Low Carb Nugget 64
The main lesson of my diet so far is that weight loss is a complex and perplexing topic. It’s one of the great mysteries of life. But if a method is working for you, stick with it.
Low Carb Nugget 64
“The mystery of weight loss”
This is Episode 64 of the Low Carb Nugget for Tuesday, October 3, 2017. I’m Jim Anderson.
I’m a week in to my Keto Diet Reboot, and things are going reasonably well. I’m blogging about my progress, such as it is, on LifeAfterCarbs.com. Every now and then, I’ll make a report on this podcast, too, such as today.
The main lesson of the diet so far is that weight loss is a complex and perplexing topic. It’s one of the great mysteries of life.
Let me explain. As of today, Tuesday, October 3rd, I’ve lost a total of 2.5 pounds in eight days. However, if you just look at the last week, since Tuesday, September 26, I’ve lost a full three pounds. That’s right. The first day of my Keto Reboot resulted in a gain of half a pound. At the time, I found that discouraging. Now, a week later, I can put it in the perspective of a three pound loss, and I feel a lot better. If I keep up the pace, I’ll be under 200 pounds by Christmas.
I don’t have much confidence that I’ll lose an average three pounds a week over a three month period. Maybe about half that rate is likely, which would still be good.
To try to figure out what’s going on, I took a close look at some of my statistics from last week. I created a table to compare my weight and weight-change on a given day to my consumption the previous day. The table is available in the show notes. It breaks my consumption into fat, net carbs, protein, sodium, and total calories.
Some days my weight was a little up, some days a little down, and some days it stayed even. The question is, do those weight changes correlate with what I consumed in the prior 24 hours?
At first glance, the answer is no, and I’m leaning that way on second glance, too. Admittedly, I did not subject the data to a full-scale mathematical analysis, mostly because I lack expertise in such analysis. I just eyeballed the data closely. Eventually, I reduced my focus to just three dates, hoping that would help.
The three dates were those on which I registered a one pound or more weight loss from the previous day. They were September 27 and 28, and October 1. My weight loss was 1.2 pounds on the 28th, and one pound even on each of the other dates. I didn’t come close to losing a full pound on any other date. So these three seem significant.
Clear-cut patterns are still hard to find.
Take calories. My low was 1442, my high was 1946, and the third number was right in the middle. But I lost weight at all three levels.
Take net carbs. My three totals were 16, 25, and 30 grams consumed. But I lost weight with all three.
Take fat. My three totals were 112, 142 and 170. The 112 was way too low, given that my daily target is 160 grams. But again, I lost weight at all these fat intake levels — high, middle, and low.
Now, take sodium. I include sodium because of its connection to water retention. My three sodium totals range from just over 2,000 mg to just over 2,500 mg. They were all in the middle of the pack — neither the highest or lowest. The totals also do not include salt that I sprinkled on my food. So the numbers are more of relative indicator than absolute. I don’t know what to make of them, except maybe that a moderate sodium intake level is best for me.
Finally, take protein. You may recall that I had a hard time deciding how much protein I should eat. From my research, it seems that a man of my size, age, and activity level should consume a minimum of 82 grams per day. But more might be optimal, and looking at my older data, I lost weight while averaging around 90 to 130 grams per day.
Now, in the first week of my Keto Reboot, I consumed, on average, 81 grams of protein per day. That’s more minimal that optimal. Also, with protein, I’m not sure it’s the daily average that counts because our bodies don’t store protein to meet future needs. Each day’s amount may be crucial.
My actual protein totals for the three weight-loss days were 70, 77, and 82 grams. So I met my minimal needs one day, came close a second day, and was way under the third day. The day I only ate 70 grams of protein was also the day I only ate 112 grams of fat and 1,442 total calories. Maybe on that day, my body consumed some of its lean muscle mass to make ends meet — not what is desired. I need all the muscles I have. But on the other two weight-loss days, that seems less likely.
Two lessons that I take from this analysis are that I should try hard to get at least 82 grams of protein every day, not just on average, and that I should consume a moderate amount of sodium.
Otherwise, the main lesson is still the one I stated at the start. Weight loss is a bit of mystery. But if a method is working for you, stick with it.
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