Seek Satiety in Filling Fats

Stopping Sugar and Cutting Carbs are important ingredients in the #BodyBabySteps, but the “meat” of the plan — literally and figuratively — is to Seek Satiety.

You will likely need cut back significantly on your carbohydrates, but that’s a negative focus. A positive focus is more helpful, emphasizing what you do eat instead of what you don’t.

My first meal of the day is typically four eggs, meat, cream cheese and guacamole. I’m usually not hungry for the rest of the day.

The key is to start with satiety as your goal, and to seek it in meats, full-fat dairy, cheese, eggs and other substantial foods.

Build your meals around these main courses. They’re your anchors. Don’t load up on carbohydrates first, and then top off with your filling foods. Start with rich, satisfying foods with a good amount of fat.

Eat at a leisurely pace, and stop when you’re full.

Fats are your friends, as long as they’re coming from natural, healthy sources like beef, fish, poultry, pork, nuts, olive oil and avocados. That’s not an exclusive list, but what you’ll notice about all of these is they are basic, whole foods.

They’re not highly processed.

What fats aren’t healthy? The so-called “vegetable” oils – corn, canola, soybean, safflower, sunflower. These are extracted from seeds under immense pressure and with the aid of industrial solvents. In their natural states no one would think of these seeds as “oily.” And instead of the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, they are predominantly the less stable Omega-6s.

Dr. Ken Berry is one of my Health Sherpas, and one thing I appreciate about him is his down-to-earth, no-nonsense communication style, with short videos that get to the point.

He’s a great resource because as a physician, rigorously following the “eat less, move more” dogma he was prescribing to his patients, he found himself at about 300 pounds.

He suspected that if he was following the dietary guidelines and had become obese, that’s probably what was happening with his patients, too.

Here he discusses common misconceptions even physicians have about fats:

For related discussion, see also Dr. Berry’s video about “The Proper Human Diet.”

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Get Your “Before” Pictures

In addition to having a reliable bathroom scale to help you keep score, you should take time to ensure you have appropriate visual evidence to document the starting point on your health journey.

I’ve shared some in My “Before” Pictures, but here are a few more from 2016:

At the Mall of America, with an appropriately baggy shirt, after my youngest daughter’s August wedding.
The next week in New York, just before we started our health journey.
At my middle daughter’s October wedding.

My only regret is that I didn’t take pictures that more clearly captured the extent of my…extent.

In some ways I suppose I wasn’t confident of the eventual outcome, and so I wasn’t thinking about having good “before” and “after” pictures.

I do have some shirtless bathroom photos from about 10 pounds below my 265-pound peak.

And even though I’m being pretty public about my health journey, I don’t want to show you something you can never unsee.

As you’re getting started on your journey, be sure to capture the evidence of where you’re starting, even if…especially if…it’s just for your own motivation.

Get some that are less graphic but that still tell the beginning of your story, so that when you’re successful in this you’ll be able to produce the receipts.

Be sure to get some profile views as well, so you’ll be able to see your progress from a different angle.

I’m 100% confident that by applying the steps I’m sharing in the #BodyBabySteps, you’re going to make amazing progress.

You will be so glad you have your before pictures so you can show the change.

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Get a Blood Pressure Monitor

In addition to a Bluetooth scale, another great investment is a home blood pressure monitor.

You may even be able to get one now at the end of the year, essentially with no out-of-pocket cost!

I’ll tell you how I did it after I tell you about my monitor and why I bought it.

I got the QardioArm home blood pressure in late June after learning more about how high blood pressure can provide chronic stress to blood vessels, which can open the door to slight areas of damage which can become the place where plaques start to form.

It was only $99 plus tax, so it seemed like good value, and I’ve been using it regularly to track my blood pressure.

Here’s my reading from last night, which it categorizes in the Normal range, just above Optimal:

We’ve all had our blood pressure measured at our medical appointments, and I often wonder at their usefulness.

I have had readings in the 140/90 range previously (especially when I was 60 pounds heavier), and I’ve never had anyone suggest that I might have hypertension.

