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20160425 - Arthur's Weight Loss Journey

posted 25 Apr 2016, 07:05 by Charles Greene   [ updated 25 Apr 2016, 18:03 by Lodzer Shabbat-Bulletin ]

Hello friends and colleagues,

Yes, just to make it sound dramatic, (admittedly, with some qualification), after 5 months of a weight loss regimen, as of 5 am this morning, I can truthfully report that, over the last 4 days, I have LOST 5.8 POUNDS WHILE EATING FULLY AT NOT 2, BUT 3 PESACH SEDERS !

My 3rd seder was an all inclusive community 'justice' seder at Holy Blossom just last night, Sunday.

Okay, starting with the fast of the firstborn last Friday morning, even though I attended a study siyum to break the fast on Friday morning, I decided not to eat till the start of my first seder at 6 pm on Friday night. 

Because of the strict diet rule for me not to eat anything after 6 pm, it turned out, restrospectively, that I actually fasted for 27 hours from 3 pm of the day before (Thursday) until the 6 pm start of the first seder on Friday night.

At the 3 seders, I ate combinations of normal portions chicken, brisket, salad, soup, matzah, triple portions of charoseth, but I avoided any cake or kugel.  

Additionally, at the Shabbes kiddush prior to the 2nd seder, I purposely ate nothing (preferring to go the distance till the 2nd seder), not even a drop of kiddush wine (but at each of the 3 seders I did have the equivalent of 1 full cup of wine).

Indeed, as far as fasting, or partial fasting, I am more favourably predisposed than most people because in the last 30 years, it has become increasingly easier for me to fast on all 5 minor fast days, as well as 25 hours fasts on each of Yom Kippur and Tisha'b'Av.

Also, it is notable that although one basic premise of my 5 month diet regimen has been, not to eat anything after 6 pm (water is okay, as a hunger substitute, but I drank very little), all 3 of my Pesach seders started 6 pm and ended at 9 pm, 3 hours of eating past my 6 pm restriction.

Let's say, that my 3 Pesach seders were 'festive meals', which would be flagrant exceptions to my 'no eating past 6 pm regimen', not even counting that each seder meal contained about 1,000 calories.

I'd like to emphasize that during my 5 months of weight loss dieting, there were many exceptions to my diet regimen, where I actually ate AS MANY AS 2-3 'FESTIVE MEALS' EACH WEEK STARTING AFTER 6 PM (eating in celebration at restaurants, birthdays, at friends' including my compulsive gorging on excessive amounts of hors d'ouvres, rich chip dips, as well as some delicious meat pies and casseroles, most often after 6 pm).

One case in point that I remember, just 6 weeks ago where I had occasion to eat 2 'festive meals' in 2 successive days, including casseroles (after 6 pm), where my digital scale indicated that I had GAINED 3.5 lbs over the previous 2 days.  

In the following 24 hour day, I purposely compensated by reducing my intake (I recall eating small amounts of whitefish, berries and even one super large matzah ball at centre street deli, but no fasting). 

In that 24 hour period AFTER the 2 'festive meals' where I gained 3.5 lbs, after restricting my food intake for the next 24 hours, my digital scale indicated that I had JUST LOST 4.0 LBS IN ONE DAY !

Okay, so if anyone is interested, here's what I have been doing in the last 5 months to eliminate my ample pot belly, in going down from 216 lbs to 180 lbs, a total of 36 lbs weight reduction :

1.  No eating after 6 pm, but water is allowed (except for still enjoying as many as 2-3 'festive meals' each week), but no midnight snacks before 6 am.

2. Virtually, no bread, no pizza, no kugel, no pasta, no casseroles, no chips, no pop and no bagels (after a binge of eating 2 delicious bagels each day at Happy Bagel, I googled to find out that each bagel  contains 350-450 calories).

3. I have eaten the followings foods pretty well daily and steadily : herring, lox, whitefish, small portions of liver and even Miami ribs and brisket, raspberries, blackberries, steamed chestnuts, salads, cereal, coffee, tea.

4. In terms of exercise, I have taken to walking for 1 hour, 3 times weekly but only in the last 2 months.

5. My one visit to a diet doctor assessed me at an average metabolism, with 2200 allowable calories per day for no weight loss or gain, but a target of 1700 daily calories in order to have effective weekly weight reduction. The doctor also suggested to stay away from counting carbs, fats, sodium, etc. in order to keep things simple, and just count approximate calories.

6.  During my 5 month diet regimen, I gained knowledge of approximate calories for approximate portion sizes, by reading the sides of food packaging and googling easy questions such as 'how many calories in one large matzah ball'; that way, with grade 4 arithmetic, I could approximate and regulate my food intake as each hour of the day progressed, to try to keep around 1700 calories per day (and yes, still binging on 2-3 'festive meals' per week, even after 6 pm).

Admittedly, I do have a penchant for some dramatics, so the final 4 day example of my excessive fasting for the firstborn, and restricted eating except for my 3 Pesach seders, DURING WHICH 4 DAY PERIOD, I LOST 5.8 POUNDS, was my way of dramatizing and celebrating the end of my 5 month diet where I have reduced my weight by 36 lbs !

Arthur Zins