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How I Lost 12 Pounds in 60 Days… Without Trying

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I either lost a pile of readers with that title or gained a lot of clicks... maybe a bit of both. When I started this blog, I expected to write about health care 2% of the time. I think I'm below that estimate, so I'm going to take advantage by writing an article on health. It seems like the ideal time since many people make New Year's resolutions to lose weight.

From late October to late December, I went from 182 lbs. to 170 lbs.* I am 5' 9", so this gives you an idea that I had a few pounds to lose (still do). This also gives you important context that I didn't go from 400 lbs to 388 lbs, which can happen in a single week on The Biggest Loser. That wouldn't have been as much of an accomplishment.

As I mentioned a few times in the last week, we've had a new baby with the new year. What I haven't mentioned is that we had a difficult pregnancy. My wife had gestational diabetes, which means that she had to ruthlessly watch her carbs, check her sugar about a billion times a day and inject herself with insulin. (Many, many have more difficult pregnancies. Also there are millions who deal with diabetes every day. In the long run, we are lucky, the baby is healthy and the diabetes went away with the birth of the baby. At this point, you'd think it was a normal pregnancy all along. I couldn't ask for a bigger blessing.)

My wife was forced to have a very strict diet. She was to eat 195 grams of carbs a day: 45g at breakfast/lunch/dinner, 15g in snacks two hours after breakfast/lunch, and 30g before bed. Beyond that she found that certain carbs were particularly bad... white bread would spike her sugar count even if it was within the carb budget. Another odd thing about this diet... she had to watch how much fruit she ate. When was the last time you heard of diet that had limits on fruit?

When you are forced with a carb limit, you are essentially forced on an Atkins or South Beach diet. That is if you truly follow the diet. I didn't. It was my wife who had to watch carbs. I never counted my carbs, but I would eat similar foods since we were cooking it anyway. We had chili a few times instead of rarely. We had meatloaf and meatballs. We never ate rice or pasta. We ate bacon... more bacon than we had eaten in our 10 year relationship combined. (Though that may sound like a lot of bacon, it really isn't as much as it seems.)

In the last two weeks where I dropped the most weight, I ate cheeseburger omelets for breakfast. They were simply three ingredients: two eggs, 97% ground sirloin, and provolone cheese. This was essentially a zero carb breakfast. I've since started to make a breakfast casserole of the same ingredients to save on cooking time. If a zero carb breakfast isn't your thing, the casserole works well slapped between two slices of bread.

Two hours later, when it was time for the snack I had a smoothie, getting the most out of my Nutribullet. That smoothie consisted of unsweetened Almond Milk (very low carb and, with tea and True Orange a staple for my wife), whey protein, frozen fruit (blueberries, dark cherries, and strawberries), Greek yogurt (the local Aldi has a tremendously cheap price on Chobani), and some water (you need it for the Nutribullet to work).

Lunch and dinner varied greatly, but the was always "mindfulness" to limit carbs. It's not to say that I didn't have dinner rolls, Halloween candy, and other food that my wife couldn't have. I did. However, most of the time, I was planning meals to limit the carbs.

Is this the most sustainable diet? Probably not. Is it one that a nutritionist would recommend? I can't say. In fact, I'm betting that most would derail the idea of a zero carb breakfast. I imagine they'd suggest having the smoothie with that breakfast, which is something that I did on some days. This is probably more protein than most nutritionists would suggest. I don't intend to imply that this is a perfect diet by any means, but it did seem to work.

It feels odd to write a post about success when it was completely unplanned. It even feels a little hypocritical with the timing of it just a few days after I updated my article on Making a New Year’s Resolution for SMARTER Goals This Year.

* I actually got to 167 lbs. to earn a 15 lb. weight loss badge on my Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale. That weigh-in appears to have been an outlier, so I'm going with the 170 lbs. that I hover around today.

Posted on January 8, 2014.

