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This week I did the low-carb diet. I didn't actually do a specific diet, like Atkins. I just cut out sugar, most fruit, and everything with flour in it. (For those keeping track, this is the fourth week in a row for arbitrary diets, see here, here, and here.)
The Diet: Eat an Atkins style low carb diet. Trying to keep "net carbs" below 10 each day. Meat, vegetables, and high fat foods are the ideal.
I ate quite a bit of steak and broccoli this week, chef salads, a little tuna, green beans, low-carb shakes, and low-carb snack bars. Although I was never really hungry, I did kind of wander around unsatisfied, as if I was missing something.
Turns out the thing I was missing was what I like to call 'quality of life,' also known as 'carbohydrates'. This entire week I felt run down. I still exercised each of the days, but when I wanted to lift weights my heart wasn't in it. I simply didn't have much energy to push myself. I still went through the motions though, because I want to maintain muscle while I'm doing my weekly diet experiment. The purpose is to lose fat, not muscle.
The other biggest challenge was the monotony of food. Monday I went to a BBQ and ate three hamburger patties with no bread, just a little bit of mustard and ketchup. I also had celery sticks, strawberries (the lowest carbs of any fruit), and some raw broccoli. Later that evening after playing Ultimate Frisbee for a couple of hours I had some more steak and broccoli. I had low-carb shakes for breakfast, usually a salad for lunch, and some meat for dinner almost every night.
This was a problem I encountered a few years ago when I was trying Body For Life. I simply became too bored with eating the same stuff, eventually I just broke down and started eating things I wanted again. I am sure there are hundreds of different low-carb meals out there that make things exciting, but for me I didn't have many ideas, so I just kept eating the same thing.
Coming off the calorie counting week was pretty strange. Now I could eat as much as I wanted, but there is only so much of those two things you can eat. Late in the week I realized I could have eggs. I don't normally keep eggs, and I never use them for anything other than desserts, but Thursday night I boiled a dozen of them and made some deviled eggs. I gave most of them to friends watching a movie, but I enjoyed having something new to eat, even if it was only eggs.
For some people low-carb diets are very easy, my mother and brother-in-law swear by them, but for me calorie counting was much easier. I can't see myself being successful at a low-carb diet for even a couple of weeks, because I have become too depressed about my limited options.
From Sunday to Sunday I was 4.4 pounds lighter. Which means I lost the same amount as I did from calorie counting. At this rate in 46 months I'll only weight 4 pounds, which is my target weight. Thus far I've gone down roughly 12.5 pounds in the last month. When I look at myself in the mirror I am not sure that I see much difference, and I wonder where all that fat was hiding. I've had more headaches than normal since starting this and I suspect most of my weight loss is attributed to dying brain cells. I guess that is what they call the easy fat.