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November 2012 DXA Scan Results After 6 Months On Nutritional Ketosis

After sharing the continued amazing results of Day 151-180 of my current n=1 experiment of nutritional ketosis over the weekend, I drove 90 minutes up I-85 from my hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina to Concord, North Carolina today to get my second DXA scan at the Vitality Medical Wellness Institute in the past two months. On September 13, 2012, I met up with a former “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” podcast guest named Dr. Jeffrey Galvin from Episode 604 who told me during that conversation that he uses the DXA technology (watch this video to learn more about it) to measure body fat and lean muscle mass changes in his patients to get a better idea of the body composition shifts that may not be reflected on the bathroom scale.

When I got my first DXA scan done two months ago, I had already been doing nutritional ketosis for four months losing around 45 pounds at that time. I wish I had gotten one before starting this in May. Nevertheless, even still I knew it would be enlightening to see the changes that are happening to my body because of the nutritional ketosis I’ve been doing along with the keto-adapted, fasted weight lifting sessions I’ve been doing. After showing you my seemingly lackluster weight loss results of just 2.6 pounds in the past month, several readers inquired in the comments section about whether I’ve actually gained muscle at a pretty good clip that would make the weight on the scale seem to be ineffective or if I was truly stalled in my weight loss. I’ve assumed I’m gaining muscle mass along with fat loss, but the DXA scan would be the only way to confirm or deny that theory pretty quickly.

So, I couldn’t wait to see what happened in the two months since my last DXA scan. Wanna see the changes that took place? Check it out below:

Just in case you missed what happened, here are the big highlights:

  • 9.7 pounds of net weight loss
  • 5% body fat loss–HUGE!
  • 16.26 pounds of body fat loss
  • 6.19 pounds of lean muscle mass gain
  • Yeah baby! Not only did I lose body fat at a super rate of loss, but my muscle GREW by over SIX POUNDS! WOO HOO! Even Dr. Galvin was impressed by the changes I saw in my body composition. It was further confirmation that this nutritional ketosis thing is the right path for me. He’s very interested in seeing what will happen to my body fat and lean muscle mass while I’m away on my trip to Australia these next few weeks with all the stress and excitement of traveling overseas and being out of my normal routine. I’ll be returning to the Vitality Medical Wellness Institute on Monday, December 17, 2012 to see if I can maintain the muscle mass growth I’ve experienced while still losing body fat during this glorious trip to Oz. It’ll make for some more great information as part of this nutritional ketosis experiment I’m doing. We’ll see what happens.

    Let’s take a more detailed look at the actual body composition changes:

    Here are the notable changes from September 2012 to November 2012:

  • 1.68 pounds of body fat lost in my arms
  • 2.05 pounds of lean muscle mass gain in my arms
  • 3.54 pounds of body fat lost in my legs
  • 3.05 pounds of lean muscle mass gain in my legs
  • 9.65 pounds of body fat lost in the trunk area
  • 5.20 pounds of lean muscle mass gain in the trunk area
  • 2.28 pounds of body fat lost om the gynoid area
  • 1.06 pounds of lean muscle mass gain in the gynoid area
  • I can’t be anything but pleased with all of these numbers considering the conventional wisdom thinking would say I’m merely losing muscle mass consuming an 85% fat, 12% protein, 3% carbohydrate diet. As I was packing for my Australian trip today I tried on some clothes I haven’t worn in over five years–and they fit perfectly! That is the kind of thing that makes all of this worth continuing this journey. I can’t wait to share more with you when I get back in the United States in early December. Wish me well with sticking to my high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb plan while in the land down under. They promise to take care of me and I think I’ll be just fine. See you when I return!

    • Debby

      Wow! Congratulations! Keep up the great work, Jimmy!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jill.mitchell.792 Jill Mitchell

      Impressive! We will look after you.

    • disqus_fZT51tEKUn

      Congratulations Jimmy, they are awesome DXA scan results!! Can’t believe that you are travelling all the way to Australia to see me :-) We have lots of delicious high quality organic high fat foods….you will love it…..the sun is shining, the ocean is calling you and Christine to have a swim. You will have a great, healthy holiday. Cheers Anne-Marie

      • LLVLCBlog

        Cannot wait to meet you in person, Anne-Marie.

    • PJ

      Jimmy this is awesome!!

      PJ

      • LLVLCBlog

        I’m happy about it. Worked hard for those numbers.

    • LLVLCBlog

      Thanks kindly!

