Easy! Just burn 175,000 calories in a year. Not even a pound a week! The internet lays it out in just two steps!
After twelve years of yo-yo dieting, I consider myself something of an expert:
- Fall 2001, Halfway through college: 200 lbs. Bojangles and inactivity were the primary suspects for the first time I really went overboard.
- Spring 2002: Back down. Mostly through exercise. I was fit enough to finish my first triathlon: 2002 Wilmington YMCA triathlon.
- Spring 2003: Back up.
- Summer 2003: My first foray with Atkins and low-carb dieting. A year later I was still doing well enough to return to Wilmington for my second triathlon.
- Fall 2006: Creeping back up- even my wedding wasn’t enough motivation to stick to a diet.
- Spring 2008: Still rising.
- Summer 2008: Nutrisystem. Back down.
- Spring 2009: Sympathy Eating, part one. Back up.
- Summer 2011: Sympathy Eating, part two. Higher.
- Christmas 2011: The afore-mentioned ignominious all-time high: 235 lbs.
The $500 diet doesn’t tell you how much to eat or exercise. You are smart enough—with the help of the Internet and dozens of dieting books—to figure that out. What’s unique about the $500 Diet is that it works on another dimension. It lets you change your own incentives to lose weight.
The $500 Diet is a seven-step plan to strengthen your resolve – to help you make credible New Year’s resolutions. Would you rather lose a pound next week or $500? Most people given the choice would find it pretty easy to take off a pound. That’s the first step. Now repeat as necessary.
Of course, not everyone can afford to put $500 at risk. But anybody can afford to risk 10 or 20 percent of their disposable income – some amount that is large enough to get your attention.
Evidently the idea behind this akratic diet had been around for a while, but I had just recently happened upon it. As luck would have it, my wife was game- and she was willing to pony up too.
The bet: $1,000. 50 pounds. 1 year. Mine if I lost the weight, hers if I didn’t. I tracked my diet religiously, with nightly weigh-ins on Wii Fit, and daily checkins at beeminder.com, a great site & powerful tool for tracking your commitments. (I also tracked another 2012 resolution, to cook 52 new recipes, on beeminder.)
In some respects, reaching 50 lbs of weight loss by September was easier than keeping it off until January. After all I have consistently failed over the past decade at staying healthy and keeping weight off, as documented above. Enter the true power of the $500 diet and the one year deadline. I couldn’t win just by losing weight- I could only win by keeping the weight off one year after I started the diet.
Through late 2012 I eclipsed the 50 pound milestone, and eventually lost about 65 pounds. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep the weight off permanently- but perhaps I finally have the perfect tool for doing so.