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February 2009 – September 2009

November 14, 2009

By February I’d lost 17kgs and was hovering around the 70kgs mark.  At that time I went back to Australia for a holiday, and my family and friends were pretty amazed by the results. Many of them asked me how I did it, and most of them didn’t like it when I told them I did it by stopping eating grains and processed food.  Here’s a common list of things people said to me:

Wow you look great! how did you lose the weight?

You’re too skinny, you need to eat more / need to eat more meat.

Low-carb diets are a fad

People on Low carb diets are more prone to being in bad moods.

“You’re too skinny, you need to eat more meat.”

I can’t tell you how many times I heard all of those comments.  Only the first one was true 🙂

I’m not going to lie, during these couple of months I experienced a bit of a lapse in my diet.  I started taking on my more grains and carbs, mainly in the form of eating a small bowl of rice with my meals.  I also started the Stronglifts 5×5 beginners program.  A system of weight lifting and bodyweights designed to build maximum strength and lose fat.  I enjoyed doing the weight training at the start however after injuring my neck performing an overhead press, and due to not wanting to spend 3 hours a week in the gym I gave that up.

I also spent some time doing High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) such as Tabata’s which are 8 x 20 seconds sprints with a 10 second break in between.  Actually you can use most common kinds of excercises in a Tabata format, such as pushups, body-weight squats, situps, punching bag.  4 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot, but they are just about the most brutal and painful excercise I’ve ever done.  A 4 minute sprint Tabata would leave me feeling like I’d just run 10kms, and I’d be feeling it hours later.  But its a great workout, particularly for your cardio vascular system and fast twitch muscle fibres.

Here’s a point about eating rice.  There has been much debate about rice and low carb diets.  Rice is a refined grain, and virtually all carbohydrate.

After all most Asian people eat a lot of rice (and noodles), however their rates of obesity and heart disease are far less than that of Western countries.   I’ve thought about this a lot and heard both sides of the argument.  My opinion is that the reason rates of obesity are lower in Asian countries, even though their intake of carbohydrates is moderate to high, is because their overall caloric intake is far less than Western countries, and sugar has not been consumed widely until the last 10 years or so.  However modern day rates of obesity in Korea and Japan are sky-rocketing as the levels of sugar are increasing in conjunction with total caloric intake.  I’m pretty sure the Koreans and Japanese of 50 years were not eating 3 “squares” a day like they are eating these days.  Seems obesity and wealth are connected at the hip.

Ten million Korean adults are overweight, with the number increasing by 400,000 a year

I’ve certainly noticed an increase in the number of obese children, teens and adults in general just in the last 7 years since I have been in Korea.

by September 2009 I’m pretty happy with my progress, but I feel I can go further.

Next: September 2009 – November 14, 2009.  Intermittent Fasting, Fast Twitch Muscle Training.

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