The Journey to A Whole New Body, Part II: How I Lost 25 Lbs. in Three Months

I am a big fan of the work and writings of Tim Ferriss. I appreciate his thoroughly researched, balanced, and practical approach to life, work and health. When I saw his 4 Hour Body on the bookstore shelf, I knew that I had to read it. It has become my health Bible of sorts on a full range of issues, but the first few chapters on diet and weight loss are invaluable. Some of my insights on past mistakes in Chapter 1 also were crystalized by my reading of Tim’s work.

I have now lost 25 lbs. roughly since New Years Day of 2011. In the past, I fell off of diets within days or weeks. I quickly would regain weight that I lost in fits and starts. But not on this diet. Well, it’s not really a diet. It has just become how I eat. The diet is rooted in five basic premises:

1. You must eat a diet low in the wrong carbs and high in protein if you are going to lose and maintain weight.

2. The elimination of fruit and fruit juices and the substitution of vitamins, supplements and vegetables.

3. A free binge day once per week in which you eat anything you wish.

4. Weight loss is increased and maintained when you eat roughly the same thing every meal, every day.

5. It doesn’t matter so much how weight you lose as how much fat you lose. Your waist size matters more than the weight on the scale.

Except for any lunches and dinners at restaurants, I eat the same thing every day for every meal. I may vary the meat, or change up the vegetables, but I’ve found comfort and success in the sameness. Tim and I both stress the importance of an high protein breakfast — at least 20 percent of your calories at breakfast should come from protein. Eat only three meals per day. You can have 4-6 small meals if you wish, but you shouldn’t need the snack meals if you are eating properly during the three meals. As long as you stick with the proper foods, you can eat as much as you wish, and you should. Drink 64 oz. or a gallon of water per day (I use low sodium lime sparkling water.)

Remember: No whole wheat or white carbs. Beans and sweet potatoes should be your only carbs, and have as many as you wish. No fruit or juice other than rasberries, strawberries and blueberries. No fried foods. No shellfish. Little or no dairy products (including cheese!). Use only olive oil and no vegetable or fat oils. Always eat breakfast, eat at least 30 grams of protein, and always within 30 minutes or rising (this is key!).

You can have any of the following: chicken, pork, beef, turkey, beans of any kind, vegetables (except corn), eggs, limited caffeine, and diet sodas.

Here is my daily diet:

Breakfast: Begin with 16 oz water and 5 forks of sauerkraut for probiotics. Coffee with nonfat cream, 3 slices of turkey bacon, and 2 whole eggs scrambled or boiled (egg whites if you tend to have high cholestrol).

Lunch: Chicken breast and vegetable medley stir fry with light portion of teriyaki or stir fry sauce. No rice. Low sodium soy sauce.

Dinner: Talapia or salmon (or chicken) with creole spice or salsa, black beans. (Sometimes turkey chili or just an high protein, low sugar protein bar). One glass of red wine is permissible at dinner.

Snacks: Dark chocolate, 1 tbsp. of peanut butter on celery or carrot, blueberries or strawberries, slice of turkey or lean ham.

Do I get bored with this menu? Yes. But I find it easy to remain disciplined because I know that I have “free” meals or binge days ahead. Ferriss recommends one binge day per week when you allow yourself to eat anything you crave or want — portions within reason. This is not only for psychological reason. The caloric increase, as well as increases in protein, drive up your metabolism. You may gain some weight for a day or two, but you will find that it comes off by the end of the next week, plus more. I followed this plan for a while, but I found the weight increases from one binge day to be discouraging. Now, I allow myself three binge meals throughout the week, allowing me to enjoy meals out with friends without worrying about deprivation and frustration. For example, I remained on the diet all day on Tuesday, but I allowed myself some shrimp and tortillas at a Mexican restaurant that evening. One meal, three times per week.

If your weight loss plateaus, do the opposite of your instinct: add more protein to your breakfast. Add 16 oz of water before breakfast (raises your metabolism by 20%). Eat more beans. Increase the difficulty of your exercise routine.

Why the sauerkraut before breakfast? Because probiotics in the intestine improve digestion, and thinner people have more probiotics. People who are overweight tend to have fewer. Eat one cup of plain yogurt or 5 forks of sauerkraut before breakfast.

What do I do when I eat out? Either use a free “binge” meal, or I go to Mexican restaurants where it is easy to get a bowl of chicken and black beans or salad. I avoid fast food, Asian restaurants, delis and Italian restaurants because the no carb options are so limited.

Ferriss recommends a daily supplement cocktail called PAGG, and I’ve followed his suggestion almost religiously:

P olicosanol: 20–25 mg
A lpha-lipoic acid: 100–300 mg
G reen tea flavanols or extract (decaffeinated with at least 325 mg EGCG): 325 mg
G arlic extract: 200 mg

These are supposed to be taken…
Prior to breakfast: AGG
Prior to lunch: AGG
Prior to dinner: AGG
Prior to bed: PAGG

If you suffer from acid reflux, take a low dosage of Alpha-Lipoic acid. If you suffer from high blood pressure or take blood pressure medication, do not take Policosanol or ask a doctor.

Other suggestions from Tim Ferriss for losing fat faster: Put a cold ice pack on your upper chest or upper back while watching tv for 30 minutes per day. 20 minutes of kettle ball exercises. Drink 16-24 oz of water before breakfast.

Not only am I losing weight on this diet, but I feel great too. Give it a try, and I think you’ll be happy with the results.

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Comments
2 Responses to “The Journey to A Whole New Body, Part II: How I Lost 25 Lbs. in Three Months”
  1. David Aubuchon says:

    Todd,

    Thanks for sharing that! I have been looking for a good health program to follow. Saying goodbye (or at least saying ‘hello’ less frequently) to bread, carbs, pasta, etc. will not be easy, but the ‘binge’ meals make the process a lot more tolerable.

    I am going to print your blog and give this a try.

    Thanks again!

    David

  2. toddbouldin says:

    I am so glad, David. I think you will love it. I’ve found it surprisingly easy and flexible. I plan to eat this way the rest of my life. Hope you enjoy it, and let me know how it goes.

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