FIRST things first...I’m still going!
And I have to say, despite the absence of alcohol and many of my favourite (unhealthy) foods, I’m actually – whisper it quietly – quite enjoying it.
Two weeks in, I’m already feeling the benefits of the fitness programme devised for me by Mission Nutrition.
Under the watchful eye of Personal Trainer Ryan Garnett at Gym Works in Euxton, I’ve already shed the first of what I hope will be quite few pounds over an intense period.
I’m feeling fresher, fitter and happier...and hopefully this is just the start.
Bizarrely, considering I’m losing weight, I’ve never eaten more in my life. Instead of skipping breakfast and relying on a big dinner and an even bigger tea to fill me up, I’m eating five times a day – which means I’m never hungry.
In fact, I’m sometimes struggling to get through all of my scheduled meals as my body adapts to the new regime.
Bacon, sausages, chicken, fish, lamb, pork, steak, seafood – they’re all in there, in generous quantities, with as much salad and vegetables as I can put away.
But while I’m filling up on protein, I’m giving carbohydrates the swerve – and that’s the key to helping me lose weight, while eating more than I ever have.
The thinking behind it is relatively simple: carbohydrates come in many different forms (breads, rice, pasta, cereals, cakes, sweets, biscuits, crackers, fruit, potatoes, alcohol, etc). But they all turn into sugar at some point.
It’s this increased amount of sugar – and the body’s hormonal response – that’s the biggest influence on obesity and fat storage.
The amount of carbohydrates (and therefore sugar) being consumed has risen dramatically over recent years, and this is one of the reasons we are in an obesity epidemic.
After two weeks on the diet – STRICTLY NO CHEATING – my body is now ‘fat adapted’.
Hopefully, I’m now programmed to run off body fat for fuel instead of the stream of poor-quality carbohydrates that have, up to now, made up most of my nutritional intake.
Aiding me in my efforts are the good people at Mission Nutrition, a professional family-run sports nutrition brand based in Appley Bridge.
The team there, led by local man Jack Yates, have given me a special programme of elite sports supplements to take to aid my weight loss and support my efforts in the gym.
Starting with a glutamine hit in the morning, I’m also taking advanced fat-burning pills and super multi-vitamins three times a day.
And on the two days a week I have a scheduled gym session, I’m being supported by a mixture of amino blast, n-ox and standard whey protein.
This is stuff that, up to now, I’d thought was for hard-core body-builders and weight-lifters only – but it turns out it’s also of great help to minions like me at the other end of the scale.
The first couple of sessions at the excellent Gym Works facility in Euxton were tough, with me feeling sore in parts of the body I didn’t even know I’d been working out.
But PT Ryan is keeping me going, and the programme is so simple I can see myself sticking to it not only in the short term but also long term.