Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

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Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby geo » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:57 pm

Let me start by first expressing my extreme gratitude to Dr McDougall for his lifestyle program and to Jeff Novick, RD for his never ending explanations and simplifications of all the technical details entailed in the program. My health and life are indebted to you both.

For the past year I have been following Dr McDougall’s Maximum Weight Loss Program. I’ve followed the program very strictly with > 99 % compliance. Herewith are the results of the program.

Background

I’m a 56 year old male.

I’ve been a SAD eater all my life. In my family, the 4 food groups were meat, potatoes, bread, and dessert. I never really struggled with weight until I hit about 30 yrs old. Then it was the never ending slow creep of a few pounds every year to go along with a completely sedentary lifestyle. School, life, work, family all took precedence over concerns of health. After all, I didn’t feel sick and everyone gets a few aches and pains and gains a few pounds as they get older right? Its all a part of the aging process as we all know so well. Nothing to worry about.

By the time I was 40, I had already reached 240 lbs at a height of 6‘0.

Image

By 2005 I was about 260 lbs. Not happy with how I felt or looked I decided as many do to lose some weight. I had previously read some of Dr McDougall’s older works...his Second Opinion and 12 day Plan books. So I was familiar with the science and the program. But as with many, could not see myself becoming a vegan or giving up all my most treasured foods.

But I at least could go 1/2 way with the program. Cut out some meats, eat lower fat and increase my intake of fruits and veggies along with a good dose of those old standby’s, calorie restriction and portion control. And it worked. Over a years time I had lost 70+ pounds and was looking and feeling somewhat healthier, though it was a very difficult year with hunger and cravings becoming a severe battle of will power. It wasn’t long before life’s little interruptions found there way into disrupting my dietary goals and within another year I had regained everything I lost and then some. Typical of so many poorly planned, temporary diet programs, it just wasn’t sustainable, at least not the way I tried to implement it and by 2009 I found myself up to 291 lbs.

I was gaining 5-6 lbs a year, every year. And all my aches and pains and little “issues of aging" increased along with the weight. It was in 2009 that I decide to have a routine heart and vascular health checkup. I wasn’t really sick, but I knew I also wasn’t feeling as good as I could.

The results of that checkup surprised me in that they were proof that I was in no way healthy and heading down a road to serious health issues. Here’s what it said:

Weight: 291
BMI: 39.5 - Class II Obese
BP: 158/82
Total Cholesterol: 274
HDL: 44
LDL: unable to calculate
Triglycerides: 632
Glucose: 118
Right Carotid artery: ~25% blocked

Diagnosis - Mild Vascular Disease, Pre-Diabetic, Hypertensive and Metabolic Syndrome

Needless to say I was concerned but my Doctor assured me this was not at all unusual for my age and all I needed to do was just diet some and take a few medications and everything would be under control...not cured mind you, just under control, whatever that means. Well I hate pills so I just refused them, thanked the Doc and went home and carried on with life as usual. After all I didn’t feel that sick or really look it. Sure I was a bit overweight but I thought I “carried” it well. Its amazing how we can delude ourselves.

For Christmas 2010 I had a picture taken of me and my daughter with Santa. (I should have been wearing the santa suit, it would have fit me better!) It was then I realized how bad I really looked. I was at my maximum weight then, 297 lbs. BMI of 40.5, a class 3 obesity level. I had reached the pinnacle of obesity classification and I looked and felt every part of it.

Image

I immediately made a New Years resolution for 2011 to lose the weight and if possible improve my health. So I tried really hard once again doing the typical low calorie, portion controlled SAD diet. 1000 calories a day, didn’t matter what I ate as long as it was within 1000 calories. And it worked! At least for as long as I could tolerate the constant hunger and tiredness thats so typical of “diets”. That usually amounted to about 2-3 months of starvation, losing a fair amount before I couldn’t tolerate it any more and went back to my usual eating and gaining. Then after a few months I would try again with the same results. Repeating the cycle several times in the year. By the end of 2011, I had lost 36 whole pounds basically through hunger and deprivation. It took all the will power I had and really the results were barely noticeable. I feared there was simply no way I could continue with this dieting game and believe me, it was all just a game. I would simply diet till I lost the weight and then go back to my usual eating patterns and control them the best I could. But I simply had no will power left in me. I couldn’t do it any more. So in Feb 2012 I decided to have another set of heart health tests done just to see how much better I may be since 3 years ago. Well the results were eye opening, and not for the better:

