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 🙂

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How Am I Doing – Week 7


How Am I Doing – Week 7.

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Gastric Surgery – Not a Healthy Choice


This is an area that is so close to my heart!  There are other forms of ghastly (gastric) surgery one of the most common is the gastric or lap band.  All bariatric surgery forces the patient into an anorexic state and also encourages bulimia.  When I had my band I was living on 600 – 800 kcals a day and throwing up most of that with each meal.  I completely agree with the findings of this blog that the only way to successfully lose the weight and to keep it off for life is through a healthy eating regimen and possibly exercise (although that’s not absolutely necessary for weight-loss).  A lot of what I’m learning is counter-intuitive, but it is working even though I have metabolic syndrome or extremely metabolically resistant.  I only lost 4 kg with my gastric band in 4 years, I have lost almost 2.5 stone working with Martin MacDonald (Mac-Nutrition) in 10 months!  We need to stop this ridiculous form of barbaric surgery and dissuade as many people as possible from this path.  This is my goal in life – to save people from themselves and from the knife!

My Top Weightloss

I recently received a comment on this subject,so I decided to check it out a bit more. And no matter how hard I looked I could not find anything good to say about it.I am totally against it,I feel this procedure is as unnecessary as it is unhealthy.If your struggling with your weight, I suggest you stick with the basics.Control what you Eat and stay Active. Gastric Bypass Surgery is offered as a weight loss surgery option, for patients looking to dramatically reduce their weight. Weight loss surgery, also known as barbaric surgery, They want us to believe that it will provide the longest period of sustained weight loss in patients who have tried other approaches of diet and exercise without success.But yet they go on to say something about weight loss surgery will only work as well as the amount of time you invest in adopting a healthy and active lifestyle.

What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Gastric Bypass surgery, also known…

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THE HUNGER BLOGS


Amazing, good job I didn’t find these sites before I had the ridiculous ghastly surgery, Imight have done a different way!

My Top Weightloss

Thinspiration: Pro-Ana & Pro-Mia Website Photo...I found this very important yet slightly disturbing article on aol news. It’s about, A Secret World Of TeenageThinspirationKate leads a double life. Offscreen, she’s a tall, slender, and soft-spoken 17-year-old from Utah, who describes herself as “super awkward” and yet fantasizes about becoming a famous runway model in New York City. Onscreen, she’s the confident champion of a secretive community of teenage girls who celebrate ghoulish thinness, relish photos of emaciated women, and furtively share tips about how to stave off hunger.Kate, whose last name and Tumblr URL have been withheld to protect her identity, is a guru of “thinspo” (short for “thinspiration”). That odd marriage of clever wordplay and disturbing mindset is typical of this underground network of young, female diarist on Tumblr, the image-laden micro-blogging platform popular with teenagers. This codependent sisterhood of bloggers uses Tumblr for one sole purpose: to lose extreme and unhealthy…

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How Am I Doing – Week 7


Morning all, and how does this beautiful Sunday find you?  Me, I am in the most fantastic of moods today, a really hard training session always lifts my spirits followed by a really good breakfast, when I get over feeling sick from my intense training session that is  🙂

I received an interesting email from Martin on Friday as I was drinking my recovery shake in the gym changing room.  He basically asked me if I had any idea why my bodyweight has come down significantly this week?  I had to admit that I realise that it is because I spent the week sitting around watching TV, no stress, no work, no training, really, no exercise at all!  I had increased to 108.7 (starting to retain water) on the 6th but I am down to 107.9 this morning.  Wow, that’s almost a KG.  So, more proof that I can shed that amount of weight by doing NOTHING!  That just goes to show that eating below my BMR only works to lose weight if I want to be a couch potato, that I can’t afford to do, well,  that is unless there’s a gorgeous rich guy out there who wants to keep me in a fashion to which I would love to become accustomed 😉 ?  But really, I can’t stand being a couch potato and really – daytime TV!  TV’s so absolutely mind-numbingly boring that I really couldn’t do it for longer than this week.  Even Sky TV is absolutely rubbish – why the hell do I pay for Sky when I never watch it?  That could pay for another PT session or, I could save the money for my holiday – yeah, not enough time between cancellation and going away for that to make any difference whatsoever, however, over a year it’s almost £500!   

So, with all the above in mind, I have asked Martin where we go from here?  Do we just see what happens when I go back to work and back to my three sessions in the gym and my 3 additional 30 min walks per week?  He seems to be fully aware that I will either increase in weight or remain fairly static.  If this is the case, what can we do to retain the weight-loss and keep up the renewed activity level?  The jury’s out at the moment, I await his reply, which will probably be sometime next week as he monitors my daily weight to assess the impact of the additional calorie usage, lots of driving next week and two days in central London too.  However, there is another thing that is quite new to the mix too, that’s me getting 8 hours sleep per night, so I guess if we stay as we are this week and I maintain my good habits for both eating & sleeping and I still lose weight, then it’s a combination of the new supplements (cortisol blockers) and sleep.  Yeah, you see, this is the point that Martin usually tells me to ‘stop over analysing and go for a light 20 minute walk’ haha.  Whatever it is, it’s an excellent results week!

On to more….interesting things 🙂

This morning’s breakfast consisted of 2 scrambled eggs, 2 slices of Tesco Organic Unsmoked Bacon and 2 Tesco Finest Cumberland Sausages.

