Bacon or Breakfast Diet: Finally a Diet Made for Me

January is a good time to roll out the food and diet related posts because diet is on the top of the resolutions list.  Well that and working out.  I’ve noticed that my gym gets packed in January, at least for the first few weeks, and then gradually the numbers return to normal as enthusiasm wanes and laziness waxes.  That’s true for diets too, so it occurred to me that there was a new one that had been nagging me for a while until I finally pulled the diet trigger.

It was a spur of the moment decision, but I decided to try the bacon diet; at least I tried it for a day. At first blush, it sounds like any other crazed diet which is all about attention and little about nutrition.  Like the ice cream diet or the pickle diet, the bacon diet does sound a bit ridiculous, but hey, bacon is a high protein, zero carbohydrate food.  And doggone it, it’s so good…

I first heard about it on Facebook when someone posted a story on a 30 day bacon diet.  The upshot is that after 30 days of eating nothing but bacon, the dieter lost body fat; lost weight (so ironically was less porky afterword… Zing!), had good lab work results, and just overall felt good about it.

It’s truly a miracle food.

Anyway, my day on the bacon diet amounted to frying up about two or three slices of bacon every 3 or so hours throughout the day.  I wasn’t hungry, and by the end of the day, wasn’t tired of bacon.  Since it was just one day I obviously can’t confirm the positive blood panel results from the 30 day bacon dieter, but I imagine it’s not that different from my own low carb lifestyle.

Of course, there is the N-word to worry about: Nitrates. Thirty days is probably not long enough to cause a problem, but over time who knows?  The information I’ve come across is all over the place about that.

Hey I’m no doctor so what do I know?  But if the threat of cancer or the gout is enough to scare you away from a bacon diet, why not just go one more step and add eggs?  Suddenly you have twice the variety with the same zero carb goodness. “Brinner” is already considered a special evening treat, and really the only reason we find it odd to eat bacon and eggs for dinner is simply social convention.  It’s still a good, filling meal. If anyone has done a 30 day breakfast diet challenge I would be curious to hear the results.

Zero Carb Day

Just as an experiment, I wanted to try to go an entire day without having a single carbohydrate.  For a one day experiment, I wasn’t really interested in the weight loss aspect of low to no carb dieting.  I was more interested in what I would eat and how would I feel?bacon

Coffee:  When it comes to coffee, I’m not that manly, I prefer lots of cream and flavor in my coffee, but even the no fat/no sugar creamers have carbs.  So what to do?  I came up with a pretty good alternative by using heavy cream.  That’s fairly high in the calories department but its zero carbs.  In addition, for flavoring I came across a coffee creamer called Walden Farms Flavored Coffee Creamer.  This is zero carbs, zero calories, zero everything.  It made a pretty good substitute for my usual fancy coffee creamer mix. And for a dollop of whipped cream, Land O’ Lakes Sugar Free Heavy Cream is a zero carb whip cream.  It’s the only one I’ve found in the stores although there could be others.

Breakfast:  This was the easiest; a simple breakfast of bacon and eggs.  With bacon, you really can’t go wrong.  However odd though it may seem, there are some varieties of eggs that do have carbohydrates (usually one carb per egg).  So be sure and check your egg container to see what the specific nutritional specifics are for your egg carton.

Lunch:  Again I kept it simple; a hamburger patty with a slice of cheese on top.  Like with the eggs, you need check the cheeses to find a zero carb one.  Although they are mostly a low carb food item, I discovered only a few have no carbs at all.  So again, you have to check.

Dinner:  Too much beef makes Jack a stuffed boy, so I decided to go with fish for dinner.  Tilapia is a nice zero carb fish, and with some olive oil and garlic salt, a tasty one too.  Of course, I put garlic salt on everything so what do I know?

Snack:  No evening is complete without a snack in front of the TV. But when it comes to snacking, the pickings are rather slim for a zero carb alternative. In fact, the only thing I could find was pork rinds.  Now lucky me I’m a fan of pork rinds so it was no sacrifice at all, but I’ve heard that some of the more primitive (non Southern) parts of the country may find it in short supply.  Eh sorry.  I guess you can order it on Amazon.

I monitored my glucose levels during the day, going from 103 after my first cup of zero carb coffee to 104 before dinner to 97 about 2 hours after dinner.  So I imagine if you’re diabetic going a day without carbs might be a good way to get your sugar under control if you have a problem with a swinging glucose levels.  However I’m not a doctor or diabetic so what do I know?  I’m just going by my own experience.

