VHALKYRIE   16,233
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My n=1 Weight Loss Analysis, Part 1

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I was going to wait to share this data until my 1 month assessment, but now seems as good as any.

A quick recap for readers new and old.

Last year, May 2011, after struggling with weight loss/gain/maintenance for over 10 years, I switched to a low carb diet. I did a lot of self study reading books and web pages.

"New Atkins for a New You" - Dr. Westman, Dr, Phinney, and Dr. Volek
"Paleo Diet" - Dr. Loren Cordain
"Protein Power" - Dr. Michael Eades and Dr. Mary Eades
"The 30 Day Low-Carb Diet" (simplified version of "Protein Power") - Dr. Michael Eades and Dr. Mary Eades
"Primal Blueprint" - Mark Sisson

Dr. Mike Eades blog: www.proteinpower.com/drmike/
Dr. Mary Eades blog: www.proteinpower.com/drmd_blo

Mark's Daily Apple (Primal Blueprint author): www.marksdailyapple.com
FatHead Movie (Tom Naughton's blog): www.fathead-movie.com

If you're a long time LCer, no doubt these are familiar to you.

But the most important resource was myself. I used myself as an experimental study. I created a spreadsheet to track my progress.

Here's an example of what my spreadsheet looks like:

It doesn't really take that much time to collect. Adding food into my food tracker is the most time expensive activity. Translating it to the spreadsheet takes just a few seconds.

Many aren't interested in going into the fine grain detail. Few people want to track daily data to the obsessive compulsive level that I do. Most people just want the bottom line. I am going to attempt to do that after explaining my data.

"What can I do so I can lose weight and maintain it?"

SYNOPSIS: Maintain glucose control.

Glucose control is something very familiar to people with pre-diabetes and diabetes. When I started my LC journey, I could not have imagined that this was important to me, too, as a non diabetic.

April 2011, I collected data in a spreadsheet. I thought something was wrong with my calorie in-calorie out math. So I went into fine level detail. I was determined to figure this out. I went to great pains to maintain calorie range perfection.

(I started my diet in February. April is just when I started collecting a much higher frequency of data. That is why it is the starting point here.)

Turned out there was nothing wrong with my calorie in-calorie out math. It's biochemistry, not thermodynamics, that controls weight gain/loss.

Here is a graph of my weight from April 2011 to July 2011. I've marked a red line where I switched to carbohydrate restriction in addition to calorie restriction. I ate the same number of calories and maintained same exercise level. The only variable I adjusted was macronutrients. Less carbs, more fat/protein.

(I'll avoid discussion of the macronutrient details for now because I want to focus on the high level picture.)

From April-May, restricting calories alone made marginal influence on my weight. I lost very little, but mostly maintained.

From May-July, restricting carbohydrates and calories significantly influenced weight loss.

SYNOPSIS: Carb restriction worked.

You can see it took a little while for my metabolic shift to gain momentum in the early stages. This was because I had an issue with candida overgrowth that I needed to eliminate first.

The standard rebuttal is that calorie restriction is what makes low-carb work, just like any diet. Many clinical studies have consistently shown all calorie restricted diets will work for weight loss.

That's great in a controlled laboratory. However, let's look at my real world data.

On a low-fat, calorie restricted diet from April - May, I maintained a very good average calorie differential (calories in minus calories out). As I said, I was determined to stay in my ranges through great pains. It was very difficult as there were many days where I felt starved. The dips with more than -500 calorie difference were due to more activity or partial food tracking for the day, but I did not eat less than 1200 calories.

Average calorie intake: 1420
Average calorie differential: -387

The red line shows calorie in-calorie out=0. The line graph shows I maintained a very good daily deficit over the month.

On a low-carb, calorie restricted diet from May-July, I also maintained a very good average calorie differential. I stayed within ranges very easily. Again, no calories less than 1200, large dips due to activity increase, or partial food tracking. It was easier to manage my hunger levels. There wasn't a single day where I felt starved or had to work hard to stay within my calories. I am not exaggerating.

Average calorie intake: 1293
Average calorie differential: -512

I had very good calorie differential on both the low-fat and low-carb diet. I had better, more consistent results with low-carb. I ate fewer calories on average with LC than LF. That was because I had better satiety control. Hunger and cravings were non existent. It was not a contest of willpower.

It was not just better calorie control that lead to my weight loss, though. My average differential was only an -125 advantage.

