Amid all the fine dining, the fried chicken eating, the vast consumption of varied chocolate-themed desserts, I am often asked: “How do you not weight 300 pounds?”.  Twenty years ago, I could have chalked it up to a high drive metabolism but, in recent years, the truth is somewhat more complex.  I’ve never really paid attention to my weight.  I don’t even own a scale.  What invariably motivates me to get into shape is when I put on a suit and the pants are too tight.  It’s either slim down or overhaul my entire wardrobe.

During my first season on Stargate, I was at my heaviest, roughly 20 lbs heavier than I am now.  This I attributed to a sedentary lifestyle (that saw me spending more quality time with my laptop than my significant other), no time for exercise, and the production’s delicious catered meals (something I didn’t have to worry about when I moved to Toronto because their production catering is absolute shit). It also didn’t help that we never cooked.  The only meals we ever ate at home were those I ordered in.

Fortunately, around that time, I hit upon a diet that effected a rapid transformation.  Called The Snake Soup Diet, it involved ordering the snake soup at the Hong Kong airport, then traveling to Tokyo where I was violently sick for a week.  I returned to Vancouver 15 lbs lighter, started working out, and kept the weight off.  [Note: My former writing partner unintentionally  invented a variation of this meal plan called The Hot Seafood Casserole diet which involves visiting your mom, then driving home and forgetting the leftover Seafood Casserole in the backseat of your car on a hot summer’s day…].

Anyway, with neither the access nor the inclination to acquire some snake soup or suspect seafood casserole, I recently opted for a new plan of action when I noticed my suits were feeling a little…snug.  I have friends who swear by the keto diet or paleo diet or vegetarian diet and while I applaud their commitment and the results they’ve seen, these diets aren’t for me.  I wanted something that would allow me to lose weight, but not leave me hangry.  So, I decided to create my own eating plan, one that incorporates my preference for early dinners, my general disregard for breakfast, and my appreciation for chocolate-coffee beverages.  It goes something like this…

1 – Never eat after 6:00 p.m.  I know, I know, very difficult to do for most, especially you Europeans and your 10:00 p.m. dinners.  But, damnit, I’m usually hungry by 5:00 p.m. and have no interest in waiting any longer.  If I’m ever invited to a dinner party where dinner is served after 7:00 p.m., you can be damn sure I’ll have eaten before my arrival.  So, yes, 6:00 p.m. is usually my cut off time.  No late night snacking.  And, truth be told, I never have the urge.

2 – Intermittent fasting can, if its proponents are to be believed, do everything from increase muscle mass and decrease body fat to stave off aging.  It involves – well, not eating for long stretches, usually some 16 hours.  Although I didn’t seek to follow this specific stratagem, I found I was unconsciously doing so every time I skipped breakfast and, instead, opted for an early 11:00 a.m. lunch.  I’m never hungry in the morning.  I’ve never been a big fan of breakfast (don’t even bother inviting me out for brunch).  I found that whenever I DID eat breakfast, I would be absolutely famished throughout the day.   So, instead, I skip it and fast for 17 hours.

3 – Early lunch – anything and everything.  This is why I hesitate to call this a diet because I don’t restrict myself.  Fried chicken, pizza, ice cream and cake. Whatever.  Maybe if I watched what I ate, maintained a cleaner, healthier diet, I’d see even better results.  I could be a hard body, kicking sand into the faces of unwary beach nerds.  Or, I could just continue to enjoy porchetta sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies.

4 – My mid-afternoon sweet brew.  Around 3:00 p.m. every day, I stop by one of my favorite coffee shops and order a mocha latte or variation thereof – almond syrup, nutella, ginger and cinnamon – as long as they compliment the two main ingredients: chocolate and coffee.

5 – By the time dinner rolls around, I’m rarely hungry, but I’ll eat all the same, usually a light meal comprised of greek yogurt with protein powder, fruit and all natural peanut butter, or a couple of soft boiled eggs with cheese.

And that’s pretty much it.  Oh sure, I’ll have the occasional cheat meals.  Go out for dinner.  Eat a little later than usual.

Oh, and hit the gym an average of 3-4 times a week.  A shoulder injury prevents me from lifting weights so I’ll just hop on the treadmill and alternate between a two minute brisk walk and one minute sprint for 45 minutes.

I know, I know.  It sounds crazy and maybe it is, but in the two weeks I’ve been on my specially-tailored-to-me-diet-plan, I’ve lost two inches off my waist and I am back down to my fighting weight.  So go figure.

I mean, sure, I could try paleo or keto or go vegetarian or attempt to suppress my appetite by consuming an 8 oz. glass of water and sheet of newsprint before every meal, but why make myself miserable if this is working?

Your mileage may, of course, vary.

But I’m curious.  How do you all stay in shape – or shed the pounds to make weight in the lead up to your UFC match?  Do tell.

27 thoughts on “May 27, 2018: The Joseph Mallozzi Program!

