3-months later...


As you may recall, I experienced some excitement with my heart on Thanksgiving Day of 2015. I had my first ever bout of Atrial Fibrillation ("AFib") and it gave me a bit of a scare.

After having my heart shocked back into normal rhythm, I went through a battery of tests and met with Dr. Paige, Chair of the UW Cardiology Department. He indicated that my heart was: slightly larger than normal, my left atrium was "enlarged more than normal" and that my resting blood flow rate was "on the lower limit of normal."

Since I don't know any of my biological medical history, he suggested that we completely clean-up my diet for a period of 3-months and re-evaluate.

So, in mid-December, I went about changing my diet and lifestyle. Here's what the before-and-after looked like:

Diet/Lifestyle "Before"

  • Weight: 203.3 pounds
  • Bodyfat percentage: 19.8%
  • Exercise: mostly walking (1-hour/day), bike riding (45-minutes/day), some jogging/running (2-3x week)
  • Daily calories (average): 2000 - 2300
  • Type of food: coffee & protein bar for breakfast, light lunch (salad), protein/veggies for dinner, 4-5 beers per day, popcorn nightly; lots of meals at restaurants, lots of cookies, and 4-5 diet sodas per day


The cardiologist wanted me to completely eliminate drinking from my diet (4-5/day over the course of a week equated to around 30-35/week).

I also decided to completely eliminate processed food, sugar, grains, and diet soda from my diet. I purchased Fitness Confidential by Vinnie Tortorich, and started listening to his Podcast.

Vinnie is a super interesting guy. He graduated from Tulane University and rather than go into medical school, he became a fitness trainer and nutritionist.

His philosophy is very simple: eliminate sugar and grains from your diet, and eat more healthy fats. Nothing complicated - that's it. No sugar (refined, natural, etc), no grains (including: corn, quinoa, any type of flour, any type of rice).

What happened after about 90-days of changing my lifestyle?

Diet/Lifestyle "After"

  • Weight: 174.4 pounds
  • Bodyfat percentage: 11.2%
  • Exercise: mostly walking (1-hour/day); some biking/strength training (3-4x week)
  • Daily calories (average): Unknown - I don't count calories
  • Type of food: Breakfast: 2-3 whole eggs with veggies, coffee with heavy cream; lunch: light salad with avocado, walnuts, & protein; dinner: protein with veggies (no root vegetables) and avocado; snacks: almonds, cashews, coconut oil, various teas brewed from loose leaf tea


So... I lost just under 30-pounds, and about 9% of my body fat. I went from sleeping terribly every night to getting a solid 8-hours of truly restful sleep every night. I have a *ton* of energy, especially in the morning. I feel so much better than I did - I don't beat myself up worrying about calories or how much I exercise. This lifestyle change was really quite simple and extremely rewarding, both physically and mentally.

I don't really miss drinking beer or diet soda. It was surprisingly easy to let them go. I thought the diet soda would be difficult, but it really was a simple ditch. I'm a huge fan of carbonated water (with lime) and Adagio teas these days.

I went out for a few beers for old times' sake last week (after my follow-up tests were complete), and I can honestly say that I didn't really enjoy them. They completely threw my body for a loop, and it's obvious how "not good" they really are. I slept super poorly and felt terrible (after having 3 beers over a period of 6 hours) for a day after. Ugh.

What did the cardiologist say?

This latest visit with the cardiologist showed: no changes to the size of my heart, nor the size of my atrium, nor the flow of blood. So, it appears to be a genetic pre-disposition. Or, it could be a result of my having been 300+ pounds for so long.

Alas, the cardiologist said, "Keep doing what you're doing, and see me in a year." He also said that I could re-introduce beer/wine/booze if I wanted to, but "in moderation." He said that AFib is a tricky and weird thing... it can sit dormant for 20 years, or it can happen every 2 weeks. It really depends on the person. We'll see how things go over the next year or so.

So, there you have it. Heart remains the same as it was, but my body has greatly improved (or so I think). I share this information because so many of you have inquired about the events following my AFib in November, and many of you have asked what I've done to "lose weight."

Now you know. :-)

Too long; didn't read, but how do you do it?

It's really this simple:

- No sugar (there's sugar in *so many* things, but your body doesn't know the difference between sugar from a Snickers or a pineapple or a parsnip or a piece of bread or a beer or a glass of wine or... you get the idea. Sugar is sugar, and it's bad)

- No grains (grains are primarily starch, which is... sugar! This includes: corn, rice, quinoa, spelt, wheat, popcorn, flour, bread, pasta (whole wheat is *the worst*), etc. Again, your body doesn't know the difference between the starch in a whole-grain pasta or bread and the sugar in a bowl of ice cream; it just processes it the same)

- If you're going to drink, have distilled alcohol, but in moderation. The distilling process alters the sugar molecules so that there is less hit to your pancreas. Fermented drinks (beer, wine) have a *huge* impact on your pancreas

- Eat more healthy fats (whole eggs, avocados, walnuts & almonds (in moderation), MCT oil (coconut oil), heavy cream)

- If you *must* eat fruit (your body doesn't need fruit... it used to be a dessert), stick to berries like blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Minimize high sugar fruits like bananas, melon, pineapple, and other tropical fruits.

- Listen to Vinnie Tortorich's podcast and "put life into living and do it with enthusiasm"

...and there you have it. How to lose 30-pounds in 90 days without trying.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve published on March 8, 2016 10:22 AM.

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