How to Eat Out and Not Blow Your Diet

boston_pizzaYou’ve been working your diet plan, eating for success and staying the course through thick and thin (hopefully more thin, lol) for a while, and now the time has come to go out for a good meal. That is where I found myself today.

Results: I had a GREAT meal and a spectacular desert and stayed within my eating plan = all is well with my diet AND my brain. (I’ll explain more on this later.)  For those wondering: Boston Pizza = great food!

This is how to do it.

      1.  Decide where to go. I would suggest if you are new to calculating macros and calories that going to a restaurant with an online menu with nutrition values would be best. (Lets call this a ‘documented’ restaurant. lol.) Maybe later, when you’ve got a good feel for macros and what sort of calories are actually in real food, going out to an ‘undocumented’ restaurant will work.
      2. Plan your food. The trick here is to decide ahead of time what you are going to eat. Shop the menu carefully and be realistic. If yer going to have Nachos to start, be honest about it. Don’t try to say to yourself, ‘I’ll just nibble or I’ll just have 1 or 2.’ You won’t. You’ll eat 10. So decide now that you are going to eat 10 … with sour cream … and cheese … and yer gonna lick your fingers when done! Remember, you are going out to enjoy yourself and your food. Any resolve you have now is going to be reduced there. Plan for it.
      3. Calculate your macros and calories and see what you’ve got. If you are blowing over your whole day worth of values, you might have to switch out a few things. (ie. go with a Ceasar Salad instead of Deep Fried Mozzarella sticks for a starter, or a meat dish instead of Pasta Primavera with Garlic Bread.) You know what I mean.
      4. Build in a buffer. This is a carry over from other calculations that I’ve done in other areas of my life recently. (I’m currently building a solar power system for my cabin … when calculating the amount of power required, a buffer is used to cover errors and unforeseen eventualities.) Ya, I know were are talking food here not power, but the principle is good. When deciding on a buffer, I had no idea what to use to make this calculation, so I just pulled a completely arbitrary amount out of thin air = 10%. I took my calories (I didn’t bother with the macros as they were already a bit out of whack) and added 10% to the total. This amount covers things like ‘just one more’, inexact portion sizes, ‘tasting’ my wifes meal, ‘helping’ kids with their meals and general finger licking. lol. All the stuff that you will do when eating out. This is being realistic.
      5. Now calculate out the rest of your day around this meal. In my case I only had a few calories left to work with, so I planned a small Brunch and then booked our reservation for an early supper. I also tried to correct my Macros with this, but in the end my Macros were slightly off for the day, but my calories were good.

Cheesecake with Grape Syrup

Desert!

For desert, we had a cheesecake at home that my wife had made from scratch and we have grape syrup that we made from our grapes harvested this year. So we planned our desert for at home. The big question was how to calculate the calories and macros.

This is how you calculate Calories and Macros for homemade food and recipes:

  1. Find a recipe calculator. You can do this by hand but it is way easier to use an on-line recipe calculator. I use this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp This makes it really easy. Just enter all the ingredients and amounts and press calculate. The longhand way of doing it is to record the calories and macros for each ingredient and adding everything up and then dividing by weight or servings. I’ve done it a couple of times to verify the Sparkpeople.com calculations and came out very close to what they say, so I’m satisfied with the accuracy of their tool.
  2. Decide on serving size. You can do this by weight or by number of servings. In the case of our cheesecake, we used a round cheesecake pan and it was easy for us to cut into 8 slices. So for our calculations, we said 8 servings.

I use my Fitbit and their online website to calculate food intake and keep a log of my foods. It’s an amazing tool that works great for keeping track of food … I’ll do a post about it sometime. So this is what my evening out ended up looking like.

Supper Calculations on Fitbit

Now THAT is a shitload of calories … but still within my daily intake so all is well and I feel really good about how this went today. I’ll do this again next month. (I’m not going to make this too regular of a ‘thing’ … the reason why I have to rebuild my body is because I was way too free eating out for years. This is one of the habits that I’m breaking.)

Feeling Good!

Earlier I mentioned how this was good for my brain. Feeling good this evening is what I’m talking about. You know the ‘morning after’ blues … where you beat up on yourself for a binge or a food breakdown? Planning your evening and eating to plan allows you to totally avoid these feelings. One of the biggest issues for those who are losing weight is keeping on top of your brain. For many of us, the brain is what got us into trouble to begin with. Learning to actually enjoy food again without using it as a crutch for other issues is an important part of breaking bad eating (or drinking) habits. I’ve often read how people refer to the ‘morning after’ feelings as guilt. It was never guilt for me … it was far worse than that. I would say a more correct description is self-hate based on not being able to trust your own word to yourself … and then giving up on yourself. When you don’t trust yourself, your brain treats you like it would treat anyone else that it does not trust. This causes all sorts of self-loathing that encourages the binging and uncontrolled eating that is a big part of the problem to begin with. Whew – OK, that was a whole lot more amateur psychology than I intended … lol. I’m not sure there is any medical evidence for any of my speculation, but that is where I ended up after a whole lot of reflection and self-analysis. Your brain might be wired different.

So that is how to safely incorporate eating out into a fairly strict diet that you don’t want to blowup. Planning each step of the way makes the process easy. No thinking, or wondering or ‘being tempted’ … just follow the plan you’ve laid out for yourself. Easy.

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Anyman Fitness – Week Three

Garden VeggiesI’m now through week 3 of my Anyman Fitness program and things are going well!  The losses continued although not nearly as great as the 1st week which was expected.  My waist measurements dropped significantly and I dropped another almost 5 lbs the 2nd week by the scale.  The first week was definitely a big blow off of water and waste … literally.  Now that I’ve been eating clean with out a single cheat morsel for 3 weeks, I know that any weight that comes off is mostly fat.  Taking measurements will confirm this for sure and I expect more losses from my wasteline when I measure again tomorrow.

Soreness

The 1st week was characterized by extreme soreness, to the point that it was waking me up at night.  By the end of the 2nd week, the extreme part of the soreness was finally gone.  I still had quivery, mushy legs after leg day, but not the bone deep ache that was haunting me the 1st week.  I love this part as I know that my workouts are still effective because I’m driving the muscles to exhaustion but without paying for it for days.  I don’t know if there is a way around this for people either starting lifting or getting back into lifting after a time off.  I tried starting ‘light’ but that is a relative term and I found it really hard to pull something light when I know I was capable of doing so much more.  Plus I’m not sure that light would allow me to gain much strength without wasting a bunch of weeks working up to strength again.  I suspect this soreness is just something to gut out with gritted teeth and Advil.

