The Minimum Effective Dose not only delivers the most dramatic results, but it does so in the least time possible… These are the types of prescriptions you should seek and these are the kinds of prescriptions I will offer.”
– Tim Ferris, The Four Hour Body
I have historically been a Tim Ferris fan. I blog about him all the time. I wrote an endorsement of his new book before it even came out and bought five copies of his book when it was released.
But now I am in a snit. I am trying to adopt the Tim Ferris philosophy regarding diet and it is sub-optimal. He outlines at the start of the book that he is looking for little changes that make a big difference. At the start of the diet chapter, he characterizes his diet thusly:
“Let me explain exactly how Chris and I reach and maintain sub-12% body-fat, often sub-10%, by strategically eating like pigs”
That is all well and good to say, but what he outlines is a diet where you can eat like a pig one day per week and the other six days you must follow a draconian diet plan that crushes my soul. Here are the things you are not allowed to eat on Tim’s diet plan:
- No bread
- No rice
- No cereal
- No oatmeal
- No potatoes
- No pasta
- No fried foods
- No dairy
- No fruit
Tim further comments in a recent blog post:
“The following will address 99%+ of those who are confused:
– If you have to ask, don’t eat it.
– If you haven’t had blood tests done, I don’t want to hear that the diet doesn’t work.
– If you aren’t measuring inches or haven’t measured bodyfat % with an accurate tool (BodPod, etc. and NOT bodyfat scales), I don’t want to hear that the diet doesn’t work.
– If you’re a woman and taking measurements within 10 days prior to menstruation (which I advise against in the book), I don’t want to hear about the lack of progress.”
So much for taking the easy way out. My failure to do extensive blood testing and get access to tools like a BodPod mean I have no recourse to complain, yet my complaint is that I have to do all this stuff in the first place.
Enjoy meats, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, and plenty of beans.
I have to tell you, if that is the minimum effective dose to drop fat, then I am a monkey’s uncle. Am I losing weight? Some, not as much as I would like. Of course, I am basically getting there via caloric restriction: Egg whites are low calorie. Vegetables are low calorie. Chicken, etc. I don’t eat beans every meal.
Does this feel easy? Is this how I enjoy the holidays without the weight gain? Doesn’t sound like a recipe for holiday fun.
As I reflect on this, it seems like just playing the weight watchers game would be a more “Occam’s Protocol” than this plan. Or that thing that home delivers meals.