We received no fewer than thirty year-end offers for diets, cleanses and gym memberships. They arrived by email, Twitter, Facebook and even in the form of old-fashioned mail. Each one promised to make us thinner and fitter in the New Year as long as we were willing to part with a credit card number. We have no idea how many of these came from legitimate businesses. Most of the pitches carried the desperate air of a letter from a Nigerian Prince: “I need a little money up front, but I only have you best interests in mind.”
At DYC, we do things differently. We start each year by spending 30 days in Austerity Mode. Anyone is welcome to join us. No purchase is necessary.
The 30-Day DYC Challenge: Thirty days in Austerity Mode paired with exercising five days per week.
Austerity Mode is Basic DYC with all of the fun foods taken out. Virtually all carbohydrates come from fruit and vegetables. This is DYC so alcohol is allowed, but grains, alternative flours, starchy tubers such as potatoes and added sweeteners are fully eliminated. If you decide to join us, we assure you that you will not starve. There are plenty healthy foods available. All fish, eggs and meat are unlimited. All fruits and vegetables are similarly fair game.
The difference between Basic DYC and Austerity Mode may seem trivial. Austerity simply eliminates all of the Limited foods in Basic. Yet these differences have an enormous impact.
It is worth pointing out that for the first two weeks, you will likely find yourself a little bit grouchy and perpetually hungry. Whenever we go into Austerity, we eat and twenty minutes later we are desperate for a snack. This is not a problem. As counterintuitive it seems, in Austerity Mode you don’t need to worry about portions.
We’ve all been trained that portion control is required for weight loss. It turns out that this isn’t true. As long as you stick you the Austerity Food List you’ll be consuming far fewer calories than normal. Eat until you feel satisfied. Your calorie consumption will drop by virtue of the fact that you are avoiding sugars, starches and other calorically dense, but nutritionally poor, foods.
This is a Drink Your Carbs Challenge. You are allowed to continue drinking alcohol. There is, however, a catch:
While Austerity Mode has easy-to-follow rules, exercise is far more personal. If you have not trained for it, going out and running a Marathon will injure you. If you don’t currently exercise, you should plan your program around our Basic Exercise recommendations. It may also be worthwhile to find a personal trainer to design a custom program for you. At a minimum, your workouts should revolve around getting your heart into your target heart rate zone and keeping it there for at least 20 minutes. If you don’t know your target heart rate, ask your doctor or personal trainer to help you figure it out. If he or she does not know how to figure this out, it’s safe to assume that you’ve uncovered a massive case of identify fraud.
If you currently work out, you probably don’t need our help designing an exercise program. For experienced exercisers we will offer only one piece of advice: vary your routine. Hitting the same machine or even the same muscles over and over is a recipe for injury and poor results. If you already work out and approach your workouts with serious intensity, check out our recommendations in Advanced Exercise. Pairing Advanced Exercise with 30-days in Austerity Mode is our plan for the Challenge. We’ve done it before and the results are impressive.
We will share our progress through the DYC Facebook Page. As you progress through The Challenge, we encourage you to share your thoughts and observations as well. Let us know what is working and what is not. As always, we will try to reply as quickly as possible.
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