Monday, April 25, 2016


My weight loss and blood glucose challenge came to an official end on April 1, 2016.  You can read the final results here if you haven't already.  Even though I came in a couple of pounds over my goal, it was so close that I consider the three-month challenge a rousing success!  I was able to lose a bunch of weight and, more importantly, I normalized my fasting blood glucose.

In case you are curious, for these past few weeks, I did some more fasting, lost some more weight, went on a mini vacation, gained some weight and saw one post-meal blood glucose reading get very high indeed, convincing me, once again, that I cannot eat sugar without damaging myself.

One of the things that I have been doing has been trying to follow the Optimal Ketogenic Living guidelines for the amount of protein, fat and carbs to eat each day.  If you join the Facebook group for OKL, you can learn more about how this way of eating works.

According to the OKL chart, shown here, a 5'3" woman like me should be eating between 91 and 136 grams of protein per day, no more than 23 grams of net carbs per day, and between 68 and 159 grams of fat per day.  This last guideline - for fat grams - is a sliding scale based on your weight goals.  If you want to lose weight, stay at or near the lower amount of fat grams.  If you want to maintain your current weight, stay around the middle.  If you want to gain weight, stay at or near the highest amount of fat grams.

Fasting, in many different forms, is encouraged in this group, and reading the many threads and research articles will give you a real education on nutrition.  The works of Drs. Phinney and Volek are highlighted and followed, and I highly recommend the folks at OKL!

I have also been spending a lot of time watching youtube videos on nutrition, fasting, protein needs and kittens.  (It would not be a good day if I did not watch at least one youtube video featuring kittens!)

One of the people I have been listening to is Jonathan Bailor.  I got his book from the library, but it may just end up being one that I need for my personal library.  I heard about Jonathan and his thoughts concerning the ridiculousness of counting calories last year.

I seriously considered trying his weight loss method, but when I found out that he is against counting calories, I was discouraged.  Each time I have tried a weight loss method that does not involve tracking every blankety-blank-blank bite of food I eat, I have always gained weight.

But, after listening to someone that I respect interviewing Jonathan, I decided to read his new book and see what I could glean from it.  I have to admit that I was impressed with what I read, which I did with a newly opened mind, and found that the vast majority of what he was suggesting was right in line with the OKL chart I have been following!

Jonathan's recommendations include eating plenty of nutrient-dense protein (about 1 gram per pound of body weight, which is at the high end of the OKL recommendation), LOTS of green vegetables, and other colors, too, and what he calls 'whole food fats'.  He is not a proponent of adding a lot of oils or butter to food, but rather, eating foods that have natural fats contained within them, such as avocados, olives, eggs, nuts, seeds, coconut, etc.

My fear was that, if I ate the amount of veggies he suggests, my blood glucose would spike up.  But, for the past few days, I have been stuffing myself with green veggies, mostly raw, and my blood glucose was only 95 mg/dl at the highest, which was two hours after eating.  So far, so good, so I am continuing on.

The basic premise of the nutrition portion of the book is to eat SANE food and avoid inSANE food.  Jonathan explains the difference quite clearly in the book, and on his website, and maintains that if you fill yourself up with (almost) unlimited amounts of SANE food, you will not have room for the inSANE food.   

I love Jonathan's take on exercise, too, possibly because he agrees with what I have already decided is the right way to exercise - lifting heavy weights very slowly, doing a little bit of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) now and then, and taking part in other activities that you enjoy, for stress relief, if for no other reason.  Waking, riding a bike, yoga, etc.

I have a new appreciation for the concepts outlined in "The Calorie Myth," so I have to give it a pretty sweeping recommendation.

Of course, Dr. Jason Fung is a particular favorite of mine as of late, and I am rather impatiently waiting for Amazon to deliver my copy of his long-awaited book, "The Obesity Code."  Dr. Fung has written extensively on diabetes treatment and prevention on his website, Intensive Dietary Management, and his videos, both on his website and on youtube, are thought-provoking, eye-opening and life-changing to thousands of people around the world.

Dr. Fung uses fasting, both short- and long-term, to manage blood glucose, insulin resistance and Metabolic Syndrome.  It was his factual reporting about the benefits of fasting that really pushed me over the edge into fasting to manage my Type 2 Diabetes.  Again, I highly recommend that all my readers look into what Dr. Jason Fung is uncovering.  His methods are really game-changing!

So, back to me and what I am doing next...

Encouraged by my recent challenge, and seeing that it is possible for me to lose weight and manage my blood glucose, I have decided that, after this past few weeks 'break' that I am going to jump back in and try to lose a few more pounds of body fat and gain a pound or so of lean mass.

Seeing a recent low weight of 133.4 pounds a couple of weeks ago, and a body fat percentage of 29.5, I have set my new goal at 130 pounds with body fat of 25%.  That translates to an additional loss of 11.1 pounds of body fat and an additional gain of 1.3 pounds of muscle.  Can I do it?  There is only one way to find out...

