Health and Fitness – One month in

It’s been one month since I first posted about making some changes, and things have been going well. I’m going for a two kilometer walk each weekday at lunch, and for the last two weeks I’ve added in a one kilometer morning walk to the coffee shop. My wife has started working from home, so instead of doing the drive thru on the way to dropping her off at work, we walk over to get our coffee and tea.

The focus of this plan isn’t specifically weight loss, but it’s easy to measure and is hopefully a beneficial side effect. My scale went weird for a few days, according to it, I dropped almost six pounds over night and then suddenly gained it back a few days later. I’m sure that didn’t actually happen but I’ve left those numbers in for now. I’ve dropped a little, about five pounds. I’ve gone from being around 255 lbs to being a little under 248 lbs.

What is really interesting is the Percent Body Fat numbers which dropped significantly on September 20th and seems to be staying low.

I won’t know how my Triglycerides and HbA1C are doing until I get another set of lab tests done, but I can get an idea of how my Blood Sugars are doing. My last Glucose Fasting number was 7.7 and my HbA1C was 7.2 Both of these should be below 7 and preferably closer to 5.5.

For regular Blood Sugar testing, before meals should be between 4 and 7 mmol/L Two hours after the start of a meal should be 5 to 10 mmol/L (or 5 to 8 mmol/L if A1C targets not being met).

I’ve been measuring these at various times of the day, and have been trying out different types of meals to see what effect they have. Oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast is not a good meal for me, it seems to really spike my levels. Omelets made with peppers, mushrooms, turkey and salsa and two eggs works really well.

The after meal numbers are generally coming in fairly well. The before meal numbers have been reasonably good as well, I need to do some more measurements over the next few weeks, and preferably without having any snacks within a few hours of doing the measurements.

Blood Pressure is the other thing I’ve been tracking. Again, it’s doing quite well. The target is to be under 130/80. I’ve got the under 130 part down fairly consistently, I’m usually under 80 but often just barely or just slightly above. Hopefully keeping a close eye on the salt and keeping up with the exercise will continue to help with that.

Speaking of salt and food, I’ve tried a few meals out of the “Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution” book and the “Mediterranean Dash Diet Cookbook” as well. The “Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Crispy Kale” was really good, although we substituted asparagus for the kale. Another really quick and tasty one was the “Harissa Yogurt Chicken Thighs”.

We also tried this one, which we also really liked and seems to fit the plan, especially if you cut back the salt, although it doesn’t have all that much to start with.

I haven’t tried as many of the items out of the books that I had hoped to by this point, but have been making reasonably decent meal choices most of the time. I should probably start using the checklist in the book to see if I’m getting a good balance of the different food groups across the whole day/week rather than just focusing on individual meals. I have been tracking my meals in My Fitness Pal, which is also helpful. I’ll probably talk more about some of the tools I’m using in a future post.

So, after just over one month, I’m quite pleased with how things are going, I think it’s something I can continue with. There are always going to be challenges. At some point the weather will turn, and even with Covid, there are occasional social events and other things that can cause it to be difficult to stay on plan, but with this being a pretty flexible plan, it doesn’t cause too many problems and it’s pretty easy to get back on track.

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