Befriending Insulin

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Make no mistake, there are some insulin haters out there. They have managed to pollute the minds of good folks like you and me into thinking that insulin is like Insulin Bin Laden – a bad dude with no redeeming qualities.

Newcomers to www.180degreehealth.com are often still under the influence of low-carbism. Yeah, I know Taubes had a lot of references. I get it. I read the book multiple times as well as many of the references which provide ample refutation to the belief that carbohydrates are inherently toxic and lead to obesity and metabolic disease (like the works of T.L. Cleave and Denis Burkitt for starters).

But insulin is a beautiful thing. Insulin, for starters, helps take food energy out of our bloodstream after digestion takes place and packs it away into muscle cells. Wow! I bet that feels really good, stimulates your metabolism, improves your immune system, satisfies your appetite, and makes your muscles grow…. It does.

The problem is, most people’s bodies are NOT working correctly, and the muscle cells are resistant to insulin. This is where the problem lies, and there is no single piece of evidence the world over that suggests, in the slightest degree, that unrefined carbohydrate staples consumed by human beings over the past 10,000 years has anything to do with causing that dysfunction.

So the problem is the overcompensation that occurs when insulin is not communicating with muscle cells efficiently. The result is that the benefits of insulin are not realized by the body. It’s kinda like water. You only get the benefits of water for cellular hydration if you drink with your mouth open.

One of insulin’s wonderful qualities in preventing obesity and metabolic disease is the fact that it is a primary satiating hormone. Yeah Taubes, you heard me. The only reason in animal studies that little critters ate themselves to death when insulin was injected is because insulin lowers blood sugar – and the animals kept eating and eating and eating in order to keep from dying from hypoglycemia.

Insulin, in the ABSENCE of food, definitely isn’t satiating. It’s deadly.

But insulin, under normal circumstances, is an appetite suppressant.

Insulin is also the primary driver of muscle growth. Because it packs amino acids and glucose needed for muscle growth into muscle cells, muscle tissue cannot be added very efficiently without insulin present in sizeable quantity.

Because of this, among other actions of insulin (such as working in concert with leptin to raise metabolism, suppress appetite, increase lipolysis/fat burning, and so forth), insulin is a profound stimulator of the metabolic rate as well – which is probably why very low-carbohydrate diets, and low-calorie diets, produce huge drops in T3 – the active hormone that regulates metabolism.

Along with the drop in T3 comes drops in testosterone as well – another of the primary hormones involved in building muscle mass and decreasing body fat, which depends upon ample amounts of insulin to be stimulated.

Insulin also works on an axis with the catecholamines – which includes cortisol. When insulin goes up, adrenal activity falls. When insulin goes down, adrenal activity picks up. Keep insulin too low for too long and you run the risk of adrenal fatigue. You are also likely to increase the activity of cortisol (which, unlike carbohydrate ingestion, actually DOES cause insulin resistance) by keeping insulin levels suppressed, which increases insulin resistance, decreases testosterone, decreases fat burning, and otherwise takes you ever-closer to metabolic syndrome.

The result is more body fat and less lean muscle tissue – not to mention a slower metabolism in general, which all ties into the fact that your muscle cells are literally starving. There is no insulin to pump vital matter into cells when insulin is low, and if you return to eating lots of carbohydrates, they are very fattening until the point at which your cortisol levels fall, your metabolism rises, your insulin resistance decreases, and then… finally, your muscle cells start receiving nutrients and you feel better for once – something nearly everyone patient enough to give RRARF a full course has experienced in full.

The point of this post is simple. You NEED insulin. Insulin can do some amazing things for you, first and foremost allow you to experience life at your full physical potential. But you have to be insulin sensitive to receive those benefits.

The ever-popular way to deal with insulin resistance by taking carbohydrates away from a person may have all kinds of benefits in the short-term. This is because chronically-high insulin levels as a result of insulin resistance (not caused by unrefined carbs) are lowered, and many other systems are able to come into balance because of this drop in insulin.

However, it is a dead end, and is not fixing the problem. Eventually, a person on a low-carb diet will run into negative symptoms of insulin deficiency, such as decreased metabolic rate, suppressed fat burning, weight regain, lowered testosterone, decreased immune function, and so forth. This takes a lot longer to take place in an overweight, insulin resistant person, and happens VERY quickly in an insulin sensitive lean person that has no business being on a low-carb diet in the first place.

Insulin resistance, most likely, is a development that takes place as an anti-starvation system in the body – preventing fat burning while also preventing energy from being packed into muscle cells where it would raise the metabolism and build calorically-expensive muscle tissue. As we’ve discussed and will continue to discuss, the human famine response exists to prevent starvation, but any chronic form of stress from sleep deprivation to anxiety to chronic inflammation or dental infection to overexercising to nutrient deficiency is capable of triggering that chain of hormonal events… a theme seen in response to all kinds of deficiencies and stressors according to the work of true health pioneers (not to discredit Suzanne Somers, Susan Powter, or my favorite Richard Simmons) such as Robert McCarrison and Hans Selye.

