Thursday, July 30, 2009

The New Program (Pound Three)

Having been off low carb for around a year and a half, I've managed to gain back a good bit of the weight I'd lost. In fact, all of it. And maybe then some. The past three or four months have been especially challenging in this regard, because I found that I've been attracted to eating only crap food that tastes great. Also we bought a grill, which meant lots more hamburgers, hotdogs and steaks (which are not forbidden on Atkins, granted, but are when you serve them with Doritos or a loaded baked potato--mmmm, I could use me a loaded baked potato right about now, with Doritos sprinkled on top). Gradually, all my size 34 pants were been boxed up. Then my size 36s began to feel awfully snug. After I'd popped three buttons off three pairs of shorts in the course of a couple of weeks, I began to suspect that I might be gaining more weight than was absolutely necessary.

The wife, having been off of any program for a couple years longer than me, has also been unsatisfied with her situation. Being a medical professional, she began researching more diet plans and some of the mail-order meal programs to see which one best stood up to nutritional-wisdom. The one she decided she'd like to try was called MediFast. It's similar to Nutri-System and Jenny Craig, only instead of sending you microwavable meals they send you boxes of meal bars and packets containing powdered mixable meals, such as shakes, soups, etc. The program is designed to keep those on it on both a low carb and low calorie eating regimen wherein you only consume around 800 calories worth of food per day while retaining all the body's nutritional needs. Like Atkins, weight loss is achieved through Ketosis, though the high-protein component isn't as strong. Unlike Atkins or many other diet plans, it's not a program you're encouraged to remain on for the rest of your life, but only until you lose the weight you want to, at which point there are methods for transitioning back into regular "real" food meals and a better eating and nutritional pattern, which you are welcome to continue for life if you so choose.

The wife decided to give it a month's trial to see how well it worked. Sensing the challenge, I too agreed to give it a month on the logic that if I hated it I could stay on it until I was in ketosis and then transition into Atkins. But if it was tolerable and worked well, I'd stick it out for the full month and maybe beyond.

We each ordered a four week sampler pack of MediFast meals, which amounted to 20 or so boxes of meal packets and bars. Instead of eating three meals a day, the way MediFast works is that you eat five small packet-based meals per day (powdered eggs, shakes, pudding, oatmeal, soups, meal bars, etc.) and then a single meal of "real" food that has a number of restrictions as to amounts and is vegetable and meat based. Our boxes arrived within four days and on Sunday, July 19, we began the new program.

As with Atkins, the first couple of days were just a beating. Without its regular supply of tasty carbs on hand, the brain starts going all funky and making you feel weak and addle-brained. But that largely cleared up after the first couple day.

Now the program warns that you should weigh yourself only once per week, starting the first day you're on the program. I ignore this, however, weigh every day because, for me, getting that daily "attaboy" in seeing weight drop, even by fractions of a pound, is what helps keep me going. I was astounded, however, at the drop from day one to day three. When on Atkins, you basically expect to lose five pounds by the end of your first five days on the induction phase. On MediFast, I started out at 247.5 lbs and by day three was at 239.5. Granted, most of that was initial water weight as your system gets flushed out--because the meals are loaded with not only protein and nutrients, but fiber as well. At the end of the first seven days, I weighed in at 234.5, a 13 pound loss. And as of this morning, I was at 231 lbs.

Now, as to the tastiness of the MediFast meals themselves, it's something of a mixed bag...


1 comment:

crsunlimited said...

Do you feel like an Astronaut? I think it would be a productive waste of time to get some Astronaut food and compare the tastes. lol