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Read: You look really fat and sick!

Imagine bumping into someone you know and they utter the words in the title above. Well, those exact words were said to me in February 2019, by a friend I hadn’t seen in a few months. Quite the bombshell yeah? As you can imagine, it left me dazed.

But here’s the thing. Despite the bluntness of the words, they actually had my best interests at heart, and I needed to hear them.

By early 2019, I really was feeling fat and sick. I weighed close to 100 kilograms which is a hell of a lot for a middle-aged man who is 1.76m tall. I was taking blood pressure medication and I couldn’t even empty the dishwasher without needing a nap afterward.

After that fateful encounter, I started to do more exercise but I couldn’t seem to give up junk food. Then a few weeks later as I was trolling through YouTube I found a video by  British doctor and TV personality Michael Mosley. He’s produced a number of books and television shows about healthy living and this particular video was about his latest lifestyle regime called The Fast 800.

Essentially The Fast 800 encourages you to eat 800 calories a day for a minimum of two weeks but it can be followed for longer. It involves fasting from early evening till breakfast and the removal of processed foods and sugar, from the diet.

It appealed to me because it’s all about eating fresh real food, and the science behind it shows a human being can cope with a radically reduced amount of food for a short period of time. Best of all, the science shows that rapid weight loss on a regime like this is better in the long run. Obviously, there are the usual disclaimers about checking with your doctor and warnings for pregnant women and those with severe illnesses.

I was so inspired, I downloaded the book and began the regime that very day. I didn’t bother seeking advice from my doctor because I didn’t have a severe illness and I wasn’t pregnant.

There were one or two dietary recommendations I ignored because I was determined not to make the diet so restrictive that I’d get bored and hate it, so I kept potatoes in as they are my go-to comfort food and I love them. I also decided not to restrict my intake of fruit in any way. I have never been diabetic or had any blood sugar issues, so I wasn’t worried about insulin spikes.

On the 29th of March 2019, I went shopping and started a new life of eating. I also weighed myself and I clocked in at 99 kgs (218 pounds).

From day one, I stopped eating wheat, tinned goods, soft drinks, and anything packaged. I reduced my intake of dairy. I cooked more and developed my own recipes.

Mosley’s book says most people can expect to lose about 4 kilos in the first week – after five days I’d lost 3.5 kgs. I was feeling relentlessly cheerful and remarkably proud of achieving that in such a short time.

On day six, something a little unpleasant happened which had me rushing to the doctor. Had I been unwise to not have a check-up before I started the diet?  I’ll tell you the answer to that next week in part two!

Read part two here. Read part three here. Read part four here.

Picture copyright – Santeri Viinamäki

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