Quarterly health results, August 2019

My quarterly blood test results are in, 46 weeks after recommitting to WFPB (Whole Food Plant Based), following Dr. Greger’s guidelines in “How Not To Die,” and following additional recommendations for comfortable, sustainable weight loss from people like Chef AJ.

To sum up, blood sugar is normal, cholesterol is fantastic, and I continue to lose weight. 

The rest of this post are details, if people are interested in numbers and more!

What I eat and don’t eat

I try to follow Greger’s Daily Dozen for the most part. As I mentioned last update, the main exception is that I avoid eating nuts. As with many people, I find that they do, in fact, impact on weight loss. Calories do count. See Chef AJ’s advice for example. She’s very supportive. 

I’ve also been “sequencing” more, which is recommended for people trying to lose weight, by Chef AJ and others. Sequencing just means starting meals with very low calorie density foods, like a big salad. Then going on to cooked non-starchy veggies. Then, if you like, finishing off with satisfying starches, like potatoes.  Desserts are just fruits. I find sequencing really helps with calorie control. In fact, it’s usually hard to reach my calorie limit when eating this way. There is no feeling of deprivation. If I’m hungry I’ll eat something, like a fruit, or some cherry tomatoes, or even a potato. 

So I eat lots of veggies, and have multiple fruits every day. In other words, I eat lots of carbs. Carbs do not impact negatively on blood sugar or weight. 

I also eat firm (momen) tofu a few times a day. I find it filling, and it has a lower calorie density than potatoes, and has lots of protein. I’ve been eating tofu in place of other legumes in general lately. It agrees with me more. 

I avoid animal products, oils and other added fats (completely), added sugar (as much as is practical), added salt (as much as is practical), and also stay away from highly processed high calorie density foods, like breads and pastas. I don’t obsess about tiny amounts of animal products, like bonito extract in miso soup at a restaurant. I’m trying to make this easy and sustainable. I will also very occasionally have some sushi with a friend. When I eat rice I try to go for brown rice when possible, but I will eat white rice if that’s all that’s available. 

I do not do intermittent fasting. It’s not necessary and I’m not interested in that.

Logging with MyFitnessPal

I log my food and exercise calories in MyFitnessPal, and keep within 1540 net calories per day (food calories minus exercise calories). 

Today is my MyFitnessPal Streak Day 2,657. Daily logging in MFP has been a great sanity check and prevented me from having a complete rebound when I fell off the wagon in the past. 

Blood test results

Here are the last and previous results. Normal ranges are in parentheses. 

Total cholesterol (120-219)

  • Aug 29 – 116
  • Jun 8 – 136
  • Mar 19 – 133
  • Dec 20 – 124

This dropped a lot this quarter. Healthy eating helps. 

HDL good cholesterol (35-80)

  • Aug 29 – 40
  • Jun 8 – 34
  • Mar 19 – 38
  • Dec 20 – 36

LDL bad cholesterol (70-139)

  • Aug 29 – 56
  • Jun 8 – 73
  • Mar 19 – 72
  • Dec 20 – 67

Quite low! But that’s supposed to be great for your heart. 

Triglycerides (30-150)  

  • Aug 29 – 79
  • Jun 8 – 129
  • Mar 19 – 114
  • Dec 20 – 100

Also a big drop from last time, which is good. I had been worrying because it had been creeping up. 

HbA1c (4.7-6.2)

  • Aug 29 – 6.1
  • Jun 8 – 5.5 (wow)
  • Mar 19 – 5.9
  • Dec 20 – 6.5

Previous HbA1c quarterly values were 8.2, and 10.8. So it’s a great improvement over time. This value does not fluctuate over the short term. It’s a 2-3 month average. 

While it is up slightly for some reason, it is still within normal range, and my doctor said such fluctuations are normal and it’s all good and not to worry about it. I was a bit surprised/disappointed though. 

I met with the nutritionist, and she recommended cutting back on bananas in favor of berries and watermelon. I might do that.

And weight loss!

Weight loss is also going well. Slowly but surely – more or less a straight line. Since last September when I recommitted to WFPB my weight is down 24.0 kg = 53 lb.

My total weight loss following WFPB is down 41.6 kg = 92 lb since my peak back in 2012. It’s never been this low since 2012. 

According to BMI calculators I’m now just 13 kg from a normal weight. It’s starting to look possible!

My doctor reduced my blood sugar medication last time. He says next time he might reduce drugs more. He’s taking a conservative approach. Since he’s my doctor, I will stick with his advice for now. 

My daily exercise is back up again after going down after my accident in May. I’d say my strength is back to normal now. 


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