Lose 5 Kilos with Beef Jerky

Just happened to find this blog post today...

The author says it's possible to lose weight with a diet plan that involves beef jerky, which I've figured out already.

But he/she goes on to say that it should only be in moderation...
It is crucial to not eat beef jerky or other high calorie beef/pork/lamb/veal every day but in moderation.

As an example, I allow myself high calorie food once per week. I eat a low calorie diet for 6 days of the week, say 1500 to 1600 calories a day, and then on the 7th day, I eat anything - without going overboard of course.
I disagree.

The average bag of jerky contains 4 ounces, and there's an average of 250-400 calories per bag. So, using that author's 1500-1600 calories a day, he/she could actually eat 4-6 bags a day.

I don't think he/she realizes that beef jerky is a low calorie food based on the fact that jerky uses only the leanest cuts of meat possible, since the fat tends to spoil the meat. But I do applaude the author for going off the deep-end and promoting beef jerky as a diet food.

But if you want to talk about eating beef jerky in moderation, it's still a good idea, considering it contains LOTS of sodium, and most large brands infuse it with sodium nitrite, which has been linked to cancer and lung disease. So, try to find jerky that's nitrite-free.

I'm compiling a list of nitrite-free jerky here...

On days where I stick to my "beef jerky diet", I limit myself to one bag (4oz), and two cans of V8 juice drink. Why V8? Well, just because I like the stuff, and it provides me with vitamins C and A, and fiber, which are things I'll need if I'm eating only beef.

And BTW, you don't have to limit yourself to just one bag of jerky a day. You can certainly do two or three. Remember, you need to do some exercise too, to burn off them calories. Just walking the dogs for a mile or two, is something I do, and has worked really well for me.

Diet Log - Apr 30, 2008

Anthony's Fish Grotto in San Diego Weighed in this morning at 210 lbs. Now I'm down 1 lbs from when I started this blog. Guess that's progress.

Sunday my wife and I had lunch at Anthony's Fish Grotto in San Diego to celebrate her birthday. I had Shrimp Louie Salad, which was pretty good there. However, I have to say that the Shrimp Salad at the Harbor Fish Cafe in Carlsbad is still better. I also had a bloody mary, and some bread-n-butter. We did some walking around, and got a little exercise. It warmed up down there, and I had a couple bottles of Vitamin Water.

Monday, I stuck to the beef jerky diet. No exercise. Read my review of Golden Island - Mandarin Orange, beef jerky.

Tuesday, the wife and I had breakfast together at Coco's. I had the Denver Potato Pancakes, with bacon and two eggs, and a glass of cranberry juice. Aside from water, that's all I consumed that day. No exercise.

Today, I may skip the beef jerky again, and eat this veggie tray that's been in the fridge for a week.

Diet Log - Apr 27, 2008

motorcycle ridersI weighed in at 215 lbs this morning. That's up another 2 lbs from the last diet log on Friday.

I wasn't able to stick with the beef jerky diet on that day like I said I would. A chef salad kept beckoning me, and the cherry coke broke my resistance. But that was all I ate that day, and I still managed to get some walking exercise in by taking the dogs out.

Saturday morning, I actually did weigh in at 212 lbs, a pound lighter. And I did walk the dogs again.

That day I actually went riding motorcycles with some friends, and had lunch at a BBQ place in Big Bear. I also ended up buying some beef jerky at Smokey's Beef Jerky, which I had heard was really good. It turned out the beef jerky was not sold in oxygen-free packages, meaning I had to eat this right away, or else it was going to dry out and lose its freshness. So I ended up basically having two meals that day.

And I didn't exercise on Saturday either.

Today, Sunday, the wife and I are celebrating her birthday at her favorite restaurant. So as far as losing weight is concerned, it's been a bad week. Here's to next week!

Diet Log - Apr 25, 2008

Las Casuelas Terraza Mexican Restaurant Palm SpringsWeighed in this morning at 213lbs. That's takes me up by 2lbs from when I launched this blog two days ago.

Yesterday, I broke away from the Beef Jerky Diet by having lunch at Las Casuelas Terraza, a mexican restaurant in Palm Springs. It was a beautiful day yesterday, and a friend and I decided to ride our motorcycles there. He and I both work from home, and both run our own internet-related businesses.

So I had myself a carnitas burrito, wet with melted cheese and green sauce. I also had a large margarita, and some chips and salsa to start. Then when I got home, I slurped down a can of Pepsi. But that's all I consumed that day, honest. Making things worse, I didn't really do any exercise.

Therefore today, I'm sticking to the Beef Jerky Diet. I also plan take the dogs out for a walk, maybe the usual 1.5 miles. I also need to pull more weeds out of the backyard, it's really ugly. That should burn off some calories.

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About Me

Born in Hawaii, 1966, but lived in California for most of my life, with a brief stint in Yokohama, Japan. I now live in Southern California, the Inland Empire, where the real estate is cheap and the air shortens your lifespan.

I'm a blogger, website publisher, and affiliate marketer by trade. I work out of my house, and I work for myself. Well technically, I work for Clear Digital Media, Inc. But I own the company.

I live a pretty sedentary life, sitting in a chair in my home office from morning to midnight, blogging, publishing websites, answering e-mails, and figuring out what else to do to bring in money. Naturally, it's bad for the health.

My Eating Habits

As a kid, I was skinny. Very skinny. By the time I entered college, I stood at my present height of 5'8", but weighed only 120 pounds. I had always eaten lots of food, lots of ice cream, pastries, chips, sodas, burgers, pizzas, you name it. I gorged on it. But I remained skinny. I could burn the calories off, no problem.

I used to eat when I was bored. Anytime I couldn't find a way to keep myself occupied, I would go into the kitchen, and find something to munch on. It was ok, because my body was burning through the calories, no problem.

By the time I got into my mid-20s, it seemed like my metabolism started slowing. I could no longer burn off the calories. Except, I still had my old habit of eating anytime I was bored.

By the time I got into my late-30s, I reached my high point of 240 pounds, and I was still the same height, 5'8". I doubled my college weight. I was twice the man I used to be.

Now I am in my 40s. I figure my optimum weight should be 150 pounds, provided I don't put on more muscle. With more muscle mass, perhaps 160 pounds.

Trying to Lose Weight

When I reached that high point of 240 pounds, I swore that was the heaviest I'd ever weigh. I began to change my eating habits. I didn't want to go on some crash-course diet. I didn't want to buy Jenny Craig. I didn't want to go to the gym. I didn't want to barf myself thin. All that does is mask the root problem.

What I wanted was to control my desire to eat.

It wasn't easy. I had to retrain myself. I was still eating the same foods, it's just that I would either eat less of it, or I'd eat salad (with no dressing) first to fill up some of the space. I ate two meals a day, with snacks in between, just like most people. But each meal was smaller than I'd normally eat. If I stuffed myself, then I ate only that one meal, and not a second one. Many days I couldn't stick with this, and had to resort back to my old ways. But other days I found the determination to try harder than ever.

It took about 4 years until I could get down from 240 to 225. A loss of 15 pounds. But what I gained from those 4 years was kicking out the demon of gluttony, and teaching myself how to stay occupied so that I wouldn't think about eating. Things started getting easier now.

Then I cut my eating down to just one meal a day. I kept that up for about a month, and I got down to 220 pounds. Then I came up the Beef Jerky Diet, and about two weeks into that, I started this blog, weighing in at 211 pounds.

The Beef Jerky Diet

Part of the impetus for this diet is my Beef Jerky Review blog, where I review various brands and varieties of beef jerky.

Beef jerky has long been a favorite snack food of mine. I figure I can eat this stuff forever, with my favorite juice drink, V8.

Part of the reason for starting the Beef Jerky Review blog is because I want beef jerky companies to send me free beef jerky. I'm hoping to get enough free bags of jerky on a regular basis to provide me with one free bag (4oz) each day.

So, if I establish this Beef Jerky Diet, using free beef jerky, I can drastically cut my food expenses down. And that's also part of the impetus for the diet. I can save myself hundreds of dollars a month on food.

That's a win-win-win situation. Eat beef jerky, lose weight, and save money. How can I go wrong?

Lose Weight With Beef Jerky!

Can you really lose weight with beef jerky?

Yes, I've done it.

I started the beef jerky diet weighing at 220 pounds, and have lost 70 pounds on it over an 18 month period. I had no surgery, no pills, no special diet food.

But as funny as it sounds, the beef jerky diet is less to do with beef jerky, and more to do about controlling your appetite and exercising.

What's interesting about beef jerky...

1. It's very low in fat. Beef jerky has to be very low in order to prevent it from spoiling. A typical package of jerky (about 4 ounces) has about 4gm of fat.

2. It's very low in carbs. Beef jerky would actually have about 0 carbs, if not for the small amounts of sugar that manufacturers put into the flavoring. A 4 ounce bag of jerky will typically have about 10-20gm of carbs.

3. It's high in protein. Protein is part of the magic that causes the body to boost its metabolism. Lean protein is better, which beef jerky is. It's takes more work for the body to burn this type of energy, therefore it raises the metabolism to make this happen.

The biggest negatives with beef jerky dieting...

1. Sodium. A typical 4 ounce bag of jerky will have about 1600-2000mg of sodium. That's pretty much the limit of what a healthy diet should have. If you were to eat 2 or 3 bags of jerky, then you're really pushing it. To counter this, drink plenty of water, and sweat through exercise.

