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Weight Loss & KD
Picture of Pocatello Jim
Location: Pocatello, ID
Registered: 05-24-2008
Posts: 109
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Ok guys (and gals), I just got back from the MDA clinic and my Dr. wants me to lose 50 lbs. I am 5'6 and 260 lbs (yes, a short, round man). I was wondering if anyone else has or had a weight problem on top of KD? The problem for me is not losing the weight. In 2009, I dropped 20 lbs between March and May, but as soon as I stopped the diet, it all came back.

I need to make a lifestyle change and not simply diet. Any help is appreciated.

Pocatello Jim
Picture of Bruce
Registered: 09-28-2005
Posts: 654
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Jim, I did not realize you were carrying that much weight around. Excess weight really hampers your ability to get around, breathe correctly and exercise.

Yes, you are right about a lifestyle change being needed. Removing the weight is one thing; Keeping it off requires a different lifestyle change. Both require discipline ... but different kinds of discipline.

I know you are aware of the basics: diet, exercise, removal of temptations, drinking two glasses of water right before each meal, eating raw vegetables as snacks (without any dip), making the first meal of the day the largest and the last meal of the day the smallest, etc.

I would recommend that you ask your doctor to recommend a nutritionist (or weight loss specialist) ... someone that can help develop a reasonable plan.

What I would recommend, if you haven't already done so, is:
1. Setting a realistic goal within a reasonable time line.
2. Then, set reasonable milestones (monthly targets) and track them all.
3. Develop a support group. Ask your family and close friends to support this challenge.
4. Envision yourself at this new weight. What will it be like to move around, exercise, etc. and how will you feel.
5. Write your goal and current milestone (target), along with your current weight on several cards and keep them around the house (on the fridge, next to your easy chair, in the bathroom, in the car next to the driver's seat, etc. These will help be reminders of how you are progressing, what you need to focus on, and your final goal.
6. Meditate, pray, sit quietly each day for ten or more minutes and visualize yourself at this new lighter weight. See yourself as stronger, healthier, happier, and enjoying a long life with your family. (Believing that it can be done is half of the battle)
7. When exercising, make sure a portion of the program is aerobic. Initially, it does not have to be too long or strenuous. The key is to get the lungs working along with the muscles and motor neurons. Aerobic exercises burn calories.
8. If you slip or do not achieve a targeted weight, do not get down on yourself. Everyone, especially us KD'rs occasionally fall. You need to refocus, brush yourself off, and get back on track (your planned reduction in weight).

The key, in my opinion, is to do just what you said above; change your lifestyle. You have developed some bad habits when it comes to eating and this is your opportunity to remove these bad habits and replace them with healthy, satisfying habits.

I look forward to reading the comments of others on this important, life-changing opportunity.
Registered: 09-28-2010
Posts: 4
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1. Do not think of it as a diet. Think of it as a new, more exciting way of eating.
2. Eat just a little less than usual of any one thing.
3. Look for recipes for the fresh fruits, vegetables and simple meats and fish you want to eat. Try new combinations, new herbs and spices.
4. Eat at home most of the time. Much easier to maintain a reasonable way of eating.
5. Allow yourself a treat once in a while, something you have enjoyed in the past but now rarely eat. Just eat only part of it.
6. Be careful of goals, so you do not disappoint yourself if you don't make them. Weigh often enough so that you keep track of progress, in order to determine if you want to make changes, such as eating less of something.
7. Exercise is good because you will start noticing how your new self is more capable with the exercise!
More people than you and I can know have worked on size and weight at one time or another in their lives. You have lots of company! Best of luck to you.
Registered: 08-02-2009
Posts: 206
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Hello Jim,

I think the doctor has a good point. Imagine a person with SBMA who has weak leg muscles and therefore has trouble getting around. Now imagine that person has to carry a 50-pound sack of cement wherever he goes. Not a good idea.

For me, the key thing to weight loss is portion control. You might be able to eat most of the same foods you are eating now, just less of them. For example, whenever cookies were served for dessert, I used to take two. Eventually I realized that eating two cookies is no more enjoyable than eating one, especially if you take it slow and savor it. Likewise for other foods. Instead of supersizing a fast-food meal, I order a single burger (no cheese), small fries, and a small soda. Over a period of time, it really adds up.

