The Fat Boy Gets Slim — Dieting Tips As Per Requests

The Fat Boy Gets Slim — Dieting Tips As Per Requests

Apparently, my dieting post was not as boring and self-indulgent as I feared. In fact, I have been overwhelmed with requests for some dieting “tips”. Well, okay.  I will give it a shot.

#1. I am in no way qualified to offer dieting advice.  True, I have lost about 30 pounds in under two months.  It is possible though, that I may drop dead tomorrow because I have no idea what I am doing.  So, if you want to take any of my advice, do not blame me if you die.  If you are concerned, talk to a doctor or a nutritionist.

#2. Before you even think about this diet be aware that it is hard and requires will-power. There is not a lot of leeway for cheating. What is worse, if you do cheat on this diet, you kind of mess up the whole thing and weight will come back at a speedy pace.

GETTING STARTED: Get a scale. Weigh yourself EVERY day.  I avoided a scale for a long time because I feared it. When I finally got up there I was like HOLY SHIT!!! I wasn’t just imagining I am fat, I AM FAT! It sucks.  Get honest with yourself and deal with it. The best thing to do is to find some friends that also want to lose weight.  Make a bet with those friends.  Let’s say $100 to whoever loses the most weight in a month.  If you don’t have friends that want to join, just make a bet with your skinny friend, your mom, your husband, your wife, your sister, anyone that you love or really like.  Motivation is good.  Every day at the same time, have a weigh in.  Send each other photos of the results. These should be people that love you, so some ribbing and teasing are both helpful and forgivable.  Be brutal about failures. Be overly excited about the positives.

NO: Carbs, starches, sugars.  This means NO pasta, rice, yogurt, couscous, tofu, beer, wine, sake, beans, potatoes, bread, ramen, soba, quinoa, udon noodles, milk, fruit, fried foods that have breading or coating of any kind. Basically,  anything that you could imagine that fits within these catagories. Start demonizing these foods.  Refer to beer as “Satan’s Brew.”  Rice = “Lucifer’s Grains.” Bread — “Satan’s Loaf.” Ziti? “The Tubes of Beelzebub.”

I would also add NO to diet soft drinks or anything that tastes sweet that says ZERO CALORIE. More and more studies show that sweet flavors, regardless of sugar or calorie content, trigger your body’s chemistry to react — to release insulin. This is BAD.  You fuck up your metabolism when you do this.

YES: Veggies, chicken, fish, butter, olive oil, spices, walnuts.  To a lesser degree: cheese, steak, pork and lamb.

PORTION REDUCTION. You want to reduce your overall caloric intake.  When I first heard people talking about the Atkin’s Diet in the late 90s, the claim was that you could stuff yourself on bacon, cheese, eggs, steak, etc. as long as you did not eat carbs.  Did not work for me. You must eat less, there is no way around it. My rule of thumb was just to eat half of what I would usually eat. You need to get hold of quantifiable foods here.  In my house, we eat a lot of hot pot — basically a steaming pot of broth to which we add veggies and meat.  I can never tell how much I am actually eating with this type of food, so I ditched it.  What I have favored for the last two months are things like one chicken breast, one small piece of salmon. I really like chicken and the salmon in Japan is cheap and delicious.  Make a bunch of spinach with mushrooms and onions. Sautee your protein in butter with salt and pepper.  It might seem small, but these are foods I like so flavor trumps small serving size. Find your own favorite foods within the limited categories and eat them.   I found myself making a lot of veggie curries.  For instance, I made a pot of curry — lots of onions, garlic, peppers, ginger — with a variety of greens, okra, eggplant and cauliflower.  Super spicy. Very delicious.  I portioned out one small bowl of this 2 times a day (the same bowl, so I could keep track of how much I was eating).  I have eaten some red meat over the past two months: a pork chop, a really beautifully marbled steak.  Both times my weight either jumped or remained the same, so I have stuck with the chicken/fish paradigm. This quantifiable thing is super-important. In the past, I heard that peanuts are a good snack when you are going zero-carb/low carb.  So, I ate a lot of peanuts — but I cannot track my peanut ingestion, so I have not brought them into the house. Instead,  when I really get hungry between meals, I eat things I can absolutely count — one cucumber, 4 walnuts, 2 cherry tomatoes. It is boring, but there it is.  There is no doubt you miss the “sopping-up” stuff, like rice or potatoes. Too bad.  I also like to drink.  Beyond beer, I would often have some vodka, gin, whiskey, wine to sip after dinner or perhaps before dinner…Maybe sometimes during dinner…Sometimes a combination of all three: pre-dinner, dinner and after dinner.  I have always known that I drink too much. I don’t shy away from this fact. But, over the past two months, I have made it a rule to not drink at home.  It’s the calories.  While tequila and shochu are pretty diet-friendly, it is still extra calories. I have figured it best to do away with all those small numbers that combine together to become a bigger figure. When I am out, I drink only distilled spirits — vodka, tequila, whiskey, shochu, gin — with lemon and soda water. Be careful when drinking because your tolerance is going to go WAAAY down and you will find yourself falling off your bike as I did.

