Promise Diet for Permanent Weight Loss logo    

The Promise Diet™ -- a Radical Approach to Permanent Weight Loss

Main > 04. This and That

October 17, 2005

How To Lose Weight with the Promise Diet

In a nutshell, here's how to lose weight with the Promise Diet. Reading how I'm doing it will put some of this in better context.

  • Gain a solid understanding of proper nutrition and exercise.
  • In light of that understanding, examine you own eating habits with this question in mind: What about my eating is causing me to be overweight? (In other words, what's a food vice that's getting you in trouble?)
  • Using the principles of PUBIMO, devise a promise which will reduce or even eliminate that food vice. (Hint: "never" promises are easier to keep than "always" promises.) Make the promise to a loved one who is affected (or could be in the future) by your excess weight. (And keep it :)
  • In addtition to making "never" promises for the vices, incorporate the postives of nutrition and exericse (both cardio and weight lifting) into your life. (This became a natural by-product for me from the control I gained over myself -- plus, if I want to eat a lot of food without violating my 2500 promise, a couple plates of steamed veggies looks mighty enticing! :)
  • Over time, repeat this process, whittling down your list of food vices. If you start with "baby step" promises, as time goes on you'll gain more confidnece to make bolder, more life-changing ones. (Continue to grow in your knowledge of proper nutrition and exercise as well.)

October 18, 2005

Dixie Cup diet :)

A while back at the Y they had an unattributed description of the "Dixie Cup Diet" on their bulliten board that was pretty funny. I was surprised to not find a mention of it on Google.

The basic idea of the Dixie Cup Diet is that the trouble comes when food enters your stomach, not when it goes between your teeth. So you carry around a Dixie Cup with you whenever you eat fattening foods. You enjoy the food while you chew it to a paste and then you spit it into the Dixie Cup and throw the cup away. Lots of pleasure, zero calories!

(I haven't tried this, but my wife Liz said that she had tried something like this once years ago but had found the practice to not be fulfilling...)

October 20, 2005

Help Spread the Word!

ChangeThis -- a great website -- is "on a mission to spread important ideas and change minds".

I have a manifesto proposal there which is currently being voted on. The (several) proposals with the most votes will be asked to submit manifestos, which then get shared with the world..

Please drop by and vote for the Promise Diet manifesto proposal and help spread the word about this radical new means of permanent weight loss. It'll just take a second, although I recommend you see what else the site has to offer, in particular anything by Tom Peters.


October 22, 2005

Awareness and Alignment

To achieve success in life, a key principle is "awareness and alignment".

I first heard this phrase from Mike Ashcraft, pastor of Port City Community Church, and I must admit that the first time I heard it the phrase didn't grab me like it does now. Several repetitions later, though, I get it.

Here's the idea: Learn, and then apply. Understand, and then do.

Knowlege in and of itself doesn't produce any change. Uninformed action can quickly get you lost.

This principle applies to the Promise Diet™ in two key ways:

  1. Know yourself and your own personal food "vices", and then promise them away based on that knowledge.
    It's of course not enough to know your vices and lament about them, nor does making promises that aren't personalized to you bring the most benefit (or perhaps even any benefit).
  2. Gain a thorough understanding of proper nutrition and exercise, and then align your lifestyle toward that knowledge.
    I love something I heard a couple years ago: "In today's information-rich world, we are each our own primary care physician." But this means we must first know, and then do.

October 24, 2005

Wondering how the penguins feel

My "2500 promise" has some free days built in* -- family birthdays and major holidays and our wedding anniversary.

Yesterday was a free day, and I must admit that it's quite fun to climb down off the wagon and indulge for a day in past vices, knowing that the next day everything will be back to normal. Fried bologna sandwich for lunch, my mom's Velveeta macaroni and cheese with Spam with brown sugar sauce for dinner (my daughter's requested birthday meal!), a couple plates of cake and ice cream, a Totinos pizza for an eleventh hour "snack", etc.

I must say, though, that this morning I'm wondering how the penguins feel after their prolonged gorge...


* It's probably a good idea to build some free days into your promises, especially if you're otherwise hesitant to make one of them. This is my only promise which such an asterisk, but really a Pepsi or Diet Coke would have made a nice addition to yesterday's fun food fest.

