Back on September 1st of last year i decided to start The Shochu Diet. As many scientists have done over the centuries, I used myself as my own laboratory. When doing experiments, scientists hold all conditions constant, changing only one at a time to see which has the desired effect. That’s nearly impossible in a non-laboratory setting, but I did what I could.
Since the goal was weight loss and I know weight loss is most highly related to energy intake (calories) and energy expenditure (exercise), I decided to keep exercising and eating as I normally do while making just one change. I switched my alcohol intake from beer, wine, and whiskey (my other favorite spirit) to shochu.
The research question became, would I lose weight?
Doing some fancy math using an online calorie calculator I determined that if I could reduce my alcohol-related calorie consumption through shochu, I should be able to lose 12 lbs in about 3 months (12 weeks). Sure enough I lost 5 lbs the first month, another 5 the following month, and by week 11 I was down 12.2 lbs. The holidays hit and I gave a bit back, retreating to a total 9 lb weight loss by the New Year. That was disappointing, but I knew if I got back on the shochu diet, I’d lose it again. I was convinced.
I set a new goal. I wanted to get to a grand total of 15 lbs down by tax day – April 15th. Well, it’s now the end of March. How am I doing?
As of today I am down 15.6 lbs off my pre-diet weight. I weighed 177 lbs when I started and today I weigh 161.4. That’s nearly 9% of my body weight lost in 30 weeks on this diet. Yes, 30 weeks is a long time to be on a diet, but I finally achieved my goal. So I can now say … the shochu diet is finally over.
I have to be honest though. And if you’ve been reading along as I’ve been on the diet, you’ll know, I did change my diet. Drinking shochu whenever I wanted to drink put me in a lot more Japanese restaurants for dinners out. That shift from Western to Japanese meals no doubt had some effect. What’s really happened at this point is a lifestyle change. There’s no way I’m going to stop drinking shochu in favor of other drinks.
Sure, I won’t be so militant about my diet (my friends will appreciate that), but I’m still going to do my best to maintain this weight loss and using shochu as my spirit of choice will have a lot do with how I keep the weight down. Keep an eye on the Shochu Diet page to see if I’m successful.
And if you decide to go on a shochu diet of your own, please use the comments section to update me on your progress.