Someone recently asked me this on Facebook. Could she, honestly, lose 30 lb. in two months? Obviously it depends how much you’ve got to lose. Assuming you’re only 30 lbs. away from your final goal, and you don’t have four score and seven years to dump your dump truck of an ass, I say yes, you can do it. But by the end, you’ll want to dropkick a puppy.
When I was at my most hardcore, I lost 3-4 lbs. per week. Consistently. All the bullshit about only losing 2 lbs. per week, because then it’s a healthy rate, and you’re likely to stick with it, is just that, a hot steamy pile of bullshine. Because I’ve gone that 2 lb. per week route, and it left me back at the same place all the quick diets left me: back at the Weight Watchers start. One just took way longer to get me to goal.
Yes, I lost 3-4 lbs. a week without exercise and had 30lbs. to shed. What did I eat?
2 whole eggs for breakfast, yolks and all, with a whole grapefruit, Fourbucks 2 shots espresso with skim milk, Splenda, and 1 slice whole wheat toast. That’s bfast.
Lunch: salad with red peppers, cucumber, artichoke hearts, water chestnuts, a few pine nuts, dressing used sparingly OR fruit at the bottom real yogurt with an apple OR 2 protein shakes, 100 cal each, plus salad OR salad with cut up Boca burger
Dinner: fish, steamed veggies, lemon, boring hell. Or grilled chicken and non-fat Greek yogurt sauce with dill and garlic. More boring. Eggs. I was American Dairy Farmers wet dream.
And I’d have a glass or 2 of wine. Yes, really. Not all the time, but when I wanted to. But, I never ever let the buzz drive me to the cabinets.
After weigh-in each week, I would eat whatever the fook I craved all week. Sometimes I’d even keep a cravings list during the week to remind myself of what I wanted. Cupcakes. Whatever I wanted. I won’t say I gorged, but I gave myself full permission to gorge. The truth is, though, once clothes felt looser and I felt proud and happy about my progress, after a weigh-in, I didn’t want to gorge. I wanted to go clothes shopping! Though, after the shopping (where I wouldn’t necessarily buy things, but would try on different looks and sizes) I usually gorged on sushi, with the rice, the spicy mayo, as much as I wanted, but I was back on, straight up, come morning.
I did exercise some, but never consistently. Wogged with Linus (walk jogged) here and there. No routine. I had a personal trainer during some of that time, but it wasn’t cardio. We did circuit weight training, with a focus on pilates moves. Water aerobics will only make you fatter.
Also, and this is key for me, I think it’s a brain thing. How many times have we vowed to start, been absurdly letter-book good, only to little by little slip back to our old habits and haunts?
1) You need to suck it up and get on a scale in front of someone, WEEKLY
2) You have to write down every single thing you consume (including your water intake–sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger)
3) Start a motivation page (online, in a sticker book, a scrapbook, whatever) something you can look at every day, that you can add to nightly, with magazine clippings, photos, etc. When I wanted to be "bad" at night, I stuck to a scrapbook of things I wanted instead of eating. It kept me on task.
4) 100 cal. protein shakes/puddings with 15g protein (protein keeps you full without raising your insulin levels. When you have too much insulin, you crave sugars, AND your body is incapable of burning fat). I link to my favorite brand. If I’m on the run, I’ll eat them as puddings, or throw a vanilla packet into my coffee. I’m crazy like that. Two of these protein shakes in the morning, then lunch, another shake mid-afternoon or when I get home ravenous, then dinner. I lose weight, without fail, when I do this. And these shakes TASTE AWESOME. I love them and have compared them to many others, some that might look better on paper but taste like bung hole.
5) Go to bed slightly hungry. This is hard, but if you do it, you will lose weight, AND you’ll race out of bed come morning to devour the most important meal of the day.
6) Swimming, water aerobics, shit in the water will only make you ravenous and helps store fat. It’s an evolutionary fail. It’s not my rule. Want to look good in a bathing suit? Avoid the pool. I know plenty of people who swear by it, and it is wonderful exercise, but it ain’t for weight loss.
7) Go clothes shopping. It doesn’t matter if you have a budget. It doesn’t matter if you have zero intention of buying. What matters is that you keep motivated. Try on different looks, different brands, different sizes. I’m betting you burn good calories lugging around piles of clothes, then heaving yourself in and out of them. If you’re jean shopping, count on sweating more than the pig who built his house out of straw.
8) Pick a health goal. Something that has nothing to do with weight-loss but instead focuses on being healthy. For me, it was being able to do a pull up. No jumping, just literally pulling my entire body up with my arms. It can be cutting out sugars for health reasons, I guess. But overall, I think the goal is aimed, not on appearance, but on something of greater value. It’s linked with our self-esteem, the ability to set a goal for ourselves and then reach it. Maybe it’s about taking the furthest parking spot at the grocery store, or cutting all processed foods out of your diet. No more artificial substitutes. The point is, you focus on health.
9) It is always a warning sign when I begin to obsess over recipes and cookbooks and what we’ll eat next; it’s a sign that I’m focusing on the wrong thing. That instead I should redirect that energy. Get a new project, hobby, take a class at night, to keep you out of your apartment/kitchen/habits. Go to the bookstore after work. Or if you’re a writer, work in places that don’t allow food. Redirect the energy into planning a walking route for the family, where you’ll study the different trees, leaves, birds, what the hell ever, as you walk together on the weekend. Use your powers for good.
10) Say no to salt. I’m all for salt, mind you, but if you want to see fast results, you need to nix that shit. That means no steamed veggies from the Chinese restaurant. Why not? Because their steamed veggies always taste 10 times better than your at-home steamed veggies. It’s just not the same thing. They put magic in their water, season their pots. Don’t do it. Here’s the why: because without the salt retaining water, you will feel less bloated, clothes will fit better. And when you feel that way, you stay motivated.
If I consistently followed all of the above, I’d still be a size 4. The fact is, it’s not about knowing the answers, it’s about living them. And the way I live them, truly, is by scrapbooking everything that motivates me. Be it vacation destinations, upcoming events, imagining a reunion sometime in the near future. It’s what gets me to close my laptop and mouth and get on with a lighter life. Am I dysfunctional? Absolutely. But I know what works, when I work it.