#Cronut? Experimenting with Ray Cronise’s weight loss methodology

Going to try to keep this quick.

For those who know me in real life, I’m overweight. Since graduating college, I’ve been as high as around 320-330, and as low as 182 (thanks to watching what I ate somewhat and doing excessive amounts of Dance Dance Revolution and In The Groove). My weight settled around 220 lbs in Japan (which is noticeably overweight there), and around 260-270 here (which is noticeably overweight anywhere).

Anyway, I’ve been struggling to lose weight again, especially since I don’t have the freedom to do 3-5 2+ hour Dance Dance Revolution workouts a week like I used to. However, my weight has continued to creep up. I was around 260 at the beginning of this year, and was almost 268 until about a week ago.

As of this morning, I was 259.4. The second lowest weight I’ve clocked this year.

Now, the funny thing here is: I’m not really exercising right now. I’m not completely sedentary either: I have to chase my kids around, walk around a bunch with the family on weekends, and I sometimes bike to work to save money and for my health. But I’m not “working out” at all. I’ve just had a huge drop, perhaps “water weight”, without having to spend a bunch of time and effort sweating in a gym or on a DDR machine.

So, basically the title says it all. I’m trying to follow some of Ray Cronise’s advice for weight loss. Ray has talked about his approach on several podcasts as well as on his website, hypothermics.com. The magician Penn Jilette has also written a book, Presto, about his experience working directly with Ray. My approach is basically a combination of all of these.

There are some obvious caveats here:

  • I am not writing this as “diet advice” in any way. I don’t want a lawsuit. I’m merely sharing my experience and hoping to inspire others to look into what Ray has to say.
  • I’m not doing this as strictly as Penn. This is in part because I don’t know the full protocol Penn followed – I’m hoping Ray will share his methodology in more detail in his upcoming book, Our Broken Plate. But even the bits I do know, such as the potato famine the first 2 weeks (which I’m currently working through), I’m knowingly doing wrong. I’ll explain in a bit.
  • I’m not going to claim that what I write here *is* Ray’s method. This is my experiments based upon what I have heard from Ray through his podcasts and through Penn. Again, I’m not being directly guided by Ray (at least not yet); please keep that in mind.

I’ve basically been on the diet since this past Tuesday, or around 6 days. Basically, I’m doing a modified potato mono-diet right now. I buy a bunch of potatoes on Monday from Winco, and am eating them throughout the week while at work. Like Penn, it’s just potatoes – no salt, no butter, nothing added at all. I’ll eat as many as I want, which might be 3 or 4 in a day of varying sizes. I’ll then go home in the evening and have a normal dinner with my wife – however “normal” for me means stir fry, ramen, okonomiyaki, or other Japanese food since that’s what my wife prepares for our family.

This past weekend was somewhat of a challenge, as I’ve tried and failed with so many diets in the past that I’ve assured my wife that she doesn’t need to make any special accomodations for me, especially having just started. So while I really ought to be trying to keep to a small feeding window as Ray suggests and perhaps eating only once a day, on the weekend I am eating 3 meals and possibly a snack or treat in the afternoon. But I am actively trying to minimize the damage, e.g. having salads or low calorie dishes rather than bleu cheese burgers for lunch, having fewer waffles for breakfast, enjoying the flavor of treats but actually letting my wife have most of them, etc.

Part of me feels that the mono-diet is easier to manage. I would have loved to have some potatoes today. (They’re a good comfort food even without the diet, really.) I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s potatoes. And while ideally I’d wait until around 3 or 4pm before having any (so that my dinner will fit in the same feeding window as my potatoes), I might try to ease back into things and have them a little earlier. It’s the price I pay for not being strict with this diet.

Anyway, without rambling too much more, this is what I’m trying right now. And while it’s too early to tell how much weight per day I should expect to lose due to initial water weight, this diet looks far more promising than anything I’ve tried before. I’m hoping the potato famine continues to go well, and that I can make a good transition to “nutritarian” eating afterwards – or perhaps I might reach out to Ray for help. We’ll see.

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