Trucker Ben Becerra goes from Morbidly Obese to Master of His Domain

Trucker Ben Becerra goes from Morbidly Obese to Master of His Domain

We love hearing about empowered Heads Up customers who are transforming their health. It brings us great joy because, after all, when all is said and done, health is the best wealth. 

When Benjamin “Ben” Becerra, a commercial truck driver and dad — aka Keto Trucker Ben — went in for his physical at the Department of Transportation, his doctor declared him “morbidly obese” based on his weight and BMI. Instead of letting that discourage him, Ben used that as motivation to research viable diets that would fit his mostly sedentary lifestyle driving an 18-wheeler. 

Within 17 months, Ben transformed his body and health using lifestyle modifications (keto/fasting/exercise), keeping it up by tracking his health data with Heads Up and Keto-Mojo. He began posting onto Instagram his new keto life on the road, revealing gains over time. He’s proof that mindset and keto tracking is key to optimizing your health. It doesn’t matter if you’re a commercial truck driver with a sedentary job possessing only one skillet and one small refrigerator. Ben is proving, to himself and everyone else, that when it comes to transforming his health, he’s unstoppable!

Extending Healthspan with a Healthy Keto Lifestyle

In October 2018, Ben Becerra jumped into the keto lifestyle and hasn’t looked back. Beginning at 262 lbs and a BMI of 38.4, now at age 38, Ben has dropped his weight to 212 lbs and lowered his BMI to 30.4 This young dad isn’t letting being on the road for work stop him from eating healthy, exercising or fasting, determined more than ever to be a healthy model to his 28 month old daughter, to extend his healthspan to see her grow up.

“I use Heads Up as my go-to app for all the information I collect from my Keto-mojo meter. I’m a data person so I enjoy monitoring my data to make the best choices and stay motivated.”

How Ben Becerra Uses Heads Up for Tracking Keto 

Ben Becerra checks his fasting glucose and ketones using Keto-Mojo, his ketone meter and glucometer, then syncs that info directly to the Heads Up dashboard (see below for mobile app) where he can see his numbers displayed, GKI (glucose to ketones index) automatically calculated, and other desired health data (ex. weight, BMI). He also uses Heads Up’s built-in fasting timer to start or stop his fasts. This is a great way to get a feel of how lifestyle choices such as what you eat and drink (and when you don’t) impacts your metabolic health. 

Using the mobile app with Keto-Mojo, Ben can customize his personal dashboard to track the metrics that he cares about to achieve his health goals. (Active on Instagram, you can follow Ben at @keto.trucker.ben and keep inspired by how he stays keto on the road!)

To get even more power out of Heads Up, Ben can use our Analyzer feature on the web app to graph and correlate up to SIX health metrics. As a self-described “data person,” Ben, who is now in the midst of a 30-day Carnivore Keto Cut Challenge with the always inspiring Danny Vega, can then monitor how this new lifestyle mod is impacting other health markers, such as fasting glucose and weight. Or even how this new diet may be affecting inflammation markers such as CRP, since it’s easy to correlate with medical records to spot trends over time. 

Note: The graph above is an example of our Analyzer in action when one of our team members stacked 30-days of a nose-to-tail carnivore diet with a prolonged fast near the end of January. She wanted to see how these two health self-experiments impacted her fasting glucose, ketones, and weight, her last six months captured in this graph. It’s interesting to see how glucose takes a nose dive and ketones rocket upwards, while weight begins to drop after sandwiching a week-long fast between carnivore-eating.

It’s hard not to be inspired by Ben’s BEFORE and AFTER photos

Interview with Ben Becerra on Transforming His Health

We had a chance to chat with Ben about what he’s been doing to transform his health. Enjoy the interview below! And don’t forget to head on over to his Instagram feed to get inspired in real-time what he’s doing to stay in the game for the long haul.

In your own words, how would you describe your health transformation? What were you facing that led you to take control of your health?

What led me to making my transformation was when I went to get my D.O.T. [Department of Transportation] physical exam and the doctor told me that I was “morbidly obese.” At that point, I realized I had let myself go and decided to do some research on what types of “diets” I could use while being sedentary for a majority of the day driving a commercial vehicle. I came across the ketogenic lifestyle, first hearing about it through my uncle, then from the incredibly inspiring keto community on Instagram, and began to tailor the diet to my new career.

