My Current Diet Experiment – Surprising Weight Loss!

This experiment was started in response to the lab tests  that concluded my previous diet experiment:

My thought at the moment is, the prudent experiment would be to raise my carbs even a little further (safe since my A1c is at a good place), drop my fat intake a little more and cut sat fat to the bare minimum to see if I can budge that recalcitrant non-HDLc.

So be it; let the next experiment begin.        

Of course in the mean time, I discovered I was hypothyroid and began taking thyroid meds 4 days ago, Jan 28. So, all bets are off. Since the meds will probably drop my cholesterol, both confounding the experiment and perhaps eliminating the need for it, there’s no purpose in continuing it.

Except that I LIKE EATING THIS WAY! Who’da thought?!

In order to achieve my current diet goal objectives, I’m eating

    • 40% of calories as beans and veggies
    • 40% of calories from ultra high oleic acid fats

 It blows my mind that unless I can be eating New York steaks, beans and veggies are actually far tastier than dried up, unappealing animal flesh with the fat removed.

And, it blows my mind that counter to the current low-carb diet “wisdom”, a higher carb, bean/veggie based diet is producing more satiety and thus capable of sustaining greater weight loss. Or more effortless weight maintainence. It saddens me no end to affirm what Tim Ferris was reporting in his 4 hour diet book about “slow carbs”. (I don’t know why I don’t like Ferris; he just rubs me the wrong way.)

So, in a nut shell, it’s true, at least for me. Very slow digesting carbs keep me so full I do not think about food for hours and my weight has fallen off without me intending for it to do that.

Proof

Here’s my spreadsheet weight charts from the current and previous experiments:

Current Diet Experiment Weights

In the previous experiment period (red triangles), there’s a weight peak from Thanksgiving, and the subsequent weight drop in the penance week following. But other than that, my weight was pretty stable during the last period, maintaining at 1550 calories per day. Dropping my fat from 45% to 40% of total calories (last 2 weeks – with blue triangles), accomplished mostly by trading cashews/animal-fats/avocados for beans, dropped my average daily caloric intake to 1387. I put this in the passive tense intentionally. I DID NOT TRY TO RESTRICT CALORIES. IT JUST HAPPENED. Of course, it could be argued that 17 days is too short to constitute real proof and I would have to agree. But it’s all I’ve got for now. With the confounding by the meds, a further experiment will be needed to confirm, after my body has reached a steady state and completely adjusted to the meds.

But Didn’t the Meds Do This?

No. I started the meds 4 days ago, which would include only the last 3 blue data points on the right. In addition, I’ve been monitoring my heart rate. It’s been 60 for a long, long time. It was still 60 the first 2 days after starting meds. Yesterday, it was 62, today 61. That represents about a 2% change in basal metabolism. So far, not enough to account for the change.

What about exercise?

I have not gone to the gym since Jan 15. My average exercise kcal expenditure for this period was 72 / day vs 78 for the previous period. That’s not it.

So what do I conclude?

My tentative conclusion is that with respect to appetite control, energy, athletic endurance, and taste, 40% fat  intake (as % of total calories) works better than 45%. Note that there was about a 2-day period of adjustment to the diet change where I was longing for my (highly addictive) cashews. But then, it became automatic and I didn’t think about it anymore.

This is a significant result for me. The low carb diet was problematic as it required far too much attention to avoid going hypoglycemic. Additionally, if you read sources outside the low-carb echo chamber, you’ll find that low carb is considered metabolically quite questionable as to long term avoidance of insulin resistance. I’m really, really glad to not have to deal with those issues anymore!!!

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About Dan Hunter

Retired software engineer wading through the obfuscation, confusion and contradiction that corporate and political funding of medical research along with ego over science has created.
This entry was posted in Low carb, Nutrition, Personal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My Current Diet Experiment – Surprising Weight Loss!

  1. demogirl06 says:

    Interesting stuff. Didn’t realize you were running an experiment on yourself! Consider an “About Me” page.

    Also… re: “you’ll find that low carb is considered metabolically quite questionable as to long term avoidance of insulin resistance”

    Got a link for me on this one? I’m interested.

  2. Dan Hunter says:

    Oh yeah! I love experiments. I chose software development over med research way back when. But I’m still a frustrated research scientist with no one to experiment on but myself.

    Are you thinking “About Me” instead of or in addition to the “About”? And how would it be different than the “About” page I have?

    I have by no means even begun to delve into resolving the low-carb contributing to insulin resistance controversy for myself, LOL. My comment here was only meant to say that if I could move to a higher carb diet, it would be a moot point and I wouldn’t have deal with it. Yay!

    It was Evelyn over at CarbSane that first tipped me off that low carb might be questionable. I love Evelyn!! For starters, here’s a link to to ponder: http://carbsanity.blogspot.com/2011/04/chronic-exposure-to-free-fatty-acid.html

    Or this one: http://carbsanity.blogspot.com/2011/05/elevated-free-fatty-acids-further.html

    And then there’s Plant Positive’s 2 videos, starting with: http://www.plantpositive.com/35-how-to-become-insulin-resis/

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