It was some time ago that I decided I needed to lose weight. I had tried minimizing my caloric intake but figured out quickly enough that I did not have the willpower to moderate my eating while still eating things I like.
The problem was that I love potatoes. Scalloped, mashed, fried, I think they might be my favourite food.
So I embarked on a new trendy fad diet, known as keto (short for ketogenic).
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To summarize this diet ideology, carbs = bad, fat = good.
I quickly got results, losing roughly 2 pounds per week, it seemed to be my avenue for success.
When I got to a weight where I was happy I went back to eating carbs, and was shocked to find that even the slightest amount of carbohydrates went right to the scale. It seemed my body had lost its tolerance for potatoes.
Anyway, I put back on the weight I had lost and then some. I kind of decided that maybe being slim wasn’t for me anymore, that was a young mans game.
Almost a year went by when I hit the scales and I was shocked. I was the heaviest that I had ever been by a a large margin. I had to do something. But was doing nothing.
It was around March of 2019, that a friend and I both agreed that we wanted to lose weight and maybe to motivate each other we would engage in a contest.
Because comparing fitness between individuals is an apples and oranges situation most of the time, we were going to be competing for whoever improved their body mass index (BMI) most significantly.
This takes into account muscle, water content, height and weight. It’s not as simple as how many pounds you drop.
I was about ten pounds heavier than my opponent from the get go, so I somewhat had the advantage.
Additionally, I used to exercise quite a bit so I have more muscle proportionately speaking. Which also put me at an advantage.
I was going to go back on low carbohydrate diet, and eat 1500 calories per day.
I recognize that both together are a pretty restrictive diet, but I don’t seem to have a problem following it because I enjoy cheese and meat.
If you space out your meals regularly throughout the day it’s not hard to go to bed not hungry.
In the past I used an app to track all my food and found this was a good method to keep myself in line. If you are interested in the app it is MyFitnessPal made by UnderArmor. The free version is very comprehensive and you probably won’t need the pay model.
For me the most important thing to losing weight is diet. Sure exercise can bring your net calories down, but because I’m eating so few calories exercise could put me in an unhealthy deficit (1500 calories is the minimum acceptable amount to consume in a day to not become nutritionally negative).
Additionally, I was going to cut out casual alcohol. This almost goes without saying, but alcohol is nothing but empty calories.
In the past when I was dieting and was measuring my calories, drinking just meant that I could not eat as much. And if you know anything about alcohol, it goes hand in hand with after the bar treats.
So to get my diet off the ground I was going to do a sober month, and cut out casual alcohol on the whole.
All I have to do is stick to it, and time will take care of the rest.
This Is What I Eat
- Salad (a lot of salad)
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Pork Chops
- Nuts (not with the whole keto diet, but you gotta treat yourself)
I recognize this list isn’t very long.
Then one day I was talking to another friend who said that keto must not be healthy considering you have to cut so much out of your diet.
So I did some research, and one study I came across was pretty alarming.
The researchers involved determined that in their study cohort, that over and under eating carbohydrates was associated with higher mortality.
None of the study’s respondents necessarily over ate to extremes but when total carbohydrate intake was greater than 70 percent of daily calories, it resulted in early death. Likewise, when respondents ate less than 40 percent of daily calories in the form of carbohydrates….early death.
The results of the study indicated a U-shape correlation between carbohydrates and death.
Those who ate 50-55 percent of their total calories in the form of carbohydrates generally did not die…yet.
Moderation is key
The major takeaway from this is that like anything else that is good, moderation is key. The study did stipulate that even though substituting carbohydrates for protein and fat resulted in a higher mortality rate, substituting for plant protein and fat did not.
It would seem our vegan friends have won at least one of the battles of the food war.
But I’ll be honest, I’m not ever going to go vegan. And my diet is only temporary.
The real reason I put on weight was because I stopped exercising and started treating food like a vice.
Which there really is nothing wrong with, it’s just I also don’t want to be larger than I used to be.
I mean, food is tasty of course we want to eat it, and eat it until we are disgustingly full. But I’m not dealing with a 20 year old’s body anymore, I have to be more vigilante than I have been in the past.
Even though the study says I might die, there was some factors to the study that don’t apply to my life. One, is that I will go back to eating carbohydrates when I hit my goal weight, and two, I am a relatively young and healthy person.
I plan on losing more weight, and totally beating the socks off of my friend who I’m competing with. But when I’m done, I’m getting a fucking pizza.
While I was successful at losing weight before while doing keto, it’s just a merciless diet. So I’ve decided I’m going to get one cheat meal per month so that I don’t lose my mind and go off the rails.
So far I’ve lost almost 15 pounds and I’m only half way to the weigh in date.
Progress is a slow process and I must be patient if I’m going to win, and win I must!
Feel free to leave a comment if you have dieted and what worked for you.