Monday, March 17, 2008

Status Update, Nutrisystem, & Low Carb on the Go

Status Update: During my one year of sticking with low carb, I lost 85 pounds. I was down to 251 pounds, only 15 pounds away from my original goal. I have been off of the "diet" now for nearly six months. And, I have re-gained 24 pounds. I still feel so much better than I did prior to the weight loss. But, something must be done before I get too fat and start feeling pains associated with severe obesity.

When I went off of the "diet", I promised myself that I'd return to it when I gained more than 25 pounds back. And, I am now only one pound away from this "upper limit". So, here's the plan... When I return from my cruise in early April, I will go back to watching what I eat. I am committing to stick with a dietary plan at least until I am within my ideal weight range based on my gender and percentage of body fat. This will likely mean a minimum of six more months of dieting. I am not yet sure what I will do for maintenance once the goal is reached.

Nutrisystem: My wife is considering trying Nutrisystem. From what I have read, I think it looks like a very good diet. Nutrisystem is based on the glycemic index which measures how fast carbohydrates enter the bloodstream. The basic idea is to avoid insulin spikes. In this way, it is very similar to low carb diets. However, this is much more complex than simply counting net carbs. And, there is no extensive guide book in which to look up the glycemic index for most foods. Therefore, to follow the Nutrisystem diet, you must purchase Nutrisystem meals. And, we're not sure what to expect in the quality, taste, and size of these meals. If my wife goes onto Nutrisystem, I am hoping to try it with her when I am in town. Unfortunately, I will be working in Paris, France 50-75% over the next several months. This makes doing straight Nutrisystem nearly impossible.

Low Carb on the Go: On travel days, I plan to stick with the Protein Power Plan. During this time, I will be staying in a hotel which has a small dorm style fridge and a microwave. This presents a challenge. I need to find low carb breakfast foods that I can be eat cold or cook in a microwave. The ingredients must also be easy to buy in France. Short of cold cheese and poached eggs, I have no ideas. Another challenge will be that I dine out with co-workers in the evening. But, since I don't speak French, I often don't know exactly what I am ordering. And, it's hard to ask for substitutions when you can't communicate well. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.


Michael Sanderson said...

My brother is doing NutriSystem. He seems to like it becuase he doesn't have to cook and it forces portion control on him.

FOr breakfast in the microwave, there are some microwave quiche recipes.

Here's a few links:,1729,144163-231203,00.html,1629,154182-245205,00.html

Ron said...

Another microwave suggestion.

Bacon. Put 2 strips in a napkin and wave for about 1 minute depending on how crisp you want it. You should be able to find bacon in France.

Eggs. I didn't realize I could cook eggs in a microwave until I saw Tim Ferris' video on the Four Hour Work Week blog. I take a small plastic container and put two eggs in it and wave it for 2 minutes. Comes out kind of like a fried egg, solid all the way through. You could probably just use a cup if you were in a hotel room.

Diane Eats the Elephant said...

Hi Big Daddy D - I had the same problem after losing weight on low-carb - I let myself slowly, oh so slowly, revert back to my own ways.

Last year, I took the weight back off, plus another 10 pounds, but I know what I did wrong, and I am not going to let it happen again. Good for you for catching it within just a few weeks/months.

1. Drink lots of water while you're gone. 100 oz a day. I am not sure what the liter equivalent of that is. Check it out before you go - you will want to be able to convert things in your head.
2. Bacon in the microwave is great - depends on the power of the microwave. Usually 2 paper towels (PT) under and 1 over, 1 min per slice, plus 1 for the plate :) at 70% power. Nice and crispy. If it overcooks, cut to 50% power. If can't cut power, open door every minute and check - this allows that 30% cooling off period (no zapping).
3. Shrimp in the microwave. Put in water/hot water. 2 min max. They keep cooking. Don't overcook.
4. Easy to eat out - eggs, bacon and sausage are all on the menu. If you get quiche, don't eat the crust.
5. French love cheese for dinner. The nicer restaurants in the US are starting to have cheese plates for dessert...incredible cheeses, too. Have a salad and some cheeses. I heard that salads are the last course in France; could be palate cleansing (and watch the sorbets used for that, if you run into that). Vinegar and oil, blue cheese, caesar dressings, some ranch dresses, but not french dressing.

