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My 2011 Pursuit Of 230 Challenge Update With Peculiar Blood Sugar Testing Results

Posted Feb 09 2011 4:57pm

Since January 3, 2011, I’ve been on a newfound journey to revitalize my low-carb lifestyle in a major way like I haven’t attempted since my original 180-pound Atkins diet weight loss in 2004. Like that year when I was a man on a mission to get my 410-pound body healthier once and for all, I’ve been gung ho with a specific strategy for making it happen this time around. Since I’ve already experiencing the health benefits of this way of eating for many years now and I am very well acclimated to shunning sugar and starchy carbohydrates with ease, it really hasn’t been that big of a struggle for me to take on the challenge of eating primarily grass-fed beef, pastured eggs and coconut oil in my diet (with just a little dark chocolate at the end of the day for good measure). You’ll recall I’m also avoiding soy, artificial sweeteners, wheat and dairy, engaging in purposeful intermittent fasting, and not really obsessing over calories but being careful not to over-consume them for the energy needs of my body.

The results so far in just about a month of doing this have been utterly amazing. As of my latest weigh-in on February 4, 2011, I’ve lost a total of 20 pounds on the way to getting back down to at least 230 pounds again. Of course, I’m not gonna stop there if there is still weight to be shed, but it’s my short-term goal to strive for by April 1. Whether I actually hit that goal by then or not is not really as important as seeing movement happen in the right direction again which I’ve struggled and toiled with over the past few years. It seems that struggle has come to an end as I’ve found the right mix of things to do to make fat loss happen again in a way I haven’t seen since 2004. This whole process has made me really examine closely what made me so successful seven years ago as I try to replicate those habits in 2011.

I have noticed something about myself during this new journey that I didn’t really know before. While I knew I was super-sensitive to consuming carbohydrate, it seems that at least for me I have to go very low-carb along with my high-fat, moderate protein intake to experience weight loss. I’ve long thought I could get away with 20-30g carbohydrate daily, but even that seems to be problematic for someone like me. Taking in less than 10g carbohydrate per day seems to be the magic number for me because the weight is moving downward and I’m actually getting smaller, too, as I’ll share in the photos below. And although I’m not counting calories as part of my new routine, they are naturally being reduced as a result of the satiating properties of both the fat and protein I am consuming without the insulinogenic effects of carbohydrate in my diet. This combination is my current recipe for success!

Check out these one-month before and after photos to see how quickly the fat is melting off of my body:

If there’s THAT much of a difference in how I look after just one month, can you imagine the changes that will be seen in three, six or even twelve months from now if I keep this up? It’s extremely exciting for me to see such progress and this is motivating me to continue on for as long as it takes to get the body I want and deserve. And it’s not just my low-carb eating habits that are helping me with these changes–I’m still doing interval workouts twice a week, strength training twice a week, a couple of yoga classes for stress management twice a week, and competitive volleyball once or twice a week. I love my active lifestyle and feel myself getting stronger, faster, and more energetic than ever before! Well, imagine that considering I’m consuming so few carbohydrates (what conventional wisdom says is the food we need for fuel) in my diet. If I’ve proven nothing else with my experiment so far, you certainly can’t say eating a very low-carb diet makes you lethargic, fatigued and depressed. Far from it!

Since I’ve been on this extraordinary new very low-carb, real foods-based weight loss plan for success for just over a month now, I thought it was time for me to take a snapshot of what’s going on with my blood sugar levels throughout the day. As I noticed during my “eggfest” experiment in 2010 , my blood sugar issues that included bouts with reactive hypoglycemia seemed to vanish quickly. And with my previous apprehension to intermittent fasting a few years back, I didn’t think I’d find myself trying it again. But maybe my body is ready for it now more so than it was back then. Whatever it is, I’m able to eat my last full meal of the day around 2:00pm and not eat my next full meal until around 9:00am the next morning without any hunger or weakness of any kind. This is a complete 180 from what I experienced doing IF in 2006. But I’ll take it! I really didn’t know what to expect from my blood sugar readings, but I know the diet I’m currently consuming is all about keeping insulin production as low as possible in an effort to allow fat-burning to commence. This trend should easily show up in my blood sugar readings and I think you’ll notice very quickly how effective my high-fat, moderate protein, very low-carb nutritional approach is working to make that happen with the results of my testing the past couple of days:

10:00AM–Overnight fasting blood sugar–65
Breakfast–3 pastured eggs cooked in 1 Tbs extra virgin coconut oil
10:15AM–Blood sugar–73
10:30AM–Blood sugar–74
10:45AM–Blood sugar–71
11:00AM–Blood sugar–73
11:15AM–Blood sugar–84
11:30AM–Blood sugar–80
11:45AM–Blood sugar–70
12:00PM–Blood sugar–73
12:15PM–Iced tea sweetened with stevia
12:30PM–Blood sugar–79
12:45PM–Blood sugar–75
1:00PM–Iced tea sweetened with stevia
1:15PM–Blood sugar–72
2:00PM–Blood sugar–66
Lunch–1/2 pound grass-fed ground beef cooked in 1 Tbs extra virgin coconut oil
2:15PM–Blood sugar–69
2:30PM–Blood sugar–75
2:45PM–Blood sugar–69
Iced tea sweetened with stevia
3:00PM–Blood sugar–75
3:15PM–Blood sugar–73
3:30PM–Blood sugar–73
3:45PM–Blood sugar–74
4:00PM–Blood sugar–75
5:00PM–Blood sugar–82
6:00PM–Blood sugar–69
Take my daily supplements/fish oil
7:00PM–Blood sugar–72
Begin playing competitive volleyball
8:00PM–Blood sugar #1–104–Blood sugar #2–96
8:45PM–Took sleeping supplements (magnesium, L-Trytophan, and GABA)
9:00PM–Blood sugar–81
9:15PM–Consumed two ounces of sugar-free dark chocolate
10:00PM–Blood sugar–68
11:00PM–Blood sugar–69

