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-   -   PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=68244)

Luke Seubert 06-25-2011 04:18 AM

PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Why I Am Posting This Here
This thread is meant to be a bit different from the usual Workout Log threads posted in this subforum. Instead of posting workouts, which I will do in the future under a different post title; I will post updated information about my PaleoZone fat loss regimen. While this is a bit unorthodox, there are some good reasons for my doing this.

First, the PaleoZone Diet is the recommended diet of CrossFit. As this thread will show, when properly adjusted, PaleoZone is very good for fat loss as well as for optimum physical performance.

Second, the vast majority of threads posted to the Workout Log forum are written by people who came to CrossFit in something like halfways decent shape, not morbidly obese people like me. My hope is that this thread will provide inspiration and information for very obese people who would like to someday do CrossFit workouts, but who must first lose substantial amounts of bodyfat. I hope that this thread will elicit informed comments, suggestions, and improvements for fat loss regimens; so that those of us in need of it can more readily share such information about how to lose large amounts of fat.

Finally, there are personal reasons for my posting here. I hope to get some positive encouragement during those times when I am in need of it. Also, I believe that going public will help me to stick to the diet over the long term and to fully accomplish my goals. This is where I stake my flag!


Beginning Status as of May 4, 2011
Sex: Male
Age: 45
Height: 6 feet, 2 3/4 inches - 190 cm
Bodyweight: 425.6 pounds - 193.0 kg – measured daily
Total Body Measurement*: 1009.5 cm - 397.5 inches
Body Fat Composition: Approximately 48.6% - measured daily
Lean Body Mass: Approximately 218.8 pounds - 99.2 kg
Fat Body Mass: Approximately 206.8 pounds - 93.8 kg

*Total Body Measurement equals the sum of right and left upper arms, forearms, wrists, thighs, calves, ankles, and neck, chest, waist, and hips and is measured once a week.


Goals
10% Body Fat Composition, followed by
Starting Strength Weightlifting Program, followed by
CrossFit Scaled WODs, followed by
CrossFit Rx'd WODs, followed by
CrossFit Strength Bias WODs

If I can go straight down to 10% Body Fat Composition, I will do so. However, I might hit a plateau wherein my body reaches a set point and I just can't drop any more fat at that time. Hopefully, if I hit such a set point, it will be at 15% BFC or less. In such a case, I will stabilize my caloric intake to match my body mass and activity level for a few weeks, and then begin the Starting Strength Weightlifting Program along with a Lacto-PaleoZone Diet with increased daily caloric intake. If I can't hit 10% BFC directly, then I'll try gaining some muscle and changing my metabolism and so work my way to it from the other direction.


Progress to Date as of June 25, 2011
Bodyweight: 388.8 pounds - 176.4 kg
Total Body Measurement: 970.5 cm – 382.0 inches
Body Fat Composition: Approximately 46.3%

During the past 7 1/2 weeks, I have lost roughly 2.3% on my body fat composition. Bodyweight loss is 36.8 pounds - 16.7 kg. I lost 9 pounds - 4 kg in the first five days due mostly to water weight loss as I significantly improved my potassium to sodium intake ratios. Since then, most of my weight loss has been fat, with very small amounts of muscle loss. Since the end of Week 1, I have been consistently losing approximately 4.1 to 4.2 pounds - 1.8 to 1.9 kg each week. Since the beginning of my regimen, my total body measurement has declined from 1009.5 cm - 397.5 inches, to 970.5 cm – 382.0 inches, a total loss of 39 cm – 15.5 inches.

Despite such high weight loss rates, my mental acuity and energy levels have gone up. While I remain mostly sedentary, I do engage in more physical activity day to day than I did before I began the diet. I also occasionally do some light exercise such as walking or helping a friend to move furniture. I rarely get hungry, as the PaleoZone diet keeps me well satiated. So far, PaleoZone is working very well.


My PaleoZone Diet Plan
My diet is based upon very lean sources of protein, such as extra lean cuts of beef, pork tenderloin trimmed of fat, whole turkey with the skin removed, and shrimp. My carbohydrates come from a wide, colorful variety of very low - 35 or less - glycemic index vegetables, with a special emphasis on dark leafy greens - 480 grams, just over a pound - consumed per day. Fats come from the meats I consume, as well as extra virgin olive oil, some nuts, and once in a while, high cocoa content chocolate.

Each day, I drink 7 quarts of water, and try to drink one quart about half an hour before each meal. With my water before each meal, I also take a large fish oil capsule.

I consume about 2,000 calories per day, or roughly 335 calories per meal, which is the caloric intake recommended for somebody with my lean body mass and activity level according to the Zone Diet. I consume 6 meals per day, beginning shortly after I wake up until just before I go to bed. Each meal contains very close to 30 grams of protein – a bit more than my Zone Diet protein prescription, 20 grams of carbohydrate, and 15 grams of fat. I use a computer to precisely calculate the quantities of food for each meal recipe based upon these macronutrient amounts.

My overall macronutrient ratios as percentages of calories consumed are as follows: Protein - 36%, Carbohydrate - 24%, Fat - 40%. While these are not the usual Zone Diet ratios, they are well within the norms of the Paleo Diet. Moreover, due to my genetics I am very carbohydrate sensitive (that's how I got so damned fat in the first place – I have Metabolism B), which is why I have minimized carbohydrate intake and switched to very low glycemic index vegetables.

While 2,000 calories is not very much for a man of my size, and while my carbohydrate intake is quite low for a Zone Diet; computer analysis confirms that I am getting more than enough vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and micronutrients each day. This is due to the high quality, nutrient dense sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fats that I consume.

I began this diet as an experiment, planning on running it for two or three weeks, and then bumping up the daily caloric intake. Why? Because everybody “knows” that 2,000 calories a day is not enough for even a sedentary 6'3" man with 220 pounds of lean body mass. However, as Nicole Carroll has pointed out, it is amazing how few calories you can thrive on when you PaleoZone. I have more energy and mental alertness than before I began, and my physical activity level has gone up. So, I have decided to continue with the very low calorie regimen. I might have to change it someday, and consume more calories per day. But for now, I am content with the rapid progress I am making, and my body's response and feedback.

The downside is that my version of the PaleoZone diet is very hardcore and disciplined. I literally weigh all my food to the nearest gram, eat on a strict time schedule, and only allow myself one “free meal” each week. However, the task before me is quite challenging. I have a LOT of fat to lose, and so an exacting regimen is required. Those with smaller fat loss goals might not need to be quite so stringent. Meanwhile, I'll put up with the onerous discipline in exchange for losing four pounds of fat per week while feeling pretty good. Moreover, in the future, when I work my way through Starting Strength followed by CrossFit WODs, I'll have the necessary experience and dietary discipline to ensure maximum performance thanks to excellent nutrition.


Tools
Tanita HD-351 Scale - Measures bodyweight
Bodyweight Trend Computation (exponential moving average with 10% smoothing) - Smooths out bodyweight data for easier tracking of bodyweight loss trends
Omron HBF-306 Fat Loss Monitor - Roughly tracks body fat composition
120 inch - 300 cm Tape Measure - Measures chest, waist, and hips
MyoTape - Measures upper arms, forearms, wrists, thighs, calves, ankles, and neck
NutritionData.self.com - Accurate and precise daily menu and recipe planning
Index Cards - Hardcopy of recipe information for each PaleoZone meal


Knowledge Resources
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It by Gary Taubes
Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes
Food and Western Disease: Health and Nutrition From an Evolutionary Perspective by Staffan Lindeberg
The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat, Revised Edition by Loren Cordain
The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf and Loren Cordain
Mastering the Zone: The Next Step in Achieving SuperHealth and Permanent Fat Loss by Barry Sears
Toxic Fat: When Good Fat Turns Bad by Barry Sears
The Metabolism Miracle: 3 Easy Steps to Regain Control of Your Weight . . . Permanently by Diane Kress
The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever by Pierre Dukan (Emphasizes consumption of very low glycemic index foods - 35 G.I. or less.)
The Hacker's Diet by John Walker - WFS (This is the source of the exponential moving average calculation which I use in my spreadsheet to better understand weight loss trends. See Chapter 11 "Pencil and Paper" on Page 284.)

Luke Seubert 06-26-2011 06:35 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Water: The Primal Nutrient
Water is the most essential of all nutrients. Without water, humans die within days, whereas humans can survive for months without food and other nutrients. For best health, one needs to drink a sufficient quantity of fresh, filtered, and properly stored water each day at the appropriate times.

Water should be far and away the primary source of liquids consumed each day. Minimize beverages such as coffee or alcohol. Eliminate soda pops and fruit or vegetables juices which have too much sugar and/or sodium. Herbal teas and especially green teas are acceptable alternatives for plain water.

When to Drink Water
One should always drink some water when thirsty. Additionally, drink a glass of water about half an hour before each meal. This ensures proper hydration for good digestion and metabolism. Drink additional water if sweating excessively due to hot, humid weather, or hard exercise.

Filtering Water
Ideally, one should drink only fresh, filtered water every day. Fresh water is water from the cold water tap which has been running for about a minute. Avoid water straight from the tap as the water just begins to flow - it has been sitting in the pipes for a while and may have picked up micro-contaminants. Avoid water from the hot water tap, as water tends to go stale in the hot water heater as well as pick up contaminants. Be sure to filter a fresh batch of water each day sufficient for that day's needs. Water should be filtered to remove bacteria, viruses, organic compounds, and metallic contaminants for best health. Filtered water is far, far more economical over the long term than bottled water. Among the best water filters available are Berkey Filters equipped with Black Berkey® Purifier Elements. This is the Pleasant Hill Grain Berkey Water Filter webpage (WFS).

For the record, I have no financial or familial relationships of any kind with the companies or products listed in this post. I just provide these links for the convenience of those who are reading.

Storing Water
The best containers for storing water are sealed glass and stainless steel containers. Both glass and stainless steel are highly resistant to contaminating the water with either bacteria or chemical residue. Plastic bottles can leech chemicals into the water, and with age, harbor bacteria. Also, stainless steel and especially glass containers minimize odd flavors or odors, providing the best tasting water. The following webpages from the Specialty Glass Company list half-gallon jugs with caps and one gallon jugs with caps (Both WFS).

How Much Water to Drink
The body's bio-chemical reactions work best in the presence of water, including those reactions which reduce body fat. Therefore, sufficient hydration is essential to good health and fat loss. The bare minimum amount of water one should drink is 64 fluid ounces per day. However, this is likely an insufficient amount of water for proper hydration for many people. Here are several different formulas for computing optimum daily water intake:
Minimum Ounces of Water to Drink Each Day = Pounds of Lean Body Mass x 0.64
Minimum Ounces of Water to Drink Each Day = Pounds of Bodyweight x 0.50
Minimum Ounces of Water to Drink Each Day = 64 ounces + 8 ounces for each 25 pounds of bodyweight you need to lose
People who are quite obese should be careful when using the second formula based upon Bodyweight, and adjust water intake down in most cases, lest they suffer from water toxicity. Instead, they should consider using the third formula.

In the end, despite all my research into formulas for proper hydration levels, the best guide I found for proper hydration level is if one produces at least four pale yellow urinations per day. Listen to your body as it tells you when it is sufficiently hydrated.

Luke Seubert 06-27-2011 07:21 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Dealing With Metabolism B
In her book, The Metabolism Miracle: 3 Easy Steps to Regain Control of Your Weight . . . Permanently, Diane Kress discusses what she calls, "Metabolism B". Diane is a clinical nutritionist with many years of practical experience dealing with severely obese people who really struggled to lose fat and keep it off. Based upon her years of research, study, and clinical practice; she concluded that many of her patients suffered from what she called "Metabolism B", a genetically based, high sensitivity to simple carbohydrates such as sugars and starches, leading to big gains in bodyfat. Although she is not a fan of the Atkins Diet (neither am I), over time she came to appreciate the wisdom of the Atkins induction phase, during which people consume almost no carbs for a number of weeks. Eventually, Diane developed her own prescription for "Metabolism B" patients, in which they consumed only five grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus dietary fiber) every five hours, keeping total net carbs very low over the course of a day. After eight weeks of this very low carb regimen, giving the liver time to recuperate from a high carb diet and to adapt to burning fat for fuel, her Metabolism Miracle diet calls for a gradual but moderate increase of carb intake over time. She cites great success with this approach, and wrote about her clinical experiences in her book.

While I did not embrace the specifics of Diane Kress's fat loss regimen into my own version of the PaleoZone Diet, I did draw inspiration from it. I realized that I had "Metabolism B" to a severe degree, like many of her patients. I later found out that about 75% of the human population has "Metabolism B", though most have less severe forms than I do. 25% of people have "Metabolism A" and they are naturally skinny no matter how many garbage carbs they eat - the damn little scrawny bastards :yikes: As a result, I decided to switch to very low Glycemic Index vegetables, which are low in net carbs due to their high fiber content. (This is also a recommendation of the Dukan Diet.) I also decided to consume more protein than carbs, given my unusual sensitivity to carbohydrates, but without going to moderately high protein, high fat extremes like the Atkins Diet. So far, this decision has served me well. I am losing bodyweight rapidly, I feel good, I have more energy, and I am getting all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals I need from the healthy foods I eat.

So, for those of you who likewise suffer from "Metabolism B", lower your carb intake to levels equal to or lower than your protein intake, and switch to very low Glycemic Index fruits and veggies. Or, pick up Diane's book and follow her specific recommendations.

How to Tell If You Have Metabolism B
Take the following survey of Personal Symptoms. If you are answering yes to 10 or more of these statements, you might very well have "Metabolism B".
Personal Symptoms - Answer Yes or No to the following statements.
  • _____ You only seem able to stick to a diet for a short time before you get discouraged by dismal results, constant hungers, and cravings.
  • _____ You tire easily and frequently feel fatigued, even upon waking.
  • _____ You feel mildly depressed.
  • _____ You get an energy slump in the late afternoon.
  • _____ You frequently feel anxious.
  • _____ You crave carbohydrate foods, such as bread, chips, sweets, or pasta.
  • _____ You have a roll of fat around your mid-section.
  • _____ You gain weight easily and find it difficult to lose those extra pounds.
  • _____ You have trouble sleeping.
  • _____ You are often forgetful and worry about your short-term memory.
  • _____ You have racing thoughts.
  • _____ Your sexual drive has declined.
  • _____ You find it difficult to concentrate and are easily distracted.
  • _____ Bright lights or headlights at night bother you.
  • _____ You are irritable and have a 'short fuse'.
  • _____ You have increased sensitivity to aches and pains.
  • _____ You have tearing of the eyes with periods of eye dryness or redness.
  • _____ You have frequent dull headaches.
  • _____ You feel slightly dizzy, flushed, or 'weak in the knees' after ]even a little bit of alcohol.

