Sunday, May 11, 2008
Detox Diet – Works for me!
<--- Since 2001 I have kept data like this one. I weigh myself every morning and then average the numbers every week. I plot this weekly weight in a graph as you see here (for 2005 in this case).
Back in 2001 I had ballooned to 225 lbs. I then started running, to lose weight. In one year I was down to 175 lbs and fell in love with running. I never really dieted. Weight got off as I was running. Since then, I have tried to lose weight (so I can run better) without any success… I tried different things: Calorie counting, fasting, not eating after 5 pm. Each method worked for a while, but I was soon back to where I started.
Things changed about this time last year my wife introduced me to the Detox diet. Here is what I wrote about this diet last year (4/07):
----- My wife put me in this 11 day (Detox) diet, 11 days ago. She told me what to eat (and what not to eat) and she even prepared the food for me. All I had to do was eat what I was served (that's easy) and resist the temptation to snack (I cheated, of course, but only a little bit and mostly with healthy foods, and none of the forbidden sugar-loaded snacks!)
At 175 lbs 5'10" I do not really need to lose weight for health reasons but I WANT to lose weight so I can run faster. My running friends are 132 and 140 lbs. So I started with a 7 day diet, followed a fast (last Tuesday - did not eat anything, that was tough, but I made it), followed by 3 more days of diet. The last day was yesterday.
I started at 174 lbs and ended up at 168 lbs. That might not sound too much, but I was not overweight to start (I have heavy bones :)) and I have never been steadily under 170 for as long as I can remember. So it feels great!
I don't think there are any great secrets in this diet (even though the author of the book/plan puts a lot of emphasis in the "detox" part and avoiding gluten (I don't know what it is but I know I could not eat bread.)) I ate (and will continue to eat) two (organic :)) eggs for breakfast, salads & lean meat for lunch & dinner and I did not snack in-between (just drinking lots of water). We did switch to organic fruits & vegetables and filtered water. I stopped drinking the whole milk cocoa that I love (as a matter of fact, I stopped chocolate completely and I don't miss it) and sugar-loaded products. And I ate smaller portions. I think this is a change for life. In this diet I was eating something like 2,000 calories a day instead of the standard 3,500-4,000 calories I would normally eat. ------
<--- 2007 weight graph. The first drop is the first Detox Diet that help me permanently lose 6 lbs. I started at 174 lbs and ended up at 168 and managed to keep the weight off. This is the first time I was under 170 lbs. My running improved and was able to PR in every distance I raced. I tried the diet again in September but did not manage to keep off the weight.
While I was in this diet, I was of course losing weight, and was not feeling particularly hungry, but my running was definitely affected. I could not run long runs, or run fast, due to lack of energy. In the end, I lost 6 lbs (from 174 to 168 lbs) and I emerged a stronger runner, going on to improve my PR in every distance I raced, except for the Marathon.
I tried the same diet in September of last year (after my marathon) and even though I lost weight while on the diet, I gradually gained all the weight back, maybe because I returned to my old eating habits (chocolate, etc) right when the diet ended.
Spring forward one year. I decided to do the diet again... Some people might question the wisdom of dieting and losing weight 3 weeks before a marathon. I figured, a diet (aimed to lose weight, including a fasting day) is like a long training run. It would be a mistake to diet the week before the marathon. But if I do it 3 weeks ahead of time (just like the last long run), I still have time to "recover" (from the diet, meaning to regain strength and restore my glycogen supplies, not necessarily regain weight - OK, maybe a pound or two)
<--- Recent round of Detox diet has helped me lose 5 lbs. Hopefully, this loss will stick.
So I started Monday two weeks ago. My weight was 169 lbs (I had reached a peak of over 171 lbs just a week or two before). I did a fast 10 mile training run last Wednesday and I felt surprisingly strong. I was busy in a conference last weekend so I could not do a very long run and did not eat much. Tuesday was my fast day, and I went for a 10 mile run without problems. The morning after the fast I was 161 lbs!
Like last year, the thing I like about this diet is that I am not hungry. Yes, when I go to bed at night I feel a bit hungry (since I am not snacking in the evening) but overall I am fine during the day. This year, I am seeing something new: My running has not been affected, while on the diet. Of course, I have not run over 10 miles, but I feel fine running 10 miles relatively fast.
Bottom line: I lost 5 lbs (from 169 to 164) and I hope to keep it off by eating sensibly. I also hope that this weight loss will help me get closer to my goal of a 3:30 marathon.