Cheeses are fine left at room temperature...perhaps even better

Jambeau or jamb-anything means ham.
Get the quick learn french translation books and look up basic foods like that.
Frommage is cheese.
A la carte - means pay thru the nose :)
Continental breakfast is usually going to be some bread and coffee - could be toast, danish, biscuit, but definitely will not be low-carb. But, hey - you're going back on it in April, it is one of the reasons we "diet" - and p.s. - strike that word "diet" from your vocabulary. It's a life style change, and you will be able to eat more carbs later...follow me on my journey. I can eat between 44 and 100 carbs a day and still maintain or lose, depending on which end I am on and what I doing physically (where my metabolism is).

Hope this has helped! I'd love to see you tell me - like Cleo - that you lost that 25 and another 25 to boot! Catch me on my blogosphere - url below...


adrienne said...

Breakfast: go to a grocery store (Monoprix, Franprix, G20 etc)and buy prepackaged jambon (ham), poulet (chicken) or dinde (turkey) slices; boursin (with the cheese in boxes). For breakfast, spread the boursin cheese on the slice of meat, roll up and eat =)

IN: go to PICARD (frozen food store) and look for pieces de poulet (chicken pieces). It's only seasoned white meat in a foil bag -- low carb and excellent in chef salads.
Out:order salmon, they'll always substitute green beans for potatoes: "salmon et (h)aricot ver(t) s'il vous plait, pas de pomme de terre" (= salmon and green beans pleas, no potatoes)

Bonne Ap!

creakinator said...

I read a review about Nutrisystem food at!_Read_our_review/.

What about Intermittent fasting where you fast (don't eat) for a certain time period then eat for another time period. There is a thread under challenges at active low carb forum

I do a 20 hour fast with 4 hour feed for the past week by eating only between 5 and 9 pm eating low carb to some extent and staying between 1500 and 2000 calories. It has been fairly easy. I'm hungry all the time no matter if I did low carb or high carb, so why not be hungry for a reason? I've lost weight over the week and have not felt deprived. During the day I drink lots of water and chew sugar free gum. It has been freeing to not worry about eating, when I am going to eat next, not having to fix food each evening for meals, etc. I have much more time and energy for other things.

Anonymous said...

My experience with NutriSystem:

It is not low carb by my definition...

The meal portions are extremely small and were not really satisfying to my taste...

They allow way too many sweet treats that kept me constantly hungry...

Most of the dishes have a large amount of soy in them and, after a few months of eating so much soy, I found myself hypothyroid and needing to be put on thyroid supplements...

I'm back to Atkins and making up my own meals and starting to lose more weight.

bunny said...

I just got back from half a year in France a few months ago, so maybe I can suggest some low carb things to eat there. If you have access to the small grocery stores there, such as Monoprix and Franprix, or even Auchan, buy the cold cut meats there, rotisserie chicken in microwaveable bags, smoked salmon, etc. The veggies are generally fresh too so you can just eat those raw. In restaurants: porc is pork :p, boeuf is beef, poulet is chicken (poulet roti is roast chicken). Generally French meals don't have carbs on the plate, just meat and some type of vegetable unless you specifically order potato (pomme de terre--avoid!). So really all you have to do is avoid the bread basket (it's not really possible to ask them not to have it). However most of the sauces use butter and don't add extra sugars, so you should be ok! :) Happy eating!

Tracy said...

Carby terms to watch for (sorry, I don't have the accenty thingys on my keyboard:

viande enfarinee ou panee (meat breaded or dusted in flour)
de ble (wheat)
de la farine de ble (flour)
d'lorge (barley)
du seigle (rye)
d'avoine (oats)
du pain (bread - an apt term if I ever heard one, for me anyway!)
des pates (pasta)
des patisseries (pastries)
semoule (semolina)
l'amidon (starches)
chapelure (breadcrumbs)
Je ne peux pas manger (I cannot eat...)

So: "I can't eat potatoes" would be
"Je ne peux pas manger des pommes de terre", for example.

I got these from my French Triumph dining cards (for celiacs)- very handy.

Apparently the sausages in France are all meat, or mostly so, and pate should be a safe bet. Cream cheese, egg and flavourings of your choice (vanilla, etc) will get you a yummy mock danish made in the microwave:

Terry said...

My sister was on NutriSystem two years ago and it really helped her. I believe it has come a long way since then and is very effective.

Anonymous said...

Hi Terry, you are right its very effective system. I'm a fan of nutrisystem and I lose 25 lbs using nutrisystem diet plan. I used nutrisystem coupon codes to save money on their diet plan.