If you are answering yes to many of the questions in the two following groups, you might very well have "Metabolism B".
Blood Test Results - Answer Yes or No to the following questions.
  • _____ Glucose under 65 or over 89mg/dL?
  • _____ Cholesterol over 200?
  • _____ LDL cholesterol over 99?
  • _____ HDL cholesterol under 50?
  • _____ Triglycerides over 99?
  • _____ Hemoglobin A1C….under 5.4 or over 5.8?
  • _____ Fasting Insulin…over 2.5?
Personal and Family Medical History - Answer Yes or No to the
following questions if the condition affects you or an immediate
family member.
  • _____ Overweight or obesity…weight around the middle?
  • _____ Lipid issues (cholesterol, triglycerides)?
  • _____ Hypertension?
  • _____ PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)?
  • _____ Type 2 diabetes, pre diabetes, gestational diabetes?
  • _____ Fibromyalgia?
  • _____ Reproductive infertility?
  • _____ Chronic fatigue syndrome?
  • _____ Sleep apnea?
  • _____ Adult acne?
  • _____ Sleep disorders?
  • _____ Depression/anxiety?
  • _____ ADD/ADHD?
  • _____ Alzheimer’s disease?

Luke Seubert 06-28-2011 04:36 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Turning Bodyweight Into A Semi-Useful Metric
When losing fat, bodyweight is not considered a very good metric to follow. If you are losing both fat and muscle, bodyweight measurements will deceive you into believing you are doing better than you actually are, when in fact bad things are happening. If you are losing fat while gaining some muscle, bodyweight will deceive into believing things aren't going so well when in fact they are. Moreover, bodyweight fluctuates quite a bit from day to day, even if you measure it under the same conditions each day. Bodyweight produces "bumpy" data. For these reasons, bodyweight is considered an inferior metric to body fat composition or taking various body measurements with a tape measure, such as arms, legs, chest, waist, and hips.

However, bodyweight has one thing going for it. It is very easy to measure - fast too. Body fat composition is difficult to measure accurately and precisely in the home, and body measurements take time and fiddling. So, many people rely upon the fast and easy bodyweight metric, despite its limitations, because the better metrics are more trouble.

Happily, there is a way to turn bodyweight into a semi-useful metric - the exponential moving average with 10% smoothing. Huh? Wait... what? It sounds a lot worse than it really is. You set up a sheet of paper (or a spreadsheet) with three columns, labeled Date, Bodyweight, and Trend. As you enter bodyweight data each day, you apply a simple formula to calculate your bodyweight Trend. How simple? With a little practice, most people can do it in their head in a few seconds. The explanation of how to do it takes less than three pages from a small pamphlet-sized book, including extensive examples. You can find the Exponential Moving Average and how to calculate it in the free-to-download book, The Hacker's Diet by John Walker, (WFS) in "Chapter 11 - Pencil and Paper".

Once you are measuring your bodyweight and computing your bodyweight trend every day, you can reliably gauge your rate of weight loss over time. The moving average smooths out the bumpy bodyweight data and reveals how much bodyweight you are actually losing over the course of a few days, a week, or a month.

While bodyweight can still be deceptive, by using the exponential moving average with 10% smoothing, in conjunction with weekly body measurements and a handheld body fat composition meter, you can suss out pretty well what is happening. Are you really losing that much or that little fat? What is your muscle mass doing? What really happens when you change your diet or activity level? All of these questions become more clear, once you massage otherwise inferior bodyweight data and combine it with other metrics to clarify what was once muddled.

Nik Nichols 06-28-2011 11:27 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Hi ya, Luke, Welcom to the logs. I will watch out for your posts. It will be intresting to see how you do. Looks like you are well on your way. I hope you stick to it and stay consistant with it.

Brady Herrin 06-28-2011 11:35 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Really interested to follow your progress. Definitely subscribing. Good luck, God bless!

Luke Seubert 06-28-2011 12:10 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brady Herrin (Post 954188)
Really interested to follow your progress. Definitely subscribing. Good luck, God bless!

Thank you Brady. I appreciate your subscribing, and your support.

Tomorrow, I'll start posting some hard data, kinda like what a CrossFit Workout Log is supposed to do, ya know? Actually, I'll be posting different sorts of hard data three days a week. The other four days I'll post little essays until I run out of things to say.

If you know folks who are quite obese but who would like to get into the whole Paleo/Zone/CrossFit thing, please refer them to this thread. My hope is that in time it will become a useful information resource for those who need to lose lots of fat. For that to happen though, I'll need other folks to post critiques, comments, suggestions, etc.

Luke Seubert 06-28-2011 12:15 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nik Nichols (Post 954179)
Hi ya, Luke, Welcom to the logs. I will watch out for your posts. It will be intresting to see how you do. Looks like you are well on your way. I hope you stick to it and stay consistant with it.

Hi Nik. Thanks for the compliment and the support. I likewise am optimistic about sticking with it. Posting to this thread frequently is one of the methods I am using to stick with my program. In one of my upcoming posts, I'll have some information about "Motivation Hacks", which should prove useful not just for fat loss, but for CrossFitting in general. Stay tuned...

Brady Herrin 06-28-2011 12:51 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
I've already forwarded this to my dad to have him print out. My mom is morbidly obese and is becoming very sedentary. With one knee replaced and the other in need, she'll probably never be able to do much of a workout, but I'm trying like stink to get her to get on a rational diet....

I'll definitely keep up with your thread. Great work so far!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luke Seubert (Post 954212)
Thank you Brady. I appreciate your subscribing, and your support.

Tomorrow, I'll start posting some hard data, kinda like what a CrossFit Workout Log is supposed to do, ya know? Actually, I'll be posting different sorts of hard data three days a week. The other four days I'll post little essays until I run out of things to say.

If you know folks who are quite obese but who would like to get into the whole Paleo/Zone/CrossFit thing, please refer them to this thread. My hope is that in time it will become a useful information resource for those who need to lose lots of fat. For that to happen though, I'll need other folks to post critiques, comments, suggestions, etc.


Luke Seubert 06-28-2011 05:03 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brady Herrin (Post 954226)
I've already forwarded this to my dad to have him print out. My mom is morbidly obese and is becoming very sedentary. With one knee replaced and the other in need, she'll probably never be able to do much of a workout, but I'm trying like stink to get her to get on a rational diet....

Hi Brady. I'm glad you have found the information posted in this log to be useful. I hope your mother is encouraged to make the effort as well, and finds the various posts informative. Let me know how she is doing as time goes by.

Luke Seubert 06-29-2011 04:56 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Wednesday Weekly Trend and Weight Update

Today is the end of Week 8 of my fat loss regimen.

All in all, this was a good week. I stayed pretty much on track from day to day. The only exception was that I had two free meals, aka non-Paleo snacks, instead of just one, but they appear to have had minimal impact. I plateaued a bit in the middle of the week, but I broke that yesterday by skipping some of my seasonings, which contain a little salt. Yes, kids - I gamed the system to drop my bodyweight on the last day of the week :D It doesn't matter. Games I play today are made up for later on, and it all comes out even in the end. And as you'll see if you follow this thread, I tend to plateau rather often, and then break through. I rarely just steadily lose Bodyweight from day to day. Just watch the Trend data to know what is really going on. And yes, the Trend data does lag behind the Bodyweight data - it is a moving average and can't help but do that. The key is to observe the rate of loss based on the Trend.

______Date_______________Weight___________Trend__
Wed, Jun 22, 2011_______389.4 lbs_______396.1 lbs
Thu, Jun 23, 2011_______389.4 lbs_______395.4 lbs
Fri, Jun 24, 2011_______387.4 lbs_______394.6 lbs
Sat, Jun 25, 2011_______388.6 lbs_______394.0 lbs
Sun, Jun 26, 2011_______387.8 lbs_______393.4 lbs
Mon, Jun 27, 2011_______388.6 lbs_______392.9 lbs
Tue, Jun 28, 2011_______387.8 lbs_______392.4 lbs
Wed, Jun 29, 2011_______385.8 lbs_______391.7 lbs

Above is the past week's Bodyweight and Trend data. An explanation of the "Trend" calculation's utility may be found in my post, "Turning Bodyweight Into A Semi-Useful Metric". (WFS) The Trend is more reliable for revealing how much weight I have actually lost over the weeks and months than Bodyweight, which tends to fluctuate.

Bodyweight and Trend Data for The First 8 Weeks of My Fat Loss Regimen

Normally, on Wednesdays, I would just post the above information and that is it. However, some folks might be curious to know what was going on in previous weeks. For them, I post the entire eight weeks of data below.

______Date_______________Weight___________Trend__
Wed, May 4, 2011_______425.6 lbs_______425.6 lbs
Thu, May 5, 2011_______421.2 lbs_______425.2 lbs
Fri, May 6, 2011_______418.4 lbs_______424.5 lbs
Sat, May 7, 2011_______418.6 lbs_______423.9 lbs
Sun, May 8, 2011_______416.6 lbs_______423.2 lbs
Mon, May 9, 2011_______416.0 lbs_______422.5 lbs
Tue, May 10, 2011_______416.0 lbs_______421.8 lbs
Wed, May 11, 2011_______416.2 lbs_______421.2 lbs
Thu, May 12, 2011_______414.8 lbs_______420.6 lbs
Fri, May 13, 2011_______413.0 lbs_______419.8 lbs
Sat, May 14, 2011_______414.6 lbs_______419.3 lbs
Sun, May 15, 2011_______414.4 lbs_______418.8 lbs
Mon, May 16, 2011_______413.2 lbs_______418.2 lbs
Tue, May 17, 2011_______411.0 lbs_______417.5 lbs
Wed, May 18, 2011_______409.6 lbs_______416.7 lbs
Thu, May 19, 2011_______409.8 lbs_______416.0 lbs
Fri, May 20, 2011_______409.8 lbs_______415.4 lbs
Sat, May 21, 2011_______410.0 lbs_______414.9 lbs
Sun, May 22, 2011_______408.6 lbs_______414.3 lbs
Mon, May 23, 2011_______409.2 lbs_______413.8 lbs
Tue, May 24, 2011_______407.6 lbs_______413.2 lbs
Wed, May 25, 2011_______406.8 lbs_______412.6 lbs
Thu, May 26, 2011_______405.8 lbs_______411.9 lbs
Fri, May 27, 2011_______404.4 lbs_______411.2 lbs
Sat, May 28, 2011_______405.4 lbs_______410.6 lbs
Sun, May 29, 2011_______404.6 lbs_______410.0 lbs
Mon, May 30, 2011_______403.4 lbs_______409.3 lbs
Tue, May 31, 2011_______404.4 lbs_______408.8 lbs
Wed, Jun 1, 2011_______403.8 lbs_______408.3 lbs
Thu, Jun 2, 2011_______403.2 lbs_______407.8 lbs
Fri, Jun 3, 2011_______402.6 lbs_______407.3 lbs
Sat, Jun 4, 2011_______403.2 lbs_______406.9 lbs
Sun, Jun 5, 2011_______401.8 lbs_______406.4 lbs
Mon, Jun 6, 2011_______400.6 lbs_______405.8 lbs
Tue, Jun 7, 2011_______397.6 lbs_______405.0 lbs
Wed, Jun 8, 2011_______396.8 lbs_______404.2 lbs
Thu, Jun 9, 2011_______397.2 lbs_______403.5 lbs
Fri, Jun 10, 2011_______397.4 lbs_______402.9 lbs
Sat, Jun 11, 2011_______397.2 lbs_______402.3 lbs
Sun, Jun 12, 2011_______395.8 lbs_______401.7 lbs
Mon, Jun 13, 2011_______394.8 lbs_______401.0 lbs
Tue, Jun 14, 2011_______396.6 lbs_______400.6 lbs
Wed, Jun 15, 2011_______397.0 lbs_______400.2 lbs
Thu, Jun 16, 2011_______396.0 lbs_______399.8 lbs
Fri, Jun 17, 2011_______394.2 lbs_______399.2 lbs
Sat, Jun 18, 2011_______394.0 lbs_______398.7 lbs
Sun, Jun 19, 2011_______392.2 lbs_______398.1 lbs
Mon, Jun 20, 2011_______391.0 lbs_______397.4 lbs
Tue, Jun 21, 2011_______391.4 lbs_______396.8 lbs
Wed, Jun 22, 2011_______389.4 lbs_______396.1 lbs
Thu, Jun 23, 2011_______389.4 lbs_______395.4 lbs
Fri, Jun 24, 2011_______387.4 lbs_______394.6 lbs
Sat, Jun 25, 2011_______388.6 lbs_______394.0 lbs
Sun, Jun 26, 2011_______387.8 lbs_______393.4 lbs
Mon, Jun 27, 2011_______388.6 lbs_______392.9 lbs
Tue, Jun 28, 2011_______387.8 lbs_______392.4 lbs
Wed, Jun 29, 2011_______385.8 lbs_______391.7 lbs

Luke Seubert 06-30-2011 06:59 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Integrating the Paleo and Zone Diets With Very Low Glycemic Index Fruits and Vegetables

After a lot of reading and study, I concluded that the Paleo and Zone diets were very healthy and well suited for serious fat loss if properly adapted. So I set to work integrating the two.

Both diets classify foods into different groups, such as prohibited, permitted, strongly encouraged, or strongly discouraged. For example, the Paleo Diet prohibits grain based foods of any kind, while the Zone Diet strongly discourages them. In fact, Dr Barry Sears has stated that the strictest version of the Zone Diet is, in fact, a Paleo Diet. I began by culling through these groups, and removing almost all of strongly discouraged foods in both diets from my grocery shopping list. I then completely removed all of the prohibited foods from both diets from my grocery shopping list. Over time, after weeks of shopping healthy and either eating or throwing out the unhealthy, the kitchen became stuffed with nothing but healthy PaleoZone foods.

There were interesting exceptions in this process. For example, the Paleo Diet encourages the consumption of organ meats such as liver, while the Zone Diet discourages liver due to its high saturated fat and cholesterol content. I chose to eat two 50 gram portions of calf liver each week, and the fats be damned, because calf liver provides an incredible abundance of certain vital nutrients. 100 grams a week of calf liver is your very own Vitamin B-12 shot. Great stuff. Also, eggs are a Paleo permitted food, but the Zone Diet strongly discourages them due to high levels of arachidonic acid. I studied the issue myself, most especially the nutritional quality of eggs. Even the superior free-range eggs high in Omega-3's, which are also quite expensive, are poor sources of protein compared to various lean cuts of whole meat. So while I might eat eggs once in a while, I'd rather eat a higher quality source of protein.

