Diet Without Excercise
Woo hoo! Yesterday was crappy. Today is still crappy, but I’ve got great news. I’m cured.
Well, maybe not cured. But after today, I don’t think you’ll be having to hear much about my diet anymore. For those who may just be tuning in, let’s turn back the clock for a moment.
At the end of February, I got a bad report from my doctor. My cholesterol was elevated. But instead of going on a lifetime of medicine, I wanted to see if I could improve my cardiovascular health by making some shifts in my lifestyle. The good news was that given my eating habits at the time, the only way to go was up.
The big question was, would it work? The exercise component of the plan never actually materialized. And as we got closer to the final blood test, I also found myself sabotaging all my earlier efforts.
I guess I gave away the answer at the top of the post, but just wait until you see the numbers.
Old Total 255 -> New Total 149
Old HDL 46 -> New HDL 50
Old LDL 162 -> New LDL 74
Old Tri 233 -> New Tri 127
The good cholesterol is up. The total cholesterol, bad cholesterol, and triglycerides are way down. All without exercise. Solely on diet. And a diet I was absolutely sabotaging my diet at the end.
My GP was thrilled. I’m thrilled. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about my celebration meal. But how is improvement like this even possible? Part of me wants to write down my diet in some kind of book and make dozens of dollars. But I’ve already spelled it out in a blog post. Although somehow I never realized that the sardines on the menu at little pecks could have helped me fulfill some of my dietary goals.
Anyhow, I have a few ideas about why this was able to work.
1) I stopped eating like an asshole
Seriously, every Friday I was eating almost an entire chicken’s worth of chicken skin. It was glorious, and I loved it. But it’s totally unnecessary. One can live a perfectly happy life without it. I was also eating ice cream all the time. Not as an occasional treat. But whenever I was feeling peckish, I’d just dip into the freezer for a spoonfull of butterfat. And speaking of butter, we were keeping three different butters around, for different purposes and replenishing them frequently. I figured if it came from the milk of grassfed cows that it could never hurt me. Plus I was drinking full fat milk, and enjoying a bunch of other treats.
Not that any of these things are bad on their own. But when combined together into my everyday diet, the impact was noticeable. And cutting the fried, cheese drenched, and fat saturated foods from my diet paid off.
2) Fat banking
My doctor came up with a good name for what I was doing. With her obese patients, she will sometimes talk about calorie banking. The idea is that if you know there’s going to be some big food event coming up, to restrict yourself in the preceding days, so you can indulge at the event.
And this is what I’ve been doing a lot of for the past several months. Mostly, I’ve been fat banking for Yelp Events like Third Thursday Tavern Time, the pasta tasting at IL FARO, the birthday bash at The City Beer Hall, donut making at Cider Belly, and our periodic roving dim sum feasts.
So I’ll have a breakfast of low fat yogurt with a little granola, and a lunch of bean spread on crackers, with a modest dinner of a small rice and bean burrito with avocado. There’s usually a beer thrown in there. And an apple with some walnuts as a snack.
Turns out this kind of thing totally works. Crazy.
Moving forward, I think I’m still going to try and keep many of the changes I’ve made to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Although I am glad that I will be able to loosen up the yolk just a bit. That will mean more fun occasional treats like grilled cheese sandwiches from The Cheese Traveler.
But I still need to be careful. I’m just glad that my upcoming judging roles at Schenectady’s Wing Walk and Troy’s Chowderfest are not going to kill me.