Yesterday I was horrified to discover my ‘bicep’ is the same size as Mike’s (when both our arms are relaxed) and his arms do not look small. My boring and obvious New Year 2014 Resolution was to lose a stone by my Birthday in March. In January that was achievable but then 6 weeks later, here I am, still a stone heavier than I want to be. And all this despite not drinking for Dry January and half of February! I thought that one move would make it fall off. So, I can’t blame the booze. On Sunday night, after a week away eating Moules Mariniere and drinking my body weight in wine, I got Mike’s book out, The 4-Hour Body (An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman: The Secrets and Science of Rapid Body Transformation), by Tim Ferris, to investigate my question of how to lose a stone…preferably in 3 weeks. Oh and keep it off.

This book, in the words of Tim Ferris, is big enough to cub a baby seal with. It is literally huge. But Tim made his name originally as a Time Management Guru with his book The 4-Hour Work Week (Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich) (which I’m also adding to my reading list!) so he understands that time is money, or flab in this case. Because I want fat loss I only had to read 5 sections, totalling at 98 pages, in order to learn how to lose a stone (1.4 stone to be exact)! Once I’ve got the basics down and can get started, he then encourages you to come back and dip in to some of the other chapters (including the sex one where he teaches you how to have a 15 minute orgasm and without going TMI on you, these tips are A-A-AHhhhhh-mazing!).

Tim is a self-confessed geek number cruncher. He loves counting stuff, and monitoring and data, so this book is chock full of facts and proof, which I always find reassuring but rather than repeat all 5 sections, I thought I’d share some interesting snippets about how to lose a stone…

How to lose a stone

1. Make it a game – people who make their weightloss fun and/or competitive lose more. This is why I found out the sad truth that my arm is massive – Mike and I are competing, I want my arms and thighs to be smaller than his. We need some decent wagers though to make it worth our while and apparently the threat of losing £100 is more motivating than winning £100… I’ve also made a little wager with my best mate who is also trying to lose weight that I can lose more inches then her by the time we next get together. The loser has to buy the other one a bottle of champagne!

2. Keep track – one guy lost 2 stone by weighing himself everyday and plotting it on a graph. He didn’t change his diet, or at least not intentionally, he just had an upper and lower limit of acceptable weight for each day (this decreased over time). People who keep track, whether it’s weight, inches or fat, are more likely to succeed.

3. Keep it simple – Tim’s diet is called the Slow Carb diet and it follows this pattern for every meal

Protein (at least 40% of the meal) + Legumes + Veg

E.g.

Breakfast: 2 eggs + lentils + spinach

Lunch and dinner: chicken breast + black beans + mixed veg

  • No carbs or dairy (you can have up to 2 tbsp of cream in a day with tea/coffee) or fruit
  • Eat within 1 hour of waking and every 4 hours after (if you find you are hungrier sooner, eat more protein and legumes at mealtimes)
  • You can have low calorie drinks, tea and coffee and LOADS of water. Oh and 2 glasses of red wine per day!

4. Have a day off – when most people think this they are like, ooh I might have a piece of cake on my day off. What Tim means by this is eat EVERY THING you can think of. Like properly go for it. Eat the whole cake. Fancy a tub of ice cream followed by a pizza, followed by a burger? Go for it. A) People who have days like this increase their metabolisms, therefore speeding up weightless overall. B) It stops you getting board – write down every craving you have during the other 6 days and have it on your day off! Tim details how to damage control this day off so you might want to read that before you binge!

5. Drink loads of water – like tons of it. For one thing it’s distracting when you’re hungry (although you shouldn’t be on this diet) for another it flushes you out. I’m aiming for 4.5 litres/8 pints a day!

 

That’s kind of it and apparently it is so effective at weight loss (if you need weight loss – if you don’t it’s great for converting fat to muscle, which is heavier) that people can lose around 7lb per week. This is the diet that Tim has stuck to for years, so it’s clearly sustainable…SOLD! To the woman with man-sized arms.

So far I’m really enjoying it (day 3!) and to be honest, it’s not that much different from how I normally eat during the week. Except a whole lot more beans! Part of my game is trying to make the diet actually interesting, so experimenting with different herbs and flavours. What I love is the no-holds-barred day off, I recon I will find it so much easier to stick to because of this. If I acknowledge what I fancy and then have it on my day off, it should stop the mid-week cheese on toast fest. And a glass of red wine? Prevents ‘accidentally’ drinking the bottle but still feels naughty enough to get me through the week.

Here are some of the recipes I’ve been making to encourage the ‘legumes’ to taste more appealing…

How to lose a stone legume recipes

Lentils

(4 portions)

  • can of green lentils
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 chilli
  • handful of corriander
  • juice of a lime
Mix together and add to 2 handfuls of spinach per person and meat of your choice (we had it with steak on the first night).
I had this again the next day mixed in a turkey salad with spinach for lunch.
how to lose a stone
Turkey, lentil salsa and spinach salad

Black Beans

(2 portions)

  • a can of black beans
  • a handful of parsley
  • 5 or 6 mushrooms

fry up mushrooms and parsley with some oil olive – I do this on a low heat with the lid on – then add the blackbeans to warm them through. Serve with scrambled eggs for breakfast or meat of your choice.

Cannellini Beans

(4 portions)

  • a can of cannelloni beans
  • a handful of coriander and another of parsley
  • 1 cup of red cabbage finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery

Mix together and pore over this dressing:

  • a teaspoon of olive oil
  • a clove of garlic crushed
  • juice of a lime
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

I served that up with a pork chop last night, which I forgot to take a photo of but here’s my lunch for today!

how to lose a stone

How bento does that look? Just need some nori to make some smiley faces with!

What are you thoughts on how to lose a stone? Does it sound like the kind of thing that would work for you? Do you fancy joining in the competition?!

please note: If you are planning on losing any weight a) go see your GP to get the green light b) maybe buy the book for added motivation? – there’s a reason he wants you to read 5 specific sections (the above book links are affiliates to Amazon, meaning I would get a small percentage if you were to buy – but feel free to shop around though! Better yet, check out your local library. This is in no way a sponsored post, just something I’m interested in)