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Here’s the thing you need to remember: your goal is to start burning your own fat for fuel.  The ONLY WAY to tap into that stored fat is to STOP running on glucose / glycogen.  You can either be a fat-burner or a sugar burner.  The end.  Making the transition from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner is the hard art, but once you do it, you will be AMAZED at how good you feel.  I promise.
  —  Gin Stephens
From her book:  “Delay, Don’t Deny
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On This Day In:
2018 You Mean There IS Something Else?
2017 Be Good
2016 Raise Yourself
2015 A Kids Movie Rip-Off
2014 Ready, Action!
2013 Responding To Challenges
2012 Abnormal, adj.
2011 Large Families
On The Brink
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This is a long post!  (You’ve been warned…)
The end of day seventeen and the morning of day eighteen…  Elvis has left the building, folks…
Morning weight: 348lbs.  (on Day 18)
I am down / down “5/25”.  As in, 5lbs down from yesterday and 25lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Yesterday morning (the early morning hours of Day 17), I didn’t sleep well.  I got out of bed a little before 3am and by dawn I’d “cheated” on my blend fast by having a two handfuls of nuts.  The rest of the day I was able to stick with my juice blend and felt pretty good in saying the cheats were aberrations and I was continuing my fast count.  Well, today the desire to chew (and taste something different) got the better of me and I had two slices of toast and two slices of pizza.  I said (in yesterday’s post) if I cheated again, I’d have to call the blend fast done, so that’s what I’m doing in this post.
The “interesting” thing is I’ve now had two five(5) pound changes in the last week.  I gained five pounds overnight a few days ago, and between yesterday and today, I’ve now lost five pounds.  It is routine to lose 5 to 7 pounds in the first day or two of a fast.  This is due to loss of stomach contact and some initial water weight loss (due to decrease of sugar and salt in the diet).  It is not common (in my experience) for this to happen after the first week without some significant change.  I have not restricted water or exercised excessively, so I have to assume there is “something” else going on in my body which is beyond my experience.  As such, and because of my prior comments about “cheating again and ending the fast”, I’m going to modify my behavior to more moderate eating habits (i.e. I’m going to start consuming / chewing food).
Below are the images from my scale to mark the end of the fast:
Image of scale at High end of Blend fast (348lbs) Image of scale at Low end of Blend fast (343lbs)
High end of Blend fast (348lbs) Low end of Blend fast (343lbs)
As per normal, there is a five(5) pounds variance between my “high” and “low” weights.  As explained in previous posts, the high is from me pressing my toes and the low is from pressing my heels.  When I last took my weight on a digital scale at my doctor’s office, their scale showed two(2) pounds less than my low for that day.  I wasn’t pressing forward or backwards.  And, again, I don’t know if their scale is programmed to subtract estimated clothing weight (or how much they might have subtracted).  As I’ve been using the “high” weigh-in, I feel I’m being conservative (and fair).
To summarize:  I started my “blending” fast with the parallel goals of completing one week without chewing while sticking to a plant (vegetable, fruit and legume) based liquefied diet; and, to jump-start myself on my Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) diet which I had started way back in February, but had not stuck to fairly.  I’ve ended up completing the first of the original goals and, in fact, doubling the time to two full weeks.  I said at the end of the second week, I’d like to push through for a third full week, but I was considering the process as “day-to-day” from there on.  I ended up making it through two days (Days 15 and 16), and now have cheated on two consecutive days (Days 17 and 18).  At this point, I’m calling the fast done and moving on to the second goal: switching to the Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) or a “Modified” ADF or to a Intermittent Time Fasting lifestyle – maybe trying “One-Meal-A-Day” (OMAD).
So, which will I choose?  I don’t know…  I’m not sure I have to choose one over the others.  With the exception of having a defined protocol, I’m not sure there is any advantage to picking one of them over the others, so for the time being, I’m leaning to trying a bit of a mix and match to see which “works” for me.
Having said that, what will be my criteria:
1)  Although only specifically stated for the ADF protocol, I believe it is necessary for me to establish a longer and more consistent sleep period and schedule.  I’m therefor committing to trying to get a minimum of seven(7) hours each night.  I will set my start time for 11pm and end to 7am.
