A Dietitian’s Journey – the road to better health

A Dietitian’s Journey – the road to better health

In the previous article titled “A Dietitian’s Journey – the beginning“, I shared about why I am following a low carb high healthy fat diet and why I am using intermittent fasting (http://www.bbdnutrition.com/2017/03/14/a-dietitians-journey/in my pursuit of improved health.  In this post, I talk about the smaller third.

In future posts, I will explain the science of why I am doing this, in simple terms that everyone can understand, because as a Registered Dietitian, I believe that best clinical practice necessarily has to be based on evidence as available in the scientific literature. Why I am doing this is because quite literally, my life depends on it.

This “journey” is my road to better health – to optimal health.

As a Registered Dietitian in private practice, I’ve spent the last decade helping people in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver learn how to eat healthier, lose weight, lower their blood sugar and blood pressure and have cholesterol that is in the healthy range.  While I had lost 50 pounds myself a few years ago, little by little over the last 2 years, I’d put 1/2 of it back and along with the higher weight, came higher blood sugar levels, followed by high blood pressure.

My “fat picture” – prior to losing 50 lbs.

I had two choices; (1) go on medication or (2) change my lifestyle. I chose the latter. March 1 2017 was the beginning of the journey, on the road to better health.

But what was the “road”?

Over the last 2 years, I’ve done a lot of reading with regards to the physiology of why and how diets high in carbs underlie the “obesity epidemic”.  I understood how excess carbs that were not needed for energy were converted to fat and stored in the liver. I also understood how this excess fat in the liver negatively impacted cholesterol levels – that it wasn’t eating fat that gave people high cholesterol (except for a very small minority with genetic conditions) but eating too many carbs.

Day in, day out in my private practice I’d explain to people how eating “plenty of fruit and vegetables” was making things worse for them because of the carb content in these foods – foods that were eaten with- and between meals. I knew that following the standard recommendations of the last 40 years – to eat low fat and high carbohydrate and restricting portions was not going to accomplish my goal.

I decided to “practice what I preach” by eating a low carb, high fat diet (LCHF), and by using ‘intermittent fasting’ (which is not as ominous as it sounds!) and eventually, by incorporating short periods of high intensity interval training (HIIT).

I knew that while what I ate and when and how long I didn’t eat was the most important component of my “journey”, I still had to get moving to lower my stress, and with it, lower my cortisol levels which were driving vicious cycle.

Since I am not yet “fat adapted” – that is, my body hasn’t yet switched over to using my own fat stores as a fuel source, I knew that I needed to postpone the high intensity interval training and just start with walking.

Yesterday, I set an appointment with myself to do just that, and while I was 3 hours later than I planned to be today, my ipod wasn’t charged and it was 5° C and pouring rain, I went to the track and did what I said I would do.

Here’s a clip from my first workout: