Editor William Mills worrying that death might be lurking nearby underwent a twelve week Green Tea Diet from 8 January to 2 April. His 55 year old body weighed 104.3 kg(16 st 6 lbs) at the start and 91 kg(14 st 4 lbs) by the finish. That’s 13 kg weight lost!
After two weeks respite and chocolate therapy he is ready for the final push to the reach his optimum weight. Before starting he calculated he needed to lose 4 stone or 25.4 kg. During the first diet he soon realised this was over optimistic to lose all in one go. So he aimed to lose two stone in the first twelve weeks, have a fortnight’s break, then start a second diet to try and shed the other two stone. The final objective being a BMI weight of around 78 kg (12 st 4 lbs).
The second diet is called the Protein Diet and starts tomorrow, 16 April. It will run until victory is achieved or he dies in the attempt!
Yesterday the news was grim. During the Brighton Marathon a 23 year old tragically died. Later BBC stalwart Andrew Marr told how he had tried a fitness regime which advocated short bursts of extreme exercise. He told how he had experimented with a rowing machine, ripped something in his neck and had a stroke.
The secret to middle aged fitness is be determined but work up gradually….
Tomorrow is like the first day of a new school term. Be prepared and get off to a good start.
1. Start Fat Busters pills which are available from health food stores.
2. Count how many sweets are left around the home. Make a list of slimming foods to stock up on.
3. Work out what records to keep. These are important. Being in control of your diet means writing down everything you eat. A diary will be kept online on this post and updated daily.
Starts with the scales. Same time each morning before anything is eaten. Same amount of clothing. Write it down! It is important to record keep accurately. You are a food junkie. No one is going to check your records so if you lie-you are lying to yourself. The only way to avoid self deception is to write it all down.
Some diets say; “Eat as much as you like!” Well, that’s being big of them because you will anyway. There is no one there to stop you. So you must count the calories. Look at the packet, weigh the ingredients and write it down. In practice you only have to do this for the first few days. Then it becomes a habit and you know instinctively how much is in each meal.
Breakfast Smoothie. In to the blender goes flaxseed, banana, yohurt, frozen veg, satuma, whey powder, and it all comes to 404 calories! That’s the same number of calories as in a main meal. You need to write everything you eat down and add it up the next morning, which it turn will shock you into cutting back on day 2.
Lunch consisted of a prepared slimshake with added whey powder. 294 calories.
Supper. Third shake of the day. This time strawberries, whey powder and 500 ml of milk. Red, Green and Blue top all have 3.4 g of protein per 100 ml. The Red, skimmed variety has the least fat. The shake totals 287 calories.
Also eaten were two chocolate biscuits, 160 calories, and an ice cream cone, 186 calories, as well as various sweets and apples.
Start the day with weigh in- 91.1 kg- that’s down 800 g from yesterday!
The sweeties stash is getting used up and won’t be replaced. The record keeping with become more accurate. Everything needs to be written down and the correct calories calculated.
William is working away from home today so survives on cafe hot chocolate and brownies. He only has two smoothies today, morning and night. Total calories are 1,215 plus a few extra not written down. Waking in the night he comments; “Starting to feel weird. What was it like to be in a WWI trench? Hell? Well, I’m safe and cosy in my own bed, so I’d best go back to dreaming about the design of my perfect yacht…Now, where shall we put the swimming pool? No, that goes outside… ”
Disappointment at the morning weigh in. After two days without solid food William’s weight has gone back up 300 grams. Is this water retention? During the day disillusionment sets in. Breakfast is a shake. However after two days without solids lunch is a tuna salad. Supper a cooked meal with beef and three small new potatoes. William still has a supply of sweets to use up. The ones he used last time were Sula’s range from Holland and Barratt. These are sugar free and around 6 calories each. Tic Tac mints have 2 calories each. Really they need to be counted out into a bowl and the amount written down.
