Every year for the last few years I have used January and February as month to diet, take off a few extra pounds from the holidays and generally clean-out my system. This year I wanted to drop my target weight a few extra pounds from 180 lbs to 175 lbs. To that end here is my approach for January:
Eight(ish) Hour Diet – I just read about the Eight Hour diet in Men’s Health the other day. The basic concept is that you have an eight hour window within which you can eat whatever you want. For the other sixteen hours a day you don’t eat anything. I haven’t read the book but they claim some benefits from the fasting for a sixteen hour period. On this I remain skeptical. I do, however, expect that the total calories consumed drop significantly simply by dropping the window in which you can eat. I tried it this last week and it is, overall, doable although an eight hour window is a little difficult to make work on days that you aren’t in a more structured schedule or environment. So I have adopted it for the five days a week that I am at the office with a little flexibility to a nine hour day as needed. Generally that sets me up from a 10AM to 7PM window for eating which works for me. On the weekend I am to keep the spirit of the diet and simply not eat after my evening meal.
No Alcohol – For the last few years I have taken time during January or even longer to abstain from drinking and generally detox my body. In addition to getting better sleep I probably drink another 3/4 of a pound a week ~ 2600 calories – in wine or beer. So eliminating this is an easy low hanging fruit and has the positive benefit of detoxing my body.
Calorie Counting – As I have done in years past I plan to track my calories using a Google Docs spreadsheet. A few years back I lost a bit over forty pounds using this system and since then I have managed to keep it off. So this is just the same system that I have used.
Posting Progress – When I did this last year to shed a few extra holiday pounds I also started to post progress to Facebook on a weekly basis. This had the effect of both having me commit publicly to the goal and to gain encouragement throughout the process. This year I plan to post notices to the blog, my Twitter account and to Facebook to spread the word and keep me motivated.
I started on January 2nd – January 1st is to cliche and there was football to be watch and beer to be drunk. On that day I started at 183.3. As of this morning I weighed 182.1 which is on track for what I expected to lose. My plan is to lose about a pound and a half a week and get down to about 175 lbs by the end of the month. I will keep posting status updated as I go and let everyone know how things progress!