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Protein Binge

Posted August 7, 2013 into Food & Drink by John Birmingham

I was certain certain those Chinese cleaners had shrunk my favorite pairs of pants. They were perfectly comfy, snug even, when I sent them off to be cleaned. A week later, not so much.

True that week did include a good deal of eating out in Hong Kong but damn it I did a lot of walking that week too. So too when I was in Vietnam earlier this year. 25-30 000 steps a day according to my fitbit, plus some monster work outs in the hotel gym at the Metropole.

All to no avail. Pants. Got. Tighter.

Damn those baskets of delicious pastries they forced on me. Damn them all to hell.

I was going to do another 7/21 sesh after the success of my last tilt, but was put off by the relentless dreary awfulness of it. So instead I decided to try the protein thing about a week or so back. I stripped most of the carbs from my diet. A big ask because I do love my bakery treats, but even more so, having to wrangle the kids around my work schedule each day, there's few things more convenient than a big ol' hunk of bread to fill the hollow places in my tum.

And pasta, and rice. And taters. Nope, never met a carb I didn't love.

You need the fattening little fuckers too. They're an essential part of the dreaded balanced diet, as well as being yummy. But I figured I'd give myself a chance to torch the belly eel that wanted to creep back into my life so for a strictly limited period I've cut right back on the carbs and replaced them with a crap ton of lean protein.

(I've also cut back on the grog and upped my HIIT, but not radically. Been trying to get a solid 7 hours minimum in the rack every night too).

In some ways it's the natural state of being for a bloke on the fang. Lots and lots of meat. I've been necking salmon and eggs for breaky, tandoori chicken for lunch, sashimi for dinner, lots of beef jerky (thanks Geronimo Jerky!) for snacks. I'd throw the occasional piece of fruit or steamed green veggie in there, but I tried to keep most of my calories firmly in the protein column.

Been on it for ten days now and dropped just over four kilos. Partly this is down to the carbs, partly to the HIIT and sleep, partly to less calories from booze. But the thing about protein? You burn up to 30% of the energy it contains just to digest the stuff. With carbs that figure can be as low as 7%.

I'm gonna ease of in Sydney, partly because I have to eat out tonight, but also to give my system a chance to reset. As I mentioned last week, and as should be obvious anyway, this protein-paleo crap is totally unsustainable. But as a way to wake up your metabolism and torch some stubborn kilos, it can't be beat.

Best of all, for me anyway, I don't have to be bullied into eating like this.

22 Responses to ‘Protein Binge’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 7, 2013

Your pants got tighter because the Chinese cleaner was negligent. Sue them. How dare they make your pants tighter??

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted August 7, 2013

I'm thinking we might be able to launch a fkn class fkn action!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted August 8, 2013

Perhaps this is the result of a conspiracy.

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Lobes is gonna tell you...

Posted August 7, 2013

My understanding of these diets is they need 7-9 days to shift your metabolism into ketosis and then your body goes into real fat burning mode. Basically the longer you do it the more effective it becomes.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted August 7, 2013

Yeah, that sounds right. ABout a week in it really accelerated.

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Lulu reckons...

Posted August 7, 2013

I'm on Day 4 of No Chocolate. The mere thought of adding No Bread/Pasta/Rice to it as well makes me twitch.

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HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted August 7, 2013

interesting.

well, bouncing about at 90kgs, I have a wee....curve in der midriff which to be HONEST is now fkn shiitting me to fkn tears. So today is day 3 of gym work, serious fkn crunches and der likes. But I do love me beer after the exercise. Which, I'll wager for some reason is not fkn helping....heaps. But the theoryt is, that I have cut mid week consumption from a probable average of three stubbies per night, to just one and EXERCISE, So I figure I should be able to redistribute the central to the outter, thats bigger all over and smaller in the wait! with weights and the rowing machine...I FKN HATE walking or running unless its cricket!

The Protein gig might be worth a wee try I thinks!

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HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted August 7, 2013
I might end up looking like a carrot or piece of fkn celery with flat out snakin, how much Jerky you munch through!

Bangar ducks in to say...

Posted August 7, 2013

H I'm stuck at 95, maybe protein only will help.

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Spanner mutters...

Posted August 7, 2013

Ok so how does this work with a cholesterol problem? I could eat protein all day but I don’t think could eat only fish for a month?

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Sekret Sekret ducks in to say...

Posted August 7, 2013


What does HIIT stand for, s'il vous plait?

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted August 7, 2013

High intensity interval training. So rather than steady state exercise, like an hour long jog, you sprint/jog/walk in short bursts for 30 mins.

andrewmagoo has opinions thus...

