One thing that’s been going through my head over the past two months is something my Doctor said to me when I went for my yearly checkup. It had been almost two years since my last cholesterol test. Although my results were pretty good, I wanted to know if it would be worth getting tested again. His thought was that unless I had not made any significant changes in my lifestyle, there was no need for me to test again so soon.
Since then, I have made some changes with my lifestyle and eating. It’s been just over two months since I removed all sugar and processed carbohydrates from my diet and I just wanted to take a moment to clarify that as it may look like I have gone into this as a blind guinea pig, I have been mindful of repercussions of making a large change to eating. It’s been a long process of research and discussion with a number of people and I am keen to continue with this as long as possible, making sure that I am keeping as healthy as possible at the same time.
There are pros and cons to any diet and I have heard some issues that can be experienced when cutting out carbs from your diet including hormonal issues, sleep disruptions and issues with recovery and muscle loss. I wanted to clarify that I am not going into starvation mode throughout this process and am managing my diet and eating properly. I am also testing myself periodically to make sure there are no underlying issues.
As a starting point, I am always checking a small list of indicators, especially during high training loads, to help me measure the fatigue and stress that’s being placed in my body which include resting heart rate, weight, can I match my race pace during training sessions and mood (ask someone else’s opinion on that one). I’ve now added the following tests to make sure I’m tracking on the right path and not putting my body at risk.
Body Fat Analysis
The picture that I have included in this post is not there to show off my body but more so to give an indication of the fact that I am pretty lean and as so going into this new eating plan of reducing sugar and processed carbohydrates. I didn’t realise how lean I was until I was able to get a body fat analysis recently which put me at 8.8% body fat. Considering that I am looking to get a majority of my fuel from fat I need to make sure that it’s not dropping, especially before heading into my first IRONMAN. I am still sorting out my eating plan, and hoping to make my next post a comparison of my current eating compared to what I would previously eat.
Blood Glucose Level
The main aim of this eating plan was to make sure that the amount of sugar I was eating would not develop into diabetes later in life. Although I am cutting out sugar and processed carbohydrates as much as possible, due to the amount of vegetables and nuts I am eating, I estimate that I am still consuming about 100g worth of carbohydrates a day. A blood glucose check will test blood for any spike or drop resulting in an unknown change to my diet. I am currently sitting at 4.4mmol/L, which is in a healthy range.
Finally, cholesterol, as I said this will be a major indicator of a potential failing in my new eating plan. As I had only been sticking to this plan for just over two months I was not expecting a change in my cholesterol level but it was good to get a good base line before I go any further into this experiment. My test came back as not having changed since my last test at 4.5, including the levels of both good and bad cholesterol remaining the same.
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Vince works as an IT Engineer in Melbourne, Australia where he lives with his cat Tim Tam. He has been a runner for longer than he can remember. He competes in distance running races, open water swims and long course triathlons.