Overall, the two diets largely concur in food choices in their strictest forms, but the Paleo Diet is more forgiving of saturated fat than the Zone Diet, which is more forgiving about carbohydrates. While I do get saturated fat in my diet, for now, I follow Zone practices and bias towards the mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats, though someday I might change this. But when it comes to carbohydrates, I adhere to the Paleo diet and its exclusion of carbs from dairy products, legumes, and grains.

While I am very strict and serious about following my PaleoZone diet, I try not to be rigid and narrow-minded. For example, I do permit myself the occasional free meal. (Interestingly though, pizza no longer tastes as good as it once did, and a Big Mac leaves me feeling groggy and listless. The longer I eat PaleoZone foods, the less I feel any interest in those old foods I used to eat.) Also, when I am ready, someday I will begin the Starting Strength weightlifting program. When that happens, I will adapt my diet in various ways, including milk. There is strong evidence that drinking lots of milk encourages muscle growth and development. At that point, I will be a Lacto-PaleoZoner, and no longer a strict Paleo dieter.

Both the Paleo and Zone Diets permit and encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables, and generally prefer low glycemic index vegetables. Both diets accept the standard definition of "Low Glycemic Index" as 55 or less. Enter Pierre Dukan, a French physician and author of The Dukan Diet, which has proven to be a very successful diet in France for many years. And, a diet with decidedly Paleo-Zonish characteristics.

Dukan argues that the standard definition of what constitutes "Low Glycemic Index" is based more on politics than on science and nutritional findings. With a G.I. of 55 or less, a great many fruits and vegetables are on the list, with rather few excluded. Certainly most of the major and popular fruits are available. However, Dukan argues that the insulin and blood sugar response is still too high at 55 G.I. for serious fat loss. Based upon his clinical experience and research, he re-classified Glycemic Index as follow:
  • Low G.I. - 35 or less
  • Moderate G.I. - 36 to 49
  • High G.I. - 50 or more
Dukan holds that if you really want to lose fat, most of your consumed fruits and vegetables should have a glycemic index of 35 or less, with only a few in the moderate range. Thus, his list of permitted fruits and veggies is far more restrictive than the standard G.I. categorizations.

Since I really want to lose fat, I restricted my fruit and vegetable shopping list to only those foods which had a G.I. of 35 or less, and a low Glycemic Load of 10 or less as well. So far, I am getting good results with these restrictions, though I do miss some of those prohibited foods. Someday I'll enjoy them again, but for now I focus on fat loss. For those who would like to embrace this very low G.I. practice, I have included below a fruit and vegetable list.

List of Very Low Glycemic Index (< 35 G.I.) and Low Glycemic Load (< 10 G.L.) Fruits and Vegetables
  • All Leafy Greens
  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Chayote
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Jicama
  • Leeks
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onion
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Scallions
  • Shallots
  • Sour Cherries
  • Summer Squash
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini

Arturo Garcia 06-30-2011 09:56 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Hi Luke.

I think I have, or had, (ok have) Metabolism B. Back in 2004 I reached 260# which at 5'10" is not good, and I was just 21 back then. I am one of those persons who do NOT grow the gigantic belly in front of them. Some people call this "hard fat". All I had is "soft fat" (or subcutaneous fat maybe). The funny thing is I was not THAT sedentary. I imagine, had I done nothing about this, I would have been close or over 300# by now and by your age (if I made it), I could very well have been fatter than you, heh heh.

I just read every post you've made so far. Like those doctors found, I too responded very well to almost no carbs. I had read the Atkins book in 2005 and tried it for a month and lost a bit of weight. Then I read South Beach Diet which, initially, is similar in the fact that allows very little carbs, but then gradually introduces them. Well, in early 2006 I started South Beach but I stayed permanently in that Phase 1. Basically I ate meat and vegetables. No tubers really, just veggies. Not even fruit I think. I also did about 50-60 minutes of an Elliptical machine 6x/week as my only exercise. Looking back, that was a HUGE mistake and I would have lifted weights MUCH sooner, if not from the VERY beggining. *Take note of this please. By June I was 200#, I lost the first 40# in 4months at a steady 10#/month rate. By Deceber 2006 I was 173# and, although weak, quite happy.

So this is where I'm going with all this: These forums are plagued with folks who have seen great success following an unmeasured Paleo Diet. These people eat 3 banans a day, raisins, tubers in their post-workout meals, apples, berries, pineapple, wine and dark chocolate.

And I just have to say... WHAT THE F---?

Over the past 5 years since I lost all that weight, I've tried many different things. Eating more, eating less. Doing pure metcons, doing strength training. Heck, recently I even decided to "bulk up", which I kindof regret although I did get bigger and stronger, I got to 210# but very fat (had to dig out size 36" jeans) and I'm now desperate to reduce this "spare tyre" around my midsection, and lose some of this upper thigh and butt-fat that I dislike so much.

But I just cannot seem to get those other fellow's results eating like that. I confess that I can eat like that and MAINTAIN. But i cannot completely lean out doing that. I didn't want to admit it at first, mainly because some people around here accuse some Paleo-ers of "doing Atkins"... but I'll be da**ed if I don't admit that I only lean out when I'm eating VLC (very low carb). Not necessarily Atkins-phase 1-low, but low.

This has led me to wonder about different types of people and trying to identify them and classify them in Groups. Lately I have wondered if the way someone accumulates fat is any indicatorof this. For example, as I mentioned somewhere above: I don't get "hard fat", I get "soft fat", to use terms I've seen in tEh InTerWebz. By this I mean I don't grow a huge gigantic round belly with my belly button in line with the stretched skin. My belly bottom seems to stay back, my belly doesn't become gigantic, but alot of fat AROUND the belly button is accumulated, and at my sides, and I can "pinch" or grab this fat with my fingers/hand, where as those other guys with the huge-round bellies can't pinch their fat around their belly button.

I have found way more testimonials of people who were "hard fat" and got lean, than people who were "soft fat" and got lean. Does this mean I'm doomed to never get lean? All I can do is sit back and envy those who eat a crapload of fruit a day and while eating Paleo get ripped. I just can't. I've tried. For a long time, too, haven't been at this for just a few weeks.

Anyways, I liked your post. It seems you're obsessed with this, I would actually recommend not weighing yourself daily but if you're OK with that, do it. But it can be stressful.

I'll keep checking here and give the "support" you're seeking for in any way I can. So far you seem to be doing GREAT. So please keep at it.

Luke Seubert 07-01-2011 04:37 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
The Humble Tape Measure: Simple But Oh So Useful

In my toolbox of fat loss measuring devices, I have three items. A scale. An electrical impedance body fat composition meter. And a tape measure. Of the three, the tape measure provides the most consistently useful data. All three of these tools can lie to you at any given time about what is really happening with your body, but the tape measure lies the least of them all. Let's see how I put it to good use.

First of all, I have two tape measures. One is the usual yellow plastic tape measure which is a very long and not so usual 120 inches - 300 cm long. This is the common tape measure which we are all familiar with. The other is a MyoTape. Take a look at the MyoTape Amazon.com webpage (WFS) for pictures and a description of the MyoTape if you are unfamiliar with it.

Now, why do I use a MyoTape when I already have a perfectly good tape measure? The spring-loaded retractor mechanism in the MyoTape helps to ensure consistent, reliable, repeatable measurements. While it isn't perfect every time, it is easier to get quality measurements with a MyoTape than a tape measure. Wherever I can, I use the MyoTape - on my arms, legs, and neck. However, it only has 60 inches - 150 cm of tape on it, which is not enough (for the time being - this is changing) to measure my chest, waist, and hips. So, for those measurements, I use the yellow tape measure.

Once each week, on Saturday, I take my various body measurements. I measure right and left unflexed biceps and forearms, and the wrists; as well as the right and left unflexed thighs and calves, and the ankles. I conclude by measuring my neck, chest, waist, and hips. I once tried including a shoulder measurement as well, but I just couldn't get reliable, repeatable results from week to week, so I dropped that measurement.

Now, what do I do with all this data? Well, I load it into a spreadsheet and look at the results over time. For example, some of the measurements, such as my limbs, don't change very much, or at all. Others, like chest, waist, and hips, do change quite a bit. I also total up all of these measurements into one number, which I call "Total Body Measurements". I compare this number each week with the numbers from past weeks, to see how my body is changing and responding to my diet regimen.

Total Body Measurements is a good metric for several reasons. First of all, measuring with a tape measure can be a bit of a sloppy, imprecise procedure. So each week, there is a little bit of measurement error introduced into my data, both to the positive and to the negative. By summing all of my body measurements, there is a pretty good chance that most of these errors will cancel one another out, leaving me with a single, fairly reliable and consistent metric. This is a crude technique, but it works in a good duct tape sort of way. Also, the Total Body Measurement declines quite a bit from one week to the next, much more so than any one measurement. So, if I have a bad week on my chest measurement, with no decline, or maybe even a slight increase; I won't get too discouraged because my Total Body Measurements number will still show a significant decline.

Also, this technique is quite reliable for my current diet regimen because I am focused much more on losing fat than gaining muscle. Thus, none of my measurements will go up much due to muscle gain. At least, not most of the time. One week I took a fair number of long walks, and saw a slight increase in my hip measurement. Since my hips had been steadily declining before then and my other measurements dropped as expected, I attribute that hip increase to a bit of muscle mass added on thanks to the exercise. (Yes, when you are really out of shape, even walking can build a little muscle mass.)

By recording multiple body measurements on a weekly basis, you can figure out from subtle changes what is happening with your body, and whether you are on track or not with your fat loss goals. This is the power of the simple but oh so very useful tape measure.

Dustin Standel 07-01-2011 07:12 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Luke, just curious - How did you get from what you were eating previously into a PaleoZone diet? I read many people who say they started by cutting out one or two things at a time from their shopping lists and over the course of time got to the point where the only thing in their house is Paleo or Zone foods simply because they ate the rest of the stuff, but that took them months! You sound like you just simply decided to switch eating style/diet and trashed everything in your house to start anew.

I'm curious also because my diet is somewhat affected by my wife and her medical conditions. She had a kidney transplant a little more than a year ago and some of her meds interact with certain foods. So we have to be careful planning her diet and bounce some foods oof her med list as well.

Thank you for your time and effort in this log.

I'd personally like to see some of the recipes you use to prepare your food or menus we can use also (meant as a helpful hint).

Jason David 07-01-2011 10:33 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Hey Luke!
I started at 40+ % bodyfat as well...stick with what you are doing and you'lyl be fine. CrossFit and the diet recommendation works. I've encountered just about every stumbling block a fatty can have. Let me know if you have any questions...

Luke Seubert 07-02-2011 11:34 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Saturday Weekly Body Measurements Update
Date: July 2, 2011
Last Week's Total Body Measurement: 970.5 cm
This Week's Total Body Measurement: 964.0 cm

Beginning Date for Measurements - May 14, 2011 - Total Body Measurements: 1009.5
Total Centimeters Lost to Date: 45.5 cm

My trunk body measurements started dropping nicely again this week. I am happy to see that. There was a definite slowdown for a few weeks there. Hopefully the decline in trunk measurements will continue. There was more variation than usual in my limb measurements. I attribute this to some sloppy measuring on my part, as those measurements are usually fairly stable, with a slow downward trend. I'll have to be more attentive when I measure myself next week. Of course, there is the possiblity that I am losing muscle mass, and that this is showing up on my limbs. If so, I think it would show up on the calves and forearms most noticeably first, as those are my leanest body parts. I will keep an eye on them over the next few weeks. If they continue to drop, I might have to bump up my caloric intake so that I stop burning muscle and fat, and instead burn mostly fat. We'll see what happens as I gather more data and information.

Body Measurements for Last Week and This Week
Right Thigh: 68.5 cm, 68.5 cm
Right Calf: 53.0 cm, 51.5 cm
Right Ankle: 28.5 cm, 28.5 cm

Left Thigh: 70.5 cm, 72.5 cm
Left Calf: 52.5 cm, 52.0 cm
Left Ankle: 29.0 cm, 29.0cm

Right Arm: 37.5 cm, 38.0 cm
Right Forearm: 34.5 cm, 34.0 cm
Right Wrist: 20.5 cm, 20.5 cm

Left Arm: 43.0 cm, 41.5 cm
Left Forearm: 34.5 cm, 35.0 cm
Left Wrist: 20.0 cm, 20.0 cm

Neck: 45.5 cm, 45.0 cm
Chest: 145.0 cm, 143.5 cm
Waist: 161.0 cm, 158.0 cm
Hips: 127.0 cm, 126.5 cm

Body Measurements From Past Weeks
Normally I will only post the data above each Saturday. However, since this is the first time I am posting my Body Measurements, I thought it would be a good idea to include all of my past measurements up through today for the sake of completeness.

