The Dude Diet: The Yo-Yo Effect
The dude is out of control.
It pains me to admit this, but Logan seems to have lost his way in the past couple of weeks, and The Dude Diet is in a dark place. You are all familiar with Logan’s propensity to go off the wagon, but his eating habits recently have been particularly upsetting. Between an unsupervised spring break and an incredibly disconcerting feeding frenzy last weekend, Logan has definitely been “getting loose.”
I began to realize the extent of Logan’s deviation from the Dude Diet last Friday evening when he took me to a very fancy birthday dinner. Logan “celebrated me” with a giant steak and French fries, after which he ate my birthday dessert. He then spent Saturday afternoon drinking beers and eating God knows what while watching the NCAA (that’s football, right?) before getting weird at a wedding that night.
Logan made quite a splash at the reception, which appeared to be catered specifically to his outlandish food fantasies. His finger food consumption and shameless attack on the barbecue-themed buffet was truly unparalleled. I had held out hope that Logan might moderate his food intake since there were so many guests asking about The Dude Diet and his progress. No dice. Despite the number of people counting his cocktail napkins, observing him chase waiters, and instagramming pictures of his heaping dinner plate, Logan remained unfazed. The dude just loosened his cumberbund and went about his bingeing without a care in the world.
Needless to say, No-Calorie Sunday was a hungover blur of Dominos, cheese steaks, and leftover birthday cake, and by Monday, the success of the Dude Diet felt like a distant memory. Oddly, Logan didn’t even seem to notice the changes in his wonderland body. This is exactly what I feared. Ever since his post-wager weigh in at a slender 189 pounds, Logan has been operating under the illusion that he is “the skinniest dude alive.” As I have explained to him multiple times, he will not stay “skinny” (I use that term loosely), if he continues to crush food like a competitive eater.
Clearly, Logan has yet to come to grips with the idea of a maintenance plan, and my suspicions have been confirmed…Logan is a yo-yo dieter. He is capable of committing to short term diet goals (i.e. February, 2013), but he will often regain weight quickly after said goals are achieved. He now knows that he can lose a large amount of weight in a short period of time, so he doesn’t seem to worry about packing the pounds back on since he can always “lose them again.” This is ridiculous. I explained to Logan that yoyo dieting is unhealthy and unattractive, and if he wants to avoid becoming the Mariah Carey of the male diet industry, he better get his ass in gear.
Unfortunately, Logan is not alone in his yoyo dieting, as I know plenty of guys whose beer bellies fluctuate on a regular basis. However, this weight cycling is bad for your metabolism and your image, dudes. I know it’s tough, but you need to try a little harder to maintain the outline of that six-pack. As usual, I’ve got a plan.
First, I want you to institute a weekly weigh-in. I’m almost positive that Logan hasn’t stepped on a scale since March 1, and I’m guessing it won’t be pretty when he does. I’m not asking you to become obsessed with numbers on a scale, I just want you to be aware of those sneaky “fun pounds” creeping up on you. Knowledge is power. For the record, you should not be gaining or losing over 5 pounds a week. If you are fluctuating more than that, you are either bingeing or crash-dieting, so please stop. Thanks.
I would also like to remind you of The Dude Diet’s commitment to moderation. You are going to get sidetracked. This is a given. Just make sure that one cheeseburger doesn’t segue into a week of Mudslides and chimichangas. Capiche? If you feel the need to go batshit crazy, limit yourself to one day a week (i.e. No-Calorie Sunday). If you’re feeling heavy or you’ve had a rough week on the food front, try a Dude Diet mini-cleanse. Nothing crazy, just a couple days of eating only lean protein, fruits and vegetables until you get yourself back on the straight and narrow. I decided to help Logan do just that with Chipotle Pork Tenderloin and Mango-Avocado Salsa:
First of all, I need everyone to get on board with the awesomeness that is pork tenderloin. It’s an incredibly tender cut of meat that can be marinated in pretty much anything you like, and it lends itself well to most cooking methods (pan-frying, roasting, grilling, etc.). More importantly, pork tenderloin is low in calories and fat, which makes it the Holy Grail of Dude Diet meats. This chipotle version is one you’ll want to eat on the reg, and you should. It is incredibly simple to make, and it comes out of the oven juicy and perfectly glazed in its kickass marinade.