Gaining Strength

If week 1 was characterized by soreness, the 2nd and 3rd weeks would be characterized by strength gains.  I was amazing at how light the weights felt the 2nd week … and even more the 3rd week.  I ended up jumping up by double plates on a couple of lifts just to feel a bit of burn.  My workout notes for almost every lift in week 3 said, ‘go heavier next week.’  This is exciting … and VERY encouraging.  I was shocked at how weak I had allowed myself to become when I sat down to do my 1st lift.  Jason also has me doing pushups – and it has been a lot of fun to see the numbers going up each time I do a set.  I’ve almost tripled the number I’m able to do on my 1st set.  Again, I was shocked (and it was a blow to my manliness) to see how few pushups I could do my 1st week.  Thank goodness this has come along quickly, if nothing else than for my ego.  lol.

What I’m Eating = Food

Our garden harvest continues, so there is a lot of sampling.  Cherry Tomatoes, Green Beans, Peas, Peppers, Corn … just to name a few.  I’ve been using these as sides in my meals and they are wonderful.  However for the main bulk of my calories and food, I’ve chosen simple packaged food – mostly dairy.  I don’t have any intestinal issues with dairy, so Cottage Cheese and Yogurt have been real staples for me.  The reason why I’ve chosen to stick with the packaged stuff is ease of calculations.  When

Apples right from the tree. Natures Supermarket.

Apples right from the tree. Natures Supermarket.

starting out, I really had no idea how much of what macro was in any food.  So food labels were essential and a source of discovery for me.  Further, calories are sneaky.  They seem to get into food and meals a lot easier than they should … like

Gremlins gumming up the system.  lol.  The other thing that makes packaged food easier is that I can often find foods that are either all of one macro (all carb or all protein) or balanced macros.  This also makes calculations and meal food choices easier.  I love Skyr Icelandic Yogurt as it is almost a perfect balance of protein and carbs (16 and 18) so it makes it really easy to do calculations.  So I’ve stuck with labeled food to make this learning and calculating easier.  As I learn, I will move back to my own homegrown food more … which will be cheaper and certainly more healthy in the long run.  Just finished processing another 12 liters of pickles … with dill and garlic from our garden.  These are going to be amazing!  Thank goodness pickles don’t count for much in my macros.

Some Hard Numbers

Down 20 lbs on the scale
2.5″ Inches off my waist
2″ Inches off my chest
1″ off my calves!
I’m shrinking overall pretty much everywhere.

All this while eating over 200 gms of carbs per day (including bread) … hmmm, some guy named Paleo said this would make me fat.  Turns out he was wrong. I wonder what else he was wrong about.

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Anyman Fitness – Week One

Garden Fresh Food - Nothing Better!

Garden Fresh Food – Nothing Better!

Week one is in the books and I’ll characterize it as a success!

My main memory for this week is muscle soreness. I mean walking funny, having problems brushing my teeth (tri’s did not want to stretch enough and certainly did not want to move back and forth,) and shoulders curled in to protect my aching pecs. This is all my fault. I knew this was coming … I even told myself to go easy and lift light, but then I discovered how weak I really was and crap, curling sissy 10 pounders was NOT something my ego could stand. So, ‘Big guy’ … suck it up buttercup!!

Here on Sunday night I’m finally beginning to loosen up and while I know I will be sore after each workout for the next several weeks, I also know that the worst is over.

As a guy who has lifted a fair amount in the past (distant past,) I have an idea in my mind what are my strength areas and what will always need work. I also have some idea of the weight I’ve lifted in the past (did I mention distant past?), so when I would grab a ‘starting weight’ that was waaaay too heavy, I simply forced myself to gut it out. It’s a mental thing … and a guy thing … all wrapped up in a big hairy, soft macho man package. (There’s an image for you to try to forget … lol.)  I’ll do better with the mental control in week 2 for sure.

Food …. mmmmmm Foooooood.

Food was not that big of a deal. I have a type 1 diabetic son, so counting macros is something we’ve done for every morsel for over a year now … I just added in counting calories as well.  The biggest change for me was the volume of food. Going from a high fat Paleo diet of mostly meat which has a relatively low volume of food to a higher volume but lower calorie diet was tricky. There were a couple of meals on Monday and Tuesday that I just could not down that much food = not a bad problem to have really. I did have a bit of hunger now and then but nothing unusual.

Building meals and plans for the day takes time for sure. I use my Fitbit software which makes it really easy to swap stuff around to get just the right blend of macros to calories. We grow a LOT of our own food and our garden is in full swing right now so there is a bit of ‘best guessing’ going on as I try to calculate the macros for our homegrown food.  I confess that I bought more packaged stuff than I planned to this past week just to make it easier to calculate. This part will take less time as I get some set meals planned out.

Sleep

I have not slept well this past week. Not sure if this is just due to soreness or if there is some mental aspects from changing the diet. I will maybe add potato starch to my diet if this issue does not clear up.  In a previous experiment I found I slept better when taking potato starch before going to bed … something about gut biome, poop and all that good stuff. Check out Richard Nikoley‘s site Free the Animal for more information on this. Oh, and I’m not cold at night … something Paleo people hate to admit but a real phenomenon in the low carb/ketosis world.

I did not have the massive mood swings that often accompanied the change from high carb to low carb dieting so my family and cats have found that a relief. Lol. All in all I feel mentally clear and stable.

Finally … I miss alcohol.  I’ll leave that at that.

Results

Results of week one:  Weight is down 12 lbs – yes I know … mostly water, but still visible after 1 week.

Rest of the numbers to come later after I measure.

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Why Paleo is not the Answer for Everyone

banging-head-against-wallInsanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. (Said by somebody in the past … repeated way too often … but true, still.)

 

 

For the past 6 or 7 years I’ve been immersed in the Paleo movement.  I’ve eaten mostly unprocessed foods.  I’ve really enjoyed fatty meat. I’ve shunned simple carbs … and I’m fat.  I’m in decent shape in that I can participate in sports, get up and down a flight of stairs without dying and go for a good long afternoon hike with my kids.  But I’m still fat.

Paleo told me that I did not have to count calories.  Paleo said that if I ate lots of fat, but little to no carbs that the fat calories would not count.  I even pushed the limits of Paleo and lived in Ketosis for weeks at a time.  But I’m still fat.

30 Days ago, I decided that I was going to make some changes in my life.  I created my own 30 Day challenge with weight loss being one of the main components.  I worked at it pretty hard using Very Low Carb Paleo.  I lost some water weight and that was it.  (I know it was water weight because in 2 days of higher carb eating after 30 days I was right back to my original weight.)

If something is not working, you can either take on the guilt and blame for your failure or you can take a sharp left turn and try something different.  My belief system in Paleo was really the biggest issue for me.  After years of laughing at CICO (calories in, calories out) people and living with the hope that all that fat I was eating was not a problem, I had to try something different … because I am fat.

Before I go on, Paleo apparently works for some people … even many people.  There are countless stories of metabolic changes, large amounts of weight loss and generally life saving stuff.  There are 1000’s of good looking dudes and dudettes that eat low carb or Paleo.  And, I do think there are major advantages to eating the ‘outside of the isles.’  It just did not work for me.

