Protein Bar Challenge: The Anti-Supersize Me

By Nevin Martell

I’m about to do something a little crazy. For the next month, I’m not going to eat like a food writer. Goodbye grilled halibut cheek with charcoal potatoes by Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio, foie gras topped duck burgers, and pizzas slathered with black truffle paste and crowned with an over easy egg.

Starting tomorrow and going until October 31, I will be following the diet that inspired Matt Matros to create Protein Bar – a quinoa-loving, health conscious fast casual eatery that opened its first D.C. location in Penn Quarter at the tail end of August. You could call my new regimen the Anti-Supersize Me. I’ll be eating his restaurant’s food three times a day (bring on the Buffalo Bar-ritos!), supplemented by Matros-approved snacks like hardboiled eggs and the occasional Larabar.

I was inspired to undertake this wholesome adventure when I wrote a story about Protein Bar for CityEats. During my research, I learned that Matros had lost 50 pounds over the course of a summer (he lost another 10 during a subsequent diet) by adhering to a high protein, low carb diet and beginning a strong workout regimen. As a food writer – even one who exercises religiously and regularly – I have packed on a few extra pounds that my doctor and I (and my wife) would love to see me lose. I’m not looking to drop anywhere near that much weight in a month. However, if I lost somewhere between six and 10 pounds, I’d be very happy.

So this is the challenge: will this new diet coupled with continued high-energy workouts (a combination of running, stationary biking, and Pilates) help me shed some extra weight?

And here’s the other challenge: will a guy who has eaten anything and everything he wants (and gotten paid for it!) be able to resist temptation for a whole month? I’ll be honest with you. This is going to be one of the toughest tests I’ve ever undertaken.

There is one caveat. Almost every diet plan out there includes one day a week off, so that people don’t feel locked into absolutes. I’ll be eating off the Protein Bar menu one day a week, and I’ll come clean in my blog posts, tweets, and Facebook updates about what I’ve eaten on those days off.

As well as reading my posts about my Protein Bar Challenge here on the Plate blog, you can follow my progress on Twitter @nevinmartell (hashtag #proteinbarchallenge) or on Facebook.