The Old Fat-Guy Diet (long)

Discussion in 'Survival of the Fittest' started by hot diggity, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    In support of others who are trying to lose weight I thought I'd share this and see what kind of comments it gets here. I wrote "The Old Fat-Guy Diet" a few years ago for a health fair, and it has helped lots of busy folks who "don't have time to eat right" change the way they eat and lose weight.

    Since writing this over eight years ago, and maintaining reasonable health and weight, I have recently embraced the Primal Blueprint, and altered my lifestyle with activity and sensible exercise and my body has responded in very positive ways.

    The introduction will explain where the inspiration came from. (Still can't believe I used to eat like that!


    (A modification of "The Atkins Diet")

    How in the world did I get so FAT? This was what I had to ask myself at 47 when I looked in the mirror and saw an old fat-guy looking back at me. I'd become the disgusting fat-body that I'd always tried to drum out of the Marine Corps. I was a food blister! My clothes were all too tight, my belt straining, and I saw a few extra chins when I looked down into my reflection in the screen of a diagnostic tool. The last straw was when I was talking to some young Marines, and mentioned that I'd done something or other when I was in the service. One of them looked at me and asked, "What service were you in?" That was it! It wasn't the slightly longer, greying hair, or the glasses that he was my gut.

    First I had to come to grips with how this happened. That was actually pretty easy. Just consider what happens naturally. However advanced we may think we are as humans, we're still very basic creatures. Our bodies are programmed to protect us from unpleasantness. We don't have to think about taking our next breath, and until I mentioned it, you hadn't given any concious thought to the sensation of the floor pressing against the bottoms of your feet. Our most basic life support functions are on auto-pilot, and in the case of food, our body stores fat for one reason only; to protect us from famine. Knowing what triggers this fat storage is key to the lifestyle change that will allow you to lose your excess fat.

    carbo·hy·drate (kär′bō hī′drāt, -bə-) noun. any of certain organic compounds, including the sugars, starches, and celluloses, which usually have the general formula C(HO): carbohydrates are subdivided into monosaccharides, disaccharides, etc., and form an important class of foods in animal nutrition, supplying energy to the body Etymology: carbo- + hydrate. I'll just call them carbs.

    I'll give the late Dr Robert Atkins all the credit for figuring out how to make this diet work, I'd just like to share my experiences and odd-ball recipes that aren't in any Atkins diet books. I first tried the Atkins Diet several years ago. It was a family effort, and we went hardcore Atkins for 6-8 weeks. I lost so much weight people said I needed to gain some back. I hit 168 before the rest of my family (who hadn't shared my dramatic success) started eating regular high carb diets again. I like to eat, so I ate with them. It didn't take long for old habits to return, and like every other yo-yo dieter I fell right back into being happy with the old saw, "I am in shape is ROUND!"

    So how's it different this time? Family health issues have recently mandated that we all make changes in our diet. #1 Son started by swearing off soda over a year ago after kidney problems. Then last September we all went back on a basically Atkins diet. From a high of 235 I started the new diet at 218, where I'd been stuck. Push-aways, and skipping meals just weren't going to get me any further. Within a few weeks without carbs I was down to 186, where I've remained, plus or minus a couple pounds, since October of last year.(2008) I do absolutely zero extra exercise, since my regular 7 day work week keeps me plenty active, and on my feet 9-13 hours a day.

    Basic Atkins Diet, First Two Weeks

    (The fun part)

    Go buy the book if you want more recipe ideas. Basic diet is meat, cheese, salad, eggs, and more meat. The good thing is that there's no portion restrictions. The important thing for the first two weeks is that you can have NO carbs. (no bread, cereal, sodas, pasta, fruit, milk, potatoes, candy, cakes, donuts, or anything else with carbs. Since you can drink no milk, take a calcium supplement and a daily multivitamin.) Now's the time to invest in a really good quality scale, so you can monitor your progress. Here's one days meals:

    Breakfast: Three egg omelet with ham, cheese, and jalapeno relish, half pound of bacon and a couple sausages. Tea, water, black coffee, diet soda (Alright, I'll admit, this sounds like a great way to prepare for a couple stints and a quadruple bypass in the years ahead. Don't panic, it's only for two weeks. You can tone it down with lean turkey bacon and turkey burger if you like, but soon enough your portion sizes will shrink, and your worries will disappear. Probably about the same time as your second chin.)