The best way to bring metabolic syndrome under control? Eat unrefined, nutritious foods to appetite or beyond without severe macronutrient restriction (but an emphasis on starch to increase insulin sensitivity and lower cortisol most quickly), get lots of rest and relaxation, lots of sleep, and whatever else you can do to minimize your burden of stress, inflammation, etc. – ranging from having root canals pulled to treating sleep apnea to decreasing the omega 6 polyunsaturated fat content of your diet. Read more about this strategy that I call RRARF (Rehabilitative Rest and Aggressive Re-Feeding) in DIET RECOVERY.

Ironically, the hyperinsulinemia epidemic that is sweeping the globe is best solved by befriending insulin and eating plenty of high-quality, nutritious, starchy carbohydrates (as well as other foods that stimulate insulin, like beef and cheese…. mmm, cheeseburger). Going to war against insulin with a low-carbohydrate or low-calorie diet may result in many victorious battles, but that war can never be won on a collective basis with that strategy… Even if a large percentage of people could follow such a diet long-term, which they cannot and never will, because most people’s bodies are too damn smart to let them get away with it for long.

For further reading, I highly recommend THIS Series of  ARTICLES written over the summer by James Krieger (badass) that highlights many of the errors in the low-carb theories about insulin that we’ve been discussing here for the last couple of years with some very new and interesting twists.

144 Comments

  1. "if you return to eating lots of carbohydrates, they are very fattening until the point at which your cortisol levels fall, your metabolism rises, your insulin resistance decreases"

    Im in this stage a bit right now.

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  2. I find it can be better to go way to the opposite end of the macronutrient ratio spectrum for a week or two to recover more quickly without the fat gain. Trying to sneak in a few extra carbs slowly after a really long time on a low-carb diet is always a killer though.

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  3. "Trying to sneak in a few extra carbs slowly after a really long time on a low-carb diet is always a killer though."

    It is true, and truth be told I think it is very hard for people to get away with little/no fat gain when coming from a low carb background….

    The pay-off though of being able to handle carbs and having metabolism back at full speed is a beautiful thing.

    "Eventually, a person on a low-carb diet will run into negative symptoms of insulin deficiency, such as decreased metabolic rate, suppressed fat burning, weight regain, lowered testosterone, decreased immune function, and so forth."

    Sums up exactly what everyone I know eating Paleo/Low Carb has to deal with after about 6 months, the honeymoon is great but once it wears off things become a nightmare.

    Another great post Matt, and those roasted peppers over at 180 kitchen look amazing!

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  4. Epic post Matt!

    Now, the thing you say about low T3 accompanies low testosterone, is not necessarily true. In my case it actually increased my testosterone (well, I don't know for sure what cased the increase but I was low in everything else basically)!
    When I started out with the RRARF I blew up like a balloon, put on weight very quickly, looking like mostly fat. Felt horrible, tired and so on. On my day 30 of RRARF I got my period! This normally only happens to me every 6 months, and I already had it a month ago so I wasn't due to one anytime soon, according to f….. up body (sorry body, I know I was the one who f….. you up)
    I am starting to see and feel major changes now, already! My energy levels are getting better My fat gain has stopped, my muscles are again starting to show and my voice has changed and become lighter (this has to mean my testosterone is getting lower, yay) -and I am STILL eating high calories!
    I WILL have cake AND eat it too!
    Your blog rocks Matt!

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  5. Matt, cool photo of you with Osama.

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  6. What about for a person recovering from adrenal fatigue? I used hydrocortisone for a few months which helped but I'm not sure if I stayed on it long enough. I still have trouble dealing with stress. If this diet lowers my cortisol, then I'm back to square one where I can't function nor get out of bed.
    I recently found by increasing my saturated fat intake my periods have returned and my mood has improved. The added fats and protein decreased my appetite and cravings and now that I have added potatoes, corn and wholemeal bread back into my diet my appetite has increased along with cravings for sugar.
    I've done plenty of the restorative rest and have increased my basal temperature up from about 33C/91.4F to about 36.6C/97.8F from using T3 (as I'm hypothyroid) and still I can't lose weight. I'm losing hope. How strict do I need to be with my diet to see any results? How long does it take?

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  7. Great and enlightening article. Keep em' coming!

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  8. See I'm coming from a weird place. I've been chunky for ever and lost weight on Weight Watchers, only to gain a good chunk back. I'm guessing that my weight set point did actually lower but it hadn't gone down as far as it should. I then flirted with Weight Watchers off and on for some time and now I have decided to trade in the scale of the thermometer and now I focus on eating until I'm full on whole foods. Meat has made a come-back to my diet which was primarily vegetarian.

