A few weeks ago I decided to do something about the extra weight I was carrying around my waist. There was also the fact that the doctor told me that I was suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the term for a range of conditions caused by a build-up of fat in the liver. It’s usually seen in people who are overweight or obese. A healthy liver should contain little or no fat. It’s estimated up to 1 in every 3 people in the UK has early stages of NAFLD, where there are small amounts of fat in their liver.
Early-stage NAFLD doesn’t usually cause any harm, but it can lead to serious liver damage, including cirrhosis, if it gets worse. Having high levels of fat in your liver is also associated with an increased risk of serious health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease.
If you already have diabetes, NAFLD increases your chance of developing heart problems. If detected and managed at an early stage, it’s possible to stop NAFLD getting worse and reduce the amount of fat in your liver.
– Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/
My doctor suggested I start Weight Watchers classes and so I did but after a month I found that it just didn’t sit right with me. I wanted to learn about the best foods and WW didn’t provide me with enough education to learn.
Around a month ago I watched the television presenter Dr Michael Moseley being interviewed on the BBC (see video below) about his new diet so I ordered the book from amazon and started reading. I read the book from cover-to-cover and liked how easy it was to understand and more importantly that he also cross-referenced his research with the latest medical trials and shared their results. By the end of the book I felt that I had a solid foundation and that this new lifestyle was for me, especially as he recommends it for those suffering with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Basically you eat healthy food amounting to only 800 calories a day.
Rather than diving straight into it, I took well over a week to plan ahead. At the back of the book there is a large selection of recipes with simple instructions and how many calories each meal contains. I worked out a weekly food plan covering my three meals for the day – breakfast, lunch, dinner.
The book also outlines the benefits of ‘fasting’ and eating all your meals within a certain period of time. I settled on 12:12, all my meals would be eaten within 12 hours and I would fast for 12 hours (mostly when I’m sleeping). The longer you can not eat once you’ve woken up, the better. The book also walks you through the science behind ketosis and how this benefits the body.
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose (sugar) for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet.
– Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/180858.php
My meal plan for the week was complete and the next day a load of fresh and frozen food arrived from an online supermarket. I’ve never planned my meals before and now that I’ve done it for a week, I can see the huge benefits from doing it.
In the past my food has been enjoyable but spices like cinnamon or paprika would never get anywhere near my plate. Salt and vinegar was the most exciting condiments that graced my meals. So I had to change my mindset if this was going to success. Therefore I looked at these meals as medicine and put my trust in the author who had spent time creating these for my benefit.
Tip: Make the meal last. Eating too fast can result in the ‘event’ being over too soon. I found taking my time, around 20 minutes to consume each meal helped me with the feeling of being satisfied.
8am Breakfast on Day 1 was Boiled Eggs and Spiced Asparagus – I hadn’t eaten asparagus before. It was very easy to prepare and I loved it. The book recommends doing the eggs soft enough to dip the asparagus into but I prefer my eggs a bit more solid. I’ve loved this breakfast so much I’m now planning on growing my own asparagus.
1pm For lunch I had decided on Pea and Spinach Soup. I didn’t like this one as much as I was expecting. I will make it again to make sure but on this occasion I found it a bit too watery.
Around mid-afternoon and I started chewing my cheek with hunger. The book recommends drinking water so I did that and the hunger disappeared.
6pm The last meal of the day was Sausage and Mushrooms with Spring Greens. I loved this one so much that it replaced other meals I had planned to cook later in the week.
I wouldn’t eat anything else now until breakfast time, only water if needed. Check out a few pictures of the meals I made over on my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/seanjamescameron/
Some lessons I learnt from this past week is that cooking, proper cooking, it quite enjoyable. There were days when I didn’t feel like cooking and I had planned for this by making Root Veg and Turmeric Soup which is stunning – a hearty soup. I froze three portions and would turn to this on days when I was too lazy to cook the planned meal. I also found that in the first 48 hours I visited the toilet to pass urine quite a bit. I’ve since learnt this is normal and it quickly returns to a normal level from day 3 onwards.
I started to enjoy cooking and learning how everything went together. The afternoon hunger pains disappeared after the first 48 hours. Towards the end of the week if I wanted anything outside of the meals I will either drink water or munch on a few snap peas. My relationship with food has changed dramatically. Yes there have been some tempting moments when I’ve wanted to buy a bar of chocolate but I’ve kept focus by thinking about why I’m doing this in the first place, my long term health.
My energy levels are increasing and my mind is starting to think about returning to the gym which may happen in the coming weeks but not yet. I’m starting to feel good about myself again, my depression has lifted and I’m planning for the future again.
Week 1 Results
Start of Week 1 at 17st 12lb (250lb)
End of Week 1 at 17st 5lb (243lb)
I’ve very pleased with the results from this first week. Moving forward I will try some new recipes and continue with my favourites from the first week. So far so good.