Posts Tagged ‘diet’

Here is a screen capture of my MedHelp account; a very helpful website with lots of useful trackers.  Since December 26th, 2010, I’ve dropped 7.6 pounds, 1.5 inches from my waist, and about 3% off my body fat percentage.    I feel better, I am not hungry all the time, and I have much more control over my nutritional choices.

My day-to-day nutrition now involves a lot more fruits and vegetables.  I especially enjoy a nice fruit salad of pears, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.   About 80% of the meat and dairy I (and my family) consume are now from local organic farms that don’t use hormones.  The beef and lamb are grass-fed too.  The chicken, turkey, and eggs are all local and free range.  I’ve also switched over to whole milk (instead of 2% or skim).  The basic calorie math doesn’t make up for the filling effects and better nutritional balance of whole milk.  I will also, once I invest in a better cooler, start purchasing kefir from our local (read 40 minutes away) Whole Food’s as a sometimes replacement for Whole Milk.    Our fridge is also stocked with plenty of cow and goat cheeses from local farms.

I’ve also upped my intake of salads and various vegetables.  While I am not enamored with the idea of raw diets (Especially 100% raw diets) I have increased my consumption of raw foods from a very low-level to more around 50%.

It goes without saying that many of the processed foods have vanished from my pantry and fridge.  And to be honest, I can’t complain.  I am enjoying my food more, and my stomach is definitely happier about my change in diet.     I am looking forward to seeing where I am by Feb. 1, 2011.  No goals, no stress, I plan on just sticking with healthy eating and exercise and seeing where it gets me.

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Well my first two weeks are almost up.  I am definitely happy with the results!  After 13 days I have dropped from 191 to 184 pounds.  My arms, leg, shoulder, etc. measures have stayed the same so I am confident I’ve lost very little, if any muscle mass.  My waist measure has dropped from 38+ inches to 36.5 inches (2 inches!).  My old shorts finally fit again and my old t-shirts no longer make me look like a pork roast wrapped in kitchen twine.  I will probably post some pictures in a couple of weeks or whenever I get back down to 170 (whichever comes first).

How do I feel?  I feel healthy, happy, and a lot more energetic.  I was really worried about fast days going into this program, but I was shocked how easy they could be with the right kind of foods and fiber available throughout the day (miso soup is awesome!).  On my fast days I am incredibly productive as I have both increased energy AND I can spend the time I would normally spend prepping meals getting work done. Also, my workouts on my up days feel like someone flipped a “turbo charge” button to the on position.  I wear myself out during workouts, but after I feel energized and refreshed.  I also am recovering more quickly from exercise, and for the first time I’ve been able to do well on a split schedule workout routine (A.M. and P.M. workouts on the same day, three times a week).

What’s next?  Well I can keep going with my down days at 500 calories, or I can move up to a maintenance regimen where my down days would allow me to eat 50-70% of my required caloric intake.  I will make that decision tomorrow.  I am leaning toward staying with 500 calorie down days, but incorporating one “moderate” day of 50-70% caloric intake (probably Saturday).

I will probably post a break down of a ridiculous hit piece the (UK) Guardian  put out not-so-long ago about the Alternate Day Diet.  Needless to say it was a piece of journalistic trash that I wouldn’t even dignify by saying it was of a sufficient level of quality to be used as toilet paper.

Well, with my less than encouraging cholesterol numbers I am even more hopeful that this diet will be even haf as good as I’ve heard from others who tried it out.  I’ve been working hard to stick within 400-500 calories on my down days, and thus far I haven’t had any problems with that.  I even joined my family at the local pizzeria on one of my down days, and the temptation was pretty minimal (I did have a delicious, but expensive, One of a Kind bar to eat thought).  The down day is a lot easier to do than I expected, and easier than other diets I’ve tried in the past.  Because the calories I consume are so minimal on a down day I don’t have to worry about packing 5-6 meals/shakes when I am out for the day.  A definite pus!

Although my first week weigh-in won’t be until this Friday, the numbers I saw on the scale the last few days were encouraging.   Of greater importance, I’ve already dropped 1/2 an inch from my waist.

My schedule is pretty straight forward.  I alternate up days and down days.  On down days I either walk or do grip training workouts.   On my up days I eat like a horse (but 90% healthy food) and workout once in the morning and once at night.   Today I completed an outdoor H.I.T. workout:

  • Heavy Bag training (30 seconds action/50 seconds rest) (I knocked these all out in a row since the gloves can be annoying when I am doing other exercises and it is a pain to take them on and off).
  • Then I did the following exercises: Sledgehammer training (right and left side; alternated between two- and one-arm), Roman sit-ups, medicine ball slam, and jump rope.
  • Circuit 1, 2, and 3 I did 30 seconds action @ 70% intensity with 50 seconds rest in between
  • Circuit 4 and 5 I did 15 seconds action at 90-100% intensity with 30 seconds rest
  • The final circuit I did one minute of 50-60% intensity with 1 minute of rest in between.
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Total Exercise Time minus rest: 16 minutes

Over the next few weeks I will be limiting rest time between sets and extending the time during each exercise.  I look forward to seeing what my cholesterol numbers look like in a month or two.

