Results – 30 days of low fat, high carb

Below I’ll outline the results of my 30 day low fat, high carb experiment.

For the methods and intro click here.

Day 1

Wake up, walk the dog, and drink an iced black coffee.

Exercise: Jumping Jacks and Burpees

Weight: 167.6

Waist: 33 ¼

Meals:

  • 9 AM 3 cups mixed salad greens topped with 4 cups hashbrowns (baked, no oil) and ¾ cup of edamame with some garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt, and ketchup. 570 calories, 99 g carbs, 27 g protein, 5 g fat, 7.9% fat
  • 1120 AM cereal with strawberries, rice milk and cinnamon, 359 calories, 72 g carbs, 5 g protein, 5 g fat, 12.5% fat
  • 1 PM Indian Buffet ate pretty much all vegetarian options including white rice and naan. Usually don’t go for the white rice. Funny enough, my fitness pal has several options for this but they don’t come with macros, just total calories. 1200 calories at least, fat grams at least 40 g. There’s a lot of ghee in indian food.
  • Total for the day 2129 calories, 50 grams of fat (21.1% fat)

A note on calories. Every time I’ve succeeding in the past I balanced my calories over time. I never cut calories by 500 every day to lose weight quick. I just made sure my calories averaged over several days to the number corresponding to the weight I want.

In this experiment the focus is not on calorie counting nor is it on being vegetarian. The focus is on eating healthy meals first or healthy snacks first to break food addictions. Some of my biggest food addictions are fried chicken, quick burgers from McDonalds, or tasty tacos from Taco Bell. By cutting meat foods most of the time I cut out one of my biggest crutches.

Again, I have succeeded in losing 30 pounds in the past while still eating all these “cheat foods”.

That’s not the goal here. The goal here is to eat healthy and get to my goal weight.

No matter what anyone says I can’t imagine anyone could be heart healthy while regularly eating burgers, fried chicken, and ice cream on a regular basis (probably not indian buffets either!).

I don’t crave grass-fed steak and free range low-fat chicken breast.

I want KFC. Medium rare burgers with a fried egg on top. And a big side of fries dipped in mayo and ketchup.

Can you do all that and be healthy? I doubt it; however, it would be fun to put it to the test in a future experiment. Once I get a hold of a cardiocheck so I can check my own cholesterol quickly and relatively cheaply I might try a KFC experiment and see how things go.

Also, drinking water when I think of food or feel slight hunger seems to be helping a ton. With this kind of carb eating a lot of times hunger and thirst seem to get confused. When I feel “hunger” or start thinking about junk food I simply drank 8 ounces of water in one go. I’m not a fan of sipping water all day. It’s way easier for me to just drink 8 ounces in one go and I’m done with it till I hunger again or till the next meal. Also, I’ve been drinking at least two 8 ounce glasses of water during each meal.

Day 2

Wake up, walk the dog, and drink an iced black coffee.

Exercise: Slow Pullups to failure 2 sets of 7-10, 5 seconds up/5 seconds down pace

Weight: 169

Waist: 33 ¼

Meals:

9 AM Migas, Salad greens, Toast 441 calories, 6 grams of fat

11 AM Cereal, Strawberries, Rice Dream, and Cinnamon 359 calories, 5 g fat

4 PM Migas, Salad greens, Hashbrowns, Edamame, Quinoa 1063 calories, 13 grams fat

Totals for the day 1863 calories, 327 grams of carbs, 24 grams fat (11.5%), 79 grams protein

Guess that Indian buffet added on more water weight than expected.

Day 3

Wake up, walk the dog, and drink an iced black coffee.

Exercise: 30 kettlebell reps using 50 lb kettlebell

Weight: 167.6

Waist: 33

Meals:

10 AM Migas, Salad greens, Quinoa 538 calories, 8 grams of fat

12 PM Cereal, Strawberries, Rice Dream, and Cinnamon 359 calories, 5 g fat

4 PM Morning Star Chik Pattie, Brown Rice, Red Cabbage, Onion, Green Onion, and Ginger 558 calories, 14 g fat

Snacks 505 calories

Totals for the day 1960 calories, 254 grams of carbs, 27 grams fat (12.4%), 49 grams protein

Tried an experiment with a vegan meal I found online for dinner. The brown rice was a bit undercooked (my fault) but it was definitely delicious still. Used Panda Express Kung Pao sauce to spice it up at only 25 calories a tablespoon.

Day 4

Wake up, walk the dog, and drink an iced black coffee.

Exercise: None, just dog walking

Weight: 167.6

Waist: 33

Meals:

10 AM Migas, Salad greens, Quinoa 538 calories, 8 grams of fat

12 PM 2 piece dark chicken meal with mashed potatoes and gravy, 658 calories and a whopping 31 grams of fat

4 PM Falafel burger, fries, and beer I split the falafel burger with my friend and ate ½ of his normal burger plus used a mayo/ketchup mix for the fries 10 grams of fat per mayo package! 1201 calories, 45 grams of fat

Snacks 300 calories

Totals for the day 2697 calories, 213 grams of carbs, 84 grams fat (28%), 97 grams protein

Today was a breakdown. The food addiction reset aspect of this experiment is only setting me up to think constantly of my food addictions then days like today happen. I am not sold on the “reset” strategy though I do find when I get on a roll with healthy meals I start to crave them more than treats as the healthy meal habit starts to set in.

