Tag: food

How to Lose All Your Excess Fat. Forever.

How to Lose All Your Excess Fat. Forever.

Fed up to the eyeballs with faddish weight loss programs that work for six months, tops? Ready for some in-your-face-in-a-good-way common sense? Read on, girlfriend.

I won’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t eat or even how much because I think you already know this. If you don’t let me know and I will post an update with suggestions that were provided to me by my sensible friends.

We live in a society that is just plain spoilt and greedy. We expect to always feel content, full, happy. Never to feel empty, lonely, sad. If we experience what used to be seen as ‘the blues’ we’re whacked on lexapro faster than you can say ‘bummer’. Of course there are exceptions to this and the recent progress by popular culture such as the film Silver Linings Playbook in de-stigmatising mental health issues is great. But back to the main event for today – blubber.

Hunger is designed to be out of everyone’s comfort zone. It is supposed to make you sit up and plan for the next feed. It’s your body talking to you. It triggers you to feel dissatisfied, slightly irritable, even sad. That’s the whole point. If we felt serene and calm when we were hungry we’d all starve to death as our bodies wouldn’t prompt us to do anything about it.

It’s just that fixing ‘hunger’ can lead to too much of a good thing: Excess fat.

My sensible friends have en mass chipped in with ideas and advice over my many years of yoyo dieting; the yoyo staying on the upside of fat for longer each time, staying on the skinny side for shorter and shorter periods. Sigh. This, along with guidance from bariatric (fat) doctor, Hendrik Rensburg has armed me with enough knowledge on the issue to feel confident enough to write about it. But of course you never stop learning about these things and there will be a mountain of things I miss because I don’t know it yet.

Eat less. Much less.

It sounds so depressingly simple, doesn’t it? It actually really is. However (big however!), there are just a few hurdles to overcome before a body is prepared to do this. If you know what they are it isn’t hard to jump them. First of all is working out whether you’re a hummingbird or a polar bear. You can pretty much guess what this means:

Polar Bear or Hummingbird?

Rensburg uses these animals as a way of explaining in layman’s terms how people’s metabolisms differ. A hummingbird has to eat at least its own body weight in food each day just to survive. They often eat around 14 times their body weight. No fat hummingbirds.

hummingbird

A polar bear on the other had needs to go for several months without food each year and is highly efficient at storing fat for this reason. People’s metabolisms vary from person to person. I am a polar bear. It sucks but at least I don’t have to think about eating all the time (ironically I do, though). Some of us have metabolisms that require frequent feeding to stay stable, others have clever, efficient metabolisms that extract every last calorie from whatever’s eaten and stores it carefully for the next famine.

polar bear

Denial

If you’re reading this and you’re overweight, this is step number one. Yes you probably have a metabolism that is good at holding onto every last calorie from that piece of sourdough fruit toast. Yes you are one of the “lucky” ones who is so efficient at storing fat that, come the next famine, will triumphantly survive while your perpetually skinny bestie who scoffs pizza every Friday night will be dead within three days. Suck it up, princess.

Deprivation

Do you honestly actually know what this feels like lately? One of my current fave blogger’s, Rose at The Londoner has a great little chart that describes the difference between a craving and proper hunger:

hunger versus craving

The uncomfortable side effects of hunger in the First World will not kill you. You can satisfy your hunger in an instant if you wish. However for those looking to reduce fat, unless you allow your body to partly consume itself, you are not going to lose excess fat. It’s just scientifically not possible. And having your body eat up its own fat is not a pleasant feeling no matter how exciting it is seeing the pounds come off. Just deal with it and have another drink of water. I bought a soda stream to make it a bit more interesting. I’ve come to love soda water, you can too. Learn to be at ease with what Rensburg calls the pain of deprivation.

soda water

Nutrient Density

If you’re going to eat a small enough amount that your body is going to have to feast on itself for a while (i.e. more energy out than energy in) you want to be sure that the calories you are taking in are actually going to feed you at a cellular level. Don’t eat food that contains little nutrient value (you’re a big girl, you work out what those are). Otherwise you’re going to be excruciatingly hungry the whole time and eventually get sick, fail, and get fat. Fatter than you were before. That doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? Take it from a pilgrim; it’s not.

The easiest way to do this is eat “clean” foods. Avoid anything that comes in a package of any sort. If you have to brush or wash earth dirt off it, more power to you. If it’s meat try to see that the animal was a happy one, ie pasture fed before becoming your dinner. This way you can still be primal, paleo, vegetarian, whatever floats your boat, and know that your body is getting properly fed, albeit in small doses for a little while.

Chocolate cake for example can have plenty of calories but because it contains foods that have little nutritional value (flour, sugar), it’s going to fill your tummy for a bit, then leave you wildly hungry and likely to snack unnecessarily. Trust me on this one.

