My diet is better than your diet – Diary of The Recovering Fataholic 21/09/2014

Hello blogosphere people. I’m going through an odd period of weight loss and weight gain which I am struggling to understand to be honest. I have bounced around 104kg. Having been as low as 103kg and as high as 105kg.

  • I’ve been running (or trundling) and feeling okay? Check.
  • I’ve been keeping up with my press-ups, sit-ups? Check.
  • I’ve been following my regime of eating little or no carbs? Ahhh, here’s the thing!

I have been working away from home, not just in an office but up at odd hours, travelling long and short distances, working on sites for 3 or 4 hours at a time, then the long drive home. I have been eating things which to you might seem healthy; but to me are really hard to digest. Take melon for example, to you melon might seem like a healthy option, something you choose when you are trying to lose weight right? So what about if within the hour you consume some brazil or almond nuts? Another healthy option you might think. But the combination of sugar with fat is dietary suicide to anybody like me. The carbs alone are killing me.

On the other hand — I feel tired, angry, irritable, aggression, cravings etc when I get up at 3am and put a dessert spoon of coffee into a travelling mug, add lots of milk to cut the bitterness then top it up with a heaped spoon of sugar to boost my energy level. Soon afterwards I hit a craving for anything sweet. So do I choose another sugary coffee or chocolate? I totally understand why people get fat. I see it clearly and I can also see that a lot of companies are making a lot of money trying to keep me fat. Cadbury’s doesn’t care how my liver is. It stocks the shelves with chocolate because they pay the most for the space. The guy who sells fruit and veg is cast to the back of the shelving display, almost as an afterthought. Why is it I can select from over 100 different types of chocolate confectionery in a garage and only get an option of banana or apple or a tiny pack of melons as fruit options?

I went shopping today. I bought lots of fish at half price £8/kg and some pork at £5/kg. I also got a whole kilo bag of live mussles (rope grown) for £3/kg. My diet isn’t as expensive as you might think. Just because I am not allowed to have a £1 bag of doughnuts or a 50p pack of cake slices or a 75p loaf of bread doesn’t mean I don’t want to be able to eat them but neither does it mean you are eating more cheaply than me. My weekly and personal to me alone “food budget” came to £51. When you are eating processed food you are eating an array of poisons that are only present to lengthen a product’s shelf life, nothing more. A good freezer can do the same thing in a healthier way. We all know chocolate is bad for us so why do we choose it? Some fats aren’t enough to make a product tasty, they must combine sugar into them. They know this, they do this, they win! Affordable diets? Healthy diets? I will not live longer or more happily than you. We both stand the same chance of being killed by a freak accident. Or being utterly miserable and suicidal. So why do I bother doing this? I suppose I bother because I love my wife and want to extract every ounce of time life has to offer me. I cannot think of being without her and I really want to shed a tear when I think that only a few months ago I nearly lost her to cancer. My brave, sweet, lovely wife nearly died because of a freak of nature – cancer. So let’s not get all pious about who’s better than who shall we? Lets just agree that I eat this way because I have a bad liver

I will return to having fish, meat, eggs and veg for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I will have the occasional treat of nuts or plain yoghurt and maybe a piece of fruit a couple of times a week. I have to get this belly down to an acceptable size and it won’t move itself!

Besides — I feel healthy when I eat just meat, fish and eggs and veg.

 

Enjoy your chocolate/cake/biscuit etc.

Diary of a Recovering Fataholic. August 2014. Feeling Great.

Hello world. I had a real boost to my morale today. I was complimented in the most sincere and warm and friendly way possible. Let me tell you why;

When I began my journey shortly after the “witch doctor” forced me to “eat better or die” I had moments when I wasn’t altogether sure it was worth it. Okay the fitness was lower and the self-esteem was being pummeled by the mirror on a daily basis but over the whole of the next two years since 2012 I have had lots of highs and lots of lows. But today I was stopped in my tracks by a lovely lady I know as a client of mine. I was visiting the open plan office where she works and she sits with a colleague I also know well. Anyway, I was visiting somebody else onsite and the job required me to wear their polo shirt so I was wearing their brand. Thing was they gave me an XL shirt, not the normal XXXL I used to wear or the XXL I am down to now. I needed to visit the toilet to change and thought nothing of it. Having returned to the client and showing amazement that I actually fitted into the shirt they offered me.

