11 Mindless Eating Habits for Skinny Robots

11 Mindless Eating Habits for Skinny Robots

This is my October Challenge.

From the onset of the summer I have been feeling very impulsive and have cultivated a wide array of unhealthy food habits. This month I’m pledging to go from 195 lbs to 175 lbs, and I’m going to do it by NOT thinking.

Although I run a self-improvement blog, I’m just as susceptible to falling into bad habits as everyone else. However, I think I have more exposure and opportunity to become aware of my mistakes and to correct them before they become detrimental and leave me with regret (and if you take on journaling you will have the very same opportunity).

I’m 5’8″ and currently weighed in at 195 lbs, the largest weight I’ve been in my life. With my body structure, it’s impossible to tell that I weigh this much. The weight is evenly distributed throughout my body with some large deposits on my thighs. I think I look like I weigh 170 lbs (my spin class instructor told me I look like I weigh 160 lbs yesterday), so I was a slightly surprised at the scale. While I have been exercising almost every day, I doubt that most of this extra weight is new muscle — it has to be fat.

I gained this weight mindlessly. I removed every single restriction that I have had on eating and indulged in in breads, pastries, cookies, cakes, and ice cream and gorged on food until I couldn’t move. The way I’m going to lose this weight will be mindlessly as well. I’ll do it be setting up fool-proof restrictions and guidelines that will get me to my target weight, if I do nothing more than follow them.

I’m at a higher state of awareness while I am writing this article. I’m thinking clearly and have a definite and measurable goal in mind for this weight loss project. Tomorrow morning I might very well find myself in a low state of consciousness and awareness and be very liable to make a wrong decision. With this system, all the decisions are being made now; now all I have to do is stick to them.

Today is October 1st. My goal is to lose 20 lbs in 31 days and weigh 175 lbs on November 1st. The reason I want to lose this weight is so that I can be healthier, more energetic and more focused on my work.

11 Mindless Eating Habits for Skinny Robots

  1. Drink 1 Gallon of Water Daily. This is a lot, but I believe it is the right amount. I haven’t been drinking this much liquid recently, let alone this much water. However, it will quench my thirst and keep my stomach full and unlikely to desire more food. I’m going to be peeing a lot the first week!
  2. One Cup of Water Before Snacking. With a gallon of water going into me every day I’ll naturally be drinking water before everything. However, the point is that if I feel hunger, I will first drink a cup of water and wait 10 minutes, so that I can make sure I was hungry and not thirsty — the body has a way of confusing the two sometimes.
  3. Sunday Fasting. For the next month I don’t have any work scheduled on Sunday. There are 4 Sundays in the month of October, so this means I will be doing a full water fast 4 times. (Read about all the benefits of fasting.)
  4. No sweets. Let’s define what I mean by sweets. Cookies, candies, cakes, pastries, chocolates, ice creams and anything else with sugar in it that isn’t a fruit. I’ve already mentioned that I’ll be drinking nothing but water, which automatically removes all the high-carb and high-sugar beverages such as sodas and juices.
  5. 3 hours before bed, meal cut off. Having a sleeping routine is awesome for getting all our body processes synchronized and optimized. I’d like to say that I’ll be in bed by 10pm each night, but I know I’ll have to be flexible on this one, especially on weekends. Regardless, I’m going to treat 10pm as bed time, and as such I’m going to make 7pm the last moment to get a piece of food into my mouth for the day.
  6. Last meal salad only. It would be silly of me to make a last meal cutoff time and gorge on large amounts of food. That stuff would just sit in my stomach overnight and make me fat! I’m going to keep the last meal a light salad, and allow my stomach to go through a nightly fasting and detox period.
  7. Fruit snacks. If I get hungry between meals the only choice is a fruit snack. Apples, pears, strawberries, and blueberries often make their way into my house and I’ll either be eating them straight, or blending them together with a few greens.
  8. 30 chews per bite. My biggest problem with food is that I eat way too quickly. I’ve had this bad food habit ever since I could remember. I guess I have a large mouth, so I can basically inhale food without chewing if I wanted to. This is bad because I’m not grinding down the food enough to give it maximal surface area for digestion. For the next month I will be chewing each bite of food 30 times or until it’s liquid — whatever comes first.
  9. Daily 30. Regardless of my exercise habits, I’m going to take a 30 minute walk with my iPod. I’m not going to create a rule that I’m going to jog during this walk, but it will be a brisk walk to get my heart rate up.
  10. Daily cardio. I might not be able to make it to the gym everyday, but that’s not going to stop me from doing a daily cardio session. Twice a week my gym has 6am spin class, which is 45 minutes of intense bike cardio. Otherwise, I’m going to either run 30 minutes, ellyptical 30 minutes, or do a session of urban rebounder.
  11. Eat only when hungry, except breakfast. I’m going to be a stickler for eating breakfast first thing in the morning or right after my morning workout routine, whether I’m hungry or not. It’s important to get the food in me early in order to start up my metabolism and keep my brain full of energy. However, for the remainder of the day I’ll only eat when I’m hungry, and not a bite more.

In addition to my daily cardio exercises, a friend of mine who is a professional personal trainer is going to show me two great morning routines. One for upper body, and one for lower body, so I can alternate them every day. This will be less time consuming, and more effective than whatever I can think up on my own and is geared toward having a lean Christian Bale (in American Psycho) type body.

I’m glad I put on the extra pounds (no regrets)! With all the changes that have been going on in my life lately, this gives me an excellent outlet to concentrate on as I move forward in my mission to take over the… ehh never mind!

