New Progress Pictures

I have posted some new progress pictures in my progress journal. You may check them out here.  I have never given up on trying to lose weight and better my health. I have had to stop and rethink a few things.

The Ketogenic diet is a good one, but, I find that sometimes it is hard to stick with it. Sometimes, I simply crave carbohydrates and lots of them. We as a spieces are addicted to carbs and sugar. It’s simply a fact.

Since discovering intermittent fasting though, things have gotten a little easier. Fasting for me is something that I can physically be doing to contribute to weight-loss. When I’m feeling hunger, which is not very often, I feel like I’m contributing to the fat burning process in my body; and it is fat burning, not muscle. Just ask Doctor Jason Fung.

I am in the process of reading two books by Dr. Fung; The Obesity Code, and, The Diabetes Code. There is a lot of science in these books, but, not so much that its a hard read. You owe it to yourself to check out both of these.

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34 Pounds

My last report was on August 1. It is now August 17. I have lost another 4 pounds. I’m still doing intermittent fasting, and it is still fairly easy to do. I am feeling better all the time. I have had no drops in energy. And the weight keeps coming off, and I suspect and hope that everything else about my health is improving as well.

I have adjusted my fast from 20 hours to only 18 hours, leaving myself a six-hour window for consuming nutrition. This seems to work better for me. I have fewer issues with hunger.

I am starting to notice that my face looks a bit slimmer. My legs are becoming pretty skinny. I think my waistline has decreased, but since it was so large in the first place, I can’t really tell. I can tell you that all of my clothes are fitting me much more loosely. Makes me wish that I had not gotten rid of my smaller clothes a few months ago.

I do still struggling to eat the right stuff. Every now and then I screw up and carb-load like a marathon runner. Or my sweet tooth overcomes me and I become a dessert monster. Other than that I am mostly in control. Perhaps one day I will learn to eat right all the time.

Oh, why no pictures? Because I don’t want to. Maybe when I reach my goal weight. But for now…

Macronutrients of the day

I went over on my carbs today, or tonight rather. I went to a big band jazz concert. There was an intermission they had cookies. I had three. I was actually surprised that I didn’t go over my sugar limit.

It will be better tomorrow. The goal is to reach ketosis so the body which is a sign that the body is burning fat for fuel. Ketones are a byproduct of that process and can also be a source of energy for the body and brain. The amount of carb intake has to be low for this to happen.

So, I lost out to my addiction again.

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Progress Report

July 30, 2017, Progress Report

I am holding steady at 245 lbs. I guess the good news is that I am not gaining weight. However, my goal weight of 170 lbs. is another 75 lbs. away. I have been holding at this weight since just after Christmas. The holidays brought delicious foods and treats that would break my progress. I thought I’d be able to get right back to my new eating habit, but it has been more difficult than I anticipated.

What has been happening is a consumption of too many carbs and sugary foods. This is a hold over from the holidays. After all, what do most Christmas treats consist of? Lots and lots of carbs and sugar. And carbs taste so good. I LOVE CARBS! And sugar. But they don’t seem to be my friends. They like to hang around too long mucking things up.

Well, I’m not upset about it. It doesn’t do any good to get upset anyway. I am determined, however, to reach my goal weight at some point. When that will be? I don’t know. I guess sometimes making such a huge change in life takes a while. I can be patient. The fact that I  have not regained the initial 22 pounds lost is somewhat encouraging. I just need to continue on.

I still like the ketogenic diet. It allows me to eat many of my favorite foods. It’s easy enough. The only time I have to use discipline is when my cravings for high carb sugary foods hits. But even then there are many low-carb, low to no sugar, high-fat keto-friendly treats I can make. Again, discipline. These are things I have to prepare, and, the more ahead of time the better.

And that is the key, isn’t it? Being prepared. I know how to be prepared but I am, and always have been a procrastinator. When that urge and craving for high carb sugary foods hits there must be something available at that moment that is in accordance with my desired eating style or I’m doomed. If what I need is not available I will most likely go to the store down the street to fulfill my desire for foods that do me more harm than good.

So, I am not finished yet. I have a long way to go. One of these years I will reach my goal. The reason I say one of these years is that I believe a year is enough time to lose 75 lbs. or less without endangering my health. Hopefully, within the year I won’t regain any weight previously lost.

The Makeover Continues

I am holding pretty steady on my diet. I am not cheating as much as I have been all year. At least that is what I thought. Even though I thought I was not cheating by not eating foods outside my diet most of the time, I think I was consuming too many calories. Still, haven’t gained weight, but I haven’t lost any weight either.

