Is Your Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Really a Virgin?, Exercise Questions…and Eats, December 19

Is Your Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Really a Virgin?

From the Oh great – here’s another thing to worry about department: Connecticut just passed a law to ensure the purity of olive oil after finding other oils, including soybean and peanut oil, posing as extra virgin olive oil.

Here’s an excerpt:

In April 2007, FDA investigators and U.S. Marshals seized more than 10,000 cases of olive oil from storage facilities in New York and New Jersey. It turned out that tins labeled as extra virgin contained mostly soybean oil mixed with low grade olive-pomace oil. The seized products had an estimated retail value of more than $700,000.

Here’s the link to the original article.

I trust Costco – where I buy my extra virgin – to ensure they provide quality products. For example, they only sell vitamins that are USP verified. I hope their commitment to quality extends to their oils.

Exercise Questions

I did not exercise yesterday, and it bothered me a bit because  I want to keep this up – I think it’s important to regularly exercise and I need to incorporate this into my life. As this is the first real effort in years, I’d like this to stick – I don’t think I can wait another handful of years to get started.

So this morning I went to the gym much later than previous days – about 8:30am. It somehow seemed easier. I read my book, and the 20 minutes seemed to go by quicker – and the speed – 2.0 miles per hour seemed somehow slower.

As I had had coffee prior to exercise, I took my heart rate while exercising just to see if it was higher from the exercise.

Surprise surprise – it was lower – hovering around 100 – the highest it went was 103. 

The last 5 or 6 days I was using the treadmill, my heart rate was hovering between 110 and 115.

So…what’s going on here? Did I actually condition myself enough to get my heart rate lower by 12 points under similar stress in less than a week? Did getting a bit more sleep – maybe 7 hours – have something to do with it? Did the coffee have some sort of counter-intuitive effect? Can this be accounted for as a normal fluctuation?

The last – some normal fluctuation – is the one that makes the least amount of sense. All the other times I did my mile on the treadmill, the pulse was always in the same range as mentioned above – this was the first change.

Interesting…I wonder what the heart rate will be tomorrow?

Eats

Being on vacation, I got up late – 6:15am. Had 16oz coffee with cream, and nothing else until I had another cup around 11:30 – not from some real craving as much as a luxury to enjoy on a day off.

Finally got hungry around 1pm. In the kitchen I found some hard-boiled eggs and some cut up celery – at least it looked like celery. My thinking ran: if you put diced celery in tuna salad, why not egg salad?

So I conjured up the following:

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  •  cup of cut up celery or other crunchy mild-flavored vegetable
  • salt
  • pepper,
  • Djion mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayo

Mix and eat. 

I ate about half of this – one of the members of the Low Carb Confidential Taste Panel came along and ate the other half – I suppose it tasted OK. We ate this on pork rinds.

When that was done, I was still hungry, and I thought of the comment left me – eat as much as you want as long as it’s low carb (that was more or less what he said). I don’t necessarily believe that – I think there’s a component of portion control necessary for weight loss, especially as you get older, and especially if your body is already well acclimated to a low carb diet – but the thought allowed me to eat more, so it was a handy excuse to have one of the Italian sausages and a half-pickle with some cheese.

The evening consisted of a hamburger mixed in with some stir-fried celery and egg. I had some red wine with it and was sitting with my 2-year-old on my lap, eating sugar cookies on my lap from a huge plastic bootful of the stuff. She kept taking a bite, then dropping the remainder of the cookie in my bowl. 

So what’s a guy to do when a beautiful girl sitting on his lap drops sugar cookies in his bowl?

You know what I did. They were great sugar cookies.

Anyway, the scale took pity on me and remained the same as yesterday – 209.6.

And I’m just another guy blaming a beautiful woman for a momentary lapse of reason.

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Eats, December 18

“I was taught to strive not because there were any guarantees of success, but because the act of striving is in itself the only way to keep faith with life.”
— Madeleine Albright, secretary of state

Did not exercise in the am. Woke at 3:30 – was wide awake, so I got up.

