Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 19

I returned yesterday from my business trip in Boise and am finally getting the chance to do an update. The trip went well and keeping on plan was actually much easier than anticipated.

On Sunday, I had three cheeseburger patties before I left so was fine until dinner that night. The boss took a bunch of us to the Applebee's that was across the street from the hotel. Since he was paying, I didn't want to get anything too expensive (a decent sized steak was over $20), so I ordered one of their 10 oz "Brewtus" bacon sirloin burgers sans bun and fries. I did end up adding some sauteed mushrooms (mushrooms are 2 grams - 1 of those fiber - per cup raw, so it wasn't much). The burger turned out to be very good and was plenty filling.

I was hungry the next morning and had a "meat lovers" omelette at the hotel restaurant. It was a cheese omelette with bacon, sausage and ham. It was good, and very filling, but really salty. That tided me over until dinner, which was good because the lunch provided to us was a taco bar. The last time I had taco/nacho meat, I was severely glutened, so I had no problem not eating anything. Dinner was again paid for by the boss at the steakhouse in the hotel. I had two 8 oz bunless bacon cheeseburgers (a ribeye was over $26 and wasn't very big). I used the gluten excuse to not get fries or a bun and the waiter hounded me through dinner over alternatives ("how about sauteed green beans?"). It also was good but the two burgers was really too much.

On Tuesday, I wasn't hungry for breakfast so slept in a little. I had planned on pemmican for lunch while the others ate but it sounded like I needed to be there. Fortunately, they were having sandwiches, so I got some cheese, ham and turkey before it had been contaminated by gluten. It wasn't much , so I had some pemmican when I got back to my room and was still hungry for dinner. The boss again took some of us to Applebee's. There was only four of us this time, so I got a little grief about my bunless and potato-less Brewtus burger (especially after I put butter and mustard on it - very tasty by the way).

I wasn't hungry the next morning but I knew we would be in an important meeting all morning and didn't want my stomach to start growling. I had to go off menu to order three eggs and a side of bacon because all of the rest of the stuff was carbed out with potatoes and toast and I didn't see any reason to pay for that stuff. I didn't want an omelette since I wasn't very hungry so it was just enough, especially after they accidentally doubled my side order of bacon.

After the meeting, we took off in my coworker's Cessna and flew home. We had to fly around some weather and the trip ended up taking four hours instead of the expected two and a half. We got back about 2 PM our time (after losing an hour) and I was getting pretty hungry by then. I had some of my pemmican and two colby jack cheese sticks. Dinner was a T-Bone and a piece of cheese.

With all of the cheese and bacon I have had over the last few days, I have been getting way more salt than I usually do. I was feeling a little bloated, so I thought I would be up a pound or two this morning due to water retention. Instead I was at 189.0 pounds. This is down .8 pounds since Saturday, for a total loss of 10.8 pounds. I think I may still lose a little more once the salt flushes out of my system.

All in all, it was very easy to stay on plan despite eating exclusively in restaurants for almost four days. The best part was not getting glutened and losing almost a pound is a bonus, too. Still, the food was way saltier than I am now used to and I am definitely looking forward to some home cooking

I have been dragging around all day today because today is the day I give up diet soda. I have had tea, so I am not cutting out all caffeine. It is still a lot less than I was having. I am mostly trying to avoid the insulin spike driven by the sweet taste of the diet pop. I was originally going to ween down but I took today off and have a four day weekend. I thought it best to just get it over with. I am dragging but don't have much of a headache - yet.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day 14

I managed to give myself another low blood sugar episode yesterday. I wasn't hungry when I got up so I poured myself some Diet Pepsi and sat down at the computer to read. Over the next couple of hours, while reading on the computer, I managed to put away almost a two liter without thinking about it. I did eat a taco meat omelette after that but was already feeling a little shaky. I didn't feel better until mid-afternoon. As soon as I get back from my business trip, the pop goes. In the meantime, I just have to keep it to smaller amounts to avoid the big insulin response.

