Contradiction in Terms
You say to-may-toe; I say toh-mah-tah. Deal with it.
Saturday, July 09, 2005

Scaling Down

I finally decided to listen to my big brother's diet advice.

Although he is a certified fitness consultant, I've been ignoring him for years, because, well, he's my brother. If any of you actually think sibling advice should be automatically listened to, you probably don't have siblings--or at least, not the kind who told you, when you were six, that sunbeams could be trapped and held in the palm of your hand if you were quick enough to catch them. (An afternoon of fruitless frustration that probably contributed significantly to my current skeptic nature.)

Anyway, day before yesterday, I checked my weight on the scale at the doctor's office and discovered that I have actually lost give-or-take fifteen pounds in just over two weeks. Since two of you have already asked how I did this, I'm posting the general rules of thumb to my brother's Sane Low-Carb Diet. ("Sane" meaning you can actually do it without fainting from weakness, killing everyone around you due to hunger-induced bad temper, or having to constantly refer to a list of "legal" foods that no one normal ever has in their kitchen anyway.)

1. Eat three main meals a day. Each of these meals should consist of no more than three fist-sized portions. (Your fist, which serves as an equivalent measure for your general body frame and size.) Women will most likely find that this is about as much or more than they usually eat, anyway. (Male readers will just have to suffer.)

2. Stay away from foods that you know are full of carbs or sugar. When in doubt, just don't eat anything that is white, yellow, or pale earth-toned in color. This means that rice, potatoes, and corn are bad; but you can eat bacon, steak, fried chicken, and other protein-y substances all day long. (Some exceptions to the color rule are eggs, milk, butter, cheese, and salt, which are okay; and squash and beans of any sort, which are not.)

3. If you want to lose weight more gradually, you can still eat the "forbidden" foods--just make sure you don't eat more than one fist-sized portion of them per meal. And whether you're after rapid or gradual weight loss, don't worry about minor carb intake like breadcrumb coating--incidental carbs like that are generally no big deal. (Just don't shovel breadcrumbs into your mouth or anything!)

4. In addition to your three meals, you can have up to two snacks a day, as long as they're not "forbidden" foods. Cheese, cold cuts, chicharon, and canned meat like vienna sausages make great munchies.

5. Pick one cheating day a week, during which you can throw the whole diet out the window and eat whatever the hell you want. This way, if you have a craving for a hot fudge sundae, you can just promise yourself an ice cream binge on your cheating day. Also, if you wind up breaking your diet one day--because you forgot, or couldn't resist, or ate someplace where there was nothing to eat but carbs--you can just decide that that day is your cheating day, and forego the "official" one for the week.

It's doable, I promise. I'm a chips-and-dip addict myself, and I've been doing it for 18 days now, without feeling weak or going crazy. You should not do it for more than two weeks, however, without consulting a doctor, nutritionist, or fitness expert. Drop me a line and I'll give you my brother's phone number.
Nikki bit in at 3:27 PM :: ::
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