While I’m typing this my right foot is in a surgical shoe. New Year’s Day I broke a bone in my toe and badly bruised my foot. For those who want the gory details: the husband and I were sleeping at my mother’s house and I had moved a small bookcase out of the bedroom to make more space. I ran smack into the corner of it with my foot the next morning in the dark. Stars? Yea, I saw them.
These past three weeks I’ve not moved more, or more quickly, than this slug above. I’m spending an inordinate amount of time, literally, lying around. On my back, on my side, on my bed, on the couch, watching videos, binge watching the fantastic Scott & Bailey and being my inner slug.
When I do go outside, I put my bad foot forward and drag my other foot behind. Think Tim Conway on the old Carol Burnett show. I have a six block radius I can cover to get essentials. Then it’s back to the bed, couch, wherever immobility is welcome.
I will recover. In three to five weeks. But this morning I was reflecting on how this has turned into an unexpected experiment about exercise, weight and diet. And while I’ve been a believer these past few years in the health benefits of keto (ketogenic diet) and intermittent fasting (IF), my beliefs have only been confirmed.
This is what I’ve experienced:
- Regular daily exercise has little to no impact on weight. I’ve lost three pounds with opening and closing my eyes being one of my most arduous activities.
- I’ve been doing 16 hour intermittent fasting since I broke my toe. I don’t eat after dinner, unless I need something to raise my blood sugar before bed. The next morning I have a cup of coffee with half and half and don’t eat until lunch at noon or 1 PM. I’m also eating what I call a modified version of keto: a very low refined carb, (vegetables are carbs but not refined carbs) moderate protein, moderate healthy fat diet. This is the lowest weight I’ve been as an adult since I was in my twenties one day. I think it was a Tuesday.
- The intermittent fasting and keto has lowered my appetite hormone, gherlin, and raised my satiety hormone, leptin. I’m watching tons of videos on YouTube about keto, IF, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and diet and none have stimulated my appetite.
- The Dawn Phenomena. Normally I take 1 unit of rapid acting insulin when I wake to counteract the rise in my blood sugar. In the early morning hours the liver throws glucose out into the blood stream to get you ready for activity and cortisol rises. These days my biggest activity after checking my rising blood sugar is going back to iPad (yes, now a verb) on my bed. 1 unit is too much. I’m guessing my liver, noticing there is sparse activity after I wake, is throwing less glucose into my blood stream. And, on this way of eating my blood sugar stays in range 95% of the time.
- My energy has not wavered. Committed one hour a day walker that I am, I feel no more or less tired being a slug.
Sure this is an N of 1. This is just me. What’s happening to me now. Still, these are interesting discoveries. The insight that exercise really does not impact weight (although I do agree it’s healthy and helps you maintain your weight) and that IF and keto really take weight off quickly and easily.
These are the keto, intermittent fasting, LCHF (low carb high fat eating which is my keto style) gurus I’ve been watching and reading:
Dr. Jason Fung – nephrologist and IF advocate
Dr. Robert Lustig – UCSF Professor, advocate in getting rid of processed foods, expert in weight, metabolism and diabetes
Michael Pollan – investigative journalist, author of several books including Food Rules
Nina Teicholz – investigative journalist, author of The Big Fat Surprise
Gary Taubes – investigative journalist author of several books including Good Calories, Bad Calories
Dr. Eric Berg – tons of videos on YouTube about keto, IF, diabetes, metabolic syndrome. Short, simple and old fashioned teacher style, markers on a white board
Dr. Mark Hyman – Director of Functional Medicine, Cleveland Clinic. This is a great interview series.
An interview between Ivor Cummins and Eric Berg on insulin resistance, diet, diabetes and how we’ve all been nutritionally duped:
And a fascinating video on how IR, the elephant in the room, and metabolic syndrome drive cardiovascular disease and what to do about it: