In my continued quest for the perfect diet plan, I stumbled upon The Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet: The Lifelong Solution to Yo-Yo Dieting. Unlike the Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution, this book spoke to me. I didn’t think I was a “carbohydrate addict,” but I clearly saw myself as a yo-yo dieter with my tendency to skip meals.
In reading the book, I learned that I was most likely addicted to carbohydrates due to their effects on insulin and blood sugar. To avoid spikes in insulin and blood sugar, all I had to do was eat 2 small low-carb meals per day, consisting of lean meat and veggies, and then one reward meal of anything I wanted, but it had to be consumed within an hour. Doing so would keep insulin spikes to a minimum, blood sugar steady, and my metabolism burning fat for fuel. And since I could eat a reward meal once per day, I would not feel deprived. It sounded like a win!
So I meal prepped chicken breasts and broccoli, or pork tenderloin with asparagus, or salmon and green beans to eat for breakfast and lunch each day, and decided to have my reward meal at dinner. As you can imagine, eating warmed up chicken and broccoli for breakfast was not fun. Breakfast was hard enough for me to eat when it was something I enjoyed, like bacon and eggs, but it was a total gag-fest with chicken and broccoli. But I knew that it was what I needed to do to rev up my metabolism and keep my body nourished throughout the day. I reminded myself that I would later have my reward meal and could eat whatever I wanted at that time.
So for dinner, I would have whatever entrée I felt like eating, plus some fruit, and maybe some dessert. The only problem for me was that it all had to be eaten within an hour. The doctors who wrote the book clearly state that the reward meal should not be an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of sweets and junk food. Although you can eat whatever you want, the aim was not to stuff your face with everything you can cram in there. Unfortunately, that was usually my end result.
I would eat dinner, then be excited at the prospect of having some fruit, but then also want to fit in the small bag of chips that I had saved from lunch – oh, and that piece of cake that I saved from a friend’s party too. Before I knew it, I was stuffing my face with all the “reward food” I could eat because I knew I only had an hour to eat it! When going out to eat with my friends, I would nibble on appetizers and sip on drinks, then eat the main course, but would feel defeated when the reward hour passed, and I was still drinking and sharing dessert with them.
Before I knew it, I became obsessed with food again! What could I eat for my two low-carb meals, and what could/should I eat for my reward meal that day? If I was having lunch with a friend, that meant I’d have to have my reward meal at lunch time and restrict myself to a pre-portioned low-carb meal at night, which I hated. I enjoyed eating dinner and snacking with my boyfriend, (now husband,) after a long day at work, and did not want to worry about counting calories or carbs when I was trying to relax. Although my boyfriend was always supportive of my latest diet plan, he had no desire in joining me or restricting his meals in any way.