Saturday, February 2, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 91

Well, today I have some mixed results to report. First the good news. My weight has fallen by yet another 2 lbs, to 190 lbs. So, I have now lost a cumulative 43 lbs, total. I can also report that I'm building muscle tissue, via my Total Gym workouts, and I'm feeling great.

On the blood sugar front, I stayed up late last night (Friday) and, being somewhat hungry, decided to have a late night snack about three hours before bed. It wasn't much: just a small salad made with shredded cabbage, red onion, broccoli, diced onion and jalapeno slices, topped with two tablespoons of olive oil and a dash of onion powder, cayenne pepper, and black ground pepper. I also had one of Laura's Lean Beef burger patties, with diced onion, jalapeno slices and mustard, followed by a few thin slices of green apple, and a bottle of water. Okay, so it was more a meal than a snack, but, nothing highly glycemic. Well, when I awoke this morning (after 11:00am) and checked my blood sugar, I found it at 120. Not terribly high; just 7 points above normal. Still, during the week, I was getting readings of 99, 93, 87, 88 and 95 before dinner. That's with at least five or six hours with nothing to eat between lunch and dinner. So, I guess the lesson to be learned from this is not to eat within, say, six hours of bedtime. Even three hours before bedtime seems to elevate my morning blood sugar. And that was with a couple of Total Gym "mini-workouts" in between.

Moving on to my blood pressure, this morning, upon waking, it was at 122/86, which is higher than a week ago. At that time, it was 120/81. If this becomes a trend, I may have to either scale back on the Total Gym workouts or walk more to offset them (or both), as the strength training may be raising my blood pressure a little bit. I have been using the Total Gym daily and, sometimes, more than once a day. If I knock that down to, say, three times a week, that should give me adequate strength training without adding significantly to my blood pressure. This would also allow my daily walking to better temper the strength training with aerobic exercise.

I'm adding a new dimension to my reporting with this post: Body Mass Index. Alone, weight isn't an adequate measure of overall health, so, I'll be including my BMI as I go, also. For those not familiar with BMI, what it's supposed to indicate (roughly) is the ratio of body fat to all other tissue. The scale for BMI is a little questionable, though, when it comes to those who have a higher amount of muscle tissue, as muscle outweighs fat and skews your BMI toward "overweight," even for world class athletes in peak physical condition. So, I bear that in mind when assessing my BMI and try to account for my strength training's influence. In other words, being fairly muscular, I probably shouldn't consider 25.8 to be "overweight" or "at risk," as most BMI scales would have us believe. In fact, my health hasn't been this good in years.

The scale for BMI is as follows:

under 18.5 = underweight
18.5 to 24.9 = normal weight
25 to 29.9 = overweight
30 or greater = obesity

Just how one calculates their BMI seems to be a matter of contention, though. I have found no less than three or four formulas for arriving at it, each of them different! So, I resorted to using the simple little BMI calculator found at, instead. But, I have since discovered other online BMI calculators that differ in results, given the same data. This is not confidence-inspiring. The one at
for example, says my BMI is 26 today (at 190 lbs and 6 feet in height), while the previously mentioned calculator says my BMI is 25.8. Not a huge difference, numerically speaking, but in terms of interpretation, it's the difference between being "overweight" and a bit more "overweight," and, if you happen to be at the demarcation between "normal" and "overweight," such a difference could cause confusion as to whether one is "normal" or "overweight." Yet another calculator, found at|880697664
agrees with the first one: 25.8. But, the one at MSNBC agrees with's: 26. Meanwhile, the one at the BBC's website is useless, to me, as I don't happen to know what my weight is in stones! Then, there is the one I found at, which is supposedly more "advanced." It agrees with the 25.8 figure. But, the "advanced" calculator allows for the consideration of age and sex and also gives you your BMI in terms of what percentile it falls within. In addition, it gives you the option of using an "Ideal Weight" calculator (, which is actually five more calculators, each of them different. So, as you can see, getting an accurate BMI measure really isn't as "easy as clicking a button." It depends upon who's button you push.