So, I had really some good news this week when I stepped onto my scales (the Withings Smart Body Analyzer), on Sunday (my weekly weighing day). I weighed 72.4kg, which is fantastic! My target weight set back in April 2013 for April 2014, was 73kg. Back then, I weighed 100kg, and so I am over the moon and completely elated that I have hit my target weight with four months spare.
Gadgets for losing weight
It has taken me 8 months of completely changing my lifestyle, increasing the intensity of the exercise I do and the food that I consume and it’s already down, thanks to the scientific usage of gadgets like the Withings Smart Body Analyzer and the Withings Pulse, which have really kept my weight in the forefront of my daily routine. By incorporating it into my daily life, it forces me to continuously assess what I’ve been taking in and how much I’ve been working out.
A new size, a new wardrobe
The biggest drawbacks of losing weight so quickly, is that I had to change my wardrobe twice. It’s incredibly expensive to tailor in suits, to buy new tailored suits, and to even buy a new set of underwear from dropping so many sizes, but at least I do look a lot more toned!
Losing weight means losing fat mass
Fat mass wise, I have gone from over 35kg of fat, which made up about 35% of my body weight back in April 2013, when I had set up this task, down to a healthy 12kg of fat, which is around 17% of my body weight. Now I’ve got the top four abdominal parts of my tummy showing through, but I still have got a way to go for the lower third of the six pack to rip through. Typically, I’d need to reduce out 12kg of fat mass down to around 8kg to show through the entire six-pack, and for that really super ripped look, I’d be looking at a 3-5kg of fat, which is known as under fat and actually unhealthy in medical terms. So, I’m actually quite happy with my body as it is, as I’ve been getting close to my target.
No time for exercise
I’ve been allowing myself to let go a bit and eat fairly normal things on certain days especially days when I’m working out, which is actually only the weekend. I don’t get to work out 7 days a week, or 5 days a week. Now that I have my little boy around, it is a lot more difficult to find time to work out. Typically, I only work out for a1 hour session on Saturday and a 1 hour session on Sunday.
The most important thing is diet
Really, most of the benefit of my weight loss has been just typically through diet. Diet is the most important thing I’ve come to realise, when having a fairly sedentary desk job. It has been vitally important for me to understand that to lose weight, requires me to eat less calories. So, finding food that makes me feel fuller quicker has been a real life-changing event for me. Typically, if you follow me on My fitness pal, you’ll see that I consume around 1300-1500 calories per day. I used to be against calorie counting because a lot of it is a bit of a false negative, however, it has actually been a really good and useful bench mark. It’s been useful to see how empty nutritionally some foods are compared to other foods which are calorically good value.
Good value calories
Good value items are things like lean meat as venison and goat, which are superb meats. Venison is only just over 1 calorie per gram of meat, which is crazy good! And eggs are super fantastic, one egg is less than a 100 calories (you can be very full on just 4 eggs). Since my last blog post I’ve switched eating eggs at breakfast time to eating them at dinner time because it really helps make me feel full all the way through to morning. For breakfast I did have just fruit for quite a long time over the summer, which was great because it was nice to consume in warm weather. Just having fruit for breakfast was great, but it didn’t last me till 12 o’clock, it started getting more difficult and I started needing a snack through the day and I didn’t typically have time to snack through the day. So, I’ve been experimenting with different foods such as 2 medium slices of whole meal bread with a can of tuna or a can of salmon. I always look out for the really low salt versions and the ones not soaked in sunflower oil but in spring water or natural fish oils. Wild Planet Tuna is pretty much the best-canned tuna you can buy. It tastes fantastic and it has got almost no salt water in it. The next best I found is Waitrose Tuna in spring water, which is a really fantastic tuna as well. The other brands in the market tend to have far more salt, which means that you retain a lot more water, which does all sort of crazy stuff to your weight.
So, when you look at my weight reduction from a 100kg to 73kg, a difference of 27kg, I’ve lost fat from 35kg down to 12kg, that is 23kg of fat, you’ll find there’s a 4kg difference there (27kg total loss minus 23kg fat), which is water weight basically! There’ll be a bit of shrinkage of organs, but there’s a big mass difference there, which is just water in your body. It’s quite a lot and your body doesn’t really need all that excess water. But this doesn’t mean that you should drink less water, because you do need water to flush out those toxins and to dilute the salts away from your body, which will make your organs work more efficiently as well. That’s proved by my decreasing resting heart rate; typically, my resting heart rate is around the 50 beats per minute mark now, whereas before it was around the 75-80 mark. So, it has reduced quite dramatically.
