notes from a cleanse: day three (paradise lost)

Check-in Weight: 146.4.  I was preapred for that gain – the glycemic load for that day was 66, with 126g net carb – 47% of which came from the potato.  With my normal way of eating, I probably keep the carbs under 70g net per day.  Today being Fruit & Veg Without Potato Day, it’s going to be fairly low in calories, low in glycemic load, normal net carbs.  I don’t think I’m going to try the summer fruit salad again, chimichurri or no.  If I feel like having some grapes later I will, but that will be the extent of the fruit constituency.  A musing, a post-cleanse report and some holiday peril after the jump.

I found a blog written by an internist and obesity specialist, Dr. Barbara Berkeley, that is a very freshing look at weight maintenance.  Note the emphasis – everyone wants to tell you how to get lean…the hard part is staying lean.  Dr. Berkleley identifies herself as a Primarian – a combination of low-carb, paleo and a few other things that boils down to a single rule:  Don’t Eat Crap.  She admits to being 90% Primarian – which is important, from a psychological perspective.  Like me, she denies herself nothing, but chooses to feed her body well most of the time.

She also wrote a few things here that struck home.  One is that popular diets don’t work not because they are bad, but because the people on the diet don’t follow the rules of the diet.  Which is both a “Duh!” moment and a revelation.  If compliance is key, then providing the means for compliance is more important than the dietary choices themselves.  If you are able to move towards a healthy weight on that diet *and* stick with it over the long term, without feeling like crap or harming yourself physically, then you are no longer on a diet – you have found a new way of eating that is well-suited to your lifestyle.

A second was the concept of ‘defensive eating’, to ensure that the excesses of the holiday season doesn’t derail adherence to any way of eating one has found to be well-suited to one’s body.  I know I practice defensive eating all year long – there are a lot of events and meetings hosted at my agency, and invariably food is served.  People come to offer all manner of delicious-looking, leftover crap all the time.  Most crap I can avoid – if it’s in the break room, I take a peek, take a pass, and grab whatever it is I planned on eating/drinking instead.  If it’s foisted upon me (and yes, my co-workers have gotten into the habit of bringing me food, since I don’t take it), I have found the most efficient way of dealing with it:

(1) Accept it with gratitude.

(2) Mention that it’s outside of my eating window, and I’ll enjoy it later.

(3) Pitch it in the trash at the most convenient opportunity.

I feel strangely validated that Dr. Berkleley endorses and recommends lying and other means of refusing food that is not within one’s way of eating.

Co-Worker Post-Cleanse Comments: She feels a bit more curvy; the miracle soup is a natural laxative; she did not disclose poundage lost (if any).  Perhaps the best result is that she feels more  inclined to avoid crap, and simply choose to eat better.


I am not enthused about tomorrow.  Eight bananas and eight glasses of skim milk (or six portions of low-sugar yogurt).  I like bananas and yogurt; not that much.  The last time I saw something other than whole milk in my fridge, my mother was staying with us (she drinks 1% milk; Christ, woman – take a calcium supplement and drink a glass of water, already).  Fuel load of 1600 kcal, net carbs will be around 300g, estimated glycemic load of 151.  Nah, bother this nonesense – I’m either doing another vegetable day (no potato) or skipping ahead to fowl and tomato.  The concept of putting myself through a carby hell for this blog is an amusing one – maybe I’ll devote a day to this after the new year.  For now, though, I want to feel cleansed, not Unclean.

(photo credit: Ben Croshaw)

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