Date - Total Body Measurements - Weekly Delta - Cm Lost To Date
May 14, 2011_______1,009.5 cm
May 21, 2011_______1,002.5 cm______7.0 cm_______ 7.0 cm
May 28, 2011_______ 995.5 cm_______7.0 cm_______14.0 cm
Jun 04, 2011_______ 988.5 cm_______7.0 cm_______21.0 cm
Jun 11, 2011_______ 981.5 cm_______7.0 cm_______28.0 cm
Jun 18, 2011_______ 976.0 cm_______5.5 cm_______33.5 cm
Jun 25, 2011_______ 970.5 cm_______5.5 cm_______39.0 cm
Jul 02, 2011_______ 964.0 cm_______6.5 cm_______45.5 cm


Measurements In Centimeters On: 05-14-2011, 05-21-2011, 05-28-2011, 06-04-2011, 06-11-2011, 06-18-2011, 06-25-2011, 07-02-2011
Right Thigh: 71.5, 71.0, 70.5, 71.0, 70.5, 68.0, 68.5, 68.5
Right Calf: 53.0, 53.0, 52.5, 52.5, 52.0, 53.5, 53.0, 51.5
Right Ankle: 29.5, 29.5, 29.0, 29.0, 28.5, 29.0, 28.5, 28.5

Left Thigh: 75.0, 74.5, 74.0, 73.0, 72.5, 70.5, 70.5, 72.5
Left Calf: 54.0, 53.0, 53.0, 52.0, 53.0, 53.5, 52.5, 52.0
Left Ankle: 30.0, 29.5, 29.5, 29.5, 29.0, 29.0, 29.0, 29.0

Right Arm: 39.5, 39.0, 38.5, 38.5, 39.0, 38.5, 37.5, 38.0
Right Forearm: 35.5, 35.5, 35.5, 35.5, 35.0, 34.5, 34.5, 34.0
Right Wrist: 21.0, 21.0, 21.0, 20.5, 20.5, 20.5, 20.5, 20.5

Left Arm: 45.0, 44.5, 44.5, 45.0, 44.5, 44.0, 43.0, 41.5
Left Forearm: 36.5, 35.5, 36.0, 35.5, 35.0, 36.0, 34.5
Left Wrist: 20.5, 20.5, 20.5, 20.5, 20.0, 20.0, 20.0, 20.0

Neck: 47.5, 47.5, 46.5, 46.0, 46.0, 46.0, 45.5, 45.0
Chest: 151.0, 149.0, 148.0, 148.0, 146.0, 145.0, 145.0, 143.5
Waist: 168.5, 169.0, 166.0, 164.0, 161.5, 160.5, 161.0, 158.0
Hips: 131.5, 130.5, 130.5, 128.0, 128.5, 127.5, 127.0, 126.5

Luke Seubert 07-02-2011 11:38 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason David (Post 955526)
Hey Luke!
I started at 40+ % bodyfat as well...stick with what you are doing and you'lyl be fine. CrossFit and the diet recommendation works. I've encountered just about every stumbling block a fatty can have. Let me know if you have any questions...

Hi Jason,

Many thanks for your words of encouragement and citing your own successful example. I am sure I will hit some roadblocks along the path. When I do, I will be sure to accept your kind offer of advice.

Luke Seubert 07-02-2011 12:01 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dustin Standel
Luke, just curious - How did you get from what you were eating previously into a PaleoZone diet? I read many people who say they started by cutting out one or two things at a time from their shopping lists and over the course of time got to the point where the only thing in their house is Paleo or Zone foods simply because they ate the rest of the stuff, but that took them months! You sound like you just simply decided to switch eating style/diet and trashed everything in your house to start anew.

Thanks for expressing your appreciation for my posts Dustin. Your encouragement helps motivate me to continue posting.

How did I get from where I was diet-wise to the PaleoZone? Actually, it was a combination of the two methods you outlined. I gradually started shopping Paleo foods, and gradually ate through non-Paleo foods in the house, but didn't replace them. However, along the way, from time to time, I would just toss some unhealthy foods that I knew I wasn't going to use. For example, I chucked half-a-gallon of cheap peanut oil, which is a very non-Paleo food, and quite unhealthy besides. (Did you know that research scientists studying atherosclerosis feed peanut oil to lab rats to induce the condition so they can experiment on them?)

However, to accomplish all of this, you first need to figure out what your grocery shopping list is. What are all the Paleo-compliant foods which you and your wife will eat? Once you have that, start shopping exclusively from that list. And as you go along, eat or donate or toss the non-Paleo foods already in the house that you want to exclude from your diet. Finally, at some stage of this process, it would help if you and your wife pick a firm date when you will go totally Paleo, and then stick to that committment.

Friendly warning! There is an adjustment phase as you move from your current diet to the Paleo Diet. It usually take a few days, or possibly a week. Symptoms vary, and can include irritability, insomnia, poor energy levels, too much energy, etc. Run a Google search of Paleo bloggers to find out what they experienced. Or, read Corain's or Wolff's books to get an idea. As you remove cheap starches and sugars from your diet, your brain rebels because it is going though withdrawal symptoms. But once you come out on the other side, you feel much better. My mental alertness is much better. My physical energy level is much improved too.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dustin Standel
I'd personally like to see some of the recipes you use to prepare your food or menus we can use also (meant as a helpful hint).

Not a problem. Late next week, I'll be posting a typical daily menu of what I eat, including brief recipes for all six meals, along with photographs if I can upload them properly. I'll include more information about how I use web-based tools to plan my recipes, and how I put together a recipe rotation scheme so that I eat a wide variety of foods throughout the week.

Before then, though, I will have two other posts. One is about an easy way to ensure you are eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. The other is a terrific reference book I found which details the world's healthiest foods, along with all sorts of great information about nutrition and health. Stay tuned....

Luke Seubert 07-02-2011 12:24 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 955124)
So this is where I'm going with all this: These forums are plagued with folks who have seen great success following an unmeasured Paleo Diet. These people eat 3 banans a day, raisins, tubers in their post-workout meals, apples, berries, pineapple, wine and dark chocolate. And I just have to say... WHAT THE F---?

Yeah, some people can get away with a high-carb Paleo diet. They have "Metabolism A" and can eat lots of that stuff and never get fat. For those of us who answer Yes on a lot of those Metabolism B Survey Questions I posted earlier, well, we just can't eat lots of carbs and lose fat, no matter how Paleo those carbs are. That is why I switched to very low Glycemic Index vegetables and limited my carb intake, but not down to ridiculously low levels like the Atkins diet.

Now, once I am done leaning out, and I start working out, will I add more healthy carbs back into my diet? You bet! Especially for pre and post-workout meals. And I will also be drinking some milk to support my Starting Strength heavy weightlifting program. But for now, fat loss is the key, and for that I need to stick with a moderately low carb diet. That is just the way my metabolism is.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 955124)
This has led me to wonder about different types of people and trying to identify them and classify them in Groups. Lately I have wondered if the way someone accumulates fat is any indicatorof this. For example, as I mentioned somewhere above: I don't get "hard fat", I get "soft fat", to use terms I've seen in tEh InTerWebz. By this I mean I don't grow a huge gigantic round belly with my belly button in line with the stretched skin. My belly bottom seems to stay back, my belly doesn't become gigantic, but alot of fat AROUND the belly button is accumulated, and at my sides, and I can "pinch" or grab this fat with my fingers/hand, where as those other guys with the huge-round bellies can't pinch their fat around their belly button.

I have found way more testimonials of people who were "hard fat" and got lean, than people who were "soft fat" and got lean. Does this mean I'm doomed to never get lean? All I can do is sit back and envy those who eat a crapload of fruit a day and while eating Paleo get ripped. I just can't. I've tried. For a long time, too, haven't been at this for just a few weeks..

Arturo, this is a fascinating question. I definitely have "soft fat" around my belly, and elsewhere, but mostly around my belly. Like Saint Nicholas from the poem, it shakes like a "bowl full of jelly". I have seen men with large, fat bellies, but which are rock hard compared to mine. That I can't figure out - how do they do that? It doesn't even wiggle when they move fast!

As for you and I, well, I think our answer is to lose a large amount of the fat following a very low glycemic index, moderately low carb Paleo Diet with plenty of protein and fat, but with restricted calories. Once most of the fat is off, start lifting weights to get strong and build some muscle mass, and then start doing CrossFit WODs and rely upon the intense exercise to take off the rest of the fat. Well, that is my plan anyway. I am confident it will work, but it will take a lot of hard work, persistence, and commitment.

Arturo, let me know how it goes if you now try something similar. Please post your results in this thread from time to time, so that other folks can know how it goes as well. I am hoping to attract a number of comments to this thread, and make it a really useful information source for severely and morbidly obese people who want to get into CrossFit.

Also, if you get the chance, post a query about the "hard fat" versus "soft fat" issues which you have raised in one of the forums, maybe "Nutrition" or "Fitness". I would love to hear what the CrossFit community has to say about this issue. If you do, please post a link to this thread. Thanks.

Luke Seubert 07-03-2011 04:44 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
How to Get Semi-Useful Body Fat Composition Data Out of a Bioelectrical Impedance Analyzer

Every morning, just after weighing myself, I get out my little Omron HBF-306 and take a body fat composition reading. The number gets tossed into a spreadsheet, where I examine how it changes over time. If used properly, the Omron can be somewhat useful, even though of my three fat loss measuring methods - scale, tape measure, and Omron - it is the least accurate and precise.

But what is an Omron? An Omron is a handheld electrical impedance body fat composition analyzer. See the Omron HBF-306C Amazon.com webpage (WFS) for pictures and a description. (I have the older HBF-306 model - the newer ones are the HBF-306C.) There are a variety of these electrical impedance body fat analyzers available on the market. For example, some are built into footpads on a bodyweight scale.

Now, before I get started describing how I use this thing, let me warn you. Of all the various ways of measuring body fat, especially for people who are severely or morbidly obese, this is one of the least accurate. In fact, the only method that is probably less accurate is the skinfold caliper test done by a poorly trained person. Moreover, the Omron itself gets a wealth of criticism, a fair amount of it valid, on the Amazon.com product review comments pages. Here are the 1 Star ratings and 2 Star ratings. (Both WFS) Despite these deficiencies, you can get some worthwhile data out of the Omron if you use the right methods. Moreover, these techniques are applicable to any electrical impedance body fat analyzer, if you adapt them appropriately.

First, you must be absolutely consistent in how you use it every single time you use it. NO deviations whatsoever! For example, when I first wake up each morning and relieve myself, I thoroughly wash my hands using hot water and lots of soap, rubbing them for about 20 seconds. (Sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to yourself to time this.) I then thoroughly dry my hands very carefully using a dry bath towel, and then hold my hands loosely to air dry while I weigh myself on the scale. Then, I pick up the Omron and program in the bodyweight reading I just took. I spread my legs beyond shoulder width and raise my arms parallel to the floor, rigidly locking the elbows and "punching" my hands towards the wall. On that wall, I scribed a small mark. I align the top-center of the Omron with that mark, tap the "Start" button, and take a reading. In fact, I take three readings. And almost every day, they come out exactly the same. Once in a while, one of the readings differs. I repeat the readings until I get three identical results. (Actually, I do this same procedure with the scale too, and the scale often takes more than three readings, unlike the Omron.)

What in the world is the point of all this obsessive fussiness? That's what it takes to get consistent readings with these devices. Your hands must be clean - if there is oil or dirt or dried sweaty residue on your hands, it throws the reading off. Your hands should be dry - if they are wet or even moist, it throws the reading off. You should be naked, and your foot stance should be wide - if not, it throws the reading off. And most importantly, you must hold your arms very straight and very parallel to the floor. Moving the arms up or down even a few inches can change the reading. So can flexing your elbows slightly.

Here are a few other things that I have discovered which can improve consistency. Stand on a bathroom rug or rugs, rather than on tile or linoleum. Never take a shower before taking a reading. I have taken readings before and after showers, and the readings can vary by up to 0.5%. Keep the electrical contact plates clean - wipe them down with a damp cloth every week or so. Change the batteries fairly often. If the readings become inconsistent on a given day, and you are doing everything else just right, likely the batteries are too low and need replacing.

Now, despite all this work, I find that I still get variations from one day to the next of up to 0.4%. Usually the variations aren't that large, but I will get an outlier from time to time. Oh, and it gets worse. I have used my Omron just before taking a hydrostatic immersion test, the old gold standard of body fat composition tests. (If I recall correctly, DEXA scans are the new gold standard.) I found that my Omron understated my body fat percentage by around a whopping 4%! So, what good is data that is so variable from day to day, and that inaccurate as well?

Well, I toss my data into a spreadsheet, and I compute a simple 7-day moving average. (This is similar to the technique I use on my bodyweight data, but with a different formula for the moving average.) That body fat percentage moving average produces some fairly steady and consistent results, with a few hiccups here and there due to those aforementioned outliers. What this BF% moving average shows me is that I am indeed steadily losing body fat. I can use this information to compute a body fat composition loss rate. And from this, I can make some guesstimates as to how much of by bodyweight losses are fat and how much are muscle, preferably mostly fat and not so much muscle.

However, even these body fat composition loss rates based upon the body fat moving average have to be taken with a grain of salt. The algorithms used in the Omron were developed for the bulk of the population that is well under the center of the Bell Curve. With my exceedingly high body fat, I am way out in the tail end of the Bell Curve. So the Omron gives incorrect results for fatties like me - off by 4% according to hydrostatic immersion test. But as I lose fat, and move further under the Bell Curve, the Omron gives more more accurate results. This gradually throws off my projections about fat loss rate, which is why I have to take these computations with a grain of salt too.

So, in the end, despite best efforts, the Omron is the least accurate and least precise fat loss measuring tool I have. Indeed, for most folks, it probably isn't worth the time and trouble - certainly not the sorts of efforts that I go to with it. However, I still like gathering the data, and watching that moving average steadily decline. It is a heartening and encouraging thing. I take my body measurements much more seriously, and to a lesser degree, my bodyweight measurements. But I still like the good news that the Omron gives me, even if I can't take it quite so seriously.

And yes, those who have read this thread so far, have probably concluded that I am a bit obsessive with measurements and accuracy and precision. To me, this sort of behavior is only slightly abnormal, but it is quite unusual for most folks. C'est la vie. One of the things I like about CrossFit is how everything is measurable. There are objective standards, and comparisons based upon those standards are possible. There is a culture of gathering observable, measurable, repeatable data. To me, this is great stuff. This is the foundation upon which good science is built. And because I so love the scientific method, for me, all of this fussy measuring is a motivational technique. Checking my bodyweight and body fat composition daily, and my body measurements weekly, is my way of keeping myself on my toes... persistent, consistent, and committed.

Luke Seubert 07-04-2011 05:58 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Monday Weekly Body Fat Composition Update

Date: July 4, 2011
BFC Average 2 Weeks Ago: 42.5% (Approximtely 4% understated compared to hydrostatic immersion)
BFC Average 1 Week Ago: 42.3%
Current BFC Average: 42.1%
Beginning Date for BFC - May 4, 2011 - BFC Average Then: 44.6%
Total BFC Average Lost to Date: 2.5%

Arrgh!!! So close and yet so far away. As you can see from the numbers below, I have been trying to bust under 42.0%. Today, I almost made it. My first two readings on the Omron were the usual 42.0%. Then, I got a 41.9%, and since I require three identical readings before entering the data into the spreadsheet, I took another reading. It too was 41.9%. Wow! One more like that, and I was officially into the 41's! I locked my elbows, stood up straight, aligned the Omron to the scribe mark on the wall, hit the "Start" button, and..... 42.0% Rats. Oh well, at least I am really close - the Omron can barely make up its mind. I'll tip into the 41's soon enough.

Since this is my first BFC data post, I thought I would explain that I will include two weeks worth of data, instead of just one like my other fat loss metrics. Body Fat Composition numbers tend to be quite erratic, and they move downwards slowly. It helps to get a better picture of how things are going by looking at more than just one week's worth of data.

