Reducing calorie intake for weight loss – what helped me

I have been overweight for most of my adult life. Most of the time close to the margin of obesity. As one can imagine I tried a lot of diets and fiddled around a lot with my caloric intake for weight loss.

To start: here are my Withings weight data from the last three months. What worked and what did not?

Caloric intake for weight loss
Weight Chart

 

Being overweight is no fun for a lot of reasons.  So motivation (read: pressure) to get off these extra pounds was quite high.

What did not work for me and why

  • Formula shake drink diets -> was hungry most of the time, inconvenient as I had to cook a meal in the evening
  • Extreme low carb, low cal (e.g. Scarsdale Diet) -> energy level dropped too much, was not able to maintain for a longer time
  • Low fat diet -> often high ammounts of carbs which forced me to increase my anti glucose medication, which leads to more insulin, which probably leads to increased storage of body fat. Worked but was too slow.
  • Fasting -> managed to do 11 days in a row (and proud of it), lost a lot of weight, regained it in a month
  • “Balanced Diets” like Brigitte Diät, Weight Watchers -> worked slowly but needed a lot of food preperation
  • Low Carb, High Fat -> was okay but did not give me any weight loss. But I was able to keep my weight despite lots of fat or oil.
  • Medication -> I once took Reductil which made me thirsty beyond any comfortable level. And blood pressure went up significantly.

What worked – Managing my calorie intake for weight loss

I simply ate less calories. This sounds unsexy and maybe it is. But if it works for my metabolism, why not?

This the 1970 way of loosing weight – how did I use my 2015 knowledge for improvement?

  •  EODF -> every other day fasting gave me the best and most reliable results. Fasting seems to be good for my body. But I coin the weight loss to the missing caloric input on the combined fasting/eating days.  It is the least complicated diet on the planet. In mid January I mostly did EODF which gave me the best results.
  • Online Resources -> calorie counting is pretty easy today. I use the FDDB-database. It takes five seconds to start the mobile app and scan the barcode to get the full nutritional values of a LOT of foods. Easy.
  • Mild low carb low cal-> as a type two diabetic my limiting factor are carbs consumed. I take no insulin so every gram has to be balanced by my pancreas. So I keep my carb input as low as possible. Especially in the morning where my blood glucose is high due to the dawn phenomenon. But lowering the carbs alone did not lead to weight loss – I had to cut the calories as well.
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Resistant Starch Foods – Basmati Rice

(UPDATE:  my test on cold resistant starch rice is now online)

As mentioned in the resistant starch rice post here are the results of my first test.  This is far from any scientific methodology but enough to fulfill my two goals:

  1. improve my personal eating habits
  2. inspire others to do their own tests (which one should always do)

Resistant Starch Foods – Basmati Rice

I prepared one (raw) cup of basmati rice, two and a half cups of water, salt and two teaspoons of coconut oil. Cooking time 18 min. Rice was cooled down and put in the fridge for >14h.
Next day I prepared an asian inspired “resistant goreng” with the following ingredients (sorry, the tool only works in German):

Resistant Starch Foods - Basmati Rice
Resistant Starch Goreng

I used only half of the rice for cooking and after checking the carbs and cals I decided to eat only half of the prepared meal (~ 400kcal and 38g carbs) – so eating only a quarter of the prepared rice. My girlfriend ate the rest of the meal- and liked it 🙂 .

Resistant starch rice - before
Resistant starch rice – before
"Resistant goreng"
“Resistant goreng”

Result

I checked the influence on my blood glucose with my Freestyle Libre flash glucose monitor:

Resistant Starch Rice Blood Glucose
Resistant Starch Rice Blood Glucose

Resistant starch basmati rice gave me a rise of appx. 68 mg/dl from 38g of carbs. The “real” value will be higher as the Libre sensor reads 10 to 20% lower than my finger glucometer.

The rise of BG is not lower than what I would have expected from untreated rice.

Thinking about it – the preperation of rice with oil is surely something that is quite common. So if this had any positive influence some Type 1 diabetics would surely would have recognized this.

Conclusion

In this one person single meal study on resistant starch foods resistant starch rice did not show any beneficial influence on BG compared to normal rice.

I decided to at least two tests as blood glucose seems to behave somewhat fuzzy. So I will retest this with some of the basmati rice leftovers (maybe cold rice salad) but do not expect any improvement.

 

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Xylitol side effects – rise of BG?

UPDATE: I did a retest and had a much less rise in BG. I will keep an eye on this.

Another big surprise.  I regularly use Xylitol (Xucker) instead of table sugar because it has low or no impact on blood glucose. Or is said to have. But there seems to be some “xylitol side effects”.

Today with my morning coffee and with the help of my freestyle libre I checked the influence of four heaped teaspoons of Xylitol in my morning coffee (together with one teaspon of low fat cream). And I nearly fell off my chair: it raised my BG from 123 to 171 mg/dl (fingerpick, freestyle 146)!

What kind of xylitol side effects are that?

I will redo this experiment tomorrow. Maybe the lowfat cream had some negative influence. I hope so.

Rats, so I have to wait another hour for my BG to go down before I can have my breakfast…

Four heaped tablespoons of xylitol in my morning coffee. What strange kind of xylitol side effects is this?
Four heaped tablespoons of xylitol in my morning coffee. What strange kind of xylitol side effects is this?
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Spaghetti with a surprise

Can you “walk away” your glucose?
My diabetologist told me “you can eat everything as long as you do sports afterwards”.

Well, sport is my weak point. I enjoy walking and cycling. But anything where you have to change dress and have a shower afterwards is not my kind of thing. I am lazy. I admit it.

