Archive | Paleo

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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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!


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 …


Spuds – ready for Monday!


Day 1:

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


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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


Rethinking the Ketogenic Diet Principles

I was pretty sold on the principles behind ketones and using them for fuel.  It all seemed to make sense and was wrapped up in a nice bundle … and was presented in a way that I could understand and work with: low/no carbs, lots of fat, body begins producing ketones, body begins to burn ketones for fuel = all is well with the world.  Except it was hard for me.  Yes I loved fat, and it was VERY satiating for me, and I felt OK from about week 2 till about week 6 at which point I began to feel dragged out again.  Why?  What was I missing?  I thought back to Paleo days, and I realized that I was missing a piece of watermelon, and honey and the crunch of an apple.  Not all the time and certainly not in ‘stuff my face’ amounts, but mildly missing them just the same.Mr. Keto

So I went back to a couple of the bloggers that had got me on the path to the Keto Diet to see what they were currently doing and saying.  (I tend to read and take all I can from what people write and then move on … maybe I should have stuck with following some of these guys = hindsight is 20/20.)  Specifically I went back to Jimmy Moore (Twitter @livinlowcarbman), AKA: Mr Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb man.  The 1st post on his blog several days ago was:  I Will No Longer… . I was shocked to read the excuses and the giving up and all the other feeling-sorry-for-myself nonsense in that post.  Basically he was saying, ‘this is THE way to eat to be healthy … just don’t criticize me because it’s not working for me.’  This was the guy who was ‘advising’ me about the Keto Diet?!?  And then today he posted this horroriffic picture on Instagram.  ‘Houston, we have a problem.’  ‘Dammit Jim!’  ‘What the tarnation?’ (and any other movie exclamations one can think of.)  This was what I was trying to look like??  I looked like that once … a LONG time ago and I’m not interested in looking like that again!  Now, before all the haters come out, I’m sure Jimmy is a nice guy.  He certainly plays one on the interwebs.  I think he is honest, or at the very least still believes in what he is doing.  But F ME …. it’s not working buddy!  When you gain weight on a Keto diet (and you honestly have been eating true to the Keto diet,) then we all need to rethink this thing.  So I’m rethinking this …

Richard Nikoley over at has apparently been moving in a different direction as well.  I don’t think he ever really got into the Keto crowd, but he certainly was an avid Paleo guy back in the day when I was trying to figure out how to change my life.  His recent posts including A Rare Picture of Richard really pointed out that he was no longer following Paleo principles either especially since he is eating grains again.  It’s hard to figure out what exactly the direction is that he has gone, but it all seems to stem around moderation and enjoying food again.  And THAT strikes a chord with me!  I just want to enjoy good food again!  I do want that piece of watermelon (but not the whole melon!) and I do want a spoonful of honey now and then to enjoy melting in my mouth (but not the whole container at one time) and I want to pull an apple from one of my apple trees and crunch into it (but not 10 at a time) … you get the point.

Anyway.  Not sure where this is all going to take me.  I still need to lose between 40 and 50 lbs and I still need to get my BP under better control … and who knows what my lipid profile looks like, but I also want to live a little again.  All this seems to be bringing me back to real food and Paleo (I don’t think I’ll ever really get comfortable with grains again.)  I’m really looking forward to my huge garden again this year, and if the snow ever disappears from this frozen wasteland, I’ll be getting out there preparing the soil.  In the mean time, I have some thinking and reading to do …


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