I thought I’d do a post about my weight and body composition… and tell you about one simple thing I’ve done, and got good results easily.
My weight has been pretty stable for most of 2021… but it seemed to be going up again from April to July, so I thought I’d experiment a bit. I’ll tell you what I did soon.
Here’s my weight graph since 2013… mostly up up up until 2020 when I experimented between March to July by simply eating less, still exercising a lot, and not being greedy, and lost 10lbs.
But when I when back to my usual (perhaps greedy) ways, my weight bounced back up to just below what it had been in early 2020. It’s called the set point I believe, where your body strives to get back to the weight it was used to.
The numbers are all relative to me, my height, and my body composition, but I got down to about 130lbs by Autumn 2020 and averaged around 130-134lbs.
Then nearly a year on, and by the middle of July I’d gone back up to about 140lbs and decided it was time to make a change.
This has become the top of where I want my weight to be – mostly because clothes tend to get tighter at this point, but also as I feel more good about myself when I’m at about 135lbs. It’s as simple as that.
So this time, in July, my starting point was:
19 July 2021 – 140.0lbs
24.2lbs body fat / 112.2lbs lean mass
See the wee peak in the faint line in the image below… then nearly three weeks on, and I’m now nearly 5lbs lighter.
Here’s where I’m at now:
6 August 2021 – 135.1lbs
22.1lbs body fat / 108.1lbs lean mass
A loss of -2.1lbs body fat,
and about -4lbs lean mass.
Down about 5lbs from that point in July anyway (water weight probably increased).
The graphs above compare month to month, and it’s showing losses of:
Body fat -1.8lbs
Lean mass -1.4lbs
It’s all going to plan – downwards anyway.
So how did I do it?
I kept my activity levels the same. But I changed HOW I eat.
Instead of eating out of habit (breakfast / snack / lunch / snack / dinner / treat = between 1,500-2,200 cals a day)…
… I followed a very lose intermittent fasting routine – 16:8. So eating in an 8 hour window, and mostly fasting in the remaining 16 hours. It was that simple.
I had my feed window between 11&12 to 7&8pm… and had coffee and water before I broke my fast in the mornings.
And on swim days I had a 200 cal rego shake to get coke calories / energy in, right after my swim at 8am (Thursday) or 10am (Sundays).
At weekends I was a bit more flexible, if we went out for breakfast, for example, but I did that we usually aren’t out that early so the routine worked fine then too.
The other thing I did was have any snacks at the same time as my neals, so I’m eating quite a lot of calories 400-600 at 11 or 12, then maybe a lunch sized portion 400 calories around 3 or 4 (or not) and then an evening meal of between 500-800 cals before 7 to 8pm.
All in all, I’m snacking less, making better choices (apple or higher protein foods instead of apollo / mars bars!) and eating less overall, but still getting enough energy. Although I am having the odd treat or ice cream after meals.
I’m hungry at points, but I see that as my body liking for energy, and hopefully getting it from some of the stored energy I have – carbs or body fat. We’re not used to being hungry, but it’s natural.
About a week to ten days in something odd happened. I started to not mind being hungry, and found it quite easy to get on with my morning after exercise, without breakfast.
There are also other benefits – as you’re not having breakfast, or saves you about 20 mins or so… and it’s also saved me buying all the extra food I’d usually eat.
It’s a win win. I’ve done something similar before but found that 2/5 fasts longer than 16 hours were too much for me … and apparently there’s theory to say that fasting longer than 16 hours doesn’t bring much more benefit.
This time I was inspired when my American friend Kim posted that she’d lost some lbs, and to check out Dr Jason Fung on YouTube. So I did.
Here’s a link if you have a spare 75 mins to watch it – https://youtu.be/7nJgHBbEgsE
It all makes sense – here’s my layman’s understanding of some of it and why it works:
– why do we need to eat 3-6 times a day? We don’t, but society has told us that we need to.
– if we eat less often, our bodies will have less insulin spikes. When insulin spikes our bodies tell us to store the energy we have (unless we use it).
– when we fast, our body goes to our stores of energy we have. This could be glycogen (carbs) or energy from out fats stores.
– if we skip breakfast, we wont die.
– fasting doesn’t need to be too rigid, make it work for your lifestyle, and be flexible.
– eat healthy food, and balance it to include high protein, limit or don’t eat processed / sweet foods.
– because you embrace the hunger, it means you don’t go grab a sugar fix, which leads to less calories / crap calories being consumed overall.
– And you fill yourself up well at 11 or 12 and 6 or 7.
And I was aiming for about my body weight in grams of protein, which ends up being about 1/3rd of my macro intake.
So that’s what I did… I did eat less calories overall…
1,700-1,800 calories per day on average when I wasn’t fasting.
1600-1700 calories per day on average when I was eating in an 8 hour window.
Not much difference overall. Around -500-700 less cals a week. But that, along with the fasting, and my body getting its energy from itself when I really need it, has led to the -5lb drop in weight in 3 weeks.
I have to admit, it’s very simple and easy. It’s easily something that I could change to as a way of life, and not see it as a ‘diet’… and it seems to work with my exercise and work in the morning too.
I’m still having a Chinese takeaway on a Friday night, and eating what I want,nice creams included, it’s just it’s a bit more regimented and I’m refraining from snacking out with when I have a meal.
Oh and if I’m hungry, I’m making sure I’m hydrated too. And I was careful around giving blood too, not being too restrictive then, and ensuring I drank lots of water to recover.
It’s not rocket science, or complicated, but it works for me. I’ll stick with it for a bit longer and see how it goes. It would be way to keep as a way of life / eating easily. And it might prevent me over eating when I don’t need it, and maintain my weight well.