Today I went back to using myfitnesspal to track my meals and macronutrients. And as I suspected I ended up eating way less food. So even though I was eating the right foods I had forgotten what the right amounts of food looked like. It was just too much of everything, especially proteins. And proteins in excess can break down into sugars, raising blood sugar.

I am not on a high protein diet. It’s a high-fat diet. The idea behind the keto-diet is to get the body to use fat for fuel. Giving it too much of anything, whether carbs or proteins can result in higher sugar levels in the body, hindering efforts. My goal is to consume 75% fats (the good stuff), 20% proteins, and 5% carbs. This diet works well.

Even though I have not followed my diet very well I still have not gained all the weight I lost last year. I am still 22 pounds under my starting weight. My immediate weight-loss goal is 10 pounds. I think I can do that in 2 months if I can stick to my diet. Right now I’m 245 lbs. I would like to be at 235 lbs. by the end of June. That’s only 5 pounds per month (1.25 pounds per week).

My overall goal weight is 165 pounds. I still believe I can achieve it. I am very excited to still be in this “tltatemakeover.

Keto Adaptation

Keto Adapting

I have spent the last several weeks, maybe over a month, eating all the wrong stuff. One day all I ate was cereal; high in sugar and carbs. It started with that stupid storm (Matthew); survival foods for when the power went out. It is very hard to get back on track when you get off, even for a short time.

macro_ketoWhen you get on the keto-diet there is a period of adjustment, usually referred to as keto-adapting. It involves keeping your carb intake very low, and your fat intake very high. It is not a high protein diet. High protein can be converted to sugar just like carbs. The macro breakdown is usually 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fat. The fat is what makes this thing work.

It is during the adaptation period that the body gets used to the idea of burning fat for energy. During this period the body is burning off the last bits of sugar or glucose from the blood. When that happens the body has to find another source of energy; fat which is converted to ketones, which is then used as fuel. This will not happen though until all the sugar is gone from the blood.

I have a really hard time during this period. Mainly I’m dealing with false hunger pains. For instance, today after each meal, I would feel hunger with a full stomach. I don’t know why this happens. But once I adapt the very opposite happens. The low amount of carbs at each meal keeps the blood sugar from spiking and therefore, I can go long periods without hunger. That means fewer calories eaten, fat being used for energy, and weight is lost.

So, today is actually my first serious day trying to adapt to keto again. So, I am in for some days of discomfort. I have regained 10 of the 34 lbs. I’d lost. I’m a little disappointed in myself. I will not quit though. I am still very serious about reaching my goal weight of 165-170 lbs. I started at 267 lbs., and currently weigh 243 lbs. So, I have no new pics to post – yet.

Keep it Keto Simple

Recipe: Baked chicken, Miracle Noodle tossed in a few tbsp of the chicken fat from the pan, and lightly seasoned with salt & pepper.

Meals on the ketogenic diet usually are not that complicated. I usually eat some protein with a good concentration of fat. The discovery of Miracle Noodles has allowed me to eat really low carb and get some fiber into my diet as well. They also leave me the room in other meals to eat more nutrient dense foods; usually broccoli or asparagus or spinach or something. And of course, they are great if I happen to get too close to my carb limit in foods I really shouldn’t be eating.

I have probably said it before, but, the easiest thing to do when trying to eat low carb is to stay away from anything that comes out of a box, has been processed, or man made in general. I usually eat with my protein some sort of whole food vegetable; things that steam, like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, or even Brussel sprouts. To get my fat calories in I usually will pour olive oil, coconut oil, or even butter over my veggies.

My macro goal is 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fat. I know it sounds like a lot. But this diet has been around for a very long time as treatment of epilepsy and other conditions. My blood pressure has come down. My blood sugar seems to be normalizing and I’m losing weight. I couldn’t be more satisfied, literally.

Fat satiates hunger like nothing else. The low amount of carbs doesn’t spike blood sugar, allowing me to go longer between meals, AND eat less, which is the real contributor to my weight loss. It’s almost fail proof.

Ending Acid Reflux

In 1993, I was diagnosed with a Hiatal hernia, Gerd, acid reflux. The Navy docs put me on Tagamet and as the years progressed and the condition getting no better, I progressed to using Prilosec and then Nexium, which I have used until very recently.

Sometime last year I started reading the side effects fo medications I was taking. Nexium was one of those medicines. Nexium is supposed to be a temporary fix until your doctor figures out what is causing your problem. However, I have been taking these medications since I was diagnosed. Perhaps not many people experience them (I didn’t), but, there are some pretty significant side effects.

My doctors in the Navy never tried to figure out what was causing my acid reflux (big surprise). They just kept prescribing the medications. And sometimes civilian doctors are no better. I have been out of the Navy for 9 years. I am still prescribed Nexium for acid reflux.

