Posted by: mrlock | November 10, 2018

Being fit for the job – part 2 – boring drinks

This is part two of the story about how I lost weight. I’m writing it because a lot of people have asked. There are no massive secrets – after a while I was eating less and exercising more – but I have found myself explaining this to quite a few people who want to follow something similar.

Part one is here.

The short version is that I was lucky, because I have very little willpower I had to get myself to a position where I was just following instructions.

So having produced an honest food diary, and got myself a coach, Matt – one who would check in on me every two or three days – I needed to get into the mindset of changing routines.

Whenever anyone has asked me about my diet I have just said that I have a routine, not a diet.

Here was the first step:

Here’s the focus from now until 14th Jan (just over a week).
1) You’re going to continue coffee without sugar (a great start) but also cut out the milk.
2) You’re only going to drink sugar-free drinks.
3) You’re going to exercise twice (light jog / brisk walking / swimming).
Here’s why. We’re trying to change your routines around what you drink – or more accurately the sugar you’re taking in from drinking. This is enemy number one because it’s so hidden. The coke zero is a great start as is the water but I want to push you to black coffee to cut out the lactose in the milk (which is no difference to sucrose or fructose). On exercise twice is just fine. If you fancy more, then fine but it’s not a game changer and is a big time drain.
I want you to keep everything else the same (ish). Don’t go nuts on pizza but don’t not have it this weekend. Have a biscuit or two but just not a pack etc etc. Remember that we’re changing routines, we’re not on a diet so we’re doubling down on that liquid calorie intake routine this week. ‘Good’ looks like you becoming one of those annoying middle class people who says things like ‘oh I only drink black coffee’ and ‘is that a coke zero’.

My reply to Matt:

Coffee without milk is not something I like. That will be the hardest thing. For ten days. I might just switch to liquorice tea or peppermint tea, but I’ll struggle without caffeine. But I won’t have milk. Are you suggesting I stop milk with the Alpen at the weekends?
When you say ‘exercise twice’, do you mean ‘per week’?
Sugar free drinks is okay – but I failed to write ‘roses lime cordial’ quite often in the evenings. Am I cutting that too?

Matt’s reply:

On the focus for the week:
  • Don’t cut out the coffee – bad bad things will happen. I’d like you to *try* and get used to the taste without milk (if you’re drinking instant try switching to Nescafe Azera – it’s basically a cross between instant and proper coffee). If you really can’t after this week a splash of milk won’t hurt.
  • Carry on with that Alpen with milk for now – that’s not for this week.
  • Yes you’re getting rid of that lime cordial – you drink black (or quite black) coffee, coke zero et al and water now.
  • I forgot to say that it’s so good you don’t drink booze by the way – for many many people this is the hardest nut to crack. Wine is liquid cream cake. ​
  • On exercise, my general point is don’t try to do every day. Two or three times per week is fine. I train three or four times a week – never every day.

So not have any sugar or milk in my drinks was exactly what I did for that week, and ever since. Not drinking made this easier than it might have been otherwise.

I found this really hard. I have never enjoyed ‘diet’ varieties of soft drinks. I have always relied on full fat Coca Cola or equivalent to get me through periods of low energy. And good, strong coffee with milk was an essential daily item I would drink much too much of. I have never liked black coffee.

To be continued…

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