    • LLVLCBlog

      Google your city/state and DXA to find a place near you and inquire about the cost.

    • LLVLCBlog

      I have no doubt I will.

    • http://www.healthylivinghowto.com Vanessa@Healthy Living How To

      Love this Jimmy! Keep on pumping that iron…before you know it, you will be “ripped”. :)

      • LLVLCBlog

        Thanks Vanessa! Hittin’ it hard. :D

    • Gretchen

      Jimmy, I notice that despite the strict diet, your age increased slightly. I’ll bet the low-fatters will criticize you for that.

      Seriously, congrats on the great progress, and for sharing it with everyone.

      • LLVLCBlog

        Ha ha! Yes, old Father Time keeps on ticking. ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/denise.zapf Denise Zapf

      Jimmy, I am impressed with your progress and love your updates. Thanks for doing them. But I have to say that 2007 called and they want their styles back. What I’ve learned on my weight loss journey is that for the most part, old clothes are “aspiration clothing” but they don’t usually work out too well as part of your current wardrobe. Maybe it’s different for men.

      • LLVLCBlog

        LOL! I can live with it. I’ve never been sartorially suited anyway. ;)

    • SenJu

      Jimmy those are very inspiring results.I have an idea for one of your next blogs…why not tell us how to eat on Nutritional ketosis while traveling.LCing while traveling is difficult,although not impossible,but I have no idea how on earth I can carry butter,sour ceam or cheeses with me LOL.Hopefully ,you’ll figure out how to eat at restuarants too.And who knows it maybe easier than we think.

      • LLVLCBlog

        I’m anxious to see how this will work traveling in Australia.

      • abdurbrow

        Carrying cheese is relatively easy. Obviously, you can eat before you board the plane, but its an awfully long flight. You will need to eat something. I wonder if it would be feasible to have a little high fat slices of meat or meatloaf and some snackable veggies (for what carbs you do have.) Once you get there, I’m sure your low carb friends will have plenty of fatty things to eat. I do like a cup of tea with coconut oil in it but not everybody will drink that. The tea is hot and melts my oil so I just stir it in. I drink green tea (de caf) in the AM and herbal tea (watch for hidden sugars) in the PM. I hope that Jimmy posts some travel menu ideas (if he doesn’t mind sharing.)

    • http://thefitink.com/ Roland Denzel

      Congratulations, Jimmy. That’s great news. So happy this is working for you.

      Enjoy your trip!

      Roland

      • LLVLCBlog

        Thanks buddy! We’ll keep plugging away.

    • LLVLCBlog

      Good catch. Got it fixed. Very consistent weight lifting sessions. I asked to meet both–they declined. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/ashbys3 Ashby W Spratley III

      Outstanding – I have been doing 4 to 8 grams of Carbs a day with 95% of calories from fat for 8 weeks now and have lost 19 pounds after being stuck for 7 months and while training for a marathon at the same time – YEA!

      • LLVLCBlog

        How much protein are you eating? Seems super-low unless you’re eating 4,000-5,000 calories/day.

      • abdurbrow

        I found that fat (especially coconut) was much superior for fueling runs than protein or carbohydrate (both tend to come up on me.)

    • Haggus Lividus

      That age thing went up a tick, but over all, very impressive! ;)

      • LLVLCBlog

        Yeah, if NK reversed age, then everybody would do it.

    • comrade_stalin

      You lost 16 lb. of fat in two months. That’s awesome! Specially after four months of keto diet.

      Keep it up. You are doing great. No wonder AC doesn’t want to face you. ;)

      You got me so fired up I’m doing my own keto experiment diet combining fast-5 with LC and strength training.

      If I do half as good as you, I’ll be very happy!

      • LLVLCBlog

        Go get ‘em!

    • http://twitter.com/nutrisclerosis Nutrisclerosis

      I love this post! You are doing so great I wish I could give you a huge hug right now. Have the BEST time in Oz.

      • LLVLCBlog

        Thanks Whitney! You’d be able to wrap your arms all the way around me now. :D

    • http://www.fatguyweightloss.com Fat Guy Weight Loss

      Man if only I got this type of output when I go through security scan :)

    • Guest

      Jimmy – these are amazing results – I hope the topic of nutritional ketosis will continue to be front and center. This is the refinement of low carb that so many of us have been looking for. I could never figure out why I wasn’t losing weight on a very low carb woe – I never figured out that 1) I was eating too much protein, and 2) I was eating too much, period. Ketosis and fat adaption makes it so easy to cut back. You look terrific and your health and body fat changes are nothing short of life-changing. Congrats!