2)  A “strict” ADF or MADF has a low-calorie day and a normal-calorie day, with both tending to use windows to extend the daily fast time period.  The preference is to wait until 10am or 11am to break the fast each day and to close the window for eating (and drinking) at least three hours prior to going to bed.  For me, this would mean, no more eating or drinking (the exception being the water required to swallow my heart pills and vitamins before bed), after 8pm.  This will give me a fasting period of 15 to 16 hours each day, with eating windows of 9 to 8 hours on both the “fasting” and “normal” days.
3)  No matter which day or time period, water, black coffee, black tea and green tea are allowed —  EXCEPT during the three hours before bed, when I am only allowed enough water to take my heart medications.
4)  On “fasting” days I will try to limit myself to between 700 and 1,100 calories per day.  These numbers are fairly arbitrary:  the low end is the “recommended” fasting number for adult males doing an ADF.  The upper number is from my prior experience using the “Fat Smash Diet“.  This “high” number is not a caloric limit that many people could live with for very long.  I no longer believe dieting is simply “calories in < calories out = weight loss”.  I now believe limiting “calories in” too severely, over too long a period of time (one or two weeks), simply tells the body to lower your normal basal metabolic rate (BMR – how many calories you need to sustain life in a state of coma).  This makes it difficult to continue to lose weight and even more difficult to continue to keep the lost weight off.  It has also been shown that it is much more difficult to restore or raise the BMR to a previous level once you have lowered it than it was to lower it to start off with.  Basically, we must somehow lose weight while not lowering the BMR.  This means your body must not sense it is ever in a prolonged period of caloric deficit.  The “trick” is to lower the average caloric input over time while convincing the body you are never “really” dieting.  This is the goal of the ADF and the ITF methods.  On ADF, you eat as “normally” as you wish during your eating window.  On the ITF, you not only can eat as much as you wish, you can eat anything you wish – as long as you stay within your eating window.
5)  I must also maintain a reasonable protocol for increasing and maintaining my “calories-out” portion of the formula.  I currently walk my dog each day for 30 minutes (about 1 mile).  I also swim a couple of times a week for 60 minutes per session.  Our local pool will be closing for the winter soon, so I will need to commit to using a “gym” more frequently.  Swimming has a natural advantage over typical gym workouts.  I believe the three main ones to be: swimming tends to be a continuous whole body workout; swimming tends to be less damaging to the support joints (feet, ankles, knees, hips, and spine; and, finally, water transfers heat energy significantly faster than air, which means you will burn more calories to maintain your own body temperature in water than you will do in air of equal temperature.  The combination of these advantages means I will need to go to the gym more frequently and stay (exercise) longer than I would have to by swimming.  The only advantages of the gym (that I know of) are: you can increase your muscle mass to body weight ratio and you can increase your flexibility.  Swimming tends to make bodies long and lean, but not strong and flexible.  Weights and calisthenics will tend to increase muscle density, muscle size and flexibility (if done in conjunction with proper stretching), but not provide a long and lean appearance.  Bottom line:  go to the gym 4-5 times a week and stay for 90 minutes, including weights, stretching and cardio work in each session.
6)  My new protocol will be a rotation of fast day, eat day, OMAD day.  All three will be time restricted, but the window will vary between days: fasting(8 hrs), eating(6 hrs) and OMAD(5 hrs).  Most fasting days will be two eggs, beans(1 can / 1.5 cups) and rice(1/2 cup), and fruits and veggies(no limit).  Most eating days will be two eggs or oatmeal, salad or fruit(no limit) for lunch, normal dinner.  Most OMAD days will be egg(1) and fruit, large dinner (all I can eat / anything I want); if I want a “snack / desert” on my OMAD, it must be eaten 75 minutes to 1 hour before the daily eating window closes.  Water, black coffee, and black tea are any day / any time.  Fruit juice or veggie-fruit blends are only allowed on eating or OMAD days and only during the windows.
I will begin the protocol tomorrow.  I will continue to post images on my MADF page each day and my weight on my “Sweat Equity” pages, but I will not be creating a daily post specifically about this protocol.  I will try to update (via posting) a couple of times a month if I have anything interesting to say.  If I have any significant health changes as a result of the protocol, I will post about those.  And, so it goes, a “lifestyle” with the simple acknowledgement that vacations, holidays, birthdays, and exceptions will happen…  And, you just deal with them.
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On This Day In:
2018 I’ll Trade You…
2017 Luv Me Some Meat Loaf
2016 Unless Your Name Is #AmnestyDon
2015 A Tentative First Step
2014 Making People
2013 On Reading Books
2012 On America
2011 Shiver, Me Timbers!
2010 Fiduciary Breakdown