About 3 PM, I was still fighting the low blood sugar and had four pork rinds (ingredients: pork and salt) and a piece of cheese. That helped and tided me over until dinner at 7. I had a cheeseburger patty and two piglets.

I inadvertently ended up with a lot of salt yesterday between the taco meat, pork rinds and piglets. I was very thirsty all day, which is partly why I over did it on the pop. I switched to water in the afternoon and felt like I couldn't get enough the rest of the evening. I figured I would be sloshing around this morning and would be up several pounds but I was actually down .4 pounds, to 189.6. That makes it an even ten pounds in the two weeks that I have been eating this way. I only lost .8 pounds during the last week but my measurements show I have lost inches

I also compared my measurements to when I had dieted down to 188.4 pounds last fall through calorie restriction and higher carb. Even though my weight is still more than a pound higher, I am quite a bit smaller. That tells me that I am losing more fat and putting on a bit of lean tissue.

I have a bit of a challenge over the next four days. I leave tomorrow to do several days of meetings with my employer. They will be providing some of the meals, which, of course, I won't be able to eat because of the gluten. My plan is to get a big omelette for breakfast and then eat the pemmican that I am taking when I get hungry after that. I think I will be okay that way.

I'll update more when I get back Thursday.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 13

Meals were pretty simple yesterday - three piglets and a beef spare rib around 11 AM and three cheeseburger patties at dinner (about 6:30). Dinner was right on the edge of being enough but I didn't quite feel like having more. I got up to use the bathroom at 3:30 and was almost hungry (but didn't eat) and was still on the edge of hunger this morning, though it faded before I ate anything.

Since I did the Weigh Down way of eating for so long, I am no stranger to hunger signals and waiting to eat until I got them. It has been different on zero carb, though. I don't always get a full blown hunger signal like before. I suppose that if my insulin levels are coming down, I have more fatty acids available from my own fat stores, so the hunger signal isn't as strong as when the insulin levels are high and internally starving the cells.

It is something I am adjusting to. I have read that it is important to get enough food in. I am not intentionally cutting back on my food; I am just not that hungry. There have been times that I didn't get the stomach growl but ate because I felt weak. I think that is okay and is just a different hunger signal. It is an adjustment that should become clearer and easier as I go along.

Another thing that is interesting to me is that I am losing my cravings for other food. I dished up a little ice cream for the boys last night and wasn't tempted at all to lick the spoon or taste any of it, unlike last time. This lifestyle gets easier all the time.

I am down .4 pounds, to 190.0 - my lowest so far. That is a total loss of 9.6 pounds.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 12

I was super busy at work yesterday and barely had time to eat. I got hungry fairly early but didn't have time to stop to eat until about 1:30 PM. I had a beef short rib and three piglets.

I went to Spokane right after work for my son's track meet and then did some running around after that in Spokane, so I had a pretty late dinner. I had a plain, bunless triple cheeseburger at Wendy's. It was good but tasted really salty to me.

It also really irks me that you can't just buy a burger patty at a fast food restaurant. Paying for a full burger, at full price, and then only getting half of what you paid for (no bun, no lettuce, no condiments) rankles. When I worked fast food as a teenager, we could sell a plain burger patty at a reduced price (people in the drive-thru would buy them for their dogs) but apparently no one does that anymore. If I had been hungrier, I probably would have gone to the Golden Corral, where I could have loaded up on plain meat.

I have really noticed this week that I am losing my cravings for non-meat foods. G was eating fries with his burger last night and I had no desire to "snitch" any of them (I did have a fleeting desire for a Frosty but it didn't last long). I feel that I am starting to adapt pretty well to this lifestyle.

One other thing I noticed last night is that K's skin is really nice. It is very smooth and soft, especially on her legs. It seriously felt like she had just put lotion on (she hadn't). Another nice benefit of this lifestyle for her. I haven't noticed the same for me, though. The back of my arms are really dry right now for some reason.

