Getting to race weight on “bad foods”

At this time of year, I see so many people “go on a diet” with the goal of losing weight, but with all the rules and restrictions they end up becoming despondent, “cheating” and then feeling guilty about breaking the rules, ultimately leading to them ending their diet and reverting to their previous habits. They do all of this while ignoring the fundamental principle of weight loss; that you should just eat a bit less. It doesn’t really matter if you eat some “bad” foods every now and again, you will still lose weight if your weekly calorie consumption is less than the number of calories you expend. Instead of focusing on restricting types of foods, it can be more beneficial to make sure you add in some nutritious foods, and then outside of that have some freedom about what you eat, but don’t eat too much of it.

To prove my point, I will be aiming to get down from my current weight of 78kg, to my race weight of 73kg before Ironman Boulder in June. I plan to do this by eating predominantly “bad” foods. I went out to the slowtwitch community to get some ideas for these bad foods, which I will eat on my quest to get to race weight. Since all these diets have rules, here are my rules:

  • I’ll choose one bad food at a time, and eat that until I lose 1kg, after which I’ll move onto the next food.
  • I plan to get most of my daily calories from this bad food. Over and above that, I can eat what I like. For example to sustain my training needs I need to get in enough protein (about 100-150g per day). So for example if I’m getting most of my calories from pancakes I will need to add in about 400 calories of protein.
  • I can eat whenever I like. Whether that is one meal a day or six. On most days it will just be one or two meals, because that’s what I’m used to.

So far we are getting a nice list of bad foods. I’m going to start with burgers, and I’ll try to include a mix of fast food burgers and homemade burgers. I have the option of adding fries/chips, but I doubt I’ll be doing that with every meal.

Other foods on the shortlist:

  • Pizza
  • Milkshakes / Ice cream
  • Beer
  • Cake
  • Pancakes
  • Donuts

You can see my weight tracking here, I plan to weigh in at least once a week, probably more often. I expect to see daily variance both up and down, but in general I hope to see a decrease every week.

Here is the tentative schedule:

  • 78-77kg: burgers
  • 77-76kg: pizza
  • 76-75kg: milkshakes / ice cream
  • 75-74kg: beer
  • 74-73kg: pancakes, donuts and cake

The one caveat to the schedule above, is that I have a ski trip planned at the end of March. I think beer is going to be the easiest to fit in with that, since I don’t have to work, or drive anywhere. So I may well adjust that, depending on how the progress goes.