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The end of day sixteen and the morning of day seventeen…   Last night / this morning was my first cheat day.  😦
Morning weight: 353lbs.  (on Day 17)
I am down / down “2/20”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 20lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
The three(3) pounds I had gained two days ago to yesterday is mostly gone.  Two(2) pounds of it, anyway.  The “high” weight was a loss of 2lbs.  My “low” weight was a loss of 1lb.  Whatever it was that caused the three pounds gain appears to be sorting itself out and I’ve started going back down.  Since I had coffee the last two days, it seems unlikely the coffee (or caffeine) is what caused the uptick.  If the weight keeps dropping for the next few days, I’ll just have to leave it as an unresolved aberration in the weight loss pattern.  If I spike (bump up) again, I’ll have to consider the cause may be something else.  My weigh-in was performed before my “cheat(s)”.
So…  The problem wasn’t really yesterday (Day 16), as much as it during the night / this morning (Day 17)…
I woke up at 2:30am last night and couldn’t fall back to sleep.  After laying in bed for awhile, I got up and went to log on to my computer to read my ever-growing backlog of emails.  Normally, I get up, weigh in, take my BP / HR and walk the dog (1 mile, 30 minutes).  Then, I prepare my “daily” blend.  “Prepare” means I pour my saved blend into a larger bottle, add two or three goblets of ice cubes and then top up the bottle with fruit or vegetable juice.  The “vegetable” juice is “V-8” brand or “Naked” brand, depending on which I have available and my taste for the day (saltier or sweeter respectively).  Our neighborhood is not very well lit by streetlights, so we don’t normally walk the dog in the dark.  It’s too difficult to see if we’re getting up all of the poop.  This morning, that meant waiting until dawn to walk the dog.  As it is not practical to drink loads before going out to walk the dog, I was going to be stuck for some time just feeling hungry…
To make a longer story a little shorter, I had a couple of cheats during the wait.  I had a palm-full (8 to 10) of almonds about 3:15am and then another about 5am.  I walked the dog a little after 6am.  So, technically, my blending “ONLY” fast is broken.  😦
However, being the forgiving person that I am, I’m going to let it slide and pretend it didn’t happen.    IF it happens again, I will face up to the “fast” being over.  Until then, I’ll just keep counting the days as fasting.
So…  How did yesterday go?  Not too badly.  I am still (after two weeks) missing the act of chewing.  Yesterday, I was mostly missing the taste of eating.  When I make a week’s worth of blend, there simply isn’t much variety in the taste from one day to the next.  (To me, this taste variety is THE main benefit of preparing your juice prior to drinking it or in the morning for that day.)  This is why I vary the “juice” I add to the daily bottle a more “straight” fruity juice (apple, pineapple, grapefruit, cherry, etc.) and a more “veggie” juice (the various types of V-8 and Naked juices).  Other than the mixture, the only variation is the amount of ice I add over the course of a day.  As mentioned above, I start with three 16 ounce goblets of ice cubes, then, depending on the day’s temperature, I will add another one or two goblets of ice.  Yes, this makes for a very watery drink for most of the second half of the day, but it has two benefits:  1) it keeps the drink cold; and,  2) it dilutes the sugar and acidic content of the drink.
The benefit of a cold drink is two-fold:  1) it cools you off on a hot day; and, 2) your body has to expend additional calories raising the fluid’s temperature up to your body’s temperature.  It may not seem like much, but every little bit helps in the weight-loss process.  The benefit of diluting the sugar (by volume) content is obvious.  The reduction of acid may be less so to the average person.  I have no scientific “proof” of this, but my teeth “feel” different when I go all day drinking an undiluted blend than they do when I drink with continuously adding ice (or chasing with plain water).  When I run my tongue over my teeth, the teeth feel cleaner or “rougher” depending on which I do.  So, I either dilute during the day or I keep an extra (small) bottle of water and “sip and swish” the water after drinking some of the blend.  I also have a separate brand of mouthwash (which I use every second or third day) which is supposed to rebuild / reinforce the enamel on my teeth.  (This was recommended by my dental hygienist who said you cannot “repair” lost / damaged tooth enamel, but you can help “remineralize” your teeth with proper brushing and gargling.  She relayed the products recommended by the dentist’s office.)  I alternate the mouthwash because I am a creature of habit and my regular mouthwash makes my mouth / teeth “feel” cleaner.  The “recommended” mouthwash doesn’t have as much alcohol content, so it doesn’t give me that “burned” cheeks, tongue and gums feeling I’ve grown used to over the last 45-plus years.
And, now you know more than you ever imagined you would ever know about my dental hygiene.  And, admit it…  You are a better person for it!  (LoL)
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On This Day In:
2018 The Children Are Our Future
2017 And Three
2016 Nine Parts Mystery
2015 Little Or No Common Ground
2014 Just Between Me
2013 Beyond The Strings
2012 Saving The Union
2011 Still And Too Often

