Fatblog: The Foppish Drunk Diet
So a while ago I was asked what I was doing to lose the weight I’ve been erratically losing over the past nine months or so. I explained my process in simple terms but thought maybe I ought to write it down in case anyone else was wondering and might be able to make a bit of use out it. So here goes, the official Foppish Drunk Diet!
I know absolutely bugger all about nutrition except I probably don’t get enough of it. About the only thing I’m actually qualified to do in this field is breathe and I’m certainly not qualified to give this kind of advice professionally. Please don’t expect any of this to be medically sound (I’m sure my cousin-in-law Leighton, who is qualified to give this kind of advice professionally, will be able to tell me exactly how badly wrong I am about all of this). Also, I do nudge the needle slightly on the autism spectrum. I enjoy patterns and routines a little bit more than ordinary people. Variation is key so try to build it in a little more than I do.
The first thing I needed to do is honestly understand my own body and my own routines. I have no real appetite until I’ve been awake for a couple of hours, unless I’ve been asleep for literally half a day, and if I’m not doing anything, I don’t really get hungry. I work in the afternoons and evenings and I do relatively hard physical work, especially in the evening. I’m awake till late, during which time I’m usually mentally active rather than catatonic in front of the TV. Underneath the fat I’m naturally quite muscular which means I burn a little bit more energy laying down than other people do. Possibly because of this I have a huge weakness for empty carbs and sugar. I have the same reaction to salad and vegetables that Superman does to kryptonite. These are all important things to know, and anything I do to lose weight has to take into account stuff like this.
All that said, what I do basically boils down to calorie counting. For most people, weight loss boils down to simple mathematics: burn more energy than you consume and you will lose weight. It’s that simple. The trick that’s taken me years and years to learn is not consuming. There are a few more secondary things that I have found conducive to weight loss too:
Keep hydrated. The body is a bag of mostly water and not having as much of it as your body wants can cause you to keep hold of it, especially in hot sticky weather. Plus it’s good for you in general terms.
Get enough sleep. Lots of stuff happens in your body while you’re asleep and not getting enough sleep means that not enough of that stuff gets done. Also if I don’t sleep enough I look rough.
Don’t get too stressed. Stress hormones do weird things and having them float around your body for large quantities of time is not good for pretty much any of your bodily processes.
Look after your looks. Not only does exfoliating improve skin tone and circulation which is a good thing in general terms, it will also make you look better, and if you look better you will feel better about yourself, and if you feel better about yourself it is far easier to refuse the cream cakes.
Don’t try and stick to rations indefinitely. It’s asking for trouble. Once or twice a week throw it out of the window and have whatever you like. It’s something to look forward to and knowing you’ve got something to look forward to makes things easier. Once a week I go to the pub after work and at least once a week I’ll have something greasy or meaty or breadful or, hopefully, all three at once.
Find a pattern you can stick to and enjoy for the rest of your life. Getting down to a desired weight doesn’t flip a switch and let you eat anything you like, you have to keep the weight off otherwise you might as well not bother. I have to enjoy the routine I’ve gotten into so it becomes a routine I stay in and not just something I do for a bit and then get bored of.
MY DAY OF FOOD
So bearing in mind all of the above, what do I actually eat? My basic daily rations boil down to something like this:
Giant cup of coffee with milk and a fair bit of sugar. Either a breakfast bar of some kind or a blueberry muffin, depending on if I’m treating myself or not. Rarely have cereal in a morning. Very occasionally I’ll take a multi-vitamin/cod liver oil tablet as I’m vaguely guilty about not eating vegetables at all.
A Mugshot (pasta-in-a-mug, just-add-hot-water sort of affair) a bag of Snack-A-Jack’s or sometimes Pom Bears, an apple, water.
Depends on season. In cooler weather I’ll have an instant porridge pot as I’m going to need the energy over the next couple of hours. In warm weather I have less appetite so I’ll just have another breakfast bar to tide me over.
Couple of pints of dilute Vimto. I love me some Vimto. either a bowl of cereal or a dozen or so cream crackers to nibble on over the evening. I love me some dry cream crackers.
And that’s pretty much it. It’s important to note that I don’t (and indeed can’t) maintain this strict regime for any more than two days on the bounce. Wednesday is usually pub after work night which is at least three pints and as many grab bags of crisps. At the end of the week I’ll usually get some rich food, either an horrendously calorific pizza with some beer or wine, or a Two Dine for £10 from M&S, or I’ll just get a huge slab of bread with some salami and cheese, usually washed down with a bit of beer or wine. I’m able to do that because I get quite a lot of exercise in my job – I lift, carry and push heavy things round for a living. If two thousand calories is the average to keep a male conscious through a day I reckon I must burn through at least three- to three-anda-half thousand on a normal workday. Those with more sedentary lifestyles may find they can have less treats until they find a way to do more work.
Sometimes though, and just yesterday was a great example, I did absolutely nothing and pretty much ate absolutely nothing. I had a bigger breakfast than normal, with a big bowl of cereal instead of a breakfast bar, but other than that I drank the occasional glass of water and nibbled the occasional cream cracker. My body seems to know when it’s not really going to need much. Which is good because tonight I’m going to be treated to rich food by my good friend Phil.
Also worth noting: due to quite a rough week at work and despite the above photographed meal on my day off, I’ve still lost two pounds since my last fatblog. I love that I can maintain weight loss while still having the quite frequent treat. I never starve myself, anyone will tell you I’m not capable of doing that, but I don’t gorge myself every night any more and that is the key to the whole deal.