2. Low nutrients. Jerky is low in potassium and magnesium, two minerals that are very vital to bodily functions, healthy cells, metabolism, and creating energy. It's low in many other vitamins and minerals.

3. Artificial preservatives. Namely Sodium Nitrite. Sodium Nitrite has been linked to colon cancer and lung disease. It's probably just fine if eating in small amounts. But if you're eating 2 or 3 bags of jerky each day, then you're subjecting yourself to danger. To counter this, look for preservative-free jerky. There's plenty of it out there, here's a link.

4. Fiber. That is, beef contains no fiber. You'll likely become constipated. Take fiber supplements, or a probiotic drink daily.

My Beef Jerky Diet Plan

1. I spend four days a week on the beef jerky diet. The other three days I eat normal meals. In those normal meals, I try to eat foods low in fat, but not necessarily low in carbs. I also try to eat in smaller portions.

2. On beef jerky diet days, I'll eat about 8-12 ounces of beef jerky each day. But I'll spread it around the clock. I'll start with about 2-4 ounces in the morning, just to kick start the metabolism. I'll eat 2-4 more ounces in the afternoon, and another 2-4 more ounces in the evening. That works out to about 750-1000 calories total in beef jerky.

3. Supplment your nutrients. I recommend drinking 2-4 cans of vegetable juice (low sodium V8 is what I drink), specifically for the potassium. If you don't like the taste of vegetable juice, find other foods to boost your potassium, like bananas, avocados, tomatoes, potatoes. Choose high potassium foods that are low in fat. Use the USDA Nutrient Database to learn which foods are high and low in potassium. You can't rely on dietary supplement pills to boost your potassium, because no one makes a potassium supplement with more than 2% of the RDA. But do take a supplement pill for all the other vitamins and minerals.

4. Fiber supplements. Jerky is very low in fiber, and you'll soon discover constipation. Take some kind of fiber supplement. I rely on drinking kefir, a type of drinkable yogurt that's very high in probiotics, to help regulate the digestive process. You can also take Dannon Activia which is comparable. Or, whatever you can do to add bulk, and maintain regularity.

4. Drink lots of water. Beef jerky contains a lot of sodium. Do drink plenty of fluids to help flush that sodium out. I'll drink a couple of small bottles of water in between the V8 each day, or diet soda.

5. Exercise. You didn't think you could lose weight without exercising did you? I started by walking about 1 mile per day, about 3 to 4 days per week. I've sinced increased that to 2 miles, and now I jog for about 1 mile and walk 1 mile, every day. I also do sit-ups and push-ups, and some light weight lifting using hand-weights, all of it at home. This keeps the metabolism high, and of course burns calories.

6. Eat lots of vegetables on non-beef jerky days. I try to eat salads for the vitamins and fiber, and try to go easy on the salad dressing. I like to put salsa on my salad, because it offers the salt that salad dressings have, but doesn't have the fat.

7. Don't get bored! That's my biggest culprit in weight gain. When I get bored, I tend to eat. So I look for ways to keep myself busy. Either take a walk outside, mow the lawn, pull some weeds, ride my motorcycle around, even take a nap.

8. Keep a calendar above your weight scale, and use it log your weight. Get a calendar big enough to write your weight on each day. If you don't see any weight loss, then this serves as a red-flag that you're not doing enough.

9. Write a blog, like this one. All it takes is a handful of loyal readers to cheer you on, and that will put pressure on you to keep going, and stay true to yourself.

The bottom line is that there's no magic about beef jerky. The beef jerky diet is actually no more different than any other diet. It's simply relies on you being disciplined enough to stick to it, and to exercise daily.

I can't stress enough the importance of exercise. I tend to believe that my weight loss had more to do with daily exercise, than it did about my dietary intake.

My Story

I was always a skinny kid growing up, at least until I got married at age 24. Then I started ballooning out. I went from about 130 pounds to as high as 240 pounds in my late 30s.

My goal now is to get to 150 pounds.

Money was a contributing factor to my weight gain, mostly because I did pretty well in my career which encouraged my wife and I to dine out. At one point we were dining out every day.

Boredom is a big problem. I now work for myself, and work from home. I'll work for several straight hours, and then take a couple hours off, and then work some more, then take another couple hours off, etc. In those off hours, I get bored, and my mind turns to food. So to counter this, I have to find ways to keep myself busy. Exercising, doing yard work, riding my motorcycle, playing a computer game, are all ways to keep my mind focused on other things.

It wasn't easy breaking the old habits. I probably spent a few years training myself to break these habits and control the urge to eat. It was tough to do, but over those few years, I was able to come down from 240 pounds to 220 pounds. At that point, I came up with the "Beef Jerky Diet", and a mission to get to 150.