SYNOPSIS: Calorie differential where calorie source favored carbohydrates resulted in negligible results. LC resulted in better satiety and lower average calorie consumption.

A standard rebuttal to low-carb is that the better weight loss is due to initial water loss, but then it works no better than a low fat diet.

Fortunately, I tracked my bodyfat percentage, which not a lot of people do. Without that information, it's just a lot of speculation.

My bodyfat declined. Again, I've marked where I started my low-carb diet.

Conventional dietary advice says that I can't lose that much weight without muscle wasting. Was I losing precious muscle along with fat?

My lean body mass INCREASED.

Again, I did not change my exercise routines. 3-5x per week, 30 minutes on the elliptical. I did not pick up any significant weight lifting program during this time. I simply started feeding my body more protein and fat, and it responded.

SYNOPSIS: Low-carb weight loss was not due to water loss, and did not result in muscle wasting. Weight change was due to losing bodyfat and gaining lean body mass.

I stopped tracking my data at this granular level in August. In October, I stopped tracking info at all going into the holidays. At the beginning of the year, I started college work and preparations for my wedding in May, which left me little time to focus on my diet. This is typically when people regain the weight they lost. Typical rebuttal about low-carb diets is people will gain it all back and then some.

So what happened in my case? Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode...

Edit: Fixed error with Avg calories calculation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOWNEASTB 7/26/2012 12:41PM

    Very cool. I'll check out those meters. As nice as it would be to visit a bodpod, a quick snapshot will be fine for me too. It's like my bathroom scale - I know it's not accurate down to the ounce, but as long as it's consistently off then I have some idea of where I stand. =)

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VHALKYRIE 7/26/2012 12:22PM

    DOWNEASTB: I was hoping to send my story to both MDA and Tom once I got my bf% down to a certain level. :)

My tracking data from this time period was measured at the gym.

These days I use a handheld Omron bodyfat monitor (same one used by Tom Naughton's doctor in FatHead!). I know lots of people are down on bioimpedence monitors, but it's easy and gives me a quick snapshot on progress. That's all I need.

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DOWNEASTB 7/26/2012 12:13PM

    Wow, very impressive job with the tracking. You should send this to Tom Naughton.

What do you use to track lean body mass?

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VHALKYRIE 7/26/2012 11:35AM

    DRB13_1: Thanks for you comment! Just a question: where did you hear about giving up fruits? I share my food tracker. You're welcome to take a look at what I eat. The only thing I gave up was wheat, grain, breads, pasta and starches. I stick to low glycemic fruit, but I eat fruit mostly as a 'dessert'. I couldn't give up my blueberries!

Comment edited on: 7/26/2012 11:44:38 AM

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DRB13_1 7/26/2012 10:38AM

    I'm so impressed with your spreadsheet!
Congrats on all you have accomplished! Most of all of your healthy lifestyle of staying active and being aware of your nutrition.
Thanks for sharing.
I have often looks at these "diet" options but I cannot give up my fruits. Low carb is not for me.

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NEILITHICMAN 7/25/2012 6:35PM

    Agreed, You got to do what feels comfortable for you. I guess people's bodies just process things differently. If you try something and it doesn't feel comfortable you're far less likely to stick with it, meals become a chore rather than a pleasure.

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VHALKYRIE 7/25/2012 6:22PM

    These are the variables I'm tracking:

Exercise Minutes
Calories Burned
Heart Rate Max
Heart Rate Recovery
Resting Heart Rate
Calories Burned (Total: Exercise + BMR)
Carbs (g)
Protein (g)
Fiber (g)
Net Carbs (g)
Carb %
Fat %
Protein %
Calories Eaten
Calorie Differential

Lean Mass
Waist/Hip ratio

Heart rate and Waist/Hip items are tracked at intervals. I was planning on doing a heart rate recovery test next week since I haven't done that one in a while.

Comment edited on: 7/25/2012 6:23:03 PM

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EATNBOOGERS 7/25/2012 5:59PM

    Ooh, I wish I could see that spreadsheet better....

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VHALKYRIE 7/25/2012 5:58PM

    My carbs come mostly from veg and fruit, with an occasional bread roll or petit four dessert. When I shifted to lower carb, all I did was stop following the advice to eat 3 whole grain servings a day. That was a killer for me.

If eating whole grains works, great! But if not, then don't force yourself to eat them because some nutritionist or food plate says so. That's what I did for far too long. Since that is what I changed, I feel pretty comfortable that was the responsible party.

