Maybe it was my desire to get over my cold. Maybe it was my desire to be more fit. To live forever, or, barring that, to keep moving until I die. Whatever was the reason, I found the strength to change my diet radically, and I have been actually having fun with it.
I’m experimenting with trying to follow the Zone, i.e a diet with a 3/4 (.75) protein to carbs ratio. I find it’s REALLY hard to do. I’m also trying (and so far succeeding) to avoid all: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and white flour products; and to drastically limit: red meat, rice, potatoes, dairy, and whole wheat flour products. Favored food items: fresh fruit and veggies, lean meats, nuts. This is a Zone heading towards Paleo-Zone diet.
Normally the Zone is low-fat, calling for a 30% protein, 40% carbs (hence the 3/4 ratio) and 30% fat diet. But I have been eating more fat… mainly olive oil, fish oil (in the form of salmon), and nut oils. Because the Zone says, “get 30% of calories from Protein,” and our bodies’ protein needs are somewhat fixed (but different for every person) at somewhere between .5 and 1 gram per pound of lean mass, it is in theory the protein score which determines the calorie total. If you follow the Zone prescription of 30/40/30 without deviation, a typical day will have only about 1700 calories. So it is a calorie-restricted diet regimen.
To get nutrition data, I rely on the USDA Nutrition database which is the greatest nutrition tool out there, IMHO. To measure amounts, I have a little kitchen scale. I’ve gotten pretty quick with it. And it’s teaching me to eyeball things and to learn the relationship between weights and plate/dish sizes. To quickly compute ratios and calorie amounts I have set up a spreadsheet.
I started keeping track on Monday (3/2), so this is day 5 of the serious part of my diet. So far here are my results in calories; and for the last two days, I provide the macronutrient breakdown:
Day 1: 2100 calories
Day 2: 2270 calories
Day 3: 2000 calories
Day 4: 2448 calories (30% protein, 35% fat, 35% carbs, .85 protein/carb ratio)
Day 5: 2152 calories (28% protein, 38% fat, 33% carbs, .85 protein/carb ratio)
While this diet takes willpower, and some work, I also feel strong, calm, energized, happy, and satisfied with myself. So those are all really awesome benefits, assuming that the diet has something to do with them.
The scale is telling me that I am stripping off weight very fast right now. But the real issue is not weight, it’s body-fat %. I plan to spend 2 weeks being ultra serious about this diet, and then to reassess, especially to see whether there seems to be any advantage as far as improving bf %. 9 days to go.