UltraSimple Diet Update--We are Believers!

Hubby and I have been on the UltraSimple Diet by Dr. Mark Hyman for one week, and WE ARE BELIEVERS.

This is significant, because by nature, we are both “Doubting Thomas” personalities. We have both lost five pounds, and hubby said this morning he feels 10 years younger! 

This is saying a lot, because my husband is the envy of the family for his HIGH ENERGY. Holy moly, hold onto your hats, and get ready to launch. 

I had decided to give the diet a second chance (after failing to adhere to it for more than three days a year ago) because of a recently acquired, confounding “jelly roll” above my waistline. The jelly roll was hard (meaning, it didn't feel like soft, ordinary fat). Couple that with the roiling motions (like a baby moving across my stomach above my waist) I've felt in that area for the past 18 months, and I was getting both frustrated and worried. The doctor said it was peristaltic waves, or gas. No, I don’t think it was gas. I know what that feels like.

Then, I was looking at pictures taken of myself a year ago when we were in Hawaii, and I discovered I didn’t have the jelly roll. My question became: So what's been happening to me, or what have I been doing wrong over the past year that caused the hard jelly roll, the roiling movement, plus a 10-pound weight gain? 

Especially as, all summer long, I averaged walking/jogging two miles/day, and I watched my diet. I wasn't on a calorie counting diet per se, but I have a degree in Dietetics, and I was aware of what I was eating. I ate sensibly, walked/jogged an average of two miles/day all through summer, and did not lose one pound. It was aggravating and, frankly, mystifying to me.

So I decided to finish reading Dr. Hyman's UltraMetabolism this week while adhereing to Phase One of the UltraSimple Diet. UltraMetabolism focuses on what Dr. Hyman sees as the seven keys to keeping your metabolism functioning normally, and your immune system strong. After answering a questionnaire for each of the keys, I discovered that I was fine in most areas, but I scored too high in two of them: Inflammation and Oxidative Stress. If I had taken the test in June or July, I would've scored too high for ordinary stress as well. 

These were my very bad habits
  • Overstressing myself with a full time job (this, of course, cannot be helped in most cases) but I was also writing for an additional 15-20 hours/week. 
  • Grabbing a fast food lunch and eating it in my car--which I'd been doing for eleven years. I always tried to choose the most nutritious fast food, but even the best probably has unacceptable fats and other unknown chemicals, preservatives, what have you. Plus, I was undoubtedly eating things that (I am soon to discover, as we continue into Phase Two) I am intolerant to. 
  • I've never eaten much sugar, but I did drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day, and one beer. 
  • I also live in an area where pesticides are applied aerially, and one day when I was out jogging, they were spraying for Army Worms in the garbanzo beans in our field. I felt some fines (water droplets + pesticides) hit my exposed skin. I did go and shower immediately, but who knows. Maybe it impacted me.  
  • Add to it that I worked in a Carnegie Library built in 1906. All through spring and summer, I could smell the mustiness from molds and mildew in the wall four feet behind my desk. And indeed, I had a chronic sinus infection all spring and summer. (The sinus infection is now gone.) 
Dr. Hyman's Seven Keys to UltraMetabolism are as follows: 

1. Appetite Control and Metabolic Syndrome (insulin resistance). The questionnaire assesses your risk of developing diabetes. (I did fine on this one.)

2. Stress. (Ditto for this one—now that I’m retired.)

3. Inflammation. In addition to food allergies or intolerances, this includes environmental stressors such as exposure to pesticides, and working in sick buildings. (I failed this test!)

4. Oxidative Stress. (Failed this one too!)

5. Metabolic Engine—metabolism, fatigue factor. (Did fine on this one.)

6. Thyroid. (If I had taken this test five years ago, I would’ve failed. My thyroid was so inflamed and diseased, I needed a full thyroidectomy. When the surgeon removed it, he said it was so huge, it had grown almost to my left lung.) (Now with full thyroid supplementation, I scored fine.)

7. How well is your detox system working? (Love your Liver). (Did fine on this one.)

If you want to see how you score in each of the Seven Keys to UltraMetabolism, you can download a free guide here.

Results of being on the UltraSimple diet: I need to say first that the diet evens out one's blood insulin levels, and so we are seldom hungry. Three times over the week, we each felt minor hunger before a mealtime, so a handful of nuts (a dozen) tided us over until our next meal.  

By the end of the fourth day on the detox diet, the jelly roll above my waist had shrunk, the movements in my tummy had stopped, and I had lost five pounds. Yes, there is still a (smaller) roll above my tummy, but it now feels soft, like fat.

So, hubby and I are happy with the results of the beginning of this journey. We decided to move into Phase Two of the diet yesterday, and are reintroducing foods that people are frequently either intolerant to, or allergic to. This process will take a couple of weeks.

After that, we will continue our newly formed habits forever (being vigilant not to slip back into old eating patterns). The new habits, and because we have detoxified—excreted the inflammation which interferes with weight loss—will help us as we continue to lose the extra weight we still carry—25 pounds for me, and 15 pounds for hubby

Plus, I'm planning to incorporate Dr. Hyman's suggestions for the two keys to UltraMetabolism that I scored too high on. 

Hubby and I hope to enter springtime both lighter and healthier. Following Dr. Hyman's regimen is a new way of eating and living for us, but he promises us and everyone who adheres to his program that we all will be healthier, more energetic, less prone to common viruses (colds and flu) and at a far lower risk for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and dementia. Sounds good to me. 

Click here for details about the UltraSimple diet.

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