The Big Man Shrinks

Losing weight without going on a diet.

Great news! — March 20, 2016

Great news!

Folks, I’m 10 or so weeks in and have lost around 12kg or close to 2 stone! The slow carb diet is proving to be rather easy to follow and there’s only been a few days where I’ve been tempted to stray away from it.

Our weekly cheat day, Faturday, has been a godsend as we don’t have to delay cravings for very long. Friday is probably the toughest day of the week due to the end of week traditions of excess and the proximity of Faturday… but I endure with a snack of Biltong and a glass of Malbec after dinner to keep me on track.

The best bit is that I have now lost 11cm from my stomach and have dropped a shirt size!

This is one very happy Pete…

Faturday – a response and another win. — February 6, 2016

Faturday – a response and another win.

Good news everybody, I beat my first month goal of losing a stone. Four weeks has seen me lose 7 kilograms which is definitely over a stone.

Have I done this on other weight loss methods? Yes. Have I found them easy? No.

I repeat, no. This, however is a walk in the park.

Today I got a message from a good friend who thinks I should be following the eat less, move more lifestyle change that I initially set out to do. It was my intention all along to lose weight that way and my god I tried and tried again, all the while studying the human body and its various quirks… looking for an understanding of why I was finding it so hard. I haven’t taken his view hard, but feel that It might be an time to share a bit more about why I’ve chosen this method.

I guess what my friend is finding hard to grasp is cheat day, or as we’re calling it, Faturday. Faturday has quite a few scientific reasons behind it and, as it’s working well for me, I’m using it as an experiment day to see what can turbocharge its effect.

The psychological effect that makes Faturday so successful is delayed gratification vs blocked desires. If I fancy fried chicken on Wednesday I just tell myself that I’ll have it Saturday and the desire is gone. I might have it Saturday, I might not – but I can. Today, for example, I had a Krispy Kreme doughnut. I don’t normally like them that much, but I was curious to see if my sweet tooth has been affected by my lack of sugar and although I had the idea on Tuesday, it was no big deal to wait until Faturday.

The physical reason for Faturday is to stop your body from going into starvation mode. Go nuts, and your metabolism follows. I don’t think that needs too much explanation.

As for the whole slow-carb thing, in his book Tim Ferriss talks about discussing the idea with scientific friends who stated that their funding would be at risk if they took the idea too seriously. Nobody should be too surprised to hear this, but an Institute in Israel has taken the idea to the next level. (really worth clicking on)

Tim hooked himself up to a machine normally given to diabetics and studied his insulin levels after everything he ate. He then shared his results with friends and others while looking at their findings, before realising that a lot of westerners have trouble with ingesting white carbs.

Today is my fourth Faturday and I’m still experimenting with it. We drink grapefruit juice before our two main meals and have caffeine and Cissus with it, along with our tension exercises. There was a post on one of my blogs that I can’t find right now extolling the virtues of a block of 65-75% dark chocolate around brunch time. The crux of it is that dark chocolate, being more bitter than sweet, is a natural appetite suppressant and I certainly felt its effects today when I almost had to force myself to eat lunch and now, past 8:30pm, I have no real desire to eat dinner. However, eat dinner I must and there’s a chicken kiev in my near future.

My biggest challenge has been in drinking enough water. Without wanting to be graphic, it’s not just about staying hydrated, but also about aiding the passage of food through your body. When I’m not near a tap all day it’s proving to be something I need to do better.

So, long story short, so long as I’m losing weight or centimetres week after week and enjoying this, I will be keeping on it. My insulin is stable and my moods are wonderful, I’m rarely hungry and my desires don’t have to be delayed for more than a few days.

As for what happens when I hit target weight, I slowly adjust my diet to maintenance mode and make this a lifestyle change. If I put a bit of weight on, I go back to slow carb for a week or two to lose it again. I have no problem with that.

