Thursday, December 15, 2011

Returning To Tim Ferriss' Slow-Carb Diet


It's that time of year where I begin to re-evaluate myself. How close am I to reaching my goals? What can I do better?

Today, that re-evaluation focuses on my health and weight loss.

Losing 30 Pounds In 20 Days
For those that have been following this blog for at least a year, you may remember my slow-carb diet experiment. In short, I became aware of a book titled, "The 4-Hour Body," which was written by Tim Ferriss. The author claimed one can lose 20 pounds in 30 days without exercising.

Up until that point, I had been working out in the gym, but my weight loss began to plateau. I believe the plateau had everything to do with my eating habits. It needed a jolt.

Hearing about the slow-carb diet was both interesting and exciting. What if I could lose weight without exercising? How might things be different?

Immediately, I set out to explore this new idea. My first challenge was to focus on 30 days. Could I do it? Would the diet work? So many questions, but there was only one way to find out.

Thirty days roll by and I had my answer. In summary, I did lose weight. Was it 20 pounds off the scale? No. However, I did lose inches and body fat, which was very encouraging. If I could do that in 30 days, what could I do with another 30? To follow my complete slow-carb diet experiment, check out the blog that started it all.

Slow-Carb to Low-Carb
In March, I decided to leave the slow-carb diet for a low-carb diet (essentially, it was the Atkins Diet). The observation at the time was that I lost weight more rapidly with low carbs than when on the slow-carb diet. While this may have been true, I became concerned with the amount of fat and cholesterol I had been consuming. I love eating steak, eggs, cheese, and the like, but what was it doing to my heart?

In my mind, eating a slow-carb diet felt more healthy. I was eating lean cuts of meat, vegetables, and legumes multiple times a day. It just feels more safe and balanced.

A few months back, I started adding carbohydrates back into my diet. It started as a slice of bread with my eggs. Then, it turned into noodles for lunch. Finally, I found myself eating sweets and other desserts more often than I should.

As a result, what achievements I maintained from my slow-carb and low-carb diets started slipping. I went from 250 to 258lbs. My stomach was growing and my face began to fill out. It was then that I decided I had better stop what I'm doing and get back on a plan.

Last year, I made the decision to lose weight and I lost around 30lbs during the 2010 and 2011 time frame. I believe that I can continue that trend in 2012.

The Plan
My plan is to get back in the gym and eat right. This means returning to my pre-slow-carb diet regimen where I did cardio and weight training. In addition to the physical activity, I plan to use the slow-carb diet as my method of nutrition.

I believe doing both will help me achieve another round of considerable weight loss.

In addition to the diet and exercise, I would like to once again blog about my journey. Like before, I would provide a weekly update on my activities, challenges, thoughts, and progress. Looking back over last years update, I found it to be quite motivational and insightful.

With that written, you may be glad to learn that I have already started the diet. As of this post, I have been eating the slow-carb way for just over 2 weeks. It hasn't been without its challenges, but for the most part I'm doing well.

Since this article essentially announced my plan, let me share my starting measurements. Then, in subsequent articles, I'll provide more detailed information on my recent activities.

Measurements
  • Weight: 258 lbs
  • Height: 6' 2"
  • Age: 36 
  • Body Fat: 21.8% 
  • Chest: 43.5"
  • Waist: 42.5"
  • Arms: 16.0"
  • Shoulders: 51.5"
  • Forearms: 14"
  • Neck: 16.6"
  • Hips: 46.75"
  • Thighs: 26.25"
  • Calves: 17.5"
  • Stomach: 45.75"
Feedback
Well, that just about does it for now. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to share them with me in the comment section below.

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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