Anyway after receiving the job brief I headed out of the door and was stopped in my tracks by this lady who was stunned by the change in my appearance. Her genuine warmth and curiosity about how I had physically changed so dramatically, to her mind, was incredibly touching and lifted my emotions enormously. I explained that it was mostly down to switching to fish. She thought this idea was brilliant as she liked fish and would give it a go. I hope she does and mentioned how I buy in bulk to get discounts and shop when there are offers on as well, all of which she took note of. Only the rich can afford to eat fish at RRP!

I was really happy when I walked away from her.

Thanks lovely lady for making me feel brilliant, and you don’t even know you’ve done it.

 

 

Diary of The Recovering Fataholic. July 2014

Today I am 104.3kg which is 229.94lbs (down from 232.3lbs)

I got fat slowly, if my memory serves me right. An extra piece of pizza here, a pause in the chair too long there and pound by pound the fat cells ballooned and multiplied. You have to eat more than you burn to gain weight, unless of course we’re talking weight lifting, and we’re not; it’s all fatty this and fatty that. I failed to fix it and that’s my fault. But whilst I was getting fat I was also busy working both ends of that candle and building my life so if I look back it’s got to be with a mixture of emotions. The journey up (in weight) was slow and inevitable considering my path.

As I slowly approach 50 I want to ensure the journey down is just as slow. I have been taking photos along the way…. like this one showing a recent low carb breakfast of bacon and courgettes (zucchini). The yellow courgettes/zucchini were grown in our garden by my wife and tasted very sweet and fresh. I cooked this breakfast using my new atomiser where you fill this plastic bottle with olive oil and pump the cap a few times. Then as you release the oil it atomises under pressure. Simple, ingenious and a fifth of the oil I was using previously. Believe it or not the glisten on the courgettes (zucchini) is a mixture of oil and water from my new “steam frying” cooking method.

This one was breakfast on the 22nd of July 2014:

Low Carb Breakfast – Bacon and Courgettes

My weight loss has slowed right down again this month but with food like this for breakfast it isn’t hard to cope. In fact this diet is unbelievably easy.

Eating low carb is just about cutting out the bad stuff anyway. Processed foods like cheese may be the reason why your version of low carb is different to mine. I see a lot of low carb recipes that contain cheese in one form or another. But I know from having punched in the data that consistent high fat food with low carbs is the wrong path for me.

 

 

I have to use low carb AND low fat combined. And this is where I start making sense to myself. The reverse is exactly how I got fat in the first place so the epiphany has to be that putting the combination that made me fat (sugar and fat together) in reverse is inevitably going to reverse the process.

So I am now recording carbs and fat in my FatSecret app and also recording my exercise. As long as I record a net imbalance of at least an average of -600 calories down per day across a 7-day period then I am satisfied.

Well let’s see how I am doing – with a before/after shot (from the back, I don’t want to scare anybody :) )

This shows 2012 (127kg) vs 2014 (104kg). My own personal target is 88kg or “creaseless”, whichever comes first really, I don’t actually mind:

Recovering Fataholic - Back 2011

Recovering Fataholic – Back 2011

Recovering Fataholic - Back 2014

Recovering Fataholic – Back 2014

I think you can see that there is a definite difference. I still have creases that must be removed but the jogging, sit-ups and press-ups and climbing up and down my stairs lots of times is helping me keep my stamina up.

 

 

 

 

Slowly – is how I got to that one on the left. So slowly is how I plan to get to a normal weight. Also look at the way my legs are more underneath me on the right. This weight loss has helped with better posture too. That’s gotta be good for my overall health.

Sorry about the underwear. I needed to keep them the same for the record.

I use Facebook to find old friends and one such person is also a champion of health and fitness. The bloke is mad for running and whilst on the one hand makes me wildly jealous of his fantastic physical shape, he has also inspired me to get fitter and faster. I was just walking on the treadmill to begin with but since finding him and seeing his antics I began to think even an old git like me could regain some sense of normality – if only I got a bit faster. So I did.

Thank you Tony Williams.

Here is his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=789898473

 

Low Carb Diet Diary 29/06/14

Yet again eating a low carb diet has caused me more weight loss last week — I weighed 105.4kg and this week I am 104.8kg now that isn’t much to some people but it is plenty for me. See below for my personal “tale of the tape”, (it’s a pdf and virus checked)

We it’s only 6:30pm but I can’t see me eating much more today. I am stuffed. I might add some brazil nuts later but I doubt it.

