Sunday, August 27, 2006

End of Week 2 Results

Today was the end of week two. I have lost almost 15 pounds. My waste and hips measurements have both dropped exactly one inch. My daily ketostix reading has ranged between 80 and 120. I'd be more at ease if my ketostix would stay between 50 and 80. I am burning fat at a slightly higher rate than I feel is healthy. Therefore, I plan to boost by carbohydrate intake a little. My target was a minimum of 30 net carbs a day but not more than 45. I think I'm going to up this to between 35 and 45.

Detailed stats (end of week 2):
Weight has dropped from 336 to 321.6 pounds.
Waste measurement has gone from 56.5 to 55.5 inches.
Hip measurement has gone from 54.5 to 53.5 inches.

Buffalo Chicken Dip - 4 net carbs per serving

This is a wonderful appetizer that non-dieters and dieters alike will love. It is my own creation. For dieters, serve with soy protein chips or celery (add about 1 net carb for each celery stock or 1/3 net carb per four inch stick). For non-dieters, serve with tortilla chips. The entire dish's net carbs is 25. I'm going to say that there is about 6 big servings. However, the carbs are low, so feel free to eat more than one serving!

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Serves 4 to 12 people (net carb calculation based on splitting into 6 servings).

Ingredients*
8 oz package cream cheese.
3 T. Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing.
1 can of chicken
4 T. Favorite Wing Sauce (we like Justin Wilson's)
1/2 c. Cheddar Cheese

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cream cheese in microwave & oven safe dish. Nuke cream cheese for one and a half minutes to soften. Stir in ranch or blue cheese dressing and level. In separate bowl, mix chicken and wing sauce. Add on top of cream cheese mixture. Top with cheddar cheese. Bake 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve with soy protein chips or celery for us and tortilla chips for your non-dieting guests.

*t. = teaspoon, T = tablespoon, c. = cup.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Food on the Road

Today was one of those difficult days to diet. I had to attend a business conference that was in a hotel located about two hours away from my house. The original plan was to leave early and eat a big breakfast omelet on company funds at a sit down diner along the way. However, I was running late. Before leaving home, I grabbed some sugar free tapioca pudding (7 net carbs). But, this wasn't enough to satisfy me. So, near my destination, I popped into McDonalds with only about 15 minutes available to eat. The breakfasts there consist mostly of biscuits, hashbrowns, etc. So, I ordered what wasn't on the menu... 2 eggs and 2 orders of bacon (0 carbs). Later, the conference included a free boxed lunch consisting of meager sandwich, chips, cookies, and a bag of potato chips. I sat there, after eating my piece of lunch meat, staring at all of these things I couldn't eat. Then it dawned on me that the hotel might have a restaurant. So, I popped downstairs and located a bar and grill. Using my company credit card, I purchased a steak dinner and had it delivered to the meeting room. So, I didn't have to go hungry after-all. And, I still got a free meal. This just goes to show you that it is not always easy being on this diet. I should have planned ahead but lucked out regardless.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fried Chicken - 1 net carb per serving!

Tonight's dinner was fried chicken with sides of cheesy cauliflower and sliced home-grown tomatoes. The total carbs was about 10 grams. Believe it or not, my fried chicken has less than 1 carb per serving! The other 9 carbs came from the side items. And, it tastes so great that non-dieters will beg you for the recipe. The secret is using crushed pork rinds as the breading. If you want to turn the heat up a notch, try using hot and spicy pork rinds instead. I know what you are thinking, "pork rinds, cream, deep fried; this is a heart attack waiting to happen." Well, all of the nutrition rules that we grew up with are being turned upside down. This diet is said by many experts to actually lower cholesterol. So, relax and enjoy!

Fried Chicken to Die For
Makes 4-8 servings.

Ingredients*
4-8 Pieces of Chicken
Salt
Pepper
1/4 c. Heavy Whipping Cream
2 eggs' whites (no yokes)
1-2 T. Tabasco sauce
1/2 - 1 bag of crushed pork-rinds
Oil or Lard (lard preferred)

Instructions:
Heat oil to about 370 degrees. You can fry this chicken in a pan, but I prefer a deep fryer. Thaw and pat dry chicken with paper towel. Rub salt and pepper into chicken. In bowl, mix or whisk heavy whipping cream, egg whites, and Tabasco sauce. In second dish, finely crush pork rinds. Dip chicken into liquid mixture then into the pork rinds. You may have to pat or press the pork rinds a bit to insure they stick to the chicken. Next, place in oil and cook for 9 or 10 minutes. If pan frying, turn chicken half way through. If you are using a small deap frier, don't overfill, cook 2 or 3 pieces at a time. Enjoy!

*t. = teaspoon, T = tablespoon, c. = cup.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Truth About Sugar Alcohols

Over the last few years, stores have been filled with products claiming low net carbs* due to their containing sugar alcohols. Before trusting that I would not gain weight from eating these sweets, I decided to research sugar alcohols. What I found is that only about half the carbohydrates from sugar alcohols are digested. And, almost none of the fiber is digested. Therefore, the real net carbs should be calculated by taking total carbs minus fiber minus 1/2 sugar alcohols. Do not let the packages flaunting zero or low carbs fool you. Always read the nutrition information and calculate it yourself!

A good fact sheet about sugar alcohols can be found on the following web site: http://www.ific.org/publications/factsheets/sugaralcoholfs.cfm. On it, they say:

.................."An American Dietetic Association publication
..................recommends that persons with diabetes managing
..................their blood sugars using the carbohydrate
..................counting method 'count half of the grams of sugar
..................alcohol as carbohydrates since half of the sugar
..................alcohol on average is digested.'"