3 weeks down and great results — January 30, 2016

3 weeks down and great results

Wow, this is proving to be a pretty easy way to lose weight. After 3 weeks (well, 2 weeks and 5 days) I have lost 6kg, leaving me just a few hundred grams shy of my 1 month target. That’s right, I’m almost guaranteed to hit the stone in a month goal. This includes a night of excess half way through my second week where we had a big night out and I completely disregarded the diet.

My scales aren’t giving me consistent body fat percentages so I’m guessing I’m just under 5% down. The tape measure, however, is telling good news. I’ve never had far arms or legs, so it’s no surprise that those measurements are pretty stable. The best bit is that my stomach is already 8cm smaller… that’s over 3 inches in 3 weeks!

Breakfasts are still mostly egg-based, either omelettes or scrambled, with some of last night’s dinner thrown in to up the protein. Dinners have been pretty varied – stir frys, steak and veg, sausage and garlic bean mash, chilli con carne among many others.

I’m missing the concept of rice a lot more than the rice itself. Being the creative cook, I’ve ground dry red lentils to a flour which I use as a thickening agent in sauces, but also combine with chicken stock to make chapatis that are as tasty as any flatbread.

Today is Faturday (not a typo) and we’re embracing it fully. A burger and fries at the local cafe combined with a chocolate shake and followed by a coke was a great lunch, while tonight we’re going out for a Michelin starred meal. There will be no shortage of booze and our friend Cissus will take care of the damage.

Onwards and downwards!

End of week one — January 17, 2016

End of week one

I write this half way through my first Sunday, which I’m calling day 1 of my second week. The 4-hour body diet has been fantastic – I’ve loved the food and been fascinated by the scientific approach. I’ve got to say, this seems to be a diet I can follow and stick to for more than a few weeks.

I’ve eaten bangers and (bean) mash, a few stir frys, chilli con carne with guacamole and refried beans and even my own take on Raymond Blanc’s confit of duck with beans. Breakfasts have consisted of lots of eggs and other added proteins. Think omelettes, scrambled eggs and this morning I had a version of huevos rancheros without a tortilla. Variety has not been an issue, nor has the quality of the food.

Saturday was both measurements day and cheat day – I’ll share the measurements below. My cheat lunch was a pub burger with a pint and a half of pale ale, then for dinner we had some friends over and fired up my pizza oven before consuming 6 pizzas between 4 of us and 4 bottles of wine between 3 of us. Each meal was accompanied by tension exercises, grapefruit juice, caffeine and cissus quadrilangus supplements. And I lost half a kilo that day alone.

I feel great… my energy levels are much more constant and I’m not so tired in the morning. I haven’t even had any gastrointestinal side effects from the increase in bean consumption.

And now the news. I measure both biceps, both thighs, my waist and my stomach. This week I lost a combined 7cm from them.

But best of all, I lost 2.5kg – that’s almost half a stone!

Bring on week 2. This week I’m adding further supplements to supercharge things.

Day 4 and mostly loving it — January 14, 2016

Day 4 and mostly loving it

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog I have previously tried Atkins and hated it. All protein and no carbs makes Pete a grumpy boy. You’ll be pleased to know that I’m not feeling this way about the slow carb diet.

Am I missing white carbs? A little bit. Right now I’d love to be chewing on a crusty white bit of bread, but conversely I just threw 2 loaves of bread in the compost with no remorse or regret. I can always have chips on cheat day and according to my mother’s nutritionist, rice is full of arsenic and we shouldn’t eat it anyway.

So all in all, I’m good. My wife is enjoying it as well, in the most part.

The one thing that we haven’t adjusted to yet is meal frequencies and timings. We’re both getting hungry towards meal time and haven’t planned ahead with snacks. That is being resolved shortly as a supermarket truck full of protein and allowed carbs is due this morning.

Meals have been great – chilli con carne, bangers and (white bean) mash and many more. I’ll be sharing the best of them over on Thyme On Your Hands.

As for progress, my jeans were a little less snug yesterday and I have lost weight – but I’ll share the results of week one on Saturday.

It’s deja-vu all over again — January 10, 2016

It’s deja-vu all over again

Friends, family and random strangers, lend me your ears. I have completely fallen off the wagon and returned to my previous heaviest weight. It’s taken three years, but the vast majority has taken just 18 months. It’s time to make a lot of change.

