Revisiting the 2014 Fat Loss Bet

Before I cover my recent fat loss success, I first want to close the loop on The Fat Loss Bet from early 2014. Longtime readers might recall that myself and three friends entered into a bet to each drop 20 pounds. We all failed.

It is interesting that when I look back at the strategies that I wanted to implement, I was mostly on target. Yet it didn’t work. Here were the ideas:

#1 Remove Foods that I Eat Past Satiety

I did a decent job here and I think it accounted for the majority of my early success.

#2 Create a Food Journal

I started fine here but quickly gave up. I hate tracking food. For others, this might be an amazing strategy, especially people that haven’t spent years looking at labels. For me, writing down foods and measuring them was uninspiring.

#3 Reduce Eating Window

This was another great idea, but I had trouble implementing it. The only way for me to reduce my eating window would be to delay breakfast for 3-6 hours after waking. The problem here was I workout in the morning twice a week plus I often need food to deal with the jitteriness from coffee. So I most days I was unsuccessful in reducing my eating window.

#4 Increase Protein

Another great idea, but I messed this one up as well. It is one thing to decide to eat more protein, it is another thing to make it a habit. I failed to create a plan to consistently eat higher levels of protein.

#5 Cold Thermogenesis

Back in 2014, I still believed that cold thermogenesis had the potential to measurably increase fat loss. I no longer do. Maybe if you are a thick-wristed 300-pound man that can’t do other forms of exercise? I still believe in CT as a way of building resiliency and possibly reducing inflammation, but not for fat loss.


Cold Shower by Jinx!


All this year, I have been thinking about the power of the story. The ideas I came up with in 2014 mostly made sense. But collectively the strategies were boring and uninspiring. Had I lost the 20 pounds with these techniques, I believe that I wouldn’t have kept off the weight. Maybe I would have gained half of the weight back. Then I would have perceived my effort as either being too much or misplaced, which could have affected my mood and lead to further weight gains.

This year I decided to address the aspect of the story and failure before I even began. How I did that will be the topic of an upcoming post.

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Critical MAS is the blog for Michael Allen Smith of Seattle, Washington. My interests include traditional food, fitness, economics, and web development.

5 thoughts on “Revisiting the 2014 Fat Loss Bet”

  1. Nice to see you back! I get what you are saying about not wanting to log food. I am currently trying to get down my weight. I am taking it in small increments at a time ( I decided it might provide more positive feedback,and encourage compliance, like Dave Ramsey does by paying off the smallest debts first), but my ultimate goal, I think, might be in the 175-155 lb range. But anything will be better than 245 at 5’4″, even if I had a decent amount of muscle (although at 47, that was starting to slip away too). I got inspired by Richard on Free The Animal and his current endeavors. I have to say, the Lose It app/site has made tracking extremely painless. There was a week when I started, and a few days here or there where I slacked, but all in all, pretty doable, to me. Since May 20th, down 15 lbs. My first goal is 20 lbs. Combine that with Fit-bit, it takes some of the work out of it. Looking forward to reading more from you.

  2. @SteveRN – Thanks. I think you are going to like my upcoming posts.

    Richard at FTA is excellent at explaining a simple and effective story. At times the story changes, but it always has an inspirational aspect. It is more powerful than the details. I will be going deeper on the power of story in upcoming posts.

  3. Now THIS I’m really looking forward to.

    I hate tracking, and am considering dropping a few kg. Sounds like your experience could prove helpful.

  4. Weird. I remember you leaving but for some reason decided to check your website today. Glad you’re back. Keep writing. I know people can be difficult and sometimes you might rub someone the wrong way but in the end it may provide someone some value someday.

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