Thursday, August 03, 2006

Variety, who needs it?

When I started Atkins for the first time about two years ago, I was amazed at all the different things I could choose from to eat. Besides meat (which is awesome, in case I haven’t stated it enough) I could consume all sorts of non-starchy vegetables, berries, cheeses, oils and creams.

While this was all very tasty and pleasant, it didn’t seem to work in the long run. I would always fall back to my old way of eating, and I could never understand why. I mean, heck, I lost some weight and was doing quite well, and hey, I had variety!

But something kept sabotaging my efforts. I attempted to deduce what it was, perhaps discover some factor or some variable that I had overlooked when I was adhering to Atkins. Maybe I was unknowingly eating something I shouldn’t have been. Maybe it was my friends discouraging me, whether consciously or not.

Maybe I was just weak-willed.

I just couldn’t figure it out. And I almost gave up.


Then, after about two and a half years of low-carb yo-yoing, in desperation, I decided to try Fat Fast. It is an extreme regimen (at least to ‘conventional’ nutrition) outlined by Dr. Atkins in his book. The program consists of 1,000 calories per day, 90% of which is from fat, in five small meals eaten over the course of a day.

I lost about four pounds in three days. It was terrific.

And it was terrific for more than just the weight loss. I had figured out why Induction did not work for me in the long run. The Fat Fast did not contain carbohydrates. Atkins Induction did.

That was the factor.

(Now, I am not bashing the Atkins program. It has been beneficial to a great many people.)


I cut carbs to zero. Things started getting easier. I didn’t want sugar. I didn’t crave potatoes or bread. Instead of forcing myself to eat the burger without the bun, the bunless burger became preferable.

Now, I eat an average of eight eggs and about three-quarters to one whole pound (0.34 to 0.45 kg) of meat (usually beef) a day. I feel great, and don’t really want to eat anything different. Variety was what made me stumble before…why should I start now?

It takes me ten minutes to cook a meal now, as opposed to 30 then. I have actually saved money because the vegetables always went bad before I could make them. I don't go out to eat anymore, (well, rarely) because it is cheaper to broil a steak at home then have O'Charlies do it for me.

And I have saved time too, because I don’t waste said time counting carbs anymore.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Why I eat what I eat...

When it comes to diet, I have three main concerns:

1. Time

In a typical week, I work 60-65 hours; I don’t have a whole heck of a lot of time for cooking meals. However, in order for me to attain optimal health with my diet, preparation of my own food is a must. So, I try to make it easy for myself. For instance, beef and fish generally cook up quicker than, say, chicken or pork. Steaks and fish also have the advantage of not needing to be burnt to a crisp in order to be safely consumed. Time constraints are pretty much the only reason why I rarely eat chicken or pork. (Bacon, on the other hand…) Basically, if I can’t slap it in the boiler or in a frying pan and have it cook in less than 10 minutes, then I don’t bother buying it. (Even though I could eat it otherwise.)

2. Carbohydrate content

I hate counting. (I think this has something to do with me hating math.) So, you can imagine that counting carbs is a tiresome chore for me. So, how did I get around this little issue? I just don’t eat carbs. (This includes fiber, which I am convinced is not essential to good health. But to each his own.)

3. Hidden ingredients

Last, but not least, I wish to avoid chemicals and other undesirables that lurk in processed foods. Current items on my list are: trans fats, polyunsaturated fats, soy and soy derivatives, and certain preservatives.

So basically, I realized I needed a diet that was quick and easy to prepare, healthy, with no carbs or hidden ingredients. Yes, my food choices are a little bit limited.


But I’ve loving every bite of it.


Typical menu:

Breakfast

1. Two to four eggs, either scrambled or fried with two tablespoons (60g) of virgin coconut oil. I may or may not use cheese in the scrambled eggs.
2. Some form of meat, usually a four to five ounce (113.40-141.75 g) steak but sometimes two to three ounces of bacon.
3. Crystal Light Orange drink (about eight ounces, or 226.80 g)

Lunch

Since I take my lunch to work (in order to save some money), due to my diet plan, it’s much simpler to pack the same thing every day.

1. Four eggs already cracked in a disposable Tupperware dish. I pack butter separately to add to the eggs after they’ve been cooked in the microwave- they tend to dry out if I don’t.

2. Some red meat, depending on what I got in the fridge from the night before.

3. Water or diet cola.


Dinner

See breakfast.



I can't tell you how much I love my food. Most people don't believe me...Ah well. Can't argue with results.