I have decided to check four things on a monthly basis: blood glucose, blood ketones, waist measurement, and weight. I put weight last, because it is the least significant of the four.
Insulin's only job is to store fat, so my goal is to keep it as low as possible. In its absence, glucagon levels rise, allowing fat cells to release fatty acids for energy. Once insulin hits the streets, however, glucagon takes its toys and goes home.
A waist measurement tells me my level of visceral (gut) fat, which is one dangerous sucker. Not only does it give us the pot-belly and the apple-shape, but it is an evil, conniving, and sneaking fat mass. Instead of just wrapping itself around our organs, it releases chemicals into the blood stream that inflame our arteries, which contributes to plaque buildup. It's nasty stuff. Any woman with a waist measurement of 35 and over is in the danger zone.
Blood ketones tell me if I am burning sugar, or glucose, for fuel, or if I am burning fat. A by-product of fat-burning is ketones. The chart above will show you the range. To the far right, the red area, is not a danger to anyone who is not a type 1 diabetic. If your body is making insulin, you will not end up on the right. Doctors who should know better still warn patients about the evils of ketones. Yep. The same docs who want to put everyone on statins. *sigh*
Okay, I said "quick," so here we go:
Morning fasting blood glucose: 106
Ketone level: .2
Waist measurement: 37
Morning fasting blood glucose: 91
Ketone level: 1.2
Waist measurement: 36
1. Blood ketone levels are lowest in the morning, so I need to check during the day to see what that level is. Ketone testing strips are too expensive to do it every day.
2. Losing just shy of 4 pounds in a month isn't earth-shattering, but, based on my waist measurement, I must be burning gut fat, which is hunky-dory by me.
3. Sugar cravings are gone. Totally. Zip. Nada.
4. Pizza rolls smell bad. (Sorry, I had to throw that one in. But it's true.)
I am eating a very, VERY high-fat diet, and a very, VERY low-carb diet, and I am not exercising. Once life calms down a bit, Best Half and I want to start lifting again. But, for now, pencil-neck it is.
If you are interested, Prof. Tim Noakes has a marvelous program with 5 weeks of video lessons, short "couch-time" lectures, recipes, and other awesome materials to get one started. You get one week free, and there is a fee for the whole program. Try the free part, and see what you think. I find it useful.
The Bionic Broad out.