Thursday 24 October 2019

Overview of my 'healthy eating and exercise' plan

I thought I'd post an overview of my diet and exercise plan for the next 6-12 months. The week-to-week reality may differ somewhat from 'the plan', but this is what I am aiming for. Having a written plan is a good first step towards achieving any goal. And I find that recording what I've eaten each day helps me stick to my plan (most of the time).

My current eating plan is to stick to a 'standard diet' meal plan five days each week, and to fast two days each week.

My 'standard diet' consists of a healthy breakfast of honey-flavoured porridge with lite milk (and a scoop of added whey protein - "Vital Strength hydroxy ripped  thermogenic protein" is what the marketing department called the product I happened to buy on sale (50% off) in my local supermarket, but any whey protein will do once I've use this batch up) and a glass of grapefruit juice (I also take a daily multivitamin, 1000mg of Vit C, some Vit D and prescription BP medication). Then my weekday lunch consists of a 125g tin of smoked salmon slices and a 300g tin of baked beans. And dinner consists of some grilled animal protein (e.g. 120g of fillet steak, chicken breast, or pork fillet) and a serve or two of vegetables (usually frozen or tinned peas, carrots and green beans), or a gluten-free soup and pita bread. And then some fruit (eg. an apple and mandarin) and a jelly for dessert. On the weekend I'll have the same breakfast, but might have scrambled eggs on toasted gluten-free Pita bread for lunch (with a small amount of 'proactive' cholesterol reducing margarine), and I often make a pot roast and some roast potatoes for the family to have for evening meals during the weekend.

I eat my breakfast around 8am, and have usually finished my dinner by about 7pm (and avoid having any snacks after dinner - snacking after dinner was a major reason why I put on weight over the years). This is basically a 13:11 diet regime coupled with CRAN (the total cals are around 1,600 compared to my basic metabolic requirement of around 2,150-2,350 cals (depending on how active I am), so this meal plan represents 25%-30% CR and I've checked the overall fat:carb:protein ratios and vitamin and mineral content using a spreadsheet). Sticking to basically the same meal plan (with minor variations) each day makes it easy to do the weekly shop, and it also avoids have to recheck the nutritional values are adequate with a CR diet that changed day-to-day.

So far I'm finding it quite easy to have a fast on two days each week (TUE and THU, which are the weekdays that I'm not going to the gym). Actually, from when I stop eating around 8pm on Monday night to breakfast on Wednesday morning is approx. 36 hrs, so it is really 1.5 days of fasting (or 36:12 as I've seen it called in some articles about IF).

Overall, that means my total weekly calorie intake (if I stick to my plan) totals around 5x1650 cals each week = 8,250 cals (or an average of  about 1,200 cals/day). Which compared to 7x2,350 = 16,450 cals/wk if I was eating 'maintenance' calories (~2,250 cals) each day is a quite substantial CR of 50%. This should result in quite a rapid rate of weight loss, which is probably a good idea given my BMI started off in the 'obese' range, and I've been meaning to get down to my 'ideal weight' since the 1980s!

Once I get down towards my 'ideal' BMI I'll cut back to only one day of fasting each week (some amount of ongoing Intermittent Fasting is supposed to be good for your health) and increase my standard daily calories slightly to my new maintenance level (which will be lower once I achieve a lower BMI). The exact level of maintenance calories required will depend on how active I am.

In terms of exercise, my plan is to do 5BX in the evenings and to walk 10K steps each day, and to go to the gym and do some weight training on my non-fasting weekdays each week (i.e. Mon, Wed and Fri). I might skip the 5BX on days when I've already had a gym session (although it is probably good to do the stretching involved in 5BX after a session of weight training).

I'm hoping that I won't end up with too much 'loose skin' by the time I get to my ideal BMI. Apparently the amount of excess skin one has after weight loss tends to be genetic to some extent. Generally anyone that looses 100lbs or more (45 kg) seems almost certain to end up with excess loose skin, and some people who have only lost half that amount end up with excess skin after losing weight. My planned weight loss is to go from my 111 kg starting weight to get down to about 74 kg (and stay there) - which will be a reduction of 37kg (or 81 lbs). So its quite likely that I'll have some loose skin after the weight loss. Replacing some of that fat loss with muscle gain should help reduce the amount of loose skin to some extent. And having jelly (full of collagen) *might* also help improve skin elasticity and maximize the chance that my skin will shrink to suit my reduced body size as I loose weight. In any event, having a bit of excess skin is a lot better than killing myself slowly by having excess weight.

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