Dieting : 18 months on and still going strong

I started my first diet blog around the month of July 2012 with the title : 2012 a bad year for biking. 2012 a great year for losing body fat and getting fitter

This was following changes from biking, biking and more biking to working out at the gym and still some biking

I then wrote another blog : 6 months later, 6 kilos less

We are now in the month of September 2013

This means that I’m about 18 months on since I decided to lose a little weight,

My weight is now fairly stable at the 75 kilos mark (was 82 kilos max January 2012), my body fat is around the 10% to 12% ( was 20%,), which means that I have lost more fat and gained more muscle, Note that 20% is  fairly normal for a guy of my height 1.77m & age 55

How : it’s quite easy, I am careful of what I eat, real foods, real cooking, little to none bought crap from the shops, better foods, ie : vegetables rather than pasta, potatoes, rice etc, whole bread and rice rather than white, porridge in the mornings rather than cereals, a little less booze, meat dishes with little or no sauce, nothing really difficult or complicated.

It’s sometime difficult to know what to eat and how much to consume so I’ve been using myfitnesspal for a while now, this is quite a good site and has a mobile version aplication, it really helps you keep an idea on the calories you consume, as sometimes when you check the amount of calories, fat, sugar, of certain foods it can be quite surprising. here is a link showing you all that I eat,

I still do a lot of sport, the gym three to four times a week mostly working on keeping my muscles trim and in shape, and biking for the cardio / heart, once or twice a week, either on my singlespeed, road bike or my mountain bike.

All goes to show that with some will power anyone can lose weight and get fit, no stupid diets or fads, just clean and healthy eating.

Ok this means that you can rarely eat fatty foods, cakes, pies, chocolates, pizzas,  fizzy drinks, but the upside is that you feel so so much better not carrying those kilos and look so much better in nice fitting clothes rather having to hide under baggy clothes to hide all that fat.

I watch Secret Eaters on the TV and am astonished by the people on it who complain that they are fat but think that they eat correctly, while when you watch this program they are shoveling food into the mouths as is if the stomachs were just garbage bins or dumpster bin, no wonder they are fat and unhealthy.

Eat properly do some sport and shed those kilos, and you will feel and look so much better.

2012 a bad year for biking. a great year for losing body fat and getting fitter

Less biking … Oh no 

Less body fat … Oh yes

Less weight … Oh yes

Less BMI … Oh yes

Normally my sporting activities are biking, biking and more biking, either mountain biking or road riding on a singlespeed, last year 2011, I managed to top the 5000 kms. This year its a different matter. (only 1350 kms from January to mid July, so about 60% down on last year)


Firstly we had a very cold winter here in France, snow and ice for quite a while, so little or no chance to get on my bikes, eventually this weather disappeared, only to be replaced by rain, rain and more rain.

I’ve started this page the 13th of July, and again it’s raining, and its been raining every day of this week …

Before the end of the 2011, Olive and myself decided to join a Gym, to do some fitness training on top of the biking, as normally during the winter months we bike less, boy was it a good idea, instead of choosing between the road, trails or gym, it came down to gym, gym and more gym. OK sometimes the excuses Oh look its raining, hic drizzling …. let’s go to the gym (warm and dry) are true, but this year, the rain has been real and this trails have been pure mud baths and the road is just not fun while riding through puddles. (for example friends that rode two bike rides this month, ‘I wasn’t present’, abandoned them both because of the bad weather, normally they never do that)

Also as the gym is less than one kilometre from my office, so it’s easy to go to, its warm, it’s dry, I can have a shower and get home before lunch or diner, clean,  and I don’t get, “you’re not coming in to the house like that, strip of outside” …

So gym this year has become a must, in fact it’s taken over completely from biking, my doctor, my nutritionist and of course my wife all say that I do too much, as I’m now at the club four to fives days a week, and on the bike once a week, and if I’m not on the bike then its five, six and sometimes seven times a week.


All this has actually came together quite nicely, I needed or rather wanted to lose some weight this year, as I tipped the scales at 80.2 kilos the 2nd of January 2012, even if it did drop slightly the following weeks and into February. I’m 54 and measure 1m 77, so while not fat, I had a little too much flesh on me for my liking. This is where the nutritionist came in, so beginning of March 2012 I went to see her, asking her to help me lose some weight.

