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Posts Tagged ‘Dieting’

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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The end of day six and the start of day seven…  Today completes the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 362lbs.  (on Day 7)
I am down / down “2/11”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 11lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Yesterday, was a peculiar day.  I had to give a blood sample in the morning for a doctor’s appointment on Friday.  This meant I had to “fast” (no eating of drinking of my blend) for 12 hours.  I stopped about 9pm the night before.  I got up and walked the dog about 9am, so I was on time.  I got to the office about 10:15am and gave the sample a little after 11am.  I almost never make an appointment to give blood.  I just bring a book or read email on my cell.  In this case, I did both.  Some time this week, I’ll get my results with my cholesterol and triglycerides levels and the doctor will review them with me to see where I stand.  Hopefully, both will be down (at least slightly) and I’ll be able to avoid any statins.  I was taking them in pill form for a number of years and been having a negative reaction (muscle pains and joint stiffness), but my cardiologist feels I will need to go back on something.  He’s recommending some new drug (new to me) which is administered via shot.   I’m not keen on drugs or shots (in particular), so I have another reason to make a go of fasting and losing weight.
After giving blood, I had a shot of OJ and then went out to mow the front lawn.  That took about an hour.  I settled in to drink at least a quart of my blend.  I watched a bit of TV and read a bit and then took a nap for about 2hrs.  After that, I watched some Netflix and then went to the pool for an evening swim (60 minutes / breast stroke).  I felt like it was exhilarating but (again) I tired quickly (after about 30 minutes).  So, it was another gut check to finish the time.  I just set a nice relaxing pace and got through it…  I can pretty easily do 40 lengths (25 yard lenghts) in under 55 minutes, so I say I’m doing 42 to 44 lengths an hour.  That’s a little more than one half mile (36 lengths).  It may not sound great to any young readers, but I started out in April taking between 75 and 80 minutes to do just 40 lengths, so I’ve made reasonable progress for an ol’ geezer.
Today is actually Day 7 of the fast and tomorrow I’ll be posting a photo of my progress.  Tonight I’ll make a decision about going for another week or just going day to day.  At this moment, I’m feeling great, so I’m leaning towards committing to a second full week and then switching.  The thing about “committing” is if I fall off the wagon, I’ll start beating myself up about it, whereas “day to day” is just until yesterday.  I know it’s psychologically wrong, but that’s the way (formerly) A+ personality types think.  “Set a goal.  MUST make it.  MUST make it. MUST aaauurrgghh!”
Why Studying Dieting Doesn’t Work…
On this journey I’ve struggled with dieting for most of my adult life.  I’ve almost always succeeded (for a while) in losing some weight, and then rebounded – sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly.  I’ve tried every diet plan I could reasonably afford, and almost all of them have worked (for a while).  For me, the problem has been, “What’s next?”  Sure, this or that diet works for a week or two, but what happens next?  I don’t want to “diet” forever.  This means over the last 20 years I’ve used “fasting” as my hack to a non-healthy eating lifestyle.  I either eat too much or I eat too frequently – or both.  For the longest time I’d felt this was some kind of psychological failure / adaptation on my part.  Although not poor while growing up, we certainly didn’t have the quality or quantity of food which I experienced when eating over at my friends houses.
It’s only in the last ten years I’ve thought maybe it’s not me with the problem.  Okay.  Yes, it is ME, but it’s not necessarily my brain’s (a lack of self-discipline) fault.  It’s not that I’m weak.  It’s that modern food is addicting and it’s promoted in advertising as a substitute for happiness.  I don’t mean psychologically addicting, by the way, although there is definitely some of that, too.  I mean modern food is full of chemicals (mainly) – sugar and flavor enhancers – which are meant to stimulate our appetites without giving us a sense of fullness (to tell us to stop stuffing our faces / stomachs).  I mean that modern food is physically addicting.  (Our stomachs, in fact, have sensors which tell our brain “we’re full, stop eating for a while”.  This is why drinking water before eating somewhat deadens our appetites.  The water – which has zero calories – takes up space and generates a sense of fullness in the stomach.)
