We all know that putting on weight is soooooo easy, but losing it can be an uphill battle. This is where I have been, and if you are over 40, you will also know that your metabolism changes so much, it’s not easy to keep the weight off.
Some years back I got a hold of Tim Ferris’ book The Four Hour Body and followed it for about two months. I have to say that it worked wonders. The main things about this diet are to be strict with the diet, which is very much a high protein/low carb diet for 6 days and then have a pig out day (or at least that’s what I used to call it). Another aspect was to have protein within the first hour of waking.
The reason for the above was simple. The morning protein resets your metabolism for the day ahead. The pig out day wasn’t just to make you feel better, although it did accomplish that, it was again to reset your metabolism for the coming week, and it does reset your motivation. Usually after a week of being strict with a diet, or anything for that matter, we tend to start procrastinating and making excuses, which is why we fail. However, if you have a day to look forward to then you can go into the next week full of motivation.
You generally lose a bunch of weight and then on the pig out day you may put half of it back on. Only weigh yourself once a week, usually at the beginning of the new week and you will continue to lose weight. Some weeks I was losing 4 to 5 kgs and then putting on 2 to 3, so when I weighed myself I would have lost 2 to 3kgs that week. Progress is good on the diet and it keeps you motivated, but I must say, the amount of protein was a bit much for me.
At this current juncture in my life, I have decided to go with the keto diet. When I started I was sticking to it quite strictly, but I believe the whole key to sticking to a diet on a long term basis is to find the things that work for you and identify the things that are sabotaging you.
I’ve always been a big coffee drinker, meaning I can go through 10 cups of coffee a day quite easily. With my coffee I like to have 2 sugars and milk. I’ve also always believed that this has been my Achilles’s heel and is the one thing that is keeping my weight on and gaining. With the keto diet I was introduced to Xylitol which is a sugar substitute but believe it or not, actually tastes like sugar and doesn’t have a bitter after taste like most sweeteners. So, I changed from sugar to Xylitol.
I also found that if I had full cream milk I wasn’t losing weight. Although full cream milk is acceptable on the keto diet, the amount of coffee I drink wasn’t advantageous. I know that I could change from coffee to water, which I did for a while, but in order to sustain the diet long term, I needed to find a solution that wasn’t going to make me fail, and that was stick to my coffee, but change the ingredients, and I still drink the water which is very important.
So I changed to Xylitol and fat free milk and I saw a definite improvement.
Also I have always liked my boiled eggs and toast in the morning. I can still have that and stick to mostly keto during the day and I continue to lose weight. It may be a kilogram or two a week, which is good steady progress.
I definitely recommend the keto diet, and if you are vegan, there is even a vegan keto cookbook, so it does caters for all. Obviously the original intent of the keto diet did not accommodate vegans because it is very much based on high fat/low carbs, and because of the high animal fat content, people often wonder how you can lose weight on such a diet, similar to banting.
The main principle of keto is to reduce the carb intake and increase the good fats. By doing so we encourage the body to enter a fat burning state where it is using the fat as fuel instead of using glucose. This state is called ketosis and produces ketone bodies which are produced by the breakdown of fats in the liver, and the body uses the fat for energy.
A large carb intake will mean that your body is using glucose for energy, whereas we want to prevent that from happening and cause the body to use fat as energy. Simple really.
The good fats are also great for people who suffer from diabetes and insulin intolerance. It’s the glucogens from carbs that causes the problem, therefore reducing carbs reduces the glucogens. When we think of foods with fat content we usually think straight away of animal fats which may make a vegan keto diet seem a bit silly. However these fats can also come from olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, so it does make sense after all.
To sum up my keys to effective weightloss, let me break it down:
- Find a diet that agrees with you and the foods that you like to eat. If you like eating meat but every diet you come across has you eating like a rabbit, then have a look into the keto or banting diet. If you are a vegan, then a vegan diet in general should help, but if you want to focus on getting the body into ketosis, then there is the vegan keto option.
- Identify the things in your current diet that are sabotaging your weightloss, and substitute or replace.
- Drink lots of water, try for 2 litres daily if you are a woman and 3 litres if you are a man.
- If you can do Ozone Therapy, add that to your regimen. It definitely helps because you are getting a good detox and helps with water retention.
- And finally, exercise, even if it is just a walk around the block every day.