Wednesday, April 8, 2009

7-Day Challenge - Completed!!

It’s over.

It’s finally OVER.

I bet you’re all eager to hear the results then hey??

In a minute.

Let’s go back a week when I decided to partake in this 7-day challenge and live like a Neanderthal by cutting out one of life’s precious gifts – carbs in the form of grains/rice/potatoes. To make life even more miserable I also had to cut out sugar, processed food, alcohol (*sob* this was like a knife wrenching in my heart) and make the commitment to workout everyday until my legs, arms and other appendages firmed up or fell off.

I decided I would chronicle my eating habits and thoughts as I went along, and was mildly alarmed to see that yeah, THAT kinda died after a day or so. I was still counting my calories through Calorie King which gave me this almost perverse sorta pleasure to see day after day that I was UNDER my recommended calorie intake.

With the no-carbs rule, I struggled like a bound-up Mummy with no room to move (or eat as it was in this case) with every food I could see suddenly sprouting the forbidden nutrients. I managed to limit my fruit intake (although I have to be honest – there WERE days when I had an extra piece of fruit.) and up my protein intake by scouring the seas and eating every fish I laid my eyes on. Ok so it wasn’t that bad, as I had fish maybe 2-3 times during that week, lamb once and then the rest were veggie meals. I discovered that daal was my friend and found a recipe that my DAD used to lovingly prepare a daal with green beans meal for me while the rest of the family stuffed themselves with Pav Bhaji.

I drank lots and lots of water and chewed through a packet of gum every couple of days to keep the hunger away. It worked. Most of the time. But instead of giving into my sugar cravings as 3pm came around I ate a handful of nuts. Don’t be dirty peoples – I mean ALMONDS.

Oh and I cheated.


Monday night – the night where I went out for dinner and to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and laughed so hard that I almost peed my pants (saw Danny Bhoy if you are interested. Funny AND hot!! Plus he’s half Indian :P) – I was confronted with the plate of bruschetta in front of me.

And I had one. I started off by saying to myself that I’ll only eat the tomatoes on top of the crunchy bread…but then they were all gone and the piece of crusty, oil-drizzled, herb-infused bread invaded my senses (plus I was starving and the mains were taking ages!). So I ate it. And LOVED it :D

My workout routine stayed pretty much the same as it did before I started the challenge. I was at the gym three times a week doing high-intensity cardio classes or high-intensity strength training. The days I took off, I walked the dog for an average of 2.5km (~20mins to an hour all up) over a varied inclined route. For those days that Melbourne decided to bare her soul and let her tears fall (heavily with angry storms), I attempted to do some working out at home. But as we are being 100% honest here, it wasn’t much. The weekend was the hardest as the days were both packed with things to do that exercising seemed to be the last thing on my mind.

Now…fast-forward one week and with the added insight of my update post I can now give you the full picture.

Drum roll please….

Start Weight: 58.0kg

End Weight: 56.9kg!!!!

I lost 1.1 kilos in that one week. You have NO idea how triumphant that makes me feel! For months of trying to lose weight that has only slowly shifted two kilos over that time - to lose this much in a week is so, so encouraging.

As you may have read before – for the first time IN OVER A YEAR, I braved public scorn and ridicule and wore pants. No more hiding under skirts or dresses – I was HAPPY that I could venture out and look…decent. And all this happiness in just a one kilo loss!!

I FEEL better – not only because my body is now getting used to NOT eating carbs and exercising regularly, but because this small victory is all I needed to get motivated again.

I would like to just add the following advice:

  • You CAN have carbs so you are NOT going to go hungry. When I say this I mean carbs in the form of beans (kidney beans, chickpeas) and lentils. Also with fruit which will also satisfy your sugar cravings.
  • This IS a hard challenge to do if you are vegetarian or at least don’t know how to cook varied vegetarian foods. Because I found that most veg food contains the forbidden carbs in some form or another – potatoes/rice/grains. I found it a bit hard to think of stuff to eat that is filling and tasty (and not salads!!). HOWEVER, all is not lost – eat normally as you would WITHOUT the carbs. So make a veg subzi and just eat that with a daal. Make a salad and make it more filling by adding canned chickpeas to it. I am sure there are many, many resources available to help out.
  • Be active everyday if you can. This challenge really does follow the most sensible way to lose weight – healthy food and regular exercise and it shows.
  • PLAN your meals. It’s easy to get home and the added worry of having to think of food when you’re tired is annoying. Which means you might skip meals – DON’T!! Make more than normal so you can take it for lunch the next day!
  • The 18-hour fast. I did it. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be as it was basically was like a skipping one meal. Just be sure that it isn’t breakfast like me lol. I was STARVING by the time I had to finish. Have a big meal beforehand if you can. Also…I am still not 100% sure of the actual reasoning of doing the fast but that since I did on the last day of the challenge, I believe it was the thing that pushed over those last couple of hundred grams.

So all in all – it worked well for me. I think that I am going to continue on this plan but not be as strict with the carbs – in the sense I am going to look for carb alternatives but if there is no other choice then I am not going to feel guilty over it.

As you can see, I didn’t do this challenge perfectly but I did it in a way that I was happy. While the affects of this will vary from person to person I definitely think that is something worth doing – just as a challenge to see if you can do it. It’s only one week (granted the LONGEST week in my life :P).

The weight loss will be the benefit.

**Cross posted at FF

Friday, April 3, 2009

7 Day challenge - Day 2

I can’t believe that I haven’t posted as yet! I was meaning to do this all day yesterday when some unforseen circumstances forced me to do other stuff (more on this later).

