The One Year Project

A Personal Experiment in Deadline Transition

Weight Loss – Week 1: How I Lost 6 Pounds in One Week

with 3 comments

Photo by Aaron Van Dike

Photo by Aaron Van Dike

Today marks the end of the first week in this grand experiment of eating healthy and exercising.  I’m rather pleased with the results.  These small but majorly significant changes have contributed to a loss of 6 pounds in the last seven days, dropping from 255lbs to 249lbs.  The first week will almost always see great results so the effectiveness of these changes will be better reflected in weeks 2 – 6.  Nonetheless, 6 pounds in one week is quite the accomplishment.

But…  How did I do it?

In a word, protein.

I’ve cut every bit of bread, cereal, pasta and rice from my diet as well as dairy products.  It was tough, too.  I would binge regularly.  Cakes and cookies, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, butters and breads.  But they had to be cut out.   Why?  In short, there are sugars in each of these items which raise your blood sugar level and increase the production of insulin.  Insulin, in turn, tells your body to start building and storing fats.  You see where this is going.

So, in eating only low-glycemic foods, I was able to save myself quite a bit of fat storage.  But if I shouldn’t be eating the foods I was used to eating, what exactly could I eat?  Is it really more expensive to eat healthy?  Could I even afford to do this?

What I’m Eating

I had no idea what I was going to eat and years of neglecting my responsibility to make healthy choices left me overwhelmed.  I was determined to get my ass in gear and really lose weight, though.  When Sunday morning rolled around, the first official day in this one year project, I headed almost directly from bed to the grocery store.

My goals were to buy plenty of proteins and plenty of vegetables, but beyond that I was clueless.  I didn’t know whether or not it was possible for me to buy a week’s worth of food on the cheap that actually tasted good and represented a sustainable change in my diet.  After some searching around and some comparison, here’s what I left with:

  • 4 cans of cut green beans
  • 4 cans of french style green beans
  • 2 cans of peas
  • 4 pounds of ground turkey
  • 4 3lb jars of pre-cooked pinto beans
  • 10 turkey sausage patties

All of this cost roughly $45 which I felt was completely reasonable and sustainable.

I’ve never been much of a cook though, when I got home I wondered how exactly I’d cook it.  I’ve never been good with a stove and frankly, I’m too lazy to put up with much of a mess.  If cooking caused a huge mess, then this eating plan would be unsustainable.  I wanted to figure out a way to minimize clean up before it buried my weight loss dreams.

And, behold!  From the upper shelf of the kitchen cabinet above the sink a heavenly light shone down.  There, covered in dust, I found a forgotten George Foreman grill.  It was a perfect way to minimize the mess!

Or so I thought…

The first time I used it it was a dream.  But the second time… disgusting and time consuming.  It was covered in greases and fats and loose meat.  Even worse, it had kind of caked on.  If I planned on losing any weight cleaning would have to be as simple as possible.  And this is where I present the single most helpful tip of week 1:

When finished cooking on a George Foreman grill, unplug it from the wall and place a wet paper towel inside.

Seriously.  When you go back to it all the mess slides right off.  It doesn’t take more than 10 seconds to clean and involves about as much effort as it does to slide your hand across a laptop trackpad.

Typical Week One Meal

Typical Week One Meal

Over the course of the week, I slowly developed a habit of eating only twice a day, 1000 calories for each meal (2000 calories per day).  I hadn’t planned it. It just kind of happened.  I’m never hungry, though.   The typical meal is comprised of 2 turkey burgers, 2 cups of pinto beans, and 1 or 2 cups of vegetables (either green beans, peas, or broccoli).  I usually eat a couple apples as a dessert.  Apples, while having sugar, haven’t seemed to effect the plan much and seem to be listed as a low-glycemic food on many of the lists I’ve viewed.  This week I’ll start including junk days.  These will exist for the purpose of spiking my metabolism so that it doesn’t downregulate.  This way I’ll keep losing.

Exercise?

While I’m certain this would work without exercise (though with less impressing results), I’ve exercised every day this week.  It’s a shame that it’s winter and very cold hear because I enjoy walking a lot. When the whether gets warmer I’ll be outside walking or jogging for at least 60 minutes.  But it’s still winter, so I had to improvise.  I’m starting with something simple and working my way up.

Each morning I’ve been using SparkPeople’s Jump Start Cardio Workout.  It’s a 10 minute workout.  I’m already seeing some physical improvement by using this video.  The first day I was almost completely wore out by it.  By the sixth day it had started feeling more like fun than work and my movements were faster.  I’m able to do most of the high intensity movements and, by the beginning of week three, will likely be doing the video twice back to back in the morning and once in the evening.

I also incorporate some strength training exercises on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  For now, just three sets of 30 crunches and a 15 second modified plank.  A modified plank is a hellish exercise if you aren’t in shape.  It will get your heart pounding faster than the cardio and crunches combined.

So, this is where I’m at so far.  On to week two.

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Written by J. Bentley

December 22, 2008 at 4:50 am

Posted in Losing Weight

Tagged with , , ,

3 Responses

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  1. Thanks for this great post. I am looking forward to following your progress and cheering you on!

    Meg Appleby

    December 22, 2008 at 10:11 am

  2. Keep up the good work. You will do wonders if you just take one step at a time. In one years time you would be amazed at what a person can do. I lost 130 lbs and ran 11 marathons in a years time, far far far more than I ever dreamed I could even do in a lifetime.

    Great job. I hope you get to your 10,000 mark.

    http://run4change.wordpress.com

    run4change

    December 22, 2008 at 1:53 pm

  3. […] Weight Loss – Week 1: How I Lost 6 Pounds in One Week … – Dec 22, 2008 · Over the course of the week, I slowly developed a habit of eating only twice a day, 1000 calories for each meal (2000 calories per day). I hadn’t planned it…. […]


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