Had my ritual coffee about 4:30.

Near 9am I had on hard-boiled egg with some Swiss cheese.

There was a breakfast for the company paid for by one of the teams – I went and checked it out – bagels and sticky buns. There was cream cheese – if I felt like getting out a spoon, I could have had something.

I didn’t bother.

“Nothing for the low carb guy.” I said to no one in particular.

“Oh, go ahead, spring for it” Said one of my coworkers.”

“The button on my pants is going to spring across the room if I eat this stuff. Thanks for being an enabler. Why don’t you find an AA meeting and help out there?”

I was hungry again today. Still feeling run down. Finished up the other egg, the remaining cheese, and the broiled Italian sausages I brought in.

Still hungry in the afternoon, I went to look at the pastries still in the kitchen. Didn’t have any. Instead, I went back and has the beat up Atkins bar I had in my bag.

The hunger did not lessen throughout the day – no sign of any appetite-lessening from the Irvingia. 

When I got home, I had more of the sausages, a *lot* of mineral water on ice with a little Crystal Light lemonade mix in it. 

I also cheated with a slice of regular bread, some M&Ms, some, clementines with my daughter, and some pasta.

This was a more intentional sort of cheat – sort of: I need a break from low carb for an hour or so. There wasn’t a lot of mental drama nor animal-like hunger here – it was just a break, nothing more.

Not good for the scale, which read 209.8  – all that liquid and all those carbs adding up to some awesome water weight gain.

Tomorrow’s another day.

 

 

Sleep is For The Weak (and Eats, December 17)

Sleep is for the Weak

When I started low carb, I slept at least 8-hours a night. I could not function with less. As my life got busier and busier with increase responsibilities in work and in the family, I began to have less time for myself. 

At that point I had to make a decision as to what I could give up. I had already given up watching TV, and the number of movies I see in a year – on TV or in the theaters – can be counted on one hand.

So sleep was the only option.

I found a book from 1979 – Sleep Less, Live More by Everett Mattlin (Who?) that described the amount of sleep necessary for health was 6 hours – and outlined a program of cutting back on sleep gradually to get to that  number.

Now – do I believe this? Well, I believe this as about as much as I believe that Irvingia will melt away close to 30 lbs. in 10 weeks, which is to say: I don’t, but I’ll give it a shot.

At the time I was experimenting with a lot of different supplements, and I was taking alpha-lipoic Acid and Acetyl-l-carnitine – ALA and ALC, along with COQ10 – plus a bunch of other stuff. Here’s what the description for the ALA/ALC sez:

May promote a healthy nervous system, memory and cardiovascular function.

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA), known as the universal antioxidant, is present in almost all tissues of the body. It plays an important role in generating energy from food and oxygen in mitochondria (the power plants of cells). ALA is both water- and fat-soluble, meaning it can easily cross cell membranes, and may provide both interior and exterior cellular free radical protection.

Acetyl L-carnitine (ALC) is the acetyl ester of the amino acid L-carnitine and is similar in form to the amino acid L-carnitine. It’s absorbed into the bloodstream more efficiently than L-carnitine and passes more easily through cell membranes and is utilized more efficiently in the mitochondria of the cell.

ALC assists in the transport of fat through the cell membrane and into the mitochondria of the cell, where fats are oxidized to produce the cellular energy ATP. ALC also promotes a healthy nervous system and supports memory.

What does that mean? Beats the Hell out of me at this hour in the morning, but it sure does sound good, doesn’t it?

Anywho…at this time I tried cutting back on my sleep – going to bed at 10pm and getting up at 4am, and I found it to be pretty easy to do. I figured – hey, this low carb stuff is amazing.

Then a few months later, I ran out of my ALA/ALC and said: “Eh – stuff probably doesn’t do anything – I’m not going to waste my money on it.”

Soon after, however, I found myself nodding off early – the 6 hours of sleep stopped working. 

