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

 

Low Carb Dinner Recipe – Garlic & Ginger Chicken Salad

Low Carb Dinner Recipe – Garlic & Ginger Chicken Salad.

Diffculty rating – Easy Peasy.

1. Get a bag of supermarket salad. (Most come in at around 3-5 carbs per 100g).

2. Spoon 1 teaspoon ginger paste, 1 teaspoon of garlic puree and a sprinkle of a green herb (I used thyme tonight) into a large frying pan, sprinkle dried chillies over it and add about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Heat to 3/4 heat setting until it’s really sizzling.

3. Add your prepared chicken meat, (use however much you fancy). Cook it with the spices until the chicken is quite golden crispy brown all over and the spices are just starting to stick to the pan. Take off the heat and mix it up to release it.

4. Get a bowl and dump the bag of salad into it. Then dump the chicken into it. Then get a fork and spoon and mix the salad for 5 minutes until fully mixed up.

5. Get two plates and serve. (Or more if you have the appetite of a sparrow).

I thought it tasted great. My wife enjoyed it too. I bet you will too. Here are the stats:

Fat: 38g – – Carbs: 7g – – Sugar: 0.2g – – Protein:40g – – Calories: 530

 

Diary of The Recovering Fataholic. May 2014. No2

This is the home of the random musings from the “Recovering Fataholic”.

I have turned a corner, had an epiphany, been bollocked by the doctor, call it what you want. The news she gave me while I was lying in a bed in A&E recovering from a pulmonary embolism frightened me into action. I was a 20 stone (126kg) mess and dying of liver disease.

I am following a low carb lifestyle because my doctor said that if I don’t, I will lose my liver and by default – my life. I reckon I kind of need that major organ, so I decided to follow her instructions. You can read the story that scared me on the other page above.

May is not a great month for me normally. So many birthdays among my relatives and I am always tempted by birthday cake. Hardly the best low carb food and a definite no-no as far as the doctor is concerned. She banned me from cake, bread, pasta, rice, cheese, alcohol, the list goes on. So I started this month at 106kg. And here we are at the 29th of the month and my weight today was 106.5kg.

So am I bothered? Well no not really. I got myself into this mess and I am getting myself out of this mess, one day at a time. Sure it’s May and my folks want to celebrate their old age, why wouldn’t they ? And who am I to rain on anybody’s parade? So I had a piece of birthday cake or more. But it was always one piece only and it was always the only bad thing I had that day. You see I am following what I call a “Pay Attention” diet. You can too it’s a doddle. And I will lose that last 0.5kg very soon and very easily.

Follow my blog and I will show you how you can do this too – through my postings. It’s not rocket science. You don’t need to be rich. But you do need to want it enough to do it. Not just pay lip service to it. Which is the biggest hurdle by far for you while you read this. I bet just talking about cake got you thinking about sweet things and here you are reading about being good and losing weight and all you can think about is cake. That’s the first hurdle. Stop that and you are on the first rung.

I use FatSecret to record what I eat and thus control the intake. This is the biggest single mistake you are all making when you start dieting for weight loss. Not knowing how much you really weigh and not recording what is being put into your mouth is what got you into the mess in the first place. Time to grow some faith in yourself and time to get started.

I don’t do anything special. I am not a member of a special gym or do much in the way of exercise to lose weight. I just take care of the food I eat now. You can do this too, it is so easy.

Low Carb Kippers

Low Carb Kippers

Try this: my doctor told me to begin by eating fish for half the week. Make that mean whatever you want it to mean. I took it to mean eating steamed/poached white fish with vegetables (I’m not allowed potatoes though) for tea. I have a hob-top steamer (old school) and boil the kettle to kick start it with some pre-heated water. In this I can put all my prepped veg and fish into one container and 20-30 mins later its food time. If I don’t fancy steaming or if it’s lunch at work I am looking for then I often put a can of tuna on top of a half a salad bag from the supermarket (top with a tablespoon of mayo or other low carb sauce) and for breakfast I am now well used to eating kippers or mackerel. I like it grilled to crisp it up but its up to you.

 

Adding my allowance of only 2 eggs per day to the kippers or chucking in a couple of basic mushrooms really mellows the flavour but open the windows!

Eating fish is easy but the biggest mistake you are about to make is to think fish fingers count. Listen very carefully to this – processed is banned. If it has been messed with so it doesn’t look like fish then it is not a food you should eat because you cannot control what additives are used in it. Fish in it’s natural form is cost effective for your health because it is so easy to digest, low in fat, low in carbs, calories and tastes great and most important of all you are 100% in charge of what goes into your body. This is the first lesson in learning how to “Pay Attention” to what you eat.

Low Carb Diet - Healthy Eating

Low Carb Diet Cod Loins – A personal favourite for healthy eating

Try it – I double dare you. One month. You can do this. Moderate everything else. Avoid the complex carbs like bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, porridge, flour and so on. And don’t eat red meat (except bacon). Beyond that it’s your call. Eat as much as you need to but don’t be a glutton. It’s that attitude that got you in this mess in the first place and your head is the first place to begin this low carb way of life.

 

 

Only in your head can you begin the process of “Paying Attention”.

Let me know how you get on?