October 27, 2005

This is all optional

"It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory."

-- W. Edwards Deming

Significant cholesterol improvement

Over the course of 15 months my HDL ("good" cholesterol) increased by 44% while my LDL ("bad" cholesterol) decreased by 32%. My triglycerides decreaed 62% during that same time period.

This was done with no medications -- just changes in diet and exercise. (And I had already started eating better when the first test was done, so the total improvement was probably a bit more than that.

May 2004
LDL 123
HDL 25
triglycerides 141
total 175
total/HDL = 7.1

August 2005
LDL 93
HDL 36
triglycerides 54
total 140
total/HDL = 3.9

My weight loss during this particular period of time was about 60 pounds.

Then again, I think this is improvement. I'm not sure what the experts over at The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics would say. But at least I did it by healthy changes in diet and exercise and not by using statins! I must say that what I read on the THINCS website is the main reason I have whole yogurt instead of fat-free yogurt for breakfast -- don't want to get too many carbs in my diet and my cholesterol isn't at all high.


October 29, 2005

Who should lose weight with The Promise Diet?

The Promise Diet&trade is not for everyone. For starters, it can't be prescribed. You shouldn't try to lose 30 pounds in 11 days with it. And if you are quite immature, I'd recommend giving it a pass.

However, The Promise Diet can help you radically transform your life, and you should consider it, if:

  • You are obese or very overweight

  • You have diabetes (or pre-diabetes), high blood pressure, heart problems, or Metabolic Syndrome (aka Syndrome X).

  • You don't have any of these conditions now, but you could next year if you don't change. (What a time to change!)

  • You are willing to take the time to learn about proper nutrition and exercise and to think through your personal situation and how your lifestyle is affecting your health.

  • You have loved ones you don't want to leave prematurely

  • You've tried "modertation" to lose weight and have found that it hasn't worked for you

  • You are ready to make a change.

If this describes you, I'cw created this website for you, to encourage, to inform, and to empower you to make the change in your life that you've been longing for.

Radical, permanent change is possible, and could be imminent.


October 31, 2005

The Promise Diet compliments other diets, not competes

To the extent that one diet "competes" against another -- you can do the Atkins diet or the U.S. government's My Pyramid Plan but not both at the same time -- The Promise Diet™ does not compete, but rather compliments and supports.

That is, The Promise Diet can enable the success of any (worthwhile) diet. And, with some time-based asterisks, you could use The Promise Diet to simply kickstart a weight loss endeavor, although the power of this approach is the permanent results it brings from permanent PUBIMO™ promises.

So then, The Promise Diet (and this website) does not dictate or prescribe a particular set of foods to eat, but rather encourages and guides you in learning about proper nutrition, and then offers you a means to overcome the need for discpline and willpower so that you can make the changes in your life you know you should make.

November 06, 2005

About This Site

The Promise Diet™ and this website were started by Reid Wilson as a way to encourage, motivate, inform, and equip people to lose weight permanently and improve their health in the process.

In addition to being someone who has lost 120 pounds while being radically transformed by the power of The Promise Diet™ and PUBIMU™ Promises made to his wife and three (now four!) young children, Reid is the IT Director at the Queensboro Shirt Company, which offers custom-embroidered apparel over the internet with great prices and low minimums. (Queensboro was the first company to let businesses and organizations get shirts with their own logos embroidered on them and has been doing that for over 20 years for tens of thousands of customers.) In particular he is focused on web application development using LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP).

Reid has a B.S. in math and an M.A. in linguistics and taught at the college level for ten years in the U.S. and the Middle East, during which time he created a website to help language learners learn language.

Quoting Reid, "I'm convinced that The Promise Diet has a message many are waiting for, a message that can radically transform the lives of many obese people, just as it has transformed me from a 326-pound caffeine-addicted happy but undisciplined junk food junkie and lover of food to a 206-pound -- and still dropping! -- happy but undisciplined lover of food. My hope is that the new Promise Diet website will be a resource to help bring about that kind of change for many people."

