Road to Absterdam Part 1

Published: 2014-09-26

2 min read

My diet choices have been generally unhealthy for the past year, but lately I've decided I want abs. As such I asked my buddy Ravi for nutrition advice, and came up with the following daily macros:

  • Protein: 180g
  • Carbs: 45g
  • Fats: 90g

This is a very minimal diet as it comes out to ~1800 calories. The point being, I would put my body at a caloric deficit every day and lose weight. Simple 😎

So much protein

Since my normal diet of the past year wouldn't get me anywhere near 180g of protein in a day I needed to make a change. The simplest way in my mind was to just eat more chicken. Easy enough, I love chicken and know how to cook it. As far as sources of protein go, chicken is amazing. It's low fat, has zero carbs and of course packs tons of protein. I live near a large chain store called RT-mart (大潤發) here in Taipei. At RT-mart raw chicken breast is packaged such that 1kg of chicken meat costs about $6.60. Not bad a bad price, so I this became my main source of chicken.

I used all that chicken, along with some veggies and kimchi to make dishes like the this:

Chicken Meal

It was going quite well. Meals like that are very low in carbs and fats and super heavy in protein. I continued to make many similar dishes.

Chicken Meal

Then I made another...

Chicken Meal

And another...

Chicken Meal

Sometimes I changed the salad up a bit.

Chicken Meal

The idea behind these meals was great: Eat mostly protein. The problem was, I never took the time to look up the nutrition facts for what I was eating. I knew on a very general level that chicken had a lot of protein, but I didn't know exactly how much. Remember how I was buying chicken in 1kg packages? I would make a point of eating that entire pack of chicken over the course of a day, so 1000g. In 100g of raw chicken there are about 23g of protein, so I was actually getting about 230g of protein a day from chicken alone. Then on top of that I was drinking a daily protein shake and eating six eggs for breakfast. Check out this omelet:

Awesome breakfast omelet

So with everything tallied up I was getting about 300g of protein every single day, well ahead of my goal of 180g. At least I was getting it though.


So my takeaway from all this is that you should always be sure to know what your eating before you put it in your mouth. All that extra protein meant that I wasn't hitting my caloric goals and probably had a caloric surplus most days during the past week. Oh well, lesson learned. From now on I'm going to cut back on the chicken and bring my macros more inline with where they need to be in order to get abs. 🍗 + 🍃 = 💪

About me

I'm Ian. I'm a software engineer. Here are some things I'm into: javascript, functional programming, simplicity, Mandarin. If you want to chat you can find me on Twitter and GitHub.