Here are the basic details of my second week without drinking during this grand experiment in my 11th week of induction:
Monday, March 10, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008 (Happy St. Paddy’s Day!)
That’s the end of week two off alcohol. To recap, I started (re)induction Jan 2 following the rules to the letter; two weeks into it, I resumed my routine use of alcohol and, during the third week, the weight loss stopped after 8.5 pounds. For the next six week period, during which other odd things were going on physiologically, my weight increased, decreased, and increased again, from 221 to 225 pounds in a wildly varying sawtooth pattern. In week ten, I began this experiment of abstinence.
During the experiment, the first week showed a dramatic net loss, 4.4 pounds. I lost weight after consuming between 1421 and 2032 calories the day before, and I gained weight after taking in more than 2200 calories the prior day. The second week, however, seemed to flip that pattern 180 degrees and turned the graph line in a basically upward trend again. I showed a net gain of 1.6 pounds for the week, gaining the days after eating less than 2065 calories, and losing the days following consumption of more than 2350 calories. (The only day not consistent with this was Bonehead Error Saturday.) Through the two week period (except the last Saturday), daily net carbs ranged between 11 and 22, averaging 16.7, but I cannot see any recognizable pattern in weight fluctuation with regard to this factor.
So what’s my analysis? I don’t have one yet. If the purpose of the experiment was to test whether cessation of alcohol consumption would indeed break a “stall” in weight loss, then I would say it indicated positively. As to whether cessation of alcohol produces a change in the trend to lose weight over a period of time with all other factors being the same, I think two weeks is not a sufficient time-frame in which to measure this. The aniticipated association of caloric decrease due to a decrease in alcohol intake does not seem to be a factor because I appear to have replaced those calories with other sources, for example, an increased consumption of hard cheeses and Italian deli meats. If anything, I would assume I’ve increased the fat content of my diet in the last two weeks.
I’m confused by the change in the second week, both in how the trends reversed and that I’m not showing color on the ketosticks. If, as I’ve read elsewhere, I must be in ketosis due to severely restricted carb intake, regardless of the test strip indication, am I actually using the manufactured ketones that efficiently? Have I increased my dietary fat content to the point that I’ve curtailed my need to draw fat from my adipose depots for fuel, and hence the change in weight management trends? How does this correlate with the studies mentioned in Good Calories, Bad Calories, where subjects continued to lose weight no matter how many calories of fat were added to the diet as long as carbohydrates were severely limited?
This all begs a third week of testing with a minor change: I’m going to abstain from high fat cured deli meats this week. I do recall reading somewhere, possibly in other low carber’s comments, possibly in low carb plan advisements, to avoid eating a lot of processed meats like salami and sausage. Let the new week begin, and I’ll report back next Monday.