Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Knowledge is Power

My weight on Mars (July 2013). That makes 927 reasons to go to Mars.
There really is still only one rule, I promise. But, just as every law requires regulations to implement it, so too that One Rule requires a few guidelines to have it's maximum impact.

Guideline, The First (Primus):

Get on a scale at least once a week. Knowing how far you've gone requires knowing where you started. If you're the overly analytical sort (like me) you can do it more often; however, in that case, you must keep a careful record and look at the trend over several days, as your weight can easily vary by several pounds just based on varying degrees of hydration and the physical weight of food still in your digestive tract.

Regardless of how often you weigh yourself, in order for the comparisons to be meaningful, it's important that the circumstances be as uniform as possible. First thing in the morning with no clothes and an empty bladder, is usually the easiest. Even then, be aware that water retention can vary from day-to-day if your salt and/or water intake varies (water weighs 8.3lbs/gallon).

My own... personal... nightmare

It may seem innocent, but a simple bathroom scale can be one of the most terrifying objects imaginable. Hyperbole aside, it was certainly an emotional experience for me getting on a scale for the first time in several years. It was made even more so by the need to hunt down a scale that would accommodate my (quarter-)tonnage. But in the end, it had to be done and I'm better for the experience and knowledge.

You can do it!

Monday, January 6, 2014

One Rule to Rule Them All

The bad news...

No carbs? What do you mean, no carbs? To be fair, eating zero carbs is nearly impossible without resorting to extreme measures. That said, if you're doing it right, most of your carbs will be coming from green vegetables. That's right, spinach has carbs. Not many, but if your goal is a maximum of 30 grams per day -- and yes that is your goal -- they add up pretty quickly.

The good news...

It really is easier than it sounds. The first week will require some willpower, but after that sticking to the one rule should be mostly an issue of keeping the sugar pushers at bay. Repeatedly explaining to people that they're not helping by offering whole grain bread and sugared-up low-fat alternatives can be more harrowing than resisting strolling down the cookie aisle at the supermarket.

Here it is...

One simple rule: Don't eat sugary foods!

What is a "sugary" food? It's anything that you would think of as sweet, starchy (starch is basically sugar by another name), or glutenous* (anything containing grain or flour).

You can do it!

*Gluten itself is actually a protein, I'm describing the general class of food products. Most gluten-free products will contain just as many carbs as their traditionally prepared counterparts. It's the grain that you're really trying to avoid.