My weight was up .4 pounds,to 190.8, possibly because of the late salty dinner. My weight has been bouncing all over this week but I am not concerned. The odd thing is that I feel thinner, even with the higher weight. My newer pants in the smaller size fit better now than they did last week near the same weight. I think there must be some body recomposition going on, so I am just riding it out and seeing where it goes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 11

I was getting hungry when I got to work yesterday about 5 AM so I had a couple of mugs of tea with cream. That lasted until around 11, at which time I had pemmican and two cheeseburger patties.

On the way home, I stopped at the store and found that they had a bunch of packs of short ribs on markdown. I bought three packs and grilled up one pack at dinner time. K had also made Parmesan chicken. I had two pieces of chicken and two smaller ribs. I also had a piece of cheese after that because I was worried that I hadn't had enough fat because of the chicken breasts. This was dumb because we still had leftover piglets, which are plenty fat. I also think I should have bought more ribs as my oldest son, G, inhaled the two biggest ribs. They were definitely a hit.

It is amazing how hard it is to get decent fatty meat. Even the ribs, which should be really fatty, were trimmed of almost all of the fat. The cheaper stuff like chuck steaks and roasts are more gristly than fatty. The low fatters have had way too much influence.

I was down two pounds this morning, back to my low of 190.4. Maybe I can break through that 190 barrier soon. It's funny how it seems certain numbers are hard to get through.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mystery solved.

I asked this morning down at the market about the Diet Mountain Dew problem with their fountain. It turns out that the CO2 had run out so I had nearly straight syrup! It appears that the excessive sweetness triggered a cephalic insulin response (the bit of insulin that a body releases in anticipation of incoming food) and dropped my blood sugar down. Low blood sugar is what it felt like.

It's odd that I don't get the same response with regular Diet Pepsi. I have been drinking it so long that maybe my body is accustomed to that level of sweetness and "knows" that food isn't coming with it. Still, it's a good idea to cut it out totally to keep the insulin as low as possible.

Day 10

I had something strange happen yesterday. About midday, I was really craving a diet pop and decided to walk down to the store to get one. I think a big part of it is that it was one of the rare nice days here and wanted an excuse to get out of the office for awhile.

Anyway, I walked down and bought a Diet Mountain Dew from the fountain. I was sipping it on the way back and kept thinking it tasted different. For one thing, it was way sweeter than normal. I kept wondering if perhaps they had gotten the syrups mixed up and it was regular pop instead of diet. It did seem to still have the aspartame aftertaste.

I got back to the office and went back to work while debating with myself whether I should drink it of not. I started to feel really strange, kind of spacey and lethargic. I had been getting hungry before I left, so I ate, thinking it was low blood sugar. I also tossed out the rest of the Dew. I drank maybe six ounces of it in total.

For the next four hours, I was really sleepy and didn't feel well. I started to feel better by the time I got home but had a really bad headache by then. The headache stayed with me the rest of the evening.

I am thinking one of two things happened. It's possible that it was sugar pop and I reacted badly to the blast of HFCS that I am not used to anymore (about 22 grams). However, I would have thought that I would have had a burst of energy before crashing. On the other hand, I felt puffy the rest of the day and didn't drop any weight overnight, as if I had a large infusion off carbs.

The other possibility is they got the syrup mix wrong on the diet pop and it was way sweeter than normal. This elicited a cephalic insulin response which flooded my system with insulin and dropped my blood sugar quite a bit. Since I am not eating any carbs, it then took my body a while to bring it back up. The strange thing is that I still drink several diet sodas a day and I don't normally respond like that. I have even tested my blood sugar after drinking a Diet Pepsi while fasting and didn't see any change.

