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Started and motivated, now need some feedback

Questions and recipes related to The Slow Carb Diet and the supplements discussed in the book (PAGG)

Started and motivated, now need some feedback

Postby FlyingPig » May 28th, 2012, 9:33 am


Hi,

First post here. Here's my story: I'm 30 years old, male, currently live in the UK and have always been a bit podgy. Not super fat, but always overweight. I am getting married end of September so I have 4 months to sort myself out! After reading Tim's book (now also started reading Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, by Gary Taubes), I am slowly coming to an understanding of what was wrong with me all my life and what is to be done. I had some decent results years ago following some kind of Atkins diet, and also the South Beach Diet, but I keep falling back into bad habits (I just love bread with cheddar cheese and, being Belgian, chocolate is another vice). For most of my twenties I've hovered around 95kg (210lb) but recently I passed the 100kg (220lb) mark. That set off some alarm bells so my goal is to finally sort myself out and get the knowledge and principles to keep the weight off. 85kg (187lb) is the goal for now, under 80kg (176 lb) seems like a crazy dream, but who knows.

I've never posted about this on a public forum but I realise now accountability is important to keep myself motivated. This was a problem in the past as work and life in general always took over. Through the book I learnt to take measurements of myself, and I feel this could well be the key to my progress.

Anyway, I am now on the sixth day of the slow carb diet and haven't cheated. I love the fact that I can still have 1-2 glasses of red wine in the evening, and I can already see results. I do the whole PAGG thing too.

Here are some data:

Image


I decided to add a measurement a bit below my waist too, including my bum (or ass if you're American), as mine has always been quite pronounced and "female". I don't really see the point in measuring my legs so I left that out. Or should I bring it back in?

I don't have any scales and should probably look into getting some, but for now I am happy to at least have some kind of reference.

A few questions I have:

Exercise:

I don't have any kettlebells yet but I will buy some proper 20kg ones soon. Or shall I go for 24kg? I have had dumbbells for a year but have never used them consistently as I am unsure what to do exactly and haven't researched it properly. One thing I will say is I HATE gyms. I am prepared to work out but I am intimidated by gyms and the pumped up guys showing off their muscles. The closest one is too far from my house and too expensive anyway. So far I tried to run 3-4 miles every week, but as I learnt now this is not an efficient way at all to lose weight. From the South Beach Diet I picked up the idea of interval training, so I have started experimenting with that. I have a smartphone and use the Endomondo app as it tells me when to run (low, medium, high intensity), but I still need to get consistency and actually do it regularly. If anyone has any ideas about this, please share them with me.

I reckon at least I am already on the right track but it would be useful to have a bit more direction in terms of exercise as I won't be doing any of it in the gym so in that respect the book doesn't really help. It did show me the concept of those wall pushes, and I was pleasantly surprised at how you can use any wall to do a pretty decent exercise for 90 seconds. Oh, I also have a skipping rope I leave in the kitchen so every time I cook or make tea/coffee, I try to do a few minutes of high intensity rope skipping. Question: is this OK or would it be too much "cardio"? I am confused about this, but I guess it can only be a good thing to get the heart rate up randomly throughout the day. My first priority is to lose the fat, but I want to build muscle too at some point, only I'm not sure if I should just focus on the diet. I basically want to do what justhamade achieved (I was very impressed!).
I will be away in London for 8 days soon so won't have access to any exercise tools so I guess I'll just do those wall exercises and focus on getting the food intake right.

Diet:

My breakfast so far is 4 eggs, either boiled or made into an onion/mushroom omelette, or just fried in the pan with some olive oil (I can't find this macadamia stuff over here so far, but I need to have a better look as apparently Tesco stock it). On previous low carb diets I always added cheese here but I have cut out all dairy now (except cottage cheese). I used to love the Danone Shape yoghurt (zero carb) but no more of that now.

Lunch and dinner are usually either homemade spicy lentil soup (I love the taste and it really fills me up) or stir fry vegetables with chicken. Any tips on what to do for sauce? In Asda (UK's Walmart) you can buy nice Hoisin sauce, but it does contain some maize starch so I guess I'd better stop using that. I need to check out some more recipes and see what is tasty. I am a lazy cook and anything that takes more than 15 minutes of preparation doesn't work for me, though it is one of the things I should probably get into a bit more as I love my quiche experiment the other day.

