Back at the end of May I finished Dr. Joseph Mercola’s book “Fat for Fuel.” At that time I mentioned that I might try the program (called Mitochondrial Metabolic Therapy or MMT) the book recommends in July. Well, I did start the program a week ago and so far the results have been great. One of the things that was attractive to me about the program is that you measure all the food you eat and you measure results as well. I’ve tried other health programs, for example, Whole 30 and while the results were positive I always seemed to hit a plateau. With MMT I can see more of what’s going on based on the measurements and can adjust. I believe this will be more helpful moving forward.
In preparation for the program I learned how to measure my blood glucose (which turned out to be no big deal) and my percentage of body fat. The former is something you track as you move on with the program in order to adjust carb intake. The percentage of body fat is used to calculate lean body weight which is used to determine the target amount of daily protein. I also had to buy a food scale because you have to weigh all the food that you consume. This was a bit annoying at first but after a week I’m used to it and it’s also no big deal. You enter that information into an online tool and it computes for you your macronutrient and some micronutrient totals from the food you eat. The tool also has valuable information on each food you entered. For example, if you have too much protein in a given day you can see the top sources of protein and make adjustments. There is also a list of allowed foods and a discussion of non-allowed foods.
MMT is a high-fat diet. After a week I’m used to it but I have to admit that I used to be indoctrinated in the idea that dietary fat is bad. Now I feel bad if I’m not eating a lot of fat. The thing that was new to me was restricting protein. I’m starting to get used to that now too.
So what were the first week’s results?
Weight: down 17.8 pounds
Morning blood glucose: from 97 down to 77
Blood pressure: I was already pretty good on this. Today: 116/80
Ketones are an interesting topic and one of the main points of MMT. When your body switches from burning glucose to burning fat it produces ketones that are then used for energy by the body. This is a much more efficient energy source than glucose. MMT wants you to measure ketones on the program. There are three main ways to measure:
Keto sticks – you pee on the sticks and they turn color to indicate the presence of ketones. This is considered the least reliable way to measure. One issue is that after you become fat adapted the sticks may not register.
Breath Analyzer – you blow into the analyzer and it measures ketone presence in your breath. This is preferred over sticks but still not the gold standard. It does have the advantage that once you buy the device there are no further consumables you have to buy.
Blood meter – you take a drop of blood and input it into the meter. This is the most accurate way to measure but the test strips are cost prohibitive. On Amazon, each strip costs about 6 dollars. That can run into some real money.
I opted for the breath analyzer. The brand is Ketonix. It indicates the presence of keto bodies by a series of flashing colors on the meter. I actually bought my Ketonix a long time ago and would periodically test my ketone levels. Until I was on the program my readings were always in the green range (low ketones). After two days on the program I have been consistently in the yellow range (moderate ketones). This is an indication that I am becoming adapted to burning fat rather than glucose for energy.
What does a typical day look like for me? Well, first thing in the morning I have a cup of bulletproof coffee. This allows me to go until noon before I have my first meal. My first meal is pretty much the same every day:
2 duck eggs
slice of liverwurst
slice of bacon (based on feedback from the online tool I have cut down from 2 slices to 1)
handful of broccoli sprouts
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
Based on macronutrient content this is almost the perfect meal for the program.
My second and last meal of the day is at around 4pm. That meal is more variable but usually consists of some form of animal protein and a bunch of some kind of veggie with butter on it. For dessert either herbal tea or golden milk and a handful of pecans.
My macronutrient breakdown for the first week on the program:
I haven’t felt this good in a while. And I hadn’t really been feeling bad but now I feel even better. Pretty happy with the first week of MMT. On to week 2!