How I lost 20 pounds over the holidays
I’ve always attempted to do fad diets for a good 6-10 weeks—the problem was I only started those diets after I had let my self go and put on 10-12 pounds. So in reality I was working really hard just to get back to even. It’s like budgeting based on the amount you owe on your credit card (dumb). I was hesitant to write about how I lost 20 pounds—it feels weirdly personal, but I think this strategy might help you be more productive.
Think about your weight over the last 10 years
Have you had normal ups and downs? I recognized that every spring I lose about 5 pounds by being more active when it’s sunny out and I keep the weight off into the summer. During summer I get used to eating more because I’m more active, then as fall hits and my activity levels, busyness, and stress increase I keep eating the same and start packing on the pounds. Then the holidays hit and before I know it I’m 15 pounds above my spring low.
This year I saw an opportunity. If I could just cut back my eating and drinking a little at the end of summer I would get out of the habit of over eating. Then when Halloween hit I kicked into high gear starting a modified ‘Slow Carb’ diet with the goal of staying 90% true to the diet until New Years.
Around Thanksgiving I bought a Fitbit scale. I step on it every morning and it gives immediate feedback on progress and sends the weight to my iPhone so I can see a graph of my progress. Compared to medical bills this is one of the best investments you can make.
Give yourself a break
I’ve met lots of fundamentalist dieters. To me this is the quickest way to either an eating disorder or to giving up all together. I try to stick to a health regimen 80-90% and don’t sweat it or feel guilty if I miss it a couple times a week.
My actual diet
This is based off Tim Ferris’ Slow Carb Diet. I couldn’t have as many rules as him so I simplified it to this:
- Eat meat and vegetables
- Don’t drink calories except for up to 2 glasses of red wine at night
- Drink a big glass of water and eat as quickly as you can when you wake up
- Eat as many calories as you can 1 day a week.
I went from 217lbs – 197 lbs from October 31, 2012 – March 31, 2013