  1. Wasn’t there also a chicken sashimi variation on those diets? 😉

    My go to method is very simple, and much the same. Avoid eating out when I can make something at home (but still go when the urge strikes me), less meat (especially red), increase the veggies, and avoid juice and pop. The latter two are easy now that they bug my reflux so badly. It’s more about portion control for me than types of food. I do some mild workouts and stretching but those are more for fitness than for weight loss. Anything reputable that I’ve yet says that weight loss comes from calorie restriction and fitness comes from exercise. You have to exercise a LOT to make a significant difference weight-wise.

    That said, the last few days I’ve been spreading a truckload (14 metric tonnes!) of topsoil that I got for finally putting grass in at the top of my long driveway by the street. Doing that for part of the day leaves me hungry for the rest of the day!

  2. I have wondered why your skinny, but didn’t want to ask, congrats on the size reduction , I rarely eat breakfast but that’s because I usually am up four am

  3. Eating whatever I want, whenever I want is my secret to keeping in shape. Unfortunately, that shape is large and round. 🙂

    Seriously, though, I have a very unhealthy addiction to sugar. My sweet tooth is insatiable and it will literally be the death of me. I’m trying my best to get it under control but I still have several kilograms of Cacao Barry and Callebaut chocolate in the cupboard calling to me!

  4. I walk a lot ( go to work at foot Summer and winter )and I eat when I’m Hungry only at no specific hours I’m 5’10.5 150 pounds and … no Gym 😛

  5. “[Note: My former writing partner unintentionally invented a variation of this meal plan called The Hot Seafood Casserole diet which involves visiting your mom, then driving home and forgetting the leftover Seafood Casserole in the backseat of your car on a hot summer’s day…].”

    Don’t tell me he still ate it??!!!!

  6. Your diet “plan” would never work for me. I am a carboholic but, because of the glaucoma, I now try to limit the carbs. I have no desire to become diabetic and lower insulin levels are better for the yes and general health. Been doing rather well lately by going low carb. Some days no carb. It’s my variation of the keto diet, which I don’t think is all that healthy, so no bacon but avocadoes and olive oil for fats. Anyway, I’ve lost 5 pounds in the last month. I find I’m not as hungry when I eat fewer carbs. 30 pounds to go!

    On May 10 I went 9 hours without eating, but that was due to the car accident I was in where my Jeep got totalled and I ended up with a cracked rib, major bruising and a pulled muscle. All in all, except for the loss of my beloved Jeep, not a horrible outcome. A lot of pain the past couple of weeks. Getting out of bed in the mornings isn’t as excruciating as it was, no more screaming in pain, so I’m improving. Yay? Just have to figure out where to find money to replace the Jeep. It was a 1992 Cherokee. Not a huge settlement from the insurance company and what I got has to be the down payment on the new one. Bronchitis at the beginning of the month, the accident and my oven quit, so May kinda sucked.

  7. Over the past 13 years, I’ve been on two “programs”, neither of which I recommend:
    —MYSTERIOUS FOOD INTOLERANCES for seven! years, which eventually turned out to be gastroparesis* caused by too many years on metformin. (*Look it up online if you’re curious)
    —SIX WEEKS ON INSULIN, because a med I took last year caused a sudden 13-lb. gain.

    1. Forgot one:
      —SLEEP 12 HOURS A DAY, which leads to fewer meals consumed. Unfortunately, that much sleep takes a toll on the quality of one’s life overall.

  8. Oh, Joe, we have so much in common, haha. Whenever I see “keto diet”, I cringe. I do have two male friends who are on that diet and who look amazing, so, the diet works, but the psychological trauma of the diet is evident. (I also now feel very stressed that if I hug them, I will break them.) Sorry, life’s too short for that… I don’t think I can live without chocolate. I do try taking the occasional break from chocolate, but what happens is I’m like a crack fiend looking for a fix. If I have ‘healthy’ snack bars in the house, I will lick the drizzled chocolate off the surface, and not care about the rest of the bar! Desperate times! Saying that, we can always better ourselves and we should be taking care of our bodies as the damn things fall apart with age. Such an annoyance. Thus, I need to exercise. I tend to do exercise that I like / keeps me interested, as I’m easily bored and don’t want to sweat! Thankfully, I have personal trainers to keep me in check. One guy focuses on core and building flexibility as I have injuries, including a shoulder injury from pro softball. I have a basic resistance band attached to my office door so I can do shoulder exercises whenever. The other guy focuses on cardio and stamina, so we do interval training for jogging and boxing and I use an interval app on my phone (IntervalTimer). He told me that I can eat whatever chocolate I want in the mornings only. And also, not to eat anything after 6PM. My ideas for the next season of Enter Entropy are very clearly defined and I needed to find someone who could work on a fighting style with me for the characters and story arc. Long story short, that wonderful guy, Vicente, is turning me into a badass by doing Filipino Martial Arts training (similar to what Teyla did in SGA). It’s great for my health and the other exercise I do actually goes hand in hand with this. When I started doing this, Vicente says to me: Do you want to be buff? I was like, uh, I dunno but I’d like to not look like the Pillsbury Doughboy. 🙂 You be the judge next time I see you! C

  9. I can lose weight, but damned if most of it doesn’t find me eventually. After I injured my back I dropped 115 pounds, mostly watching carbs with less focus on calories. Of that weight, I’ve only kept off 40-ish pounds. With a bad back, I’m limited to walking & stairs, the latter of which I do not do enough of.

