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. 

18 Extraordinary Health Benefits of Cryotherapy

18 Extraordinary Health Benefits of Cryotherapy

The History of Cold Water and Cold Air Therapies

Although the health benefits of cryotherapy are reemerging, cryotherapy treatments – and it’s distant relatives – have a long history of use in medicine. As far back as 460 BC, the Greek physician Hippocrates was the first figure in medical history to document the benefits of hydrotherapy, or using water to trigger healing and/or general wellness. By the 19th century, Benedictine monks were using nearby springs for therapeutic use, and throughout the ages since, cold and hot water therapies have been used by the medical community for healing ailments, athletic performance recovery, and overall health and wellness.

Cold Water Submersion (Cold Plunge) vs. Cryotherapy

Cold therapies, whether in an air chamber or a submersion tank, use the application of extreme cold to activate the body’s natural healing powers. Cold water submersion (or cold plunge) is the practice of entering an ice bath, typically for 15 to 20 minutes at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Whole-body cryotherapy is the practice of entering a temperature-controlled room at -155 to -184 degrees Fahrenheit, typically only for three minutes. 

So What’s the Science?

Today, there is a lot of science behind cold therapies (wet and dry). These therapies allow your body to access and release naturally-occurring biochemicals that are active in reducing pain and inflammation, speeding metabolism, and detoxifying the body and blood of harmful toxins. 

In a nutshell, here’s what’s happening: your body goes into a state of ‘cold shock,’ dropping the skin temperature around core nerve ending neurons. This triggers two reactions in your brain: one that releases endorphins (feel-good hormones) in vast amounts very quickly, and one that releases norepinephrine (anti-inflammatory protein) in the brain at approximately three times the normal rate. That’s the brain sending survival signals to your body. This also triggers the constriction of your vascular and muscular systems to begin transporting blood, nutrients, and resources from your extremities to core organs. Additionally, blood detox and enrichment begin in preparation for the ‘survival’ period. 

The Health Benefits of Cryotherapy

The resulting health benefits of cryotherapy are increasingly well-documented in the medical community, so let’s dive into the range of outcomes you may experience. 

1.  Improved overall health and wellness. Medical studies are showing whole body cryotherapy eases a wide range of chronic medical conditions from osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia to auto-immune deficiencies, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, dermatitis, and more. Patients also report:

  • Improved sleep
  • More energy
  • Pain and inflammation relief
  • Accelerated weight loss
  • Improved circulation
  • Faster surgical recovery
  • Improved mood and reduced anxiety

2. Skin and beauty enhancement. The cold environment activates deep layer skin receptors telling the body to increase the production of collagen. The resulting collagen production helps with:

  • Firmer, tighter skin
  • Diminished appearance of cellulite, varicose and spider veins
  • Increased weight loss and caloric burn
  • Reduced blemishes
  • Stronger, fuller hair and nails

3. Improved athletic and sports performance. After a cryo session, higher concentrations of oxygen and nutrients in the body help muscles, ligaments, and tendons better absorb and utilize them. That, in turn, boosts metabolic activity. So for the athlete, both performance and recovery are improved including:

  • Improved overall athletic performance
  • Improved joint function
  • Faster recovery time
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced inflammation and muscle soreness
  • Reduced tendonitis and shin splints

    Who Should NOT Use Cryotherapy?

    Anyone who’s pregnant or has a heart condition should not use cold water submersion or cryotherapy as the risks simply outweigh the benefits. If you’re unsure if it’s right for you, check with your medical practitioner.

    How to Find the Right Cryotherapy Center

    No. It’s not just a simple Google search that includes keywords and your zip code. Finding the right cryotherapy center requires a little deeper dive. Here are some keys to finding a quality center to help on your cryo-journey, so don’t be shy and make sure you ask about the following:

    What kind of equipment do you have?
    Tip: look for facilities that offer whole body cryotherapy

    Does your customer service team measure skin temperature?
    Tip: look for facilities that measure your skin temperature before and after therapy to ensure you are getting the right effects 

    Is the cryo chamber located in a private area?
    Tip: You’ll be stripping down almost naked. Ensure the cryo chamber is located in a private area of the facility.

    Is It Working? Track It and See.

    It’s not uncommon for cryotherapy patients to feel immediate benefits after only one session, but often optimal results are found after just a few sessions. A recommended frequency is 2 to 3 times per week until the goals are met. We recommend tracking your sessions so you can see if other areas of your health are improving.

    The Heads Up app allows you to track your cryo sessions alongside all other vital health metrics including:

    • Heart rate variability
    • Sleep
    • Blood pressure
    • Inflammation (hs-crp)
    • ….and many more

    track cryotherapy sessions

    TRY HEADS UP FREE FOR 30 DAYS TO TRACK YOUR CRYOTHERAPY SESSIONS

    Try Heads Up Free for 30 Days

    Still want more info? Check out these useful resources.