Whether you are trying to lose weight or lose fat or just eat low carb food in order to get a healthier liver, like I do, whatever your reason I honestly believe you can do worse than find your inspiration on WordPress. Hope you lose some too. Or if you can’t be bothered with all of that – just like and follow my blog already! Good luck to you.

Food Diary 290614

Diary of The Recovering Fataholic. June 2014

Today I am 105.4kg which is 232.3lbs or 16st 8lbs

What a few weeks it has been. My weight loss has slowed right down but not paused. That’s great news for my motivation. To be honest – breaking 106kg was quite a big deal in effort and concentration after the joy of being told by the doctor that I had returned to normal. And all this through low carb eating and simple walking on a treadmill.

I was eating low carb but burning the fat at the same time. Losing weight for me is a consequence, not the focus. Perhaps that’s why I am successful at losing weight. I simply don’t try losing weight, I just pay attention to my diet regime and the weight slips off sort of accidentally.

What totally threw me was a sudden urge to run. Well jog. Well move my bottom at a pace which to me resembled life or death but to a passing motorist would only present as mildly agitated walk but from my angle was a possible heart attack in progress. So I encouraged my boy to come for a run and after a personal best on the treadmill of 200m at 4kph I felt invincible and donned a pair of rugby shorts not seen on my legs since the middle of 1999. Next I slipped on a pair of cheap Tesco trainers I bought for a £10er and we were off. Then there was the hill. My boy was encouraging me and got me to a new personal best of 600m. So we did a little “dance of joy” as my Big Sis calls it and then came the heavy realisation I still had to get back home. I might have to rethink this running business.

Well tonight I am posting this under the blare of a fan trying to hold back the tidal wave of sweat as I cool down from a treadmill session with the following recorded details:

Speed – 5.6kp/h — Incline – 5.9% — Time – 22mins

This gave me

Distance – 2.05km — Altitude Climbed – 121.15m — Cals Burned – 262.71 (don’t forget the 0.71)

Oh and for the first time since we bought it many years ago – I went on our trampoline. Now I can see why the kids are on it all the time. What fun! :)

 

 

 

 

Low Carb Breakfast – Spanish Sprats (Fish) 15/06/14

Today is Fathers Day in England and I am blessed with two children who’s Mummy is very caring. They were got up nice and early to make me a lovely cup of tea in bed and then I got two lovely hand made cards and a small gift to show they care. Ahem! Thanks Mummy.

Anyway, low carb stuff is why I’m here. Now fish is in my humble opinion probably the worst farmed food we have in our eco-system but it is easily the most capable of getting you healthy again. It’s low in fat and carbs and the oil it contains is the right kind of oil. Its just a matter of being confident with it. I honestly believe nothing in the fishy world is easier or more confidence-giving than Sprats cooked Spanish style.

Here’s what they look like “before” with all the eyes and stuff attached.

Counter Sprats from Tesco

Counter Sprats from Tesco

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now all you do is buy however many you fancy for breakfast. I recommend you start with 200g and you can decide from there if that’s too much or too little for you.

Now you have to think low carb and from my point of view normal flour is out so here’s what I do: Get yourself some egg, some soya flour, some vegetable oil for frying, a large pan and some plates and utensils. The most commonly used utensil in Spanish cooking is a fork and it will be invaluable here.

First prepare the fish – Pull off the whisker-fins just by the head. No need to be brutal they come away very easily. Next with a very sharp knife cut the head off just behind the gills. You are going through the spine bone so be firm. If you are practiced at this you may be able to slide the knife and pull out the guts but if not the guts should be removed next. One way is to insert the point of the knife into the hole halfway along the bottom of the fish. This is where the fish excretes waste and leads directly to the gut. Slide your very sharp knife toward the head end and the fish should splay open. Getting the gut out is no more difficult now than running your finger into the gut area.

Rinse the fish. Line up the prep dishes thus: 1st one is a flat bowl – whizz up an egg into this flat bowl with your trusty fork.  small bowl. 2nd one is a plate – dusting flour seasoned with salt an pepper. Add your oil to the large pan and whack it up to 3/5 heat. While the oil is heating up grabbing the fish by the tail dip it repeatedly into the egg then lay it into the flour on both sides. You need the flour to be well spread, not clumpy, on the fish so don’t skimp this stage. Lie them down ready to fry. So with the frying pan as No3 you will need a plate to put the cooked fish on, put some absorbent kitchen paper on it first.

