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Old 07-03-2011, 04:44 AM   #21
Luke Seubert
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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.
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:58 AM   #22
Luke Seubert
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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%
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:23 PM   #23
Mara Rozitis
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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?
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:56 AM   #24
Luke Seubert
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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
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Grinding off the fat one day at a time, one pound at a time - PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey (WFS)

Last edited by Luke Seubert : 07-05-2011 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:15 AM   #25
Luke Seubert
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Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mara Rozitis View Post
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 View Post
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.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:00 AM   #26
Arturo Garcia
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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.
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:48 AM   #27
Luke Seubert
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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
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:02 AM   #28
Luke Seubert
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Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia View Post
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.
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:28 PM   #29
Luke Seubert
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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.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:05 AM   #30
Luke Seubert
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Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey

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.
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