Year of the Cougar. Week 3 Food Glorious, Addictive Food.

All out of excuses.

Christmas is over, New Year's Eve is done and dusted.  The decorations have been put away, the party streamers are a tangled heap in the garbage, and the New Year's hangover has been gone for some time.

In short, I am out of excuses.

Saturday night I went out and was ever so pleased with myself for being the designated driver, sipping on lemon water... What did I order off the menu?  Why a massive bowl of onion rings and fries 'for the table'.

Sunday.  Mmm, Sunday, I told myself, would be a good day to be healthy.  I ended up being taken out for lunch and I thought, that's okay, I'll have a healthy bowl of pasta.  Pasta is quite healthy but not if you choose the oily, creamy, cheese laden Alfredo sauce like I did.  On a plus note felt so sick afterwards I didn't eat for the rest of the day.

However I cannot ignore the fact that it does not matter how much I exercise (because I have been exercising every day), I will not lose weight if I can't modify the my day to day eating habits.

I have a three fold problem.

  1. I have the appetite of a horse.
  2. I have a serious sugar addiction.
  3. I hate diets... and I don't actually think they work.

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Non-processed food.

I came to the conclusion that non-processed food is the way forward. Fresh fruit and veg have minimal calories compare to everything else I eat. So I decided that as long as it was completely unprocessed I could eat as much as I wanted. If it wasn't unprocessed then that would be the time to watch myself more stringently.

I did pretty well actually. I ate lots of fruit and vegetables, and raw nuts and boiled eggs. It wasn't so bad. Of course cooking for yourself at home it's easy to stick to this kind of regime, since all the food you buy at the supermarket is un-processed. It is a different story when you're in the middle of a work day and didn't have time make and bring a lunch from home, and you only have 10 minutes to grab something to eat. Fortunately, most gas stations have teeny tiny basket of fruit lurking somewhere between the chips and the high calories health bars.

I even managed to go out to dinner and order a dish where I could identify every ingredient as something that came from the fresh food section of the supermarket.

I did break down and have a few cocktails on Tuesday night, so I sneakily weighed myself a day early on Wednesday to check that I hadn't done too much damage. lo and behold, I had lost two pounds! Hurrah for me.

I was therefore rather excited about the official weekly weigh this morning - who knows I may have managed to shave off a few extra ounces in a 24 hour period.

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Are you kidding me???

And here are the numbers:

        Start date -  167 lbs

End of Week 1 -  166.5 lbs

End of Week 2 -  165.9 lbs

End of Week 3 -  165.9 lbs  

What the heck?!!?  I put on two pounds overnight and now I am the same weight as before!  In three weeks I've lost one pound!  That's... that's just not cricket. 

I wish to register a complaint please.

Naturally I complained to all the women in work.  They offered various bits of sympathy and advice, "Ooh, it does get harder as you get older... I still haven't shifted the baby weight and Junior graduates from UCLA next year... You should try colonic irrigation, apparently we carry five pounds of digested waste in our intestines.... Maybe you're building muscle, muscle weighs more than fat doesn't it?"

I was actually quite intrigued by the last one because the thing that I found so astounding is that after 3 weeks I've lost one pound, yet my clothes are more comfortable.  They're certainly not loose, not by any means, but I don't have to lie down on the bed to do my jeans up, and my work out pants don't feel like they're going to split along the seam if I sit down.

So I did a little research to see if this was feasible that I could be staying the same weight but losing inches (well millimeters really), and if this is what I found out.

Is it true, does muscle weigh more than fat?

Well, technically no.  A pound of fat is still a pound, and a pound of muscle is also still a pound. But muscle has a higher density than fat, so a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat, 18% less space to be precise.

Aha!  So it could be the case that I may have lost fat and gained a little bit of muscle in its place due to all the exercise!

I've only been doing this for three weeks, can I create muscle that quickly?

Well it's difficult to pinpoint how quickly a person can create muscle.  It depends on different body types, genetics, exercise regime and nutrition habits.  (There are three main body types, mesomorph - those athletic lean-yet-sculpted-like-a-Greek-god types that are really annoying; ectomorph - the skinny folk that have a really hard time putting on muscle mass and get a rough ride from the envious folk like myself; and then there's my type the endomorph - we create muscle quickly, but we also increase fat quickly too, woop, woop.)

Very generally speaking though, with regular work outs you should be able to make 1.5 - 2lbs of muscle per month.

Hmmn, that would mean that perhaps I've made a pound of muscle and lost 2.18 lbs of fat.

2.18lbs in 3 weeks eh?  It's still not terribly impressive.... maybe my scales are faulty. 

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