In addition to losing weight, Reid has seen his blood sugar levels and blood pressure drop (A1C from 5.9% to 4.7% and BP nowadays in the one-teens over upper sixties) , his level of fitness increase (14.8 METS on a treadmill stress test in August 2005), and his cholesterol improve significantly.

Reid (age 37) and his family live in beautiful Wilmington, North Carolina in the southeastern United States.

Reid can be reached at

November 08, 2005

This Site's Privacy Policy

We use Contant Contact for email newsletter list management and adhere to their strict Privacy Policy.

We will not give out, rent, loan, share, trade, or sell your personal information to any other third-party.

If you have any questions about this, please email Reid.

November 10, 2005

Press Release -- November 10, 2005

The Promise Diet – A Radical Approach to Permanent Weight Loss and Lifestyle Change

Reid Wilson has literally promised away his food vices one at a time, and in doing so he's lost 120 pounds from his all-time high. He's now set up a website and blog to help and encourage others to do the same.

Wilmington, NC (PRWEB) November 10, 2005 -- On October 23, 2002, after much internal debate, Reid Wilson drank a bottle of Pepsi, cut the label up to make a card, and with that card made a promise to his daughter for her 6th birthday that he would never drink pop again.

That wasn't as bad as he had expected it to be, so on March 26, 2003, after more internal debate, at a birthday celebration at McDonalds with his family, Wilson ate a super-sized order of french fries and then promised his two-year-old that he would never eat french fries or onion rings or fried potato chips or Fritos or Doritos or other fried chips, ever again.

He didn't know it then, but these promises would lead to what Wilson now calls The Promise Diet. Through a series of food promises over two years -- what he now calls PUBIMO Promises -- he's learned how to short-circuit the need for discipline. As a result he currently weighs 120 pounds less than his all-time high and he's still losing, with only 20 pounds left to achieve his personal goal. “I continue to love and enjoy food”, Wilson says. “These promises have won me victory, not made me miserable.”

Wilson has realized that The Promise Diet is an approach to permanent weight loss that can benefit the many millions of obese adults in the U.S. and around the world. Because of this, he's created a new website/blog called “The Promise Diet: A Radical Approach To Permanent Lifestyle Change”, which can be found at

The Promise Diet involves two main ideas:

1. Gain a solid understanding of proper nutrition and fitness.

2. Based on that understanding and an examination of your personal food vices – what is keeping you overweight, that is – make (and keep) promises to loved ones that reduce or even eliminate those vices from your life

Wilson actually started making these promises over a year before reading Walter Willett's Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy (Free Press, 2002, 2005), but this book finally convinced and motivated him to start truly eating right. “My wife had been the health food nut in our home and had been encouraging me to read it for quite some time. I finally started it and quickly got hooked, learning for the first time WHY veggies and whole grains are good for my body from a scientific and medical perspective, not just THAT they were. Now I'm the nut, and our family's outings to Golden Corral are an opportunity for me to get extra veggies and for her and the kids to let their hair down a bit.” A significant section of The Promise Diet website is dedicated to help spread this message: Eat right, eat less, and exercise more.

In many ways The Promise Diet is the perfect complement to many of the diets people use today, as it provides the means to overcome the need for discipline and willpower and to successfully implement the advice they receive.

“My real concern is that people are going to make stupid promises that they won't or can't keep, saying 'I'm never going to eat another carb again!' in a fit of clueless passion”, Wilson adds. “Because of this, I've come up with the acronym PUBIMO, which outlines what makes a good promise.” To Wilson, a good promise needs to be:

P -- Personalized
“My food vices are different than yours; promise them away accordingly.”

U -- Uncontested
Would medical experts unanimously agree that this is a good promise to make concerning your health? (Related to “I” below.) Corollary: Don't make stupid promises!

B -- Bold
Life is short. Seize the day. (But also see “M”.)

I -- Informed
A prerequisite to making uncontested promises is the knowledge of what healthful eating really is.

M -- Momentum-Building
“Baby step” promises are worthwhile as long as they lead to future promises which will lead to additional change. That is, “I won't ____ on Monday mornings” -- or even “Monday morning” -- is a great start if that's all you're up for at first. Even small steps bring benefits as long as “P” and “I” are fulfilled.

O -- Other-focused
“I'm not losing weight to look better. I want to be around for my kids as they grow up and I want my grandchildren to have me for a grandpa.”

