Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Results of my Fat Fest Are In

If I listened long enough to you, I'd find a way to believe it's all true. From "Reason to Believe"

At the end of January, I saw my doctor for pain in my shoulder. He examined me and assured me it wasn't injured. Since he rarely sees me, he ordered a blood workup while he had me there. This was about the time I cut out wheat; a month later, I started a low-carb diet. I've read a lot about a low-carb diet not ruining your cholesterol or your waistline, so a few weeks ago, I asked my doctor to order another workup. Here are the before and after results.

BEFORE
January 28, 2010

Typical daily menu:
banana protein shake
cup of caramel corn
one-half baked sweet potato and cottage cheese
turkey sandwich
small salad
one-half apple and low-fat cheese sticks
meatloaf and mashed potatoes
several chocolate candies

Exercise:
Daily workout of either 20-minute high-intensity aerobics or 50-minute weightlifting session (Body for Life)

Weight: 140

Triglycerides: 46
HDL: 42
Total cholesterol: 135
(LDL was calculated, not measured; therefore, I'm not including it because I don't know how accurate the figure is)
Eos (absolute): 0.2
Eos: 4

AFTER
August 20, 2010

Typical daily menu:
nut butter protein shake
chef's salad with 2 boiled eggs, a strip of bacon and full-fat dressing
low-carb protein bar
diet soda
"pizza" (pepperoni, mozzarella, garlic, a little tomato and spices--no crust)
low-carb ice cream
a few chocolate candies

Exercise:
High-intensity, 30-minute weightlifting sessions twice a week (Slow Burn)

Weight: 119

Triglycerides: 46
HDL: 57
Total cholesterol: 140
(Again, LDL was calculated, not measured; therefore, I'm not including it because I don't know how accurate the figure is)
Eos (absolute): .5
Eos: 10

Comments:
On my six-month fat fest, I ate fat and protein until I was full, cut way back on the carbs and the workouts, lost 21 pounds and raised my "good" cholesterol by 15 points. (Cutting down on the sweets had nothing to do with willpower--I'm just not as hungry as often on the low-carb plan.) I feel good, too--my original shoulder complaint is gone.

I wasn't familiar with Eos, but at August 20, they were high. Eos stands for eosinophil. According to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, they're white blood cells "believed to function in allergic responses and in resisting some infections." My doctor remarked that the high level was probably from allergies, but if I had allergies, I didn't notice it.

Conclusion:
The old saw that eating fat makes you fat and raises cholesterol turned out to be partly true: it raised my good cholesterol (HDL). My effortless 21-pound weight loss speaks for itself.

Comments I've read on other low-carb blogs suggest that I'm not metabolically unique. So why do dieticians and most doctors and nurses keep telling us to eat a starchy, sugary diet and avoid fat? I think it's like the Rod Stewart song quoted above: they've listened to the fat-is-bad message so long they've come to believe it.

2 comments:

Erica Gott, aka Erratica said...

Lori, way to go! I stopped eating grains on May 19 of this year and, while I don't know how much weight I've lost, my clothes are now falling off me and I've lost the bloated belly. The pain in my thumb joints is almost gone, and I have very little hip joint pain any more.

Some day the medical community will admit that low carb/high fat is valid. The evidence is mounting up fast; soon that hundredth monkey will present itself and LCHF will become the norm instead of the devil. I'm sure of it.

Lori Miller said...

Erica, that's great. I know how hard it is to avoid grains.

There's a term from dancing that I like to apply to the bottom-up low-carb movement: highjacking the lead.