BFC Readings and Average For The Past Two Weeks

__Date_______BFC Reading_____BFC Average
Mon, Jun 20, 2011_______42.1%_______42.5%
Tue, Jun 21, 2011_______42.7%_______42.5%
Wed, Jun 22, 2011_______42.2%_______42.5%
Thu, Jun 23, 2011_______42.5%_______42.5%
Fri, Jun 24, 2011_______42.1%_______42.4%
Sat, Jun 25, 2011_______42.2%_______42.3%
Sun, Jun 26, 2011_______42.3%_______42.3%
Mon, Jun 27, 2011_______42.0%_______42.3%
Tue, Jun 28, 2011_______42.0%_______42.2%
Wed, Jun 29, 2011_______42.0%_______42.2%
Thu, Jun 30, 2011_______42.4%_______42.1%
Fri, Jul 01, 2011_______42.2%_______42.2%
Sat, Jul 02, 2011_______42.2%_______42.2%
Sun, Jul 03, 2011_______42.0%_______42.1%
Mon, Jul 04, 2011_______42.0%_______42.1%


BFC Readings and Average Since the Beginning of My Diet Regimen
Normally this post would have concluded with the information just above. However, since this is my first post for BFC, I decided to include all of the data I have gathered since May 4, 2011.


__Date_______BFC Reading_____BFC Average
Wed, May 4, 2011_______44.1%
Thu, May 5, 2011_______44.8%
Fri, May 6, 2011_______44.7%
Sat, May 7, 2011_______44.7%_______44.6%
Sun, May 8, 2011_______44.4%_______44.5%
Mon, May 9, 2011_______44.4%_______44.5%
Tue, May 10, 2011_______44.0%_______44.4%
Wed, May 11, 2011_______44.0%_______44.4%
Thu, May 12, 2011_______43.9%_______44.3%
Fri, May 13, 2011_______44.2%_______44.2%
Sat, May 14, 2011_______44.1%_______44.1%
Sun, May 15, 2011_______43.8%_______44.1%
Mon, May 16, 2011_______43.8%_______44.0%
Tue, May 17, 2011_______43.8%_______43.9%
Wed, May 18, 2011_______43.8%_______43.9%
Thu, May 19, 2011_______43.6%_______43.9%
Fri, May 20, 2011_______43.5%_______43.8%
Sat, May 21, 2011_______43.7%_______43.7%
Sun, May 22, 2011_______43.7%_______43.7%
Mon, May 23, 2011_______43.4%_______43.6%
Tue, May 24, 2011_______43.4%_______43.6%
Wed, May 25, 2011_______43.2%_______43.5%
Thu, May 26, 2011_______43.3%_______43.5%
Fri, May 27, 2011_______43.3%_______43.4%
Sat, May 28, 2011_______42.9%_______43.3%
Sun, May 29, 2011_______43.4%_______43.3%
Mon, May 30, 2011_______43.2%_______43.2%
Tue, May 31, 2011_______43.0%_______43.2%
Wed, Jun 1, 2011_______43.0%_______43.2%
Thu, Jun 2, 2011_______43.2%_______43.1%
Fri, Jun 3, 2011_______43.1%_______43.1%
Sat, Jun 4, 2011_______43.3%_______43.2%
Sun, Jun 5, 2011_______43.3%_______43.2%
Mon, Jun 6, 2011_______42.9%_______43.1%
Tue, Jun 7, 2011_______42.5%_______43.0%
Wed, Jun 8, 2011_______42.9%_______43.0%
Thu, Jun 9, 2011_______42.8%_______43.0%
Fri, Jun 10, 2011_______42.9%_______42.9%
Sat, Jun 11, 2011_______43.0%_______42.9%
Sun, Jun 12, 2011_______43.0%_______42.9%
Mon, Jun 13, 2011_______43.0%_______42.9%
Tue, Jun 14, 2011_______42.5%_______42.9%
Wed, Jun 15, 2011_______42.4%_______42.8%
Thu, Jun 16, 2011_______42.6%_______42.8%
Fri, Jun 17, 2011_______42.6%_______42.7%
Sat, Jun 18, 2011_______42.8%_______42.7%
Sun, Jun 19, 2011_______42.4%_______42.6%
Mon, Jun 20, 2011_______42.1%_______42.5%
Tue, Jun 21, 2011_______42.7%_______42.5%
Wed, Jun 22, 2011_______42.2%_______42.5%
Thu, Jun 23, 2011_______42.5%_______42.5%
Fri, Jun 24, 2011_______42.1%_______42.4%
Sat, Jun 25, 2011_______42.2%_______42.3%
Sun, Jun 26, 2011_______42.3%_______42.3%
Mon, Jun 27, 2011_______42.0%_______42.3%
Tue, Jun 28, 2011_______42.0%_______42.2%
Wed, Jun 29, 2011_______42.0%_______42.2%
Thu, Jun 30, 2011_______42.4%_______42.1%
Fri, Jul 1, 2011_______42.2%_______42.2%
Sat, Jul 2, 2011_______42.2%_______42.2%
Sun, Jul 3, 2011_______42.0%_______42.1%
Mon, Jul 4, 2011_______42.0%_______42.1%

Mara Rozitis 07-04-2011 05:23 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Thanks for sharing your journey here, Luke. It is certainly inspiring. I also started at around 42% bodyfat a few years ago. Unfortunately, I haven't kept very good records like you are. My progress is also a lot slower. I did, however, get some pictures taken last year before I started CrossFit. I was in a sports bra and tiny shorts, and I get them redone every now and then, and that is the best tool I have to keep me motivated. I can say it was scarier than hell at first. I have never bared my midriff in public before, much less had a semi-naked photo taken. Since I'm single at the moment, I get friends or the trainer at the gym to take them. Now I find it rather freeing. And, even when the scale doesn't move, I can look at those pictures and rejoice.

I am curious about your decision to drop your body fat so low before you start strength training. I would strongly recommend you do some CrossFit as soon as you are physically able to, and I would guess that would be soon, as long as you scale appropriately. While you won't get the strength results that you would with SS and GOMAD, you will certainly get stronger and fitter. And it will change your life and your attitude towards your body. I am truly amazed at what my 230+ lb female body can do and how much better it looks after a year of CrossFit. I no longer look at my body and cringe. I look at it and think, wow, I just ran a 9:40 mile or snatched 95 lbs. What will I be able to do next week? Next year?

Luke Seubert 07-05-2011 03:56 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
The Colorful Way to Eat a Wide Variety of Fruits and Vegetables

They, whoever "they" are, always say, "Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables." OK, fine. Good advice. But how?

One way to ensure that you eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is by organizing them into color groups, and eating from each of the color groups each day. As goofy as this may sound, it is actually very good nutritional advice. Check out the following pamphlet about color cordinating your veggie and fruit eating and the nutritional science behind it, available as a webpage and also as a pdf file (Both WFS).

You simply categorize your fruits and vegetables into Green, Red, Blue-Purple-Black, White-Tan-Brown, and Yellow-Orange color groups. Then, make sure you eat at least one color group each day, preferably more if you are into a really wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Mix and vary the choices you make from day to day, and you will automatically be following that excellent advice, "Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables."

Below are listings for the different color groups and fruits and vegetables. I have included some additional data with each listed item - Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load for a 100g serving. For those who want to watch their G.I. and G.L. consumption, this information should prove most useful. The following webpages were highly useful in researching this data:
Green Vegetables with G.I. and 100g G.L.
  • Artichoke, Boiled - 15 - 3
  • Asparagus, Boiled - 15 - 2
  • Broccoli, Boiled - 15 - 2
  • Brussels Sprouts, Boiled - 15 - 3
  • Cabbage, Raw - 15 - 2
  • Cabbage, Boiled - 15 - 2
  • Celery, Raw - 15 - 1
  • Chayote, Boiled - 15 - 1
  • Cucumbers, Raw - 15 - 1
  • Green Beans, Boiled - 15 - 2
  • Leeks, Boiled - 15 - 2
  • Okra, Boiled - 15 - 2
  • Scallions, Raw - 15 - 3
  • Snow/Sugar Snap Peas, Boiled - 15 - 3
  • Sweet Peppers, Raw - 15 - 1
  • Zucchini, Boiled - 15 - 1

Green Fruits with G.I. and 100g G.L.
  • Apples, Raw - 38 - 3
  • Grapes, Raw - 43 - 7
  • Honeydew Melons, Raw - 65 - 3
  • Kiwifruit, Raw - 58 - 6
  • Limes, Raw - 15 - 2
  • Pears, Raw - 39 - 5

Red Vegetables with G.I. and 100g G.L.
  • Beetroot, Boiled - 64 - 5
  • Cabbage, Raw - 15 - 3
  • Chili Peppers - 15 - 4
  • Onion, Sauteed - 15 - 2
  • Radishes - 15 - 1
  • Rhubarb, Raw - 15 - 1
  • Sweet Peppers, Raw - 15 - 2

Red Fruits with G.I. and 100g G.L.
  • Apples, Raw - 38 - 3
  • Blood Oranges - 42 - 3
  • Cherries, Sweet, Raw - 63 - 5
  • Cherries, Sour, Raw - 22 - 4
  • Cranberries - 45 - 4
  • Grapefruit - 25 - 3
  • Grapes - 43 - 7
  • Papaya - 59 - 2
  • Pears - 39 - 5
  • Pomegranates - 67 - 6
  • Raspberries - 40 - 2
  • Strawberries - 40 - 2
  • Tomatoes - 38 - 1
  • Watermelon - 76 - 4

Blue-Purple-Black with G.I. and 100g G.L.
  • Asparagus, Boiled - 15 - 2
  • Cabbage, Raw - 15 - 3
  • Cabbage, Boiled - 15 - 1
  • Carrots, Raw - 16 - 1
  • Carrots, Boiled - 33 - 2
  • Eggplant, Boiled - 15 - 2
  • Onion, Sauteed - 15 - 2
  • Sweet Peppers, Raw - 15 - 2

Blue-Purple-Black Fruits with G.I. and 100g G.L.
  • Blackberries, Raw - 40 - 3
  • Blueberries, Raw - 53 - 5
  • Figs, Dried - 61 - 30
  • Grapes - 59 - 9
  • Plums - 39 - 5
  • Pomegranates - 67 - 6
  • Prunes - 29 - 17
  • Raisins - 54 - 40

White-Tan-Brown Vegetables with G.I. and 100g G.L.
  • Asparagus, Boiled - 15 - 2
  • Cauliflower, Boiled - 15 - 2
  • Celeriac - 20 - 2
  • Garlic - 15 - 1
  • Ginger - 15 - 7
  • Jicama - 15 - 3
  • Mushrooms - 15 - 2
  • Onion, Sauteed - 15 - 2
  • Parsnips, Boiled - 52 - 6
  • Shallots - 15 - 1
  • Turnips - 20 - 1

White-Tan-Brown Fruits with G.I. and 100g G.L.
  • Bananas - 52 - 8
  • Dates - 50 - 39
  • Nectarines - 43 - 3
  • Peaches - 42 - 3
  • Pears - 39 - 5

Yellow-Orange Vegetables with G.I. and 100g G.L.
  • Beets - 64 - 4
  • Butternut Squash - 41 - 4
  • Carrots, Raw - 16 - 1
  • Carrots, Boiled - 33 - 2
  • Onion, Sauteed - 15 - 2
  • Pumpkin - 66 - 1
  • Rutabagas - 72 - 3
  • Summer Squash - 15 - 1
  • Sweet Peppers, Raw - 15 - 2
  • Sweet Potatoes, Boiled with skin - 50 - 7
  • Winter Squash - 41 - 2

Yellow-Orange Fruit with G.I. and 100g G.L.
  • Apples, Raw - 38 - 3
  • Apricots - 46 - 4
  • Cantaloupe - 65 - 3
  • Figs - 61 - 30
  • Golden Kiwifruit - 58 - 6
  • Grapefruit - 25 - 3
  • Lemon - 15 - 2
  • Mangoes - 51 - 5
  • Nectarines - 50 - 3
  • Papayas - 59 - 2
  • Peaches - 42 - 3
  • Pears - 39 - 5
  • Pineapples - 59 - 3
  • Tangerines - 42 - 4
  • Tomatoes - 38 - 1
  • Watermelon - 76 - 4

Luke Seubert 07-05-2011 04:15 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mara Rozitis (Post 956405)
Thanks for sharing your journey here, Luke. It is certainly inspiring. I also started at around 42% bodyfat a few years ago. Unfortunately, I haven't kept very good records like you are. My progress is also a lot slower. I did, however, get some pictures taken last year before I started CrossFit. I was in a sports bra and tiny shorts, and I get them redone every now and then, and that is the best tool I have to keep me motivated. I can say it was scarier than hell at first. I have never bared my midriff in public before, much less had a semi-naked photo taken. Since I'm single at the moment, I get friends or the trainer at the gym to take them. Now I find it rather freeing. And, even when the scale doesn't move, I can look at those pictures and rejoice.

Thanks for the encouragement and support Mara, I appreciate it. Yeah, it is a long journey. Mine actually began at around 48% to 49% BFC. My Omron might now be reading 42%, but my real BFC is probably around 45% to 46%. The Omron is off by that much in comparison to hydrostatic immersion testing. One of these days, I'll have to repeat that test, or find a bodpod somewhere nearby.

I forgot to take photos when I began. Thanks to your reminder, I'll do that now and use that to likewise track progress. This is a good idea you contributed. Many thanks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mara Rozitis (Post 956405)
I am curious about your decision to drop your body fat so low before you start strength training. I would strongly recommend you do some CrossFit as soon as you are physically able to, and I would guess that would be soon, as long as you scale appropriately. While you won't get the strength results that you would with SS and GOMAD, you will certainly get stronger and fitter. And it will change your life and your attitude towards your body. I am truly amazed at what my 230+ lb female body can do and how much better it looks after a year of CrossFit. I no longer look at my body and cringe. I look at it and think, wow, I just ran a 9:40 mile or snatched 95 lbs. What will I be able to do next week? Next year?

Mara, your advice to begin CrossFitting before I lose all the fat is advice I might wind up taking. For now, my plan is otherwise, but I am sufficiently flexible of mind to adapt my plan as circumstances warrant.

However, my rationale for dropping most of the fat before exercising is fairly sound. First off, like many severely or morbidly obese people, I have yo-yo'd in my weight before this, taking off many pounds, only to slowly put them back on again. I need to end that pattern. One way for me to do that is to take the fat off once and for all, then switch over to a training diet, and begin Starting Strength followed by CrossFitting.

