week 3 review on the 8-week blood sugar diet

I have now completed the third week of Dr. Michael Mosley's program, The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet.  In an attempt to lose the weight I gained due to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), I will be following the 800 calorie per day diet as prescribed by Dr. Mosley.  You can read my blog to see why I have decided to road test this program, and my review of Week 2.  This week was an even bigger emotional roller coaster with the passing of my grandmother.  I have dedicated this blog to her, Enid van der Veer.

day 15 - monday

Starting the week off with a gain of 0.2kgs/0.4lbs didn't feel great, so I decided to help kick start my system by going back to a fasting day.  Before commencing the 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, I would always fast on a Monday, so this didn't feel out of place.  In fact, I enjoyed not having to think about food until dinner time.  I had a delicious free-range pork chop, which I pan-fried and served with a small baked apple, roasted carrots and steamed broccoli.  It was delicious!

Dinner: Pan-fried pork cutlet with roasted apple, carrot and steamed broccoli. Calories: 399

The healthy gut Week 3 Review On The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet - Pork Cutlet Roast Apple Carrot Steamed Broccoli


My grandmother took a further turn for the worst today, so we are sadly on alert for the sad news of her passing.  It is such a horrible waiting game, with an outcome none of us want.

day 16 - tuesday

Success! After a day of fasting I lost 0.5kg/1.1lbs. However, it does feel like it came at a sacrifice and I was completely constipated all day.  I don't know how I lived for so long like this, as it feels horrible now.  I interviewed Dr. Mona Morstein for The Healthy Gut Podcast, and was looking forward to talking at length to her about Type 2 Diabetes, insulin resistance, weight gain and gut health.  During the interview, she told me that our fat cells store a lot of toxins and that as we release them, our liver has to process the toxins.  She advised that it's important to support the detoxification process, so I will be speaking to my Naturopath Natalie Cruttenden about this when I see her for my 4 week check up.

Because I had a really busy day, I ended up inadvertently fasting again today.  I have read about 4-day fasts and have often thought I would like to try it.  Whereas a one day fast seems quite easy for me, backing it up with a second fast day was more challenging.  I definitely thought about food more and my energy was waning by the evening.

day 17 - wednesday

Despite a second consecutive day of fasting, I only lost 0.1kg/0.2lbs. I set off for a brisk walk around The Tan early in the morning, leaving my phone in the boot of my car.  When I returned, there were several missed calls from my mum.  I instantly knew that Nanna had passed away.  I met my mother, Aunt and cousin at the nursing home and went to say our farewells.  I have had the fortune of being with two of my grandparents as they passed away, and have been able to see the other two once they have passed.  I know that for some people, seeing a dead body is terrifying, but for me it's an important part of my mourning process.  I like to say farewell in person.  We stood around her bedside for a long time, telling stories of the good times and the high jinx my cousin and I got up to as her grandchildren.

I cancelled all of my plans that day as I wanted to be there for my mother.  She wanted to go to her favourite club, sit in the sun, sip champagne and pay tribute to her mother.  Drinking champagne and eating decadent food is definitely not on the 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet program, but I decided that for a short moment in time, I would put the program on hold and be there for mum.

My sister, mother and I spent hours together that day, enjoying the warm weather and French champagne.  We talked of the incredible life my grandmother had lived over her 94 years, and how she had been so fit and healthy for 99% of that time.  It also reminded me that whilst trying to lose weight is important to me now, it's not the be all and end all of my life.  I must remember to create happy memories with people, rather than get fixated on the number on the scale or the calories in my food.

My sister Belinda and I (I'm on the right) with my grandparents Pierre and Enid in the mid 1980s.

The healthy gut Week 3 Review On The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet - Nanna Poppie Bec Belinda

Nanna taught me so much and was well and truly before her time. She understood the power of the mind, and would always tell us to 'tell the bugs to go away' if she ever felt a cold coming on. She was never sick. She exercised daily, cooked incredible food, loved her husband fiercely, and was such a fun and playful grandmother to her six grandkids.  We would play games for hours, leaping and squealing around the house, garden or park with her.

Playing a game with my two older cousins and grandmother in the early 1980s. That's me in nappies.

The healthy gut Week 3 Review On The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet - Nanna Poppie Katherine Bec

She was strong and determined.  Some might say stubborn (it's where I get my stubborn streak from).  She worked into her 70s and loved to socialise.  When she received the diagnosis of dementia in her late 80s, it seemed terribly unfair, as she had always been so healthy.  Watching the onset of that terrible disease keeps me driven to continue searching for information and education for myself and others on how we can live a healthy and fulfilling life.

