This image text doesn't have a joke in it because Parks and Recreation cannot be topped.
Well, I’ve been carb-free for over a week now and I’ve already noticed some changes! Namely, I’m hungry all the time, I have cravings for foods I’ve never craved before, I’m eating a lot of food that tastes like cardboard with sriracha on it, and I hate pretty much everybody, including people who haven’t even been born yet.
I’ve quit looking at the low carb diet my doctor recommended last week as a calculated nutritional program to reduce weight – at this point I see it as a calculated nutritional program to reduce human joy. I quite honestly give no shits whether I lose weight or not now; I’m just sticking with it because I refuse to crap out on such a short term, small potatoes challenge.
In the midst of a post-mealtime hunger flash last week I caught myself thinking, “Damn, this low carb diet is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” I started hating myself before I was even done having the thought – not eating rice, pasta, and bread for 12 days is really the hardest thing I’ve done in my life?
Curious, I set to work trying to think of what was the actual hardest thing I’ve done in my life. After a few minutes I was still drawing a blank – the closest thing I could think of was getting up for an 8:30 AM Spanish class every day during winter term of my freshman year of college.
So I’m not saying that not eating certain foods is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life – I’m just saying it’s roughly as hard as waking up early, and that shit’s no picnic.
Maybe it’s my fault for not taking the time to truly understand what I’m doing to my body. I didn’t really do a lot of research about low carb diets because I figured I’d just wind up reading a Men’s Health article by some hot guy named Chad with a whole bunch of stats, percentages, and chemistry buzzwords.
On day 3 of your low carb high prot diet your body is going to start pumping a huge amount of floogobyne. Now, without the big hargotrone rush your body generates whenever you put carbs in your system, those floogobyne chains will dive bomb your fuckodyne receptors, which means your shit will be purple for three days.
The bulk of my research, as discussed last week, is me frantically Googling foods before I eat them to make sure they don’t have carbs in them. After a week, I’ve quit Googling foods and have just started assuming that if it’s a food I desperately want to eat, I can’t have it.
After discovering that I can’t have the food I want, I sit around being hungry and angry for awhile, go eat a bag of frozen vegetables,* and then go back to being hungry and angry.
*”Hey Truman, why don’t you grill up some skirt steak and greens?” Because I work all day, asshole! Let me know when I can microwave a steak in five minutes.
I’m well aware that the advantage to the low carb diet is that you get to eat all the fatty meat and cheese that you want. What I’d never realized, though, is how much fatty meats and cheeses gain from the carb-heavy foods I’m no longer allowed to eat.
Have you ever had a lettuce-wrapped cheeseburger before? If you haven’t, don’t. It tastes like you’re eating a $7.50 head of Iceberg lettuce that drips grease all over your hands and forearms from some completely untasteable meat. But whatever, right? Even when the burger is bad the fries usually make up for it. Except they don’t, because potatoes are full of carbs, so the side dish for your handful of bland greasy lettuce is a small bowl filled with cantaloupe that you will still be hungry after eating.
Again, I never read the Men’s Health article that explains how this diet works, but I assume depriving your body of carbs somehow makes it forget how food works. A normal person gets hungry, eats, and is no longer hungry because they’ve satisfied their hunger. A person on a low carb diet gets hungry, eats, and then remains hungry until they die or eat a grain of rice or something.
I ate an entire package of bacon last Sunday. I consumed the bacon throughout the day – slowly at first, and then gradually faster as I realized that no matter how fast I fried and ate the bacon I was still fucking hungry after eating it. I’ve got no problem eating a ton of bacon, because bacon is delicious, but since the act of eating it was doing absolutely nothing for me I could've just chewed a piece of bacon flavored gum and saved myself the trouble of degreasing a pan. .
Desperate, ravenous, and having eaten every carb-free food in the house, I made an emergency trip to the North Hollywood Diner for steak and eggs, where I suffered the indignity of asking if I could substitute hash browns for fruit. FRUIT. I’m still ashamed of myself, and that sassy 67 year old waitress is still ashamed of herself for serving me.
So I completely demolished some top sirloin, scrambled eggs, and fucking fruit and still felt like all I’d had was a glass of water and a saltine. I had all but licked the plate clean of carb free foods, and all that was left on the table was a little plate with two pieces of toast on it.
Driven to desperation, I grabbed the smallest piece and defiantly shoved the whole thing into my mouth, then paid my check and returned home to be slightly less hungry and still angry.
The following night, I was discussing this whole debacle on the phone with my friend Kristin, who’s been on a strict no carb diet for months and also has also done some research and other shit like that. When I mentioned the piece of toast, she gasped.
“Wait, seriously!?” She said. “You ate a piece of toast?”
“Um, yes.” I said. “What would I gain from lying to someone about my toast consumption?”
“Truman, you can’t cheat on a no-carb diet. Now that carbs are back in your system you’ve wrecked everything you were working toward all week.”
My first response wasn’t anger or disappointment, but joy:
“So since I fucked it up that means it doesn’t matter if I go eat some pasta, right!?”
With her convincing, I’ve decided to stick it out and starve until I see my doctor again on Saturday. In the meantime, though, I’ve figured out a new way to stave off hunger: Every time I want to eat food that is in some way nourishing, I’ll distract myself by fantasizing about traveling to Hell, tracking down Dr. Atkins, and sticking my foot clear up his ass for inventing such a fucking terrible piece of shit diet, and then I’ll grab the nearest devil’s trident and stab…
Okay, no, I’m sorry. I’m overreacting. I don’t really mean that.
I just want bread so bad, you guys.
Truman Capps is just going to be fat now. Just... Fuck it.