Weight Loss: The World’s Most Common New Year’s Resolution

Weight Loss: The World’s Most Common New Year’s Resolution

Ok, so I made part of that up- I’m not sure that its the commonest resolution in the world, but surely it must be at least in the top 3!

If you’ve read my previous blogs, you’ll know that I’ve been on the ‘not good’ end of the scale and have struggled to get back to my normal. I’m not perfect in the traditional sense of the word at the moment but at least I know exactly why (I’ll tell if you ask personally!) and I’ll discuss my plans with you below.

The worse part was the not knowing. I remember a period of 8 months where I’d run a very challenging and hectic project. My calorie intake could not have been more than 1200/day on average, I always walked up the escalators, never stood and was extremely active as part of the project. I hardly snacked during that time as well. Part of me hoped that it would be the final nail in the coffin for post-baby fat.

I was quite wrong. Incredibly, I got bigger. I simply could not understand it. People told me that it was simply age. That’s what happens if you’re genetically predisposed to it apparently. Of course now I know exactly what went wrong and in fact, its very similar for most people. No doubt age related changes makes things worse but there’s still a lot that can be done.

Let’s look at our common New Year’s resolutions:

  • Weight management- this includes loss or gain for some people. Commonest desire is to lose fat and gain lean muscle mass. Commonest method is probably new gym membership (normally lasting 1-2 months- congrats if you manage more!) and protein shakes/bar etc.

  • Eat healthier- for far too many, this involves lots of salads, no alcohol and no snacking or the latest diet out there. What’s the current trend for 2015, does anyone know? Just try googling ‘trendy diets 2015’- its quite interesting/scary/great….depending on your take on things.

  • Make more money- this is usually then spent on said gym, new gym kit, protein bits and bobs. Oh, and of course bags of pre-prepared salads and trendy diet cookbooks/apps….

  • Spend less money- not as easy as one would think as no food/alcohol translates as no going out, you also hungry and miserable. So shopping is handy to make you feel less bad.

  • Self-esteem stuff- be a better person, join some self improvement classes, network more, kinder, spend more time with xyz, buy a house, world peace and the list goes on.

  • Live a healthier lifestyle- covered mostly already but you’ve decided that being more mindful and thankful, being able to ‘smell the roses’ etc probably has a place.

My resolutions are:

  • To learn pilates. Maybe not in Jan, but I certainly hope that it will happen before Feb is up. I’d like this to maintain flexibility, agility and core strength, hopefully it will also improve my posture and general sense of wellbeing. (I always hope for a six pack but lets just pretend its only this)

  • To lose the 2kg I put on during the hols. I have a great excuse- I just returned from a food-fuelled Indian wedding in the US. That’s me eating badly for almost 2 weeks. American high GM foods cooked in industrialised oil too. Oh yes, everything was fat reduced or free, meaning that they needed to add carbs to make the food palatable. I’ll explain exactly what this did to me further along

  • To then lose a little bit more over the course of the year (I’m already within my normal range but would prefer to be leaner)

  • Be a blog queen

  • Stop buying more clothes/shoes

  • Rule the world and be a billionaire

Fairly simple demands really.

What if I told you a scary little secret?

That weight loss is 70-80% food, and the rest is exercise? Look at the French. It’s scary because the rules change all the time. I know this from first hand experience of finding out that calorie in does not mean calorie out. That all the salads and cutting out meats from my diet makes me miserable and hungry. That I’m really not meant to be a fruitarian. That at frequent points in my life, exercise made me more tired than refreshed.

My 2 weeks in the US was a very interesting experiment. I decided that I was going to be my previous ‘normal’ self (I eat very differently now-high fat/protein with moderate to low carbs). That also happens to be most people’s normal. I also stopped taking my supplementations which has helped tremendously over last year ensuring that I stay afloat and not fall sick. I fully expected to put on weight and was pleasantly surprised that the weight gain was not awful (only 2kg but enough on a small frame).

What I wasn’t prepared for was this:

  • My carb cravings came back in a bad way. Interestingly, it took around 10 days to kick in.

  • I’ve developed leptin resistance again. This happened so quickly that it really took me by surprise. This is the hormone that tells your brain that you’re full. I’m currently much hungrier than before but 4 days of eating my own food and its settling down.

  • Weight gain is very ‘insulin resistant’ in nature. This means that I’m putting on weight in my face and abdomen as insulin- the fat storage hormone’ converts all extra carbs (of which there are plenty!) to fat.

  • I had soreness in my mouth (classic Vit C and B shortage) and very stiff muscles (Magnesium deficiency). This is speaking very broadly. Twice during the trip, I had to resort to taking large doses of my kids multivits as I could feel myself feeling off- it sorted the problem in case you’re wondering.

Weight is quite a complex issue and there is so much mis-information out there that its hard to know what to believe. When in doubt, follow our ancestors and just eat food that looks like its been planted or grown. Again, I’ll refer you to http://www.westonaprice.org/

Its a good place to start. There’s nothing fancy there but it is a little more work. I promise you one thing though…..you’ll never go hungry, its so, so immensely satisfying. I will be blogging more this year on this topic too. In the meantime……

Happy New Year y’all!

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