And yet somehow, I still loose weight.

Posted: September 24, 2010 in Posts

Today’s lunch is one of my favorites. Egg Salad with Tuna or Salmon. Five hard boiled large eggs, two 2.5 oz. pouches of tuna or salmon add mayo and mustard to taste and mush together vigorously. I like 50/50 spicy brown mustard and plain old yellow. Wife would probably put Dijon in it and be really happy, but I’m not a huge Dijon fan. I use low fat mayo, but from my stand point there’s no reason to. Light is all we ever have on hand and I don’t do the shopping. I bought a 280 calorie cobb salad while depositing money in the grocery store branch of the bank. I ate it and half the eggs and salmon and left the rest for Wife.

I have no idea how many calories, grams of fat, cholesterol etc. I don’t exactly care. I know everything in there is, for the most part, good for me. I know that 90% of the cobb salad, the lettuce, counts in my book as nearly zero calories. Since the Adkins diet went big and pork rinds became a diet food this isn’t exactly crazy. But chowing down on the entire egg and telling people that the pasta primavera is making them fat still isn’t totally mainstream diet advice yet.

I started cutting weight Wednesday before last. I’m down three pounds. I can’t give you hard numbers of calories, fat grams, fiber, etc. I don’t have them. When bulking, I eat three or four snacks and three meals a day. A snack is roughly 200 calories. A meal is roughly 800. About 3000 to 3500 calories while bulking. To cut weight I got rid of  two snacks and reduced the size of my meals buy about %25. To maintain weight I just get rid of two of the snacks. It’s all just off the cuff estimation. It works okay. I have a few things going for me in terms of weight loss, higher activity level both at work and exercise, the muscle I’ve gained over the last year and a physiology that apparently responds to a low carb diet.

I should keep a journal and do all those things. I don’t and I probably suffer some for it. But it’s a pain in the ass. I may not pay strict attention to how much I eat , but what I do is watch what I eat in terms of the food I select. I’ve started to strictly avoid white flour, white sugar and trans fats. I eat largely meat, beans, eggs, nuts and some dairy with liberal sprinklings of fruits and vegetables (excluding potatoes and corn, which is a grain). I eat high protein and high fiber foods that are very filling. This makes it easy to cut back when needed.

I used to eat like this as a kid. I’ve never had much trouble with vegetables, a relish plate with cut veggies and dill dip was my favorite part of Thanksgiving as a kid. I was raised on egg salad. My mom worked as a teacher’s assistant while I was in elementary school. She had to be at work early so my grandparents dropped me off at school every morning, after Grandma fed me an egg salad sandwich on toasted Roman Meal bread (The orange and yellow bag sends me into fits of nostalgia). I was always a slightly tubby kid, but I didn’t get the fat kid thing going on until I started riding the bus and began every morning with a big bowl of carbs and milk. Obviously, it wasn’t just the cereal, as a latch key kid my TV watching time went through the roof. But the high carb diet didn’t help.

I go through about 20 eggs, five or six pounds of chicken breast and a half to a dozen tuna pouches every week. It works for me. Some people respond better to other diets. The trick is finding what you respond to. Beyond sticking to a diet for more than week, daily weighing is the best tool I’ve found for weight management. To choose a diet, try the metabolic Typing quiz at Graeme Thomas Online.

I’m going to amend this with a little more info concerning my diet history.

I lost fifty pounds on Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers is a great program because you EAT REAL FOOD. I mean, you can buy the WW branded frozen dinners or other processed foods but you don’t have to as you do with other programs like Nutri-system and Slim fast. If you’re going to do no more activity than  light jogging or an aerobics class with bright colored dumbbells WW is the way to go in my opinion. If you like support groups, they have them freaking everywhere. I didn’t care much for them, a lot of them seemed to devolve into people complaining about missing ice cream. So I went with the also excellent online option.

Why am I not still on WW? Because their Points(tm) system puts too high a cost on protein. Even lean protein. WW main focus is on stuffing you full of high fiber foods so that you’re not hungry. It’s a system that works and works pretty well. You’ll quickly find out that if you spend all your daily points on ice cream and bacon, you’re going to starve. But if you’re doing a program like Starting Strength, you need much more protein that you can get with out wither starving or going over your points allowance.

Conventional lifter wisdom is 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight (or pound of lean body mass) per day. Now you shouldn’t be doing a program like Starting Strength or any heavy strength training while trying to loose weight. You certainly shouldn’t do it on a diet that restricts you to about a third of the 1.5 to 2 gram rule. Doing so is a path to two things, failure and injury. Probably in that order.

If you are significantly overweight, as I was. Concentrate on getting to a healthy weight first with a workout program designed for it (P90X seems popular*). Then get off the diet and lift your ass off. You’ll be amazed at what happens.

*I don’t care what they guy says you won’t get significantly stronger with P90X. Leaner, meaner, etc. sure but P90X will not build you a body weight bench press or a double body weight deadlift. If you’re not training specifically for strength it’s a weight loss program in my book.

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