I came to the conclusion that my experiment was the equivalent of banging my head against a wall.  I was getting the same result every time.  If I wanted different results, I would have to take a sharp left turn and try a different experiment.  Here we go!

Calories In vs Calories Out (CICO)

CICO basically says, if you take in the same amount of calories as you expend, your weight will stay the same.  If you take in less than what you expend, you will lose weight.  And most importantly, if you take in more calories than you expend, you will gain weight.  This 3rd part is where I believe I’ve been for several years.  Ingesting copious amounts of fat with my ‘meat and veggies’ meant that I was almost always taking in more calories that what I was expending … and I am fat. (Did I say that already? lol.)  My sharp left turn was shaking (or try to shake) the belief that calories don’t count. When you’ve held a belief system for so long, it can be hard to break … so this breaking will be an ongoing task for me.  The task of turning left lead me to the desire for a roadmap = a troubleshooting chart so to speak.  Because I could not trust my own thinking on this topic I decided to:

Find an Expert

As I set out to learn about CICO, I quickly came to the conclusion that there are WAY too many ‘experts’ out there.  People can speak with authority online and be perceived as being an expert and the reader will never know if they are full of crap or not. That is probably how I got to be where I am now (fat.)  So I made a list of criterion that my ‘expert’ was going to need to fill:

  • Had to be a CICO type of ‘expert’ (One who believes calories do count.)
  • Had to be in obvious good shape himself (I also wanted a male as I believe that men and women do sometime think differently especially when it comes to self image.)
  • Had to charge for information (Anybody can talk online, but if you charge for what you talk about, you have a much higher level of responsibility.)
  • Had to know how to breakdown calories for my weight loss (Give me a plan … I don’t know what I don’t know at this point. I need it made simple to start.)
  • Had to have a long list of satisfied customers with good results
  • And I wanted ongoing help to bring me through any setbacks (not totally necessary, but was something I felt I would need.)

BTW, this is how you would chose a car mechanic, an appliance repairman, a home renovator … any ‘expert’ really.  Don’t leave these choices up to chance.  Take responsibility for your decisions.

Enter the Sandman … actually Jason from Anyman fitness.

Check out Jason's amazing physique (no homo ... lol.)

Check out Jason’s amazing physique (no homo … lol.)

When I set out to find my ‘expert’,  Google was totally useless.  There are a million and one trainers and every single one of them is a total expert and completely ready to make you look great … unfortunately it was nearly impossible to weed out the scammers from the legit guys.  Even dropping anybody pushing foods or supplements still left me with way too many to chose from.

(Hint to other potential trainers: If I have to buy your food, or your pills for the rest of my life, I’m not interested.  I’m not looking for a marriage, just your knowledge.)

So I turned to Twitter and checked my timeline where I found Jason … we did not follow each other but we followed mutual people.  I checked up on him, and found he fit all of my prerequisites plus I trusted the people who were our mutual ‘friends’ on Twitter.  (I say friends, but I’ve never really met any of them … you know what I mean.)  BTW, for those building businesses, this is another way of finding clients.  Jason is active on the Social webs and is not afraid to post his opinion but does not sound like a total stuck up dick … something I found a lot of in my search for my expert.  Anyway, after watching Jason on Youtube, reading his Twitter feed and website, I decided to make contact and see what he had to say.  And here we are …

Shell out a Few Shells

So with the exchange of some mooooola, we are locked into a path together for the next 3 months.  After a series of questions and some intimate details, Jason drew up an eating plan (well, he gave me my macro counts along with food suggestions) and a basic workout plan.  I took a series of measurements and some really bad ‘before’ photos and now we get on with the work part.  I’ll do a proper review of Jason and his service after we have gone through an appropriate amount of time, but so far I’m happy with my purchase.

Keeping It Honest and Authentic

I decided it would be best for me to blog about this process to keep myself honest.  Making changes in a life can be hard … using ‘stupid human tricks’ like being publicly accountable can make change easier, or at least give yourself a better chance at success.  Don’t hide your candle – shine!

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Intuition vs Thinking

Albert Einstein on Intuition Much of what I want to reiterate here was gone over in depth by Michael R. LeGault in his book Think – Why Crucial Decisions Can’t be Made in the Blink of an Eye (2006.) However, my views are based on my own area of expertise and experience. My experience might differ from yours.

Today I watched a series of tweets emerge about the wonders of intuition. These tweets were posted by a professional boxer who has become very good at his trade … a trade based on reactions and reaction time … which in turn are based on hours upon hours of practice and ‘experience.’ I fear people reading those 140 character gems of wisdom may try to apply them to major life and business decisions thinking that they are employing intuition. I truly fear the decisions they will make.

Definitions

Before we go any further, lets look at some definitions:

Intuition according to Google is, “a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.” (2nd definition)

Thinking (Google again) is, “the process of using one’s mind to consider or reason about something.”

Lets throw one more definition into the mix because it is so very important to this discussion:

Experience is (going with Dictionary.com, 4th definition for this example,) “knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone.”

The argument I want to make in the discussion of Intuition vs Thinking is that intuition is not worth anything without some sort of experience to base it on. Gut feeling (intuition) is something you must develop with time and hands-on experience. Further, you must learn to apply that experience broadly to the situation at hand if you have no direct experience in the topic. (ie. If you are a boxer, you might make very good intuitive decisions when playing a game of pick up basketball … but your intuition might lead you astray if you are jumped by a smart player in the boardroom. Intuition can be relied on in situations with a lot of crossover with your area of expertise, but should only be broadly applied in areas where your experience does not have so much crossover.)

Intuition is not Mystical

There is a popular stereotype of intuition as it being some mystical thing; something based on being in tune with the universe or some internal god. This is all silly. There is nothing mystical or godlike in the development of intuition. It might LOOK godlike or unexplainable to those who don’t have your experience which probably explains this belief, but rest assured … the god’s are not speaking to you … you are not our saviour. lol. Your good intuition is based on the depth of your experience, nothing more.

The Tie Between Experience and Intuition – based on my own life.

My personal definition of intuition is: “the application of experience to a given situation.

I am an appliance repair person. (Ya, I never intended to reveal this depth of who I am here, but the balance of privacy and qualification online is tricky.) I’m the guy you call when your washing machine or fridge is broken. I’ve been doing this 5 or 6 days a week for 26 years. I visit 8 to 12 homes a day. I have a LOT of experience … and I have incredible ‘intuition.’ When I take apprentices out for training, they are alway amazed at how I can just ‘know’ what is wrong with an appliance almost before touching it. Guys (and gals) …. it’s all based on experience! There is nothing that I have not seen in one form or another when it comes to a broken appliance. NOTHING! Oh, the appliance might be new and the controls might be different, but I’ve seen so many ‘problems’ in the past that the crossover of my experience makes my intuition almost perfect. My biggest problem is not believing my intuition. When I make a mistake, I can almost always go back and look at my initial thoughts of a problem and see where I took the wrong path. Almost 100% of the time the mistake was made at the point where I ignored my ‘first impression’ or ‘gut feeling’ and went with some other theory.

