Friday, September 9, 2011

Week 2 measurements in the Paleo experiement

So Kandice had her 2 week weigh-in and body fat measurements (see her remarks at the bottom of the page). The results were pretty good, though perhaps not as good as she would have liked. Her body fat went down a percent but her weight went up 2lbs. This can be attributed to the fact that she took in some grain products and most likely had tied up 2lbs of water in systemic inflammation. Fat deposition doesn't really happen that quickly and the body fat numbers reflect that. And, gaining muscle is quite difficult and slow for most people so it's not likely that we've put a significant amount of muscle yet. That leaves systemic inflammation.

To make a long story short, grains like wheat and barley contain anti-nutrients like gluten. Gluten is a protein and there are many other anti-nutrients that fall into this family of proteins that are found in other grains, including corn and rice (legumes have a similar compound). These anti-nutrients bind to molecules on the intestinal wall and change its permeability. This then allows particles (like fecal matter - gross!) to pass through the intestines and into the blood stream. The body then has an inflammatory response to this, all over. This kind of systemic inflammation ties up water and can cause a bit of weight gain. When you clean the diet back up, and the intestine heals a bit, you excrete that extra water.

Inflammation is implicated in many, many disease processes from heart disease to alzheimers. Paleo, lacking grains and legumes, is an anti-inflammatory diet. See the logic? A quick PubMed search reveals an enormous number of studies regarding the relationship between gluten and disease.

Here are Kandice's thoughts:

The numbers are in for week two! My weight is up but my fat was down. Not a big surprise to me after eating out for 7 meals this weekend and not being completely paleo. I was also reminded that muscle weighs more then fat, so we might have some of that going on, knowing my fat decreased. I also have numbers on Wyatt, my 18 month old. He impressed the Dr. this last week at his 18 month check up, he grew at a ground breaking pace for him. He went up 30% on the Dr. chart for height and he actually made it on the weight graph. He had fallen off the weight chart over 6 months ago. No one will ever know if this could be credited to eating a more paleo diet or not but I am willing to keep it going and see what his next check up looks like.

My plan going forward is to forget about the poor food choices of this past weekend, and put my energy into making great food choices at home where I have complete control over how and what to prepare to fuel my body!

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