Over the course of the year, I'll be attempting one resolution per month. Having a shorter span compared to a year will provide a larger boost of motivation and immediacy. It’s just too easy to fall off of the year-long goals that are a bit more amorphous.
This month, I will be focusing on weight loss and muscle growth with the least amount of necessary effort. This is The Minimal Minute, so we're all about big results with the minimal amount of time and energy. To do this, I will be sticking to a strict food plan and a brief daily workout. I went over this in the New Year’s Resolutions post, but here I’ll be more specific, with examples.
All of the foods I’ll be eating will be taken from the slow-carb diet, as talked about in the 4-Hour Body, which I have already talked about a couple times. This includes mainly proteins, veggies, and some nuts. More specifically, these are the optimal ingredients to make all meals out of:
Broccoli and cauliflower
Other vegetables are fine too, but these are the base. It is a very short list, yes, but sticking to it can have incredible results. To make it more bearable, you can also use condiments without wheat or sugar, like mustards, salsa, hot sauces, and so on. Salt and pepper should also be used regularly. Here are some example meals that I'll be eating a lot of this month.
Scrambled eggs with salsa
Large salad with chicken or tuna
Stir fried chicken
Cauliflower mashed ‘potatoes’
You may be put off by how bland these meals might sound, but when you cook them right and use a variety of sauces and condiments, you can make these just as delicious as any other meal. Even better, you may find yourself snacking on raw veggies after a while. Straight cauliflower is delicious.
With this diet, your body will become an efficient nutrient processing machine! No highly-processed foods to worry about. No aching stomach from mounds of carbs and gluten. At the end of the day, your mouth should even feel much cleaner than normal.
Now that we have our simple diet plan built out, let’s talk about exercise. If you're like me, you don't like spending a total of two hours dealing with a gym (grabbing gear, driving/walking, changing, working out, changing, driving/walking home, putting gear away). Instead, we're going to make our workouts brief and mobile. They can be done anyplace that has a chair (and preferably carpet or a yoga mat) and it only takes 7 minutes. Let me introduce you to the 7-Minute Workout that The New York Times recently popularized.
In this workout, you do each of these twelve exercises for 30 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. These short 30-second bursts encourage you to push yourself as hard as you can for the duration. After awhile, you can up the number of seconds to keep it as challenging as possible. Or do multiple sets in a day. There are tons of smartphone apps available that tell you what exercises to do and how long to go for each one. My favorite one is Carrot Fit. In it, there's a digital woman's voice guiding (and mocking) you through the pain. After every workout, you get experience points to unlock more and more features within the app. It really helps keep me on track.
With this diet and exercise plan, I will see how much of an impact it can have on someone over the course of just one month. At the beginning of February, I'll check in again and report my results with anything else I learned along the way.
My post-holiday body is currently 6’ 0.5” and 185 lbs. Let’s see how much that'll change in 30 days.