The Diet of Steve

Discussion in 'The VIP Lounge' started by Steve Tannehill, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill New Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    I've been on diets since I was a teenager. My genetics and my upbringing made me a "Husky" child and my various other medical conditions reinforced that over the decades.

    This is me, vintage late 1990's. I was somewhere in the vicinity of 450 pounds back then.


    I've been on a downswing for the last couple of years. I hovered around 400 pounds, then started dropping by watching what I ate. I got down to 350, then stayed there, gradually dropping to 342, where I seemed stuck.

    Last month, one of my friends at work said she was considering Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig--I decided to join her, and signed up for Nutrisystem via a link that added two weeks to the program for free.

    I ended up referring her to the program, which gave us each a $30 coupon (if you want the same coupon, please PM me with your email address).

    Nutrisystem is a prepackaged food program that is high in protein and low in carbs. It allows low-glycemic carbs, moreso if you are male. To the program food, you add store-bought fruits, vegetables, dairy/protein, and breads.

    Both women's and men's plans are similar. For breakfast, you get an NS entree, fruit, and dairy/protein. For lunch, you get an NS entree, salad, dairy/protein, and salad dressing. For a snack, you get a fruit and dairy/protein. For dinner, you get an NS entree, Vegetables, Salad/Fruit, salad dressing, and fat. Finally, there is an NS dessert/snack.

    The men's program adds carb servings to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you have more than 100 pounds to lose (which I do) you get more carbs at breakfast and dinner, and an additional fruit serving at lunch.

    For men, it is the equivalent of an 1800 calorie diet. For women, without the carbs and additional fruit serving, I would estimate it is 1300-1400 calories.

    My typical day consists of this:

    NS breakfast bar (high protein, think granola bar)
    2 egg equivalents (similar to Egg Beaters)
    2 slices of sugar-free whole wheat bread
    3/4 cup of blueberries

    NS lunch entree (protein bar / cup of pasta/soup/etc)
    Spinach salad with fresh mushrooms and light ranch dressing
    15 grapes
    Fat-free yogurt
    Half a wheat pita

    More blueberries and a yogurt for snack

    An NS dinner entree (think Lean Cuisine.)
    Another spinach salad with fresh mushrooms
    More light dressing (counts as fat)
    A cup of wheat pasta or a whole wheat pita.
    Steamed carrots and cauliflower

    For "dessert" - soy-based cheesy chips or a protein "candy" bar

    The women's plan would not allow the breads, pita, or pasta--no carbs.

    The prepack food varies. The cup-o-pasta / chili / soup is about as appealing as the typical store-bought stuff, but it is designed to have protein and be low in fat and bad carbs. The "Lean Cuisine" style dinner entrees are also about as good as Lean Cuisine. I've only had one that was so bad that I could not finish it--a tuna casserole that reminded me of a cow patty.

    I have gotten to be a little creative, which has made it a lot easier to get through the day. On the evenings that I have pasta, I have taken the beef patty NS entree, added Rotel Tomatoes and mushrooms, and made spaghetti with meat sauce. The beef patty, by the way, is dried--you add boiling water to expand it.

    The food is dry-packed (sealed) and does not have to be refrigerated or frozen. The only downside in the summer months is that the "chocolate" items tend to melt, but a few hours in the fridge will rectify that.

    The program is made by your store-bought food choices. I buy large bags of prewashed spinach at Costco--very cost effective--and big boxes of Dannon yogurt with Splenda. I'm not much of a veggie person, but the bagged carrots and suger snap peas have been fine.

    Oh, and you have to drink --lots-- of water.

    By and large, I've been saying goodbye to large. :) The first few days were the best--as with any diet, you tend to lose excess water. The first days, I was losing 2-3 pounds a day. Then I cheated a bit and it took a week to start losing again. Now, my body is in a ketotic state--burning fat reserves instead of carb intake--and I am losing a pound every 1-2 days.

    As of this morning, I have lost and kept off 17 pounds. I will go for one more month before heading to Vegas for a vacation, where I will do my best to maintain. Then I'm back on the program.

    The cost is around $300 for a month of food--those $30 coupons make it less, of course. But I was spending much more than that eating out all the time.

    I'm happy. I'm feeling better. I don't look like I am going to pop after eating a wafer thin mint anymore.


    - Steve
  2. Alfer

    Alfer New Member

    Thanks for the write up and congrats on the weight loss!!

    You're look great...!

    I'll forward this onto my wife.

  3. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    Good for you! As I mentioned in another thread, my wife and I are both on "lifestyle changing plans" rather than diets. We don't count calories avoid carbs or completely cut out bad foods, but what we do is eat less processed, healthier food 75% of the time +.
  4. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill New Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    A couple of key points... without carbs, the women's diet seems fairly restrictive and a little difficult for my friend. But she has lost around 15 pounds.

