ex150deli mod review: still losing .3lb/day
Pretty much no difference to regular ex150. 4lbs down in 14 days.
I lost ~45lbs in the last 5 months by eating a diet with 150g of ground beef per day
This experiment replaced the ground beef with a protein-matched amount of various deli cuts including salami, turkey breast, and roast beef
Satiety and weight loss continued unchanged
Deli meats as an option should make the diet more travel/work friendly
ex150deli is ex150 with deli meats from the store
ex150 has proven an effective weight loss diet, but it’s pretty restrictive. I want to run many experiments that branch off from it slightly, and I generally think of them in 3 categories:
Disproving hypotheses as to why ex150 works
Pushing the Efficient Frontier of fat loss (e.g. food choices and amounts) to make it more convenient, palatable, and sustainable without giving up the fat loss aspect
Possibly even accelerating the fat loss over standard ex150?
The intent of ex150deli was to see if the home-cooked ground beef was an integral part of the diet, or if replacing it with store-bought deli meats and cold cuts would work.
Advantages of deli meats over ground beef:
Easy to eat on the go, e.g. on your lunch break or in the car
Can be eaten when traveling with no kitchen available, e.g. hotel rooms
Can be kept in the fridge and quickly used when there’s no time to cook
My hope was this would make the diet more practical and accessible.
Since my main hypothesis in designing ex150 was that too much protein would prevent fat loss, I protein-matched the amounts of meat instead of going by pure weight. I tried to stay between 20-30g of protein per day from the meat.
Deli meats are pre-cooked and many of them are significantly lighter per protein because the water has already been cooked out of them.
For example, my regular ex150 meal would regularly end up weighing 170-180g in total including the 150g of beef, 60g of vegetables, and 80g of sauce. This is because the cooking process would evaporate large amounts of moisture from all three ingredients.
The pre-cooked deli meats would barely lose any more moisture when heated and I didn’t heat them as much because they were already cooked. The meals ended up weighing 250-300g in total.
I used several meat cuts including:
Cheapo roast beef
Fancy roast beef
The protein in these varied significantly. 150g of fancy roast beef would’ve been almost 2x the protein in 150g of regular 80/20 ground beef. The turkey breast and ham were roughly the same protein per weight as raw ground beef, presumably because both turkey and ham have significantly less protein than beef. The salami varied by brand. Fancy italian salami seemed to have less protein than cheapo store brand salami. The Italians must like their salami fatty.
I kept the same ~60g of vegetables and ~80g of sauce as before and even cooked them the same, just adding the cut up deli meats to the plate.
This resulted in some meals being significantly larger in volume and perceived portion size, almost double. It was strange at first because the meal just looked massive visually after only eating the small-looking 170g ex150 meals for months. But I got used to it quickly, and satiety wasn’t very different.
14 day duration because it is almost the exact same diet as ex150
For bigger dietary changes I advocate running experiments for 30 days. But the only variable changed here was the type of meat. I knew there wouldn’t be much difference in water retention because the diet would still be low-fiber, low-carb, low-protein, low-salt.
So I opted to run this experiment only for 14 days.
ex150deli macros: less beef fat, more cream
The first 3 days I felt less satiated from my lunch meal than usual. With just switching out the ground beef to e.g. sliced roast beef, the macros changed to this:
Fat 19.3g (49.7%)
- Sat. 10.8g (27.9%)
- Unsat. 8.5g (21.8%)
Protein 31.6g (36.2%)
Carbs 12.3g (14.1%)
Fat 72.6g (93.7%)
- Sat. 45.6g (58.8%)
- Unsat. 27.0g (34.8%)
Protein 5.6g (3.2%)
Carbs 5.4g (3.1%)
Fat 108.9g (93.7%)
- Sat. 68.4g (58.8%)
- Unsat. 40.5g (34.8%)
Protein 8.4g (3.2%)
Carbs 8.1g (3.1%)
Fat 200.8g (86.3%)
- Sat. 124.8g (53.7%)
- Unsat. 76.0g (32.7%)
Protein 45.6g (8.7%)
Carbs 25.8g (4.9%)
(Compare to regular ex150 macros.)