    I'm feeling better and have learned a ton about my body. For example, if I consume refined sugars, be it alcohol, HFCS or just table sugar, my body temperature will be down the next morning. This may not be true with everyone but it sure is with me.

    I think the key is to learn your body and adjust accordingly.

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  9. Chris-

    Agreed. And paleo/low-carb is particularly rough on people that are already lean as I described above. Ouch.

    Sheila-

    That's great news. Now you see why body fat is something that I discuss really a perihperal issue, because often getting chunky is the exact thing that is required to heal very serious metabolic disorders. In women, a messed up metabolism can increase androgens – just like Schwarzbein experienced during her youth with facial hair and what not as a result of Stein Leventhal syndrome. In men, you see more of an overproduction of estrogen and low testosterone when metabolism is low, which I guess I could have specified in more detail but that wasn't necessarily the point of the post.

    Congrats on the feminine voice and the return of your period. Girl, ber bow, bow, bow… you'll be a woman… soon. Ah, Neil Diamond.

    Blake-

    You're not coming from a weird place at all. I think that's how many people end up here.

    As for as the sugar and alcohol, they operate by similar pathways, and are known to cause hypothermia (reduced body temperature). Does it to me every time as well.

    Anonymous –

    With severe problems like that (a 33c body temp. is certainly severe), weight loss is always going to be something that is close to impossible until you get everything else back in line. The body doesn't lose weight automatically unless it is really functioning well.

    As it pertains to adrenal fatigue, if you do RRARF and your adrenals start repairing themselves, you'll notice an increase in adrenal activity and energy. It's someone with high levels that will notice a big decrease until the point in which adrenal gland health is restored, which can take quite some time.

    Other Anonymous-

    Yeah, that was a good picture of me really, although you can see by the size of my big orange nose and the yellow tint of my skin that I have serious alcoholism and jaundice from liver failure. It was really quite a candid photo, as Osama farted just before the picture was taken – hence the shocked look on my face.

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  10. "See I'm coming from a weird place. …"

    That's not a weird place. I did WW for years, the old-school points variety. I ate very low fat for a long time, followed by binges on fried foods when I'd fall off the wagon. I'd loose weight for a while, fall off the wagon and gain back everything plus 5 pounds as a way of saying thanks for playing. I would pretty much kill to be the weight I was when I started WW in 2002. It's taken me a year and a half of eating fat, eating to appetite and not obsessing about calories or macronutrient ratios to feel like I can handle eating small amounts of refined carbs without seeing the body temp fluxuations, cravings and all kinds of negative responses. My body temps are solidly in the low 98s now.

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  11. Thank you for continuing to be the voice of reason in the stormy land of online diet geekery, Matt.

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  12. Taubes has been a disappointment to me lately. In his book, he makes a great case against refined carbohydrates. But now that he's been on the lecture /interview circuit, he's suddenly dropped the prefix "refined" from his vocabulary, thus implicating all carbohydrates. Seems he's sadly succumbed to the same thing he accused many researchers of.

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  13. yup it is the lean/health freaks who suffer most on Insulin free diets. The ones carrying more excess fat can get away with it for longer… Not sure why

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  14. Trying to quit caffeine and sugar and alcohol for the FORTHIETH time this year. I just cant have one, it leads to two and then by Friday I'm sucking down a pot of coffee and drinking a bottle of wine at night. Dammit why does liquid calories have to be soo good but soo bad for me. I don't crave cake or cookies, but I crave hot sugary coffee, or cold delicious micro brews. Whyyyyyy does it have to be this way. The fat I've accumulated is very soft and lots of it, and I truly think this is due to high liquid sugar calories. : (

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  15. Meghan: for me the key was delinking the caffeine and sugar in my brain. I used to drink a pot a tea a day with sugar accompanying every cup. On week-ends I had two pots of tea a day. I started using a lot more milk in my tea and no sugar. Gradually over time, I began to loose the association. Then I slowly weened myself off caffeine altogether by drinking teas with less and less caffeine, until I was drinking flavored water (herbal tea).

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  16. Hey Matt, so I am trying out the HED, but I think I am failing (yes, actually failing). It is just so difficult to eat enough whole foods on a college meal plan. Even when rated as having the third best dining place in the nation, I find myself stuck at the salad bar. Everything is filled with sugars, refined starches, or vegetable oils in them- soups, sauces. I try to eat within a good balance of beans, potatos, whole corn, milk, fresh vegetables, cheese, and what not, but it is pretty difficult to get the quantity (or quality- organic food is impossible). I thought I was doing well at first but I noticed as the season is getting colder my hands are feeling icy and I am always shivering. Very frusturating, but I will admit that I am doing much better now that I have attempted this diet. Like Sheila I just had my first normal period (I have not menustrated in over a year). I don't think I had a testestorne problem, but was not eating a balanced diet and was stressed. Anyway, I hope to succeed fully with the HED diet at some point and recieve the full benefits!! Thanks for your

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  17. …hard work and advice!!!

