Last year, a group of friends and I started a Biggest Loser competition. One of the sticking points that lead to the downfall of the competition was the reporting. We required at least a picture on a scale every couple of weeks, and we also provided for a three day window to get it in. Needless to say when the reporting started breaking down so did the competition. We decided to try again this year, and technically it’s still going on as I type this post, but I have no idea where anyone stands.
The start of a weight loss plan usually sees a lot of success, and that’s definitely what’s keeping me going right now. I should not be stepping on and off the scales obsessively, because it never reads what, in my head, I think it should, but without the raw measurements, real progress is impossible to track.
I also know at some point, I’m going to plateau. But right now, the blog and the tracking are keeping me going. This morning, I weighed myself again, now a week from when I started the blog.
- March 31 – 244.4 (did not document here)
- April 14 – 239.6 (my first blog last Friday
- April 21 – 233.8
This is accelerated weight loss, which is what I expected! Before I got real on this diet, I lost around 5 pounds in two weeks. Now with a seriously real week of keto, I lost almost 6 pounds in one week.
This is enough to keep me going for sure. I know it’s not going to be 6 pounds every week, but it hasn’t been easy getting to this point either.
Other progress – January 9 – 259.0!!
It’s fair to say that I’m probably in ketosis, that state of burning fat (ketones) versus sugar (glucose) for energy. Here is my reading from this morning:
A little glare in the picture, but it’s still obvious that this is a much darker color than a couple of days ago. Certainly in the 40-80 mg/dL range. If we call it 50, and use our handy conversion, that’s 2.8 millimolars, firmly in the Optimal Keto Zone!
Next step for me is to become keto-adapted which is basically a more stable state of ketosis. Now that I’ve been in ketosis, my body should be in the process of changing metabolically. At first, the body struggles trying to break down the diminishing glucose stores in the body, while the muscles take up all the ketones. Eventually, the muscles stop hoarding all the ketones and switch to using fat, leaving the ketones for the brain. Once this starts happening, the body is keto-adapted. Once keto-adapted, I should enjoy some energy benefits, won’t be thinking of all the food I’m missing out on as much (I won’t be craving it), and if I do cheat, it should be easier to get back into ketosis.
I’ll be certain to post some good keto resources that explain all of this in greater more specific detail, but this is a progress report!
As a reminder, my diet right now consists of:
- High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carbohydrates (calorie ratio of around 75/25/almost 0)
- Intermittent fasting
The food hasn’t been so bad. This week my diet has included:
- 80/20 fat content hamburgers
- cheddar cheese for the burgers and snack
- hard boiled eggs
- marinated steak tips (because of the way the marinade is absorbed, you only need to count a small amount of nutrients)
- coffee with heavy whipping cream (sometimes half and half if I’m in a hurry)
- coffee whipped with organic, grass fed, unsalted butter and coconut oil
- black coffee
This week I’ve really increased the fast, and I’m eating two meals in a relatively short period of time:
- 8AM – black coffee (probably not interfering with fasting state)
- 10AM – buttered coffee (above)
- 12PM – first meal
- 3/3.30PM – second meal
- no eating past 4
And gallons and gallons of water (though I’m not measuring).
That’s at least an 18 hour fast every day. Pretty strong!
Hunger and Caloric Restriction
So it turns out that I’ve built up a decent caloric deficit on most days this week. So am I burning fat and killing it, or am I just starving myself? Tough to say. Probably a combination of both. I mean, I’m certainly eating a lot when I eat, and if I didn’t weigh 230 pounds, the amount of food I’m consuming would be too much for many, many people.
One of the things I really want to discuss at some point in the near future is that what you eat is a way better starting point than how much you eat! In my case here, I’m eating a lot of fat and a decent amount of protein, and when I’m finished eating I don’t want to eat again.
Overall I’m doing really well in the morning and during the day. Skipping breakfast has not been an issue. I’m full during the day and don’t feel the need to snack. What’s hurting is the evening. I stay busy, either running a coaching session, driving the kids around, preparing food for the next day, cleaning the house, or reading and writing these blog posts. But I’m still hungry. I’m also drinking a lot of water, which helps with the hunger. More on all of these issues as I progress further.
Heavy weights and sprints, for about 30-45 minutes each day. Here was my week:
- Monday and Wednesday, 10 minutes of moderate cardio, 1 minute higher intensity cardio, and 3 sets of 3 different exercises (so 9 sets all together), with reps in the 5-8 range (heavy weights)
- Tuesday and Thursday, 10 minutes of moderate cardio, 10 minutes of intervals (15 second all-out sprints, 60 seconds rest, for 8 reps), 10 minutes moderate to low cardio
- Friday, 10 minutes of moderate cardio, 1 minute higher intensity cardio, and then a nautilus style circuit: 5 machines, 3 consecutive sets on each machine with 15 seconds rest per set on a single machine and 1-2 minutes rest in between machines, 5-8 reps per set and 15 total sets (this is a variation on a glucose depletion routine I used to do on a cyclic ketogenic diet in the past, where the rep range was higher)
The heavier weights have been an adjustment, but I feel like I’m making some small gains (how much can you improve in two weeks?), I definitely stretch my comfort level, and I have some decent soreness. When I first decided to lose the weight, a year ago or so, I was probably working out harder, but this routine has been good and I’m still losing weight, which is the main goal. I’d love to keep some muscle, but shedding the obesity label is far more important (and I know more muscle will lead to fat burning, so staying on top of that).
I do have a little sluggishness on the stationary bike, and I don’t know if it’s the lack of glucose, or just lack of sleep…
Difficult to underscore how important sleep is, especially to someone who’s trying to do what I’m doing (keto and intermittent fasting). I usually fall asleep before 11PM and wake up around 6AM. The target probably should be 8-9 hours sleep.
Stress often keeps me from sleeping initially, and usually, if not every night, stress keeps me up for a bit during the night. All the water I’m drinking is making getting back to sleep difficult too, because now it’s two, sometimes three breaks overnight, which I’m not used to.
Dealing with stress is something I need to tackle at some point soon. In the meantime, my body is supposed to be adapting to this new diet, and hopefully that will include less hunger in the evening, which will in turn help with my water consumption. It will be easier to get back to sleep when I haven’t had so much water just prior to sleeping.
You didn’t catch it
I know a lot of people read my first blog, and July 1 is not 7 weeks away from last week. It’s like 10 weeks away. Nobody challenged me on it! So maybe I can lose 50 pounds by July 1. If I can average 5 per week I’ll be on my way…
Thanks for reading!