Thursday 17 March 2016

Diet and Exercise - the battle to live forever, or die trying...

My perennial battle to lose weight and get fit was going very badly towards the end of last year. I'd given up on my adult beginner Judo lessons early in the year, after developing sore shoulders from trying to do break falls when my BMI was still around 33. I'll probably only try Judo lessons again when I eventually get my weight down to my 'ideal' BMI range of 22.5-25. I'd also cancelled my membership of the local discount 'Crunch Fitness' gym ($8/wk), as I simply wasn't using it often enough, and was instead going to try to do '5BX' exercises at home...

By the end of 2015 my weight had hit 106 kg for the first time ever, with my BMI approaching 35! I was also noticing that I was getting quite unfit -- getting slightly puffed just walking up three flights of stairs in the office every morning. So in early December I decided to get a head start on my New Year's resolution and take a deep breath and 'reboot' my diet and exercise regime.

I have a 'standard' diet plan that I've checked provides suitable amounts of nutrients, doesn't leave me feeling particularly hungry, and which provides a modest amount of 'caloric restriction' (CR) of around 35%. IF I managed to stick to this diet plan every day I would lose around 1kg per week, but in reality I 'sort of' stick to my diet 'most days', and I've been losing weight over the past four months at a reasonable rate of around 0.5 kg per week.

Some recent research has suggested that the 'Fit Fat' have similar mortality rates as healthy, lean individuals (although I suspect it may be easier in the long run for normal weight individuals to maintain high fitness levels compared to overweight or obese 'fit' individuals trying to do so). So in addition to aiming to walk 10,000 steps per day, I've joined the local gym ('low use' membership at $12/week for one visit/week) so I can hire one of their squash courts for the member's rate of $5/hour (the normal court hire rate is $38/hour!). Every Sunday afternoon I now take the boys along to the squash court and they take turns hitting the ball around the court with me for an hour (quite 'low intensity' squash, but still enough to keep me out of breath and sweating for an hour!).

I'm also trying to get back into the habit of doing 11 minutes/day of '5BX' exercises every evening, but so far I haven't quite made that into a habit...

Overall, my 'standard' diet plan is 1750 kcals/day which would contain 40.5 g fibre, 69% carbs, 11% fat and 20% protein. In addition, during the first week of March I tried a five-day 'Fasting Mimicking Diet', which some research suggests can be very  beneficially if done once every 1-3 months. I didn't have any trouble sticking to this fairly restrictive diet for five days this month, so I plan on trying to do five days of FMD at the start of every month from now on. Hopefully by the end of 2016 I'll be a LOT fitter, get within my healthy weight range, and my next annual blood test will hopefully show improvements in my cholesterol and HDL/LDL levels...

To keep me 'honest' I'll start doing a post of my daily averages for each week. To kick it off, here are the figures since the start of March. I've noted whether each week was my 'standard' diet plan (STD), or contained five days of Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD):

.             Fibre      Carbs    Fat     Protein    kCals     Wt       Steps
Week 1 (FMD)  25.7 g/dy  65.6%    22.2%   47.3 g/dy  1568 /dy  96.7 kg  8,511 /dy
Week 2 (STD)  31.3       62.4     17.8    129.3      2747      96.6     5,426

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