Four Hour Body Update! Low Carb, High Protein Dieting…

It has been ages since I gave an update on how I’m doing with the whole Four Hour Body eating plan, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped doing it! Oh no, not at all — and really, I have never felt better!

Meat, eggs, vegetables that grow above ground and are low in sugar, beans, and a little dairy here and there — that sums up what I eat. I do my best to stick with it all the time. I don’t really do the “cheat day” any more – if I do, I try to make sure it is always something gluten free. When I eat wheat, it kicks my ass and I have the “gluten hangover” for a day or two afterwards.

I’m still holding pretty steady at 23lbs down in 9 months, and down 2-3 clothing sizes since I started this, depending on the clothing item. I would love it if it was more than that, but considering the amount of traveling I’ve done this year for destination weddings and the Hot Mama Travel Dates, I’m glad that I have been able to stay steady.

I didn’t do so well staying steady when I was in California in August. Matter of fact, it is the first time I had a major backslide. Yes, I managed to go to Paris & London and only gained 3lbs which I lost within 2 days of being home. But California? I gained 8lbs. ACK! And I know exactly what I did too – I skipped breakfasts, I ate a lot more cheese than normal, I did margaritas one night (a LOT of sugar in there), I had popcorn, I had little “treats” here and there of other sweets, I ate bread from the Village Bakery two or three times. I definitely did not drink enough water. All the things I don’t normally do – and it added up. UGH! So frustrating. However — I lost it all again within 2 weeks. I’m back to the weight I was when I left. YAY!!!

I am not discouraged by staying steady at this same weight – matter of fact, it is the weight I was when Mike & I met 10 years ago, and considering I’ve stayed steady here (fluctuating within a 3-4lb range, depending on the time of the month) for 6 months, I’m ok with that. I’m not giving up. I’m not going back to how I used to eat — this really, truly has been a life change.

It still fascinates me how many people have commented on my weight loss, ask me what my “secret” is, and then when they find out they have to give up wheat, sugar, potatoes, rice, fruit, dairy, they immediately say that there is just NO way they could do that!

Dude, I’m a SUPER picky eater. If *I* can do it, anyone can do it.

I was a hard core pastatarian before. I ate spaghetti all the time. I also had such painful acid reflux it was miserable. Now? No wheat – no acid reflux. Less inflammation throughout my body. My blood pressure is better. EVERYTHING is better. I honestly can not recommend it enough!

So I continue on. I’d still like to lose another 25-30lbs and I’m making some changes to see if I can jump start that. I will keep you posted!

A New Low… Weight Low, That Is!

I can’t believe it has been almost 4 months since I started doing the 4-Hour Body plan. As of yesterday, I am down 24 pounds. Wait. Let me repeat that for you so it sinks in. TWENTY FOUR POUNDS!!! 24! 24! 24! I’m right on the brink of being down 3 clothing sizes. TWENTY FOUR POUNDS!

1 pound shy of the half-way point of my original goal of losing 50 pounds, which I thought was so impossible when I started. Now it is completely within the realm of possibility of doing it within a year! HELL FREAKIN’ YES!!! *High fives all around*

I went in to Anthropologie and tried on a dress that fit! I didn’t buy it because it wasn’t what I was looking for, but it FIT. You may recall, that was one of the catalyst that finally made me start the plan.

I’m now down to about the weight I was when I met Mike 10 years ago. Yes, I haven’t seen this weight in 10 years. zOMG. (Since it has been so long since I updated, I’ll also add that I hit the 20lb loss mark on the exact 3 month date – 3/21 – which was pretty damn awesome.)

I’ve turned in to a total nut about shopping for clothes lately. Seems it isn’t quite so treacherous when you don’t have to shop in the plus department and you can shop in the regular misses sizes. It is a fun game of what size can I wear today?! I’m also finding myself wanting to walk up to anyone that I think will listen and tell them all about how they should cut wheat out of their lives. Uhm, if I’ve done that to you and you really didn’t want to hear it? Sorry about that. But I still think you should do it.

