I’ve completed the first three weeks of my Fit Challenge. This week I lost one pound, bringing my three week total to 9 lbs. I was disappointed in the apparent drop, but Gina at Outdoor Fitness Adventure Club reminded me what one pound of butter looks and feels like.
The photo to the right shows 1/4 lb of butter. So yeah, I lost four of those this week. Nothing to sneeze at.
I’m also at least 50% of the way toward my Fit Challenge weight loss goal. I say “at least” because I haven’t accounted for any increase in muscle mass.
I do have some observations about Tim Ferriss’ slow-carb diet. As I enter the fourth week I’ve had my first strong cravings for food that’s not on my plan. Yes, there’s a free day, and that’s made sticking to the plan the other six days much easier. My free day is Saturday, and here on Monday I’m already wishing for something besides meat, veggies and legumes. Not necessarily something sweet, just something different. Thankfully my brilliant girlfriend suggested chewing gum. It was one of those “why-didn’t-I-think-of-that” moments. Chewing gum has been a real help.
The other challenge this week was the flu. I’ve been sick for the past 3.5 days, and for whatever reason, my resolve wasn’t sharp. I have kept to the plan, but just didn’t feel like it. Might also have something to do with being unable to workout (thanks for nothing, fever).
What am I eating?
Tim Ferriss describes the slow-carb diet in his book The Four-Hour Body. Basically, there’s no dairy, no fruit and no bread. There is protein, nutrition-dense vegetables and legumes (for calories) with every meal. And one day a week you go “wild” and eat whatever you want.
Most of my shopping I do at Trader Joes, supplemented by trips to Costco for huge packages of Foster Farms skinless, boneless chicken breast.
Breakfast consists of Trader Joe’s cage-free egg whites and one organic brown egg, spinach (usually) or sometimes other veggies leftover from last night’s dinner, and either lentils or black beans.
It’s a little “weird” to me to eat veggies at breakfast (besides spinach, which I love and can eat in an omelet anytime). As Ferriss concedes, breakfast becomes a little more like lunch on this diet, but it’s still good. Sometimes I miss my oatmeal, and I probably will add that into the mix once I reach a maintenance weight.
Lunch is usually heated up from a previous dinner. I grill all my meat, and usually will grill three or four chicken breasts at once, refrigerate them, then either eat them cold or nuke them for a few minutes in the microwave. So on days where I have time to assemble my own lunch, it may consist of veggies, lentils or beans, and a chicken breast. Sometimes I swap that for lentils, tuna and fresh spinach with a little Trader Joe’s fat-free basalmic dressing.
But often I don’t have time to pull it together, or just want a little change of pace. So I hit Chipotle and get a salad with black beans, steak, salsa, corn salsa and guacamole. Note that I didn’t use the dressing that you see in this photo. The salsa does the trick.
Dinner is much the same. Either chicken breast, salmon or lean steak (grilled, thank you) with lentils or black beans and some sort of veggies. I like the packages of brocolli at Trader Joe’s because you can just pop them in the microwave for a couple minutes and they come out great. If I’m feeling more ambitious, I might toss some asparagus with a little onion, garlic and red chili flakes and a bit of extra virgin olive oil to dress it all up.
That’s it. It’s pretty simple, although I can get creative with the preparation when the meals start feeling boring. There is no calorie counting. Eat as much as you want of these ingredients. I feel pretty full most of the time.