Once I realized that I could maintain this lifestyle while trucking I went in full steam. Now I am at a level of learning to use data points that I gather to manipulate my dietary needs to take me into the best shape of my life. Having the ability to track so I can tailor my journey and intake of nutrition to fit into my trucker lifestyle (e.g., learning how the effects of food and drink, such as a Red Bull, affects my blood sugar). It’s been almost 17 mos since I started my Keto Journey.

My goal is to ultimately be my best both mentally and physically for the remainder of this life I have to share with my daughter. 

How are you using Heads Up? 

I use Heads Up as my go-to app for all the information I collect from my Keto-mojo meter and fasting tracker. I’m a data person so I enjoy monitoring my data to make the best choices and stay motivated. 

What health metrics do you monitor for keto tracking? 

Fasting glucose, ketones, GKI, weight, BMI and fasts

Have you connected Heads Up to any devices, apps, wearables, and/or medical records/blood tests?

 

So far, just with the Keto-Mojo meter. It’s great that it can integrate with so many devices out there allowing me to get healthier on my own. So far, I’ve gotten healthier, it’s hard to believe that all this has been through eating real food. 

Advice for others about taking control of your health?

Set a goal and work towards it daily. The 18 months of weight loss was not an overnight success.

But I believe in having “a patience mindset:” #smallgoalsdaily. Also I’ve learned that intermittent fasting is a natural friendship with keto with lots of science and data to back it up.

Your go-to meal to maintain your keto lifestyle?

Bone-in ribeye steak and brussels sprouts (made in my trailer while on the road).

Inside my Trucker Trailer, I eat, cook, and maintain a keto lifestyle using only:

 

  • 1 skillet
  • 1 coffee maker
  • 1 4×4 cubic refrigerator

Any favorite ___ (ex. podcasts, books, recipes, other) you want to share?

Fasting Mother Nature’s Game Changer, a book by Scott Murray (AKA @TheGoodLifeTheory on Instagram). Via the incredibly supportive and enormous keto community on Instagram, Ben met Scott who inspired and supported Ben’s keto journey. Ben highly recommends Scott’s book!

Take Control of Your Health

With Heads Up, you can track as little or as much as you want. Did you know you can also import your blood tests to correlate how a particular diet or prolonged fast is impacting your A1C or other markers, such as CRP and HDL? You can also keep track of other vital markers such as sleep data and HRV via wearables such as Oura or EliteHRV. You can even see how cryotherapy sessions are impacting your health! 

You can read more inspirational stories of transformation like Ben’s, such as 60+ year old Ginny who reversed her prediabetes. A retired long haul driver herself, Ginny didn’t let being on the road stop her from tracking keto and transforming her health. 

Functional Medicine for Corporate Wellness with Dr. Mona Ezzat Velinov

Functional Medicine for Corporate Wellness with Dr. Mona Ezzat Velinov

Growing up, Dr. Mona Ezzat Velinov knew that she wanted to help people. After working in conventional medicine, she had her own health crisis, and this began her research into other ways of healing and supporting her body. She trained to become a functional medicine doctor and now works with individuals to improve their health, as well as with corporate wellness programs.

Having a bigger vision, after working at both Apple and Facebook as an onsite doctor, Dr Mona decided to bring functional medicine to corporate health and is now creating onsite programs to improve employee health and outlook.

Listen as Dave Korsunsky talks with Mona Ezzat Velinov about her life’s work and vision for the future.

Listen in iTunes!

This podcast is brought to you by Heads Up, a web app designed to help you centrally track all of your vital health data. Instantly synchronize your medical records, connect your favorite health devices and apps and use your data to optimize your health!

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial. Or, read on for more information about our latest podcast episode!

 

 

In this podcast you’ll learn: 

  • About Dr. Mona Ezzat Velinov’s background as a locum tenens doctor that exposed her to a lot of different types of practices and cultures all over the world [2:20]
  • What is psychoneuroimmunology? [6:45]
  • About the in-depth intake that functional medicine practitioners utilize when starting work with a new patient [8:10]
  • Why understanding your family history helps to understand epigenetic changes [9:45]
  • About Dr. Mona Ezzat Velinov’s transition from traditional to functional medicine [10:45]
  • How Dr. Mona’s experience with thyroid cancer led her to functional medicine [11:15]
  • The effects of chemotherapy/radiation’s effects on the microbiome [12:05]
  • About Dr. Mona Ezzat Velinov’s private practice and specialty in thyroid health, gut health, menopausal transitions, and autoimmune disease [13:45]
  • How Dr. Mona uses techniques like monitoring breathwork, meditation, HRV tracking to support her patients [14:40]
  • Elite HRV, Oura, Biostrap and their tracking of HRV and other biometrics and how they connect to environment and biology [16:40]
  • About the environmental toxins and thyroid/endocrine disruption that can lead to Hashimoto’s [17:55]
  • EWG – tapwater reports and the Cosmetic Database [18:45]
  • About microbiome disruptors such as infections like traveler’s diarrhea, parasites, and how important tracking your bowel movements are [19:45]
  • Why you need to look in the toilet bowl daily and an interesting idea about Smart Toilets [22:40]
  • That Dr. Mona Ezzat Velinov worked at Apple and Facebook as a doctor and saw how helpful it was to have a doctor on-site. Why she wants to bring functional medicine to the workplace for preventative health support [23:00]
  • Why group support in the workplace from functional medicine can support creating a healthier work environment [24:10]