I acknowledge that 10% BFC might be too difficult a goal for me to hit, for now. I might not have the genes to go so lean, or, I might not be able to accomplish it just through diet, but instead require diet and vigorous exercise together as you suggest. However, even if I fall short of the ambitious and perhaps overreaching goal of 10% BFC, and only hit 13%, 15%, or 18% before I begin weightlifting... even in falling short of my goal, I will still have accomplished mighty things. For this reason, I like setting tough and difficult goals.

Finally, I have two reasons for doing Starting Strength before taking up formal CrossFitting. From what I have read, a lot of unconditioned CrossFit newbies report that their biggest area of weakness is strength, and a lot of folks thus recommend Starting Strength or one of the other introductory lifting programs. Also, having lost a great deal of fat, I will have inevitably also lost some muscle, and after so long a period of dieting, lost some strength as well. I will need to rebuild that muscle and strength a bit to recover from the diet.

However, Mara, fear not - I don't plan to be entirely sedentary as I lose the fat. Already, my mental and physical energy levels are up, compared to before I began the diet. I move around a lot more during the day and do more physical tasks. I am taking long walks again, and enjoying them. As the fat comes off, I will increase my activity levels and caloric intake commensurately.

Arturo Garcia 07-05-2011 09:00 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Luke, I want to echo Mara's thoughts on this.

Remember I also told you when I lost weight by eating pure meat and veggies (I didn't know it at the time, but I was eating low glycemic stuff....), I also did 50-55 minutes of an elliptical machine, 6x/week. A pool of sweat benneath me as I went HARD at it. I thought I was doing great as I lost 40 pounds in 4 months.

The truth is, when I tested myself on strength moves, I was significantly weaker. I was capable of benching 185 for a few reps when I was fat, after that routine I was at about 145, I kid you not. (I tested before and after, but did no strength training during that weightloss). If I could go back, I would have done it VERY differently.

You don't NEED to eat like a maniac and do GOMAD to do Starting Strength, or any other strength program. If your strength levels are at a Newbie stage, or even intermediate, you could probably see strength gains while losing fat. Who knows if muscle mass as well! It's been acknowledged that very untrained individuals can pull this off (add muscle, lose fat), but as you get leaner it can't be continued.

Waiting until you're 10%BF to work on your strength is, in my humble opinion, a mistake. BUT.... shall you choose to take that route I'll still support you. Just keep eating the right foods and the fat will keep melting.

Luke Seubert 07-06-2011 03:48 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Wednesday Weekly Trend and Bodyweight Update

Date: July 6, 2011
Today is the end of Week 9 of my fat loss regimen.
Last Week's Bodyweight Trend: 391.7 lbs
This Week's Bodyweight Trend: 387.4 lbs
Last Week's Bodyweight: 385.8 lbs
This Week's Bodyweight: 382.0 lbs
Beginning Date for Bodyweight Measurements - May 4, 2011 - Bodyweight: 425.6 lbs
Total Bodyweight Trend Lost to Date: 38.2 lbs
Total Bodyweight Lost to Date: 43.6 lbs

This was a pretty steady and successful week, going by the Bodyweight Trend. I stuck to my diet fairly closely from day to day, although I had two free meals instead of one - but I counted the calories and adjusted accordingly. Oh, and for the record - I don't care for the aftereffects of Big Macs anymore. While they still taste good, which I can't say about ordinary pizza, they leave me groggy and muddle-headed. Whether this effect is real or in my head or both, I neither know nor care. In the future, I think I'll stick with high-cacao chocolate for my free meals, and maybe spread it out over the course of a day. Chocolate retains its wonderful flavor since the diet began. Indeed, its flavor is now more intense. Plus, it doesn't have strange aftereffects on my metabolism. Anyway, it has been another solid week in the PaleoZone. The Bodyweight Trend is going well, my body measurement loss rate has picked up, but my Omron BFC loss rate seems to be slowing. Hmmm. Something to think about. I'll have more thoughts on that after I have collected another week and a half's worth of data.

Bodyweight and Trend for the Past Week
The Trend listed below is an exponential moving average with 10% smoothing. It tends to overstate current bodyweight as it lags behind the real data, but it smooths out erratic bodyweight readings and shows the actual bodyweight loss rate over time. An explanation of the "Trend" calculation's utility may be found in my previous post, "Turning Bodyweight Into A Semi-Useful Metric" (WFS).

______Date________Bodyweight_________Trend
Wed, Jun 29, 2011_______385.8 lbs_______391.7 lbs
Thu, Jun 30, 2011_______386.2 lbs_______391.2 lbs
Fri, Jul 1, 2011_______385.6 lbs_______390.6 lbs
Sat, Jul 2, 2011_______382.8 lbs_______389.8 lbs
Sun, Jul 3, 2011_______384.4 lbs_______389.3 lbs
Mon, Jul 4, 2011_______382.6 lbs_______388.6 lbs
Tue, Jul 5, 2011_______382.6 lbs_______388.0 lbs
Wed, Jul 6, 2011_______382.0 lbs_______387.4 lbs

Luke Seubert 07-06-2011 04:02 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 956590)
The truth is, when I tested myself on strength moves, I was significantly weaker. I was capable of benching 185 for a few reps when I was fat, after that routine I was at about 145, I kid you not. (I tested before and after, but did no strength training during that weightloss). If I could go back, I would have done it VERY differently.

You don't NEED to eat like a maniac and do GOMAD to do Starting Strength, or any other strength program. If your strength levels are at a Newbie stage, or even intermediate, you could probably see strength gains while losing fat. Who knows if muscle mass as well! It's been acknowledged that very untrained individuals can pull this off (add muscle, lose fat), but as you get leaner it can't be continued.

Waiting until you're 10%BF to work on your strength is, in my humble opinion, a mistake. BUT.... shall you choose to take that route I'll still support you. Just keep eating the right foods and the fat will keep melting.

Thanks for your feedback on this issue Arturo. I am slowly pondering your's and Mara's advice, in conjunction with some other issues. That is after all, part of why I am posting all of this information to the thread - to learn and benefit from the thoughtful critiques of others.

I would ask for your patience though, as I gather just a bit more information. I need another week's worth of Bodyweight Trend to set up a valid 4 week to 4 week weight loss rate comparison, and I would like to get in two more Body Measurements Saturdays as well.

Rest assured, I am not putting you and Mara off. On the contrary, I have been planning on raising the issue of increasing my caloric intake for some time now. I have two posts scheduled that will touch on this issue in coming days, and then a big Sunday post which will hopefully tie it all together. When that day comes, I will integrate your's and Mara's advice to increase exercise, which would definitely require an increase in caloric consumption.

So please stay tuned. Your concerns are being given careful consideration, and will be presented to the larger CrossFit community as part of the questions I need to ask.

Luke Seubert 07-07-2011 03:28 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
The World's Healthiest Foods - A Reference Book Recommendation

If you are looking for an excellent reference book on food and nutrition, I highly recommend picking up a copy of The World's Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating by George Mateljan, Copyright 2007. The book has a supporting website, "World's Healthiest Foods" (WFS), and for those who want to read other reviews of this book, here is the Amazon.com review page (WFS).

TWHF is a mammoth book, coming in at 880 large pages with small type. The book is divided into seven parts of varying length, and includes an extensive index and bibliography. Moreover, the book features over 500 recipes designed for very fast cooking, as well as a FAQ with 60 questions and detailed answers. The heart of the book ranks the world's healthiest foods, based upon nutrient density, and covers the complete range of commonly available foods. Following is a brief description of each part in the book.
  • Part 1: What are the World's Healthiest Foods?
    Prior to this section, there is a precis on how to benefit from the book, acknowledgements, a complete recipe list, and a table of contents for questions of interest - the FAQ. Part 1 itself introduces the World's Healthiest Foods list and the corresponding page numbers for each food. It concludes with an explanation of WHF as a new paradigm for eating and how the WHF help to keep you healthy.


  • Part 2: The Healthiest Way of Eating Plan
    The second section details how to incorporate the WHF into your diet, dividing the plan into two phases. It also features information on incorporating WHF into a weight loss plan. While the book does have a slight anti-fat bias, it does emphasize moderate consumption of low glycemic-index foods as a key means to losing weight.


  • Part 3: Healthiest Way of Cooking
    This section details the best ways to cook foods, with a strong emphasis on meals which are prepared very quickly. It also details how to preserve nutrients when cooking foods, and even enhance them. There are recommendations for cookware and an explanation of why to avoid high temperature cooking.


  • Part 4: The World's Healthiest Foods Support Healthy Cells
    This section presents nutritional information at the microbiological level, discussing how the foods we eat impact the cells in our body. There are a lot of details about the biochemistry of nutrients and how they affect various cellular functions.


  • Part 5: 100 World's Healthiest Foods
    This is the heart of the book. It features extensive and detailed information on 100 specific foods, and many more related foods. It is divided into subsections which include: Vegetables & Salads; Fruits; Fish & Shellfish; Nuts & Seeds; Poultry & Lean Meats; Beans & Legumes; Dairy & Eggs; Whole Grains; and Herbs & Spices.

    Each food entry begins with a nutrient-richness chart detailing the top nutrients provided by that food. There is information about varieties, peak season if applicable, and biochemical considerations. There are detailed sections of the best way to select the food, store it, and prepare it for eating. Additionally, each food entry includes a complete nutritional analysis chart, specific health benefits of the food, and various recipes.

    The amount of information presented in Part 5 is simply staggering. Just about everything you ever wanted to know about a healthy food is available. This information is the key to what makes The World's Healthiest Foods such an outstanding reference work.


  • Part 6: Biochemical Individuality
    This section describes how different foods affect different people. It discusses food allergies, gluten intolerance, and lactose intolerance; as well as nightshades, oxalates; and purines. At the end of the book, on Page 821, is a companion appendix to this section, "Food Sensitivity Elimination Plan", which provides instructions on how to systematically identify which foods you might be sensitive to.


  • Part 7: Health-Promoting Nutrients from the World's Healthiest Foods
    This section has over 30 chapters with detailed information about all of the major nutrients essential for good health. Each entry identifies which foods are most abundant with the nutrient in question, and what functions the nutrient supports. There is information about the impact of processing, storing, and cooking on the nutrient, along with public health recommendations from multiple sources for recommended daily allowances. Additional sections detail how the nutrient promotes health, and the causes and symptoms of nutrient deficiency, as well as excess.
The book concludes with sections on the quality rating system methodology, how eating healthy benefits dealing with various diseases, and food sensitivities. There is an extensive reference section, index, and bio about the author, his foundation, a website supporting the book, and finally.... a shopping list.

For those interested in healthy eating, I highly recommend The World's Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating as an excellent, exceptionally informative, and very thorough reference work.

Luke Seubert 07-08-2011 08:05 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
5 Attachment(s)
So, What Does A Typical Daily Menu Look Like?
Based in part upon a request from a reader of this thread, I am posting some information about a typical daily menu on my PaleoZone diet. Below are the descriptions of the meals I ate on Sunday, July 3, 2011 - a mostly typical day in the PaleoZone. (At the very end are some photos of each of the meals.) Following the descriptions is some nutritional information. Please note that Dark Leafy Greens are made up of equal parts of steamed Spinach, Red Swiss Chard, Kale, and Collards; and that EVO is Rachel-Ray-speak for Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Meal Descriptions (See Corresponding Photos at End of Post)

Meal #1
  • 87 g Pork Tenderloin
  • 227 g Broccoli
  • 80 g Dark Leafy Greens
  • 1 1/2 tsp EVO
  • 9 g Almonds
  • Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herbs
Meal #2
  • 83 g Turkey
  • 415 g Tomatoes
  • 80 g Dark Leafy Greens
  • 3 tsp EVO
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Lemon-Pepper Mix
Meal #3
  • 122 g Shrimp
  • 415 g Zucchini
  • 80 g Dark Leafy Greens
  • 1 tsp EVO
  • 14 g Walnuts
  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Dill Weed
Meal #4
  • 71 g Beef
  • 230 g Brussels Sprouts
  • 80 g Leafy Greens
  • 2 tsp EVO
  • 2 Cloves of Minced Garlic
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
Meal #5
  • 102 g Pork Tenderloin
  • 198 g Carrots
  • 80 g Dark Leafy Greens
  • 1 tsp EVO
  • 9 g Almonds
  • 7 g Walnuts
  • Lemon-Pepper Mix
Meal #6
  • 75 g Turkey
  • 108 g Portobello Mushrooms
  • 108 g Red Onions
  • 80 g Dark Leafy Greens
  • 3 tsp EVO
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herbs

Reflections on Nutrition
Total Meat: 540 grams, or 1 pound, 3 ounces
Total Vegetables: 2180 grams, or 4 pounds, 13 ounces
Total Added Fats: 11.5 teaspoons EVO, 18 grams almonds, 21 grams walnuts

At the present time, I consume roughly 2,100 calories per day. (I might be bumping this up in the near future - not sure yet.) As per the Zone Diet recommendations, I eat 6 small meals each day, beginning just after waking up until just before going to sleep. I try to drink a quart of water about half and hour before each meal, but I don't always manage to time things so neatly.

Each meal contains approximately 350 calories, with roughly 30 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbohydrate, and 17 grams of fat. These meals come fairly close to the following macronutrient ratios - P:C:F::35%:22%:43%. Sometimes I go over on the fat a bit, but I usually keep the protein to carbohydrate ratio somewhere around 3 to 2. This is lower than the standard Zone Diet recommendation of 3 to 4, but given my "Metabolism B" sensitivity to carbohydrates, this is a reasonable alteration. To make sure I get all the nutrients I need which are available from plant foods, I only eat very low Glycemic Index fruits and vegetables. These vegetables are very nutrient dense, but not at all calorie dense. Finally, with each meal I take one large fish oil capsule, which is also a recommendation of the Zone Diet.

When planning my meals, I always strive for a wide variety of foods consumed throughout the day, as well as from one day to the next. I try not to keep eating the same things day to day. I have a set of index cards on which I keep my meal recipes. Each evening, I sort through the recipe cards, and picking my meals for the next day. Thus, daily meal planning only takes a minute or two. Now, putting together those recipe cards, and doing all the calculations for each meal - that takes a lot of time and work. But, once done, everything is now fast and easy.