Good luck.
Picture of Lolo
Location: Arizona
Registered: 10-06-2010
Posts: 108
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I agree with Bruce. I too need to loose weight. I do not have KD but I certainly have my share of medical issues. Maybe we can encourage each other?

My husband has lost about 30 pounds since his diagnosis. I came to this forum subject thinking it was a side effect. Bob can eat and eat and still loose. For you and I, all we need to do is look at food, right? I wishing you all the best in getting off some pounds. Hang in there Jim.

God is the greatest physician of all.
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 161
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Weight loss is not a "symptom" of SBMA as far as I know. I think you should consider the weight loss as unexplained and see your doctor.

email:rheitzman at gmail
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 161
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I hear ya' Jim... I'm about (230ish) in the same boat plus after my last annual I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes!

As I started on the diagnoses exercise (takes a while to look at long term and short term test trends) I ran across Beat Diabetes Naturally by Dr. Michael T. Murray. The book is a across between medical advice and an advertisement since one prominent recommendation was for a fiber supplement PGX. Doc Murphy is affiliated with NauralFactors which sells one formulation of PGx as well as a university in Toronto. That said, the book and the advice appear to be very sound.

Some glitz info on PGX can be found here. While there are many weight loss nostrums being offered on the market this one has been working for me.

PGX isn't a magic weight loss pill but a form of fiber supplement. PGX is more expensive than simple fiber supplements (about $1 a day for 2 ea before meals) but they claim the equivalent effect of taking 3-4x of psyllium husk which is a common fiber supplement. Plus of course they have some magic ingredients I'm sure!

My understanding is that fiber supplements work for weight loss by making you feel satiated earlier during meals. Again it isn't a magic pill but an aid to your self control. If you take the fiber supplements and still eat the same old thing they won't help with weight loss - bowel movements maybe - but not weight loss.

In my case I took a lot of the diet advice in the book and began taking the PGX 1x before meals to start. I now take 2 before large meals which for me isn't really that large any more - a 6" Subway sandwich plus unsweetened tea and 1 before the others. I live in a facility that provides meals so I pretty much need to eat what is provided, which most of the time has a health choice. For lunch and dinner with the PGX I can take the usual portions but leave 1/4 - 1/3 behind. So PGX is helping me to deal with not feeling hungry while I reduce my calorie intake. My pants fell down the other day when I stood up so I take that as a sign that its working! Seriously, I have already noticed my waist is getting a bit smaller as measure by which notch I'm using in my belt. My pants really did fall down however, so let's be careful out there! Smiler

Of course I have the extra weight loss motivation of the Type 2 Diabetes diagnoses that I wouldn't recommend. But guys like us, with the amount of exercise we get, are prime targets for Type 2. I'd suggest anyone in our situation to discuss diabetes during our next physical. If the blood glucose test comes back high at all the next step will be a A1C test - I might even signup for the A1C test in any case since the blood sugar test is a snapshot while the A1C is a 2 or so month average. (You can do self-tests autonomously if you'd like - do a search for A1C self tests - I'd guess it will set you back $40 or so with the cost of mail in overnight tests. There is an A1C self test meter (Bayer A1CNow) now available for ~$30 with two tests. Additional tests are $10.)

I'll follow up with a Type 2 post in a month or so after I have some results to talk about.

I can be contacted at rheitzman at gmail dot com to discuss if you like.

email:rheitzman at gmail
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 161
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I'm down two notches on my belt and my A1C test has gone from 8.0 to 6.0! (A1C is a blood test and 6 is the dividing line between "in-control" and "non-diabetic".) I've been taking the entry level diabetes drug Metformin and have cut my dosage in half and may go off altogether after my next doctor visit.

For those of you that want to explore losing weight I'd recommend the PGX - http://www.pgx.com mentioned above and the book Glycemic Load Diet by Rob Thompson MD.

