Fat to Fit: Week 40

August 16th – August 22nd, 2021

It’s a week focused on shifting my nutrition toward meal replacements and away from convenient freezer foods. I have a few in my freezer that I need to use up, but it is an essential pivot for me. I’d also like to see myself be consistent with working out throughout the week.

Body Stats:

Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225lbs.
Goal Weight: 165 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 181.2 lbs.

Body Fat: 31.8%
Muscle Mass: 116.8 lbs.


Monday 16th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Strength AF+: 122 Avg. HR: 138
Active Calories, Yoga AF+: 38 Avg. HR: 86
Exercise Ring: 57/30
Move Ring: 747/710
Total steps: 8,437

I overslept; therefore, I didn’t have time for a pre-work yoga session as I intended. I wanted to do that as it would feel good to get an early start on my exercise ring. Oh well.

I did crank out a 20-minute strength session with Amir. He took me through 6 compound moves, repeating them three times. I selected 8’s as my heavier weights and 5’s as my lighter weights. I relish how after all these months, I am still learning new moves each day. I had no idea how different supernatant grip felt, but I found that out today! One movement was dedicated to the core, with crunches and hip thrusts performed with weight over your chest. I felt the burn!

After my workout, I did a 10-minute cooldown with Jonelle, which worked my neck and wrists. Both of these points in my body had some resistance; therefore, I was grateful for these stretches!

Next, I marched a little while I watched the premiere of Loki. These activities accounted for a fair bit of my stats for the day.

I started a yoga workout with Jonelle shortly before bed to amass more exercise minutes up (my August challenge is exercise-minute-based). Alas, after 10 minutes, the app on my iPad crashed, and the workout was done. I continued to stretch and do the movements I could remember (I’ve done this workout before). After 14 or so minutes, my watch declared my yoga session was over.

I’m pretty satisfied with my day as I showed a commitment to my health that had been lacking all weekend.

Calorie Intake: 1,303/1,526
Fat: 32%
Carbs: 45%
Protein: 23%

For breakfast and lunch today, I consumed a 300-calorie Soylent shake. I buy the powder so that I can define the calorie content of my shake. Three hundred per meal seemed like an excellent value to comfortably provide calories during my 8-hour shift. Depending on my hunger, I may increase this in time.

Dinner was another veggie burger sandwich that I have been loving recently. I had to mix things up today, though, as I was out of bread. So, I toasted an everything bagel and put a California veggie burger on one half and an Heirloom bean burger on the other half. Each half had some pickles too! Plenty of eating in this meal. In total, my dinner was 563 calories.

Following my workout tonight, I sipped on a vanilla Pure Protein shake for 140 calories.


Tuesday 17th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Yoga AF+: 135 Avg. HR: 106
Active Calories, Indoor Cycle: 138 Avg. HR: 109
Exercise Ring: 76/30
Move Ring: 751/710
Total steps: 5,409

I rose with the alarm and got my body going with my favorite 30-minute yoga session with Jonelle. This workout is all about stretching, only including two downward dogs! I find this low-tempo routine ideal for waking in the morning and getting the body going. I could not recommend it enough for this purpose.

I upped the resistance on my Desk Cycle for half an hour at night and measured that exercise. I have it set to resistance three and cycle mindlessly while writing or gaming at my desk most of the time. I don’t track any of that as a workout. This cycle, however, was set to resistance five, and I could feel the burn in my legs. It was a lot of work, and I was surprised that my heart rate wasn’t especially elevated during this ride despite sweating.

Before bed, I performed a mindful cool down with Jonelle to see if it would help me sleep. My friend did this and thought it was worth a try.

Calorie Intake: 1,430/1,526
Fat: 48%
Carbs: 35%
Protein: 17%

I decided 300 calories per serving wasn’t sufficient, so I increased my two shakes today to 350 calories each. I’d rather have more Soylent in my day than eating a poor snack later at night, which I tend to do if there is room in my budget! I sipped my two shakes while working at my computer, so consuming calories this way fits my lifestyle nicely.

I am on a mission to remove junk food from my home, and tonight I worked on this by heating some pastry mini hot dogs that I picked up at Whole Foods. They’ve been in my freezer for a while. They tasted fine, but I didn’t enjoy them, and I ended up throwing the rest away. I hate wasting food, but as they say on the British Bakeoff, it’s got to be worth the calories! The 480 I consumed was sufficient from this source.

I needed a snack to get through the rest of the day, and I went for a Think Protein bar – Chocolate and Crème Cupcake flavor. These 250-calorie bars are like a dessert and don’t taste like a protein bar at all. They are soft and filling too. Hunger utterly satiated.


