Today I hit my 7k weight loss target through eating a Mediterranean diet (no, not pizzas)!

in Natural Medicine6 months ago (edited)

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It was when I noticed that my clothes were getting a bit uncomfortable coupled with a programme about losing a stone of lockdown weight in three weeks that I was prompted to start eating a bit differently.

The TV programme was based on a Mediterranean diet of 800 calories a day including lean protein, eggs, full-fat dairy, legumes, nuts, olive oil and masses of vegetables. Leafy green and non-starchy vegetables weren't included in the 800 calories a day total because "they were so important".

I balked at the 800 calories a day - or about 1,000 with the amount of vegetables included. It just made me really anxious about whether I was going to get enough food to eat and whether I was going to feel hungry. I aimed to keep under 1,450 calories a day, which worked well for me and, looking back, I come in at an average of about 1,300 daily calories. This allowed me to eat everything that I wanted, including the occasional glass of wine.

It's the pattern of eating that has changed quite a lot for me. I was schooled in the three meals a day, breakfast is the most important meal of day and the Eat Well Plate approach to nutrition. The Eat Well Plate is still promoted by the NHS and Public Health England, even though it is ridiculously out of date with the latest scientific findings. I always had a problem with it, being naturally inclined towards cheese, olive oil, nuts and avocados. "Too much fat", the fat police have shouted at me for decades.

I've never had much of a sweet tooth and most of my meals are home-cooked. I do have a soft spot for baked goods like crumpets, malt loaf and my favourite, home made bread with jam - leftovers from childhood tea-times - and a weekend treat is toast and marmalade with proper coffee and the papers. I'd been having increasing problems over the past year with really bad headaches when I was hungry and that was a major motivation for trying a different pattern of eating.

The TV programme (everyone involved did really well, by the way, which was a relief to me) was based on Michael Mosley's The Fast 800 which introduced me to some interesting new ideas including intermittent fasting. It was the first time I'd come across this, although it seems to be a thing at the moment. I try to eat within a restricted period with a fifteen hour fast between my last meal and the first one the next day.

It's worked pretty well for me, with a meal somewhere around 10.30-11.00am, and another one in the early evening, somewhere between 5-7pm. I found I didn't need three meals each day and recently, that's been dropping down to one main meal with more of a light meal (handful of nuts or some fish and vegetables) later in the day.

I'm really pleased with the results - I'm 15lbs lighter, 4 inches lost from my waist (I noticed my jeans, this morning, far from being too tight required hoisting up), my headaches are now only occasional and I rarely feel hungry. I also like having a couple of hours "free" in the evening, now that I am eating earlier. I like the break between working for someone else and "my time".

I am wondering now whether to try the Fast 800 for the next three weeks: am I ready to cope with that psychologically? I've certainly got enough vegetables to keep me going. A new greengrocer Green Tomato has started in my area "... Leicester's first emission-free carbon neutral mobile greengrocers ..." in addition to the weekly organic delivery I get from Eden Farms. Let's see what happens!

I did have a pizza, when I was in Liverpool recently, from Rudy's Pizza. It was flipping lovely! I also really enjoyed steak and chips at Castle St Townhouse. The soundtrack in the Townhouse was good, too, including Bobby Blue Bland singing Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City. They must have known I was coming.

Keep well, friends!

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Congratulations! How long did it take you to lose the pounds?


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Thankyou @missaj 😀
It took about eight weeks once I'd settled into the routine.
How's things with you?

Well, I’m down 3 kilos in a week. Consistency is required. Thanks for the motivation!

Yay! 😍

Well done on keeping with your diet. I really believe that once the body receives the nutrients it needs, especially if it is done during one meal then this sense of hunger disappears. So many people eat a lot of processed foods and their bodies keep craving more nutritious foods, hence why they feel hungrier more. Keep up the good work xxx
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I agree. Sometimes managing work and other factors impinge heavily on the opportunity to cook and eat well, but I am fortunate that I have a lot of control over that.

Sounds like a nice balanced approach and a great achievement!

You're probably just better off sticking with it rather than taking it to the next level - 800 calories is hardly anything in a day.

Why not just aim for being more active instead?!?

Walking is simply one of the best activities there is after all.

That sounds like a very right on Green Grocer!

Yes, could be a good idea to take the "if it ain't broke don't fix it approach", plus I have a busy work time coming up, so better to keep everything else on an even keel. Maybe think about confronting my personal food demons when I have a break from work!

