If I’ve learned one truism over my long life, it’s that diet control is more of a cinch when you’re twenty as opposed to trying it at 60! But lose weight was the name of the game for me in the fall of 2016 and I really needed to get back to a basic Paleolithic-styled diet as quickly as I could. (Being old, fat and stupid is no way spend one’s later days…).
Here was part of the gauntlet I faced. Most people in their fifties and sixties have a metabolism that actually works against staying slim. Dieting alone doesn’t get it done. You have to mix in the right amounts of food with the correct types of exercise to combat a body that will actually slow itself down if you cut back on food, thereby sabotaging your best efforts. The thing about exercise is that it hurts… a lot. Even more so than when you are young and can recover quickly! The other devil in my life was the desire to overeat. Something to do with male menopause, perhaps. So, I knew that it was going to take mucho desire, dedication and persistence to get the job done this time around!
Planning is key
First off, I needed to set myself a realistic goal for weight loss over time. In my case, I wanted to go from 192 pounds back down to a more svelte 177 or so. That would be about fifteen pounds. So, since I was starting in September, if I were to lose just 5 pounds a month, I should see a more slender me sometime about December!
Next, I needed a food plan I could actually live with. In my case it was going to be a modified Paleo-styled effort and would focus on curtaining the intake of most processed foods, canned items, breads (I was going to cheat on that item) and all pastries. That pretty much limited my grocery shopping to the produce department, the frozen food isle and the meat department! Well, at least I’d get through the market in relatively good speed for a few months!
So, here’s what I came up with as potential choices for my Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner:
- Egg, toast, ham, milk and tomato juice
- Oats, milk, tomato juice and a fruit cup
- Steak and eggs with hash browns
- Peanut butter sandwich with fruit
- Hot dog with salad
- Beef patty with veggies
- Steak with potatoes
- Ham with veggies
- Fish filet portions with fruit
And, then there was that real trouble spot, the snack category. In the past, this was the area that caused me many a downfall as I liked to drink beer, eat potato chips and ice cream! Hey! I’m a guy!
New snack regime: Any sort of fresh fruit, and that’s it!
Banned items: Beer, potato chips and ice cream – ‘These could be enjoyed on a once a week ‘splurge myself’ basis!’
I’ve discovered, from past efforts, that by limiting the composition of each meal to just a few selections, that I would see better and faster results! The other half of that stratedgy was good portion control. For that, my handy food scale came in handy! Each meal was standardized into select weighed portions; liquids always served a cup, meats always in the two ounce (60 gram) range. Salads were generally served in a small bowl averaging 100 grams and all other items were kept to a bare minimum. The snacking on fruits and berries was to go on most of the day, but in small amounts overall. The caloric total was never to exceed 1500 except for once a week when I would ‘splurge’.
Rest and Exercise
Lastly, I will set myself to a regimented form of exercise that included stretching, sit ups, bike riding and walking interspersed with eating and rest periods. I felt this copied the average Paleolithic man’s life rather closely. (Back then, when you weren’t out hunting, fighting and gathering (exercising), you were eating and when you weren’t eating you were resting). The key was eat in a grazing manner, a little all day long, exercise in two parts and then make sure to take short naps one or more times during the day.
When I’ve followed this type of regime in the past, I found that it took my body a couple of weeks to get re-adjusted before I began to find myself craving more and more ‘exercise’. I also had more energy, more stamina and was never really very hungry, (as I was snacking most of the time)!
I plan to do updates on a regular basis after starting the effort September 1, 2016!