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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 07-19-2006, 09:11 PM   #1
Matt Hulbert
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Ok, this is going to be long ... Sorry.

I was diagnosed as being hypoglycemic about 20 years ago (when I was a teen) and diabetes runs in my family.

I ignored it for years and then it occured to me one day that I'd been tired for about 15 years running. Then I started researching this whole hypoglycemia thing that I had been ignoring.

Fast forward to now. I've been eating low-carb for about 5-6 years. I started with Protien Power and have read most everything I could get my hands on ever since. I was eating around 70 net grams carbs a day before starting the Zone.

My blood work a few months ago had me with higher than normal blood sugar. This freaked me out some since I've been eating well for years. Because diabetes runs in my family my doctor hypothosized that I may end up with diabetes regardless of my diet.

I started the zone a couple months ago and I'm not sure it's working out right. I'm really busy between work and kids and all but I think I'm more tired now than I was when I was low carb.

I am interested in Zone for pre-diabetics and Intermittant fasting / diet solutions for people with blood sugar issues.

I'm 5'8" and 175lbs.
I work out with Crossfit 5 days a week or so. I'm just getting going so I can't quite do them as RX'd
My body fat is about 22%

My pre-zone staples are/were: meat (all kinds), full fat yogurt, protien mixes, low-carb tortillas (la tortilla factory, wheat based), cheeses, salads (tons of salads), strawberries, blueberries, fish (mostly white fishes) and lots of nuts, mostly almonds.

Since Zoning I've added zone bars (I know...) Apples, melons (more fruit overall), low carb pasta (found a good brand at Trader Joes), more fruit than I used to eat, oatmeal a few times a week, more protien mix than I used to (like Barry's fruit/protien mix smoothie).

I'm not really doing blocks since I'm already doing grams and tracking my diet with software. I'm doing about 30-35% Protien, 35-40% Carb and 30% fat with around 100 grams protien setting the intake amount.

The net of my diet change from low-carb to Zone is: more fruit, more veggies (about 50 more carb grams a day) and much less fat than before (about 10%).

Any one have tips to help me customize a diet to work for me?
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Old 07-20-2006, 09:41 AM   #2
Greg Battaglia
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Ok, Matt, I'm not a doctor, but I truly believe I can help you with this one. Since you're pre-diabetic I would definitely go back to your low carb ways. It seems evident that you had more nergy and felt better on your low-carb diet, which probably is a result of better glycemic control (blood sugar control). I think that there are a few problems with even your low-carb approach, however. The key to success on a low carb diet is to go paleo and increase fat. This means you need to remove the yogurt, protein powders, torillas (and all other grains), and cheeses. All of these harmful foods may be having a negative effect on your glycemic control. Did the yogurt you were eating have added sugars? Chances are if it did (and it probably did) than you were consuming much more carbs than you had thought. Also, in your case I would eliminate fruit completely. Fruit IS NOT essential. Everything that can be found in fruit is also found in vegetables, minus the high sugar content. I'm like you in that my blood sugar is hard to control. Anything outside of meat, nuts/seeds, and veggies tends to cause problems with my blood sugar. Others can eat tons of carbs and not have problems, but you and I don't have that luxury. My main opinion is that you should throw the Zone diet in the scrap heap and move to a more healthy low-carb approach. Generally, this is what I would do:

Eat:
Fatty cuts of meat and fish(Fat is very important when carbs are minimized, keep it high in your diet or you'll burn out in no time)
Butter and coconut oil for cooking
Nuts/seeds and there butters (watch carbs though)
Vegetables (watch carbs)
Maybe some cultured cheeses if you can tolerate them, but don't go crazy
MAYBE some low GL watery fruits (watermelon, honey dew, etc)

Don't eat:
Any non-paleo food: ALL grains, ALL legumes, and Dairy (unless you can tolerate the dairy and keep it moderate) and obviously no candy or sugar

Excessively salty foods, if you want to flavor up your foods a bit then buy some sea salt and add a little bit just to taste. Don't eat processed meats like sausage, hot dogs, bratwurst, etc.

Tubers, for some they are alright, but for you I can be almost positive they'll be harmful.

Most fruits: You can get everything in fruits from vegetables

I would keep the carb level of your diet in the 60-70 grams/day limit. Just remember Fresh meats (fatty), nuts/seeds, and veggies when you go to the supermarket.

Now, for IF, that really depends on when you workout. Try to base your IF around your workouts. So for instance, if you workout in the evening then I would follow a 20 hr fasting period in which I don't eat anything all day until about 6:00pm and eat all of my calories in a 4 hours time window from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Or if you workout in the morning you could have your last meal at say 6:00pm and then not eat again until 9:00am after your workout. I tend to favor the first approach (20 hours) because it takes maximum adavantage of the adrenal cortical response of IF, meaning you'll feel the alert and energy enhancing effects of IF since most of your fasting takes place while you're awake. With the latter approach you basically sleep through most of your fast. If you don't want to hop into IF cold turkey (and I don't think you should since you have blood sugar issues) then I would start by doing IF only a few days a week and gradually increase the number of days that you are doing it. Or, the approach that I favor more is to start off by fasting everyday right off the bat, but just do short fasts, like 6-8 hours and then add a half hour to an hour of fasting everyday until you reach the desired fasting time. I hope this helped. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:15 AM   #3
Robert Wolf
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Greg coveered it all, nothing to add.
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:48 AM   #4
Robert Alan Moon
 