I walk most days and I've kept up the Pilates three times a week. I was looking at a HIIT strategy or something to increase the intensity. Mind you, running after the mobile greengrocer is extending me a bit!

The mobile greengrocer is great, he has a good range and it is very fresh. The veg box supplier kept everything going through the lockdown, but sometimes I get a little tired of kale and leeks. It's good to have found an alternative green small business to supplement the box deliveries.

Yes dieting a busy working life don't tend to go hand in hand - I think just not eating for the morning is the only way to go there.

You must have a bad veg box, I thought most of them managed to keep manky onions going for most of winter too?!?

Thankfully there's no need for that here, there's a market once a week ram packed with local veg producers, it's great!

Not much running after them involve either, which I think is the way I prefer it!

Awesome job!

I recently bought the book and plan to delve into this. It wouldn't have been possible before with my blood clot medication but this has now been changed and I can largely do as I please when it comes to eating.

Dr Micheal Mosely's approach has helped a few people I know. A friend reversed her diabetes with his previous approach to intermittent fasting and a colleague has lost 9kg on his most recent recommendations. I've heard his wife (also a Dr) wrote a recipe book which is aligned. We have our meal plan sorted for the week to come so I'll have to start planning beyond that.

Thank you :) The approach does seem to help a lot of people. Some of the recipes on the website (linked in the post above) are great - I like the curry paste and there are some nice options for stuffed peppers and pizza mushrooms.

How are you? Good to hear you medication has been changed. I had a dvt last year, and the medication has been continued but I am free to eat as well or badly as I wish! Let me know how you get on, it helps me keep on track :)

I'm not doing too bad thanks. Has been a stressful few months with my stepdad being unwell, starting a temp contract and trying to keep on top of life. I have been OK with my diet but when I've been bad, I've been really bad. I started running again these past few weeks and that has had a really positive impact on me mentally. Will hopefully have some good news to report on the job front soon.

You had a DVT too? Mine was the most painful thing I've ever experienced in my life. I've moved to Edoxaban due to COVID as they are trying to keep people out of the hospitals. It has been great not having to have the regular blood tests and or restrictions on the diet. So far no bad side effects either! It turns out Warfarin gave me really bad brain fog - it has been lifting since I changed.

I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into the diet but am not quite ready yet. There's still a few things going on which are likely to knock me off my perch but wont be long! My youngest has really been enjoying the healthier eating journey - she loves trying new foods and isn't at all fussy.

Goodness me, it sounds like you've had a lot going on! Good to hear about the running and more helpful medication. Lovely when youngsters are enthusiastic!

While many want to lose weight, I want to get fat. :(

Yes, I understand that can be just as demanding as trying to lose weight. I hope you find the right way for you :)

I do intermittent fasting usually 16-8. I never eat breakfast anyway and just drink coffee and water in the morniing. Then my 8 hour window seems to coincide when I am actually hungry and I am free to eat and drink as I please. I still find I am eating less anyway but have more energy and in the 1st 3 weeks lost 3kg while still munching pizzaz and drinking copious amounts of beer. Works for me and it's easier than choosing a specific. Good to see Leicester top of the League too isn't it 😃

It's great, isn't it, to find a pattern that suits you - well done on the 3k! I had to go and check Leicester but yes, they seemed to go through the doldrums a bit but they're back on top now :)

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Well done!! I must admit though, a part of me was disappointed that it wasn't through eating pizzas :0D

Me, too, hehe :)

I am happy for you that you found a method that works for you (on multiple angles). Weight loss and health, mixed with medications are a difficult field to tackle and I as you know have still no solution for my problems. So, I find it very inspiring to see that you actually achieved something with your lifestyle changes (perhaps mine are too short timed or not hard enough or the wrong ones... questions over questions).
I am looking forward to some vegetable recipes :-D

Yes, I was very pleased yesterday when I hit my milestone! It has taken a little while, some weeks I haven't lost anything, although I didn't gain either. I found the first fortnight quite stressful as I was changing over but once I had found the right rhythm for me, I was okay. I struggle when I'm working because I forget my routine! I would like to lose another 7 or 8 kilos over the next two months. I might try the Fast 800 during the winter break when I can relax into it and maybe introduce some new things. I hope things work out for you. How is the exhibition going?