1rst visit to my nutritionist : 6th March : So I left her office with a list of what to eat and not to eat, and since then I’ve changed my eating habits completly, I’m not on a diet as such, I am aware that diets are not the answer, I don’t count calories either  I just needed a kick in the behind to change my habits, to change certain foods. For exemple :  little or none white bread, cow products replaced by goat, more vegetables, more fish, little or no pizzas, burger & chips etc., more stewed fruits (compotes)  rather than cakes or pies, cut down on the snacks between meals ( bye bye biscuits and crisps), to know when to stop eating and not ask for seconds, we stopped buying ready made meals  (too much salt,  sugar, coloring, additives and crap in them), I’m lucky as my wife loves to cook so this part was not a problem.

While at the nutritionist’s I got my BMI checked, this was all new to me, My global body BMI ( Body Mass Index ) was 25.2% (weight / height * height) , this is OK for my age but it shouldn’t be more, and my body fat percentage 20% (Calculated using some Tanita professional scales) again for my age this was OK, but it shouldn’t be more, so upon leaving. I bought a couple of fitness magazines to read up on BMI, how to reduce it and read up on body fat percentage and on the general health / fitness side as well.

At this time I was going to the gym about two or three times a week, mostly using the rowing, or elliptic machines for cardio, with some weight machines, little by little I started going more often, as at the same time I noticed that scales were indicating that I was losing if little some weight. In my head I want to get my weight down to about 75 kilos, a weight that I hadn’t been at for at least the last thirty years.

2nd visit to my nutritionist : 23rd April A quick jump to two months later, end of April : and back to the nutritionist, I learnt then that she thought that I was wasting her time at the first visit and that when I came for this second visit that the results would be the same, boy was she wrong …

Weight was down by about a 1.2 kilos, now at 77,6 kilos, I had reduced my BMI to 24.8 BUT my body fat percentage had dropped to 18% global, I had lost 1.8 kilos of fat and replaced it all with muscle. I came out of her office with such a big such a big smile on my face.

With this news it was and still is easy to keep on going, the gym sessions as I stated earlier are now four to five times  a week, all after work. Three sometimes four times a week and every Saturday morning, For the Saturday session I do 30 mins to one hour of cardio training then I do a ‘Body Balance’ session, which is a mixture of Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, in the week the sessions last from one to two hours with weights and cardio.

I do mostly  weight workouts finishing with nearly always 30 to 50 mins cardio), I’m no Schwarzenegger (and don’t intend to be), so not too many heavy weights, just enough to try to keep the flabby bits less flabby, my pecs are now firmer and flatter, triceps and biceps are far firmer as is the rest of my body. This is where losing body fat also helps, it sculpts the body as well. I work on everything, trying to change the muscle groups every day, a little on the arms, some on the lower and upper legs, the back and shoulders, my abs, though even if my belly has shrunken down, they still can’t be seen. I nearly always finish with at least 30 mins of cardio training at the end, either rowing, elliptic or bike.

Track Everything :

I keep a journal of my workouts using Jefit pro on my phone, synced to their website, I note the training done, the number of reps, the weight or the time, and as I’m alway a little in excess of what I do, I also keep a log of what I eat, is this just to annoy my wife and to show-of  to the nutritionist and my doctor ? I’m not 100% sure …. 🙂 but it helps me keep things in perspective. Below is shown a typical couple of days of eating :

Breakfast 2 slices of wholemeal bread with ewe cheese
Lunch Tomatoes
Steak grilled, potatoes sauté, vegetables
Fresh fruit
1 piece of white bread with cheese
2 glasses of red wine
Snack 2 small Italian cakes
Dîner Coleslaw
Chicken and rice
Stewed fruit
Breakfast 2 slices of wholemeal bread with ewe cheese
Lunch Grapefruit
1 slice of ham with peas
Yoghurt (cow)
Snack Yoghurt (goat’s)
Small handful of mixed nuts
Dîner Green pepper et half an avocado
1 slice of ham with sauté potatoes
3 glasses of red wine
Breakfast 2 slices of wholemeal bread with ewe cheese
Lunch Grapefruit
Breast of chicken with green beans
Stewed fruit
Snack Stewed fruit
Dîner Grison meat
Porc chop with  gratin de courgettes
Home made stewed fruit
Breakfast 2 slices of wholemeal bread with ewe cheese
Lunch Wholemeal bread with breast of chicken
Yoghurt (goat’s) and stewed fruit
Dîner Tomatoes and mozzeralla
Grilled steak with green beans
Yoghurt (goat’s) et melon

OK I know it’s half French half English, sorry.

I cheat sometimes :

I still eat certain products that I shouldn’t, like the Italian cakes brought back from my holiday in Sicily for instance, or the home-made macaroons, but this keeps life from being boring and monotone and anyway if you stick 100% to a real diet, you will crack one day, so from time to time I let off steam and eat certain foods that I shouldn’t. I still eat chocolate and other things that I shouldn’t,  though fast foods, pizzas etc. are nearly 100% banned.