Wilson continues, “I'm convinced that The Promise Diet is a message many are waiting for, that it is a message that can radically transform the lives of many obese people, just as it has transformed me from a 326-pound caffeine-addicted happy but undisciplined junk food junkie and lover of food to a 206-pound -- and still dropping -- happy but undisciplined lover of food. My hope is that the new Promise Diet website will be a resource to help bring about that kind of change for people.”

In addition to information regarding current medical thinking on nutrition, weight loss, and fitness, The Promise Diet website (found at gives practical instruction and encouragement in how to successfully apply The Promise Diet to one's life. Wilson posts new entries to the site almost daily and offers a free email newsletter as well.

Sidebar: The eating promises Wilson has made
See also

October 23, 2002 -- I will never drink pop again (Pepsi, Coke, Diet Coke, etc.).

March 26, 2003 – I will never eat french fries or fried potato chips again (or onion rings or Fritos or Doritos or other fried chips).

Late spring, 2003 – I will never drink chocolate milk made with Quik again.

August 13, 2003 – I will never eat pre-packaged sweet things that come in a wrapper again. (Specific target: the honey buns and candy bars in the vending machine at work!)

April 13, 2004 – I promise to never eat more than 2,500 calories on any given day, and to ensure this happens, I will write down everything I eat and keep track of the calories. (This one is actually more specific than that, with some exceptions on special days and an eventual end goal which frees him from having to write everything down.)

August 21, 2004 – I will never eat non-homemade sweet things at home, at work, or in our car.


November 14, 2005

Force -> Form -> Flow

In addition to "Awareness and Alignment", another phrase I've picked up from Mike Ashcraft is "Force -> Form -> Flow".

The basic idea: As we force ourselves to adopt a particular action in our lives, and as we do that action repeatedly over time, that action becomes a habit that is formed in us. Eventually that action becomes second nature and flows freely from us. And this new flow strengthens us to undertake new "forcings", allowing us to be in a constant cycle of growth through force -> form -> flow.

This is perhaps somewhat similar to the expression "Fake it until you feel it", with the understanding that you will grow to feel it.

The basic idea, as applied to The Promise Diet: As I've forced myself to eat less junk and fewer calories through the eating promises I've made, and have done that now for a long period of time, I've formed "proper eating habits" in my life. Over more time this has become engrained in me; these days I crave veggies and whole grains and it's normal for me to eat less than 2500 calories a day.

Do that which you want to be, and you'll become that which you do: I am a healthy eater.

This concept is important, because it means it's generally easier to follow a promise a month after you've made it than it is a day, and it's easier a year later than it is a month, allowing you to continue the cycle and build momentum by making additional promises as time moves on.

(That said, tempatation doesn't ever completely leave, and the promises keep me from falling off the wagon.)

November 26, 2005

Thanksgiving Day is a (fun!) "Free Day"

I wrote this Thanksgiving 2004... 2005 was pretty similar (although perhaps a bit more sane and no intestinal issues) and leaves me with only a summary comment: Eating is fun!

Good thing I have my promises to keep me in check for the long haul.


Thanksgiving Day is one of a few "free days" built into my 2500 promise. (All of my other promises still apply since they didn't have any exceptions.) It was fun eating all kinds of junk (fried bologna sandwich, frozen pizza, two Hardee's biscuits, lots of yummy cake) plus a nice large Thanksgiving meal too. (Thanks Liz and Carol!) I started the day off with a midnight Wendy's run (classic double with cheese and a (fried) chicken sandwich) and then pretty much ate most of the next 24 hours -- with only slight intestinal distress today.

The obvious: I am still a glutton at heart -- I bet I ate 4 times the calories I normally do in a day these days.

Christmas is the next one... should be fun. Good thing I don't have too many of these!

December 04, 2005

Busy days, but eating completely under control

These are busy, somewhat stressful days for me, but my eating is completely under control.

In fact, for what is I'm sure the first time in my life, I've gone 10 days in a row without a single sweet thing. And, not surprisingly, I'm finding that eliminating desset from my diet makes it easier to eat less than 2200 calories a day.