    Knowledge is power, so here are a few more helpful resources to check out before you take the ‘plunge’ into the world of cryotherapy and cold water submersion:

    Whittling Down Waist Size Using the Glucose Ketone Index with Keto-Mojo and Heads Up Health

    Whittling Down Waist Size Using the Glucose Ketone Index with Keto-Mojo and Heads Up Health

    The real power in using Heads Up Health with Keto-Mojo is being able to track and correlate biomarkers you care about, such as the GKI (Glucose Ketone Index) with other major health metrics, like body measurements.

    The leader in consumer software for personal health data analytics, Heads Up Health allows you to see your progress over weeks, month, years — all in one place. When used together with Keto-Mojo, the leader in affordable, accurate blood glucose and ketone testing meters, they’re a powerful force for helping you get into ketosis, maintain keto-adaptation, and see the big picture of your metabolic health and body composition.

    For example, our Social Media Manager, and avid Heads Up Health user, Lily Chien-Davis, correlated her GKI with her waist circumference measurements, whittling down her waist size while staying keto-adapted.

    In the graph above, Lily shares how she used Keto-Mojo to track her glucose and ketones over the past 12 months, uploading those results to Heads Up Health where we automatically calculate the glucose-ketone index (GKI), a powerful biomarker for tracking your metabolic health. 

    The graph speaks for itself as Lily slashed over five inches off her waist circumference!

    Lily first discovered the glucose ketones index as a biomarker when her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. They used a therapeutic ketogenic diet as an adjunct to conventional treatment, consulting with Miriam Kalamian [1] and following the advice of cancer researcher, author [2] and inventor of the GKI, Thomas N Seyfried and his advice to keep the glucose ketone index low, “tracking the ratio of blood glucose to ketones as a single value”, in an effort to blast the tumors near her husband’s aorta. [3]

    As they both carefully monitored his glucose ketone index and watched his tumors rapidly shrink, she began eating keto too, surprised, as someone diagnosed with pre-diabetes, to watch her own HbA1c go down, from 5.9% to 5.2%. In 2016, she discovered Heads Up Health while listening to keto podcasts (i.e., Jimmy Moore, Ketovangelist, 2 Keto Dudes). Both she and her husband immediately signed up, excited to track their glucose, ketones, and GKI alongside their medical records and body composition data, such as weight and waist size.

    Since then, Lily has never looked back.

    Instead of using a scale to track her weight every day, which can be maddening because weight loss is never linear, she tracks her GKI alongside her waist circumference and weight once a month using our measurements feature. In the beginning she also tracked her macros, but now relies solely on eating an intuitive keto-paleo and sometimes carnivore diet, preferring to track her GKI regularly, using the graphing feature in Heads Up Health’s Analyzer to reflect on her progress, helping her stay motivated.

    Here’s Lily’s before/after photos and you can see how great she looks. Most importantly, she FEELS awesome, both mentally and physically.
    “Tracking with Keto-Mojo and Heads Up Health helped me to stay in ketosis and keto-adapted for over a year, giving me accountability and motivation to keep keto-ing on. Although I’m not completely where I’d like to be just yet, I’m free of all prescription meds, happier and healthier than I’ve ever been. My husband is now almost 4 years in remission and we recently sold our house to move into, travel and worldschool our kid in a RV, a dream we hatched up during long days of chemo infusions. People say keto is restrictive, that it’s a fad diet, but because I’ve used it for mental and physical health, it’s just a way of life for me now. The rest — feeling younger, more energy to actually want to exercise, mental clarity, and better body composition — is just icing on the cake!” – Lily Chien-Davis
    It takes a lot of courage to share this information so please give Lily a shout-out on Instagram (@hellbentonbliss). We love you Lily!

    Ready to get started? Enter your first set of baseline measurements, get yourself into nutritional ketosis and track your success!

    We’ve included a little video tutorial below to help you get started.

    Questions? Hit us up!

    Keto on!

    Dave Korsunsky | Founder  
    VIDEO: Gimme that Mojo! Tracking the GKI and Your Waist Circumference
    [1] Miriam Kalamian [2] Cancer as a Metabolic Disease by Thomas N. Seyfried, PhD [2] The glucose ketone index calculator: a simple tool to monitor therapeutic efficacy for metabolic management of brain cancer  
    Insulin Load – Beyond “Counting Carbs”

    Insulin Load – Beyond “Counting Carbs”

    This is a guest post on insulin load by Michael Alward

    Insulin Load – An Introduction

    When I first adopted a low carb eating plan, I remember countless questions on low carb support groups as to how to count the carbs / net carbs of various processed food products (on this particular day, it happened to be a protein bar by Quest Nutrition).

    Insulin load – calculating carbs from a Quest Nutrition protein bar.

    Insulin load – calculating carbs from a Quest Nutrition protein bar.

    The answers ranged from 21g of carbs (from a Type 1 Diabetic who tested his real-time insulin response), to “only 3g net carbs” (21g carbs – 17g fibre – 1g erythritol as provided by Quest).  Very confusing, and not terribly helpful… (more…)