Thank goodness for Saturdays, where I actually have time to weigh-in and measure bits of myself and relax and post on my blog!
I am now easing myself off the all-meat way of eating, by adding eggs back into my daily intake, and trialling dairy to see how my body reacts. So far, there have been no noticeable reactions to anything, other than my stomach's disapproval of my mindless weak green tea slurping last night (we're talking about 3L of water with one tea bag in a couple of hours, thanks to cold weather and ineffective clothing for warmth).
Physiological changes (external):
As I stated at the beginning of this experiment, my waist and hip measurements are pretty much where they will forever be, as those two areas are almost down to the bone/muscle. I might be able to lose another couple of inches off my waist, but I expect that will be one f the last areas to trim down completely (if at all). At the moment, I'm carrying my excess weight in the area between my waist and my hips, and also on my thighs. Nonetheless, there was very slight improvement in both my waist and hip measurements, including a quarter of an inch lost from my total hip measurement. My bust measurement diminished by about an eight of an inch, all from my back. Lingerie shopping last week demonstrated that I am no longer a 14E but a 12F (probably a little more than F but that's the only size the gorgeous Pleasure State bra was available in!).
The primary change that I noticed was in the state of my legs. My cellulite has diminished considerably, resulting in a change in the overall shape of my legs. My calves are much smoother; rather than the noticeable calf bulge I've had for most of my adult life (looks like a big muscle but is actually just where the fat gathers, leaving a line that looks like your socks were too tight), my lower leg is a shapely curve, with no pinchable fat except just under my knee. My thighs have trimmed down as well, with the outside of my thigh becoming much smoother and shapelier, and the inner-thigh fat loosening further. I have noticed some muscle development in my legs as well, despite no change to my exercise routine. From what I have read, this is not all that surprising given my increased intake of protein. I have kept this change in mind when analysing my scale results. I really wish I had taken measurements of this area at the beginning of this experiment, for your sake. For myself, I can see my progress reflected in my jeans.
My muffin top is still present, but is jigglier and smaller than before. My gut is sticking out further than usual, as always in periods of fat loss, so I have a delightful 'womanly bulge' below the waistline of my clothes. I personally find that particular factor of human fat storage repulsive (up there with lunchlady arms - got them too), so I have been wearing stockings to help disguise it. My arms haven't made any noticeable progress except to swing ever lower thanks to fat burning. Thank goodness the weather is still cool. And yes, I work my triceps :)
Finally, my skin has enjoyed the fattiness or my diet, with the dryness-prone skin on my hands suffering less than usual. I'm not sure whether this is purely a result of cooking with fat and therefore oiling my hands more often, or whether fat intake has contributed to this result.
Physiological changes (internal):
Since I know you're all dying to know - I did not have any elimination issues. When I originally started eating low carb and had veggies at Induction levels, I noticed that my bowels moved less often, so I was prepared for that. I'd say I was going once every three or four days, over the two weeks, depending on how much I ate. I never felt in the least bit bloated, my already rare burps and flatulence became non-existent, I only noticed digestive noise when I was guzzling water in the evenings, and as I rarely felt hunger, my stomach only seemed to growl when I was waiting for meal time (emphasis on time - on days where I was not at work, and therefore not practicing scheduled mealtimes, I never noticed any rumbles despite sensations of actual hunger after six or so hours without food. A nice reminder of why I should ignore rumbly tummies).
Since I never noticed any particular fluctuations in my energy levels prior to this experiment (however, I certainly did before starting a primal lifestyle!), I can't note 'improved' energy levels, but I can state that I never suffered flagging energy levels at any point during the two weeks, including the days where I tried fasting. I ate three meals most days, but varied this to include days where I only ate a big breakfast and a big dinner, or fasted through breakfast to eat a good lunch and a substantial dinner. A couple of times I found myself wanting to eat in the late evening, usually on days where my caloric intake was less than 1500kcal thus far, and followed my hunger. My system certainly seems to approve of my following my 'gut instinct' when it comes to eating times.
I upped my caloric intake in the second week to average 2300kcal per day - my previously suggested BMR. As a result, my weight stabilised at 79.7kg (give or take 200g) throughout the week. This result suggests that my BMR is no higher than this approximate figure, so from this point I am scaling back my caloric intake to find my healthiest average deficit. At the same time, I may have gained some muscle in the past week or two, so I am treating this aspect of the experiment very loosely. I am not fussed about the rate of fat loss at this point, in terms of what the scales tell me, so I catch myself shrugging off gains and losses, or forgetting to weigh-in quite a bit lately. Plus, I'm fighting the negative motivation of the fact that my favourite Review blouses are no longer slim-fitting around my waistline, and instead hang almost loosely from under my bust! Must invest in some sort of flattering belt, but it's difficult whilst I still have a muffin-top to content with...
Where to from here?
My plan is to maintain a ZC lifestyle for the majority of the time, with a few vegetables to accompany one meal a day, on average. Fruit is most certainly on the back-burner for quite a while. Nuts may resume their position as a snack to take to work, but I want to keep them out of arms reach for a while yet. As always, no refined sugar, grains, starchy veggies, legumes, nor high-lactose dairy will cross my lips, unless there is an incredibly persuasive reason for it to do so! And now that I have been diagnosed as one of the 33% of all women with polycystic ovaries, a result of which is mild insulin resistance (and I'm not going to take a drug if it's not necessary to do so), I have even more reason to stay true to the Primal lifestyle!
Dear Mark: Too Late for Health? Never.
17 hours ago