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9 Responses to “How I Lost 12 Pounds in 60 Days… Without Trying”

  1. Jon-Paul LeClair says:

    Congrats on finding the low carb diet! I don’t call it a diet, it HAS to be a lifestyle. Once you come to the knowledge of how carbs (any, refined sugar, flour, even from veggies) affect insulin and how insulin regulates your fat storage, you’ll realize that the middle section of your grocery store is off limits.

    in 2010 I went from 215 to 175lb in about 5mo. I continued to float down to my current weight of 160lb a few months beyond that and have never looked back! Fat is your friend. Yes eating this way is sustainable. Yes you’re health will improve. Is it a challenge in today’s society/culture? Yes! But it’s easily maintainable.

    Do I enjoy the things I used to (pizza, occasional breads, chips, etc…)? sure… every once in a while and always in moderation. They are now a treat.

    I fully enjoy all the meats and veggies, fats, etc..

    Watch Fat Head the movie on Netflix – it’ll explain more.

    The best part of it… no real plan to follow, no expensive meals to buy. Just common sense.

    Best of luck!

  2. Kosmo says:

    When I got to 167 pounds, I decided that I decided that I needed to drop a few pounds :) I’ve been 5’11”, 145 for most of my adult life and suddenly put on 20 pounds (and not muscle) in about 2 years. I didn’t like the way things were trending. I’m back down to about 152 without any real changes to my lifestyle.

    One “trick” is to stop eating when you are full. I grew up in a very working class family, and “clean your plate” was a common mantra. When you’re an adult and facing a huge entree at a restaurant (or facing the buffet spread belly-first), that’s not always tbe best advice. It’s easy to convince yourself that you NEED to eat the rest of that food, even if you feel full.

    Here’s a question, though – is it worse to waste the remaining food, or eat the food and gain weight. Obviously, the best solution would be to only prepare/order the amount of food you should eat, but sometimes you need to decide between the lesser of two weevils.

    In any case, always eat the bacon. You might get hit by a truck tomorrow.

  3. Lazy Man says:

    At a restaurant, I try to eat half the entree (or 2/3rds) when I see one come my way. I save the rest for lunch the next day. I have a “clean your plate” mentality as well, so it can be tough.

    One thing that I didn’t think of when I wrote the article… we went to fewer restaurants than usual because my wife didn’t have a way to count carbs (unless it was a big chain like Applebee’s). You never knew if a sauce was sugar-based. This may have accounted for a good portion of the weight-loss.

  4. Awesome! Good “work”!(?) :)

  5. Jade says:

    It is a little annoying to me that you say “we” had a difficult pregnancy when you did not watch your carbs the same way she did. You can’t have it both ways: either you go along with what she has to do and you both share the pain; or you don’t and *she* had a difficult pregnancy alone.

  6. Lazy Man says:

    Jade, I’m not sure a family has a pregnancy alone, even our 1 year old was affected. I don’t want to get into details any more than I had, but the complications were more extensive than having to count carbs.

  7. Cathie says:

    I had a similar situation. My son is allergic to corn, soy, rice and nuts. When we discovered that, I did a LOT of research and decided that we would all be wise to limit our intake of these foods. In order to avoid corn and soy, one really has to avoid virtually all packaged foods. I lost 12 lbs, just by eating real food. I don’t diet, and I LOVE butter. I still eat corn and/or soy occasionally, but only organic.
    Congratulations on your new addition! And your weight loss.

  8. Lazy Man says:

    Holy cow that’s a lot of allergies to some very basic ingredients. I’m happy to hear that such a negative diagnosis has had positive results for you. I’m hoping that your son is doing as well with it.

  9. Slinky says:

    Unlike Jade, I don’t think you should necessarily stick strictly to your wife’s diet. Diets are individual things very dependent on body type and metabolism and health. She’s female, pregnant, diabetic and assumedly not trying to lose weight. You’re male, relatively healthy (assuming) and could stand to lose some weight. In this case, there seems to have been a fair amount of overlap for a healthy diet, but you should make sure everyone is getting what they need rather than slavishly going along for “moral support”.

    Of course, I say this because I once tried a similar diet for exactly that reason and it wasn’t good for me at all. I was constantly tired and hungry, even right after eating and I didn’t feel right. Fuzzy headed and out of it, you know? Not everyone is built the same or works the same way or needs the same things. Moral support is great…to a point.

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