March 2016 Update: How Michael's Doing Today
What weight are you at now?
171 pounds. The total weight I've lost since starting the Day-Off Diet is about 24 pounds.
How's the diet going?
At this point I consider myself at a good, healthy weight for my age and height. I can still afford to lose another five pounds or so, but I'm going at a much slower weight-loss pace compared to the first eight weeks of the diet and I'm totally OK with that. I've shifted my goals from primarily focusing on just losing weight to a goal of maintaining and toning. I have hit the gym harder than ever before, and instead of just cardio I've added a regimen of weight training and I'm gaining the muscles to prove it.
Have you hit any roadblocks or problems along the way?
Everyone has those days where they just want to do nothing — perhaps it was a bad day at work or a lazy Sunday, and the last thing you want to do is work out. What's important for anyone who's struggling is that they need to realize they aren't the only ones out there with these roadblocks. In fact, everyone you know faces roadblocks in life. You need to fight back those negative urges, toss them aside, and prove to yourself that you can accomplish your goals. It becomes a mental challenge just as much as a physical challenge and overcoming those challenges is what separates the goal reachers and those that fall short. I'm someone that doesn't like falling short.
What are your thoughts on the recipes and MUFA snacks at this point?
Many of the recipes and snacks from the Day-Off Diet are now second nature to me. I have always been an eggs-for-breakfast person and the Sunny-Side-Up Egg and Wilted Spinach with a side of greek yogurt and berries is now my go-to breakfast meal. For a MUFA snack, I like eating celery with a side of peanut butter. For dinner, I like many dishes that are diet-friendly, including the Penne with Chicken, Balsamic-Glazed Chicken With Brussels Sprouts, and the Shrimp and Quinoa.
Do you have any fun facts about your time on the Day-Off Diet?
I was always a bigger person for most of my life, but I'm now wearing shirts that the last time I would have been able to fit in was back in 8th grade!
Is there anything you want to tell people about your experience or the diet in general?
I like making the joke that I'm the laziest person I know. The fact that I can be so successful shows just how easy it is to lose weight and reach your goal if you set your mind to it. I know this won't be an overnight process, but I have a positive energy about it. I feel like I give off those positive vibes to those around me at the gym. The daily gym goers who can probably bench press me with ease started noticing how often I go in and compliment me as I watch my form to make sure I lower the risk of injury and doing things the right way. When I tell them about what I've gone through, they will often give me the utmost respect for challenging myself and working hard.
Michael Back in January 2016:
Start weight: 195 lbs.
Current weight: 174 lbs.
Time on The Day-Off Diet so far: 8 weeks
What was the turning point that made you want to lose weight?
I wish I could say what finally motivated me or what the secret is to convincing yourself to lose weight, but in all honestly it was simply a matter of looking at myself in the mirror one day and saying, 'Wow I really need to lose weight before I have serious health problems.' The only person who can really convince you to lose weight is yourself.
How did you pick your day off?
Saturday, because it's the day I'm out doing many things with my friends. I go out to dinner, hang out, and have a good time. It was easy for me to pick that as my off day.
What's an example of a typical diet day off (DDO) for you?
For breakfast, I would often go to a local cafe and have eggs with spinach and tomato with a side of wheat bread and black coffee. Lunch would often be sandwich/salad combo with the sandwich often with grilled chicken, tomatoes, and pickles on whole grain bread. For dinner I would either have sushi or Mediterranean dish with lamb, hummus, and pita bread.
What's your favorite recipe on the plan?
What's your favorite MUFA snack?
I have a 5 oz container that I filled with 4 oz of raw almonds and 1 oz of raw walnuts that I eat twice a day.
What do you like about this plan?
I like the many options you have, so if anyone that has a certain diet restriction they can still try the plan. I liked trying the different meals that were easy to make and not very expensive. It was easy for me to prep my food for the week and stick to the plan.
What are your favorite activities and exercise routines?
I run at least 30 minutes a day. Moving forward in 2016 I want to start going to a gym and adding more routines like lifting weights. I'm still doing research on what exercises I should do.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
The holidays make things difficult when you're always on the go, traveling across the country, and eating meals made by family that you haven't seen in a while. Some days are easier than others. Hopefully once the holidays are over I can focus more on continued weight loss and physical improvement.
Have you had any cravings during the diet?
Sunday was the most difficult day of the week. It's not an off day for me and I'm not at work, so it was easy to lounge around at the house and have cravings. Often drinking cold water or having black coffee helped suppress my appetite.
Was there a dish you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving?
Broccoli frittata was something I thought was strange, but I was surprised by how good it was. Having broccoli and eggs in a dish together didn't seem like a good combination. One day I had extra eggs and broccoli in the fridge, so I figured I would try it. I'm surprised by how tasty it is!
Do you have any advice for other people considering trying this plan?
My advice to anyone who wants to lose weight is that the only person that can truly make you lose the weight is yourself. People can tell you that you should lose weight or you may say that at some point you need to exercise and lose weight, but the biggest obstacle is in your mind. You have to overcome your own self doubt and just do it. You'll feel better about yourself and it helps you live longer and healthier.