Sunday 15 August 2021

Trying to stick to a healthier diet (again)

Prior to the pandemic and work-from-home (WFH) regime that commenced in March 2020, I had been quite successful in losing a lot of my excess weight, and had been going regularly to the gym (conveniently located on the way home via train and bus). But since WFH commenced I had not been walking as much (about 1/3 of my daily 10,000 step target had been achieved simply walking to the bus stop from home and then from the train station to my office, and vice versa). Also, although I saved time not having to commute to work every day, the economic uncertainty of the pandemic, combined with an increase in the volume of work tasks needing to be completed on schedule meant that I didn't even spend time going for an evening walk or during lunch time. Overall, I became extremely sedentary for the past 18 months, and I also stopped sticking to my 'diet plan' and didn't bother tracking my daily calories or macro-nutrients.

The result was a slow but steady weight gain, to the extent that I'm back to the most overweight I've ever been (currently just over 110kg). So, today I stuck to my planned diet (no snacks or junk food) and also skipped lunch. From now on I'll try to have breakfast a bit later (around 11am) and then only have dinner (around 7pm) and avoid any after-dinner dessert or late night snacks, so I get a decent 16 'fast' period between dinner and 'break fast'. I might also try to do intermittent fasting by not having any meals on Sundays.

We currently have a 'lockdown' in Sydney due to the delta variant outbreak, and are limited to exercising within 5km of our homes, so I won't be going back to the gym any time soon. However, we do have some dumbell and barbell weights, so I'll try to do a bit of 'pumping iron' every lunchtime (at least three times a week) and also get back into the routine of doing regular walks.

If and when I get back down to my 'ideal weight' (around 75 kg) and body fat level (12% or less), I my continue a mild form of caloric restriction with optimal nutrition (CRON) diet plan, as caloric restriction is known to improve longevity in mice and other short-lived small animals, and recent evidence (such as reported recently in Nature) in closer human-analogues such as small lemurs supports the conjecture that it may also extend healthy lifespan in humans.

First step is to get down to a healthy BMI and exercise more. Then I'll worry about tweaking my ongoing diet regime to extend lifespan. For the past 18 months my diet has been reducing my lifespan!

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