07/29/2012 11:47 EDT | Updated 09/28/2012 05:12 EDT

How I Lost 16 Pounds in Three Weeks


I read the news today, oh boy. It's been three weeks on the Lindora diet and I've lost 16 pounds. The diet is easy to comply with because it's well structured, there aren't a lot of options, and I'm a creature of habit so I can get down with eating roughly the same things over and over.

The day starts with my favorite meal, breakfast. While brewing a pot of Peets' Major Dickason blend, I throw in a slice of whole grain bread into the toaster and PAM the skillet. Right before the toast is ready, I fry up an egg and if I can coordinate it all just right the coffee beeps, the toaster chimes, and in one sweeping motion I whisk the toast onto a plate and slide the egg on top.

You wouldn't believe how long it takes me to eat this. In pre-diet days I would've folded the toast in half like a New York pizza and gulped the whole thing down in two Jaws-sized bites. Now I gracefully savor each morsel. I haven't counted, but I bet I stretch this meal into eight individual bites. It makes me feel more civilized and grown-up.

Three hours later I have a protein snack. My favorite is a Lindora product of infused-protein chocolate pudding. I make it with twice as much water so that instead of the consistency of pudding, it's somewhat of a chocolatey mudsludge. I feel like the spiritually advanced Meryl Streep in Defending Your Life when I eat it one baby spoonful at a time.

Whether I'm dieting or stuffing my face, there is a sad death-and-taxes truth about each meal: it always starts with fulfilling that anticipated glorious burst of flavor with the first bite. Then there are N number of bites in the middle concluding with the sad last one. First bite happy, last bite sad. The only difference between dieting and pigging out is the middle. And I've learned that by taking smaller bites and eating slower, the value of N isn't really that much different whether I'm wolfing down a giant plate of spaghetti or a 100-calorie cup of pudding soup.

Lunch, as compared to breakfast, is a feast. I put two cups of spring mix salad into a plastic container, chop up a cucumber (my choice for a vegetable), pour a handful of broccoli slaw for texture (technically a cheat since only one vegetable is called for), throw in a pinch of red onions, and then add a protein. This can be three and a half ounces of freshly carved turkey (the best!), leftover barbecued chicken, a pouch of tuna, or four ounces of low-fat cottage cheese. Then I pour a reserved splat of low-fat blue cheese (15 calories per serving), put the lid on the container, and shake that puppy up. On the side is a low-glycemic fruit, a 2/3 cup serving of yummy blackberries. Pour a glass of Sodastream fizzy water and that, my friends, is a Henry V-sized meal -- well, as compared to breakfast.

Three hours later, another protein snack. A hard-boiled egg is a favorite, or more turkey. Sometimes I have a Lindora product that is a masochist's favorite because I feel humbled like a monk when I eat it. Its name is Vegetarian Sloppy Joe but let's be real, even the spiritual Meryl Streep would make a face at this putrid concoction that I'm sure is the same prop used in movies to masquerade as soldier guts. Bits of meat-like soy mixed together in a bloodied stew of spices. Yummmmm. It's hot, it's got a kick, and it's helped me lose 16 pounds. So brother, it's alright with me.

Dinner is exactly like lunch. And before bed I have another protein snack. That's the day!

Somewhere in there I'm careful to drink my 80-ounces of water and take a few sugar-free fiber chewies. I also take a potassium supplement and a couple of other supplements that I have no idea what they do and suspect they're a fad but what the hell. It's all working. Don't mess with the formula. One hundred per cent compliance is the name of the game. Tomorrow, same verse just like the first.