The human body has served us well for thousands of years and until fairly recently, obesity (and in particular morbid obesity) has been rare.  The trend over the last ten to twenty years has been to blame what we eat (junk food / fast food), how much we eat (portions and frequency), and, everybody’s favorite culprit:  High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  The problem we (as individuals and as a society) have is correlation is not causation and food science is closer to a “soft” science (like psychology) than it is to a “hard” science (like chemistry).  This is because we have little to no ability to create valid controls for a scientific test.  The primary variable is the human body and, despite appearances (we all “seem” pretty much the same), in fact, we have wildly different individual reactions to different types of food AND we have no longitudinal studies (that I am aware of) which show the same person has the same reactions to different types of food across their individual life spans.  What longitudinal studies we do have tend to be voluntary, subjective and self-reported.  We are, therefore, highly dependent on the person reporting to provide accurate and honest information / data for our analysis.  We then use statistics and hope accuracy and honesty will level out under our Bell Curve.
More of my random thoughts to come…
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On This Day In:
2018 Just Trying To Be Me
Day 39: Half This Game Is 90% Mental
2017 A Letter To 45
Some Small Place
2016 REDs
2015 Cities
2014 Still
2013 Dare = Hope
2012 Check My Math
2011 Just Asking

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The end of day five and the start of day six…  Two more days to complete the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 364lbs.  (on Day 6)
I am down / down “1/9”.  As in, 1lbs down from yesterday and 9lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (morning of Day 1).
I feel like I’m starting to get my second wind.  I am feeling great in the mornings and try to do things and then get tired easily.  All of this is normal until the fat burning really kicks in.  I do feel like I’m already getting thinner and (like I said) feeling better / healthier.  Part of it is purely psychological as I can see the goal – of completing week one – now clearly in sight.  I will wait until I see how I feel on day seven to decide if I’m going to the modified alternate day fast (MADF) or if I stick to the juice blend for some additional time.  Last year, I did my week and then kept going for almost seven weeks (41 days).  I pretty much said: “Let’s go for two weeks and then day to day.”  Which is what I ended up doing…
I was planning to go for a swim in the evening, but when we drove by around 6pm, the pool was still packed with families.  My local homeowners association has two BBQ’s a year: one for Memorial Day and one for Labor Day.  The are used to mark the “official” open and closing of the pool season.  At the discretion of the association board the pool can be opened earlier and stay open longer.  Last year (2018), we opened at the start of May.  This year, almost at the start of April.  Last year, we closed after Halloween.  This year it looks like the end of September.  We are hoping to resurface the pool (after 20 years), and the Board wants the pool closed as soon as our permit clears to make sure we are able to open on time next year / season.
My point about the families being I don’t like to swim laps when it’s crowed because folks want to have fun with their kids and I’d be tying up a whole lane just for my laps.  So, no swim, but I did get in my 30 minute dog walk.  C’est la vie…
My hands, wrists, feet and ankles are consistently not bloated and my Blood Pressure is starting to consistently drop into the “good” range.  I had my first 118 / 81 in quite a while.  Not perfect, but much better than the 135+ / 85+ I’ve been registering lately.  When I’m getting 115 / 75 in my morning reading, I’ll be happy.  That’s a great number for any age, let alone 64, pushing 65 years old.  My average resting Heart Rate is now down in the 50 / 51 per minute range.  That’s down from the 55 / 65 is was for most of last month.  I’m not a fully convinced believer in the maximum heart beats in a lifetime theory, but it seems oddly consistent across species, and I think it deserves more research.  And, yes, I’m fairly OCD and measure my BP/HR two to three times a day.  I was doing it religiously for several years (and charting them over time).  I showed my Excel file and charts to my cardiologist and he said I need to chill out as this kind of compulsive behavior can result in increases to both BP and HR.  That was a couple of years ago, now.  I no longer chart the results and I mostly just do morning and before bed – and, maybe once or twice a week during the afternoon.
In some future post, I’ll try to explain what I mean by “eat less”, “move more” and “eat healthier”.  For now, I’ll just say “eat less” doesn’t necessarily mean eating fewer calories…  (more later!)
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On This Day In:
2018 Thought Experiments
Day 38: Going Crazy
2017 Which Did You Learn?
2016 Shape And Limit
2015 Me Either
2014 Just Business
2013 Beautiful Adventure
2012 Precedence
2011 Ya Think?

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The end of day four and the start of day five…  Over the Hump for the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 365lbs.  (on Day 5)
I am down / down “2/8”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 8lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (morning of Day 1).
