Okay, first day on this plan (on Quake, the hardest ‘difficulty’), and already not going so well. This is going to be an honest review, though – which means reviewing myself, and where I slip up, as well as whether the plan slips up.
First of all, I didn’t get up on time because I was avoiding the dreaded cold bath. I love my morning routine, and messing with it really puts me on edge. Unfortunately, most of the plan’s most crucial parts take place in the morning, and galvanising myself to do all the most unpleasant bits first thing was beyond me today.
As far as I understand it, this should be the sort of routine I’m aiming for:
8am: get up, 15 minute cold bath
8.15am: drink black coffee
8.20am: first ‘period of movement’ for 45 mins
9.05am: begin the 3 hour waiting period of ‘water only’ before first meal
3pm: second period of movement for 30 mins
3.30pm: waiting period for 30 mins
8pm: third period of movement for 15 mins
8.15pm: final waiting period
8.30pm: final meal
10.30pm: blow up balloons… and SLEEP
Those of you with an office job, or kids, or hefty commitments are probably hearing alarm bells right about now – I think it’s fair to say that this plan doesn’t really fit in with the traditional day’s schedule, which is based around meals in the morning, and midday, and in the evening. I work from home, so I have a lot more freedom to tweak my schedule.
But, back to how well this schedule reflected reality… I shamefully I admit I skipped the ‘skip breakfast’ part, skipped the first POM, and had my cold bath after breakfast. I didn’t wait three hours after waking up to eat, and I didn’t drink black coffee either. I even pigged out on chocolate in the evening. Other than THAT, I was perfect…
Technically, eating the chocolate wasn’t so bad, apart from the whole ‘avoid sugar’ part… I was still well within the carb allowance, which is a maximum of 120g per day. I came in at about 100g – let’s not talk about the fact that I was aiming for 60g.
The meals were easier than I thought. I usually rely on Muller Breakfast Corners for my breakfast – they’re only about 162 cals each, but they’re heavy on sugar and carbs. So, I ditched that in favour of greek yogurt (high in protein, and very thick) – and full fat, for a change. I’d always usually go for low fat when it’s available, purely to save calories, but as Fulton points out, low fat = high carbs. In the case of my Breakfast Corners, I can see straight away that was right. To 100g of Greek yogurt I added 1tsp of honey and a kiwi fruit – my only allowed serving of fruit all day.
For lunch, I had a two egg omelette for protein, then asparagus and mushrooms.
Dinner was a cup of roasted chicken (with skin), 100g butternut squash roasted with cumin seeds and chilli flakes, 100g purple sprouting brocolli, 60g cucumber, and 30g feta cheese. I did not get on so well with the whole ‘small plate’ thing – I overestimated how much room everything took up. Maybe tomorrow I’ll put everything on the plate, then find out how much it weighs, rather than working the other way around. However, when you take into account the feta cheese, I think I did sort of all right on the 50% protein thing, for a first attempt, anyway. I seem to be hitting it about a third, in all honesty.
Fulton is very keen that you not drink your carbs – but I can’t give up milk in my tea, and I’m not giving up sweetner or sugar in my tea, either. So some of my carbs go towards that – we’ll see how I get on. But, disregarding the chocolate debacle, I managed to keep my carbs in today at under 60g, and I really can’t tell anything is different. Maybe I can blame my poor, desperate body craving carbs on my chocolate binge, but really what happened was I saw it in my kitchen, and decided that for the good of mankind I should really eat it now, so I’m not tempted later. Best of intentions, I’m sure you’ll agree.
My exercise was very basic – Fulton reckons the best kind is walking, and rates ‘stepping machines’ as a class below. If you swing your arms, I can’t see the difference between a stepper and walker – and I know for a fact that stepping burns more calories. So, there was 45 mins of stepping for me today. There should have been 45 minutes more, but as I said, the whole morning routine was a bust.
You’re not supposed to count calories on this diet, but in order to count carbs I end up being able to track my calories anyway, so what the heck? Again, not taking into account the chocolate, I came in at under 1200 calories, but the exercise burned off 327 calories. The full 90 minutes would burn 655 – that’s a huge deficit, and no wonder Fulton feels confident in claiming you can lose big here. That’s not taking into account the supposed witchcraft of the balloons, the coffee, the baths, and the timings of eating and exercising.
Of course, I can’t write a proper review without talking about the cold bath. It was bloody horrible. I was preparing for the worst and hoping for the best, and it was about as bad as I thought it would be. I had to buy a bath thermometer from eBay for the express reason of torturing myself in the bathroom for 15 minutes, and to be honest, I’d love my money back. It felt almost warmish (if you have a good imagination) when I was swirling my hand in the 20c water to test it out… Then I stood in it. Cold… Yes, but okay to stand in. Then, after a couple of minutes, it was time to sit. ARGH. Cold. Horrible. Disaster. After three minutes, I was supposed to lay back and allow the base of my head to dip luxuriously into the icy water – well, that didn’t happen. I lowered myself shakily backwards (now, that’ll work your abs), and sort of hovered for a bit, before resting with the whole of my body above my bellybutton out of the water, arms crossed over my chest. Nothing on God’s earth would have compelled me to move any further under the water. The whole 15 minutes dragged by. If you ever feel that your life is moving too fast, and slipping away before your eyes, take a cold bath, and the clock will stop. Maybe it’ll come in handy if you need extra time for your tax form. The period following the bath is very strange, because your skin retains the sensation of coldness long after you’ve actually warmed up. At this moment in time, I find nothing refreshing about it whatsoever, unlike some of the other reviewers of the book lurking on Amazon. However, I am not a quitter, and I’ll be doing it again tomorrow…
The balloon stuff is actually pretty fun, so no problem there. I’m also taking fish oil capsules, and multivitamins, which completes the night routine.
Tomorrow, the morning plan is to exercise for 30 mins when I wake up, drink the coffee after, take a cold bath after that, to see if that makes it any more likely to happen…