There is also a good article on http://www.lowcarb.ca/tips/tips010.html about sugar alcohols and their affects on low-carb dieters.

*Net carbs is the same thing as the Protein Power Life Plan's ECC (effective carbohydrate count)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Cheesecake - 6 net carbs per serving

I love food. I love cooking it, and I love eating it. One of the great things about this diet is that you do not have to starve yourself. You just have to be creative. My biggest problem on this diet was finding a quick and easy breakfast. I simply did not have time to cook eggs and bacon each morning. I needed something I could eat on the run. And, cheesecake came to the rescue! I cook this on the weekends and eat it most mornings for breakfast.

Excellent Low Carb Cheese Cake
Makes 8 servings

Equipment:
9" Springform Pan
Cake pan or other oven proof dish (for water only, if low humidity)
Electric Beaters

Ingredients*:
Butter
2 lbs of Philadelphia cream cheese (others are too soft and don't cook as well)
4 T. Equal for Recipes
4 Eggs
2 T. Heavy Cream
1 to 3 t. Lemon or Lime Zest (depending on desired intinsity)
1 T. vanilla (preferred Mexican over American brands)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat pan in thin layer of butter by rubbing cold stick of butter all over pan. Beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. While beating, slowly add sweetener. Then add eggs, one at a time. Mix in remaining ingredients.

Pour into springform pan. That's right, no crust. Don't worry, many cheesecake purists actually prefer no crust. If low humidity, put a pan of water in oven on bottom rack. Place cheese cake on upper rack, vertically in middle of oven. Bake 10 minutes then reduce heat to 275. Bake 1 hour. Do not open oven while backing. When done, turn off oven but do not open. It is important to let the oven cool completely before removing the cheesecake. If the cheesecake cools too quickly, it will crack. Once near room temperature, run knife around edges, cover, and place in refrigerator. The best way to slice a cheese cake is to remove the springform ring then cut using dental floss. Be creative with toppings but be careful of potential extra carbs. Enjoy!

*t. = teaspoon, T = tablespoon, c. = cup.

Stats as of August 14

Age: 32 years.
Weight: 336 lbs.
Waist: 56.5 "
Hips: 54.5 "
Height: 5 ' 10 "
Wrist : 7.75 "
Neck: 19"
Forearm: 14.5"
Estimated Body Fat*: 40.2 %
Estimated Total Fat: 134.4 lbs.
Lean Body Weight**: 201.6 lbs.
Ideal weight range***: 232 lbs. to 252 lbs.

Diet Goal: 240 lbs.

*Body fat - I used to use the Protein Power Life Plan book to calculate body fat. But, the chart only goes up to 300 pounds. I tried several online calculators. The Navy calculation puts me at 31.82 % body fat. The YMCA calculation puts me at 43.7 %. Health Central's website, http://www.healthcentral.com/cholesterol/home-body-fat-test-2774-143.html, uses the Covert Bailey formula and asked for more parameters than either of these and came up with the value above, part way between the Navy and YMCA calculation. I know that none of these are accurate, but I don't have access to equipment such as a huge tank of water.

**Lean body weight is supposed to be your total weight minus fat (i.e. bone, muscle, water, etc.). My lean weight 6 years ago was estimated to be 174 lbs., 31 lbs. less than my lean body weight today. I am not sure if this is due to the use of a different calculation method or if it is due to additional muscle built by carrying around my extra fat weight.

***The ideal percentage of body fat for a white male is 15 to 22 percent according to Bailey, Covert. The Ultimate Fit or Fat. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright 1999,

Previous Diets

Years ago, I tried the low calorie and low fat diets. They made me dizzy, sleepy, and hungry with very little weight loss. In 1999, I began logging what I ate. After a few months, I had enough data to analyze. I then begun studying various diets. I identified the low-carb diet as the one with the greatest potential for weight loss and personal satisfaction. I began the diet on January 1, 2000. This was before low-carb was trendy. Hardly anybody seemed to know anything about this method of weight loss. In restaurants, I found myself constantly explaining to waiters and waitresses that I could not eat bread. They often would ask if there was anything wrong with the food I sat aside and sometimes actually brought me more, thinking that there was something wrong with what I already had. Today, things have changed. Low-carb is hot! Everybody is trying it. There are now low-carb menus in restaurants, low-carb tortillas, low-carb ice cream, low-carb everything! This should make my 2006 diet much easier to follow than my 2000 diet.

It is interesting that this diet has become so popular. I've noticed that as the popularity grew, many people who think that they are on a low-carb diet are not doing it right. Low-carb diets do not work if you just cut back a little. It is not like counting calories. You have to cut back to the point where it affects your insulin levels. But, at the same time, you have to have a little to stay healthy. From past experience and the use of Ketostix (pee test for weight loss), I have found that I lose weight as long as I stay below 45 net grams a day. I usually try at least consume 30 grams.

The last time that I lost a large amount of weight, I did so to make it easier to get dates. It was motivated primarily from selfish, superficial desires. This time is different. I'm beginning to feel very heavy. The weight is making it harder to do physical work. My back is giving me trouble. And, my muscles get sore more easily. Plus, I now have a four month old son. I want to be around to see him grow up. I want to be able to take him hiking and play games with him when he is older. So, I am not only doing it for myself, I am doing it for my child. Six years ago, I lost 45 pounds and kept it off for about two years. This time, I need to lose 100 pounds. This blog is part of my internal means to get psyched up and to form an obsession with weight loss. Wish me luck!