After one year of daily testing of my weight, blood sugar and blood ketones, my n=1 experiment of the concept known as “nutritional ketosis” has come to an official end. Wow, what a year it has been! Little did I know when I started this personal journey just 12 months ago that it would be such a resounding success on so many levels and helping so many of my readers get back on track again after getting just as frustrated in their low-carb lifestyle as I was. We’re all better now as a result of this great adventure.
Deep down inside I was hoping and praying that I could find a way to get my low-carb plan rolling again for me when it had seemingly stopped working in recent years. What I discovered was that it wasn’t so much that low-carb failed me as much as it was that I was making some key mistakes that needed to be corrected. The changes I made were nuanced, but obviously much more profound than I realized. That’s the biggest lesson I have taken from this experience. Now I’m in a much better place than I was even after my original 180-pound Atkins diet weight loss success. If you missed following my NK experiment over this past year beginning in May 2012, get caught up here: Day 1-30, Day 31-60, Day 61-90, Day 91-120, Day 121-150, 151-180, Day 181-210, Day 211-240, Day 241-270, Day 271-300 and Day 301-330.
Let’s take a look at the guy I was BEFORE I started this experiment in earnest last May. I’ll tell you a secret about this fella: he was not a happy camper at all with where he was physically and emotionally despite seemingly doing all the right things to be at his optimal weight and health:
That was then, but this is now AFTER 12 months of NK:
My Paleo bud Darryl Edwards from “The Fitness Explorer” posted this photo from PaleoFX in March 2012 and then again at PaleoFX in March 2013:
Can you tell I’m just a wee bit different now than I was then? That’d be an understatement! While the weight loss is evident, how about some of the health changes? Look at a recent blood pressure and heart rate reading I had:
Yowsa! Those numbers are pretty stellar and greatly improved from the 160/95 blood pressure and 69 heart rate prior to starting nutritional ketosis. These numbers went from okay to spectacular! They weren’t the only things that got better. Check out what my A1c was just a few weeks ago:
YES! As exciting as the weight loss has been doing this, it’s the health improvements that have made me most proud. Although the official one-year of public updates are over now, I will obviously be continuing to monitor my blood sugar and blood ketones along with other key health tests while continuing to purposely put myself into a state of nutritional ketosis by consuming a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb nutritional approach. When I attended the American Society Of Bariatric Physicians medical conference in San Diego, CA last month, I was able to publicly thank Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek for writing the book that inspired my n=1 called The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. So many physicians attending the event came up to me asking about what I did. It’s something that has the potential to help so many more people. More on that after I share my final 30-day update with all my latest numbers. Let’s take a look what Day 331-360 ended up looking like:
AM BLOOD KETONE LEVELS – DAY 331-360
It was a pretty typical month for AM readings averaging around .8 millimolar with a few high days while I was in San Diego. I’m still not sure why my ketone levels seem to soar when I am away from home. Whether it is the change in food or something else, I find it intriguing that it seems to happen without fail. As long as I am above 1.0 millimolar most of the time, I know I am burning fat for fuel. If you’re testing in the morning, don’t be discouraged if your numbers are lower. Just keep tweaking by lowering the carbohydrates, lowering the protein and upping the fat. It’s something that Dr. Phinney discussed in this lecture he gave about “The Art And Science Of Nutritional Ketosis”:
Some have wondered how often they should be testing their blood ketones and the answer to that is up to you. I think if you measure once or twice in the morning and night each week should give you an idea of where you stand. How about my PM ketone levels for Day 331-360? Let’s take a look:
PM BLOOD KETONE LEVELS – DAY 331-360
It’s an average of 1.6 which is nearly double the morning readings. That’s what you can expect from your nighttime blood ketones as long as you measure at least four hours after your last meal. You should be able to be well above 1.0 millimolar with your PM blood ketone levels when you’ve found your carbohydrate tolerance and protein threshold. Fat is your friend, so eat up on the healthy natural saturated and monounsaturated fats. How about the weight loss in Day 301-330:
