Posts Tagged ‘Insulin’

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 Folger’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).
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 nine and (now) most of the way through day ten…
Morning weight: 358lbs.  (on Day 10)
I am down / down “1/15”.  As in, 1lb down from yesterday and 15lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).  Compared to today (Day 10), yesterday (Day 9) was easy.  Maybe it’s a hangover from yesterday’s flu shot at the doctor’s office, or not, I don’t know.  I woke up feeling “fuzzy”.  I walked the dog (like every morning), but I kind of “woke up” every now and then realizing I was walking along just staring at the sidewalk.  The day was grey and overcast, so I wasn’t missing anything brilliant, but I really have little to no recollection of most of the walk.  I’m tempted to blame it on low blood-sugar level, but that normally feels weakening, not fuzzy around the edges.  Anyway, I got home and drank some “swamp-juice” and started feeling better.
Most of yesterday was just “chillin’.  I remain “mildly” surprised at how much extra time blogging takes up during these fasts.  It’s my own fault for trying to keep a running daily tab, but this “journaling” is the closest I come to actually writing.  Yes, I also do book and movie reviews on this blog, but I’m really slacking off on the book reading and I’ve got a running list of just over a hundred movies I’ve not reviewed in the last eighteen months.  Heck, I’ve got over five movies to review from this week alone!  Alas, if only there were more hours in a day and / or I were less of a procrastinator.
Before reading any further, remember I am NOT a doctor or a nutritionist.  I am only relating what I have viewed on YouTube and read over the course of my lifetime in books and magazines.  Take everything I opine on with a healthy bit of skepticism and conduct your own research.  To quote the famous Vulcan expression: “Never trust anyone over 50!”  Me in particular…
Eat Less
I mentioned a few days ago that I believe losing weight comes down to three things.  ONE of them was to eat less.  I also mentioned I didn’t particularly believe this meant eating less calories.  Huh?  It turns out for many years we’ve been fed (pardon the pun) a line as to both calories and various food types.  It turns out that you really AREN’T what you eat.  When we eat fat, we don’t get fat and when we eat food high in cholesterol we don’t “get” high cholesterol.  It seems the body has an organ (the liver) which can make enough for you to live without eating foods with high cholesterol content.  BUT, that’s not the same thing as saying eating foods with high cholesterol will make your cholesterol rise.  From my limited reading (remember, I am NOT a doctor or a nutritionist), we don’t know if it does or not for “most” people.  We also don’t know if the bump / effect is permanent or short term and we don’t know if it (high cholesterol) causes any problems in the body.  We have evidence that folks who die from heart disease also frequently have high cholesterol, but correlation is not causation.  For all we know, the heart disease may be causing the high cholesterol, rather than the other way around.
According to one of the (many) online calculators, at 5′ 10″ and 358 pounds, my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is : 2750 and my Daily Calorie Needs (DCN) is: 3850 calories.  The BMR is how many calories you need if you are in a coma or sleeping all day.  The DCN is how much I need for a sitting job and light physical activity (aka: a normal life).  What this says is that (on average) I will burn 110 calories per hour if I do nothing but breathe, and I need to take in 150 calories per hour if I live my “normal” life.  This will leave me at a complete wash.  I won’t gain weight.  I won’t lose weight.  As most folks normally eat during a 16 hour period (8hrs per day of sleep), that “really” breaks down to about 240 calories per hour or three meals in that time span of 1,300 calories each.  (Yes, I am rounding my numbers.)
When considering these numbers, please recall both BMR and DCN are related to height and weight.  Since my height is not going to decrease by dieting, we really only need to think about weight.  As my weight decreases, my BMR and my DCN will both also decrease.  So, as I get lighter, I will need to progressively eat less.  Surprising, the difference is not linear for either.  If I were my “ideal maximum” weight for my height (181 pounds), my BMR should be: 1678 and DCN should be: 2349 calories.  Since my ideal weight is almost exactly half my current, I would expect my BMR and DCN at my ideal weight to also be one half (i.e. BMR: 2750 / 2 = 1375 and DCN: 3850 / 2 = 1925).  The two ratios are linear (corresponding) with each other, but they are not linear with weight loss.  So, something seems out of whack for calories…
It is generally accepted you need to burn 3,500 calories to burn off one pound of body weight (per week), or 500 calories per day.  That’s not eating slightly more than two candy bars or not drinking three eight ounce glasses of average juice per day.  That should be “doable” for most people.  Instead of four bars a day, I’ll cut back to one or two and voilà, in two years (-ish) I’m skinny.
The problem seems to be that calories don’t count as much as sweetness counts.  Fat / obesity “seems” to be more related to insulin than it is to calories.  And the primary purpose of insulin is to maintain blood-sugar level within a pretty narrow band:  too low, you pass out; too high, you get sick (think: diabetic coma).  So, the questions are:  “What do we know about insulin?  And, how can we control it?”
And…  more to come…
Oh, yeah.  The average Vulcan lifespan (in StarTrek:TOS) is 180 to 200 years.  The actual Vulcan expression is:  “Never take the advice of anyone under 50.”  Presumably, because they haven’t lived long enough to know much.
On This Day In:
2018 Pity The Nation (Part 2)
Day 1: Redux
2017 Good Blogs, Too
2016 My Prediction For #AmnestyDon
2015 Worth A Try
2014 I’m Feeling It
2013 May I Have A Little More, Please?
2012 Increasing Doubt
2011 You Can’t Touch This

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