How’s that for a wild day? First the good news: My blood sugar levels before meals, after meals and in between meals was relatively constant. This is something Dr. Richard Bernstein talks about quite often is that your blood sugar levels really shouldn’t fluctuate that much even after eating a meal–if they do, then you’re eating too many carbs. Even the iced tea with stevia I drank at midday didn’t have any negative impact on my blood sugars. Some people have hypothesized that even natural sweeteners like stevia can raise blood sugar levels , but that clearly isn’t the case with me. I was most impressed with my blood sugar control after consuming a half-pound of ground beef cooked in coconut oil. Pretty darn steady!

Now for the “bad” news (don’t know what to make of it): What the heck happened during volleyball? Without consuming a single morsel of food my blood sugar spikes 30 points in an hour? I thought it was a bad reading, so I washed my hands again, cleaned my finger with an alcohol swab and tested again. The reading was lower, but still statistically higher than it should have been. I’m still scratching my head on that one. If anyone has a theory about why blood sugar would rise simply by playing a game of bump, set, spike, then I’m all ears. The day ended with blood sugar levels right around where they were when I woke up that morning. All in all, I’d say it was a good day. It was so much fun doing that testing (yes, I had lots of holes in my fingers!) that I decided to do it one more day to see what would happen:

8:45AM–Overnight fasting blood sugar–80
9:45AM–Blood sugar–78
10:45AM–Blood sugar–75
Breakfast–3 pastured eggs cooked in 1 Tbs extra virgin coconut oil
11:00AM–Blood sugar–79
Iced tea sweetened with stevia
11:15AM–Blood sugar–78
11:30AM–Blood sugar–76
11:45AM–Blood sugar–74
12:00PM–Blood sugar–75
12:15PM–Blood sugar–73
12:30PM–Blood sugar–77
12:45PM–Blood sugar–82
Iced tea sweetened with stevia
1:00PM–Blood sugar–80
2:00PM–Blood sugar–81
3:15PM–Blood sugar–72
3:30PM–Lunch–1/2 pound grass-fed ground beef cooked in 1 Tbs extra virgin coconut oil
2:45PM–Blood sugar–69
Iced tea sweetened with stevia
3:45PM–Blood sugar–77
4:00PM–Blood sugar–65
4:15PM–Blood sugar–81
4:30PM–Blood sugar–81
4:45PM–Blood sugar–80
5:00PM–Blood sugar–79
5:15PM–Blood sugar–80
5:30PM–Blood sugar–80
5:35PM–15-minute weight lifting, 20-minute interval training
6:15PM–Blood sugar–63
Iced tea sweetened with stevia
Take my daily supplements/fish oil
7:30PM–Blood sugar–71
8:00PM–Consumed two ounces of sugar-free dark chocolate
8:15PM–Took sleeping supplements (magnesium, L-Trytophan, and GABA)
8:30PM–Blood sugar–77
9:30PM–Blood sugar–71
10:30PM–Blood sugar–72

Another fascinatingly peculiar day of blood sugar testing! The thing that really stood out the most to me on this day more so than Monday’s readings was how stable the blood sugars remained all day long. And they stayed really low with the highest reading of the day only measuring 82. There are some people who would kill to have that as their fasting blood glucose number in the morning! Other than the 63 reading that happened right after I finished exercising (riddle me this Batman–why would weight lifting and interval training DROP blood sugar when doing volleyball would raise it?), my low for blood sugar today was just 71. That’s only an 11-point difference in my blood sugar from the time I woke up until the time I went to sleep. WOW! That’s what I call controlled blood sugars, baby!

The take-home message I get from all of this finger-pricking, blood drawing over a two-day period is this: my eating and exercise plan is keeping my blood sugar levels (and ostensibly insulin levels) steady so that my stored body fat can be used as fuel for my body, melt away excessive body fat accumulation, and allow me to experience tremendous weight loss success on the scale. With my exercise, I know I am gaining muscle mass while burning fat and it’ll be exciting to watch all of the physical changes happen in the coming months (and from the dramatic change in demeanor on my face from the before to after pictures above, it’s obvious this is also having a tremendously positive psychological effect on me emotionally as well). You can follow my daily progress in my diet and exercise routine by visiting my low-carb menus blog where I am chronicling my weight loss with weekly weigh-ins on Fridays. Will I make my goal of 230 pounds by April 1, 2011? You’ll just have to tune in to find out!

Special THANK YOU to Tropical Traditions for providing me with the grass-fed beef , pastured eggs, and coconut oil during my current challenge. Shortly after they read about my challenge last month , they said they’d like to supply me with the food I need to be successful in this endeavor. THANKS so much Tropical Traditions!!!

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