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Posted by in Featured, Health | October 1, 2008 | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumble | Print | 20 comments

  • http://www.billionairewoman.com Nathalie Lussier from Billionaire Woman

    This seems like a very practical approach to weight loss. I think you are already well on your way to reaching your goals. I think weight loss is 90% mental and 10% actions. πŸ™‚

  • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

    @Nathalie, Thanks. I’m also going to be journaling each day of this 31 day weight loss project. So far the hardest thing today is drinking this gallon of water. I started a bit late, and it’s about half way done with 3 hours until I plan to go to sleep!

  • http://www.avani-mehta.com Avani-Mehta

    Your approach is quite sensible. Best of luck to you. Have you tried drinking hot water? We usually have a glass or two first thing in the morning. It helps in clearing off solidified fat and garbage from stomach – this aids weight loss.

  • http://noornalini.gaia.com/blog Alex

    Hey Alex

    It’s great that you have such a detailed plan, it’s looks good. Personally, I’d recommend eliminating grains as well, or at least limiting grain consumption to once a day- and make it whole, unprocessed grains (like oats) and eat it after the work out.
    In addition to that, I don’t believe you have to do daily cardio to lose weight. It has little benefits for weight loss. I’d emphasize High Intensity Resistance Training about 3 times a week, and cardio on the other days. And on those days, I would just do sprints- way better than steady cardio. You could do intervals there as well- sprinting for 30 seconds, then 10 seconds rest, then again sprinting for 30 seconds… repeat for about 7-8 times. In my opinion those 2 spinning classes a week plus a good resistance training 3 times a week is more than enough.
    The rest comes from nutrition.
    Check out Mark for example πŸ™‚ http://www.marksdailyapple.com/high-fat-diet-no-cardio-washboard-abs/

    I love that you mention chewing more and eating slowly. I found it to be very important. Not only does it help with digestion, it actually makes me enjoy food more, and be more aware of satiety. Many people struggle with their relationship with food, and it’s no wonder, when so many have the habits of eating quickly, with distractions like television. For me the eating process is a kind of meditation. Whatever you eat, eat it truly and totally, with full awareness, enjoying the process.

    Good Luck and Shana Tova ve gmar hatima tova πŸ˜‰

  • http://blog.neverthesamerivertwice.com Maria | Never the Same River Twice

    Alex, to make this challenge mindless are you going to put systems and walls in place, such as getting rid of all of your sweets? What preparation did you do to make it as easy as possible to live your 11 rules?

  • http://www.fatmanunleashed.com Israel

    Instead of the full sunday fast have you thought of fasting every day or 2 to 3 times a week? What you do is have your last meal of the day at 6pm, then don’t eat again until 6 pm the next day. That is a full 24 hour fast and you are only awake for a few hours of it instead a bunch of the hours yet you get the benefits of fasting. You do this a couple of times a week.

    Or you can try only eating from 12 pm to 6 to 7 pm. You still get the full benefits of fasting but get to eat as well. Breakfast is a highly overrated meal, you dont really need to eat it first thing in the morning. You should check out Eat Stop Eat for more info on this.

  • http://www.expressyourselftosuccess.com Laurie | ExpressYourself to Success

    Well thought out, Alex; I’m sure you’ll succeed. I’m getting back into shape after a summer of fun (no regrets either!) so I’ll be putting some of your ideas in action. Thanks!

  • http://www.mizfitOnline.com MizFit

    you can SO DO THIS…but you knew Id say that πŸ™‚

  • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

    Thanks for all the great feedback guys. I’m going to take all your suggestions into consideration. So far I’m having success with the program as far as weight loss is concerned. However, I do feel a bit on the weak side as I get adjusted to this.

    I’ve been eating some really healthy meals and working out. I’ll report with weight loss at the one week point.

    Thanks again for your support =)

  • http://www.successprofessor.ca Success Professor


    Thanks for sharing your goal. You share some great thoughts. I’m sure by simply sharing the goal publicly like you did will also make a big difference. I recently went to a seminar by a fitness and weight loss expert. She agreed with most of your thoughts, except #5. She argues that because you should eat small meals frequently that you should feel free to eat right up to when you go to bed.

    Be sure to keep us up to date.

  • http://thebwildecolumn.blogspot.com/ B. Wilde

    This is a great goal. Sometimes the more we focus on doing something, the harder it is to accomplish it. The “mindlessly” concept is a wise approach and has worked for me in other areas of my life. Now we will all hold you accountable and, like Success Professor just said, your goal is now public. Can’t wait to hear how it goes and what you learn from the experience.

  • Marina

    I loved this idea! It actually inspired me and I’m gonna do the same thing… Today is oct 6th and in nov 8th I turn 21, so I’ve decided to try to get to my birthday lighter and this approach is perfect for me since what I most hate about diets is having to think too much about what i’m eating… I’ve done my own “mindless eating habits”, of course… they look a lot like yours, but with a few diferences… for example, I won’t be drinking any beer (drinking age in Brazil is 18 and being a college student I drink a LOT of beer).

    Thanks for the great article! Hope WE are successful! ;D

  • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

    Hey Marina,

    Not drinking beer is not going against this diet. I mention that I have a goal of drinking 1 gallon per day of water. I also meant to say that I’ll be drinking nothing but water. This means no alcohol for this month.

    Stay tuned for the update post coming Wednesday!

  • Pingback: Week 1 Weight Loss Update: 11.5 lbs Vanished! | Alex Shalman . com()

  • Mandy

    That sounds like a great plan. Good luck with that πŸ™‚

    If you don’t mind me asking, what do you eat?

  • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

    P.S. The week 1 report is in, so I’m going to close this comment thread.

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