    • Maried

      Congrats Jimmy – your results are shockingly good and your health and body fat changes are fabulous. I hope the topic of nutritional ketosis stays front and center – it plugs a hole that many of us long term low carbers have been seeking. I never realized that 1) I was eating too much protein; and 2) I was eating too much period. Cutting back is easy with long term ketosis, once fat-adapted. Thank you!

    • Cassiel

      Hi Jimmy! I’ve been following your blog — and your NK experiment! — for some time, but I’m something of a lurker so I’ve never posted before. I just wanted to congratulate you, though, on these fantastic results! Way to go!! It’s been so great to see how well your NK experiment is working out for you! I love reading your posts about it and hearing your enthusiasm – I can only imagine how fantastic it must feel to be you right now! (I’m interested in implementing it in my life as well to give it a go; I could stand to lose more weight and gain more health benefits for sure!)
      I live in rural NSW in Australia and I’ve already booked my tickets to see you (and the other presenters) for the Sydney leg of your trip on the 24th! I’m really looking forward to it — I was soooo excited when I heard that you would be there! I hope to get the chance to say hi in person, but even if I don’t, it will be worth it to be there and hear your talk. :D Thank you for coming so far to see us all, and I really hope you’ll enjoy Australia!!!
      P.S. While you are in Sydney and if you get a chance, I highly recommend having dinner at MuMu Grill in Crows Nest. (You can google their website/location.) They are about the only 100% grass-fed sustainable steakhouse in Sydney, and their steaks are just divine!! (Just ask for it to be served without the potatoes. ;) )

    • Stuart Hechinger

      superb!! look at the visceral fat melting away and being replaced with lean body mass. I bet your hormone levels must be lifting for takeoff!
      I have another idea to help you out. Did you check your thyroid function? This should further improve lipid panel even further. The problem is finding a doc who really knows and it will help reset your metabolism to a higher rate. Now gotta call abbot labs for my 5th ketone meter that imprisonXtra only works on BG..too bad it is the only supplier of such equipment in Canada!

    • Mike Sweeney

      Wow brilliant results! Congrats. Not to take anything away from your results but, were you weight training before you did your first DXA? I only ask as those who are new to weight training often have an exaggerated response i.e. adding a lot of muscle in a short time. Also, have you stayed in nutritional ketosis the entire time? I did the protocol for a month and lost 2% bodyfat (as confirmed by bodpod) even though I didn’t manage to stay in nutritional ketosis the whole time.

      • LLVLCBlog

        I committed to weight training every three days between these two DXA scans. I was doing some “fun” activity like frisbee golf prior to that while in nutritional ketosis. I’ve been in NK since Day 4 of this experiment and pretty much ever since.

    • Sue White

      Hi I have been reading a lot of your blogs especially about visalus. I would like your opinion about vegan Shakeology. I have been drinking those shakes for about 3 months and love them. Just wanted to get your take on this Thank you. S white

      • LLVLCBlog

        I don’t get my calories from liquid “food” and shakes are too high in protein for me.

    • Julie Rider

      I have been watching your progress and I am confused about the saturated fat issue. I follow a low carb diet and I use eggs, butter, grassfed beef and pastured pork and my LDL was up. My HDL is high but a lipidologist we consulted for my husband’s cholesterol says high HDL does not necessarily protect me and I had an NMR test done. I do have some elevated numbers and the nutritionist at the doctor’s office is recommending basically Paleo but lower fat diet and to limit saturated fats. I can’t argue with the numbers but I a, confused what to do. I read other cardiologists say don’t worry about saturated fats it is the sugar!
      Help!

      • LLVLCBlog

        Saturated fat is NOT the issue. I’m writing a book on this right now to clear up the confusion.

        • Julie Rider

          When will it be out? What is the problem then? I have a phone consult with my lipidologist tomorrow and the report indicates insulin resistance.

          • LLVLCBlog

            I’m writing it now. Set to be published in the Fall 2013. I’m investigating what the issues might be. I can tell you there is no consensus on the answers you are looking for. I’m happy to take a look at your test results and offer my non-medical advice opinion if you so desire. Email to livinlowcarbman@charter.net.

      • Ron

        LDL is a made up statistic designed to sell statins. LDL is estimated by the often inaccurate Friedewald equation by subtracting the amount of cholesterol associated with other particles, such as HDL cholesterol.