Finally, I put 2 and 2 together, bought more of the ALA/ALC and I could live on 6 hours again.

My personal conclusion is that my ability to sleep 6 hours can be attributed to the following factors:

  • ALA / ALC
  • COQ10
  • Low carbohydrates in my diet
  • Reduced weight

While I haven’t rigorously tested each and every one of these, it’s my working hypothesis.

So here I am a few years later and the question arises: am I sleep-deprived? It depends on who you ask, apparently. Sleep is one of those great mysteries of mankind – like what constitutes a proper diet. Most would say that getting 8 hours is critical, but history has shown a great many people who have done with far less – and it didn’t seem to matter. Thomas Edison apparently lived on catnaps most of his life, and he lived in to his early 80s.

Some have mentioned to me that I might be shortening my life by doing this. I don’t know that – and neither do they, really. 

My conclusion on this is: while I might be shortening my life at the end, I’m making the most of it now. If every 2 hours I add to my life now is stolen from the end, I’m OK with that. Those years at the end are what I call ‘The Depends Years‘, when the energy is gone and the lights are about to dim – and it’s just this sort of interminable wait for personal extinction – probably filled with TV, and thoughts of a misremembered past.

I’d rather have that time now – and, if by chance I get creamed by a truck, then I exit with a gain, in a weird sort of way.

Eats

Did the exercise thing at when I got up at 4am. Standard-issue coffee with cream came about 5am. My day was a non-stop maelstrom of activity and I only noticed I was hungry around 1pm during an errand when I was in my car, so I had one of the Atkins shakes I stash there.

Back from the errand, there were sandwiches sent in for Xmas. I had a half of a tuna salad sandwich from Panera bread – the tuna eaten off the bread with a fork and the bread tossed.

Some salad and a tiny bit of a vinaigrette that I realized must be filled with cornstarch as it poured like ketchup, so I stopped.

On the way home I had my first real pangs of hunger. I had Italian sausage on ice at home, and thought they’d be great broiled, so when I got home, I broiled these up and had a few. 

I also had some Swiss cheese with a little ham and mustard.

I had some wine with this, which is usually not a problem, but the type of hunger that I had yesterday as well as this particular evening was not compatible with the inhibition-lessening properties of the wine, and I slid down the slippery slope of carbdom.

The fact that I did not have much more than the average person might have after a meal means nothing – it was about 3 mini-brownies and some M&Ms – but I’m in ketosis – or at least I was up to that point.

The scale reported 207.6 – up maybe 1/2 lb. from yesterday’s first weigh-in. No surprise here.

Eats, December 16

After the drag-my-ass-to-the-gym-and-do-my mile routine, I had my coffee and cream just before 5am.

I was hungry today and had a cup of the celery stir fry before 10.

Later I went out to the store to get ‘lunch’ – a pound of Boar’s Head lower sodium bologna. I ate more than a half pound around lunch.

Today I just couldn’t put out the fire – my hunger as all-consuming. We can’t blame our ol’ demon carbs here, folks – I’m in induction, remember? Your appetite is supposed to go down.

The only thing I can pin it on, other than a natural fluctation without causation – is exercise.

Here’s a wonderful article by Gary Taubes that is perfect for all you exercise-haters. It basically says that there’s no evidence that exercise helps in weight loss – and it can hurt because exercise is an appetite stimulant.

Note, however, that I am exercising despite this. See what I wrote about this last year when I first posted the article.

Anyhow – this was that type of hunger where you have food fantasies – where you imagine the plate of whatever you desire – you see it in your mind’s eye. 

To me this is the most dangerous type of hunger there is – I feel it’s being expressed from deep within – not from some Freundian-crapola type of way, but from the recesses of our primitive brain – the unconscious beast we all are that resides behind our rational cerebrum, locked in by our rational mind, but still dangerous, and ready to escape if we tire or let our guard down.

Is there some nutrients I am deficient in that my body is craving? I did forget to take my vitamins twice already this week – could that be playing a role?

