A Life in Graphs #2 – Becoming a Lightweight . . .


In case you missed it – I lost some weight. 16 lbs of it to be precise in less than 3 months. My trousers are loose and my tight jumpers no longer feel so tight.

I do not have a revolutionary diet plan, nor a short-cut to fat-reduction. I wasn’t even particularly overweight. But I have proven some fairly obvious rules to weight loss:-

1. What you measure you manage. It all started with an “app” on my phone. I can search a database of an endless variety of foods, or, if it is bar-coded, simply scan that instead. This instantly tells me the calorific content of everything I am about to consume. I have been doing this obsessively and to the irritation of my wife, who keeps throwing away packaging before I have finished with it.

2. Information is power. It doesn’t take long to work out that some foods are surprisingly high in calories and others surprisingly low. On my first day, I scanned in a KFC chicken meal. That was the first and last time I did that. Avoid all take-away fast food. Typically one such meal is more than half your daily calorie intake – and bad calories at that.

3. C is for Calories. Foods beginning with C are disproportionately high in calories (look away now to remain in denial) – Cake, Chocolate, Cooking oil, Cheese, Chips, Cereals, Crisps, Carlsberg, Coffee (latte and mocha). And don’t be deCeived by sneaky foods only Containing the letter C – bisCuits, fruit juiCe, riCe, proCessed food generally. But note – two C’s cancel each other out – e.g.broccoli, diet coca-cola.

There are some really great foods with no Cs and virtually no calories – strawberries, raspberries, satsumas, tomatoes, mushrooms, green vegetables, tinned soup, peppers, salad vegetables (and courgettes if we bend the c-rule just for once)

And finally – some more bulky C-less foods which are okay to fill up on – bread, noodles, porridge, steak, fish, grapes, apples, pork,  shiraz, merlot, rioja (and chicken if we bend the C-rule just for twice . . ok so no rule is perfect, so lets add in carbernet and chianti)

4. If output exceed input, you lose weight. Duhhh. My output is allegedly 2000 just to breathe, brush my teeth, talk, heat myself and move a round a little. My target input is 1500 calories a day. If I stick to this, according to some law of Newton, I must lose weight. If I cycle hard for an hour – I can add 600 calories to my output and earn a bottle of wine for input. If I walk to the shops I can earn a piece of chocolate. No fad diets, no banned foods, no magic foods – just numbers and simple arithmetic.

So I have achieved my goal of losing weight and boring people in the process. And proving that it can be done without huge sacrifice or inconvenience – by anyone. Read the label, stick to fresh food (meat, fish, vegetables and fruit), keep a record and take a little exercise. And make sure you leave enough spare numbers for an evening glass of red.

A Life in Graphs #1 – Fat chart … a vein attempt?

  1 comment for “A Life in Graphs #2 – Becoming a Lightweight . . .

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