Comment edited on: 7/25/2012 6:17:40 PM

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NEILITHICMAN 7/25/2012 5:54PM

    Isn't it funny how different things work for different people? I eat plenty of carbs, mostly whole grains and vegetables but the occasional plate of pasta or roti, and my weight loss so far is 21 kilos (47 pounds) in less than 5 months.

It just goes to show that you really need to try to find what works for your body and there really is no one-size-fits-all diet.

Comment edited on: 7/25/2012 5:55:44 PM

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SALONKITTY 7/25/2012 2:59PM

    Fantastic post, Vhalkyrie! emoticon

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 7/25/2012 2:51PM

    emoticon blog - I'm early into my journey with LC but have already noticed a tremendous difference - here's my stats:

10/09 to 11/11 - lost 16 lbs after 25 months on 'low fat/balanced' food plan following calorie guidelines

11/11 to 5/12 - lost 7 lbs after 6 months on lower calorie, higher protein, no sugar, low-fat food plan

5/12 to 7/12 - lost 18 lbs after 2 months on low carb foods [with increased calories no less!!]

All of these periods had similar exercise patterns so it's extremely obvious to me that the carbs have been much more of a problem than I thought! Even if some of the lost poundage has been water weight, it's still less stress on my feet, joints, etc, so I'm happy with that!

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CATH63 7/25/2012 2:36PM

    You are amazing! Your information is SO informative and motivating. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

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WOUBBIE 7/25/2012 1:57PM

    Elegant! I love it!

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Teach a Man to Fish with Food Choices

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Before we begin today's story, just a quick status update.

Stand back! I got guns!

Still too much blah-bulk due to fat, but check out my shoulders! Muscles, they be coming!

Today was day 1 of the "Husband Diet". He's impressed with my progress, and asked me to help him with his diet! I'm supposed to tell him what to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.


But, I am loathe to use disposable plastic baggies for lunch.

I went shopping at Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond to get the following items:

A lunch cooler, main lunch compartment, and 2 snack containers. I bought a single serving size salad dressing tube at BBB. He'll be eating lots of salads on my menu.

Everything tucks neatly into the lunch cooler.

I came home and started menu planning. I felt like a personal chef.

While I prepared his lunch last night, he told me about how he loaded up on sandwiches and M&M's in the day. He made a martini after dinner. He sounded like a man on death row eating his last meals.

I asked him what he was doing. He said he was going to enjoy these things before he starved for the next month. He had an image of eating carrots and celery sticks for lunch.

I laughed. He's going to get more food than he normally eats, believe me.

My meal plan basically goes:

Breakfast: Homemade protein bars (discussed in my other blog)
Lunch: Turkey arugula-romaine, cucumber, and bell pepper salad with a balsamic-olive oil-lemon juice salad dressing. 1 deviled egg.
Snack #1: Blueberries and Cherries
Snack #2: Mixed nuts
Snack #3: Tuna and cracker kit
Dinner: Moussaka, salad, and white wine

(Moussaka is a Greek eggplant dish. The way I make it is similar to a lasagna, but using eggplant instead of pasta.)

But see, I'm a tricky minx. I have a pretty good idea on how certain foods will affect his hunger levels. I just want him to be aware of it.

This morning didn't go as planned. As with any change, it can take a while to get into a groove. Despite all the fuss, insistence, and compromise about eating breakfast, I forgot to give him his protein bar with his coffee. LOL!

But he did get out the door with his lunch sack. Yay!

When he came home tonight, I saw that he ate everything. Yay! I asked him how the foods made him feel after eating them.

Fruits: Felt hungry
Nuts: Not hungry
Turkey salad and deviled egg: Very filling. No hunger.
Tuna salad with crackers: Tastes bad. Not filling. Starving after eating.

These results aren't surprising to me. I just wanted him to be conscious of them.


The tuna kit was the only thing that I didn't make from scratch. They are processed food.

I don't eat these, but I thought it might help make the transition easier, and get more protein via the tuna. I think we've established they aren't worth it. I'll make fresh, clean versions next week.

You might be surprised by the fruit result. Yes, even though healthy, it increases hunger via sugar. They are nature's candy.

He ate the fruit when he first got into work. I told him to eat the fruit AFTER his lunch as a dessert next time.

I asked him how he enjoyed his lunch. He said he really liked the turkey salad and deviled egg. He wasn't as ravenous as normal when he came home.

After dinner, he ate his protein bar for 'dessert' since he didn't eat it this morning. Protein increase is on track.