In the afternoon, this hunger-beast demanded the rest of the bologna – that’s a pound in an afternoon. I also had another cup of the stir fry celery. Then I had a few handfuls of macadamia nuts I keep in my drawer.

I then drank the bottle of mineral water I had – I thought that it might help eliminate the hunger, since all that food didn’t really do it.

I remained hungry for the next few hours, which is damn distracting when you know that there’s no real cellular hunger going on here – you’ve eaten enough for a day – and you are trying to do brain work that requires a clear head.

On the ride home, I ate one of the Atkins bars I have stashed in the car. I swore off them except for emergencies – I guess this was one. I wanted another, but didn’t. I also had a strong desire to stop at the local McDonalds I pass every night on the way home for some of their food-like consumables, but I didn’t.

When I finally got home, I had a large bowl of an Asian-inspired sour soup with pickled cabbage and pork ribs. Pretty darn good, but not sour enough for me – I added some malt vinegar – the kind Brits like to put on their chips (aka fries).

I also drank up another bottle of mineral water with lemon Crystal Light. I try to avoid the stuff because of the aspartame, but again, I’m really drawn to sours lately, and I understood that I had to give in to these urges somewhat, or there would be some horrible payback when the beast escapes. I had to keep him away from all the cookies that lie about, as well as the plate of pasta that my daughter didn’t eat that sat in front of me. 

I finished up with some Swiss cheese and mustard. Went to bed early because I was just so tired.

The morning scale reported 207.0 – no surprises considering the day.

Update: an hour later the scale sez 205.8 – go figure.

Eats, December 15

Woke at 4am and dragged my sorry ass to the dark and empty gym. Turned on the lights and did my 1 mile at 3 miles per hour.

Standard issue 16 oz coffee with cream started the day when I got back home.

The morning boiled egg eating ceremony was held at about 11.

My boss had a departmental lunch so we went to a high-brow burger joint where I had a ‘Willie burger’ – a burger with Canadian bacon and a fried egg on top. I turned down the fries and told the waitress ‘no bun’. She asked be if I wanted a salad instead. They had a balsamic vinaigrette that didn’t sound too full of sugar, so I ordered it and asked for the dressing on the side.

The meal came with the bun, and with the dressing on the salad. The bun was a gloriously fresh kaiser roll, toasted to perfection, with a thin veneer of crunchy goodness surrounding the soft and fluffy carb-laden heaven that lay within.

The salad dressing didn’t seem to have too much sweet to it, so I ate most of that – along with the burger, which was pretty good. I tossed the bun.

My co-workers remarked: “You’re doing that high-protein diet, right? What is it, Atkins?”

Throw another log on the fire of my eccentricity.

I had seltzer with lemon as my drink.

I have been feeling a bit run-down the past few days – induction can make you out of sorts for a bit until you acclimate. It can also be from stress – and it can be from some residual caffeine withdrawal as I have continued my cutback on coffee.

I did take the offer at desert for some java and had two cups with half and half, which made me feel somewhat much better. 

The afternoon continued and I began to get hungry late afternoon, but events of the day got in the way and I figured I’d eat when I get home.

A change of plans was thrown me – my wife asked me to pick up my daughter at her piano lesson – so I went there instead, read my book on ego defenses that I keep in the car for just this sort of event, and when my daughter’s lesson was done, we went home.

At home, I decided that I wanted more broiled burgers. So I did exactly what I did yesterday – 6 mini burgers (not that mini – 6 probably total 1.3 lbs.) wrapped in lettuce with onion and low carb ketchup.

I followed that with some sour cream and Splenda, and finished off the eats with 4 or 5 cherries and a single grape.

The scale reports 206.4 – down a lb. from yesterday.

