Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Weight Experimentation

So, as a natural part of having arrived at an amount of physical activity that burns a good portion of calories and a simple accompanying diet that helps me lose weight, it's rather interesting that I've now discovered the room to experiment with what I eat.

My goal with weight loss is really only that, weight loss; but by extension, a healthier lifestyle is necessary.  However, now that I know I can lose weight, my analytical mind wants to observe the effects of various foods on my weight, all other things being mostly equal.  Since, after all, ending up on some sort of asinine restrictive diet such as vegetarianism or veganism is not part of my plan.  It's everyone's goal to be able to lose weight and still be able to eat the things they enjoy, after all.

Moderation seems to be the key here.  I've noticed that a single spike in my weight from eating either more than usual, or something a bit less good for me than usual, comes off pretty quickly if I just stick to my routine.  Knowing that, it means I can treat myself to things that are absolutely terrible for me periodically, and still be perfectly fine in the long term.  However, all the weight I've lost is both motivation to continue the process, and room to experiment with what exactly I can eat.

To get to the point, suck it, vegetarians and vegans.  Meat is still a part of a healthy diet.  I'm completely happy to say I still consume it with every lunch and dinner, which was the norm for me before I started this weight loss journey.  Also, I feel like it's important to start this experimentation now and continue it throughout my journey, so I can see if anything changes.  I'm not expecting anything to change, but who knows, this is new territory for me.

Part of this experimentation will necessarily include getting fast food.  Personally, I'm expecting even the smallest fast food meal option to provide a significant weight spike, judging from the physique of the people you see eating at those places regularly.  There's a reason that the MAN THE HARPOONS meme existed back in the day, even if it's fallen out of use.  People who have absolutely no regard for their own well-being and just eat fast food all the time end up looking like whales.

The image I see every day, living at the north end of the American south, is what I thought of when I heard the word "obese", and "morbidly obese" was another step above that that I hadn't even thought I'd seen.  I really just considered myself to be overweight, because I looked nothing like these... to put it nicely... blobs.  That's why it was a surprise to me when Wii Fit U showed me that my BMI was at the top end of the "obese" range.  I just have a large gut, no rolls, no folds, and I don't buckle my abdomen into my pants.

I knew that America, primarily the American south, had a serious weight problem, but... really?  Wow.  Europeans like to be smug with their generalizations and stereotypes, saying "Americans r fatasses" and whatnot, which isn't really 100% true even on the worst day, but... damn.  It's close to accurate.  However, is the contrast really that severe?  Are there not overweight people in Europe and the rest of the world as well?  It's not just the US, it's just that we've got a really big problem with it.

I kinda drifted off-topic there, but whatever, I'm leaving it in.  My point is, my mental image of "obese" was wrong by about a degree of magnitude.  Everyone I'd been associating the "obese" label with is probably actually "morbidly obese" and really needs to lay off the donuts.  Heck, since I started this journey, I've had precisely one donut, and I gained a pound that day.  Nothing that can't be worked off, but it's an indication that people who can just sit there and inhale a dozen donuts are doing it wrong.

So, what have I tried?  Well, across the board, I've been following the "serving size" recommendations on most things, except when they're silly or ridiculous, such as a serving of Campbell's Chunky Soup being half the non-resealable can.  I've vetted a serving at a time of Totino's Bold (haven't tried the regular pizza rolls yet), a serving of El Monterey Southwest Chicken Taquitos, and I'm currently on one of my favorites, Giant Brand Spicy Chicken Strips.

I haven't yet ventured back to fast food, but the local gem of a restaurant that I eat at every week, Bodo's, is fine.  I was having zero problems with my usual sandwich, which incorporates the rather fatty pastrami and a slice of provolone cheese, but I'm experimenting with other sandwiches there as well, so I can change things up every now and then.  Up until last Tuesday, I'd been getting the same sandwich there for probably two or three years in a row at the very least, so it's kind of time for a change anyway.  I don't really consider Bodo's to be fast food, even though you order over a counter and get your food pretty quickly, because "fast food" carries a connotation of "not nutritious", and Bodo's actually serves healthy food.

I suppose first up will be Cook Out.  At several points in the past I'd been going there regularly enough that the staff started recognizing me, and noticed a rather bloated feeling when I was done with my meal.  It'll be interesting to try it sometime and see what happens, both feeling-wise and weight-wise.  I'm definitely expecting a weight gain, so the real variable will be how much weight I gain.

A restaurant I forget about way too much because we only have one of it is Arby's.  They're definitely on the healthier side of fast food, but still most likely considered "fast food" given my criteria listed above.  I never really went there regularly, but I'll give it a shot eventually and see how it goes.

Five Guys is one I'll want to try.  I may end up going to the single bacon cheeseburger from the double, that seems reasonable.  My toppings as always are lettuce, tomato, and jalapeƱos.  I've always advocated getting the small fries there, simply because they give you so many fries it's ridiculous even when ordering the small size.  I never really went to Five Guys with any sort of regularity, it was always a midday spur of the moment thing.

Taco Bell will be another variable entirely, that I may or may not decide to subject myself to.  The last few times I went to Taco Bell, I was on the toilet within an hour.  I don't know precisely why that is, other than that my body is clearly reacting to something in the food and saying "ain't nobody got time for that, get that shit out of here".  In my case, the latter half of that statement is literal.  People like to stereotype Taco Bell as causing this sort of thing, or act like everyone who says this sort of thing is making it up, so I'm sure my problem and the associated complaints are simply just lost in the noise, but it really does affect me.  What I do tentatively want to see is what exactly causes it, which will probably either necessitate ordering multiple menu items over the course of a few weeks, or one very well-set-up combo.  I'm thinking that three taco combo, with one of each taco option (beef, steak, and chicken, if memory serves) might be an efficient way to test it.  Also, it'll give me a chance to get some Baja Blast, since they only ever toy with us by putting it in stores on a limited run periodically instead of making it the permanent fixture it ought to be.

Other than those, I'll probably swing by a McDonald's and get a McGangbang, maybe try Hardee's, Wendy's, etc.  There's a lot of fast food options out there, and I think I'll be able to get a good enough picture of how they affect my weight without having to exhaust every single option.

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