WEIGHT LOSS – DAY 331-360
As has been typical since the weight loss has slowed down in recent months, the loss is not a steady daily movement. There’s a bit of ebb and flow and I realize that’s all a part of it. Up a little, down, down, down, up, up, down down down…I don’t fret about what my weight is doing in the day-to-day because in the end the trend is still down. Now that my experiment is finished, I may not weigh everyday anymore. I merely did that as a measurement for this n=1 test. I ended up with a 3.8-POUND WEIGHT LOSS which is about a pound a week. Not too shabby after a year of doing this. WOO HOO! What does that make my total weight loss for this one-year experiment? Check it out:
CUMULATIVE WEIGHT LOSS – DAY 0-360
The final tally came in at a TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS OF 78 POUNDS for this experiment. If you had told me in May 2012 that I’d lose 78 pounds to get back to a weight that is lower than I saw at the end of my Atkins weight loss success in 2004 and that for the first time in my adult life I am wearing shirts that begin with an “L” in front instead of an “X,” I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But it’s not only happened, I’m still excited about what the future holds now that I’ve found that sweet spot that works for me. Not everyone necessarily needs to be in nutritional ketosis to see the same kind of changes that I have seen. But if you’ve struggled and can’t seem to get anything else to work, it’s certainly worth giving it a try. Now let’s look at my AM blood sugar levels in Day 331-360:
AM BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS – DAY 331-360
Yes, I had a few funky blood sugar readings while I was traveling in San Diego and then on the trip to Texas for the Low-Carb Cruise. The average fasting readings in the morning were around 85 which I’ll take every day of the week. Yes, I’m still taking the blood sugar lowering supplement Glycosolve (two in the morning and two at night) to go along with my nutritional ketosis. How about my PM blood sugar readings in Day 331-360:
PM BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS – DAY 331-360
An average of 86 for this cycle which is right where I like it. The fact that my A1c is as low as it is at 4.3 shows that my blood sugar control has been stellar. I fully intend to keep this trend going. It’s interesting how very little it takes to make my blood sugar go up. Even a little bit of cashew butter sets it off–and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of vegetables could as well. Perhaps that could be a future n=1 test to see what impact consuming green, leafy vegetables has on my blood sugar and blood ketone levels. Stay tuned!
Now that the n=1 of nutritional ketosis is over, that doesn’t mean I won’t keep testing stuff. Someone in Spokane, Washington asked me if I tested for pH balance to see if I’m acidic or alkaline and I did this urine test daily over a two-week period–I’m almost always alkaline in the 8.0-9.0 range. One of my medical friends paid for me to have my hair analyzed for minerals and toxins and I’ll share the results from that test in another post soon. If you want to help me keep running tests on my health, then feel free to e-mail me what tests you would like to see along with making a donation towards this effort through PayPal:
Or CLICK HERE to donate!
Where do I go from here? Stay the course, keep doing what’s working for me, encouraging others in their own NK journey, tracking my health progress along the way, sharing any interesting data with you on my blog, doing lectures on my nutritional ketosis experiment (and even presenting a poster at Ancestral Health Symposium in Atlanta, GA in August 2013) and pursuing my next big goal–I WANNA SEE MY ABS! Yes, I realize this is a very challenging goal and that’s the point. I will do what I gotta do to make it happen. It may take a few years, but I’ll never stop pursuing this goal.
The day before I left on the Low-Carb Cruise, I signed the book contract to write my next book about my nutritional ketosis experiment called Keto Clarity tentatively set to release in March 2014. This has the potential to help so many people…I can’t wait to get the message out there to the masses! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all of your amazing support of me throughout this one-year experiment. I’m grateful for all of your encouragement and motivation to keep me going even when the going got tough. I feel like I’m just now getting started and I can’t wait to see what happens next.