Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 116: A Bite-by-Bite Rundown of My Calorie Intake

"I'm not leaving anything out. I swear."


Tuesday's lunch. Well just half of this. [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

I've had one of those weeks that tries a serious dieter's soul. No matter what I do, I could not seem to move the number downward on the scale this week. In fact, it's stayed consistently higher each day I've gotten on the scale.

It doesn't seem to matter what I eat, or how much I exercise. Damn you, Thinner. A pox on your digital readout soul. The diet powers that be have obviously decided to test my resolve this week. Well, if the forces of diet evil think they are going to defeat me with this brazen show of scale power, they don't know who they're dealing with here.

You may think these are the paranoid rantings of a crazed serious dieter. I don't think so. I'm going to give you a bite by bite rundown of my calorie intake this week, complete with high and lowlights, along with a log of my obsessive exercise regimen. New York Times restaurant critic Sam Sifton, my former editor there, recently wrote about how he deals with eating for a living by exercising compulsively. Well this week at least Sam had nothing on me.

Anyway, I'm going to report, and you, my fellow serious eaters, can decide.


Breakfast this past week was mostly a bowl of cheerios with a little dried fruit and half a cup of 1% milk. We ran out of Cheerios yesterday, so I had a handful of almonds instead.


Lunch has consisted of:

Monday: A half portion of spicy pork on brown rice.
Tuesday: Half a Motorino pizza along with a salad.
Wednesday: A ham and cole slaw sandwiches on toasted bialy.
Thursday: A lightly dresed tuna salad from Txikito.


Monday: One slice of pizza and two bites of a chicken parm hero.
Tuesday: One slice of pizza
Wednesday: Three sushi rolls: spicy tuna, yellowtail and scallion, and a Boston roll (shrimp and avocado), and a bowl of miso soup.
Thursday: A few slices of really lean baked ham, two slices of Alpine Lace American cheese, and an endive salad.

There has been very little food in the office this week. I tried a dry half of an unremarkable bacon, egg, and cheese bagel that Erin Adamo brought in, I took two bites of some surprisingly tasty Hubig's individual pies we had shipped up from New Orleans, and I had a few bites of some of Erin Zimmer's granola bar taste-test candidates.

I'm not leaving anything out. I swear.


Consider this exercise regimen:

Monday: I rode my bike to and from work and to a doctor's appointment (eight miles altogether).
Tuesday: I rode my bike to work on Tuesday and also took it to Motorino for lunch (eight miles altogether). I also played squash for half an hour on Tuesday morning.
Wednesday: I rode my bike another eight miles and swam for half an hour.
Thursday: I rode my bike to work again (six miles) and swam for a half hour.

This does not sound like the exercise and eating regimen of a man who has gained weight this week, does it? And yet Thinner has brought me nothing but bad news day in and day out. I guess sometimes Thinner gets me, and sometimes I get Thinner. Sometimes there's no explanation for these things.

The Weigh-In

Obviously, I'm prepared for the worst. Here goes: 226. My worst fears have been confirmed. Up two pounds. It doesn't seem fair. Maybe all that exercise has converted some fat to muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat. Even if that's true, it's small consolation. What can I do? Try harder, eat smarter, exercise more.