Diet and exercise February 2020.
Hundred push-ups a day challenge.
Getting to grips with ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting.
My new Facebook page….Totally open minded Keto https://www.facebook.com/groups/524455598277075/
By the time this post goes live it will be nearly the end of February and more than 8 weeks have gone by since i started my experiment with the low carbohydrate/high fat diet. As i write this post i’m down to just over 91 Kg from just under 100 when i started 8 weeks ago. Last night, as i write now, i had a quick telephone conversation with my GP who completely agrees that my BP has normalised and that i’m now officially off all medicines. This week i had to tighten in my temporary cordage belt on my work trousers and i comfortably got into my ‘smart’ jeans….that’s sort-of a bit odd because they are a 38′ and when i did my measurements in week 6 i was 43′ so one of us must be wrong. Jackie says that my face and neck have taken on ‘shape’ and my belly fat is all breaking up. My observation is that i have loads more energy and i’m ripping into jobs around the place.
I was slow off the mark with my January diet start, excuses excuses i know but that’s just the way it worked out. When i did get started on the first full working week it was a case of doing a big supermarket shop to make sure i had plenty of the right stuff to eat , having a ‘good’ breakfast (dirty keto) every day and then just laying into the day’s work and kind-of forgetting about food until later in the day. It wasn’t carefully thought out at all ; just a case of going as low as i could on the extraneous carbs, keeping my protein and fat intake high and seeing what happened. I didn’t even weigh at first because experience tells me that the first big drop is usually water loss.
I won’t claim that my diet was ‘clean keto’ and my carbohydrate intake was still a bit too high, mainly from the amount of milk i normally drink in my coffee each day ; but i definitely went into ketosis on day one and have been so intermittently every day since then. I base that on the simple signs i get, mainly what i call cotton-mouth/keto mouth by which i mean that slightly unpleasant taste that comes from excreting ketones as acetone. I also got the mild headache, very noticeable insomnia and a total bowel shut down until day 5 and a dump of epic proportions ; but you probably didn’t want to know that !
When i did start my weekly weigh-in i had a 1.5kg drop in the first beginning/ending of that week but i think i was still losing water ; again on the slightly gross side i noticed that my belly fat loosened up and my work trousers kept falling down while i was working on the workshop project . My first treat is going to be a new pair of heavy outdoors/work pants once iv’e lost some girth as i happen to think that in men the critical metric is abdominal (waist) circumference which directly relates to visceral fat : the aim isn’t so much weight loss as the loss of visceral fat. I only started measuring my waist circumference after week 3, the end of the month, when i should have just stopped dumping so much water.
Week one was all about establishing a basic dietary approach , essentially getting used to not snacking on carbs and coffee throughout the day ; i can only apologise to the makers of dark chocolate digestive biscuits that their slump in profits is mostly my fault ! It didn’t help matters much that 2 of our house presents this year were boxes of really nice biscuits and even that was after giving most of the chocolates away as raffle prizes post Christmas.
Week 2 was a bit more about fine tuning my diet and then re-establishing some kind of exercise regime that i can do at home and locally. Running is completely out because of my knee replacement although a daily trail walk isn’t a bad idea so day 2 of week 2 saw me pacing out my usual route from the house, up through the local woods bordering the valley and back via the lanes. Days 1 and 2 also saw me doing ‘work as exercise’ in that i did 10 ‘sets’ of carrying the cut Leylandi rounds from the lane around to the back garden and then completely re-organising the firewood store (heavy job). For day 2 of week 2 i also started my ‘proper’ exercise regime with just one set of 10 press-ups in good form, did another 10 heavy carries of the wet firewood and then just went for a walk.
The 100 a day challenge : lighter, fitter, faster, stronger.
In week 2 i started my new approach to exercise : my aim being to double my press-ups each day for the first few days : 10, 20, 40, 80, until i am up to 100 in as many sets as it takes and then carry on doing 100 a day all month. When i last did this i easily got to 200 a day , usually as my morning pre-work routine and i was sometimes getting my ‘hundred’ done in 3 sets. My real challenge this time is to do the press ups in full Royal Marine training style ; on the bleep and in perfect form as that’s a lot harder…..any gym bunny can turn out lots of poor quality press ups !. As of the end of February i’m now doing my ‘hundred’ in better form and iv’e added weighted squats twice a week and deadlifts once : my weekly target for February was 100 squats a week, 50 deadlifts with the bar at 60 Kg and then 100 pull-ups over the month…..this week alone i did 59 and they’re getting easier as i get lighter and stronger again.
Getting to grips with ‘keto’ and ‘IF’ (Ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting.
The practical side of what iv’e done so far is pretty simple ; 1. reduce my carbohydrate intake as far as i can by cutting out a lot of what i would normally eat. 2. Increase my intake of protein and fat. 3. Become less sedentary by resuming an exercise and ‘work as exercise’ regime. The other side of what i am doing does involve sitting in front of the computer and mainly watching a few channels that talk intelligently about the science of low carbohydrate diets, ketogenic diets, intermittent fasting and so on and so forth.
With a healthcare background myself i have a good start on the biochemistry and physiology although i’ll admit that i was much more into hearts, lungs, brains. liver and kidney’s as an ICU nurse than say gut….which is quite boring until it becomes ischaemic, at which point it becomes very exciting indeed. I only really got interested in gut and diet physiology right at the end of my nursing career when i spent hours and days watching what was happening at the tip of an endoscope and getting my head around the chemistry of food/diet properly. For sure i knew my food groups and knew a bit about diet and exercise from studying what i needed in days past when i did serious outdoors walking expeditions and long sessions in the gym.
The fact is though that a lot of what we were taught early on in nursing school and the paradigm of diet that came out of the USA in the 1950’s and 60’s is almost completely wrong : and that’s the emphasis on low fat/high carbs that was prevalent then and still is now. In this first month iv’e had a very good look at the science and taken close attention to the evidence ; if anything i believe i should base my practice on a solid evidence base and i now think that ‘the evidence is in’ and the results aren’t good for the pre-existing paradigm of ‘healthy’ diet….in fact it might well be the opposite. At the bottom i’ll put a link to a couple of medical doctors who seem to know their stuff and present the actual evidence in the form of hard data.
For now i’m happy to go along with a low carbohydrate approach to my own diet ; for sure my first version isn’t as good as it could be but it’s a step forward on the path. Where i think i’m going with this is to get my carbohydrate intake down consistently below 50 gm/day and more like 20 gm/day when i can achieve it. Along with that it would work well for me at home to eat in an IF (intermittent fasting) style , close to the 16 : 8 ratio that seems to work for others. In practice all that means is having all of my food in an 8 hour window and then being in a fasted state for 16 hours.
At the end of week 8 i’m reasonably well established on a long term LCHF diet and i’m effectively doing a 16 : 8 IF pattern daily with also one day a week being a once a day eating only….that was difficult first time around but has got easier each time ; mainly by just getting on with jobs straight away in the morning. During February i went further into the science, iv’e been reading Prof Tim Noakes book ‘The lore of Nutrition’ and experimenting with Keto style baking…flatbreads and cookies : that’s been the one significant failure so far although my main meals are coming together nicely.
1.Sorry about the fish-n-chips……i couldn’t resist using the photograph again.
2.Carbs down under channel….seems reasonable : Dr’s Paul Mason and Eric Westman https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcTTiHZtNpiqD2EubIO5HFw
3. Dr Ken Berry channel : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIma2WOQs1Mz2AuOt6wRSUw