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Last year, I took an interest in my health and losing some weight. I stopped drinking all except diet sodas. I began drinking more water. I started going to the gym too. I also switched to a protein-based Subway diet. I was still eating whatever I wanted and was generally hoping that cutting down on my lunches alone and exercising a bit more would do it. I stopped gaining weight, but didn't lose any.
Last November, I visited the dietician at the local VA hospital for advice. After having recently seen my primary doctor for some tests and having my weight documented at 330 lbs., I was informed that I am pre-diabetic. The dietician put me on a low-carb diet, telling me what sort of foods I needed to have at what meals and in what quantities. I jokingly asked the doctor if she couldn't wait until after Thanksgiving. So I am basically allotted 65 grams of carbs at breakfast, 75 grams at lunch, and 75 grams at dinner.
As of today, a mere five months later, my weight is down to 255 lbs. and still dropping. I am feeling great with more energy and every feel-good rhetorical line you hear in every fitness commercial. I have dropped 4 pants sizes and had to punch several new holes in my belt. My goal is 200 lbs., which is medically acceptable for my height. People are asking me what I've done to lose weight and some have even suggested I write a book. The truth is that my secret is so short and simple that it would make a fair blog, but hardly a book.
Here's the deal. I stopped watching calories and started watching carbohydrates. I essentially started eating as if I was diabetic. Any calories I intake are dealt with in my exercises. I stopped using sugar almost entirely. I sweeten my morning coffee with stevia instead. For breakfast, I have either 1.) a bowl a plain cheerios (1% milk) with half a banana chopped into it for flavor or; 2.) I have a piece of whole wheat buttered toast with an egg. Instead of normal butter, I use the spray bottle "I can't believe it's not butter." All of this is extremely low carbs and tastes pretty good. At lunch, I either have a 6-inch baked chicken subway or a chicken fajita on a wheat tortilla. Toppings include tomatoes, lettuce, and pepper. The idea is, "Fewer condiments, more spices and vegetables."
At dinner, I eat fish, turkey, or chicken with a vegetable and serving of some potato dish. For snacks, I stick exclusively to vegetables. I eat whole tomatoes, kosher dill pickles, or celery stalks. My drinks are typically a diet soda, water, or Diet V-8 Splash. I am considering low-carb desserts, but I've not tried any yet.
My exercises are nothing fancy. If weather permits, I bike to work. This is a stroke of personal luck for me since I live about 2 miles from work and there's a bike trail in between that runs along the river. If weather doesn't permit, I take a gym bag to work with me and hit the gym on the top floor of my office building where I walk briskly on the treadmill for 30 minutes. I allow myself to cheat my diet no more than once each week with a small, but very desirable, dinner and I try to put in some extra exercise when I do. Other than this, I'm doing nothing extraordinary.
Would I still go to McDonald's? I haven't needed to lately because I've gotten into the habit of cooking for myself, but yes. I have gone on rare occasions that I didn't have time to cook something. Any one of the burgers or sandwiches from McDonald's are excellent for a diet, but stay away from the fries and sodas! My personal favorite is the grilled chicken.
I have made a few interesting observations. Firstly, foods taste way sweeter when you stop eating sugar for a few months. Food simply explodes with flavor. Secondly, it takes less food to make me feel full. Last year, I could go to a buffet and put away 3 plates myself. If I did that now, I'd eat myself sick.
This blog is an editorial and contains only the opinions of the author. The author claims no expertise on most topics of discussion and this blog is not to be cited as an alternative for properly vetted journalism or scientific sources.comments powered by Disqus