I am not sure which it was but am leaning to the second option. Maybe I reacted to it because it was much sweeter than what I normally drink. Either way, it convinced me that I finally need to stop drinking diet soda. It has been in my plan for a while but I kept finding reasons to put it off. I have a business trip this weekend and don't want to be dealing with withdrawals while on it (I get vicious headaches for several days when I go cold turkey). I am going to stop the pop when I get back.

The meal I mentioned above was my first hunger of the day, about 10:30 AM. I had several bites of pemmican (it has greatly improved in flavor as it has aged) and two cheeseburger patties. I was hungry again when I got home and had a piece of cheese to tide me over to dinner, which was at 7 PM. Dinner was three small pieces of pork loin (with a nice rind of fat, so it wasn't too lean) and four piglets (pork riblets). The piglets were nice and fatty and tasted great.

As mentioned above, there was no change in my weight and I am still at 192.4.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 9 Addendum

I posted earlier this morning and forgot a few things.

The main reason I am adopting this way of eating is for health. I have been tracking the weight loss, too, but that really isn't my main focus. Heart disease and diabetes runs in my family so I am trying to be proactive and stop any further damage being added to what I may have already done.

I took my fasting blood sugar yesterday morning. When I am eating carbs, it tends to hover around 100. When I am eating to hunger and keeping the carbs to around 150 g a day, it stays around 90. After a week of near zero carb, it was 84. I also haven't felt any low blood sugar episodes since starting this so it seems like it is staying at a stable value.

I do think I was fighting some bug over the weekend. Two different evenings, I would feel feverish and just plain feel terrible. I hit it with some extra Vitamin D and felt a lot better yesterday and even better today. My energy levels are back up (I was absolutely dragging Saturday). My nose was kind of drippy all weekend but am clear today. Hopefully I zapped the bugs.

K is doing much better, too. She is acting more like her old self and has more energy. She did add in a little vegetation, like broccoli and lettuce, but was starting to feel better even before that. K's fasting blood sugar was 86, which is really good for her as it has been in the low 100's in the past which is creeping into the danger levels. She has also lost about three pounds. She really isn't doing it for weight loss but more for body recomposition (more muscle/less fat). Her stomach has already tightened up quite a bit, with the loose skin that comes from whelpin' less noticable.

Day 9

I got busy yesterday and didn't get a chance to update.

I got busy with some projects yesterday and didn't get a chance to eat until about 2 PM, even though I first got hungry about noon. I had some eggs and sausage with cheese. Dinner was around 6:30 and was "tacos". Taco meat, cheese, sour cream and a little guacamole.

I knew it would be a little carbier than normal, because of the sour cream and guac. It turns out that the taco mix is fairly carby too. I had thought that I was only at about 10 grams for the day but now think it was closer to 20.

I was up 2.4 pounds this morning, to 192.6. More than likely, most of that is partly from eating two large meals late in the day and by water retention caused by the excess carbs. If I keep plugging along, most of it should drop back off soon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

First week

I am probably not going to do weekly updates, since I have been keeping a running total for any weight loss. However, as mentioned already, I am down 9.4 pounds the first week, which I thought was striking as it was a loss of 4.7% of my starting weight. Sure, it is mostly water but I have dropped a pants size and feel lighter and my stomach feels flatter.

I have made side by side comparison pictures from last week to this week and feel you can see some difference.

Day 7

I woke up hungry yesterday and fixed eggs and sausage sprinkled with cheese. This tided me over until late afternoon. Since it was getting close to dinner, I just had a couple of hard boiled eggs (we are still trying to eat up the Easter eggs) mixed with a little sour cream and mustard. Measured out, it was about 3 carbs.

For dinner, I grilled up some beef short ribs that I had marinated in a fish sauce/lemongrass mixture. I accidentally cooked them perfectly and they were out of this world.

I was down .8 pounds this morning, to 190.4. I weighed much later than usual but it was about the same time that I weighed a week ago when I got my starting stats. During the last week, I have lost a total 9.4 pounds. I was hoping for an additional .6 pounds to make it an even ten, but I am very satisfied with this.

