I Can Make You Pre-Diabetic in 7 Days

Two weeks ago, I told you about the series of Frankenstein-like diet/blood sugar/insulin experiments that I am conducting on one of my personal training clients-  in the article Make Insulin Your Friend… and Get Leaner, Stronger & Healthier.

This week, I am going to show you the results of the first experiment and tell you how I took my human guinea-pig and made him Pre-Diabetic in less than 7 days.

Experiment #1 – The “Normal” Diet

I asked my client / test-subject to:

  1. Stop his normal exercise routine (allowed to go on nightly walks with his wife)
  2. Eat like a “normal” person…. ie I told him that he could eat whatever he wants, whenever he wants with no concern for nutrition.

[box type=”note”]I told him not to pig out on junk food – just to eat like the other people in his office. In fact, he modeled his diet after one of his co-workers – a 190 lb, skinny-fat kind of guy.[/box]

Here are some examples of what he ate last week.

Breakfast

  • Bowl of Rice Krispies and a mug of coffee, or
  • Buttered bagel & coffee, or
  • Egg McMuffin with Hash Brown and coffee
  • 1 Donut & coffee

Lunch

  • Sandwich, Coke & cookie, or
  • Slice of pizza and bottle of water
  • Rice, veg & chicken from food court Chinese place
Afternoon Snack

Dinner

  • Pizza, salad and a beer
  • Pasta & garlic bread and a glass of wine
  • Steak stir-fry with rice & tons of veg

Blood Test Info

I had him test his blood throughout the day using a blood glucose monitor (supplied free of charge by Roche Diagnostics):

  • Upon waking – fasted blood test
  • Before eating
  • 2 hours after eating
  • Before bed

[box type=”important”]What we found is that other than the fasted blood test (taken first thing in the morning), his blood sugar levels were moving around too much to come to any sort of conclusion…so we’re just going to report on the fasted blood tests[/box]

Blood Test Results

  • His pre-experiment fasted blood sugar levels ranged from 4.4 to 4.7.
  • His pre-experiment diet is a modified Paleo-style diet where he is allowed to eat potatoes and small amounts of legumes
During the experiment, his fasted blood sugar levels were as follows:
  • Day 1: 5.5 mmol/L
  • Day 2: 5.9 mmol/L
  • Day 3: 6.2 mmol/L
  • Day 4: 6.4 mmol/L
  • Day 5: 6.5 mmol/L
  • Day 6: 6.9 mmol/L
  • Day 7: 6.7 mmol/L

And as you can see from the chart, this places our test-subject squarely in the Pre-Diabetes range…on his way to full-blown Type 2 Diabetes.

All in one week.

Not good.

And he felt like crap the whole week.

  • Waking up with a headache 5 of the 7 days
  • Craving carbs like crazy
  • Never feeling full, while…
  • Often feeling nauseous

At the end of the week, he was glad to go back to eating healthy

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This week, we are experimenting with a grain-free diet.

I will post the results next week.

3 completely badass fitness products that you’re GONNA buy…or else.

Alright….maybe badass isn’t the appropriate description for these products.

None of them are going to smack you around for being a pair of idiot skinheads starting trouble on a public bus.

But they will help you :

  • make your feet work better
  • reduce associated pain
  • pack on muscle faster than cheap internet steroids

Correct Toes

Dr. Ray McClanahan (podiatric physician) believes that the best way to treat most foot problems is by allowing the foot to function exactly as nature intended. Unfortunately, the shoes you are wearing right probably don’t do that. This realization is why so many people are giving barefoot / minimalist shoes a try. Unfortunately, if you have been wearing “normal” shoes for most of your life, switching to a barefoot shoe isn’t going to fix your feet.

This is where the Correct Toes spacer can help. They are designed to spread your toes into their natural and correct position…improving “proprioception, which then allows the brain to better promote balance and optimal muscle function”.

Paired with a quality pair of barefoot / minimalist shoes, Correct Toes returns your foot to its natural state, treating most foot problems, and by extension, many musculoskeletal problems.

Sidewalk Surfers from Sanuk

There is no point in buying the Correct Toes spacer and fixing your gnarly old feet if you’re going to keep shoving them into a pair of “normal” shoes and scrunching them together like some masochistic Chinese foot binding experiment. What you need to do is buy a pair (or two) of barefoot / minimalist shoes that allow your feet to move as they were originally intended.

And that’s one of the reasons why I have been wearing a pair of Sanuk Chibas all summer long.

Some of the other reasons are…

  1. they are comfortable as heck,
  2. can be worn on the beach AND with casual clothes,
  3. they look pretty darn good
  4. and they come with an antimicrobial additive…meaning they won’t stink after hours and hours of barefoot wear.

SizeOn

skinny exercise weightlifterA few months back, I started working with two different 40+ year old clients who wanted to add some muscle to their “slender” physiques. In addition to a complete restructuring of their diets and an introduction to a truly nasty training program, I put them both on Gaspari Nutrition’s SizeOn product.

Instead of taking a bunch of different products, I wanted one supplement that would service their workout endurance demands as well as help them pack some meat on their hardgainer bodies. And SizeOn turned out to work perfectly.