Day 2 (if I can remember it now!!) went fine. I was working for home for the most part which for me is bad. Really bad. Because I tend to get a lot more hungrier than if I was in the office and there is so much food at my disposal that I quite often over-snack and then skip lunch on the pretence that it doesn’t matter.

I woke up late on Day 2, actually late enough that what I had first thing in the morning could quite well be considered….brunch. I had the time and the inclination to make something substantial (after my banana breakfast the day before) and whipped up a really yummy omelette. Which was fine…until I got hungry an hour later. Aren’t eggs meant to fill you up???

I had a banana - which I know, I KNOW are full of sugar/carbs but I knew that if I had this now that I’d be fine until lunchtime. And I was. To the point that due to my heavy-ish meal before and the fact that I had been drinking water like a fish I only ended up eating a can of red salmon.

It was the first time I was eating salmon out of a can and to be honest – it wasn’t bad. I’ve noticed that I can eat as many fruits as needed and I never realised that (and I should have – duh – having a chemistry degree!!) that the natural sugars in the fruits are also carbs. And as I have a sweet tooth as it is I naturally gravitate towards fruits to be my sweet fix and think I’m eating healthier.

This challenge has challenged me to be more aware of the fruits I’m eating (only allowed three serves a day) which has been surprisingly hard to do. I’m the type who’ll pop some grapes into my mouth as I rummage through the fridge or snack on a plum between meals or have strawberries with my breakfast. So it was a bit of an effort to cut them down.

Since I was at home, I was able to make to it to the 5:30 Pilates class at the gym. I have always wanted to get into Pilates but since my gym only offers one class per week and at a time that is impossible to get to when working full-time, I don’t usually get the chance. So I rocked up, a little nervous, not knowing how hard the instructor would push us. I still had a spin class right after to get through.

The instructor walked in and I was left gaping with my mouth open. She was…in a word…HOT! Long, lean limbs…beautiful tanned skin…and the tiniest, perkiest butt you have ever seen. I was already half in-love with her before she even started. My adoration for fine physique quickly took a bit of a nosedive as she took us through torturous (well for me!! I have the grace of an elephant!!) exercises that made me realise that while I may have buns of steel, I also have some abdominal muscles hidden away. And the goddamn tricep push-ups she made us do!!! I hobbled out and sat my very sore butt cheeks onto the spin bike. I huffed and puffed my way through hills and races and felt my legs start to burn.

Evs had very kindly decided to make a Thai Chicken Curry for dinner and I was looking forward to having something tasty after a day of well…nuts and berries pretty much :P But since I couldn’t have rice, I ate the Chicken Curry as it was (it had LITE coconut milk in it – just a dash – which I am not sure means that I have totally stuffed up the diet but oh well…:P). I gobbled that down and stared wistfully as Evs clearly relished his meal WITH the fragrant basmati rice. Damn him.

I was exhausted after that workout but we managed to rouse ourselves and take Dex for a walk as well – nothing too long – just to my parent’s place and back (totalling 20-25 minutes return as we strolled) where they made more of a fuss over Dex than they ever have for me.

After the day’s work I noticed that I had more fat (38%) and protein (28%) in my diet compared to carbs (35%) overall. Interesting. Don't know if that's good or bad but we'll see at the end of the week.

Wednesday, 1st April 2009

Daily Summary

Food Energy In: 1137 cals
Exercise Energy Out: 90 mins, -647 cals
Net Energy: 490 cals
Net Energy Budget: 1300 cals
End Result: 810 Calories Under
Glasses of Fluid: 8
Steps: 0Under


Item Calories kJs
10 slice (6g) of Vegetables, fresh: Mushrooms, raw 13 55
1/3 cup, chopped or sliced (180g) of Vegetables, fresh: Tomato, ripe, raw 11 45
1/4 pepper (45g) of Vegetables, fresh: Chilli Peppers, Red 5 19
1 serving (30g) of Cheese: Feta, Reduced-Fat 70 294
1 medium,170g with skin, 16cm/6" (110g) of Fruit, fresh: Banana, raw, edible portion 108 451
2 extra large (59g with shell) (53g) of Eggs: Chicken Egg, whole, raw, fresh, edible portion 152 634
Total 358 1498


Item Calories kJs
1 serving, 105g can drained (79g) of John West: Fish, canned: Red Salmon, drained 137 575
Total 137 575


Item Calories kJs
1/3 serving (14g) of Asia at Home: Pastes: Concentrate, Red Curry 7 31
1/3 serving (60mL) of Trident: Coconut Milk, fluid: Lite 17 72
1/2 cup, chopped or diced (140g) of Chicken Dishes: Breast, meat w. skin, boiled / steamed 138 578
1 tub (150g) of Vaalia: Yoghurt: Low-Fat, Passionfruit 155 644
Total 317 1324


Item Calories kJs
1 medium (100g) of Fruit, fresh: Plum, average all types, raw, edible portion 46 192
25 almond (1.2g) of Nuts: Almonds, raw, w. skin, edible portion 173 722
1 rounded teaspoon (1.8g) of Coffees: Coffee, Instant, Granulated, Ground (Regular or Decaffeinated), dry 4 18
1/3 cup (250mL) of So Good: Soy Drinks: Soymilk, Fat Free, Chilled and UHT 30 125
1 medium (138g) of Fruit, fresh: Apple w. skin 72 300
Total 325 1358


Item Calories kJs
45 mins of Spinning -519 -2172
45 mins of Pilates -128 -536
Total -647 -2707


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