Sunday, June 08, 2008

Health and Diet Update June 08

Here is my current weight loss progress.

It has been going great, but in early May I hit a bit of a plateau, so I decided to shock my system with a PSMF diet as outlined in the Rapid Fat Loss Handbook. You can see from the chart that it restarted my weight loss and I hit 200 in the first week of June.

I am now tapering off that diet and I will work towards a more moderate loss of about 0.5 - 1 lb per week while working harder on my fitness regimen. I hope to get down to about 180 by the end of the year. I think a good target weight range for me is 180 to 185 lbs.

I had a physical about a month ago and had a lot of good news. My blood pressure had been in the high range, pushing hypertension for several years. It was in the 140-150 over 90-100 range.

In early May it was 124/70. That is darn close to good on the systolic and the lowest diastolic I have ever had. I also did the full blood workup and those results were very encouraging too. My triglycerides, which had been extremely high >300 for several years is now down to 100. My HDL are at 44 and total cholesterol at 162.

So I'm pretty pumped about that.

I ran in a 5 k in May. The Aztec Run for Education. I was happy to finish, running all the way around Lake Merritt in Oakland.

I hadn't run more than about 100 yds. in 10 years, so I have been pretty sore since the run, but it's getting better now. My time was 32:40. My best 3 mile time in high school was 16:08, so I am right at twice that.

I'll have to think about whether to continue running. I stopped years ago because my shins hurt. That day they were fine.

The other interesting thing is I did a fitness test over at St. Mary's College in Moraga, where Kathleen works. I got a few readings from that. First, my VO2 max calculated at 42.6, which is very close tot he 41 that my Polar watch says. They also did cholesterol and blood sugar tests. My numbers were 160 and 65 respectively. No surprise on the cholesterol. Mine has always been ok. I was really pleased to see the fasting blood sugar that low though. Given my previous weight, blood pressure, etc., I was concerned that I was heading down that Type 2 diabetes trail. Above 100 is considered pre-diabetic.

I attribute a lot of this success to the low carb approach to my diet. Yes I have been working hard at the gym too, but the diet seems to have made a big difference. In the past, after a few weeks f general low calorie dieting (meaning lots of carbs, low fat, moderate to low protein), I would feel fatigued after a few weeks. This time, even on the PSMF which is high protein, low fat, low carb, I had energy and still do.

I believe that my improved blood readings are a direct result of the diet. The "calorie is a calorie" people would say that it is because of the weight loss, but I don't buy it. There is a very fundamental biochemical difference based on the macronutrient content of the diet. I am personally convinced of that.

Read Good Calories, Bad Calories for more on this.