using your glucose meter as a fuel gauge

Fascinating article for anyone who is insulin resistant, diabetic, and following a LCHF diet.
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  • While reducing carbohydrates is the first priority, high blood glucose levels and insulin resistance can also be a sign that you are eating too much and / or too often.
  • You can use your blood glucose meter as a fuel gauge to help you understand whether your hunger is real and refine your meal timing.
  • Delaying your next meal allows your body to use up the glucose in your blood.
  • Intermittent fasting will allow your the glucose in your blood stream to be replenished from the glycogen stores in your liver and muscle and allow energy to flow from your fat stores.
blood glucose action
>  7 day average, well slept and low stress delay eating and / or exercise
< 7 day average if hungry, enjoy nutrient dense foods that align with your insulin sensitivity
< 73mg/dL (4.0 mmol/L) eat higher insulin load foods if hungry and delay exercise

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This approach…

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LCHF Week 12 – Health Observations (Nov. 11 -18)

(Note: just a quick comment… WPs new format SUCKS!)

Okay, now that I got that out of my system, time to move on to what’s really important. I realized today that it has been 5 weeks since I last updated this blog about my weight loss and health on the LCHF WOE. It’s amazing how quickly the weeks pass by. During some of that time, I was experiencing computer problems and had to have my laptop put in the shop, but that is enough of the excuses. Truth is, I simply had little to report. So time for a little catch up:

  1. I’ve lost 19.5 lbs and 3 inches off of my waist.
  2. I’ve had to eliminate the following from my diet because they increase insulin and cause higher BGLs: all dairy (except butter and HWC) and stevia (the last of anything sweet I will ever have, sadly).
  3. I am still keeping carbs under 20 grams most days, but occasionally they do go up to around 25 grams without adverse issues. The overage is usually due to eating an extra 1/2 an avocado a day though and not because I’ve added anything starchy or sugary to my diet.
  4. I have cut my protein intake way back. I was averaging around 70-80 grams of protein per day and now I try to keep protein at or slightly under 50 grams a day. I’ve come to realize that protein also causes insulin to rise as well as my BGLs. That whole protein breaking down into glucose thing.
  5. I have increased my fat intake from around 95-100 grams per day to around 120-130 grams per day.
  6. My macros look more like 80% fat, 15% protein, 5% carbs now.
  7. I am still tracking my foods on FatSecret.com every day.
  8. I still follow an Intermittent Fasting schedule on most days (usually a 16:8 or 24 hr) with periods of Full Fat Fasting (FFF) days (where I consume only BPC and water for several days), and I have attempted 2 longer term fasts, both ending only after 36 hrs of non-eating. I hope to change that soon as I do want to eventually do a 7-10 day extended fast.
  9. I am still struggling with high BGLs; however, I am still off of the insulin and do not plan on going back on it. I cannot understand why doctors give T2D insulin when their bodies are riddled with insulin and THAT is the issue. They should instead be teaching diabetics how to resolve insulin resistance instead. But, that is for another day’s rant. I am hoping that the current removal of stevia will help correct this issue.
  10. I was having issues with constipation, but since adding the 2-3 days of FFF to my schedule, those days are in the past.
  11. Energy levels are still great (unless my BGLs are extremely high). Skin, hair, nails, etc. are still doing well. Night vision is amazing and day vision is okay so long as BGLs aren’t too high. Sleep is going well and I am usually getting between 7-9 hrs of sleep per day.
  12. I’ve added weight training, Qi Gong stretches, and short walks to my exercise routine. So far, so good.

Well, that about wraps things up. This has been a constant learning experience for me and I know there is still so much more for me to learn. Every day is a new challenge and I am just rolling with it. I have no plans of ceasing, although there are days that I do get a bit discouraged. Mostly because of my BGLs though.

LCHF Week Seven – Health Observations (Oct. 8 – 14, 2015)

I’m a bit late in posting this, but there aren’t too many things to report this week.

  1. I’ve lost 14 lbs and 2 inches off of my waist so far.
  2. I’m struggling with finding a good balance of carbs and proteins because my BGLs are all over the place. A good example of this is three days ago, I ate a hamburger patty and my BGL spiked 20 points, but yesterday, I ate some cabbage and meatballs with rice and tomato sauce and my BGL only spiked 10 points and then came back down easily. I’ve been doing extreme low carb, like under 5 grams each day for about 5 days with BGL spikes and yesterday I had 27 grams with not much of a spike. I don’t know what the hell is going on.
  3. I’ve quit caffeine (coffee and tea) because I noticed it was spiking my BGLs and preventing me from sleeping very well. Sleep has improved as a result, but man do I miss coffee!
  4. I will be attempting another long fast because it did help lower my BGLs and I had a significant weight loss because of the last one. Will be buying some bone broth from Amazon (only place I can find it) and will be using it this time. Will probably begin the fast around Wed of next week and aiming for 5 days this time.
  5. All other things are consistent: very few aches (just upper back), hair and nails are doing well, skin still soft, blood pressure still doing well, neuropathy in feet still improving, eyesight doing well, especially night vision, mood is good and my mind is clear.
  6. Constipation has been a mild issue this past week. Went 4 days without a BM, then the next evening, whoosh! Will be buying some Milk of Magnesium in case this happens again. I just feel so horribly bloated if I do not have a BM every day or every other day.
  7. Per Dr. Fung’s advice, I will be adding some fiber to my diet. Going to use psyllium husks and see how that works for me.
  8. I am still off of insulin. My BGLs are ranging from 135-219 at the highest. Averaging 155-165 for fasting morning numbers. I am trying to let this play out without resorting to the insulin. Hoping as I continue to lose weight, the BGLs will come down.

Well, that’s all for this week. Onward to week 8!

