My Carbless Diet

To the amazement of some people around me, I have been on a carbless diet since a few weeks ago.

Now, don’t start to lecture me why a carbless diet is unhealthy. No diet is ever 100% healthy. Each individual has their own requirements when it comes to their nutrient intake, so you have to experiment and find one that is suitable for you.

For me, it’s carbless. And lots of vegetables and meats.

Grocery 090405

This is my latest grocery collection for the week. Since I started on my new diet, I find joy in buying, preparing and cooking three meals a day!

Meat & Vege – Always ensure that you have a proportion of 1:2 for meat:vege. That way, you’ll have just enough protein and fat (from meat) and have enough goodness of vege to counter any “meat overdose”

Meat – Unlike most people, I have equal preference between red meat and white meat. I like chicken breast, lean beef, seafood (I take them in controlled quantity). As far as possible I try not to get the minced variety, though at times they do seem to be cheaper.

Vege – Here’s where I can go wild. I take an almost equal amount of leafy and non-leafy types. I am impartial to most leafy vege, though I do seem to be inclined towards rocket leaves (they are expensive though), kailan and lettuce*. For the non-leafy ones, I go for mushrooms (they help the flavour a lot), soy bean sprout, celery, red/yellow peppers and baby corns. As you may realised, with this combination of vege, my meals are usually colourful, and that helps my appetite!

Lunch 090325

Eggs – they say eggs are a good source of protein, and I agree. But unless you are going for a muscle-building spree, a diet of 8-eggs a day will probably harm you more than it’s helping. I go for a balance, with vege in every meal. One meal will be egg-based, and two meals will be meat-based. The healthiest way to cook eggs is simply to hard boil it, but I would often succumb to the fried variety. Which brings me to…

Oil – In many instances, one teaspoon of oil is sufficient for cooking. Most of your ingredients, especially the meat, exudes their own natural juice to keep your meal from being burnt from cooking. If you need to use oil, go for olive oil. They are four times more expensive than your normal oil, but you should be using it in moderation anyway. Alternatively, your choice of oil can function as seasoning as well, which is my next point.

Seasoning – In all my meals, I refrain from using MSG, stock or anything processed. For flavour, I tend to use sesame oil. In small quantity, it is enough to help you stir fry your food, and to give it taste. Just be careful not to overheat your sesame oil, or else it will dry up and “burn” in your wok. Other alternatives I have tried to great success are tumeric powder, curry leaves, and sliced ginger. Occasionally I do use a sprinkle of salt if ingredients in my fridge is running low.

Processed Food – Contrary to popular beliefs, not all processed food is bad for health. You need to choose wisely. I go for canned button mushrooms (I don’t think there is a “fresh” variety) and tune chunks (there is a FairPrice type in which the chunks are in water, not oil). Even so, don’t substitute fresh produce with canned meat/vege. Personally I impose a 20% limit for canned meat. In cooking 10 meals, I allow myself to use canned meat for two meals. The other eight must be based on freshly cut meat.

Drinks – Of course the best option for drinks will be plain water. But I simply could not give up the freshness of orange juice. In particular, I like the Sunkist 2-litre bottle. Recently I found a FairPrice bottle of the same amount but S$2 cheaper.

To stick to this diet, the only hard parts are to wake up early in the morning to prepare and cook three meals every day, and to go to supermarket early on Sunday morning to shop. Other than that, you’ll be amazed how easy it is to control your diet and watch your waistline shrinking. It is very economical too. A week worth of groceries should not cost you more than S$50.

It is a long process, and it should be implemented together with an exercise regime and adequate rest. I am not perfect (my alcohol indulgence and erractic sleep pattern are to be blamed), but since I started this regime three weeks ago, I have lost two kgs. A little something to rejoice about? Heh.

Want to see what kind of meals I cook every day? Check out my food porn blog, heh!

What kind of diet are you on?

* A word about lettuce. They are about the most economical, healthy and easy-going vege you can have with your meals. Just put anything you cook on a bed of lettuce for that meat vs. vege balance. S$1.20 should get you a big pack from any NTUC.

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