March 06, 2004
I'm a loser

Today I reached a goal I set out for on New Year's Day. My own internal resolution for the new year was to lose some weight. My pants were fitting tight after a holiday season fulls of sweets and big meals.

I committed to the simple goal of weighing what it said on my driver's license. It says 165 pounds on the license. Stepping on the scale on New Year's Day I found myself at 192.1 pounds. It seemed daunting at the time.

After 66 days of dieting, this is what I saw this morning:

I feel quite happy to achieve this goal. I don't have a six pack stomach and my ribs don't show, but my clothes are loose and my belts are too big.

To lose the weight I went on the Atkins diet. The science behind it makes sense and the results are obvious. I was very strict about staying on the plan and staying focused. I didn't do any serious exercise besides push-ups and sit-ups before showering in the morning.

As you can see, I lost 27.1 pounds in 66 days at a steady downward trend with no big variation. IMHO, the Atkins diet does work well if you stick to it and don't cheat. One benefit you don't hear about is the fact that the afternoon blahs or the typical food coma people can get after lunch goes away. With your blood sugar at a roughly constant level, you feel alert during the day.

Props to Michele for putting up with the endless cooking of meat and general support while I was doing the Atkins. If she had been against it, I wouldn't have been able to get through it.

I will say that strictly eating on the Atkins diet is hard. I'm sick of meat & cheese. I miss bread and fruit and pasta. You cannot live long term on Atkins and enjoy eating. There are a plethora of 'low carb' foods hitting the market and most of them are crap. Either they are horrible tasting or full of sugar alcohols with a big laxative effect.

At this point, the challenge is to transition to a balanced diet, more like the Zone Diet, where the point is to have a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat at every meal and stay away from tons of processed foods. I'm a sucker for pasta, cookies, and sweets, so I need to maintain some discipline.

My advice to anyone considering using the Atkins diet:

1) Don't cheat. Stay on the diet strictly. If you break the fat burning cycle, you are wasting your time.
2) Cook food in advance, have a few meals ready in the fridge.
3) Avoid the excessive eating of the lo carb sweets (sugar alcohols) they have a formidable laxative effect.
4) Make sure your family is OK with your plans.
5) Set a goal and measure your progress.

With my trip to SXSW less than 6 days away, I'm glad I'll be able to eat somewhat normal there. Woot!

Posted by michael at March 06, 2004 10:27 AM