    Lunch: Huge salad, light dressing (Oil & vinegar is probably best. Try black pepper) no tomatoes or croutons. Diet soda/water. Bag of pork rinds for a snack.

    Dinner: Steak that hangs off the edges of a 12" dinner plate, steamed green vegetables, dill pickle. More salad, more pork rinds, diet soda/water. (Try a 9" plate, you'll never notice the difference, and you'll eat smaller portions.)

    Family dining out? Mongolian House in Jacksonville, or other Mongolian food places have fantastic low carb food at reasonable prices.

    This is how it goes on for the first two weeks. No excuses! I can even do it at fast food places, but first, just for fun, let me tell you what I used to regularly eat at these places. You'll see that I even eat cheaper now.

    (Note: With the exception of the McDonalds sausage and egg platter below, these meals do contain "some" carbs, and are to be used only after you've reached your maintenance level.)


    McDonalds-- Two double cheese burgers, value fries, medium chocolate shake. $6.15
    Hardee's-- Two jalapeno thick-burgers, two orders of curly fries, large diet Coke. (...Diet?) $13.98
    Sonic-- Two Supersonic breakfast burritos with extra jalapenos, grilled cheese sandwich, tater tots, medium chocolate malt $11.45

    Now my fast food tastes are more refined, I'm just as satisfied, and I have money left over for better groceries.


    McDonalds-- Breakfast = Double order of sausage and scrambled eggs. (these are usually side orders, so you'll have to ask them to put it all in a breakfast take-out tray.) Diet soda/water. $4.65
    McDonalds-- Lunch/dinner = Two or three McChicken sandwiches with extra lettuce, diet soda. Here's the rub, you get a knife and fork, because you can eat everything but the bun. So you have a salad, with dressing, and chicken. Or, a ten piece McNugget with hot mustard sauce. diet soda/water $3.21
    Hardees-- They have the best little side salads. Add Ranch dressing, salt & pepper, and a diet soda and you're full. $0.99 salad.
    Sonic-- Two Junior bacon/ham/or sausage, egg & cheese breakfast burrito's. Or Sonic salad. $4.24 (two Jr Sausage Burritos are only 1/3 smaller at half the cost.)
    Burger King-- Jr Whopper, Value Salad w/ranch dressing. (Scrape burger, lettuce, mayo, pickles, onions and tomatoes into the salad, chop it all up and add ranch dressing) You will be amazed! $2.14

    Maintenance Diet

    (Hey, what happened?)

    This is where it gets more fun. You probably never, ever want to see another pork rind again, and if that table leg has some carbs in it, you'd probably gnaw on it. Your body craves carbs, because it fears a famine. It wants desperately to replenish your fat stores by converting carbs into stored fat. The reason it's craving carbs (that you've been denying it!) is that it's those very fat stores that your body has been burning because you've reduced your intake of carbs. As long as the body doesn't have excess carbs to convert to fat, you will continue to lose weight, or as you adjust your carb intake, maintain your desired weight. Making it even easier is all the extra energy you have now. You eat less, because your stomach has shrunk, and your overall health is better. Why? Because you're eating a diet more closely matched to what your body needs, instead of what it wants, or craves.

    Now that I've been at it for a few months I've found a few things that work, and some that are just gooooood. Don't be shocked by some of the prices in the grocery store for this stuff. Just remember that $6-13 fast food lunch that you're not eating any more.

    -- Pork, pork, and more pork. We live in pork country. If you never want to see another pork rind, I don't blame you a bit, but don't miss out on Junior Johnson's Pork Cracklins, Smithfield pork barbeque, and Jimmy Dean pork sausages. Bacon is still a tasty treat. Even hot dogs, whatever they're made of, have found their way into my diet. Zap them in the microwave, split them longways and add cheese, mustard, or ranch dressing, and it's almost as good as a traditional hot dog.

