July Diet Update

Well, I’ve been a bit lax in the updating of this blog lately, and it seems that I’ve let an entire month go by without updating everyone on my diet status. I’ll try to be a little less flaky in the future, but for now, you get two, two, two months in one update.

The last two months have been the most roller-coastery of the entire diet so far. Even so, I’ve managed to keep an average steady pace in the weight loss domain and keep eating the foods that I love while avoiding the ones that would cause problems. I’ve still been keeping mostly to the ketogenic diet, which is very low-carb, but I have been able to be a little bit more lax in this month than I have been able to in the past. Partially this is due to me actually measuring when I am in a state of ketosis (that is the state when the liver is breaking down fat to produce glucose). I’ve been using these Ketostix in order to measure when I am in ketosis and when I am not in it. They are a clear indicator of when I need to keep a better eye on the amount of carbs that I am eating.

In the last month I took my first long vacation from the diet in a while (when I was in Spring Green, and I had a big jump in my weight right away because of it. Luckily I think it was mostly water weight and “shock weight” because after a couple of days of being back on the low-carb diet I was below the trend line again. I am somewhat concerned about it now, because I do eventually want to turn back to a more natural eating style where I can have a greater amount of carbs in a normal day, although probably not the unrestricted amount of carbs that I was having before.

According to many, the ideal amount is 55% of your calories from carbohydrates, and then 30% from proteins, and 15% from fats. Ketogenic diets turn this on it’s head, with as few as 5% of of the calories from carbohydrates a much greater percentage from the “good fats” that are in animal meats. I think I will try doing something different like maybe swapping the proteins and carbohydrates, and making sure that more of my carbohydrates come from good sources like beans and grains. One of the main things that I didn’t realize how much of was in my diet before and I am coming to terms with now, was how much refined sugar I was having. In a typical day I would have more than 100g of refined sugar, which is pretty appalling considering how little I have now and is super sweet. I was convinced that I was not going to be one of those people who would shirk at the sweetness of things (I’ve always had a sweet tooth, and still do), but after just a little of a sweet thing, I can’t have much more. It could also be a big factor in the blood sugar levels, which make a big difference for me now.

I’ve been pretty consistent with my exercise in the last few months, with most of the exercise coming in the form of outside walking around the neighborhood. I’ve started taking pictures of these little lions that are situated around my neighborhood, that I didn’t notice before because you just notice more things when you are walking at 4mph instead of driving along at 25mph. I am maybe going to map them out and see what I can do. In the month of June it was pretty much straight walking, and I tried to cover the map with my walks, making sure that I walked every street. I got a decent amount of it covered, but there is only so much wandering that I can do with the limited amount of time that I gave myself each day. I still think I did a decent job of covering the neighborhood.

In the month of July, at least for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been keeping a consistent path and trying to see if I can get my speed up and start going faster. This all started when I took a longer walk than normal and saw a tiny lake which was nearby. The walk itself was quite enjoyable and actually walks nearby five of the local parks, and is of a distance that I feel like I am accomplishing something every day that I can exercise and do the whole loop. I’ve been doing it pretty consistently every time that I go out. Since it is mostly straight lines, but it is still very much variety on the walk, I can make sure that I go the right way and it gives me something to measure against when I try to go faster. Lately I’ve been trying to incorporate some short jogs into the runs, with intervals like 2 minutes of walking to 1 minute of running or jogging, and have been getting faster. Right now it’s my goal by the end of the year to be able to do this course in the 45 minutes that I had been allocating to my exercise before I started the extended walks. That would mean that I am very close to a rate that is a 10 minute mile. Right now my best pace is 12:30 a mile, which is still much faster than I’ve ever been able to run as I can remember it.

This is probably the worst graph of diet progress that I’ve been able to present this year. The hump in the middle represents the shock of those many cheat days on the vacation. They are also estimated by the graphing system here which is those open graph marks. I’ve still been steadily going in the downward trend nowadays though which is great, and I have had a solid week of all below 250 pounds which is a good milestone to be happy about. If I keep going at this rate, I’ll get to my first major weight goal before the end of August, and then things will get more interesting as I try to maintain the weight until the end of the year. I also promise a before and after picture of me when I get to that point, if only to remind myself that I want to maintain the smaller me.

The year to date graph again looks pretty nice, with a net loss of about 50 pounds since the beginning of the year, and only one major blip there at the beginning of this month. Even with the bump it looks like I’m right back on track already and haven’t really had a major setback.

It’s an odd month, so let’s look at the graph showing all of the progress from the beginning of me trying to get fit, exercise and lose weight. I’m almost 100 pounds down from my previous weight of 340. This graph looks great. One part of this graph which is encouraging to me is actually the part that probably looks pretty bad to you, which is the time right around October 2010. In this period I was able to just stay at the same weight for a very long time, which suggests that it will be possible for me to do it again. I’m thinking about that because it is what I will want to be doing soon.