As my family and I watched the sun set on the day that Nanna left us to re-join her husband Pierre, we said toast to an incredible woman.  We love you Enid van der Veer.

Rebecca Coomes The healthy gut Week 3 Review On The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet - Sunset

day 18 - thursday

I didn't know what to expect when I stood on the scales this morning. Yesterday had been a blow out.  I hadn't bothered to calculate my calories as I knew they were well over 800. Whilst they were probably less than an average person's blow out intake, it felt enormous for me.  With trepidation I took to the scales and saw I had gained 0.6kg/1.3lbs). I wasn't surprised.  I didn't beat myself up over it, as it's not every day your grandmother passes away.  One positive benefit of eating so much food was my bowels were back in working order again. Woo hoo!

Our family was still reeling from the sadness of yesterday, so we spent much of the day out in cafes and restaurants together.  I knew I was going to go over my calories again, but decided that would be ok.  I'll get back on track tomorrow.  What's important now is that we come together as a family, grieve together and celebrate the life of my grandmother.

day 19 - friday

I gained again today, although it was a minimal increase of 0.1kg/0.2lbs. What I have learnt through this process is that my body is highly reactive to carbohydrates and sugar, and the food from the past two days has had an immediate impact on my system.  In the past I would have berated myself for gaining weight, but today I just acknowledged that I had consciously chosen to eat off-plan for two days, and that I would accept the consequences.  It's also really interesting for me to see just how reactive my body is; I feel like my own walking biology experiment!

day 20 - saturday

When I stood on the scales today I couldn't believe my eyes.  I had lost 1.1kg/2.4lbs!  Getting straight back onto the program yesterday had clearly worked for my body, and it was thanking me for it.  I got out early for a long walk, listening to my favourite podcast of the moment, My Dad Wrote A Porno.  I normally listen to health or business related podcasts, but this was recommended to me by a friend who said it was hysterically funny.  She wasn't wrong.  A guy and his two friends are reading out a rather terrible self-published adult erotic novel that his father has written.  They read sections out, sitting around his kitchen table, falling over with laughter at the cringeworthiness of the writing.  Now, I can't say anything bad about self-publishing, because both my cookbooks are self-published, but I suspect this author didn't even proof read his work before loading it onto Amazon.  In need of a laugh, I spent my hour walk roaring along with them at the ridiculousness of the writing.  If you're in need of a good belly laugh (and aren't afraid of three English people hilariously reading out soft porn), then I highly recommend it.

day 21 - sunday

After yesterday's massive loss, I wasn't expecting to see a loss today, so I was pleasantly surprised to see another 0.4kg/0.8lbs had disappeared from my frame.  Due to the events of the week, I haven't got close to hitting my 10,000 steps target, so I made sure I did a lot of walking today, ending the day on 15,905 steps.  I am surprised by just how little I need to eat now. I did read about this happening in The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet Book, but didn't think it would apply to me.  I generally only eat two meals a day now, and because my meals are of protein and vegetables, I am full for hours.  I haven't had hunger pangs, felt hangry, or had any dips in my blood sugar since starting this program.  It even feels easy now, and I never thought I would say that.  I still have 11kg/24lbs that I would like to lose, but I feel confident now that it is totally achievable.  I'm even excited to see where I will be at the end of Week 8.

week 3 results

On Monday morning it was weigh-in for the Week 3.  Weigh-in day is always filled with a mixture of dread and anticipation. I had lost 0.1kg/0.2lbs, which means for the week I lost 1.4kgs/3lbs, and have lost 4.4kg/9.7lbs in three weeks.  This week was a reminder that the best laid plans can often be interrupted by significant events, and that sometimes all we can do is pick ourselves up when the dust has settled.  On Tuesday we will be holding a memorial service for my grandmother, so I have planned for that to be a day off the program, but I will recommence the following day.  Fat loss is a long term game, and I am in it for the long haul.  I didn't get to this weight over night, so I don't expect to get to my goal weight overnight either, but I am happy to have shed 4.4kg/9.7lbs in three weeks.

Rebecca x

Weight loss to date: 4.4kgs / 9.7lbs
Ease of program: Very easy at the start of the week but went off the rails mid-way through
Mindset: Mixed: positive, sad and reflective
Movement: 7536 steps per day on average
Sleep: 7.5 hours per night on average
Yoga: 1 / 7 days

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