Monthly Archives: April 2011

Day 8/45. I’ve moved house to the 150’s

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Sunday I enjoyed an excellent training ride. The first half I felt like I should have stayed home because of a sore throat and sniffles, but I took it easy and eventually I felt like I was in top form.¬† I was attentive to the limits for the first two hours and then I was overcome by the sunshine and good weather and went very fast for about 45 minutes and then had a leisurely cool down. (oops. I’m not apologetic or repentant, however. ūüôā

What a difference a year makes. I feel more confident in my bike handling and I don’t need the granny ring to stay within the heart rate range.

Low carb Paleo continues to feel sustainable and healthy for me.¬† At the gym Thursday the scale showed 27% body fat, down from 35% before Christmas. I’ve put on muscle and burned off fat. And I think I’ve finally broken through the plateau of 160-61 where I’ve been hovering for more than a month.

Sunday’s eats:

Calories 2,569
Fat 115.3g 40%
Carbohydrate 238.4g 36%
Dietary Fiber 33.7
Protein 152.3g 25%

Greek yogurt & strawberries (twice); salmon and cucumbers; Hammer Perpetum during the ride, plus dates! fruit smoothie with egg whites; pate and cucumbers; one small but dangerous handful of freshly popped popcorn; steak, fresh white asparagus, green beans.

While riding, I preferred the dates to the Perpetum.

6a calories don’t count.

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so roll call on Saturday’s food:

spinach omelette, coffee with cream, a few blueberries and Greek yogurt, Brussels sprouts, duck liver pate with green salad and walnut pieces, some yummy raspberries crushed in some mineral water, gorgeous baked salmon with lemon butter and capers, red chard, salad, some strawberries with more walnuts and a dab of Greek yogurt plus some shredded coconut.

Grams Calories %-Cals
Dietary Fiber
Fat  63%

15 %





I am really enjoying not thinking about calories. I love thick 10% Greek Yogurt. I spent years eating low fat yogurt and it never made me thin. Same with Diet Coke. The few raspberries I crushed in the mineral water were really tasty. Without sugar and starch, my taste buds are much more sensitive.

Day 5 & 6: magic cloud

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when the internet is not accessible, suddenly I realise how much a part of my life it has become.

My weight & body fat are both dropping nicely. 159.5¬†158.5 this morning. ¬†Thursday gym fest. Friday dune ride and swim practice. I felt a lot of power in my stroke yesterday. I need to bring my food log up to date. I recorded items on paper when I couldn’t reach the magic cloud. ¬†Eating according to appetite and minding my carbohydrate intake is SO MUCH EASIER that trying for a specific calorie count (e.g., 1600 or 1700) and a particular ratio. ¬†Taubes suggests that the ¬†diets that work do so because of the reduction in refined carbs (give up sodas, sweets, desserts, cut back on portions, etc.). ¬†I was finding it quite time consuming to plan meals ahead of time – frankly, so time consuming that I rarely did it. I would check my “balance” before dinner and then adjust. ¬†The amount of mental gymnastics that seemed to be required to lose weight struck me as unnatural.

My graph on the Hacker’s Diet includes an estimated calorie deficit: ¬†“Weekly¬†loss¬†0.62¬†pounds. Daily¬†deficit:¬†311¬†calories.” ¬†¬†The idea that my weight would change with a mere deficit of 50 calories a week seemed unreasonable. ¬†Granted, the website offers a traditional calorie-deficit theory of weight loss. What I like is the weighted average of the weight loss graph. That’s more helpful to me to avoid feeling buffeted by daily changes in the scale. ¬†For the same reason, I also like “The Google 15“. ¬† ¬†You can see the obvious progress I am making with No Sugar No Starch.

Day 4: and then boredom sets in….

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I’m just waiting around until I lose some more weight. Yesterday’s numbers:

Grams Calories %-Cals
Dietary Fiber

ÔĽŅRoll call: bacon & eggs; eggplant dip, smoked dry sausage, green olives, green salad; cheese and olives at a party; green beans, homemade snapper and Chinese veg. soup that I made with coconut oil and cream. Delicious! Oh, and an Atkins shake while I ran an errand.

This is easy. It’s also backwards. Eat when I’m hungry. Make sure to add enough fat to every meal. That’s just plain weird. It goes against all the popular instructions on how to lose weight.¬† Another example of the madness of the crowds? Perhaps.¬† It really turns on its head all the fat & food phobias.¬†¬† I’m not counting calories. I’m only restricting carbohydrates. And it’s working.