Weight: 261 virtually what I was at in 2009
BMI: 35.4 Class II Obese
BP: 153/92, higher diastolic
Glucose: 131, now in the diabetic range
Total Cholesterol: 273, still very high
HDL: 37, now below the normal range
LDL: still not calculable
Triglycerides: 559, lower but still very high
HS-CRP - 7.15 way too high inflammation and now with a greatly increased risk of a heart attack

Diagnosis: Pre-Diabetes getting worse, Metabolic Syndrome worse, chronic kidney deficiency, high risk of heart attack.

I was getting worse, much worse and in panic mode.

The Journey

Essentially, I was about the same weight as in 2009, but my health was far from improving. I was going nowhere quick despite herculean efforts of will power over diet. I knew there had to be a better way. I had collected a small library of diet books over the years so I started looking through them and found a copy of the MWL program. I had picked this up a few years ago but had never read it. So I sat down and read it from cover to cover in a day.

Imagine my thinking that eating real, whole, plant-based food was extreme, but eating fatty steaks, cooked in butter and served with french fries and white bread rolls and all washed down with Coke was “normal” dietary fare. DR McDougall said eat all I want, never be hungry and get rid of all my chronic diseases. That was its promise. Yeah right, so did every other diet. But what the heck, it was obvious to me I had to do something and starving myself was not the solution. But could I really give up all the foods I’d spent 50+ years enjoying? There was only one way to find out, so Feb 26, 2012 I started on my journey the McDougall way. I was determined to follow it to the letter as best I could. No excuses. I figured this was my last, best opportunity to correct things before it was too late.

But I wanted proof as well. I decided that I would create a journal and record everything I ate and did for one year and make it public. The food I ate, the exercise I did, how I was feeling, everything I read and learned along the way, all my experiences recorded. Everyone could see exactly what I was eating and doing every single day of the year. This would keep me honest and motivated. Along the way I would take quarterly lab work to show what changes were occurring for further motivation. Proof that the lifestyle Dr McDougall proposed either was all he said it was or prove that it was just another diet scam perpetrated on the gullible public. I’ll admit I had my doubts initially, even though it sounded scientific and made logical, rational sense. Anyhow what did I have to lose?

The Results

So how did it go? I won’t go into the details of the past year as you can read the daily travails in my journal. Instead I’ll just post the quarterly and final lab work results. Here they are in all their gory detail. One year of a Starch centered, whole food, plant based diet and lifestyle ala Dr McDougall with a Novikian flare:

Test Date................................02/28/2012.....05/26/2012.....08/25/2012.....11/26/2012......02/26/2013

Weight..................................261..................213..................180...............162...............154.8
BMI......................................35.4.................28.9.................24.4..............21.97.............21.0

BP.........................................153/92.............120/71..............98/54............96/64............96/62
Pulse.....................................88.....................48.....................46.................46..................45

Glucose, Serum....................131...................77.....................72..................74..................79

BUN......................................14....................11....................13..................13...................13
Creatinine, Serum................1.50.................1.40.................1.30.............1.30...................1.11
eGFR....................................52.....................56....................61.................61....................74
BUN/Creatinine Ratio..........N/C..................8......................10................10.....................12

Sodium, Serum.....................140..................140..................143...............139..................145
Potassium, Serum..................4.3...................4.4...................4.6................4.9...................5.0
Chloride, Serum.....................102...................103..................106..............102.................104

Carbon Dioxide, Total...........26.8.................29.2.................32.2...............31.4.................27
Calcium, Serum......................8.7...................8.7...................9.0.................9.3..................9.5
Protein, Total, Ser...................6.9..................6.2....................6.3.................6.5..................6.1
Albumin, Serum......................3.7..................3.6....................3.6................3.8..................4.1
Globulin, Total........................N/C.................2.6....................2.7................2.7..................2.0
A/G Ratio................................N/C.................1.4....................1.3................1.4..................2.1
Bilirubin, Total........................0.8..................0.7....................0.6.................0.8..................0.5

Alkaline Phosphatase,S...........98...................85......................93.................87...................59
AST (SGOT)...........................19...................14......................17..................19..................21
ALT (SGPT)............................42....................34......................39.................46..................31

Cholesterol, Total....................273...................170...................148..............131.................141
Triglycerides............................559...................173..................125................101.................112
HDL Cholesterol......................37.....................29....................34.................39...................42
VLDL Cholesterol...................N/C..................34.6..................25.0.............20.2.................22
LDL Cholesterol......................N/C..................106...................87.................72...................77
T. Chol/HDL Ratio..................N/C.....................6.....................4...................3....................3.4

C-Reactive Protein, Cardiac....7.15..................2.46..................1.30..............0.83..............0.58

Those results speak for themselves!

