What Can Happen in 60 Days?

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Day 1                                                                Day 60

I LOVE THE RESULTS!

The Final Day was October 13, Final Measurements on October 14th.  I am very pleased with the ” 60 Day ” results:  Waist reduced 3 inches, Hips down 2 inches, Thighs down 2 inches, Chest reduced 1 inch, Neck remained 16″ and Bicep remained 14″.  Weight down 18 pounds, from 201 to 183.  My percentage of Body Fat decreased from 17 to 10 percent which translates to a loss of 26 pounds of fat, and with a weight reduction of 18 pounds, means I actually gained about 8 pounds of muscle.  

My blood sugar level averaged 102.5 baseline and 77 during the study, with a change in ketone level from negative to mostly large amounts.  This documents a change from sugar burning to fat burning for energy.  Blood pressure improved slightly, but I found the measures to be widely variant even when taken a few minutes apart.  The B/P change was 133/77 baseline average and 128/74 in the project period.  I also measured resting pulse and it remained about the same in each period.  You can follow my specific Biomarkers on the ” About ” page of this site.

To continue from the last blog on October 4th, it took only 72 hours to get back to ketosis, and my major gains took place during ketosis – this is evident by looking at my Biomarkers on the ” About ” page of this website.  I felt better physically and mentally beginning with the first week, and it never really stopped, although there was variability.  For me, being ketosis was the key to making progress.  I did not measure the grams of fat, protein and carbohydrates I ate during this experiment, but I can safely say that the best results were achieved with very low carbs, moderate protein and high fat.  I estimate that carbohydrates were less than 20 grams per day.  Roughly, I ate over 100 grams of fat and over 70 grams of protein daily.  On a calorie basis, (4 calories for each gram of carbohydrates and protein, and 9 calories for each fat gram) about 75 percent are from fat, 20 percent from protein and 5 percent from carbohydrates.

All of this and I cut my exercise time to less than 50 percent of what I was doing prior to this project.  My total exercise time is less than 2 hours per week.  I lift 2 days per week and am now doing 1 day of cardio;  weight training is less than 40 minutes and high intensity interval cardio is less than 20 minutes, ( Tabata method ).

I looking forward to the next N=1 experiment, 21 Days of Ketosis.

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What Can Happen in 60 Days?

October 4, 2013

This is a learning process.  In the first 20 days of this project I remained in a low blood sugar, ketonic state which resulted in a substantial loss of inches and weight, without a loss of muscle and steady or improving Biomarkers – which is the goal.  Check the “About” page for the data.  As the day 40 measures show, I continued to lose inches, but more slowly, and my weight remained stable.   This happened because after day 30 and extending to day 45, I began to alter my intake of fat, protein and carbohydrates.  I maintained protein to prevent muscle loss (my fear), and increased carbs thinking I would have improved energy on weight lifting days.  Fat, therefore, as a percentage of the total, decreased.  I made these changes even though I was not losing muscle, and my energy level was fine – I wanted to experiment a bit.  The result was that my blood sugar rose, and I  was no longer burning fat effectively as shown by my ketone level.  So, for me, the increase in carbohydrates took me out the fat burning mode and actually reduced my physical and mental energy.  I am now back to my original plan which was high fat, moderate protein and very low carbohydrate, and of course no sugar, grains and minimal processed foods.   I have read that getting back into a ketosis can take several days to weeks – I will see what happens.

Very pleased with the results to date;  body fat down from 16% to 11%, waist down 2″, thigh down 1.5″ and hips down 2″, with no loss of muscle.

What Can Happen in 60 Days?

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Day 1                                                                                                                 Day 40

September 27, 2013

Track my actual Biomarkers on the About page of this site.

