My fat loss progress to date:
Weight Loss This Week: -1.6lbs
Weight Loss Total this Month: -2.4lbs
Lean Mass: +1lbs
I don't get big number drops, but my weight loss is smooth and steady. I don't get weird ups and downs anymore. My weight loss isn't linear, but it isn't wild swings, either. These days I get more excited about lean mass increases than I do about the weight loss.
As I've mentioned, I keep a running data table in an excel spreadsheet as this allows me to view information in a way I can't with the Spark reports. I noticed I tracked total carbs instead of net carbs, which I think is skewing my numbers somewhat. Insoluble fiber isn't digested, so it isn't accurate to include them in calorie or carb counts.
However, that revelation is just a bit more depressing. When I count only net carbs, I am even less carb tolerant than I realized. Perhaps it is because I'm small that my 'carbohydrate curve' is going to naturally slide down further from the average. Or I am more metabolically damaged.
Yesterday I talked about the difference between observational studies and experimental studies. I used my college diet as an example: no breakfast, ramen noodles, pizza, beer and Snackwells cookies. I was not fat. I didn't have a washboard stomach, but I had a fairly flat runway. Obviously my awesome college diet wasn't to credit. It is more likely I was less metabolically damaged that I could handle such a crap diet.
I lay the blame on metabolic trashing at the doorstep of trans-fats and HFCS that came after college when I ate more fast food and chain restaurants. McDonald's sausage biscuits for breakfast; double quarter pounders with supersized fries and coke for lunch; Chili's steak fajitas with 32oz adult kool-aid margaritas.
Observational studies would blame the high fat. I blame the quality of fat, plus sugar.
Saturated fats have been targeted as the devil for over 40 years. They raise triglycerides! Bad! Bad!
As I explained in my blog, "Yes, I Eat Vegetables", triglycerides are a fuel source. They DO come from saturated fats. They do not cause artery blockage in themselves, but are a symptom of metabolic syndrome. When insulin levels are elevated, our bodies cannot burn triglycerides, they build up and float around.
To date, the only clinically proven fats that are artery clogging and heart damaging are trans-fats. Zero gram of trans-fat is a safe level. Due to a quirk in the FDA requirements, food manufacturers do not have to report trans-fats in quantities less than .5g.
When fast food companies were compelled to switch from using lard fat, they primarily chose shelf stable and cheap partially hydrogenated vegetable oils high in trans-fats.
My body type is pear shaped. When I gain weight, I tend to put it on the hips and buttocks before anywhere else. As I lose weight, I tend to lose it in my upperbody first. This past month, I'm blessed with noticeable 'firming' in my arms, but much slower decrease in my lower body.
Before I became fat, I had very smooth skin. Almost no cellulite. When I gained weight, I put on a disgusting cottage cheese layer of cellulite.
Cellulite is pocket distortions in the fat cell walls under our skin. We are what we eat. When I put on fat, I ate poor quality fat. Mainly PUFAs - polyunsaturated vegetable oils: soybean, canola, safflower, sunflower, and corn. And the hydrogenated vegetable oils common in fast food and chain restaurants.
My fat sources these days are primarily real butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and avocados.
As I'm losing weight, my cellulite smooths out beautifully. It's not quite gone, but it is shrinking. The cottage cheese effect is lessening. I am starting to see muscles emerge from underneath my skin. Now I know why people like to work out in front of the mirror. I love seeing my muscles move.
As my fat cells release their contents, I can't help but wonder if the old stored trans-fats are going to cause problems. I'm trying to up my antioxidant rich foods - even if higher carb - during my weight loss. Just as an insurance policy. I don't want bad food I ate 12 years ago derailing my health or clogging my arteries today.
Part of my weight loss goal is to reduce my cellulite. Losing the old fat, and eating high quality fats (no PUFAs) are keys. I'm also experimenting with something called "dry body brushing" that is supposed to help smooth out the cell walls.
This is one of the 'non scale' ways I measure progress. The numbers are great, but it doesn't make me feel as beautiful and sexy as much as watching my cellulite zap in the mirror.