Actually, not just a diet, but a lifestyle change. A recalibration of things, my food and liquid intake a significant part of that.
It’s clear I love food. This is mainly a food blog, after all. I don’t eat a lot of bad snacks. Rarely do I eat chips, cookies, candy, cake, ice cream, etc.– but I do take in calories from a variety of places that should be drastically reduced, like bread, pizza and pasta…and, of course, alcohol.
The Paleo diet is all the rage right now, and although the idea of eating simpler foods is a good one, I don’t need to be a damn caveman to do it, and some of the strict rules in that diet are really somewhat random.
Back when my wife and I got engaged, we went on the Atkins diet, and it really worked. I got to a long-time low of 217 lbs. (I’m back up to 235 now), despite the fact that I was eating a ton of meat, bacon and cheese, all slathered in mayo. But, of course, my cholesterol and blood pressure went through the roof. It was only 12 years ago, but back then I couldn’t find pastured chicken, heritage Berkshire pork, or grass-fed beef. So the fats I was consuming were all bad. Today, the most of my meat intake falls in one of those three categories, and all of my seafood is wild-caught from American waters. Great proteins with healthy fats.
So what do I cut out? I remember Oprah went on a “no white food” diet a bunch of years ago, way before people knew what Atkins was. It made a lot of sense then, and it makes sense now: no flour, white rice, sugar, or potatoes (and limited salt.) I’m going a step further and eliminating all high-carb foods, including certain fruits and veggies. And, at least for a month, I’m giving up the alcohol, which honestly is the hardest thing about this diet.
I have an alcoholic beverage every day. At least one. Without fail. Weekdays, it’s usually a few glasses of wine. Weekends, I go for the cocktails. They all have hundreds of useless calories. An ounce of any 80-proof liquor has 64 calories. I use a 5-ounce martini glass. That’s 320 calories per martini, without the olives. I’ve been known to put 3 of those bad boys away in one sitting. We’re talking almost 1000 calories! And that’s before we bring up the topic of liver damage.
So the diet begins. For one month, I’ll go balls-to-the-wall and be really strict. By mid-February, I will allow myself to enjoy a cocktail now and then. But a low-carb diet will stay in place until I get back to at least “wedding weight.”
If you see what look like tears on my blog, you’ll know I’m having a moment of weakness.
I wisely chose to start this diet after going back to my hometown of New York City for a long weekend. I’ve had the best pizza, the best bagels, some fine carb-filled meals, and fantastic cocktails.
But now…it’s time to get down to business!