April 27, 2012

What I've been eating

It seems to take me a lot of effort to remember to write posts.

Anyway, as promised before, here is what I've been eating for the past month or so.

Breakfast/Snack: One apple (21g of carbs)

I don't always eat one, it depends on how hungry I'm feeling at the time.  I've read a bit about intermittent fasting and starving yourself between dinner and lunch is actually just fine.  I drink a ton of water each day, at least 1.5 to 2 liters worth and a lot of that is to suppress hunger.  I find I usually eat the apple on a Monday or Tuesday because on weekends I'm usually a lot looser with the diet and end up spoiling myself, which then leads to earlier hunger on M/T, whereas by W/T/F I'm back to normal again.

Lunch (16g of carbs):
2 Chicken Drumsticks (0g of carbs)
1 cucumber (4g) occasionally
3-4 cauliflower florets (3g) occasionally
5-6 broccoli florets (4g)
1/2 red bell pepper (5g)

The red bell pepper is the golden boy of this lunch.  The reds are the most nutritious in terms of all the little goodies they contain.  Red peppers have about 8 times as much nutrition as the green ones, and maybe 2-3 times as much as the orange and yellow ones.

Dinner (11g)
2 Chicken Drumsticks (0g of carbs)
Mushrooms (1g)
Onions (6g)
Broccoli (4g)

For the most part my protein has been dark chicken meat.  Remember, I'm not looking to boost my protein levels so I can maximize my exercising because I'm not exercising at all.  I'm not looking to avoid eating fat either (as there's no linkage between gaining weight and eating fat).  This is strictly a no-carb diet so I don't have to eat chicken breasts or tuna, etc. 

I've had a few steaks, pork chops or lamb chops on occasion to replace of chicken if we ran out. 

The vegetables are usually cooked in this case, as opposed to raw like for my lunches.  It's nice to eat a nice warm meal at night and that's really the only reason I've been doing that instead of eating it raw at lunch time.  I'm pretty firm about not cooking peppers because those things (especially the red ones) are so chock full of nutrients that it would be a travesty to cook it all away.  But mushrooms and onions have a lot less and taste so good sauteed that I can't resist and I don't mind losing the bit of nutrition that they have.

Dessert (on occasion):
Frozen Yogurt (30g)

Vitamin C

Some levels of hunger can also be suppressed by eating multivitamins and in all honesty, you should be eating these if you're on any kind of diet.  You can eat a multivitamin and least you know that even if you feel hungry, you're not damaging yourself in any way.  I eat a Vitamin C every day purely out of habit because of not wanting to catch an illness on public transportation. 

Putting it all together, you're thinking OMG he's eating so little.  Truth is I'm stuffed by the time I've finished my dinner most of the time, which means my stomach has likely shrunk a bit over this past month.  I'm eating on average 53g of carbs per day; studies have shown that you lose weight when you eat less than 100g of carbs per day, so I'm in a pretty sweet spot right now.

As of this morning I'm 153.8 pounds, so I've lost a total of 12 pounds in 5 weeks.

April 17, 2012

Diet update

Here's what I've learned over the past few days about my diet, or rather, how insulin works.

This is going to be severely dumbed down and simplified, so if you have a good understanding of insulin, don't read this.  Here's my quick understanding of it and how it relates to dieting.  Insulin is a hormone, which regulates carbs and fat breakdown in the body.  It helps your body either store the sugars and carbs as fat, or gets it to turn it into energy which is then used up.  Basically what you want to do is eat just enough sugar (carbs) so that your body is turning it into energy and not storing it up as fat.

Hence the low or no-carb diet where if you intake little carbs, it'll all turn to energy and you will lose weight because your body will start looking for other fat to turn into energy because you're not eating enough of it, and so you'll lose weight.

The way to do this is to make sure your body doesn't build up its insulin resistance because if it does, it'll just ignore what it's supposed to do and just start storing up more fat.  You don't want that.

