I’ve been taking a more proactive approach to my health over the last two years. Amongst over achievements, I have:
- Lost around 16kg (Around 2 stone, 8 lb) – 18% of my entire weight.
- Dropped my BMI from 28 (Nearly obese) to 23 (Middle of normal).
- Started running – and competing in a weekly 5K at runwithkick.com.
- Taken part in my first Triathlon.
My “magic” technique
There’s an old cycling adage that holds a lot of truth:
You get fit on the bike;
but you lose weight in the kitchen.
I’ve always been fairly active, walking and cycling around Sheffield’s hills, but I’ve also always been completely able to eat a large pizza, followed by a large tub of Ben & Jerry’s.
The simple fact of the matter is, to lose weight, you need to eat less calories than your body is using. There needs to be a deficit. Thanks to calorie counting, a few lifestyle hacks, and a general awareness of the fact that its better to be fit than full, the weight has steadily come off.
Not quite there yet
Unfortunately, as the graph above shows, it easily goes back on. Whilst overall I’ve made a steady progress, I’m keen to skip to the end now. I’ve been aiming for 65kg for several years, and I’m planning a final push.
That would take my BMI to just under 22, and, I estimate, leave me with little enough belly fat that a six pack would emerge.
Last night, I came across an article by a chap who has lost around 40kg, and I showed his progress photo (below) to Katherine (my lovely wife), asking: “If you could choose, which body would I have?”. We’ve both come a long way over the last few years in opening up, and talking in a healthy weight about diet, about calories, and about fitness – I’m proud that she knows she can answer a question like that honestly, without hurting me.
She chose the second from right image. Mildly muscular, low body fat.
Now, I have a healthy weight at the moment. I’m fairly happy with how I look, how I feel, and how I weigh. But I’ve always wondered how it would feel to be a bit more slim and muscular. And there is no shame in wanting to look sexy for your wife: frankly, it’s my duty.
I’m aiming to lose 1kg a week (around 2.2lb). This is a healthy amount of weight loss to aim for – its recommended in the NHS Weight Loss guide. I will do this by maintaining a calorie deficit of around 1,000 calories a day.
For fitness, I imagine I will have a fair bit more muscle work to do at the end, but for now I’m going to carry on my normal running and cycling, but commit to completing the New York Times 7 Minute workout once a day.
I’m not a big believer than the macronutrient mix has a huge impact on metabolism; but I do know that protein makes me feel full more easily than carbs, which helps to hit calorie deficit goals. I’m going to be aiming for roughly 40% protein, 20-30% fat and 30-40% carbs.
Encouragement is very helpful to me. Kind words, fat jokes, comments on how ridiculous I look in those cycling socks – anything with a spirit of “I’m behind you!” would be great. Feel free to text me, facebook me, tweet me; comments on the blog are especially nice to get.
If you want advice about making lifestyle changes yourself, drop me a message.
I’ll be doing a weekly update post, but I’m going to keep track of some key stats below.
One finding I’m expecting is that my basal metabolic rate may be higher than I give myself allowance for. This will show itself in me losing weight faster than planned. If so, I may need need to increase my daily calorific intake by 100-200kcal. I can definitely cope with having to eat a chocolate bar.
I may also find that I run out of abdominal fat after 4 or 5 kilos. If so, I’ll stop.