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Week 3 Update

 My relationship was put to the test last week when my partner, after a night of espresso martinis, cosmos and prosecco, decided to top it all off with a late-night UberEATS order- McDonald's Double Big Mac combo with nuggets if we’re being specific. 

We’re still together… somehow.

It was a nuisance more than anything because I’d had Pulled Persian Lamb and Couscous for dinner that night so I wasn’t feeling hungry or feeling like I was missing out on anything. However, it made me wonder how resilient I would have been if I had been on my old weight loss diet; the lures of a Double Big Mac would have a different effect on me if dinner had been chicken and steamed vegetables. Let me paint a picture of how the scene would have unravelled: with me wrestling away the Big Mac and nuggets and, with my mouth full yet still finding room for more fries, blaming them for sabotaging me. Weirdly specific, yes. Has this happened in the past? Absolutely.

Friends at the gym have said there’s a glow about me and I think they meant well, but saying that after an intense HIIT session when I’m damp and drowning in sweat isn’t the best time to dish that compliment. Still, I’ll take it.

The Carbs Stigma

It’s week 3 and I’m feeling GREAT! For the first two weeks of the transformation challenge, I opted for the lower-carbohydrate option for my meals. It was my own personal way of ‘detoxing’ carbs out of my system. It probably makes no sense at all, trust me I know, but it’s a psychological prompt for me; it’s my way of telling myself that change is coming, like pushing the ‘reset’ button. 

I introduced carbs back into my meals for week 3 and I could feel the difference it made with my performance in the gym! I have more energy going into a workout and during, and I’ve noticed I’m not feeling as sluggish! Of course, this could be down to not fuelling my body with steak slices and Doritos, but I feel much lighter and I don’t have that sense of heaviness in me when I’m working out. Also, I can’t remember the last time I had a stitch!

Let's not forget about the taste! It was like a reward for having gone carb-free for two weeks; the rice, couscous, pasta, sweet potato, potato, mash, wedges. 

I have a complicated relationship with carbs. As someone who has dieted for many years, I had previously been taught (brainwashed?) that carbs are the devil by many health and fitness gurus, television sales ads, celebrities, ‘Diet Professionals’, and Hollywood films. Of course, many of these theories have been proved inaccurate and outdated as time has gone by, but for some reason, it stuck with me. And I find myself fighting with these old-school theories that have become ingrained in me as the ‘truth’. Perhaps part of me relinquishing carbs for the first two weeks was a way for me to 'feel' like I was eating right. Perhaps I thought it would make me lose weight faster. Perhaps I didn't believe that I could lose weight if I had carbs in my meals. Unfortunately for me, and many others, we’ve been told time and time again that carbs are bad for weight loss. But that message is on such a basic surface level that it doesn’t appreciate the role of carbs in our bodies and how that translates to energy and weight loss. Note to everyone on this train of thought: it’s not as simple as carbs are ‘bad’, and yet this is how it’s been simplified for us all to believe over the years, and maybe still today. 

It was reassuring when at my week 3 weigh-in, I had lost 1.5kgs. It was exactly what I needed to prove that weight loss is possible with carbs, and it’s made me more comfortable ordering the carb option meals moving forward. For someone who has spent years dieting and bouncing from one weight loss challenge to the next, Prep Kitchen meals are teaching me about food and nutrition and I’m learning a new way of eating that confronts what I thought I knew about nutrition and healthy eating. It’s one thing to lose weight, but it’s another to learn more about food, and understanding how it all comes together to help you achieve a lifestyle where you can maintain your results… and I think I’m on my way.

WEEK 3 RESULTS

Starting Weight: 110.1kgs

Week 1: 107.6kgs (-2.5kgs)

Week 2: 104.5kgs (-3.1kgs)

Week 3. 103.1kgs (-1.4kgs)

Total Loss to date: -7kgs

Paulo’s Meal of the Week: 

PULLED PERSIAN LAMB!

That’s right! The dish that saved me from devouring McDonald’s!

The magic of this dish starts with a spice blend of Ras El Hanout and Zaatar, which gives a deep, aromatic and fragrant flavour that is unmistakably Middle Eastern. This dish is perfect for those of you who love complex flavours that doesn't come with any heat to it.

This blend is then rubbed all over the lamb, and roasted low and slow before it's pulled to produce succulent strips of meat that taste as they've just come off a grill.

Lamb this good obviously needs sides that pack a punch. For vegetables, we've got a Lebanese Moussaka known as 'Maghmour', packed full of tomatoes, chickpeas and aubergine. And for all-important carbs to power our balanced customers: A tangy, fruity, couscous that provides pop after pop of flavour.

And to finish? A generous sprinkling of pomegranate seeds over the top! Check out the Pulled Persian Lamb and Couscous!


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