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Wow guys!
I have been on countless forums asking questions about diabetic eating (I am a type I 30 years running) and I have posed this same question in various ways. It would seem most people are absolutely scared to death to answer a question like that. I guess I am more of a liability since I am Type I with 30 yrs of no immediate care, but the question is the same for the same reasons.
Thanks a million for the response Greg.
I have come to very nearly the same approach to eating just through trial and error over the years. The fruit thing and the dairy mess me up. I love both of these foods, but they mess with my glucose levels terribly. I eat a lot of veggies and a lot of protein rather than as much fat, but the more fat I add and the less carbed up veggies the better my control seems to get. (Not to mention i take a lot less insulin)
Can you or Robb answer this one? When I eat fruits or dairy I almost always experience a drop in blood sugar followed by a severe bounce (We are talking 200 points or more!) Not every time, but sometimes it just falls out to below 40 and I eat a few glucose tabs to get it back up and it just keeps right on climbing. Seems weird to me. I try to avoid the hypos like the plague now as it takes days to get over that bounce sometimes and I feel horrible afterwards.
Matt, good luck with avoiding it buddy. Most of the people I know do not want anything to do with my lifestyle. I take a shot every time I eat and two shots of Lantus each day. Not to mention a blood test with each of those sticks of the needle lol.

Train Hard,
Robert
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:22 AM   #5
Matt Hulbert
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Thanks Greg!

My doctor said I could see a nutritionist but he didn't think I would learn much more than I already know from my research. That didn't leave me with many options -- I've been struggling with it since then, not knowing where to go from here.

The yogurt I've been eat is *only* the kind without sugars (or other thickeners). I usually add stevia or splenda to make it taste better. Is that a bad idea?

I like the light string cheese as a snack. Do you think that could be a problem? I only eat 1-2 oz a day of it (not necessarily every day, though).

It sounds like I should go back to how I was eating before. That's cool, I know how to do that!

I'll have to play with IF. Sometimes I work out in the morning (on days when I have the energy to get up at 5) otherwise I workout around lunch time.

When you say fasting 6-8 hours, I assume you mean waking hours? Obviously when I sleep I'm not eating. Or do you mean to eat breakfast then maybe not eat again until afternoon?

How does IF work compared to grazing every ~3 hours? The two concepts are polar opposites. I've been reading Rob's articles and I understand how it works, I just don't understand how it works with someone with blood sugar issues. Don't you get dizzy and lethargic?

Thanks again.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:29 AM   #6
Greg Battaglia
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Matt, toss the artificial sweeteners (this includes stevia). They tend to still initiate an insulin response despite the fact that they don't contain carbs. You can't get around eating paleo, and sweeteners are NOT paleo. I;d say dump the yogurt all together. How do you feel when you eat the string cheese? If you feel tired or dizzy afterward I would dump it. If you feel fine then stick with it. The fact that your workouts vary might actually be of benefit to you. I think having more of a random IF frequency more accurately mimics the erratic nature of H/G diets/lifestyles. When I say 6-8, yes, I mean waking hours. My opinion is that grazing helps to partially relieve some of the harmful side effects of a high-carbohydrate diet by keeping blood sugar levels more stable. However, since high-carbohydrate diets are not natural to begin with, that sort of throws the whole grazing method out the window. When eating a diet that is lower on the carb side and higher in fat you'll quickly realize that the grazing pattern is not neccessary nor is it practical. Initially, you probably will have some issues with low blood sugar when following IF. This is why I stress that you move slowly into IF. Be gradual and take notice of how you feel. When I first did IF I jumped right into it cold turkey. I had blood sugar problems like you and for the first motnh or so of IF I felt tired, weak, and groggy. I attribute some of this to the fact that I jumped in cold turkey, but it probably didn't help much that I was also still eating a lot of high carb foods while IFing and not much fat. If I was you I would start off by first getting the composition of your diet in place. Do the whole low-carb bit and get things together. (Remember, fat is very important!) When you have a grasp on that, THEN you can move on to IF, but gradually.

Robert, it makes sense that you would have a bout of hypoglycemia after eating dairy or fruit. Fruit is sugary, and therefore would elicit an insulin response which would cause a drop in blood sugar. Although dairy has a very low GI reading, studies have found that it still seems to provoke an insulin release, which would probably explain your hypoglycemia.
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Old 07-21-2006, 12:24 PM   #7
Robert Alan Moon
 
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Thanks Greg,
It sounds weird when I have to inject insulin because my pancreas supposedly doesn't produce insulin, but the more I record what happens when I eat, the more I realize that my body wants to fight with me. I know there are other hormones secreted by the pancreas and I still have the darned thing so it must be doing something regardless of what my doctor tells me eh? I think you are right. Maybe I do have a natural insulin response of some description. I also notice a hyper sensitivity to insulin right after a workout. I know I can eat carbs within an hour or two of a workout and I had best not take any insulin with those carbs. Seems like the body absorbs the energy much better then. I know that is the theory, but it is interesting to see it in practice.
Thanks for the input there.
I totally agree about getting the diet in place before trying anything new also. I have been working to get my diet to agree with my activity levels since January of last year and have honestly just now started seeing real results. I only wish I had come here and read this board sooner. You guys are talking about what I have been doing for 18 months. It's funny how when you are right, you can find info to support it, but when you don't know anything that same info can be hard to find.

Thanks again guys,
Train Hard,
Robert
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Old 07-25-2006, 07:49 AM   #8
Matt Hulbert
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Thanks Greg.

I already feel better after going back to low carb. I find it hard to pin down exactly how my diet effects me. I guess it's because I'm so busy between working out, work and family. It makes it hard to know what 'normal' feels like.

I'll get back on a stable diet and then try some IF and see how it goes.

I'm testing the cheese now. I had some yesterday and got a little foggy in the afternoon. I'm not going to have any today and I'll see how I do.

Yesterday my diet was about 60% fat with ~58 grams of net carbs and 105 grams of protien. Seems about right.

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