One thing about this lifestyle that I am still struggling with is making sure that there is adequate meat available when I get hungry. With two teen-agers in the house, it is difficult to keep leftovers around. I have been falling into a pattern of eggs and dairy because they stay well in the fridge for long periods of time and are convenient. If I am hungry now, I don't want to have to wait for burger patties or steaks to thaw. It makes it easier to start eyeing the nuts and other stuff in the house.

On a positive note, K is starting to feel better. She still isn't hungry very often and is still struggling with not liking plain meat that well, which was the reason for the marinade yesterday, but she is beginning to get through this.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 6

I felt pretty good all day until the evening. Then it was like someone flipped a switch. About 6 PM, I suddenly didn't feel well and kind of felt like I was running a fever. The rest of the evening, I would alternate between chills and being too hot. I was really worried that I was coming down with something. However, I don't feel bad this morning.

While not feeling well, I was struggling with some carb cravings for the first time this week. I didn't succumb and even stayed out of the ice cream while dishing some up for the boys. That was tough. A little voice in the back of my mind kept whispering that a spoonful would only be a couple of carbs. Grrrr....

I think K is doing better energy-wise. However, she still is saying nothing sounds good and she rarely finishes what she eats. I'm thinking that she is going to have to add in a few low carb veggies and nuts just for variety. She is still sticking it out, though. I noticed this morning that, even though she didn't need to lose weight, she is really starting to tighten up.

I got hungry really early, about 7:30 AM. I hadn't brought much for lunch so had several bites of pemmican. The flavor is starting to improve as it ages. However, I still had a couple of cups of tea with cream to get rid of the taste.

I got hungry again about 10:30 and had a couple of cheeseburger patties and a couple more bites of pemmican. This tided me over until dinner when I had a T-bone and a piece of cheddar. The T-bone was from Wal-Mart and really wasn't very good. I have noticed that my taste is changing and I am starting to notice the quality of the meat.

I weighed a couple hours later than normal and was down 1.2 pounds, to 191.2. That is a total loss of 8.6 pounds this week.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 5

I felt a lot better yesterday. My energy level is coming up and the queasiness I was feeling after eating is subsiding. I am actually feeling pretty confident about continuing to eat this way. Unfortunately, K is still not adapted. Hopefully it will happen soon.

I got the bikes out of storage last night and got them cleaned up. I went out and rode around a little and felt good doing it. I was surprised that it was as easy as it was. Maybe it was all the walking I did recently in Las Vegas but I didn't feel terribly out of shape.

Yesterday, I first got hungry about 8:30 AM, which is earlier than usual. The first thing I did was try a couple of bites of the pemmican we made over the weekend. Unfortunately it appears that we either scorched the tallow when we rendered it or burnt one of the cracklins because it had a burnt taste to it. It wasn't very good, especially at first. As I chewed it, the meat flavor came out and it was a lot better. I think I am going to order some tallow from US Wellness Meats and try again. I am counting on pemmican to be my travel meals.

After the pemmican, I had two cheeseburger patties. Apparently even two bites of pemmican is filling because I filled up really fast on the burgers and didn't get hungry again until about 5 PM. I drank a cup of tea with a splash of cream right after the burgers and could barely get it down because I was so full.

I was a bit worried about dinner. We had a lot of left over ham and K wanted to make ham skillet. You take the ham, dice it up and brown it in butter with some onion. You then add mushroms and cook on low until the mushrooms are cooked. You then make a sauce with sour cream and more butter. It is very low carb (unless you put it over rice, like we used to do) but not zero carb, since the sour cream, ham, mushrooms and onions all have carbs.

I had a healthy scoop but it tasted really sweet to me. I ended up having another cheeseburger patty to top myself off instead of more ham skillet.

