I Survived 400 Days Without Rice and Softdrinks (Number 20 on my Definitive List of Things I'm Thankful For)

Friday, May 24, 2024

In 2013, my friend Joey Alarilla went on a "no beef, no pork" diet. During this time, I needed to lose some weight and lower my cholesterol levels. Inspired by this type of diet, I decided to take on a "no rice" diet challenge. I started in November 2013 without any end-target date in mind. 

I also added a "no soft drinks" rule, but that was fairly easy since I wasn't really fond of soft drinks. As the days passed, I wrote my thoughts about it in my daily journal. I also shared some milestones on Facebook using the hashtags #norice and #nosoftdrinks. 
The first few days were okay, as it seemed like an exciting challenge. I would say that Days 10–30 were the most challenging, as it was a longer period of time than I had ever gone without rice in my life. I was able to adjust afterwards, and it became easier not to crave rice. 
One of my many Facebook status updates about my no rice challenge
As the days turned into weeks and months, I was able to cut down on sugar and lose weight. I was eating mostly salads, fruits, and tuna. Since my challenge primarily focused on rice intake, I didn't prohibit myself from eating bread and pasta.
Since I lasted for a few months without rice, I decided to extend and target it for a year. That also meant not eating rice during special occasions like my birthday, my wife's birthday, my son's birthday, anniversaries, special events, and Christmas. I'm happy to say I reached the 365-day mark and decided to round it off to 400 days.
I could've gone longer. However, at the end of the year, I made the decision to stop because we were planning a trip to Japan, which would be my first visit to the country. I didn't want to miss the chance to try all the authentic Japanese cuisine, most of which had rice in it. And so on December 30, 2014, I ended my "no rice" challenge, exactly 400 days since I began the journey, and treated myself to authentic Japanese rice in Tokyo.
Officially ended my no rice challenge on Day 400 in Tokyo

During my journey, I lost 16 pounds, lowered my cholesterol level, decreased my triglycerides, and overall felt healthy. Aside from those benefits, it was also my way of determining if I had the discipline to resist eating particular foods. In the succeeding years, I tried intermittent fasting and, more recently, calorie-counted daily diets. I plan to continue to be conscious when selecting the foods that I eat, and to maintain a nutritious and balanced diet.

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