Low Carb Meets Chinese Medicine – and Eats, December 13

We went out Xmas shopping and there was a health fair at the mall. There was an acupuncture table there offering a free ‘pulse diagnosis’ – they would have you take a test to measure your meridians – this was done by you holding a metal bar connected to a computer in your right hand, while the tester taps another probe also connected to the computer at various points on both hands and both feet. 

This (somehow) measures your energy fields, analyzes them, and spits out a printed result with a chart corresponding to various organs and their balance, along with a sheet that looks a bit like a blood test.

Briefly, acupuncture believes that you have these ‘pathways’ of energy that flow through your body which they refer to as meridians. In their thinking, these can be blocked, causing imbalance.

By using very fine needles, inserted into your skin along the proper meridian line, these blockages can be eliminated and balance restored.

I personally don’t have a prior experience with acupuncture myself, but I accept that there might be something there.

You can read more about it here, but regarding the science on this – there really isn’t much. 

But it’s the same with hypnotism – western scientists have studied this for years and concluded little, except that there might be something going on here, but they don’t know what it is.

Michael Shermer, in his book: The Borderlands of Science, calls hypnosis a ‘borderland science’. It’s not complete quackery, but it’s not a solid body of proven knowledge either, like, say, physics. 

I’d say that acupuncture falls in about the same place. As the article on acupuncture states:

“emerging clinical evidence seems to imply that acupuncture is effective for some but not all conditions.”

So anyway, I took the test, figuring it might be fun. 

Let’s see how low carb stands up to Chinese medicine.

My wife took the test, and the chart that got spit out had several red bars, indicating imbalances. The doctor then did the pulse diagnosis by laying 4 fingers on the pulse-points of both arms. 

I didn’t hear the exact diagnosis as I was having my own test done at the time.

When my test was done and it started to print out, the tester smiled and said: “This is the best result anyone has gotten all day!”

I took it to my wife and the Chinese doctor and told them what the tester said. The doctor grabbed the results from me, and looked them over carefully.

“This is very good. You should be very happy.”

He then did my pulse diagnosis. The form you fill out asks you what major health complaints you have – I left it blank: I wanted him to tell me what they were.

He asked me: “You left this blank – you have nothing wrong with you?”

I said, “Well, I’d like to lose some weight and exercise.” 

“Well, that is a matter of proper diet – stay away from fat – greasy stuff, you know?”

“Oh no, not for me – I live low carb, and eat a lot of fat and meat.”

He looked at me like he didn’t quite understand. “Well, that’s why you can’t lose weight – your diet.”

“No, actually I lost 80 lbs. The reason I’m overweight now is because I am not doing low carb strict enough.”

His eyes widened. “You lost 80 lbs.? It must have been the exercise you were doing.”

“But I didn’t exercise – I lost 80 lbs. without exercise.”

His eyes stayed wide as he attempted to process this information. He looked at my wife and daughter: “Do they eat like you?”

“No.”

He looked at them, and scrunched his eyes, “Good, don’t eat like he does. You need vegetables in your diet.”

“But I do have vegetables – I just stay away from sugars and other refined carbohydrates.”

He asked. “What diet was this?”

“Low carb – Atkins.”

He repeated the name: “Atkins” under his breath as he continued the pulse diagnosis for a few minutes.

There were 23 bars on the chart, and only one was in the red – just slightly out of range. It had to do with my urinary tract. 

He asked. “Do you have problems urinating?”

“Yeah – I think it’s called BPH – benign prostatic hypertrophy. It’s been like this since I was in my 20s. When I told my doctor and gave him my own diagnosis, he seemed to agree with me and didn’t seem to be worried about it.”

“When were you last at the doctor?”

“In the summer. For a checkup.”

“What were the results?”

“Well, I have diabetes in my family, and my blood sugar was a bit high. My cholesterol was slightly high as well, but nothing he felt was worth medicating.”

The doctor saw an in: “Well of course your cholesterol is high – it’s because of all the meat and fat you eat.”

“Oh no, it’s because I was eating too many carbs. When I had lost the 80 lbs. and had a blood test, my blood work improved, with a total cholesterol of 186, the HDL/LDL ratios perfect, and the triglycerides were through the floor.”

