Well, I’ve been following Conventional Wisdom – “eat less and exercise more” for 1 week now. Let’s review my progress.
- Starting weight: 203 lbs.
- Today’s weight: 200.4 lbs.
- Weight change this week: – 2.6 lbs
- Overall weight change: – 2.6 lbs
Analysis: I’m not impressed by this. The first 3 pounds or so always comes off easily – I think it’s water weight.
I was aiming for 1500 net calories per day (after exercise is factored in). According to my Lose It app, on which I track calories/nutrients, this week I ate at total of 1425 calories over that. So even if I would have been perfect in my calorie intake, 1425 calories represents less than half a pound of body fat (if you believe the calories in/calories out theory of fat gain/loss). So best case scenario I would have been down another half pound.
As far as macronutrient breakdown, I’m really just eating whatever I want (but no gluten/wheat). I have not been making much of an effort to eat more produce, so that’s something I’ll be working on this week. Here’s the macronutrient breakdown for the past week:
- Fat calories – 57% (751g)
- Carb calories – 28% (827g)
- Protein calories – 34% (1008g)
Ok, so I guess this isn’t exactly conventional wisdom, which says a low-fat diet is recommended for losing weight. Maybe I should try a low-fat diet for a week and see how that goes? For now I’m going to do another week just eating what I want to see if it’s possible to lose weight eating lower-calorie and fairly high fat.
Ok, but now here’s some good news. Check out my fasting blood glucose this week (the far right side of the graph):
Fasting blood glucose (average) during the week prior to starting bicycling/no boozing and then during the past week:
Before (avg): 118
After (avg): 105
Hm…on average, that’s a 13 point drop in fasting blood sugar in 1 week of exercising and not drinking alcohol. Pretty cool! Even if it doesn’t result in weight loss it seems important to exercise for blood sugar management. I don’t know if all types of exercise will have this effect. Yoga didn’t (see “DDP Yoga” on graph).
And interestingly…eating NO carbs (or only like 2% of calories from carb) didn’t result in this kind of improvement in blood sugar (see period of “Nutritional Ketosis” on graph). This suggests that something OTHER than macronutrient intake has a dramatic effect on blood sugar and/or insulin levels.
Things I’m learning:
1. Eating carbs prevents hypoglycemia. I had all but given up drinking coffee (which I love) and turned to caffeine pills because of the hypoglycemia that followed coffee drinking. I learned from Ray Peat that adding sugar/carbs to coffee (and meals, for that matter) prevents that blood sugar drop (which my mind interprets as hunger). It works! If I put sugar in my coffee I don’t get ravenously hungry after drinking coffee. How nice. And as you can see (graph, above) my blood sugar is not suffering from this sugar-in-coffee experiment. Maybe sugar in small amounts isn’t the devil after all.
That being said…
2. I feel better if I DON’T have a lot of carbs for breakfast. I can eat a 500 calorie breakfast of all protein/fat and I feel satisfied for 4-5 hours. If I eat carbs I get hungry within 2 hours.
2. Juicing isn’t my problem. I have been continuing to drink vegetable and fruit juice over the past week and my fasting blood sugar has been dropping. Either fresh-squeezed juice doesn’t affect blood sugar much or exercise reverses a LOT of problems.
3. I don’t need to kill myself with exercise to get benefit. I’m riding on flat terrain and not pushing myself very hard at all. 10 mph on a bicycle isn’t very fast. For 30 minutes or so.
4. I need to prepare more if I expect to eat more veggies. Still laziness prevails. If I don’t have vegetables washed and cut and ready to eat I just won’t eat them. I’ll work on that this week. I think this is why I’ve been eating more overall calories than planned – I’m not filling up on produce as planned.
5. Nobody has all the answers for everybody. Everyone is different. What works for one person doesn’t work for another. I was listening to Jimmy Moore‘s podcasts yesterday on a long road trip. Jimmy insists that people just need to give up the carbs and their blood sugars will drop. Hm…then how come he takes Glycosolve for his blood sugar? I actually really love and appreciate Jimmy Moore, and he’s usually the first to say you have to find what works for you. However, among the low-carb community there seems to be this idea that this strategy will work the same way for everyone. Low-carb clearly wasn’t enough for me. He interviewed Sarah Fragoso on one of the podcasts I listened to yesterday…and she stated that people with a high CRP (C-Reactive Protein) pretty much always have some massive health problem like rheumatoid arthritis or cancer. I sure hope she’s wrong. Anyway, bottom line is you DO have to find what works for you. Give up looking for a guru. Experiment.
Ok, that’s enough reflecting for one week. I’m going to continue this plan for now and see where it gets me.