Category Archives: Nutrition

Weight Cause of Injury? Then weight should I lose!

About 4 months ago, 7 months into my Achilles recovery, I had to confront one lingering issue which contributed to my injury – my eight. It was one undeniable fact that I had confront if I were to be healthy and active again. Simply put, I am overweight. I was able to deceive people around me and myself for years as I am a relatively tall person. It disguised me as someone who had a normal weight band. However, if you look closely at my numbers, I was not. This in turn led to fatigue in my body and made exercise that much more difficult. I was having frequent back issues and a year earlier, I had Achilles tendonosis. I decided enough was enough and I had to do something. As I couldn’t perform any high intensity exercises, I had to tackle my weight from another dimension – my diet.

Dieting has always frustrating me as I tried many fads without much success. I’ve tried fasting from meat for lent but it still didn’t work. what frustrated me the most was I didn’t really change my diet much. My weight gain was largely due to the slowdown of my metabolism. I talked about this in detail with my primary care physician (PCP) but she just nodded that this is likely due to age (35 years) and slowdown of metabolism. Life isn’t fair lol. So in order to lose weight through diet, I had to eat at a deficit.

One day, I was stumbling through some weight loss forums and a member posted a progress picture which absolutely stunned me. Over the span of a year, this gentlemen lost some 60lbs and went from a 40 year old obese man to looking like a 20 year old boy band rock star. The loss of weight helped him look much younger. He did it through watching his intake and monitoring his macros carefully. Macros is to calculate the food based on protein, fat, and carb intake. There are many different ideology in the percentage breakdown you should eat but key is sticking to it and staying below your caloric intake. Based on this, I figured out the following. I was 212lbs and at 6’2″, I had to eat 2200 calories to maintain my weight. I started using MyFitnessPal app and started to log my food. It wasn’t a surprise that I was eating just at or over 2200 calories a day which explains why I was slowly gaining weight. I decided something had to change.

I started with cutting down my carb intake. I religiously had carb for breakfast (toast or some other form of bread, lunch (rice or noodle), and dinner (rice). I usually had two cups of coffee with a few teaspoons of brown sugar or liquid sugar without any thought. I also loved milk tea which was also sweetened. I also had a sweet tooth. I found myself looking for snack well into late evening despite having a large dinner. I had to fulfill my cravings and would down anything I could find in the kitchen. I had this sense that I am not to sleep with a empty stomach. So instead, off the bat, I limited my carbs. I started to count my carbs and made sure I didn’t exceed the amount allocated through my macros.

So what exactly have I done? I’ve set a goal to eat 1400 calories a day which is about 600 calories deficit. This deficit should aid in me losing 1-1.5 lbs a week. I stopped adding sugar to my coffee. Occasionally, I would use Stevia or other zero calorie / carb sugar substitutes but I usually go without. I still use 2% or half and half as creamer. I stopped eating carbs. I’ve eliminated virtually all complex carb from my diet, no rice, noodle, or bread. Yes, cold turkey. It can be done. Amazingly, after a few days, I stopped craving for food. The late night cravings went away as well. I started drinking a lot of water. It appears that a large portion of my weight loss was attributed to my water weight.

Result?

Spectacular. I am 110 days into this and I have lost 22 lbs! This will ultimately aid in my recovery and prevent injuries down the road. I figured if I want to be able to play basketball and soccer again, I had to lose weight. I’ve went from 212 down to 190lbs. My goal is to reach 180lbs. I have noticeably been less ‘bloated’ as my wife says. My pants are noticeably much more loose as well. If you know you can lsoe a few pounds, I highly recommend you see where you can cut!

Nutrition post Achilles surgery

I’m fortunate to know a friend who is a Nutritionist. Upon finding out of my injury and that I just undergone Achilles surgery, she came by to help me understand what I had to do to maximize my healing.

1) Protein

From WebMD – “Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.” Simply, protein aids your body to repair the Achilles and the surrounding tissues. During this time I made extra effort to eat things such as eggs, meats such as chicken, steak, fish, edamame beans, peanut butter, and took on protein shake every night before I went to sleep. The protein shake I started using is available from Trader Joes.

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2) Omega-3 and DHA

I was recommended to take food high in Omega-3 such as salmon but can also take supplements such as fish oil. According to WebMD, “the human body cannot make omega-3 fatty acids, we have to get them from our diet.” Omega-3 will help lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels which will aid in increased blood flow and help prevent inflammation.

Food that are rich in Omega-3 are cold water fish, soy beans, flaxseeds, and tofu. For this, I took in supplements and bought Chia seeds, which are high in Omega 3, protein, and fiber and added it to my oatmeal which I usually take at least 3 times a week. The DHA supplement, I bought from Amazon.

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3) Multi vitamin

I was also recommended to take in a multivitamin. The type was not important as long as the major vitamins and minerals were covered. I took a typical multivitamin for men. Sometimes, I would cheat and take on

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4) Lastly, avoid alcohol

This wasn’t explicit but I have been avoiding alcohol throughout my recovery. I think I had 2 glasses of wine during Christmas which was 2 months removed from surgery. I have long stopped taking pain medication. There should be no alcohol while taking the pain meds and as long as my Achilles was healing, I did not take any alcohol at all.