My Low Carb Diet Journey!

Disclaimer: I am not a fitness specialist and my diet is not the only way of dieting. This blog is purely a reflection of my own experience and what I do on a daily basis to stay healthy. 

If you’ve been following me since May, you’ll know that I set myself a daily diet challengeMy aim was to stay within a certain amount of calories and to track my nutrition everyday. Before I explain more about the ins and outs of my current diet, I’d like to share my overall progress so far… 

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On May 16th, I weighed 92.5kg (14.6 stones) and my body-fat percentage was at 23.8%. 25 days later (June 10th), my body-fat percentage is now at 20.9%. This was the result of a healthy diet and exercise routine. My fat mass reduced by 12% (fat tissue dropped from 22 to 17.9 kg). All in all, I lost 4.1 kg of body fat. It’s a really positive result for me because I’ve always struggled with my eating habits but sometimes you’ve got to start somewhere…

Transitioning into a lower Carb Diet

Before I talk about my diet. I want to explain what a low-carb diet means to me. From my experience, when I started, it was looking at my daily carb intake and reducing this number. 50 – 100g of carbs per a day is my ideal rate. Although, I also tried out a Ketogenic diet for 2 weeks which meant that I consumed 20g of net carbs. Net carbs are total carbs – total fibre. I will explain Keto shortly. It’s about making sure that I don’t have a carb surplus, a state when the body stores these excess carbs later on as fat.

 

How I burn fat….

To lose body fat, I’ve been keeping my calories below 1,500 a day (although calorie counting on a Ketogenic diet is slightly different). I include healthy fats within my meals. Chicken, salmon and tuna are really good nutritious dishes. Snacks-wise, I eat pecan nuts, avocado or almonds because they are natural, healthy sources of food with health benefits. 

I normally cook with olive oil or coconut oil as this is a better oil to cook with. I avoid rice or pasta, but if I do eat this, it’s normally brown rice or wholewheat pasta. I normally try and keep my plate green and include veggies like spinach, kale, spring onion, etc… I include low-carb fruits, such as avocado because it makes me feel more full and it has a range of benefits on the body.

Exercise is important too. Instead of waiting for a bus or a train, I normally walk to my designated location. I have a pedometer on my phone which tracks how many steps I’ve taken and tells me how many calories that I have burnt. Skipping is really good too because it burns fat all around the whole body. I also dance once a week which burns approximately 555 calories for 80 minutes.

 

I balance out the cardio with strength exercises within the gym. Some of the muscle training exercises that I practice are the following: sled push and pull workout, bench press and cable chest press. Sometimes, if I’m at home, I do push ups, abdominal crunches or leg lifts and this is because my initial focus was to reduce my belly fat. 

Trying out a Keto Diet

So many people have asked me what this is. It’s not simple to explain but I’ll try my best. A ketogenic diet is a diet that forces the body into a process called ketosis, whereby fats are burned instead of carbohydrates for use as energy. In order for the diet to work, you have to consume high amounts of fat, moderate amounts of protein, and very low amounts of carbohydrates. When you are on this diet, it is important to keep your carbs below 20g, otherwise it is not effective. So all in all, you eat mainly fat to burn fat. Sounds wierd right? But if you want to know more in detail, there are some useful guides all around the web. It focuses less on calories and more on the fat, protein and carb ratio.

What’s next for me?

I will keep monitoring my diet as it appears to be effective. I will keep exercising, even if it’s just going on a 20-minute walk or jogging for 10 minutes. I will probably do another blog post on my fitness in the near future so do keep a look out on my socials below.


 In the meantime, follow me on Twitter or Instagram (@markzfocus) to stay up to date with my blogs.

 

 

Why did I change my diet?

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Disclaimer: I am not a fitness specialist and my diet is not the only way of dieting. It also may not for you. This blog is purely a reflection of my own experience and what I do on a daily basis to stay healthy. 

