The Velocity Diet went very well for me. Pretty much all of the touted benefits were true. I lost a total of 17 lbs and close to 15 inches overall. In addition to the actual physical progress, the habits and psychological strength gained from completing the diet strictly were, in my opinion, even more significant.
Goals and Results
My goal was to lose 23 lbs and reach 200 lbs. I lost 17 and reached 206 lbs. While I may have come short of my initial goal, I still consider it a huge success. I now know that I am only arms-length away from my original goal, and I’m well on my way to my next goal of 190 lbs and sub-15% body fat. The 37″ belly is killing me though. I’ve been using cocoa butter to tighten up the skin since it’s broken (stretch marks from my really fat days), but I’m not sure how much it’s really helping. I read a tip from coach Christian Thibaudeau that there is a topical yohimbine HCL cream from Charles Poliquin that is allegedly for targeting problem areas. I will definitely look into it.
These photos were taken 6 weeks apart. From the first day of the diet, to the last day of the 2nd transition week. 42 days in total. I tried to keep the following guidelines in mind when taking my progress pictures, in order to be as scientific as possible.
- Same camera
- Same camera settings
- Always use flash (no shadows)
- Solid background
- Same distance (marked spot on floor for tripod)
- Same clothing (yes, i screwed up on the boxers on day 42)
- Same day of the week (Fridays)
- Same time of day (upon waking)
- Same perspective (camera height, standing location)
- Same poses
- No tanning
- No oil or other devices for exaggeration
I believe that the diet was life-changing, and I’m not exaggerating. It’s hard to say in which one way exactly, but in general I’d say it caused a major paradigm shift in the way I see myself and the world.
Before the V-diet, I was beginning to have doubts whether I would ever achieve the level of leanness I desired. During the diet itself, I learned a lot about my true character and literally had my self-image change as the weeks passed. I chose to submit to the plan strictly and decided to evaluate it afterwards and not criticize anything until I was done. I was actually skeptical that the diet would work for me. Since finishing it, I honestly feel like a new man, or perhaps just my true self.
Before the diet, on my ‘best’ behavior, I’d have at least weekly cheat meals, rationalize on skipping workouts based on how sore I felt, and demonstrate overall habits of laziness in many areas of my life. I probably needed the mental benefits of the V-diet just as much as the physical.
Since I’ve finished the strict portion of the diet, my philosophy towards food and training has completely changed. It’s clear now that food is fuel, and nothing more. Going back to solid food has given me a new-found appreciation for broccoli, chicken, tuna, eggs, and salad to name a few staples. I feel somewhat guilty when I eat them because the taste is so pleasant. The new habit (or morning ritual) of 60-minute walks while reading a book, and most of the shake/supplement preparation habits have completely changed the attitude, ease, and tone of my days. I’m much more optimistic, and the ideas generated from all the reading have been priceless to my personal development.
The fortitude required during the V-diet has infected other areas of my life like work, business, and education. I find I just get things done much more quickly and easily. Self-discipline and belief in myself (self-esteem) has improved my work ethic dramatically. I probably accomplished more tasks and goals in March than any month in recent memory. April was even better. It’s amazing how much everything else has become energized. It’s like an upward spiral.
I’m not even going to elaborate too much on the way the world has changed. How much more confidence I have going out in public, or to the gym, or in social outings. How much more differently I’m treated by strangers. The attention from the opposite sex. How much I’ve become a source of motivation for my family and friends. How much greater my physical stamina has improved during training. I surprise myself and wonder where the energy is coming from. It feels like a new life and a new world. If I knew how powerful the impact of improved self-esteem and self-image were after losing weight, I would have gotten serious a long time ago. It sounds cliché, but it’s certainly true after experiencing it first hand.
I have made some interesting revelations along this journey. For example, my legs are actually longer than I originally thought. I’ve been wearing 36×30 jeans for quite a while, but since my waist has shrunk to a 33-34, my legs appear to have gotten magically longer also. Obviously, they didn’t actually get longer, but what has happened is that the fat lost from around my lower back, waist, and belly have made it so that my belt line actually sits in the correct spot now. Before it was actually under my belly and hovering mighty close to my butt-crack in the back, hence the shorter length. I now wear 33×32 size jeans, which is a much more aesthetic proportion.
Another revelation is that I realized that my ideal weight is actually much lower than I originally imagined. At 223 lbs, I thought that I would be ripped at 200 lbs, which definitely won’t be the case, now that I’m around the 205 mark. I believe now that I probably won’t be really lean until I hit 185 lbs, maybe even 180. That means that I have another 20 lbs to lose, which is more than doable, since I’ve lost about 30 in the past year (more than half of which were in the past 2 months – Pareto’s Law, go figure).