Yesterday was a much easier day than expected.  And, yes, I am pleasantly surprised.  As mentioned (in yesterday’s post), I was expecting a difficult day because we were going to my sister’s house for a Labor Day BBQ.  We did and it smelled delicious (and everyone said it was).  Despite the obvious temptation, I was able to tough it out.  It really only takes me about 10 minutes to settle in.  My sister has fasted and her husband has lived with her while fasting, so once I “announced” I was fasting, they were very polite in not “pushing” the food at me.  It was difficult looking at the veggies, dip, BBQ (and desserts), and mainly smelling the BBQ, but I just walked away from the counter with my bottle of juice and settled in front of the TV while everyone ate.  After everyone else ate, I felt less tired than Day 3 – physically and sleep wise, but I still managed a short (20-30 minute) nap on the couch while the ladies went shopping and Art (my brother-in-law) walked their dogs.  They left and let the TV watch me for a while.
Prior to departure, I added pink grapefruit juice and watermelon juice to my veggie-blend (“swamp-juice”) to make it a little more acidic and to have a few more calories.  I find the acidity reduces hunger and the calories keep me from getting the low blood-glucose hunger pangs / shakes.  I brought along my 1 gallon (128fl.oz.) bottle of blend for the trip and I got through most of it.  We stayed almost five hours.  The key, of course, is to drink a bunch at first, so you are both full and can “go” early and often (i.e. don’t have to “go” too badly when you’re on the road driving home).  Anyway, I had the timing almost perfect – at least there were no problems on the road in either direction.
As expected after yesterday’s rebound, I shed most of the water weight I picked up (2lbs) after my initial big loss.  Between days two, three, and four, I lost 6lbs and then regained 2lbs.  A loss of 6lbs overnight is not only unhealthy, it is almost certainly an indication of excessive water loss (with or without stomach content).  Gaining some of it (the 2lbs) back should be no big deal as long as the overall trend of several days is downwards (negative / actual weight loss).  While this is completely subjective, the question is:  “How do you feel?”  Both at the start of the day and throughout…  If you feel thinner, it’s okay.  If you don’t, is it because you feel heavier or “just” bloated.  This is not always easy for someone to judge.  It takes experience because feeling bloated can also make you (me anyway) feel heavier.  The key is that it doesn’t always do so and you have to learn to feel the difference.  Again, down to experience…
While at my sister’s, she asked me: “How long this time?”  My response:  “The plan is at least a week and then back to a ‘real’ intermittent fasting schedule.  But, I’m flexible and I’ll see how I feel.”
For my new(er) followers, last year I fasted for 41 solid days and didn’t quite finish the 42nd day.
My sister has been experimenting with Alternate Day and Intermittent Time Fasting since early April when I talked with her about it over our multi-birthday family BBQ.  She’s lost just over ten pounds and says it’s been really interesting and relatively easy.  The hard parts were playing with both types and figuring out what actually fit with her lifestyle and daily schedule.  She figured out the strict alternate daily fasting didn’t work at all.  The modified (5 / 2 method) was better, but still too difficult.  She then tried Intermittent Time, and it “clicked for me”  (her words).  Now she uses a window each day, which slides depending on her daily schedule and hunger.  She tends to stick to 10am to 6pm, but says if she’s not hungry, she simply pushes the window back  (11am to 7pm), or sometimes even leaves it at 6pm.
My sister was a pretty strict vegetarian, but says she now has chicken and / or fish several times a month.  She still doesn’t eat beef or pork.  She is letting her body tell her what it needs.  She is visibly thinner and (to me) looks younger and happier (more contented) than when I last saw her (even a few weeks ago).  Of course, there is no reason to believe all of this is down to her changed diet – I’m just sayin’.  Oh, yeah.  And she still enjoys her wine!  She believes she’s reached a point where her body is naturally telling her to eat better food choices and she’s enjoying that feeling.  This was her “click”.
Other thoughts:
Last week I got word they were closing our neighborhood pool on the weekdays through the end of September.  It would remain open on the weekends, but with reduced hours.  There was a stink amongst the homeowners association and the Board has decided to keep the pool open on weekdays, but with limited (no) lifeguards / staffing.  Yea!   I have really been enjoying my use of the pool and try to go when there are few families / children so I have a clear path (lane) for swimming laps.  So, I’m very happy about the Board’s decision!
So, I am mid-way through day five and finishing one week is starting to look like a piece of cake…  (Yes, a bad dieting / fasting simile.)
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On This Day In:
2018 We Are Approaching Default
Running On History
Day 37: Blended Not Juiced
2017 Today Is Not Lost
Day 8
2016 Paying Attention
2015 An Awful Ordeal
2014 What Are You Doing?
2013 Lives > 1
2012 Strange To All The World
2011 Unnecessary Stagefright

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The end of day three and the start of day four…  Starting Hump Day for the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 367lbs.  (on Day 4)
I am up / down “2/6”.  As in, 2lbs up from yesterday and 6lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (morning of Day 1).
