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Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 17: Is Exercise Truly a Food Critic's Best Friend?

20080306-scale.jpgAs some serious eaters may have noticed, I have started writing a weekly restaurant review. I'm looking forward to my reviewing stint, but I am wondering about its effect on my diet and life. Two more restaurant meals a week, piled on top of all the other food I eat in the name of the work and life I love, will put even more pressure on my "all things in moderation" regimen.

So I decided that I have to increase the frequency of my exercise regimen. Other restaurant critics, like Frank Bruni of the New York Times and Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle, have told me that what I would describe as fanatical, maniacal, obsessive exercise regimens have helped keep them trim. The question, serious eaters, is whether doubling down on my exercise regimen will do the trick and enable me to eat more and weigh less.

I actually tried it this week.

The weather was glorious, perfect even, earlier this week in New York. It was so perfect that I got my bike out of storage and rode to work and back twice this week. It's about a 20-minute ride door to door from our home to Serious Eats headquarters, and my heart-rate monitor tells me I burn a little more than 200 calories on average each way.

20080509-specialized.jpgAdded to my twice-weekly squash games, in which I burn 550 calories each time I play, I'm basically burning about 1,500 calories a week with this doubling-down regimen. If exercising four times a week increases my margin for eating error, it's worth a shot.

Let's see how my bike riding affected my weight this week.

I stayed even. I guess that's not too bad, considering how much barbecue I ate this week. I have now lost eight pounds since I started my diet 17 weeks ago. I'm hoping my shiny new black Specialized bike will help me continue to lose weight and still eat like my livelihood depended on it.

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