Category Archives: diary

On the diet – month 4


imageDay 113

Check out my massive water retention spike! I’ve been having weird Saturday weight spikes for a while and I couldn’t work out why. Then this utterly enormous one happened so i had to do some research. I found good info on the body building website, talking about water retention in response to ingesting excessive sodium (i.e. salt). Then it all started to make sense. One of our favourite restaurants, Origano in Leith does takeaways and since I have been on the diet the only thing on their menu I can eat is the Chicken Ceasar Salad. It’s pretty salty anyway, I think it’s the dressing they use, but I always have it with anchovies….as I had on this occasion last weekend. I don’t know why the spike was so unusually large this time.

The surprising solution was to drink absolutely gallons of water. The rate of return to normal was about 500g/day.

Watch your sodium intake to avoid excessive water retention!

Day 114

Those of you who have read the first posts in this blog will know that one of, if not the main objective of adopting this diet was to lose weight in order to climb harder without injuring my fingers; a perennial problem for me. “Climb harder” itself meant the specific goal of red pointing 7a (outdoors of course); two grades harder than my previous best of 6c, being Nebuchodonosor in Spartacus sector, Kalymnos, in 2008.

After two sessions working the route, today I red pointed my first 7-grade route: Raw Deal on Wave sector in Cheddar Gorge (7a). To say I am happy would be a major understatement. I’ve out so much effort, commitment and discipline into losing around 14kg since this time last year, and 10kg since March, recovering from a serious finger injury, and getting my climbing up to this standard as well. I nearly did the route yesterday, falling on the last move, but I got it quite quickly today after a shaky start – red point nerves!

I would’t say I found it easy, but it was obviously totally do-able. This makes me realise that actually, in this shape, with the right routes, training and partners, further significant advancement is completely possible.

I would like to thank Eric for belying me, and coaching me, these last two days, and Donald for training with me in Edinburgh, Glasgow and in-between over the last six months. Thanks guys!

I’m not sure what is going to happen next diet-wise. Watch this space…

Day 115

Prompted by a query on UKC about my current body fat %, I did some skin fold tests. Here’s the text of that post:

I don’t have fat % reading scales anymore, and I’m not convinced of the accuracy of the home ones anyway; the ones I had were all over the place, all the time. I know I have gained upper body muscle mass, but overall: I just couldn’t tell you what % my body fat is now, I’m sorry. If I come across some fat % scales I’ll let you know. It would be interesting, for sure. Based on past experience I would say I’m now about 9-10%, but it’s a guess. Skin fold test on suprailiac fat pad is 12mm.

That gives me an idea…I’ve got some vernier callipers in the cupboard. I’ll just do a run of skin fold tests.

Chest 4mm
Midaxilliary 4m
Suprailiac 11mm
Abdominal 12mm
Thigh 7mm
Tricep 6.5mm
Subscapular 8mm

9.43%. How about that guess! 6.7kg of fat. So I probably lost ~11kg of fat and gained about 1.5kg of muscle.


On the diet – month 1

Day 1-3

Feel a bit flu-ey. I also feel a bit more wired than usual during this time (I drink quite a lot of coffee as normal). I have a flushed face and feel tired. I find it hard to concentrate. I feel emotional. I am losing a lot of weight very fast (1kg/day) and pissing like a racehorse so this is probably dumping of body water associated with the low carbohydrate intake. This is feeling quite serious. Ketostix still showing no sign of ketosis. Feel a bit hungry but not in a stomach-growling way.

Day 4-9

Still feel a bit flu-ey, wired, problems concentrating, emotional. Weight loss has slowed to a rate that’s within my experience (equivalent to 0.5kg/week). Still no obvious ketosis on the sticks, maybe some traces some nights. Wondering if I bought a bum batch on eBay. Feel less hungry.

Day 10

Stop feeling crap. Still flushed. Concentration back. Still no major ketosis, possible traces. I am going to try really upping my fat intake with cream and pork scratchings. Don’t feel hungry at all.

Day 11

Boom. Big positive on the Ketostix. This makes me wonder if in fact it’s better to have traces only, indicating that all the ketones are being used up. I don’t know if the sticks measure waste (unused) ketones or the bi-products of ketone digestion. You see what I mean about research?

Day 12

I did that research and I was right – traces-only is indicative of greater weight loss going on. This reference is very helpful:

Weight loss so far: about 3.5kg

Day 15

Weight seems to be going back up. Need to look at calorie intake. I’m a bit disappointed after the amazing early stages. Been feeling occasionally hungry but not badly. Easily satiated. Energy levels are normal. Power is good. Endurance is really good, put power endurance is down.

Day 16

Go for cholesterol test. It is normal and healthy. I’ll get the data and post it up.

Day 25

Back under control and hit target weight of 75kg for the first time. I just ate less but still never really felt hungry and was easily satiated.

Day 28

What happened there? Gained a kg overnight then lost 1.5 kg the next day. This has to be a weird hydration thing. Had a salty Caesar salad with anchovies on the Friday night, drank loads of squash, and then sweated buckets fixing the insulation in the attic on Saturday evening. Just goes to show….

Day 29

Feel like I am stabilising at under 75kg. Also I haven’t needed a lunchtime nap or to stop driving to nod off since I started the diet.
Essentially though, it’s all about this:


Day 31

Today my approximate body fat % measured on my home scales is 16%. When I started it was somewhere around 22%. 22% of 80kg = 17.6kg. 16% of 75kg = 12kg. This all makes sense and suggests that the majority of my weight loss has been fat.