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In a nutshell, there are two main types of intermittent fasting strategies:  Plans you do every day (an “eating window” approach), or plans you implement a certain number of times per week (an “up / down day” approach).
Which approach to intermittent fasting is the best?  It’s the one that makes you feel in control and the one that you can follow long-term as a lifestyle.  That’s important to understand from the beginning —  intermittent fasting is a lifestyle.  It isn’t something that you start today and then end when you get to some arbitrary “goal weight.”  Something you start and then stop is DIET.  Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet —  as I said, it’s a lifestyle.
  —  Gin Stephens
From her book:  “Delay, Don’t Deny
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On This Day In:
2018 The Children Are Our Future
2017 And Three
2016 Nine Parts Mystery
2015 Little Or No Common Ground
2014 Just Between Me
2013 Beyond The Strings
2012 Saving The Union
2011 Still And Too Often

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The end of day fifteen and the morning of day sixteen…  Live by the scale, die by the scale.
Morning weight: 355lbs.  (on Day 16)
I am up / down “3/18”.  As in, 3lbs up from yesterday and 18lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
As bad as it may be (for a dieter) to hit a plateau, it’s psychologically MUCH worse when you have a day to day gain.  One pound?  Okay.  Three pounds?  WTF?  (Pardon my language / expressions.)  Three pounds is either a healthy meal or it’s almost a half-gallon of water (or similar density fluid).  Since I didn’t eat and I don’t feel bloated (water retention), the most reasonable two explanations are:  1) I’ve accidentally moved the scale, so it’s giving different readings; or, 2) the universe is unkind and / or unjust.  (I prefer to think it’s the second option.)  To make it even more painful, the scale wasn’t “bouncy”.  The needle was stable.
Now, please recall I take my weight two ways each morning:  forwards and back.  This means I stand in almost the exact same spot each morning, but on “forward”, I bend my knees slightly and lean as far to the front as I can while maintaining full foot contact, but with my weight shifted fully onto my toes.  For the “back” weigh-in, I straighten my legs and tilt as far back on my heels as I can without falling off of the scale.  Again, I still keep my feet in full contact with the scale.  This gives me (respectively) my high and my low weight for the day.  The two weights tend to vary about 5 to 7 pounds (as much as 10, but so far never less than 5), and they also tend to vary between themselves.  By this I mean, they don’t usually both go up or down the same number on any given day.  It’s usually 1 and 2 or 2 and 1.  I’m not saying they don’t.  I’m saying it’s far less common for them to correspond.  Today they both increased by 3lbs from yesterday’s weigh-in.
Of course, I have to consider what I may have done different yesterday from any other day.  Off the top of my head, I can only think of two things:  1)  I had a mug of black coffee in the morning; and,  2) I had more fruit juice in my blend than normal.  The day before I was a bit fed up with the taste of the blend and I felt a bit down on my energy level.  I countered that yesterday by adding more juice and less ice to the blend mix.  This was probably somewhere between 8 to 12 ounces of juice.  It is certainly possible the extra fructose contributed to the weight gain.  It’s hard to imagine it to have been the black coffee.
About sugar (well, about fructose) –  my understanding is sugar doesn’t (by itself) cause water (fluid) retention.  What sugar does is promote an increase in insulin (there’s that hormone again) which causes the body to retain sodium (salt), which in turn causes you to retain water.  The body has a very narrow band of tolerance for sugar (glucose in the bloodstream) which is maintained by increasing or decreasing the amount of insulin in the body.
About the coffee – I tried adding the coffee because the intermittent fasting book I just read said it was okay to drink black coffee or unflavored (black or green) tea – or plain water, and it wasn’t considered “breaking” your daily fast period.  I have never had coffee or black tea while on a fast before (in over 35 years) as removal of caffeine (like sugar) is usually one of the targets of a “cleansing” fast.  I have had herbal teas before while veggie broth fasting (over 30 years ago), but never while on a veggie-juice or veggie-blend fast.  My expectation was that it would make the hairs on my forearms stand up.  Surprisingly, it did not.  I also don’t feel like I got my usual coffee “buzz” –  that “ahh” sensation.  We drink Folder’s ground coffee at our house.  It struck me as fairly bitter.  Not as bad as back in my (ancient) memory of my Army days, but nowhere near as enjoyable as my sugar / half-and-half / Bailey’s Irish Cream.  Most of the year, I only drink coffee on the weekends.  This last year, with joining Costco and paying only 2/3rds the price for Bailey’s, I’ve been going through a pot-load of coffee on any given day.  (A pot-load is between 10 and 12 cups of brewed coffee.  The Bailey’s and half-and-half are on top of that.)
Ultimately, there is little to no chance to guess or deduce what may have caused the “bump”.  All I can do is continue down the path for a day or two and see if it really is an aberration or if something has fundamentally changed.  I just finished my morning (10:30am) mug of black coffee.  I guess we’ll see what we see tomorrow…  The next step will be to eliminate the coffee and see what that does.  Time will tell (or not).
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On This Day In:
2018 Just Wondering
2017 Until I Think Of Something Better
2016 Who Are You?
2015 Renaissance Reptiles
2014 Book Return
2013 Keep Writing Your Truths
Perilous Times For The U.S. Military
2012 The Victor
2011 Forging Away At My Deadlines
2010 Try This With Your Shoes…

