So finally after 18 months of pain and diet, having lost around 70 lbs in weight. (This equates to a good few inches round the waist and over a shirt collar size) I have finally got back a set of blood results that are normal. My liver has finally settled down and is working normally again.
My doc has said that I am now allowed the occasional treat, and this seemed a good excuse to show a picture of a distillery from Islay.
Pile of Sticks
But I still have to be careful and watch my diet. The docs software (always blame the system if one is giving bad news) says that I still need to loose a few more pounds and have an average weight that hovers around this lower level. I feel as if I will end up as a bag of bones – a bit like this pile of sticks. The good thing about all this is that I have learnt to appreciate and understand a lot more about what I am eating and the affect food has on our bodies. Lets hope that the next test in a few months time is just as positive.
_ This is the fourth and final part of my blog on how to loose over 50lbs of weight. This will cover my typical menu for the week.
Part one covered incentive, portion size, and meal frequency. Part two covered exercise, hydration, and setting realistic targets. Part three covered the foods that I am allowed to eat and those I do not eat.
I am not a medical doctor or dietician, but due to health reasons was told last year that I needed to loose a significant amount of weight. I have had advice from a number of medical professionals as how to do this, and from their advice I came up with this plan and so far I have now lost over 60 lbs, that is more than 27 kilos, so it does seem to be successful. I have just a few more pounds to go to get to my target weight. - (The lower end of the green band in the doctors BMI chart.). Having successfully lost all this weight, a medical friend said I should share how I did it with others, hence these series of blogs.
So we come to a weeks menu and the aim is to try and make it as least boring as possible. The ultimate as far as to maximise weight loose would be fruit, vegetables, porridge and bran. Nothing else but after a month or so it does become rather boring, so my a typical weeks menu may be as follows
_ Having typed this out it does make me so look forward to the day when I can just enjoy a normal meal, without having to worry about the consequences, or even a drink or two...
_ This is the third part of my blog on how to loose over 50lbs of weight. This will cover the foods consumed themselves.
Part one covered incentive, portion size, and meal frequency. Part two covered exercise, hydration, and setting realistic targets.
I am not a medical doctor or dietician, but due to health reasons was told last year that I needed to loose a significant amount of weight. I have had advice from a number of medical professionals as how to do this, and from their advice I came up with this plan and so far I have now lost over 60 lbs, that is more than 27 kilos, so it does seem to be successful. I have just a few more pounds to go to get to my target weight. - (The lower end of the green band in the doctors BMI chart.). Having successfully lost all this weight, a medical friend said I should share how I did it with others, hence these series of three blogs.
_ So we come to food that is being eaten. The first thing I did was sort out what I could eat/drink and what I could not. Out went
_ In addition I was allowed
_ The base line was bran, oats, fruit and veg normally two times a day with a third meal of something else. I have shared some of the low fat recipes elsewhere in the blog. The main challenge with low fat cooking is that the fat adds flavour to the food. How often have you seen a TV chief drizzle olive oil on a dish just at the point of serving or cook in butter just to give that extra flavour?
To avoid the food tasting bland one needs to add lots of spices to the food, probably anything up to twice the amount normally used. Also curried/hot food tends to taste better when it is low fat than other foods. Another good tip is a teaspoonful of Marmite, takes away the blandness of the food.
As I check on my weight progress every day I can see how I am doing and if doing well and hit my target for the week, then I allowed myself a treat of a bit of a high coca chocolate. If I was not doing so well then the bran/oats & fruit option became my third meal of the day, until I had got back on target again.
In my case hopefully I will hit my target weight in the next couple of months and then I can start to enjoy other foods once again. Whatever I hope this has been helpful and I will keep posting low fat recipes as I experiment.
_ This is part two of my blog on how I have lost over 50 lbs in weight over the last few months. Part one covered incentive, portion size, and meal frequency.
This blog looks at exercise, hydration, and setting realistic targets. Part three will cover the foods consumed themselves.
Even Fishing is Excercise
_ Exercise – In my case due to my illness if I pushed myself with excessive exercise, then I got pains from my liver as it did not like it. Now even after 11 months I can still only do around 3 hours walking in any one go and jogging / jumping / in fact any form of excessive abdominal muscle work is still not possible as my body is not strong enough yet.
So surely one needs to do lots of exercise to loose weight. Well yes and no. It takes around 90 minutes to burn off a 68g mars bar containing 300 calories. A Quarter pounder (Without the fries) is just under double this. Other examples can be seen at these two sites
In essence one needs to do a lot of exercise to burn off a little energy, and what do you feel tempted to do after all that exercise – go for a drink or have a snack bar to give you more energy – replace that energy you think you have just lost. In all probability you will then eat more than you have just burnt off.
In my case I do a reasonable amount of exercise, gradually building up stamina. So three hours of walking is currently about my lot. (Prior to being ill a 12 mile hike was fine) I do try and go for at least 45 minutes walk every day, but don't then come in and immediately eat to replace the energy I have just burnt off. There is lots of advice on how much exercise one should do each day. The key point is to do some, everyday, if it is just housework, (or even fishing) rather than the odd session here and there.
