Thursday, February 11, 2010

Making the Cut

I have been trying to "make the cut" for eleven days now and I wanted to share some impressions so far. I am a fan of the television show The Biggest Loser, and I've tried several workout videos either associated with that or Jillian Michaels alone, all of which I got a pretty good workout. So, when I saw this book and read a ton of great reviews on it on Amazon, I decided to give it a whirl. I figured since I'm already in decent shape and I only have about twenty pounds to lose, that it would be perfect. (I say only twenty pounds like it is nothing, when in fact its been the hardest pounds to lose to date in my life). I had visions of me dropping all twenty pounds in the thirty days it takes to do her program. High hopes, I'd say, but still, I hoped.

Here are some complaints, errors, contradictions, whatever you might call them that I've discovered while reading and implementing her plan...

1. Her menu plan, overall, sucks.
She gives you a menu for the whole month based on your "oxidizer type". I dont know how much of that I buy into. As a runner I know that pairing carbs with proteins at each meal is best and so I do that already, as well as count my calories, but I figured I'd try her plan just for variety.  THere is no rhyme or reason to her menu. She says to follow it religiously but then tells you to stick to your BMR for calories which is interesting considering that her formula for figuring that out is way off, like 400 calories too high. One day you'll have a cup of cottage cheese with a whole wheat toast and the next you'll have the toast but only 2 Tbsp of cottage cheese. Weird.  Everyday is something different for each meal, which makes it hard to buy the things and not have them spoil before the next meal of that same item. I would've liked to see the same items throughout one week for things like lunch, breakfast and snack in order to cut down on costs. She had very little fruit and vegetables on the plan, maybe two servings total. That seems odd. Then, she wants you to cut out alcohol and cut down on coffee and not eat packaged food, yet calls for things like butter substitute and Splenda. One recipe called for Smuckers sugar free apricot jam, guess what the second ingredient in that stuff is? High fructose corn syrup. I don't eat that crap as much as I can help it, so it seems contradictory to me to have it in a "healthy diet". Sure, you'll have muscles but you'll have cancer too, yippee.

2. Her recipes were not tasty.
I did give them a try. I made about a weeks worth of dinner recipes and tried two lunch recipes and two breakfast recipes. Without fail all the chicken recipes for dinner sucked. No flavor, very bland and just yuck. The shrimp fajitas, fancy fish sticks and chicken/onion/apple tacos were good. I will make them again. The lunches, roast beaf philly roll up and rueben (like I shared the other day) were good. The breakfast, her pancakes are awesome but the breakfast in a bowl was nasty.

I will not be following her diet plan for the remainder of the month. I can cook healthy and stick to my calorie intake just fine without her bland food. I feel like I wasted so much money on groceries to cook her recipes. :-(

3. Her exercises kick major butt.
Literally. I think I may have discovered muscles that didn't exist before. My core is tighter and sore. My legs are sore and my arms are getting there. The moves challenge me and some of them make me want to throw up. I don't have all the machines for some moves, but she lists enough variations that I can still work out the same muscle group, so its good. I dispise spending four days a week lifting weights and doing the circuits, but its exactly what I needed, so I do it and I will continue the month exactly as she has it layed out. Each week there are different moves, so it doesn't get boring. I may even continue rotating through them after the month is over, only a couple days a week instead.

Despite my complaints about the food, something is definitely working. I lost 2 pounds the first week, which is pretty good for me. So all in all, the book is doing what I wanted it to do. It's challenging me and giving me a kick start to this year of weight loss. Since January first I've lost a total of 7 pounds, which makes me quite happy. Now its just a matter of sticking to it! :-)

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