    -- Turkey, turkey bacon, turkey bologna, turkey burger. It's lean, it's tasty, and if somebody didn't tell you it was turkey, you'd never know.

    -- Almost cheating, but still nice are the Atkins bars, and sugar free ice cream on a stick. The bars are really tasty, and while they have some carbs, they are an easy way to settle your stomach after taking your morning calcium and mulit-vitamin. If you get sticker shock from these, remember those eighty-five cent candy bars you eat out of the vending machine.

    -- Sugar free instant pudding with 2% milk is alright in moderation.

    -- Whipped topping. Get the cheap stuff, and read the label. The reduced fat stuff is higher in carbs than the regular.

    -- Reduced carb tortilla wraps. These are a must have, and I try to keep a half dozen packs on hand at all times. They are great for wrapping up bacon, salad, or pork leftovers, or you can make one of my favorites, Peanut butter and jelly!! I put a smear of yogurt butter on first, then a thin smear of sugar free peanut butter, followed guessed it, a thin layer of sugar free jelly or preserves. Roll it up and eat it anywhere. Great bachelor food, since it makes no crumbs, and you can just wash the one butter knife after each use.

    -- "Atkins Pizza" This was my Son's creation. Take some reduced carb tortillas, and sprinkle cheese and pepperoni on them. Bake on a sheet pan. Makes the best little pizza's you ever saw. You can add pizza sauce within reason after the initial two weeks. You can also make garlic bread this way. Just "butter" the tortilla's with yogurt butter, add cheese and garlic salt. Bake until crispy.

    -- String cheese and pepperoni slices. This is almost as good as pizza when you're on the go.

    -- Cottage cheese. Once again, read the labels and stick with the cheap stuff. I like it spread thin on a large dinner plate and peppered til it's almost black.

    -- Really good gourmet cheeses and other goodies. Now's the time to treat yourself. Brie cooked on a plank on the the barbeque grill, smothered in a layer of mixed peppers and onions with a little olive oil is a special treat. (No jokes about throwing away the brie and eating the plank, til you've tried it!) portobello mushrooms are like another meat. A tray of assorted gourmet cheeses, sausages and a bottle of wine (Skip the $2.97 Walmart wine. Fine wines cost at least twice that much.) with some ("Gasp!") thin toasted Italian bread slices, or wheat crackers makes a nice start to a romantic evening, or just a nice way to end the week.

    -- Beer? If you must have a beer, have a diet beer. Look at the labels, and choose one lowest in carbs. Alcohol will slow your progress. That's why they call it a "beer belly." Remember, just because it doesn't have a nutrition label, doesn't mean it's good for you.

    -- Spaghetti squash, and all those other things in the produce isle that you've never tried. Try them. Creative chefs can make a spaghetti squash pasta that's absolutely delicious.

    -- When someone has a birthday, or at the monthly company meeting, have a small piece of cake or a couple donuts. (not a whole box!) Treat it as a special occasion. Same goes for chance meetings with the Onslow County Candy Man. He's been giving away candy bars for 20+ years. (He's a diabetic) Take one, say thank you, and enjoy it. You'll make his day.

    -- Once you tire of diet soda and water, try some green tea, or other unsweetened (except with Splenda) tea. This will cut the grocery budget even more, and provide the difference needed to afford more low carb meal items.

    -- Want to eat out? How about Mongolian Barbeque? This is a delicious Atkin's friendly treat for the whole family. (Caution: If you're behind me in line at the grill and don't like your food HOT, ask them to clean the grill before cooking your meal.)

    -- Walmart Deli has great chicken if you want a quick snack. Food Lion butchers have precooked pork trimmings for really reasonable prices. These are great on salads, or just as a snack.

    -- If you're sitting around a camp fire, or having a weekend barbeque, try some campfire Spam! There are a variety of flavors available, and they all taste great after they've been sliced thin and blackened in a camp fire. There's a transformation that takes place when you really burn a slice of spam, and it takes on a taste somewhere between bacon and pork sausage. Yum!

