Friday, January 28, 2011

the end of the diet?

However you count it, I've been at this diet plan for at least a month.

Per the 4-Hour Body book, eating only meats, green veggies, and beans for 6 days and then carb-loading for one should result in average weight loss of 1 - 2 pounds per day.  Over the course of the last month (and a few days) I have lost weight, but more or less 5 pounds in total.

And over that same period I found that the diet required (for me, at least) additional lifestyle changes and the introduction of laxative pills and teas to help me along.  Needless to say, I'm disappointed.

Oh, the bread I could have eaten, the beers I could have had...

There has been some discussion outside of this blog as to whether or not I shifted my balance of fat/lean muscle in favor of the latter, and I guess it's possible, but my "measurements" haven't revealed much of a change (another 4-Hour Body promise unfulfilled), and my lovely wife hasn't seemed to notice anything different in my physique.

And I set a specific goal for this week, to lose 5 pounds (from last  Friday's level to today's) and I didn't even come close.  I followed the diet faithfully, and I might have lost 1/2 pound this week.

Where does that leave me?  Frankly, I would like to scuttle the whole thing and just go back to eating what I like.  It's not as though I had an outrageous diet before, by most standards.  We tend to favor whole grains, lean meats, little soda or other sugary treats...

I like to cook interesting meals from whole food ingredients.  I like nuts, and some fruits.  I like avocados, shallots, and mushrooms...argh.

So, if any of you care to vote with your comments in the next 12 - 24 hours: should I continue on with this current diet and see if it somehow "switches on" soon, or ditch and come up with another plan?

Update!  Overnight, I lost another two figures, because Friday nights have become the one evening a week I allow myself more than the prescribed 2 glasses of dry, red wine.  Maybe the secret missing ingredient of the diet is really a stiff pour of 4 Roses (thanks for the rec, Scott&Jill!)


  1. I remain super-impressed you followed Ferriss' crazy scheme so closely and for so long. The weight loss he describes seems possible (and healthy) only for a person beginning in a certain state. You were in good shape, able to run miles and miles without fatigue, and not eating utter crap. The low-hanging fruit was long ago picked. If you know what I mean. No, wait...

    5 pounds over a month is pretty great, if you consider my assertion above. I'm proud of you. My vote is that you go back to eating like a sane(r) person while staying weight & BP conscious and dialing up the laufen again. I'm sure both will continue to fall at a reasonable pace.

  2. Ditch it. Plan to take our Sexy in Six class in April. There's more support, and you get to eat carbs.

  3. Thanks for the comments, Adan and Jeni...see the update above. I think I may have to give it another week...

    @AdanA - I think I will be increasing the running mileage again, as the baby's routine becomes, well, more routine, and as the weather becomes a little more accommodating.

    @Jeni - I believe in you and in your work, and I will definitely be taking some learning from you, but I'm not sure the world is ready for a sexier me just yet! =)

  4. Interesting how the weight loss coincides with an increase in activity. And 4 Roses. Perhaps that combo will get you where you want to be!

  5. @Jeni - you mean the 1.5 miles I ran yesterday? It could be could be dehydration from the run and the whiskey (although I have been drinking an obscene amount of water, for me anyway). My frustration with diet in general is that there are a lot of variables in play, and it's difficult to really isolate and control for them. How does not sleeping at all on Thursday night impact Friday's weight, for example?

    I haven't talked about exercise much on the blog so far (apart from the occasional "running" post), but I do some basic kettlebell routines during the week, and some push up / squat / yoga stuff too. The diet explicitly calls for "little to no" exercise, and the author calls out specifically that spending hours in the gym each week will be counter-productive...he basically suggests short sessions of things like squats to engage metabolism, and so I have tried some of that.

  6. I believe the author's subtext, which reads equally as loud as the text, is "if I tell you to work out while doing this diet, I may not sell as many books...." Everywhere else in the text he's definitely pro-workout, though maybe not hours of it. Certainly doesn't imply "little to no" exercise is a part of his lifestyle or has ever been.

    Definitely, Jeni: I agree it may not be totally coincidental, the correlation between his starting up drunken running again and the weight loss. Are you a fan of the webcomic XKCD? David's right, it's hard to say for sure. But running's fun, and he lost 2 pounds, shazam!

  7. Get ready, this suggestion is going to sound crazy. Weight Watchers. I know, I know, so uncool. But I have spent countless hours and dollars in my quest for twigginess, and it works. Really works. And it's so easy -- no food is off limits. It's very flexible and encourages eating healthy but allows for treats. It's my AA. I love it.

  8. @Jessica - you are not alone in suggesting Weight Watchers, and perhaps my resistance speaks to some deep-seated flaw in my personality; I'm was particularly intrigued by the 4HB diet because it was radical; I have no doubt that I could lose net pounds pretty simply via more traditional dieting and/or much-heightened exercise.

    To state it another way: I was drawn to this diet plan not because it seemed "easy" (it's not!), but because it seemed interesting (it is that).

    Further, the book calls out a shift in body mass as a result of the diet, not just a net lowering of poundage. I'm very interested in that aspect, and I intend, at some point, to go back for a follow up DEXA scan to see how my relative fatty tissue content has changed over the course of the diet.