And yes, I do weigh and measure everything. This might sound like a terrible burden, but it can actually be very fast. I have a small digital scale with a tare function, and one small plastic container for measuring meat and one large plastic dish for measuring fruits and veggies. I pull my items out of the refrigerator, placing them on the adjacent countertop where I keep the scale. I measure out the foods by grams for the meal, according to the recipe card posted on the side of the fridge. I wash the foods if need be, chop on the cutting board, and cook them. The oils I measure out to the nearest 1/2 teaspoon, which I usually add when the cooking is complete. With practice, all this weighing and measuring becomes second nature and is very quick. Moreover, it helps to ensure that I am staying on my diet with a fair amount of precision, and that I am getting all the nutrients my body needs. Finally, it is great training for learning to accurately estimate food quantities, for those times when I have to eat out in restaurants or with friends.

In conclusion, please note that this is a diet intended strictly for fat loss for a sedentary person. If I were exercising more, I would eat more calories, and my macronutrient ratios might be different.

Nutrient Analysis
I develop and store all of my meal recipes at NutritionData.self.com (WFS). Among many other things, this website allows me to set up personalized nutrient requirements specific to my sex and age. I can then transfer my recipes into the website's Tracking function, for nutrient analysis. Below is some information about how this particular day's nutritional breakdown. Please note that I consume two 50 gram servings of calf liver each week, in addition to my daily meals. This analysis reflects the added nutrients of this food, but averaged out over the course of the seven days in each week.

Macronutrients and Miscellany
2101 Calories
Proteins: 34% of total calories, 721 calories, 184 grams
Carbohydrates: 22% of total calories, 454 calories, 120 grams total
Fats: 44% of total calories, 926 calories, 105 grams

45 grams dietary fiber

Total Fats: 105 grams
Saturated Fat: 20.1 grams, 19% of total
Monosaturated Fat: 62.0 grams, 59% of total
Polyunsaturated Fat: 16.3 grams, 16% of total
Trans Fat: 0.1 grams
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 4377 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 10624 mg
Cholesterol: 665 mg
Phytosterols: 213 mg
(Note that both saturated fat and cholesterol are much higher than normal due to the shrimp, which I usually only eat twice per week. Also, I enjoy a healthy 2.4 to 1, Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio.)

Fullness Factor: 3.0 out of 5
Nutrient Density Factor: 4.5 out of 5

Estimated Glycemic Load: 44 (Typical target load is 100 or less per day)
Inflammation Factor: 2,478 - Strongly anti-inflammatory (Typical target is 50/day or higher)

Nutrient Balance Completeness Score: 86 - Excellent
Amino Acid Score: 137 - Superior

Vitamins
Nutrient: Quantity____% Daily Value
Vitamin A: 102984 IU_____ 2060%
Vitamin C: 482 mg_____ 357%
Vitamin D: 0.0 mg_____ I get this from spending time in the sunshine
Vitamin E: 28.8 mg_____ 125%
Vitakin K: 3261 mcg_____ 1811%
Thimin: 3.2 mg_____ 179%
Riboflavin: 3.6 mg_____ 179%
Niacin: 49.1 mg_____ 204%
Vitamin B6: 5.5 mg_____ 212%
Folate: 969 mcg_____ 242%
Vitamin B12: 15.2 mcg_____ 253%
Pantothenic Acid: 11.2 mg_____ 112%
Choline: 820 mg
Betaine: 729 mg

Minerals
Nutrient: Quantity____% Daily Value
Calcium: 941 mg_____ 94%
Iron: 30.2 mg_____ 168%
Magnesium: 688 mg_____ 109%
Phosphorus: 2196 mg_____ 146%
Potassium: 7938 mg_____ 113%
Sodium: 1180 mg_____ 118%
Zinc: 23.5 mg_____ 138%
Copper: 5.1 mg_____ 170%
Manganese: 5.4 mg_____ 155%
Selenium: 242 mcg_____ 291%
Fluoride: 159 mcg

There are a few nutrients that I struggle to keep up with. Calcium is one of them, although thanks to various benefits of the Paleo diet, the bio-availability of the calcium I do consume is much higher than for the Standard American Diet. So I am not so worried about coming in at just under 100% on this vital mineral. That said, were I to begin rigorous exercise, I would switch to a Lacto-Paleo diet, in part for the much needed calcium. Magnesium is another close one for me, but I am comfortable with its intake levels for the same reason I am with calcium. Pantothenic Acid is a challenge, and I make sure to eat plenty of mushrooms throughout the week, as they are a very good source. That said, I am doing very well with all my other nutrients, most especially a fine Potassium to Sodium Ratio of 6.7 to 1.

Note
The 6th meal photo will be uploaded in the next post, due to the five photo limit imposed by the messageboard software.

Luke Seubert 07-08-2011 08:07 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
1 Attachment(s)
The 6th Photo from the Previous Post

Meal #6
  • 75 g Turkey
  • 108 g Portobello Mushrooms
  • 108 g Red Onions
  • 80 g Dark Leafy Greens
  • 3 tsp EVO
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herbs

Luke Seubert 07-09-2011 04:29 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Saturday Weekly Body Measurements Update

Date: July 9, 2011
Last Week's Total Body Measurement: 964.0 cm
This Week's Total Body Measurement: 964.0 cm
Beginning Date for Body Measurements - May 14, 2011 - Total Body Measurements: 1009.5
Total Centimeters Lost to Date: 45.5 cm

Without question, this is the most disappointing week to date for body measurements. In past weeks, I always lost between 5.5 cm and 7.0 cm. This week, I lost nothing. A scattering of measurements went down a little bit, and a few went up. Most unusual.

Why did this happen? Well, my bodyweight has been plateauing, so a big part of this is that I am not losing fat. We can attribute that to my excessively large "free meal" early in the week, a pint of Ben & Jerry's. Oh, the price we pay for those extra generous rewards we give to ourselves. In the coming week, I will simply stick to my eating plan and be satisfied with that.

Also, for the past two days, I have gone out walking and sunbathing. Between those two activities, I might be retaining some water I otherwise wouldn't inside worked muscles and slightly sunburned skin. I don't know. If that reason sounds kinda lame to you, I would have to agree. Still, I do wonder. Late next week, I'll back off the exercise and sunshine, and see what happens.

So far, this week seems to be a setback. I will redouble my efforts on the diet and skip the free meals this week, and see about breaking through these plateaus.

Body Measurements for Last Week and This Week
An explanation about "Total Body Measurements" and how I use body measurements to assess fat loss over time may be found in my previous post, "The Humble Tape Measure: Simple But Oh So Useful" (WFS).

Right Thigh: 68.5 cm, 69.0 cm
Right Calf: 51.5 cm, 51.0 cm
Right Ankle: 28.5 cm, 27.5 cm

Left Thigh: 72.5 cm, 71.0 cm
Left Calf: 52.0 cm, 52.0 cm
Left Ankle: 29.0 cm, 28.0 cm

Right Arm: 38.0 cm, 39.0 cm
Right Forearm: 34.0 cm, 34.0 cm
Right Wrist: 20.5 cm, 20.0 cm

Left Arm: 41.5 cm, 43.5 cm
Left Forearm: 35.0 cm, 34.0 cm
Left Wrist: 20.0 cm, 20.0 cm

Neck: 45.0 cm, 45.5 cm
Chest: 143.5 cm, 145.0 cm
Waist: 158.0 cm, 159.0 cm
Hips: 126.5 cm, 125.5 cm

Luke Seubert 07-11-2011 04:11 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Monday Weekly Body Fat Composition Update

Date: July 11, 2011
BFC Average 2 Weeks Ago: 42.3% (Approximately 4% understated compared to hydrostatic immersion)
BFC Average 1 Week Ago: 42.1%
Current BFC Average: 41.9%
Beginning Date for BFC - May 4, 2011 - BFC Average Then: 44.6% (Approximately 4% understated compared to hydrostatic immersion)
Total BFC Average Lost to Date: 2.7%

My BFC continued its gradual decline this week, overall. That is part of the problem - the decline is too gradual vis a vis my bodyweight loss rates. I think I am burning too much muscle and not enough fat. Some exercise leading up to the weekend seemed to help, as the readings dropped nicely over the weekend, even with the loss of bodyweight and my breaking through the 382 plateau. Usually, when I drop down a few pounds, the Omron ticks up by a tenth or so. Also, I discovered the rolling the wrists forward or backwards can alter the reading. Rolling them forward can kick it up by 0.1% while rolling them back drops it by around 0.1%. At some point, I will probably just take all my readings with rolled back wrists, but for now, I am trying to keep a neutral wrist position. Chalk another finicky usage trait up to the Omron.

BFC Readings and Average For The Past Two Weeks
The BFC Average listed below is a simple 7 day moving average. It tends to overstate current BFC slightly as it lags behind the real data, but it smooths out erratic BFC readings and shows the actual BFC rate of change over time. Readers curious to know more about how to effectively use an Omron or any other bioelectrical impedance body fat composition meter should read my previous post, "How to Get Semi-Useful Body Fat Composition Data Out of a Bioelectrical Impedance Analyzer" (WFS).


__Date_______BFC Reading_____BFC Average
Mon, Jun 27, 2011_______42.0%_______42.3%
Tue, Jun 28, 2011_______42.0%_______42.2%
Wed, Jun 29, 2011_______42.0%_______42.2%
Thu, Jun 30, 2011_______42.4%_______42.1%
Fri, Jul 01, 2011_______42.2%_______42.2%
Sat, Jul 02, 2011_______42.2%_______42.2%
Sun, Jul 03, 2011_______42.0%_______42.1%
Mon, Jul 04, 2011_______42.0%_______42.1%
Tue, Jul 05, 2011_______42.0%_______42.1%
Wed, Jul 06, 2011_______41.9%_______42.1%
Thu, Jul 07, 2011_______41.9%_______42.0%
Fri, Jul 08, 2011_______41.8%_______42.0%
Sat, Jul 09, 2011_______42.1%_______42.0%
Sun, Jul 10, 2011_______41.9%_______41.9%
Mon, Jul 11, 2011_______41.7%_______41.9%

Luke Seubert 07-11-2011 10:34 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
The Three Metric Amigos - The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum
To help me track the progress of my fat loss, I use three metrics: bodyweight, body measurements, and body fat composition (All WFS). As I pointed out in the linked posts about each of them, they all have their flaws as fat loss metrics. However, when looked at together, and over time, they can help suss out fairly accurately what is going on with respect to fat loss.

For example, I have been consistently losing just over four pounds a week for almost 10 weeks now. That is a very fast rate of weight loss. Perhaps it is too fast, given that my caloric intake each day is 2,100 calories, which is quite low for a man of my age and size.

What do the other metrics say? Looking at my body measurements, I see a mostly steady decline week-to-week. However, the rate of decline is gradually slowing over the past two months. I am not losing as many inches now as I was losing two months ago. If I am losing fat at a steady rate, especially around my belly where most of it is, then as my belly circumference gets smaller, the rate of loss each week should slowly go up. Think of my belly as a sphere or a cylinder. Subtract a volume of air from it at a steady rate. The rate of decrease in circumference should accelerate over time. It is a simple differential calculus problem. But... my measurements are doing the opposite.

Likewise, my body fat composition rate of loss is slowly declining. While the Omron has its problems with respect to accuracy, if used very consistently day to day, it can be fairly precise. Tracking a moving average of the Omron's data over time should yield fairly consistent and reliable results. Like my body measurements, my rate of body fat composition loss should increase slightly over time. Instead, my rate of body fat composition loss is slowly decreasing.

The body measurements and body fat composition measurements, combined with my bodyweight measurements, strongly suggest that while I am losing bodyweight at a steady rate, over time I am losing more muscle and less fat. Since the goal is fat loss, followed by a vigorous fitness program, I need to change my fat loss regimen. My new goal is to lose fat at a faster rate, while slowing and maybe even stopping the rate of muscle loss. I will be following up on this issue in the coming week with additional informative posts, and then a post in which I pose the question how best to accomplish this new goal.

Meanwhile, thanks to the Three Metric Amigos - bodyweight, body measurements, and body fat composition; I have enough quality data to discover such problems, analyze them, develop remedies, implement them, and verify that the remedies worked. This is why I go to the bother each day and each week of tracking this data and analyzing it in a spreadsheet. And I would recommend the same process for other folks like me who are severely or morbidly obese. When you need to lose not just a few dozen pounds, but maybe a few hundred; and you are in for a long, slow, slog of a fat loss regimen; you have to watch your health and your fat loss versus muscle loss more closely. More so, anyway, compared to those who are merely overweight or slightly obese. Truly, the Three Metric Amigos are your good friends.

Luke Seubert 07-12-2011 02:47 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Symptoms of Excessive Bodyweight or Muscle Loss
Folks who are severely or morbidly obese, and who undertake a vigorous fat loss regimen, can sometimes go too far and too fast with their weight loss. Losing weight too fast can cause numerous health problems. While remaining overly obese is definitely bad for one's health, so too is too much enthusiasm for rapid weight loss.

For those who are undertaking a serious fat loss regimen, and who expect to be on that regimen for a long period of time, it is wise to carefully monitor your state of well being, keeping a careful eye out for the symptoms of excess dieting, bodyweight loss, and muscle loss. Below are two lists of symptoms to watch out for.

Physiological Symptoms of Excess Dieting
  • Loss of endurance
  • Respiratory problems including decreased oxygen intake
  • Imbalance of electrolytes
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness
  • Heart problems
  • Fainting
  • Loss of muscle mass and strength
  • Muscle soreness
  • Decrease in activity levels
  • Decrease in sex drive
  • Decrease in body temperature
  • Swelling from fluid under the skin
  • Immune deficiency
  • Skin problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Thinning hair
  • Decreased ability to digest food because of lack of digestive acid production
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Anemia

Psychological Symptoms of Excess Dieting
  • Decreased mental energy levels
  • Inability to focus
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Apathy
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Hunger pangs
  • "The Neurotic Triad"
    1. Hypochrondiasis
    2. Depression
    3. Hysteria

My Self-Diagnosis
In my previous post, The Three Metric Amigos - The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum, I discussed how reviewing my bodyweight, body measurements, and body fat composition data over time led me to conclude that I was losing bodyweight too quickly, and losing more muscle mass and not as much fat over time. Since I came to this conclusion, I thought it would be wise to review the symptoms of excess weight loss and evaluate them as they apply to myself. As I go through the lists above, I don't qualify for most of the symptoms, except a few.

Under the list of physiological symptoms, I can cite the following: slight loss of endurance in the past few weeks, some loss of muscle mass in the past month, and a modest decrease in activity levels in recent weeks. In all the other symptoms, I am either the same or actually improved. For example, my respiration and muscle soreness levels are much better since I began the diet. And my overall activity levels are actually up compared to three months ago, before I began this diet.

