Monday, August 8, 2011

Dieting for Dummies and Smarties Too

The diet days of summer. Realistically I wouldn’t be dieting right now, I would be enjoying the fruits of already being down to my cut up weight in the 170s but I just didn’t hit my stride properly and now I have spent the summer catching up. This time last year I was hovering around 171 and looking sharp as I had been since the end of June. As I write this today I was around 178 and looking pretty damn good in my own rights, but not exactly thrilled with myself all the same.

Here’s what is at issue with me and why I figured I would write this up, but I live with a bunch of people that have no desire to eat well. That’s probably not exactly correct, they THINK they eat well, but they don’t and grazing on what they leave for me to eat is my problem. Throw in the fact that single fatherhood has left me with an irrational fear of throwing out food, and you have disaster. While they don’t eat well they make too much food and will never again eat it themselves. Part of my diet has been throwing away the food {which gives me withdrawals trust me} and not allowing them to think it disappeared because I liked it. In itself it would sound mean but it is a vicious cycle that has to be stopped and denial is not a great way to live.

Here are a list of my “trouble foods” and how I am dealing with them. You will have to figure out your own trouble foods and then try to see a trend and follow it. First and foremost are hot dogs. I love me some hot dogs, which is a bane in this house. They will cook hot dogs and cheeseburgers twice a week and leave a dozen or so in the refrigerator until I eat them. I desperately want them every time I open the fridge, and in the end it is smarter to just throw them in the trash. It is a learning process for all of us as I hate throwing away the food, and they nail a cross in the front yard to hang themselves on because it makes me an unappreciative prick. Don’t fool yourselves, but people that make sure all you have to look at is bad for you food are like a bucket of crabs dragging you back down in the bucket with them every time you try to crawl out. They also like to be martyrs for the stupidest shit so ignore them as they start pounding the cross in the front yard too.

Next there are the seventeen varieties of cookies that have to pollute every single space of cupboards. They are “for the kids” and it is unfair for a meanie head like myself to thing that a cupboard should hold things like oatmeal, or ricecakes or something that tastes like crap but doesn’t make me hate myself when I eat them. In the end I can tell you that “the kids” eat hardly any of these cookies, it is just a bushwah {New England word, learn it love it} to do the wrong things in the name of martyrdom as well. I can avoid the cookies but I miss having no room for healthy stuff. Then you have all the damn macaroni and cheese that comes in a nice little box and realistically should have just enough to feed everyone and no leftovers. Yeah well there is always about 3 lbs of the high fat low nutritional crap sitting in the fridge until I throw it away too.

I counter these things with healthier stuff, and of course where most of my money goes towards things that are inevitably inedible while you are on a diet, but also expensive when you have to throw it all away, it is hard to pay premium dollars for the healthy stuff I want. Here’s where I improvise a bit and I am pretty fortunate that I have a degree in nutrition. Even if it doesn’t always hit me right how to get the right foods into myself, or I have a lack of time to do so I have learned how to make my own drinks and bars. In a perfect world we should all be able to take one of those MRP {Meal Replacement Packs} that usually cost about 3 dollars each if you buy them in bulk, but then again I never have 100 dollars to plunk down on them. I’m also too cheap to pay around 4 dollars each for them when I buy them 40 dollars at a time. Technically 3 to 4 dollars for a complete meal is pretty cheap but I have to augment them further because 300 calorie meals don’t cut it for me, as I am a bodybuilder for all intensive purposes. This is where my ingenuity and stinginess comes in handy, because I just make my own.

To make your own MRPs you really just need two things, protein, carbohydrates and a diet pill. The right types of these things are the hard part and here is where the ingenuity comes in. The types of protein that you want are “bio-available” which means easily absorbed and digested. Sure we would love a steak, but eat it all the time and you get some serious tummy issues. This is where Whey Protein comes in. If you wonder what whey is, it is just the liquid in your cottage cheese, and don’t turn your head at that, it is the most muscle available protein there is and because of that it doesn’t easily turn to fat and digests much better than flesh of some sort. Thanks to the whey revolution you can get it really really cheap now and even at your supermarket or Walmart. I say to try them all find out what has the best combination of cost and taste {Chocolate always tastes great, but some might like the other flavors} and you are half way there.

The second phase is the carbohydrates. You need dietary fiber more than anything else. It makes you feel full and it doesn’t spike your sugars. Most people know thanks to the “oat bran revolution” that oatmeal {whole grain oats yanno?} is going to be the kicker on all of this. Here is where you need to invest in a decent coffee grinder, and by that I mean one that can grind espresso. You take one cup of oatmeal to one half cup of whey protein powder and grind it into a fine powder. Mix this with water and drink it with a decent multivitamin, like Nature’s Way or something similar, and you have a perfect after workout shake. If you mix it in a blender with a half dozen ice cubes you will have something similar to a McDonald’s shake only it will have about 30 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbs {at least 6 to 8 of those are dietary fiber} and a gram or two of fat, as well as a full days supply of vitamins. All of this is brought to you for less than a dollar and people like myself can double it up if we need to and get around 500 calories instead of just 250. If you don’t grind up the oatmeal you can eat it hot with the whey protein too and it isn’t exactly a sports bar but it is a lot healthier and will make you feel a lot more full.

In the end I have to do this a couple of times a day. Eat a monstrous salad in between {full bag of spring mix, shredded carrot, mushrooms, good hand full of shredded cheddar, can of tuna, red onions, or whatever else I feel like and fat free dressing} and usually a bag of popcorn somewhere in between there. Then hopefully there is some chicken or something to eat later in the evening, or I have Greek yoghurt to go along with the 3 others I ate during the day. I assure you that it isn’t always easy but the results are worth it. Above all else DO NOT let all of the negative factors in your life keep you down. The jealousy of others is unavoidable, the misunderstanding of others is unavoidable, but let me tell you the dumb ass interference of others is. Stop worrying about everyone else’s feelings and take care of your own for a change. God loves you and so do I