I've always been a big eater, I used to brag about it like it was some kind of super power. For example, when I was younger I once crushed 80 chicken nuggets in one sitting, ate a fertada that weighed in at around 8 pounds, and could eat several pizzas at once. This probably won't come as a surprise but at my heaviest I topped the scales at 285.
This was a number of years ago now, but unfortunately that love of both bad and large quantities of food has stuck with me to this day. I recently got inspired by a fellow new father who was going through a career shift and needed to clean up his fitness, he switched over to eating in line with the Whole30 plan and lost 17 pounds in a month. We talked about it as I crushed some delicious sushi on one of my last visits to San Francisco.
Making the switch
I decided to give it a shot as well, I had nothing to lose and much to gain (figuratively speaking), so why not. Here is where things stand after 3 weeks in as measured on my Fitbit Aria scale.
I haven't been perfect, at the time of this writing I've missed the mark a few days:
- I had some cheese on several meals one day that I was on the move and it was really difficult to avoid when it was woven into every meal presented to me.
- I had a beer another day while at a networking event that happened to take place at a bar.
- Just earlier today I enjoyed two chocolates following a dinner that were very sweetly given to me by a friend.
In the past, missing the mark like this had the potential to spark an all out assault on the refrigerator or pantry. This time, I slipped up as described above then just kept on, even within those days. I think a big part of this has to do with setting expectations accordingly. Things aren't going to be perfect but so long as the general course is stayed, then things will work out. With those slip ups noted, I'm still feeling great about how everything is coming along.
What it looks like
All in all I've been able to stay the course while not drastically changing my fitness routine and the results have been pretty wild. Disclaimer, I didn't actually read The Whole30 book but here are the general principles that I'm following (it's good enough for me without taking up too much of my time or getting in the way):
- No dairy
- No legumes
- No wheat or grains
- No added sugars
- No alcohol
- No junk food made with healthy foods
- Eat a load of vegetables
- Eat clean, more natural foods that fit into the buckets above.
Honestly, it sounds restrictive but it hasn't been that bad. Below is a snapshot of how a typical day looks.
I typically don't eat in the mornings unless I'm starved for some reason. Here I'll have myself some black coffee or tea.
Salad with some kind of protein. I really enjoy taco salads where I'll throw together:
- A head of romaine lettuce
- A healthy amount of seasoned chicken breast
- Crazy hot sauce
Smoothie: 2-3 carrots, half cup of berries, water (or egg whites if I'm aiming for some protein, 2-3 handfuls of spinach, a scoop of BCAAs, and my secret ingredient to really jack up the nutrients, a scoop of Arbonne greens balance.
If I get hungry, I'll grab a handful of raw almonds. This sometimes happens once, sometimes three times, I don't let it bother me.
Some hefty amount of vegetables and a complimentary protein. A few of my preferred options are:
- Cauliflower rice, egg, brocolli, chicken
- Stirfry vegetables and ground turkey or salmon
- Brocolli (loads of it) and salmon
- Zucchini noodles, stirfry vegetables, and chicken
- A second salad
Interesting combinations of seasoning is my friend here, as is olive oil to help with the prep.
I'll make myself some kind of tea with no additives (e.g., milk, sugar, etc.). If I'm really hungry, I'll snag a spoonful of almond butter.