By request, here is an overview of the diet plan I used on my weight loss program. Bear in mind that I basically created this on my own using bits and pieces of Atkins, and a lot of intuition and common sense (vegetables, good; pizza, bad). That being said, I am not a doctor. I can't guarantee that this is the safest way to go about losing weight (though I don't seem to have suffered any negative repercussions -- I was bald and ugly BEFORE I lost weight). Before starting any dramatic change in your diet, you should probably consult your physician.
That should fulfill my daily dose of hypocrisy.
Also, you should know that I'm sort of unique in that I don't mind eating more or less the same few things every day or week. I don't need a tremendous amount of variety, which makes it easier for me to stick to a program. If you're the type who can't stand eating the same foods a few time a week, you might have to be more creative in your planning.
Anyway, here's what I ate. You'll notice I'm a fan of convenience. Lots of local and convenient restaurants were part of the program.
For each meal, select just ONE of the options:
- Steel Cut Oatmeal
- Greek Yogurt (Oikos is my favorite, but Chobani isn't bad either)
- Wheat Bagel
- Caesar Salad (low-cal dressing)
- Chef Salad (low-cal dressing)
- Steak and Eggs (from Taco Mi Hacienda which is probably not all that common . . . so you'll have to find a local food joint or make your own. Very low calorie and filling, one of my favorite choices)
- Subway Club on wheat bread, no cheese, with veggies and mustard only (no mayo, no oil or vinegar)
- Salmon, green beans, small salad
- Steak, broccoli
- Grilled chicken, mixed veggies
- Flame Broiler: Brown rice bowl w/ white meat chicken and green onions
- Chipotle: Burrito bowl w/ brown rice, salsa, corn, and cheese (obviously, suit your own taste here, but avoid the tortillas and go easy on the beans)
- Omelette w/ bacon and low fat cheese
- Pork rinds (I hate them, but my wife made them a fairly regular snack)
- Fruit (not too much though . . . hidden sugars!)
This is just the basic outline, you can always add your own preferences within these basic guidelines. Remember, it's mostly about burning more calories than you take in, and avoid the stuff you know you shouldn't be eating anyway.
Cheat Days: We limited ourselves to one "day off" per month to eat whatever we wanted. What we found is that we didn't want to eat too much. A couple pieces of pizza, or an In-N-Out burger, usually satisfied the cravings and we were good to go again.
Challenges: I'm not going to lie to you, the first two or three weeks are VERY difficult. You'll feel hungry quite a bit . . . so drink lots of water. But then you'll see some results, your body gets used to the change, and it gets a lot easier. After a couple months, we didn't even want the cheat days anymore. Besides, you're eating steak, chicken, Subway . . . it's not exactly that "cabbage soup diet" that was all the rage a few years ago.
So while we're at it, here's a sample workout plan (this is before I started the marathon training):
MONDAY: 30 minutes treadmill or elliptical machine, 30-40 minutes weight training (arms/shoulders)
TUESDAY: 30 minutes treadmill or elliptical machine
WEDNESDAY: 30 minutes treadmill or elliptical machine, 30-40 minutes weight training (chest and back)
THURSDAY: 30 minutes treadmill or elliptical machine
SATURDAY: 30 minutes treadmill or elliptical machine, 30-40 minutes weight training (legs and abs)
There are a LOT of different weight training programs to use based on your experience, fitness, and goals. Go to www.muscleandstrength.com for sample workouts.
So, um . . . yeah. That's all there is to it. I'm not telling you it's easy, and there are no shortcuts. Just modify things as necessary to fit your lifestyle, and go for it.
Good luck, and if you're about to jump into a diet plan and change your life, I'd love to hear your story!