Keeping It Off

Keeping It Off

Not another diet article, you say? I know…it’s become so boring, we are so over-informed, over-fed and under-nourished these days.

For the past year and a quarter I have been seeing a doctor who specialises in bariatric (read: fat) medicine. I wrote about this earlier this year and so far on my own journey the weight (about 13 kilograms) has stayed off for a year. It may not always but it’s where I am for now. I just want to tell you what I found out. If like me you’re an old yo-yo dieter trying to keep the weight off and you’re finding it tough, this might help.

If you’ve been at your goal weight for years (or forever) you have it sorted: perhaps read this instead.

loving earth fudge brownies

It isn’t really important how you take off excess fat. What matters is that, as you age, you do. Of all the health problems associated with being overweight, one that puts a firecracker up the proverbial in my age group is the knowledge that excess fat is ageing.

A sensible friend pointed out tonight that there are many roads that can get you there. Some have had fabulous success with the 5/2 Fast Diet. Others swear by going Paleo, others Vegetarian. They are all very different approaches and once you find something that agrees with your body and you can stick it out, hooray.

I never had a problem until I left school and spent a year in Idaho wondering why my clothes seemed to be shrinking so much. Thirty years later I am armed with tools and working at it. Recently I attended a sort of exit seminar in which Dr Rensburg talked about keeping weight off and it was really useful information.

First a quick look at the basics of getting it off:

  1. It’s normal to feel hungry. We should feel genuinely hungry at least once a day.
  2. You’re supposed to feel uncomfortable when you’re hungry, otherwise you’d starve to death: It’s your body telling you to refuel.
  3. Generally we all in the western world eat far too much. Eat much less.
  4. Some people are excellent at storing fat – they once kept the species going. It sucks in this day and age and culture but there it is. You’re either a polar bear or a hummingbird and if you’re a polar bear you just have to eat more sparingly than those who seem to eat constantly and never gain weight (the hummingbirds).
  5. Make what you do eat count. Look up ‘nutrient density’; put down the two-minute noodles.
  6. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You’re a grownup.
  7. Weigh yourself each morning (I know this one causes people to react with horror). This way you don’t need to count calories ever; the scales do it for you. Up a bit eat less, down a bit eat more.

Maintaining is a bitch for we polar bear types. This is why the scales can be your friend; your calorie counter (because we know there is nothing more depressing than actually counting calories). A lot of people say do not use bathroom scales. I say use them in the morning before you eat to get an idea of where you’re at and how you’re doing. If you’re getting on more than once a day, you’re obsessing: stop that.

Here are a few ideas I picked out from the recent talk.

  1. Expand your discomfort zone: We all live within a comfort zone but in order for it to feel really comfy you have to step out from time to time to appreciate it. If you always feel full, you’ll hate even a tiny bit of hunger.
  2. Sometimes choose foods you don’t like so much. You’re less likely to go hammer and tongs and go back for seconds.
  3. Help with fatty acid release by taking cold showers (but they can’t be hot then cold; just all cold). This is harder than it sounds.
  4. Eat less.
  5. Go for a paleo style of eating (I realise this doesn’t suit everyone). However if you’re faced with freshly baked  Yallingup Woodfired Bread don’t say no!
  6. Eat whole foods, nothing ‘low fat’ – just less of it. 
  7. Exercise how you wish but include some walking or running and some weight-bearing.
  8. Laugh and smile – it releases endorphins (happy hormones).
  9. Sleep: lack of sleep raises stress hormone levels which can cause adrenal fatigue which is bad for a heap of reasons, one of which is that you tend to overeat and your metabolism doesn’t function as effectively.

Crazy as it sounds: have a bit of fun with it. Although I have to admit I am really struggling to find a cold shower fun.

cold shower psycho

10 Replies to “Keeping It Off”

  1. Thanks for this and your earlier post. Found you while researching Dr Rensburg- I’m going to the seminar in late Jan and starting with him. Totally agree about no more excuses! What you wrote about hunger was a revelation- I’m going to try and put it into practice starting today. I’m not used to feeling it at all. Something new for the new year.

    1. Oh thank you so much Remi! I hunted around researching before I started too and was a bit surprised at how little seemed to be out there on Rensburg’s program. I am actually doing a road trip in the US at the moment with my husband and the first thing I bought when I got here was a set of cheap digital scales to cart around with me. Crazy, I know, but it’s that or I supersize myself here!

  2. Just wanted to report back as have lost 13 kilos so far with him and have quite a bit to go. Feeling very pleased with myself! Hope that you didn’t supersize yourself in the US and are being successful keeping it off- I can’t wait until I am at Maintenance Seminar stage! 🙂

  3. Oh wow! That is absolutely awesome Remi – get prepared to start spending a heap on clothes….losing weight gets expensive that way. It’s such good fun when you go into a store and try stuff on and everything looks great 🙂
    Pleased to report that I came home with only a couple of extra American kilos. Phew.. I have kept it off for about a year and a half now and still see Rensburg or Viola (love her) every couple of months to keep me honest. I am SO pleased to hear you’re going ok. Don’t worry you won’t always be this hungry!!

  4. Thanks so much for the positive feedback- in that you are keeping it off! May was a slow month for me but in the end I’m 15 kilos down now.
    I only recently got fat and never really accepted it so still have all my thin clothes and ones I bought recently when in denial lol. I feel like I have a new wardrobe in my own home! Winter has been great again this year to wear jeans with boots again and some old (but great) coats and jackets.
    I’m starting a new thyroid medication tomorrow so hopefully that will help with the next 15! Looking forward to summer already!

  5. Hi Serena…what are your thoughts of starting then going to europe for 9 weeks….I’m confused. Thinking of cancelling this seminar and doing when back from Europe.

    1. I couldn’t see past “Europe for 9 weeks” for ten minutes. How fantastic! You may as well do the seminar before – it’s a great booster-upper and also arms you with all the information about maintaining a healthy weight that you need while you’re sitting in sidewalk cafes sipping lattes and eating croissants (so envious). Last summer I spent a month in the USA and Canada and as we were roadtripping was able to buy a very cheap set of digital scales and cart them around. It helped a lot. We got into the habit of only having two meals a day, late diner-style brekky then earlyish dinner. Have fun!

      1. Going to speak to his staff. As this is our first seminar and my husband is worried about dieting when we are on a cruise etc. as we can control portion but not what’s in it. But am looking forward to it. We’ve lost wieght slowly by ourselves but need a bit of help. Thanks for replying. Did you love the USA I did that 10 yrs ago for 3 months it’s a great place. Have a good day.

        1. Oh if it’s your first seminar then yes – definitely wait till after. I thought it was the maintenance seminar! Good grief you do NOT want to be on a cruise doing Rensburg’s program 🙂 Once you’re done with it, it’s easy to adjust holiday eating with maintenance but that stage two is tough and would make holidaying unfun. I did the same, put off the intro seminar until after a holiday, worked very well. Yes my husband and I travelled around the west usa for a few weeks for our 20th anniversary – even got married again in Vegas, it was wonderful! Then we had our kids meet us and it was still fun, but very different!

          1. Thought it would be tough thanks for feedback will do later. Congrats on 20 yrs and Vegas wedding romantic…thank you.


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