Saturday, June 28, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 238

Things are looking very...well, normal today. My weight has remained at 164 lbs, where it was last week. Which, of course, leaves my BMI (Body Mass Index) unchanged at 22.2, also.

One change has been my body fat percentage, which is at 13.9% today, as opposed to 12.7% last week, which could have something to do with the fact I got in less exercise during the week this time. Still, 13.9% is at the lower end (11% being the bottom) of the "healthy" range for a man my age, just 2.9% away from "underfat," a designation I dispute, as such a classification system would make all bodybuilders (typically 2% to 4%) "underfat." Anyway, I gained a little this week, but, believe me, no one looking at me would call me "chubby." In fact, I really need to invest in some new pants!

On the blood sugar front, I'm at a perfectly normal 91 ml/dcl at around 2:00pm (got off to a late start today). So, nothing significant there, except that this is lower than last week's reading, which was 95.

Where my blood pressure is concerned, the trend is holding. This afternoon, my reading is at 100/84. The diastolic is a little above the suggested optimal of 80, but still within normal bounds, and the systolic is "low normal," where one would expect athletes and children to be. I'll continue monitoring this trend to see if it remains stable or goes even lower. If and when it does, I think it will be safe to discontinue my blood pressure medicine and then increase my monitoring to see how it goes without it. If, at that point, all goes well without medication, then I can called myself "cured" of high blood pressure. And, remember, this is the result of a simple dietary change that anyone can make, called the paleolithic diet.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 231

This time, I'm up and at it a little later in the day (2:00pm), so I expect that has some slight bearing on my measures, particularly my blood pressure.

My weight is at 164 lbs, so I've lost one pound from last week, which drops my BMI (Body Mass Index) to 22.2, still well within the "normal weight" range.

As for my body fat percentage, I may have used slightly different areas in taking my measures this time, though in the same general sites (chest, abs and thigh), because my bodyfat last time was at 13.6%, whereas, this time I got a measure of 15.8%. Given the margin for error, I'm skeptical that this really represents an increase in body fat percentage. So, I checked again, this time using the opposite side of my body to get the chest, thigh and ab measures, all of which turned out to be smaller on my left side than on my right, which is proof that we humans are not as symmetrical as we suppose. I have hair on the back of my head that grows faster on the left side than it does on the right side, for example. So, with the measures from the left side of my body, the bodyfat percentage comes out to 12.7%, which is markedly different. I'll take that! Actually, my left side is what I measured last week, so, I'm not "cheating." Also, this would be consistent with the loss of one pound of weight since last week.

Meanwhile, my blood sugar remains normal at 95 dcl/ml this afternoon, in spite of the usual late night/early morning snack before bed. Looks like "normal" is here to stay, then. I've even been eating more fruit, lately, and the increase in glycemic intake hasn't seemed to affect me. Excellent!

As for my blood pressure, my systolic remains in the same neighborhood it's been in for about a month, now, at 114 this afternoon, while my diastolic is slightly higher than it has been during that time, at 80 - so, 114/80. This is still getting close to a trend, though, especially on the systolic side. I think the increase on my diastolic component may have to do with the fact my measure was taken at 2:00pm instead of in the morning, as it usually is. As I alluded to above, time of day does have an effect, and that's why I normally like to check everything at approximately the same time of day. Given that blood pressure rises slightly during the afternoon, I think I can safely say this diastolic measure reflects that. In other words, had I checked my blood pressure at the usual time of day, I would have probably got a lower reading, one more consistent with last week's. We'll see when I do it again next time.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 224

It looks like I've exercised a bit more than I did last week, as my weight has fallen by 2 lbs, down to 165 lbs, as of this morning. This changes my BMI (Body Mass Index) to 22.4, which is right in the middle of the "normal weight range." Checking my bodyfat percentage to see if this change reflects the loss of body fat or not, I have found that my chest measurement (taken with the caliper I used last time) is now 13mm, while my abdominal measurement is 11mm and my thigh is 12mm. Looks like I gained some on the chest measure (either that, or one of my measures was a bit off; probably the first one), but I have lost 10mm on the abs and 1mm on the thigh. The end result of these measures, according to the Build Muscle & Gain Weight Fast Guide's body fat calculator, is 13.68%. Not bad! That's a drop of 2.74% from last week's measurement and, according to the body fat chart on, that's toward the lower end of the "healthy" range for a man of my age (55). In fact, I'm within 3.68% of what their chart says is "underfat." Of course, that all varies with whom you ask. If you ask a bodybuilder, he'd think 13.68% is grounds to call me "chubby." Typically, those guys have bodyfat percentages ranging from 2% to 4%. But, for normal non-superhumans like me, especially at my current weight, that would be a bit extreme. Considering where I've come from, just seven months ago, 13.68% body fat is looking very good.

