I either lost a pile of readers with that title or gained a lot of clicks… maybe a bit of both. When I started this blog, I expected to write about health care 2% of the time. I think I’m below that estimate, so I’m going to take advantage by writing an article on health. It seems like the ideal time since many people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight.
From late October to late December, I went from 182 lbs. to 170 lbs.* I am 5′ 9″, so this gives you an idea that I had a few pounds to lose (still do). This also gives you important context that I didn’t go from 400 lbs to 388 lbs, which can happen in a single week on The Biggest Loser. That wouldn’t have been as much of an accomplishment.
As I mentioned a few times in the last week, we’ve had a new baby with the new year. What I haven’t mentioned is that we had a difficult pregnancy. My wife had gestational diabetes, which means that she had to ruthlessly watch her carbs, check her sugar about a billion times a day and inject herself with insulin. (Many, many have more difficult pregnancies. Also there are millions who deal with diabetes every day. In the long run, we are lucky, the baby is healthy and the diabetes went away with the birth of the baby. At this point, you’d think it was a normal pregnancy all along. I couldn’t ask for a bigger blessing.)
My wife was forced to have a very strict diet. She was to eat 195 grams of carbs a day: 45g at breakfast/lunch/dinner, 15g in snacks two hours after breakfast/lunch, and 30g before bed. Beyond that she found that certain carbs were particularly bad… white bread would spike her sugar count even if it was within the carb budget. Another odd thing about this diet… she had to watch how much fruit she ate. When was the last time you heard of diet that had limits on fruit?
When you are forced with a carb limit, you are essentially forced on an Atkins or South Beach diet. That is if you truly follow the diet. I didn’t. It was my wife who had to watch carbs. I never counted my carbs, but I would eat similar foods since we were cooking it anyway. We had chili a few times instead of rarely. We had meatloaf and meatballs. We never ate rice or pasta. We ate bacon… more bacon than we had eaten in our 10 year relationship combined. (Though that may sound like a lot of bacon, it really isn’t as much as it seems.)
In the last two weeks where I dropped the most weight, I ate cheeseburger omelets for breakfast. They were simply three ingredients: two eggs, 97% ground sirloin, and provolone cheese. This was essentially a zero carb breakfast. I’ve since started to make a breakfast casserole of the same ingredients to save on cooking time. If a zero carb breakfast isn’t your thing, the casserole works well slapped between two slices of bread.
Two hours later, when it was time for the snack I had a smoothie, getting the most out of my Nutribullet. That smoothie consisted of unsweetened Almond Milk (very low carb and, with tea and True Orange a staple for my wife), whey protein, frozen fruit (blueberries, dark cherries, and strawberries), Greek yogurt (the local Aldi has a tremendously cheap price on Chobani), and some water (you need it for the Nutribullet to work).
Lunch and dinner varied greatly, but the was always “mindfulness” to limit carbs. It’s not to say that I didn’t have dinner rolls, Halloween candy, and other food that my wife couldn’t have. I did. However, most of the time, I was planning meals to limit the carbs.
Is this the most sustainable diet? Probably not. Is it one that a nutritionist would recommend? I can’t say. In fact, I’m betting that most would derail the idea of a zero carb breakfast. I imagine they’d suggest having the smoothie with that breakfast, which is something that I did on some days. This is probably more protein than most nutritionists would suggest. I don’t intend to imply that this is a perfect diet by any means, but it did seem to work.
It feels odd to write a post about success when it was completely unplanned. It even feels a little hypocritical with the timing of it just a few days after I updated my article on Making a New Year’s Resolution for SMARTER Goals This Year.
* I actually got to 167 lbs. to earn a 15 lb. weight loss badge on my Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale. That weigh-in appears to have been an outlier, so I’m going with the 170 lbs. that I hover around today.