The odds are stacked against you in the battle to lose weight.
Jas Sansi explains how you can overcome the odds.
In 2018, I weighed 18 stone, had a 40 inch waist and enjoyed an intimate relationship with the biscuit jar. Every reflection looked like one of those distorted Hall of Mirrors at seaside resorts.
No one said anything to me, I wasn’t fat shamed or called Porkie. I just woke up one day and thought, is it even possible to lose weight if I wanted to?
I thought about it carefully. Ironically whilst dunking a biscuit into a cup of tea.
I asked myself if I wanted to lose weight, later that evening, whilst pouring a glass of red and snacking on a Pringle.
I enjoy swimming, so it wasn’t like I’m inactive. My job as a photographer keeps me on my feet for prolonged periods.
After a few days of reflection (including in the mirror), I decided to do it. Not ‘try’ and lose weight, ‘try’ gives you a get out of jail card. I decided to do it. Period. No excuses. No Oreo biscuits.
So I did it. Lost three and a half stone. Went from a 40 inch waist to a 34.
I bought a whole new wardrobe and threw my XXL shirts in the bin.
A year later, Christmas 2019 and the slim fit jeans were beginning to feel tight. I made the oldest mistake in the book, I grew complacent. The fat cells had returned to the castle.
So I decided to repeat my program, applying what I had learned, for no other reason than I couldn’t afford to buy a new wardrobe. And it would have been heart breaking to scour the larger size clothes racks again.
I started the program again on 1st January 2020. And it’s worked. I’ve still got 35 days to go, so this blog isn’t an end of program story, it’s right from the eye of the storm.
Let me share how I did it, twice. And what worked for me. It may not work for you if you’re thinking of losing weight. But if nothing else, it’s hopefully an interesting read. And for the next ten minutes, you’ll be distracted from sliding up to the biscuit jar.
First off, ask yourself ‘Are you prepared to commit to a 100 day program?’ Think about this for 48 hours. You can’t be dishonest with yourself. If you can’t commit, you can’t commit. Don’t beat yourself up. If you can commit, read on.
Give yourself 100 days to achieve the weight loss. This is not going to happen in a week.
Don’t give up if there’s no change in a week or two. I weighed myself every day during the first 100 day program. For the second run, I haven’t weighed myself once. I would recommend avoiding the scales.
Avoid alcohol for the duration of the 100 days. No ifs, no buts. Alcohol is a lifestyle choice. I’m not preaching abstinence or religion, heaven knows I’ve been drinking for 30 years, but for the duration of the 100 day program, put a cork in it.
Alcohol will disturb your sleep patterns, you’re up at 3am for a pee. Alcohol leaves you dehydrated and therefore unable for the body to carry out chemical reactions to break down fat efficiently.
Alcohol is associated with snacking, a pint and a packet of Cheese and Onion go together like a fat horse and slow carriage. You stay up later, eat later and alcohol suppresses the process of feeling full. You eat more than you need to.
The 100 day program has to be dry, and that doesn’t mean dry wine, dry cider or dry gin.
Whilst on the subject of drinks, the program I designed only allows you to drink two things; Water and Green Tea. Buy a 100 pack of Green Tea bags, have one a day in the morning and use it like a prisoner who counts bricks. The fewer tea bags you have left, the closer you are to your objective.
Tap water here in the Midlands is fine. It’s purity far exceeds the stuff you get in bottles. If you’re reading this in London, get a filter.
The big one now; food.
Eat two meals a day. A late breakfast and an early supper. No lunch, no afternoon tea, no late suppers.
For breakfast, I have Fruit and Fibre (Lidl £1.19 a box). To this, add blueberries and strawberries and milk.
Alternatively, a two egg omelette and baked beans on brown bread.
For dinner, keep it lean, clean and green. Reduce the portions, reduce the fat and reduce the carbohydrates.
Wholemeal white bread, no white potatoes, wholemeal pasta and noodles. Fruit and Vegetables. Lean meats. Limit your salt intake to the absolute minimum. No sugar. No sugar. No sugar and more importantly no sugar.
The human body can’t deal with sugar. It’s like putting rocket fuel in a Ford Fiesta. Unscrupulous companies add sugar to food to make them more addictive. Sugar is eight times more addictive than Cocaine.
Your digestive system needs to begin shutting down at 6pm. After 6pm, its water only.
You need eight hours sleep. I’m in bed at 10pm, in a deep sleep at 10:30pm. At 10:30 a hormone in the body kicks in to sort out your fat deposits.
I don’t know much about it but all I need to know is if I’m not in a deep sleep at 10:30, this fat fighting hormone ship will have sailed without me.
This one is very important. You have to give yourself 100 days. And then, you have to get from day zero to day 100 as quickly as possible. Think of it as time travel.
My wife says I’m wishing my life away by doing this, but I’m not. You still get to live those 100 days, you just get to live them fast.
How do you get from 0 to 100 faster than a Ferrari? Write down all of the things you enjoy that do not include food and drink, and do them as often and as much as possible.
If you’re a cinema fan, buy one of those monthly passes and go every day. Live music, theatre, dancing, whatever, do it, do its lots and do it for 100 days.
Make time fly.
Weight loss is 90% diet and 0% exercise. Seriously controversial statement, but one I’ve come to the conclusion after two waves of weight loss.
For me, and remember this is what worked for me, exercise is about mental health. It makes you think positive. Positive thinking will help in every area of your life including your new lifestyle regime.
Spending an hour in a gym means you’re away from the temptations of the biscuit jar. But an hour is just an hour, there are 23 hours when you won’t be in a gym.
Exercise hasn’t steered me to weight loss. Being more active certainly has. Taking the stairs, walking more, doing the house work, cooking, pretty much everything which involves mobility.
When you are mobile, you increase your normal calorie burn from one calorie a minute to more than one calorie a minute. How much more? I have no idea, its just more.
And being more active means sleeping better, deeper and longer.
No alcohol, drink water and green tea only. No caffeine, no sugar, no processed food.
The difficulty is the hunger pangs. They will come. These last twenty minutes. Drink a glass of water and give yourself a moment until they pass. And they will pass.
A by-product of these 100 days is your spending reduces. But before you put the deposit down on a Clean Air Zone compliant vehicle, remember, you’ll need that money to buy a new wardrobe.
See you on the other side. You can do this.
Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a Trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to The Asian Today newspaper.
@jassansi 07930 837 505 firstname.lastname@example.org