Wednesday 18th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 63/30
Move Ring: 740/710
Total steps: 10,269

I got a lot of movement and steps in today without logging a workout. A significant portion of my efforts came during work, walking around the lab, and such. Most of the exercise minutes originated from using my Desk Cycle. I am surprised by this, as typically, it doesn’t add much to my day at all, as my heart rate doesn’t get high enough to trigger exercise minutes. Therefore, I was astonished to see an hour logged from this activity today. I did have my resistance set to four, but I would only cycle in short bursts – around five minutes – before the effort got distracting from my work, and I’d have to stop.

Calorie Intake: 1,438/1,556
Fat: 34%
Carbs: 50%
Protein: 16%

Breakfast and lunch have settled into a rhythm of 350 calories of Soylent each. This level seems about right, as I finish work mid-afternoon, and then I can have a snack when I get home. When I got home, I enjoyed a Think brownie crunch protein bar for 230 calories.

Due to the mid-afternoon protein bar, I required a lighter dinner. I heated four potato and pea samosas, accounting for 220 calories. Following these, I had a strawberry Nutri-Grain bar as a form of dessert.

Later in the evening, I cut up a medium banana and a cup of strawberries, which combined made a glorious 158-calorie snack to round off my day.


Thursday 19th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 60/30
Move Ring: 754/710
Total steps: 10,231

Today was almost a carbon copy of yesterday. Although my stats are incredibly similar, I did some resistance band exercises during the evening. I recently purchased these bands to tide me over until I find a good deal on some weights. I used some YouTube videos to guide me through the moves to work my upper body. I didn’t track this as it was a start-and-stop workout. I’d watch the video, check my form then do some reps. Essentially I was learning how to use the equipment. It turns out my watch counted this as exercise! Between my resistance band training and the Desk Cycle, my rings were happily closed by bedtime.

Calorie Intake: 1,520/1,556
Fat: 30%
Carbs: 53%
Protein: 17%

I consumed the same amount of Soylent for my two shakes today – opting for 350 calories apiece. I am successfully adjusting to shakes for both meals as I wasn’t ravenous when I finished work today.

Dinner was a bit of a hodge-podge for what was in my freezer. I took a 240-calorie Huevos Rancheros breakfast bowl, added a Praeger’s Heirloom bean veggie burger (140 calories) and 70 calories of frozen peas. With these additions, I had sufficient calories in the bowl to call it a meal. I am on a quest to use up things in my freezer that I purchased during my “eat freezer food phase,” so this was an admirable attempt at doing that.

I had a cool mint chocolate Clif bar (250 calories) and a frozen strawberry popsicle for a 120-calorie treat for snacks today.


Friday 20th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 32/30
Move Ring: 746/710
Total steps: 9,664

I had a relatively light day, exercise-wise. With social commitments after work, there wasn’t much time for a dedicated workout. However, I closed my rings comfortably by being on my feet all day and night and performing a few dance moves. I was out far later than I expected, so I was chuffed to see that I didn’t need to crank out some movement before bed. I was tired!

Calorie Intake: 1,469/1,556
Fat: 33%
Carbs: 43%
Protein: 24%

Despite eating plenty of calories yesterday, I was hungry this morning. So, on top of my two usual 350-calorie Soylent shakes, I also had an apple and cinnamon Nutri-Grain bar for breakfast.

My early dinner was a further amalgamation of items needing using up. The base of my meal was a packet of chicken ramen noodles, which I had in my cupboard as a substitute for ordering Lo Mein. To that sodium, I added half a cup of garden peas and four slices of smoked turkey. In total, my ramen dish came to 499 calories.

For a snack today, I consumed a chocolate Pure Protein shake for 140 calories. I typically have one after a strength workout; however, they are also good to reach for when I want a snack.


Saturday 21st

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Cycle: 121 Avg. HR: 107
Exercise Ring: 80/30
Move Ring: 849/710
Total steps: 10,685

I cranked out a lot of move calories and exercise minutes today. It was a warm day, so I went for a little walk outside and settled on the grass. I ended up listening to a book and dozed in the summer rays. I then got back home at a lazy pace, so I didn’t track the walk. I didn’t have a plan in mind other than to enjoy the summer a bit.

At night, I tracked another Desk Cycle ride, again with the resistance set to 5. My spin bike is making a horrendous noise, so it is out of commission until I can sort it. For the time being, then, my Desk Cycle will have to do. Once again, my back was covered in sweat, so I was surprised that my heart rate wasn’t greater. I noticed this around the halfway point and increased my cadence to get it a little higher.

Calorie Intake: 1,495/1,556
Fat: 25%
Carbs: 62%
Protein: 13%

On this fine weekend morning, I opened my day with a bowl of maple syrup oatmeal with 1/8 cup of raisins. With this, I had a lovely 100-calorie salted caramel cold brew coffee. I like to sit by the window on a weekend morning (when Manchester United’s schedule allows) to eat my breakfast. It’s a peaceful way to take some time and switch off from technology and start the restful period of the week.