Breakfast and Supplements

I got bored with cooking poached eggs so switched to scrambled.  I dry fry the bacon in a heavy based hard anodised frying pan with no added fat, then scramble the eggs in the same pan when the bacon is cooked; there is no residual fat left in the pan from frying the bacon.  I always cook the sausages in the oven, I hate frying or grilling the monsters, far too messy for my liking.  The supplements, I usually take before I eat my breakfast, this works particularly well with fish oil pills; they can have a tendency to repeat if you eat them after or without food, however, taken before you eat stops this happening.

Macronutrients for the day

  • KCALS   1522
  • FAT        97
  • CHO       57
  • PRO       114

Another really good day.  I have made a promise that I will try to not go below 1300 kcals, never below 1275 and not go over my carbs or protein by more than +2, so, carbs should be 54 over by 3 (oops), protein should be 120 under by 6, well within the tolerances, fat is over by 6 but that’s absolutely acceptable.   The reason that it’s all a lot higher than my normal plan is because on a training day, I have a recovery shake that consists of 30g of whey protein and 20g of dextrose and a piece of fruit, that increases kcals, carbs and protein but no change to fat.  This was only introduced a week or so ago, however, Martin informs me that he is going to remove the dextrose and increase the protein for the recovery shake sometime soon.

Just another point, I could never eat like this when I had the ghastly band fitted without either eating soups or throwing it all back up again – only done that twice since I had it removed – how fantastic is that, it used to be a daily occurence!  I am happy to say that I haven’t gained loads of weight as the Surgeon was concerned I would.  That would only happen if I ate stupidly and lived on fish & chips, bread and chocolate and other such rubbish foods.  I really shouldn’t ever increase to where I was before as long as I stick to only eating good whole food that I cook and prepare myself and adhere to my macronutrient mix as recommended by Mr MacNutrition, Martin MacDonald (just in case you forgot who he is 🙂 )

On to another topic – how am I following my ‘snow ballet’ of last week?  I’m well on the road to recovery, thanks for asking!  I have bought some ice grips for my boots so that shouldn’t happen again.  I had some physio sessions with Andy ( no massage for another 3 weeks though, it needs to start to heal properly so he doesn’t cause anymore damage – apparently ) and I have also been back into the gym for my max 32.5 min session.  Andy went easy on me with my injury, so no twisty exercises and no really heavy weights, only 5 kg dumb bells.  The training consisted mainly of arms and back work to try to strengthen the supporting muscles in the back with some core activation too – push ups on a bosu.  Today however, was a really intense weight/cardio session, basically using a weight circuit to give a really intense cardio workout too.  He says I’m definitely ready to go back to work.  He also said that from today onwards I can expect it to get worse each week, as long as Martin doesn’t have an issue with that – BRING IT ON ANDY!!!

So, that’s it for now, I’ll keep you informed of any changes to my plan that Martin recommends and how that’s going for me…. quite like to try Intermittent Fasting properly, I have asked, but I can’t make unilateral decisions.

Catch you soon…

PS, I really fancied some chocolate after the gym – drinking my recovery shake is so sweet, it sets off my sweet tooth (which I have about 32 haha) – so I bought some 85% organic dark chocolate – I hate dark chocolate, so I’m hoping that it satisfies the desire with just 1/2 square, that’s about as much as my teeth can stand – yuk…

Posted in Bariatric Surgery, Gastrc Band, General Stuff, Macronutrients, Weekly Weigh In, Weight Loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Weight Loss and Sleep


Hmm, this is something that Martin keeps reminding me and the last time was with the addage ‘if you don’t get a minumum of 8 hrs sleep per night – NO TRAINING’. Makes sense especially when you read this excellent article. Enjoy!

Paleo Works: How To Diet

weight-loss-and-sleep

Weight loss: are you getting enough sleep?   It’s a serious question..Take a look at this:

It’s 2004 (6 December 2004) and the headline reads:

“Sleep loss, appetite and weight gain”

Did you see it?  The article goes on to confirm  that researchers at the University of Chicago  have found that partial sleep deprivation alters the circulating levels of the hormones that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite and a preference for calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.

So this study (published in the 7 Dec. 2004 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine), gives us a mechanism linking sleep loss to the current epidemic of obesity.

In the experiment, research subjects (who slept only four hours a night for two nights) had an 18 percent decrease in leptin, the hormone that tells the brain there is no need for more food, and a 28 percent increase in ghrelin, the…

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Dukan V Paleo


What can I say – This makes sense in everything stated, it is the way I now eat without actually following the program, but the nutrient mix is definitely my plan as is the exercise less – eat more bit. Definitely worth a read!

Paleo Works: How To Diet

We get a lot of questions asking how our way of eating differs from say the Dukan Diet or the Atkins Diet.  Well the latter two are indeed quite similar in their make up and include similar foods although at different stages.  However many of the foods and even non foods (as may better describe them) included are in fact detrimental to both health and well being. In addition both these diets are specifically geared towards weight loss results and fall short on considering long term sustainability as they are both temporary programs with one focus, losing weight.  In particular the Dukan diet severely reduces fat intake and relies upon calorie restriction and exercise to provide results. The Atkins diet fares little better as it encourages you to purchase their own brand processed foods. We will look at the Atkins diet a little closer in this series, however for now…

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