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13 Weeks Experiment Midcourse Report

Seven weeks in, what am I seeing?

by
Charlie Martin

Bio

July 20, 2013 - 2:00 pm
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I’m halfway through this experiment, so I thought it was time to write more about what I’m experiencing this time. As you may recall, my hypothesis this time was that Tim Ferris’ “slow carb” style of dieting would be more effective than the really low-carb diet I’d been following. I had a really good reason for thinking I needed to back away from the really low-carb diet: some periods of low blood sugar that ended up with me fainting at a really inconvenient time, ie, while driving home.

So what has come of it?

First off, I haven’t had trouble with the hypoglycemic episodes; that’s good, as there’s no convenient way for me to avoid driving.

Weight and glucose overall have been, well, interesting.

The chart on the next page is my weight and glucose over the course of the experiment. Just as a reminder, the protocol I follow is to take both weight and glucose first thing in the morning, weighing nude, taking the glucose within half an hour of getting up and usually about 10 minutes after, since that’s how long it takes to feed the cats and start a pot of coffee.

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All Comments   (25)
All Comments   (25)
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I've been doing the Tim Ferris slow-carb diet since May and have lost 7 pounds. Question: I see you mention eating rice and corn twice a week. These foods are not permitted at all on the strict Tim Ferriss slow-carb diet, except on the weekly "cheat day." Are you seeking to strictly follow the Tim Ferriss diet?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have recently started making bean soup in my slow cooker - canned kidney beans and a can of a bean medley or chickpeas along with a couple of cans of Roma tomatoes is the base. No other carbs, but the beans - and I finally broke decisively below 190 pounds after several months of trying on a very low carb diet with all carbs coming from raw vegetables. No agricultural grains - nada. I've also upped the frequency of walking so I'm not being as scientific as you, but the addition of the non grain carbs in the soup seems to have helped. I don't have a problem with fainting or even feeling faint or draggy on very low carb or 600 calorie days because I am not hypoglycemic. My long term goal is 175 pounds so I am not that far off. Even if I only manage a real loss of half a pound a week I'll get there eventually. Thanks for giving us your trial and error experiences as opposed to another diet plan that is claimed to be THE ANSWER.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've been following this since the first one, and like you I have struggled with my weight all my life. Unlike you, I have lost great amounts of weight-50-60 lbs both times-but I've never kept it all off. If I don't make any effort to control my weight I stay about where you are now.

Having said all this--has it occurred to you by now that the things you've been trying this time do not seem to be working any better (or worse) than the things you tried before? Your weight loss is about the same. All the other things you've been checking, well you never tracked them closely before so you don't know if those things are actually better this time.

The problem I've always had with the low-carb approaches is not that they don't work--they work about as well as any other way and some people find them easier to stick to, I know I did. It's the claim that they represent this new and better scientific understanding, and they really don't. I know that people who swear by them can cite endless studies and metabolic details, but so can the low fat people.

I am convinced, by my own experience and the vast scientific literature that points in all directions equally, that any diet works provided you stick with it--and the reason it works is because you are keeping track of what you are eating, and we always eat more than we think if we don't track it.

Incidentally the variance of 5 pounds is almost certainly water, since it weighs more than we think. A 20 oz serving weighs over a pound, and then there's what's generated from the food you eat. I used to weigh myself before and after running 4 miles, and I would typically be one to two pounds lighter, which I could instantly replace at the water fountain.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Honestly, I'm keeping track much *less* carefully than I did in the first two experiments.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
FWIW....You might want to try these lower glycemic items:

Sprouted grain bread from Food For Life, like Ezekiel Bread. The sprouted grains don't seem to cause the gastric upset that traditional wheat-based breads do. I recommend that you always toast this bread before using it, as it tastes much better that way.

Quinoa in place of rice.

Dreamfields pasta. Tastes just like regular pasta, but most of the carbs are not absorbed by your body.

These all work very well for me.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've already mentioned this to Charlie but anyone who experiences stomach pain after eating or has abnormal weight should really get checked for celiac disease. It's a very common disease (more common than type 1 diabetes) and only a few few percent who have it will ever be diagnosed. A child with celiac disease will visit ON AVERAGE 8 pediatricians before being diagnosed. If anyone experiences any of the symptoms below they need to talk to a competent and preferably young gastroenterologist.

Symptoms of celiac disease may include one or more of the following:
Recurring abdominal bloating and pain
Chronic or recurrent diarrhea
Constipation
Nausea or emesis
Liver and biliary tract disorders (increased serum transaminases,
primary sclerosing cholangitis)
Weight loss
Pale, foul-smelling stool
Iron-deficiency anemia unresponsive to iron therapy
Fatigue
Failure to thrive or short stature
Delayed puberty
Arthralgia
Tingling numbness in the legs
Pale sores inside the mouth
Dermatitis herpetiformis
Abnormal dentition (tooth discoloration, loss of enamel)
Unexplained infertility or recurrent miscarriage
Osteopenia or osteoporosis
Peripheral neuropathy
Psychiatric disorders (anxiety or depression)