For lunch, I mixed 400 calories of Soylent powder with a cup (120 calories) of frozen raspberries to make a delicious, thick, and satisfying shake.

Dinner was rather indulgent. I had Boomerang’s chicken pot pie with 1 1/2 cups of broccoli and 4 ounces of crinkle-cut fries. I love dipping the fries into the pie sauce. The same is true for broccoli. It felt like an epic meal yet totaled a respectable 585 calories.

After dinner, I had three Twizzlers while relaxing, adding an additional 120 calories to my day.


Sunday 22nd

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Yoga AF+: 97 Avg. HR: 94
Exercise Ring: 99/30
Move Ring: 873/710
Total steps: 13,939

I was pretty busy today with a few things, which racked up a few steps and exercise minutes during the day. Mostly it was from walking and being on my feet for the majority of the afternoon.

To wind down after a busy weekend, I opted for a spot of yoga to stretch and strengthen the body. I love Jonelle’s slow flows as they always work my body in a way I didn’t know it needed. She also doesn’t do anything too crazy and gives good options for going further in a stretch or, conversely, not over-extending a sore muscle. Within this 30-minute slow flow, there were a couple of sections that pushed me hard after an easy build of stretches.

Calorie Intake: 1,612/1,526
Fat: 34%
Carbs: 52%
Protein: 14%

I made a couple of Soylent shakes for breakfast and lunch today. For the base of each, I used 350 calories of powder. To much lunch shake, I added a cup of frozen raspberries to bring that meal to 470 calories.

Dinner was a mini attempt at a Sunday dinner. In the United Kingdom, this means a meal with meat, potatoes, vegetables, and gravy. Today, for me, this equated to two Praeger’s veggie burgers, six ounces of crinkle-cut fries, 1 1/2 cups of broccoli, and three servings of Bisto instant chicken gravy. My meal was of epic proportions, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single one of the 662 calories it contained.

For a snack today, I had a strawberry Nutri-Grain bar for 130 calories.


Week’s Reflection

There is a distinct pattern to my workout weeks these days. I start strong, and then by the end of the workweek, I barely get a workout in. To make sure I move sufficiently, I upped my move calorie goal to 710 to ensure I am not too sedentary throughout the day. I did get a lot of movement through living my life this weekend. That was a lovely thing to see.

I’m happy to skip a yoga session for a day outside, but I’d still like to see a strength and HIIT incorporated into each week too.

Nutrition-wise, I did what I set out to do this week – drink Soylent for one or two meals per day. There are two critical reasons for this decision. First, I have a stockpile of powder leftover from when I used to drink two shakes a day. It’s a good thing to have for breakfast on a commute, which was my situation back then. Also, when you work in a lab, your breaks aren’t structured; instead, you fit in eating around your experiments. Shakes work nicely with that lifestyle, as you can take a gulp and head back into the lab. Harder to do that with a meal that requires a knife and fork.

The other reason Soylent, and similar products, appeal to me is that they offer better nourishment than I would otherwise eat. Of course, their complete nutrition is based on consuming 2000 calories per day, which I do not do; however, it is still far better nutritionally than what I was eating just a few weeks ago.

I also did an excellent job of sensibly empty my freezer of the convenient foods I had there. No more pizza and ice cream will fill it, no matter how well I could squeeze them into my budget. I won’t deny such things when out with people, but there is no need for me to eat a frozen pizza every weekend. That was a trend I had to put a stop to.

Many won’t agree with meal replacements, seeing it as dystopian and taking away pleasures in life. However, it works for me, and it’s a tool I think I’ll continue to use while it does.

Upcoming Week

Potential Roadblocks

Nothing is holding me back! The weather is beautiful, and I am fit and healthy.


Next week, my first delivery of Huel, a meal replacement product, arrives. I am a subscriber to the Soylent subreddit, and I was looking to see how the meal replacement game had changed in the few years since I avidly followed it. I discovered the Huel has a range of products called Hot and Savory. These are nutritionally balanced meals that you add water to, mix, and steep before eating. One reason I never went full Soylent was I missed “real food.” When I saw this product from Huel, I thought it might fill the void and help me get better nutrition at night. I have ordered some Huel, and they are giving me a free bag of powder to try. I am pretty excited about this!

The foreseeable future is about trying Huel and seeing how near 100% meal replacements might work for me. Once I sort out my nutrition, I can focus heavily on a fitness regimen that I can stick to.


Cat Corner

Toodles knows how to relax. Don’t know about you, but I want to grab that paw… 😍ᓚᘏᗢ

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