However, since I have been on the ketogenic diet, I have noticed that I am not having issues with reflux like before. In fact, the longer I do the diet, the better it gets. This week I don’t think I have taken the medication at all. But I have been very careful to follow the keto-diet very carefully.

When I deviate from the low-carb, high-fat diet (consuming too many of, and, the wrong kinds of carbs) is when I notice that I have an issue with reflux. One of the reasons I thought I’d give this diet a try is because of Grains, Beans, Nuts, and Seeds, an article I read about how grains really are not that great for humans.

That lead me to the Paleo diet, and then I found the Ketogenic diet. Both of these ways of eating eliminate grains and things made from grains. Of course, like everyone else, I was educated to believe that grains are a source of good nutrition, and good for us. But since eliminating them from my diet, I have felt 100% better.

I have found that it is not the low-carb diet per se that keeps me acid-free, but, specifically the lack of grains and things made from grains that are the key. Now I’m no doctor and not even a nutritionist. However, I am capable of noticing results when I change something in my diet.

The so-called “cheat days” where you get to eat anything you want, always end with me taking Nexium (when I really over do it). My goal is to eliminate as many of the medications I take as possible.

I have figured out the acid reflux thing. Now I am hoping to eliminate blood pressure meds. And very soon I plan to end my meds for cholesterol control. These are not so good for the liver. It is my ultimate goal to be med free.

A Right Frame of Mind

x240-9Zx10 pounds in a week? Yea, that’s a  bunch of bull!

I think to get your health back you have to be in the right frame of mind. I know a lot about nutrition, and I have for many years, but that means nothing if your head is not right.

The Navy was really good about training it’s people in every aspect of our responsibility. In other words, if they expected us to stay in shape, they provided proper taining in that area. They didn’t always get it right, but they made a really good effort.

When it came to nutritional health and exercise they had a decent handle on things. However, as we got older getting  in  shape got harder. In youth, getting in shape was really easy for me and many others in the Navy. Just change a few things that you were eating  and add some exercise and you were good to go.

Because of how easy it was my head wasn’t necessarily in the right place when it came to getting in shape. Now it is not so easy to get in shape. In  fact, it’s not easy at all.

I’ve tried all kinds of diets and programs that promissed results for just a little bit of effort. The reason plans like this attract so many of us is because they appeal to our laziness. We naturally want things to be easy. Or we want to continue our old eating  habits and sedentary life styles and expect to achieve results that make us look like super models.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. We have to reset our minds. We need to become willing to change. We need to accept the idea that we may have some food addictions; like sugar, carbs, processed food, and general over eating. This is what I mean when I say we have to get in the right frame of mind to succeed in changing our health.

I have come to grips with the fact that I have food addictions. I also eat when I get discouraged or depressed. Early on I learned to love beer, wine, and many other alcoholic beverages. I’m addicted to simple carbohydrates, and sugars. The sad thing is that they are cheap and sometimes the only thing that poor people (like me) can afford.

Now my head is in the game! I know what to eat. I know what not to eat. I don’t always get it right, but I KNOW. I am more determined than ever to put the right things into my body for its best health. I am willing to put in some work exercising in order to strengthen my body.

Sometimes people ask me what I’m doing when they notice the changes in my  appearance. When I tell them I’ve given up bread, rice, and other grains, and alcohol, they usually respond with, “oh, I can’t do that. I love bread.” Well, I love bread too. But I’ve changed my mind about these foods. I’ve come to the conclusion that these foods are no good for me.

I believe I will be able to succeed by these simple changes in my mind. I am in a frame of mind to succeed and get what I want, which is my health. You can do it to if you willing to change your mind and get your head right when it comes to food.

Here is an update

An Update

I’m still holding at 9 pounds lost. I still have not completely figure it out what I am doing with my carbs and my fat intake. It is just a little bit more difficult than I thought to get my macronutrients straight.

I have only had a couple of problems with hunger, and I believe that was because my fat intake was too low. I have now increased my fat intake and I am not having much of a problem with hunger, and I still haven’t gained any weight by doing this.

I read that lowering my carbs and not consuming enough fat will cause my body to try and create glucose from my protein and my muscles. I also read that if I have a high carb and high fat diet, this also spells disaster for my body, just weight gain and bad health.

The idea is to go low carb and high fat. Low carbs to deprive the body of material to make glucose. High-fat to encourage the body to switch to fat to burn as energy. By doing this successfully the idea is to cause the body to become a fat burner instead of sugar burner, and to start burning the rest of my fat ass and belly and head, but just the fat.

It is called the ketogenic diet. The science email sounds do solid. I want to give it a chance. I haven’t quite figured out my balance, but I will, because I will not give up.