Friday, July 24, 2009

Crossing the Finnish line

(Sorry, that was a lame, crappy-journalist title to write.)

Have you heard about what Finland has done to curtail the couch-potato trend in their country? Read all about it
here. Why can't we do that too? Oh, wait, our agriculture and food lobbies have too much power.

It's Day 5 on Medifast and I'm feeling back in the driver's seat of this new effort. I lost two of the four pie-pounds gained a couple days ago. I'm feeling my groove. "They" were right, if you can get past day three, it's all good from there!

I ordered my new Concept 2 D-model rower. It's coming on Tuesday. I can't wait!!! My garage/gym is almost complete. I just have to sweep out another portion of it and I still have to pick up my treadmill and weight bench from the old house. Once it's all installed, I'll post a photo of it here.

Maybe I should put up some mirrors too...

PS) I posted a question about my 4-lb gain on the Medifast discussion board and got the following response from a dietician...I've done my best to edit down to a digestible size. Her explanation does make sense to me, but as pointed out by a recent comment to my blog, I'm not sure how the 100 gm applies to everyone.

"The Medifast meals are a balanced combination of protein and carbohydrates, as well as fortified with vitamins and minerals so that with 5 (meal packets) a person is getting at least 100% of the daily value for 24 vitamins/minerals and with the Lean and Green meal would be getting adequate amounts of protein, 800-1000 calories and yet would be limiting their carbohydrates more than most Americans do on a daily basis.

The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan does induce a mild dietary ketosis (which we refer to as "the fat-burning state). Ketosis is when the body uses ketones (energy made from your own fat stores) rather than glucose (from carbohydrates) as the primary source of fuel for the body. A person does not need to eat zero carbohydrates in order to enter ketosis; however, carbohydrates typically need to be limited to 100 grams (total) or less of carbohydrates per day in order for the body to seek out your fat stores as the primary source of fuel.

What causes a person to lose weight? Weight loss occurs when a person takes in less calories than they burn in a day (i.e. when energy in is less than energy out). Typically one pound of fat requires about a 3500 calorie deficit. The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan is designed to do 2 things in order to promote weight loss in an effective and efficacious way: limit the number of total calories a person is consuming in a day and induce a very mild dietary ketosis (the fat-burning state). The latter of these two components not only helps to create a very rapid initial weight loss (as the body turns to your own stored fat for energy it uses up the "hidden" sources of carbohydrate we naturally have in our bodies, this is called glycogen. When glycogen stores are used, they also allow water to be released which is also reflected by the numbers on the scale), but it helps to protect lean body mass (by giving the body more efficient access to energy stores--our own fat).

So what happens when you eat something that is higher in carbohydrates (yet still controlled in terms of overall calories)? The body will then switch back to using glucose (carbohydrates) as the primary source of fuel and will replenish these glycogen stores (which means it will then hold on to a greater amount of water, which can be reflected by the numbers on the scale).

Did eating something "off-plan" ruin all your efforts? No. Eating something outside of the typical 5 & 1 Plan choices may have increased your total calories and carbohydrates for the day (which means it may not have created a deficit between the number of calories eaten and those used by the body). It may also mean that you are temporarily taken from the fat-burning state (which again, may mean that your body is holding onto water differently), but certainly it did not fully "undo" all that you have already accomplished.

If you continue to follow the 5 & 1 Plan as recommended this one "slip" will not affect your long term weight loss results."

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