Now … did I always have intuition? No way! I’ve made so many mistakes in appliance diagnosis over the years! Especially at the beginning of my career, if I deviated from the troubleshooting flowcharts, I was screwed. But as I made those mistakes, I built up the internal database of experience that my intuition now draws from. I often have no clue where I’ve seen something before; no clue why I feel one direction is right and the other is wrong. The actual basis for the experience is lost from memory, but the application of that experience in the form of intuition lives on.

How to Apply Intuition in Your Life

I hope I’ve not bored readers with my own story and experience and I learned about intuition long after I developed it, but I think that certain things can be done to both develop your own intuition and to mitigate any damage done by bad intuition.

First of all … think! Take that ‘gut feeling’ and put it up on a pedestal in your mind. Look at it from all directions. See where it leads. Can you figure out where that feeling came from? Does it lead you somewhere else that might provide an answer to your problem? But until you have a reservoir of experience to draw from, think before you act.

Practice mindfully. This might not be easy in the heat of the moment. (I was also a boxer, a very poor boxer in a previous life … almost 20 years ago now. I did not learn much from my mistakes. I jumped into situations that I was not equipped to handle … and I spent too much time working on emotion rather than rational thought.) Practice is learning time, but to know what you’ve learned from any given experience, you must think about it. Review the game or fight or event in your mind afterward. Did your actions bring about victory? Did they almost lead you to defeat … were you wrong? If so, why and how? How can you do better next time? Maybe write it down (I think they call that journaling … whatever.) Learn from both your victories and your mistakes. Think now, so that in the heat of the battle you can act because you’ve already though. (Thank you David Allen of Getting Things Done for that gem.)

Finally, when you do act on intuition, review the event. How did intuition come to you? Was it a voice (internal talk?) Was it a feeling in the pit of your stomach, or was it a thought or image the popped into your mind? (That’s how my intuition generally works: a thought or picture jumps into my conscious mind.) Was it right? Can you rely on it? Can you make it happen again?

A huge thanks to Ed Latimore: 13-0 boxer (at the time of this writing), chess player and thinker for bringing up this topic on twitter. Good stuff … lots of good thinking  (and intuition) to be done on this topic!

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The Potato Hack – My Experiment

The potato HackI’ve been reading bits and pieces about potato hacking over the past several months … well, now one of the leading proponents, Tim Steele, has finally published his book The Potato Hack.  Picked it up Friday on Kindle = it’s a quick, easy and entertaining read.  Highly recommended.  The other sources of information are Tim’s Blog at Vegetable Pharm. Lots of good current info there.  Also Richard Nikoley’s blog, Free The Animal is a great source of info … just hit this search to see copious amounts of info on the hack, potato starch and the potato hack specifically.

Anyway – if you want to see what I’m doing and why, pick up the book … Tim does a lot better job explaining it all than I ever could.

I’m planning to do a 5 day run of spuds only.  I’m gonna record my starting weight, how many calories I burn according to my Fitbit and how my sleep quality is affected.  I’ll also note any feelings of hunger, cravings and maybe stress levels just to have a more complete record … although I feel that stress, general feelings of well being and health are so interwoven that it is hard to ‘fix’ or even assess by looking at a few random thoughts and feelings throughout the day.  (Big topic there = maybe another day.)

I’m starting out as a big guy … I have a good solid 60 lbs to lose.  Plus I’ve been carb loading (read: eating everything in sight) for a couple of weeks now, so I’ve definitely gained some ‘water weight.’  I expect to see a fairly substantial drop in the 1st couple of days … hoping that I don’t gain it all back in the 24 hours after this experiment is over.  To find answers is why we experiment…

I’m mid 40’s and my health is generally good with slightly elevated blood pressure.  I play basketball 2x a week pretty hard with the young bloods for 2 hours at a time and I can hold my own = so I’m I’m not couch fodder … yet.  lol.   So lets see where this all ends up …

Potatoes

Spuds – ready for Monday!

 

Day 1:

Thats a wrap.  Here is the breakdown of my calories vs expenditure as recorded by my FitBit.

2016-04-05_0744

Calories Burned

 

Calories Consumed

Calories Consumed

 

Here are my Notes for the day … could be boring, but it is a complete record of how I felt and when.

  • 8:40pm Another feed to help with hunger pangs. 241g.
  • 8:15pm Played basketball with the young bloods tonight. Initially I found it very hard and my legs really did not want to move but about 40 mins in I seemed to get my 2nd wind and could run and move freely again. After I am plesently tired and slightly sore. I ate more potatoes to fill me up and that really helped how I feel too. Looking forward to bed. Would not be surprised if I see a one day drop of 7 or 8 lbs. Lots of water dumped today.
  • 6:10pm. Quick supper of 183g. Now off to basketball.
  • 5:25pm. Indigestion again. Quite hungry now.
  • 4:55pm. Definitely hungry again. Also have to urinate something fierce again. Won’t be home for an hour yet. Sigh.
  • 3:50pm. Hungry again. Getting a bit irritable. Probably low blood sugar hitting is my guess.
  • 3:01pm. Urine very light coloured which usually means body dumping water. I have had 3 or 4 coffees today which usually pushes through the system pretty fast but urine is usually much darker. Should have taken a picture … or maybe not. Lol.
  • 2:38pm. Hungry now … seems to change from ’empty’ to hungry quickly. Stomach growling slightly. Will have rest of my lunch potatoes – 287g. Still have to pee like mad – have to find a public restroom soon. Feeling very calm and controlled. Not jittery. My brain is working well – no afternoon letdown (yet.)
  • 2:22pm. Body beginning to dump water. Have to piss like a racehorse … and I urinated less than an hour ago. Slight feeling of emptiness again – not true hunger – just empty.
  • 1:01pm. Some indigestion again. Not super bad but burping sour. Might be a result of drinks last night?
  • 12:10pm. Definitely hungry now. Having half of the potatoes I brought with me on the road today. Not feeling weak or anything though. About 350g potatoes.
  • 11:20am. Driving now. Don’t really feel hungry. Sort of empty.
  • 10:30am Some slight indigestion. Treated with baking soda in water.
  • 9:40am. Feeling some sort of slight hunger from stomach. Not grinding stomach growling hunger … not even hunger pangs – just more of a not full feeling. Gonna work through it and see if it disappears. I did eat a good amount of spuds, so my stomach does have something to work on.
  • 8:30am. Breakfast 237g plain potatoes – Lunch of 637g packed

Day 1 Final thoughts.  Need to bring more potatoes for on the road.  Definitely felt hungry today … don’t want to feel too much of that or I’ll break.  Baked potatoes are WAY better tasting than boiled.  Amazing difference actually.  Will plan on baking more spuds instead of boiling.

