I should preface this piece by saying that I’m not an avid fan of The Bachelorette. In fact, I had never seen an episode until I heard about Chad and his insane diet. If you’re not familiar with Chad, his diet consists of mostly protein and the occasional sweet potato. As a self-proclaimed carnivore, eating nothing but meat for five days didn’t seem like too bad of decision. I would learn later on how wrong my original assumption was.
After figuring out how much it would cost for 15 protein-powered meals and a tiny bit of coaxing from co-workers, I bit the bullet and decided to eat like Chad for five days. This is how it went.
I woke up earlier than usual on my first day because I had to actually make myself breakfast before heading to work. My first meal of the day consisted of scrambled eggs and a protein shake — classic Chad. I learned several things after this first meal, like I should never be allowed to cook eggs and chocolate protein shakes are like sad, chalky glasses of chocolate milk.
I was pretty energetic by the time I got to work, but my energy started to slowly decline. By noon, I was already ordering lunch. My second meal was essentially a massive mound of roast beef disguised as a sandwich. I learned quickly that the more protein I put into my body, the sleepier I got.
By the time I was leaving work, I already started to feel weighed down. I’m no stranger to protein, but even this was too much for me. Walking to the subway, all I could think about was sleep. Sadly, I still had one meal to go: half a pound of brisket from Delaney BBQ.
By the grace of God, I was able to finish my dinner, but the five-block walk back from the subway station could have killed me. My bed never felt so good. At the end of Day 1, I fell into into a meat coma and passed out feeling weary of what lay ahead.
As I woke up on the morning of Day 2 — I say morning, but it was 1 pm — my body felt like a brick. I somehow managed to pull together the last bit of energy my body possessed and made the same breakfast as Day 1: two rubbery scrambled eggs and a chalky chocolate protein shake. How Chad manages to drink these shakes out of a champagne glass, I’ll never know.
The day progressed, and instead of lifting weights like my co-workers suggested, I stayed in bed binge-watching Orange is The New Black. This was a mistake. My body could not handle all the meat laying around in my stomach, and as I finished my Day 2 sandwich, I started to feel sick. I knew I needed to get out of bed and walk around for a bit.
I’m not proud of my next statement, but please remember I’m only human. By the end of Day 2, I already had one cheat meal, or rather, one cheat drink. Though I stuck with the protein shake/water combo for all my meals, I may have snuck one teeny-tiny iced mocha latte from Dunkin Donuts. Judge all you want, but I’m telling you, that coffee saved my life.
After my coffee, I realized that although my body was not used to digesting that much protein, one of the main reasons my body was upset was due to the lack of caffeine over the past two days. Apparently, giving up coffee for a day and a half when you’re used to drinking around four cups a day makes your body pissed.
I finished off the day with Yakitori, because switching to chicken after days of red meat seemed like a smart move. I went to bed incredibly full, but hopeful that Day 3 would be easier.
Waking up on Day 3, I was actually excited to drink my protein shake to start my morning. I know, who am I? I knew I would be out and about all day, so I doubled down on protein in the morning and ordered a bagel sandwich from Black Seed.
Although my body still continued to feel heavy throughout the day, I didn’t want to crawl into a hole and die like I did on Day 2. I considered this a win. The rest of the day, I continued to stick with chicken and ate about a pound of chicken wings. My body was not happy, but my tongue definitely was.
Despite feeling sluggish, the only thing I could think about was how badly I wanted ice cream. My biggest problem with Chad’s diet is the lack of variety. Meat is great and all, but the idea of sucking down a cold chocolate shake lingered in the back of my head all day. Day 3 down, two more days to go.
Day 4 started out a bit rough. After getting locked out of my room in just a towel, I didn’t have enough time to fix breakfast, so I made up for my lack of protein shake in a big way.
Much to the delight of our office dog, I ordered a turkey leg for lunch, and I was by no means emotionally prepared for the size. While the rest of the office ate their salads and sushi, I chowed down on my lunch without a fork or a knife. This was the most I felt like Chad all week. My meal of choice definitely got stares.
I thought about attempting to eat a raw sweet potato like our dearest Chad, but 1) eating a raw sweet potato is stupid and 2) if I ordered mashed sweet potatoes, I could get my sugar fix with the melted marshmallows. The mashed sweet potatoes won, and so did my stomach.
It seemed wrong to not have a burger during my week of meat, so for dinner I headed to Umami Burger. Despite the massive amount of meat I had already eaten during the day, waiting 40 minutes for a burger at Umami seemed like an eternity. Was my body getting used to all this protein? Maybe. Or am I’m just impatient? Probably. Day 4 was officially finished, and the promise of leafy greens sent me straight to sleep.
I’ll admit it was a little bittersweet sipping on my final protein shake, but I won’t lie and say I’m going to continue to drink them in the morning. They’re expensive, I’m broke, and black coffee is cheap. I knew I needed to go out with a bang, and after yesterday’s turkey leg, it seemed like I wouldn’t be able to top myself. But, boy, was I wrong.
Luckily, my last day of Chad’s diet corresponded with a tasting we had at The Eddy, and what was the featured dish? Amish chicken with the foot still attached. Bingo. Though this foot has scared diners in the past, I took the foot as a good omen. It was as if the foot was reaching out to shake my hand, congratulating me on five days of protein.
As my day wound to an end, it seemed only fitting that I end my protein excursion with literal balls of meat. As I stared down the last meatball on my plate, I almost shed a tear. Despite a few tiny cheat items, I had successfully eaten meat for five days.
Just like Chad failed to win JoJo’s heart, his diet failed to win over my stomach. If you decide to try this diet for yourself, heed my warning that it is not for the faint of heart. The only thing that kept me going was a mixture of journalistic integrity, and rubbing it in my editor’s face — this one’s for you, Spencer.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a salad to eat.