Morning Weigh In:
- Fasting Blood Sugar: 5.2 mmol/L
- Weight: 176.6 lb
- Belly Circumference (taken horizontally, 1″ below navel): 107 cm
I tried to take 4 pictures: Gut pushed out, sucked in for both side and front profiles. Behold, my beer gut:
Subcutaneous Cross-sectional Measurement or How I Estimated My Abdominal Cross-section Without a $1000 CT Scan:
(Waring: This section is for the nerds, read at your own peril) From what I’ve read, a low carb diet is very good at reducing the fat around your organs (visceral fat) but not so much when it comes to anything else. This is great for reducing your chance of death but it sucks if you’re trying to look like Tyler Durden. Your abdominal subcutaneous fat (the fat that gives you rolls) is a very stubborn type of fat, which you probably already knew if you’ve ever glanced at any health magazine cover ever. Since I’m going to force burn the fat off me, my body will have to dip into this vast fuel supply to keep up. Even though it probably won’t be a lot, it will be interesting to see what ratio of subcutaneous to visceral fat gets burned by the end of the month. To figure this out I need to cut across my midriff and compare the area of the subcutaneous sections to the same cross section a month from now. To do this I’ll need to measure my subcutaneous fat layer thickness all around my belly. Luckily I have a portable ultrasound machine that can do just that. Here an example of what I see when I scan:
The brighter lines indicate a phase transition. The lowest one should be where the subcutaneous fat layer stops and my abs start. Sorry it’s not so clear, I don’t have any ultrasound gel lying around so I had to resort to hand sanitizer. By the way, don’t mistake this for the 2D image you’d get at the hospital. This is a one dimensional “core sample” plotted over about 5 seconds. At the end you can see I pushed it in and released. This was done to verify that the lowest light band is in fact the subcutaneous layer (I made sure my abs wouldn’t compress by flexing). If you want to try this yourself and you’re not crazy enough to buy an ultrasound machine like I am you can always just use a ruler to push into your belly and measure how far it went in. Of course there is an uncompressible layer of fat you need to account for while doing this method. I usually tag on 2cm to my ruler measurements. I found this method is only off by about 10-15% so it’s a pretty good cheap alternative. I marked out 7 equidistant spots on the right side of a horizontal plane on my belly like the numbers 12 to 6 on a clock. These are where I took my core samples. I also took my circumference at this plane as well as overall length and width. In Autocad I used these values and some curve-fitting techniques to create my cross-section.
After mirroring the half and cleaning it up a bit I used Autocad again to calculate the area. Here is the finished cross-section beside a real CT abdominal cross-section so you can see the similarities:
My cross-section was taken 1″ below the belly button which is why there is no dip in the front like the CT scan.
The only thing this wont tell me however, is the total visceral fat in the cross-section. This should be okay though because I don’t expect my bones or organs to shrink dramatically. I’ll just consider any reduction in that middle part to be a reduction in visceral fat.
EDIT: In some insane coincidence, I just happen to find this study published in this months issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine that suggests that the method I just outlined above has numerous advantages over other body composition analysis methods.
Ok that’s it. The diet officially starts tomorrow which I am calling D-Day, or Depletion Day. From past experience I know that the initial phase of this type of diet is really crappy so it’s best to get it out of the way in one shot. Hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow I’ll be in full blown ketosis. I don’t want to make daily posting a thing but I’ll do another post tomorrow just to document the fast and workout routine and hopefully I’ll write it a bit earlier so I can get some sleep.