Maximise your odds of WINNING Slow Carb

Maximise your odds of WINNING Slow Carb

I found the first 9 weeks of Slow Carb frankly rather easy… or maybe I should say, the losses week to week were so predictable that motivation was easy.  Every week saw an average loss of 2.5lbs (~1kg), so the obvious benefits kept me totally focused on what I could and should eat.

Summer, and more importantly excuses to celebrate over summer (long weekends, camping trips away, birthdays) saw predictable blips and my tragectory slowed as what seemed like infrequent “bad” weeks had to be recovered from.

This is where I started to struggle mentally.  I still believed in the Slow Carb approach, but a week with a couple of extra cheat days thrown in can easily end up with you feeling you’ve been stuck at a weight for months.  In fact, it took me 10 weeks to shift my last stone, so it’s not even “a feeling”, it’s reality.

I felt really down about that, I was trying really hard and being generally good, but I just didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere, because the metric that I was measuring my success by wasn’t moving quickly.

How did I change that feeling?  By measuring more things of course! The more metrics I record, the more chance that one will show something good.  I might be disappointed that I only lost 0.5lbs this week, but if I lost an inch off my beer gut, that totally changes how I feel about the week.  That makes the week a WIN!

The Epic Weight Loss Spreadsheet that I complete daily gives me other areas that can give me a win too.  I added a BMI column, which is colour coded to “Very Severely Obese”, “Severely Obese”, “Moderately Obese”, “Overweight” (OMG I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL I’M OVERWEIGHT!!!), and “Normal”.  OK, I only get a couple of these wins over the whole course of losing weight, but I’ve got my eye on that Overweight BMI and I want it so BAD!  I was over the moon when I became Moderately Obese, because, that’s just like… “a bit” fat not “holy shit where did all the swimming pool water go” fat.  Even dropping a whole BMI digit can feel like a win, “woop woop, 31.97 BMI, 1 closer to Overweight!”.

epic_weight_loss_spreadsheet_-_google_sheetsI also gave myself a few fist bumps when I got the “Current Trend” line back below the “Goal Loss” line a couple of times.  Unfortunately that little shit doesn’t look like coming back down any time soon :(.

My starting weight was 21st 0.3lbs, so this mini win doesn’t work so great for me, but you can give yourself a fist bump when you hit a stone lost, AND, “OMG I’M IN A NEW STONE BRACKET! MY WEIGHT NOW STARTS WITH 17 NOT 18 FUCK YEAH!”.  That week’s a win for sure!

You can also keep an eye on your % to target.  I noticed today that I’m 41% of the way there, the last time I looked was 33% so that leaves me feeling pretty awesome.

…and finally for the weight based wins, if you weigh yourself every day (and you need to be a certain sort of person to be able to cope with doing that), any day that you hit a new low is a win.

I don’t track fat percentage, but I should.  Every 1% fat loss is a huge win, fist bump time!

Don’t forget about clothes.  My sister bought me a couple of t-shirts for my birthday, they are an XL.  HAVE YOU ANY IDEA HOW LONG IT’S BEEN SINCE I WORE AN XL ANYTHING?!?!  I even had to get my mum to alter all my shirts because they looked like tents.

Track all these (and it’s easy!) barely a week goes by without some sort of BOOYA moment.

  • Tape Measurements
  • Weight
  • New ALL TIME LOW (Weight)
  • BMI
  • Spreadsheet Trend Lines
  • Stone, 10lb or 5kg Brackets
  • Fat Percentage
  • Clothing Sizes

I’ve not touched on exercise, it’s just not something I’m doing at the moment, so I would just be rehashing other people’s words.

I really want to hear your suggestions (including specific exercise wins), let me know in the comments (or Reddit comments) and I’ll add them to the post and give you credit and a high five.

Are beans necessary for Slow Carb?

Are beans necessary for Slow Carb?

I identify as someone who follows the slow carb diet, but I don’t entirely, not really.

We all adapt diets to suit our needs and desires.  For example, cutting things out that we know will lead to overeating.  For many on the slow carb lifestyle, that’s nuts.  We also add things in that we’re not technically “allowed”, but we’ve found don’t have a negative affect on our weight loss (or maintenance).  I suspect though, that the biggest difference is in foods that we’re encouraged to eat, but that we don’t particularly enjoy.

I’m not adverse to beans, I particularly like them in my Sausage, Chorizo and Bean Casserole, but I struggle to add them to a meal just for “the sake of carbs”.  That means that actually the majority of my diet is closer to keto, than slow carb as I can often go a whole week without eating carbohydrates.

On Sundays I often spend all day on a hillside flying rc gliders.  On those days I never skip breakfast, but that will be all I eat until the evening, and my body’s reaction to coming off #faturday, half starved and the mild exercise can be pretty unpleasant.  The symptoms suggest ketoflu, which would make sense.

Most Sunday’s though, I don’t suffer from ketoflu, so either I’m a special snowflake that can transition relatively seamlessly, or something is keeping me on the wrong (right?) side of ketosis.  I don’t know whether the former is a recognised possibility, but that’s my current theory.

