Friday, June 11, 2021

cheat day

I decided that I won't be looking at any of my numbers until Sunday, and right now, the only number I'll be concentrating on is weight—not blood pressure or blood sugar. I doubtless regained a few pounds after going a bit nuts all day today; I had Burger King for lunch, then I met my buddy Tom for a grilled Korean beef dinner (our server was an Indian guy who spoke Korean), after which we adjourned to Baskin Robbins right next door (we were in Jongno), where I chowed down on some chocolate mousse ice cream while talking with Tom about the world of self-publishing (Tom's working on a book about the history of Korean baseball, but he knows next to nothing about self-publishing).

I came home, got myself a huge bottle of Coke, and am chugging that down right now as I type this. Starting tomorrow, and for the next two months, I'll be on my Dr. Taylor austerity program—no more than 800 calories per day. With about 300 of those calories from diet shakes, that gives me 500 calories a day to play with. For the moment, that's a single Paris Baguette salad and two chicken breasts. This is more low-carb than keto (which is about high fat), and it's not particularly inspiring, but I'll be researching 500-calorie meals (there's apparently something called a 500-calorie diet, which frankly sounds scary), and we'll see how creative I can get. The old Twitter forced writers to get creative within a 140- or 160-character limit, so my new austerity is like Twitter, but with food. Dr. Taylor's suggestion is to stick to diet shakes and nutritious vegetables like leafy greens and cruciferous plants like broccoli and cauliflower. Also: multivitamins to cover the rest.

Essentially, this diet will force me into intermittent fasting as I'll be eating meals during a certain narrow window of time, then eating nothing the rest of the day. I've engaged in intermittent fasting before, but not very consistently or successfully. Now motivated by the very real prospect of death if I backslide, I think I'm going to be much more consistent. I'm trusting Dr. Taylor to be right that radical caloric restriction on his "Newcastle Diet" can lead to a reversal of diabetes, but we'll see in two months how things are going. In the meantime, my exercise calendar will have me ratcheting up my efforts at walking, stair climbing, core development, pushups, and pullups. All of that together ought to bring blood pressure down, along with blood sugar and other indicators of health.

So how has cheat day felt? Am I racked with guilt? Do I feel mentally more sluggish as the toxins of today's rampage ooze through my veins? Frankly, no. I know very well that today was a day of sin, but it will not be repeated for two months, and in fact, when I'm done with the two months, I doubt the next cheat day will be as much of an orgy of destruction as today was. I enjoyed myself today, but it wasn't a day of total bliss; if anything, it felt like a normal day, but one I won't be repeating anytime soon. However, as I look toward tomorrow and beyond, I do sort of dread the next two months. They're months I'm going to have to get through, months I'm going to have to endure. But I think I can do it. As I said a while back, the craving for junk doesn't really seem to be there anymore. Today was nice, and I don't regret it, but I'm not dying to do this again. I may already have gotten used to living in a quasi-keto or "dirty keto" manner. Call it low-carb. I get tired of saying "keto."

Anyway, onward!

UPDATE: 500-calorie low-carb, high fat salad.


John Mac said...

Good luck going forward. The salad looked tasty, but I'd want it as the precursor to a juicy grilled ribeye.

Your cheat day sounded pretty damn wonderful. I rarely crave fast food these days, but I admit you made me miss my old friend double Whopper this morning.

I'm curious about the Coke. Does diet Coke not appeal to you? I guess it might be an acquired taste, but I never even think about a sugary soft drink...wasted calories.

I will look forward to following along on your new journey ahead. Glad I'm not making the trip though!

Charles said...

I guess you can be thankful that you weren't raised Catholic. Now those are some people who know how to do guilt.

I just took a quick look at that salad recipe. As someone who eats a salad for lunch every day, I am inclined to recommend foregoing the dressing. I did start out with a homemade vinaigrette when I first started down the salad road, but I quickly realized that I didn't need it. Instead, I work flavor into my salad by seasoning some of my ingredients (I do use a scant amount of oil on my tofu, but that can be eliminated if necessary) and including things that naturally contribute to the flavor, like olives and cheese. Spending a bunch of your limited calories on salad dressing oil seems like a waste to me. Yes, it will all come down to 500 calories in the end, but you'll physically be able to eat more if you replace the oil with something like cheese; cheddar, for example, has fewer than half the calories than vegetable oil. Chowing down on twice as much cheddar by weight just feels more satiating than vegetable oil.

That being said, vinegar is extremely low in calories, so if you do want some extra flavor, you can always splash on some vinegar. It might be worth it to go with a nice balsamic (which would add 5 calories per teaspoon) over just plain vinegar, as you'll get some sweetness along with the sour.

To each his own, though. Those are just some of my thoughts as a dedicated salad eater.

Kevin Kim said...

Going without dressing is a hard ask. I'll give it a try, though, and see how much I like it.

Kevin Kim said...


I'm okay with Diet Coke, but I find I like Diet Sprite better.