The difference is essentially ~200kcal less at lunch from the fat in ground 80/20 beef. I did notice myself eating a bit more cream within a few days of the new diet. It seems my body was managing the energy needs pretty well there. I was able to finish my 200mg whipped cream dessert more often and I found myself drinking an additional 1-2 cups of coffee per day, each of which included a generous amount of heavy cream.
One time I made 300mg of whipped cream. No chance, that was still too much. I forced it down, but it was actually painful and I needed to take a 3h break in the middle where I took a vigorous walk. The cement-truck-satiety of ex150 was proven once again. After the first 200g I was bursting with energy and could not finish watching a video about saturated fat. I just had to go outside and move.
A 14 day experiment is barely long enough
A 14 day experiment is more susceptible to sampling errors. The first 5 days on this diet I didn’t lose any weight. The next 5 days I lost a ton. Then I didn’t lose any again, and even went back up a pound for 2 days (a rare occurrence on ex150 due to the extremely low water retention).
Overall I lost 4lbs in 14 days. Depending on which day you look at it looks significantly worse or better than my long-term average of 0.3lb/day.
This is why I recommend 30 day experiments, kids. Even with a diet as extreme as ex150, 14 days is really short to get a useful signal from the noise. Imagine a diet where your daily weight fluctuates by 5lbs of water weight, or you only lose 3lbs a month. You wouldn’t be able to pick it out of the noise.
Felt slightly better on the fancy roast beef than the other deli meats, but still prefer ground beef
I really didn’t like the turkey breast. I usually never eat turkey because it’s too lean. Maybe that was it, or maybe it was that turkey breast really doesn’t go with the italian-style meals I’ve been making as well as salami, beef, or even ham does.
The fancy roast beef correlated with the dramatic weight drop around days 5-10 or so, but it might’ve just been a coincidence. That said if I were doing this again I’d definitely mostly go with the roast beef. It just tasted much better. Food cost is so low on this diet you might as well go with the fancy option.
That said, none of the deli meats tasted as good as standard ex150 with nicely seared ground beef.
ex150deli: success, the first of many ex150 mods
Overall I’d call ex150deli a success. It met my expectation that deli meats would work just fine, thereby making the diet more accessible and practical, especially for travel or lunch at work.
But it was also my first modification (or mod) of “standard” ex150. After losing around 40lbs I decided that I should start focusing more on exploration rather than exploitation: I could just stay on standard ex150 until reaching my goal weight, but then I wouldn’t know why it worked and it wouldn’t be very accessible to others, or even future me who might be traveling or get tired of the same meal over and over.
I hope to run many experiments like this in the future. Some of them are listed on the Hypotheses page.
What’s next? After a 3-day break eating my regular ad-libitum keto diet, I’m planning on trying ex150choctruffle. Because ad-libitum heavy cream didn’t sound stupid enough and I really like chocolate truffles.
So today is my 4th day returning to (my slightly amended version of) the ex150--I'm not a coffee drinker, so I throw a couple of teaspoons of matcha powder into a pint of heavy cream (ultra pasteurized w/carageenan) fortified with a diet sweetener and sip from that through the day. I'm registering 1.7-2.1 pounds lost each day (so far--early days on this segment so a lot of that is no doubt water weight, and my gut emptying out a bit). My day usually includes a couple of Diet Cokes as well--old habits die hard. Significantly easier than extended fasting. This has so far been a lot of fun, and I want to thank you!
What kind of cream have you been using? Is it ultra pasteurized or not? Is it pure cream or is it mixed with a thickener like carrageenan? It is becoming harder to find non ultra pasteurized cream that is just pure cream, unfortunately, so I'm curious what you're using.