Today is MyFitnessPal streak day 2,726 (I’ve had ups and downs) and I’m happy to report that as of this morning I have lost a total of 100.5 lb (45.6 kg).
I follow WFPB (Whole Food Plant Based) eating. This means being mostly vegan, eating mostly whole foods, avoiding as much added sugar as is practical, and also avoiding oils. It’s all “mostly” rather than 100% inviolable rules. It’s a basic guideline I stick to as much as possible.
For example, I will eat white rice if brown rice isn’t available. I’ll have miso soup in a restaurant even though I know it contains bonito extract. I might very occasionally even have some fish in a sushi restaurant (though I mostly stick with the vegan options). I think this is all in the spirit of WFPB eating. If I’m on a 14 hour air flight I’ll order the vegan meal even though I know there is probably some oil in it. That’s probably the only time I have any oils.
I’m also down over 62 lb since recommitting to WFPB in September last year after reading Dr. Michael Greger’s, “How Not to Die.” His book was a trigger to get me back on the right path again. Chef AJ, Potato Strong, and Plant Based Gabriel have all also been inspirations and supportive during this process.
During this time, all my blood values have returned to normal. In particular, my dangerously high HbA1c came down over time and has been in the normal range for months now, and my cholesterol values are all super great, and the doctors are very pleased.
As mentioned in a previous post, I have tweaked Dr. Greger’s advice to suit me (everybody is different), in order to (1) keep on track with my weight loss and (2) have really great digestion.
Some of my tweaks include:
- More careful “sequencing” to eat more food from the low calorie-density side of the chart. This just means starting meals with lower calorie-density foods like large salads and non-starchy vegetables before moving onto more satisfying starches, like potatoes.
- Avoiding some foods from the low side of the calorie-density chart which I personally still feel are too high in calories, like bananas. Blueberries and watermelon have much lower calorie densities, while bananas have a higher calorie density than potatoes!
- Having potatoes rather than rice when possible, because of lower calorie density, and they are more filling to me. They are really great when topped with nutritional yeast and moistened with a bit of soy milk. Air fried they are also great.
- Not having too many potatoes. About 10-12 ounces seems good for a main portion, rather than a couple of pounds, like some people do.
- Avoiding nuts. Sorry Dr. Greger, they do count. They are extremely high calorie. I do add flax seeds to my salads though. They contain healthy fats and have a slightly nutty flavor and make the salads more satisfying.
- Logging food and exercise calories, and my daily weight, in MyFitnessPal (calories count whether you count them or not). MyFitnessPal has been my weight “sanity check” for 2726 days now, which has prevented me from having a full rebound even when I fell off the wagon a couple of times in the past.
- And I don’t eat a lot of legumes because no matter what I try they cause unpleasant digestive side-effects. However, instead, I have lots of firm tofu! That doesn’t seem to bother me, and provides lots of protein, and also healthy fats, and is definitely on the lower side of the calorie density chart.
- For exercise, I basically walk as much as possible. I track that using MapMyRun, which syncs to MyFitnessPal. It’s good for health, and it gives me an extra calorie buffer each day. I’m trying to work up into resistance training also so I can build some upper torso strength and muscles, but haven’t really gotten into it yet.
- I do not do intermittent fasting. I do not think it is necessary, and it just doesn’t appeal to me.
Eating this way seems long-term sustainable to me. There is no sense of deprivation, which is important. It may seem like I’ve been doing this a long time, but consider this: time passes whether you are dieting or not, so you might as well take up healthy habits along the way.
This morning I’m down to 83.4 kg. According to BMI charts, that’s just 8 kg from a normal weight! (And yet, here in Japan, I still find it hard to get clothes that fit me in a regular shop!)
My short term goal is to get into the 70s by the end of the year. At this rate I might or might not make it – it’s a slow pace. But I am slowly and consistently losing weight, so I’m not too worried about that.