Last Thursday, April 7th I did meet my dietitian for the first time. The first thing she did was putting me on the official 20/20 LifeStyles program scale. The result 255.8lb. Right after that we sat down and she introduced me to what was going to be my diet for the first stage of the program, which could last from one to two weeks. The summary is as basic as: protein shakes and lean protein, together with some fats, supplements, and fiber. No less, no more. The daily meals for stage one are as follows:
One protein shake with 1/2 cup of berries, 1 Tbsp of peanut butter, 1 Tbsp of fiber, 20/20 daily supplements. About 320 calories and 8 grams of fat.
Lunch and Dinner
Six ounces (cooked weight) of very lean (chicken white meat, turkey, tuna, cod, etc.) protein or lean (salmon, duck without the skin, chicken dark meat, etc) protein, adding one extra fat serving (1 tbsp of oil, 10 olives, 6 almonds, 10 peanuts, etc.) to when eating very lean protein only. One protein shake with 1/2 cup of berries. Total between 475 and 550 calories, 11 to 18 grams of fat.
Twice a day one protein shake with 1/2 cup of berries. Total about 220 calories, no fat.
Total for a normal day
The day’s total would be between 1500 and 1700 calories from 130 to 150 grams of protein (35%), 30 to 45 grams of fat (25%) and between 150 and 170 grams of carbohydrates (45%).
After seeing this I can tell you I was really scared about how hungry I was going to be during the day. A whole week of hunger was in front of me, and I was not really sure about how to tackle it. Before I started this I could eat that total amount of calories for a day in each of my main meals, and to that I would eat also some not very healthy snacks and not as much exercise as I’m doing now with going to the gym five days per week. But I’m 110% committed to this program and losing weight, so there was no way I was going to get sidetracked by anything, much less hunger.
Surprisingly, after a whole week, I haven’t felt hungry except in a couple of occasions right before going to bed, and it was nothing too bad. Actually I feel like I have eaten plenty enough to maintain myself alive and kicking, have plenty of energy, and do not feel down or anything because of the lack of sugar, which is the biggest issue with most people. My philosophy is that if you are going to do something you better be happy about it, because it is a pain to be cranky, for yourself and for the rest of the world around you.
My main challenge for the week has been the shakes. I like them, nothing about its taste or texture that I hate, but having five of them a day make them the thing you eat the most for a week, and you get tired. Fortunately, the program offers substitutes for the shakes as protein bars and protein muffins, but mainly savory biscuits made with chicken stock and protein powder. This biscuits are really great, not as good as real bread, but make you feel you’re eating a real hamburger when you put 6oz of super lean ground beef in between them. It tasted like the best hamburger I’ve ever eaten, and it did not have even veggies. For those interested, here’s the recipe (two to three 6oz servings, since you weight your portions once cooked):
- One pound of super lean ground beef (around 5% fat)
- One whole egg
- Two tsp garlic powder
- One tsp salt
- Fresh parsley to taste
In a medium bowl mix with your hands (yes, wash them and use them, they’re there for a reason) all the ingredients until they are thoroughly combined. Split into two or three patties, depending on how many portions you want to make out of it, and grill them without any extra fat added. While the hamburger is cooking open your 20/20 Savory Biscuit and put it in the toaster to make it warmer and crunchy. When the meat is done you can put 1 tsp of mustard in your patty and biscuit, and eat.
Really simple and really delicious, mainly if you do it after 3-4 days in the diet. Total dietary values of the meal for 6oz are: 406 calories, 64g of protein, 5.7g of carbohydrates, and 12.6g of fat. Pretty much on perfect target with the diet, and really good.
During this first week my average intake per day has been 1587 calories with 193g of protein, 129g of carbohydrates, and 35g of fat. It is a little high on the protein side, but it is normal in this first stage, according to my dietitian, and there’s nothing to worry about. The important thing was to keep the carbohydrates and fats under control, which I did pretty much without issues.
Yesterday, after a whole week of stage one, and feeling great I went back to see the dietitian, to get a whole bunch of good news. First, I have lost 9.6lb in a week, according to the official 20/20 scale. Second, thanks to this great results and not having got into too much trouble during stage one, I’m now in stage two of the program. This basically means that my meals are going to be pretty much the same but with huge twist: I have to add at least four servings of non starchy vegetables to my daily intake, and I can skip the lunch shake. I have lost 10lb, I feel great, it has been easy, and I cannot tell you how looking forward I am to eating my 20/20 burger with tomatoes, onions, and lettuce.