Tomorrow he is in training at work, and they will be providing lunch. Unfortunately, we know it's going to be junk. I hope today's lesson will make him think more about how satiating certain food choices are.

Teaching a man to fish and all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARCHIMEDESII 7/25/2012 3:16PM

    Looking good lady ! Love the "arnold" pose !!

I have a couple of those Bumble Bee snack packs. the sodium level is a tad high for such a small can of tuna. They were on sale here for a $1 with CVS card. So, they struck me as mostly harmless. they're not bad. When I was a kid, I used to eat the Devil's Ham out of a can. Of course, I ate SPAM too, but that's another conversation. LOL !!!!


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SALONKITTY 7/25/2012 2:47PM

    Your arms are looking good!

Your husband's diet tales are fun! You are VERY tricky, indeed....it makes me laugh!

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KELPIE57 7/25/2012 2:30AM

    Looking forward to hearing about the results

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JUSTBIRDY 7/24/2012 11:23PM


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WOUBBIE 7/24/2012 11:20PM

    LOL! The "last meal" image made me laugh! Every person who's ever "dieted" knows THAT one!

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KWRIGHT26 7/24/2012 10:52PM

    Delicious! My fiance has talked about packing lunch to save money while we're in classes for fall, but he needs a cooler with an ice pack and such. Maybe I can swing it this year!

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MYOWNHERO 7/24/2012 10:36PM

    A salad dressing tube? I've gotta check that out!

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NEILITHICMAN 7/24/2012 10:36PM

    Go the guns!! I'm kind of at that stage too. I can see what shape I'm going to be once he fat goes. I swim 2-3 kilometres twice a week so I've got prett big shoulders, arms and back. I cycle 25 kilometres twice a week so I've got pretty big thighs and calfs. Now as soon as the weight get the definition and I'll look awesome.

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 7/24/2012 10:30PM

    I love it!! Does he know there's a group of us following his progress on Spark??? I like the lunch kit you got him - I wish I could find similar dishes that were microwavable...

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CAROLJEAN64 7/24/2012 10:22PM

    Can I have you as my personal chef???? Please!!!

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EATNBOOGERS 7/24/2012 9:25PM

    Hmm.... maybe I should be packing my hub's lunch. I leave it up to him, and we know how that goes. ;-)

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CATH63 7/24/2012 9:23PM

    LOVE IT! Keep us posted on his progress!!

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  The husband diet sounds great! Can I order take out?! emoticon

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RIP Sally Ride

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Up until 3rd grade, I wasn't a very good student. In 1st grade, because I daydreamed during the subtraction lesson, I didn't know how to do my homework. I randomly filled in numbers. I got every answer wrong except for 1. My teacher pulled me aside after class, and tried to assess whether I was mentally impaired. Apparently convinced I was not, she showed me how to do the lesson again, and made me redo it. My new grading was 29/30.

I continued to dawdle along. In 3rd grade, there were two events that spurred me into academic excellence. One, I got into an argument with a boy who told me girls could never be as good at math as boys. Even at that age, I found it completely absurd that differences between boys and girls would have anything to do with computational abilities. It was a sad schoolyard tale because I had a crush on him until then. He became the person I hated most.

The second event was America's first woman astronaut, Sally Ride.

It is amazing how a person whom I never met has so deeply influenced my life.

I was born in the 70s. A generation of women before me marched and fought for a fair chance at school, work, pay, and who they wanted to be. They fought for future generations. They fought for me.

In 1983 just before school let out for summer break, they pulled us elementary school kids into the gymnasium so we could watch the Space Shuttle Challenger fly into space. In those days, shuttle launches were always widely celebrated, but this one all anyone could talk about was Sally Ride.

I can still remember the beaming pride, especially among the girls. A woman physicist was an astronaut. Maybe I could be anything I wanted to be.

That was the American dream, wasn't it? It's not who you were born to or your gender, the color of your skin, but what you can do. If you work hard and apply yourself, you could go beyond the sky and into the stars.

That summer when we went home, all I could think of was space and astronauts. My dad bought me "Charlie Brown's Second Super Book of Questions and Answers about Earth and Space". Snoopy and Woodstock were on the cover with astronaut helmets. I read the book from cover to cover, over and over, and I wanted more.

My dad was an airplane mechanic in the Air Force, and he was thrilled with my new interest in the sciences. He'd take me to the bookstore on a Saturday and buy me any book I wanted. He bought me a Commodore 64 so I could learn computing. He thought computers would be the next big industry, and wanted me to have a head start. It was my first love.