I learned this past week that if you put on shorts that fit you 24 lbs ago and then you put your phone in your pocket, the weight of the phone will pull your shorts down. It is pretty funny, because I can drop them without even opening the button. Of course, I can’t find any shorts that I like, and it is only getting hotter in Houston by the second.

So to recap (because people always ask):

  • What am I doing: Eating meat & vegetables. Eggs. Minimal dairy. Meat & vegetables. Eggs. Minimal dairy. On repeat. 6 days a week. Literally repeat, since I eat 2 eggs scrambled with ham for breakfast every single day, and one of three things for lunch. Just makes it easier for me.
  • What I am not eating: No flour, no rice, no potatoes, no sugar, no fruit, and most dairy. All of these contain sugars. Sugar raises your insulin. Raising your insulin makes you fat, clogs your arteries, makes you diabetic when your body can’t handle it, and a whole host of other issues. Keep your insulin low & stable, you’ll lose weight. Yes, no fruit – for me, I completely stop losing if I have fruit. So no fruit. (Read “Why We Get Fat & What to Do About It” if you want more scientific support on that. I did. Research does back it up.)
  • What I am drinking: Water. Water, water, more water. (Officially I could also have black coffee or red wine, but I don’t like either one, so I keep on chugging my water.)
  • Counting calories, points, you name it: Nope. None of that. Eat when I’m hungry. Stop when I’m full. Eat snacks. Eat. As long as it is meat & vegetables, I eat all I want. No limits. Take THAT, people doing HCG and only eating 500 calories a day!
  • Is it sustainable?: Well, let me see. I eat meat and vegetables. The core of every good meal, and I’m fortunately not a vegetarian or vegan. I would say yes, it is completely sustainable. After 4 months, I want to keep doing it FOREVER. What other diet can you say that about?!? My point exactly. Sustainable – a big yes!
  • Why just 6 days a week: Because I’m human. Sometimes I crave things. This helps make it sustainable. I need permission to go “off the plan” because it keeps me on the plan. I still try not to eat flour on that one day a week because it makes me miserable and I feel gluten drunk and I have a gluten hangover the next day.
  • WTF? Gluten drunk / hangover: Mike & Brittany have been doing this right along with me, and they have said the same thing. After you cut back on flour, when you do have it it makes you feel miserable. I end up congested, and the next day I wake up aching all over from head to toe, just like a hangover.
  • More about the Cheat Day: After you do 4-Hour Body for a month or two, your cheat days aren’t that dramatic. You are past the cravings, you are feeling so good about losing the weight, you just don’t want to go back. My big “cheat” items tend to be potatoes or gluten free pizza from Pink’s Pizza.
  • Holy Hell SUGAR RUSH!!! Seems that when you’ve been great at keeping your insulin levels nice and happy, if you eat something with sugar in it, it kicks your ass. Whoa. For example, yesterday I had tomato basil soup and a potato thing at La Madeleine. 20-30 minutes later I felt flush, and felt that sugar rush. Meh. So now that sugar makes me feel so nasty, I don’t miss it.
  • No substitutions: You can’t replace your favorite foods with fake versions of other foods. Or at least I couldn’t. Instead, I am eating all new foods. For a picky eater like me, this is a huge deal! I don’t miss anything, so no need to point out that I could eat things made with rice that are gluten free. I’m skipping all starchy-carbs, so no rice or potatoes either!
  • Exercise? What exercise?: I should be exercising more, but I want to hire a trainer for that. I have shoulder, hip & knee issues, so tossing around a kettlebell is going to just mess me up. I walk, I ride my bike, but I’m not working out. At all. Brittany has been running, and she discovered that she has to eat some starchy carbs whenever she does, so she eats rice afterwards. Otherwise she was getting headaches. So if you work out, try to add a little carbs in afterwards.
  • Try to tell me you just CAN NOT do this, and I will tell you that you can, but you obviously are not ready to do it. But you CAN do anything.