Batch fry until very very very dark golden brown. They might appear almost burned but this is normal. Fry all the fish and when cooked lie them on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. They should crisp up nicely during this stage.

Pile them up then eat! Yummy! Here’s a picture of them “after cooking”.

Fish - Sprats Cooked Spanish Style

Fish – Sprats Cooked Spanish Style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best way to eat these is with friends but you can dress them up with lemon or dip them in mayo or just eat them like this, which is what I do. All you do is pick up a tail and chomp down. Eat the lot except the tail. You will not notice the bones if you cook them very well. My kids are 10 and 8 and some fussy too. They ate a few each, claiming them to be “Yummy!” So if it’s good enough for my Spanish kids I know you will love this too. Here are the FatSecret type details for all you hard core calorie counters out there.

Tesco Sprats 300g — Fat 33g — Carbs 0g — Sugar 0g — NetC 0g — Prot 54.90g — Cals 525

Soya Flour 25g — Fat 5g — Carbs 4g — Sugar 3g — Net C 1g — Prot  9.75g — Cals 106

Egg 2 large — Fat 14.9g — Carbs 2.68g — Sugar 2.11g — Net C 2.68g — Prot 13.53g — Cals 203

Happy weight loss people.

Low Carb Diet Menu For A Day 08/06/2014

Well here it is. Today’s food intake. My goal is to be a normal person, eating normal food, in a normal way, not processed food that I cannot control and certainly not to be as extreme as the Atkins diet and stay down to 28g of net carbs. To be honest that involves way too much hard work. My own personal low carb regime is simpler, more honest and a lot easier to survive over a long term. I started 31/01/14 at 117.5kg and I am now 106.0kg. If you need a conversion tool try this one: Online Conversion

But even I need changes to my fantastically healthy diet so I thought I would experiment a bit with my food and see what happened when I introduced Blue Dragon Firm Silken Tofu.

Firm Silken Tofu from Healthy Supplies

Firm Silken Tofu from Healthy Supplies

I bought this one off the internet from a health food store but to be honest I could have bought it at any supermarket I reckon. I opened the packet, patted it dry because it is sopping wet, cut it into the mandatory cubes, chucked it into some olive oil to get crusty, (which took ages by the way), and proceeded to add stuff as I came across it in the fridge.

 

The meal was delicious. I added soy sauce for salty flavour and balanced that with the sweet chilli sauce (which if I had chosen not to would have halved the net carbs eaten). Toasting some sesame seeds while cooking the tofu gave it great depth and a lovely crunchy texture. It was still just like eating cooked blancmange but the way it soaks up the flavours around it means it is a great low carb option I can now admit I have tried it and will definitely be eating it again.

And the best bit is that unlike meat it definitely did not weigh on my stomach immediately after the meal. It is even lighter to eat than fish! The reason I did this meal plan and loaded it up here was to show you that unlike the books, you have a choice. You have the freedom to choose how you live. You do not need the things that are making you fat and unwilling to change. You can buy these ingredients at the market cheaper than the supermarket. Even Aldi is lying to you and lulling you into a false sense of what is cheap. You can put things in your fridge that are going to make you become thin if you follow my low carb regimen of eating fish for half your weekly meals and for the rest of the time you just PAY ATTENTION by recording it all into a food diary, (like FatSecret). You need to know I am nothing more than a “Recovering Fataholic” and I could so easily slip back into those bad eating habits that saw me escalate to 20 stone. The reason I don’t do that anymore is medical but the whole epiphany experience is one I recommend you all try to achieve.

Below I have loaded a pdf of the ingredients eaten along with all other food I ate today. I have to say I wasn’t overly hungry today because the two meals I ate were quite large in volume. I did a lot of physical work today and burned loads of calories which I must remember to add to FatSecret so I can see the “net calories” I used today.

I generally stay under my normal calorie limit because of this regime and it is working well for me because I can often find myself slipping into a shirt I hadn’t worn for 7 years or pull up a pair of jeans that I haven’t been able to pull up for longer than I remember. This is not about losing weight, I am talking about the shape changing that is occurring. And I gotta say that I am really enjoying the whole low carb diet diary experience of returning to my former glory, albeit very very slowly. Because this is exactly how I put it on, very very slowly.

Food Diary 08/06/14