Wednesday, January 18, 2006

"The Man Diet"

(I lost a lot of photos from my blog but this is close to what I had here although several months later) The daily workout
A lot of people have been asking me what I have been doing to lose so much weight. I thought I would post it here since I can’t think of a better way to explain it.

About six months ago I decided I was going to loose the overweight programmer look and attempt to get back in shape. I started working out by running on a treadmill each day for about an hour. After two months of consistent working out I had nothing to show for it. I had lost no weight, I was not any smaller, and I was getting sick and tired of working out.

At a family gathering, my brother-in-law gave me what I now call “The Man Diet”. I call it that because Men do not want to read long books about what you can and can’t eat. Men don’t want complicated diet programs that require you to measure points. Men want a very simple set of rules to follow and he gave me only three.

1. Don’t eat anything that starts with the letter “C” (except Fruit, Veggies, and Meat)
2. Don’t eat anything white (except Fruit, Veggies, and Meat)
3. Only drink water

Don’t ask a lot of questions, just follow the simple rules.

At the same time I got this advice, Brady Anderson (from the iFolder team) mentioned that he measured his heart rate using a monitor like those made by Polar. I purchased a Polar F11.

On November 8th, 2005 I started on my new “Man Diet” and my Polar exercise program. I work out six times a week and my exercises vary in length and difficulty each day. I’m not going to attempt to explain heart rate zones here, visit Polar or some other fitness site on the web and read up on it. Basically I have four 45 minute workouts in the 60-80% zone, one 35 minute workout in the 80-90% zone, and one hour and 10 minute workout in the 60-70% zone. My exercises consist of riding a stationary bike (in photo), running on a treadmill, running outside, swimming laps, and using an elliptical machine. Each session consists of only one of those activities and I do it solid for the duration of the exercise. The Polar monitor lets me know if I am going too hard or not hard enough. The surprising thing about starting to monitor my heart is I was actually working too hard previously. I had to slow down and get my heart rate into the correct zones.

I have been following “The Man Diet” and working out as I described since November 8th and as of January 8th 2006, I have lost 35 lbs. The new pants I purchases last week are three sizes smaller than when I started.

I hope that story helps anyone else that is attempting to do the same. I was as shocked as anyone when the lbs started coming off. I feel better and younger than I have in many years.


Brian Cragun said...

Great job Calvin. Another "man's diet" is the Hacker's Diet. Worth a read for anyone who wants to lose weight. John Walker is the inventor of VisiCalc, and explains weight loss like a furnace. It really appealed to me logically as an engineer, and gave me confidence that it was something I could do. I lost 60 pounds.

Anonymous said...

Hello, can you give me some example of "C" foods? I can think of cake, cupcakes, cookies, cream.

Calvin Gaisford said...

You're on the right track... here are some more: cheese, chocolate, candy, cereal. The big two for me were cheese and cream. With cereal you are probably ok if you just avoid "sugar cereals"... you know, the kind your mom wouldn't regularly buy you as a kid?

bob said...

"I hope that story helps anyone else that is attempting to do the same. I was as shocked as anyone when the lbs started coming off. I feel better and younger than I have in many years."

Man, you did it. After reading this post in May07, I bought a polar f11, followed the training program and lost 22kg. I went from having a obese BMI to a normal one. Everybody was completely shocked (including me) after I returned from 4 weeks of vacations with almost 10kg less.
I don't think I would have been able to achieve this without the watch. It seriously helped me for motivation and training correctly. When I began the training, I wasn't able to run more than 5min without feeling horrible. Now, 4-5months afterwards, I'm training for a marathon, running my 20km each week end. I have never felt better in my whole life. Many thanks for the idea. It's weird to say but you somehow contributed to change my life...
P.S. I know it sounds like I'm a polar rep., but no, I'm real ;-)

Erika said...

hi ,This was an interesting read was just i allowed Tarts? HOW I LOVE A GREAT TART.

Cow Eater said...

what do you mean by no white foods can you give examples. Im thinking milk and ice creams would that be correct?

KJ said...

COW EATER.. white foods such as white pasta, flour, flour tortilla, refined sugar. most of these are processed and bleached etc.

Jeff Kopf said...

Calvin, this is great! Exactly what I am trying to do now. My diet is quite a bit different but I am losing tons of weight and feeling great eating all the foods I love. I call it the "Guy Diet" and you can follow my progress on

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