His eyes did the pie-plate thing again.

“I am a vegan.” He said suddenly. 

“Oh – that’s works very good for a lot of people. Do you watch your ratio of Omega 3 fats to Omega 6 fats?”

He looked at me a bit strange, maybe almost defensively. “I know what you are talking about. I eat almonds and take flaxseed oil.”

“You might want to research the flaxseed oil. I’ve read two sources where it mentions that for men, flaxseed might be linked to prostate cancer.”

“I had not heard that.” He said. He appeared to be listening very carefully.

“Yeah – I had first learned about it reading a book by Dean Ornish.”

“Who?”

“He’s a very respected doctor that wrote books on reversing heart disease through a very low fat diet.”

He asked me to repeat the name.

“I am going to research this.” He said solemnly. We said our goodbyes.

Walking with my wife in the store a little later, she said: “do you believe what he was doing?”

“I don’t know – he did point out the BPH, but at the same time, if you are presented with a 46 year old guy and the chart is high corresponding to the urinary tract, it’s a pretty simple guess to think it has something to do with the prostate. Also – why didn’t he see that my back hurts a lot? Why didn’t he pick that up in his test?”

My back was hurting when I sat down with the tester, so you’d a thunk that the thing would have picked it up, right?

The Eats

First up, and hardly needing mention, was the 5am 16oz coffee with 2 tablespoons of cream. 

I was thirsty afterward, however, and had a bottle of San Pellegrino at 7am. At about noon I had a hard-boiled egg, then at about 3pm I have about a 1/3 of the remaining cup of Italian chicken.

In the evening I was hungry – maybe because I had people pushing me to eat spring rolls all day. These spring rolls were hand-made and deep-fried in peanut oil.

These things were to die for. 

Instead, I had the remaining 2/3 rds cup of the Italian chicken, a pickle, 3 slices of cheese, some leftover steak with butter, and one of my cryogenic meals frozen a few weeks ago – Italian sausage & meatballs. I washed all this down with a bottle of San Pellegrino.

I put lemon and two packets of Splenda in the San Pellegrino – the 2 packets of Splenda were the extent of my sweets for the day.

Later on in the evening, I sat down with some brie cheese and pork rinds with some wine. 

And right before bed, I had 2 leftover Swedish meatballs.

Now, while I typically don’t catalog it, I do weigh myself in the evenings. I have a theory about easy weight and hard weight.

Most days, I will notice a significant difference – maybe 2 lbs – from my morning weight and my evening weight. Then I eat dinner and this difference might disappear, or I might keep the pound or two off.

If I notice no change, or a slight increase during the day, I know that, even if I just drank water for the rest of the evening, I will probably gain weight.

So I wasn’t surprised that the scale reported a 2.6 lb. increase this morning to 206.6.

Now, if that did not happen, that would have been a pointer toward Irvingia having some impact, in my estimation. 

But instead, my body did what it usually does when it gets close to my setpoint weight of 203 – it bounces up.

No matter. It’s been little more than a week. There’s still 5 weeks to go, and nothing in the research on Irvingia indicated that there would be any impact on weight this early.

Not that it wouldn’t have been nice…

Eats, December 12 – And An Irvingia Update (With Chart)

Well, the day, as always, started off with that big cup of coffee with 2 tablespoons of cream at 4am. I kept stating the number of calories wrong – pointed out to me by you – so now I can properly report that it’s 54 calories per tablespoon for a total of 100 Kcals.

The first hard-boiled egg of the day was at about 11am.

It was a very busy day, and my brain had shut down toward the end of it – I ate my Italian chicken (1 cup) at 5:30. Yes – I have been eating this stuff all week, but I have really been enjoying it.

I also had more of the San Pellegrino – 1.5 bottles of the stuff during the day. I wish I didn’t promise I would fill these bottles with filtered water – I’m really enjoying it. I actually felt deprived as I ran out during the day. I even stopped on the way home and bought a few more bottles, and drank one on the way home.