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The end of day fourteen and the morning of day fifteen…
Morning weight: 352lbs.  (on Day 15)
I am down / down “2/21”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 21lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Well, the good news is I have made it through two full weeks of blended fasting.  At 21lbs lost, I am averaging a loss of 1.5lbs per day.  This is not terribly good or bad.  It’s pretty average for a veggie juice type of fast with moderate exercise most days.  I am continuing to walk my dog each day for 30-45 minutes in the morning and going to the pool for a swim (or to tread water) for an hour for ten(10) of the fourteen(14) days I’ve been fasting.  All of the swim sessions have been breast stroke and I’m doing between 40 and 48 lengths an hour.  (FYI: 1 length = 25 yards; 1 lap = 2 lengths; 18 laps = 1/2 mile.)  Basically, I’m swimming 1/2 mile 5 times per week (so far).  The pool will be closing for the season in a little over a week, so I will have to make other arrangements to get exercise after that.  I haven’t done any treading water sessions since starting the fast, and only a handful of times during this summer season.
How am I feeling?  Thinner.  Which is good!  Even though the loss is only a little over 5% of my starting weight, it already feels easier on my knees to get up from a sitting position.  That’s the “movement” test.  I am also beginning to experience more flexibility and range of motion.  The flexibility I’m putting down more to doubling my average number of days of swimming per week (from twice – maybe 2.5 – to five times per week), than I am to fasting.  The range of motion I’m putting down to less fat getting in the way of any given stretching action.  So, that’s due to the fasting.
As promised, here’s the face shots from on day 1, after week 1 and after week 2:

Image of me on morning of Day 0 of 2019 fast.

