For the past several weeks, I’ve been following the Slow Carb diet, a fat burning diet where you avoid foods that promote fat storage (white carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, dairy, fruits and sugar) and replace them with protein, vegetables, legumes and healthy fats.
With strict diet challenges like these, I always advise people (and myself) to scale back the social calendar. Eat at home. Stay away from restaurants. Skip the parties. At home, you control the environment. You’re more likely to stick to your diet when temptation doesn’t stare you in the face.
This month, I decided to ignore my own advice and attend the backyard barbecues and birthday dinners, concerts and cocktail parties. I didn’t want to hide at home simply to avoid temptation. What I did want was to re-accustom myself to eating healthily regardless of where I went. And so, I brought the slow carb diet out into the real world.
Here’s how the month has gone so far.
When I eat at home, I keep it simple
I sail through the days when I eat at home. I cook simple meals, prepare the same thing over and over, and end the day happy and content.
Breakfast: Any combination of eggs, lentils, bacon, sausage, and whatever green veggie I have left over from the night before. And one giant mug of bulletproof coffee.
Lunch: Leftovers, or ground beef and green salad with avocado, cucumber and tomato.
Snack: One ice cold La Croix.
Dinner: Protein (salmon, chicken, pork chop and sometimes steak) and a steamed or roasted veggie, most of which I purchase at the farmers market. 1-2 glasses of wine 4-5 times per week.
Pictured: A typical dinner of baked salmon with butter, salt, pepper and parsley, roasted asparagus and a green salad.
On the rare occasion that I do experiment, I always have a backup plan in case things don’t turn out well.
Day 1: 133lbs
Day 2: 132.8lbs
Day 3: 133lbs
Day 4: 131.6lbs
Day 5: 131.0lbs
Day 6: 129.6lbs
Day 7: 129.8lbs
Day 8: 129.8lbs
Temptation island: Maui
My husband and I flew to Hawaii for a three day corporate incentive trip, where the majority of meals were provided for us buffet style. Think short ribs on a bed of risotto, trays of sushi, platters of fried coconut shrimp balls and dates wrapped in bacon, and rows and rows of decadent sweets.
Fortunately, there were many diet friendly options, like bacon and eggs for breakfast, salads, grilled chicken and green veggies. Was I envious of my fellow vacationers with their umbrella-topped Mai Tais and baskets of french fries? Absolutely. But I always ate well and never felt deprived.
I scheduled a cheat day for my final day. I indulged, but I didn’t go overboard.
Then, I flew home and got on the scale.
WHAT THE HELL!?
That’s heavier than my starting point.
Other than the 3 glasses of wine I consumed instead of my permitted two the night we arrived, I was perfect. Disciplined. I said no to so much delicious food. I watched my husband scarf down a cheeseburger and fries at the airport while I had sparkling water before a 5 hour flight for crying out loud. So yes, that weigh-in upset me in a big way.
In the end, I had no choice but to shrug it off, move on, and have faith in the process.
The social butterfly
Vacation over, I’ve continued to be a busy little bee. All of the events I attended forced me to plan ahead, whether it be picking the restaurant, hosting the gathering, eating beforehand, bringing something to munch on, or not eating at all. Delicious food was everywhere, but I always stayed strong. Except for the night I went to the U2 concert. A few glasses of wine in, my husband offered me a hot dog and I ate it. Things fell apart shortly thereafter… and that became my cheat day for the week.
A month of eating with this kind of discipline in the face of so much temptation (even with my two cheat days) ate up my supply of willpower. Admittedly, I’ve become a bit more short tempered and moody.
To make matters worse, I’m not dropping the weight. The first time I ever tried the Slow Carb Diet in 2011, the pounds melted off of me. Now, six years later, the scale refuses to budge.
Day 12: 133.6 (post Hawaii)
Day 13: 132.8
Day 14: 133
Day 15: 131.6
Day 16: 129.8
Day 17: 129.6
Day 18: 129.8
Day 19: 133 (post U2 concert)
Day 20: 132
Day 21: 130.2
Day 22: 130
Day 23: 129.4
Day 24: 129
Day 25: 129.4
Day 26: 129.2
Day 27: 129
Day 28: 129
I know that the scale is not the end all be all, but I find such motivation in progress and results. This plateau is so deflating.
But I’m not going to get ahead of myself. And I’m certainly not going to give up as I head into the home stretch. Because regardless of what the scale says, I feel leaner. I feel that I am losing inches and fat and gaining muscle. In eight days, I’ll know the results as I’ll be returning to DexaFit for my ending body composition test.
Until then, the challenge continues. But first, a much needed cheat day.