Slow-Carbs, No Carbs, Go Carbs: a 30-Day Journey

So, I thought I would just put up here for posterity, my first major foray into a food-modification plan. Yes, a diet.

And I also wanted it on record that the biggest reason I decided to do it was because I bought new (expensive) pants in April and I did not want to throw them out because they didn’t fit.

So, I had been reading about Tim Ferris for quite some time, and when I read the headline “Lose 20 Pounds in 30 Days Without Exercising” of course I was ready to take the plunge. So I read up a little more about it (especially as I indignantly thought “why the hell can’t I eat fruit?!”) and got myself prepared.

I was not at all expecting the whole 20 pounds thing, because I thought my eating habits and weight weren’t completely out of control. But I did feel gross, and I wanted to see how I could change that through diet alone.  Also, this wasn’t a complete deprivation diet because one day a week – usually people choose Saturday – where you are allowed to eat whatever you want. It not only helps your psychologically get through another week, but physically, it keeps your metabolism busy, processing good throughout the week, and bad icky stuff Saturday night.

The first week I felt fresh and energetic and great. It was amazing how much my belly shrunk in the first 3 days. Crazy carbs and alcohol are wicked bad for stomach bloat, a great thing to remember. It felt really great to get up and make myself an egg for breakfast while I’m packing a delicious salad with grilled chicken for lunch.

The second week I felt like this was the worst idea I had ever had. No wonder so many people say “fuck it” to diets, especially cutting out carbs completely. Every time I would think about a snack, it was something loaded with white carbohydrates. Why was I putting so much of that stuff in my body?! When the 2-4 o’clock munchies hit and I felt in dire straits, I would repeat the words Tim encouraged people with: “If you are hungry between meals, you’re not eating enough of the good stuff.” I tried lentils, which are supposed to be the best for protein/fiber/whatever I do not care they was gross. Quite possibly on par with peas they were so gross. I tried to mix them in with salads, other legumes, even bacon to take the taste and texture away. Fail. Lentil fail.

The third week I was kind of meh, it blows not eating dessert but I’m used to it by now. I was also sick of eggs. It sounds so sad, since I LOVE eggs. But when that is pretty much the only breakfast choice you have 6 days a week, you’re over them after the first dozen. I crave fruit like nobody’s business. I didn’t think I ate that much fruit, but everything is more magnified when you aren’t “allowed” to have it, right?

The last week – I’m in the home stretch, i can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it looks like a rum and gelato cone!

caramel-gelato

Whenever I found myself really tempted to chug a whole pint of apple juice, or take just a small bar of chocolate, I would think about how it is only a 30-day experiment. Come on, Jess, pull yourself together. I would add the craving I had to the list of things I wanted to eat on my “Go Carbs!” Day, as Jeff lovingly named it. There would be times I would be coloring with my niece, and while she was coloring princesses or rainbows, I would be doodling all the foods I wanted to eat. There were a lot of Devil Dogs drawn these last 30 days.devil-dog-cake

The things that really changed were the way I think about, and the way my body thinks about carbs. Bread and bread-like grains may be a great vehicle for things – burritos, sandwiches, etc., but it really weighs you down, more than anything else I would consume. I would eat some toast and iced coffee (with dairy) on my Go Carbs day, and it would feel like a stone in my stomach all day long. The Go Carbs! day was good, but not as great as I would build it up to be.

The great things that I took away from this experiment (besides having my pants fit again) were some new ideas for dinners (I have a great brown sugar/garlic pork rub, if you’re interested), going full throttle on all the veggies (buy all the alfafa – USE all the alfafa!), and really scaling back on the carbs.

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