[UPDATE: I found the post where I listed my cholesterol numbers back in January 2008.  I have updated this post accordingly.]

Aside from the stats I mentioned a few posts ago, now I have some more numbers that will help me measure how beneficial the Alternate Day Diet might or might not be for my health.

  1. Cholesterol (total): 208……….was 193 in 2008
  2. HDL: 48…………………………….was 39 in 2008
  3. LDL: 141……………………………was 142 in 2008
  4. Triglycerides: 93………………..was 57 in 2008
  5. Fasting blood sugar: 82……….was 75 in 2008
  6. Kidney function (BUN): 14
  7. Liver function: AST = 22/ALT (23)

Aside from the cholesterol numbers everything else looks good.  And with the cholesterol numbers, at least my triglycerides are at a healthy level and my overall cholesterol is only marginally higher than normal.  Yet my LDL is disappointingly high.  Right now I am trying to locate my cholesterol test from 18 months ago to compare, but I can promise I will have the test rerun in a month and we will see if things have improved.

I am working my way through my second day of the Alternate Day Diet.  I wouldn’t call it working though since today has been a breeze.  You see, today is my up day.  I can eat whatever I want whenever I want.  I have chosen to stick with healthy foods, but I am consciously ignoring calories today.  You heard that right, I am completely ignoring calories.  I don’t have to count them at all!  Heck I just baked (although as easy as it was to make I can hardly call it baking) some muffins and had a few.

[Easiest Muffin Recipe EVER: 1 box of devil’s food cake mix, 1 15 oz. can of 100% pure pumpkin (no added sugar).  Mix.  Bake.  Eat.  Told you it was easy.]

And although I knew today would be easy, I didn’t expect yesterday to go as well as it did.  Heck, the book claims the first day should be the hardest.   I didn’t find it all that hard.  I did my best to fit a lot of food into the allotted 500 calories.  It worked out to:

  • Breakfast: Nothing (fasting for blood test)
  • Snack: Nothing (still fasting)
  • Lunch: 24 hour protein shake (120 calories)
  • Snack: Miso Soup (35 calories)
  • Dinner: A bean and lentil in tomato based soup with Miso soup on the side (extra seaweed added in), and a mini cucumber.   (165 calories)
  • Snack: Protein shake (120 calories)
  • Overall 15 cups of water

Not bad and NO major hunger difficulties to report.

Today (my “up day”) I had:

  • Breakfast: Kashi Honey Almond Flax Crunch, unsweetened shredded coconut, and 1/2 a serving of 70% dark chocolate (more…)

I have tried a lot of different plans over the course of my online health experiment.  I’ve done everything from the velocity diet to simple balanced meals.  Low-fat, low-carb, no-carb; I’ve done them all.   Well, I am going to try something new starting tomorrow.  Tomorrow I will begin experimenting with the Alternate Day Diet.   The general idea is that calorie deprivation every other day not only leads to a caloric deficit, but activates certain healthy cellular level responses (no doubt explained by the whole “hunter-gatherers didn’t eat well every day” kind of argument).  “Down days” of 400 calories or less are balanced out by up days when one can eat freely (relatively speaking).  In theory such should help with the usual problems of most diets and or caloric restriction plans- a rapidly plummeting metabolism that adapts to low calorie intake.  Also, the nutritional plan is supposed to help me (or you) achieve the benefits of caloric restriction without making you look like the people who are on caloric restriction diets (think Christian Bale in the Machinist).

My father speaks very highly of the nutritional plan contained in the book, so I figured I would give it a shot for 2 weeks.  Of course this means I will have to juggle my workout schedule around, as I can’t possibly do my usual workouts on any of my “down” (400 calorie) days.  If nothing else it will be an interesting experience.  I will of course keep you updated.  I will take measurements tomorrow morning (along with pictures) and we will see how far I can go in 2 weeks.

anatomy-bicep_r1_c11What a day…

Today began with my day 8 measurements, which are already posted here.  The results were great, with a loss of 4.4lbs and 2.1% body-fat.  After that it was back to the usual routine- protein shakes and milled flax seed.

Meal 1: Myoplex Shake, milled flax seed, multi-vitamin, 2 PGX fiber capsules (7:30 a.m.)

Meal 2: Myoplex light shake (10:35 a.m.)

It was just about this time that I got a pleasant surprise- well two surprises.  First, the repair guy from GE came to fix our dryer AND it was covered by the warranty.  Theshowdown-kennycomplete icing on the cake– he looked like Kenny Rogers.  Not just any Kenny rogers.  Nope, he looked like Will Sasso as Kenny Rogers.  Even better than the original if you ask me!

Although one bit of bad news, we will need a new washing machine immediately (I will be at Home Depot tomorrow).  But I left that bit of bad news behind and moved on to lunch; a Myoplex shake and a half serving of Cheerios to fuel my impending workout.

Today’s workout went GREAT!  My GPP training session lasted over 35 minutes. That is up from about 25 minutes last week.  Here are the details: (more…)