I can see Tim's point about being efficient and just get on with the same meals, which to a point I have always done, but I would think it would be nice to keep a bit of variety. I tried out a spinach cottage cheese quiche with some bacon on top, and it was pretty nice.

Question: I love my eggs and contrary to a lot of people I always have 4, otherwise I don't feel full. Is that OK? As far as I can see there is nothing wrong with this. (my mum still thinks I am crazy and that 4 eggs a week is the maximum, how wrong is so much of the official dietary advice! She's on Weightwatchers...)

Binge day: I made the mistake of starting spontaneously after reading most of the book in one go, which turned out to be a Wednesday. I want my cheat days to be Saturdays, so how do I get round this? Can I just keep going until coming Saturday? I don't feel any need whatsoever to cheat, but I do realise it will be essential for me to maintain this in the long run.

I think I'll leave it here, I have rambled enough but thought to share my experience. I will post back and who knows I can keep a kind of log.

Thanks,
FlyingPig
 
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Re: Started and motivated, now need some feedback

Postby johnshade » May 30th, 2012, 7:49 am


Hey Pig,

Welcome to the site. Congrats on the wedding. Always a good time to commit to a new diet.

Overall, you're on the right path. Your goal is simple, look good for your wedding day photos and this can easily be achieved in 4 months.

If you want to guarantee success then don't go too nuts on the cheat days. I would also suggest you keep the legumes reasonable as well since you aren't really exercising that much. Eating two meals centered around lentils a day may not be optimal for your goal but it falls in line with TF's plan.

Avoid sauces, hoisin, and most asian prepared sauces for that matter have a ton of hidden sugars and will throw you off for sure. If you find you're stalling that could be one reason. You may also want to watch the wine, MOST people are horrible judges of what two glasses of wine looks like. A regular bottle has 5.5 glasses in it. Since your goals are time sensitive, then you can also cut the wine out if you aren't seeing results.

Your breakfast looks good. The more eggs the better. you will notice, like most diets that the cravings for sugar and carbs will drop dramatically in a couple of weeks.

Other tricks are gluten free cheat days, Intermittent Fasting etc. For now stick to TF's plan and see how you respond.

Exercise? Based on what you've said it seems your activity level is relatively low...you may benefit from the novice effect b/c of this. In other words, your body will respond to anything. Buy the kettlebells and follow a plan.

There are so many templates for KB programming, and DB programming, I'd say just do some research and pick one and stick with it. Every diet and program works...if you actually follow it.

Good Luck
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Re: Started and motivated, now need some feedback

Postby FlyingPig » June 9th, 2012, 3:53 am


Hi John,

Thanks a lot for the reply and apologies for this late reply now (was away for a while, back home now).
Well, despite a hectic schedule in the last week with time away from home and spent in airports, I am continuing to make good progress. I am down to 40.5" waist circumference (from 42.75" a few weeks ago) so I am definitely going in the right direction.
In the meantime I've read a book about the Paleo diet and I just started another one, and it seems that like many others, eventually that is where I will end up... as it just makes sense. For now I am still eating some legumes but I am not going too wild on them. Is there any particular reason why Tim focuses so much on these? I enjoyed my chili con carne yesterday (without the rice of course) but think in future I will leave out the lentils from my spinach/4 egg breakfast.
Today is my second cheat day and I don't intend to go too wild at all. I am just not really hungry and have no cravings for the typical things I used to crave. I might go to Lidl today and buy some full fat Greek yoghurt, some 80% dark chocolate and pig out on that. Oh and some fruit too, I guess it is the safest way to stock up on carbohydrates, think I will just avoid gluten from now on.
I have also done some intermittent fasting. My first cheat day last week I went a bit mad and had a whole liter of cranberry juice, a dodgy Chow Mein, a whole bag of crisps, lots of cider (beer), etc. The day after I didn't eat anything until later on that evening (some salmon and a salad in an Italian restaurant), and it actually felt really good. The morning after (last Monday) my waist size had not increased. I might do the same again tomorrow (IF) and take it a bit easier on today's cheat day. I should research a few 'good' cheat options as I am indeed under a time constraint so efficiency is of the essence here. I have at least 10kg to go (currently at 100, though I could swear it dipped to 99.5kg this morning! -- mechanical scale) but I can see progress in the mirror and I can wear some trousers again I had to put away a month ago.
I guess I'll just keep going as in general I feel really good (except this morning somehow after breakfast (diarrhoea), maybe it was because I threw in some Cheddar cheese in my spinach/eggs/lentil mix, or maybe because I used the other half of the can of lentils I had stored in the fridge overnight in a plastic container).
The hardest thing so far is the social side of it. I was at a party and underestimated the social pressure to drink, bit sad really. However, I intend to just go for it, reach my goal, and only then will I be able to show in practice that it works and will people probably understand more of the why and how.
FlyingPig
 