The trouble with losing more weight
I am a lot healthier these days, my BMI is under 25 and with just 12kg of fat left, if I were to go down to 5kg of fat, I would be under 65kg all together assuming I lost another 1kg of water weight. But like I’ve said, that is extremely difficult to sustain, and having lost weight several times in my life, I know that I won’t keep it up long term. It’ll be so difficult to keep up, I’ve tried so many times and my weight will go way past the 73kg and probably back close up to the 100kg mark, and again that would be a very expensive wardrobe change! Also, going from 73kg to 66kg or 65kg would mean that I’d have to drop another size or two and then I’d start getting in the territory of wearing kids’ clothes, which I don’t really want to do, or I’ll get to wear super slim Italian clothes, which looks kind of odd being a short guy, so it’ll just make me look super small. Also I have quite a lot of muscle bulk around my legs, so I’ll need to get everything tailored in, or made to measure, even for every day items such as jeans! It’s incredibly difficult for me to wear 32 inch waist jeans that will even go up past my thighs. Instead I’ll have to wear 34 inch jeans which will have to be tailored in at the waist for them to fit properly, which is not cheap unless I wear only one pair of jeans and no other formal trousers (which wouldn’t suit me and many other people I would guess)!
Increased muscle mass and lower fat percentage
I’m very happy at the moment to have lost so much weight, a lot of people think I’m too thin now, but my BMI says otherwise. I do understand that I do have a chunky muscle bulk for my frame, but I’m not exactly close to being a huge bodybuilder. I’d like more muscle to help balance out my decreasing fat mass over time. My fat mass, as long as I carry on my diet, will continue going the way it is, but I’m allowing myself to let loose a bit more, having the odd curry takeaway or the odd client lunch at a nice French restaurant. These are the kind of things that I allow myself to do more often because I don’t want to crash and revert back to just eating whatever I want anytime because again that would be a very expensive exercise.
Still kicking myself
As for exercise it hasn’t changed much from my last diet blog post, where I showed two examples of my weekend workouts. I typically, only do the hard kickboxing routine and I’ve made it harder now by wearing 2.5kg ankle weights per ankle to make it more difficult as a routine. I have also downloaded Sworkit app from itunes that mixes up lots of different exercises that don’t require any machinery or any equipment. The exercises are really good and easy to perform. I recommend getting the paid app because you can add in 10 second and 30 second rest intervals, which I definitely advise because you need a little bit of downtime to perform at your maximum intensity for each exercise. You’ll see what I mean if you download the app. It’s also available in Android Play store. So, between that and Gymboss 2 for my kickboxing exercises, I am pretty much all set at the gym. The key things for any kickboxing work, is that you wear proper hand wraps (Mexican 180″ hand wraps) and some proper weighted boxing gloves (the ones I use are 18oz). with ankle weights on, all limbs are weighed down. When I take off my gloves, I punch extremely quickly and the same goes for my legs when the ankle weights are off. The only opponent is your own fitness level and your own mind. You can just punch more frequently, harder, quicker, and move around quicker and faster, so you can always make the work out much harder for yourself, just by putting more effort in. Having 3 minutes per round allows you to do that.
My regime to lose the last few pounds
So, to finish this blog post off here was my typical diet and exercise regime to lose the last few kilos of weight:
2 medium slices of bread
1 can of tuna
25 g of almonds
Quinoa with kidney beans (about 400 g)
Mid afternoon snack
Late afternoon snack
1 kiwi fruit
No exercise apart from walking from the station to work.
For the weekend
2 pieces of bread
1 can of tuna
Then I’ll go for a workout, kickboxing work out, hard, with 2.5kg ankle weight per ankle.
600g Venison steak cooked with
Real unsalted butter.
Whatever I want! e.g. KFC, Curry takeaway, Fish and chips.
It’s an ongoing thing
So, in summary if you want to lose weight quickly you have to be extremely strict, if you follow me on My fitness pal you can go through my entire food diary since July 27th 2013 and you can see what I had to eat every single day and how many calories I burned through exercise. It’s harder now as I’ll see that person eating a slice of cake and I’ll want a piece of that cake. I can let myself go now and again but it’s best if I only have it on the weekend when I’m working out, when my metabolism is kicked into over drive from exercise. My weight will always go up and down by a range of 2kg, but the after burn of my weekend workout normally lasts until around Wednesday, so I typically see a rapid decline in weight as the fat burn continues. You don’t have to follow what I’ve done but if you do, then feel free to make changes to what I’ve done, if you don’t want to follow what I’ve done and want to try something else just make sure that you are completely focused and you have the right frame to do it. The hardest thing about any new diet is getting started so just get started and you’ll be heading in the right direction. Whatever happens, all the best and good luck with your weight goals! Mine now is just to remain stable, at 73kg.