I have committed to one day per week of heavy, slow motion weight lifting, using Body By Science as my guide.  I have committed to HIIT twice per week on the treadmill at the gym.  I have committed to taking 3-mile walks as often as I can, maybe twice or three times per week, weather permitting.  The weight lifting should take care of the "gaining muscle" portion of my new challenge, and the HIIT and walking should continue to help with my insulin sensitivity.  Notice that I am not trying to "burn calories" with my exercise.  I'm done with that nonsense.  It's not a problem of too many calories that need to be "burned off".  It is a problem with hormonal imbalance that keeps body fat trapped and unable to be used for energy.  The solution for that is to balance hormones, not to eat less and move more!

 The chart to the left shows what my daily goals will be for my scale weight.  As you can see, the slope of the grey goal line is a little shallower now than it was for the first three months of this year.  My previous goal was to lose 0.2 pounds per day (on average), and, starting tomorrow, the new goal will be to lose only 0.12 pounds per day.  I am doing this to take a gentler approach to weight loss, to give my body a little break, and to give some loose skin a chance to firm up, which opportunity I certainly hope it will take advantage of!

From now until the end of June 2016, I will again be utilizing my Feast/Fast model, with one slight change - I will not be using fasting blood glucose as a determining factor of whether or not I fast on a particular day.  I really feel that I have increased my insulin sensitivity to the point where my blood glucose is stable, and although I will check it now and then, I will not routinely check it every morning to see whether or not I'm going to eat.

This time around, I will simply weigh first thing in the morning before I eat, and if my weight is equal to or less than my goal for that day, I will feast freely.  Even though I have been tracking my food intake for the past couple of weeks, just to get the hang of how much more protein and veggies to eat, and how much less fat to eat, I will stop tracking now and just eat in the amounts that I have become accustomed to.

And, speaking of fat, I do want to mention that I was eating a lot more fat in January, February and March than I have been eating lately.  (I am also eating a lot more protein, which has been shown in studies to aid in weight loss.)  I finally got it through my head that there is enough fat on my body to "eat" and I don't need Bullet Proof Coffee and Fat Bombs at this stage of my weight loss.  As I have heard said, all I need is Low Carb; I'm already High Fat!  The fat on my body will be utilized for energy until there is not an excess amount of it.  Each time I eat a bunch of fat, my body will burn that rather than the stores of fat already "on hand."  Eating less fat does not make this a low fat diet.  I am just eating the fat on my body instead of the fat on my plate.  And, even with the whole food fats that I am eating, around 50% or more of my calories are coming from fat, so even that is still considered a high fat diet.

When I get to the point were there is not a lot of excess fat on my body, I will get to increase fat to supply the energy I need to live.  I'm looking forward to that!  I do miss my BPC!

One more chart.  This is an extended Feast/Fast Heat Map, so that you can see at a glance how often I am fasting.  This chart starts on January 1, 2016 and ends on June 30, 2016.  One red block represents a 36-hour fast.  Two red blocks in a row represent a 60-hour fast.

As you can see, I have feasted for the past seven days in a row.  What a luxury!

All that will come to an end as I start my fasting again.  So I better get used to seeing a little more red and a little less green.

When I did my last challenge, I posted every day.  This time, I will probably post only once per week.  Even I get bored with mundane details every day!

My next post will be a week from now, and I will tell you how I am doing, and show you my charts.  I will be adding in an activity log that will show how my weight lifting is going and how many times I have done HIIT and how many walks I have gone on.

Oh, and I just want to give a personal thank you to my friend Lynn Weiler, who has been a real inspiration to me and gave me the little nudge I needed to start back up again.  And she is joining me in this challenge, so, with her permission, I may be sharing some of her results as well!  Thanks, Lynn!

This is a personal challenge just for me, but if anyone reading would like to join me, please talk to your doctor and make sure that it will not conflict with your current medical condition or medications.  If you are taking the challenge, please be sure to let me know how you are doing!  Thanks for reading!


  1. Hey Rebecca. Are you familiar with the longevity studies by Longo at USC? He is advocating less protein than the okl crew. I have been following his recommendations and i find i have much better bg control with lower levels of protein. You mayy be fine on upper limits. Wish i could. Even with fasting i return to higher levels with uoper limits on protein. I do betyer staying under 90 grams a day and those need to be spread out a bit. Thanks for recommending the glucose monitor. Its con see istently within 5 pts of my good meter. Found 300 strips for 40 dollars on amazon.

    1. Hi, Bill!

      I know there is research on both sides of the protein "debate." I have tried moderate protein and higher protein, and so far the higher protein is not causing any BG spikes. I don't always test, but I did today two hours after eating 23g of fat, 47g of protein and 8g of net carbs. My BG was 98 mg/dl. I don't know what it was fasting this morning, but under 100 2 hours post-prandial is not bad.

      Remind me what kind of meter did you get that is not your good meter?


  2. I got the true test from walgreens that you use. Im retiring and going to have to find alternate insurance. That meter you suggested and its really close to my freestyle. Thanks for that. If ok i would like to pick your brain sometime about bg numbers. I am always shooting for as low as i can get. Maybe i am being unrealistic. Maybe my peaks and bg levels are just fine. I do know i cant remain in ketosis eating higher protein. Im good for a few days and then its gone. I want to run on fat and not carbs. My carbs are under 25 total and i cant stay in ketosis. Would you mind answering as ome question see about bg sometime? Thanks

    1. Fire away, Bill. If I don't know the answers, I can find them out for you. As always, check with your personal physician for confirmation.