I bet you didn’t expect that to be the title of my follow-up blog?
It’s amazing what a difference two weeks can do. As you know, I started on my own little health kick about three weeks ago and I’m happy to say I’m beginning to see, and more importantly feel, the difference.
This was the tricky one to get right. I’m following a plan where my food plan is put together for me with a tonne of varied recipe options for post-workout meals, main meals and snacks. The options are varied, easy to make and really tasty. Oh, and they’re massive!! I think this was the biggest shock for me: you can lose weight by eating more. But it’s more of the right food – low in carbs (for now), high in protein, packed full of veg and filled with just the right amount of healthy fats; yes, you need to eat fat to burn fat!
It’s not the cheapest plan to follow; you get the best results by buying a lot of fresh food and cooking it all from scratch. I’ve found that the best way to do this is to bulk-buy food and set aside a few hours twice a week to make a load of meals that you can put in the fridge or even freeze for the week ahead.
I spend around three days a week away from home, so the temptation to get sneaky snacks and lunches is always there, but pre-cooking my lunches for a few days and bringing it with me has made a big difference. I keep an apple and little box of healthy (natural, un-salted) nuts on my desk next to my water bottle and I don’t ever get ‘picky’ – instead I genuinely look forward to being able to eat my next massive meal.
I’m getting used to it now. The quantities aren’t scary and it’s becoming more routine – so the next two weeks should be fun to see what results I get!
I mentioned a water bottle; yeah, people are starting to take the p*ss about the fact that I’m never seen without my water bottle any longer. I’m a big lad – 6ft 3in (191cm) so I need to drink around 4-4.5 litres of water every day. Again, I thought this would be a huge amount and at first it was, but I’m starting to get used to it: my skin is better, I somehow 'feel' better, and knowing that I’m helping my digestion and my immune system makes me feel pretty good too.
Alcohol consumption has been kept at a minimum. I do love a glass of wine, but at the moment I’m just prioritising my own wellbeing. I’ve got a target to reach!
Here’s the shocker – I enjoy it! Anyone that knows me knows that I’ve never been one for a huge amount of exercise (yes, you guys are allowed to chuckle here!), but HIIT may just be ‘the exercise for me’. It’s incredibly hard work (what would be the point in doing it if it wasn’t?), but with a warm up, cool-down and a shower it only takes up about four or five hours of my week.
I always had the excuse in my head that ‘I don’t have time’ for it – but I don’t know anyone who can’t set aside 4 or 5 hours a week to giving your body something back; all it takes is a bit of empty space in your living room, kitchen, maybe the hotel room and you’re off.
The results so far
Well, I’ve got a couple of weeks to go before I measure up properly, but it’s going great so far. Clothes fit better, I’ve visibly lost weight on my face, chest, stomach and my bum. I’ve lost 4kg in overall weight so far but, more importantly, I’ve reduced my body fat by 2.5%, increased my muscle mass by 2.5% and even increased my bone mass.
What about my Quealth Score? Well, I just updated all my health checks and the results speak for themselves:
Diabetes: Q94 – a 9 point improvement
Cancer: Q49 – a 10 point improvement
Cardiovascular disease: Q91.8 – a 10 point improvement
Dementia: Q94.8 – a 3 point improvement
Overall: Q86.1 – just over a 6 point improvement
The trick now is sustaining it and to get closer to that optimum score. I’ve got a weight and body fat target in mind and I’m slowly edging closer and closer to it. I’m confident that over the next 10 weeks I’ll be able to absolutely smash it!
The Weight Tracker in Quealth has helped me keep track of my weight loss, and our Activity Tracker that I've been testing that's coming to you guys real soon has helped make sure I'm generally more active, with more moderate and vigorous activity every day.
Remember what I said in my last blog: most people give up on their new year’s resolutions after just two weeks. Well, three weeks in, I’m loving it and only want to keep pushing to see where I can get to next! I just keep smashing my own little records during my workouts, so I'm literally seeing daily progress. It's so satisfying!
I’ve now got a few big parties coming up when there will be booze aplenty. My new regime won't stop me from having a good time, but I’ll just have to work extra hard the next day to get back on it.
So is this a ‘new me’? Well I feel fresher, healthier, stronger and I have a clearer head than before this all started – so maybe?
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to get in the kitchen to prepare my food for the week.