Day 2:

Down 4.5 lbs since weigh in yesterday morning.  Less of a drop than I thought it would be … I really did urinate a LOT more than normal yesterday.  Sleep was OK – I did feel like I woke up a number of times due to aching legs.  Basketball did a number on them yesterday as I didn’t play at all last week due to Spring Break here.  So basketball plus dropping water = soreness.

Here is my sleep as measured by my Fitbit.

1st night of Potato Hack

1st night of Potato Hack

Hoping to see more sleep and fewer awake periods in the next couple of days.

OK. This is just a little bit frustrating …

Note to Self - Make sure potatoes are pierced well before putting in oven.

Note to Self – Make sure potatoes are pierced well before putting in oven.

When baking potatoes, you really have to pierce them well! I wacked all these with a fork before putting them in the oven. Apparently I did not dig in deep enough. lol. Potatoes for the day are baked, salted and in my lunch bag for the day. Oh, and the oven is clean.

OK – Day 2 is done.  Here are the Fitbit numbers:

Day_2_Calories_Burned

Calories Burned

 

Day 2 Calories Consumed

Day 2 Calories Consumed

 

And my notes from the day:

  • 9:20 pm. Feeling great this evening. Got lots done. Was focused and not dwelling on food. I’m in bed now. Slightly hungry but not so it is bothering me. Tough day during the day today but a good evening.
  • 4:50 pm. Suddenly feeling better. Stronger and more focused. Still empty but not lightheaded or weak. Maybe I overdid it with basketball last night? Too this long for me to recover? Don’t know.
  • 2:23pm. Hungry again and obsessing about food. This is not good. Still wonder if I should be eating more instead of allowing myself to get to the point of hunger.
  • 1:53pm. Been eating often … just a couple of spoonfuls at at time. Today has not been great. Feeling weak and blurry … and sometimes slightly lightheaded. Gonna coffee up in a little while and see if that helps. Some hunger but not crazy.
  • 11:07am. Stopped to eat some potatoes … feeling hungry and weak.
  • 10:36am. Arrrr … low energy, almost light headed. Not really hungry but empty – maybe slightly queasy. No drive to get going here. Need energy levels to PU soon if I’m gonna get anything done today.
  • 9:03am 245g for breakfast. Hungry this morning. Just blew up some of my baked potatoes that I was making for lunch … and I poked those things with a fork. George is not happy.
  • 7:45 Not a great sleep – feeling dopey this morning. Really need coffee to wake up! Good thing I’m not planning on cutting out coffee at the same time as this hack … lol.

Summary of Day 2. Consumed less than a thousand calories again, but burned a LOT less than Day 1. Really knocked myself out today – possibly due to playing basketball on Monday really depleting my energy stores. Felt crappy most of the day, but seemed to snap out of it at the end of the day. Ended up feeling good and focused again. Hopefully this continues.

Day 3:

Down a full 8 lbs this morning.  Lots of water … urinated forever when I got up this morning.  But exciting to see this much down.

Wild dreams!  Seemed to sleep ‘dead to the world’ last night although I definitely did not get enough sleep.  But the dreams … oh my.  So vivid and I can remember large portions of them this morning.  Nothing raunchy, just super vivid and spectacular.  I remember reading somewhere that this is a side effect of potato starch.  Don’t mind if this continues.

Here is my sleep as recorded by my Fitbit:

Day 2 sleep ... not enough!

Day 2 sleep … not enough!

I was reading well past midnight and lost track of time. Definitely need to get to bed earlier tonight.

I have baked potatoes ready for the day today.  Wrapped them in tin foil before baking, so no mess to clean up.  lol.  Ready to do this day!

Day 3 is in the books.  Here are the numbers:

Day 3 Calories Burned

Day 3 Calories Burned

 

Day 3 Calories Consumed

Day 3 Calories Consumed

 

Notes and comments:

  • 11:00 pm. Bedtime. Not hungry.
  • 9:20 pm. Not a bad evening. No drive … but I did have a big day at work, so that did wear me out. Feeling somewhat empty now but not hungry.
  • 6:20 pm. Shredded and dry fried spuds with dill powder, salt, pepper and a splash of Malt Vinegar for supper. 383g.
  • 5:36 pm. Slight headache now. Mildly hungry. Feel strong. Tired though. Not enough sleep. Gout is prickling my left toe … will need to use baking soda when I get home to prevent flare-up.
  • 3:49 pm. Had another spud to ward off the hunger. Lunch total was 355g today.
  • 3:12 pm. Definitely hungry now. Will need to have some spuds soon. Will power and energy are both good at this point.
  • 2:20 pm. Not hungry. Just empty. Feeling a bit weak so going to have a coffee to perk me up. Still feel well though. No headache or lightheaded. Could eat another potato I guess. All in all I think my body is adjusting to the low calorie intake.
  • 250g for breakfast.
  • 10:43 am. Did not eat until now. Was hungry but not crazy hungry. So filling my belly now before I hit the road. So far, so good today – no lightheaded feelings, not craving anything … focus is OK.

Summary for Day 3.  Overall, all good day.  Did not really have the lightheaded feeling that I had on Day 2 … still some hunger, but not crazy, chew on walls hunger.  Focus was not bad … not laser … just not bad.  Mood:  generally OK.  This is somewhat surprising to me as when I have used calorie deficit in the past, I’ve had some thunderously bad moods.  Angry and irritated, etc.  Not feeling that so much = easier on the family and pets.  lol.

Day 4:

Now down a full 10 lbs.  Nice!

What a sleep.  No dreams that I remember last night, but totally dead to the world.  One of the best sleeps I’ve had in a while.  This is what it looked like:

Day 3 Sleep

Day 3 Sleep

I feel energized today … not powerful but energized.  I want to get stuff done!  The shredded potato patties that I had for supper last night were great.  Gonna make those again today for my lunch.  They are a bit of work, but the taste and mouth feel is worth it.  At this point, I’m glad I only committed to 5 days.  I’m looking forward to a steak.  lol.

Numbers for Day 4:

Day 4 Calories Burned

Day 4 Calories Burned

 

Day 4 Calories Consumed

Day 4 Calories Consumed

 

Notes from Day 4:

  • 9:50pm Hungry now. Not in Ketosis … I was wondering if burning this much fat would do it, but nope, not even a hint of colour. Going to goto bed hungry and see where we are weight wise in the morning. Hoping for another 2 lbs today … but will be happy with any weightloss as I know any loss will be fat at this point.
  • 6:20pm Finally having supper. Had to estimate the amount of spuds tonight due to the way they were cooked by my wife. Guessing about 240g.
  • 4:27 pm. Hungry now. But feeling great. Working hard with lots of energy. Pretty good considering how little I’ve had today.
  • 2:32 pm. Feeling a bit hungry now. Eating another potato patty to fill the hole. Otherwise feeling good.
  • 1:36 pm. Coffee time. Feeling good. Steady as she goes. Some hunger today but very mild. More empty than hunger still.
  • 12:12 pm. Hungry now. Gonna eat a couple of potato patties. Still feel good though.
  • 10:41am. Ready to hit the road. I made shredded, dry fried cakes for lunch. Feeling good. Not hungry at all. Feeling … warm I guess is the best way to explain it. Calm.
  • 9:45am. 290g for breakfast.
  • 8:10am. Feeling pretty good this morning. Great sleep.

