Is it enougth to just reduce / count calories for weight-loss?


The quick answer to this is NO, there are some basic principles you need to follow to lose weight, get healthy and keep the weight off.  As I have said on many occasions, I had ghastly (gastric) surgery to help me lose weight and it didn’t work.  This is a really quick and easy way to reduce the caloric intake of almost anyone.  It works by restricting the volume of food you are able to consume at any one time.  However, this was never an issue for me, I was and still am able to go for days without eating and also without getting hungry.  When I did eat again, I ate all the rubbish that put me in this position in the first place.  What can I blame for that though – well, it could be the fact that I hated to cook, or that I hated to use my kitchen – I didn’t even unpack my oven in my first house for the first year I lived there, that was 15 years ago! Of course, everything has changed now. 

I decided that after 4 years of having a gastric band, throwing up after virtually every meal – it’s not actually throwing up, it’s more like regurgitation, the food doesn’t even reach your stomach before your body expels it.  I actually came to LIKE this side effect – bulimia the easy way.  I did almost tear my throat on more than one occasion because sometimes you just keep on trying to vomit when there is nothing left in the sack to remove and the band restricts the flow of stuff both ways to the stomach.  This is when it is really, really painful.  The fact that even going through this wasn’t helping me to lose weight, that’s when I had to find an alternative, sensible, healthy way to lose weight and ultimately led me to have the band removed. 

So, the reason for the above outpour, which clearly wasn’t the intention of this post?  Well, on Monday I ate half a sandwich, yup I ate bread (this led me to gain weight by Tuesday morning)!  I felt so unbelievably guilty that I just wanted to have the ability to throw up as easily as I did when I had the band.  I did think about making myself sick, but I realised quite quickly that this was a ridiculous mindset and I had to move away from this thought process as soon as possible.  I did what I usually do in these situations and confessed all to Martin, I didn’t tell him of my stupid thought processes though, there’s only so much confessing I can take at once 🙂  He did come back with some harsh comments, expressing how disappointed he was that even seeing progress didn’t motivate me to keep on plan.  The conversation went on for most of the evening, I probably need to apologise to his wife for distracting him on valentines night – how damned thoughtless of me!  Anyway, we discussed how frustrating it is that after all this time I can’t even get the basics right….

This leads to the question ‘Is it enough to just reduce / count calories for weight-loss?’

Reducing and counting your calories is not enough to guarantee losing weight and keeping it off, as has been proven to me time and again, the last time being by the slight increase in weight after eating bread.  My caloric intake for the day was in the correct ball park, but my carbs were well in excess of my macro-nutrient mix.  Getting your macros right, combined with the correct calorie level is imperative.  However, as Martin reiterated in a not too happy with me email, the basics are

  • Sticking to my macros
  • Adhering to my calorie plan
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Not over exercising
  • Not over analysing everything
  • Not STRESSING (his emphasis)
  • Taking my supplements as recommended (I have been pretty poor at this too)

The above is the recipe for continued, controlled weight-loss in a healthy way.  I have been pretty good in all areas, just not all at once – that is until this week (with the exception of the eating half a sandwich on Monday and stressing on Tuesday) and yeah, reading this, I am now laughing – who am I trying to kid eh – muppet!  

I weighed myself this morning as usual and emailed the photo to Martin at 05:30, he replied before 6 am with ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing.’  I read this in two ways, first and foremost, weight-loss is continuing, secondly I have been hassling to try Intermittent Fasting (IF) again.  He did say on Tuesday, that I was useless when I tried this last time and we had to stop me from fasting.  I did use it go back to only eating one meal a day with an average daily calorie count of around 400, straight back to the bad times.  I do excuse this because I still had the gastric band and couldn’t physically eat all my kcals in my feeding window.  I don’t have this restriction anymore and that’s why I wanted to try again.  However, I also see his point that if I can’t get the basics right consistently, how can I be trusted to stick to IF rules?  So, I’m gonna stick to my current plan and continue to get the basics right with as little stress as possible.  I am so looking forward to my results on Sunday, so far not dramatic, but they are going the right way 🙂

There are other benefits to eating in a healthy way too, for as long as I can remember my hair has been thinning, my nails have been awful; ridges, no strength, dull, continually breaking my skin has been dry and flaky. I refer you to Martin’s 10 Rules to Weight Loss and the fact that when you don’t eat correctly your body basically stops ‘wasting energy’ on building stuff that you don’t need to survive, so the first things that go are your hair, nails and skin.  All this has changed since eating correctly, my hair is soft, manageable and getting thicker – or not falling out by the handful now, I now have to cut my shiny, smooth finger nails because when they reach 1/4 inch long, it looks quite revolting and my skin is looking clear and healthy.  All this has been commented on by family and friends during the last few months.  I’m not sure if it’s taken this long to get to this stage naturally or if my inability to follow the ‘basics’ consistently has exacerbated the issues.  Nonetheless, it is all coming together now including the gradual (painfully slowly) weight-loss.  Here’s looking forward to Sunday and beyond 🙂

About Lian Munday

My journey from having a gastric band to actually losing weight in a healthy controlled way with the help and support of Martin MacDonald, Mac-Nutrition, my Nutritionist and Andy Angell, my Personal Trainer. Please join us on our journey.
This entry was posted in Bariatric Surgery, Calories, Gastrc Band, Macronutrients, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Is it enougth to just reduce / count calories for weight-loss?

  1. Wisdom Elf says:

    All who now realise the path to long term success is not a five minute job but a life times commitment say ‘Yeah!’

    One day your eating habits will be just that, habit, and then you will go on without having to even think about your choices, they will come naturally to you.

    Keep up the good work 🙂

  2. Lian Munday says:

    YEAH!!!! I get it – a bit slow me eh?!? I am happily working towards my new life and looking forwards to good things 🙂

    Thanks for your good thoughts and as ever your insightful wisdom – wisdom elf …..

  3. Food Obsessive says:

    Well done. Stick with it.

    Another low carb recipe for you, eat hot with salad or mayo. If you make a bigger one (4 eggs or more) you’ll have some left over and once cooled you can cut into slices and take to work.

    Crustless quiche
    Veg of your choice, I prefer to pre cook them cutting the harder vegetables into very thin slices (leek, courgette, sugar snap peas, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, brocolli, spinach)
    As a guide I prepared 4 eggs with 1 medium carrot, 1 small courgette, 80g sugar snap peas, 1 small leek, 125g mushrooms – so you can see that you can get away with a lot of veg

    4 eggs to 1-1.5 mugs of milk (any variety will work, I use unsweetened soya milk)
    herb of your choice (parsley, sage, marjoram, basil, oregano all work well)
    salt and pepper (optional)
    mix together in an oven proof dish

    cook at 180-200C for
    2 egg mix – 20 mins
    4 egg mix – 30 mins
    8 egg mix – 45 mins

    or until golden brown and a knife comes out clean.

    Variations
    mix in a tin of tuna or salmon
    mix in thinly sliced cooked meat (ham, sausage, chicken, pork)
    use frozen veg cooked if you are short on fresh

    Enjoy!

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