With a bit of luck, I’ll dip down below 15 stone by next week. That only requires one & a bit additional pounds from here, so if I stay in ketosis, this should be do-able.

Please do ‘look in’ on me next week, to see if I meet my targets. I find it really positive to have people read this – the support is a massive encouragement!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week,

Adam.

Week 3 – Sun 19th October

Well, I’m three weeks in now. Just to remind you all, I started the ketogenic diet at 15 stone, 10 pounds. My goal is 12 & a half stone, by mid-March 2015. This means a target weight-loss of 2lb per week.

Week Three’s target weight therefore? 15 stone, 4 pounds. Waistline measurement only once a month, so not this week.

I step onto the scales…

The previous week had been a huge disappointment! I’d been reading around the subject & had learnt that long-term carbohydrate-restriction requires increased levels of saturated fat to deliver sufficient calories. Obviously, I’m not yet in a state of ‘long-term carbohydrate-restriction’ – I’m still trying to lose weight; not maintain it! As a result of that misunderstanding, I’d upped the saturates and gained a pound. This at least was my theory.

Over the last week, I’ve aimed to assess the validity of that assumption and have ceased adding additional saturates. I’ve still been using liberal quantities of butter, cream & oil; I’ve simply not been adding these to my food where they’re not strictly needed. Has this worked?

15 stone, 4 pounds. Bang on target & a 3lb reduction from last week! I’m pleased, and really rather thankful! I’ve recovered any ground I’d lost and feel a lot better within myself. I’m now 6 pounds lighter than I was three weeks ago.

There is a stage of weight-loss where you start to feel a bit slimmer. I’m noticing this around my middle, lower back, chest & around the top of my arms. Obviously I’ve not measured this with a tape-measure; but I’m hopeful that ‘hard-fact’ will substantiate this in a week’s time when I take the first month’s measurements.

In addition to feeling that I’m making progress; how have I found it? Are there still side-effects from all this?

The headaches are still there occasionally, but almost all but gone.  Energy levels are up & I feel more of a spring in my step. I certainly feel more active! Mood is improving. I’m less grumpy, & the fact this seems to be working is definitely boosting my optimism.

Ketosis seems to carry with it a need for increased quantities of water. I’m still thirsty a lot of the time. I don’t know whether this has to do with ‘losing weight as the fat cells deplete’; or whether it’s a side-effect of the ketosis itself. Nicholas-James is also experiencing increased thirst-levels & the perceived rise in body temperature that I’d alluded to in earlier posts.

All in all, it’s been a good week. Motivation is still strong; if anything, it’s growing!

There are certain things I miss (trips to pub to drink beer mainly) but the increase in well-being more than makes up for this.

Next week, I’m hoping to push through the ‘half a stone’ barrier within one month. That only requires one additional pound from here on in, so if I stay in ketosis & keep focused, this should be more than possible.

Please do ‘look in’ on me next week, to see if I meet my targets. I find it really positive to have people read this – the support is a massive encouragement!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week,

Adam.

Week 2 – Sun 12th October

Well, two weeks in. Just to remind you all, I started the ketogenic diet at 15 stone, 10 pounds. My goal is 12 and a half stone, by mid-March 2015. This means a target weight-loss of 2lb per week.

Week Two’s target weight therefore? 15 stone, 6 pounds. Waistline measurement only once a month, so not this week.

I step onto the scales…

Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. Something has gone drastically wrong. 15 stone, 7 pounds. Not only have I missed my target; but I’ve actually gained a pound since last week! This sends me into a spiral of despair. I immediately think about giving up…

What can have gone wrong??? I wrack my brains repeatedly then turn to on-line guidance and the books I have bought.

All the literature says ‘don’ trust the scales’; weight fluctuates within quite a wide margin due to water-retention &tc. Yes this is true; but one whole week in ketosis should certainly have shifted something! I’ve been checking for ketones every day, and I’ve definitely been burning body-fat for energy. In spite of this, I’m heavier??

Admittedly all is not lost; I’m still 3 pounds lighter than I was 2 weeks ago, so that is a positive. But the ‘scales thing’ doesn’t quite add up. They say muscle weighs more than fat. Yes, I’ve been far more active over the last couple of weeks; but hardly in a ‘muscle-building’ kind of way. Am I dehydrated therefore retaining huge quantities of water? No, I drink a lot of water and top up regularly throughout the day.

My only assumption is that it has to be something to do with the food I am eating. Have I been doing anything differently this week? A short reply – yes.

I’ve been reading a lot about long-term carb-reduction. Examples include how First-Nations peoples such as Inuits survived almost exclusively on a diet of high levels of saturated fat & smaller quantities of protein (strangely enough, the body doesn’t get scurvy). Add to this, I’ve been reading blogs on things like ‘bulletproof coffee’ (apologies if you’re a fan, but this is REALLY not for me – my journey is about real food). In short, all these sources advocate upping your levels of saturated fat; which I’ve duly actioned.

So the one thing I’ve changed over the week, is adding additional saturates to things, e.g. stirring an extra tablespoon of butter into a sauce, when there is already some in there, and double cream to boot!

I’m firmly convinced that this is where my error lies. The additional fats are for long-term weight-maintenance i.e. when your body has lost all the weight. Only then do you need to up the calories, to stop you from wasting away & keep you steadily at your target-weight. I think I’ve somewhat lost sight of the fact that I’m in a weight-loss phase; I’m not a lean Eskimo, who requires a vast number of calories just to survive (yet). I sit behind a desk!!!

