May 2018

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At the beginning of May my weight was 88 kg's. I was a kilo off my goal weight. I had in all honesty had enough of the Optifast shakes and bars and was ready to transition the a whole food approach. The easiest way to go forward with this was to eat things with no labels. The butcher doesn’t out an ingredients label on his meat, the grocer doesn't put labels on their fruit and vegetables.

I would not eat what I considered to be starchy carbs, bread, pasta or potatoes or any derivative of them.

My weekday breakfasts were a low carb banana bread and lunch was some healthy rusks. Both recipes are in the additional info tabs. I would load the rusks with Hummus made with olive oil, not canola so it cost a little more.

My evening meal was low carbs so was either a broth as I've previously explained or an omelette. At the weekend I'd keep it the same. Bar for breakfast, shake for lunch and grilled meat or fish, veg or salad for dinner.

My bloods also returned a higher level of Cholesterol; my GP was not overly concerned but it did bother me. A questioned him over coconut oil as it is in both the bread, rusks and I mainly cooked with it. He was unsure as to whether this was the cause. It did some research, the result of which are in the additional info tab.

My  exercise this month centred on the gym; and my active calories dropped off. I was not tracking these then so it probably went unnoticed but what has come evident is that the running, riding and swimming is where the energy is burned. The cardio machines in the gym do too much to assist. The gym is really only any good for strength and conditioning.

Coconut Oil/High Cholesterol:

Experts go back and forth debating about whether or not it’s good for cholesterol levels.

Some experts say you should avoid coconut oil because of its high levels of saturated fat and saturated fat is known to raise cholesterol. Others say that the structure of the fat in coconut oil makes it less likely to add to fat buildup in the body and that, for that reason, it’s healthy. Research hasn’t been definitive, but here are some facts that helped me you choose  to keep coconut oil into my diet. Coconut oil is a tropical oil derived from the dried nut of the coconut palm tree. Its nutritional components include the following:

  • It contains 13.5 grams of total fat (11.2 grams of which are saturated fat) per tablespoon.

  • It also contains about 0.8 grams of monounsaturated fat and about 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, which are both considered “healthy” fats.

  • It doesn’t contain cholesterol.

  • It’s high in vitamin E and polyphenols

The oil from fresh coconuts contains a high proportion of medium chain fatty acids. These don’t seem to be stored in fat tissue as easily as are long chain fatty acids.

Experts say that coconut oil’s lauric acid, which is a healthy type of saturated fatty acid, is consumed up by the body for energy rather than stored. That’s why some people think of coconut oil as a potential weight loss tool. All types of fat have pretty much the same number of calories. It’s only the difference in the fatty acid makeup that makes each fat distinct from the others.

What convinced me was a study carried out by Dr Michael Mosely for his TV series; Trust Me I'm a Doctor. In an attempt to determine an evidence-based outcome, Dr Michael Mosley put coconut oil to the cholesterol test. Recruiting the help of academics from the University of Cambridge the team conducted a scientific trial involving 94 volunteers aged 50 to 75 years old with no history of diabetes or heart disease. The study aimed to test the effect that different fats would have on individual’s cholesterol levels.

Volunteers were randomly allocated into one of three groups, each of which tested a different fat: extra-virgin olive oil, extra-virgin coconut oil and unsalted butter. Every day for four weeks, the study’s participants ate 50 grams (or about three tablespoons) of their designated fat.

Baseline measurements were taken before and after the four weeks testing period to ascertain LDL levels (low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol) as well as other health markers. The assumption was that because coconut oil is saturated fat is should make cholesterol worse. The outcome was different and coconut oil came out best.

Dr Mosley pointed out that, the LDL levels of butter eaters increased by about 10 per cent on average while their good cholesterol, HDL, rose by around five per cent. The volunteers who downed olive oil saw a non-significant reduction in LDL cholesterol and a five per cent rise in good cholesterol. Meanwhile, the people in the coconut oil group experienced on average no increase in LDL but there was a 15 per cent rise in their good cholesterol. Having high levels of HDL has been shown to provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

So I was not going to over consume but I was not going to stop cooking my mushrooms in coconut oil.

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My KPI’s for May:

Weight: Start: 88 kg’s – End 86.9 kg’s

Run: 5.4 kM in about 34 mins

Ride: 36 kM; AVG Speed 25.5 kM/h

Swim: No Swim

Note: My KPI’s are about what motivates me at a given time. They change and will continue to do so. There are as many or few as I decide but are markers of achievement. When they start to go a way I do not like I hope I can be honest enough to reset them and be accountable in meeting them again. Let’s see!

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My diet was:

Monday to Friday

Breakfast – Low Carb Banana Bread

Lunch – Low Carb Seeded Rusks

Dinner – Low Carb Meal

Saturday & Sunday

Breakfast – Low Carb Meal

Lunch – Low Carb Meal

Dinner – Low Carb Meal

Alcohol limited to one or two glasses of red wine with the family meals. No more than three glasses in any two days; Black coffee only; Green or Peppermint Tea. Started to allowing myself an occasional; cup of coffee with real milk (These are called flat whites in Australia).

From May on I transition from the Optfast products, I made the bread and rusks (recipes in the additional info tab) at the weekend and these gave me structure at work. The rest of the time I was very conscious of my carb intake. I was at my goal weight and I really only wanted to maintain it at this time.

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My Exercise Routine:

My exercise calendar is posted above; as you can see was back in the Gym more; no swimming for the month.

I’d started to monitor my monthly active calorie burn; in this case 38,162, a decrease of 2,269 calories from the previous month.

The cardio exercise of swimming, running and riding was by far more likely to give me a calorific deficit that will ensure I keep the weight off.