Day 30: No Time to Go On a Diet – Epilogue

“Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities.”
Napolean Hill, Motivational Writer

There was the morning Atkins bar, maybe 40 oz of water, at noon was a plate of the lasagna, which I am quite fond of and must make again. A handful of macadamia nuts got eaten in the late afternoon. A bad case of the hungries hit on the way home, making visions of stopping for fast food along the way tempting. I extinguished this fire with an Atkins shake. Dinner in the evening was 2 hot dogs on low carb bread, some delicious cherry tomatoes from Trader Joe’s, and some cold shrimp with horseradish sauce. The cheat was a small slice of olive bread.

The weight at the end of this 30-day experiment: 206.6 – down 2.4 from yesterday and down 7.4 as my 30-day total weight loss from a start point of 214.

What do I take away from these 30-days?

  • I’m going to continue. Nothing in this experiment, which I consider a failure, has swayed me to some other way of eating. I will continue to watch what meals Dr. Dan is putting together on his Paleo blog, but I’ll be having my cream and butter and low carb bread. I most likely won’t be posting daily anymore, however – and the world sighs in relief.
  • Low carb works – I didn’t. If I had eaten low carb this entire time, I’d have lost more weight. Look at the numbers over the last 30 days – when I was good, the scale was good to me.
  • My notion of an external committment didn’t work. I thought that a public committment would help. We don’t have the luxury of checking out that parallel universe where I didn’t do this. Would have I put on 10 lbs.? Maybe – I was rapidly trending upward. But…I wanted to lose more – much more. 
  • Atkins products are a big help to me. Recognizing that I need the crutch will be a help in the future.
  • Better meal planning might be the key to my future weight loss. I’m impromptu, or spontaneous (to put it nicely), in my meal planning, and I think this leads to poor food choices. I get up between 4 and 5 am every day, and don’t get home from work until after 7pm on workdays – and it’s usually hit-the-ground-running as my wife and I scramble to feed the kids, get homework done, and get the 2-year old ready for bed. This is a situation that demands something quick and easy – if I can use my spare time more efficiently, and have some freezer meals on-hand, I might make better food choices. Right now, I have a few meals in the freezer, just ready for the microwave, and this is a comforting thought. I need to do more of this.
  • For me, a news diet is critical. I swore off the news years ago. My thinking was that it’s not all that important, really. I was mostly right – until the entire global financial system collapsed. This requires watching – and I consumed the news in unhealthy portions. This was especially hard on a mental environment that had not consumed news in large amounts for years. While I feel the news still bears monitoring, I’m going to throttle back my consumption signifigantly. 
  • Food boredom leads to cheating. If I lived in circumstances where I could control the contents of my fridge, perhaps I could sustain a paleo diet – I don’t see myself running to the store for goodies. My problem is that goodies surround me at my weakest moments, which usually occur in the evening, and are compounded by the lowered resistance of a glass or two of vino. Having a supply of acceptable substitutes at hand will go a long way to plug this hole.
  • My appetite is better controlled on a low carb diet. Yes, again I noticed the difference in the types of hunger that I wrote about previously. That nutty hunger that comes from too many carbs disappears after 48 hours of carb control – I experiences this over and over during my 30-days.
  • Maintaining weight loss on low carb is a breeze. Let’s flip this thing around: I’ve lost over 7 lbs. in 30 days eating Halloween candy, drinking wine, eating pasta, cookies, donuts, brownies, cake -and with no exercise. While I don’t recommend the junk, the fact remains that, if I control my carb intake most of the time, even excessive carb binging periodically doesn’t have to eliminate my weight loss goals. If I was at my target weight of 180 and I fluctuated 7 or 8 lbs like I did this month, I’d accept that. I didn’t put all that much effort into this, as evidenced by my daily tally of high-carb crap. Just some carb moderation led to an overall weight loss that actually is close to the recommended 1-1/2 lbs. per week. Again – I’m not advocating the ‘cookie-candy-cake & pie’ diet’ – but damn! – if I put together an infomercial about it, I’ll betcha I could make some big bucks.
  • Having a bad day on Atkins can still be a good day on other low carb diets. The nice thing about Atkins is that the approach is the most strict of all the low carb diets. Even if you cheat, you frequently can still maintain your carbs under 100 grams/day – which is my definition of a low carb diet. Look at me last night. I had a thin slice of high carb olive bread – maybe 20 grams? My total for the day was probably less than 50 – I can remain in ketosis at that level personally. 

It’s time for me to start my day. To all of you who read and posted – thanks – I hope I didn’t bore you too much.

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6 thoughts on “Day 30: No Time to Go On a Diet – Epilogue

  1. Food boredom leads to cheating

    Damm straight it does. There’s only so many tuna salads, roast chicken and turkey you can eat before boredom alone will drive you into a mad frenzy. Perhaps the most work in a low-carb diet (and I’m 50grams above your definition of low carb, so I imagine it’s far worse for you) is putting in the effort of staying original in the things you feed yourself with. “Food as nutrition only” is all good and well, but that’s hardly the type of world we live in, is it?

  2. I have enjoyed reading your daily posts.

    I have been in maintenance for months now after doing Atkins induction for as long as possible. Planning is absolutely key.

    I wish you the best and continued success. Seven pounds in a month is great.

  3. Hey, thanks for all the links!!! I just thought I would let you know that my paleo website is http://www.darwinstable.wordpress.com. Im only sporadically writing on the other one.

    Im sad that your one month adventure is over! I really enjoyed reading your progress. I have found that on low carb ( or paleo at least) that there is more room to stuff up because it easily compensates for these day off’s and you can still lose weight.

    You should do it for another month but based off things you learn’t from this month. Maybe you could allow yourself days off or something. Im just trying to convince you to keep posting:)

  4. I’ve enjoyed reading your trials and tribulations this month. 🙂

    You are absolutely correct in that low carb controls the appetite. When I eat carbs – I’m constantly hungry. Low carb is the only way for me.

    I’m hopeful that maintaining will be a breeze once I get to that point. I tend to agree with you though as I’ve had a couple forays into maintenance land while on holiday – eating more food/carbs without resultant weight gain.

    Continued good luck and progress!

  5. Okay, speaking from experience…my three kids are almost grown and it is so much easier doing low carb when your kids are older. So, things will get better later on, I promise. Right now, just try to enjoy your life and your family and once in a while don’t eat the junk. I don’t know, I struggle every day, but I’m so thankful that I don’t have all the junk around the house anymore, ya know? Hang in there and if you drop off the blogging, come back soon. We all love your writing. Good luck and God Bless….waiting for cooler weather deep in the heart of Texas…

  6. shit, you are really gonna stop this aren’t you? Damn, I’m sorry, I curse when I’ve had a happy hour on a Friday….man, don’t go away…..don;t give up…we’ll miss you…..if you go, don’t go for long, okay?

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