Well, September 23rd marked the 40th day of this N=1 project, the third body measurement day.  The first measurement day was Day 1, the second was Day 20 and the third is Day 40, ( all measures are taken the morning following the actual day ).  These numbers are the most accurate I can make them using normal methods.  Each measure is done three times and I take the average of each measure.  My weight stabilized during the past two weeks staying between 187 and 189.  Blood Pressure continued at an improved level from the baseline period, as did blood glucose and ketones.  Importantly, the fat loss continued!  Body fat, which began at 16 – 18 percent, decreased an additional 2 percent from 13 – 15, to 11 – 13 percent – the range of 2 percentage points is used because exact measuring with calipers is difficult.  I am being as precise as possible with the caliper measures, taking three measures at each body site.  I am less concerned with knowing the exact percent of body fat I have, and more interested in taking consistent measures each time to enable documentation of changes.  I have gained 0.25 inches on bicep, 0.5 inches on chest, lost 0.5 inches on waist and thigh, and lost 1 inch on hip, neck has remained at 16 inches since Day 1. I love this progress.

My mental state is alert, active, inquisitive and more calm at the same time.  I was used to drinking coffee most of the day, but no longer have that desire.  I am finished drinking coffee before 11 am most everyday because it now makes me slightly jittery – an experience I do not remember heretofore.  I do distinctly remember telling my peers that I can drink coffee all day and sleep well at night – I was probably mistaking exhaustion for sleeping well; it took only a couple minutes to fall asleep. My sleep pattern is changing.  I noted in a previous blog that occasionally I was sleeping longer and that my normal sleep time was about 5 hours.  In the past week I have been sleeping about 7 hours and feeling rested.  I never expected this to happen as I can never remember sleeping much more than 5 hours, that was just me!  Most literature on the subject will state that we need about 8 hours of sleep, and with a solid nutritional and exercise plan I have moved closer to the norm.  I wonder what would have resulted had I always had these habits?  Just move forward and enjoy it now.

My workout program is moving smoothly, and I am still getting used to spending so little time in the gym.

Could not be more pleased in the progress I am making!

What Can Happen in 60 Days?

September 20, 2013

Check my weekly Biomarkers on the About page.  It has 10 weeks of history leading to the N=1 weekly measures.

Life intervened in my N=1 project, unanticipated and perfect – it is life!  I drove 600 miles to my hometown, Cortland, in upstate New York.  I needed to do some work on my parents home to list it for sale.  I was out of North Carolina, and my normal routine, for 10 days.  I prepared for my nutritional needs by taking some food, and restaurant eating is easy to conquer by asking for substitutes – remember, I am doing this eating easily attainable foods, but not processed food, even in my small hometown I found foods to maintain the plan.  There was an excellent farmer’s market on Main St.   I lost 2 more pounds, maintained ketosis, and had no appreciable change in Biomarkers.

Workouts were a bit of a challenge.  My hometown gym is great for the people and atmosphere, and a bit short on machines.  They have barbells, weights, dumbbells and everything you should need unless you have measured your progress on specific exercise machines.  I know, you should use barbells and dumbbells anyway, but I use a mixture of Kettle Bells, Machines and Free Weights.  Being able to improvise is critical in any endeavor, so I learned a lot making the gym work for me.

Bottom line:  Feel great, did what needed to be done and influenced my best friend to try my nutritional plan!

 

What Can Happen in 60 Days?

September 13, 2013

Meal planning, eating good food, not being hungry and achieving the desired results, I did not think would be this easy.  Yes, I did research and chose these methods for that reason, but the reality at nearly 30 days, is better than anticipated.  I am not concerned much with weight loss, although it has happened, the goal was fat loss without muscle loss, (and muscle gain if possible).  As of September 4th, I have lost 1.5 inches from my waist, 1 inch from my thighs and 1 inch from my hips.  My weight has dropped from 201 to 189, and my body fat has decreased 3% – In 20 Days!

My workouts have not changed.  I am in the gym less than 90 minutes per week, doing 2 days of heavy weights and one day High Intensity Interval Training.  I have never worked out this little and I am making gains in strength.  I am not in the gym for more than 30 minutes on weight lifting days and less on HIIT day.  One of the most significant physical discoveries I have made is that rest is as important as exercise!  I think the reason I am gaining strength, and I am 64 yrs., is  that I am eating protein and resting to let the muscles repair and improve.  Heavy weight training stresses muscle, while rest and protein allow them to build to gain strength.   As a friend of mine states when noting her progress, ” This happened while I was resting. (Freda@DyfingAgeWithFood.com ).

What Can Happen in 60 Days?

