So yeah, I was overweight. Now before you think I’m being overly hard on myself, I was also pretty healthy. Up until the last few months (due to budgetary cutbacks) I went to the gym 3-4 times a week, I ride my bike to work as often as I can, and routinely school the teens in my Youth Group in basketball! 🙂 That being said, though, I have steadily gained weight, a few pounds here and a few there, over the last few years and I knew that it was time to change. So, a few months back, after Lily was born, I scheduled a routine wellness check with our doctor. He told me that everything looked great, except that I was overweight. This means, that while everything looks fine now, things won’t stay that way. I was risking heart disease, putting undue stress on my bad knees, and just not taking care of myself. We chose to wait to have children (yes, there will be more! No, not yet!), after all, and so I need to take care of myself, if I want to be able to keep them on their toes when they are, God forbid, teenagers!
So, Dr. Johnson, who tries to keep himself very healthy, recommended that I try the 17 Day Diet. He said that it was designed for rapid weight loss, and that my body type and exercise level would be a perfect fit for this particular diet. So, I went online and bought the Kindle version from Amazon.
Basically, the diet has four phases beginning with an über strict cycle moving to a more laid-back, balanced, cycle that is a suggestion of how to live everyday. Each phase is easier and more lenient than the previous one, and will usually, therefore, result in less weight loss. The final cycle is aimed at that all-too-tricky concept of maintaining the weight you achieve after you go through the first three cycles.
What I really like about this diet is that you do not have to buy anything special, like supplements. It is very sustainable, and very effective. It can be really, really strict – even more so than the Adkins diet! But it can also be very, very lenient.
One downside, is that the first and second cycles are so protein based that it made my diet VERY monotonous. (I am a pescatarian, which means I am a vegetarian that also eats seafood.) For most people, I do not think the diet would be as monotonous.
The main thing is that it WORKED! Between starting the diet at the end of August and finishing in early November (almost three months of dieting) I lost close to 30lbs! (If I go off the weight I was at the Dr.’s office, it was 30 lbs. I had some clothes on there, though. Based upon my home scale, it was 26lbs.) Either way, it worked! And what is perhaps more important, I learned portion control, and healthy eating habits. After now spending a month in the fourth cycle, which is the maintain cycle (and it is the holidays, so I’m splurging more than I normally would!) I am only about 2-3lbs heavier than my lightest weight!
Looking ahead, if I want to get down to what the Dr. said my ideal body weight is, I need to lose just over 20 more pounds. That is 10 more than my original goal, but hey, why not?! I’ve already had to go down in pant size to the size I wore in High School, put new holes in my belts, and my shirts all either fit wonderfully, or are too large! I suppose having to buy all new clothes wouldn’t be the worst that could happen.
I won’t be going back to cycle one or two anytime soon, though. I’m trying to learn to maintain. I’m hoping that our finances will allow me to be able to return to the gym in the new year, and then I would like to really try to go through the cycles again. Who knows how much weight I might lose! Oh, that reminds me, the suggestion of the Dr. who writes the diet book is to exercise at least 17 minutes a day. I achieved my weight loss by doing a bit more, but I wasn’t going to the gym or doing anything heavy. He does state that for continued weight loss and healthiness, that you should strive for more than this amount of physical activity. That number is simply a beginning goal to get a person used to being more active.
So, I highly recommend this diet. As someone who has never dieted before, I can’t really compare it to anything that I’ve tried. I know about other diets, though, and I know of other diets that worked. I found this one to be very effective at rapid weight loss, and with discipline, at keeping the weight off that you lose. Finally, I should add that the word “discipline” is key here. I think you need to be highly self-motivated and disciplined to succeed at this diet. It begins VERY strict, with almost no room for cheating. You’ll probably need to be disciplined to achieve your goals.
Well, good luck! If I can help at all, let me know.