The easiest way to benchmark your starting point and to see your progress is to grab your camera (in these days, your camera phone) and take some self photos (that’s a selfie for anyone older than 50). Make sure the photos show your entire body from the front, sides, and back. Because you won’t have to share these photos with anyone and you’ll want to see the most detail possible when you compare your before and after shots, wear a bathing suit or your birthday suit.
After you take them, stash them away (in a hidden folder on your computer or phone) so that you won’t be tempted to look at them until after 90 days. After 90 days, you take new photos in the same conditions and compare the before and after photos. Photos don’t lie. If you’ve adhered to a fasting method during those 90 days, you’ll be shocked at the changes you see.
Along with your photos, you may also consider taking measurements with a soft measuring tape of your waist, hips, thighs, arms, and, for women, bust. These measurements are also quite simple to take and don’t require the help of another person who is experienced in using body fat calipers. You can then compare the before and after measurements to gauge your progress.
If you want to track other factors to mark your progress, you can consider getting routine blood work checked prior to your start of your fast and again after 90 days. All these tests are routine and inexpensive, and are typically ordered during annual visits to the doctor. These tests can include the following:
- HDL and LDL cholesterol levels: Cholesterol is broken into two types:
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL): It’s the good cholesterol that trav- els the bloodstream, looking for bad cholesterol to r High levels of HDL reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): It’s the bad cholesterol, collecting on the walls of blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease and
You’re looking for a favorable ratio of the two with low LDL and high HDL.
You can improve your cholesterol ratio by fasting, as well as by consum- ing more foods such as walnuts, avocados, fish oil, and other healthy fats that have been shown to raise the body’s HDL levels, and consuming fewer processed foods (breakfast cereal, energy bars, processed meats, breads, and other prepackaged foods) and foods containing trans fats (junk foods such as commercially prepared baked goods cakes, cookies, donuts, and some snack foods, such as potato chips fried in shortening) that are known to increase LDL levels.
- Triglycerides: Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood that becomes stored as body fat when you burn fewer calories than you Higher amounts of triglycerides increase your chances of developing heart disease. The American Heart Association states that a triglyceride level of 100 milligrams per deciliter or lower is optimal for improved heart health.
- Fasting blood glucose: This test measures how much glucose is in your blood after not eating for eight Although your blood glucose levels naturally rise after you eat if they stay elevated even after you’ve fasted, you may have diabetes or be prediabetic. Blood glucose levels that remain elevated over a long period of time can cause damage to your body in a variety of ways, including damage to your kidneys, pancreas, eyes, and nerves.