I like my coffee way too much to give it up.
But I did, if only for 3 days.
I had to give up coffee when first starting out low carbing to see if I was an addict. Turns out I wasn't addicted (surprised myself on that one), I had no with-drawl symptoms, headache, shakes or a "must have a coffee or I will die mentally", none.
Coffee drinking for me was more of a habit and a liking for the beverage rather than a primitive addiction driven need.
So in short coffee for me turns out to be a want and not a need, but I have modified my intake substantially and also the way its made.
Before low carb I would drink 3 real Latte's a day (minimum) with 2 teaspoons of sugar in each.
1 in the morning during breakfast to start the day, because you have to have a coffee in the morning to get going, right? Wrong.
1 in the afternoon when the working day is done. (ps: when I'm working I don't stop, no coffee breaks, no lunch breaks unless its eat as you go)
And the last one in the evening after dinner when the kids have gone to bed and we can sit back and relax.
I replaced the morning coffee with a cup of green tea and I actually like it, sure not as much as a coffee, but I don't feel like I'm missing out, so its all good.
If I do have a hot drink in the afternoon it's green tea again.
My one and only coffee for the day is a low carb Latte which is made with cream instead of milk (60ml of cream and the rest water and single shot espresso) and a teaspoon of Xylitol, works for me and is something I look forward to each evening, my daily treat as such and almost never miss it.
As the title suggests this post is about how I keep track of my progress with cold hard data.
Ive always been interested in data and how it applies to everyday things, for example I can tell you off the top of my head what the gas mileage is of my car, my wife's car and the boat.
Anything I have an interest in has some form of data associated with it, how much of that data I look at or think about would usually be determined by the level of passion or how much I care about it.
That interest in data has naturally invaded my weight loss progress, nutrition labels, comparisons between food, natural weight cycles. The list could go on and on, but you get the point.
Some people prefer to weigh in every few days to weekly, fortnightly and even monthly to track their progress. Way too irregular for me.
I weigh in at least every morning before eating or drinking anything right after I have had my morning wee, this gives me a baseline, where I know all things are equal each day. I also log any new mini-goal reached (weight and date) on the bathroom mirror, so I have a quick reference visually and can see the weight either dropping or stalling over time.
This I find motivating in a couple of ways, firstly if I can see slow or no movement over the past couple of weeks its time to reflect on what I have been eating and look for anything that may be stalling me and adjust accordingly.
Secondly, when I can see progress it gives me even more motivation to stay on track and keep focused and it makes me feel good to see the numbers drop and reach that new milestone.
Thirdly, it helps me keep track of what effects different foods have on my weight and re-enforces the rule that a treat is really just that....a treat.
I can see how different foods or treats change the figures, for example: the beers I had one Saturday night affected my progress over the next few days (and it does big time, 4 slices of regular pizza and 8 or 9 regular beers not only stalled me for 5 days but I gained over 1kilo (water weight mainly is my guess) for 4 days), but that was ok, because it was a planned night out and we had a bloody good time. I knew there would be consequences other than a slight hangover the next day.
Keeping an eye on the numbers on a daily basis also helps me avoid seeing any depressing gains and the demoralizing effects that can have, because if you are keeping track of the figures so closely nothing can go out of control without you being aware of it. This I admit is easier for me as a man, as we do not fluctuate all that much over the course of a month unlike the female of our species with her monthly cycles.
90.30kg as of this morning.
Well I have finally pulled my finger out and put into action what I've been procrastinating about for months and that is to set this website up.
I have been Low Carbing now for 4 months and have so far lost 15kg as of the date of this post. My start weight was around 106kg and today I am 90.5kg.
Learn all you can
My journey into the low carb way of life has been one hell of a learning experience and I thought I would create this site to share the information I have gained over this time and add to it as I go along.
20 grams a day...piece of cake
Maybe I should start with describing my daily eating habits. My daily eating habits are pretty simple these days. Stay as low carb as I can comfortably without sacrificing the good things in life. Low Carb to me means low, less than 20grams per day on average, whilst I am getting down to goal, most days I manage this reasonably easily and it still blows me away that I can eat well, almost never be hungry and lose weight.
Beer and Pizza
I have read the Atkins book and I do follow it loosely, by loosely I mean I use the book as an information source only and then I modify it to make it work for me. At 20grams or less per day I am on induction levels, but I do have a low carb treat now and then (once or twice a week, almost always low carb, but higher calorie count for the day) and in 4 months my total real cheat meals consist of a chocolate dessert on my birthday and 4 slices of real pizza and normal beer a week or so back.
I have had no cravings except for one day when I was coming down with a cold and had had a hard weekend of fishing and beer...lol, and that was it.
When I first started my health kick I was under the misguided idea that exercise was the key to weight loss, but I soon found out and found the evidence to prove it, that exercise combined with a traditional "healthy" diet does little to help in weight loss for most. I did start out doing High intensity weight resistance training for at least 35 mins every 2 days for 6 weeks, complete exhaustion by the end of it and would often result in a crash shortly after which may go to the level of falling asleep soon after.
During that time I lost a grand total of 2kg, saw little asthetic improvement. the only real benefit of such a regime saw me regain strength quite remarkably. Since starting low carb I do not maintain any form of regular exercise regime at all. I do however have a job that does keep me fairly physically active ( climbing ladders, crawling under houses and in roof spaces etc etc) and do go for a walk now and then, but as I said nothing structured.
When I first set a goal, I felt I needed 2, so I could break it up a little, so for my first goal I had my birthday (mid June) as the goal date and the weight target was 90kg, which was the weight I was when I was 20-21. I missed that goal by 3.3kg, close but no cigar. Today at 90.5kg I feel I have now achieved that goal. Goal No.2 Date is Christmas Eve 2009, goal weight is 85kg and I am well on track to succeed.
Low Carb for me now has become a way of life and can honestly say I could live my life without ever eating another piece of bread should I need too. Low Carbing is more a mental game than a physical one for me, I had it right in my head first, researched it extensively, to qualify and backup or shoot down other peoples ideas and opinions. Prepare and plan as much as you can within reason, but sometimes prepare to not be able to prepare, ie: when in Rome, do as the Romans do, but dont let that be an excuse for doing it too often.
.... to be continued