This morning’s weigh-in is very encouraging. After Tuesday night’s gorging on pasta, bread, cheese, and salt I was worried what that 4.6-pound weight gain would mean. Now I know that my thyroid is functioning as it should. A 3.6-pound weight loss in the following 24 hours after such a feast is a sign of a healthy metabolism, or so I believe. Yes, it’s still a net gain of over 1 pound, but I have to assume that if I lost 3.6 pounds with little more effort than a bit of home construction labor, nothing heavy, then my body must be accepting this new healthier diet.
Yesterday, Tuesday, I had several strawberries throughout the day and about two ounces of fresh cut pineapple all before dinner. I did have a Coke Zero on a trip to The Home Depot to buy electrical conduit parts and a circular piece of wood. I drank a couple of glasses of water and tea, these are 48-ounce cups. For dinner I mixed up leftover chicken breast with uncooked chicken breast for something new; chicken breast, onions and zucchini sauteed with a small amount unsalted grass-fed butter (Kerrygold), and extra virgin olive oil with fresh oregano and torn basil.
That was all I had, and I spent no time hungry or craving anything other than water. That is something I know about. Water cravings or the lack of them. Having been a thin kid who got fat in a depressive state during my late teens, I lost 60 pounds when I was twenty. I did it by modifying a diet my mom showed me from a magazine. Before I did the diet and read it and then realizing that the reason for the article was that 4 people had died on the diet and it the article was telling that story and how the doctor lost his medical license. To be forthcoming, I don’t remember the article itself that well, only what came after and the reasons I gave at the time for following up on that diet. So the exact details of the article are what I remember, which might not be acurate about the facts of that article. But what I did next made all the difference. This was in 1984 and I went to the public library, this is in Fort Worth and we have a pretty large library downtown, I looked up books on physiology and read about how proteins, fats, sugars, and water are processed by the body. I’m no scholar, and I profess no expertise here, I might have misunderstood it. What I gained was the idea that the doctor in the magazine article was right, that if you drink ice cold water, the body has to shiver internally to raise body temperature, thus burning more calories than room temperature water. His idea of the amounts of water and when to drink it seemed to be reasonable in relation to it was within 30 minutes of getting up in the morning and prior to each meal, drink a 32-ounce glass of ice cold water.
You were to fill your stomach with a large amount of water, making it heavy and full prior to adding food. Cold water causes the body to shiver which means the Thyroid is at work there, and by filling the stomach with all that water you limit space available for food. That would reduce caloric intake as well as nutrients good and bad. Either way, it spoke to me. But I didn’t like his overall diet which seemed very drastic. I modified it.
I took the first three days of that program which is a cleansing induction eating only plain toast for breakfast after consuming a 32-ounce glasses of ice cold water, having the same toast and a half head of iceberg lettuce for lunch after a 32-ounce glass of ice cold water and then repeating lunch at dinner time. His premise was that we have forgotten how to tell the difference between hunger cravings and food cravings due to processed foods and soft-drinks and that this cleanse would reset our cravings. I modified this induction by adding at least two more glasses of water each day and actually I drank more than that. On day two I remember craving water intensely and so I drank more. By the morning of day four, I was ready to eat real food, but I was already waking in the morning thirsty for water before food. So I continued drinking the 32-ounce glasses of ice cold water first thing in the morning.
I maintained the water consumption I had in the induction and just went back to eating, but something had changed. My cravings for sugary foods had abated and actually disappeared. I had eggs that fourth morning about 6 of them scrambled with cheese salt and pepper and paprika. From that day on I just went back to my regular diet only adding the water throughout the day. At the two week mark, I had lost 22 pounds having dropped from my lifetime high at that point of 226 pounds to 204 pounds and two inches in my waist. I continued on and my weight loss slowed but continued until I hit 160 pounds at about the 180-day mark. I was watching the months on the calendar, not the individual days. I lost 66 pounds in 6 months. I had a blip where I’d gotten into an intense relationship and gain 20 pounds, but when we broke up and used the same method and dropped those 20 pounds in two weeks, reinforcing to me that it is a sound method to lose weight. If that’s true, you might as why I’m not just doing that diet now? I’ve asked that question too, and here’s the answer.
I did try it again years later and I’ve found that it stopped working for me. That might be because I’m married. Not to blame her, it’s on me, but I find it impossible to share a life with someone and not share the food. We’re both fat, obese actually, but she didn’t want to do it with me, so I always used that as an excuse not fail at it. It is a diet that requires a lot of strength. The cravings are diabolical and you have to reduce your thoughts to simple phrasings and fight hard to overcome your own shortcomings with hard self-talk. When I did it the first time, I was struggling the entire time, even though it was really easy to do. That’s because my mind was telling me to eat eat eat and telling me to say “F*%& it” and “give up”. By the end of day 1, I wanted to quit. But, how I overcame it was three fold. Positive self-talk about how awesome I’ll be and look when I’m thin, that on day four I can go back to eating anything I want, and that I’ll drink an entire glass of water each time I get a craving. I drank a lot of water, I peed a lot but I made it to day four. At that point, I craved water more than I’d ever craved food.
Craving water more than I’d ever craved food, that was the real story. Food is almost ubiquitous in our society but water isn’t. Sure you can buy it at the store, but it’s in competition with softdrinks of all kinds, and from tea and water, energy drinks and alcohol. It’s under seige and we might be missing something as a society when it comes to the value of water not just for hydration but as a habit control mechanism. It worked for me twice. It might work again now that I’m thinking about it. I’ll add this last articaft. After the second time doing the water diet, I kept that weight off for 10 years until I quit smoking. I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, I just always kept drinking the same amounts of water. Mostly because of the cravings for it, but also I just didn’t want to backslide. But, it worked for me.
Today I’m doing Paleo, or so I’m told. It’s not as dramatic as the water diet, but it seems to be having a positive effect on me. I’ll keep going and see where it leads me.
Here are today’s numbers.