Asking him if walking would be enough he disagreed. Not enough of the sweat factor.

But on the internet I found this article :

The Effect of Walking on Postprandial Glycemic Excursion in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes and Healthy People

So I tried that out: I ate a bowl of dinkel (spelt) spaghetti at a local restaurant (Vapiano) with arrabiata sauce and parmesan. And a small coke light. I guess as the pasta portion was quite large there were 80g of carbs involved.

And I went walking.

Spaghetti with a surprise
Measurement Log

I started the meal at 17:10 and went on the road at 17:40. I walked at a normal pace. Not strolling and not “nordic walking” style.

According to my Freestyle Libre blood glucose had its peak at 18:15 with 119mg/dl and fell slightly.

After one and a half hours (!) at 19:20 I finished my walk and sat down comfy in my chair at home. As soon as I rested, my blood sugar started to climb again.

 Frustrated by that I decided to leave my comfy chair and see what happens. At 19:50 I went out for another half hour and my blood sugar went down again.

Now something strange happened: I was tired and went to bed at 21:50. And during my sleep BS climbed again with its peak of 155 mg/dl at appx 23:10. What? Six hours after eating a lot of carbs?

My Interpretation

  • I CAN walk away blood sugar. With a bowl of spaghetti my blood sugar would have been otherwise much higher  (definitvely above 180 mg/dl) after one hour
  • it takes a long time to walk away the glucose. Over 1,5h of walking time after each meal is nothing I can do on a regular basis
  • I have no explanation of the peak six hours later. Maybe some rebound effect or something else. Maybe I check if I can repeat that
  • BG values are higher than logged as the Freestyle Libre was appx. 20% lower on the first day of sensor usage than my fingerpick readings.
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Effect of Resistant Starch Rice

Yesterday I saw an interesting article about a new way of preparing “enhanced resistant starch rice”.

Resistant Starch Rice
Resistant Starch Rice

 

Today I bought basmati rice (I could not get the special sort that was mentioned) cooked one cup of it with two teaspoons of cocosoil and now it is waiting in the fridge to be eaten tomorrow.

It may not have a different effect on my blood sugar than ordinary rice but it smells incredibly tasty!

More background in this video.

Edit: I have written down the results of my first resistant starch rice test.

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That is what happens after 100g gummy bears

Okay I got my new Abbott FreeStyle Libre. And just out of pure stupidity I tried what happens if I eat half a pack of gummy bears (over 70g carbs).

Well nothing I could not have forseen. Sugar rises sky high. Maximum at 224 after 50min (fingerpick glucose 245 on the Diamond Mini). Geez.

After four hours back to base level – a short but heavy trip into hyperglycemia.

Two things are different than I expected:

  • There was a “plateau” from 18:40 to 20:00. I expected it to be more peak like
  • The base level is lower after the hyperglycemia. Maybe an overshoot

image

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Lunch

Today I was at a local restaurant.

The salad was awful: chemistry instant salad sauce urgh… But at least it looked attractive.

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For a fist full of carbs.

Main course was “Schweinebraten” (pork). I did allow myself only a FIST size portion of carbs (appx 40g carbs). So I separated like Moses the sea of “Spätzle” and ate only half. Me: good boy.

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before

 

How it tasted? Convenience food at its best (or worst). Will not go there in future.

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after

 

After 90min the BG was 159 mg/dl which is good, because it is below my 160 mg/dl goal for postprandial (after meal) blood glucose.

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Satiety Index: Potato Salat

To check the satiety potential of various food types I today checked potato salad. Potatoes are said to have a high satiety index, so I will check some potato foods.

  • 280g Potato Salad
  • 330 kcal
  • 32g carbs

Result

After 1h blood glucose rise 10mg/dl, satiety 7 (on a scale of 0 – hungry like a wolf, 10 – full)

After 2h blood glucose rise was 2mg/dl which is below measurement accuracy. Satiety was 6.

Not bad. I expected the rise to be much higher. This seems to be too good to be true. I need to redo the experiment.

Potato Salad is easy to prepare and store (I bought one at a local store), quite healthy and tastes great. Will continue to check high satiety index foods.

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The Satiety Index – An Experiment

The Satiety Index – sounds like an interesting concept. Sure, a potato will fill me up more than a bell pepper – but how can I use that treating my diabetes?

According to the measurements on this page one is supposed to be three times more “satisfied” if he eats potatoes  compared to white bread. Does that mean, you can eat only one third and still be full? Sounds like an interesting experiment.

Another PDF with further infos atbout the satiety index:

http://www.uspotatoes.com/downloads/Satiety%20Index–APRE%20News%20Reference.pdf

The satiety index a little more elaborated is the Fullness Factor. It is an analysis of the macronutitients related to satiety and leads to a somewhat complicated formula to calculate satiety. I am not sure if it is really helpful but judge yourself:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/topics/fullness-factor#fullness

How can I use the satiety index in my T2DM diet?

One problem is breakfast. Most food leaves me hungrier at lunch time than eating nothing at all. But I am hungry anyway. So I will start with a medium sized potato at breakfast – with an egg,  240 g tomato and 100g ham. As I do not want to waste too much calories on fat, I will use a non-stick pan and use no fat.
And – as I hate cooking in the morning – I will prepare potato, tomato, ham and salt/pepper mixture the evening before.

According to FDDB  this will give me  appx. 300 kcal and 22g of carbs, which is okay.

NB: eating potato salad would be easier to prepare beforehand. but I like to have some warm eggy-breaggy food.


 

 

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