Austerity Mode can best be described as Drink Your Carbs on steroids.
While Basic Drink Your Carbs includes plenty of healthy carbohydrates, including limited quantities of healthy starches such as brown rice and quinoa, Austerity Mode either eliminates these foods or further restricts them. This is not to say that Austerity Mode turns Drink Your Carbs into a traditional low-carb diet. Austerity Mode still allows plenty of foods banned by the low-carb gurus. More importantly, Austerity Mode continues to allow for the consumption of alcohol. This alone distinguishes it from every other low-carb diet we have seen. If you’re ready to make the leap, check out the Austerity Mode Food List.
There is no question that Austerity Mode accelerates weight loss. By eliminating most of the remaining sugars and starches left in the Basic Drink Your Carbs diet, Austerity Mode further restricts the calories you consume. Assuming your exercise and alcohol consumption remain unchanged, the results will be as predictable as they are dramatic. However, the increased pace of weight loss is not the only reason to spend time in Austerity Mode. There are numerous reasons that Austerity Mode is an invaluable part of the Drink Your Carbs dietary toolkit:
Faster weight loss
The most obvious reason has been mentioned. If you want to lose a few pounds fast, Austerity Mode can accomplish this. Basic Drink Your Carbs, if followed consistently, will lean you down to a healthy weight. However, weight loss tends to be slow and consistent. This is not a bad thing, as diets that are designed for fast weight loss tend to be difficult to maintain and are typically followed by subsequent weight gain. But there are times when we would all like to see faster results. Whether for an upcoming competition, event or an imminent high school reunion, sometimes the pace of weight loss matters. Austerity Mode is the answer.
Chasing the perfect bikini/Speedo body
Weight loss on Basic Drink Your Carbs will eventually level off. This is the result of reaching a healthy, manageable weight. Your caloric requirements go down as you lose weight. The less body mass you have to maintain, the fewer calories you need to maintain it. Eventually, we all come to a point where our calories and exercise fall into balance. Weight loss stops and maintenance begins. Drink Your Carbs is designed so that this leveling off will occur at a healthy, sustainable weight.
Anyone who has dieted will tell you, there is a difference between being lean and healthy and turning heads in a bikini or Speedo. Keep in mind that there are no additional health benefits from achieving this next level of lean. The only reason to pursue it is for purely aesthetic reasons.
The perfect bikini/Speedo body is not easy to attain. The older you are, the more difficult achieving this becomes. The discipline required will be enormous. You may have to spend more time in Austerity Mode than not. But if you want to pursue this goal, Austerity Mode will get you there.
Fact: Bikinis are fashionable worldwide but the same cannot be said for the Speedo. Outside of platform diving and Michael Phelp’s closet, the Speedo is much maligned. If you want one, you’ll probably need to shop for it in a specialty store for either professional swimmers or Eastern Europeans.
If you choose to wear a Speedo, expect your friends to refer to it by unflattering nicknames, such as “man panties,” the “banana hammock” or the “budgie smuggler”—ask an Australian if you want to know what a budgie is. We strongly disagree with all of this negativity. If you spend the time in Austerity Mode to get yourself into shape to wear it, we say ignore these self-appointed fashionistas. Strut your stuff like a bird in the full plumage of mating season. You’ve earned the right.
Advance preparation for an epic event or weekend
This simple notion may be the most revolutionary idea in Drink Your Carbs. We are shocked not to have come across it in other diets. This idea is so blindingly obvious that it really should be part of every diet plan. As far as we know, this is a Drink Your Carbs exclusive. We do not, however, expect our exclusive to last for long. In the next few months, we anticipate that every major diet will steal this idea and claim to have come up with it first.
We have already touched on this recommendation in How to Cheat on Your Diet. We will discuss this strategy here as well because it really is that groundbreaking. While every major diet has a section or chapter called “How to Stay on Your Diet During Vacation,” only Drink Your Carbs allows you to prepare in advance for a guilt-free holiday.
There are two ways that people cheat on their diets: unplanned cheating and planned cheating. All of the major diets we have reviewed deal exclusively with unplanned, spur-of-the-moment cheating. This refers to those events where, in spite of best intentions, you find yourself wolfing down an entire box of donuts at the morning meeting. A full day’s calories vanish in less than 15 minutes. Every diet, including Drink Your Carbs, offers similar advice to counter unplanned cheating. Don’t beat yourself up. Instead, recommit to your diet and try to avoid a repeat. Assuming your cheat was limited to a single meal or even day, any caloric damage will be quickly reversed.
Unique to Drink your Carbs is the concept of planned cheating. We all have events on our calendars that we know will blow our diets. Perhaps you are planning to visit relatives who don’t share your Drink Your Carbs obsession. You might be taking a cruise, complete with free booze and midnight buffets that, while you might be able to limit, you know you probably can’t—and won’t—avoid. A wedding, charity dinner or office party is equally likely to knock you off Drink Your Carbs. All of these events have one thing in common: they are scheduled well in advance. You have plenty of notice. Austerity Mode is the strategy that will help you prepare.
Before you embark on a vacation or attend an event where staying on Drink Your Carbs will be difficult, go into Austerity Mode. The idea is to build up a calorie deficit in advance of the event. That way you can enjoy yourself without guilt or regret. The greater the cheat is likely to be, the more time you need to spend in Austerity Mode. Planning for a blowout Christmas party requires spending a few days in Austerity Mode beforehand. The cruise with the free drinks and 24-hour buffet takes longer. Before embarking on that kind of trip, we would go Austerity Mode for at least three weeks. In exchange we would allow ourselves to enjoy the vacation without beating ourselves up every time we are handed a complimentary cocktail. Deciding how long to prepare for a planned cheat is more of an art than a science. We suggest you err on the side of over-preparing. There is no downside; if you go into Austerity Mode for longer than needed you might lose a little extra weight.
This is not to say that your trip should become a free-for-all. An unrestrained, week long bacchanal might take months of Austerity Mode preparation. Instead, we recommend that you pick your cheats carefully and try to stick to Drink Your Carbs where possible. This way your preparation time in Austerity Mode is limited. The goal should be to find a balance. Don’t let Drink Your Carbs destroy your event or vacation, but also don’t let your vacation become the equivalent of time spent in a veal-fattening pen.
Dietary reset button
You graded yourself on Major Morgan’s Grading Scale and you are failing. Your Drink Your Carbs compliance is below 80 percent. There is no need to panic. This happens to everyone. Austerity Mode can serve as a dietary reset button. We use it this way all the time.
Just like everyone else, we occasionally find ourselves drifting away from our diet. This typically happens when we have family in town or otherwise find ourselves eating out more often than we eat in. At first, we cheat in small ways, snagging a few french fries off an adjacent plate. With each cheat we grow bolder. Eventually, we find ourselves justifying fish and chips, or even sipping on a cocktail sweet enough to qualify as dessert. It’s embarrassing to admit how quickly small cheats snowball into bigger ones. Suddenly we are no longer even close to adhering to Drink Your Carbs.
A week in Austerity Mode offers us a complete dietary reset. We have no idea how exactly this works. Perhaps getting strict for a week makes us appreciate the flexibility of Basic Drink Your Carbs. Either way, this strategy has never failed. By the time our week in Austerity Mode is over, we have fully rededicated ourselves to the Drink Your Carbs lifestyle.
If you are ready to make the leap into Austerity Mode, the Austerity Mode Food List contains everything you need to know to make the transition from Basic to Austerity Mode. There is no question that because Austerity is more restrictive it can be more difficult to maintain. If you can muster the discipline, you’ll be happy with the results.