Wow, it has been a long time since I wrote a blog post. Such is life in the world of Twitter, Foursquare, etc…
I have many weight and diet stories I could share, but will focus on the last 13-14 months since in that time I have lost 30 lbs, gained 20 lbs, and as of last week, lost 11.5 lbs.
This journey started at the end of December 2009 when I finally received my fitbit. I was weighing in around 245, the largest I have ever been and was going to get serious about loosing weight. So started immediately on my diet by doing what I know best: Eat better and less, exercise more. I will call this the “starve and sweat” diet. I tracked everything I ate and every bit of exercise using the fitbit website/application.
Over the next 4-5 months, I limited myself to under 1500 calories while burning over 3000 calories. My exercise routine went from just weights 3-4 mornings a week, to adding about 15 miles of running and 10 miles of biking a week. During this time I lost 30 lbs. and maintained that weight loss by running and biking more until mid September 2010. That was when I injured my Achilles tendon and running/biking became impossible.
After a couple of weeks, the Achilles was not getting any better so I finally went to the doctor and said I must get back to running ASAP. I started rehab near the end of October
and by the beginning of December was back to running - except 20 lbs heavier than I was in September. So back to the “starve and sweat” diet. and through the beginning of February 2011 I have lost 11 of the 20 lbs. Then I came across and read the book by Gary Taubes “Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It” (was an Audible.com pick on the podcast Windows Weekly). To summarize, he suggests that getting fat has nothing to do with calories in/calories out, but what you eat. Today’s obesity epidemic is due to the large quantities of easily digestible and cheap carbohydrates. He uses the science of fat cells as the basis that our fat, just like our height, is determined by genes and hormones. For the fat cell this is insulin. Calories, Fat and other supposed causes of excess fat have no interaction with our fat, but insulin production and sugars have direct impact. Thus refined and easily digestible carbohydrates that turn to sugar causes triglycerides in our fat cells to get to large so that they just store fat. Mr. Taubes shows how science proves this and that you can eat all you like and still get lean as long as you are not eating these carbohydrates. This has been known for over 100 years scientifically but in the 1960’s obesity turned to a physiological issue that we are just lazy and eat to much. There is so much good stuff in this book that will make you think, agree, question, etc… that I could spend 100 blog posts explaining. My success at recent weight loss according to this book is due to my “starve” part of my diet since I am limiting these bad carbs/sugar. Of course, no one believes me when I explain this, so I will let you read the book yourself, but will provide my experience of trying this change in food consumption on me.
So what am I doing? Well I have changed from a calorie limited intake to a carbohydrate & sugar limited intake. Less concerned with calorie intake or the amount of food. Will continue the “sweat” portion of my diet.
Before starting the carb and sugar free diet, I was averaging 1.4 lbs loss per week.
Week 1 results: Removed any potatoes, pasta, rice, high-carb cereals, and most “sugars”. Maintained lower calorie intake. Lost 4 lbs. (wow!)
Week 2 results: Changed to eating a lot of Chicken, beef, eggs, cheese, salads & nuts. Increased total overall calorie intake, so no more “starve” in diet. Lost 3/4 of a lb..
I will update here as I go. Preliminary thoughts are to combine my “starve & sweat” with “no carbs/sugar & sweat” to loose the weight fast, then switch to “no carbs/sugar & sweat” to maintain. But before doing that, I will see if I can loose the weight with the “no carbs/sugar & sweat” with the higher calorie intake.