HUNGER: In this diet, you will be hungry.  Sorry.  That is just the way it is.  I found it helpful, every time I felt hungry, to just drink a big glass of water.  Remind yourself that an unpleasant amount of people on this earth are hungry all the time and you are lucky that your hunger is by choice instead of poverty. After all, you have eaten enough or you would not be on a diet.

FIRST WEEK THOUGHTS: I am impatient and easily discouraged. This means that slow weight-loss is demoralizing. My first week of dieting, I lost 8 pounds which encouraged me to continue. So, if you decide to follow this regimen these are my suggestions for your first week:  Gather up your green veggies: broccoli, leafy greens, celery, zucchini and a big head of cabbage.  Sautee garlic and onions.  Add all of your veggies, a can of tomatoes (San Marzano is favored) and chicken broth to cover.  Use a free-hand with spices. Cumin, thyme, rosemary, smoked paprika, salt, white pepper.  When everything is tender hit it with an immersion blender (you don’t have to do this, but I like the texture better as a puree). Eat this for 3 days. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day for all seven days.  For the next 4, eat a hard boiled egg for breakfast, a small chicken breast with spinach and mushrooms for lunch and dinner. DON’T CHEAT!  Not even a smidgen.

CHEATING: Basically, don’t cheat. If you go out to restaurants a lot, you are going to fuck up.  No way around it.  Restaurants want their food to be extra-delicious so they use sugar, huge amounts of butter and all sorts of other unknown ingredients to achieve those ends. Curb your fuckups.  Don’t go crazy and eat a bowl of ice cream. Instead, eat one small piece of shrimp tempura and really really enjoy it. I have fucked up a few times. I ate the following: One small portion of the baked ziti I made for my kids; 4 gyoza; 10 pieces of sushi; a few bites of mashed potatoes; 6 or 7 french fries scammed from my son’s plate; a mouthful of minced katsu; A “taste” of my daughter’s pizza. 1 almond coverd in chocolate. A drunken, 5am bowl of grilled pork and kimchi over rice. I paid for all of these indulgances.  Other than what I ate with my son on his Tateshi Treat Day, the cheating was not really worth it.

EXERCISE: You need to jump start your metabolism.  Exercise is the best way to do this.  I am lazy and shitty and find it near impossible to get to a gym.  The 7-Minute workout is a godsend.  Download it on your phone.  Let it guilt provoke you.  It sucks. The “wall-sit” is painful.  It takes only 7 minutes and it will help you out.  Do it.  I also increased my walking.  I have a bike here and I use it a lot.  I have ditched it in favor of steps.

THE END-POINT and EXIT STRATEGY:  I think dieting helps if you have a clearly defined goal in mind.  I weighed myself on January 15th and found I was 212 pounds. My sister arrives for a visit on March 20th.  I figured that I should get down to somewhere around 180, so that when she comes, I can eat.  This has proved to be helpful as most times when I am tempted to cheat, I can say to myself, “Just wait until Lesley comes and it will be more fun to eat a Katsu Sando with her.”  The extrapolation is a fact: You are lucky enough to be in a position where you have a lifetime of meals to consume.  You can wait.

When the goal is hit, maintence becomes the issue.  I really hope I can keep this up.  I will try to do this by continuing to weigh myself daily.  I will stick to the no drinking at home rule.  I will try my hardest to limit myself to smaller portions.  I will not drink as much beer.  The no eating after ten pm thing is a pretty good rule to just live by.  Most importantly, having a strict diet reminds you of all the excess calories you ingest — the little things that you nibble on through the day.  Maria Kondo that shit.  Eat with joy.  Own your moments. Jettison mindless acts of consumption.  Well…At least I will try to do these things.

I hope this was helpful for those who asked.  Please do not die and sue me if what I have suggested goes horribly wrong.  Be kind to yourself but own your behavior.

 

 

 

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