Last Monday I started a new diet. My new diet requires
- no calorie counting
- no portion control
- no exercise
In fact, I ate until I was full for most of my meals, often leaving food on my plate that I couldn’t finish. I never made it to the gym (nor do I have any intentions of even trying for quite some time). I also ate out at restaurants with my family and friends without having to choose “special” ones that could cater to some bizarre diet (there ARE modifications, but almost all restaurants can easily cater to this diet).
When I weighed myself Saturday morning, I had lost 9lbs (4.0kg) in just 5 days! I had also lost 2in (5.0cm) around my waist!
To celebrate, I decided to have a big breakfast which consisted of 3 brownies, 2 bowls of Lucky Charms, toast with lots of butter, and a piece of cake from my wife’s baby shower the day before. (I may have had a bit of a sugar rush afterwards.)
I weighed myself today (2 days after that breakfast) and I’ve lost 2 more pounds! That is 11lbs (5.0kg) in just one week!
And did I mention that I’ve felt awesome from about day 3? (Well, minus the aftermath of the sugar high.)
Anyone saying “WTF?” yet?
Fasten your seat belts…time for a quick flashback.
My weight: 165 to 245
Ten years ago, I weighed 165lbs (74.8kg) which was entirely too small for a 6’5″ (196cm) male in his twenties. While the circumstances that surrounded my weight were less than ideal (i.e. I was broke-ass poor), I liked being thin.
However, my magical metabolism died when I turned 28. I don’t know what happened, it just set sail and never even had the decency to say goodbye.
That being said, two years ago when my youngest daughter was born, I was my heaviest at 245lbs (111.1kg). I am not a body builder. All of that weight was fat, fat, and more unhealthy fat (focused mostly on my belly and face…sigh).
Since then, I have fought to drop about 20lbs (9.0kg) through moderating WHAT and HOW MUCH I eat. I have had my good and bad days, but mostly my mindset has been to always leave the table a little hungry. A year ago, I started hitting the gym and went regularly for a few months. With no real change, I stopped that crap (not a fan of the gym…well, sweating in particular).
Two months ago I had gained about half of that weight back. (Ugh!) I had nearly given up thinking that I would ever be as thin again as I wanted.
Which brings me back to the present and that whole “WTF?” factor.
I’ve been very focused on reading mostly business related material the past year. However, when my brain finally reached the point of needing a hiatus, I decided to go ahead, bite the lifestyle-design bullet, and get Tim Ferriss’s new book The Four Hour Body*.
I read through it quickly (despite his admonition to only read the necessary parts at first). I couldn’t help it, I consume information like other people consume alcohol…quickly and for enjoyment!
The weight loss section was what I most interested in.
In our intentional pursuit of our best life, our physical shape HAS to come into play as a significant factor for consideration. We can’t be unhealthy and have our best life. (I know I’m a guy, but even we can’t compartmentalize THAT much!)
Knowing how following Tim’s advice from the Four Hour Work Week had changed my life, I had full confidence that adopting this diet would yield results.
But honestly, I didn’t think I’d see such big results the first week.
And yes, I’m sure some of you are thinking “That was just water weight”. To be quite honest, I don’t care! Eleven pounds is eleven pounds! And two inches sure does make my pants fit much more comfortably this week than last.
Now on to the details of the diet.
WTF factor: slow carb diet
Two days after buying Tim’s book, I was weighing myself and taking measurements of my biceps, waist, hips (hard to find on a guy, btw), and thighs.
Monday morning, I started the diet the book recommended. Here’s the basic guidelines as I abide by them:
Six days on:
- No dairy (goodbye milk and cheese)
- No white starches (bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, etc)
- No fruit except tomatoes and up to 1 avocado a day (relax, you won’t die or get scurvy)
- Eat breakfast within the first 30 minutes of waking
- Drink lots of water (I average about a gallon and a half a day anyways, so this was not hard for me at all)
Binge Day (the seventh day):
- Eat as much of anything as you want
(Note: It is recommended that you be on the main part of the diet at least 5 days before your binge day; you don’t have to do it 6 days before binging…I didn’t.)
Basically, my meals are composed of meat, beans, and vegetables.
I’ve eaten a lot of steak and chicken this past week. I’ve also had eggs for breakfast every day except Saturday (which you saw what I DID eat). I live in Texas; that means that most of that meat was cooked outside on the grill…even though it has been below freezing many nights.
The cool thing is that butter is allowed. The Southern fascination with butter isn’t limited to Paula Dean, we all share it.
Also, spices are allowed, so the meat tasted awesome!
I know lentils are allowed in this category, but I don’t care for them much so I’ve just been eating a ton of beans. I like black beans the most. Viva frijoles negro!
Tip: I use canned beans, but there is one very important step necessary before I’ll even go near them. RINSE THEM! Every morning I open a can of beans and pour them into a colander where I thoroughly rinse them. I hate that nasty, slimy ick that they can them in.
Tim lauds the benefits of spinach in his book so I decided to try and eat as much of it as I could stomach. I quickly decided that my childhood memories of spinach tasting like lawn clippings weren’t far off.
I found that spinach was awesome if prepared this way:
- 1 part spinach
- 1 part frozen peas (I’m sure fresh would work, just don’t do canned…eww!)
- 1 tbsp dried mint (or a few leaves of chopped fresh)
- Butter (add to your taste…Mmm, sweet delicious butter)
- Cook in a pan on the stove top until anything frozen is hot enough to make you happy.
The peas sweeten it up a little and the mint gets rid of that heavy taste that spinach has by itself. All the benefits of spinach without that straight-from-the-lawn aftertaste.
For the other vegetables? Stir fry or grilled.
Lots of them.
The rule I ignore
There is one rule of the recommended diet that I just flat out ignore, though I see the wisdom in suggesting it. Tim recommends to eat the same meals over and over again.
If I were still single, I would probably adhere to this rule. I’m not.
I would say that around 75% of the TV watching in my house is the Food Channel. I love cooking and eating a variety of foods. Eating the same thing over and over would not last for me. My three year old daughter even asks to watch Rachael Ray BY NAME!
I can see where this would be a trap for many people but it is not a chore for me to come up with something different within the guidelines each day.
I LOVE COOKING! In fact, I find the experimenting with food combinations to be quite enjoyable and am keeping a list of the recipes I like most. Perhaps I will release them for others on this journey.
I realize a diet status update on day 7 can make many people skeptical. As such, I will be providing periodic updates on the blog of my success as well as frequent updates on my Twitter account @DavidCrandall. (Look for the #4HB hashtag to see others who are participating as well.)
Who else is doing this?
*Click here to check out the Four Hour Body: Click here