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Re: Started and motivated, now need some feedback

Postby justhamade » June 10th, 2012, 12:46 am


Is there any particular reason why Tim focuses so much on these?

They are the most filling lowest Glycemic index carb you can get really. They have a cost benefit though like all carbs. I think roots and tubers are better, but they are higher glycemic index so they don't affect fat loss as much. If you are exercising regularly and not excessively obese, then yams/sweet potatoes and starchy veggies I think would be a better choice post workout.

Looks like your doing well, good luck, any other specific questions let us know.
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Re: Started and motivated, now need some feedback

Postby FlyingPig » June 10th, 2012, 2:07 am


justhamade wrote:
Is there any particular reason why Tim focuses so much on these?

They are the most filling lowest Glycemic index carb you can get really. They have a cost benefit though like all carbs. I think roots and tubers are better, but they are higher glycemic index so they don't affect fat loss as much. If you are exercising regularly and not excessively obese, then yams/sweet potatoes and starchy veggies I think would be a better choice post workout.

Looks like your doing well, good luck, any other specific questions let us know.


Thanks Justin, appreciate your feedback. One of the reasons I got on board with all this is after seeing your before and after pictures, very inspiring! (I was about the same size as you were I estimate, hope I can get similar results)
I will stay away from the fruit and yams/sweet potatoes for now (except on my Saturday cheat day next time) as I don't work out enough as of yet, but I am getting there (yesterday did some interval sprinting and I started using the kettlebell). Will try the Kiwi routine (Workout A, maybe without the lunges as I don't have the space and would prefer to keep everything in my bedroom) but I guess the main thing is to just do something and get on with it. Almost finished Robb Wolf's book and there are some good exercises in there too I think.

Specific questions: would be nice if you could give some feedback on my cheat day here: http://www.4hbtalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1900
FlyingPig
 
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Re: Started and motivated, now need some feedback

Postby Marcel P. » June 12th, 2012, 1:27 pm


hardest thing so far is the social side of it. I was at a party and underestimated the social pressure to drink, bit sad really.


That happened to me too at first. But once you get the ball rolling and people around you start to see that change they will come around and support your choice to not drink.

Technically you can drink 1-2 glasses of dry red wine or dry white wine a day. But if you're only drinking because of social pressure than skip it and keep in mind you can drink what you wish on your cheat day.
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Re: Started and motivated, now need some feedback

Postby johnshade » June 12th, 2012, 1:49 pm


I think you may find this interesting. Or at least enjoyable to read. I'm glad to hear you're learning about paleo. That's the destination point. As the wedding gets closer you may want to to get more extreme in restricting booze and your cheat days. (WFS)

http://www.theironsamurai.com/2011/08/2 ... -real-man/
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Re: Started and motivated, now need some feedback

Postby FlyingPig » June 12th, 2012, 6:01 pm


johnshade wrote:I think you may find this interesting. Or at least enjoyable to read. I'm glad to hear you're learning about paleo. That's the destination point. As the wedding gets closer you may want to to get more extreme in restricting booze and your cheat days. (WFS)

http://www.theironsamurai.com/2011/08/2 ... -real-man/


Just read the article. Interesting and entertaining read, but don't think I will follow his example! :)
For one I am not a bodybuilder, have never been and would never want to (except for losing the fat and getting lean of course). Secondly, a few of his theories are "simplified Thermodynamics" imho, like:

There is a fundamental reality to losing fat that people seem unable to accept fully. If you want to lose fat, you MUST take in fewer calories that you burn.