A perfect example is this past weekend where I engorged in really bad food.  Saturday morning I was 154 pounds, but by the end of the weekend as in Sunday night, I was 160.  Pastries, beer, battered wings, cookies, pop.  Everything that I didn't touch for the past 4 weeks.  Ina and I attended a course over the weekend and they had free food and who was I to reject free food, right?  That and we didn't have time to cook so we had to eat out.

So during the weekend I put on a fair bit of weight because of the sudden influx of sugars and carbs.  But then as of this morning I was nearly back to normal.  This shows how the insulin kicked back into gear and with no resistance, was able to convert any excess carbs back into energy.  The example of insulin resistance is how my wife also gained as much weight as I did, but that weight didn't go back down as easily as mine did.  That's because she's been drinking pop and snacking throughout my diet (she's taken part in it when it's been convenient for her but hasn't gone out of her way to avoid carbs).  So her resistance is higher (this is also because of a health issue she has, btw) and therefore her weight hasn't gone back down the way mine has.

I'm currently at 156.5 lbs.

I'll get into my daily intake and meals with my next update.

April 16, 2012

the problem with St. Louis Wings

Here's the problem with St. Louis Wings --

Person A: says "I feel like having wings tonight."

Person B says: "How about St. Louis Wings?"

Person A: "St. Louis Wings sucks and they're overpriced."
Person B: "That's true."

Person A: "But man I really want wings.  Tonight."

Person B: "Where should we go?"
Person A: "I have no idea.."
Person B: "Err.. how about St. Louis Wings?"
Person A: "Fine."

What St. Louis Wings has going for them is that when people think of having wings, they think of them.  And they can't think of anywhere else.  The problem is that they suck.  They really do.  The sauce is always way too thick that you can't even taste the chicken, they have a limited selection of flavors, and everything in the restaurant is overpriced. 

Ina and I used to go to Puck N Wings but the one near us closed down.  We went to All Star Wings on Saturday.  Very good.  New go-to place for wings and beer.

April 11, 2012

The Diet

I started a diet about 3 and a half weeks ago.  Actually it's probably exactly 3 weeks ago. 

I've cut out all white carbs (please excuse me if my definitions don't make any sense).  Basically what that means for me is that I've stopped eating rice entirely, and no more bread.  I've also stopped drinking pop and beer.  Actually pop and beer was what I had given up for Lent but ended up extending that as part of my diet.

The results have been great.  I haven't exercised a single day yet, which means it's been the diet alone that have showed results.  I started the diet at 166 pounds and as of last Friday I was 156 pounds.  My goal throughout this time has been to reach 150 or less.  That will probably require some exercise on my part.

As I mentioned as of last Friday.  The reason is that Saturday I went to a wedding banquet and ate more than my fair share, and then Sunday my in-laws took us out to a seafood restaurant (where I couldn't eat most of the food now that I'm allergic to shellfish), but they ordered a couple of dishes just for me and I ate it all, quite happily.  I still managed to stay away from the white carbs but the portions were massive.

As of now, I'm 158 pounds.

What I've been eating is mostly vegetables high in fiber but loaded with good stuff.  Red bell peppers has been my main 'snack', just several slices of them per day, usually about half a bell pepper per day.  Costco sells 6 of them for $7 which includes 2 yellow, 2 orange and 2 red.  Which is a shame because the red ones are actually the best from a nutritional standpoint.  They're also the best tasting ones.  For protein we've been buying, in bulk, chicken drumsticks.  We marinate for a day and then we bake them.  I tried to do chicken breast for some time but considering how little fat I'm eating these days I figured it's safe to eat drumsticks. 

I'm also eating a lot of broccoli, cooked and uncooked and occasionally I'm also have cauliflower raw and cooked.  I started eating a mini-cucumber each day in the beginning but stopped when I realized there wasn't that much nutrition in there and I'd rather fill my stomach with only good stuff.  Occasionally we treat ourselves to some pork chops or beef/lamb, but for the most part we're eating chicken.

I also sautee some onions and mushrooms from time to time to eat with either broccoli or cauliflower. 

That's about all I've eaten over the past 3-4 weeks.