MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — First let me say this, there are many detractors of this diet, and health warnings from doctors. Before you try this diet or any other you should check with your doctor. Having said that, eating hundreds of chicken wings for the past year has been a key element for my significant and lasting weight loss.
It was late August in 2018 and I took a look in the mirror. I didn’t recognize the person looking back at me. He looked far too heavy, and frankly far too old to be me. I grew up pretty much the skinniest kid in school, weighing in at only about 130 pounds when I graduated high school. I wasn’t much heavier after college. My first bout with weight gain was when I decided to quit smoking about 18 years ago. Fast forward to last summer, skinny was the last thing you would call me. When I visited the doctor, I would turn my head when they put me on the scale. I just didn’t want to know how much I weighed. I was embarrassed and depressed that I let things go so far.
For months I told myself I was going to do something about it. I started reading and researching…and procrastinating. But this day, I decided I was going to really take action. What I didn’t yet realize was how much chicken wings and ranch dressing would play a part in my transformation. Since then I’ve eaten, by my estimation, nearly 2,000 chicken wings. And since I started scarfing down buffalo wings and ranch, I’ve dropped 75 pounds and counting. For the first few months I didn’t know how much weight I had lost. I still wasn’t checking in. But another visit to the same doctor revealed at that time I was already down more than 40 pounds. Thank you, chicken wings.
GALLERY: BEFORE AND AFTER IMAGES
O.K., that’s simplifying it a bit. By now you may have guessed my secret. I’ve spent the last year and a few months eating keto. Keto is a very low carbohydrate eating plan that includes plenty of fat. The idea is that eating fat causes your body to burn it. Your body uses fat as the fuel instead of the carbs, so it starts to melt away. It’s not really the chicken wings that are causing the weight loss. It’s more about what I don’t eat. I don’t eat bread, rice, crackers, pretty much anything with carbs. And, I take in almost zero sugar. Instead of eating a pile of fries with those wings, I have a salad. Same with any other meal. Steak and salad..no potato. Blackened fish and steamed broccoli…no hush puppies. Many people religiously count their carbs, fat and other dietary numbers. I don’t do any of that. I just avoid carbs and sugar as much as humanly possible. It’s called “lazy” or “dirty” keto. And it works for me, so that’s just fine.
No, this diet isn’t for everyone. And many people who stop gain the weight right back. But it has been a life changer for me. I’m still not skinny, but carrying around 75 fewer pounds sure makes me feel that way. I feel younger, healthier and look it too. I’ve been told I look like a completely different person and ten years younger. And, I largely have chicken wings to thank for it.
Again, before you start thinking about keto, or any other major change to diet or exercise, you should do your research and talk to your doctor.
As you may imagine, I’ve become a bit of a wing connoisseur in the past 14 months. So, what are my favorite wings? First, you have to make sure the sauce has no sugar, or the wings have no sauce. Buffalo sauce is usually perfect, because it’s made largely of carb-free peppers. You also must make sure the wings are “naked,” otherwise not breaded. Baked and smoked are healthier, but fried is fine without the breading.
GO TO wings: I often joke that I have a “body by Baumhower.” The Gulf Coast chain has locations near my house and my office. So I eat there most often. I get the small buffalo hot combo and replace the fries with a salad. The wings are zero carbs. Delete the croutons from the salad for sure. I also delete the tomatoes because they have some carbs and I just don’t like them. The onions have a small amount of carbs. But I love them, so I leave them. Pro tip: ask for bacon and a side of the buffalo sauce to mix with your ranch for the salad…it’s awesome.
FAVORITE wings: Hooters smoked Habanero wings. Also zero carbs, they are dry-rub so there is no sauce. So, no worries. They are smoked instead of fried which will also cut down on the calories. They are the best tasting wings I’ve ever had. Period. Pro tip: go at lunch. They will cost you much less than the dinner price.
BBQ wings: Moe’s BBQ also great smoked wings. This southern BBQ chain also has great brisket, pork and other foods that are keto-friendly. They also have an awesome salad. Pro tip: watch out for the candied nuts on the salad, not keto. And no BBQ sauce!
SURPRISINGLY GOOD wings: Publix has surprisingly good wings in its deli section. They are baked, hot and ready to go. Just grab them and take them home. Pro tip: Try the Mardi Gras wings. They are zero carb and will give you different twist.
HONORABLE MENTION: Mellow Mushroom has pretty good wings. Pro tip: The Jamaican Jerk flavor is great. Low carb, but not zero carb…so be careful about eating too many.
Besides the compliments that I’ve received, most rewarding is that people have messaged me on social media saying I’ve inspired them to make a change. Many have told me the same in person. And I think that’s a good thing. No matter how you work to Get Fit with 5, just trying to live a healthier life is a start. Good luck on your journey, and please continue to follow ours.
Please follow me on social media to keep up:
Chris Best is the News Director for WKRG. He’s a husband and father of four. He’s also a motorcycle enthusiast.
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