Yes, I’m convinced I’ve worked it out. I’ll just have to stop adding additional fat, and see if I can get back on track. Next week’s weigh-in will be a nerve-racking experience, that’s for sure.

So apart from my devastating results and probable humongous error;  how have I found this week?

Headaches still recurring, but with lower frequency. Slightly lower energy levels this week; but I expect this may have something to do with my ‘saturated fat overload’! Mood has also stayed on the grumpy side; but work has remained super-stressful, so cannot differentiate between the two.

Still thirsty and drinking a lot of water. The body-temperature thing seems less noticeable, but maybe I am just getting used to it. All in all, I am still highly motivated to continue and shall chalk this week’s setback down as a simple case of ‘you live, you learn…‘. I just hope I’m right; I certainly don’t want to go to all that effort, only to find I’m getting fatter!

Only time will tell. Feel free to check in on Week 3’s progress to see if I’m right!

Thanks for reading, and have a nice week; Adam.

Please note – as highlighted in the my first weekly weigh-in post, I hadn’t yet had the idea to write this blog when I started the diet. The first couple of ‘weekly reports’ are therefore retrospective; but as this was only a week ago, I more than remember how I felt! The results were naturally recorded aside from this blog, so no chance of variance there.

Enjoy the read, and with thanks, Adam.

Week 1 – Sun 5th October 2014

Well, one week in. Just to remind you all, I started the ketogenic diet at 15 stone, 10 pounds. My goal is 12 and a half stone, by mid-March 2015. This means a target weight-loss of 2lb per week.

Week One’s target weight therefore? 15 stone, 8 pounds. Waistline measurement only once a month, so not this week.

I step onto the scales…

15 stone 6 pounds! I have done it. I breathe a sigh of relief. Weight-loss of 4lbs in the first week is fairly good going. I lost about 6lbs in the first week of doing the Atkins, but that was about 5 years ago, and I had a job that kept me on my feet all day. Now my job is desk-based, therefore pretty sedentary.

In short I am pleased.

How have I found the first week?

Physically speaking, my body has very much made me aware that a big change has taken place. I didn’t test for ketones until Wednesday morning, so that was 3 full days of not eating carbs. The keto-strips came up a dark purple, so I was in deep ketosis.

I seemed to arrive at this fairly quickly. I expect that if I’d have tested on Tuesday, I would have actually been in ketosis by then. Most of the literature states between 2-3 days for the body to adapt from burning glucose to producing ketones, so my timescale sounds about right.

Side-effects? I’ve had recurrent headaches, but again, the literature on ketosis says this is only natural. They weren’t particularly pleasant, but certainly bearable. I actually felt as if I had more energy than before; most of the books say you might feel listless, tired and weak. I have always known that my body does not respond to carbs well, so the heavy, bloated feeling of starch is a blessed relief as soon as it leaves the body.

Apparently my mood has been a little grumpier than usual. Work has been quite stressful of late, so it is difficult to differentiate between the two, but I suspect my fractiousness could be put down to my body responding to the big change.

Ketones detectable on the breath? A little, but I drink peppermint teat throughout the day so nothing unpleasant.

One big thing that I did notice, was my body temperature. This was not something that I actually measured, but I felt like a furnace!! I was constantly warm (not in a sweaty kind of way) but just felt as if I was emitting a lot of heat. Anyone who got near enough to me attested to this fact also.

I was also incredibly thirsty. I have been drinking a lot of water, but this is something that one should do on any diet, as the more water you drink; the less you retain (which is good for obtaining a more accurate read from the scales).  This was in no way a bad thing; just noticeable.

All in all, the week went very well. It has not been overly difficult; just different. All other diets (low fat, GI &tc) have all left me feeling incredibly hungry. LCHF has not., which is a real boon. If anything, you want to eat less, not more. The food has been pretty tasty and varied, as my ‘recipes’ will show.

Highly motivated therefore to continue week two. As before, wish me luck and thank you for reading,

A.

Please note – as highlighted in the my first weekly weigh-in post, I hadn’t yet had the idea to write this blog when I started the diet. The first couple of ‘weekly reports’ are therefore retrospective, but as it was only two weeks ago, I more than remember how I felt! The results were naturally recorded aside from this blog, so no chance for variance there.

Enjoy the read, and with thanks, Adam.

Week 0 – Day 1, the start of it all… Sun 28th September 2014

As I detailed in my earlier post The Great Fat Meltdown! Weight, Targets & the Point of All ThisI have made the decision to shape up, slim down & become a healthier, fitter ‘me’. My key to doing this is the ketongenic diet or LCHF (low carb, high fat).

Every Sunday I shall mount the scales & report my weight on this blog. Waist measurement will also be taken once a month.

I hadn’t yet had the idea to write this blog when I first started the diet; so the first few ‘weekly reports’ are retrospective.

This post looks back 3 weeks to week 0, day 1; the first day of the diet (28th Sept 2014).

The following body-stats are my ‘start weight’ and width. Weight: 15 stone, 10 pounds. Waist circumference: 45 inches. Both pretty grim!!!

Target weight (unless that ends up being too skinny): 12 stone, 6 pounds. Waist circumference: no idea!!!! Whatever a 12.5 stone waist circumference looks like; and certainly out of the 40+ inch danger-zone.

I have been to the shops, filled the fridge with keto-friendly fare, and off-loaded whatsoever carb-loaded foodstuffs I had left onto family, friends and neighbours. Lucky them!

I am motivated, excited and feeling VERY MUCH in need of a diet. I hate my body shape. I could either ignore it & carry on avoiding the bathroom mirror for the rest of my life; or do something about it. I have chosen the latter.

Wish me luck!

A.