_ Hydration – This is one of the key areas, of the diet. I aim to drink somewhere between 1.5 to 3 litres of liquid a day. Very roughly a 250ml glass full (or it's equivalent) per waking hour. There is lots on this on the web, and if it is cold and sugarless eg chilled water, then it will help you loose a bit of weight as well, as the body has to expend heat in warming up the cold liquid once you have drunk it. What you do not want to be doing is to drink high sugary drinks as they will not help you loose weight. I currently drink black coffee, green tea, juice and squash (though am very careful as to sugar content and type of these and normally no more than 150ml of juice) and chilled water. Drinking the liquid also helps fill up the stomach so you do not feel so hungry between meals.
_ Targets – Setting a realistic target is one of the most important factors of the diet. The target should be achievable, but stretching. For example aim to loose 2lbs a week – Say a target of target 1 and ¼ stones in two months. But the thing to do is to weight oneself every day at the same time of the day (I do it first thing in the morning) and then realistically you know how you are doing. It is very easy to know if you have lost 2lbs a week. If you achieve your target give yourself a treat for example a small bit of high coca – low fat chocolate or something similar. You will then feel encouraged to carry on the process. What you must not do is say my target is to loose 4 stone because you just won't do it. It is too much, and you will probably give in. That can be the ultimate target but the process of getting their needs to be broken down into smaller achievable steps. Probably a weekly target plus a monthly one.
The final point is Food and this will be covered in part three of this blog.
_ A few weeks ago when chatting to a friend they were asking how I was getting on with my diet, as it was evidently working well – my trouser waist size at the time had gone down 4 inches. He suggested that maybe I should share what I have done in my blog to help others in a similar situation. So here it is.
If at the start of the year someone had told me that I would be loosing over 50 lbs in weight in the next few months I would have just laughed at them. I know that over the past few years I have tried to loose weight in various ways. Be it jogging, swimming, cycling, doing various fat busting exercises, but for various reasons I have stopped after a short while. I may have lost a few pounds but then a few months later the weight has come back on. Eventually I go up a trouser size as my jeans will just not fit. (Just have to stop using the hot wash which as everyone knows shrinks clothes so badly!). This process has carried on over the last decade and I got a little bit heaver each year.
At the start of the year (2011) I got a virus infection that attacked my liver, and became seriously ill. Their are various comments in previous blogs about this. Part of the process of getting my liver working properly again was to reduce my body fat level i.e. loose some weight. It seems that the liver is a lazy animal and deposits any fat it can't handle in the neighbourhood. So if the neighbourhood is full it has to pushing it out over the system via the blood, which causes everything else connected via the blood to complain as blood should not be full of fat.
I can't say that the diet I have followed is the responsibility of any one person because it is not. Lots of helpful medical advice has been given and research done on the internet. This has eventually led to a diet that seems to work. Not only enabling me to loose weight but also not too boring or difficult to follow. (This is not a plug for a high expense diet, just a simple process that seems to work)
So looking at the first three key points of the diet
Incentive to stick to the diet. - Well I was given two of these, the first was from my body and the sharp stabbing pain that I get from my liver, when I eat or do the wrong thing. Not so bad now but for the first three months so bad that I did not get a single nights sleep without being woken up by the pain. Secondly I was told that I would probably not live the year if I did not get my liver functioning again properly. I know most people don't have this form of incentive, but you must have something even if it is only the fact that if you are overweight and loose weight working towards your ideal weight, research indicates that you will live longer. Lots of references on the web but here is one The essence is that if you are overweight (on the BMI scale) then you have a greater than 10% more chance of death over a 10 year period, if you are moderately obese then a 40% more chance of death and if you are severely obese then more than that. So that alone should be an incentive to loose weight.
Lots of Food
_ Portion Size – When we are given a plate of food and we assume that this is the right amount of food for us to eat. I was told that this is probably not correct. Most plates of food have more on then than we need. The first thing was to find a smaller plate as a dinner plate and use that for a while to eat my meals on. This would get me used to eating a smaller amount at a meal. The second thing to do was to look at the nutritional info on the side of a packet or tin, (if the food came in such a container). This nutritional info often specifies what a portion size is, either in weight of grams or in millilitres if a liquid. Then get a scale or measuring jug out and just see what a portion looks like. It is probably much smaller than you imagined. I certainly found this to start with. The final way of doing it is by rough sight. If it is dry matter food stuff, then a clenched fist full can be used as a rough portion measure. If it is wet matter food stuff then a single serving spoon can be used. For drinks then 150 ml (often the portion size ) is just under half a normal size pull ring drink can full.
Once you have a rough idea on what a good meal size is then there is no need to go to the effort of using the scales etc., or the smaller plate. If you are offered more then say no thank you.
Meal Frequency – The next thing I was told, was that it is much better to eat three small meals a day rather than just two, or even one and breakfast was one of the most important meals of the day. If you are going to miss one out then lunch is the candidate that should be considered, but even then you should eat something even if it is just a bit of fruit or a raw carrot or celery stick. Ones body gets hungry and small amounts of “good” food (e.g. fruit) are much better than no food some food lots of food, as the stomach gets used to the lots of food session and thinks that this should be the norm.
This is continued in part two which looks at the foods themselves hydration and setting realistic targets.
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.