Entering 4th grade, I was a new person. I went from middle of the pack to top of the class. At the beginning of the year, I started at the lowest math level. After acing several of my homeworks and quizzes, my teacher gave me a placement test. She moved me to the highest math level. I was now one of the 'smart' kids, and an honor roll student for the first time.

I had the same teacher for 5th grade as 3rd grade. During a parent teacher conference, she told my parents, "I don't know what happened to Cathy in 4th grade, but she is a completely different student."

Computer science was always going to be my choice in college.

I've worked as a programmer in telecom, internet marketing and aerospace industries.

All because a woman I've never met inspired me in the summer of 1983 to do better, try harder, and never let anyone tell me what I can or can't do.

After Challenger blew up, shuttle launches were never again shown to children in school. A whole generation grew up without the marvel, imagination and daring of traveling beyond our small blue planet. Had I never seen the shuttle launch of 1983, I do not think I would be the same person I am now. That event imprinted on who I would become.

I was washing dishes tonight when my husband said she died. My heart dropped, and I couldn't believe it. She can't have been that old? 61. Pancreatic cancer.

RIP Sally Ride. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 7/27/2012 8:34PM

    I also was shocked at her death. So young!

What a lovely tribute. I'm sure Sally now understands all that she did to influence a generation of young women.

RIP Sally emoticon

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JUNEPA 7/25/2012 4:11PM

    I love that she was an astronaut and her name was Ride

That Challenger accident was pretty shocking, understandable the decision not to show launches live to school children any more.

So cool she inspired you the way she did !!

Comment edited on: 7/25/2012 4:23:26 PM

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LINDAKAY228 7/25/2012 9:37AM

    Wow what a story! She truly was an inspiration to so many. Thanks for sharing your story of the impact she had on your life.

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DRB13_1 7/25/2012 9:09AM

    Thank you for this moving tribute.
I came along during the time of civil rights and women's rights and am grateful that doors opened so everyone could have the chance to pursue their dreams according to their individual interests and abilities.
If you are looking for any pleasure reading, look up "Half the Sky."
Agree with others - please share this with your local newspaper and other social media - it is so good! emoticon

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MRSKS2009 7/24/2012 6:25PM

    Thank you so much for this story. My elementary school was named after Sally Ride (Sally K. Ride elementary in The Woodlands, TX, home of the Ride Challengers) and I am sad to say that I don't know nearly as much about her as I should. I was saddened to hear the new yesterday. It is inspiring to hear how others were inspired by her.
I am more proud than ever to have been a Ride Challenger.

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EATNBOOGERS 7/24/2012 5:47PM

    As a former scientist, I'm with you. Sally Ride will be missed.

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ARCHIMEDESII 7/24/2012 3:19PM

    I was shocked when I heard the news. I was so sorry to hear of her death from pancreatic cancer. As the first American woman in space, she made it cool for girls to be intelligent and good at math !

emoticon emoticon

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-LINDA_S 7/24/2012 3:15PM

    Thanks for a lovely story of inspiration. Wow, she was younger than me!

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VHALKYRIE 7/24/2012 3:10PM

    Thanks for the nice comments, everyone! I never got a chance to tell her that she made a difference in my life. I hadn't truly thought about it until now. I have considered sending a copy to her family somehow.

As for sharing the link, sure go ahead.

Comment edited on: 7/24/2012 6:45:50 PM

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SEPPIESUSAN 7/24/2012 1:40PM

    Beautifully written. I could see this being published in a newspaper or something.

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_RAMONA 7/24/2012 1:34PM

    {{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}

Lovely tribute to an amazing woman... by a woman amazing in her own right!

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BECKYSRN 7/24/2012 1:15PM

    What a wonderful tribute to her! I think you should look into getting it published so everyone can see what a difference one woman made in your life. Do you mind if I put this on my facebook page? It's too goo not to share.

Ride, Sally, Ride! We'll miss you.

Comment edited on: 7/24/2012 1:16:06 PM

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FITGIRL15 7/24/2012 12:30PM

    I love this! It's amazing how often people we never know can shape the course of our future!!! Just goes to show you the power of your mind and how a little motivation can go a long way!

RIP Sally Ride!!! emoticon

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MYOWNHERO 7/24/2012 10:01AM

    I love this blog! The women who came before you and fought for you are so proud of you and all you have accomplished. You might not realize it but you are now the inspiration for the next generation of little girls who have their eye on you.