    -- Meat from wild game is universally lean, and high in protein. If you're not a hunter and don't have friends who are, you're missing out on this excellent source of delicious lean meat.

    -- If you miss pasta, there is an alternative for that too. Spaghetti Squash "Pasta" - I tried this out on some disbelievers, and even they had to admit that it was delicious. Since this one requires some cooking skills, beyond burning meat on a stick, I'll put it in recipe form:
    Hunts Garlic & Herb Spaghetti Sauce
    Ground Turkey (Surprise! Most people will swear it's beef.)
    Diced tomato
    Fresh garlic
    Vidalia onion
    Spaghetti Squash
    Halve, remove seeds, add butter, salt/spices
    bake at 350 til tender
    Microwave in quarters
    no seasoning til done
    cook until done. (season in bowl)

    What you end up with is a big plate of hot buttery spaghetti squash, covered with a thick, hearty meat sauce. Then you top it off with a nice thick layer of Parmesan cheese.
    It eats like pasta, tastes better, and it's all low carb. It's also great for lunch at work, and travels well if your sauce is nice and thick. Just reheat in the microwave, and sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese. Mmmmmm!

    That's how it's gone for me. I'm at 186.2 this morning, (Ha! 183.4 today!!!) have been taken off cholesterol medication, and have more energy than I did when I was 19. That cheerleader was right. "You Can Do It..."

    Hot Diggity
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
  2. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    [biggrouphug] well done! Thank you for posting, you are inspiring!
    EDIT: I had to read this again because the 'one knife no plate bachelor cooking' is priceless.

    Zucchini pizza for snacks. Grill 3/4" slices of zuccini and add toppings just like you were making pizza and broil or grill till melted cheese.

    I sometimes grill a large batch of veggies on the weekend and put in frigde.
    Large chunks of squash, quartered red peppers, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, see potatoes. Put the veggies in a zipploc bag with oil and shake, place on grill 30 sec, turn, 30 more sec and remove from heat as they cool they will cook more as they cool
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
    Dunerunner likes this.
  3. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Congrats!! indeed, inspirational!
  4. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Thanks for the kind words. It's been a journey for me. Now that I have started reading The Primal Blueprint I can see a lot of areas where I could have made better choices, but this was a start.
    The changes I'm seeing now are in the mirror, and I'm not the only one who likes these changes. ;-)

    I can hardly wait for the sun to come back out so I can go wandering on the beach, shirtless and barefoot.

    Ganado and BlueDuck like this.
  5. BlueDuck

    BlueDuck Monkey+++

    I have been on a low carb diet for over three years now and love it. I lost 30 pounds and kept it off. Best part was I Haven't had a gout problem since I started on the low carb diet (not really a diet but a new way of eating). I had a bad gout problem for nearly 20 years. I controlled it or tried to by taking anti inflammatory pills or black cherry juice. Worked to a degree, but still had flair ups. Finally I kept a list of what I ate each day to figure out what was causing it. Helped a little bit. Got to where I could cheat and eat something I knew was going to be bad (like shrimp, or crawdads) and I just chug a quart of black cherry juice along with it. (the cherry juice naturalizes the acid). Then I tried a variation of Atkins diet. Low carbs was the answer (for me). I am basically a carnivore any way so it was easy. I do miss potatoes, bread and ice cream, but I do go off the reservation every now and then. As far as the gout goes, it wasn't the weight loss that got rid of the gout, it was the carbs. I had lost the weight several times before on other diets or starvation but still had the gout. The low carb diet cut down my sugar intake, which in turn reduced the acid which was causing the problem. Thats my story, and I am sticking to it.
    Ganado, Yard Dart and Tobit like this.
  6. AliceJones

    AliceJones Neophyte Monkey

    Hey this kind of diet is of my friend also. And he also misses these things. But still he controls himself and now he having the fit body. Also he takes care for his skin also and hi wife's too. But for both are having different skin so he had a look here for his wife. They are happy to use it.
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