On to the blood sugar, now, which is at 93 dcl/ml this morning, exactly the same as last week. Quite normal, in other words. So much for my doctor's statement that type 2 diabetes is "incurable" and that I'd have it the rest of my life, eh? Maybe if I had used the Metformin he prescribed it would have been, and I think that was his plan for my future; i.e., to keep me as another source of revenue. This guy's approach to medicine is all about prescribing drugs for everything, not preventing or curing disease. The truly frightening thing, though, is that he's the norm among physicians, these days.

As for my blood pressure, it's beginning to look as though my hope of a positive trend indicating it's time to dump my blood pressure medication may be occurring, after all. Today's reading is 115/69, again, with medication. That's three weeks in a row, so far, that my blood pressure has been below 120/70. If this continues or dips lower, it may be time to discontinue the Lisinopril and call my high blood pressure "cured." At that point, I'll be a normal healthy 55-year old and will be completely free of any prescription drugs. Yes!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 217

This morning, there is no change as far as my weight is concerned. I remained at 167 lbs, same as last week, which means my BMI (Body Mass Index) also remains steady at 22.6 ("normal weight").

Incorporating the measures I've just taken using my new skin fold caliper, which should be a lot more accurate than the faulty body fat scale I tried a few weeks ago, I came up with a body fat percentage of 6.62%. Not bad! That's bodybuilder territory. The thing is, though, it wasn't easy to calculate, as there are two skin fold sites I can't possibly measure without assistance (the subspinal and the subscapular, both located on the back, where it's hard to grip and impossible to see), but, I think that's of little consequence, given that my fat layer in those two areas is very thin, for one thing, and, also, the equation I used for converting skin fold measures to body fat percentage leaves out a site I did use (the bicep). The skin fold sites/measures I used were:

Chest = 1/2" (11mm)
Abdomen = 7/8" (21mm)
Thigh = 5/8" (13mm)
Tricep = 3/8" (9mm)
Bicep = 3/8" (9mm)

This is then added together to get the sum (in millimeters), which, in my case, equals 63. According to the skin fold chart at, the range of 60 to 80 is "excellent." Now, keeping in mind the absence of the two sites I couldn't measure, plus the addition of the one they've left out (for some unknown reason), the multiplier they give for converting the sum to a body fat percentage does have a margin of error built in. But, I guesstimate that the two sites I couldn't get to without help would probably yield measures very close to what I got from my bicep and tricep (9mm), and you have to consider that I've added in my bicep site (9mm), which they left out, so, if there is any error, it would be about 9mm off, as far as the sum is concerned. Given that, my sum might actually be closer to 72, which still falls within the "excellent" range of 60-80, given in their chart. Since their method doesn't include the bicep site, I decided it was time for a second opinion and checked out the Build Muscle and Gain Weight Fast Guide calculator, instead. It appears to be a more accurate method, and gives you the option of using only three sites or as many as seven. Since I wasn't able to get to two of those sites, I settled for using the 3-site method of calculation (chest, thigh and abdomen). Again, using millimeters (chest = 11mm, abdomen = 21mm, thigh = 13mm), I came up with a body fat percentage of 16.42% body fat, which sounds a lot closer to what I got with the body fat scale I was using, previously. It also sounds more accurate than the amazing 6.62% I got from Topend Sports. Note, also, that the BM&GW Fast Guide's calculator also includes age and sex, which are important for accurately assessing body fat percentage. Now, according to the body fat percentage charts at, for men, age 41 to 60, 16.42% is well within the "healthy" range.

Where my blood sugar is concerned, it's at a fully normal 93 dcl/ml this morning, this despite my usual late Friday night/early Saturday morning meal before bedtime (which wasn't until 3:00am). So, not bad.

I got a rather low reading on my blood pressure this time: 92/71, so I tried it again, following a slight adjustment of the cuff and the repositioning of my arm, and I got 113/69 the second time around. I'm not sure what accounts for the difference, but I'll take either measure! According to the chart here, that's either "low-normal" to "normal." Consider that this is still with medication, so, if this turns out to be a trend, I think it's time to discontinue the Lisinopril and call my high blood pressure "cured." That would mean I've achieved all the goals I've set for myself, and all within seven months, which is how long it's been since I began the paleo diet (November 2nd).