Tuesday, 12 August 2014



This is a new blog for people who are just a bit like me: sporty but a fatty.

In this blog I will try and help people who are 'struggling' to lose weight aged over 30, while they have been keen sporty types or even very competitive athletes previously in their 20s.We still train but we are lugging around some extra baggage under our lycra and we are not getting thinner.

What you need most of all to do is to realise the errors in your ways, while also forgetting a traditional calorie starvation diet which so many people either become energy-lose or bounce back to fat gain from anyway. Also we will look at this problem as being something which is quite slow to fix, has lasting changes to appetite and lifestyle, and of course involves effort. Null Virtue Sin Labor.

In common with most diets - when you bother to read the whole book and pay attention to what it is saying at the end - then diet is a phase after which you have a new lifestyle ie you eat less for most food related diets, and continue to eat less.  The lasting change in lifestyle do not really happen, that is why dieters fail so often.

Starvation diets fail for many people because they can rebound in two ways: many dieters develop actually a poorer appetite control  while some people prime their bodies to replenish the fat as soon as they finish the diet. Due to the starvation when the body reacts by expecting more starvation and laying down fat.  Also many people fail to go through with the diet because they are so boring and restrictive in what you can and cannot eat.

In this approach to losing weight I propose that we -the sporty-fatty - can firstly realise why we are carrying around a lot of lard on our middles, and then do something to lose weight and tackle our appetite. This takes what I call an effort phase followed by a maintanence phase, which is basically the lifestyle change. However what we are talking about is peaking in the dieting phase and then coming to terms with what we can maintain in our life balance beyond the diet.

Some diets like the "walking diet" are aimed at the sedentary couch potato.There are some former sports personalities who have written on the subject, Ian Botham and George Formann spring to mind. However here is my take, and experience actually underway.  I will warn you now that this is probably the slowest diet for the most hours put in training possible, but in being so it is the most sustainable and has the longest lasting effects for the sporty-fatty.

What we are going to look at are two main very simple factors which will help you lose weight and keep it off, and make you motivated to follow this long term course.

Prologue and Philosophy:

I was about 3 to 4 stone overweight for my own satisfaction. There in lies a first major tip- for your own satisfaction:  throw out body-mass-index BMI if you are sporty and do any sport which puts muscle and bone mass on. If you do an endurance sport like long distance cycling, marathon running or longer triathalons then BMI can be a reasonable guide, but it is based on historical data from before the pumping iron, getting tattooed craze started in the late eighties through the nineties. My ideal weight is 2 stone under my desired weight, at which I think I would look emaciated and ill: as 6'2" I would look like a lanky long distance runner with hollow cheeks and tiny sinewy muscles.

Also I was training actively all year round, a bit up and down with how many hours per week and the intensity and duration of the training, and frankly a bit aimless. Too heavy to race, not a gymn animal enough to get a body builder or gymnast's figure: no real goals, just the knowledge training at least three sessions a week was good for the heart and soul. I enjoy training a lot, like any sporty fatty, but not in huge amounts and not every day. However I do not enjoy being fat, 14 kg of lard.

We tell ourselves a good few lies about eating and exercise, and we fall away from discipline easily without setting goals. The core of the dieting side of this series of blog notes is that we eat and drink way too many extras. Life's little luxuries. In fact our training can be totally counter productive on appetite control because of its form and the time point we do it: we snack before or after training, we drink sugary drinks as a treat after training, we eat extra portions of dinner because we are more hungry after training.

The two worst factors for training which contributes to fat gain or fat status quo are

1) We 'carbo load' or snack to allegedly keep our energy levels up

2) We end up eating dinner late into the evening after training.

To tackle the first, and this is one we must tackle: Training effectively one hour aerobically in the gymn, or a 5-aside match, or a cycle, ski or run takes up more time and we think we need to either load up with additional calories the day before or take a snack before, during or after. This type of squeeze it in training often is effectively even shorter if we actually time "an hour in the gymn"- we maybe only get 40 minutes training. In that time we have barely used up available blood glucose and tickled muscle glycogen stores. We have burnt little if any fat. Worse the 40 minute burst can adversely affect our appetite as we get that blood sugar low before glycogen release from the muscles and late liver balance out our energy supply. "no pain no gain" means a lot of anærobic activity which is the worst for burning fat because not only does it only use sugars, but also it is only short time sustainable and you need to use a lot of oxygen to clear out the lactic acid before the body can then start metabolising fat, which is actually a more aerobic process than burning sugar.

Training in the gymn takes up time and we often do it straight from work or say weekend mornings before we have a lunch and treats with friends or family. Coupled to being more hungry immediately after we finish and not pushing our bodies longer towards liver glycogen and eventually fat break down, if we eat late we over compensate in calorie intake, late at night when we are more likely to lay down any extra calories or simple sugars from the meal as fat....   and lose no weight, despite being a bit fitter.

The new mantra of peak burst and intensive super aerobic weight lifting work outs is actually very good for many who are trained as it can help maintain a higher average VO2 max , anaerobic threshold and strength. However these max out bursts are pracitally useless for losing weight in the first place as above.

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