It’s true that sometimes just being in a doctor’s office can raise one’s blood pressure (they call it “white coat hypertension”), and we all have fluctuations. One high reading shouldn’t necessarily send off warning flares.

But if you’re not measuring regularly, how do you know whether it’s “one high reading” or not?

That’s why I think a home blood pressure monitor is a great purchase. Because it’s connected to my iPhone, I can gather and track readings over time, and view them as either monthly or weekly averages. Here’s my chart:

Weekly and Monthly charts of average systolic and diastolic blood pressure are available.

I have at least 10-15 readings per month, and the general trend has been in a good direction.

Here’s why mine was essentially free: As I was going through my medical paperwork last month and reviewing my health care flexible spending account (FSA) program and remaining balance, I saw that home blood pressure monitoring devices are eligible for reimbursement.

I downloaded my receipt and filed online with my administrator, and got full reimbursement. I had already paid for it out-of-pocket, so it was a nice surprise that the money I had set aside in my FSA could reimburse me.

I think the $100 or so would be a good investment for anyone, particularly those of us who are old enough to remember the Carter Administration.

But if you have some FSA money you have to use (or lose) before the end of the year, it’s a total no-brainer.

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Get apps to track progress and support your health journey

I have found the following apps helpful in encouraging and supporting the health changes I’ve made over the last few years.

As you’re starting the #BodyBabySteps, you might want to download these. All of them are free, though most have premium offerings as well.

I’ve supplanted some of them with apps related to devices and gadgets I’ve purchased, but I’ll introduce those in later posts.

For now, we’re starting with the basics.

  • Health, from Apple. This comes with iOS, and Google Play has a comparable offering for Android.
  • Fitness, also from Apple. This integrates fitness-related data from various apps and devices, and particularly from my Apple Watch.
  • Weight Gurus. This app supports my bluetooth scale, as I described previously.
  • Strong. I use this to track my resistance training. If you’re not doing weightlifting yet, you can wait to get this one. That’s #BodyBabyStep Seven.
  • Map My Run. This likewise supports the cardio side of #BodyBabyStep Seven with versions for iOS and Android.
  • Sleep Cycle. You just set your phone on the nightstand, and it has a smart alarm. Instead of a definite time, it looks for a time close to your target when you are in a light sleep stage. That’s better than being jarred out of a deep sleep.
  • Zero. This is my fasting app. #BodyBabySteps Four and Five relate to the timing of your meals so you don’t need this right away, but I’d recommend getting it.

What other health-related apps have been helpful for you?

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Is Cancer Caused by Sugar?

That’s the question posed in this discussion featuring one of my top Health Sherpas, Dr. Jason Fung, in an interview related to his new book, The Cancer Code, with Dr. Mark Hyman, a functional medicine physician and host of The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast.

Dr. Fung is among the five physicians who have been most influential for Lisa and me. From The Obesity Code to The Diabetes Code to The Complete Guide to Fasting to Life in the Fasting Lane, his books share common themes:

  • Insulin is the hormone that causes your body to store fat.
  • While other macronutrients cause some insulin response, sugar, starches and highly processed carbohydrates cause blood sugar (and insulin) spikes, and our continuous snacking means blood insulin levels are perpetually high.
  • This condition, called hyperinsulinemia, causes weight gain, often leading to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Giving patients with Type 2 diabetes increasing doses of insulin to manage blood sugar causes them to gain even more weight, making the problem worse.
  • Obesity increases the risk of many cancers, including breast, prostate and colon cancer. Insulin, with its growth-promoting properties, seems to encourage the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells.
  • Intermittent fasting, time-restricted eating or even fasts of a day or more create periods of lower insulin levels in the blood, which enables your body to begin burning the fat you’ve stored. Fasting regimens may have some cancer-prevention benefits, too.

I have spent hours listening to Dr. Fung’s books on Audible, many of them more than once, and we also have the print edition of some of them. He has had great insight into dietary and lifestyle contributors to disease, and also is an excellent communicator to a lay audience.

Setting aside one hour to watch this video would be a great investment for you.

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