    Oh, and I’m hungry almost all of the time. Seriously.

  10. Suggestion, try traditional Mediterranean diet … it will fill you up in a healthy way. Plus if hungry, have some roasted nuts in between … no salt, no added oils, roasted nuts. FYI

  11. Had to chime in on this one! I recently have embarked as well on #2 – Intermittent fasting as well and I can say I am down 25lbs as well. I have followed some of this guys (Thomas DeLauer) advice and shooting for another ten and then going to get back into building muscle mass again! He used to be very over weight as well and his videos are on you tube and FB…

  12. Actually, not too different than you. Very light breakfast- a bowl of Wheaties or Cheerios, maybe a banana. Lunch is THE meal. As I’ve aged, I need to watch it a bit more, less high fat. No more downing an entire pizza when the menu/box says “serves 4”. Dinner is a salad and/or piece of fruit. Walk every day. Working for now, but things can change in a flash, and it won’t be for the better.

  13. If it ain’t broke…

    We went out with a friend yesterday, that spent a good ten minutes questioning the waitress on the flour content of each dish. Exhausting! I’m thinking some of these diet fads are control issues.

    My diet is simple. I eat what I want and exercise everyday (swim/karate). I’ve been doing the same thing all my life but now that I’m older, the Dr. considers me athletic.

    Tom Gardiner (@Thogar): Do you have access to a swimming pool? Swimming has been fantastic for my back.

    glowyzoey: Sorry to hear about your problems. I hope you feel better soon!

    1. Tam, I wish I did. Swimming is fantastic exercise that doesn’t strain the back, provided you don’t do any weird bends and such. Unfortunately, my yard is so small that if I did put in a pool I’d have no yard left. We seriously considered it, but didn’t want to give up our storage barn or our beloved veggie garden.

      Although I have to say I don’t swim much when I am in a pool. Like a friend of mine once said, “I don’t swim, I float. Swimming is to keep from drowning. Do I look like I’m drowning?” Besides, my margarita spills every time I try to swim with it!

  14. My husband is naturally thin, and he eats like a horse. However, he doesn’t often eat a breakfast, just coffee.

    On the other hand, I am not nearly as active as I should be, and need to eat very little to lose or maintain weight. We’re talking 1500 calories a day or my weight happily stays in one place. I need to lose something like 50 pounds. I did well when I had an ostomy bag last year … ugh. Don’t do that. I’m mostly just sad.

  15. “…on Stargate (there was) the production’s delicious catered meals”

    Isn’t that a good enough reason for MGM to bring back Stargate?? 🙂

  16. Hi! Joe Believe it or not I heard something similar to what you are doing from a doctor. Her cutoff is at 8pm. Fasting for16 hours. No sugar, starch, and carbs. Between 12-7:55pm. It suppose to work.

  17. I’ve had docs insist I should go vegan but all that’s done is make my weight go up. For me Atkins and long strolls work,I can’t do deprivation. If I bring my own chicken or beef for my salad at lunch then I don’t get hunger pangs. I love to breakfast on raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, with a little tuna salad on wasa, and making summer salads to have with lean beef or salmon, greens with avocados or peaches with a tiny bit of a good dressing. Thanks for your tip on Halo Top, my flavor is black cherry, I’m fine with a few spoonfuls with Trader Joes coconut cookie thins.

  18. I started gaining weight back again in 2012. Not really sure why; my thoughts were that I was so busy pet sitting that I didn’t have time to make a healthy meal and grabbed stuff what was portable in my house and left. Part of it got worse when I tore my meniscus in my knee in 2013 and then I discovered herniations in my spine. Recently I have been having GI issues related to all these changes with Patrick and I decided to get more strict with my gluten-free/dairy-free diet. I also kind of, not on purpose, found my eating very little or not at all for breakfast because I’d have to run out the door in the morning. I would eat lunch and then with dinner I have to eat by 5 o’clock or my late evening medication doesn’t work too well. Sometimes out of circumstance I’ve had to eat after 5 but I try not to.

    My exercise though sucks. I try to do something and then I suffer for it because I think my body can do things it can’t (even when I try to swim). I can’t walk dogs that pull anymore. I just can’t risk having to have spine surgery. I have too many complicating factors like my pseudotumor cerebri that affects the CSF pressure.

    Now, I also don’t deprive myself. I’ve learned that backfires.

    I found a fantastic nondairy ice cream called Nada Moo. When I was still using dairy, I loved Halo Top but their nondairy line sucks. Nada Moo is the best nondairy ice cream yet (with two flavors of Ben & Jerry’s nondairy line that come in a close second). I can walk about a 1/2 mile at a time. If I have 3 dog walks though in one day, that will make me hurt. Since my peak weight I’ve dropped 21 pounds. Still have a lot more to go. Once you start losing, it becomes the motivator itself. I’ve lost 70 pounds in the past so I can do this again.

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