Reviewing the psychological symptoms, I can cite these few: modest increase in irritability, some tiredness now and then, and in the past few weeks - hunger pangs. In other ways, I am much improved since I began my fat loss regimen. My mental energy is up, as is my ability to focus.

My conclusion? Given the hard data I have collected which shows slow increases in muscle mass loss rate and slow decreases in fat loss rate; combined with the excess dieting symptoms assessment above; I believe that I am losing bodyweight at too fast a rate. The problem is not severe right now, but if I don't resolve it, it could get worse in the months to come. To solve the problem, I need to decrease my muscle mass loss rate, and hopefully increase my fat loss rate.

Stay tuned. Now that the problem is diagnosed, a solution can be devised.

Luke Seubert 07-13-2011 04:29 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Wednesday Weekly Trend and Bodyweight Update
Date: July 13, 2011
Today is the end of Week 10 of my fat loss regimen.

Last Week's Bodyweight Trend: 387.4 lbs
This Week's Bodyweight Trend: 383.9 lbs
Last Week's Bodyweight: 382.0 lbs
This Week's Bodyweight: 378.8 lbs
Beginning Date for Bodyweight Measurements - May 4, 2011 - Bodyweight: 425.6 lbs
Total Bodyweight Trend Lost to Date: 41.7 lbs
Total Bodyweight Lost to Date: 46.8 lbs

This was a mixed week. For a long time - six days - my bodyweight was stuck in the 382's. I finally broke through the plateau, and began dropping again. A large portion of this was my fault - poor choices during two free meals last week - way too many calories and poor quality carbohydrates. The rest though, I am not so sure. I rarely plateau for so long a period of time. Anyway, I now know to avoid Ben & Jerry's on free meal days. I'll stick with really dark chocolate - it tastes great, the fats are healthy, and it is very hard to eat too much - the flavor is too powerful.

My Bodyweight Trend only dropped by 3.5 pounds this week. I am used to 4.1 or 4.2 pounds most weeks. This is what happens when I hit stubborn plateaus. Meanwhile, my body fat composition is dropping again, which is good news. I have been walking more often, and will soon undertake regular exercise. Hopefully my body measurements will show an appreciable drop this coming Saturday. I know I am fitting into some old shirts a lot better than I did.

Finally, some big news is coming up in the next few days. I am very close to hitting a major milestone. When I do, I'll let you know. Stay tuned...

Bodyweight and Trend for the Past Week
The Trend listed below is an exponential moving average with 10% smoothing. It tends to overstate current bodyweight as it lags behind the real data, but it smooths out erratic bodyweight readings and shows the actual bodyweight loss rate over time. An explanation of the "Trend" calculation's utility may be found in my previous post, "Turning Bodyweight Into A Semi-Useful Metric" (WFS).

______Date________Bodyweight_________Trend
Wed, Jul 06, 2011_______382.0 lbs_______387.4 lbs
Thu, Jul 07, 2011_______382.2 lbs_______386.9 lbs
Fri, Jul 08, 2011_______382.0 lbs_______386.4 lbs
Sat, Jul 09, 2011_______382.4 lbs_______386.0 lbs
Sun, Jul 10, 2011_______380.8 lbs_______385.5 lbs
Mon, Jul 11, 2011_______380.2 lbs_______385.0 lbs
Tue, Jul 12, 2011_______380.0 lbs_______384.5 lbs
Wed, Jul 13, 2011_______378.8 lbs_______383.9 lbs

Luke Seubert 07-14-2011 03:52 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
A Lot of Good Little Things
In two of my recent previous posts, The Three Metric Amigos - The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum and Symptoms of Excessive Bodyweight or Muscle Loss (WFS), I detailed some problems I have been having with my fat loss regimen. Now, while those problems are real and need to be addressed, only talking about the problems skews the impression of how things are going overall. So, to correct any misimpressions, this post is devoted to all the good little things that have happened to me since I began my fat loss regimen.

Losing Boyweight
To begin, I have lost over 46 pounds of bodyweight. Yeah, some of that is muscle, but a lot of it is fat. This a one of the good little things indeed. While I have been quite analytical about all this - taking all my measurements, using spreadsheets, etc. - I noticed something interesting the other day. While out and about, I popped into the restroom for a moment, and as I washed my hands, I looked into the large, very full size mirror. I was quite surprised how much I could notice it. I have lost a lot of weight around my neck, shoulders, and upper chest. My stomach too. The small mirror at home doesn't have nearly the same view, and I see myself in it everyday. But this large mirror provided a different perspective, and I can readily see the physical manifestations of all my work and effort at fat loss. Also, I have begun hauling out some old shirts and pants and discovering that they once more fit me well.

Health Improvements
There are many other improvements in my well being. My overall energy levels are up. I am less lethargic and more active throughout the day. Overall, I have more endurance and stamina. I can do more for a longer time throughout the day. I attribute this to a very high quality diet, even if it is very low calorie. I do not get as tired during the day as I did in the past, and I sleep better at night - more completely. I naturally arise earlier in the morning, though I do have to get to sleep a bit earlier too - I really need that full 8 hours.

In the past, I have suffered from slight edema in my feet. Sometimes my feet were a bit swollen, and other times not - the edema came and went. It is now totally gone, and has stayed gone for over two months. Moreover, the pale spots on my feet, sort of like dull pink freckles, are going away; leaving clear, healthy skin behind. I attribute these improvements in lower leg circulation mostly to the fish oil I have been taking, which does a number of good things for the body.

For example, my oxygen uptake is improved. I can now take my mostly-a-mile walk around the neighborhood without breathing heavily, without having to breath through my mouth. Instead, I can breath just through my nose while maintaining a moderate walking pace. Walking up the stairs doesn't leave me breathing through my mouth semi-hard - I breath harder, but through my nose. This is a very nice improvement.

Also, I don't sweat as hard as I used to. Yes, I still sweat, especially if it is hot and muggy outside. However, my sweating has decreased by a modest but definitely noticeable amount. Again, this suggests improved circulation leading to my body's enhanced ability to remove heat without resorting to copious amounts of sweat. Yes, fish oil does many nice things for circulation.

I feel better in other ways as well. My lower back is much improved. In the past, it was very slightly sore and somewhat stiff. Now, I have much better flexibility and almost no soreness. I attribute this to 46 pounds of weight loss and more walking, all of which has helped to strengthen those lower back muscles while easing the chronic stress on them.

There are some small changes too. I don't produce as much earwax as I once did. My nostrils don't gunk up with as much mucous as in the past. My allergy symptoms seem to have decreased, although only going through the next late Spring will confirm this.

Relationship With Food
My relationship with food has definitely changed. Thanks to all the weighing and measuring, I am getting pretty good at estimating portions and controlling them accordingly. Without so much added salt in my diet, I can now savor the natural flavor of foods much more than I could in the past. I can taste subtle nuances in foods like broccoli, and appreciate them more. And now, when I taste restaurant prepared food, I am shocked by how much salt it has. Indeed, licking a fingertip's worth of salt crystals is quite shocking - it now has a very sharp and powerful flavor.

Foods that I once thought I would crave, I no longer do. For sure - surely - I would always crave pizza. But not so much now. The crust of pizza is more like cardboard, and the meats on it too full of salt and odd flavors. The starch doesn't do me any good either. Likewise, hamburgers don't have the appeal I thought they would. They are too salty and the buns make me feel tired and lethargic. While the other flavors are fine, these new drawbacks make this food less appealing to me now. Eating really healthy foods can become its own addiction, a beneficial one.

It All Adds Up
So, all in all, while I have encountered a problem with my fat loss regimen, it is not a severe one; and there are many large and small benefits which, taken together, add up to some major positives.

Luke Seubert 07-14-2011 05:01 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
WOD
More-Or-Less A Flat Mile
Time: 20:17
Average Heart Rate: 141 BPM

Comments
This is the first day in which I am formally exercising and recording results. I will post comments in this thread, as well as track data at WithFit.com. I want to get into the CrossFit 3-Days-On, 1-Day-Off exercise pattern, so this will be the first of three days in a row.

I know that walking 20 minutes isn't exactly a tough CrossFit workout, but given my severe obesity and lack of fitness, I have to start somewhere. So this is my way to scale up my workouts. As my body adapts to 3-On, 1-Off, I will increase the intensity of my walking. I can double the distance, walk on hilly terrain, do a Farmer's Walk, and all other sorts of tougher variations.

Also, I will be doing some weightlifing and metcon. I plan on doing Starting Strength lite - scaled back muscle maintenance version. Also, I am making some medicine balls, and I will be using those for wallballing. And I'm sure I'll add some more exercises as time goes by. For now though, it is weightlifiting, walking, and wallballing.

Personal Record, Thanks to Diet and Fish Oil
I looked over my records from two years back, and discovered that 20:17 is a personal record for me. I was quite surprised by this, because I was walking 20:30's two years ago, but only after some three months of aerboic exercise. Moreover, when I walked those miles back then, I had to breath through my mouth - not hard and fast, but steady and strong. During my walk today, I breathed entirely through my nostrils.

So, I set a personal record despite only having taken maybe half a dozen mile walks in the past 10 weeks, and I did it while respiring through my nose, without light panting through my mouth. Clearly my VO2 Max has improved substantially compared to two years ago, but not due to rigorous exercise. Rather, I attribute this is a high quality PaleoZone diet and regular consumption of 7.2 grams of fish oil every day. Truly, that fish oil is amazing stuff.

Shout Out to Arturo and Mara
Yup, I am taking up your advice to lift weights and exercise as I diet. Thanks for the encouragement and the advice. While I likely would have started exercising more at some point down the road, you two inspired me to get started with it much sooner, no doubt to my benefit. Thank you.

Arturo Garcia 07-14-2011 08:02 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Luke: that's a great choice you're making. If you continued to just walk and diet your way to losing another 100+ pounds... you would have lost a TON of musclemass, that's the truth. Sure you would have lost fat too, but why waste precious muscle mass that you'll then have to gain back? It's a waste of time.

The 3on/1off is tough for untrained individuals. Are you sure about hopping in that wagon so soon? Or are some of these "3 on" days gonna be just the walk? If so, then I'd say go ahead. But be careful, don't try to do too much and start slow.

If you plan to do a metcon (which I think is what you mean by "crossfit style workout"), please be sure to pick movements with the smallest risk of injury while performing them fatigued. Honestly I wouldn't even have you doing metcons just yet. You will eventually one day come to the same conclusion everyone has been getting to lately: strength is king. If you're strong, is much easier to gain "metcon" as the moves in them will be a much smaller percentage of your max. You know.... the old example of the guy trying to improve his Fran time having a 140# 1RM thruster and thinking he needs more "lung capacity" or something... and then comes a guy with a 230# 1RM thruster and smokes his time on the first time trying, despite not training "metcon" before, lol. So I wouldn't worry that much about timed workouts for now because you'll lose so much weight! Just imagine yourself being STRONGER and 50# lighter. Your "metcon" or your "v02 max" or whatever is gonna be much better just because of that, even if you don't train specifically for it.

I'd keep the walks and the weightlifting. If you wanna do wallballs as conditioning that's fine too but like I said, start slow and make sure it's not a movement that could injury you if you perform them while fatigued (form breaks down in metcons... a lot).

You call it "muscle maintenance" but if you're very untrained right now, don't be surprised if you actually GAIN strength (and maybe a bit of mass?) while losing fat. This is possible in untrained fat people and as you get leaner becomes less possible or impossible. But you can pull it off, you'll see. I'm glad you chose to take this route. :)

Luke Seubert 07-14-2011 03:39 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 960473)
The 3on/1off is tough for untrained individuals. Are you sure about hopping in that wagon so soon? Or are some of these "3 on" days gonna be just the walk? If so, then I'd say go ahead. But be careful, don't try to do too much and start slow.

Excellent point, Arturo. I do plan to start slow, with just roughly 1 mile walks each day for those three On days. Over time, I'll expand that with longer distances, hilly up-and-down terrain, and different walks - farmer's, waiter's, deadman, etc.

For now though, I'll keep it simple and just get used to the 3-On, 1-Off, CrossFit workout schedule. I am very serious about eventually Rx'ing the CrossFit Main WODs, and someday CFSB, and so I begin towards that distant destination with simple and modest workouts.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 960473)
I'd keep the walks and the weightlifting. If you wanna do wallballs as conditioning that's fine too but like I said, start slow and make sure it's not a movement that could injury you if you perform them while fatigued (form breaks down in metcons... a lot).

I noted your point about easing into MetCon. Will do. For the simple workout regimen I have put together, for me, MetCon = Wallball. I am putting together some DIY medicine balls, of around 10 pounds and 20 pounds, so I can scale the workout. And I won't jump into Wallballing and try to rip off 150 of them. Rather, I will begin with air squats executed with good form. And then pick up the reps and pace. And then Tabata air squats, and then Tabata with multiple rounds, etc. Once I build a decent base with the air squat, I'll work in the medicine ball and have some fun (and agony?) with that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 960473)
You call it "muscle maintenance" but if you're very untrained right now, don't be surprised if you actually GAIN strength (and maybe a bit of mass?) while losing fat. This is possible in untrained fat people and as you get leaner becomes less possible or impossible. But you can pull it off, you'll see. I'm glad you chose to take this route. :)

Agreed. I wouldn't be surprised if I gain some muscle by doing this. And that is fine, although it is not the major goal at this point. Fat loss remains my highest priority. For now, I just want to minimize muscle loss and increase fitness a bit, by doing some exercise. I'll have to bump up daily caloric intake too, and I very likely will drop my bodyweight loss rate to something slower. That is fine.

Arturo, below is my current rough draft workout schedule. Tell me what you think. Notice that the Starting Strength routines are done 2X per week, rather than 3X, which Rippetoe recommends for middle- aged men like me anyway. Also, I use walking on the 2nd day as a sort of "active rest" day, although as I get fitter, I'll make that workout day more challenging. Finally, note that the air squats/wallballing complement the lower body strength work of the SS routines. SS has lots of squats.

Day 1 - Starting Strength Routine A
Day 2 - Walking and Variations
Day 3 - Air Squats and/or Wallball
Day 4 - Rest
Day 5 - Starting Strength Routine B
Day 6 - Walking and Variations
Day 7 - Air Squats and/or Wallball
Day 8 - Rest
Repeat Cycle

I know this doesn't follow the programming philosophy of CrossFit, but that is not my main goal right now. Must crawl before I can walk before I can run, yes? Also, I might flip the days I do SS with the Wallball days, so that weightlifting comes just before a full rest day. What do you think?


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