I’m reading Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It. I find Mr Taubes’ explanations clear and persuasive.¬† The theories match my own experiences. Of course, that means they’re true for me. N=1. Since I am not a public health official, it is all that matters. That I can find something that works for me.

However, I care about the general state of public health.¬† The book shows how prejudiced we are¬† when we accuse obese people of sloth and gluttony.¬† That fat woman eats too much and needs to exercise. What’s wrong with her!¬† What if that fat woman actually is suffering from a mis-diagnosed glandular disorder? That she is ravenous because her body deprives her of the use of the stored fat, leaving her under-nourished no matter what she eats.¬† The result would be hunger and fatigue, no?

Instead of exploring this idea, conversations on how-to-lose-weight turn towards eating disorders and emotional eating and the psychology of weight loss.  I hear echoes of psychologist Judith Beck trying to persuade me that hunger is not an emergency. Well, when I have a hypoglycemic episode, hunger is an emergency.    I am finding that the types of food I choose have a direct relationship to whether I feel full after eating and how long it takes to feel hungry again.  When I choose fats & proteins, I feel pretty good for a long while. Then, when I feel hungry again, I eat.  Simple as that.

Now that I have apparently dialed into both maintenance (which I did so easily the last month) and weight loss, I have a lot of free mental energy to put to good use.

Day 3: I fell through the floor

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I was delighted by the scale this morning registering 159.5, this especially after an intense training day and sore legs this morning.  When I look back at my training logs and the inflammation I felt, I wonder now if that inflammation was related to diet.  Looking back, I felt nervous about getting enough food to fuel my training and so used sports drinks and carbs. The result was bloat and weight gain.  This makes perfect sense when I look through the lens of hormonal balance (biology, not physics).

After reading about nutrition in Maffetone’s tome on Endurance Training, I decided it was reasonable to have fruit juice during intense training sessions. I had an intense 15 minutes of intervals on an indoor bicycle, which zapped me, and I wanted to lift too. So, I had some fresh crushed fruit at the club (about 330 ml). ¬† This put the carb count up higher.

Yesterday’s numbers:

Day 2/45

Weight 160.5

Calories 2,093
Fat 136.4 grams ( 57 %)
Carbohydrate 82.8 grams (15 %)
Net carbs 47.1 grams
Dietary Fiber 35.1 grams
Protein 144.8 grams (28 %)

Day 2: keep going!

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I’m going to run a day behind in reporting so I can get some sleep, in addition to logging & blogging.

My food plan is simple. If I’m hungry, eat protein & fat. Eat leafy greens. Read labels; count carbs.¬† Fruit/juice only during or immediately after intense exercise. I was reading my new favorite book last night – Dr Maffetone’s Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing.¬† He suggests stripping out sugars and refined carbs from your diet to improve your athletic performance. I feel encouraged by this advice. I was feeling a little worried that the way I eat would detract from my training and racing.¬† It looks like the opposite is true.

Day 1/45
weight: 161.0
food: going very well so far.
moves: ran 50 minutes. On tired legs, but I kept moving.
energy: good.

So Monday’s numbers were

kcals 1,489
Fat g 114.5
Carbohydrate g 43.0
Dietary Fiber g 12.4
Protein g 79.5

I want to eat more protein than this, but I was not hungry so I didn’t eat.

Ingredient list:

scrambled eggs (made with cream) & bacon, green tea.
black coffee. didn’t finish it.
tenderloin, broccoli, cauliflower and sliced carrots, lots of lettuce
slice of cheese and some macadamia nuts
(post run) sweet potato (boiled)
tomato sauce and meatballs, 1/4 c pumpkin (boiled)
green tea

See for yourself.  Link to Fitday.  I might just put this link in a side-bar widget so I can write about more interesting things than what I put into my mouth.

Recipe: Salmon Soup

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Serves 4.

200 grams of smoked salmon
2 cubes chicken stock
200 grams of shelled prawns
A few sprigs of chives
Salt and pepper

Crumble the stock cubes into a saucepan containing 1 litre of water and bring to the boil. Cut the salmon into thin strips. Chop the chives and decorate the prawns with them. Divide the hot stock into the soup bowls. Add the sliced ingredients and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately.