Total Read Time: 7 mins
Saturday’s Meal Overview: 1 lb of ground turkey. 8 whole eggs. 8 oz baked chicken. 4 oz almonds. Very real findings with practical applications.
My weekend was very productive. For those of you who follow me on SnapChat (@nlatoof), you may have seen this picture I posted on Saturday.
For those of you who do not recognize what that is, it’s a OneTouch Ultra Mini glucometer. It’s a tool that is used to measure your blood glucose levels or blood sugar (BS).
I know, you’re asking yourself, “why in the heck am I measuring my BS?” Although that’s a good question, the better question is what am I attempting to learn through this mechanism.
The Back Story
If you really know me, you know I’m always trying to find the most effective way to get to my end state goal. Often times, the methods that I try go completely against conventional wisdom.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to stop and reflect.”
— Mark Twain
If the majority of people do “X”, then their outcome is “Y”. That’s great if I want to be like everybody else and have Y. But what if I want Z? Should I do X in order to get Z when clearly X gives you Y?
Simple put: I desire something more than what the majority of the population has or desires. In order to get something different, one must do something different.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”
— Tony Robbins
In order to achieve what I want, I need to ask questions. Good questions. Questions about what, you ask.
Hours of YouTube/Google Scholar
I rescheduled a Saturday morning client for Friday evening. (I’m flexible like that.) That really freed up my Friday night surprisingly. I found myself caught in between various diet strategies. I decided to crack open my go to books and online resources, new and old.
I found myself watching hours of YouTube videos and stumbled on some really great stuff that confirmed many personal findings that I have previously experimented with. It’s always a good feeling to get that confirmation. I stumbled upon Dr. Peter Attia and a lecture he did over ketosis that outlined his health and fitness journey.
Long have I been a fan of high protein, high fat diets, but Dr. Attia put a different spin on it that I hadn’t thought of before. His fat intake was crazy high and his protein intake was much lower than I anticipated. Carbs were low. Right on!
I was very intrigued by such a low amount of protein. He was a bigger guy and the amount he was ingesting was what I would consider to be very low. At one point during the lecture, he said that ~80% of his caloric intake was from fats. My intrigue grew stronger.
He spoke a little bit about not wanting your protein intake to get too high because protein can increase blood sugar. I’ve never been completely sold on this issue and trying to find some data to support it wasn’t as easy as one would’ve liked.
I decided to be my own case study. After all, it would be directly applicable.
disclaimer: it is NOT recommended to try anything that you read here at home.
The previous day’s information potentially plays a role in today’s data. Luckily, I keep a pretty good training/nutritional log most days. Here’s what happened Friday:
FRIDAY – MARCH 13, 2015
|10:00 AM||Oatmeal (1 1/3 c)||330||11||7||60||9||2||50|
|Honey (1 tbsp)||60||0||0||17||0||17||17|
|Simple Truth Whey (1 scoop)||80||18||0.5||2||1||1||1|
|Peter Pan PB (2 tbsp)||200||8||16||6||3||3||3|
|2:30 PM||99% Lean Ground Turkey (16 oz)||520||108||6||0||0||0||0|
|Smokehouse Almonds (2 oz)||340||12||32||10||6||2||4|
|PB Complete Protein Bar (GNC)||200||20||8||21||15||3||6|
|6:00 PM||100% Casein (Gold Standard)||180||36||1.5||4.5||1.5||1.5||3|
|Almond Milk Light (2 c)||60||2||3||1.5||0||1.5||1.5|
|PB2 (1 tbsp)||22.5||2||.5||3||0.5||1.5||2.5|
|PB Complete Protein (GNC)||200||20||8||21||15||3||6|
I must admit this isn’t a typical macro/calorie count for me over the past few months. If I had to take an average of intake since Jan, it would probably look more like the following:
SATURDAY – MARCH 14, 2015
|10:35 AM||66||Left Ring Finger/Fasted|
|1/2 c coffee w/ stevia (2 packs)|
|70||Left Middle Finger|
|Finished Coffee @ 10:55 AM|
|11:35 AM||72||Left Ring Finger/Fasted|
|82||Left Middle Finger|
|12:00 PM||8 oz Baked Chicken Breast||~220 kcal||52g||2g||0g|
|1:00 PM||69||Left Ring|
|2:00 PM||74||Left Ring|
|3:00 PM||70||Left Ring / Hunger is starting to creep in a bit|
|3:30 PM||16 oz 99% Lean Ground Turkey||~520 kcal||108g||6g||0g|
|Buffalo Sauce – Food Lion (5 tbsp)||~25 kcal||0g||0g||5g|
|Worcestershire Sauce (5 tsp)||~25 kcal||0g||0g||5g|
|3:45 PM||92||Left Ring|
|4:50 PM||79||Left Ring|
|5:15 – 6:10 PM||NAP|
|6:15 PM||86||Left Ring|
|6:28 PM||GNC Pure Edge Bar||~200 kcal||20g||8g||21g|
|8 Whole Eggs (Scrambled)||~560 kcal||48g||36g||0g|
|4 oz Almonds||~680 kcal||24g||60g||22g|
|Zero Ultra Monster|
|7:00 PM||Meal Conclusion|
|7:45 PM||64||Left Ring|
|8:45 PM||84||Left Ring|
|9:45 PM||86||Left Ring|
SUNDAY – MARCH 15, 2012
How I felt.
Much to my surprise, I felt pretty good on Sunday morning. Nothing like a typical carb feast where I’d be bloated and on the verge of hurling all morning. This was nice. I felt lean albeit not as much as I would like. That could have to do with my higher than normal carb intake on Friday but that’s mere speculation.
The cool thing here is that I ate a ton of protein and fat. An amount a good buddy of mine (also an advocate of IF) said would have made him sick. Although I was pretty full, I was not miserably full like I would be from eating an equal caloric load from carbohydrates. I find this very interesting.
The OneTouch Ultra Mini glucometer used has a history of being a little inconsistent. That’s the reasoning behind the multiple readings each hour and the different fingers used. When there was a big gap in the readings, I used more readings to try and get a better picture. I always pricked in the order listed.
Sort of crazy that I fasted from 8 PM the previous night until 12 noon and experienced no drop in blood sugar. Mind boggling.
It is important to note that I am what most would consider a “trained individual.” I have been on rigorous resistance training program for the past 5-6 years and have several adaptations that those with less physical training would not have, metabolically and physiologically speaking.
With that said, it would not be typical for everyone to demonstrate these findings. These findings are highly specific to me and my body.
I found it quite interesting that peak levels in BS were in that 6:15 PM area post-nap. I speculate that the Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR) had something to do with this. CAR is partially responsible for waking us up in the morning and it would make sense that it be involved here. I touch on CAR a bit more in detail here. It would be rather difficult to pin-point the exact mechanism for the slight BS increase.
The current data made it pretty evident that protein did not significantly increase blood glucose levels, as I ingested close to 160g of protein with very little carb and fat in the first two meals.
It certainly did not do so in a mix meal either (protein + fats). There is good evidence out there that great control of blood sugar leads to better weight management tactics. My body is very effective at managing my blood glucose levels. Theoretically, I should be able to maintain my current body weight quite well, which is true.
In Shining a Light, I highlight a previous experiment having to do with blood sugar and the “anabolic post-workout window.” In that experiment, I found it incredible difficult to raise my blood sugar for a significant amount of time using some of the fastest absorbing carbohydrate around, 100% dextrose.
My theory has yet to be disproved by my own experiments thus far. Protein does not seem to raise blood sugar levels. If anything, it seems to help keep it under control. After all, high protein intake has been the most consistent thing in my diet for several years. Further research and/or self-experimentation is needed to ultimately confirm this.
After listening to Dr. Attia’s lecture, I was reminded of a book I picked up a few years ago.
It adopts many of the principles that I have found work well with not only myself but countless others. I never fully attempted the program for reasons that I’m not quite sure of. They advocate intermittent fasting (IF) which I like. They talk extensively about reseting the system of carbohydrates, another plus. They recommend high fat intake, money!
My dilemma is that the recommended protein intake is significantly lower than what I’ve been taking in currently, much like Dr. Attia’s approach. I’ve crunched the numbers 3 different times based on their recommendations and arrive at the the following each time.
Keep in mind the numbers change every 4 weeks. It’s a four month program designed to reset you body and such. I’m not going to get into it any further. If you’d like to find out more about the book or buy it, by all means google it. I make no money off of it and have nothing invested in it.
The numbers are drastically different from what I have been getting. I should be able to see some changes if I decide to give this a go. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I think I’ll give this program a shot and see if it can propel me closer to my ultimate goal.
To be honest, I am a little skeptical about the protein intake, as it is significantly lower than what I am use to. Regardless, I plan on giving it a shot and seeing how it goes. I will be tracking workouts, calories/macros, supplements, as well as a sleep log and how I feel each day.
To provide a little more context, here’s my situation:
I’m 7 weeks out from a physique show. My carbohydrates have been well under 1g/lb BW for several months. My body is in and out of ketosis so this is not a super drastic change with the exception of a decreased protein intake. Fat intake will be higher than normal as well.
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