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 A Guide to Getting Started

Getting a complete physical

Before going on the Metabolic Diet you should get a complete physical from your doctor. You should also have some blood workup including complete blood count, cholesterol levels (total, LDL, and HDL), TSH (a test for thyroid function), fasting blood sugar, serum uric acid, serum potassium, liver function array and BUN. Your doctor may want to go beyond this but heí ll let you know if you should have more done.

Checking your Cholesterol - you should know where you stand
As far as the cholesterol issue, because you're burning fat for energy, much of the cholesterol and saturated fats that could cause a problem are used up in the process. Studies have even shown that along with increasing the utilization of fat as an energy source and providing for weight loss, the Metabolic Diet can even reduce serum cholesterol.

It never hurts to keep track on your cholesterol level whenever you change diets

In my patients I've consistently found a reduction in serum cholesterol and an improvement in the cholesterol and triglyceride profile on patients who are on the Metabolic Diet and are losing or have lost weight. On the other hand it never hurts to keep track of your cholesterol level whenever you change diets and even more so if you have or have a tendency toward a cholesterol problem.

Again, it's important to realize that individual experimentation will play a large role in aspects of the Metabolic Diet. The diet should be varied to provide the optimum level of performance and success for the individual. We're all different to some degree according to body chemistry and needs. No two human beings are alike. No two human beings will implement this diet entirely alike, either. As you make the diet a part of your daily lifestyle, experiment with it to find the best way to execute the diet for you.

If you do have a cholesterol problem there are adjustments you can make to the Metabolic Diet to control your cholesterol intake if needed. Marine oils, flaxseed oil, olive oil and other nutritional supplements and alternatives will help. Meat restriction may also be necessary. But, again, this is something you need to work with your physician on. If the Metabolic Diet seems like the answer to you, you'll have to put your heads together to devise a plan where you can benefit from the weight loss and toning advantages the diet provides while keeping cholesterol in check.

The Metabolic Index - you'll only get better from here
Along with getting the physical and blood work when you start the Metabolic Diet, we also urge you to weigh yourself and get a bodyfat analysis before you begin the diet. Weight loss is important but so are inches. You should understand that there are times when, for a variety of reasons, you might not be losing much weight but you're subtracting that unsightly bodyfat. It will help keep your enthusiasm high in these moments if you know that progress is being made in other areas and your body is toning up. Of course Iíve devised the Metabolic IndexTM to help you keep track of your progress. By plugging in your weight, height and bodyfat level, youíll get a good idea of whether or not youíre losing bodyfat regardless of the changes in body weight.

Weight loss is important but so are inches.

On top of keeping track of the Metabolic Index, you might also want to keep track of your body measurements. Especially important are your waist, hips, upper thigh, chest and upper arm. These measurements will give you an idea of how your body is responding to the diet and where you're losing weight the fastest. It will also give you an idea of where your problem areas may be and where you may have to concentrate exercise to get the body you want.

Secondly, measurements will be helpful for motivation when you're retaining fluid or not losing weight for some other reason and will complement the Metabolic Index. If you see those waist and hip measurements going down, despite the lack of weight loss, itíll show you, along with the changes youí ll see in the Metabolic Index, that you're making progress.

Prescription checklist
Finally, you should review the use of any medications you may be on. If you're on diuretics, you may want to use them only as needed due to the higher fat/lower carb diet's ability to help you shed water.

Most type 1 (insulin-dependent) and type 2 diabetics (non insulin-dependent) will usually have to adjust their insulin or oral diabetic agents, perhaps decreasing them during the low carb portion of the diet, and going back to their normal dosages on weekends.

You should check your glucose levels at various stages of the diet until you become familiar with the effect of the diet on blood glucose. It's important to check with your doctor and keep checking as you continue the diet and lose weight so that you are aware of your status and can make changes where needed.


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Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale

Dr. Di Pasquale is a licensed physician in Ontario, Canada, focusing on Nutrition and Sports Medicine, as well as a world class athlete for over twenty years... [more]

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