Today is the last day of my first month on a new health program. I've lost 12 lbs with hardly any exercise and with no restrictions on how much I can eat.
How I Did It
The program is technically the "Slow Carb" diet that Timothy Ferriss writes about, but it is essentially the same as the "Paleo Diet" that is currently popular.
It's sure working for me.
The idea is to cut out carbohydrates because these were unavailable until "recently". A "traditional" diet simply wouldn't have the carbs. By "traditional", I mean, before agriculture, before refined sugars and commercial flour, etc. Humans simply haven't been agricultural long enough to have adapted, and we still have this built-in mechanism to go crazy with eating and fat storage should we be lucky enough to stumble upon some high-energy carbs.
Unfortunately, we are now advanced enough to bury ourselves in carbs and that's a bad idea.
My interpretation / concentration involves seven main dishes.
1. Bacon and Eggs for breakfast. I very rarely ate breakfast before this program, but Timothy says you should. Yes, I'm eating MORE meals than before. 2. Sometimes, All Bran with Almond milk for breakfast. 3. Lunch: The steak salad bowl at Chipotle. (Or the "Fajita Bowl" or "Burrito Bowl".) No rice. 4. Lunch: The "loaded chicken" (or steak) bowl at Baja Fresh. No rice. 5. Dinner: Lots of chili interpretations for dinner. 6. Dinner: steak and vegetables. You can go to any restaurant, order a steak, and tell them "just vegetables" instead of the potatoes or rice. I like to BBQ, but now we just don't make the usual rice and potatoes. 7. Lunch or dinner: you can always make or order yet another chicken Caeser salad.
My chili dishes are made with black beans or ranch beans, bacon, any leftover meat lying around, a can or two of diced tomatoes, and various vegetables such as fresh tomatoes, chopped anaheim chilis, chopped serrano chilis, onions, and usually a little soy sauce, Worcestershire, salsa, and powdered cayenne. You need about 4 tablespoons of chili powder, of course, or it isn't chili.
In general, do not eat fruit. (After a lifetime of feeling guilty because I didn't each very much fruit, it's awesome to have it actually prohibited due to the fructose. I do miss oranges but all foods are allowed one day a week. I use that day for pizza!)
Snacks: peanuts (very low glycemic index) and beef jerky. These are both quite dangerous, however, as for some people they are what Timothy calls "domino foods". Be careful, as the diet is not so magic that arbitrary overeating will not have a price.
My navigational charts for this journey are two books.
This book has the theory. It is optional. Some people like me really have to know why something is working. Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. I would prefer a book written by an actual scientist (Gary Taubes is a science writer) but this does seem convincing. As an engineer, I like to think I have a good feel for pseudo-scientific baloney, and my alarms didn't go off. (Ask me about homeopathy some day. :-)
And you might also want a Taylor 7506 Glass and Chrome Digital Scale. This is just an ordinary but beautiful and accurate digital scale. There do exist WiFi-capable scales that will automatically beam your weight somewhere, but I'm going to want to see the graph anyway so I don't mind typing it into my phone. The following stuff just saves me the trips to the gym...I have always done workouts exclusively with dumbells just because it's so hard to fit barbells and machines at home. You may as well develop a routine that doesn't require a lot of space to support. My stuff: CAP Barbell 70 -Pounds Kettlebell, Cap Barbell 40-Pound Dumbbell Set, and Cap Barbell Fitness FID Bench. (Yes, 40# is not nearly enough weight but I already had lots of extra plates.)