When deciding to undertake the journey of competing in the 2012 Ore2Shore I knew I needed to get in better shape- beginning with losing a lot of my extra weight. And there is plenty extra!
I’m slightly over 20-years away from my former “young, relatively fit, and active guy” that still lives in my mind (dreams), and spirit. I’m currently an early 40′s married guy who has spent most of the last twenty years sitting behind a computer for 10-12 hours per day. Over the years I packed on the pounds a little at a time. Before I knew it my weight maxed at around 240.
Every few years I would ‘care’ and focused my energy on diet and exercise, resulting in a yo-yo between the max and just over 200, never breaking through the evasive sub-200 lb goal. For most of the last 10 years my weight hovered between 210-225.
When I decided to set out for my O2S goal I knew the first thing I needed to do was lose weight. It would be the key to the rest of my plans.
70 Days on the 4-HB Diet (click for larger image)
By dropping the weight I knew I would feel better, have more energy, build my endurance quicker, build my stamina, be more efficient in my training, and be far less injury and heart-attack/stroke prone. As side benefits my blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk of diabetes and heart disease should all be significantly reduced.
For my weight loss plan I’ve chosen to use Tim Ferriss’ Slow-Carb diet, which he outlines in his book “The 4-Hour Body”.
The Slow Carb diet is so effective and simple to follow, it’s really amazing and hard to believe it’s real! In 10-weeks I’ve steadily lost at least 20 pounds of body fat. I actually lost more than 20lbs because some of the fat weight was displaced with lean muscle. For the first six weeks I did no exercise at all, outside of 20-minute lunchtime walks I’ve been doing for years. Over the last four weeks I’ve been adding lean muscle by incorporating the Wii Active 3-5 days per week and (very) occasionally some barefoot running on the treadmill.
In a nutshell, the 4-Hour Body Slow-Carb Diet consists of five basic rules. The rules are Tim’s, but the descriptions and meal examples are my own personal adaptations. They have been working for me and are simply presented as a real-world example.
Rule 1- Avoid “white” Carbohydrates, or anything that can be made white
- This includes things like breads, wheat flour, all rices, oats, sugar, cereal, potatoes, pasta, tortillas, breaded fried foods, pastries, etc.
Rule 2- Eat the same few meals over and over
- During the week, I eat the same breakfast- two eggs scrambled in a little olive oil, topped with salt and pepper. 1-cup (or there abouts) of microwaved frozen spinach, and (sometimes) a couple of pieces of sausage or bacon.
For lunches I often eat a chicken and veggie stir fry, made with baked chicken, red, orange or yellow peppers, onions, canned bean sprouts, (sometimes) canned stir fry veggie mix, and an assortment of fresh veggies that we have on hand (celery, broccoli, carrots, etc.), tossed in an olive or toasted sesame oil with some Italian seasoning. I’ll also toss in a 1/3rd can of a legume when I pack the lunches- usually a tri-bean, black bean, or great northern. (We make the stir-fry in bulk and divide for several days’ lunches)
For dinners, if not eating the stir fries we prepare for lunches, I’ll often have taco bowls- taco seasoned ground beef, hot sauce, black bean and corn salsa, onions, chopped romaine hearts, and chopped tomato.
Another personal favorite that’s fast to make is a frozen shrimp, frozen edamame, and fresh mushroom stir fry- with a little sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
Snacks during the day include carrots and celery, cucumber, and/or small handfuls of raw almonds, cashews, or sunflower seeds.
Rule 3- Don’t drink calories
- Drink a lot of water, morning noon and night. This helps the body flush out the toxins and other crap that’s being emptied from the fat cells and helps the digestive system work more efficiently.
Drink as much unsweetened coffee or tea as you like. Just don’t drink sweetened soft drinks, milk, or fruit juices. I also avoid all carbonated beverages, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners.
Rule 4- Don’t Eat Fruit
- This rule is about as straight forward as it gets- the exceptions to this rule are tomatoes and avocados (the latter in moderation).
Rule 5- Take one day off per week- and Binge!
- This rule makes the whole process work. By having a binge day once per week you can postpone anything you want during the rest of week, simply add it to your ‘I’ll have it on x-day ‘ list. Nothing is off limits, so go crazy! Think big and go for it. After doing this for a few weeks I eventually settled down- you quickly realize your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Don’t deprive, don’t measure, and don’t worry about it.
That’s it in a nutshell. There’s not much to it- no measuring, counting, etc. Eat good food, eat as much as satisfies you, and look forward to your binge day.
Note- I prefer to log my data every morning, upon waking. This helps confirm the incremental progress is being made and keep you motivated during the first few weeks. Once the weight starts (and continues) to drop, the routine fuels itself.
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions- please leave a comment on this post or email me at steve at enjoytimeoutdoors (dot) com.
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What diet related post would be complete without a cool disclaimer? Well, here’ s mine! Please be sure to consult your doctor before beginning this or any diet or exercise program. Have a great day and get out and EnjoyTimeOutdoors!
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