Also...happy Amelia Earhart's birthday!

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MRS.CARLY 7/24/2012 8:40AM

    Pancreatic cancer, I've known too many people to die from that :-(

She indeed changed a lot of lives, those of which she has no idea she affected!

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BILL60 7/24/2012 8:29AM

    Great blog. You, my friend, have come a long way and I congratulate you.

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MAPPLEBUM 7/24/2012 8:13AM

    Beautiful Blog

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    Lovely hommage. emoticon

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NYKIMMIE 7/24/2012 6:29AM

    She was a great women,RIP.

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SALONKITTY 7/24/2012 2:40AM

    Yeah, she was (still is) awesome! I got to watch that space shuttle launch at school, too. It's great to hear just how inspired you were by her, and also wonderful that your father encouraged your interest in science and math. You've also brought up an interesting point about the children not seeing the space shuttle launches. I'd not thought about that, but it's sad, isn't it....

RIP Sally Ride.

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ALICIA214 7/24/2012 12:32AM


In spite of all the medical strides made looking for cures for cancer,that
dreadful disease still takes people way too soon, as you say
R.I.P Sally Ride you were quite a woman!!

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LITTLEROX20 7/24/2012 12:27AM

    RIP Sally Ride

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EVIE4NOW 7/24/2012 12:23AM

  It's hard to lose someone you looked up to all your life and thought of as your mentor. She would've been proud of you.

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BYEPOUNDS 7/24/2012 12:20AM

    She was a great woman!

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Home Nutritionist and PT for a Month

Monday, July 23, 2012

More examples of what I eat:

Turkey salad with a homemade pickled hardboiled egg, homemade tomato soup, and a fresh fig with a piece of brie cheese for 'dessert'. Simple.

Diet? This is no diet. This is LIVING! I love eating this way, and my body loves it too. It rewards me with high energy, full 8 hours sleep, no hunger, no cravings, and yes, fat loss!

Last night I got a surprise from DH. He said to me, "Ok, you want me to lose weight. It's obvious that you know what you're doing and you've done more research than me. So how about you prepare my meals and tell me what to eat for a month?"


Uhhh...what? Double take...


Wow! Acknowledgement and validation that what I'm doing works. Amazing!

I guess I have a job as a nutritionist and personal trainer for a month!

I became excited and started collecting data. Height, weight, BMR, BMI, bodyfat %, and lean body mass. I scribbled furiously in a notebook. I calculated how many grams of protein/carbs/fat and calories he needed to eat.

I'm going to put him on a 'primal' diet where I restict daily carbs to 80g or less per day. He shouldn't get 'low-carb flu' at this level, but it should be enough to keep insulin levels low. 80g is actually a bit high for me, but I am a much smaller woman.

Protein is problematic. He's a tall man, and his lean mass is double mine. The amount of protein I eat can be challenging! I'm not sure how I'm going to get DOUBLE the protein into him.

I've worked out c/p/f ratios for him to be about 20c/35p/45f.

His BMR is ~2100, and I'm restricting calories to 1600. Yes, calories do count. I am not a believer that one can eat whatever they want. However, it is possible to restrict calories without feeling hungry.

Constant hunger on a diet is a sign that you're not getting enough nutrition. Your body will keep driving you to eat and eat if it's lacking something. When I ate a low-fat diet, that 'something' was fat. I lose more fat by eating fat than I ever did restricting it.

How low carb diets work is by manipulating a metabolic trick. In a healthy body with no metabolic damage, our bodies moves calories in and out of fat cells constantly. During times of perceived 'starvation', more calories are withdrawn than put in.

This is accomplished, as you guessed, by withdrawing carbohydrates. But there is a catch. If you withdraw carbs, you must supply energy with dietary fat and eat a certain level of protein to match current lean body mass. Protein is required every day to repair muscle tissues and build new tissue. Protein also contains essential amino acids to make our organs function property. Low-protein causes muscle to be catabolized to obtain these amino acids. High carb/low-protein diets also lowers resting metabolism, as shown by this recent clinical study:


If we restrict protein, then our bodies will downshift metabolism in order to preserve as much lean mass as possible. When protein supply is adequate, metabolism is upshifted to use it.

Our bodies are lazy. It will always use what's in the gut and bloodstream first before turning to reserves. If we eat 1g protein per pound of lean mass, then it will use the dietary protein for amino acids, even if we 'trick' it into perceived 'starvation' through carbohydrate restriction.