The spillage of discipline into other areas of my life is another huge revelation that I was sort of expecting, but not to this degree. I just finished reading a great book by Brian Tracy called Maximum Achievement. I actually found the explanation to this phenomenon in one of the later chapters (amazing coincidence). It basically comes down to the psychological concept of “locus of control”. The degree to which you feel positive about your life, is the degree to which you feel you are in control. What the V-diet did was establish a strong sense of control within me, in regard to the physical aspect of my life. That explains the extremely positive attitude I’ve had since completing. This positivity, born from my new sense of control, has spilled over into areas such as work, school, and business, where I am now making a disciplined effort to take control. Amazingly, with each step forward in each of these areas, my self-esteem gets higher and I perform better, which further feeds the positivity, and ultimately my sense of control. This is where I believe the greatest benefit of this diet occurred.
My final revelation was that sometimes the submission to a system, or compliance with a program, without question, without criticism or modification, is the best way to proceed. I am naturally curious and like to mess with things, change them, improve them, question, rationalize my own ideas, etc. Often this has proven very useful, but there are some times, such as the case with this diet, where the rigidity of someone else’s rules were in fact the best route. I basically gave up and proceeded strictly with Mr. Shugart’s prescription, and it paid off.
Velocity Diet Tips
1. Drink lots of water between shakes – This will keep you hydrated, aid the fat loss process, and curb feelings of hunger. Many times when I thought I was hungry, I was really just thirsty. Also, remember that the body requires more water during lyposis (fat loss), so make sure to drink plenty!
2. Space shakes further apart in the mornings – Shakes are typically spaced 3-4 hours apart, assuming 5 shakes a day. Spacing them longer (4 hours apart) in the morning is better than in the evening, because evenings are when food/hunger cravings are at their strongest.
3. Save the peanut butter and flax seed meal for the last shake of the day – There is nothing worse than going to bed hungry, and a regular two-scoop shake doesn’t cut it. The fats in the peanut butter and flax are satiating and prevent pre-bed temptations to break from the diet. Plus the texture of the shake is much thicker and “food-like” when it contains flax and peanut butter.
4. Blend ice in your shakes for better satiety – Ice will make the shakes thicker, which will trick your body into feeling like it got more than it really did. Plus, the ice will add a nice texture to the shakes which will make them taste better.
5. Pretend you are in the military – I frequently pretended that the discipline required of me was of military standards. I would imagine the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket was on my shoulder, or those hard-asses from S.E.A.L. training. At the very least, the self-image benefits of pretending you’re a soldier can only do good with respect to compliance.
6. Trust the system – Reserve judgment until the diet is over. There are times when you won’t feel like change is happening, but that’s normal. The changes come on a weekly basis, not daily.
7. Do your laundry – Daily walks and 3x a week workouts had me going through my clean workout clothes much quicker than normal. If you’re not already training 10x a week, I suggest you keep an eye on how quickly you go through clothes. You don’t want to be left with excuses when it’s time to train.
8. Plan for occupied machines – There were about 2 or 3 times when all the treadmills in my gym were in use when it was time for my daily walk. I made a commitment to use a stationary bike until a treadmill became free, instead of putting my tail between my legs and going home. I never had to wait longer than 10 minutes before a machine became free, and I always felt better afterwards, because a majority of people would use it as an excuse instead.
9. Maintain your water supply – If you’re using tap water, or a hard-line water filter, then disregard this tip. I happen to use a Brita water jug for my water needs, and as a result, I obviously need to fill it up regularly. On this diet, due to the amount of shakes made daily, in addition to regular water needs, I found that I needed much more water than normal. To resolve this issue, I simply made reserves in 2L bottles that I filled whenever my Brita jug would finish filtering a new batch of water.
10. Have enough shaker bottles – I only had one or two usable shaker bottles (even though I technically didn’t need to “shake” them since I blended them all in advance in the morning), so I had to buy a few more for those days when I knew I’d be away from home all day, or if I had to work a long shift at my job.
11. Have ample storage for shakes – I only had a small cooler before beginning this diet, which could only hold 2 shaker bottles at most. I went to Wal-mart and bought a massive cooler for about $20, which was crucial to my success on the diet, especially for my trip to Montreal and my long work shifts.
12. Plan your fish oils supply – You will be amazed at how quickly you consume fish oils on this diet. I was unaccustomed to the frequency so I went through my supply very quickly. I had to run out and buy more on more than one occasion during the 6-weeks, so make sure to stock up!
Many of these tips are good in general, and not specific to the Velocity diet itself, but I assure you they will help.
I’ll wrap this up with an interesting quote from coach Dan John, that he wrote after completing the V-diet himself:
“If you can do the V-Diet, if you can give up food and booze for 28 days, you can go out and attack any other goals you may have rattling around in your brain.”
That’s exactly how I feel. The physical benefits were nice, but the sense of possibility gained, is in my view, priceless. Yes, this is an extreme diet, but the results are predictable and lasting. And with that I’ll end with one more Dan John quote:
“Moderation is for sissies.”
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