The core of this experiment is about cutting fat less than 20% (on average so high days balance with low days) and seeing how that effects body weight and waist circumference.

Plus, I’m using this experiment to test out new vegan and vegetarian recipes so I can build up a larger set of vegan core meals as a go to for cutting phases. I’m still not convinced you can be heart healthy and eat meat at every meal.

With that said I’m dropping the “food addiction reset.” It’s a distraction from the core of the experiment.

The focus will remain keeping fat calories under 20% on average. The hypothesis is that is more than enough to get to a 31” waist again and to drop under 160 lbs. The 10% fat diets being discussed on the web are a bit overkill and it’s very hard to balance in cheat meals and get an average of 10% fat calories.

I’m also learning that cheat meals are too much. It’s much easier to get by with cheat foods more often. If have a cheat food, like just a burger, every couple of days you can still make your fat levels balance out. When you add fries, cheese, and mayo fat calories start to sky rocket.

Bottom line you don’t want fries with that. Enjoy the burger then go back to your core meals.

Day 5

Wake up, walk the dog, and drink an iced black coffee.

Exercise: Bicep and tricep dumbbells to failure

Weight: 167

Waist: 33

Meals:

12 noon Tofu scramble, 538 calories, 8 g fat

3 PM cereal with strawberries and rice milk and PB2, 384 calories, 6 g fat

Snacks 913 calories, 50 g fat

Totals for the day 1835 calories, 64 grams fat

Day 6

Wake up, walk the dog, and drink an iced black coffee.

Exercise: gym workout chest press, chest fly, shoulder press, row

Weight: 168

Waist: not measured

Meals:

930 AM Hashbrowns (no oil), edamame, over salad greens 410 calories, 5 g fat

Cupcakes at grocery store (free) 360 calories, 22 g fat

Snacks 101 calories, 0 fat

7 PM Work dinner 2 beers, chinese food family style over 6-7 servings 1767 calories, 69 g fat

Totals for the day 2638 calories, 96 g fat, 100 g protein

I purposely skipped lunch to prep for the dinner then ended up snacking anyways on free cupcakes and such at the grocery store. I was trying to prep for the dinner but the dinner was way too big anyways.  I should have calculated the calories as each serving came out. No matter, easy enough to make up through core meals and intermittent fasting over the weekend.

Day 7

Wake up, walk the dog, and drink an iced black coffee.

Exercise: no workout

Weight: 167.6 that seems to be the weight, ha!

Waist: not measured

Totals for the day 2606 calories, 44 g fat (24%), 56 g protein

Week One Summary

Average Calories: 2,277

Average Net Calories After Exercise: 2,166

Average Carbs: 270 g, 58%

Average Fat: 56 g, 27%

Average Protein: 70 g, 15%

Due to the tediousness of writing up daily foods here’s a weekly summary of eating moving forward.

Week Two Summary

Average Calories: 2,676

Average Net Calories After Exercise: 2,090

Average Carbs: 318 g, 54%

Average Fat: 83 g, 32%

Average Protein: 82 g, 14%

Week Three Summary

Average Calories: 2,408

Average Net Calories After Exercise: 1,984

Average Carbs: 311 g, 54%

Average Fat: 77 g, 30%

Average Protein: 93 g, 16%

Week Four Summary

Average Calories: 2,355

Average Net Calories After Exercise: 1,977

Average Carbs: 282 g, 52%

Average Fat: 75 g, 31%

Average Protein: 90 g, 17%

Final Results

Final weight loss: 4 pounds (2.3% weight reduction), 169 165

Waist reduction: 33 inches down to 32 inches

Summary

Keeping to 20% fat calories per day or less was impossible for me. The thing that ruined it was eating out either alone or with friends. Restaurant meals swim in fat and just a few of those a week greatly increase your average fat calories.

As you can see in the numbers above I compensated for the extra restaurant calories by increasing exercise. Lots of extra dog walks, bikes, or walks to the movie theater. Again, like in the past I lost weight regardless of the macros just by keeping average calories down.

I’m guessing I could have lost even more weight if I would have gotten my average calories less than 1800 a day but that’s for a different experiment.

My average protein increased through the month as I learned new recipes like protein pancakes (pancakes plus protein powder) and a few other indian lentil dishes. Of course, eating meat at restaurants was also a huge part of the protein increase.

Waist measurements went down an inch which is a sign that a lot of this weight loss was fat and not just muscle.

Lifting weights was maintained throughout so it is unlikely that muscle loss was a big factor.

In the end this experiment had too many rules. Moving forward, future experiments will involve a lot less variables, will focus on flexible dieting and learning new meal plan recipes.