No longer are my weekends ‘family time’. Es regularly works at the bar weekends and as such I have time to focus on things I cannot get done during the week due to lack of time, or more recently, lack of daylight.
Sunday seems to be a regular work day for hubby and as such I have adopted it as my ‘get shit done for the rest of the week’ day. This includes housework, food shopping, gardening, washing, ironing and most recently batch cooking my meals.
As part of my get fit, gym bunny, newly resurgent routine, I have also returned to my Tim Ferriss four hour body diet. This diet has been my go-to ever since the book was published. And although it’s ancient by ‘what’s new and trendy’ standards, it works. It is not unhealthy, unlike some other diets, and I can stick with it as you never actually feel hungry. Granted, you do have cravings and if you have a sweet tooth (I’ve never suffered from this) then it can be tough as there is nothing sweet allowed. The premise of the diet, for those who don’t know, is “slow carbohydrates”. So pasta, rice, potatoes etc., are all off limits for 6 days of the week. Instead meals are made up of protein (chicken, steak, eggs) green vegetables (broccoli, kale, spinach) and to add the ‘fullness/satiety factor, beans. I will admit that I don’t always have beans, I simply cannot face them at breakfast, and over the years I have learned which modifications I can make without jeopardising my results.
Unfortunately fruit is not allowed on the diet, although I do personally add half an apple to my morning juicing and whilst it may have slowed down my results, I am still happy that I am loosing inches. And that is the important distinction for me. We all know that muscle weighs more than fat, therefore if I am working out and building muscle, weighing myself is not a good indicator of success. Neither to some extent is measuring myself. Building muscle in my thighs is going to impact the tape measure. The distinction is that rather than 23″ of fat, I am slowly transitioning to 23″ of muscle. So how do I know the diet is working? The mirror. Simply that. I know what I look like naked, and I can see subtle changes in my figure which cannot be measured any other way. There is of course Esra’s observations but he never says a bad word about how I look and his glasses are so rose tinted that I am dubious of his gorgeous comments.
In order to be successful planning is the key. And that is where my batch cooking comes in. On a Sunday morning I will fill the slow cooker with a large main meal. That meal will be what I eat for the next 6 days. I will also cook up the veggies I need to go with it, this week was stir fried broccoli, kale and cauliflower and they all get popped into plastic containers and then bunged in the fridge. Having been brought up to ‘never waste food’ once it’s cooked and in there I have a mental obligation to eat it. The guilt associated with not eating good food and choosing something else is too much for me to bear, so even if I don’t feel like eating the Beef Bourguignon I’ve cooked today, I will. Like many humans living in an affluent society, I am an emotional eater and will eat what takes my fancy, and if I get in from work late, that might mean grabbing a bag of crisps whilst dinner cooks. This way I have no excuses, three minutes in the microwave and dinner is ready.
Breakfast for me is a simple affair. Not one to face food first thing in the morning I have to find something which I can stomach and fits. Tim specifically states that you must eat within 30 minutes of waking, so I will throw together a protein shake with a handful of spinach and some chai seeds, made with almond milk of course.
I will use Sunday to prepare a couple of lunches also. Only a couple though as I tend to opt for salads and I don’t want them soggy when I come to eat them . This week it was smoked salmon with mustard and dill dressing and chunky avocado. Plenty of healthy fats, I love fat, it keeps you full for longer, and providing it’s a good source, it’s great for your body. There are a lot of vitamins which are only fat soluble and cutting fat from your diet can not only cause mood disturbance and a feeling of being unsatisfied with your food, leading you to be hungry sooner, but can also affect your overall health.
My snacks consist of a handful of nuts or some cottage cheese, which I adore.
Overall I have actually dropped 2kg in the last 4 weeks and I have definitely noticed a change in my body composition. I have bought myself a new bikini as a treat for our holiday in January and I am happy with the way my body looks. Loosing fitness and gaining fat whilst loosing muscle is such an insidious process. If you are happily newly married and enjoying all the meals out and evenings in with bottles of Prosecco it’s very easy to slide from where you want to be. A concerted effort is therefore now underway. After all, I may be off the market for now but who knows what the future holds!
Joking aside, my final pitch to you is that with The Four Hour Body, I get a cheat day. A chance to eat all the things I’m not eating during the week. This kicks your body back into touch, just as it starts to conserve energy because it has noticed a drop in your calories…BOOM, you hit it with a day of massive calories to confuse it. So, not only do you keep loosing but you also get to enjoy, ice cream, crisps, chips and chocolate, all those things you love. And most importantly? red wine is allowed…EVERY DAY…yay! So a new order to Naked Wines went in this week and a glass a night is on the cards for the foreseeable future.