Monday, 22 August 2011

Four Hour Body - The Plan

On Sunday, I read Tim Ferris' book "4 Hour Body." I didn't read the whole book, because for once I followed instruction. Ferris says that read the chapters relevant to you - I did read few extra things, but I got his point. If I'd tried to read all the sections, it would be information overload, and frankly, I find diet stuff complicated enough as it is.

Now, usually I am totally against diets because I strive for "lifestyle change" since that is more sustainable. Diets are not. Also, I love food, so I don't particularly want to starve myself. So until now, my goal (not always successful) has been to become more active, eat everything in moderation. It's not a bad goal - but it's difficult when you hate exercise, and don't find time for it because other things feel more important. Note, I didn't say "don't have time" because I firmly believe that we have time for anything we really want to do. For me, there are other things I really want to do, so I give them priority.

So why am I interested in this diet? Because I think with a few tweaks, it could actually be a lifestyle change, and not a diet. If you follow Ferris' formula to the letter, it is supposed to be a slow-carb diet for 6 days, with 1 cheat day to eat anything you want. But for those 6 days, no white stuff or anything that could be white (rice, pasta, potatoes, bread). This is the hardest thing for me, since I eat pasta several times per week, and rice at other times, or bread. This is my favourite food group.

Also no dairy, except for cottage cheese in moderation and little bit of cream in the coffee. For me, this isn't a huge deal. I drink a lot of coffee, so I might end up with more cream allowance, but other than that, no big deal.

There are other rules, but these are the ones that have the strongest impact on me.

Oh and breakfast. You are supposed to eat breakfast ideally within 30 minutes of waking up, at latest within 1 hour. Generally, I don't eat breakfast, and if I do, it's toast or cereal. None of that in this diet. So that's going to be toughie for me - not only because I can't imagine eating lentils or salad in the morning, but also because I leave for work at 7:10, and don't particularly want to cook in the morning, so I am going to have find quick, easy means to accomplish this.

Another tricky thing is that I'm vegetarian. This diet can be done even for vegetarians, but like anything, it's harder with restrictions. So I'm looking for things I can eat, especially protein. Easiest thing is to eat eggs - but for years, I've detested eggs, so I'm going to give them another try, and see if I like them. Because they seem much better breakfast option than beans or lentils.

Ferris claims that you can lose up to 20lbs in 30 days. From Internet records, it seems to be more successful for men. Some women have lost weight, but overall, I haven't seen as many records for females. Also, we all have different bodies etc. so you can't expect exact same results. If I lose 10 lbs in 30 days, I'll be okay with that, though of course more is better. In fact, if I lose 20lbs then that will actually take me very close to my "perfect" weight.

So what I've decided to do is follow Ferris' rule to the letter for 30 days, with minimal exercise. I will see if it works for me. If it does, then my intention after 30 days is to try and maintain that weight by increased exercise, and little leeway on diet, so for example, eating small amounts of bread or pasta etc. But initially, if this can give me a quicker weight loss then it will motivate me more to maintain it. Because let's face it, we are a society of instant gratification.

I don't expect this to be easy, but because I'm looking at this as 30 day challenge, it seems much more achievable and much less daunting. Goal setting in small, steady steps works much better, I have found. So I'm going to take this week to buy necessary things, figure out what I can eat and make sure to have a meal plan ready, maybe even do some advance cooking so I won't lapse, and then from next Monday, 29th of August, this challenge officially begins.

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