Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cured fat belly? Gettin' there.

Two weeks and a bit on the Fat Belly Cure Diet.  Beginning weight, 160.  Current weight, 152.  So, not the rapid weight loss predicted in the book (4-6 pounds a week) but a somewhat slow albeit steady weight loss.  I have to say the diet is easy enough to follow, and the sugar cravings have faded.  I hadn't been home for two weeks, and my husband remarked that he could feel my bones.  Yes, that's right, I've got bones.  It's the inches lost and not actual weight loss that makes a difference in how your clothes fit.  I'm not ready to buy new pants, but I will be putting on a belt.

As long as I have your attention, I thought I would mention a few things I've noted so far:
Portion sizes - they are huge.  There is no way you can go on this diet and still be hungry.  Take for example, the "First Class French Toast" recipe.  You get 4 slices of Ener-G Foods Light Brown Rice Loaf (made into proper French Toast of course by dipping in the usual egg batter seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg) plus 2 eggs-scrambled, 2 slices of bacon and two sausage links.  That's like and iHop pig out breakfast.  Ridiculous. I don't eat the meaty sides, but even without those it's a hearty portion.

Taste - recommended products and recipes are yummy.  I had my doubts, as there are many substitute condiments, etc that you have to purchase if you want to eat "normal" tasting food.  On the aforementioned French Toast, you can pour some sugar free maple syrup, brand name Joseph's.  There is a big section in the back of the book listing all the "carb swap" products you can purchase and what products they replace (belly-bad, belly-good!).  Nature's Hollow Sugar Free Ketchup is delicious.  I haven't done a side by side comparison, but you could easily not miss your Heinz.  I'm really fond of the Ezekiel bread, it's full of whole grains but not too much fiber, which can be a problem for some.  It toasts up very nice and if you can make a sandwich, you've got yourself a nice, filling meal. Seriously, who can't make a sandwich?

Sugar substitutes - the diet uses sugar replacements such as stevia and sugar alcohols, or sometimes both.  Stevia is an herb that naturally sweetens without calories.  Apparently, it was recently approved by the FDA for use in food and drink products.  I've been using stevia in my coffee for some time.  It's sweeter than sugar, so you need less, but I wouldn't say it tastes exactly like sugar.  It does the job, and now soda made with stevia is on the market, a brand called Zevia, which is widely available and as good as any diet soda on the market.  The other sugar substitutes include Maltitol, which is a type of sugar alcohol, a non-nutrative sweetener. Another you may recognize is Xylitol, which is often found in sugar-free chewing gum.  Sugar alcohols have fewer calories than sugar and don't cause cavities (hence, the gum!).  The problem with sugar alcohols is that if you consume more than 100g in one day, you may suffer from bloating, gas and diarrhea.  My mother found this out the hard way after eating more than a cup of Clemmy's ice cream at one sitting.  We now know why Jorge mentions that a serving of ice cream is 1/2 cup.  If you feel this is a measly dessert portion (and I would agree with you there), plop that ice cream on top of a Vitalicious Sugar Free Velvety Chocolate VitaTop which you've zapped in the microwave for 20 seconds.  Scrumptious!

Labels - you'll have to start reading the nutritional labels on everything you buy, and eat out a lot less.  The book teaches you what to look for on the label, but what about eating out?  Food served in restaurants is packed with sugar and bad carbs. It is possible to make good choices even when eating out, but it's certainly a lot more difficult than preparing your own food.  You might want to take a rest from eating out for awhile, and with the money you save, you can buy more "carb-swap" products, which can be on the pricey side.

There are many products listed I haven't tried, so I will keep you posted.  Evey product I've searched for has a website that lists where you can purchase them.  It doesn't appear that there is any product featured in the book that isn't readily available, unless you live in the middle of nowhere. 

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