I have concerned myself with the topic of weight loss for three years. Since then I have tried to move regularly and complete cardio sessions of varying intensity. At the moment I am struggling to get round to my half an hour early morning jog. In order to improve my stamina and self-control, I need to once again incorporate the stepper and walking into my training programme. It is time for a reboot. My confidence levels in respect to regular cardio training need a boost. And so I must once again (and consistently) remind myself of the reasons why cardio training is worthwhile. Unfortunately, my current routine is pushing me beyond my pain limit. However, cardio training is – as already mentioned in previous articles – my first choice for improving my energy levels. I wish to lose more weight and therefore want to train more intensely again. For myself, and possibly some readers, looking back at the first blog article (which contains tips for successful cardio training) may be helpful in order to rediscover the focus and motivation needed to commit to an early morning jog.

Despite regularly exercising and completing strength training sessions, at the moment my scale once again displays a few more kilograms. I did not apply enough self-control and focus to my weight. Three years ago I was able to lose some weight with a slow-carb diet. Back then I was overweight. Thankfully, I have not returned to the weight I was at before then. Nevertheless, I am unsatisfied with my current condition. Low-carb and short keto diets helped me to become slimmer six months ago. Could it be that my vegan diet is the problem? I do not believe that! In the article entitled “Nutritional Advice, Part 2” I talked of good and less good carbohydrates. It is obvious that I need to completely cut bread out of my diet. While whole-wheat products are healthy, I likely consumed too large a quantity. Too much whole-wheat pasta also “crept into” my diet. It is time to put a stop to that, or to at least half the size of the portions and replace these with salad or vegetables. The goal is to cut out carbohydrates as far as possible, except for moderate portions of pulses. My dietary requirements are met with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, micronutrients and, crucially, with amino acids (proteins). Carbohydrates are not essential but taste better.

Oven-cooked sweet potatoes with ketchup should once again become a once-off. However, sweet treats or crisps need to be completely cut out. The fact that a vegan diet is followed does not mean that one exception after another should be allowed. Low-fat and low-sugar foods are the name of the game. It is my goal to eat a variety of vegetables and sufficient amounts of pulses and fruits in the coming months. Salads with tofu and kernels will be included. Hummus will also once again take its place in my diet, and chia porridge will be allowed from time to time. In order to add some variety, a range of vegetable and pulse concoctions (vegan ready meals) will be permitted. In spite of that, I will limit my consumption of refined sugar and low-nutrient carbohydrates to a minimum, or cut them out completely. The maximum allowed will be small quatities of brown rice or sauce containing soya or coconut milk.

I am particularly partial to beer, particularly the alcohol-free variety. For the first time in my life beer represents something of a problem. It has become a habit to enjoy a beer as a balance to the rest of my diet. Yet it takes no time at all for a pleasant ritual to become an addiction. Thus, the challenge which I have set myself up until the end of the year is to practice mindfulness and forgo those things which I do not require.

Despite the extra few kilograms, I feel like veganism has improved my health. A forthcoming blood test will show whether all of the essential nutrients are being consumed. Although going by my feelings everything seems fine, I believe that the test will reveal the most important information. Currently, I am discussing with experts measures which can be introduced in everyday life to improve one's health.

Nobody is perfect and it takes a lot of discipline to stick to one's plans. Every single good day counts. And so I try to approach each day as positively as possible and celebrate every little or large success I manage to accomplish. I do not feel bad just because I have not yet reached my ideal weight. It is significantly more difficult to overeat foods such as vegetables, pulses, fruits, nuts, kernels, tofu and lupins than it is to overeat foods which are low in nutrients and high in carbohydrates.

Firstly, I intend to stick to my plan right up to the end of the year. Secondly, I will limit myself to two meals per day. I will fast for sixteen hours each day and eat somewhat less every second day. I will stick to this, even when hunger pangs set in. My stomach should not grow any further, but instead begin to shrink. Nonetheless, I do not want to lose muscle mass or keep my body just ticking over. It will be imperative to listen to my inner voice and the signals coming from my body. Finding the right balance is no easy task and there are several different approaches which can be futher improved and experimented with. First and foremost, I am going to adhere to my plan as closely as possible!