Amazing Loser Adam Ratcliffe
Despite trying multiple fad diets in an attempt to lose weight, Adam has found great success through MAN v FAT Margate. Read on to find out how he used it to spur him on to lose weight, with a little help from his MAN v FAT Football coach and teammates…
Name: Adam Ratcliffe
Location: Herne Bay, Kent
Club: MAN v FAT Margate
Weight lost: 32.8kg (5st 2.3lbs, 72.3lbs)
What was your life like before you joined MAN v FAT Football?
Sedentary! I work from home so have always found it difficult to fit in exercise or avoid boredom snacking throughout the day. Where most people would be up early and out the door racking up steps on their commute, I’d roll out of bed and into my office chair. I would avoid exercise from embarrassment of how unfit I was. I became more and more aware of this so have slowly been working on my self-improvement to change this.
What made you decide to change?
I finally decided that I wanted to change and make it a permanent one. I have dieted before but they were often fads. I would focus on the weight loss, rather than fitness. This ultimately meant I lost weight but I was still incredibly unfit. I wanted to put my fitness first for a change, and any weight loss achieved as part of that would be a bonus. That mentality has seemed to work quite well!
What has it been like being a part of your MAN v FAT Football club?
From our very first session I knew our team was full of a great bunch of guys. We’ve really connected and helped each other through. We all have the same goals in mind and it’s a joy each week to lace-up for the Blues! Last season’s cup win was a real highlight. I’d love to do the league this season if we can!
What did you eat before you lost weight?
Nutritionally, my meals before I lost weight weren’t that bad, they were just wrongly balanced. I’ve always struggled with portion control (I come from generation “finish your plate”), and my plate would be full, and full of the wrong ratio of things. Carbs, such as pasta and rice would take a leading role, a sticky sugary stir fry would win best supporting actor whilst fresh vegetables would make a cameo at best. Snacking and late night treats were a real issue, packing on calories and creating learned behavior cycles (i.e. feeling hungry right before bed and wanting a bowl of cereal).
What do you eat now?
What I eat now dumbfounds me because every time I’ve dieted in the past, I’ve always cut down on portion sizes, eaten little and often and often eaten food which I really didn’t like (rice cakes anyone?). Dieting has always felt like a punishment until now. I spent a lot of initial time researching meals I’d like, yet were healthy or low calorie whilst also being filling.
Here’s an example of what Ieat:
I have the same breakfast everyday but have variations of it to not make it boring. This is typically a low calorie, low sugar yoghurt with mixed fresh fruit. The yoghurt I eat is YeoValley 0% Superthick Yoghurt. When starting my ManvFat journey I spent about 30 minutes in the yoghurt isle (no lie) trying to figure out the best yoghurt with good protein and low sugar. It’s so surprising how many “healthy” yoghurts are absolute crammed full of sugar.
Yeovalley Superthick 0% Yoghurt – 200g 114cal
Sliced Banana 128g 103cal
Blueberries 206 14cal
Total calories: 231
Like breakfast, I have the same lunch everyday but with variations of it to not make it boring. This is typically a lean sandwich with healthy sides – think school lunchbox and you’ve got the idea.
Wharburton’s White Thins 100cal (these are a game changer)
Chicken Tikka Breast slices 50g 66cal
Fridge Raiders chicken bits 25g 41cal
Cucumber 51g 8cal
Strawberries 36g 12cal
Raspberries 22g 9 cal
Blueberries 25g 17 cal
Total calories: 303
For dinner, I have a different meal eat day, typically with about 10 in rotation. I always try to make healthy swaps were possible (i.e. swapping rice for cauliflower rice) and balance my plate to have good portion sizes but with lower-calories and good nutrient. An example of this:
Tesco low-sugar Thai Red Curry sauce – 170g 124cal
King prawns – 75g 60cal
Baby sweetcorn – 65g 27cal
Tenderstem Broccolli 70g 27cal
Cauliflower rice 150g 36cal
Total calories: 274
How has life changed now you’ve lost weight?
The weight loss has been incredible but the real life-changing aspect has been my new found fitness. Previously I would be out of puff after almost the first kick of the game. Now I play football twice a week, with one session being an hour long and I can do that without a break. Where I would previously walk around after my daughter, I’m running, dancing and having so much fun playing with her. The fitness results have changed my life so much and it’s a wonderful feeling.
I’ve got a little way to go until I hit a healthy BMI (roughly 7lbs) but that isn’t necessarily one of my goals. I’m currently in a very happy place with my weight, fitness and BMI (26). I would like to work on maintaining and improving tone and muscle.
What three things do other fat men need to know about losing weight?
1. I’m not the first to say it and I won’t be the last. Tracking is absolutely key! Track, Track, Track.
2. Keep hydrated and invest in firming lotion. I lost weight rather quickly, sometimes a little quicker than I would have planned or wanted. Keeping hydrated helps in the long term, especially things such as lose skin. I’ve also found firming lotion helps.
3. My biggest win of the season was shopping for holiday. It was my first opportunity to invest in a new wardrobe. It was at that point I realised I had gone from an XXL to a Medium. This was the single, biggest & best feeling in the dressing room. Find your goal that will give you that feeling, achieve and harness it. Having that focus point and pay-off will keep you on track!
You’re Prime Minister for the day – what do you do to improve the health of the nation?
Like sex education, I think food education should play a bigger part in schools. When starting my weightloss journey, I was amazed at just how bad some of my favourite snacks were, yet they added so little to my levels of fullness or feeling of content. I feel like my MAN v FAT journey has made me rediscover food and alter my understanding of it. A better food understanding and education from an earlier age could only be a good thing!