I was worried that the carbs and salt from the ham would bloat me up this morning but I was down another pound, to 192.4. That is a total loss of 7.4 pounds this week. That puts me at a lower weight than I got to a month ago when I went meat only for a week.

The difference between now and then is striking. I was struggling pretty bad then. Part of the problem was impending birthdays and vacations, so I couldn't get into it from the mindset of being in it for the long haul. However, I also was eating a lot of pork and I just don't think I was getting enough fat. I have had the ham this time but I have also been doing a lot of beef. I know that most zero carbers don't do dairy but I think the cream in my tea and the slice of cheddar now and then have really helped keep my hunger in check and to help me get enough fat that I'm not craving stuff in between meals. I think that is a bit of K's problem this time. She hasn't wanted to eat and doesn't eat a lot of fat so it has set up cravings and has delayed getting adapted to this way of eating.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 4

I am starting to feel better and get more energy. I am also having no issues with cravings now and feel like I can do this for a long time. K is still dragging and craving carbs. I hope she gets through it soon or she'll probably give it up.

I was super hungry yesterday for some reason. I still only ate twice but I ate a lot each time.

The first time was about 11 AM. I actually got hungry earlier than that but was too busy at work to make anything. I had the rest of my chuck-eye steak, three hard boiled eggs smashed up and mixed with mustard and three sausage patties (made from just pork, salt and spices, so zero carb).

For dinner, I grilled up a bunch of burgers. I had three burgers with cheese and two hot dogs. The hot dogs each had two carbs so weren't ZC but my total for the day was only five or six grams, so I'm fine with that.

I was down 1.4 pounds this morning to 193.4 lbs. That's a total loss of 6.4 lbs this week.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 3

I was really dragging again yesterday. I just had no energy but thankfully none of the other problems with induction flu. I started to feel a little better last night but it is too early to know if I've busted through yet. One problem I had during the week where I ate this way a month ago was that I had trouble sleeping and it has cropped back up. I actually have no trouble falling asleep, which is unusual for me, but I also wake up several times a night and have trouble falling back asleep. I have always had a problem with the waking up during the night thing but usually drop right back to sleep. Hopefully this passes soon too.

K is feeling like death warmed over. We may have to bump her carbs up a bit or she probably won't stick with this. Since she isn't insulin resistant (that we can tell) or overweight, she should be okay with 50 grams or so a day. That is still pretty low, just not zero carb.

I took the leftover chuck-eye steak for lunch yesterday but didn't get hungry until about 11 AM, probably because I had several cups of tea with a little heavy cream earlier. I could only eat about half of the steak before getting a little queasy. I took that as being full.

I was hungry for dinner, which was scrambled eggs with ham and cheese. K wasn't very hungry, so I finished her eggs and probably had about five eggs total, with ham mixed in and a little shredded cheese sprinkled on top. I still wasn't full after that and had a slice of cheese because it was the only thing convenient.

One thing about this way of eating is that it is critical to have meat handy. You can't just throw back a handful of nuts or eat an orange or something if you are still hungry after a meal. This part of what we are doing is still a work in progress. I am hoping that the pemmican we have been making turns out as that would be a handy way to fill out a meal or to have something on hand while traveling.

I was down .6 pounds this morning, to 194.8, for a total loss of 4.8 pounds.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 2

I had felt yesterday that I might be heading into the induction flu period, but it never fully materialized. I had a low grade headache all day and was feeling rather beat all afternoon. I also had that dry mouth that always seems to come when first going into ketosis. It never went into feeling full blown terrible, though.

I got hungry fairly early and had a rib-eye. I next got hungry around 3:30 but I decided to "save" that one until dinner.

Since it was Easter, I decided to allow myself a little latitude and had ham, deviled eggs and half of a dill pickle. The pickle had no added sugar and was essentially zero carbs if you don't count fiber and 1 gram if you do. The ham had a little sugar from the curing process. K makes deviled eggs heavy on the mustard and very light on the mayo but there was a slight amount of sugar in the mayo plus the carbs in the eggs. I estimate that I had about 10 - 15 grams, which is more than I want but still very low. It was a very enjoyable dinner.