Even with my calorie reduction and seven days in a row of some type of exercise, I bet I still haven't made up for Thanksgiving's fun. I'm curious to see what the scale says next time I do an "official" weighing (in the morning at the Y after breakfast wearing shorts and a T-shirt).

December 11, 2005

More weight loss

I weighed 203 at the Y yesterday, meaning I'm three pounds less than my pre-Thanksgiving low and 123 pounds from my all-time high.

I realize for some people other factors may come into play, and that not eating enough can mess up one's metabolism and change formulas, but for me weight loss is quite simply a matter of math: expend more calories than you consume and the weight comes off. In addition to my 2200 promise I've been able to work out more frequently than normal, so the math is working in my behalf on both sides of the equation these days.

For a long, long time this was much easier said than done though!

December 24, 2005

To Binge or Not To Binge on Christmas Day?!?

I weighed 201 at the Y this morning -- I'm about to break below the 200s! BUT, tomorrow is Christmas, a free day from my 2500/2200 and "no sweets" promises. I've been debating with myself whether I should just eat normally and keep the weight loss momentum going, or fully enjoy the day and put off reaching my goal weight of 185 by another week or two. (I'm going to have exactly the same dilemma on New Year's Day.)

At this point, I'm planning to eat well, but not totally crazy. My family is planning to eat the evening meal at the local Mongolian Grill, which is going to be open, so that will help my calories out, as that place is as low-cal as it gets. (We moved into our new home two days ago and haven't unpacked the kitchen yet and thought eating out would be a nice way to celebrate as a family. We've "catered in" lasagna from A Taste of Italy for lunch as well. :)

My family's making brownies as I write this and at midnight tonight I'm going to get me a brownie and ice cream sundae!

I just can't express well the peace of mind I have knowing I can "climb down off the wagon" tomorrow, have a fun day, and then resume everything again the following day, no problem. That truly allows me to enjoy my fun days and illustrates the power of the Promise Diet to radically transform lives permanently. I am so thankful...

Merry Christmas to all!

December 27, 2005

A very sweet Christmas

A recipe for fun:

Breyer's Oreo Cookie ice cream
chocolate chips
almond slivers
Hersey's hot fudge (heated up in microwave)

Put into a big bowl and enjoy.

Repeat several times during the course of 24 hours.


Maybe it's because I hadn't had sweets in so long but this was really, really, really, really good. :)

Right before having the last bowl at 11:30 PM on Christmas Day, I told my wife, "I'm going to get me one more bowl, but then I'm not going to have any sweets on New Year's Day [my next free day]."

So, more more sweets until I get to 185 or until my daughter's birthday on March 26!

January 07, 2006

A new stat for me -- percent body fat

Today at the Y they had free percent body fat tests using a small hand-held electrical device (not skin calipers in other words). They did mine twice and got 21.8% and 21.5%.

I also weighed 200 this morning, a pound less than my pre-Christmas weight, which is great since I had two fun gluttonous free days between then and now.

After I got home from the Y I looked up a chart on the web and found It showed the following for a male my age:

16.1% -- Excellent
19.4% -- Good
22.6% -- Fair
26.1% -- Poor

So, not surprisingly, I still have some weight to lose.

Taking 21.8% for calculation purposes, at 200 pounds exactly I guess this means I have about 43.6 pounds of fat on my body. (I realize the measurements these gadgets produce aren't 100% accurate.) Since I'm actively lifting weights I'm going to assume the weight I'm losing is all fat, and for purposes of math simplication I'm going to assuming I'm not going to gain any muscle mass for a while.

So, when I reach my goal weight of 185, meaning I've lost 15 more pounds of fat, that would make my percent body fat then to be (43.6-15)/185 = 15.5%, putting me into the "excellent" category then. I'm thinking this suggests that my 185 is a good "ideal body weight" for me. My BMI would then be 24.4, at the high end of "normal", but maybe the fact that that I've been lifting weights regularly for some time now means I've got a bit more muscle mass then some.

About 6 more pounds and I'll be "good" according to this chart.

Anyway, I was happy to see that I had lost a pound when I weighed this morning. 185 is on it's way...

