Weight management is one of those areas that seems to affect a large number of us at some point in our life. Losing weight may be a life long challenge, or it may catch up with us as we age, or through conditions such as sleep apnea, hormonal changes, pregnancy, inactivity, etc and yet while the science is clear on the root cause, i.e. energy in (food) exceeds the energy we burn, it’s not always clear what can be done to bring it under control. The story below is one persons solution free of hype that ticks all the boxes in terms of our current understanding.
Meet Luc, just turned 50 with a very (as in deadly) serious weight problem (morbid obesity). For those of you who think this is a precursor to the bad things in life like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. you’re right but there is one often unmentioned consequence of out of control weight gain and that is quality of life. As an example, out walking one night Luc took a fall, nothing major, just tripped and fell. If it had been me or possible you, the reader, we’d have quickly gotten up and looked to make sure no one saw us and carried on, but in Luc’s case when 140kgs hit the pavement it led to literally hours in hospital getting x rayed to make sure nothing was broken.
Fortunately in Luc’s case, the wake up call came when he caught himself falling asleep one too many times while driving, scary huh! He was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and was made to wear a Cpap mask to bed. Almost immediately he found himself getting a sound sleep, no more all night snacking, and went on to lose over 10kg in the first month.
Since that time in 2016 he has gone on to lose, in 11 short months….wait for it – 56kg. His weight dropping from 140kg to 84kg and he looks the absolute picture of health.
So what did he do? If you said he joined a weight watchers class or joined a gym you would be absolutely wrong. I can’t recall where the quote came from but it’s said weight loss is 80% what you eat and 20% exercise.
Notice I said what you eat, not diet. Diets are great money earners for many companies but because they aren’t natural are ultimately doomed to fail. It all comes down to what type of food you eat.
In Luc’s case, he felt so good after the first 10kgs he decided to see how far he could take it. He first started researching the internet and noticed there were similarities among the many diets on offer. He took those similarities and grouped them together into his new, permanent lifestyle plan and the weight continued to just fall off. Notice I said permanent, because if you do something temporarily, you get temporary results. Once he started eating the right food, hunger and portion control were no longer an issue as he just stopped eating when he was full and satisfied. Here’s what the new lifestyle looks like:
- Stop eating when full
- Only snack on Almonds, Walnuts and Brazil Nuts.
- No sugar in the diet. Eat fruit two times a week.
- Low carb, usually noodles or pasta. No bread, potatoes, chips etc
- Always eat the full fat version and avoids the light version. This is because fat makes you feel full. For example, drink full cream milk and avoid light milk.
- No packaged drinks (Coca Cola etc.). Note he still drinks coffee so stop fretting.
- Cook real food (no cans or processed “foods” that are full of sugar anyway).
- Daily evening walks of approx. 5 kilometres (you could potentially enhance this by walking in the morning before breakfast to lose weight faster). Note, that walking was only a recent addition to his lifestyle and for the majority of the weight loss there was minimal exercise, just 45 mins of table tennis every day.
A useful tip is to learn to read the nutritional label on the back of the packaging, The front of the packaging is just full of marketing that is aimed at convincing you that the food you are buying is healthy, when it is not! Common things to look out for are “low fat, fat free, all natural and so on”. It’s all just clever marketing and you should avoid foods that include these things on their labelling.
The new eating plan is, if anything, closer to a Paleo diet in that if you have to cook a vegetable to eat it he doesn’t have it (for example potatoes and corn) and carbs are now limited to one meal per day, usually at lunch and he eats everything else (include good fats) for breakfast and dinner.
In Luc’s case there have been a few costs involved. He has had to change wardrobes 4 times and he had to accept that good food costs extra. It’s really cheap to eat junk/processed food, but it cost extra to eat good food.
On the bright side because the weight loss has been natural the skin has naturally tightened up as the weight came off. Many people have commented how young he looks now.
If you need to lose weight and keep it off in the long term I hope you find this encouraging.