First, allow me to apologize to all of you for blindsiding you with the title of this post, which has no doubt afflicted you with the “I am the Walrus” earworm, which you will have for the rest of the day.
Wait. I retract that apology and now re-extend it, but only to those of you who know who the Beatles were. (Are?)
OK, now I’m going to try to say what I actually intend to say. Honestly.
A month and change ago, I touched 174 pounds. Now I weigh 157 pounds. That’s a road bike’s worth of weight I’m no longer carrying around.
How did I do it? Easy. I have invented my own diet, consisting almost entirely of avocados atop fried egg whites.
Yes, really. And it’s working.
What I’m Doing
Basically, five or six (sometimes seven) times a day — whenever I start to get hungry, really — I make the following meal, which I will now walk you through, while simultaneously illustrating the process with glorious COLOR (yes, color!) photographs.
Step 1: I separate five eggs, with the whites going into a frying pan over a medium flame, and the yolks going into the trash.
I know, that seems like an awful lot of egg whites. And when you consider that I’m doing this five or six times per day, we’re looking at 25-30 eggs. Which seems nuts, and maybe it is. But it’s what I’m doing, and it’s working.
Step 2: I add a ridiculous amount of pepper.
Yes, this is really how much pepper I use. I use so much pepper that I’ve sustained a repetitive motion injury from all the pepper grinding.
I don’t add salt. I’ll get into why in a bit.
Step 3. Once the egg is ready, I flip it. By “ready,” I mean that I can l lift it with a spatula without raw egg white pouring all over the place. The underside will be browned just a bit.
The nice thing about flipping egg whites is that since there’s no yolk, you don’t have to worry about…breaking the yolk.
Step 4. Once flipped, I let the egg whites cook for about one more minute. That’s all it needs.
By the way, I wanted to take a moment to show off my awful frying pan handle:
The reason it looks like this is because I cut off the rubber gripping material. The reason I cut off the rubber gripping material is because whoever designed this pan forgot that there are gas stoves in the universe. Which is to say, as purchased from the store, this pan will sit on a flat surface just fine. But if you put it on a gas stove, the heavy handle makes it keel over.
Unless, of course, you make the handle less heavy.
With the rubber grippy stuff removed, the pan works just fine as long as you never ever touch the handle while cooking, because it is plenty-six thousand degrees hot.
Okay. Back to the narrative. Such as it is.
Here’s how the egg whites look, now cooked.
Kinda weird how similar in both pattern and color the eggs are to my countertop, huh?
Step 5. I slice up a quarter of an avocado and place it on top.
Ta-da. Breakfast! And brunch! And lunch! And mid-afternoon snack! And dinner! And late-night snack!
The Math — And Why This Works — of the Thing
That’s a lot of eggs, isn’t it? And a lot of avocado, too. But I’m losing weight, fast and — for the first time — easily.
How can that be?
The reasons are pretty easy and make a surprising amount of sense, actually.
First, egg whites have a ton of protein — 4 grams of it per egg, according to NutritionData.com. And no cholesterol. And basically no carbs.
And very few calories. Only 16 per egg.
As it turns out, the egg white is pretty much pure good-for-you protein.
So when I make myself five eggs, I’m getting 80 calories — about the same number as in a slice of bread — and 20 grams of protein.
That’s weight-loss gold right there, baby.
Of course, there’s a downside to all the egg whites: sodium. At 55mg of sodium per egg, I’m getting 275mg of sodium every time I make this meal. And since I’m doing this about five times per day, that’s 1375mg of sodium I’m taking in, before I put any salt (or salsa) on.
That’s like a whole can of Campbell’s Soup, for crying out loud.
Once I realized that egg whites have so much salt, I stopped putting salt on my eggs at all, and frankly don’t miss it. Even so, I’m drinking a ton of water (and exercising a lot) to flush all that sodium out.
