Here’s Andrew’s final update for his 31 day attempt to lose 20 pounds:
Start weight on Feb 28th was 200.8 lbs. Today’s weight: 193 flat.
I aimed for a 20 lb loss in 31 days. Was the book even 50% correct? No. Was the book even 40% correct? Just about right. I lost 7.8 lbs out of the desired 20 lbs.
Did I adhere to the regimen perfectly? Yes.
Did I employ a cheat day each week per the book? Yes.
Did I use the recommended dosage of vitamins and supplements? Yes.
Did I employ ice baths and ice packs? I used ice packs occasionally and only used one hellish ice bath as the book only called for those techniques to lose that grueling last 10 lbs
Did I do exercises before and after meals i.e. air squats and push-ups? 98% of the time.
What went wrong? I suppose my body needed some time during the 1st week to even get into the swing of things. I did experience a lot of weight swing throughout the process. However, and despite the rather large jerks up and down, the end result was very good.
I feel great. I added a bunch of muscle. My energy is through the roof. My heart rate is better than when I started. I sleep better. Allergy season barely affected me. I do not tank during the day or yawn after meals. When I do eat, the food is piled high, I leave the table stuffed and I am hungry by the next meal.
7.8 lbs in a month is successful if you ask me.
April’s goal is to lose 12 and then May’s goal is to lose an additional 5 so I end up at 175, down from the original 200.8.
Total inches lost (used a neck, waist at naval, waist at widest part, both upper arms, both forearms, both calves, both thighs and my shoulder width):
Total inches: 249, 248.5, 248.5 ,246.25 ,246.25 ,247.75
Why the fluctuation in inches? 1) measuring yourself with a tailor’s tape is a pain in the ass. 2) I dropped fat but I added muscle in my thighs, gluts, calves and biceps.
Good luck everyone and I will post my results at the end of April.
Congratulations to Andrew! His effort has been amazing, and his results, while not a miracle, seem very strong to me. Even the most concerted weight loss efforts normally can’t (and shouldn’t!) cause a loss of more than two pounds of fat per week, although The Four Hour Body asserts that it can accelerate healthy weight loss well beyond that mark.
Andrew’s success rate so far is about 1.76 pounds net body weight per week, and it seems likely that he gained more than enough muscle to put him over 2 pounds of fat loss per week. Especially sustained over a month, these are great results, despite the limitations of scales for measuring fitness (see “Why Weighing In Is a Poor Way to Measure Progress“. After all, the other available options aren’t much better in most respects, unless you can manage and afford professional bodyfat measurements on a regular basis).
What I don’t think we saw over this past month was a validation of any mind-blowing results of the Slow Carb Diet as laid out in Tim Ferriss’ book The Four Hour Body. This isn’t to say I think it’s a bad plan: on the contrary, I’m following it myself at the moment (though in more limited ways than Andrew), and generally speaking, the people I know on it have experienced increased energy and strength, though only sometimes actual weight loss. Better yet, people using the diet seem (in my limited experience so far) to be largely free from hunger and to enjoy their “off-day” or “cheat day” enormously.
The biggest drawback I know of so far is the “carb hangover” that can last for up to two days after cheat day (so three days in all–nearly half the week), resulting in low energy and less buoyant mood. Also, people I know who are following this plan, as I mentioned, are not all losing weight. However, if one follows it as carefully and energetically as Andrew, speedy weight loss (speaking in relative, healthy terms) does seem to be possible. How much of it is simply limiting calories through eating very healthy meals of protein, vegetables and legumes, and how much is exploiting human body chemistry through Ferriss’ many special tactics? I don’t know, and I’ll be interested to eventually find out.
And especially of interest here, how did Andrew manage to adhere so effectively to his diet plan? That’s a subject I hope to discuss with him soon, but his clear goal, his comfort with the idea that the goal was an ideal and not a restriction, and his constant sharing of his progress probably helped. I hope to talk to him more about the subject; stay tuned.
Photo by Bristol Motor Speedway & Dragway