I am proud to say that this chipotle marinade, which was inspired by the Dude himself, is some next level shit. Logan is obsessed with chipotles (both the peppers and the burrito purveyor), and he was pumped when he saw a can of them on the counter yesterday. This was probably because he thought I was going to make some sort of “money tacos,” but I’ve gotten used to his misguided assumptions surrounding food, so I let it go. With that said, you should all share Logan’s excitement about chipotles in adobo. They have an amazing smoky heat which is lightly tempered by the honey and citrus juices in this recipe. The marinade is the ideal combination of spicy, tangy, and sweet, and it’s also great on pretty much any type of beef, chicken, or fish. You know I’m all about versatility.
But wait…there’s more! Mango-avocado salsa is the perfect complement to this chipotle pork tenderloin. The mango is sweet, yet tart, and the salsa has a slightly creamy texture from the avocado.
Initially, Logan was not thrilled about the idea of mango salsa. I believe his exact words were, “No thanks. Mangos taste like throw-up.” I asked if he was talking about papayas. He wasn’t sure. I described a papaya. Yes, he was talking about papaya. Problem solved. As it turns out, Logan actually loves mangos, and he was a big fan of this fruity salsa, which he described as “light and refreshing.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
If you are like Logan, who gets nervous when there is not some sort of obvious carbohydrate on his plate, feel free to serve your tenderloin with some cilantro lime brown rice, quinoa, or sweet potato puree to round out the meal without rounding out your waistline. If you have leftovers, throw them over mixed greens or in a whole-wheat pita with some Sriracha and crunchy Romaine for lunch. Let’s get back on track, dudes. Beach season is almost upon you.
Chipotle Pork Tenderloin with Mango-Avocado Salsa: (Serves 2-3, depending on hunger levels)
2 chipotles canned in adobo, minced
1 teaspoon adobo sauce from the chipotle can
2 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the Mango-Avocado Salsa:
1 mango, diced small
1 avocado, diced small
1/3 cup minced red onion (about half a small red onion)
Juice of 1 large lime
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Preparing your Chipotle Pork Tenderloin with Mango-Avocado Salsa:
-In a small bowl whisk the chipotles, adobo sauce, garlic, orange and lime juices, soy sauce and honey.
-Place the pork tenderloin in a large Ziploc bag and pour in half the marinade. (Set the remaining marinade aside.) Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and gently squish the meat around so that all sides are coated in marinade. Let the pork marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.-Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
-Meanwhile, whip up the Mango-Avocado Salsa. In a medium mixing bowl, gently combine all the ingredients for the salsa. (I recommend using a fork for this, dudes. Try not to mash the avocado!) Season with salt to taste. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
-Remove the pork from the Ziploc and pat the meat dry with paper towels. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the tenderloin to the skillet and brown the meat lightly on all sides. (This should take 5-6 minutes.)
-Carefully transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and pour the reserved marinade over the pork.
-Return the skillet to the oven and cook for 10 minutes more or until the meat registers 148-150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (That’s 20 minutes total, dudes.) Spoon some of the thickened pan juices over the meat.
-Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Spoon the pan juices into a small bowl.
-To serve, slice the tenderloin crosswise into roughly ½-inch pieces. Serve the pork alongside mango-avocado salsa. Drizzle the meat with the pan juices if you like.
- 2 chipotles canned in adobo minced
- 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from the chipotle can
- 2 garlic cloves grated or finely minced
- ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 pound pork tenderloin trimmed of excess fat
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the Mango-Avocado Salsa:
- 1 mango diced small
- 1 avocado diced small
- 1/3 cup minced red onion about half a small red onion
- Juice of 1 large lime
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- In a small bowl whisk the chipotles, adobo sauce, garlic, orange and lime juices, soy sauce and honey.
- Place the pork tenderloin in a large Ziploc bag and pour in half the marinade. (Set the remaining marinade aside.) Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and gently squish the meat around so that all sides are coated in marinade. Let the pork marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whip up the Mango-Avocado Salsa. In a medium mixing bowl, gently combine all the ingredients for the salsa. (I recommend using a fork for this, dudes. Try not to mash the avocado!) Season with salt to taste. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the pork from the Ziploc and pat the meat dry with paper towels. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the tenderloin to the skillet and brown the meat on all sides. (This should take 5-6 minutes.)
- Carefully transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and spoon the reserved marinade over the pork. Return the skillet to the oven and cook for 10 minutes more or until the meat registers 148-150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (That’s 20 minutes total, dudes.)
- Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Spoon the pan juices/thickened marinade from the pan into a small bowl.
- To serve, slice the tenderloin crosswise into roughly ½-inch pieces. Serve alongside mango-avocado salsa. Drizzle with the pan juices if you like.
*Photos updated 6/13/16. I felt this golden oldie deserved some glamour shots worthy of its deliciousness.
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