I was quite surprised that by following one simple rule, I was easily able to drop from 190lbs to 182lbs in two weeks. What is this incredible secret, lost for so long and recently uncovered when making contact with a tribe of untainted hunter-gatherers? Read on, McDuff.
I have a personal trainer who really knows his stuff. If I ask him what to do to build muscle and to lose fat, he’ll tell me. Doing it is another thing though – there’s only so much turkey and sweet potato a man can eat while watching his daughter eat jelly beans. My trainer identified that a lack of consistency in goals is holding me back. I change my mind a lot. Here’s the sandwich I ate before I wrote the last paragraph – I think I’ll call it the Nutter Fluffer – good news is that it’s on sour dough, which really helps keep the glycemic index manageable.
Rather than scientifically changing single aspects of my diet and exercise regimen, I realized that to lose weight (and hopefully stop sweating like a pork belly in the prolonged triple digit weeks of Texas) I had to do something extreme, and to gain synergy from multiple simple changes. That’s the secret – doing all the obvious stuff at the same time over a short and bearable time-frame. After all, who wants to change the way they eat for the rest of their life? If raw vegetables were so good, I’d have become a salad addict long ago. So short, sharp shock (without the diuretics, laxatives, or man-stack chemicals) it was.
This was my approach:
- Feel hungry all of the time. Pretty simple really, but eating until I wasn’t quite full, and could still register mild hunger at the end of a meal was the key. Being on the non-stuffed side of replete.
- Give up booze-a-hol – yes those empty calories might not mean anything, but the ability to resist Nutter Fluffers is diminished when not fully present in the universe of consequence and appetite.
- 40 minutes of cardio three or four times a week. My trainer says something about diminishing returns with aerobic exercise, after 40 minutes, and let’s face it, if exercise really was addictive, it wouldn’t be the first thing that gets dropped when times are hard and the chocolate is easy.
- No refueling at petrol stations. There’s no food there, just chemicals. I call my daughter “Honey Bun” without thinking too much about it, until I saw the packaging of a Honey Bun today. A timeless chemical soup ready to survive a nuclear holocaust – I’m sure even the roaches wouldn’t eat them.
- Only eat out once a week. It saves relying on someone else’s notion of portion size and balance, and it means you don’t have to stare at the pastries while in the queue at the Cherrywood Coffee House.
- Eat like a kid in a candy store one day a week. I know my experiment was only for two weeks, but knowing that there’s glucose at the end of the tunnel makes the dark hours easier to endure.
So that was it. I dropped 10 pounds, put 2 pounds back on for a net loss of 8 pounds. It was then that my personal trainer took my measurements and pointed out that my weight-loss goal was perhaps not particularly ideal, and that I had dropped about 3.5 pounds of muscle in addition to the 4.5 pounds of lard. It takes me a while to add 3.5 pounds of muscle. A long while.
Oh, and for those of you who wondered what the secret of the long-lost tribe was, it’s pretty trivial: eat food (not junk) and exercise a bit as part of your regular daily activities. I never saw a hunter-gatherer society built on spin-bikes : peddling in place while the lions jumped onto their spears for them.