Holiday food log #27: The diet/exercise ‘video game’

I love one-day diet/fitness challenges. Yesterday, knowing I had a cycling workout in mind, I decided to follow a diet modeled on one a cyclist-blogger friend has written about using when he’s trying to drop a few pounds.

If I remember correctly, at some point in the past Fit Recovery talked about eating an apple and a banana for breakfast, a protein bar for lunch, and a sensible dinner. (Naturally, I can’t seem to locate that specific post now.) Because I’m typically hungrier in the morning than the evening, I switched that up a bit and had a protein bar for breakfast, a “sensible lunch”, and an apple and banana for dinner.

Now, for me to make this work, I’ve got to pretend I’m playing a game. Usually I pretend I’m playing against an online character based on a real person. When I do a one-day Atkins diet, for instance, I’m not just eating low-carb – I’m competing against some 1990s version of my sister, who before she had a peanut allergy relied on 1-2 chocolate-peanut butter Atkins bars a day to help her stick to that diet during a time when she was at her lowest weight as an adult. I’m not trying to beat her, per se, but I’m trying to do as well as I think she did in my mind – if that makes any sense.


If Stephen King described Sifkitz’s diet in “Stationary Bike,” I would’ve loved to pair that with a cycling workout. But all I know there is that he eats two oatmeal cookies while he rides…

Yesterday I wound up with 1,210 calories following something like FitRecovery’s diet. My sensible lunch was a footlong grilled chicken sub with no cheese, just mustard and veggies. That’s a lot of satisfaction for 650 calories! Note for next time: I could’ve come in at just over 1,000 calories if I hadn’t added peanut butter to my banana at dinner

The cycling workout I did was based on the “Tabata takedown,” which I got from Men’s Fitness. I forgot the printout in the car that had the actual workout on it, and I don’t have a smartphone, so I did it from memory … which means I messed it up a bit.

Basically, I just rode in easy warmup mode while reading this cool article on a master craftsman frame builder in Bicycling magazine, then did 10 seconds full sprint followed by 20 seconds recovery x 10. I pedaled easy for 3 minutes then repeated that set two more times.

Later, I discovered I should’ve “sprinted” for 20 seconds with only 10 seconds recovery. So between that and the peanut butter I guess I would’ve been penalized if this were a real video game. But the upside is that I still took in only 1,200 calories and rode 8 miles, some of it as hard as I could go. No heel pain during that workout, either. I should get bonus points for that!  

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7 Responses to Holiday food log #27: The diet/exercise ‘video game’

  1. zoeforman says:

    Sometime switching your meals to suit training works.
    We often have our main meal at lunchtime

  2. bgddyjim says:

    🤗 Too cool! You remembered correctly… and thank you for giving me the gift of feeling like I made a difference. Merry Christmas indeed.

  3. OmniRunner says:

    What discipline. It is so difficult during the holidays. Think of the difference this will make during this high calorie season.
    Merry Christmas!

  4. tischcaylor says:

    Thanks, Andy. I’m only disciplined on some days and eat like a crazy person on others. Merry Christmas to you as well!

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