Summary Day 4.  Again – not a bad day. Felt good most of the day. Beginning to think about food a bit more … planning what I’m going to eat on the weekend. No crazy cravings though.  1 day to go!

Day 5:

Down a total of 12.6 lbs this morning.  Another nice drop yesterday!

Sleep – another ‘dead to the world’ sleep … just not long enough!  Woke up at 6:30 to discover that I slept through my 2:00 am alarm which is really unusual.  (2 am is when my wife or I check our son’s BG level – he has Type 1 Diabetes.)

Day 4 Sleep

Day 4 Sleep

 

OK – a couple of baked potatoes cooling on the stove.  Ready to hit the road.  Feel good … strong … lots of willpower today!  This is the last day – hope to lose another couple of lbs today.  Then the big test – see how much it comes back when I eat normally again tomorrow!

Final day numbers:

 

Day 5 Calories Burned

Day 5 Calories Burned

 

Day 5 Calories Consumed

Day 5 Calories Consumed

 

Notes for Day 5:

  • 10:25 pm. Bed time. Been a good evening. No hunger … feel sort of empty now. Tomorrow AM is the big weigh in. Curious to see where we end up. Night!
  • 6:10 pm. Supper! 3 shredded and dry fried patties (about 4 medium potatoes worth) … with salt, pepper, dill and a splash of malt vinegar. Very good – and very filling. Feeling full now. About 380 g of spuds.
  • 5:45 pm. Having cravings for food now. Might be because I’m hungry. Already planning what I’m gonna eat tomorrow. Lol.
  • 3:49 pm. Not sure if it is hunger or just the feeling of being empty. Lots of energy but very aware of the feeling in my gut.
  • 1:15 pm. Full but empty. Feeling tired this afternoon. Wish I could take a nap. Still a lot of work to do though – so no rest.
  • 1:00pm. Lunch time. Super hungry but feeling fine otherwise. Hard to believe I can go strong with this little food in me. Amazing. 457g.
  • 11:39am. Hungry. Stomach growling.
  • 10:44 am. Ready to hit the road. 457g packed for lunch. Feelin’ good!
  • 9:20 am. Breakfast. Some reheated baked spuds. 173g.
  • 8:10 am. Up and atom … hungry.

Summary.  Day 5 went well.  No major drops in energy … some hunger but nothing that I couldn’t deal with.  Still glad these 5 days are almost over.  Can’t wait to eat a bunch of stuff I’ve missed the past 5 days.  Disappointed that my focus on food and hunger has not diminished …

Final Day – Weigh in – Notes – Thoughts – Summary

… and he steps on the scale … 15 lbs lost!!! Nice. Was expecting at least 10 going by past low calorie efforts, so 15 is pretty wild.

A comment from yesterday asked me to give my specs, so here they are:

  • 6’1″ male
  • mid 40’s
  • No major health issues past or present
  • Resonably fit (play, coach and refferee basketball)
  • Starting weight 308.5 lbs
  • Finishing weight 293.5 lbs

Here are my daily totals from my Aria Fitbit Linked Scale:

5 Day Weight Loss

5 Day Weight Loss

 

Wish I had taken some body measurements.  My pants are definitely looser and my face has visibly narrowed.  I feel like I am more flexible … probably from dumping water which makes cells and muscles less turgid. I notice my joints are looser, some popping and movement which I’m not used to … probably from reduced inflammation?

Heart Rate:

Here is something I’ve not seen mentioned much in the Paleo or Potato Hack literature.  My resting heart rate dropped like a rock over the past 5 days.  I measured this with my Fitbit again, and they use an algorithm instead of the waking pulse rate that your Dr uses when he/she says ‘resting pulse rate’ but it is still a measure of change.  Check this out:

Resting Heart Rate Drop

Resting Heart Rate Drop

30 Day Resting Pulse

30 Day Resting Pulse

 

This is a substantial change and below 60 is pretty good for a guy my size and shape.  I suspect this is due to the lower body inflammation.  Pulse rate is greatly influenced by heart efficiency but also by what the body is dealing with at any given time.  A night of drinking will increase your resting pulse for up to 12 hours the next day … exercise increases resting pulse for a good couple to 3 hours … illness definitely increases resting pulse.  Pretty much anything that stresses the body will increase the resting heart rate.  So this kind of drop can only indicate that my body is no longer fighting … something.  It certainly is an interesting finding.

Wish I had been keeping track of Blood Pressure.  Suspect it dropped appreciably as well.

Cold:

I noticed that I was cold at night especially the last 2 days.  Others have talked a fair amount how they are often cold while following Low Carb or Keto style diets.  I too had noticed this.  I was not expecting to feel cold at night while sucking on potatoes … but I was.  Not sure what the mechanism is behind this feeling and supposedly potato starch solves this issue for Low Carbers but it did not solve it for me.

Mental Issues:

There definitely were parts of days that I felt foggy mentally.  I was unable to focus, unable to think clearly … and I made mistakes in my work.  This was primarily in the 1st couple of days.  Coffee helped but did not ‘solve’ the problem.  I think that this was probably due to time it takes for the body to switch from a food intake burning machine into a body fat burning mode.  I’ve noticed this in the past when switching between Low Carb and Mid to High Carb eating.  The funny thing is = the switch back (from fat burning to food burning) does not produce this fogginess. I guess that energy being readily available to burn from food is something the body is ready for.  Famine = not so much.  My advise is to just work through it knowing that the feeling will pass.  In the last couple of days I did not feel this fog and even had periods of hyper focus and flow.  Just press on.

Food Obsession:

This probably should fall under ‘mental issues’ but this has always been a big one for me … and it did show up on day 5 again.  When I say ‘food obsession’ I’m talking about periods of time where you can’t think about anything other than food … or if your mind wanders, it always goes to food. I’ve always had issues with this when eating a restricted diet, and it drives me nuts.  This time I was not obsessing about junk food or alcohol, it was meat.  lol.  Mostly steak actually.  Thinking about cooking it, smelling it … chewing it … ahhhhhhhh!  This my mind can focus on, but not my work?  What is wrong with me?? lol.  Anyway, my two post Potato Hack days were mostly planned out foodwise by the end of Day 5.  I don’t know any solutions to this one – just roll with it is what I do = it was a substantial irritation though.

Irritability:

Probably another ‘mental issue’ but I’ll talk about it separately here.  I did have some periods of minor irritability where I had no patience for anyone or anything while Potato Hacking.  It was minor though.  Again, in the past while losing weight using other methods I had long periods where I was totally impossible to get along with.  I hate this part of losing weight … and so does my family.  This time the irritability was usually around meal time and really only lasted a couple of minutes till I got focused on other things.  I could see it being an issue if this was a long term weight loss method though.  Find something to focus on to get past this.

