Saturday, 31 August 2013

Weekly Weigh-In

First real week of my slow transition to Paleo down, and I am happy to report a solid loss of 1.4 kilograms! This made me so excited when I jumped on the scales this morning, because I had no idea what to expect.

I stuck to my Paleo inspired eating goals of no whole foods, no grains or legumes and no non-naturally occurring sugars (i.e. anything other than natural sugars in fruit and honey) pretty well. The only real deviation I made was my daily Pepsi Max (which I am dreading giving up) and yesterday when I had a couple of dolmades as a snack. They contained what is safe to assume was bleached white rice (rice seems to be a bit of a Paleo grey area depending on who you talk to, with some people saying it's ok as long as it's polished white rice, not chemically treated white rice or any form of brown rice) and some sort of plant oil.

I haven't counted calories, at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most days I would have been over my daily intake, yet I had a really good loss. I had decided at the beginning of the week to let myself eat whenever I was hungry, to make the week easier (and more likely to be successful). That seemed to work really well, as I didn't feel trapped or stressed by the changes. I had a couple of night when I was ravenous and ate more than I would normally allow myself, but for the most part I found that I stayed really satiated after a meal for a long period of time.

Today's weigh in was really positive (the first positive one in a while), and it was really motivating to see such a good loss with the changes to my eating.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Going Paleo

I've waited for a little bit to write this post on my transition into the Paleo way of eating, because I wanted to be sure that it was something that I really want to do (the diet, not the post). The Paleo (A.K.A primal, caveman, ancestral, etc.) diet was something that I became introduced to in a very superficial way when I started reading a lot of health and weight loss blogs. I definitely wrote it off as a fad diet, which was something that I just wasn't interested in, in my efforts to get healthy. I didn't really explore it or endeavor to learn much about it, for that reason.

Then, in a comment on a recent post of mine, Josh from 700 Pounds is as Bad as it Sounds (check out his blog if you haven't read it) recommended that I watch the documentary Fat Head, made by comedian Tom Naughton. In short, it's a sort of response to the documentary Super Size Me that disproves a lot of the findings from the movie. More than that, it addresses some of the misinformation that we accept to be true in the modern diet. Some of the information in the documentary was absolutely mind blowing, and seemed to be backed up by at least some science. I decided to do a bit of research about the movie and to look into whether the claims in the movie were backed up by good science.

From what I could see, it had a pretty solid foundation of research behind it, which made me more and more intrigued. I looked more into Tom Naughton, and found out that he now followed and was a big advocate for the Paleo diet. From there, my interest in the Paleo diet was kind of piqued, and I slowly began actually looking into what it was and what it was based on. I spent quite a few weeks doing a lot of online research and finding out more. What I found really made sense to me.

I like the idea of whatever diet I am going to consume being heavily supported by research. Paleo really ticks this box for me. Although I initially assumed it to be simply copying what our primal ancestors consumed, it is actually supported up by quite a significant body and research and science. There seems to be a lot of consideration for what nutritional research is saying about eating for optimal health, and from what I've seen has a big role in the culture of the Paleo community. I'm way too green to explain more about Paleo, and won't presume to know basically anything about it, so for anyone who's interested I would recommend starting with Robb Wolf's website for a really simple explanation.

So, over the last couple of weeks, I've been letting everything I've learned sink in. I've weighed up whether or not I think that Paleo is something that I want to do, given that it will mean some really extreme dietary changes. I gave it time to see if my interest went away, but it really didn't. I've been really excited by the whole idea. So, in the last week and a half, I've decided to start attempting a slow transition into trialing Paleo eating for myself.

Right now, I'm working on eating almost completely whole foods and taking out some of the most commonly avoided foods in Paleo, like grains, legumes and non-natural sugars.  I'm barely dipping my toe in and I've already felt some improvements in my energy. I've also had some negative reactions, which I'm told are normal in the early stages as the body adjusts to fueling itself with a new fuel source (i.e. proteins and fats, rather than carbohydrates).

It hasn't been easy, especially when it comes to figuring out exactly what I can eat, but I feel really good about it. I feel like, given the current evidence base (which may and probably will change), I'm doing what makes most sense for my health right now. Absolutely not just for weight loss, but for my long term physiological health. I'm approaching this trial run with what I hope is a bit of healthy skepticism, but I'm excited to see if there really are any benefits to eating the Paleo way.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Weekly Weigh-In

Blergh. Just a quick update to say I've had another crazy up and down weight week. Today my scales said I've put on two kilograms in two days... I haven't been eating badly, or doing anything different. Even if I had that swing seems a bit extreme. I have no idea what my crazy body is up to. The only cause I can think of for all of the wacky weight changes is this very persistent cold I've been fighting.