Yesterday was a difficult day.  I am still very tired – physically and sleep wise.  I was dreading going to the pool, but when I finished (1hr of treading water), I felt refreshed.  Then, and hour later, exhausted again.  The struggle is maintaining the correct blood sugar level so as not to want to go to sleep, not feel excited and not feel hungry.  It’s a fine balance.  I will be happy when I get my “fasting second wind.”
This time (this fast), I’m finding the sleeping difficult.  I got in a bad sleep habit when Hil was gone earlier in the year and the habit got reinforced with her latest trip.  I’m readjusting, but it’s slower than usual.  I’m sure this is due to the modified alternate day fasting (trying to) and the current juice / blend fast.  I remain amazed at the body’s ability to quickly adapt to changing conditions and then it’s reverse – slow adaptation to returning conditions.  It’s like the body is saying, “Yes!  I can do that!”, but then says, “Wait a minute, we just changed from that…  Why are we going back?”  Eventually, the body comes around, but then it’s even more resistant to the next change.  I think this is the problem with yo-yo dieting (which I am guilty of).
So, the elephant in the room is that I gained 2lbs since yesterday morning.  What’s up with that?  Well, as mentioned in yesterday’s review (post), I dropped 6lbs from the prior day and that was not a sustainable rate of loss.  I said it was probably a combination of stomach content and water retention (loss).  Given I didn’t eat yesterday and I did drink, this means the ratio was probably more than 50 / 50 between water (fluid) loss and stomach content.  As a gallon of water is a little over eight(8) pounds, 8.34 to be precise, a two(2) pound gain is about a quart of water (fluid) retained over what I was carrying yesterday morning.  Not a big deal if the over-all trend remains downward tomorrow and the next day.  This is why many sources recommend only weighing yourself once a week instead of daily.  So I have to remind myself: “It’s the trend that counts, not the daily drops and bounces.”
Today, (Day 4) should be another “difficult” day as we are going to my sister’s house for a family BBQ to celebrate Labor Day.  We’re bringing the deserts, which my wife stocked up on yesterday.  Every time I opened the fridge to get some juice, cake and chocolate fudge brownies are staring me in the face…   Can I feel some luv???  Or at least a little sympathy…  LoL
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On This Day In:
2018 A Thought For Those Continuing To Support President Trump
Day 36: Pushing On
2017 Imagining Humor
2016 So Go On And Deal With It
2015 From A Letter To A Friend
2014 Your Part (Here)
2013 Complements
2012 Sound And Light
2011 Two Politicians Visit A Farm…
2010 Labor Day And Honorable Men

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Yesterday I completed Day 1 of my Veggie-Fruits Juice / Blend fast.  It’s pretty much the same as last years effort, but this year, for the first few days anyway, I’m skipping the straight-up “juice” and going right to the “blend”.  In a nutshell, this means I’m dicing up my fruit and veggies and just blending them with water and additional fruit / veggie “juice”.  Yes, the additional stuff is processed and not terrible healthy, but it’s a sacrifice I’m making to save time and expense.
My starting weight yesterday was 373lbs and this morning I was already down 2lbs.  So, I’m at 371lbs.  That’s pretty normal as the blend tends to flush out most of the solid material from your (my) digestive tract.  From experience, I normally drop 10lbs in the first 5 to 7 days.  We’ll see…
From experience, the first three or four days are the worst part physically as I will be grumpy, tired and missing the simple act of chewing.  “My” style of fasting is not particularly restricting on calories.  Yes, processed fruit juices have a high amount of sugar (fructose) content, but absorption is slowed by the roughage of the blended veggies (onions, celery, cucumber, carrots) and fruit (apples, berries, bananas, pineapple).  I also blend in about two cups of beans.  I vary them between weeks (pinto, black and kidney).  In all, I probably have close to a gallon of “blend” per day.  It actually ends up being more than that consumed as I continually add ice to keep the drink cool.
Yesterday, I went for my normal 30 minute dog walk and an additional 60 minutes of treading water at my local swimming pool.  I’ve been trying to swim as often as possible this year, but I am only averaging about every other or every third day  (mostly third).  I seem to go on streaks and then my built up list of things to do gets too long and I have to spend a couple of days whittling the list down.  (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it…)
The good news is that as I’m ending my second day, my fingers, hands, wrists, feet and ankles are already feeling considerably less bloated.  The flip side (the bad news) is that passing all the solids and acidic fluids leaves one with a bit of a  burning bum.  This too shall pass…  (Yes, mild poop humor.)
