Day Two is the Hardest

Day Two is the Hardest

On Tuesday I essentially started a calorie-counted low-carb diet. I threw out my box of Cheez-Its (the best damn cheese crackers you’ll ever have). 12 hours later I had to pour old coffee on them to prevent me from fishing them out of the trash.

One thing I haven’t quite figured out is how to handle social engagements involving meals. So much delicious Dim-Sum to be had, for example. And not being able to eat rice really sucks. So I’m telling myself the following:

You’ve eaten well for 37 years, Dave! You will eat these things you enjoy again at a time of your choosing. They will not go away. So relax and have a pickle…they’re zero net carbs!

So today, Thursday afternoon, I’m feeling fewer cravings. I think two pieces of knowledge have helped:

  • Most food I eat every day is actually not that great, so there’s no sense in craving it. Save the calories for gourmet foods in tiny portions!

  • Knowing someone else is going through the same thing. A friend of mine is about to start up on a similar regimen. Solidarity!


p>I also need to figure out an exercise regimen to increase caloric burning. My anonymous dieting buddy sent me this link to a nifty Basal Metabolic Calculator. The general idea is to figure out how many calories you burn a day, then eat fewer than that. It takes your level of activity into account, hour-by-hour, for a better estimate. Then you can use the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference to see how many calories you’re burning. I keep track of this in an Excel spreadsheet.

It’s similar to the approach described in The Hacker’s Diet. It’s a good read because it’s an extremely rational, fad-free approach to dieting and exercise. I know, I know…you’re thinking about all those fat hackers dieting on Doritos and Jolt like that guy in Jurassic Park. Forget them. When you read the Hacker’s Diet, you will learn two things:

  1. The systematic, rational, insight-driven approach taken by one with the hacker mentality.
  2. How losing weight is all about eating less than you consume, and how to tell if it’s working.

Actually, the Atkin’s Diet is a good example of a body metabolism hack. But I’ll write about that some other day.


  1. Emily 18 years ago

    Hey good luck with this. I guess we won’t bring a pizza with us this weekend then. :(

    Maybe you could get some cool bento trays to make your food look cooler and to help practice portion control.

  2. Dave 18 years ago

    No, you should bring one! I just won’t eat half of it :-)

  3. Emily 18 years ago

    OK! I’ve been craving NY/NJ style pizza these days and if we’re able to, will pick up the local substitute before we head up. :)

  4. Leng 18 years ago

    Lisa & I don’t have the discipline for Atkins or South Beach, but we have tried to reduce our simple carbs… We eat brown rice more often than white, and when we do eat white rice we try to add some brown rice and some pearl barley—that way you still get that lovely white rice flavor & texture, but you’ve got some fiber slowing the absorption down.

    Right now I’m crazy about kale and mustard greens… Super, super good greens that have lots of flavor, texture, and fiber. I made a yummy and quick pasta tonight: chicken sauteed in olive oil with kale, onions, herbs fines (a delicious herb blend), and pepper… served over capellini w/ more olive oil, parmesan and lemon juice. Yum! Welcome to spring!

  5. Duncan 18 years ago

    Dave, have your heard of the Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet?  My mom is on it with noticeable success.  I believe it allows for daily reward meals where you can have carbohydrates within a certain time duration.  Having this reward system may make it easier to stick on the diet:

  6. John Bilotta Jr 18 years ago

    Hey Dave,

    I am a health nut and very active athlete, and let me tell you right now, the Atkins diet is crap!  Although it will drop your weight it raises your cholesterol and does not help your metabolism much. It also does not promote a healthy and balanced diet.

    If you really want to loose weight you have to eat more.  Sounds silly doesn’t it?  If you eat at least six times a day your metabolism is sped up and causes your body to burn fat stores.  Because you are always eating your body has no reason to store extra fat or carbs for reserves.  It is imperative however that you exercise and balance the meals.  A good reference can be found here:

    Men’s Health is the ultimate guide to nutrition and healthy living for men, it should defiantly be as common as TP in the bathroom.  If you ever need any advice on exercise or nutrition, let me know I will be happy to lend all the help I can.