As many LCers will enthusiastically attest, there is no hunger with the right levels of protein/fat in place of carbs.

I got all these numbers worked out. I told him how many calories, carbs/fat/protein he'll be eating per day. I said he would be eating approximately 4-5 meals per day with breakfast.

He said, "No, I don't eat breakfast. I just eat lunch and dinner"



I explained there's no way he can get all the calories he needs with just two meals per day. It's killing his metabolism. 1600 calories in 2 meals? No, it won't work.

We argued, but he was insistent about not eating breakfast. He says he's just not hungry then.

Yeah, but it is why he's starved by lunch.

Break. Fast. Breaking the fast from sleeping.


I suggested, "What if I make protein bars or a trail mix bag you can eat on the drive to work?"

He actually was amenable to the idea. Score. Except he didn't like my last attempt at making protein bars. It was nutritious, but not tasty - lol.

I researched protein bars that has the macronutrients I wanted, but would still be tasty. I found a no-bake recipe that used bananas, nut butter, and protein powder. Score again. Exactly what I had in mind.

I gave it a try last night. While the taste was good, the consistency won't work. It started 'melting' as soon as I took it out of the freezer this morning. The middle bars, still frozen, look great. Just the way I want. The others are partially melted. Not exactly what I had in mind for portable protein breakfast.

Freezer works great to 'set' it, but I have to tweak the recipe so it's a little more solid at room temp.

Now I'm going to be occupied with meal planning and preparation for both of us. This is going to be challenging. But this is what people do every day to get their families healthy breakfast and lunch to school/work, right?

I'm planning on preparing 'chef salad' type lunches for him. Salad, but with lots of protein so it's 'manly'. Fortunately, my man is easy when it comes to the veg, so no problem there. I'm going to make homemade trail mix nut blends for snacking.

The amount of protein he needs is still throwing me for a loop. Although I'm loathe to it due to the nitrates, I'm thinking jerkies might be the way to go. I know he won't do protein shakes, so that's out. I'm not a huge fan of protein shakes myself, but I'm really freaking out about how much protein he needs.

He's resistant to breakfast and won't drink shakes. What a fussy client. He said he would eat what I tell him, but this seems to have a lot of restrictions! I have a feeling I may quit this 'job' by the end of the week!


Any suggestions out there? Any LC men have any tips on what has worked for them?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNDALOVES2HIKE 7/24/2012 9:34AM

    Glad you're having such a good effect on DH - he may not change 'everything' at once but little changes add up to big progress - good for you!

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JUSTBIRDY 7/23/2012 10:02PM

    check out the almond flour pancakes on Tom Naughton's site

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JUSTBIRDY 7/23/2012 9:55PM

    my man ate bacon and eggs when he went low carb. Now that he has added in some carbs, he makes his own eggs without bacon, and his own kale shakes. You can make those mini egg muffins in muffin tins and then he can take them along with him to work and eat breakfast very early in the day if he won't eat first thing.
(ps hope you aren't moving to North Carolina. Trouble.......)

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VHALKYRIE 7/23/2012 9:51PM

    I used almond butter and added 2 additional scoops of protein powder. It was a thick, but I was fine with it. As soon as I added the water, I knew it was a mistake. It became very thin. I didn't know that after freezing it would melt so fast! I may try skipping the water next time.

I don't usually use protein powder, either, but the DH won't eat a protein breakfast otherwise. The brand I use is just the supermarket Publix brand. Not the best, but not that bad. I haven't really tried many. Do you have a brand you like?

I was worried about how this was all going to go with his reaction to breakfast last night, but today went quite well. I'll blog about it tomorrow.

Comment edited on: 7/23/2012 9:52:11 PM

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EATNBOOGERS 7/23/2012 7:22PM

    More solid... ground flax, ground other seeds, almond meal, skip the water?

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EATNBOOGERS 7/23/2012 7:19PM

    Ooh, thanks! Now I'm curious what kind of protein powder you're using. I usually stay away from protein powder *unless* I need a quick meal for on the go (eg, driving commute). And in that case, I make a fruit smoothie (and I use yogurt + a soy-based protein power, a little kelp, some fish oil and flax oil, some flax, and some fruit). I think this would be just as useful. Maybe a winter thing?

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MYLADY4 7/23/2012 6:48PM

    Way to go for getting him to ask for help. Now, good luck on trying to keep your cool will doing it.