[Important but mildly distasteful note: One thing I worried about when I started eating a ton of egg whites was that they would give me incredibly sulfurous, stinky farts. This hasn't happened. At least, they're no stinkier or sulfurous than usual. Cuz I think the part of egg that makes you have rotten egg farts is the yolk. However, I have no evidence of this, other than my own only-normally-stinky farts.]
Avocado to the Rescue
For the first day or two I was using egg whites as my primary diet food, I failed. A lot. That is, I’d start the day off well, and then sometime in the afternoon, I’d completely blow it and have a willpower implosion.
Once that happened, no food in the house was safe.
And I’d wind up not losing any weight for the day, even though I’d worked so hard for most of the day, then just slipped up toward the end. Tripped at the finish line, as it were.
So I started adding slices of avocado to my eggs. About a quarter of an avocado per “meal,” which means I’m eating about 1.5 avocados per day.
As you can see, avocados have some (not much) carbs, and they have quite a few calories. And those calories almost all come from fat.
But by adding the avocado, the egg tastes tons better. In fact, it goes from being an OK diet food to being something that I enjoy. As in, it’ll be a long time before I tire of it.
And — as important as the taste — the avocado makes this a relatively filling meal. I don’t find myself starving ten minutes after I eat, and I don’t have carbo-deprivation-induced feeding frenzies anywhere near as often.
So, let’s take a look at what this means, calorie-wise for the day, so far:
Egg whites: 16 calories x 25 = 400 calories
Avocados: 322 calories x 1.5 = 483
Total: 883 calories
Seriously, I’m eating this meal five times per day, and only consuming around 900 calories doing it.
But What About Training? (AKA, What About Carbs?)
If I were totally faithful to this diet, I’d probably have lost weight a lot faster than I have. But honestly, I’m not super faithful to it, especially since while I’m doing this I’m also riding my bike a lot.
And for anything beyond a short ride, I need carbs. Or I’m going to bonk fast and hard.
So, when I’m about to head out riding, I eat a Fruition bar. Or half a PBJ sandwich. Or something else. And I’ve been riding well doing this.
For example, last Saturday, The Runner and I rode from our house in Alpine, Utah around West Mountain and back home: a 99.3-mile loop (both of us were surprised at how this wound up being very nearly an exact century, since we hadn’t planned it that way).
Then, the next day, we pre-ran most of the incredibly beautiful American Fork Half Marathon (10.5 miles of it). And of course, the weekend before, we did the Ogden Marathon.
During these big efforts, I’ve been eating energy food just like I always do, but starting to fuel up a little sooner.
I am noticing, however, that being ten pounds lighter makes a big difference on the bike, and an even bigger difference when running.
Also, I’m noticing that I have a new reason to look forward to long rides (and runs, I guess): these are the times I’m “allowed” to eat the carbs I love so much (and I do truly love carbs).
Then, once the workout’s done, it’s back to protein.
I am not a five-year-plan kind of guy. I know that I want to get down to 152 pounds by the end of June, then hold that weight ’til after the Leadville 100, during which I hope to finally finish in under nine hours.
But how will I integrate what I’m learning about diet (keep the protein up, use fats to control hunger, use carbs for endurance exercise) into my long-term eating plan? I’m not sure. I’ll probably stop being religious about the carbs, and will diversify out to other foods.
The thing is, though, when I’m making a concerted effort, I find it easiest to simplify my food as much as possible: I’m thinking in terms of fuel, not a delightful culinary experience. When it’s time to eat, I know what I’m going to get. I don’t have to think about it.
And since eating this way keeps me way below the number of calories I need to lose weight, I can eat as often as I want, or need.
So. This is working for now. In fact, it’s working so well, I just placed an order with Shimano. That Superfly 100 is going to be pretty sweet when decked out in the brand-new XTR.
Goo goo g’joob.
PS for folks who would like to win a Superfly 100: Just in case you didn’t read yesterday’s post and today’s post has you feeling a little bummed that you won’t win my Superfly 100, well, you should stop feeling bummed. You can still win my (other) brand-new Superfly 100. Just read yesterday’s post for details how the contest goes, then go donate. Thanks!