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Dieting without being hungry

Rump roast plus some less-guilt-inducing things. Click here for high-resolution version.

In eleven years of blogging here, I don’t think I’ve ever written about cooking beef before. I’m 98.6 percent vegetarian, but diets change things (for a while).

During my adult life, my weight has bounced back and forth from about 147 to 157 pounds. Why it bounces is easy to explain: If I weigh 147, I gain weight. If I weigh 157, I feel fat, and I start dieting. My motivation for my current diet, however, though I did feel fat, is getting ready for doing some traveling and hiking in the Scottish Highlands near the end of this summer.

As an experienced dieter, my rules are simple: Keep carbs down. But keep protein, potassium, and fiber up. Concentrate on low-inflammation foods (beef is not one of those). My maximum daily calorie consumption while dieting is 1,200. The calorie rule could be honored, of course, on my usual lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. It would just mean eating less of the usual things. But I’m afraid that a 1,200-calorie diet of the usual things would leave me deficient in protein, potassium, or fiber.

Fortunately, I don’t have to diet often. Once I’m at the lower-level marker of 147 pounds, it takes me more than five years of eating whatever I want to get me back up to the red line of 157 pounds. Nor do I have to obsess about weighing myself. My belt tells me all I need to know. I resort to the scales only to confirm that I’m back at 147 again. Then I eat whatever I want and repeat the cycle.

The easiest healthy way I know to get 60 grams of protein a day while meeting a reasonable potassium and fiber target is to concentrate on fish (or meat) and low-carb vegetables. After eating enough beef to meet the protein target, and enough broccoli and fresh tomatoes to meet the potassium and fiber target, I’m foundered long before the calorie maximum is reached. Grilled salmon is my main source of protein on this diet. I grill two pieces at a time — one for today, and one to put in the fridge for a salmon-vegetable curry tomorrow. Beef is just a novelty. After one meal, I’m sick of beef, even though I have leftovers to deal with.

Since I’m also hiking to train for the Highlands, it won’t take long to get back to 147. Then, once I’m in Scotland, it’ll be all about oyster bars, ale, and potatoes, calories be damned. And I’ll be on my way to 157 again.


  1. Tim wrote:

    Good stuff. I follow a similar diet. But why the focus on potassium?

    Sunday, July 15, 2018 at 10:04 pm | Permalink
  2. daltoni wrote:

    For good electrolyte balance! The body can’t store deposits of potassium for future use, and so we must get it each day from what we eat. With a recommended daily requirement of 4,700 mg, getting enough potassium is difficult even with a normal diet.

    Monday, July 16, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink
  3. Henry wrote:

    Oh YUM! I love rump roast, don’t get it much though. And I thought you didn’t do meat…the Paleo diet allows certain meats and my wife & I lost at least 10 lbs each while eating smaller portions, lots of water etc. Thanks for posting this

    Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  4. Henry wrote:

    I forgot to mention broccoli, fresh garden tomato and any green is good

    Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

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