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/medical-professionals/guide/symptoms
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have been tested, and don't show the marker for frank celiac, but certainly have seen several of the symptoms. I'm suspicious there may be other wheat-intolerance syndromes that aren't shown by the normal test.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I still think you should go on very strict gluten free diet for as long as you can stand it, preferably two weeks or a month and see if you feel better. Some people have non-celiac gluten sensitivity that will test negative but have many of the same symptoms. If that doesn't help, I'd consult a good allergist who could guide you through an elimination diet to check for other intolerances.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
And sure enough, 50 years of IBS and GERD got much better. As I say, I suspect there's another gluten or wheat sensitivity syndrome as well as celiac.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've been on a very strict gluten free diet for getting close to nine months. That's why the sandwich and pasta places are such a pain.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry for the delay. I was under the impression that you were avoiding wheat but not really doing a strict gluten free diet to avoid cross contamination. On a strict gluten free diet you can really only eat at restaurants that have gluten free menus and have trained the staff to avoid contamination. Some people are more sensitive to gluten than others but I can definitely tell something's off just by drinking from a glass washed in a triple sink with beer glasses. (It might be the next day, tho.)
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, not as strict as someone who has a really severde case of celiac sprue, but I really do avoid wheat almost always; sure enough, I pay for it when I *do* eat wheat, with stomach pain and GERD.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
What I'm getting at is that a person with a light, moderate, or severe case of celiac is supposed to absolutely avoid even trace amounts of gluten. Non-celiac gluten intolerance is the same way: 100% strict. You might have issues that would resolve on a strict GF diet (but not on a low gluten diet.) Have you ever been checked for nutritional deficiencies like B complexes, iron, etc.?
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Try to reach the point to where you walk three miles a day.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Carbs are not just grains and white potatoes. Expand your diet to include vegetables. Sweet potatoes have good carbs and are less of a glycemic load than white potates. They also have more nutrients. You don't need grains or legumes, in fact those foods are inflammatory (as well as causing insulin resistance). Look into Whole 30 Program to really reset your dietary hormones. Very Low Carb is not really a great diet. However you can get all the carbs you need from vegetables and the occasional fruit without eating grains.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, I don't generally eat *any* potatoes. I do eat a fair number of raw vegetables.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
You call that flatline of a graph 'losing weight'?

Delusional, that's what it is.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, that graph is pretty close to what the conventional advice calls a "sustainable" weight loss, ie, 1 lb/week. I've written before of the difficulty in seeing that rate of weight loss when normal varriace is several pounds a day.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stop fasting. Fasting is for wackos. It is the atheist karl Marx way of looking holy by getting dizzy close to fainting makes the atheist look holy.. The True God know this so he call his people to fast to perform miracles with mind and heart on God he cast out the atheist demon by fasting and become total dependent of God. And you gain all the weight back by fasting mess up your ability to lose weight
excerpt:Crash diets -- those involving eating fewer than 1,000 calories a day -- are disastrous for anyone hoping to quicken their metabolism. Although these diets may help you drop pounds (at the expense of good nutrition), a high percentage of the loss comes from muscle. The lower your muscle mass, the slower your metabolism. The final result is a body that burns fewer calories (and gains weight faster) than the one you had before the diet."
"
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
footnote
instead become like General waxwing01 as i enter my 62 years on this earth with muscle breaking out all over my handsome Alpha and Omega flesh meat body increasing my ability to destroy a pound of fat flesh in my way ,rosy cheeks, robust health ,demon bug invades my muscle flesh and flees with tail between it's legs but i still working to improve on this great war I do with bugs since bugs i see are great to adapting to change unlike many humans
more latter
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow. You must have a really good dealer.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Charlie mentioned "... intriguing that I'm losing weight, possibly faster, with occasional carb days. "
With super low carb diet the effect on insulin signalling in adipose tissue is different than the effect on insulin signalling in both liver & skeletal muscle. In very low carb diet the adipose tissue insulin doesn't (activate) phosphor-ylate Akt inside a those cells to a high degree & Akt must be engaged for insulin to work downstream (inside a cell).
The blood glucose level can lower on very low carb diets even if insulin resistance is being invoked in adipose tissue. We should not assume that morning's of low blood sugar (glucose) meant that insulin levels are also going down - this is not automatic.
In other words, despite the low morning blood glucose (related to liver gluco-neo-genesis) insulin may rise in response to very low carb spells if a keto-genic type of effect ensued & ketone metabolites around. Daily data on insulin is obviously not practical; yet insulin fluctuation (& not blood glucose measurement) is likely why there are unexplicable weight patterns.
Why would insulin not follow a constantly linear pattern in very low carb diet? It is (presumably) an innate protective response to keep as much glucose available when so little is coming in from diet's carb substrate. The respite from low carb should also raise the body temperature & probably increase physical activity.
So, those carb days let adipose tissue respond anew to insulin. The insulin tweak to the adipose restrains lipo-lysis & adipose doesn't send out so many free fatty acids. Without the impulse of so many free fatty acids reaching in between skeletal muscle fibers the muscle doesn't have to contend with that burden to it's physiology & will "burn" more of the calories presented.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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