It has been said that once the initial fat has gone getting really lean and fit involves a lot of hard work. To this end William aims for two daily sessions of gym style exercises. ” They keep me supple and improve balance.” He said.
William’s weight has settled at 91.4. “When I finished my Green Tea diet I was 91 kg. Three weeks later I’m just up a bit. However my thoughts are I can’t keep taking Whey powder indefinitely. It’s all about sustainability. I can hold my present weight with only one day a week of fasting. I’m much fitter than I was. I don’t drink or smoke so any longer term illness are either far off or I have them already in my genes. Therefore stick to a diet of two shakes a day and one 600 calorie cooked meal in the evening. My weight has stabilised. Have I sleep walked into the two day a week fasting diet as a natural progression?”
He found it easy to stay off solids for two days. “It’s possible to load up a smoothie with 400 plus calories. That’s the same as a main meal. It’s easier on one ‘s digestion. An almost already digested meal in some ways.” He added.
He resolved to take one day at a time and keep going.
William stuck to it. He’s lost 300 grams since yesterday and is now down to 91.1 kg. His diet presently consists of a smoothie for breakfast, tuna salad for lunch and evening cooked meal. A daily total of 1,200 calories with around 80 g of protein.
” I noticed the tiredness and disorientation coming back when I was walking around the town centre shops yesterday” He said. “However I asked directions and discovered the shop I couldn’t find had closed. My arms and muscles are aching badly. On my earlier Green tea diet I used to get up around 7 am and write for a few hours before feeling absolutely exhausted and washed out by lunchtime. This time I’m making sure I eat enough protein and have one proper meal a day with cooked beef or chicken.
“My exercise routine is much tougher. Also last time was a New Year’s diet starting in cold, winter weather when we naturally want to curl up warm and like a squirrel eat nuts, or in my case, chocolate. The spring sunshine encourages me to get out and achieve things.
“My goal is to drink water instead of snacking, and get addicted to moderate short sessions of gentle exercise and gradually work up from there.”
William’s weight has stabilised at 91.1 kg. He found that his mood had improved after feeling a bit down the previous couple of days. “It takes a week for the Fat Buster pills to work. I find it best to take the two of them in the morning an hour apart. Any queasiness soon passes.
“Most important at the moment is doing short periods of exercise and slotting them into my daily routine. Going to gyms and getting changed is a chore. Doing five minutes of knee bends at home whilst waiting for a phone call is less so.
“I think depression will always set in with a serious diet. The cure I use is to get out and about meeting and talking to people as well as my exercises.”
“Evening snacking on chocolate is still a problem. I have a sweet tooth. However I’m also going to explore eating a small portion of steak daily in the hope it will provide sufficient energy for an active life.”
Monday 22 April. How did the weekend go? We asked William to be honest.
He said; “I did over 4,000 calories. A few hundred in sensible eating and the rest in sweets and chocolate. At least I wrote them all down, and I was shocked at how one little bar of chocolate has as many calories as a giant pizza. I must get to grips with my sweet tooth. the only way to succeed is to keep a running total in my head.”
“I’m really surprised my weight hasn’t shot up at this morning’s weigh in. I will keep trying.”
Saturday’s calorie count: Breakfast smoothie 415, Lunch slim meal bar 210, supper 388, sweets 1,591 TOTAL 2,604
The first week is over and 700 grams were lost in total. In order to reach the perfect BMI weight it looks like lifelong lifestyle changes are needed. Otherwise dieting is going to become an ongoing activity until it loses its appeal and is ditched. Today is the start of the second week and a ‘smoothie only day.’ The trick is getting enough protein without downing too many calories in the process. Not having any treats in the house. If a slim bar is really deserved there are plenty in Superdrug down the road, to be bought one at a time.
Yesterday wasn’t a success. William started out well with a reduced ingredient breakfast shake and another at lunch time. By teatime however, he was feeling really hungry.