It's been hanging around for more than two weeks now, but I'm finally feeling on the mend. Hopefully this week my weight will at least be somewhat consistent. If I'm lucky I may even be able to lose a little bit of weight!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Weekly Weigh-In

Eep, I meant to get this up on Sunday, and three days later I'm finally getting around to it! Better late than never I suppose! So, last week was ALL over the place weight wise. On Sunday, I weighed myself and had lost 0.3 kg since the Sunday before. Not bad, but strange seeing as on the Wednesday I had weighed myself and the scales seemed to think I had lost more than 2.5 kg...

I have no idea what that's all about, and I'm just going to put it down to the effects of this cold that I still cannot shake after 2 weeks, and the fact that I did treat myself more than a little for my birthday.

Regardless of weight loss, I'm pretty happy with last week. Yes, I could have done without a few dinners out and treats, but aside from the birthday celebrations, I was REALLY good. I ate very low carb pretty much all week, and kept my kilojoules down as well. Exercise wasn't quite so good, because I did none. I kept putting it off because I was worried that the freezing early morning walks might make me more sick and I couldn't risk that because of work. In the end I should have just gone, because this cold doesn't seem to want to get better regardless of what I do.

Probably the worst thing I did last week though, was visit my local San Churro Chocolateria with some friends AFTER a dinner out. We ordered a whole heap of naughty chocolaty food and drinks, and it was delicious. See the drink that looks like someone's melted a chocolate bar into a mug? That was my drink. It was so thick and rich I couldn't get through half of it (thank goodness) and while we ordered a lot, we didn't get through even a third of each dessert (which we all shared). Still doesn't make it a healthy choice, but I was surprised at the moderation I was able to use.

This week I'm focusing on eating low carb and whole foods as much as possible, and learning more about nutrition. I'm finding that knowing more about food and how foods interact with the body is really motivating me.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week... I Don't Even Know

This week has been all about taking the first steps to refocusing and eating better. It's been a good chance to reflect, but not so good for losing weight. In fact, my scales tell me that I've gained a whole kilogram since yesterday! I'm not too worried about not seeing a loss this week, as my focus was more on making mental changes, and the fact that I've had the flu since Thursday has probably had an impact too.

Regardless of the lack of a loss, I'm pretty happy with how I've been this week. I've been very mindful of my eating, making much better choices. I continued to exercise daily, until I became sick. Overall, I would count this week as a good week.

In the new week, my aim is to go a bit stricter, especially with my eating. I want to start slowly reducing the amount of carbs in my diet, planning my days food and counting kilojoules. I did my weekly planning and shopping today, and I've got some yummy and healthy meals planned, which should help. I'd also like to work on getting my water intake up, again. Without fail, it is the one thing that just slips my mind. If I can get all of these things happening, even a little bit, I should hopefully see a loss this week.

The one thing that could potentially screw up my grand plans is that it's my birthday on Thursday. This means at least two dinners out this week, and probably some going easy on myself, because, you know, it's my birthday. Damn getting older! In any case, I'm going to do my best to stick to my goals this week, because there are plenty of better ways to celebrate my 25th than with food.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

I'm Stuck

In terms of my weight loss, I'm completely stuck. I haven't put on weight in months and I haven't lost it either. Instead I've just hovered within a 2 kilogram window that I can't seem to break out of. Worst of all, this isn't a dreaded plateau, it's completely self inflicted. I haven't been doing enough. Especially for the last few weeks. I haven't been bad, but I haven't been paying much attention to my food, or water intake. The only thing I have been doing is exercising.

To be honest, I am a little surprised that I haven't at least seen a slow and gradual loss, given that I have been regularly exercising and my eating hasn't been anywhere near as bad as it used to be. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't counting on this being the case, that I could just give up and still lose weight. In hindsight though, I haven't been so bad that I shouldn't have seen some loss.

I don't know why is it that I'm so stuck right now. I have patches where I'm back to doing everything right, then all of a sudden it's gone. I'm only now starting to get frustrated with myself for it. I don't know if maybe my weight loss so far has sort of been enough to make me proud of myself that I'm not as highly motivated to keep going. Or maybe I've just had an off patch that I've been too lenient with and allowed to go on for too long. I can't make sense of it, and I want to know why I'm doing it. So I can kick it in the butt and keep going, and avoid it again in the future.

I'm trying not to get too down on myself, as making myself feel guilty has never helped me. All it does is make things harder. Instead, I'm working on finding positive ways to move forward and gain back the focus on my health that I had before. Things like learning about nutrition (which I REALLY enjoy, shockingly), and getting up early to do my morning walk. If I keep focusing on these things that I enjoy doing, and setting myself small goals, hopefully I will find my way back to losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle. I really want to. I'm not satisfied with going back to where I was, and it's such a slippery slope back to that. I want to keep moving forward, for my health and my future.

Has anyone else gotten stuck, be it for a short or long while? What did you do to get out of it?