Protein up: In reflection

I knew doing an all-protein diet with my limited food palate was going to be tough. And sure enough, by Thursday (day 4) of this nonsense, I was getting pretty bored with eating nothing but fish, egg whites and non-starchy vegetables. As discussed last time, my body had started ketosis, and I had already lost a few pounds (mainly from consuming about a third of my normal calorie intake). But also on Thursday, I started worrying a lot more about side effects: The increased cholesterol intake, the lack of productivity due to brain fuzziness, messing up my fast metabolism, etc.

That said, I started Thursday staying pretty true to the diet, but I knew that Sara and I were staying overnight on the Strip and had plans to do dinner, which would normally be super-enjoyable, but I was kind of wracked trying to plan low-carb, low-fat meals based on the menus from area restaurants. I started to realize that my goal with this was not to lose an immense amount of weight (though I did lose another pound by Thursday) or go full-paleo (not gonna happen, sorry friends), but to become more conscious of the extra “filler” food I eat that just ends up around my waist and on my face.

Still, I kept it careful. I had my first drop of liquor in a week, but even that decision was motivated by the diet — an uncharacteristic choice of Jack and Diet Coke (which breaks my normal rule of “no caffeine,” but I had to choose the lesser of two evils). Oddly, after all the hand-wringing over dinner choices, we ended up, of all places, at Holstein’s inside the Cosmopolitan — A BURGER JOINT. But even then, I tried to moderate, eating a salmon burger without the bun, plus a salad, and then … then the steak fries that came with it taunted me. Tempted me. Teased me. And then attacked my mouth with deep-fried, salty goodness. I tried to do good, and only had maybe five or six of them, but by then … it was over. The carbs and fat were in me. And, for the first time in five days, I felt full — a bit too full, honestly — and realized how much I don’t like that feeling.

After that, I came to the realization that I could continue to be more mindful by making simple tweaks on a daily basis to eschew processed foods and needless calories without making huge, uncomfortable changes, and then still have the freedom to splurge for special occasions. On Friday, I had my usual egg white veggie omelette at Blueberry Hill for breakfast, but I didn’t eat the toast, and only nibbled on a few hash brown threads. Instead of the usual 3-4 tablespoons of sugar in my decaf coffee, I opted for a packet each of Sweet n’ Low and Equal. And I ran a good five miles that day, ready for whatever the night brought.

I officially ended diet week at Firefly last night, with two glasses of sangria, a serving of patatas bravas and apple-manchengo salad sealing my fate. But I culled plenty of protein from ahi tuna skewers, and even after that meal, didn’t feel super-bloated or too full. Just right.

Today, I’ve been trying to keep it balanced. I had oatmeal for breakfast, because honestly, I couldn’t stand the thought of more egg whites, but when it came time for lunch, I made one of my standard tofu-and-veggies dishes WITHOUT rice, which I always enjoy, and guess what? I was just as full and satiated, even without the extra carbs and calories. And that’s the plan: Keep up with these adjustments, eat a little more conscientiously, and when I need a reboot, well, you know you’ll read about it here.

But let’s not kid ourselves: I’m going to a holiday party tonight. And if there are cookies, I’m going to eat them. Ho ho ho, my friends.

Comments are closed.