        Friedewald equation: LDL-C ≈ Total-C – HDL-C – k Triglycerides (where k = 0.20 if the cholesterol is measured in mg/dl and 0.45 if in mmol/l).

        LDL is actually made up of LDL type A, consisting of larger fluffy particles which are associated with healthy arteries, and the more common LDL type B, which is small and dense, and associated with disease. Either have your LDL A and B directly measured, or ignore LDL completely, and use a far better predictor of coronary health: the ratio of triglycerides to HDL (see see http://www.yourmedicaldetective.com/public/523.cfm).

        Oxidised small dense LDL particles are the ones that do damage, so taking antioxidants is probably a good idea.

        If you still want to reduce LDL – eat lots of soluble fibre. Psylium husk is the most effective soluble dietary fibre available, is carb free, and very good at soaking up bile salts, thus reducing cholesterol levels.

        Check Wikipedia for LDL & Psylium info, google a bit more and then gently introduce your doctor to cholesterol basics – 99% of doctors are totally clueless, and just believe big pharma propoganda.

        • Julie Rider

          That is my understanding too. In my NMR blood test I have Lpa cholesterol and Lpa Mass high indicators of inheritance of a genetic form of cholesterol that is thick acting like cement so even though my LDL particle number is in a normal range >1200 my non traditional lipidologist wants it to be at 700. I have high HDL and low trigs and will have a carotid scan to see if that is protecting me. I am using niacin also now and I will take your advice on the fiber. My biggest confusion is on consumption of saturated fats. One camp says I need to limit and the other says just the opposite.

          • Ron

            Do not worry, a temporary rise in LDL is expected during
            major weight loss! It really depends on whether or not you are still losing
            weight.

            According to Volek & Phinney (2011) “a transient rise in
            serum total and LDL cholesterol can occur with major weight loss. We reported
            this in 1991[101], and our research revealed the cause. It turns out that along
            with the triglyceride stored in adipose tissue, our fat cells also contain a
            small amount of dissolved cholesterol. After about 30 pounds of weight loss,
            the shrinkage of these cellular fat droplets proceeds to the point that some of
            this cholesterol has to be release into the serum. The amount of cholesterol
            involved is 100-200 mg per day in someone losing 2 pounds of adipose tissue per
            week. Interestingly, although this represents ‘reverse transport’ back to the
            liver, this cholesterol rise appears in the LDL fraction. But once a person’s
            weight loss ceases, this expulsion of cholesterol stored in the adipose tissue
            stops and serum LDL cholesterol returns to its new post weight-loss baseline.

            So if you or your patient experience a rise in serum LDL
            cholesterol as the scale passes 30 or more pounds of weight lost, don’t panic.
            This is a sign that your body is dumping previously accumulated cholesterol.
            Since this situation typically lasts only a month or two, whereas it takes
            decades or elevated LDL cholesterol to cause blood vessel damage, the
            probability of any clinical risk is very small. Wait until your weight has
            stabilised in maintenance for a month or two and then test your LDL level again
            to be sure that is has come back down.”

            According to Wikipedia, you are doing the right thing for
            high alpolipoprotein(a) by taking niacin, and maybe you should have a glass of
            wine with fish regularly, and possibly take L-carnitine, asprin and atorvastatin.
            Lipid apheresis [removal of blood, removal of Lipoprotein(a) from that blood,
            transfusion of the filtered blood back to you] sounds drastic but is apparently
            effective. Unfortunately “Lp-a concentrations … are only slightly affected by
            diet, exercise, and other environmental factors”. It also seems that kringle
            repeats can mess up the lp-a measuring process.

            Hope your carotid scan gives good results!

            References.

            Volek JS & Phinney SD, The Art and Science of Low
            Carbohydrate Living, 2011, Beyond Obesity, LLC p 167-168.

            Phinney SD et al , The transient hypercholesterolemia of major
            weight loss. Am J Clin Nutr, 1991. 53(6): p 1404-10.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipoprotein%28a%29 (downloaded 10 Dec 2012)

    • Julie Rider

      Thanks Ron…very helpful…what is repeat kringle reports??

    • Sam

      Those are amazing results.Can you tell me how much were you cutting below your tdee ? i am eating exactly at my BMR and i am worried that it might be too low to see muscle gains though fat loss would be considerable.

      • LLVLCBlog

        I have no idea. I’m not micromanaging this to that degree.