Both clients had already started gaining muscle with SizeOn, but when we added it into the mix, things really took off.

  • Both gained significant muscle mass
  • Subject #1 gained 14 lbs of muscles while losing 7 lbs of fat
  • Subject #2 gained 11 lbs of muscle while losing 22 lbs of fat.

Pretty significant transformations…especially when you consider that both of these guys were both ectomorphs and lifelong hard-gainers.

I can’t say enough about this product – Great Stuff!!! – Here are the ingredients if you want to check it out.

Intestinal Stem Cells Respond to Food by Shrinking or Supersizing Your Gut

Working with fruit flies, researchers have found that adult intestinal stem cells “respond to increased food intake by producing more intestinal cells, expanding the size of the intestines as long as the food keeps flowing”.

This situation is reversed upon withdrawal of food.

Prior to this research, it was believed that once embryonic stem cells mature into adult stem cells, they sit quietly in our tissues, replacing cells that die or are injured but doing little else.

“When flies start to eat, the intestinal stem cells go into overdrive, and the gut expands,” said UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellow Lucy O’Brien. “Four days later, the gut is four times bigger than before, but when food is taken away, the gut slims down.”

Just as in humans and other mammals, O’Brien added, the fly intestine secretes its own insulin. In flies, intestinal insulin seems to be the signal that makes stem cells “supersize the gut.”

“Because of the many similarities between the fruit fly and the human, the discovery may hold a key to understanding how human organs adapt to environmental change,” said David Bilder, UC-Berkeley associate professor of molecular and cell biology.

 

Details of the Study

O’Brien, Bilder and their colleagues discovered that when fruit flies feed, their intestines secrete insulin locally, which stimulates intestinal stem cells to divide and produce more intestinal cells.

“The real surprise was that the fruit fly intestine is capable of secreting its own insulin,” BIlder said. “This intestinal insulin spikes immediately after feeding and talks directly to stem cells, so the intestine controls its own adaptation.”

Stem cells can divide either asymmetrically, producing one stem cell and one intestinal cell, or symmetrically, producing two stem cells. The team found that, in response to food, intestinal stem cells underwent symmetric division more frequently than asymmetric division, which had the effect of maintaining the proportion of stem cells to intestinal cells, and is a more efficient way of ramping up the total number of cells, O’Brien said.

“Adaptive resizing of the intestine makes sense from the standpoint of physiological fitness,” she said. “Upkeep of the intestinal lining is metabolically expensive, consuming up to 30 percent of the body’s energy resources. By minimizing intestinal size when food is scarce, and maximizing digestive capacity when food is abundant, adaptive intestinal resizing by stem cells helps animals survive in constantly changing environments.”

Conclusion

I have no idea where researchers are actually going to go with this research, but I bet there is a lab geek out there right now dreaming of making a bazillion dollars by designing a stem cell therapy to control this effect.

Because if they can reduce the size of your intestines, they also reduce the travel time of food from ingestion to elimination and reduce the amount of calories absorbed and potentially stored as body-fat.

And considering the drastic increase in obesity worldwide, there is definitely a market for a solution such as this.

 

Reference

Lose Weight with PGX

A new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, says that if you consume 5 grams of PGX fibre at the start of a meal, you will lower the Glycemic Index of that meal by 30%.

And that’s good news, because if you lower the Glycemic Index of that meal by 30%, you’re also lowering the resultant insulin production.

And if you believe that fat storage is driven by insulin, that 30% reduction in GI score has also lowered your chances of becoming obese.

What Does This Mean To You?

It means that if you’re going to eat a meal loaded with high glycemic carbs (sugar, starch, etc), you can minimize fat storage by supplementing with some PGX  (or some other viscous polysaccharide) prior to chowing down.

Or you can skip the high glycemic meal altogether and embrace your paleo roots and grill a steak and some veggies on the bbq.

Reference

Is Obesity Caused By A Lack Of Protein?

The protein leverage hypothesis proposes that a genetic appetite for protein combined with a widespread decline in the ratio of protein to fat and carbohydrate in our diet is responsible for:

  1. Increased caloric intake and
  2. The resultant explosion in worldwide obesity.

In this study, researchers tested the protein leverage hypothesis in lean humans by disguising the macronutrient composition of foods offered to subjects under ad libitum feeding conditions. Energy intakes and hunger ratings were measured for 22 lean subjects studied over three 4-day periods of in-house dietary manipulation.

Subjects were restricted to fixed menus in random order comprising 28 foods designed to be similar in palatability, availability, variety and sensory quality and providing 10%, 15% or 25% energy as protein.  Nutrient and energy intake was calculated as the product of the amount of each food eaten and its composition.

Results

Lowering the percent protein of the diet from 15% to 10% resulted in higher total energy intake, predominantly from savoury-flavoured foods available between meals.

In contrast, increasing protein from 15% to 25% did not alter energy intake.

On the fourth day of the trial, however, there was a greater increase in the hunger score between 1–2 h after the 10% protein breakfast versus the 25% protein breakfast.

Conclusion

Lowering the protein content of your diet  promotes hunger and over-consumption of calories….enhancing the risk of obesity.

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Remember this the next time you have cereal for breakfast instead of scrambled eggs.

the american heart association loves red meat

Reference

 

My Emotions Made Me Fat

About 3 months ago, I tested my body composition.

  • Total body-weight was = 243 lbs
  • Lean body mass (bone, muscle, organs) was = 216 lbs
  • Body-fat was = 27 lbs
  • Body-fat percentage was = 11%

And since winter is my time to focus on strength and ignore body-fat, I was pleased with the numbers.

I was strong as a horse and would worry about the excess blubber in the spring.

And then my Dad went into the hospital.

At first, he seemed to be responding to treatment and we were expecting him home in a few days. Unfortunately, he picked up a couple of drug resistant infections in the hospital and things started to go downhill.

But since my Dad has always been a fighter, he went to war against the drug resistant staph & c-difficile. One day he would be getting better and we would feel hopeful. The next day, he would crash. This went on for over two months.

Until, on Feb 9, 2011, my Dad passed away.

Since that time, I have had the pleasure of organizing services, looking after my Mom and attending memorials and family remembrances.

I also went a little mental during the 3 months and gained 24 lbs of body-fat.

  • Total weight as of yesterday is = 267 lbs
  • Lean Body Mass (bone, muscle, organs) is still = 216 lbs
  • Body-fat weight is = 51 lbs
  • Body-fat percentage is = 19%

And it’s not like I went on some sort of cheesecake bender.

Instead of my normal Paleo diet of meat and vegetables, I was eating more like a normal North American.

  • A giant cookie with my Starbucks coffee
  • Sandwiches instead of salads or stir-frys
  • A can of Coke in the hospital cafeteria.
  • Hard candies and potato chips from my wife’s stash
  • Bread
  • Rice
  • and the occasional giant bowl of ice cream

Combine all this junk with my skyrocketing levels of cortisol and a bad case of the blues – and I have managed to pack on an extra 24 lbs of blubber and a newfound fear of my bathroom mirror.

And if that isn’t the perfect example of how emotions can make you fat, I don’t know what is.

Luckily for me, between my muscle mass and my ultra-casual personal trainer wardrobe, it’s hard to tell that I packed on the weight.

But, I know it’s there.

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But not for much longer.

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FYI – More info on Emotional Eating

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Exercise Prescription

Weight Loss…Weight Gain…Weight Loss…Weight Gain…

She wanted to lose some weight.

And for 12 long months:

  • she busted her butt at the gym
  • replaced the junk in her diet with fruit & vegetables
  • she even gave up drinking soda

The result: 12 months later, she was healthier than ever and weighed 35 lbs less.

yay.

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Unfortunately, about a month ago, her cravings for sugar went completely out of control.

And her willpower was no match for her desire for ice cream, sugar, chocolate, etc…

boo.

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It’s a common story.

Someone works hard to lose a ton of weight, but as soon as they let down their guard for one second…BOOM!!!…here come the cravings for junk and here comes the weight regain.

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What to do, what to do???

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Here’s my advice:

First off, don’t worry about the short term. Losing your focus for a month is not a big problem considering how successful you have been for the 12 months proceeding.

Weight loss isn’t going to happen in a straight line – there are going to be ups and downs. I bet that the 35 lbs lost during the 12 months didn’t happen as a consistent 3 lbs per month.

With that being said, we should nip this 5 lb gain in the bud before it becomes 10 lbs over 2 months.

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Why a sugar binge?

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Possible factors include:

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  1. emotions – we use sugar to raise pleasure hormones/chemicals during times of stress/sadness/etc.
  2. eating sugar increases your appetite for more sugar. Sad but true. The spike in insulin sets off a whole bunch of other reactions in your body/brain that set off intense cravings for more & more sugar
  3. Lifestyle – consider the previous weight loss, I could assume that you have changed your lifestyle in a way that makes healthy eating more convenient, but I don’t like to assume

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What to do about it?

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  1. Regarding the emotions – the best techniques I know of for learning to tame/control our thoughts and emotions is mindfulness. Whether you take the Buddhist approach or the psychiatrist/scientific approach, mindfullness training is a powerful practice that allows you to rein in formerly untamed thoughts & emotions. It’s not an easy thing to learn for most people, but the effect is powerful and goes far beyond controlling disordered eating practices.
  2. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is another way to go.
  3. You need to tighten up your diet. Stop buying those carb dense foods that you mentioned – cereal, ice cream, chocolate. At least for a little while. If they’re not in the house, you can’t eat them. Come up with a meal plan for the week. Prepare meals and/or ingredients ahead of time to make healthy eating more convenient. I am also a big fan of using a diet/meal compliance chart.
  4. Look for trends in your day to day life that has influenced your recent run of bad eating. Haswork been extra stressful. Have other people been influencing your food choices. Put on your detective hat and start looking for connections. If and when you start to see any trends, look for causes (to avoid this happening again) and for ways to eliminate those problems.

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Okay, that’s enough for now.Hopefully, I didn’t overload you with too much information.

Feel free to email me anytime with your questions.

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Doug