Wednesday, March 31, 2010

90-Day Get-Less-Fat Challenge

This is totally not related to my other posts.
Luckily, this is my blog, and I have ADHD.
I get to do whatever I want.
For those that know me, I have been losing weight for a bet.
I am extremely please with the results.

On January 1, I weighed 248 lbs at 25.6% body-fat (184.5 lbs lean and 63.5 lbs fat).
Today, I weighed in at 226 lbs at 13.9% body-fat (194.6 lbs lean and 31.4 lbs fat).
That is a loss of 32.1 lbs of fat and a gain of 10.1 lbs lean in 90 days!
My waist went from 40 inches to about 35½”.

I wanted to share how I got, and hopefully will maintain, these results.


One of my Kappasig brothers from MIT set up the challenge called the “90-Day Get-Less-Fat-Challenge.”
Thirteen people put $100 in a PayPal account.
The challenge was to drop body-fat percentage (Example: 20% to 10% body-fat would be 50% reduction (percentage of a percentage)).
This was chosen to level the field of men versus women or athletic versus non-athletic.
Every week, we weighed in and calculated body-fat percentage.
Most of us used the Navy body measurement formula found here.
Every month, we took pictures… to check the honor system.
There was some rivalry, but it was more of a support and positive peer pressure experience.
One brother and competitor blogged about it here.

The winner for each month wins $100.
The 90-Day winner takes $1000.
I don’t know where I stand yet.

Even if I don’t win, who would be willing to pay for a supplement or training program that costs $100 to lose half of the fat on their body in three months?
Seems like money well spent.

The competition was 90% of the results.
I am giving you the details, but the competition really made me do everything with more discipline and consistency.


There is a book called, “What To Eat: Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants.”

I have never read the book, but the title explains 90% of my nutrition plan.

Seems simple, but look at your diet.
How much of it resembles food as it was found in nature?
If you were to map how I shop, it looks like the Greek Capital Theta.

That is I walk around the outside for fresh produce, meats, dairy, and then down the frozen food aisle.
The rest of the store is pretty much engineered garbage, and I don’t consider that food.
Not only is eating healthy and in-season food healthy, but it is also economical.


Again, seems simple, but not really.
Environment triggers behavior.
The impulsivity of ADHD exacerbates this fact.
Take the time to look at your environment.
I know where my wife hides the junk food, but seeing it is my trigger.
Instead, I saw conveniently located fruit and other healthy snacks.

It was tough learning to stop when I ceased being hungry versus eating everything on my plate, in the bag, or in sight.
As I lost weight, I also needed to re-evaluate my nutritional needs often.

Eat your veggies!
Every meal that I cooked, I tried to prepare two veggie dishes.
I did not deny myself protein.
In fact, I tried to do 1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3.
One third vegetarian meals.
One third meals where meat was served “as a garnish.”
One third, normal meat servings.

There were three other things that I focused on for nutrition.

I ate about a ½ pound every week.
Life without bacon is not living.
I also ate a lot of eggs for breakfast.
I worked out in the morning, so I wanted a high-protein, high-calorie meal with moderate carbs to get me through the day.

I found managing carbs was the key to fat loss.
However, I am not an Atkins or South Beach Disciple.

Finding the right balance of carbs was a constant struggle.
I do Triathlons, so I needed carbs.
When I ate too few carbs, it affected my mood and concentration.

Really, does someone with ADHD need more problems concentrating?

The key was finding the right balance.
I would go high-carb in the morning or post-workout; moderate-carb at work; and low-carb at night.
However, the right balance was always something that needed constant re-evaluation.
At night, I would need to have a high-protein snack to make sure I could sleep through the night.

With the exception of Sushi, I avoided restaurant food like the plague.
Restaurant salads can top 1000 calories after they add oil-soaked croutons, cheap cheese, candied nuts, and dressing with high-fructose corn syrup.
A chicken breast grilled at home is much healthier than a manufactured breast injected with beef broth and constantly sprayed with oil during cooking.
Investing in some Tupperware for leftovers returned its investment in my body and wallet.

I am a firm believer in physical activity.
I think positive physical activity is good for mood, body, mind, and spirit… even preventing discipline problems in children.
For too long, I was a FORMER athlete (swimmer, cheerleader, martial arts, etc.) who still thought that he was an athlete.

I started doing triathlons last year, and my complete workout log is right here.

Triathlon cardio, especially swimming, was the foundation of my program.
I did most of my workouts by waking up at 4am to help time management and not hurt family time.

I did resistance workouts once or twice a week.
I did a hybrid of the workouts found at and

My final stats looked like this:

March's totals:
Bike: 4h 34m 48s - 55.5 Mi
Run: 6h 57m 29s - 34.87 Mi
Swim: 5h 13m 02s - 14300 Yd
Strength: 3h 05m
Spinning Class: 1h 42m
Yoga: 45m

February's totals:
Bike: 2h 31m 42s - 33.02 Mi
Run: 3h 49m 34s - 19.27 Mi
Swim: 4h 07m 37s - 11050 Yd
Strength: 4h 30m
Elliptical Training: 20m
Spinning Class: 2h 00m
Yoga: 25m

2010 totals
Bike: 8h 06m 29s - 99.91 Mi
Run: 15h 23m 27s - 74.96 Mi
Swim: 14h 22m 32s - 38550 Yd
Strength: 11h 15m
Elliptical Training: 1h 05m
Spinning Class: 5h 00m
Yoga: 1h 50m


I used to a supplement junkie in college.
I am not anymore.
I normally take a multi-vitamin, calcium (I am lactose intolerant.), glucosamine, and fish oil.
For the competition, I also took:

If you are not familiar with Alli, it blocks the digestion of some of the fat that you eat.
This helps, but really, the power of Alli is in “Treatment Effects.”
Once you read about the possibility of “Treatment Effects”, you will never, ever cheat on your diet.

Fiber is healthy.
A few capsules with each meal also helps you feel fuller.


Ideally, Creatine Monohydrate helps you regenerate ATP during high-intensity exercise.
You can read more about ATP here.

However, this was a contest, and this was my only “gamesmanship” tactic.
I am confident that it was within the spirit and ethics of the rules.
The contest was based on body-fat percentage.
It was in my best interest to not lose muscle weight.
One of the initial effects of creatine consumption is 3-5 lbs temporary increase in muscle weight.
I took 25-30 grams of creatine daily (in 5-gram increments) in the last five days to keep my lean mass from dropping.

The good news: I can lose another 3-5 lbs just from discontinuing the creatine.

I hope my results motivate you to get your health and fitness in order.

I cannot stress enough how far moderation, decent diet, consistent exercise… and really good support and/or incentive… will get you.



  1. Do you need any triathlon training help? I am a school psychologist and coach triathletes as a side business.

  2. Thanks, but right now, I am all about the basics.

    Swimming is my strength.

    Cycling requires some seriously more Time-In-The-Saddle, and running is by far my weakness.

    I have not come close to maximizing the benefits of consistency, discipline, and my local access to expertise.

    My local club has a weekly BRICK.

    3 x /week coached practices for swimming and coached practices with the local running and cycling clubs.