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NEILITHICMAN 7/23/2012 4:57PM

    How about using some ground almond to help with the consistancy of the protein bars?

With the banana and peanut butter it sounds like it needs a bit of dry ingredients to help it bind together. Use half as much peanut butter and replace it with almond meal instead.

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FITGIRL15 7/23/2012 4:05PM

    Protein Pancakes
...would be an excellent and portable breakfast food.
1/4 cup Protein powder (any flavor)
1/4 cup dry oats (add 1/4 cup water, to cook)
1/4 cup egg whites.

Mix ingredients and fry, using Pam non-stick cooking spray.
Makes 2 pancakes

Good Luck, sounds like you've got your work cut out for ya! LOL

Comment edited on: 7/23/2012 4:06:29 PM

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VHALKYRIE 7/23/2012 3:45PM

    NAYPOOIE: I love AB too! But as much as I love him, I think my husband would balk at the methodology. But we don't have counterspace for a dehydrator appliance at the moment, so some sort of DIY method is involved. You have given me an idea for oven jerky. Thanks!

Comment edited on: 7/23/2012 3:46:23 PM

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NAYPOOIE 7/23/2012 12:46PM

    Make your own jerky. Not that tough to do.


I love AB.

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VHALKYRIE 7/23/2012 12:44PM

    CTTAGENT: I'm trying to get him to drop the chips and rolls, so that will be out for now.

EATNBOOGERS: This was the recipe I used http://realfitmoms.com/home-made-pr

But the 'melting' is a no go unless I can get him to eat it before he leaves in the morning.

TRIANGLE-WOMAN: I'll probably create an account for him on fitday so I can keep track of his calories/macronutrients. I don't think I could get him here. He doesn't even have a Facebook account! A friend of his posted some rather 'questionable' photos, and he's afraid employers might assume guilty by association! That's one reason why I don't post his photos here.

KELPIE57: Caught me by surprise!

WOUBBIE: Bwahaha! Awesome!! What did you decide on for 'portable' protein breakfast?

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WOUBBIE 7/23/2012 12:17PM

    LOL! My DH asked me to help him eat LC this week so his blood sugar tests would be great on Saturday, but he wants me to "figure out" how he can still drink 12 beers a night. *facepalm*

*Deep cleansing breaths.......*

It's a start. We're working on a small protein filled breakfast in the car (hmm sounds familiar) and cheese snack late afternoon so the stomach is full when he arrives at the "local" right after work. "You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

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KELPIE57 7/23/2012 11:58AM

    Now that is what I call validation!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 7/23/2012 11:24AM

    I skimmed this but am going to come back and read it in detail again later.

I'm on a mission and everything I've ever read here has really helped me re-think and re-tweak what I'm doing.

Kudos to your DH for jumping on the bandwagon!!!

Let us know if he get a "spark persona" going here and we will roll out the welcome wagon!!


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EATNBOOGERS 7/23/2012 11:20AM

    Ooh, this sounds like fun! It's awesome that he's willing to do this! Can't wait to hear how it goes. Just curious--what was/is in your protein bars?

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CTTAGENT 7/23/2012 10:38AM

    It is nice that your husband sees that what you are doing is working.
If I can think of anything in the way of food, I will let you know. My husband is very basic in that he makes taco seasoned beef and eats it with chips. Probably too many carbs, but he does get his protein.

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Great Documentary about Obesity

Sunday, July 22, 2012

This comes via Sparkfriend Valkyria. It's a British documentary called "The Men Who Made Us Fat". Watch one or two episodes a day. It's long, but worth it. I'm passing it along because it's too important to miss.


(Also take the time to read through her other blogs while you're there!)

Episode 2 has a lot of what I was saying in my blog, "Not All Sugar is Equal" and "More about Sugar". HFCS is a slow killer.


If there's one step you can take to improve your long term health, ditch anything with HFCS in it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLJEAN64 7/25/2012 2:36PM

    Thanks for the link. Have watched just the first episode and find his assertions very intriguing.

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Q8PRINCESS 7/25/2012 1:45AM

    Thanks for the links

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ARLENE_MOVES 7/23/2012 8:24PM

    I booked it - will check it out later.

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-LINDA_S 7/23/2012 7:44PM

    Thanks! Will check it out!

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 7/23/2012 9:19AM

    Wow, thanks for the links - I will make time to check it out!

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BILL60 7/23/2012 8:55AM

    Thank you for sharing.

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KNEEMAKER 7/22/2012 10:38PM

  Thanks for sharing

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