How I lost weight via a Paleo-Keto Diet
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, I was an avid and exercise buff and weight lifter. I started during high school and continued during my military service. As with most of us during this period, we understood that to get our physical body into the way we wanted such as strength and other physical attributes we needed to lift according to specific muscle groups and force ourselves to become better. The only thing I did not understand back then was the relationship between good fat, carbohydrates, and calories. Today we have a tremendous amount of data, and I know from personal experience that one’s genetics and eating style even if it falls into the governments eating recommendations will most like just make you fat, sick, and reduce your mental acuity.
Today we hear about diets from the paleo-diet communities, and Keto Diet inspired foods from those communities. However, when you actually run tests on yourself and test out their theories, you need to be careful and conscience of health goals or needs. So here is what I found myself and how I used these diets along with my weight lifting plan. First, I didn’t need a scale or a tape measure to know that the years of working in Asia had taken a significant toll on my health. All I had to do is look in the mirror and see the increase in belly fat and know that other conditions would soon follow if I didn’t do something. Second, since the food quality had been top-notch and I did continue my weight lifting at a reduced amount what happened? The answer seemed to be a combination of age, genetics, and increased carbohydrates (rice and noodles). So in 2017, I had my genetics profile checked to confirm my northern Europe family profile and compared it to what I had been eating. Secondly, I got into some anthropology research and found that there have been significant changes via our bone density and tooth decay over the last ten thousand years. Just these two points alone caused me to pause and required a shift into a more paleo-diet with exclusion of all rice and noodles based foods that I had picked up from my time in Asia. Now please keep in mind I was already weight lifting and doing five miles of cardio at this time with no impact on overall weight change in mid-2018.
After several months reducing these Asian based carbohydrates, I did notice a change in blood pressure and what I believed to be small losses of water weight. In December of 2018, I decided to reduce my daily carbohydrates to twenty grams and developed my macro’s to 70% good fat from nuts, cream, avocadoes, and some meat. I did not cut all vegetables but did have servings of broccoli and cauliflower. Protein was at 20%, and carbohydrates would fill in the rest. So how did this change go and what did I see? Week 1- I had a fast water loss of 10 pounds, and blood pressure dropped by about 5 points overall. By week 2 -I had another 5 pounds and started to noticed changes in measurements in my waistline. By January 1st, 2019, weight was slowly coming off, and my gym-based cardio program was getting more comfortable. Thirty days later, on February 1st, another 4% of overall body weight had been dropped. The thing to notice is I had never stopped exercising, and I was not losing any strength in the gym lifting weights, and my mental clarity was better with my body entering a state called Ketosis.
Now lets fast forward by another thirty days and by March 1st where I was only down 1–2 % of body weight but waistline had reduced by about 0.5 inches. It was apparent to me I needed to change things up since my body had started to adapt to the diet changes. This is where I began to eat the same amount of overall calories of 1900 or so but into a shorter eating window. This did prove challenging, and it required me to eat more nuts to get the total calories up for the day. By April 1st another 6% of overall body weight was lost and another 0.5 inches off in the waist. At this time, I was already at the weight before I started my last Asian expat job, and my overall health seemed very good. By May 14th of 2019 another 4% fell off and I was getting worried this was going too far. It was at this point began to eat two meals per day and kept the overall calories the same. I still kept losing weight but at a much-reduced speed with workouts improving all along the way. By July 1st another solid 1.5% of body weight and another 0.5 inches was gone.
Today I continue to follow a Paleo/Keto based diet but make sure to take in extra protein via eggs and protein powders with little to zero carbohydrates inside the protein powder. At this point, I see slower weight loss but with new muscle gains not seen since 2003 timeframe. I look younger and feel great and have had pleasant doctor visits. Now during this whole time, I did take a multivitamin and some supplements to ensure I had proper total nutrition. This entire experience has convinced me that most of us consume way too many carbohydrates, and this is where we need to focus. Sugar is a problem; however, in my case, I don’t even like sweets, so for me, it was not a significant change. It was the potatoes, rice, noodles, and other vegetables that had overloaded my body, and no amount of exercise would help anymore.
In conclusion, I must say that this is not advice, and it is only my personal experience. Genetically we are all different and will react to the changes in diet that I talked about here in many different ways. If done poorly, you could really hurt yourself so be very careful and don’t fall into the psychological trap of thinking you must always drop weight. It’s your overall health, and body fat is lighter than muscle, so make sure you take your measurements where your body fat is an issue. There were times when no changes happened on the scale, but my waistline was down meaning my body was burning fat. Good luck to you if you decide to try this yourself and please consult your doctor.
Logbook Update 09/13/2019
As I agreed to do here is an update and what I have changed since my physical activity has changed. During the month of last June, I increased my weight lifting to the maximum weight I could handle. That means I lowered my reps from 12 to 4-6 reps max most of the time. This caused my muscle fibers to respond and to increase muscle mass. However, for this to continue I needed to be able to take in increase calories and extra carbohydrates from good fat foods. I began adding half and half coffees and mixed nuts without peanuts. This is turn gave me increase energy and I lowered my pants waist size by two inches. I now have to buy clothes each month or they get too baggy and I’m lighter than when I went to Asia to live in 2011.
Now for supplements and Gyms, I use:
I’m a huge fan of Planet Fitness since they are most places I travel and also have some international locations. The cost is low and I can always take a guest for free.
Force Factor King Supreme
Power to Sleep PM
Vitamin C 500mg
Tonalin CLA 1000mg
KRE-Alkalyn Buffered Creatine
Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc with D3
XTend HydraSport BCAAs
PMD ACG3 SuperCharged
Plus Series Carnitine
Now I track everything for my KETO Diet using the Loosit App and even add my exercise time and type. I have it connected to my iPhone step tracker so I have a good idea how things are going.
So As you can see they has been changes and my body is adjusting to the extra carbohydrates and calories overall body fat keeps going down. Now I judging this via my change in clothing sizes and not with an accurate BF measurement. I suppose if I saw many people here commenting and asking questions I might go ahead and start logging the information.
Now quickly here is a list of what I eat most of the time. My goals are to stay at 75% Good Fat and 20% Protein and I do find this difficult but that is why they are called goals. If I feel that I have taken into many carbs during the day I will offset that with another small work out during the week.
Overall my intensity and weight on my major muscle groups has gone up and I hope the military begins to focus on this as a science since when I was in we didn’t fully understand this as we do now.
Now I do measure my ketones using test strips but not as often as I used to. I will be getting my blood work checked and will report back here as to the findings.
So I’m still on track to hit my 220 weight and be at my same weight and muscle mass as when I was a soldier in 1993 and lifted heavyweights back then. I will update this blog report and keep everyone updated. Submit your questions below.
Just a small update to this journal since I did some measurements and found I lost 1 inch around the waist since my last measurements and with some fasting, I kickstarted my ketones a little higher. I have also begun to move away from bulk muscle building and now am to very targeted groups such as biceps, triceps, and legs. Here is a link to a video were an expert details the procedure and styles. I think anyone reading this can benefit from what I have learned and apply these ideas and concepts to your own life while working and traveling.
As of today, I am down 55 pounds and my blood pressure is within normal ranges.
I will most likely continue this conversation via my online blog and update the information later this year at ExploreTraveler.com