But if you can’t be bothered by the numbers here’s what they show:

0. 106.2 lbs lost
1. No more obesity
2. No more high blood pressure
3. No more high pulse rate
4. No more diabetic blood sugars
5. No more chronic kidney deficiency
6. No more low ALT levels
7. No more high Total cholesterol
8. No more high LDL
9. No more high VLDL
10. No more high cholesterol ratio
11. No more high trigylcerides
12. No more high CRP
13. Normal liver function
14. Normal kidney function
15. Normal electrolyte levels
16. Normal calcium levels
17. Normal protein levels

So what does all that mean? It means I no longer have all the chronic diseases I had a year ago. I'm free of those chronic diseases that most doctors think are only "managable" with medicines and not necessarily "cureable". I’m healthy, at a weight of 154.8 lbs and optimal BMI of 21.0 @ 6‘0“, and my blood markers also now show that I’ve reached normal or near optimal health levels for virtually every single chronic disease marker tested. It also shows that even after a year, my body continues to progressively heal itself and get better. This lifestyle not only stops disease progression, but reverses it. Or maybe I should say this lifestyle supports the body in keeping itself chronic disease free. That in and of itself is amazing to me and exactly as Dr McDougall claimed!

As you can see the changes were gradual over time. No overnite miracles, just steady progress and improvements. My body responding to feeding it what it needed to heal itself as best it could in its own time. And for all I know these improvements may continue to improve, though I can’t imagine how much better I could get!

And thats only the major problems that have been corrected. I could also talk about the long term arthritic knee pain thats now gone, the GERD thats completely eliminated, the acne thats disappeared, the "old age" muscular aches and pains that have gone away, the numb feet that feel normal again, the disappearing toe nail fungus, the cleared up sinuses issues, the great, easy sleep I get, the boundless energy I have, the improved moods, the lower stress levels, and on and on.

The McDougall program isn’t just a one trick pony, fixing a minor issue or correcting one or two blood test markers. Its the real deal, reversing and eliminating every disease and health issue my body could throw at it. Its proven to me to not just be a palliative prescription but an actual cure and pathway to complete and total health as best as your body can sustain.

The Final Pics

In this series I am wearing an adult size Small t-shirt and jeans with a waist size of 30“. One year ago I was wearing a 2-3X Large shirt and 46+” waist pants that were overly tight.

Image Image Image

Bottomline

I’ve reversed and eliminated every single chronic disease I had but one (more on that one in a minute), not just one or two arbitrary blood markers like other diets claim, not just a single chronic disease or two. Every single one of them - pre-diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, obesity, inflammation, cholesterol, triglycerides, and Metabolic Syndrome. And all with nothing more than real, whole, plant-based foods and a little walking - the McDougall prescription if you will.

I’m living proof that the McDougall program works as claimed. Sure, virtually any calorie restricted diet will lose you some weight and maybe correct a blood marker or two. But what diet will cure a whole host of chronic diseases and “issues of aging” and do it without hunger, eating just real, simple, inexpensive food, as much as you want, whenever your hungry. No need for expensive programs, exhaustive exercise, mountains of expensive, noxious pills and potions, endless meetings with a guru, or trying to spend my life being a denialist trying desperately to explain away well established science with psuedo-scientific tripe. Everything needed for the program is available for free from Dr McDougall’s website. You can’t ask for more than that.

ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS TO SIMPLY TRY IT.

So whats the one issue I’m still working on? Thats the big one, CVD, Cardio Vascular Disease. Last week I took another heart and vascular screening as I had done way back in 2009. What would those results show? I had “mild” CVD back then which was progressively getting worse for the next 3 years as I continued to eat SAD and gain weight. How bad would I be today? Well unfortunately it will take a week or two still to get those results and I don’t want to hold up this report that long. But I will supplement this report as soon as I get those results.

