I lost 12 pounds in 12 days eating unlimited quantities of steak and eggs.

I want to share my experience with rapidly losing weight while in a diet that had zero restraint on quantity of food.

When I am at a social gathering, I don’t stop eating because I feel full, but because I am embarrassed with how much I have eaten. I don’t get embarrassed easily. It’s not like I was eating half a pizza or even a whole pizza; I am the guy who drank an entire two liters of Dr. Pepper and who is just about to finish an entire second pizza all by himself, but doesn’t eat the last piece because people noticed. I would not really care that people are noticing, except this isn’t the first time they noticed either. I care because people remember “This guy also ate the whole casserole last time.”

I like food. I wouldn’t call myself a foodie because that implies that I am a little picky about my food selections. Basically, I don’t really care. If it doesn’t have eggplant, I’m pretty much game as long as there is a lot of food.

But, life changes and so did my metabolism. Even when I stopped eating poor quality food, I still ate tons of food and it was finally catching up with me. I don’t think anybody would have ever called me fat, but 6’3” and 211 pounds was well into the “overweight” range on those online BMI calculators. I’ve always considered myself a “sporty guy”, so seeing the word overweight really bugged me.

My first attempt at dieting was simply counting calories. I used a mobile app to input my food. If I walked 10,000 steps per day and ate 2400 calories a day for 12 weeks, I’d lose 12 pounds.

On day 1, I ate 2400 calories and went to bed hungry at night, feeling sorry for myself. I didn’t even eat anything fun because I was so afraid I wasn’t going to have enough to eat if I snacked on candy or drank a beloved Dr. Pepper.

This was not going to work. I scrapped the diet.

The next day, I decided to go for the Slow Carb Diet (made famous by Tim Ferriss in the 4-Hour Body). The diet is pretty easy to explain: greens, beans, and protein in unlimited quantities. Nothing else. I loved the sound of this diet because of the “unlimited quantities” part. Unlimited protein means unlimited steak, chicken, and eggs. Throw in some asparagus, and we’re good!

I found eslowcarbdiet.com was an amazing reference for quickly checking if things were within the rules (it’s not quite as simply explained as I made it sound, but that is 99% of it).

To kick off my good ol’ diet, I went to Costco and bought fifteen pounds of steak, a huge pack of chicken breasts, six pounds of asparagus, and we began!

After the initial 2 days of sugar withdrawls, I felt amazing. My mind was clear. My joints were less achy. I could focus. I didn’t feel terrible in the morning. I had energy throughout the day.

I had so much energy, I didn’t even know that such energy levels were still possible. I had been playing basketball a few times a week, tried be a good dad to my three kids, and I work in a fast-paced startup. I thought those things added together meant going to bed exhausted and waking up exhausted no matter what. I never thought my eating habits were doing anything bad. I wasn’t even eating that bad. I was wrong. Turns out eating half-bad makes you feel half-bad. Who knew?

Here are a bunch of charts. Purple is my sleep (8 hour goal), Orange is activity (10,000 step goal), and Green is a random rating of how healthy my food was according to a mobile app (I used my Pebble to track steps, which syncs to Jawbone UP. I also used the UP app to record food).

You’ll notice a few things: I slept really well! I rarely met my activity goals. Jawbone considered the diet healthy. But even better…

12 days after I started, I weighed 199 pounds. 12 pounds in 12 days and I loved what I was eating! I felt no guilt chomping on some jerky or going for a late afternoon walk to the Peninsula Creamery to get some bacon. I piled plate after plate of salad with chicken or whatever protein we had at lunch time. I had steak waiting for me at home.

The diet was hard a handful of times, but whenever something was hard to avoid, I put it down on a list for cheat day. Knowing I was going to eat the food later helped me get through any moment I felt weak. Plus (to my surprise), it was only for 12 days! You can do almost anything for 12 days!

Some people suggested that I lost a bunch of water weight. Not true. After this, I took a 10 day vacation, stuffing my face with all sorts of food and only gained 3 pounds back.

When I got home, I went back to Slow Carb and dropped the weight in 4 days.

It sounds crazy, but it just worked. If I can do it, you can too!