As far as diets are concerned, I am experienced. Of course not as experienced as Christian Bale…
But also I (body height of 1.74m) have gone through a transformation from 63 kg to 92 kg to 70 kg (as of today) in the last 20 years and now I have an idea of what works for me and what doesn’t.
With the exception of sunlight, I have many forms of diets behind me: Frugan, Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Low-Carb, High-Carb, Low-Fat, Fasting and various mixed forms of it.
Apparently my weight has a special value in my life. And if I don’t control it, it slips upwards.
If I had to describe my relationship to food, I would do so:
Control, control, control, loss of control.
Control, control, loss of control.
and so on…
It’s really exhausting. And the bad news is that there is no end to it.
Apparently I have forgotten how to eat intuitively and I try to control it consciously.
That is, what my children still do and we as adults pull them out of it step by step with sentences like “Eat your plate empty” or “eat faster“.
Again and again I try to “just let it go” and try to learn “intuitive eating“. But the result is always the same: I increase weight and pull the safety line.
Where can I find a solution?
In the last 20 years I have read a book about nutrition at least once a year. And who knows how many blogs and videos I have consumed.
So I have a pretty good idea of what makes people fat and what doesn’t. And I bet that’s the way it is for most overweight people out there.
But what is knowledge good for, if I can’t apply to it? I know that chips & Netflix do not make a positive contribution to my six-pack. But explain this to me in the evening when I turn on the TV. I would say tell me tomorrow.
Control decreases towards the evening.
Maybe it is the same for you: In the morning after getting up I am the master of control. I can force myself to do unpleasant tasks, avoid sugar and fat and even do sports.
In the evening, when the energy reservoirs are empty, my plans and intentions from the morning are also forgotten.
In the process of the day something is obviously “used up”, so that I often lose control of my behavior in the evening.
In the meantime I know very well that I don’t need to make any plans for the evening.
Because first of all I (mostly) will not do it. And secondly, I feel bad in the end because I didn’t actually done it.
Losing weight at any price?
I am at a point where I don’t read anything about nutrition, health and losing weight on the Internet anymore.
Vegan athletes, raw meat eaters or low carblers… All believers in their religions, who are fighting a holy war over the question of whose God is the only true one.
Their weapons are arguments why this and that food is good or bad.
In my eyes this is all bullshit.
The real enemy is excessive deposited body fat. Because that is a symptom of a dysfunctional metabolism. And a dysfunctional metabolism is the cause of almost all diseases we face:
Heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and hundreds of other diseases.
So what do I care about the question whether a food is good or bad? I can deal with this question as soon as I have a normal body fat level. But first I have to reduce it.
In my opinion it doesn’t matter how I lose weight. At least almost. The main thing is to reduce the body fat to a healthy level. However, I strictly refuse surgical interventions.
Why do I increase weight faster than I lose it?
I have also thought about that.
One kilogram of body fat saves about 7000 kcal. of energy. On a regular working day my body used up round about 2000 kcal. If I do an extra 5 km run, I consume another 500 kcal.
So I can work for three days without eating, run 15km at a running pace and at the end lose only 1kg of body fat.
If I have 10kg overweight, it means that I can stay in hunger mode for 25 to 30 days without dying! The body is just an incredibly efficient machine.
So there are certain limits for us when it comes to energy consumption.
On the other hand, I manage to eat 5kg of ice cream throughout the day and easily absorb and store 20,000 kcal. So there are limits to losing weight, but there are almost no limits to increasing it.
In other words: it is easier to drop a stone than to lift it.
How do I reduce body fat?
One of the books I read was about the biochemistry of the body. Personally, it helped me understand how overweight actually occurs. In other words, when the body stores fat and why.
It would go beyond the scope of this article to explain every detail, so here are some simplified facts:
- The cells of our body have two tasks:
- a) Energy production. (Cells preferably extract energy from fatty acids. If no fatty acids are available, then from carbohydrates.)
- b) Protein synthesis. (Essential amino acids [proteins] are needed for protein synthesis.)
- Excessive carbohydrates are converted into fatty acids. Excessive fatty acids are deposited in the body fat storage.
That’s it. The rest is mathematics.
If I give the body more fat and sugar than it needs for energy production, it stores the rest for bad times.
And how losing weight works in practice?
This results in exactly the same principles that are already known by every overweighted person:
- If I exercise more, my body needs more fats and carbohydrates to produce energy.
- If I give my body less fats and carbohydrates, it has less oversupply and can store less.
- If I give it even less, it relies on stocks and reduces them.
This is the basis of all diets:
- I can remove the carbohydrates from my diet and this is called low carb.
- I can remove the fats from the diet and this is called low-fat or high-carb.
- If I reduce fats and carbohydrates, it is called paleo.
- If I eat less of everything and pay attention to my body, this is called intuitive eating.
- If I skip food completely, this is called fasting.
How did I lose weight?
Three years ago I lost 14 kg. And that was in one go for 22 weeks. That was a minus of -630g per week and I had reached my goal of 67.9kg.
At that time I consistently avoided carbohydrates and especially sugar – Low-Carb.
Only alcohol I could not do without. Otherwise it would have happened even faster. But only dry wines and hard alcohol without mixing them with soft drinks.
After that I increased to 72kg during the next year and lost weight again to 69kg this summer. This time with consequent avoiding of fat. So Low-Fat also worked for me.
This morning I weighed 70.3 kg and I notice that I have grown significantly on my stomach over the last two months. When I walk it “wobbles” and I do not like this feeling.
So I will start another experiment:
I will eat only 1x a day for the next four weeks.
Seems everything has a name. And this trendy thing is called OMAD.
As I already wrote above, I find it difficult to control myself towards the evening and that is why I will put the only food of the day into the evening.
6 pm sounds like a good time for me.
Stay tuned, I will report.