Health Update

Figured it was worth sharing an update on my general health.  I’ve always been a bit large, at least from Middle School on. It’s not news to me, but I knew something needed to change. Hitting the gym helped, but never for long. Tried a couple of different diets and those tended not to last too long, either. I just like food too much. I decided to join in a Weight Loss challenge on Board Game Geek and participated loosely, though never having a lot of huge changes. Someone posted a quick note that those in the challenge should watch the “Fat Head” documentary and perhaps look into low-carb/high-fat diets.  I figured I had nothing to lose so pulled up the video and watched it.

Tom Naughton is a bit cheesy and the video tends to be a bit over the top, but it got me really thinking about the premise. In a nutshell, Tom set out to disprove the findings of Supersize Me by eating nothing but fast food for a month. The difference is that he tended to ditch the breads, didn’t eat fries at all, skipped desserts, and did not drink sugary sodas.  At the end of the month his blood pressure and weight had dropped and his overall health markers had improved.  Of course, I had to read up more on this as is my habit to read until I can avoid taking action.  Eventually my wife challenged me about when I would start and I just dove in. I would still eat fast food, but burgers as a lettuce wrap or “sub in a bowl” or tacos sans shell/tortilla.  Chips are right out, as were potatoes. My favorite Coke Classic was out, replaced by water, tea, and Coke Zero.

I had done enough reading and stockpiling of recipes from some great sites such as www.ruled.me, www.ketodietapp.com, and others. I knew I could make “Fat Head” pizza dough, topped with a low-carb sauce, cheese, and other things. I could still make baked treats with sweeteners. I could add in Fat Bombs and healthy fats to my meals. Yes, my eating habits changed as I would now pass on the chips at the Tex-Mex places and order bunless burgers with no fries.  I still get some funny responses when ordering a burger, but not too many.  I’ll order some steak and grilled veggies or ask for chicken parm made with sauteed chicken instead of breaded chicken.  Overall, it hasn’t been hard to stick to the new way of eating. I find I don’t really miss the sweets too much and rarely miss the chips and breads.

Results? Well, the first month I dropped 10-15 pounds, but that was likely mostly water weight. Also after that first month, I was able to halve my medicines. Since starting I’ve lost 50 pounds overall, with another 30-50 to go. That’s just from diet changes. My clothes are loose – enough that I know I’ll need new ones soon. I know there are differences as others have commented on the changes, but it’s hard to see when it’s a slow progression.

Still, I’ve learned a lot since starting and this is a way of eating that I can maintain. With the benefits of getting back to an ideal weight for my size, eliminating medicines, and having a bit more energy, I don’t see a reason to return to my old ways.  I love pizza, nachos, tortillas, and breads – just not enough to want to go back to taking meds and buying larger clothes.

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