The BMR experiment – Day 1-3: initial enthusiasm, the crash and emotional eating.

Last Monday I got yet another crazy idea to do a quick experiment before my sailing holiday in Greece. I had spent a wonderful weekend with friends eating and having a few ciders. On Monday morning I felt so terribly uncomfortable in my own skin as the bloated feeling from the weekend hadn’t left me. And it wasn’t the only weekend I had had dinners and drinks out, it as the 4th consecutive weekend! Shocking, especially if you know me and that I don’t drink or indulge very often. 🙂 But sometimes we must simply enjoy life as it is all about balance in the long run. A few weekends of indulging won’t ruin your life, however it is important to remember that a few weeks of healthy eating won’t turn years or unhealthy eating around either.

My decision to do this experiment was the perfect way of putting a few good things together – showing everybody that it can be done and losing weight in the process to go on holiday and look and feel great in a bikini.

I calculated my BMR – 1444kcal and got to work so to speak. The main hypothesis was that the BMR diet, BMR being the calories our body actually needs, would be manageable, successful and healthy in terms of rapid weight loss. I had a few other ‘worries’ at first, which I’m glad to say I was mistaken about as it was all rather manageable.

So I have broken the experiment down to three parts – part 1 being the first few days when everything should be smooth sailing (excuse the pun as I write this post on a yacht) but I ran into a completely unexpected problem on the third day. Part 2 will cover the following 3 days when I had to manage my calories while eating dinners out every evening, Silver’s birthday being one of them. And the final part will cover the last few days before the holiday, where I managed to make a foolish but amusing mistake on the last day of the experiment.
I will aim to keep the diary short and straightforward just so you could get the facts of what happened or what affected my diet.

Monday – optimistic – the first day is always tackled with enthusiasm and you get everything right. I actually came in under my calories that day by about 250kcal. I had no need to eat more as I had been to a lovely BBQ the day before and singlehandedly consumed enough meat for a small family. This is why I encourage my clients to listen to their bodies more when they’re deciding what to eat next as your body has the answers. The main answer being whether or not it actually requires any energy.
My main worry was whether I would experience a drop in energy levels in the afternoon sitting at the nail salon after a long day on the go. That didn’t happen for I ate vegetables and protein all day and supplemented my day’s food intake with a coffee before noon to train and I believe that same energy carried me through to dinner when I then managed to fill myself up solely on the Tuna Niceoise salad from Pret A Manger. A roaring success!

Tuesday – the gentle crash – it was going to be an easy day and very similar to Monday, however due to a change in my schedule, I had to cancel my own training and to move a client session earlier. As I say that, please don’t think that I was upset about changing my day – I put my clients first and figure the rest out on my own later. However, as a result of that change of schedule, I missed the window where I would normally have a coffee before my session. What I then should have done was to bring my lunch forward and have a bite to eat before my client, however the change of plan happened just as I was on the move so that was not possible. As a result I grew a bit sleepy during the session and headed home right after for a little power nap. That lovely nap turned into a 2 hour recharge and actually felt quite nice. No crash, just a slow change in energy levels. The evening went well and I had no other problems.

Wednesday – emotional eating – sometimes a day starts out so well and then something happens. Such is life and we must be prepared and face everything head on. Breakfast was simple – a protein yoghurt before the school run (funny how it’s called a run, perhaps if we changed the name to a school walk, we wouldn’t rush so much?). I had a ome coffee a couple of hours later to fuel my training session with my hairdresser – we trained legs and headed to lunch in Kingston after with a friend.

An hour later my day was a bit shaken up – I got bitten in the face by a toothless dog, which probably sounds really confusing, but should just about sum up how I felt when it happened. Although I was left unharmed, it hurt a lot. It was quite a shock if I’m honest with you and left me feeling a bit sorry for myself. How could I, an otherwise wise and sensible person, suddenly attempt to kiss a big dog on its nose regardless of whether I knew it or not. I couldn’t explain why I did it but I was fully aware of it all being 100% my fault.

These stressful thoughts got me thinking about cake and pastries and on my search for late lunch, I was so close to just reaching for whatever bit of food I saw first. I didn’t care, I was hungry and emotional – a flight or fight scenario – your body knows satiating your hunger is it’s first priority, but the selection of foods will be up to you.

I truly believe that the reason I didn’t give in to temptation was the fact I was on this experiment. With all eyes on me and people expecting me to document this as accurately as possible, I couldn’t let a foolish little incident ruin my day. But then I had a second thought – had I not restricted my calories in the first place, would I have become so emotional over something so silly? I am not an emotional eater and I talk to my clients about this all the time, so I know the “symptoms” and know to avoid giving in to temptation.

My friend, who was with me at the time, steered me in the right direction. Not by telling me what to eat or what not eat but by asking me “Will you be happy after you’ve eaten this?” And that is something I respect so much. She allowed me to decide for myself and take responsibility for my choices rather than egging me on to eat something naughty or anything just to satisfy the hunger and balance the hormones.
Situations like these will happen in life whether we like it or not as there are no perfect conditions for us to function in. We simply must make life perfect by pushing through the challenges. As far as weight loss is concerned an emotional day can make it or break it. Are you going to stay strong and be aware that there is no link between your emotions and hunger levels or are you going to cave at every upsetting moment and reach for a bit of food to make you feel better?

Leave a comment to let me know what you think. 🙂

Part 2 in a few days.

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