Closing in on my target

April 4, 2011

Two or three of you have read my previous post regarding my efforts to get back into shape or have seen me tweet about it. I've gotten a tremendous amount of people asking how I am doing it. So I wanted to take a few minutes to share what I have done and why I think it is working.

Six months or so ago I read an article by Tim Ferriss on How to Lose 20 Pounds of Fat in 30 Days without doing any Exercise. Needless to say my interest was piqued by the headline. But I am also a big fan of protein rich diets as I usually feel full vs constantly feeling hungry. So I have been using a modified version of the Slow Carb Diet.

But it is the word "modified" that probably bears some explaining. A typical breakfast consists of 3 poached eggs on Ezekiel bread which is an organic sprouted grain bread. That means it has low glycemic index. Which means it is a slow burn food. It takes the body longer to digest it and your insulin response is easier on the body. I usually put butter on the toast (real butter not the fake heart stopping stuff). And I have a coffee with skim milk and 1 packet or raw sugar.

I go to the gym around 9am 3-4 days a week. Afterwards I will have another cup of coffee with milk and 1 sugar and 12-15 almonds. The other item that I will have is a yogurt. But I make sure that the yogurt has no high fructose or fructose in it. Eating something high in simple carbs after a workout is ok in my book as your body's natural response after a workout is to dip below a "normal" state and the simple carbs help bring it back up.

Lunch looks more like standard Slow Carb fare. Ground turkey is a staple. Usually with some black beans. I make a mean turkey chili with green peppers, onions, tomatoes, cumin, chili powder and black beans. It is awesome. And making a batch on Sunday means lunch all week without having to cook anything extra.

Mid Afternoon I will drink a protein shake and... another cup of coffee (perhaps my weight loss is due to caffeine?). I might add a few more almonds depending on how hungry I am feeling.

And dinner I try to be good but it is hard with a family. But grilled chicken, some basmati rice and some green beans or something is typical. Oh... and a glass of wine as it makes everything right in this world...

Now let's be real. I have a life. So I can't be super strict with this so I did not lose the 20lbs in 30 days. But over the months this has netted me a 25+ weight loss. I also don't aspire to the 1 day off per week. Perhaps I should. I tend to give myself a little more leniency through the course of the week versus eating my weight in ice cream on Saturday...

I've also paired this with exercise (well duh). Mostly a combination of weightlifting and swimming or cycling for cardio. Weightlifting is a NECESSARY piece of the puzzle. You don't want to be a fat skinny person. You know what I am talking about. The person that looks in shape but they are not muscular at all and just look... well normal. I want to look like I am in shape. So I make sure that at least 1-2 days per week are a weightlifting day. You can read more about the types of lifts that I am doing in a recent blog post.

So that is it. Eat right most of the time. Focus on slower digesting carbs and getting plenty of protein (most people cant get enough protein). The most important aspect of this whole program is the eating. Get it wrong and the hours you spend in the gym will be a waste. And as for exercise. If you can manage it weightlifting alone is the way to go. Push yourself in how much you lift. It should be a struggle but you should be keeping decent form. And DON'T sit around for 5-10 minutes between sets. 1-2 minutes tops. Swimming is excellent exercise as it works the whole body. I also love cycling as it is low impact.

So there you have it. I have gone from 238ish to 213 in a few months. But more importantly I feel great. Summertime is around the corner and this former fat boy is not going to be afraid to take his shirt off at the beach. My goal is 200 and I think I can get there before the end of school. My hope is that by April 15th I will be below 210 as that is Spring Break and we are going to the beach.

So get moving! You can do it. I have a sedentary job. I have 3 young boys. My wife and I are both self employed. There are no excuses.