Are you upset with yourself for having gained weight over the holidays? Maybe you’re not upset, but you definitely think it’s time to get things back under control.
Fun was had, and now you have to undo what’s been done.
We just let it go
I know how you feel. My wife and I wanted to behave ourselves between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we had other plans that got in the way. Like how we wanted to make Christmas cookies and fudge. Finally we just decided we’d generally take it easy but not stress the non-plan foods, knowing that in January we’d get back on track.
You’re getting back on it too. Visits to the site literally tripled on January 1 from the entire two months prior. You’re going to lose the holiday weight, and I’m going to tell you how.
It’s not very difficult to lose weight quickly
I sort of accidentally found the most effective way I’ve ever encountered to drop substantial weight quickly. It’s not sustainable for me (I hear some people do this as a lifestyle, but I can’t), but anyone can do it for a week or two. And the results have been astounding.
Not only did I lose all of the holiday weight I gained (5 lbs) in the first couple days, I’m actually less than I was before Thanksgiving.
I say I accidentally found it because in reality I wasn’t looking for it. At least not specifically the most effective way I’ve ever come across. Tim Ferriss’ Christmas app comes with a week-long plan that he was using to get people to drop fat before Christmas. My kindle didn’t come until just before Christmas, so I decided I’d use New Year’s Eve as the first (cheat) day and go from there.
Here’s the secret you’re looking for:
The one I am currently following is the one in Tim’s 4 Hour Chef teaser app. I’m not going into all the detail, because you should just get the app for that. I will tell you how I’m carrying out the fast, though.
The protocol starts with our good friend, the cheat day.
The second day is an almost-full-day fast. You start the day with a liter of water and then some green tea. I drank water and tea (yerba mate, actually) all day. I even played football in the morning and had plenty of energy (I like to think I’d been storing it up for a while). The only time I ate was just before bed. I had a small amount of chicken, maybe half a breast or less, and some kimchi.
The third day you get to eat. Start with water again, and around mid-morning eat a smallish meal. 8 hours later, eat a large meal. You’ll want a pretty big one by then. My small meal was less than a chicken breast and cauliflower, and my dinner was the rest of that one plus another breast in a curry my wife made. I was still hungry, so I ate half of a grapefruit. Once you’re done with dinner, you’re done eating for the day.
The fourth, fifth, and sixth day are very similar. The only difference is exercise, but I’m not doing any this time (I was curious how well it would work). You’ll finally get three meals a day! You eat around mid-morning the largest meal of the day, and your other two are moderately sized. Your window for eating is only 8 hours. So for example, I ate at 10:30, 2, and 6:30.
The seventh day is just like your third day.
Then you can start over with your cheat day and enter a new week.
Notes and nuances
There are a few things I should point out about my version of this intermittent fasting protocol.
Tim talks about three supplements in particular during the fast:
- Athletic Greens or something similar
- Protein shake (whey isolate)
I should note that I didn’t take any of the supplements. I was going to do the branched chain amino acids and some type of greens powder mix, but I couldn’t find them when I went to the (non-health-foods) store. Had I found some, I’d have been taking them. The protein shake would only be consumed after a workout.
Most days had some type of workout, but I only did the ones that for me fell on non-work days. Sort of. The full fast day had a strength circuit, but I played football for 3 hours. The three days you got to eat the most have kettlebell or HIIT workouts, and all of them have you doing some type of quick cardio.
The workouts are supposed to be timed specifically, and that wasn’t going to work in my schedule. Instead of try to figure out when else I could do them, I took the lazy route and didn’t. If I do this again, I’ll be more diligent in getting the workouts straight. I’m sure they would have helped more.
How I felt
This was the most intriguing bit to me. The full fast day was by far the easiest day not to cheat. I don’t know if it was because I was still burning sugar from the cheat day or what, but I never felt hungry nor did I feel short on energy.
Once I started eating, though, it was a completely different story. The 8 hours between my meals on the second day was the hardest 8 hours of the experiment. Even eating large quantities of food when I get to eat across a span of 8 hours (days 4, 5, and 6) I feel hungry within about 3 hours. My stomach doesn’t necessarily feel empty, but it feels like I need to eat. My only assumption is that it became familiar with the 16 hour fast and didn’t like that.
Can I recommend it?
Absolutely. This was my first experiment with Intermittent Fasting, and I really, really like it for a way to quickly drop some weight. I won’t live this way forever, but I’ll probably do one every couple months just to see how they keep working. It’ll probably be a nice way to break a plateau.
Oh yeah, you might be curious about how much weight I lost last week on the protocol:
What about you? Have you done any IF? What questions do you have about it?