How do you know if what you’re doing to improve your health is working? If you’re not tracking your changes, it’s nearly impossible to understand. Karen Parrott overcame her lifelong struggle with obesity through a low-carb diet using data-driven tracking. She supports her weight maintenance by continuing to track her progress with Heads Up Health, where she can link all her data and see what’s working and what isn’t.

A Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Karen Parrott is also a single mother who works full-time and commutes 2+ hours. Yet Karen managed to take control of her health after struggling with her weight for 40 years. After yo-yo dieting and stress-eating for some time, Karen realized she’d have to make some changes if she was going to turn her health around. When she was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, Karen decided it was time to take her health into her own hands. She began tracking her health data and became her own advocate for testing. Through diet, tracking and lifestyle changes, Karen has successfully lost over 70 pounds — and kept it off — for 6+ years!

Listen to Karen’s interview with Dave Korsunsky, founder of Heads Up Health, as they discuss her health journey, nerd out over her numbers via the tracking she’s done through apps connected to Heads Up Health.

Karen blogs at, is active on Twitter and Instagram, and shares her photography work on Instagram under a separate account.

“We live in a world where the odds are not in our favor against developing a disease.  People who monitor their health learn their body.” – Dave Korsunsky

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This podcast is brought to you by Heads Up Health, a web app designed to help you centrally track all of your vital health data. Instantly synchronize your medical records, labs, or connect your favorite health devices like the Oura ring or Keto Mojo and apps like My Fitness Pal and use your data to optimize your health!

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In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • Karen Parrott’s story, background, and why she’s a data geek who loves tracking her health with Heads Up Health [4:25]
  • As a Heads Up Health beta user, she was able to merge data from My Fitness Pal, Fitbit, and Apple Health to deepen her understanding of what was changing in her body [5:30]
  • How she participated in an intermittent fasting study with Dr. Satchin Panda in July of 2016 and the changes she saw [6:00]
  • Why she tracked her own data simultaneously through Heads Up Health while participating in the study with Dr. Satchin Panda to help her get the results she wanted [6:50]
  • How you can change the times you eat during the day and not necessarily have to change the quantities of food to improve your desired results [9:50]
  • Why finishing your last meal of the day by 6pm can improve your sleep, which can be tracked with your Oura ring [10:30]
  • How she was able to go back through the data when her cholesterol began rising to see what had changed [14:00]
  • That her A1c was stuck at 5.5 – 5.4 but when she started intermittent fasting she dropped to 5.0 – 4.8, which she was able to see because she had the data to make the connection [16:00]
  • About empowering yourself to track your own info and make your own changes to achieve the goals you are reaching for [16:30]
  • How her doctor wanted to put her on a statin as her cholesterol levels elevated, so she ordered her own lab testing and convinced her doctor to order a coronary artery calcium score to see what her risk for heart attack really looked like [17:30]
  • About the psychology of eating and Carole Freeman’s recent podcast with Heads Up Health [28:35]
  • How Karen was able to look back at her struggle with weight, her ability to abstain from triggers and where she was most successful with weight maintenance [29:15]
  • How she found out, through testing her genes, that she has an extra gene for ghrelin production which means she can even overeat things like ribeye (why she’s diligent in tracking her food intake) [37:15]
  • Karen talks about her triggers for overeating and her strategies to quell those urges [39:40]
  • Karen and Dave nerd out over the numbers and tracking with Heads Up Health – see YouTube Video (coming soon) [41:50]
  • What metrics Karen has found most helpful in her tracking [53:20]
  • How even though Karen’s doctor’s health system doesn’t connect to Quest, she can pull it up on Heads Up Health and show her doctor her own health data and trends [54:45]
  • Karen’s advice to anyone struggling with obesity that’s starting down their own path; why tracking –and continuing to revise your plan —  is so important, to keep you moving in the right direction [59:40]


Karen Parrott’s blog

Found My Fitness Podcast with Dr. Satchin Panda

Salk Institute Dr. Panda

Dr. Brian Lenzkes

The Low Carb Cardiologist Dr. Bret Scher

Jeff Kotterman Trainer

Dave Feldman

The Feldman Protocol

Amy Berger’s Coronary Artery Calcium blog post

Dr. Nicole Avena

Dr. Ted Naiman

Our Partners:

Learn more about LEVL, a clinical-grade ketone breath meter, which measures your level of fat-burning and ketosis through a simple breath. Find out more at

You can learn more about the Oura ring, a state of the art ring that can track sleep cycle analysis, activity, and recovery at

Learn more about Keto-Mojo, a highly accurate and affordable device for testing blood sugar and blood ketones. Check it out at

All of these amazing products are integrated with Heads Up Health.

They all allow you to quantify your health in novel and powerful ways.

Thank you to our partners!

About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health 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!

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