Thursday 26 August 2021

Back into 'diet' mode

My weight had crept back up over the past 18 months of 'work from home' (and 'ad libitum' eating), so on Sunday 15th I decided to go back on a 'diet' - basically just cutting out all the junk food (lollies and chocolate) that I shouldn't be eating anyhow, and not having any 'dessert' after dinner or snacks during the day (and recording what I eat). I haven't started doing any intermittent fasting (yet), but I decided to delay having breakfast as soon as I get up in the morning, and instead have it as 'brunch' around 11am. I then have my dinner early (for me) before 7pm so there is a 16+ hour period of not eating and my morning. Having a 'mini fast' each day is supposed to be good for your health, although it isn't long enough to result in ketosis or autophagy. I find that I don't get hungry before bed after having an early dinner (even though I usually don't go to bed until 2-3am) and I don't even feel particularly hungry in the morning (although I am looking forward to 'breakfast' by 11am). I didn't find intermittent fasting particularly difficult last time I was trying to lose weight, so I might start having a weekly fasting day once the weather warms up (having no/few calories on cold winter days is just plain miserable).

So far my diet has been going 'according to plan' with my weight dropping from 110.8 kg to 109.2 over the first week. My macronutrient averages for the first week were:

fibre            17.2 g
carbohydrates    64.7 %
fat              19.7 %
protein          66.8 g
sodium         2435.8 mg
energy         1759.6 kcals

This pretty close to my target daily dietary averages, which are 5-15% calories from fat, 60-120 g protein, 900-2,300 mg sodium, and 1,800-2,400 kcals/day (preferably towards the bottom of that range).

At my starting weight (111 kg) my basal metabolic calorie requirement was 2,068 kcals/day, and while sedentary my required daily maintenance calories (for no weight gain or loss) was around 2,813 kcals/day. If I start doing a bit of daily activity such as brisk walking and 5BX and some pushups in the evenings (which would put me in the 'low active' region), my daily calorie requirement would be around 3,112 kcals/day. So sticking to an average of 1,800 kcals/day I should lose around 1.3 kg per week (1.0 kg per week even if I remained sedentary).

As my weight drops my caloric requirement will also decrease, so at my target weight (around 75 kg) my calorie requirement at a 'light active' level of activity would decrease to only 2,487 kcals/day, which would mean my rate of weight loss would slow to around 0.7 kg/week (even if my body metabolism doesn't adapt and slow in response to the caloric restriction over time).

Once I get to my 'ideal' weight I'll either increase my caloric intake slightly (to around 2,100 kcals/day) which would provide about 15% caloric restriction (which theoretically might be good for longevity), or if I've increased my activity level to 'active' (by doing regular kendo training and going to the gym for weight training three times a week) it would boost my maintenance caloric requirement to 2,788 kcals/day. In which case I'd eat a bit more protein to have around 2,370 kcals/day (still around 15% CRON) and focus on lowering my body fat while retaining/increasing muscle mass.

This is basically the same plan I had in the middle of 2019, when I was able to reduce my weight from 11.8 kg to 84.2 kg by March 2020 (when I stopped going to the office, or the gym, due to Covid). Hopefully if I can get back into my diet and exercise routine while in 'lock down' I won't have any reason/excuse for 'falling off the wagon' this time around.

I'll try to remember to post my weekly diet and exercise summary each week - hopefully that will help me to stick to my plans (public embarrassment can be a great motivator).

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