You may notice that most ‘cow’ products have been replaced by goats or sheep products, so most of the yoghurt or cheese that I eat are either sheep or goats products, “Ewe cheese = fromage de brebis”, that most of bread intake which has been reduced is now whole grain bread or similar, little white bread these days. Nearly all vegetables are steamed or grilled, and nearly all are fresh from the market or the garden and organic where possible.

Still some wine with some of my meals, normally limited to one or two glasses per meal, before it would have been half a bottle …..

Juin 2012 : 3rd visit to my nutritionist : Weight is 77,4 kilos, My global BMI is now 24.7 (this will change little as it just a standard calculation, but my body fat percentage is down to 16.2%, this is by far the most important aspect for me., I’ve bought some semi pro scales to check on this when at home[showUid]=536&cHash=9d9f98071f, my weight is down to 76 – 77 kilos, my eating habits have now completely changed and have now become just a normal way of life.

I don’t ‘deprive’ myself, I still like to drink, mostly red wine, but sometimes a beer or two,  earlier this month in Sicily for a week’s holiday, though I watched what I ate and tried to choose between certain foods, I let myself live and ate well , drinking and eating what I felt like.

All in all I feel great, I’m as fit as the last couple of years, even with less biking this year, in fact I’ve never felt better, my body feels ‘drier’ ‘firmer’, not easy to describe (that’s the body fat percentage going down by almost 4%), I walk and stand better, I feel less ‘slobby’ (Ok I know that’s not in the dictionary). I just feel so good.

Dropped my jeans down a size, from 32 to a 30/31 waist, I feel good in tight T-Shirts or slim fit shirts, also I look better in the mirror, well for me anyway. I miss the biking but again the weather is just to bad, yesterday, the 12 of July, jumped on the singlespeed to go to work, it rained all the way home …

Weight & BMI and body fat percentage  chart from March 2012 to June 2012.

Measurements taken with professional Tanita scales, and so are exact.


6th of March

23rd of April

19th of June





IMC / BMI calcul standard BMI = Weight (kg) / [Height (m) x Height (m)]





% body Fat



16,2 %

fat body mass




lean body mass




Body water




Jambe droite / right leg

% Fat



15,0 %

fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




Jambe gauche / left leg

% Fat



15,9 %

fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




Bras droit .right arm

% Fat



15,4 %

fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




Bras gauche / left arm

% Fat




fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




Tronc / trunk

% Fat




fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




This all goes to show that with some effort, everybody can lose weight and if they want can get fitter,  all without stupid diets or fads, that promise the world but often do more damage than good. I don’t count calories or anything stupid like that as that is probably the biggest waste of time and error around. I am just more careful about what I eat, what I have noticed is that people, including myself before, eat more than they really need, this I am now watching, saying no to seconds unless I really feel the need to eat more.

Friends :

The other day we had friends around for diner, a normal meal barbecued grilled steaks on, potatoes and greens, my friend asked me to pass her the bread, which I did and then I set the bread basket back down, she made a remark “maybe your wife would like some ….. ” I replied “no she is like me she doesn’t eat bread as there are potatoes with the meal” , ‘too many carbs when eating them both’ (you’ve guessed it, my wife also watch’s her weight) the worst thing is that my friend is overweight and try to watch her weight as well. A easy mistake that can easily be corrected in eating habits, you don’t need bread at table if other high carb foods are served, its one or the other but not both.

Eat correctly with fresh, healthy natural foods, learn to eat less and become slimmer, train and become fitter, put them both together, it’s even better.

Update 09 August : Weight is now steady between 75 and 76 kilos, My Tanita scales are showing me that my body fat is less that 14% which is just perfect, in fact better than I hoped for, but my next rendez-vous with my nutritionist isn’t until September and only then will I believe the readings as she has professional Tanita scales. This means that since January I’ve lost 5 kilos and another 3 kilos of fat that have been replaced my muscle, around 8 kilos in all, 10% of my original January body weight.

As I’m doing more and more training, four to five times a week (sometimes six) plus the biking on Sunday, in the gym, certain sessions are up to three hours (rather than between one or two hours) and the biking is nearly always three hours if not four, so I’ve started  taking a protein shake before and after the training sessions, (Impact Whey from until I see the nutritionist and get her advice on upping my intake levels a little if need be, as I’m aware that I train a little too much, but I’ve always been like that, before the gym it was the same with the biking, well according to my wife anyway 🙂

Update 05 September : Just back from the nutritionist, my results are far better than I hoped for, weight 75.2kilos and body fat down to 13.4%, as this post is rather long, I’ve started a new one at :