Although the first 3 days had been relatively easy, I had already started to notice, much to my amusement, how often I wanted to reach for a snack here and a nibble there without actually being hungry. I was noticing all kinds of adverts and signs pointing to cafes, pizzerias, donuts, ice cream. My friends found it both funny and surprising. They had never seen me notice anything like that before. Even I realised that suddenly I couldn’t walk 5 metres without noticing the signs of the next coffee shop or restaurant with delicious foods. None of which were healthy by the way! It’s not as if I was jumping in exciyement, saying: ”Ooh, look at that gorgeous salad!” Or “My god, I want that egg and spinach pot!” It was always something unhealthy, processed, high in sugar and fat. And the main reason for this type of reaction was me having cut out high carb and high fat foods cold turkey. And that had never been my aim with this experiment; I simply had to choose fresh, healthy and high protein meals as I didn’t have room in my daily caloric allowance for highly palatable foods for they give you a lot of calories and very little gross volume to actually fill you up. This in turn means you will still feel hungry after eating since the meal didn’t even touch the sides. As an additional problem, the insulin response to these foods will send you off spiralling needing more sugar and you’ll never be able to stop. So I never touched any.
Thursday – I took my before photos in the morning. Why not on Monday, I hear you say? Well, remember I said I had a food and drinks filled weekend. Had I taken photos of myself on the first day then the comparison would have been incredibly different for I was so bloated still on Monday and Tuesday. I should have also weighed myself on that day but had no access to scales between the beginning and end of the expeeiment. Now, by Wednesday and Thursday I was feeling much better and knew that even with half the experiment ahead of me, I’d be able to show changes in my physique. Such is my confidence in my knowledge about Nutrition and how our bodies work.
It was Silver’s birthday on Thursday and he said he wished to have pizza for dinner. So we planned a visit to Franco Manca. I had already scanned the menu through and through and knew I was going to have a lovely salad. I did and also happened to eat a few bites of cake and a few pizza crusts off Silver’s plate. (If you’ve been to FM, you’ll know that sourdough base is too beautiful not to eat.) Although I went 200kcal over my BMR, my BMR being 600 calories under my maintenance calories, hence I was still under my maintenance by about 400kcal. That means you’re still losing weight but more on that at the end of the post!
Friday – similar easy day and similar to Thursday, I had planned a dinner with Yasmine (who, in fact, is also doing this same experiment now, before her holiday – so head over to my instagram to find a link to her page!). These three were actually the first few days when I found myself hungry before dinner. And that was solely because I had to wait for a certain time to dine whereas at home I would have cooked a meal as soon as I felt it was time to eat. Equally, I would have probably been able to create two dishes with the same calories I consumed for dinner at the restaurant.
Social life isn’t impossible on a diet, not even on the BMR diet, it just takes some careful planning and studying menus in advance to avoid unexpected surprises at the restaurant.
Saturday – Hypothesis: I’m going to be so tempted to snack all day since I’m at home and have all foods in my cupboards at my disposal.
What really happened: I had a protein yoghurt and a hot drink for late breakfast and then a friend came over. That was actually the distraction I needed as I wasn’t obsessing about food like I had feared I would. Having a friend in the house was also perfect motivation to cook something super yummy for lunch to both fill my hungry stomach and impress my guest. 😄 That worked perfectly as I made my Chicken Boursin for 4 and it went down a treat, even Silver loved it.
For dinner I was going to cook some more but we had an idea to go out as my friend was keen on me to try the foods at Zelman Meats. Always up for a challenge (and being the meat lover that I am), I couldn’t resist the offer. 😄 I had some über succulent pork ribs and lovely sides with courgettes with feta and another one with mushrooms. Dinner was delicious and left me very full. I did go over my BMR a tiny bit again but was under my maintenance so still continued weight loss.
My personal BMR: 1444kcal. My personal maintenance calories: 2022kcal (this is with the lowest activity multiplier).
As a nation we overestimate our energy expenditure on a daily basis. We are less active than we think so we should always set our low activity maintenance calories as the base. You can always eat more if you’ve physically had a very strenuous day and feel the need to top up energy levels with more food. We also eat more than we think, which means we must start overestimating our food intake and underestimating our energy expenditure.
THURSDAY – 1647kcal (still under my maintenance calories by 375kcal)
FRIDAY – 1695kcal (under by 327kcal)
SATURDAY – 1578kcal (under by 444kcal)
The average caloric deficit for weight loss is -500kcal a day. My BMR calories are nearly 600kcal lower from my maintenance, which means I stand a chance of losing weight faster than average especially if I introduce exercise in addition to the change in my energy intake.
When you dine out and socialise, you can still stay under your maintenance calories and continue weight loss as planned, even if it’s slightly slower some days. So this habit of people just throwing in the towel when they go out to dinner and saying “oh I might as well since I’ve already overdone it!”, that has to stop.
Think of these things when planning your social life:
🔸Must we necessarily go out to the restaurant or can I entertain friends from home (and cook healthy nutritious meals)?
🔸If going out, do I know what food the restaurant serves or can I look at their menu in advance? If there’s nothing there, might my friends be ok with us changing the location?
🔸Do I have to eat and drink what everybody else is having or will they accept me even if I order something completely different? (After all, your friends should love you no matter what you eat or drink.) and the same goes for business lunches. You DON’T HAVE to eat anything that you know that isn’t going to help you lose weight. You also don’t have to drink all the alcohol like your clients, in fact you don’t have to drink any. I’ve never heard of a contract signing that required somebody to drink wine while being held at a gunpoint for if they didn’t, the whole deal would be off.
So let’s again look at this aspect of weight loss and admit to ourselves there really are no excuses when it comes to reaching our goals. There is always a way!