Captain's Table

Mark Austen

2019.06.10 - Fast 800 - Week 12

I have just completed week 12 on the Fast 800 Diet and the statistics are quite impressive. At my daily morning weight-in I have reached 77.8kg (12st 3lb 8oz) for a weight loss of 19.6kg (3st 1lb 3oz) from my initial 98.5kg (15st 7lb 2oz) and my waist now measures 85cm (~33 1/2") down 21cm (~8 1/4") from my initial 106cm (~41 3/4").

I have been losing weight at a fairly constant rate of 1.666kg per week (3lb 10oz) and my waist has been going down at a weekly average of 1.67cm (~2/3") although that has slowed down a lot from the initial loss. Currently the predictions are that I will reach my target weight of 65kg (10st 3lb 4oz) around 10th August after which I aim to get back up to 67.4kg (10st 8lb 8oz) which is the middle of the healthy weight range according to the BMI for my height, and that is the weight at which I will aim to stay. The predictions also say that my waist will be 78.7cm by then (~31") but anything around 81.5cm (~32") will be just fine by me.

Personally I feel great, being able to tie my shoes without a large belly getting in the way is a novelty as is being able to see my belt buckle and toes without having to bend over. My flexibility has improved, again not having a gigantic belly helps here and that has made life easier in a number of respects.

The downsides are few but the main one is quite amusing.

We had a family meal last Saturday at my parents house and being the helpful soul that I occasionally aspire to be, I offered to make a cheesecake. Now anyone an make a cheesecake, it's not a difficult recipe and you can even just go and buy a packet mix from the supermarket. But this was a special occasion and I wanted to make a special cheesecake, one that had all the nice things that I like about cheesecake. A really thick biscuit base and a topping that is about nine feet tall like Mum used to make when we were kids. Not this inch if you're lucky version that you get in a packet.

I found a really nice recipe in the InterWeb for a three-layer Neapolitan version (here, there's a video at the bottom of the page) and decided to make that. I bought the ingredients and made it and although it turned out fairly well, it didn't look anything like the recipe. The problem was that I could not taste it, I was on t strict diet. Undaunted, I cut several slices and popped around to a couple of neighbours and asked them to taste test.

Then I set out to make a second cheesecake, bearing in mind the comments from my panel of testers. I also looked up how to use gelatine which is not according to the directions on the packet. This version of the cheesecake was much better but, again, I couldn't taste it. So my panel of testers was asked to taste again.

Interestingly, although the taste and visual appeal was good, the consistency was not. The use of gelatine made the consistency "rubbery". Still undaunted, I set out to make a third cheesecake, only this time I abandoned the recipe and set out on my own. This version would not use gelatine at all. The first and third layers (chocolate and vanilla came out really well but the middle, strawberry layer failed to set at all. I scraped it off and just made a two layer version. The problem was that whilst in the previous version I had decorated the first layer with fresh strawberry slices before pouring on the strawberry layer, this time I puréed the strawberries and mixed them into the layer mix and that made it too runny. I didn't bother with the taste test for this one.

Last Friday I made the real version for the meal and it came out perfectly. A nice thick biscuit base, although if I ever do this again I'll use a lot less butter, the layers were well defined and colourful and it all tasted good. I know as I had two pieces on Saturday.

One of there results of all this experimenting is that I have a freezer full of frozen cheesecake! I cut the remaining cheesecake from each of the experiments and the remainder of the final one into portions and froze them. No point in wasting good food.

And there they sit, just waiting for me to come off the diet and tempting me every time I look into the freezer!

As for my weight, the family meal did not seem to do much to affect it. I was fairly careful with what I ate instead of stuffing my face, which it what I usually do and even the two slices of cheesecake and the ie-cream I had when we got home (well, I wasn't on a diet that day was I?) didn't do much.

Unlike the week before when we were in Antwerp for a re-enactment. We took along the food for our Fast 800 meals and did not eat with the rest of the group we were with. However I did make fresh bread every day and ate a small slice with butter each day. I had to try it out, after all.

And this was the result:

A fairly significant rise in weight just after we returned. That blip is a 700g increase in weight (1 1/2 lb) instead of the expected 200-300g fall in weight (7-10oz). In effect a net rise of 1kg or so (2lb 3oz).

I'm now working to get my weight back down to the line by eating half portions of lunch and so far, it seems to be working. I'll probably continue the reduced portions for the next couple of weeks in order to pre-compensate for our week's holiday at the beginning of July.