I expected a big bounce back up after the big water whoosh yesterday. Between the salt from the ham and the carbs, I thought that I would probably temporarily regain some of that water. However, I was only up .4 pounds, to 195.4. I also weighed at 4:30 AM. Yesterday, I weighed at around 9:30 AM, so it's possible that over a 24 hour period, it's actually a wash. We have a lot of ham left, so I will be working on that some this week which will probably slow things down due to the carbs and the salt.

I did want to make a comment about the purpose of this blog. I am writing this to primarily share my experiences. I am also posting things that I think are cool or strike me the right way. However, I am not trying to rigorously prove anything or debate lifestyle choices and am not going to hunt up studies to back up everything that I post. A really good blog for that can be found is the Zeroing In On Health blog. Charles, the author, does a nice job of thoroughly writing about various health issues and referencing the studies to back it up.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 1

First day was uneventful. I didn't get hungry until about 2 PM at which point I had a chuck-eye steak. The chuck-eye is an interesting cut. I wasn't even aware of it until recently. I had ignored "chuck steaks" because they are generally gristly and tough. However, the chuck-eye is a different cut and is kind of a poor man's ribeye. The fat is a little different but it is definitely a tasty cut and much cheaper than rib-eyes.

The store here is having a sale on rib-eye roasts for $3.98/pound. We bought two huge roasts and had the meat department slice them 1/2" thick. Dinner was supposed to be one of the ribeye's but I wasn't real hungry by then. However, my son J didn't want very much of his so I had the other half.

Something strange happened after that, though. Even though I hadn't been very hungry, the half of the steak wasn't enough to satisfy me. I felt a bit of gnawing in my stomach so ended up slicing off a bit of cheddar cheese. I hadn't intended on eating a lot of dairy but it did the trick.

Whatever I did worked though, because I was down 4.6 pounds this morning, from 199.6 to 195.0. I had mentioned yesterday that I was bloated from gluten and carbs, so it isn't surprising to see a big bunch of water gone but I wasn't expecting that much. If the weight holds up, it puts me in the middle of my week of meat only in mid-March and means I didn't gain anything but water over vacation.

I think induction flu is starting to kick in as I am starting to get a headache. Hopefully it only lasts a day like last time. Also, K is a bit dejected that she picked Easter as the day to start. She was looking rather longingly at the Easter candy as she filled the boys' Easter baskets this morning (bad of us, I know, but it is rationed and tends to last a long time).

I took her beginning stats and pictures this morning but she won't let me post them. For her, this is about health anyway, so they are really just for posterity. It is very possible to be thin and still insulin resistant. Her blood sugar tends to be a little high, which isn't a good thing and can eventually lead to heart disease and cancer (particularly breast cancer, which runs in her family), so it is important for her to get that under control.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Here are my beginning stats and my pictures. I'll be updating them when needed.


Weight199.6 lbs
Stomach In37"
Stomach Out40.75"
Right Bicep13.1"
Right Thigh19.5"

I measure in cm and then use the spreadsheet that I track the numbers with to convert to inches.

My beginning pics are here:

"Flexed", to show the lack of proper muscle tone:

I am not sure how "real" those numbers are. I am still bloated from the gluten exposure I got a week ago and I think I am still holding a lot of water from the carbs I ate on vacation. It should help lead to some impressive initial weight loss (hopefully).

K is still going to do this with me but is starting tomorrow. She had some goodies that she wanted to finish but fell asleep last night before she could get to them.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I haven't posted in a while because I have been floundering around. I successfully maintained through the holidays and then promptly fell off of the wagon January and February and pretty much regained all of the weight I had lost.