Firstly, my wife and I have decided to return to our native Australia after 14 years here in the UK. Giving our 18 month old son a better life is the driving reason, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think that my weight issues were linked to how I handle the terrible weather here.

As the weight has been climbing I have been very aware of the need to lose it and have been reading a lot of books and blogs as well as watching documentaries. In the end I have decided to follow the book that I initially wrote off as a bit of a joke – that is until I started reading the author’s unrelated books.

Tim Ferriss, some of you may know, is a hugely successful entrepreneur, author of 3 best selling books and an utter human guinea pig. His teachings in The 4-Hour Week were an evolution of my own business practices, rather than a revelation, so I read The 4-Hour Chef – although this is aimed at kitchen novices.

In reading these 2 books I learned that Mr Ferriss has been obsessed with weight-loss and fitness his entire adult life, so given my agreement with so much in previous books I decided that reading it wouldn’t hurt me.

What I found is a book full of ideas that make sense to me along with some really surprising insights into supplements. It’s all backed up with stats and real results – good and bad – so I’ve decided to follow it for a while to see if I get great results. It even compliments everything I loved about The Gabriel Method. This time, my wife will be joining me on this adventure.

My approach this time is different. I have written a really complex spreadsheet to monitor every physical aspect of my body change, complete with graphs and trend lines. The fact seems to be clear; I can reach my goal weight before we get to Australia.

Here’s what the new approach looks like:

  • Slow-carb diet 6 days a week and for breakfast on the 7th. In short, eat nothing white.
  • Lunch and dinner on the 7th day will be accompanied by Cillus Quadrilangus supplements to reduce calorie absorption into fat cells
  • There will be brief periods of exercise before and after meals to stimulate Glut4 proteins
  • PAGG stack supplements will be considered after the first month, pending results.

And my goals are:

  • Lose 3cm off my waist in the first week.
  • Lose 1 stone (6.4kg) in my first month.
  • Lose 36kg (5.65 stone) by June 15th.
  • Build muscle and lower my body fat to 20% – target date to be set in June.

Right… enough talking. It’s time to go enjoy my last meal before this starts.

I’m hungry… for change. — August 19, 2015

I’m hungry… for change.

I’ve always maintained that I was going to lose weight without going on a diet. Well, that wasn’t necessarily true as I was counting calories when I had my biggest batches of weight loss.

I still maintain that diets are a bad thing. I mean, seriously… how can you function on fewer nutrients when you weren’t getting snout to begin with? I’ve been googling, watching TED talks, feasting on information and then I stumble across a documentary called Hungry for Change that changed it all. A penny dropped. I’d been thinking in the right direction all along, I just didn’t have all the information I needed.

In this documentary I learnt of Jon Gabriel. A man who had been my age and far heavier. A man whose story paralleled mine in so many ways. A man who had tried every diet he could find and always put on more weight. A man who was on my screen looking trim and terrific.

A man who had become trim and terrific without the help of a diet.

I had to know more, so I’ve grabbed his book and you know what? It makes sense. If you’re fat it’s because your body wants you to be fat. Your body isn’t your enemy, it’s your friend and you’ve convinced it that being fat is the best thing for you. No matter what you do, you will return to being fat until you can convince your body that you need to be slim.

To do that, you first need to understand why your body is storing fat to prepare for a famine or an ice age. Jon talks in depth about the psychology of this element as well as how to then go about making the change. Maybe it’s just my parallels to his, but I’m loving every page as I experience revelation after revelation.

I’m hooked and plan on finishing the book by the end of the weekend. I hope it continues to make as much sense to me as it does so far.

As I mentioned the other day, I’ve started looking after myself again and have lost a little over 3 kilograms, or about half a stone. Most importantly, the scales now start with 12, making me a shade over 10kg heavier than my lightest weight in almost 15 years. 10kg isn’t hard for me to lose so long as I keep focus.

Onwards and downwards 🙂