Posts

Showing posts from December, 2017

Why Exercise?

Image
Many people think the reason to exercise is to burn off that apple pie you had at dinner (not that ketonians would be eating apple pie).  But there are really much better reasons to exercise.  Let’s say an average slice of apple pie is 300 calories.  An average 180-pound man would need spend about an hour to walk about 3 miles to burn off that pie.  While you can burn off that apple pie, it isn’t possible to exercise your way out of a bad diet.

So why does everyone say exercise is so important?  Well there are lots of very good reasons to exercise.  First exercise increases your metabolism.  That means that not only do you burn calories while you are on your walk, you will also burn more calories when sitting on the couch watching television than if you hadn’t exercised.  An increased metabolism will also make you feel like you have more energy, which may make you feel like moving more.  Which, in turn, will increase your metabolism even more.  If you move constantly, your body will wo…

Metabolic Syndrome and Insulin Resitance

Image
My last post discussed why keto works while other diets fail.  This post will get into some of the root cause issues that keto helps to treat.   That would primarily be metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.
Metabolic Syndrome, sometimes referred to as Syndrome X or insulin resistance syndrome, is a group of related risk factors / symptoms such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, bad cholesterol levels and abdominal fat.  There is growing evidence that one of the main causes, if not THE main cause, of metabolic syndrome is insulin resistance.
To understand insulin resistance, it is important to understand how insulin works in your body.  Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows your body to use or store glucose resulting from food (particularly carbohydrates) eaten. When you eat something with carbohydrates, your blood sugar rises and your pancreas releases in sulin into your bloodstream.  The insulin acts as a key to “unlock” your fat cells and allow the blo…

Why Keto Works

Image
I’ve tried dozens of different diets over the course of my life and I’ve usually been able to lose a little weight with most of them, at least in the beginning.  But inevitably the diet stalls, I stop the diet, and I gain back the weight I lost,  plus a little extra.  In fact, other than taking injectable insulin, calorie restricted diets were the most reliable way for me to GAIN weight.  So much so that I wonder how much better my weight would be if I had never tried to diet.

Why do I think keto is different? 

First I’m still making progress after more than a year into keto.  Traditional calorie restricted diets usually stopped working after a few months.  They never seemed to start working again no matter what I'd try.  And I usually felt so hungry and irritable that I'd decide continuing that diet wasn’t worth the pain if there wasn’t going to be a corresponding gain.

The second and perhaps the most significant reason why I think keto is different is because of what happens …

Deliberate Exercise

Image
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve begun more spontaneous movement than before keto.  I will climb up the escalator instead of just riding it because I just feel like it.  I’ll take the stairs instead of the elevator.  I’ll go for long walks on my lunch hour when I’m not eating lunch.  But I feel the time has come to “up my game”.  I’ve decided to add deliberate exercise into my health regimen.

I have a few goals for this exercise.  I’d like to increase my flexibility.  I have a hard time bending to get things and a horrible time getting up if I’m down on the floor.  I’ve always been well above average for my lower body strength.  In high school I could max out our leg press machines pretty easily.  But I’ve always been well below average in my upper body.  I’d like to see if I can catch up and increase my upper body strength.  I’d also like to increase my endurance as well, although now I can stand and walk hours without too much trouble.  Before I started keto I couldn’t stand for much …

Year in Review

Image
As I mentioned in my first blog post, my success with keto in my first year is what motivated me to start this blog.  I feel a great sense of accomplishment with the progress I’ve made.  I also realize that the pursuit of health will be a lifelong journey, and I have much more progress to make.

Let’s start by recapping the progress I’ve made over the first year doing keto:

I lost 120 pounds of weight, going from 397 pounds to about 275 pounds.I lost 12 inches around my waist, going from 68 inches to 56 inches in the widest part of my belly.I was able to stop taking 120 units of Lantus, a long-acting insulin.I was able to stop taking Bydureon, another drug for diabetes.I reduced my HbA1c from a clearly diabetic 7.7% while treating my diabetes with insulin to a normal 5.0% without the need for any extra insulin.I dramatically improved energy levels and no longer feel completely exhausted when arriving home from work.I kicked my Diet Mountain Dew habit.  I went from drinking 6 or more can…

Weight Loss Milestone Stuggles

Image
I have definitely been successful with my keto diet and weight loss.  However, it hasn’t been a direct route.  For example, I touched or crossed the 300-pound barrier eight times before I finally permanently was below 300 pounds.  I first got down 300 pounds on August 24, 2017.  My morning weight was 300 or 299 for the next seven days.  Then, on September 1, I jumped up to 303 pounds.  It wasn’t until September 7 that I was back at 299.  On September 8 I was 296, which means I had officially lost 101 pounds in total.  But on September 11 I hit 300 again, bounds down for a couple of days.  Then back to 300 on September 14.  I then bounced around from 295 to 299 for the next few days only to return to 301 on September 21.  Then on September 23 I hit 294, and I was never above 296 gain. 
I share this story to remind you that the journey to improvement isn’t always a straight line.  It will meander but if you stick with it improvements will come.  That is why “Keep Calm and Keto On!” is…