I believe that reversing and eliminating CVD is probably one of the most difficult of all the chronic diseases to improve upon and will take the longest time, probably years to completely cure if the body is willing. I have no illusions that I’ll effect a cure quickly, afterall its taken me 55 years to damage my body and only one year to help it heal itself. But I do have every belief that my CVD is improving and my blood markers point in that direction as well.

I feel very confident that the McDougall program will eventually eliminate my CVD. It may take a few years but I will continue to follow this lifestyle for the rest of my life and routinely test my blood markers and heart health till I can show with 100% proof that even CVD is no match for a McDougall lifestyle.

Thank you Dr McDougall and Jeff Novick for opening my eyes (and heart) to the possibilities of real health! This journey is far from over...
geo

My 1 year Journal McDougalling and results Testimonial
My March 2013 Star McDougaller Story
Some Random Thoughts on Successful McDougalling
geo
 
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby KittyMcKnitty » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:03 pm

Holy potatoes dude! That's amazing!

Thank you so much for sharing!
Proud member of S.P.U.D.S. (Society for the Protection of Underrated and Devalued Starches).
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby Melinda » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:11 pm

Wow! What an inspirational report! Congratulations! Star Mcdougaller status here you come! :-D
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby ETeSelle » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:21 pm

Geo, you look A-MA-ZING!! What a great job!!!! You absolutely should be a Star McDougaller! :mrgreen:
Read my Star McDougaller Story and my Testimonial thread
Trust me on this: One day you'll wake up and realize that it no longer feels like "being strict." It just feels GOOD. :)
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby FranH » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:27 pm

WOW!!!! Congratulations, you have done an amazing job of taking control of your health!! Looking forward to hearing about the CVD report. I predict it will be good news. :-D
~ Visualize Whirled Peas ~
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby scooterpie » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:30 pm

Powerful--YOU and the story! Your account of your journey thus far is moving--Bravo! You simply look healthy and happy and full of life! I just about fell over when I saw the first pic from yesterday--they're all great!

All credit to you, geo!--keep on keepin' on!
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby Love the Lorax » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:39 pm

Wow. Seriously... just wow. :eek: You look amazing, and to see such meticulous record-keeping as proof of your recovery... truly and seriously, you ARE a STAR McDougaller in many eyes here, and it is only a matter of making it official. Looking forward to seeing it!

You are a great example to those around you IRL as well as those of us on the forums. Thank you so much for taking the time to summarize your journey and post it for us.
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby ETeSelle » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:50 pm

I recommended you to Dr. McD, geo. You should be hearing from him soon. :)
Read my Star McDougaller Story and my Testimonial thread
Trust me on this: One day you'll wake up and realize that it no longer feels like "being strict." It just feels GOOD. :)
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby Caroveggie » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:05 pm

Congratulations geo! I have been enjoying your journal for a while. I'm sure the CVD will be much improved. I agree you deserve to be a Star McDougaller :nod: You radiate happiness and health!
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby AnnaSpanna » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:34 pm

I am impressed!

I said a few expletives when I saw your 'after' photo (which I won't repeat). That's how dramatic your weight loss, and also the health benefits, is/are.

Great work!
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby zippy » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:48 pm

Well done sir. Your future is looking so bright you better wear shades.
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby topview. » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:49 pm

I have enjoyed following your journey. You are an inspiration!

Congratulations on your healthful, new body.
Melanie
Meeting the needs of 6 small people - 5 boys & a little princess
The latest boy was born at home on Sept 17, 2013
Eating right to give them the best start
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby janluvs2heel » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:04 pm

You look great, Geo. I have followed your Journey from day one.

Um, I think I read way back in Nov. that you were already contacted by Dr. McDougall. Anyway, he was talking about you in Nov.

Your wife & daughter must be so proud of you as well.

I always liked how you continued to cook for them & not try to make them change or eat as you have.
Jan
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby Debbie » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:12 pm

Awesome job!! Loved reading your journey as you went along. Thanks for journaling it. :cool:
"It's the food"
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Re: Metabolic Effects of a Starch Based Diet...

Postby Lesliec1 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:24 pm

This is amazing. Look how dramatic even the 3 month numbers are from your labs! I don't know much about all those numbers but things like trigs and total cholesterol down that much? Wow.
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