I've been reading Taubes and now Cordain and I thought the whole point was to ensure you just burn more by limiting your carbs and upping the protein.

Anyway, the article did make me think about the whole Intermittent Fasting thing. It is something I have done twice now for 24 hours and both times it went very well. Both times was the day after my cheat day.

I need to read up on this, but if you don't mind, could you shed light on these two things:

1) What is the "Minimal Effective Dose" on cheat day? How many extra carbs or calories do you need more or less to prevent your body from turning down the oven?

2) Is it OK for me to just keep fasting on Sunday, day after cheat day, or is it better to alternate this? Would you recommend I try this a few times a week? If so, also another 24 hours, or less?

For now I think I will just keep going as I am on the right track. I have started exercising and am very motivated to stick with this. Exercising wise I am a rookie with weights, but after doing the Kiwi workout (A) 3 times, I was sweating like I have never sweated before. Took an ice cold shower afterwards and felt great for the whole day. The day after (today) when I woke up I felt like I had been beaten up by some thugs but I guess that means it worked. Felt pretty weak and tired all day (first time in 3 weeks) but now feeling great again in the evening. Could be a lousy night of sleep, so I ordered some black out curtains as that will definitely help.

I hope to go under the 40" waist by next week. Exercise plan is Kiwi workout twice a week (3 or 4 reps, and ordered some heavier db's so that I can go to exhaustion as recommended) and to do 10-15 mins sprint interval training once a week (think I will give this a go on cheat day and then go wild on sweet potatoes and fruit afterwards).

Note to self: read up on the "feeding window" and maybe start experimenting with that. On the other hand, I shouldn't make it too complicated, sometimes you just have to be patient. Not too worried about weight loss, just want to look good and can already see I have leaned out quite a bit in my face, which is the main thing.

Finally: the social thing will indeed get easier once people see results. My philosophy now is to just keep my head down and to only speak once I have results. Sometimes it is tempting to shout it from the roofs but it is wiser to first prove it decisively.
FlyingPig
 
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Re: Started and motivated, now need some feedback

Postby johnshade » June 13th, 2012, 8:13 am


yeah, that article was meant more for entertainment. He's not a bodybuilder actually, he's an olympic weightlifting coach. But even he admits his method was extreme. The wedding piece seemed relavant to your story.

Otherwise, seems like you have the right attitude. Carry on and let us know how you're doing.
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Re: Started and motivated, now need some feedback

Postby Barbii_ » June 13th, 2012, 10:06 am


I just read your progress and I think you are on an awesome track. :D The point of this reply is more encouragement than advice, I'm no expert.
I didn't know about IF when I first started and i am experimenting with some other eating schedules too but I am really impressed that you are already doing it (IF). I agree with you about feeling great through it.
Getting the whole workout plan down can be a bit confusing as there are so many approaches available. I don't see how moving your body as much as you can can have a negative impact on fat loss, especially since you are still in the losing size/weight faze, but by no means am I as educated as some of these very knowledgable fellows, I can only speak of my esperience. I think movement can only help you at this point. But, I lost my size doing hardly any movement because I was just not interested. So I know you can lose inches by not really moving. I was definately not tight but I was smaller.
I also think your cheat days are so mild when compared with mine. I dont eat anything good on cheat days. I mean, I go crazy like I've never eaten and like Im not going to eat again. I not only eat pour choices (bread,cheezits,candy,cake,quesadillas,hanburgers,fries,etc...no veges or fruit) but also eat enormous amounts. I am actually never hungry on cheat days, I stay full all day because that's how often I eat. Its terrible. But I still manage to lose inches. Its wild. So I hope that gives you an idea on some boundaries, I mean, I'm sure if I tuned my cheat days down I might see better results. But Im not too upset with my results thus far.
Keep up the good work and the posting. It is great encouragement to hear about others who are doing the same thing.
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