If you are up for a little disappointment read Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes - it explores how wrong the medical community has been about dealing with obesity over the last 40 years (and still is wrong in many cases.) In summary both books wind up endorsing the Atkins approach in general. Basically reduce carbs and sugar to a minimum.

Self Magazine has a pretty good lookup tool for exploring the Gylcemic Load Index (GLI) of many foods including fast foods outlets. I was surprised to learn how bad my Bran Flakes cereal was for my blood sugar levels.

I purchase an A1C self-test kit (two tests, $40) and ran one after my last A1C lab test and the results was within a reasonable margin of error (5.8 vs. 6.1 on the self test). This test kit is a good way to get a quick insight as into your A1C level IMO. Of course a discussion with your doctor at your next visit is probably better, especially if a high BMI(body mass index)is a problem for you. The kit should be available at drug stores with a good diabetes section.

If your A1C is high see your doctor about it and ask for a prescription for a blood glucose meter for self testing. I recommend the AccuCheck Compact (not really) Plus and a AccuCheck Multi-Click lancing device. Have the prescription written for testing two times a day initially to make sure you get a good supply of test strips. I recommend the AccuCheck Compact and a AccuCheck Multi-Click lancing device because the device using a cartridge of 19 test strips and 9 lancing devices instead of tiny individual pieces. These devices are the easiest to use if you are having any dexterity problems. I highly recommend their instructional materials on "testing in pairs" which helps you get a handle on the impact of the meals you eat. You may be surprised at what you can get away with!

Avoid the "free" FreeStyle Lite meter you will see advertised - IMO it is not accurate enough - it reads 15-20 points high for me. You may want to check with your insurance carrier to see if they will cover the AccuCheck Compact - some of the carriers have restrictions on which brands they fully support.

I feel pretty good about getting my diabetes under control and my weight loss. I intend to using the PGX (for fiber if nothing else) and keep paying attention to the GLI of my food choices. I can still stand to drop another two notches on my 44" belt - after which I will run out of notches! I may get some more holes punched just so I can continue to be encourage but my weight loss efforts - here's hoping anyway!

Feel free to contact me to discuss any of the above.

email:rheitzman at gmail
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 161
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The correct PGX link is http://www.pgx.com/us/en/

email:rheitzman at gmail
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Registered: 10-10-2005
Posts: 161
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Progress report:

I got down 3 on my belt notches (but I'm moving back up a bit) and estimate a weight loss of 30-35 pounds (but moving up a bit.)

My A1C is high 4's - 5.1 range.

My slipping is due to allowing more carbs into my diet - I'm trying to push them away but they are or so good!

I noticed another post of someone considering lap band surgery - seems like you should make a good try at a zero-low carb diet first.

As noted a few posts above the diet folks have been VERY wrong on the diet they have been foisting on us over the last several decades. Dr. Atkins was right!

Using a dietician today is probably hopeless as they are yet ready to admit how wrong they have been. If I felt I needed their support call I'd around until I find one that that believes in Dr. Atkins.

I think their objection (fear) is that a very low carb diet places your body in a mode where it is consuming your body fat (ketosis.) This can be overdone (sort of like lap band surgery) and cause problems. We really have two options: low carb and limited calories; and very low carb and no restriction on calories (within reason of course) as long as the calories come from a non-carb source. The later choice is a bit more drastic and would need monitoring. I think the Atkins approach goes no/low carbs for a period then shifts to low once your body gets in the fat eating state. Either read a lot about low-carb diets or find a friendly professional that supports Atkins approach. Research shows both approaches work well. Light exercise is also needed but I lost my weight w/o any exercise to speak of.

I'd also suggest anyone with long term weight issues perform an A1C self test - kits are cheap at WalMart - I use the Bayer A1C Now. If you are "in the red zone" I'd suggest you see your doctor and get started on metformin. Metformin has a weight loss component as well as its Type II diabetes treatment. I was on metformin until my A1C was below 5 but after I stopped I started gaining again. I'm think of going back on just for the weight loss component.

All of the above is my opinion of course and is not based on medical knowledge but on my person experience. You mileage may vary!

email:rheitzman at gmail
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