No, that’s not a spelling mistake, that was my concern once this all got started on week one, that I would end up being a weak one. To consume just 800 calories was going to leave me exhausted and unable to function. When I haul my lard-laden ass up the stairs at work to my office I probably expend 800 calories. I have a Garmin watch and it’s online presence tells me that everyday for a man of my stature I should be consuming nearly 4000 calories to survive. On a side note I think that ‘smart’ watches are themselves contributing to some health issues – they tell you to consume 4000 calories, so you consume 4000 calories. They tell you to walk 10,000 steps, and you do 10,000 steps. But what if 4000 calories for your particular days efforts are too many, what if you could easily do 20,000 steps but the watch says you have hit the target. Common sense needs to prevail. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are a fantastic tool in the modern life, but like all tools, there is an appropriate way of using them.
Anyway, back to my concerns of not being able to lift a pen off the desk by Friday. It is true that during the first week I did feel a little tired, in fact for the first few days I found myself ‘having a little lie down’ around 9:30pm and then not waking up again until the following morning. Good thing was this stopped me from feeling hungry, and boy was I feeling hungry. My concerns of tiredness were really starting to bother me as I knew that I had a busy weekend coming up and it was going to be quite physical. On similar weekends I would easily burn 3000-4000 calories (according to Mr Garmin) and I was only replacing a fifth of that. However, this was the big challenge, I had probably picked the wrong time of year to start this due to all my athletics officiating and timing duties around the country, but if you are going to do something, do it extreme. The weekend came and went, energy levels didn’t seem to be affected, pleasantly surprised really. Stuck to my 800 calories a day and drank plenty of water. Perhaps this is manageable after all.
Monday morning weigh-in: 120.4Kg. In just 5 days I have lost 5Kg, closing in on 5% of my bodyweight. This is the first figure that Dr Mosley says is critical as has been shown to correlate with a correction in blood sugar levels and the start of correcting any insulin resistance issues. I also seem to have dropped 1% of my body fat – although I am still currently nearly a third fat !!
Monday morning and a strange thing happened. Alarm went off at 6:30 and I bounded out of bed. Breakfast, shower, prep for work and drive into work. Mental focus was through the roof. Sat at my desk and looked at the tasks in front of me and I just tore into them, no slacking, get it done. For past few months have been procrastinator #1 when comes to work (I suppose quite ironic that I am now typing this at work) but now I just wanted to get shit done. This was strange, what was happening to me, was there something extra in my coffee this morning ? No, I just had a renewed sense of wanting to do my work. People in the office must have wondered what was happening. Meetings were set up, calls were had, documents written and probably for the first time since I started this job 3 years ago my to-do list was empty at the end of the day. This was scary.
Not only was mental focus improved but I seemed to have more energy, not less. Jobs were being done that I had been putting off, and I started to do something that I had not really done for years, I started to cook again.
I love cooking, for years I did all the cooking at home and made some good food, for the past 5 or 6 years I have had no interest, and night-time commitments have made it difficult. That has put most of the cooking duties on Georgina and that wasn’t fair. Now, I just wanted to cook, I wanted to make nice food. Dr Mosley has included several recipes in his Fast800 book, they look scrummy, and they are. A lot are based on Mediterranean food, which I love and all come in around the 200-300 calories. The fridge was transformed, for the first time ever, it looked a healthy fridge, the type of fridge you see on TV shows – full of green things and food that teenagers hate.
End of week one, I am full of beans (figuratively and physically), and I now have a fantastic tasty diet and the office doesn’t know what has hit it. Scares around 800 calories were completely unfounded, they were fueling me well and by the end of the week the hunger pangs had started to go away and the original two week plan to stay on this diet seemed like an easy goal – perhaps it should be pushed to four weeks.
Week 1 stats:
Weight – 119.9Kg (5.5kg loss)
Body fat – 30.7% (1.1% loss)
BMI – 35.8 (1.5 unit loss)
Resting HR – 63 (9bpm improvement)