  • “But I can’t live without *insert soda name here*” – Guess what? 4 months ago, I was drinking Pepsi, fountain Cokes, and Mexican Coke like it was water. Matter of fact, that first week of doing Four Hour Body, I still drank it a little because I had to get off of the caffeine gradually. I’ve been caffeine free for close to 4 months now. I am functioning just fine.
  • “But I love *insert really starchy food* and just couldn’t live with out it!” – Dude. Give it up. I was a hard core Pastaterian. I ate pasta almost daily. Pasta, pasta, pasta. And anything made with flour. Or potatoes. I loooooooved it. Especially pasta. That said, I haven’t eaten pasta since December. I have had Pizza with gluten free crust on some cheat days, but I’ve had NO pasta. Cut it out.
  • “Well, I have this excuse…” – Ahem. My B.S. meter is going crazy! Your excuse, reason, justification, whatever you want to call it is just that. Nothing more. If you have a wake up call moment like I did? You’ll get over yourself and DO IT. This is one fact that I knew & accepted before I started.
  • Have you tried it? No? Ok, stop trying to tell me that you can’t do it. I tried it for just a month. Four months – and 24 lbs – later, I’m so glad I did!
  • It is really cool to me to watch the impact that this is having on so many areas of my life. I feel more ME than I have in many years, which was a journey that was started before I changed how I eat. It has taken on a whole new level though since January, which is part of the catalyst of acceptance and bringing everything under the brand of “me” at my Christine Tremoulet site. I can’t put it in to words, it is just awesome. I love my life more than before. I love me.

    This is the photo that was one of the main things that launched me in to doing this diet – Mike & I on December 18, 2011.


    This one was taken on the 3 month mark, in the same dress, to give you a sense of how much I’ve lost. Brittany commented that it would be a cute dress — if it was 2 sizes smaller! It just hangs on me now! (Also? I miss shoulder pads. Shoulder pads were my friend with my sloping shoulders!)


    Just for random amusement, here are two snapshots that my friend Kelli Nicole took when we were at the Hunger Games premiere for her birthday in March. She posted them to Facebook and tagged me, and I was ready to do that thing where you remove the tags because you hate the photo … and then I left the tag because I didn’t hate how I looked at all! In the top one my head is turned at almost the same angle as the catalyst photo above – and I only have one chin! Victory is mine!!!



    Have you tried 4-Hour Body, or the Paleo diet? How did you do? Success stories? Considering trying it and want to talk to me more? Leave a comment – I would love to hear from you!

    The Four Hour Body Four Week Update!

    I can’t WAIT to share photos and stories from last week at ALT with you, but first I figured I needed to share my Four Hour Body update!

    Back in December, I had a breaking point. There are many cooler terms for what happened, but the reality was that I broke. Somewhere between my desire to just be able to buy a dress off the rack at Anthropologie and watching “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” followed up by “Food, Inc.” I ended up deciding that it was time to follow the lead of many other people I knew that had lost 40-60lbs and buy a copy of Four Hour Body.

    I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy at first. The first few days are rough, and I consider Day Four to be “hell day” for most people. I don’t know what it is, but I bet it has to do with your body just freaking out because you haven’t been giving it all those starchy carbs for four days. But by Day Three I had noticed that without gluten (wheat), my allergies that I’d been battling for what seemed like forever were pretty much gone. GONE! My inflammation was down too, and since that was a huge, huge goal of mine, it made it easier to stick with it and just plow through.

    Which brings us to today. I’ve lost 10.4 lbs, and I’m pretty damn happy about that, especially since I was traveling for 8 days last week! Now I’m moving towards my next goal, to have lost 20 lbs by WPPI in a month! (Which is completely possible in my mind if I stick with it.)

    In the past month, I’ve heard every excuse under the sun from other people. You all realize that *I* have been using those same excuses for about 10 years now, right? Yeah, they are bunk. Stop it. You guys are always tell me things like, “I could give up (one item), but I could NEVER give up (another item)!!!” (Fill in the blank with flour, rice, potatoes or sugar.) Look, I loooooooove things made with flour. Matter of fact, my mouth is watering just typing that sentence. A good biscuit? I’m all over it. How about some well made tortillas? Divine! But the fact is, eating flour, sugar, rice or potatoes raises your blood sugar, causing your insulin to spike, causing you to get FAT. So if you don’t want to be fat, try giving them up. 30 days. It isn’t going to kill you, I promise. It is just 30 days – you can do anything for 30 days! But STOP giving me excuses for why you couldn’t. And don’t tell me that you can’t do it if you haven’t TRIED to do it.