Day 0

Image of me on the morning of Day 8 of the 2019 fast.

Day 8

Image of me on morning of Day 15 of the 2019 fast.

Day 15

I, for one, am hard pressed to see much difference between the three photos.  Of course, it is ONLY two weeks.  If anything, there appears to be slight decrease in puffiness in the area of the zygomaticus (major and minor).  That’s the upper cheeks between the nostrils and the ears to us normal humans.  There (to my eyes anyway) appears to be the start of a jaw line between the face and neck.  Of course, both of these changes could just be due to the difference in lighting.  And, I could just be seeing what I want to see: my face getting thinner.  (LoL!)  I guess time will tell…
And, here are the images of the scale:

Day 0 (373lbs)

Day 8 (361lbs)

Day 15 (352lbs)

Note:  The morning of Day 15 shows 348lbs in the image, not 352lbs.  The scale was bouncing between the two weights and I am using the high end for the day’s weight as it is only two pounds less than the previous day.  If I used the lower weight, it would mean I lost about 6lbs from the prior day.  Thus, the lower limit is unreasonable and why I am using the high end.  The photo just happened to catch the bottom end of one of the bounces.
What now?
I am fairly encouraged, despite my off and on preoccupation (obsession?) with food / chewing.  I’m not finding the blend fasting process too bad, although the sense of wanting to chew does seem to be greater than it was during last year’s juicing.  As mentioned in prior posts, that may be a side effect of strictly blending rater than strictly juicing or mixing juicing with blending.
For now (the afternoon of the Day 15), I have four full bottles of blend left in the refrigerator.  That should get me through at least the next three days.  After that, if I’m going to continue, I’ll need to restock.  Bottom line:  I intend to keep going day-by-day / hour-by-hour, and see how far I get.  I have now doubled my target (two weeks, instead of a single week), so even if I break my fast tonight, I’ve still had a successful fast.  (Yea, me!)
In the meantime, I’m  giving serious thought to returning to Planet Fitness.  I joined last year and haven’t gone since mid-January because I got a bit full of myself and fed up with the New Year’s Resolution crowd.  I will have to just get over it (and get over myself, too).  We’ll see…
For now, I’m just enjoying keeping on – keepin’ on…  (I’ll drink to that!)
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On This Day In:
2018 House To Home
2017 Got Education?
2016 Necessary Company
2015 Reality Vs Imagination
2014 Penalty Period
2013 Theft
2012 Cranky Old Man
2011 A Man’s Got To Know His Limitations

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When we follow restrictive diets, count calories, eat according to an arbitrary meal schedule, etc., we disconnect from our satiety hormones.  We eat because it is time to eat.  We eat because it is time to eat.  We eat because food is available.  The more we do it, the worse shape we are in.
Bottom line, if you have had trouble sticking to a diet, it isn’t your fault — it’s your hormones.  The overwhelming drive to eat is coming from ghrelin, telling you to eat more.  You are no longer able to get the signals from leptin, telling you that you have had enough.  Understand that uncontrollable or constant hunger is a sign that your have made some dietary choices that aren’t working for you.  On the other hand, satiety is a good sign, telling you that your body is happy with what you are doing.
  —  Gin Stephens
From her book: “Delay, Don’t Deny
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On This Day In:
2018 Gratitude And Warmth
Remembering Loss, Sacrifice And Service
Making Little Ones Out Of Bigger Ones
2017 Never Forget
2016 It’s All Greek To Me (Well, Latin Actually)
2015 Truism
2014 Thank You
2013 Really
2012 Ordinary Five Minutes Longer
2011 The Wealth Of Sons (And Daughters)

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