    Also, you can customize your NS food order, which is a lot easier to do once you've experienced the food for a month and identified favorites. For now, I will say to avoid the mashed potatoes in the meatoaf entree, and make sure they don't send tuna casserole. :)

    The default order also includes a large number of protein bars--I guess they think people like the look/feel of candy bars, but I don't especially. So you can order cereal/oatmeal/muffins for breakfast, and more of the cups of soup/pasta/etc for lunch instead of the protein bars.

    - Steve
  5. JeffC

    JeffC Well-Known Member War Zone Member

    I need to do something too. I'm 5'10" hovering around 260 now, and I've been around 240 most of my adult life. I think my recommended weight is around 190, but there is no chance I'll get to that - plus I don't want to.

    I was a pretty regular gym rat for years, but I blew out my achilles in 2004 and I'm gearing up for elbow and shoulder surgery this fall after motorcycle season is over so my workouts have been all cardio lately. For years I have cycled my carbs about every third day, but I'm getting a bit more serious lately. Good job on your loss and good luck reaching whatever goal you define. I always enjoy reading your posts, and I wish you the best!
  6. Alfer

    Alfer New Member

    So is it a pay month to month plan, or do you pay all up front??
  7. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill New Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Month-to-month, although they do have an extended payment option of some kind to spread a single month's cost across several.

    It ends up costing around $270 with the coupon--less than $10 a day, and certainly less than I was spending per day on eating out.

    However, the store-bought food does offset the savings a bit...

    - Steve
  8. Jason Lorette

    Jason Lorette Active Member

    Congrat's Steve...that is quite an accomplishment...bravo!

    Another "weight" system that I've seen a lot of people have great success with is called Simply For Life. The MIL lost over 50lbs in 6months with that one...although it is a completely store bought diet, they provide you menu's on 3-4 week cycles...the first being a 3 week "cleansing" cycle.

    Keep on going...great job!
  9. Ken McDaniel

    Ken McDaniel Active Member War Zone Member

    Awsome Steve. Way to take control.
  10. Colton

    Colton New Member War Zone Member

    Steve, would you endorse SUBWAY? I eat there more than any other fast food place. I get my sandwiches on wheat bread and skip the cheese. Also, my wife and I join a gym and go Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri. 45 minutes of cardio really helps.
  11. Jason Lorette

    Jason Lorette Active Member

    If you go to Subway...have the "wrap" instead of the regular sub...much less carbs, IMHO.

    As far as the can also add to that by:

    -Don't take the car to the corner store...walk/bike.

    -If you have a bicycle...use it...not only is it more get the added benefit of exercise and fresh air and sunshine.

    -Use the stairs instead of the elevator

    -Park at the end of the parking lot instead of close to the door.

    -Mow the lawn with a push mower instead of a ride-on

    To name a few...

  12. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill New Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Subway is a Jared thing. :) But while I was maintaining on my own, I did tend to eat there for lunch. I think I'll be following the "You On A Diet" program after NS. I am already using lessons learned there as I search for food items in the store... do you know how hard it is to find wheat bread without high-fructose corn syrup?

    Exercise is key... I am starting to walk, and a 24-hour health club will be opening in the neighborhood in the coming months, so with certain charter membership deals, I will most likely join. Walking is a b*tch in 100-degree weather, so an indoor option would be preferred.

    - Steve
  13. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill New Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Been mowing with a reel mower, myself:

  14. Jason Lorette

    Jason Lorette Active Member

    Good for you Steve...environmental too! :p

    Yah...look around your neighborhood and see how many 'potbellies' you see on ride-on's! :p
  15. Michael

    Michael Junior Geek

    Do you know how hard it is to find anything without high-fructose corn syrup? :D
  16. Stefan

    Stefan Active Member War Zone Member

    I have been up down up down all my life. I am currently up. :). Looks like you have really made a big difference in your life. But lets face it, all of us here spend a lot of time sitting in front of the movie screen and sitting in front of a monitor. Kind of hard to keep the weight off when we do so much of that.

  17. Yes, but we all get a lunch. If you brown bag it, you could use the rest of the time to go for a walk. If you can't walk at lunch, take the time to go for a walk before supper. Even better, rescue a dog and take it for a walk with you.

    Note that I am speaking generally and am not picking on you specifically.

    I spend a little more time than most people, but varying your type of exercise makes it not liek work. Here is an off season week for me.

    Monday - 1/2 hour walk at lunch
    Tuesday - 1 hour bike at lunch - short run at night
    Wednesday - 6 - 8 km run at lunch
    Thursday - 1 hour bike at lunch - short run at night
    Friday - 8 - 10 km run at lunch
    Saturday - 2 - 4 hour bike
    Sunday - 10 - 25 km run

    It all started with my wife getting me off the couch for a "fun run". Trust me it becomes habit forming and you'll actually miss it when you don't do it.

    For those that cook or would like tot watch what they eat, I highly recommend Eat Right 4 Your Type

    BTW, congrats on the "lifestyle" change and the weight loss.
  18. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member War Zone Member

    Way to go meng! You look like a different person (for the better)!

  19. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Way to go Steve. We are all sending you lots of positive vibes.
  20. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Good luck Steve. I hope to someday have your willpower.

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