…and I don’t notice any additional hunger from the lack of slow carbs.  I’m hungry when I get home from work whether I eat a salad, or bean based stew, and it’s something I am able to manage in either case.

So for me at least, beans aren’t necessary, but when they’re in something delicious, happy days!

Stuffed Chicken thighs with peppers and sun dried tomatoes

Stuffed Chicken thighs with peppers and sun dried tomatoes

Ingredients

  • Boned Chicken Thighs (skin on)
  • 1 roughly chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers
  • handful fresh basil
  • 1 jar sun dried tomatoes

Method

Add sun dried tomatoes, garlic, 2/3s of the basil and onion to a food processor and blend until smooth.  If you prefer more bite, you can add the tomatoes after blending the rest of the ingredients and adjust how much you blend them to taste.

Fry the paste on a medium heat for 5 minutes.  Season to taste and remove from the heat to cool.  It’s easier to stuff the thighs with filling that isn’t piping hot.

Slice the red peppers and mix into the paste.  The peppers will be delicate, so mix carefully to avoid them disintegrating (or don’t, if that’s what you prefer).

Stuff the chicken thighs with a heaped spoonful of the pepper and sun dried tomato filling.  Use cocktail sticks to keep the thighs tightly wrapped if you like.  Place thighs into a roasting dish and season and oil the skins.

Place in a hot oven for 30 minutes, remove, allow to cool slightly and insert into face via mouth.

If you have left over filling, you can add this to the roasting dish, just try and leave the tops of the thighs free, to allow the skin to crisp up nicely.  You can also add any veg to the pan, just place the thighs on top.

This is an easy recipe to tweak to your own tastes, just adjust the stuffing as you prefer.

Habits and Happiness

Habits and Happiness

Last night I took a link out of my watch strap.  I’ve lost so much weight that even my wrists are getting skinny!  This week I should finally get into the 17stone bracket.  Pretty damn happy about both of those things 😀

I’ve not been happy though, and that’s messed with my routine, which ultimately must have had some affect on my Slow Carb adherence.

I find that even a short period of neglecting my good habits results in me actively revolting against them.  This blog has been a great habit for me, it helps me keep focused, but just a few days of depression resulted in me ignoring it for 2 weeks.  I was dreading coming back to it, yet the minute I did – with the plan just to write a tiny blog post about my watch being too big – I felt myself slip easily back into the habit of writing.

I wonder what I can do to help prevent this.  “Man up” and “Get on with it” are clearly bullshit answers, even Tim says that willpower is overrated.  I know that if I can push myself back into the habit that I will feel better for it, but still my body and mind rail heavily against it.

Do you experience issues like this?  How do you address them?  Share in the comments!

3 Minutes Perfect Scrambled Eggs

3 Minutes Perfect Scrambled Eggs

You’ve cooked scrambled eggs before right?  Of course you have, you’re a slow carb aficionado, eggs are a staple!

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you did them wrong :(.  I know, I know, it’s devastating to hear, but it’s the truth.  Fret not though, I shall impart on you the wisdom of 3 Minute Perfect Scrambled Eggs.  Sit back and I shall gift you with the only scrambled egg recipe worth knowing.

Oh dear god, this article is self indulgent… no matter, I shall plow onwards!  It’s certainly not likely to get better at this point.

Ingredients

  • 3 Medium Free Range Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Ghee
  • 2 finger pinch salt
  • Plenty ground pepper
  • anything else – ham, chopped onion

Method

Put a small non-stick frying pan (Ikea sell some that are an ideal size) on your largest gas ring, and crank that shit up to 11.  The idea is to get the pan SCREAMING hot.

Crack your eggs into a bowl and whisk.  Have your ghee, salt and pepper ready, shit’s gonna move quickly now.

Add the salt to the bowl, do not stir/mix in, add the ghee to the pan and immediately add your eggs.  The pan is going to try to go ape shit, that’s ok.  Quickly add pepper to taste and gently scramble/mix your eggs with a spatula.

If you had ham/veggies to add, add them with the ghee for about 10 seconds before adding the eggs.

It should only take, 10-15 seconds for them to solidify, remove from the heat when they are just barely cooked, they should have a little moisture to them (they’ll carry on cooking even off the heat).

Transfer to a plate and insert into face.  If you’re in a hurry, use a large plate and spread the eggs out, they’ll help them cool quickly enough to shovel into your gob.

Wondering why you must not stir/mix the salt in with the eggs?  Egg whites break down when salted.  You want the salt to enhance the flavour, but not turn your eggs into a textureless mess.  See for yourself if you like, it’s horrible.

Lemons and Limes – slow carb friendly?

Lemons and Limes – slow carb friendly?

Strictly speaking, because lemons and limes are fruits, they’re by definition, not slow carb friendly.  Yet there is a lot of debate about whether you can add lemon juice to water or food.  As lemons and limes are similar, I’m using “lemon” as a catchall to prevent me having to type lemon/lime every paragraph. Continue reading “Lemons and Limes – slow carb friendly?”