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How I lost 20 pounds over the holidays

Most of us are fat. Work, stress, lack of time, and the deliciousness of hot wings and beer exacerbate the problem.

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.

Get Strategic

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.

Measure

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

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