LCHF Week Six – Health Observations (Oct. 1 – 7, 2015)

Not as many observations this week, so I will get right to them

  1. I tried intermittent fasting and can easily do a 24 hr fast. Then I tried to do a longer fast and only managed 48 hrs. I think my body needs time to adjust to a longer fast and I wasn’t well-prepared for one either. Next time I plan to use bone broth during the fast. The benefits from the 48 hr fast were energy for up to 36 hrs in which I didn’t sleep much, my BGLs came down remarkably well and have so far remained steady. They are not as low as when I was taking insulin, but they aren’t bouncing all over the place either.
  2. I stopped taking insulin. Good bye to 150 units of insulin a day which really did little to balance out my BGLs. Instead creating spikes, dips and dives. I just take the Janumet twice a day now.
  3. I’ve discovered that the less protein I eat and the more fat, the calmer my feet are at night and I don’t get the racing heart effect at night. I was eating around 70+ grams of protein a day and I decreased it to around 60-65 grams. I’ve upped my fat from around 80-90 to around 100 grams. Some days I eat less than 1000 calories, other days as high as around 1600. I have no idea yet how this is affecting weight loss since I haven’t weighed in for two days. I do know the higher fat content has helped my feet though and that is a bonus for me even if I don’t lose weight very fast.
  4. Still maintaining the elevated mood, better skin, nails and hair, very little acid reflux (just the small amount last night with the HWC, may have to give it up along with the rest of the dairy that I just cannot seem to consume), night vision is awesome again, and have an overall feeling of well-being.
  5. Weight has come down from 5 lbs lost to now 11.5 lbs lost, as of 2 days ago.

Not much else to report. Still doing well and feeling a lot better. LCHF for life!

Fasting Woes

Well, I made it through 48 hours of fasting. I followed Dr. Fung’s advice that if my body was responding badly and needed food, to break the fast and eat. So I have. My symptoms:

  1. Severe headache and brain fog
  2. Severe stomach grumbling, nausea
  3. An overall sense of unwellness

I did the usual things first… upped my water intake.. didn’t help. Drank another sea salt water, waited.. didn’t help. Hence, some food.

I chose to go light… some canned tuna with 1/2 avocado and some mayo. I am beginning to feel better.

No idea what effect this will have on my BGL. It was 155 when I took it before eating. Waiting 2 hrs, so around 6 pm, and will check it again.

Today’s Experiment in Fasting

First, let me say that by doing this, I am risking my own health. So I do not advocate this for any insulin taking Type 2 Diabetics and definitely not for Type 1 Diabetics. What I am doing is EXTREME. Please do not take what I reveal here as the best way to lower your BGLs. Do your own research, consult your doctor, etc. You know, all the usual common sense stuff.

For so long now, I have been struggling to get my BGLs under control. Just taking metformin did not work. I was put on 2 insulins – the slow-acting Levimer and the fast-acting Novolog. I have also been taking Janumet, which is a combination of Januvia and Metformin. With all of these, you would think my BGLs would be well under control, right? Wrong. They’ve remained high and my doses of insulin just keep getting increased.

In August, I began the LCHF WOE and yes, my BGLs came down some, as predicted by all LCHF advocates. By low, I mean I have still had morning fasting numbers of 155 and higher, up to 179. However, they used to be between 175-250. So yes, this is a great improvement.

I have been watching videos by Dr. Jason Fung, a doctor from Canada, who talks about Type 2 Diabetes not being a disease of high blood sugars, but of high Insulin. We just make and send out too much insulin. So why oh why did my doctor put me on MORE insulin and not work with my diet? I have no idea.

With the guidelines of Dr. Fung’s protocol, and because my doctor refused to lower my insulin, even when my A1c came down from 9.2 to 7.2, I have decided to do my own experiment. Fung advocates doing long fasts… one week and up to two weeks to naturally lower the insulin in the blood, thus lowering BGLs and improving diabetes. After the fast, you remain on a LCHF diet. He also suggests doing Intermittent Fasting after that.. 16:8 or 24 hr fasts.

Here are the rules I set up for myself today:

  1. No insulin
  2. Take my normal dosages of Janumet
  3. Only consume water, black coffee, green tea (no creams or sweeteners in either) and sea salt water as needed.
  4. Check my BGLs every two hours

This afternoon (12-ish), my BGL was 178. By 2 pm, it was 179. I was horrified. I thought, this is not going to work, but I persisted. By 4 pm it was 142. By 6 pm, it was …drum roll please… 115!

I am now 29 hrs into the fast. I plan on doing this for at least a week to rid myself of all that insulin. I probably have decades worth built up in my system. Just 139 more hours to go! Wish me luck!

Weight Loss Boost with Intermittent Fasting

I had been on the LCHF WOE for 5 weeks with only a 5lb loss. I started listening to Dr. Jason Fung on Youtube talk about the benefits of Intermittent Fasting (IF), and decided to give it a shot. For the last 3 days, I have begun my day around 10 am with a BPC, then around 2 pm I have a large high fat meal and then just drink water and green tea the rest of the day. I do not eat again until the next day around 2 pm. This is considered a 24 hr fast since I am not consuming food for 24 hrs.

Today, I got on the scale and I was down another 6.5 lbs! That brings my total weight loss to 11.5 lbs in nearly 6 weeks.

I mostly contribute this to the IF, however, I have also quit taking my insulin. Dr. Fung also talks about how insulin stores fat and keeps you fat the higher your insulin levels are. I was using around 150-156 units of insulin per day. Granted, my BGL levels are now higher, but I am losing weight again and inches off of my waist which was NOT happening from injecting insulin in my belly every day.

I’ve decided to ride this out… keeping my carbs low, my fat high, taking the Janumet twice a day and keep losing weight. Eventually my BGLs have to start coming down again. I hope, anyway.