A month ago, I told you about the books I was reading, mentioned my previous morbid obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tongue cancer.
What I didn’t mention is that while the majority of my family on my father’s side died in their 50s of complications of raging alcoholism (which I neatly sidestepped by deciding when I was a kid that I was never going to drink — and then sticking to that), just about everyone on my mother’s side of the family died of complications of food. Type 2 diabetes, obesity, stroke, heart attack.
And as well as I’d done with Paleo in getting my weight down, in getting my blood sugar under control, I could not get that last mile.
My fasting blood glucose was always in the 90s, my 2-hour postprandial (after meal) was always in the 120s. If I were being snarky, I’d say these were minimally exceptional.
Since I would NEVER be snarky, I’ll note that these are NOT good numbers. They’re borderline. You’re standing with your toes hanging over the cliff with these numbers, and if you sneeze wrong, you’re going to go over the edge.
So when Matt found Fung, and something we hadn’t tried, I was motivated.
I’ve never done things in half measures. When I decide to do something, I’m all in — so when I fail, it’s big and messy and sometimes expensive and always painful. And someone a little less o/b/s/e/s/s/i/v/e FOCUSED than me would learn that Moderation is Wisdom.
I can type those words, but when I look at them on the screen, all I can read is Moderation is Wimpy. Hey, we all have our bears to cross, and this is just the way I’m made.
So I have not been moderate. I have been both focused and driven.
Baseline, Matt, the Kid (who’s twenty, so he isn’t, but I can’t bring myself to call him the Man, or the Guy) have eaten one meal a day that contains less that 20 grams of carbs, moderate proteins, and high fat.
No snacks, no cheat days, no compromises. Not once.
The quality of our food has gone from the cheapest meats and veggies Wal-Mart sells to the expensive pastured chicken and beef, grass-fed butter, and fresh asparagus at Whole Foods because…
At maximum, we’re eating seven meals a week.
If you figure what you’re spending on food now, cut that down to one meal a day with no snacks or soft drinks, figure the prices for the best ketogenic whole food money can buy (and throw in my secret kicker — more on that in a sec), and go through the week on a MAXIMUM of seven meals, you can eat like kings.
Here’s the secret kicker. Originally we figured the meals would be the same size as the meals we usually ate. So we were going along on Wal-Mart Hamburger Salad with Lettuce and Mayo-Mustard-Paprika Sauce. And other “yep, still hamburger” meals. And I noticed that I wasn’t finishing my portions. I have been a big eater for a long time, so this was strange. One meal a day, and I wasn’t finishing the one meal I had.
Matt grilled us these gorgeous boneless pork chops, and made fresh asparagus for me, and salads for the kid and himself, because I’m the only one who would rather have asparagus than candy.
We got two chops apiece. Delicious, perfectly prepared. I ate about 80% of the asparagus, one of the chops, took two bites from the second, and I was done.
DONE. Not another bite of food was going into my mouth, because my stomach said, “STOP, dammit.”
And I stopped.
So the secret? You get less hungry eating this way, so you eat less, so you BUY less. (Why cook stuff the Stomach Boss won’t let you eat?) But you can afford to buy better.
And this isn’t just me. Both Matt and the Kid have had the same reaction.
But there’s more…
In the past month, along with the 23-hour fasts, I’ve also done several 48-hour fasts, and one 72-hour fast.
So subtract the six days in the last month that I didn’t eat at all (just had 8 oz. of black coffee in the morning, a cup of unsweetened green tea most days, and seltzer water or club soda as often as I wanted.)
When you figure that, I’ve actually averaged a bit over FIVE meals per week.
I haven’t been hungry.
During the fasting, I’ve occasionally felt a bit weak or wobbly, but it turns out that was my blood sugar dropping to places it hasn’t been in — well, probably decades. (Results will follow, but hang with me here).
I’ve had MORE energy than I’ve had in ages. Which is good, because right at the moment I’m neck deep and drowning in more work than I can believe (along with the accompanying stress).
Even if I weren’t dealing with medical problems that needed resolution, this “one meal a day most days and no meals a day some days” thing would have been a winning strategy for dealing with the ungodly amount of stress I’m under right now.
Not having to make time to eat has been one of the massive benefits of eating this way over the past month. I’m not even in sniffing distance of being caught up, but I’ve gotten a LOT more done than if I were wasting time with multiple meals and the sluggish after-meal doldrums that result from non-ketogenic meals.
So. The results.
I don’t own a scale. We haven’t had one since around 2010.
Frankly, I don’t care what I weigh as long as I’m healthy. The metrics that matter to me are my blood sugar (diabetes, kidney failure, amputation, and a laundry list of other ills too long to mention) and my waistline — because storing belly fat is indicative of feeding your next heart attack, and with my damn Energizer-Bunny personality, I figured I was PRIME for a heart attack.
Here’s where I started.
- Waistline: 42″ even (106.68 cm)
- Fasting blood glucose: in the 90s mg/dl
- 2-Hour post-prandial blood glucose: in the 120s mg/dl
Here’s where I am today.
- Waistline: 36.5″ DOWN 5.5″ (92.71 cm) DOWN 9.47 cm
- Fasting blood glucose past 7 days: In the 60s mg/dl (Lowest 62 mg/dl)
Average drop of 30 mg/dl in one month
- 2-Hour post-prandial blood glucose: 68-78 mg/dl
Average drop of 52 mg/dl
Even after Matt loss a hundred pounds and I lost at least 60 back in 2006 (and the weight stayed off), I could not get my blood glucose into a GOOD range, and I could not get the fat off my waistline. I had what folks call an apple shape.
The apple shape is already gone. I have no belly bulge. I don’t have that spiffy inward curve I once had, but I’ve discovered this month that that may be within reach again, too.
As a teenager and young woman, I was tubular. The boy I liked most in high school once told me that if I stood sideways and stuck out my tongue, I’d look like a zipper. (You never quite get over something like that.)
I’d love to have the 22″ waist I had when I was nineteen back, but after three kids, that’s not going to happen. Getting a waistline under thirty, though? Getting the fat out of my liver and off my abdomen, adding some muscle — oh, yeah.
Incidentally and slightly off topic, I’m now back to doing both guy pushups (no knees, just straight back, hands and toes) and squats again because the increase in energy has to go somewhere, and it might as well go into doing something useful. Building muscle is always useful.
Status right now? I haven’t eaten for a couple of days. I’m not hungry. I just wrote this really long post, and then I’m going to go get some coffee and get some real work done.
We have a birthday/Mother’s Day party we have to go to today where I’m going to have to deal with a bunch of food outside my eating zone. So, following Fung’s advice, I’ll enjoy the party, eat the goodies… and tomorrow I’ll fast again.
One month in, I’m seeing amazing results, I have not suffered, I have not been hungry, and I have made enormous inroads into regaining the health I want to maintain for the rest of my life. And… wait for it…
This is the easiest damn thing I’ve ever done.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I got these results from eating a ketogenic diet, and from daily intermittent fasting mixed with occasional multi-day fasting over a period of 30 days. I was taking no medication for any medical condition, so could do this without medical supervision.
If you’re taking ANY prescription medications, you’re going to have to consult with your doctor before trying something like this. Buy your doctor a copy of The Complete Guide to Fasting if you have to, and if you get resistance or the doctor things you’re insane or full of shit, take the copy back and find another doctor.
This is not an affiliate link: I’m recommending the book because it’s helping me. I will not make a dime if you buy the book.