🍔 Fat Boy at 40
In August last year, Kev announced that he doesn’t want to be a “fat boy at 40” and I decided to accept his invitation and be accountable together.
A few days ago, he wrote his Christmas update and I would like to use this opportunity to finally write something myself on this topic.
I am 36 years old and have some time left to come into shape until my 40th birthday, but I am having the same goal as Kev - to be fitter this summer.
I was never the sportiest guy and I always carried a few pounds too much, but managed to be ok with it. Last summer, I went to the doctor for a regular check up and was diagnosed with first symptoms of a (non-alcoholic) fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This is a common in the Western world. We sit too much, move to little and eat too many carbs. Depending on the statics you’re looking at, roughly 30-40% male Westerners are effected. The dangerous part is that NAFLD is often without any symptoms, thus not treated, but can cause type 2 diabetes. Not desirable. Change was needed.
Changes in 2023
Intermediate Fasting: Someone on the “Accountable Together” mailing list suggested intermediate fasting. I heard about the idea a couple of years ago, but didn’t had it on the radar. The idea is that you separate the day into a “fasting” and an “eating” period. During the fasting period, you’re allowed to drink water, black coffee or not sweetened tea. The longer this period is, the less you eat, the easier it is to reduce weight. 16:8 is common, meaning you’re fasting for 16 hours per day and are allowed to eat during the remaining 8 hours. In other words, you eat dinner until 20:00 and the next thing you’ll eat is lunch on the next day (12:00) - skipping breakfast.
Leaving one meal out sounded hard. Thus, I started with the 14:10 variant, where I can eat until 19:00 and have a late breakfast at 09:00 the next morning. I downloaded Fastic to track my progress and subscribed to their premium service for one year when it was offered at a special price. You can see from the screenshot below, that I average on 13h and 50-something minutes. The app offers guidance on fasting in general and tries to create habits, but I mainly use it to have the progress visualised and to create a bad conscience when I eat after 7pm. It works surprisingly good for me.
Walking: I walk more. Lucky me, the diagnoses came when I started parental leave giving me more freedom to shape the days. No meetings at certain time slots, no super critical deadlines, just the babies needs. And one of those needs is sleeping, which she likes to do in the stroller. A good excuse to go for a longer walk on a daily basis. Recently, roughly two hours per day and thus, way more than I walked before.
That’s it. I didn’t have the energy to change more. We wanted to eat healthier, but I am not tracking it and my gut feeling tells me that it only worked partly.
Nevertheless, I reached something. Since August, I lost 6kg which I didn’t expect and which makes me very positive for 2024.
Plans for 2024
I want to continue fasting. I want to increase it to the 16:8 variant and even try several days without eating (classic fasting). I see this as an interesting challenge, and good for my health (because the ketosis will clean up).
I subscribed to Apple Fitness+ (again). Apple included nice new features like individual training plans, removing the hassle to select a video manually. The idea is that I will set the alarm half an hour earlier and start the day with a little sport program. Let’s see how that goes …
Finally, eating is something where I want to be more mindful this year. A first step would probably be to track what I eat currently. Does anyone have a recommendation for this? I can tell that it needs to be super-simple. If it requires me to weight individual ingredients of my meals I wont do it (for long). Any recommendation is appreciated 🙂
If you read this and want to join the party, read Kev’s articles, join the mailing list and write your story. We’re looking forward to hear it and support you wherever we can 🙂