    Carbohydrates from starchy foods are what are making you fat. It is that plain & simple. Cut them and you’ll lose weight.

    Things I have learned throughout this in no particular order:

  • After Day Four (aka HELL DAY), my normal cravings for carbs stopped. Feed your body enough meat, vegetables & beans and it will stop craving starchy carbs, the cheap whores of food.
  • If – and only if – I haven’t eaten enough or it has been too long, I then crave carbs. A few cashews or almonds stops the craving, and eating makes it go away completely.
  • Any time I eat gluten, I wake up congested the next morning. Have issues with allergies or inflammation? Try it.
  • Speaking of inflammation, did you know that Type II Diabetes and High Blood Pressure are both related to inflammation?
  • I stop losing weight when I eat cheese. Every time. Skipping cheese from now on.
  • I also seem to stall when I eat fruit. I have been doing one “binge day” a week (I prefer to call it a free day) and I save potatoes, fruit and cheese for that one day a week.
  • I can lose weight while I travel if I have control of my own meals.
  • I can stay steady at my weight loss while I travel when I don’t get to choose my own meals.
  • Gluten-free options are still full of starchy-carbs. (Cheap whores!) Ok on that binge day, but not ok the other six days of the week.
  • Binge days make me gain a pound normally, but ultimately I lose even more by the end of the week following. Plus they keep away the mentality of dieting sucks.
  • Veggies are my friend. I especially love a good spinach salad.
  • I’ve tried new foods and it didn’t kill me. People! This is a big deal for me!!!
  • If I “listen” to my body and eat as much as I want of meat, beans & vegetables, I will eat enough.
  • The biggest thing I’ve learned? I CAN DO THIS.

    At least three times in the past seven years I’ve tried to lose weight on a rather big scale. My goal was to lose 5lb a month – 1.2lb a week – and keep it off. It is all documented here on the blog. Every single time, I was miserable. Dieting in the modern meaning of the word SUCKS. I’m NOT on a diet. I am eating to lose weight. But I plan to keep eating this way for a loooooooong time after I’ve lost the weight. Because it doesn’t make me miserable and cranky. Who knew?!? A diet that won’t make you miserable!

    It brings it all back to what diet is supposed to mean – what you eat. Your dietary needs. Not the four letter word that diet has become!

    I’ve bought new jeans because my old ones don’t fit. The belly fat that has been plaguing me for years is melting away. All I have done is changed what I’m eating. Meats, beans (legumes) and leafy green vegetables. Lately I wake up craving meat or a salad. My how things can change in four weeks!

    10.4 lbs. I can hardly believe it. I don’t think I ever got past losing 10-15 lbs in all the times I’ve tried to diet in the past few years, and it was always an uphill battle to get there. Try this. It works!

    Oh, the Irony!

    I’ve been doing the Four Hour Body, slow carb, no white foods, whatever you want to call it diet for four weeks now, and sharing the adventures with you here.

    Yeah, that blog name of BigPinkCookie is pretty freakin’ ironic right about now, isn’t it?!?!!!

    But it is just going to have to stay that way. I guess I’ll dedicate it to the BigPinkCookie that I won’t be eating any time soon. Because after my revelations at ALT last week, there is NO WAY I’m adding another blog to my life!

    Off to wrap up editing from ALT and some other recent shoots! I’ll be sharing my 4 week results and my ALT round up in the next day or two!

    Four Hour Body – What I’ve Been Eating…

    I’m a picky eater. I have been for YEARS. So starting off on the Four Hour Body / Slow Carb adventure was a bit intimidating for me. Mainly because one of the things you are supposed to eat is beans. EW!! Beans! I hate beans!!!

    Then I had to get real with myself. While I truly despise green beans, and I have given them a chance 2-3 times within the past 5 years, I haven’t tried most other beans since I was a kid. Many beans I had never tried at all. Saying you don’t like something seems to buy you time if you just have no desire to try it at all.

    Ok, maybe I would like a lot more stuff if I was willing to try it.

