Photo Credit - ItsHolly
December 22nd 2010 Scottsdale, AZ
My body shivered and convulsed as I lay neck deep in a bathtub of bone chilling water. The 20 lbs of ice I'd just bought at the gas station was now floating circles around my body. From above, a psychotic smile could be seen intermittently between the rapid chattering of my teeth, my mind racing through thoughts to avoid thinking about the painful "Guantanamo bay" style bath.
No one had stolen my kidney and left me in this state, as described in urban legends, I wasn't being held against my will and interrogated for information and in fact this frigid torture session was self inflicted.
So why the agony?
I had unleashed a cold-blooded, (pun)assault on my stubborn body fat. During this jolly time of year where most families drink egg nog, wrap gifts and eat like puppies with bottomless food bowls, I had taken a firm stand. No longer would I settle for good enough.
Sure, I could be content with my success having already lost 55 lbs, but I knew I wasn't finished. It was time to take shit to the next level.
The Stare of the Great Arnold Schwarzenegger
The only way to ensure success is by monotonously tracking every aspect and adjusting the variables accordingly, I knew this. Yet one week in to the diet I couldn't believe who I'd become. My Scottsdale, AZ condo was littered with spreadsheets and small lists scattered on every flat surface. Above the door hung a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger with the saying "I'm In" plastered above his head. A pitcher of water, an ice bath, a neighborhood walk, a workout at the gym, a swim in the pool, everything I ate, when I ate it, it was all tracked. My life had been reduced to completing mundane tasks and checking off check boxes. I was hooked, but more on that later.
How I did it- It is no miracle
In a word? Discipline
To be honest I could have seen amazing results with the diet plan alone. Most beginners fail to realize that no matter how many crunches you do, it makes no difference if you diet isn't on point.
I utilized my own seasoned approach and found 4 meals that I loved and could eat everyday without getting sick of them. For me and my personality, this was absolutely essential in my success. Sure my nutritional plan lacked variety, but I think that is often times a necessity. It is too easy to justify borderline ingredients in the name of variety. I chose to only eat meals I had used in the past and had success with in fat loss. These were the staples of my diet for 42 days.
85/15(fat ratio) Frozen Ground Beef Patties
Tons of frozen vegetables Broccoli, Green beans and mixed vegetable medleys
Chicken breast seasoned with fajita seasoning (no sugar)
Chicken breast with Fat free Italian dressing cooked over bell peppers
Ground beef in Taco salads
And yes that is it other than my meal replacements.
A typical day
10 AM Whey Protein & Water
1PM Beef Taco Salad w salsa, no cheese 0 carbs with guac
530 PM Ground beef patty grilled with tapitio and veggies with a dash of garlic salt and pepper
8 PM Sludge (Natural Peanut butter 2tbsp mixed with 2 scoops of chocolate Whey protein and a bit of water)
This was a pretty common day, on occasion the times would change depending on my schedule.
The idea with a diet like this is to avoid the spikes in Insulin created by high GI (Glycemic Index) carbs while getting quality protein and healthy fats in every meal. Further more, here are some of the best tips I can offer on this diet.
Tips for best results
- Avoid Dairy (anything with lactose is off limits during this diet.
- Eat your first meal within 30 minutes of waking up
- Be sure to get enough Protein for you bodyweight to avoid losing lean mass.
- Drink massive amounts of water I was up too 3 gals per day
- Do not binge snack at night (It will ruin everything!)
- Do not make substitutions or justify going outside the plan.
- NO MORE THAN 2 TBSP Peanut Butter at once, The calories add up quite quickly and a food that is great in low doses can really stunt your fat loss if your not careful.
I did have one cheat meal in the middle of the program for two reasons. One, to keep my sanity and two, to help jumpstart my metabolism for the second leg of the journey. I ate around 2200 calories in one meal at Jack in the Box and felt sick for two days, but hey, it worked.
I outlined the diet I used first, as it is of paramount importance. Without a proper nutrition plan, it is impossible to lose weight permanently. This diet in particular is extremely effective as it creates a ketogenic response as your body adjusts from burning carbohydrates as it's main source of fuel to fat. The most profound results often occur within the 4th and 6th week it seems(from my experience).
You might say, "Well that's cool but guess what?" "I can't eat that shit for the rest of my life".
Point taken and neither can I.
However that is not the goal. once you reach your desired healthy weight, switching to a sustainable diet that utilizes lower GI carbs instead of completely eliminating them will serve you quite well. While you can't just go back to eating doughnuts every night, enjoying whole grains and other quality carbohydrate sources in the future will be warranted.
The diet was very easy to follow in my case. I was rarely ever tempted to cheat and even more rare was it for me to feel hungry.
For me utilizing beef, as opposed to chicken at least 4 times per week showed no downside in weight loss, yet curbed my hunger much better. Beef gets alot of flack for being fatty, causing many dieters to choose the white meat counterpart in chicken. I found it much easier to get by eating beef most of the week. Finding leaner cuts of meat is advised of course and Id usually limit my beef consumption to once a day, eating Chicken for the other meal.
So like I said the nutritional aspect of this program trumps the rest in importance. But to get to my insane goal I'd set, I had to go a step further.
I will be writing at length on designing a successful training and nutrition program in the coming months, so stay tuned!