This post documents and attempts to quantify my observations over the last 16 months, during which, I lost 36.4 Kg (from 107.2 to 70.8) in body weight.
107 to 97 - OMAD and fits of binge eating:
From 2019 August to 2020 March, I followed One meal a day on and off. During this period, I didn’t take weight loss seriously and was happy with any progress. On most weekdays I was able to adhere to OMAD, mostly due to my weight-conscious co-workers. Being an avid Ent, weekends were a different story, full of binge eating sessions and munchies.
I lost ~10 Kg during this period averaging ~1.4Kg per month with an average caloric deficit of ~400 per day.
During this period, I didn’t have any visible changes and my dress sizes didn’t change.
97 to 79 -Adapting to and surviving ADF:
When the lockdown started in March, I realised that I had the perfect opportunity to experiment with Alternate Day Fasting. This meant, skipping food for a day and eating protein-rich food amounting to~1500 calories the next day.
Although the theory is simple, being an avid Ent meant that I had to get the munchies and sweet tooth under control. Surprisingly, adapting to this took only 7–10 days of strict self-control, after which It became a routine.
During this period (2020 Mar to 2020 Jul), I was able to maintain a deficit of ~2000 calories on fasting days and ~800 calories on non-fasting days. This resulted in a ~19 kg weight loss over this period with an average of ~0.17 kg per day.
To stop this from getting this too mundane, I had random cheat days where I used up my 1500 calorie “allowance” on fast food/ snacks instead of protein-rich food.
I tracked my body fat, muscle mass changes over this period using a “smart” scale, some crude manual measurements, and didn’t observe any bad weight loss (i.e: losing a lot of muscle mass and very less fat).
I had very visible changes during this period, that followed the “first in last out” rule. i.e: The order of fat loss was the face, neck followed by legs, hands followed by belly, chest.
Notably, during this period my walking speed improved from ~10 minutes a km to ~9 minutes a km and my clothing sizes went down (pants 38/XXL to 36/XL, shirts 46/XXL to 42/L).
79 to 70 — Slowing down:
Once I hit 80, I stopped ADF and decided to slow down. i.e: averaging ~1000–1200 calories a day. Although there were a few days where I succumbed to my indulgences during this period, I was able to overcome them easily.
During this period (2020 Jul to 2020 Nov), I lost ~10 kg averaging ~2.5kg per month.
My walking speed, shirt size remained the same during this period and pant size went down from 36/XL to 34/L.
Some random observations:
- Weight loss is easy. Counting calories is the best and only approach.
- Gamifying the calorie allotment helped in sticking to limits.
- OTG grilled chicken is the best. (low in calories, easy to cook, high protein content)
- Despite what many people report, I didn’t notice any major improvements in my day to day life because of weight loss.
- Despite my initial fears, during ADF I never felt weak or fainted.
6. Being able to eyeball the calorie, fat content in a dish helped a lot.