Embarking On The Next Weight Loss Journey
A long time has passed since my last post. In fact, it has been a whole year during which a lot has happened. To summarise, I met an adorable woman, I ran a half-marathon, I travelled the world, and I have been maintaining my weight loosely around the 93kg mark. The latter is slightly annoying – while preparing for the half-marathon I had a medical examination and while it confirmed my general health and fitness, it also determined my body fat percentage at around 25%.
Ever since I started to gain weight during my twenties I have been dreaming of a lean body. I ballooned up to 118kg and then decided to change my eating patterns about 5 years ago, and quickly lost and kept off 20kg, and while some would consider that a big achievement, I really wanted more. In retrospect it is difficult to say why I could never overcome the 90kg “barrier” … but the past is the past.
What could be a reasonable goal for me? I always used weight as the “currency” for weight loss, but maybe body fat percentage is more appropriate. 20 years ago I weighed 80kg and wasn’t totally lean – who knows what it would mean for me 20 years later to weigh 80kg again. Body fat percentage is a better metric since it takes lean tissue into account. I will try to go for 12%, which is quite ambitious for a 40 years old guy.
Initially I wanted to write a lot about my strategy, but it is actually very simple:
- Eat adequate protein
- Skip some meals (eat 1-2 meals per day)
- Eat only when hungry
- Alternate days of caloric deficit with days of caloric balance, in alignment with exercise (the more exercise, the less deficit)
- Maintain a weekly caloric deficit consistently
- Eat clean most of the time (80/20 rule)
- Fast/junk food and candy/sweets are fine occasionally, as long as caloric deficit is maintained
- During vacations and holidays the diet is modified: Caloric balance and more daily meals allowed (breakfast)
- Macros: neither low-fat nor low-carb
- No excessive calorie tracking – instead eat a small, but varied number of meals with known macros/calories
I’ve been on this protocol for 10 days now and it feels great. Obviously it is a form of intermittent fasting, but I never liked that term because it sounds so complicated. I always found it quite easy to skip breakfast – which is actually a bad way to put it. I would rather say that I wait a couple of hours after waking up so that I hav my breakfast at lunch time.
Why do that? Because I enjoy having big meals and find it easy to skip meals. I know many people who say that they absolutely cannot do it. I’m not sure whether that is actually true for all of them – I know that when I regularly have breakfast in the morning, suddenly skipping it causes cravings for me. Those tend go away after a couple of days, but that may not ve the case for everyone. Regardless, I do not recommend this approach as a one size fits all solution, and in the coming months we will see if it even works for me. It surely did in the past.
That’s all for now … stay tuned for updates on my progress, as well as some book reviews.