Being Strong

Your biggest enemy is self-pity. We all go there. It’s something most of us avoid checking out to ourselves because well, it’s a bit embarrassing. Who wants to be caught out eating a massive second helping of risotto because they feel sorry for themselves? So to avoid acknowledging that we are over eating due to a “poor me” habit, we blame it on anything else: My marriage is hard, my daughter is strung out, I’m tired, I’m time-poor. The list goes on. You can try to work out why you overeat or you can just stop doing it, the choice is yours. I went for ‘just stop it’ and decided to check it out after the weight was gone. There is a time for navel gazing and there is a time for harden the fuck up. Your choice. Either road will get you there if you eat less regardless.

Exercise a Bit

While you’re dropping excess fat off, it pays to try not to get massively hungry so you want to be doing some exercise but not so much that the hunger is just too much to bear. I love to run but while I was losing the extra kilos I cut down how much I run and did a lot more walking. Happily, I found that even with cutting down my kilometres, I came out the other end after a few months able to run faster than ever before.

Do some fast walking and do some weight-bearing exercise. I just use the equipment at the outdoor exercise park and my own body weight for weight-bearing.

Bathroom Scales – they’re not the enemy

No one can love the bathroom scales; I get that. There are some of us who can monitor a healthy weight without ever getting on the scales. Sadly I am not one of these people. I can quite easily gain eight kilos without even realising it. So for me it’s onto the scales every day or so. If I am up, I eat less, if I am down I relax a bit. I try to keep within a two kilogram yoyo rather than a 15 kilogram yoyo. I can only do this if I keep my eyes firmly on the scales. If I know I have a big feasting period coming up, like a holiday or Christmas, I try to lose the extra kilo first rather than afterwards. It works so much better than trying to get extra holiday fat off as it doesn’t feel punitive this way. Instead, the feasting is a reward, nothing to feel guilty about. Hummingbird types reading this will have no idea what I am talking about but you polar bears do, don’t you?

Get to Grips With Yourself

Honesty time: how skinny do you seriously expect to be? If you’re entering the glory of middle age you might want to re-think that size zero, or eight, or whatever sizes your country does. It’s not a good look to be underweight. Seeing a doctor for guidance on this is a really good idea as you’re going to get totally unbiased advice.

On the other side of the coin, how long do you want to be fat for? It’s your choice. I’ve been fat and I’ve been thin and thin is much much more fun.

The Local Grocer Delivers the Goods

The Local Grocer Delivers the Goods

This week I took a “preview” delivery of gorgeously fresh and mostly* very local fruit and veggies from new Perth business, The Local Grocer. It’s not available for orders until next week – I happened to have thrown an embarrassingly small amount of money at the business to help them start-up via the hot new(ish) concept of crowd funding – so they let me order a week early. They also asked me not to publicise their website until next week but I just couldn’t wait so please don’t tell on me.

Local Grocer seasonal box

It is chockas! The fruit and veg are fresh, cold and crisp and the local ham…lovely. It came at about 5.30pm so I whipped out a few ingredients and threw it together to make a ham and vegetable risotto.

risotto ingredients

It was all locally fabulous with a handful of frozen peas because the kids love them.

risotto local grocer

The box was $70 and will easily feed the five of us for the week. My box is a conventional box; the organic box is $90. I will have to supplement a couple of things – we eat a lot of apples here and we also have a beetroot, celery and carrot juice (Juice-Plus! we call it) each morning so need big quantities of those.

You don’t have to order a seasonal box. You can just pick and choose exactly what you like and in any quantities. I wanted to check out the seasonal box to see what is actually seasonal right now, and also to see if it would suit me as I like the idea of one-click ordering (are you getting how lazy I am yet?).

If you live in Perth and you’re interested in supporting Greg and Mary Winning and The Local Grocer you can jump on board to order as of next week. Just don’t tell anyone or give it away that you had a sneak preview this week, promise? It’s our little secret.

*While the business is newly growing, there are a few items that need to come from interstate. They plan within a couple of years to be 100% local. It’s a work in progress, as with any good idea.

Margaret River Farmers Markets, Part 1

Margaret River Farmers Markets, Part 1

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What better way to end a sweltering December day than with a swim with our Hong Kong-based Sensible Friends, Ian and Keir (and families) at the mouth of the Margaret River in Western Australia’s south west.

The only thing missing was an Esky with icy drinks.

This time of year Margaret river is heaving with tourists, none of whom see themselves as tourists but rather as highly irregular residents, like me of course, I mean, come on I virtually grew up here; every summer for forty years has to count for something doesn’t it?

There is so much to do down here but really no time to do it what with ending a long lazy day of pottering around with a beach swim. How could you fit in anything else?

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I’m making an exception for the farmers market. There is chocolate from Yallingup, syrups from Dunsborough, grass fed meats from The Farm House, local soap, honey, olive oil, local organic beef….not to mention the greens, the fruits and veg! Good grief I even broke my own rule and used an exclamation mark.

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Now it is time for bed with a cheap fan and a cool sheet and tomorrow I’ll let you know whats fabulous from the market.

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