Sleep:

I was expecting that my sleep would be better/deeper.  That did not really happen.  I did sleep well but I don’t think that the quality of sleep was all that much better.  I usually sleep pretty good anyway, so maybe this is a non-problem for me.  My biggest issue with sleep is getting to bed early enough to get a full 8 hours.  My body and brain work way better on 8 hours compared to 7 and it accumulates.  So I can have one night of 7 hours and it not affect me much, but 2 or 3 nights in a row of 7 hours really hurts me.  I’ve messed with straight potato starch in the past and had some substantial changes in my sleep patterns – that did not happen this week.  Others may notice changes depending on how they were sleeping before starting this experiment.

Final Thoughts and Advice:

This Hack really is a good way to blow off some weight quickly.  It is basically a Very Low Calorie Diet with the added benefits of Potato Starch and bulk.  It is very simple, cheap and easy to follow.  While there are still the normal issues that come with low calorie intake, I found those things mostly manageable.  I suspect that a 3 day would have been easier than the full 5 days and I may do this in 3 day bursts in the future.  I did add Dill and Malt Vinegar to a couple of my meals so I guess I did do one of the Variations listed in the book … I suspect that the other variations would make this easier.  However I suspect the weight loss would be less.  I smell another experiment!  Definitely going to continue cycling the Potato Hack to continue losing weight.

Thanks for the book Tim and good luck everyone trying this.  Would love to hear from you in the comments.

9

San Bernardino Victim Deserved to Die Because …

The sub-title of this post could be ‘Why I no longer post on Facebook.’

NYDailyNews_001The NY Daily News just published an article that in every way defines the Western Liberal hatred of anything Christian or Conservative – “San Bernardino killers were radical, ISIS-loving monsters — but one of their victims was just as bigoted.

The author, a Linda Stasi seems to be living up to her namesake by promoting the view that anyone who believes in Christian or Conservative values … and dares voice those opinions … deserves to die.  From this hate filled article:

Nicholas Thalasinos, was a radical Born Again Christian/Messianic Jew

Thalasinos was an anti-government, anti-Islam, pro-NRA, rabidly anti-Planned Parenthood kinda guy, who posted that it would be “Freaking Awesome” if hateful Ann Coulter was named head of Homeland Security.

He asked, “IS 1. EVERY POLITICIAN IS BOUGHT AND PAID FOR?

2. EVERY POLITICIAN IS A MORON?

So lets look at what this man was according to The Stasi:

  • Born again Christian. I’m a born again Christian …
  • Anti-government. I’m a small government Conservative (often construed by left wing haters as anti-government.)
  • Anti-Islam. Islam teaches the Mo was greater than Jesus. In that way I am anti-Islam.
  • Pro-NRA. I support gun ownership.
  • Anti-Planned Parenthood. I am Pro-Life.
  • Ann Coulter supporter. I like Ann … and support many of her views.
  • Paid for politicians?  Asked this myself just yesterday as I read about the Canadian delegation to the Paris Climate junket.
  • Politicians morons?  I wonder about this too … (see the NDP here in Canada.)

So wait, all the things that The Stasi says this man should die for … many of those things, I am too?  And not only me, but many, many Christian Conservatives are too? Wait. So, if he deserved to die, do I deserve to die too?

This thinking, promoted by the 4th largest print newspaper in the US, should be viewed as a warning.  We need to understand that, in North America, are not at war with ISIS or Syria.  The war that is coming at us is from within.  It is from those that hate Christ … those that hate liberty … and especially those that view opposition as something that needs to die.

This is why I left Facebook and why I use a pseudonym as protection.  There is no doubt in my mind that the day is coming, and may already be here, when people who believe the things that I believe will be grouped and targeted.  Facebook and other social medias will either be complicit or coerced into forwarding the data that we give voluntarily everyday in our social media posts.  Read the above article, and listen to what The Stasi is saying … and think about the end game.  Where is she going with this?  What will be the effect on you and your loved ones?  Are you and your family safe?

0

What is a Refugee?

I grew up in the 80’s, so my internal picture of what a refugee looks like is painted by the famines in Uganda and Ethiopia when we saw primarily women and children dying of malnourishment and disease.  Time and National Geographic produced image after image of humans in the most desperate straights – literally dying on the page.  These were those that caught the worlds attention.  These were truly helpless.  These were true victims of circumstance.

d57130477a2156599f0c3d6c6a82f7b3b9175d1b

50176475

kevin-carter-vulture

These are the images that formed the description of what a refugee looks like in my mind. These people needed our help! They were in such dire need that they literally could not help themselves.

Then in the 90’s we had the Rwandan genocide. Thousands upon thousands of humans desperate to escape sure death – again the majority being women and children – the innocents. Many escaping extermination ended up dying of disease brought on by undernourishment and unsanitary conditions found in refugee camps. Upwards of 1 million people died in the Rwandan conflict.

78969-racism

tumblr_mz5hozTSwl1tpua2to1_1280


 

Contrast those images with the images we have of today’s ‘refugees’.

Men3

Only men? All seem well dressed. None appear to be malnourished.

 

RefugeeSelfies

Again … only men? After ‘reaching safety’ – well dressed. Well fed. With smart phones??

So we’ve gone from the dead and dying refugees of the 80’s and 90’s to packs of young, well dressed men … with smart phones.  I know some will say I’m cherry picking photos, and I am, but one thing you will not find in the 80’s refugee photos is young men.  Most estimates I’ve read is that the ‘refugees’ from Syria are 80% men.  80%!!!  Where are the true refugees?  Where are the innocent children?  Why only men?

Finally, these ‘refugees’ are now turning into this:

Men9

So, not only do we have healthy young men being called ‘refugees’, but these young men are so healthy that they can riot and wage war with the police of the countries they’ve ‘escaped’ to. If they were truly refugees of war, why not fight the oppressors in their own countries instead running riot in landed countries?

The ‘refugee’ of today is NOT the refugee of yesterday … to call these rioting young men ‘refugees’ is an insult to the memory of true refugees everywhere.


EDIT

Almost to prove my point, Canada’s John McCallum (Immigration minister) posts a picture on Twitter yesterday showing him meeting ‘newly arrived Syrian refugees’  … all males!  (I couldn’t make this stuff up … lol.)

Men10

This little piece of Liberal propaganda just shows how unlike any past refugees the current crop of ‘refugees’ really are.

Why? Why are we calling these people refugees? Why are we bringing them into our countries by the 10’s of thousands? Why are we giving them more health care, housing and food than our own poor? Something is going on here, and it’s not about refugees because I know what a refugee looks like … and these aren’t it.

0

Liberals Vow To Cut Contribution Limits to TFSA’s – The Math

This was originally published in a private newsletter by Derek Foster author of  The Idiot Millionaire Books.  Reprinted with permission.

