Omada Day 1
Sunday, June 10, 2018
This morning I received my welcome information and introduction to the Omada program (see my previous blog about what the Omada program is).
Pretty simple stuff. Use my scale, track food and exercise.
The mission statement of the program is diabetes prevention. My employer is paying for the membership, but I had to fill in a questionnaire to see if I was eligible. My weight tends towards overweight, and both my parents have diabetes. Thus, I was considered a good fit for the program.
I was somewhat hesitant to join the program at first because I was afraid they might try and push a low-fat diet. Back in the 80 and 90s, the low-fat diet was promoted as the cure for diabetes and heart disease. Low-fat yogurts, low-fat cottage cheese, and skim milk dominated the market, and yet the diabetes crisis/heart disease/obesity problem became worse.
I am encouraged and relieved that the information in the program about diabetes is more in line with the modern interpretation of the root cause. The actual cause of insulin resistance that leads to diabetes is a very high carb diet. Refined carbohydrates raises glucose, and high blood glucose can damage insulin sensitivity.
It seems our modern medicine has evolved in diabetes prevention. Sugar (and glucose in all forms) can lead to diabetes, so address the problem of sugar/glucose. Low-fat yogurt but with 26g of sugar makes no sense at all. That 26g of sugar I once noted was the same as a Snickers bar. It's not health food - it's breakfast candy.
As mentioned in my previous blog, there's no dietary program to follow per se. I can choose whatever diet I want. They provide a list of recommended healthy choices, which mostly follows the lines of whole foods, limiting refined carbohydrates in favor of veggies or fruit, limiting refined sugars, and good quality fats. There's no mention of low-fat cottage cheese. Eggs are recommended!
My diet program is still mostly like the Mark Sisson "Primal Blueprint", or old school low carb: Atkins/Protein Power. I've tried various flavors of low-carb, and those work the best for me. I only stay at keto levels (induction) for a couple of weeks, then slowly increase my carbs to hover around 60-80g per day, which is the original Atkins/Protein Power methodology. I cannot stay at keto levels long term because it completely depletes my glycogen. Glycogen depletion is what initially shifts the body from carb burn to fat burn, and is necessary for all low-carb diets. However, the glycogen depletion effect negatively impacts my cycling performance. I get really great endurance (endless supply of energy) from the fat burn, but during the intense hill climbs, I need the glycogen (carb sourced). I'm happiest when I have a mix of fat/carb burn.
Mark Sisson calls this being "Fat-Adapted". I am not full keto because I burn both fat and carbs for energy (proven with my metabolic testing). How do I know that I'm burning fat? I can exercise while being fasted. If I don't eat pre-workout, I burn fat for steady energy, and glycogen provides the power needed for intense bursts. No carb-loading needed.
Actually, on one of my recent bike rides, I found that my exercise performance is negatively affected if I eat before exercise. I went on a long bike ride, and the first leg was great. I hadn't eaten since breakfast, but I had plenty of energy. I had a break for lunch, but then my cycling performance plummeted. I don't know the reason for it, but I had less energy after eating then before. I've decided in the future I will complete the more difficult portions of my routes before lunch. I'll have to experiment with that more, and ask my metabolic coach.
So back to the Omada program. I'm not sure how this digital coaching thing is going to play out. Because I do moderate exercise during the week, and intense exercise on the weekends, my weight can fluctuate quite a bit. I'm curious to see how this plays out because Omada gets paid by my employer only if I lose bodyweight percentages. I noticed that they targeted my bodyweight to be exactly 7% below my current, which must be where they get paid the most! Since I'm focusing on body recomposition, I'm guessing my bodyweight change will only be about 3-4%.
It will be interesting to see if the program and digital coaching will account for reshaping, rather than just straight weight loss.
The thing that I am expecting to be the most successful about the program for most people is the daily weigh-ins, and food/exercise tracking. If I know that my digital coach is going to see pizza and beer on my food log, I might be more inclined to chose something else when going out. From my "On the Move" challenge at my work, I have noticed that I am more motivated to get a minimum of 7,500-10,000 steps per day. Omada has the same step goal. Having a little reminder and some competition has been great for my personal motivation to keep moving.