Since the start of May, I decided to set up my own diet regime. I started this because I felt that I was being careless with my food choices.

Despite attempting to diet last year, I realised that I wasn’t monitoring things properly, such as calories, fats and carbs. The other day I even found out that my favourite pizza place, where I normally order a Pollo Pesto Pasta dish contains over 1,100 calories. It just goes to show how naive I was when it came to food. It was instances like these that made me realise that diet is the key to my fitness progress.

Pre-diet days, I had been going to the gym at least twice a week and had been making some good improvements. To be fair, I was good at being physically active and to give myself some credit, I have made a lot of progress in the gym in terms of muscle, fitness and personal confidence but I noticed that my body was still not reacting right to my food which is why I decided to make some changes… I would snack a lot (especially at night) and eat crisps and biscuits (the list is endless lol).

fruits at a market

I am now three weeks into my new diet. I am sticking to more salads. To get a more effective and quicker result, I’ve also cut out rice and pasta because I’m fine with salads and they go well with anything like chicken, beef and tuna… I normally also make my own Chicken soup (you can find the recipe >> here << you can also add more varieties of veg if you like) and it lasts for days.

I normally log my food every time I make a meal or eat out with MyFitnessPal (a fitness app) which registers all of your nutritional information and sets out a daily goal based on your target and the information you fill out at the beginning. It displays your calories and how much fat, sugar, salt and carbs your food has in it. I actually can’t believe it’s free because it has so many features such as a barcode scanner to save you typing the name of the dish and much more…

screenshot of my food diary

It’s nice to move away from online takeaways. I save so much money. and it is worth it in the long term. Moving away from takeaways has motivated me to cook more of my own food. It’s simpler, taste even better and I have control of what goes into my dishes. 

What am I doing to complement my diet?

At the moment, I have been taking part in Street Dance classes at my local arts centre. I normally dance for about an hour and half. Dancing is really good for me because it’s fun and entertaining and I burn calories at the same time. It’s also good for me because it is a form of cardio for the whole body. I really do love it and if you want to see more videos, then check it out on my instagram >> www.instagram.com/markzfocus 

I am also on a brand new training programme as I restarted sessions with my gym trainer. I train with a trainer again because I love learning new exercise routines especially as I have become more experienced at the gym more. I’ve learnt that I need more of a challenge and through this programme I am learning more and more routines which targets the areas of my body that needs it the most such as my abs and chest. 

I’m going to end this blog by saying that no-one’s perfect and just because I am on a diet, it doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days. I hope it goes well for me. Wish me luck!

To keep up-to-date with how my fitness goes and to find out more about my journey, please follow my socials below.


 In the meantime, follow me on Twitter or Instagram (@markzfocus) to stay up to date with my blogs.

 

Life Tips I wish My Younger Self Knew…

My Top Life Tips

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~ Challenge your everyday routine.
Trying out new things is great because you can learn more about who you are and what you can really do. Plus it’s just great fun!

~ Don’t compare yourself to others.
This is a tricky one. No-one’s actually perfect (I mean who is?). Focus on yourself.

~ Distance yourself from things that aren’t great.
If something isn’t making you happy then you should move away from it.

~ Don’t be a “people’s pleaser”.
Invest your time and strength into things that build you.

~ Be true to yourself.
Being true to yourself is a gift. It means you can understand yourself better and people know will know where they stand in specific situations. 

~ Avoid procrastination.
Look at what is holding you back and try to change your cycle. It’s all about understanding your own needs.

~ Be inspired.
Inspiration is around us. Be aware of your environment and look for inspiration in new places.

~ Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Self-criticism is something that we have all done. Don’t take things out on yourself and deal with whatever it is in the best way possible.

~ Honesty is the best policy.
Being truthful helps you to anchor your identity and make sense of your own self.

…That is my last tip! I will explore these in more detail in a future post which will be up soon!

Let me know your thoughts below and thanks for reading.