The problem with a zero carb lifestyle is that it’s just not sustainable for very long.  I was full the entire day and never had a bit of hunger or craving for something sweet, but the limited amount of food available that is zero carbohydrates makes this difficult to sustain.  I’m not even sure it would be healthy to sustain, but it can’t hurt to set aside carbs for a day.

As for my original question, how would I feel, I have to say that I felt fine.  No extra exhaustion or fatigue from denying my body those precious carbohydrates.  And although weight loss wasn’t a goal, I lost 2 1/2 pounds in a day.

 

 

 

My Lean Cuisine Low Carb Resolution

I have been “dieting” for a few years with some measure of success although I tend to lose the same weight over again.  I suppose I could claim that I lost a hundred pounds last year, but it was within the same 10 to 12 pound range.  Still, I managed to leave 2014 8 pounds lighter than when I entered it.

For the past few years I’ve been on some variation of a low fat diet, and it worked, just like any other diet, as long as you maintain it.  In terms of pure weight loss, I imagine all diets are pretty equal when it comes to losing the weight.  Maintaining the weight is another matter. But as virtually all diet gurus will say, you have to change your lifestyle.  I think on this regard, I’ve successfully accomplished that.

My cheat for that is that I’ve established a spreadsheet and I log in everything I eat based on fat grams or for this year, grams of carbohydrates.  Logging your meals establishes a discipline both to monitor your food intake, and it lets you know exactly where you are going wrong.  I do allow cheat days, when I don’t log at all, and that’s when the oopsies occur, but normally, the simple act of tracking keeps me on the straight and narrow food wise.

This year, I’ve decided to switch things around and try low carb.   What constitutes “low carb” probably can be anything from 150 carbohydrate grams per day all the way down to 25 grams.  For real weight loss, you probably have to keep it down to 50 grams a day but 150 grams is probably fine for most people.  I still have a few pounds to go to reach my goal weight, so for right now I’ll try to keep it down to less than 50 grams per day.

Since the beginning of the year is the time when everyone hops on the resolution bandwagon, the grocery stores are thick with sales for their “healthy” frozen foods.  This week, for whatever reason, it’s Lean Cuisine.  Lean Cuisine entrees’ are fairly decent all purpose meals for dieting and can be used in a wide variety of diets.  It even has Weight Watcher points on the box for those who follow Weight Watchers.   But when it comes to carbohydrates and sugars, you have to eyeball the each package and check the “Nutrition Facts” label. Lean Cuisine

To save myself some time I decided to go ahead and pre check the Lean Cuisine entrees ahead of time so I’m not some shlub standing in front of the frozen food section with the door open too long.  I made an arbitrary call to keep my meal selections to ones that were 30 grams of carbohydrates or less.  That way I could eat one of these meals a day and still be able to utilize other low carb items for breakfast and dinner without going over the 50 gram limit.

 

Lean Cuisine Meals under 30 grams of carbohydrates:

Baked Chicken                                30 grams

Beef Pot Roast                                 25 grams

Chicken Carbonara                         29 grams

Chicken Marsala                              23 grams

Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce 28 grams

Glazed Chicken                               26 grams

Grilled Chicken Caesar                  30 grams

Herb Roasted Chicken                   20 grams

Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes    25 grams

Roasted Turkey & Vegetables       18 grams

Salisbury Steak                                23 grams

Shrimp Alfredo                                 29 grams

Steak Tips Portabello                      14 grams

Grilled Chicken Primavera             30 grams

Rosemary Chicken                          29 grams

Stuffed Cabbage                             28 grams

 

More of a Snack but still…

Broccoli Cheddar Dip with Pita Bread                29 grams

Cheese and Tomato Snack Pizza                        23 grams

Fajita Style Spring Rolls                                        20 grams

Garden Vegetable Dip with Pita Bread               29 grams

Garlic Chicken Spring Rolls                                  24 grams

Pepperoni Snack Pizza                                         0 grams (?)

Spinach & Artichoke Snack Pizza                       24 grams

Spinach Artichoke Dip with Pita Bread              29 grams

Thai Style Chicken Spring Rolls                          23 grams

 

Having a full list ahead of time should save some time at the grocery store and it’s a pretty handy reference.  We’ll see how it goes.