A Bold Experiment

If you have read through my ramblings on food, addiction and hunger thus far, you deserve a medal!  This post is going to be short and to the point and strive to answer the burning question:  “So where do I go from here?”

The picture is pretty bleak, truth be told.  At the ripe old age of 38 I am spectacularly disillusioned with my ability to lose weight by dieting, much less keep it off!  What’s more I now understand that there is a biological reason for this.  In the words of Dr Lustig: “No one can exert cognitive inhibition over a biochemical drive that goes on every minute of every day of every year. It is just not possible.”  So where does that leave me?  Am I destined to die young and die fat?  I really hope!  In an effort to avoid this fate, I am have devised a bold experiment that seeks to determine whether it is possible to eat a diet:

  1. So delicious that I never crave junk food.
  2. So satisfying that I never get hungry.
  3. So rich in nutrition that my body gets everything it needs for health, energy and well-being.
  4. Sufficiently low in calories that I am able to reach and maintain a healthy body weight.

I also want to achieve all of the above by:

  1. Avoiding extremes.  No deprivation and no bingeing. The “weight loss” phase of the plan needs to be as similar as possible to the “maintenance” phase.
  2. Not demonizing or deifying any of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat).
  3. Not using any means to artificially suppress my appetite  (no pills or potions!)
  4. The concept of a dieter’s “Cheat Day” must be rendered meaningless by every-day delicious and decadent eating!

As Dr Phil would say: “It’s a good deal if you can get it!” Of course I realize a deal this sweet will come at a cost.  In order to achieve the above, I will commit to:

  1. Continually educate myself on the subjects of health and nutrition.
  2. Learn to cook and prepare my own meals from scratch.
  3. Do everything within my power to source the healthiest versions of all the foods I consume on a regular basis.
  4. Engage in regular physical exercise and strive to lead a generally active life.

The experiment will be deemed a provisional success if and when I have achieved a healthy weight and maintained it for one year, on the understanding that I would then need to commit to the plan for the rest of my life.  This blog will chart my progress for the purpose of accountability and for my own interest and entertainment.

Anyone who chooses to follow my journey:  Welcome and thank you!  Feel free to comment, offer suggestions and encouragement and ask any questions you may have about what I am doing and why.  I will try to answer to the best of my ability.

7 thoughts on “A Bold Experiment

  1. I’m no expert, but your plan to cook and prepare your own meals is probably the best idea, and most satisfying, at least as far as overall health is concerned. You can put in a bit less of, say, the cheese, and more of something less fatty.

    If, like most of us, you go online to find information about healthy living and food, you might be interested in my latest blog post…

    • Thanks Jasper! Totally agree! Preparing my own meals is key to my success. That way I can leave out the less healthy options or if I do add a bit of, say, cheese, it can be portion controlled and the healthiest possible version. The best part is that the end product comes out tasting as good or better than the processed/fast food option if I do say so myself 🙂 Letting someone else, who doesn’t necessarily have my best interests at heart, add sugar, salt and fat to my food for me is a big part of what has gotten me into the mess I am in today.

      Read your post. Love it! I definitely spend a lot of time online looking for information on health and nutrition and I am starting to form my own criteria for evaluating the usefulness of what I read. If you don’t figure that out you will go stark raving bonkers!

  2. I wish you all the best with your experiment and thank you for sharing. I will follow with great interest.

    Some of the points that have got my attention are:

    1. Not demonizing or deifying any of the macro-nutrients.
    Right now, carbs seem to be the enemy, yesterday it was fat.

    2. The realization that the source of our food is so important.
    If you are going to include animal fat, it had better be from a certified free range animal. Sugars, from fruit, are best from certain groups and organic, to boot. Wholefoods and not processed.

    All a great challenge in our current economical and political climate.

    Would you be willing to share some before and after statistics, your weight and other health issues?

    • Thanks John!

      1) Carbs are the villain of the day as you rightly point out. And some of us are still not over our fat phobia so we are just paralyzed and don’t know what to eat, and so end up throwing in the towel and just eating a cheeseburger! Of course normally when people say they “don’t eat carbs”, what the mean is that they don’t eat grains. And which grains we eat and how we eat them definitely deserve some careful attention and reform but even then I am not prepared to toss them out completely.

      2) Food source. You have mentioned some good guidelines and I would like to explore these in greater detail in future. Ability to source these foods depends very much on your a) location b) budget. Which is why I believe you should always strive to get the best food that you can. If you are lucky enough to be able to afford and locally purchase organic produce then by all means do so! If your best choice is the produce section in the supermarket then you will still be far better off than if you shopped a few aisles up in the cookies and biscuits section!

      3) I have alluded to some of my stats in previous posts and will definitely do so again. Not brave enough to post my starting weight at this point but I can say that I have lost 25kgs since 14 November 2012. Blood sugar: As a type 2 diabetic I was on Metformin and regularly saw fasting readings above 10mmol/l (180mg/dl). Currently I take no medication and my fasting reading ranges between 5.2 and 5.5mmol/l (93.6 – 99mg/dl) Random samples are never above 7.8mmol/l. In other words – my diabetes is well managed without medication. I was hypertensive and on Prexum. My blood pressure is normal without medication. Last reading was 124/62 mmHg.

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