I am certain this article will rub some of you the wrong way – but I need to write this…

The election news over the last little bit has focused on the niqab issue or the expulsion of terrorists from Canada.  Although these issues are important, I usually vote based on a logical “dollars and cents” analysis – NOT emotion!

So I have a few thoughts…

The Liberals and NDP worry me with their huge spending promises which will be funded by a return to deficits.  Governments have an abysmal record of handling taxpayer money, and small projected deficits easily turn into larger deficits which require government cuts down the road along with tax increases, BUT…

The much bigger issue is the general attitude of the parties towards us.  One of the best gifts to investors has been the creation of the TFSAs (tax-free savings accounts).  In this election, the Liberals have vowed to cut the contribution limits to these plans and instead force mandatory increases in CPP contributions (and benefits).  Let’s look at this promise in a little more detail – using simple math…

Right now, the maximum contribution amounts for CPP is $4,960/year (which maxes out at incomes of $53,600).  CPP is paid by working individuals between the ages of 18-65 (with a few exceptions).  For the maximum contribution, you would be assured the maximum benefit at age 65 of $12,780/ year for life.

What if instead of this mandatory CPP scenario, people took the $4,960 per year and invested it within the tax-free sheltered TFSA?

A quick search online shows that the average return of Canadian stock markets since 1970 (the year I was born) has averaged around 9% per year.
So, $4,960 invested yearly from ages 18-65 at 9% becomes… $3,389,000!

I would rather have a tax-free $3 million than the crumbs offered from CPP! Even if you ignore the portion the employer contributes, you would still end up with over $1.5 million!

For an apples to apples analysis, I searched a guaranteed annuity for life at age 65 and this nest egg would generate around $96,300 in income per year (or $192,600 per year with the employer contribution included) – compared to the $12,780 from CPP.

For anyone who is financially literate and not voting based on emotions, the choice is a no-brainer…

I will be voting Conservative….

Cheers,

Derek Foster (The Idiot Millionaire)

0

Do Paleo, Low Carb or Ketogenic Diets Cure Type 1 Diabetes

Big Beautiful Beta Cell!

6 weeks ago my 10 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  He has had all the tests including A1C, C-Peptide and autoimmune markers tested and he is positive in every way on every test.  Due to my own experiments with Paleo and Keto, I’m very familiar with the function of insulin and have read multiple stories about how people have ‘cured’ their diabetes with reduced carb diets and by eliminating gluten. Many, if not most of these stories are about Type 2 diabetics who have taxed their pancreases with a lifetime of high carb eating … and have recovered pancreas function and more importantly insulin sensitivity by giving their bodies a break from carbs.  This is NOT the story of Type 1 diabetes!

Type 1 diabetics have either reduced pancreas Beta Cell numbers or virtually no Beta Cells.  This is caused by an autoimmune response to something … possibly gluten, possibly some other virus and in other cases some unknown factor or event.  In my sons case, we suspect a virus that went through our family that knocked us down for 6 or 7 days each with severe stomach upset, slight fever, etc.  about 4 months before his early diagnosis.  Once the bodies insulin-autoreactive T-Cells begin to attack the pancreas, they never seem to stop until the job is finished.  Ok … this is where we pick up the stories of Type 1 diabetes reversal.

1st let me quote Diane Sanfilippo from her book Practical Paleo , page 67:

While most Type 1 Diabetics cannot regain any beta cell function, if detected early enough and a strictly grain-free diet is adopted, some may be able to reverse the condition. [bold mine]

[NOTE: Diane’s book Practical Paleo is otherwise an excellent book with a lot of good information on Paleo and some great recipes.]

I contacted her to ask for evidence to support her claim of possible reversal. She pointed me to Robb Wolf and his blog RobbWolf.com. Now I had already read some of the stories there of people who claim to have reversed Type 1 Diabetes … but they were just that: stories. No evidence. They had little to no understanding of the honeymoon period and certainly no science to support the claims. Does the theory that going gluten free might slow or halt the destruction of Beta cells make sense? Sure, but that is why I ask for science … because stories from parents are not science … they are anecdotes and unless there are a LOT of them, they are virtually useless to put out there.  She tells me, ‘you won’t find scientific studies on a paleo diet and T1 in this way.’  But then I have to ask, if all you have are a few stories of maybe something that might have happened with T1D kids and a change in diet … why suggest that we ‘may be able to reverse the condition’? To a parent who is in the shock of finding out their child has a lifetime disease, reading this gives them hope … but its based on NOTHING! Even a few more sentences in her book stating that there is NO science to back up this theory … and that there is NO evidence of anyone ever ‘reversing’ Type 1 Diabetes, but that a FEW parents have reported favorable results with a Paleo diet would put this claim into perspective.

The more I write here, the more angry I’m becoming … all these ‘experts’ making claims, but NOTHING coming of those claims. You would think that some of these people might set up their own study, sure maybe not a total peer reviewed job, but ‘lets take 20 people with Type 1 Diabetes and lets ‘reverse’ it!’ Then you would have something to claim. But to put a statement like that in a published book based on a couple of reader emails on someone else’s website is seriously irresponsible.  [EDIT.  Had a fairly extensive discussion on Twitter with Diane Sanfilippo (@balancedbites) and Robb Wolf (@robbwolf) after this post. I think they understand my frustration and Diane says, ‘I will revisit the text when I can next edit it. It was three years ago that I wrote it. Thanks.’ Maybe in the mean time others will do some further work and testing on their theory to see exactly what can be expected from diet change in the treatment of T1D.]

Ok – got that off my mind.

Back to Paleo and Type 1 Diabetes.  I think there are huge advantages to changing diet to a mid to low carb to control blood glucose.  For those people (mostly kids) in their ‘honeymoon’ period, this might mean the elimination of the need for insulin injections … for a period of time.  If you are gluten sensitive, it might be possible to slow or I can even imagine halting the continuation of insulin-autoreactive T cell production with the reduction of inflammation in the the body.  (I’m guessing on this based on what makes sense about the Paleo diet.)  I don’t see ANY scientific evidence of Beta cells ever regenerating in the pancreas.  So once they are dead, they are dead as far as I can tell.  If you have Beta’s left that can still produce insulin, you may be able to control your diabetes with diet as long as those cells are producing enough insulin.  However, it won’t last forever … and virtually EVERY SINGLE Type 1 Diabetic sees an end to their ‘honeymoon’ period at some point.  For some it is a couple of weeks, for others a couple of years, but they all end and they all go back on insulin eventually.

My son is not terribly interested in having me ‘experiment’ on him (his words … lol.)  And he’s probably been through enough over the past 6 weeks, so any changes we make will be done subtly and slowly so he has time to see results before he recognizes the changes we are making.  Will start by reducing or eliminating gluten in his diet … and see where that takes us first.

Would love to hear any thoughts or experiences others have had with Type 1 diabetes … it’s a lonely path for the parents.

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