Monday, June 8, 2015

Le Diet

I've been dieting for a couple of months now. I'm down about 9.5 pounds which isn't huge, but it's progress and it's been with minimal suffering. Here's what I've been doing:
  • Drink lots of water. I don't enjoy drinking water but it's a lot more palatable when it's ice cold. I also like adding a bit of lemon juice. There are "flavor drops" you can buy for the same purpose.
  • I gave up soft drinks and artificial sweetener. There's no scientific reason for this. Logically speaking the artificial things aren't needed in our diet. They may or may not be harmless. More than anything I did it to see if I could do it. It took about two weeks for the cravings for soda to go away.
  • I do drink coffee. I'll have a large (16oz) with about a Tbsp of real sugar once or twice a day. This is my flavored drink. Tea would also be fine but I haven't felt like having tea. I don't consider this part of the diet per se, it's just here for completeness.
  • Protein smoothies - this is one of the main facets of my diet. They're high in protein, high in fiber, relatively low in calories, and really tasty and refreshing.
    • A smoothie blender. I have an Oster.
    • A cup or so of frozen fruit. I buy 1-3lb bags at the grocery story and they're usually in the frozen dessert section.
    • 8oz of cold water. This is called for by the protein powder.
    • About 1Tbsp of table sugar. You can use more, less, or artificial to taste.
    • One serving (two scoops) of EAS Lean 15 powder.
    • A generous splash of lemon juice. I love lemon juice.
    • Ice cubes until the fluid is almost at the top.
    • I screw on the bladed cap thingie and shake it until the ice moves around freely (so the blender doesn't jam) and there aren't powder clumps on the wall of the bottle.
    • Blend it until it looks like it's about an even consistency. The fluid should be spinning all the way to the top.
    • This makes a nice fruit lemonade.
    • Instead of lemonade, I also do frozen banana (peel, break in half, stick in sealable bag), cocoa powder, sugar, powder, water, PB2, and ice. Also very tasty.
    • I have 2-3 of these per day. 3 is almost 100% of your daily protein.
  • Chunky soups. Fairly low calorie, filling, vegetables, etc. I get tired of them sometimes but they have the benefit of being trivial to prepare. Any of these with chicken broth benefits from a squirt of sriracha if you're into that sort of thing.
  • Low-calorie frozen entrees. I get the "Eating Right" brand and stick to ones that are under 300 calories.
  • Occasionally, a sandwich. Whole wheat, medium cheddar, turkey breast, chipotle mayo, pickles, peppercinis. These pickles and peppercinis make it for me. This is probably the highest calorie thing I eat.
  • Fresh fruit. Apples and bananas mostly because they're really convenient. When my excess bananas start to turn brown I freeze them as above.
  • Chocolate Mint Builder's Bar. They have other flavors. These are relatively high calorie but sometimes you need a treat. They're tasty, have a satisfying texture, are silly high in protein, low glycemic index, etc. Pairs nicely with a fresh apple. No more than one per day.
  • Gummy multivitamins, just in case.
  • Fish oil pills because my cholesterol is a little high.

Goals

American portions are way too large. We get conditioned to eat an amount of food in one sitting that we can't effectively deal with. Our stomachs become accustomed to getting a lot of food and get pretty large. We get trained to where we don't feel full unless we're stuffed and have had too many calories. The overall goal is to maximize the feeling of fullness while minimizing calories.

One thing to work on is getting accustomed to being full on less food. This means eating smaller portions. This is tough while you're used to big portions. I think this is the part you just have to tough out. Any time I eat something that has about 300 calories in it, I wait 30 minutes before eating something else. I try to drink 8oz of water or so after I've eaten to increase the feeling of fullness. While I'm working on portion size it doesn't matter how much I eat overall. So if I'm eating every 30 minutes until I'm full, that's basically okay. The key is to get used to eating small amounts. Succeeding here is essential to getting away from poor styles of eating. It took a couple of weeks to adjust to the size of meal. During this phase I found it beneficial to prefer 300 calorie servings that were more food.

Be ready to fart. A lot. The normal American diet doesn't include nearly this much fiber. We can't digest fiber. The bacteria in our digestive tracts will happily digest the fiber and their waste product is gas. I fart a lot. The way I poop has also changed. Drinking lots of water helps some.

My weight fluctuates throughout the day and throughout the week. Suddenly weighing one or two more pounds will easily happen as I eat, drink, and eliminate. I can't really judge your progress day to day. Weekly or every two weeks is better; I need to pay attention to the trends and not the day to day weight.

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