Diet is such a scary word, and what we eat is such a personal thing. I have a food allergy, so trust that I know the nuances. I’d never judge anyone for what they choose to eat. Most of the time it’s complicated. Do what works for you! I recently hit my highest weight and it doesn’t align with my goals right now. That’s why I recently decided to go on a diet. I’m on a short term low carb and high protein diet with the goal of weight loss in preparation for surgery that’s coming up soon. Losing some weight pre-surgery is going to give me a better result. As for the surgery, I’ll be sharing more on what that entails soon. As for the diet part, I think parts of this diet absolutely can be sustainable long term, however I personally don’t plan on eliminating certain foods for the rest of my life.
It’s not that I ever ate that many complex carbs in the first place. I actually haven’t bought a loaf of bread in years. I just have no control when it comes to eating carbs, which is a larger issue with portion control. For instance, eating an entire box of Annie’s mac and cheese for lunch or dinner. When chips are in front of me, I could mindlessly eat a whole bag. Unhealthy habits were slipping their way into my life, despite making an effort to work out and eat healthy meals part of the time. It felt like things were really getting offset, despite the hard work I was putting in at Barry’s Bootcamp.
But since moving, I’m home a lot more and I eat 90% of my meals at home. Eating at home is smart from both a budget and health perspective. Here are some of the techniques I’ve incorporated into my diet recently with the goal of weight loss.
And because this is the internet, this needs to be said: please consult your physician before taking any of these tips, because I’m clearly not a qualified nutritional or medical professional.
This is a food diary app where you can log meals, workouts, and connect with friends on any level of their health journey. If you’re trying to lose weight, gain weight, or even just maintain, the app will help guide you with stats and reminders to set you up for success. I use the free version and I like the interface. It’s really helpful being able to scan the barcode of any food product and have the nutrition facts and macros added directly into your food log.
As bad as this sounds, this means skipping breakfast for me. It’s one less meal to worry about and I’m shortening my eating window, which many experts say allows your body more time to properly adjust between meals. I usually just have my normal espresso in the morning to get me going and then have a really nutrient dense lunch between 11am-1pm. Dinner is usually around 5-7pm, and I try to end my eating for the day there. I only drink black espresso and water during the fasting hours.
High protein for me might be different than high protein for you. I don’t eat a ton of meat, and at home I cook mostly vegetarian. But I was consistently lacking enough protein in my diet. So for me, high protein sources lately have been canned tuna, smoked salmon, greek yogurt, beef, and chicken. I’ve been loving easy and ready to go meat options from Costco, like their grass fed tri tip or organic chicken skewers.
Additionally, I’ve been supplementing with protein powder from Medi-Weightloss. You may have seen my Instagram post sharing this, however this blog post is not sponsored, I really have been impressed with their products. They are not only high protein, they are low calorie too. In addition to the Birthday Cake Protein Supplement, I love the Classic Marshmallow Crisp bars as well. Use code CAKE20 for 20% off your first order!
Tons of Veggies
Dissimilar to a ketogenic diet, I am not strictly counting carbs from fruit and vegetable sources. However, I am limiting naturally starchy carbs like potato, and not eating them too often. Every meat I consume is served over a bed of organic leafy greens, such as baby spinach, mixed greens, or kale. Things I buy every week for meals include greens, tomatoes, avocado, baby carrots, sugar snap peas, and hearts of palm. Frozen broccoli and riced cauliflower are always stocked in my freezer.
Compromises are key. This weekend I was craving chips, so I reached in my swag bag from the Fancy Food Show and ate a single serve portion of bean-based tortilla chips. Again, unlike keto I’m not counting carb content in foods like greek yogurt, cheese, sauces, or dips. I’m focused on bigger wins like avoiding pasta, bread, rice, crackers, and things of that nature as much as possible.
Wine in Moderation
This one has been easy, but it’s the structure I needed. I’m allowing myself wine Friday night through Sunday night. Most of the time, I see my stats on MyFitnessPal and I just don’t want to put myself over my calorie allotment for the day. I love a nightly glass of wine, but putting a weekend-only rule in place makes it a bit more special to me.
Those are the main tactics of my current diet. Here’s a simple breakdown of a typical grocery shopping list of things I buy often. I think spices and sauces can be the trick to making leaner, veggie and protein rich meals a little more interesting.
High Protein Low Carb Diet Grocery List
- Canned Tuna / Tuna Packets
- Ahi Tuna Filets
- Salmon Filets
- Smoked Salmon
- Chicken Skewers (find at Costco!)
- Tri-Tip Sirloin (find at Costco!)
Fruits & Veggies
- Baby Spinach
- Baby Carrots
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Brussel Sprouts
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Hearts of Palm
- Artichoke Hearts
- Non-fat Greek Yogurt
- Low-fat String Cheese
- Kerrygold Unsalted Butter
- Miyoko’s Creamery Cultured Plant Based Butter
Spices, Sauces, & Condiments
- High Quality Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Truffle Salt
- Trader Joe’s Umami Seasoning
- Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Soy Sauce
- Trader Joe’s Yuzu Hot Sauce
- Bitchin’ Sauce
- Buffalo Sauce
- Almond Butter
- Sparkling Water
- Cold Pressed Juice
Since my last doctor visit in December, I’m down 12 lbs without having to sacrifice a whole lot. I occasionally give myself a cheat day where I dine out or eat freely without tracking on MyFitnessPal. Usually it’s on the weekend. When dining out, instead of ordering a burrito or tacos, I might get ceviche. Instead of having a burger with a bun, I’ll ask for it lettuce-wrapped. And I always try to get back on track with portions and logging meals the following day.
My weight slowly crept up once my metabolism slowed down in my mid twenties. Now in my thirties, I’m making more careful choices with food and portion size. I want elements of this low carb diet to be sustainable long term, but I’m also a realist therefore I allow myself an occasional treat. Life is honestly too short to feel deprived!
I hope this peek into my high protein and low carb diet was encouraging or helpful. If you’d like to see more health and wellness topics covered on the blog, definitely let me know.