I should start by introducing myself. My name is Sean and Monica (of this blog) is my sister. We’re probably as different from eachother as two people can be and still be related, though. I’m a little older than her but I’m probably half as mentally mature as she is. She seems to have it all together, and I’m still squabbling over what the definition of ‘it’ is.
One thing I have learned however is that I greatly desire having the ability to look at myself in the mirror without wanting to punch the mirror. Or myself. Or both at the same time (I do have two fists after all!). So, in seeking that goal over the years I’ve tried a variety of different diets and exercises (and combinations) to try to lose weight and get myself into a shape that looks vaguely more human and less cave troll.
For the past 6 weeks I’ve been trying to follow a new (to me) diet called the Rosedale Diet, named after Dr. Ron Rosedale. I won’t go too much into who he is other than say he’s got a book and a website, and I believe both came out around 2005 so he’s been around a little while. Additionally, their website has a pretty cool support section (forum, faq, q&a) almost like they were a support center for software or another product you’d get online.
In basic terms, it’s an anti-sugar diet. You’re heavily restricted the first 3 weeks and then still pretty restricted as to what you can and can’t eat after that. However, the theory behind it is that by removing sugar as something you’re consuming a ton of daily (and basically, eating ‘normally’ in today’s society that’s exactly what you do, consume a ton daily) your body shifts back into what it’s supposed to do: burn fat. By only eating protein and fat, and limiting the protein to just what your muscles need to keep going, your body has no choice but to burn the fat you eat along with what’s left on you – provided you’re restricting your caloric intake (meaning eat less than your body needs to consume daily).
I started this plan on 7/21/12 and the first two days of it were extremely difficult for me. I was doing this calculation on how much protein I could eat from some formula on his website, which limited me tremendously in how much I could eat (as I’d hit my protein cap very fast trying to do much meat during the day). I discovered late that second day that the book had a much different formula that granted me another 40 or so grams of protein per day, which made all the difference.
In the book, he recommends doing 15 minutes of strenuous exercise after dinner so that your body is in a higher metabolic fat burning mode all through evening/sleep. I chose not to do that and instead stick with my 30 minutes of strenuous exercise an hour before dinner.
I can’t pinpoint exactly what gives me the bigger benefit, but I always fall back on what a doctor I once had told me. Fat loss is simply a math equation. Take in less calories than you burn, and you will lose weight. So primarily I believe the secret is in diet. Exercise helps, but in a mostly unquantifiable way. I can see how many calories I put in and gauge what that does. I can’t see how many more I’m burning and for how long via exercise. I know it’s happening but I can’t track it.
At any rate this plan I’ve been on works tremendously well for me. I’ve been averaging a loss of 3-4 pounds per week when on it strictly (if I take a cheat meal or two during the week it drops to 1-2 pounds).
Different people will have different results, surely. But I can honestly say having tried many different diets over the years (and shockingly, all of them worked great while I was on them) this one has shown me the most promise with also the most significant results. The first week I lost 6.5 pounds. The second week I lost an additional 4 pounds, and the third I lost another 4.5 pounds. This put me at 15 pounds in 3 weeks. The fourth week I only ended up losing .5 pounds, but there were two days I didn’t exactly follow the plan so that might have upset it. The fifth and sixth week were back up to 4 pounds per week.
I don’t know how long the 4 pounds a week thing will continue, as every diet I’ve read about or been on in the past has said 1-2 pounds a week is normal/expected loss and more is dangerous. One thing that’s really hard to keep in perspective is that your body doesn’t just get fat overnight, it takes a long time of steady behavior to become overweight. So, in reverse, it won’t be a fast process either. I just get impatient.
Update: I wrote the bulk of this a month or two ago after being on the diet regularly with no cheating or difficulty staying on it. Like all things with me, this wasn’t bound to continue forever. I’ve been waffling back and forth on it lately, lost some of my motivation for various reasons. However my faith in the plan hasn’t been lost, I do believe it’s the best thing I can do for myself. I just have problems committing long term to things, obviously. And taking that first step again is always the hardest thing in the world for me. However, I’m still down about 25 pounds because of this diet primarily and I’m at the point where I’ve been debating the next step – increased exercise/activity at a gym or other bigger step (for me).