Doula life and birth stories

Sunday, 28 August 2016

16-8 weight loss diary...and so it begins!

I'm not in the picture here, but it's a big fry up.


This is all part of the journey, and not something I ever imagined I would write about. Eating is so personal, but if sharing this helps someone, or helps me by connecting with other people on the journey, I'm happy with that.

I am beginning my weight loss journey today. My BMI is 29.5, so borderline obese, and I am about two and a half to three stone too heavy. I'm craving sugar all the time and my food cravings and late night binges on fatty sugary snacks are showing me that something has to be done.

Over all, I have a vegetarian diet, with lots of raw vegetables, fruit, juices, nuts and seeds.  I'm just getting into fermented foods.  I do eat fish, and eggs.  Which all sounds really great... If only I didn't supplement this nice healthy stuff with a shed load of whatever chocolatey, biscuity, cakey goodies I can get my hands on at 10.30 at night.  Cheese, crackers sandwiches and crisps will do if there isn't any sweet stuff around.  Oh and downing a bottle of wine at the weekend probably doesn't help either.  I enjoy my dog walks with Ernie, and have been known to break into a run occasionally. I like swimming weight training with Dave in the gym, but I haven't gotten myself into a regular pattern of going, which is something else I need to change.

Research shows that late night fatty, sugary snacking is the worse thing for blood sugars, as the body takes much longer to deal with all that food both mechanically in the stomach, and physiologically with blood sugar and insulin levels at night.  I am worried that my sugar cravings and the fact that I give in to them a lot, is setting me up for an unhealthy future.

breaking my fast with this salad
Last year I began intermittent fasting. I tried the 5:2 diet, where you fast for 2 days, and eat normally the other 5 days. I couldn't fast on set days, and struggled with erratic work pattern fitting this fast in.  Trying to weight train around fast days was tricky for me too. Then I heard about the 16:8 and suspected, correctly, that this would suit me much better.  There is research here showing that intermittent fasting is beneficial not only for weight loss.  A fast for 16 hours sets of the body's mechanisms for self-repair, and for counteracting disease processes.  The idea is to eat the same amount of food, but in a shorter window of time over 24 hours.  I favoured putting off breakfast until around 1 or 2 pm, then not eating beyond 8pm, which I did find really tough at times.  I had great results with this method of weight loss, but I lost focus this time last year when I had some emotional and health set-backs.  Nothing big or serious, just life stuff, but it seemed to knock me back into unhealthy patterns, which I have not properly shaken off since.

I sat down to write about my experiences with the 16:8, but when it came to the personal parts about what I'm hoping to achieve this time, I made some unpleasant discoveries.  I've never been very weight-focused, I usually go by whether my clothes fit.  When I eat well and weight train I usually get heavier anyway, as muscle weighs more than fat.  Writing this post, I realised that my woolly ideas about roughly how much I weigh and how much I need to weigh might be fine up in my head, but wouldn't look good in writing, so I decided to get specific.  That's when I found out that I weigh a stone more than I thought I did, and that I need to lose two stones more than I thought I did.  Just to pop a cherry on the top,  my BMI calculations put me at obese.  Already this blog is helping me to focus!

toasted nuts with fennel seeds 
So the idea this time is to eat within my 8 hour window, and to cut out sugar.  I did the worst thing possible last night and had a curry and couple of glasses of red wine, finishing around 9pm, so my blood sugar levels have plummeted this morning.  Its nearly 2pm, I haven't eaten for 17 hours and  I'm feeling daunted, light-headed, but not actually hungry. 

 I'm going to make a big, leafy green salad now with toasted nuts and a tin of oily fish.  I'm using Tesco Mackerel in tomato sauce which my app ' My Fitness Pal' informs me is 278 calories. I know this contains sugar in the tomato sauce...deal with it!!  I thoroughly recommend the My Fitness Pal app if you're looking for something to support your weight loss. It has lots of common foods stored,and a scanner for bar codes.  You can enter your daily exercise as well, and from your initial profile set up which includes daily calorie intake aim, it shows you a running total of calories for that day, and a projection forward calculating how long your desired weight loss will take at your present rate.

  I'll keep you posted, and please leave me your comments and meal ideas and let me know how you're getting on on your weight loss journey.
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