I began having more stomach problems during this time and decided that I needed to focus on health rather than just simply try to lose weight. It seemed that I was having problems with nuts and legumes. I started to study lectins, which are a specific kind of protein found in almost all foods. There are a handful that many people have autoimmune problems with, gluten being one. Since I had a problem with one of them for sure, it made sense that I might have sensitivities to others. I decided to try an elimination diet to try to pinpoint the problem.

The idea is to eat only meat for a period of time, since that is the safest food, lectin-wise. I would do that for a week and then add in one food group - dairy, for example. I would see if it caused any problems and then go back to meat only for another week and try something like eggs.

I tried it for a week in mid-March and felt great that week, after a day of induction flu. I ended up going off of it at the end of the week because of J's birthday, our anniversary and the fact we were going on vacation for a couple of weeks, which would have made it extremely difficult to keep it up.

During the time I was looking into this, I came across the concept of zero carb (ZC) eating. The idea is to keep carbs as close to zero as possible to correct the insulin levels in the body. High insulin traps the fat in your body and can cause a host of problems, including heart disease, Alzheimer's and possibly cancer.

I had always thought that fat on the body was just bags of unused fuel. It turns out that fat actually circulates through the body and is metabolically active. An analogy that I saw on a ZC forum was that fat in the body was like a series of interconnected pools. When you ate something, it was broken down and triglycerides are formed. These circulate through the blood stream and are used as immediate fuel for cells in the body. Any excess is moved into the circulating pools to be used as fuel during fasting periods (times between meals).

In someone with normal insulin levels, triglycerides are drawn back out at the end of the series of pools when the cells need more fuel. However, high insulin levels will put fat in but resist pulling it back out. In effect, it clogs the drain, causing the pools to back up (putting visible fat on the body). Since the drains are clogged, fuel can't get back out and the cells signal that they are starving. This triggers the metabolism to slow down and also triggers hunger to increase, driving the person to want to eat more. If that meal is again high carb, it maintains the vicious cycle of high insulin literally starving the cells while the body carries excess fat.

Since someone with chronically high insulin levels will quickly become insulin resistant, it is often necessary to bring carb intake to a minimum to fix the problem (it is unclear if it can actually ever be cured, but it is possible to bypass the problem with ZC). Going ZC starts unclogging those drains and allowing the fat to be drawn back out as it would be normally.

My dieting pattern has shown an increase in insulin resistance (IR). Weigh Down worked for over four years but because of the carby food I was eating, slowly stopped working and I found it increasingly difficult to stop eating when full. Next, a low carb version of Weigh Down worked really well but failed quicker because my carbs were apparently still too high. Then my attempt last year at low carb Weigh Down combined with intermittent fasting failed even quicker.

So now my attempt at fixing this and stopping the yo-yoing is to do near ZC. I am going to do this for at least 90 days and see how it goes. I plan on eating mainly meat with a small amount of eggs and dairy. I found that dairy was a good way to overeat so it will mostly be limited to butter and a small amount of heavy cream in my tea. Since even sweet tastes can trigger an insulin response, I will wean off of my Diet Pepsi habit and keep Splenda to a minimum.

Most ZC-ers don't take supplements but I am going to continue mine for now. They have been keeping me healthy for several years (no colds or flus in that time). I will also eat two or three Brazil nuts every day. One nut only contains one tenth of a gram of usable carbs, so a couple of them are still very low. Brazil nuts are an extremely good source of selenium, which is severely lacking in our food supply. I just feel like it is important to get it and it keeps my immune system humming.

This all starts tomorrow. My wife, K, is planning on doing it with me, though she will probably be closer to induction levels of 20 grams or less, with the addition of some low carb veggies. She is doing it more to improve her health than to lose weight (she doesn't need to lose anything).

We will eat meals only when physically hungry and eat as much as we want at that point. I won't try to restrict how much I am eating and will leave it up to what my body tells me.

I'll get starting weight and measurements tomorrow. After that, I plan on posting my menus and thoughts on the process.