[Last update: 05:10CST 2013-02-11]
Several people have asked about the diet plan I’m following. I’ve made some tweaks to my original plan, and I’ve updated the supplements I’m taking. This post will always contain the latest plan and comments about any changes.
NOTE: I am not a physician nor a dietician nor a nutrition expert. This is not medical advice. You must consult your own personal physician or nutrition professional before you start any diet or take any supplements. I am not qualified to suggest any particular plan to anyone and I post this only to let people know what has worked for me. I cannot provide any personal advice!
The reason I include the disclaimer is that governments are trying to prevent individuals from providing health information. It seems they find this information so dangerous to their power that they are now trying to block anything that contradicts their failed diet advice.
My plan is based on personal research and experimentation. It isn’t “Atkins” (i.e. I don’t allow myself unlimited protein), it’s not “Zone” or “Sugar Busters” or any other specific plan. It might resemble those, but I’ve developed it from my own research.
The general basis for this diet comes from reading several books and podcasts (references here). The primary goal is to reduce carbohydrate intake to no more than 40g per day, and preferably no more than 20g per day. I set my limit at 20g of ‘known’ carbohydrates (since it’s hard to know 100% because the FDA doesn’t require accurate reporting of carbohydrates and uses inaccurate methods to calculate them). To do this, a wide range of foods are now ‘off-limits’. Here’s the outline
- Eliminate all corn and corn-based products (except distilled spirits like whisky)
- Eliminate all potatoes and potato-based products (except distilled spirits like vodka)
- Eliminate grains and most grain products (no wheat, flour, bread, pasta, rice, beer, etc)
- Eliminate all vegetable oils except for Olive Oil
- Eliminate all high fructose corn syrup (avoid added sugar of any kind, but accept sucrose over HFCS if there are no options)
- Eliminate all boxed, prepared foods (almost all shelf-stable foods are very high in carbohydrates)
- Reduce fructose to a bare minimum
I write most grain products since I will use things that have minimal amounts of wheat (e.g. gravy, very light breading) so long as the total carb count is less than 4g per serving. I also use low-carb tortillas as wraps for sandwiches (either La Tortilla Factory or Mission, 3g for the small, 6g for the large).
As for fructose, I cut out all fruits except a cup of berries for lunch each day and drinking 6oz of red wine at dinner. When I first had my blood work done everything was good but my fasting blood sugar was 110 (right at the top end of healthy and bordering on pre-diabetic). I eliminated the fruit and wine for 3 days and had the test done again. The new fasting blood sugar was 99. It appears based on this that I do not handle fructose well. This is possibly the remnants of insulin resistance, and may improve with time and weight loss. If not, then fruit will be out permanently. I’ve cut my wine intake to no more than 3-4 times a week. Note that distilled spirits have sugar alcohols and don’t really affect insulin, so they aren’t a problem. Good thing I like vodka and whiskey!
Note that I don’t say eliminate all fructose at this point because things like carrots, red bell peppers and the like have small amounts of fructose.
I cook with butter or Olive Oil and use heavy cream to thicken sauces. I use lots of different spices and vary my recipes by using them. Almond flour makes a nice breading as well, and it’s very low carb.
I also allow exceptions for special events. I will eat a ‘normal’ Thanksgiving dinner, including stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc, but eat smaller amounts of the carbohydrate-laden foods. Same goes for Christmas dinner. Also, on birthdays, I will have a small piece of cake. I allow myself a treat of ice cream about once a month, but it has to be very high in fat content and low in sugar content (e.g. a premium ice cream made with real milk fat, usually Eddy’s Grand Butter Pecan).
So, what do I eat each day? Here’s a sample menu:
- Breakfast: 6 strips of bacon, 2 eggs, tea
- Lunch: Wrap with ham, salami, chicken or turkey, cheese, vegetables (mix of broccoli, celery, red bell pepper, radishes, pea pods, cauliflower)
- Dinner: Salad with high-fat dressing, bacon bits, blue cheese crumbles, 6 to 8oz of meat (beef, pork, chicken, fish), vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, Chinese vegetables, etc)
- Snack: pecans, walnuts, almonds (if I need one – not every day)
You’ll note that this is anything but a low-fat, reduced meat, high fiber diet recommended by the government. I followed their plan for years and almost developed adult-onset diabetes and was over 100 pounds overweight! It’s my opinion that following government nutrition guidelines will kill you! And I’d say my labs (see below) put paid to the notion that dietary cholesterol raises serum cholesterol (it simply does not) and that a high-fat diet will increase atherosclerosis (it doesn’t).
My exercise routine is to do 20 minutes on the elliptical machine 3 times per week and some strength training (weights) 3 times per week. On the elliptical I do 30s as fast as I can go, then 4.5 minutes at a normal pace, then repeat until 20m is done. At the end, I do an additional 30s as fast as I can go. These high-intensity intervals are excellent for blood sugar regulation, muscle building and overall health.
I’m also taking several supplements:
|Fish Oil||6900 mg Fish Oil, EPA, DHA|
|Green Tea Extract||315mg|
|Alpha Lipoic Acid||600mg|
If you refer back to my blood work, you’ll see that I have pretty much everything in balance:
|HDL (“Good”) Cholesterol||45||> 40|
|LDL (“Bad”) Cholesterol||62||< 130|
|Non HDL Cholesterol (includes VLDL||80||< 150|
|Total Cholesterol-HDL ratio||2.8||< 5.0|
|Glucose||99||65-99, 140 is diabetic|
|Hemoglobin A1C||5.3||>6.0 is diabetic|
Blood work on 2012-12-06
Pretty much everything is right on target, nearly in the middle of the zone.