Thursday, February 25, 2010

Since you asked

I'll admit it, I talk a lot. On twitter, on Facebook, in person.

Yeah, not so much on the blog lately. Weird how I don't seem to have much to say.

One thing I've talked a lot about lately is this funky 12-day weight loss thing I found. I got it free on Kindle right after the first of the year, but right now the bargain paperback is a sweet $6.

I downloaded two or three diet and weight loss type books, and for some reason, this is the one I ended up reading. I never got around to reading the other two. I looked at the reviews on this one, and they all said you'd lose between five and ten pounds in 12 days. Which is great if it's true, but really? There's gotta be something wrong with that. So I put on my hip waders and prepared to slog through some major, er, stuff I didn't believe.

Oddly enough, I not only believed it, but I tried it... and it worked!

He starts by saying you should read the whole book before you do anything, which I recommend. I bookmarked a lot of pages I came back to later.

At the beginning of the book, you take a quiz to determine your body type. Everything else (diet and exercise) is determined by what body type you are. There are three basic body types -- endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph -- but he says most people are a mix of two types. So far so good. I'm a meso-endo, which both shocked me and made me really happy. It means I make new muscle easily and burn fat readily. Not the way I would have bet, but I'll take it!

You eat 5-6 small meals a day -- again, what you eat depends on what body type you are. Here's what I eat for 12 days at a time:

Breakfast: oatmeal, medium fruit, 2 egg whites
Morning snack: 2 oz protein, 1-2 cups greens
Lunch: 2 oz protein, 1/2 cup brown or long-grain rice, 1-2 cups veggies
Afternoon snack: same as morning
Dinner: same as lunch
Evening snack (optional, but I always eat it): medium piece of fruit

He gives you a long list of fruits and veggies that are good (no high-sugar fruits), and protein refers to chicken or fish unless you're an ecto, in which case you can occasionally eat beef.

Now, exercise? This is where it gets "fun."
4-6 times a week I do cardio. 45-60 minutes of it. Now, it's easy cardio -- walking on a treadmill or pedaling a recumbent bike usually -- he specifically forbids anything that gets your heart rate up too high. Ellipticals? Not on this plan! Stair climbers? Not on your life! Apparently you don't burn fat until you've been working for 20-30 minutes, so once I hit the 25 minute mark I'm pretty motivated to stay put because I'M BURNING FAT, BABY! Just try to get me off that bike!

In addition to burning fat though, you have to make new muscle. That means you do muscle building exercise 2/3 of the days. On days 1,4,7, and 10 you do lower and midbody workout; days 2, 5, 8, and 11 are for upper body; and the other days are rest days. Days 3 and 9 are do-nothing rest days; on days 6 and 12 you can do optional cardio (*ahem*fat-burn*ahem*).

You weigh yourself on days 1, 6, and 12. Since your weight can fluctuate from day to day, it's a bad idea to weigh yourself every day. I would think it would be better to weigh yourself on day 13, but what do I know?

I'm now on day 4 of my third iteration through the 12-day plan. The first time I lost 7 pounds, and the second time I lost 8 pounds. Each time, I took some time off in between before starting again, but I've maintained an 11 pound weight loss overall before starting on this round. I'm at a lower weight than I've been for a while, and I hope to eventually get to a much lower weight and lower size, although it's more of a look than a particular number I'm going for.

What's interesting to me is how fast everything changes. Within a few days, I can see a difference in how my clothes fit, and how almost every part of my body looks (lifted, toned, tighter, less cellulite). I've never been motivated to stay on a diet and exercise plan before because I'm impatient and things simply take too long, but that's not the case here.

What about you? Do you have a goal in mind for yourself? Would this be helpful for you? I'm not being paid for my endorsement or anything -- just talking about what's worked best for me.

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