I did check for ketosis when I got home, just for the hell of it – nope.

In the evening, I made the kids pasta while I cooked up a pound of bacon. I played with the kids, pulled a deer tick out of the dog, cleaned up dog pee, picked on bacon, ate some of the kielbasa from the other day, then had a half-slice of low carb bread with 3 slices of the much maligned American cheese.

My older daughter wanted me to read to her, so we went to her bed, where I read to her until she fell asleep. I was about to go to sleep when I was tasked with getting a bottle for my younger daughter. 

I put the bottle in the warmer and waited in the kitchen. When it was ready, I, the bottle, and my wife and daughter all went to sleep.

What’s interesting to observe here, at this particular point:

  • I didn’t drink more than 1 cup of coffee – again – I have been drinking a pot or more every day for 20 years. That’s a physical addiction – how could I so quickly taper off the stuff without any effort whatsoever?
  • I’m regularly drinking water – well, San Pellegrino mineral water to be exact, daily, and with pleasure. I don’t like water in general, and I typically don’t like sparkling water either – I bought the San Pellegrino only because it is probably the only item in the water aisle that still comes in glass, and I’m trying to avoid plastic bottles. But now, I do like it – and I’ll probably buy a case of the stuff over the weekend – I’m drinking some right now and it’s 7am.
  • My appetite seems to be very low – the total food for the day could have fit on one small plate.
  • I had little desire to grab some of the kid’s leftover pasta – it was like I didn’t even see it.
  • I had little desire for sweets – today and yesterday, I had none to speak of. I still have a stash of Atkins bars, but haven’t touched them.
  • Stomach has been somewhat upset, but it is a mild upset and not too bothersome.
  • I’ve had a strong craving for sour – the pickle juice in the fridge still seems enticing, but I’m trying to avoid all the salt.

Now, I am very careful in that I don’t want to attribute any of the above to the Irvingia I’m taking – just yet. But – if I were to propose a hypothesis, I might say that Irvingia, after about a week on 2x daily, has for me:

  • Lessened appetite significantly
  • Reduced cravings for sweets
  • Reduced an existing caffeine addiction
  • Increased overall stomach upset
  • Increased cravings for water
  • Increased cravings for sours

I also had an interesting Out Of Body experience on the scale this morning. I was 204.0 – down 2.2 lbs from yesterday, 3.7 lbs. from the day before.

I’ve had these trends before, but what is really interesting is in the chart below. I have been recording my weight daily since October 12, so I went back to each post and put the weight into an Excel spreadsheet – which sucked by the way – I had to read through all the crap I’ve written over 2 months – jeez – where does all this drivel in my head come from? 

Anyway, here it is:

weight-chart-121308Now the vertical numbers on the right are pounds, the numbers along the bottom are the dates. The little triangle is where I started taking Irvingia. The blue line is my weight over the past 63 days. The black line is a trend line based on my weight on Dec 4 of 207 (I’ve tossed the decimal points – a fraction of a pound is insignificant for a chart like this).

The trend points to my gaining weight – and the chart also shows a jump in weight, not seen in almost 60 days, after starting Irvingia. It also shows that my weight is reaching my lower ‘set point’ – my weight has only been lower than this – and only by a fraction of a pound – 4 days in the past 63. 

I have only been at this lower than this weight 6.3% of the time in the past 63 days.

It also shows an unusual sustained decline in the last few days, that hasn’t been seen since I began in mid October.

So the odds say I shouldn’t be this low – and past data would predict that my weight will begin to trend upward after this.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the next week’s worth of chart data might indicate that, by George, theremight be something to this stuff.

Right now, all this reminds me of a very insightful quote:

Statistics are like a bikini: what they reveal is tantalizing, but what they conceal is vital.

More will be revealed over the next week or so – nothing conclusive, I believe, but revealing.

Stay tuned.