 

About Heads Up 

Heads Up is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

Bio-individual Coaching with Carl Hardwick of OPEX

Bio-individual Coaching with Carl Hardwick of OPEX

Carl Hardwick has spent his life dedicated to athletics, served his country, and opened up several OPEX gyms of his own before stepping into the role of COO at OPEX.  Currently, Carl oversees the Coach Certification Program at OPEX where he trains coaches to work with clients in bio-individual fitness and nutrition coaching. 

OPEX Fitness has several program offerings including coaching for individuals wanting to improve their strength and health, Big Dawgs Athlete training programs and a Coach Certification Program teaching coaches how to utilize their signature program of fitness, meeting their clients where they are. 

Learn more about OPEX training and what it can offer you as Dave Korsunsky sits down with Carl Hardwick to learn more about the metrics that OPEX uses with clients, including how they customize protocols for their clients and athletes.

Listen in iTunes!

This podcast is brought to you by Heads Up, a web app designed to help you centrally track all of your vital health data. Instantly synchronize your medical records, connect your favorite health devices and apps and use your data to optimize your health!

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial. Or, read on for more information about our latest podcast episode!

START TRACKING!

In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • What OPEX is/does and their history of coaching education with fitness coaches and gym licensing [2:00]
  • Why OPEX has a natural connection with CrossFit. However, they are not CrossFit, but based on human function [6:31]
  • The health continuum that they utilize to show clients where they are and where they want to go with their fitness and health [7:20]
  • OPEX  has a very holistic approach to training and nutrition but utilizes a bio-individual coaching approach for each client and their needs/desires [8:30]
  • “We’re known as the energy system coaches, but we’re way more than that.” [9:45]
  • About cortisol junkies and how overtraining can be harmful when we don’t recognize the stresses on the body [11:08]
  • “We have to respect biology and we have to respect exercise principles that are out there. There is a way to get your fix, in a way that you can still get that fix in 10 years. We see far too often in this market that we call fitness, that people fiend that fix so bad, day after day, and they get it in the same way and we see it a lot in unsustainable activities.”
  • What numbers Carl Hardwick tracks for an individual as core metrics in the OPEX program – The initial assessment history, OPEX BODY composition analysis (BMR, Bodyweight, Body Fat Percentage, lean mass), OPEX MOVE – a movement screen to see what they are capable of doing, OPEX Work – a 10 minute Assault bike test, and program design [13:40]
  • Every client goes through the OPEX Assessment and is given a weekly program with a monthly check-in [18:45]
  • About genetic profiling and how epigenetic changes can be more important than just having a gene. But genes can still be useful to know if someone is highly unlikely to tolerate dairy, for example, or if they just can’t train well in a certain way. And the flip side of that about how they can utilize it to help them train better, but it’s still in its infancy in terms of how we use the data [19:20]
  • About HRV and the coefficient variation and how it relates to resilience with tracking trends in different training phases [26:30]
  • How tracking trends can be important for the coach to look at, but it’s important to not be assessing it if you’re not understanding the metric and focusing too much on it, attached to the number while not listening to your body [30:45]
  • Why Carl Hardwick has clients self-assess before looking at the data [33:35]
  • Nutrition prescriptions with OPEX are broken into three section: LIFE – i.e. Bristol chart tracking, water intake, nightly waking to urinate related to hormones, FUEL – i.e. food quality, quantity, macros if it applies, PERSON – i.e. cleanses, protein de-loading [34:00]
  • OPEX Coaching is about meeting clients where they are [41:20]

References

Become an OPEX Coach online
OPEX Coaching
Big Dawgs Athlete Coaching
Follow OPEX Fitness on Instagram
Follow Carl Hardwick on Instagram
Follow OPEX founder James FitzGerald on Instagram

About Heads Up 

Heads Up is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

START TRACKING!