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An ordinary couple from Kansas embarked on an extraordinary journey that enabled them to lose body fat and lower their blood pressure easier than they had thought. Here is their story: 

We have always been concerned about our health, especially given our age; Fran is 78 years old, and John is 86 years old. However, we struggled to achieve any kind of success because we weren’t sure where to start or how to track our progress. 

We joined a 10-week pilot program led by Dr. Misra, that emphasized the importance of intermittent fasting and exercise. We tracked our progress using an at-home body composition scale and even though he resides in San Francisco, California, Dr. Misra was able to monitor our progress throughout the duration of the program. We met with him remotely for consultations and he helped guide us and answer any of our questions through the InBody mobile app.

Why Fasting?

Even though intermittent fasting, or time-restricted feeding, is a popular strategy for getting healthier these days, Dr. Misra taught us that this strategy has been around for a long time.

Because our ancestors were hunter/gatherers, they didn’t have food readily available at grocery stores as we do now. Instead, they would go periods of time where they had nothing to eat, meaning the human physiology evolved to go long periods without food. Many people today eat in a 16–18-hour window, which is not how our bodies adapted to survive. Constant eating is thought to be a contributor to obesity and many of the prominent health issues of today.

But what is intermittent fasting? We learned that while there are many forms of fasting, the most common technique requires individuals to fast for 14-20 hours a day. Fasting can impact certain hunger hormones which caused us to be less hungry, meaning we naturally ate fewer calories. We also learned that fasting is more about when you eat, not what you eat, so watching calories or eliminating our favorite foods wasn’t necessary. We were particularly excited about this aspect because counting calories is hard and time-consuming! We’ve tried counting calories before and it never worked for us, and it always left us feeling bad about ourselves if we had a “bad” day. 

“It hasn’t been near as hard as we thought it would be, we eat two meals a day. Usually, we eat our bigger meal at lunchtime and then have a salad with some protein at night.”

Along with fasting, we walked about 1.5 miles a day. We learned that “you can lose weight in just a very patient and uncomplicated way”. Walking is easy to add into your schedule and can be done at almost any age or mobility range. 

Where we started

Fran (78 year old female) John (86 year old male)
Weight: 166 lbs
BFM: 66.7 lbsSMM: 53.4 lbs

PBF: 40.1%

Weight: 212 lbs
BFM: 73.3 lbsSMM: 75.8 lbs

PBF: 34.5%

BP: 165/82 (June) Blood Sugar: 148 (June)

Monitoring our body composition was a new habit we had never tried before, as we normally just used a traditional scale and only provided body weight.

We both agreed that our fat mass was higher than we wanted it to be and that our muscle mass was lower than ideal (especially later in life). While this was a little disappointing, we used this as motivation. We acknowledged that we had room for improvement and were excited to start this journey together.

Monitoring Our Body Composition

With a normal scale, there is no explanation as to why body weight changes. We learned that people sometimes put on muscle weight and lose body fat, which is good, but the scale will show a higher number. This can leave people feeling defeated and like they accomplished nothing. But because we used the body composition scale, we knew exactly what was going on in our body and if any gain or loss in weight was due to an increase in muscle mass or a loss in body fat. It really enabled us to stay motivated, focused, and positive, – if we used weight alone, we could have been discouraged and given up.

We used the InBody mobile app that synced to our body composition scale at home. While there was a slight learning curve, we adapted and could look at our progress at any given time; it was so convenient! Being so in tune with our body composition, John was able to detect body composition changes from the trending data on his mobile app when (at first) he received surprising test results. Instead of throwing in the towel, John was able to piece together that although his weight went up one week, it was actually due to muscle gain and not fat gain, which would put anyone’s mind at ease.

What Kept Us Motivated

Tracking overall fat mass helped us realize the impact on our visceral (abdomen) fat, which is considered the most important area to lose excess body fat. Doctors have been telling us for years now how bad excess visceral fat is, so knowing we were able to not only lose weight but specifically body fat was very motivating.

By incorporating fasting, staying active, and using the InBody body composition scale to keep us accountable, we were able to keep ourselves motivated to achieve the health goals we’ve sought after for so long and we even made this a habit. We also better understand body weight changes and how they can be attributed to changes in our body composition. 

“Now that we have our results on the InBody mobile app, and we can look at them and compare them, it makes a lot more sense. “

Our Progress

Fran (78-year-old female) John (86-year-old male)
Weight: 158 lbs
BFM: 59.7 lbsSMM: 53.1 lbs

PBF: 37.8%

Weight: 198 lbs
BFM: 65.9 lbsSMM: 72.5 lbs

PBF: 33.1%

BP: 128/78 (September) Blood Sugar: 103 (September)

 

Looking back at our 10-week journey, we attribute our success to the accountability and [strict, structured,] fasting and consistent body composition testing does to your motivation. Weight really is just a number and it doesn’t tell the whole story. Small changes in eating and activity habits can make a huge difference – we only walked about 1.5 miles each day and incorporated intermittent fasting and were able to achieve so much. 

What We Got Out of It

Weekly testing of our body composition progress kept us motivated. On the weeks where we thought we made no improvements, our body composition results said different and also validated our hard work. Maintaining your weight from one week to the next can boost your confidence when you can also see that you still lowered your body fat amount at the same time. This helped us to continue with our journey whenever we were tempted.

Now, we regularly test our body composition – alongside our other regular health monitoring habits, to maintain and improve our health. Not only did we improve our body composition, but our blood pressure also decreased, and John’s blood sugar levels decreased. We (especially John) were so happy to see these numbers go down!

“We’re still seeing the benefits from it, just doing the same thing that we were doing that helped us.”

Where We Are Going Now

We have achieved so much success with this program that it’s clear this is a new habit for our family. To continue to stay active, we want to get a recumbent bike to change things up for the colder months in Kansas. 

Right now, we plan on maintaining our new healthier lifestyle until we achieve our final body composition goal. In order to maintain the progress made,  we are going to continue to keep ourselves in check with regular body composition testing. This will help us stay motivated and prevent any unwanted body fat gain. We feel better, we look better, and we’re excited to see what additional improvements we can make toward our health.

“If someone said, well, could you give [intermittent fasting] up? I’d have to say, I really hate to give that up because I think that my much-improved discipline is rooted in that.

 

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