A few pieces of liquorice turned into a trip to the Co-op for two bread rolls and ham. Then a cottage pie and peas. Next met up with a friend for a couple of pints(of lime and soda). The friend bought a plate of fish and chips. William ate a few of the chips before deciding to order a vanilla ice cream each. They wandered to the bustop and managed to eat a packet of Fox’s cream biscuits between them. This morning William’s weight had gone up 500 grams.
Success at last! Yesterday William massively reduced his sugar intake because his supplies of sweets around his home was running low and he hadn’t bought more. Also after his morning milkshake a busy day ensued without a constant sugary intake.[Could it be that as he was with other people he didn’t want to share his sweets?] As he didn’t have a constant sugar uptake by evening he felt naturally tired.
“I couldn’t make up my mind whether to go out and have a chocolate binge or nothing. In the end I walked around the local store dithering. Eventually I bought a tin of mushroom soup, my favourite. I ate it with Ryevita crisp bread followed by yoghurt and fruit. When I got up this morning I was delighted to find my weight had dropped by a whole kilo!
Matters are starting to improve at last! At this morning’s weigh in William registered 90.1, another 800 grams lost. Yesterday he again steered clear of sugar and had a shake and bowl of soup for supper instead of a traditional cooked meal. “I don’t feel that hungry.” He reflected. “Perhaps the protein diet really does work. I’m starting to make my own milkshakes rather than use the expensive packet ones. However I will have a cooked meal this evening.”
“The whole idea is to eat around 80 grams of protein a day in the most efficient manner. If I ate ice cream only with 180 calories a portion yielding 2 grams of protein, to get my 80 grams needed I would have to eat 40 ice creams! That’s over 7,000 calories, and I mustn’t exceed 1,500 calories a day. So I looked around for better foods. 350 grams of sliced ham is only 400 calories but contains 80 grams of protein. Grilled chicken breast and tinned tuna are also great sources of protein.” He explained.
William recalls a scene from a WWII film depicting an aeroplane is spinning out of control. “I felt like that.” He said. “Two days on the milk shakes only diet and my weight dropped with a bump but the process made me feel strange. By evening I was feeling really tired and totally drained of energy. Maybe it was a reaction to coming off sugar.”
Sunday morning. He managed to get away for the weekend making accurate recording of his diet impracticable. “If you need to break your diet because you are away from home for a couple of nights that’s fine.” William said. “Concentrate on other areas such as doing your exercises.”
Doesn’t time fly? With the advent of spring William has been away from home much more often so the diet recording has been stopping and starting. However travelling doesn’t excuse doing exercises and sticking to certain foods and avoiding others. But it is difficult if you are in a restaurant, away from home overnight, not sure of when the next meal will be forthcoming, the others are having chocolate pudding..so don’t be a dour face.
William spent three days working on a boat in Cowes surviving off chocolate, cooked breakfasts and takeaways. When he got home he was up to 92kg. However he went straight back onto smoothie breakfasts and was soon at his lowest weight ever! The scales read that magical 89 kg number!
While he has been on his travels he has realised the importance of carbohydrate. By just having one baked potato (100-200g) with his evening meal it did wonders for his energy levels. Also to improve digestion he experimented with adding Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Breakfast Biscuits to his morning smoothie.”Fibre is really necessary for good digestion.” He explained. “I’d been eating green vegetables, grapes, apples and bananas in my earlier diet but I needed something more. Potatoes and dietary fibre were the missing ingredients.”
“Being away from home did give me a tendency to comfort eat because I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from. Keeping up my exercises is really important because sit ups not only work the muscles but also let me know if I’m putting on weight again.”
On June 5 William weighs 89.5 kg. That’s less than he was when he started. “I think this diet is drawing to a close. Being away from home a lot in the summer months makes it difficult to record calories accurately. It’s important to remember to weigh oneself weekly to keep an eye on it. I don’t believe eating a particular type of food makes us thin. Eating less is what does it.”