    But I have a really sensitive palate, textures sometimes gross me out, and if anything smells “weird” to me, I won’t taste it. It has to pass the smell test to even make it into my mouth.

    Side note: don’t ever make fun of a picky eater, or try to convince them to try something they don’t like. They have their reasons. Being a picky eater sometimes really sucks. Being harassed about it sucks even more. Unless they are one of those whiny picky eaters – which I am not – then all bets are off. Whining earns you the right to be picked on in my book.

    3 weeks now — no “fast” carbs. No sugar, flour, rice, or potatoes. No high fructose corn syrup. No “white” foods. (Cauliflower doesn’t count as a “white” food. FYI.)

    I’ve lost 7 pounds. More importantly, I’ve survived. And I’ve tried new things. Things that for years I declared “I don’t like”. One perk of my dietary habits is that I don’t mind eating the same thing every day. Doesn’t phase me at all. So for now, that is what I’m doing. Breakfast & lunch, same thing. Daily. That means I don’t have to think about what I want to eat. Mike cooks dinner, and some days I stick to a pretty small list of things I like. Other days I branch out more.

    Breakfast: Huge glass of ICE cold water. Wakes you up FAST! 2 eggs, scrambled, with a little ham added.
    Lunch: BIG BIG BIG spinach salad. I make it in a mixing bowl. I sometimes add turkey and/or ham. A sprinkle of sunflower seeds for a bonus crunch. 2 Tbsps of Newman’s Own Garlic & Parmesan salad dressing. (My only food item that has a little sugar.) Chop it all up with two knives with the dressing already on so it is spread all the way through.

    Those foods on my “no” list above? Honestly, the only find myself craving them is when I let myself get too hungry. If I don’t pay attention to the clock and I suddenly find myself craving bread, I know I’ve gone too far.

    Tonight for dinner I had a little salami and a piece of string cheese. I’m not supposed to eat dairy (4 Hour Body), but even more so I try not to because it is one of my “domino” foods. Domino foods are those things that if I eat a little, I normally eat a lot. I love cheese. But tonight I had one piece. Then I had:

    - 1/2 can of Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo Beans): rinsed & drained, Mike taught me to put 1-1.5 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet, then add the chickpeas. Cover with a lid so they don’t pop out of the pan, roll them around every so often so they don’t stick. Cook until browned & toasty looking. Sprinkle kosher salt over them to taste. We added some chopped garlic to them tonight towards the end, and some kale chips that we crushed & sprinkled over the top.

    - A small portion of the lentil “meatballs” from the recipe at Sprouted Kitchen, with Mike’s own pesto sauce. He didn’t have any basil on hand, so he made a pesto out of parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice & salt. YUM! Bonus? It got me past my texture issue fear of eating the lentils, because instead the texture was like meatballs!

    - Sauteed Spinach with a balsamic reduction. Mike puts a little olive oil in a skillet and once heated sautes garlic for about 30 seconds in it. Then add a mound of rinsed fresh spinach and a pinch of salt. Stir once & cover. Check every couple of minutes for the spinach to be wilted (about 4-5 minutes). Add a splash of balsamic, uncover the skillet, and let that cook down. Serve.

    If you had told me a month ago that my dinner was going to consist of chickpeas, lentil “meatballs”, pesto, and spinach, I would have told you that you were CRAZYPANTS!!! I did like spinach before, but not anything else on that list. Tonight? It was all amazing & scrumptious!

    I’m not dieting. I’m planning out a future post about my rant about that word. But a diet these days is a temporary thing. No, this isn’t something that I can just stop. This has to be a complete change. But it is ok – I’ve hit that point. The point of no return. My friend Brett wrote about his “elephant moment” and I can relate. I’m so grateful for all of the friends & family I have cheering me on and supporting me right now. I want to say I couldn’t do it without you – but I am pretty damned determined. So while I could do it without all the support, it wouldn’t be quite as easy.

    I guess a picky eater can learn to like new things…

    PS – that whole gluten thing? I ate part of a piece of wedding cake on Saturday (it is a job requirement *grin*) and I ate homemade pizza Saturday night. Sunday morning? I woke up congested, and feeling like I was hit by a truck. Lesson learned! I need to really limit my gluten!