Plateau-Ending Strategy – Week 1
As mentioned in a previous post, I have built what I think is a good strategy, unique to my metabolic needs, to manage my insulin resistance (IR). The plan includes a very low-carb eating style (20 grams or less net carbs/day) plus a mixture of supplementation to control blood glucose levels, increase “good” lipid managing hormones and exercise.
Today, I completed my first seven-day sprint on this new strategy. I started the week at 169.6 lbs and ended the week at 167.6 and overall, I’d have to say the strategy was a success. I did have to make some minor adjustments and I didn’t exercise at all like I planned to (strenuous/resistance training). Here’s how things transpired that week:
Every day I stayed at 20 grams carb/day except for two when I hit 50 grams/day. Primary source of carbs (80%-85%) came from vegetables. Secondary source for carbs was condiments, eggs, nuts and artificial sweeteners. I used the Leaner Living MRP (meal replacement) drink twice out of necessity for convenience. It didn’t kill me. In fact, it wasn’t as bad as most meal replacement drinks I’ve used before. I made mine with ¼ cup of heavy cream in addition to the water to make the shake thicker and to add a little more fat.
I discovered that my Cinnamon supplement also had substantial Chromium included, so I skipped taking the separate GTF Chromium supplement so as not to over-supplement. However, after two days of use, I found myself getting heartburn from the Cinnamon capsules. I discontinued their use and went to my GTF Chromium tablet instead. Problem solved.
I didn’t exercise with strength training but I did make sure I got 10K steps in most days (I missed the goal on 1 or 2 days but got at least 5K every day).
My calipers didn’t arrive, so can’t comment on body fat measurements (yet).
Ordered my baseline CWP, Hemoglobin A1c and insulin tests; draw date is Mon, 7/7.
While this is entirely anecdotal, I do believe the supplements kept my blood sugar balanced. There were times when I consumed most of my carbs in one meal – something that would very much have caused me to become sleepy/lethargic shortly thereafter and with the supplements, I had no such “roller coaster” ride. The combination of being ketogenic and the control the supplements seem to provide; created a perception of heightened mental focus and increased energy (I found myself wanting to be active quite a bit).
As much as I would like to attribute my apparent metabolic stability (and weight loss) to the supplements, I also noticed that taking them gave me a sense of false invincibility. On several occasions I was tempted to eat above my 20 gram carb limit because I figured the supplements would (at the least) reduce some of the negative impact of the carbs. This thinking is dangerous for me. I have to remember that my eventual goal is to have a stable metabolism and low HOMA-IR without the use of supplementation. I have to remember that there are no magic bullets here.
One last comment about supplementation: If I wanted to attribute any of my weight loss to the efficacy of the supplements, I would need to point out that this week (the first in a long time) I was decidedly not hungry most days. I was freely able to skip a meal or go 15-17 hrs between dinner the previous night and my first meal the following day. I’m not sure if this is due to an increase in Leptin, better insulin control resulting from the supplements or the amount of fat vs. protein I’m consuming. What I do know is the entire time I was on my plateau, I felt hungrier than I do now.
So what to make of week 1?
- I think that much of my success can be attributed to factors common in any sensible eating style:
- I’m eating purer foods. I’ve always strived to eat minimally processed foods but have become even more stringent.
- I’m eating more vegetables. I now have two servings of vegetables with breakfast and at least one serving at dinner. I occasionally add a serving at lunch but only occasionally.
- I do feel more focused and more energetic. This could be the result of ketosis, it could be the supplements or it could be the macro-nutrients I’m consuming.
- I don’t feel hungry as often. I really eat when I feel like eating and I don’t when I don’t feel like eating. I seem much more in tune with what my body is trying to tell me about hunger and satiety.