Saturday, March 8, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 126

Some surprising results this time! First of all, when I stepped on the scale today, I found I'm down to 176 lbs! That's a decrease of 6 lbs since last Saturday, for a total weight loss of 57 lbs, so far! That was following a week in which I had no further weight loss at all and had remained at 182 lbs for two weeks running.

So, you ask, what factor caused this sudden spurt of additional weight loss? Well, there are a few factors probably involved. The first is the addition to my diet of coconut oil, which has been noted to promote weight loss, lowered blood sugar, lowered cholesterol and lowered blood pressure. More about the benefits of coconut oil later. Then there is also the fact that I've eliminated mustard from my diet completely. Not that mustard is a high calorie food (it isn't), but I was consuming an awful lot of the stuff. What concerned me enough to remove it from my diet was not its calories, though. It was its salt content. I was getting a lot of added salt from mustard and it was the only remaining source of added salt still in my diet, in fact. But, as for the additional weight loss, it's probably not a factor, except as a slight reduction in calories per meal. Do I miss it? Sometimes, but I'm growing accustomed to not having it and it's actually a good thing, as I can now taste all the natural flavors of meat, onion, jalapenos and spices in my meals that I was covering up with way too much mustard before.

Moving along, my blood sugar has been consistently normal all week, both before and after meals. In fact, the rise of my blood sugar after meals has been so limited, lately, that after last night's dinner, it rose by only a single point! This, in spite of my still continued late night weekend snacking on nuts. My lowest reading this week was 84 and that was after Wednesday's dinner. The before meal reading was 86! So, I had yet another instance in which my blood sugar actually declined after eating. Speaking of eating, last night (Friday), I was snacking on sunflower nuts and pecans until well after midnight, yet my blood sugar late this morning is at 104, which is within 9 points of the high end of normal. That's a marked improvement over previous weekends, when I have had much higher readings. So, where my blood sugar is concerned, everything is normal and going well.

Of course, since my weight has dropped, so has my BMI (Body Mass Index). Today, it has fallen to 23.9, which is a full point below the high end of the "normal weight" range, and therefore, solidly normal. As for my target weight, I believe I said that would be in the range of 170 to 175 lbs, so, I am now within a single pound of my target weight! However, I note, via the mirror, that my body fat distribution is still not quite where I'd like it. There are a few remaining stubborn pockets of fat that have to go before I'll be in peak physical condition, as far as body composition goes. So, given that, I think my ideal weight is probably closer to 170 lbs than it is to 175 lbs. If so, then I still have another 7 lbs left to lose, and I think that's about right.

Another factor in my weight loss spurt could be my increasing the resistance level of my Total Gym workouts. I've also added more exercises that target my pectoral muscles and I'm seeing some evidence that this has paid off. So, it may very well be that at least some of the additional weight loss is from added muscle tissue, which, although it's addition would increase my weight, in and of itself, it also has the effect of burning more fat calories per hour, thus, more weight loss.

Now we come to my blood pressure, which is the most puzzling thing I have to report today. Instead of going down further, as I expected it would in response to all the good stuff I mentioned above, it has actually increased to 131/87, which is in the "pre-hypertension" range. The only explanatory factors I can think of are the aforementioned increase in resistance in my strength training and possibly that combined with a little less walking this week. You see, weight training (or, in this case, Total Gym workouts, rather than free weights) usually increases blood pressure, despite of all its benefits. This is why most champion weight lifters notoriously have high blood pressure, despite their otherwise near-perfect health stats. So, I believe I just need to walk more and perhaps drop the resistance level on my Total Gym a notch and maybe work out more aerobically, and my blood pressure should correct itself. Also, as I continue to use coconut oil in my diet, that should help, as well.

I've been using the coconut oil for about a week and a half, so far, and it takes a few days to notice any positive results, but the weight loss spurt may be partly explained as a result of adding coconut oil to my diet. In Asia and the South Pacific, the coconut is a staple of the diet and its properties are attributable to the remarkable low instance of dietary diseases, including obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. But, it is the coconut oil that is the main factor involved in this. For those interested in doing their own research on this topic, there are numerous books and websites that can be consulted that will explain it all in greater depth than I can go into here. Just "Google" it. Actually, don't. I've begun using Scroogle Scraper as my search engine of choice, lately, for security reasons. What do I mean by that? Well, just Scroogle it.

In addition to learning about the benefits of coconut oil, I've been investigating the benefits of saturated fat. Yes, saturated fat, as it turns out, is actually good for you and we've been lied to about it for decades. Scroogle it. Seriously, I don't want you to believe everything I tell you without question. Do your own research, as I've done, and find out for yourself. The truth is out there.