It’s week six of Switch Dxb and I wanted to share with you a bit about our nutrition and in particular my nutrition over the last six weeks.
For those of you who don’t know one of the worries I had and do have with any form of nutrition plan is that I had weight loss surgery in the past. Eighty percent of my stomach was removed through surgery and in the space of just over a year I lost seventy-two kilos, about half of me. My head never caught up with my massive body changes, but that’s another post from a long time ago, but if you want to read about it then do take a read here When does the Head Catch Up With the Body ?.
My reduced stomach capacity gives me restrictions in terms of the quantity of dense protein and dense food that I can eat, but not in terms of sweet stuff which is not dense. So for instance, whilst I can probably eat about 150 grams of dense protein and feel full, I can (and did) eat unlimited amounts of biscuits, crisps, chocolate, cake etc and not feel full. This has been a major issue as I have an extremely sweet tooth. Unlimited restriction on sweet stuff, a lack of exercise and generally a total relaxation of what I have been eating has caused massive weight gain over the past four years. Hence I applied for Switch 360, not only to lose weight, but to get my health and wellbeing under control in a more complete way. You can read more about why I signed up here Switch360 time to #LiveBetter
Weeks 1 & 2
The first two weeks were based on learning about ourselves and consisted of:
function movement training sessions
a life coaching session
learning about some new products
a hypnotherapy session
Body composition profiling
and metabolic testing
but wait for it ….
Absolutely nothing on nutrition!
I have to admit I was a little out of my comfort zone with this. Typically when I start some form of transformation programme the first activity is to de-junk the cupboards (or eat the Chocolates left over from Christmas, Easter etc) and then go ‘cold turkey’ from day 1 of the new plan. But this was completely different. For the first two weeks we were given absolutely no plan at all. Instead, Phill, our head coach, explained that we were using the time to find out about ourselves and our body and that this information would pave the way for the next stages of the program. Makes perfect sense when you think about it and I wish more people would advocate this sort of approach so that advice, guidance and programs going forward are based on facts and real knowledge and understanding rather than applying standard approaches to people.
My own challenge! – Cutting out Sugar!
Whilst we had not been giving any plan, or been told to follow any sort of nutrition advice etc I decided that I would cut out sugar from my diet completely. Since I had begun to have adverse reactions to some types of sugar, and in addition just felt that it was the right time to make a change.
Cutting out sugar and literally going ‘cold turkey’ from day 1 of the programme was not as difficult as I had imagined it would be. I had gotten into routine of starting my day off with a coffee and three or four biscuits feeding my sugar cravings from early morning right through to the evening and feeling pretty terrible as a result. The first three days were pretty terrible though, I had headaches, desperate sugar cravings and felt lacking in energy. Instead I focussed on eating more protein, drinking more water and keeping myself busy but relaxing when I simply needed to. After the first three days things got progressively easier to the point that I don’t miss sugar at all now and do not get the terrible sugar cravings and highs and lows that I used to. In fact when I accidentally at a high level of sugar in what I was told was a no sugar brownie, I had a hypoglycemic attack and was quite ill.
Nutrition during Switch
There are two stages to the programme, all of which is based on our DNA analysis, body composition, training plan and supported with advice from our Nutritionist, Victoria Tipper, and also supported with Supplements from Limitless Supplements.
Weeks 3 – 7
During this phase of the programme we are being provided with food from Pura. The food is delivered to our house and is ready cooked, pre portioned and worked out specifically to my needs. I will write about this more fully when I get to meet the Pura team, but in essence this part of the programme is based on Macros so our nutrition is worked out personally for us based on the amount of protein, carbs and fat we need each day based on our current weight, our goal (mine is to lose weight) and our percentage body fat. In practice this means that we are delivered 4 meals a day. One breakfast and three other meals. The meals are typically a split of protein, veggies or sweet potato and a portion of fat – e.g. butter, olive oil coconut oil or my favourite, pesto. More details on this part of the programme in another post coming soon.
So Pura comes to us for five days a week and then we have two days a week to fend for ourselves so what are we supposed to do?
I spoke to Victoria Tipper our Nutritionist who advised the following for me :
Weekends – Stick to home-made juices made primarily with veggies and a little fruit as well as vegetable soup, almond milk smoothie, chia pudding. Also have some apple cider vinegar and post workout a banana, egg and cinnamon pancake.
She also advised to try to reduce/cut out dairy from my coffee and to reduce my coffee intake.
I haven’t as yet managed to do too much with the Nutritionists advice for weekends as such. As a result of changing my work routine around a bit to accommodate evening training sessions, my day job now tips into my weekend more than it did before. My day job involves writing about food and travel and as a result I have to eat out quite regularly. Over the last few weekends, I have taken up invites which typically fit the brief of ‘healthy’ rather than ‘indulgent’ dining and where possible I’ve tried to be sensible and moderate in what I’ve done. That’s not to say I haven’t had the odd cookie, or a bowl of Banoffee pie – I have, but I’ve been much more mindful about what I’ve eaten compared to how I would have eaten prior to the plan.
More information on Weekend Dining during Switch 360 coming soon.
Weeks 8 – 12
This is where we get to use the knowledge and information we have gained about ourselves, the food that we like to eat, and how it works on our body transformation and composition. I haven’t seen the actual plan as yet, but it will involve learning about how and where to buy the right ingredients to fuel our body. Cooking the ingredients in a healthy way and learning about what to choose from a restaurant menu etc for eating out.