The choc ice diet
“I have a story for you that you will enjoy”, he said as sat down beside me sweating. I like to maintain a membership to my local commercial gym for a few reasons -
1) We take our three year old daughter there for swimming which we think is an important skill to have in life and one I certainly wish I learned when I was her age. I swim like a stone!
2) To observe how normal people train. When you are based in a Crossfit facility (www.crossfit.ie) and help run a gym that focuses on fundamental movements/skills (www.theperformanceandfitnessacademy.com) you can take it for granted that EVERYONE trains smart with a structured systyem in place, foam rolls in every session, works their mobility, knows how and why to eat in a plaeo/primal fashion and are part of an exciting and welcoming community. This is NOT what I typically see and it’s nice to be reminded what normal looks like.
3) Recovery. I really enjoy the benefits of a sauna and ice cold plunge pool. Does wonders for recovery from hard workouts and you always feel amazing after. 5 ways to faster recovery
So getting back to the sweating man bursting to tell me a great story. Well I was in the sauna chilling out while the predominantly male +60yrs old members were in there solving the world problems as only wise old guys can do. While we all gave our two cents worth on many issues the topic of exercise and diet popped up and that’s when I was introduced to the fat melting, waistline dropping choc ice diet. This guy in his mid-sixties (let’s call him Jim) tells me he is in with his doctor for a check up and the doc says he really could do with dropping 2-3stone in weight (12-18kg). Jim asked the doc what he should do to which he replied, “I don’t know, but whatever you are currently doing is not working so go do something different asap!”
Jim was away on business in Germany the next week and with the advice of his doc still ringing in his mind he decided that instead of his usual lunch of a bread roll or sandwich, soup and a cappuccino he would have a choc ice instead. Simples
He did this every day for a week while he was away on a very busy business trip which suited him as it was something he could pick up on the go. When he got home he was surprised to discover that he was half a stone lighter so he decided to keep up his little experiment for a little while longer. A month passed and he was down over a stone. Three months passed and he was down two stone. Four months passed (still on the choc ice diet remember) and he was down two and a half stone or 15kg. Jim told me that throughout this time he did no extra exercise at all, made no other changes to his other meals which were fairly solid from what he told me and the choc ice brand was almost always the same for the experiment period.
When Jim finished his story he thumped the sauna bench and said “so what do you think of that Mr Keep fit and look after your diet!” Here is what you can learn from the choc ice diet -
- Calories do count – from a simple calorie in versus calorie out equation this makes perfect sense. He was consuming at the very least 800-900 calories for his lunch which he dropped to about 200-250 with the choc ice (it was always a simple ice cream covered with chocolate choc ice on a stick) which gives him a deficit of about 500calories per day when all else remains the same. Yes I know the food quality (it’s mainly fat and sugar) in the choc ice is a disaster but he contends that it filled him up until dinner time and since he is a high energy individual he never felt hungry in the mid-afternoon. There’s 2,500 calories in a single pound of fat so after a week (500 x 7 days = 2,500) he could be down a single pound of fat. I can’t say for sure why he experienced a rapid drop in the first week but he did mention that on that business trip in Germany he walked the legs off himself to various meetings. Other than that he said that his life has a solid structure and would take some light exercise (walking and trips to the sauna!) so there was no consistent change in exericse habits.
- What about paleo/primal - yes this is vital from a food quality standpoint and optimising hormone levels but there comes a point while eating paleo/primal where if your weight or body fat is not dropping then you are simply eating too many calories. Every day I am told by clients that they have a solid diet and follow a paleo/primal approach 90% of the time yet when asked to log their food intake we always see a completely different picture. Solution – use a calorie counting app or online calculator for 21days to track and record calorie intake so you can stop bullshitting yourself on how little you think you eat or if you are a guy trying to gain weight how much more you must eat. Post up your fave ones to comments (I typically recommend fitday.
- Consistency – taking action consistently is something I write about all the time e.g. Raising your standards. Jim dropped the weight because he did something I don’t necessarily agree with every day and it worked. Would it have been better if he had a chicken salad with a nice olive oil dressing every day? Maybe, but we will never know. What does matter is Jim stuck to his guns and learned a valuable lesson – eat feckin less calories. He’s in is mid to late 60′s and not terribly active so he didn’t need to shove a 800+ calorie meal into himself every lunch and many older clients I work with tell me they are able to eat less as they go on in their years.
Do you know someone that is not very active, is overweight and still proclaims that they eat ‘hardly anything at all’ yet still can’t shift the weight? While I am not recommending the choc ice diet I think we can all learn a lesson from this funny story. If you wish you were lighter than the weight you are then start blinkin’ eating for the weight you want to be and stop eating to maintain your current weight. Eating in a paleo/primal way is ideal but if your weight is NOT dropping then you may need to take a step back from those nuts, protein bars etc and check if you are simply eating too much.