Two days ago, back from a 4-week vacation to Greece, I approached my faithful and precise scale with a clear, pre-determined thought in my mind: "If I am over 77.5 kilograms, I will start a strict diet to bring me back to below 72!".
As I stepped atop it, the bitch blinked, thought it over for a moment, and then the large liquid-crystal display informed me that my weight was 77.6 kilograms. The smallest division of the scale condemned me, as I could do little to avoid the just punishment: that scale is really precise -I have determined in the past that it errs at most by a couple of hundred grams, with a rather convincing statistical method. 0.5 standard deviations above my threshold. Maybe unlucky, but that's it. When I promise things to other people I may occasionally disattend them, but if I promise something to myself, I usually make every effort to hold my word!
So I am on a strict diet. What do I do to lose weight ? I will tell you, but please don't come over here with patronizing thoughts on why what I do is wrong and what would be better etcetera - I have known my body for quite a while now, and I know what works for me and what does not; I know my lifestyle, and I have no time to waste with dietologists. Don't get me wrong -most of them do an excellent job, but I really have no time to waste!
My diet consists in a the following. In the morning I allow myself a light breakfast, composed by one or two cups of coffee plus a croissant with fruit jam or similar piece of pastry; the total calories of this does not exceed 250. At lunch, I only have a pack of crackers, for 200 more calories. I then do not touch anything until dinner, when I just try to eat less food than I normally would. I eat lots of vegetables, little pasta or rice, as little meat as possible; I completely avoid alcohol, bread, and sweets. If I am really starving after dinner, I eat an apple or a similar fruit. The total calories count at the end of the day is of about 1200.
1200 calories will not get you a feeling of starvation, or only occasionally so during the day. It is about 900 less than what I think I normally consume with my daily activities, which are mostly sedentaries but include about one hour of walking to get to work and back. 900 calories spared per day should get me to lose about 100 grams a day, and that is a proven fact, as you can check by yourself in the graph below. In the graph you see my weight monitored since June 14th, 2002. There are three big downward steps, which correspond to tight diets I took in 2002, 2005, and 2006, plus a few smaller ones. The downward trend of the big diets corresponds to a very steady and close to 100-gram-a-day loss.
So how long do I think my diet will last ? I think I will be happy to get back to 72 kilograms in the matter of two months. This, allowing for a 2-kilograms rebound in the course of the following 8-10 months, should keep me rather in good shape for over one year.
If I remember to do that, in two months I will post here an update of my weight graph... Let's see how well I fared!
Update, 29 october 2010: okay, two months have passed, and here is my updated graph:
And here is a zoom-in on the last two and a half months:
As you see, I kept my promise. I am now well below 72 kilograms!