Last week when I had my physical, I also had a blood draw. They took 4 tubes of blood; my doctor wanted to check lots of things to be sure I am doing well. He ordered a complete metabolic panel, iron panel, lipid panel, complete blood count, fasting glucose test, and vitamin D levels as well as thyroid tests. I was pretty excited to get the results and see what my efforts at changing my health have done for me on the inside.
My last blood tests were run in November of 2007, when I weighed in the 250's and had been eating healthy for about 3 months. (I can only imagine what my blood work would have been as a sedentary, binge-eating, sugar-laden 278-pound woman.) Most of the basic stuff was in the normal range then and is in the normal range now, but I saw a couple of changes I wanted to share.
First, fasting glucose, which checks for diabetes. The way I was eating (HUGE volume of sugar), I was definitely heading for 300 pounds and diabetes. The 'normal' range for this test is 65-99. If you hit 100, that indicates pre-diabetes.
Better! Glad I am inching away from the pre-diabetes line.
The other thing I found remarkable was my lipid panel:
Total cholesterol (under 200 is desired):
Triglycerides (under 150 is desired):
HDL (over 40 is desired; this is the good cholesterol):
LDL (under 100 is desired; this is the bad cholesterol):
2007: 124 (warning! warning!)
So my lipid panel is MUCH improved. I could stand to raise my HDL a bit, which can be done with aerobic exercise and consuming healthy fats like olive oil. But wow, the other numbers have gotten better with my healthy eating.
Part of my testing was to ascertain my "nutritional status"; all of those numbers looked great. I am quite healthy. This is reassuring to me; even though I have done my research on the Medifast plan I am on, I like seeing MY numbers to back up that what I am doing is beneficial to my body. Since Medifast is low calorie and low carb, people who don't understand it tend to say "you're in starvation mode! No one can be healthy on 850-1000 calories a day!" Medifast was actually designed by cardiologists. Because of the constant input of nutrition (every 2-3 hours) and the high amount of protein in the plan (over 72g/day... mine is usually closer to 90 or more), the body does *not* think it is starving and does *not* use muscle as fuel. In fact, Medifast says: "We recently published a study that found that lean muscle mass, as a percent of total body weight, was significantly increased after 4 months of weight loss and 6 months of weight maintenance on the Medifast plan while % body fat decreased significantly. This supports the claim that the Medifast diet is clinically proven to promote fat loss, not muscle loss."
Anyway, all systems go and my doctor gave me the thumbs up to continue Medifast for as long as it is helping me reach my goals.
Oh, my vitamin D levels were at 22. Under 20 means there is a D deficiency; 20-29 is a "relative insufficiency" of D, but because D level are lowest in spring this is not a big cause for concern. I have been taking D3 all winter (1200mg) and recently cut back to 400, but I will bump it back up to 800 for a month or two until the sun is out in full force.
I feel *much* better today. I made the most amazing meatloaf last night! Everyone scarfed it down. Healthy and very low carb. I'll share the recipe later. Even if you are not low carbing, this is a fantastic, moist meatloaf! You'll love it. I also got on my exercise bike last night for the first time in months. I used to ride 6x/week for 30-40 minutes on a level 5-6 resistance. But I kept injuring my foot, if you recall, so I got off the bike for awhile. I am ready to get back on it. Wow! It was harder than it used to be! I think my quads need to be reconditioned. I rode for 20 minutes on 3 resistance and that was enough. I will try again tonight and see if I can make it to 30. I plan to bike on days I don't walk for 30 minutes. I will keep strength training 2-3x a week as well (gotta work those arms!)
Enjoy another lovely day. Do good for yourself, and do good for someone else. You'll be happier for it!
Guest RD: The School Dietitian
2 hours ago