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Badger's Sett

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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:42 am

The weight-loss continues unabated.

I've been choosing foods with low energy density and high fibre. As a result, processed foods are an occasional treat rather than a daily meal. Vegetables and fruit have taken on a greater dietary role.

I recently casseroled a rabbit in a homemade curry sauce accompanied by chopped tomato and several onions. The rabbit cost $1, the tomato about 20 cents and the three onions totalled about 30 cents. The casserole has been doled out with various extras, such as boiled eggs and vegetables - in season and quite cheap. Obviously I buy heavily discounted goods, and often in bulk - for example, a sack of onions may last up to a month. A lot of money is saved by astute purchases of basic, unprocessed food items.

The final major change is that I've gone back to a comprehensive food diary. This not only stops me from cheating, or "forgetting" that I'd already eaten something, but helps me maintain a healthy diet while ensuring a steady reduction in weight.

So all's good, and I'm on track to get back to my "starting" weight of 75kg by the middle of next year.
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:56 am

The weight-loss continues. From August I've kept a food diary and ensured I was creating an energy deficit (5200-6500Kj) most days - allowing one day a week for being slack and having more than required. I've lost about 4 kilogrammes, pants and shirts are significantly looser, and feeling better than when I was eating rubbish foods.

I've continued my prohibition on biscuits and bread. For me, biscuits fall into two categories - "sweet", the type used with tea and coffee such as scotch, arrowroot, etc, and water crackers, which get loaded with cheese, meat or dip.

Water crackers are fine on their own, in moderation, but present too much of an excuse to load them with cheese and deli meats. I cut them out, and my purchases of cheese, especially soft ones like Brie and Camembert, have plummeted, no doubt sending the Australian cheese industry into a spiralling death dive (sorry guys!).

I consider bread the same as water crackers: a delivery system for topping: cheese, butter, meat, etc. The obligatory leaf of lettuce accompanying such fare just doesn't cut it. I'll have wholemeal pita occasionally - as a healthy low-kilojoule base for a homemade pizza, but that's it.

I recently had lunch made by a vegan colleague, and was surprised at the quality of the food available for such people. It made for an interesting variety of material on the plate due to the need to maintain a good level of nutrients. Although I doubt I'd ever go vegan, it does seem a viable way to go when one considers the ethics and healthfulness driving the practice.

Statistics show that between 85 and 95 percent of people who lose a lot of weight (50 kilos in my case) will regain much of it within five years due to various reasons. In the previous two years I regained nearly half the weight I'd originally lost. However, I don't want to be part of those statistics, and I'm well on my way to get back to my ideal weight.
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:22 pm

Ah, chocolate, my bane. Still, I'm minimising the Christmas season damage by eating less of other things when the chocolate flows - or crumbles. :-)
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:07 am

Christmas, my bane.

However, the damage was minimised to Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Two days of "free" eating. Now it's back to being careful.
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:06 pm

And the carefulness continues.

Junk food, including biscuits and bread, is a rare treat. Mostly it's vegetables, fruit and a little meat and cheese. Slowly but surely I'm gaining loss. :-)

It's all in the mind, but it has taken me months of effort to regain the mindset I had used to lose 50 kilos.
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:42 pm

I've made a little rule for myself:
"No bread unless I bake it myself!"

Baking bread is time consuming, which prevents me from duplicating that biblical passage regarding loaves multiplying like rabbits. Instead, I make it using wholemeal flour, oat bran and rolled oats. Half goes in the freezer. When I get a "bread craving" I take some out, cut a chunk off, defrost it, then stick it in the fridge because by then the craving has ended.

Vegetables are cheap, so they are now a mainstay of my meals. Costs are kept to less than $2 per kilo of any fruit and vegetable by careful shopping and taking advantage of in-season vegetables and special promotions (and not being too fussy about use-by dates).

Stir-fry dominates my cooking because of the random nature of the purchases, and the predominance of onion, cabbage and lettuce. To the vegetables are added spices, eggs, meat and cheese in small amounts. Enough is cooked to be able to freeze ready-to-heat meals stored in zip-lock bags.

I avoid processed foods where possible. Even such things as yogurt - I make this treat myself, using (processed) skim milk powder, (processed) yogurt culture and water. A litre of natural yogurt can be made for less than one dollar worth of ingredients.

I substitute softdrink with cheap carbonated mineral water with a few squirts of bottled lime or lemon juice (or both on days I want to feel really decadent).

Unsweetened almond milk is very low in kilojoules, so I use that instead of milk or the other more popular substitutes. It tastes odd at first, but, as with everything, one gets used to it.

I've dedicated myself to lose 20 kilos by the end of this year. So far, I'm on track.
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:33 am

I had no idea a cabbage could last so long. For weeks now I've been slowly turning a cabbage into stirfry, along with onion, egg, meat and spices. The local supermarket was selling packages of tofu for 60 cents a kilo, so I'm now using slices of that in my stirfry instead of meat. Meat is relatively expensive and I'm finding suitable substitutes.

I'm also cooking without oil, which is helping to reduce my energy intake. On days I know I might be dining out at night and eating more than usual I'll just have a piece of fruit for breakfast or lunch - I haven't yet succumbed to starvation.

Another thing I've noticed is that the reduction of my intake of refined carbohydrates (grain flour, sugars) has resulted in less cravings. I assume it's to do with less variation of blood sugar levels and the associated insulin response. This means I feel less overwhelming "hunger" and am less likely to mindlessly graze or binge.

Overall, progress is good, clothes are becoming loose, buttons are no longer popping and I'm getting thinner. It's a slower experience than when I originally lost 50 kilos a few years ago, but the general physical results are similar. This time I think I'll be better mentally equipped to resist rebounding after I reach my ideal weight (which is still 20 kilos away).
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:11 pm

Another too-tight shirt is no longer too-tight! My ample circumference is slowly reducing.

One observation I've seen shile shopping is the wide variation of kilojoule content in "natural yogurt". It varies between 300kj to 500kj even with whole milk and no additives. It pays to check the labels, or, like I usually, do, make it at home from culture and skim milk.
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:42 pm

I've not had bread or biscuits for a few weeks now. My appetite has reduced too, seemingly as a result of my being weened from floury fare.

For years I've been noticing how processed foods like bread sate an appetite for a short while but then it comes back with a vengeance. Something to do with the insulin response, I suppose.

So if I don't eat rubbish, my hunger has a flatter, longer cycle and not a raging, roller-coasting, barely manageable beast as in years gone by. So my gut is shrinking, my clothes are growing, and I'm feeling healthier. It's been a while since I've binged, and even then, it was a once-in-a-few-weeks kind of event.

I also found another way to reduced food costs: buy marked-down bottles of supermarket skim milk a day before their use-by date, and make yogurt. I got a litre for 15 cents, added yogurt culture and in 24 hours had a delicious, tangy, low-cal natural yogurt to add to my collection of items hiding at the back of the fridge.
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Wed May 02, 2018 12:06 pm

Over the last few months I've lost a kilo each month. Nice and steady.

I have noticed a pattern though. I tend to celebrate these weight-loss milestones by overindulging on food for a few days. Still, I'm aware of this bad habit and mitigate it as much as possible.
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Fri May 25, 2018 9:26 am

I had a handful of biscuits last night. Party out of habit, but also, I strongly suspect, due to being awake late at night, since when a person feels tired it's natural for the body to want nourishment.

So I'm trying to alter my sleep habits - basically, shift the clock back a few hours and then see how I go regarding nighttime cravings.
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:46 pm

I'm losing weight slowly. The tough part is regaining my good eating habits which had fallen by the wayside a few years ago during a bout of complacency. One bright spot was my delight in discovering a new low-kilojoule milk-substitute on my local supermarket shelf. It's based on pea protein and has the same kilojoule count as almond milk. The taste is similar, too.

Sleep is the big problem at the moment. I don't get enough. And when tired I'll eat (the body thinking it's weary from lack of food, I guess) without thinking. So, poor sleeping habits are yet another issue closely associated with weight-loss.
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:25 pm

My weight continues to drop slowly but surely.

Cutting out bread and biscuits turned out to be an effective strategy. I appreciate healthier foods more now, and am eating less due to the diminished general cravings that refined carbohydrates seemed to encourage.

My clothes are looser, my stomach is shrinking, and my overall health is improving. It will be a while yet before I get back to my former low weight (75Kg!) but I'm now certain I've reversed the weight-regain that began after I reached my goal weight and I became complacent.

Statistics show that many, if not most people who lose a large amount of weight (in my case, 53Kg) will slowly put it back on after a few years. It happened to me over the past five years but I stopped it when I'd regained half the weight I'd lost. It is an interesting lesson, since I never really felt alarmed as the fat slowly returned - it felt "normal" to be heavy, and felt normal to overeat. Hopefully this time around I've practiced losing weight enough to ensure I do it properly this time. The practice runs are over.

To recap: In 2010 I hit 40 years and guessed I'd likely die of a heart attack before I reached 45 due to my unhealthy lifestyle and morbid obesity. Over the course of three years I lost 53Kg. Then, between 2014-2017 I put nearly half that back on! From 2017 I struggled to return to my good healthy habits and routines of the previous years, but for the past few months it's become easier. It's a pity I screwed up a lot of my hard work, but a large part of weight-loss is in the mind - regrets tend to force a person to spiral down and commence "comfort-eating", which is a no-no. The trick seems to keep a professional boundary between emotions and food, and seems to work well in general.

As I've written before: Start thinking and acting like a thin and healthy person, then eventually the body will follow.

So, I think I'll reach 75Kg by the middle of 2019, and hopefully reach 50 feeling and looking thin and healthy. It will be interesting to read this post a year from now. Hopefully my future self won't be disappointed.
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:48 pm

I lost another 400 grammes this week. It's all adding up over the months. I've been avoiding bread and biscuits for some months now, except for the odd treat such as pizza (home made, including homemade base!) and when eating out.

It was the use of baked flour products as a staple that was doing all the damage. Fortunately I've well and truly kicked that nasty habit, replacing them with healthier options. As I mentioned above, bread and biscuits are not prohibited, they're just eaten rarely, no longer as standard day-to-day fare. For example, I was at the supermarket last night and had a craving for sardines on crumpets (mm, yum!). I stood in front of the crumpet rack debating with myself - then left the aisle empty-handed and just bought a can of sardines. I ate the sardines out of the tin at home. Once I'd done that, the craving disappeared. And I avoided a 1000 kj hit by not having the crumpets. And saved some money (crumpets are expensive considering the raw materials).

If I want bread, I make it. Soda bread: oil, salt, baking soda, wholemeal flour. Mixed, flattened into a sheet, slapped onto an oven rack for 20m at 200C. The time and effort involved means I rarely make it except for pizza bases and to satisfy my vegemite-on-toast cravings.
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Re: Badger's Sett

Postby CronicBadger » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:54 pm

The weight-loss journey continues despite some potholes on the road. I had a sudden increase in weight last week, but it could only have been water retention due to a higher-than-usual intake of fibre. I expect it to disappear rapidly as there was no physical way it could have been weight gained from fat production.

Foodwise, I've managed to keep away from bread and junk food. I generally make stirfry, mostly vegetables with a small amount of meat. Leftover stirfry gets consumed as snacks or later meals.

So far, so good.
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