Posted August 8, 2013

Have also been told HIIT works a treat....

Most important, keep the walking up, even if you take the stairs instead of a lift or escalator, or park a little further away from where you need to be and hoof it!

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she_jedi mutters...

Posted August 8, 2013

A friend of mine went Paleo for health reasons when she discovered a gluten intolerance... holy neanderthals Batman did it do wonders for her. She's never felt better, dropped lots of weight, full of energy blah blah blah. She's in her late 40s and feels like a 30 year old. The two things she refused to give up was booze and chocolate, but she has those in moderation and is a happy camper.

Spanner, I'm in no way any kind of medical or nutritionist expoert, but I beleive Paleo's supposed to help with your cholesterol. That said please don't take my word for it, you'd be better off doing your own research as you'd know your exact circumstances. Most paleo blogs suggest trying paleo for 30 days and seeing how you feel at the end; if you don't like it you can quit then, or if it's transformed your world keep going.

According to Catalyst our paleolithic ancestors had different bacteria to us modern humans, and apparently switching to agriculture and introducing all those carbs and sugars into our diets screwed up our dental health and pretty much everything else. Got me thinking that this paleo thing might actually be on to something.

http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3816207.htm if anyone's interested

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Abe Frellman asserts...

Posted August 8, 2013

JB, regarding the salmon for breakfast, how are you preparing it? Smoked or steamed? And if smoked, is it the translucent cold smoked style that is served in really thin slices or the hot-smoked style? (And does it matter?)

I've been hitting the gym pretty regularly since Jan and cutting down on carbs, particularly after lunch time, and have been thinking of going down the full monty protein route for a while. So far I've dropped about 15kgs, but the rate of weight loss has slowed in recent months.

I've found that steaming fish like salmon in one of those wooden Chinese steamers goes ok, and I can drizzle some ginger, soy and shallots over it during the process for some flavour. But I can't face it for breakfast. Smoked salmon (at least the cold smoked variety) I could certainly eat for breakfast but was under the impression it wasn't terribly good for you.

I've made my own hot smoked salmon (but can't face it for breakfast). I've also made my own gravlax, but it can be messy and time consuming. And if the rest of the family doesn't like seafood then a little package of 'curing' salmon in the bottom of the Fisher Paykel tends to cause one to expend the brownie points at an unsustainable rate.

I've also found some little egg poaching packets at the supermarket called Poachies which make the process of poaching an egg much simpler.

Also, how do you manage high protein when travelling? Or if you buy your lunch at the cafeteria? Do you just ask for the steak sandwich without the bread? I think i would get tired of the sashimi after a while. Any other helpful hints appreciated!

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted August 8, 2013

I'll respond at length when I get time, Abe. (Just home from Sydney). But long story short I don't fuck around smoking anything. I take straight from the damn packet. Raw, I guess. Like my sashimi.

It is packing a fat count of 11% and there are leaner meats around.

Also, 15kgs? Props sir!

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Lulu reckons...

Posted August 8, 2013

"translucent cold smoked style that is served in really thin slices or the hot-smoked style? (And does it matter?)"

You smoke your own? Big respect. I like cold-smoked but find it quite oily, so only in small quantities. Since a visit to the Tassal Shop, I'm a big fan of the hot-smoked - smokiness & flavour with less oiliness.

Brother PorkChop reckons...

Posted August 8, 2013

I do hot smoked almost every week. It really is easy and we have a portion of hot smoked ocean trout pretty much every weekend with labne and a bottle of vino and then again on Monday made into pasta with asparagus, red onion, etc. Anyone can hot smoke pretty much anything - chicken, sausages, tomato.

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Kat asserts...

Posted August 8, 2013

We did high protein, low carb for a little while with PT, but it's very frigging expensive.

With this particular diet it was 250g chicken for lunch for men, 190gm for women, 250g steak for dinner for men, 190gr for women. (and 2 cups of broccoli/cauliflower/beans as veg)

We ended up spending a shitload of dough at the butcher's every week. And with those veggies you get the farts real bad... ;)

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andrewmagoo mutters...

Posted August 8, 2013

Don't forget to eat some fibre or at least take a supplement, or you'll be backed up the wazoo for weeks...jest sayin...

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted August 8, 2013

Oh yeah, I'm all over that.

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Anthony has opinions thus...

Posted August 9, 2013

Tried making Gravlax with tthe salmon JB? Easy enough to do with a nice piece of salmon some sea salt, pepper, sugar and dill and it even freezes beautifully.

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