January 14, 2006

hurt foot => no activity this week, but lost two pounds

I somehow hurt my heel last weekend and as a result did not do any exercise, sports, or weight lifting -- or hardly any movement! -- for seven days. (It's starting to get better now and I did upper body weights at the Y this morning.)

Referring back to my 2200 vs. 2500 calorie ponderings, in which I mentioned how at 2500 calories I wasn't getting hungry but at 2200 I was often getting hungry, I thought it was very interesting that I didn't experience much hunger this week, eating less than 2200 calories/day. Presumably the difference in hunger this week can be attributed to the fact that my body wasn't consuming as many calories as normal since I was desk/bed/sofa ridden.

And, despite the inactivity and lack of hunger, I lost two pounds this past week, and now weight 198! I'm really curious to know what I would have weighed had I had my normal active week -- too bad we can't do true split A/B tests on such things.

Anyway, I feel my hypothesis is growing stronger: active people (or at least active people like me :) have a "sweet spot" of calorie consumption at which they lose weight, have the energy they need for their activity, but don't get hungry, or at least not that hungry. Eat more than this and weight loss slows down. Eat less than this and you go around hungry and (perhaps) weight loss slows down, or at least doesn't speed up to compensate for the decrease in calories consumed, since metabolism shifts.

This sweet spot would likely shift down over time as one loses weight, since one's basal metabolism would decrease (unless one is gaining a fair amount of muscle mass by weight lifting).

For me, then, my ideal seems to be more like 2500/day than 2200/day. Since I've promised to not eat more than 2200/day until I weight 185 I'm going to stick to that, but probably I should have stayed with 2500, at least for weeks that I'm not laim.

Too bad I can't split myself into three, with one of me eating no more than 2500/day, one 2200/day, and one 1800/day. I bet adding up weight loss, energy, and lack of hunger, 2500 would win over the course of a month.

February 04, 2006

130 down, 11 to go

I weighed 196 at the Y thi s morning, meaning that I've now lost a total of 130 pounds from my all-time high.

11 more to reach my goal!

March 05, 2006


I've hit some serious plateaus, both in weight loss and also in weight lifting improvement. I actually weighed a pound and a half more at the Y yesterday than I did on Feb. 4 and I can't bench press even one rep more of the same weight than I could on Jan. 1 and have perhaps regressed a little. The lack of weight loss was in part due to a couple of free-calorie days -- a food-filled Valentine's Day set me back weeks i'm sure -- but other than that I'm eating a bit less than 2200 calories of high-quality food every day and exercising a fair amount and would have expected to lose more. And while it's been a stressfull, busy month, the month before was even more stressful and even more busy with even more lack of sleep...

Anyway, I've been reading online and realize I need to build more variety into my weight lifting, and have begun doing that. (For starters, for at least the past two months I've also done my bench press first, with exactly the same weight.) And I'll keep eating right and I'm sure the weight will come off.

I do wonder sometimes, though, how it works when you're trying to both lose fat and gain muscle at the same time -- exactly how much should be eaten, and is it possible that my 2200 calories/day limit isn't enough and is somehow causing both of these plateaus? Hard to say...

What I'm sure of is that I'm not at my ideal weight yet, although I'm not too far off. I still have some flabby gut to lose!



My Story

On Promises

Eating Right

Eating Out


Exercise/Weight Lifting

This and That

About this site

Contact Reid


If you are morbidly obese, this website could save your life. I've not completed my journey, but I've lost over 115 pounds so far, most of it since starting something I'm calling "The Promise Diet." You can too, one promise at a time."

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Enter your email address to sign up for our FREE newsletter

Privacy Policy

Send This Page To a Friend (opens popup window)

Recent Posts


130 down, 11 to go

hurt foot => no activity this week, but lost two pounds

A new stat for me -- percent body fat

A very sweet Christmas

To Binge or Not To Binge on Christmas Day?!?

More weight loss

Busy days, but eating completely under control

Thanksgiving Day is a (fun!) "Free Day"

Force -> Form -> Flow


March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

Subscribe to this blog's feed
[What is this?]

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2

Any significant lifestyle changes you are thinking about making should be discussed with your doctor.
The Promise Diet™ and PUBIMO™ are trademarks of Reid Wilson.
Copyright 2005-2006 Reid Wilson. All rights reserved.
In association with