I have to admit that a 800 calorie fast sounds intimidating to me, but I am especially bad at adhering to dietary restrictions. That’s a topic for me, I have to solve someday. But again I am really excited for you <3
And the exhibition... its going so lala. The bad ist that my headaches cost me a lot of time which then leads to stress as I feel I am behind the schedule. The good is I have one needlework object finished (not a big one, but finished) and I have a drawing project I really like (so far, this can change every minute 😂) The text from needleworkers are scarce so far, but I will remind all next Monday, so that work is also in its absolute beginning.
Thank you for your interests <3 (day to day things like bread baking, garden or sketching I mostly post in my insta stories. Finished artworks I put on my neumannsalva_art instagram account, the latter though not regularly)

Good morning 😁,

The Fast 800 would only be for a short time - maybe three weeks. It would be good to get to my target weight quickly. I might try it over the winter break when I am not working.

That kind of erratic pattern of headaches is very hard to manage. Is it possible to calculate how many days a week when you can rely on being well, say one or two days a week, then schedule the work accordingly?

I am trying to resist being drawn into a project in my local garden ... they have asked for ideas and, unfortunately, I have some 😂. I must just keep my mouth shut. The committee and I are at odds - I think the garden is a local amenity and should be open for all, especially during the pandemic; the committee thinks the garden is for rich people and should be exclusive.

Oh noooo a closed community garden ?? This somehow contradicts its purpose I would say, especially during the pandemic. I am so grateful that we found the garden this year, no idea what I would do during the whole lockdown times without balcony or garden at our flat. But I also understand your hesitation to get involved, when you know beforehand that this will be a difficult process ( I have a comparable situation at the board of the charity organisation I am in... they stand for inclusivity and diversity, but the members who don’t speak fluently German and are woman are surprisingly one by one leaving this committee as they feel unheard, patronised and suppressed... so far I am still in and “fighting” but not sure if I wear myself out because the structures are so fossilised - sadly as the cliche four older men are the ones who are longest in this board. THey dominate the opinions and everybody else normally leaves this committee shortly after they are elected or latest after one legal period of two years..)

With the headaches: I still have problems to calculate how long they last. The frequency is kind of predicable, but mot how worse or how long they last, and if medication will work.

Still 800 calories... I am looking forward to your experience (and will quietly admire you for this skill)

Ups... I again had the long post/too much words thing going 😂😱😂

Oh noooo a closed community garden ??

I guess strictly speaking it is a private garden as it belongs to the University. However, I hear a lot of hogwash about why it has to be closed. The two nearest public parks to me are not enclosed and so it is impossible to exclude people and yet, somehow, they manage.

I guess with the headaches that being kind to yourself is the best approach 😍

The 'pro-fat' argument seems to be gathering momentum. The Ketogenic diet encourages you to not worry about dairy fats and natural oils and I read an article on the BBC recently about the most important 'superfoods' that give you the perfect amount of nutrients a person needs without going over the recommended intake and pork fat was the only meat product on the list.
https://xtalks.com/bbc-future-releases-list-of-top-nutritional-foods-and-pigs-fat-is-one-of-them-1136/#:~:text=Pork%20fat%20came%20in%20eighth,than%20beef%20and%20lamb%20fat.

Dieticians are also coming to the conclusion that similar diets may help and actually reverse diabetes.

Glad you're feeling better and I hope the lockdown isn't driving you crazy.....or crazier ;-)

Hello there :)
It's all really interesting, and I have delighted in buying and roasting pork belly - absolutely gorgeous, especially on a cold day! I do miss bread and potatoes, but not pasta and rice. If I have bread, I try and have it before the last meal, I don't know the science, but it seems to work for me!
I'm okay, thanks, I managed to get to Liverpool for a couple of days and visited the Tate Gallery plus the two restaurants, looking forward to that again.
How is your house/kitchen coming along? Hope you are okay, too :)

Intermittent fasting....I have heard about this from time to time on my timeline. But reading it here has got me down the rabbit hole. Sounds doable. Congrats on the new lifestyle and fitting better in those jeans😄

There's lots of different approaches as you'll find now you're in the warren! My mum would have called it "eating properly" (no snacking). Some o the science behind it makes sense, though. Yeah, the jeans are my measure, much more than the scales! 😁

Thanks for continuing to make Hive awesome.

My pleasure :)