The key (again, from my experience) is to never get so hungry (either real hunger or empty stomach) that you start to obsess about food.  This means drinking the blend regularly (to maintain your blood-sugar level) and supplementing it with regular water (or herbal tea) which acts to keep your stomach full (physically) which tricks your mind into not being hungry.  By this means, I can increase activity and (over time) modify (decrease) caloric input to lose weight.  Weight loss always comes down to three things: 1) move more; 2) eat less; and, 3) eat better (healthier & more natural).
So, the journey begins again.  The current plan is to juice for a week and then switch to the Modified Alternate Day Fasting (MADF), which I have been unsuccessfully trying since February of this year.  Over the course of the next few days / weeks, I’ll discuss some of my views on why the MADF has not been successful for me and why I’m fairly confident this jump start will help in this next go around.  While on this path, I will try to post every day on how I’m doing.  These posts will tend to be longer than my normal (quotes) posts, so if you are not interested in my dieting process, just skip the long post and enjoy my other shorter post(s).  Stay tuned…
Oh, yeah…  Before I forget:  I am NOT a health professional NOR have I been trained in medicine or psychology.  Take EVERYTHING you read on my blog about dieting / fasting with a grain of salt and a heaping dose of skepticism.  I have read lots of books and watched hundreds of hours of YouTube & TED videos about health, sleeping, dieting, working out, etc and most of them contradict each other in detail while agreeing on generalities.  ALWAYS consult with your personal healthcare provider before engaging in any of my crazy ideas / practices or beginning any change in diet or fitness program. 
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On This Day In:
2018 I Put It Down To Bad Teachers
Day 34: In And Out
2017 And The Future Is Now
2016 I Am
2015 Positively Aiming Higher
2014 Suspicious Minds
2013 We Are Not Alone
2012 Lawyer, n.
2011 Each Day Remember…
2010 Impossible Dreams of Camelot

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After a hearty Christmas dinner, it’s back to thinking about health and weight.  Improve the former.  Decrease the latter.  So, it’s back on the “juice / blend” diet for a while.
I started my last diet / fast back at the end of July and went 42 days.  I was at my lifetime maximum weight of 380lbs when I started and got down to 311lbs.  I was surprised how quickly the  weight has come back.  This morning I weighed in at 360lbs.  My previous max was in running shorts, barefoot and t-shirt.  This mornings weigh-in was with jeans, running shoes and a sweatshirt.  The prior max was with me standing on the scale in a precise location so I could try to standardize my weigh-ins.  At this time of year, it is too cold to try to do the same, so I will be wearing various clothes / shoes.  This means I can’t sweat a one or two pound gain or celebrate a one or two pound loss.  After all, it could just be a change of shoes.  What I have to concentrate on is not daily weighing, but 3 and 4 day trends.
My recent readings on weight maintenance have said the body seeks to find the old weight when you come off of a diet (plus a few extra).  This is what causes the “rebound” effect almost all dieters have of regaining everything you lost plus a couple.  I have been hovering around the 350lbs level for about four weeks now.  My goal is to start working back down to that level (with a 7 day juice fast) and then see how it goes from there.  That’s the same plan I had for my last fast (keep a short term goal clearly in sight) and it worked pretty well.  Anytime I do anything to try to change my body, (sleep, diet or exercise) I try to make sure I’m “listening” to my body.  Hopefully, by starting the diet at 30lbs lighter (actually 20lbs as of this morning), I have re-set my body weight at or near the 350lbs level, so when I come off I’ll only rebound to somewhere near there minus a few.
So: exercise more regularly at the gym, fast for a kick-start, eat healthier choices when I come off the fast.  It remains true that it is practically impossible to lose weight from just exercise.  Eating poorly (calorie dense) will always more than counter any benefit from exercise.  To lose weight, I have to eat better, sleep more regularly (and longer – minimum of 7hrs), and exercise.  So, here I go again…  Wish me luck!
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On This Day In:
2017 Biased World View
2016 Control In The Age Of Entanglement
2015 Okay, Maybe Not Ceaseless
2014 Can Do
2013 Are You Helping?
2012 Inside All Truth Is A Vacuum
2011 So, Whom Are We Trying To Fool Then?

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