Okay, so I’m a big boy. By now you’ve seen the photos on our site… I have long struggled with weight issues, despite having been a multi-sport jock as a kid. I remember a time in college, while visiting one of my childhood friends from New Jersey, when I told him, “Mike, I’m on a diet and a budget. I’m only drinking domestic light beer.” Mike still laughs about that.
But I’m doing something about my health. I have signed on to one of those national weight loss programs. You know; one of those programs where you go for weekly weigh-ins with a counselor, you buy their food and supplement with your own fruits and vegetables.
Some of these programs are quite effective. They use science to design a tailored diet according to your body size and weight loss goals. The food is surprisingly good and convenient to make (usually just a few minutes in the microwave machine). The counselors coach you and keep you on track and offer excellent advice on how to eat well when you need to go off-program for a business dinner or occasional date night with your spouse. I started one of these programs about three months ago and I have already lost close to 30 pounds.
But I know me very well. I will not stay on the program long enough to attain my weight loss goal if I feel too constrained. I’d rather lose weight more gradually and not drive myself nuts or burn out on the program. Moreover, as a Whisky Man, I need to sample whiskies as part of my avocation. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!
The point is, I need to temper my diet or else I’d scrap it. I have found the perfect way to temper my weight loss program. WHISKY!
I know what you’re thinking. But not so fast…
The weight loss program I’m on requires me to consume food and liquids at a voracious pace. As long as I eat the right kind of foods, in the proper proportions, eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, I feel full all the time and still lose weight. See, the plan is tuned to maximize the participant’s metabolic rate, so your body burns calories and fat even while you sit still. Add exercise, and voila! Instant substantial weight loss.
As part of the program, I am required to eat a plan snack and a plan dessert every day. The snacks and desserts are really good. They are lower in fat, but high in sugar (my favorite is a three-quarter-size candy bar that imitates a Snickers bar). The program deploys these little treats so the participant feels rewarded a couple times per day. After discussing my options and my realities with my counselor, I was given permission to consume a couple drams of whisky if I forego one of the sugary treats built into the diet plan.
As a result, by passing up my little candy-bar treat, I am occasionally able to work whisky into my diet. I use this as a personal reward system. If I get through a day on-plan, I can skip the late night snack and instead enjoy a well-deserved and highly appreciated tipple. On a day that I work out, I entitle myself to a belt of whisky.
Is it the perfect system? Probably not. I would likely lose an extra pound per week if I gave up the uisge beatha (Gaelic origin of the word “whisky,” translating to “water of life”). But I know this: I would drop the diet after two weeks.
My college days are far behind me. I remain friends with my childhood buddy, Mike, from New Jersey. But my budget-and-diet plan certainly has evolved. I’ve gone from domestic light beer to Single Cask Nation selections and cask samples.
Says the tortoise, “Slow and steady wins the race.” I’m losing weight AND stopping to smell the roses. That’s my kind of diet!
L’Chaim and Slainte!