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Day 1                                                     Day 20

September 6, 2013

Now this is really getting to be impressive.  Waking up alert, with energy and without the process of waking, to foggy, to wash or shower, to semi-consciousness, to consciousness.  Also, I am noticing an improved energy level nearly throughout the day – l expect that as I continue adjusting when and how to eat it will be high all-day.  Do not misunderstand, there are no down periods, hitting the wall, etc., there are only times of high energy and good energy, and I am grinning as I write.  I cannot emphasize enough that the desire for sugar or any sweets and breads are absent!  I am eating when hungry, usually in the morning and early evening with a snack of almonds, walnuts, cottage cheese or crunchy peanut butter in the afternoon.  Late evening I may have celery/carrots with cream cheese.  Morning meals are eggs, with veggies and bacon, cooked in coconut oil, usually in frittata style, or cottage cheese with veggies or fruit.  Evening meals are red meats, chicken or fish, cooked in coconut oil, with salad or veggies.

My exercise program is being maintained.  Weights 3 x week, light cardio 3 x week and HIIT (Tabata – 4 mins.) 1 x week.  This has been a little more difficult to adjust to than the nutritional plan, not at first but now.  I was the person who did cardio, hard cardio, 4 to 5 x week for a minimum of 40 minutes, and augmented that with weight training, (not weight lifting and it proved not very useful compared to really lifting weights).  I was impressive on the stairs, rowing machines or ellipticals, but not getting more healthy or stronger or looking better.  I appeared in “decent shape”.  My new routine has me making strength improvements, and my cardio has not suffered at all – I still test myself periodically.

At 200/201 pounds I was carrying too much fat, but looked fit when clothed, normal or exercise.  This program is to create a more healthy me by losing fat and maintaining, or gaining muscle.  My photos after about 22 days into the 60 Days show that is beginning to happen.  The Biomarkers indicate progress:  Weight – 200/201 to 188189, Blood Glucose – 77, Blood Pressure – 110/76 (best I can ever remember), Resting pulse – 50 (normal for me), Ketones – large >80.  My first follow up Body Measures, taken each 20 days, show Neck – still 16″, Chest – still 43″, Bicep – 14.5″ from 14″, Waist – 36.5″ from 38″, Thighs – 22″ from 23″.

On the “About” page, which you can access by clicking on About, under the header, I will be posting the 10 weeks of baseline Biomarkers I established before starting this N=1 project.  The Body Measures were taken on the Start Date, August 15, 2013.  The starting photos were taken toward the end of June – I was the same in August as you can tell from the Biomarkers.

Starting Photo                                             Day 22 of 60 Days

What Can Happen in 60 Days?

August 30, 2013.

Ok, I did this nutritional plan several months ago for three weeks, when I was experimenting with various eating options, and obviously it worked which is why I selected it, but I am still amazed at the physical and mental changes after only two weeks.  My energy level has increased, I feel more alert with improved mood, particularly in the morning.  Not willing to say I am sleeping better yet, typically I am a 5 hour a night person, but I have had a couple of 6 to 7 hour nights.  I have lost the desire for tortilla chips and peanut M&M’s which were staples for years as my “reward” foods, and mostly my rewards were easy to earn.

I have followed the exercise plan without missing a day.  I am exercising one day in the morning and two days in the afternoon or evening while trying to determine which time best fits my schedule.  I experimented with mornings when researching routines and liked it, but I also like using evening periods as a transition time from work to relaxation. Ultimately, I believe early mornings will be the best for my schedule.  My energy level and mood being what they are, the decision will be based upon my work schedule rather than physical or mental considerations – these are options I did not previously consider, because I never felt like exercising in the mornings.

My BioMarkers this week:  Weight – 191, Blood Glucose – 57, Ketones – Large >80, Blood Pressure – 126/71, Resting Pulse – 61.  In summary of the first two weeks, weight loss is 9 lb., blood sugar remains low and stable, ketones still indicate fat burning for energy, blood pressure has lowered and remained stable, resting pulse is still in the 60’s ( a little confusing, but could reflect my eagerness to measure – the geek factor ).  Really pleased at the results to date.  I hope this results in a change in inches, it feels that way, but the proof is in the tape.  I will find out next week.