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  18. Sorry to sidetrack the discussion here but the mention of G. Taubes is forcing my hand! I'm just now reading his book Good Calories Bad Calories. I know it got rave reviews but at only about 60 pages in I'm bored already with the repetitiveness of all the reports on dietary fat, cholesterol and heart disease, the keys hypothesis etc. Ok…I get it….enough already. But one thing it did do for me thus far is strengthen my "middle of the road" philosophy. There are numerous areas that pretty much state the same thing but a recent example I just read speaks about a study done in Honolulu, Chicago and Puerto Rico and Framington Mass. In Honolulu they followed 7300 men and the ones on a higher fat diet got more heart disease. (it said they ate slightly more fat). But the men who died ate slightly less fat and sat fat. OK, you can't argue with death but we are talking about the fat hypothesis and sat fats relation to heart disease. To me that study suggests that higher fat leads to higher instances of heart disease. There are many instances like that one in the only 60 pages I've read so far. Yes there are also other examples pointing in the other direction. The point…I think that even today. Although the A. Keys Hypothesis may be bullshit; but from everything I have read the high fat/heart disease connection is still "inconclusive" in either direction. Don't go high and don't go low….middle of the road brother!!!

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  19. Great post Matt. This was totally my experience too: that low carb was a nightmare and did nothing good for my health. I was very underweight when I started it, and insulin resistant already from the start. I did not to loose weight but to kill off candida (that was the idea at least….lol….). I also think it's inevitable to gain weight after a low carb diet. It's totally worth it though cause it's so great to have higher basal body temperature and to eat more yummy foods.

    My main problem is still stress though I think. It's hard to get stress under control especially the never ending inner stress.

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  20. Damn, Matt, this was just the post I wanted to read. All this insulin bad-mouthing has really skewed people's views on carbs and insulin (even my own to some extent). And insulin's benefits are probably ever more relevant in our adrenal-driven society. Thanks for helping me abandon my insulin hate, Matt. ;)

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  21. Wow, great post!

    The timing coulnd't have been better either – it's basically what I'm trying to say on my blog nowadays – that low carb is devastating for glucose metabolism. LC may take away the symptoms, but it doesn't attenuate the problem – instead it amplifies it.

    I've been that lean very low carber and even zero carber for nearly a year. 5 weeks ago I tried some carbs and noticed a great increase in my morning basal body temperature (now it's even 1 degree celsius higher). I continued and upped the carbs the next couple of weeks until I developed weird symptoms.

    I'm very interested in medicine, read a lot of studies and think I have good scientific ground for my diet – but I was completely wrong, misled, and STUPID!

    After a few tests (mainly symptomatic, but also glucose and blood pressure) I found out that I had reactive hypoglycemia. Edema was also really out of control (my legs grew with almost an inch after training, the pump was EXTREME). My hands and feet turn ice cold, sometimes also sweaty, headache, fatigue, the works. I'm just glad I haven't fainted yet. I had very mild of these symptoms before I started low-carbing, but it had basically cleared up (probably because I stopped eating junk food), and was entirely gone during ZC (so you think ZC is the cure for all mankind, right?), but started to sneak back after a few months (getting more and more sensitive to the carbs and even protein in dairy – whey triggered cold hands).

    I have never ever felt so bad eating carbs in my life. The evidence can not be ignored – low-carb makes you, not only carb-sensitive, but also metabolically worse than you were before you started.

    Now I'm into my 5th week of pretty high-carb (60-80%). I don't seem to be able to do 75-80% carbs for more than one day at a time or else I wouldn't be able to go to work. It's getting better, but slowly… too slow.

    Have anyone of you experienced this, and for how long before it turned around and got better?

    The funny thing is I'm stuffing myself with potatoes, sweet potatoes and bananas – and I'm shedding my ZC-acquired belly fat (although slowly, but still). I ate 17 bananas the other day AND 1 kilo potatoes + meat, eggs, and more interesting food. It's a tough haul, but eating whole foods is absolutely fantastic! :)

    Great blog Matt, keep up the awesome work!

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  22. @Tommy: Yes the study you mention says they ate more fat. But what type of fat? My bet it was trans-fat. The problem with many of these studies is they lump all fat in together, whereas there is clearly a substantial difference between naturally occurring saturated fats and frankenfats. But sadly, they rarely ever differentiate them.

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  23. Either way,Like I said…(at least IMO) inconclusive. Don't sway too far left and don't sway too far right. :)

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  24. @Tommy: Agreed! :-)

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  25. To the Anonymous who is hypothyroid and says they added back potatoes, corn and wholemeal bread…drop the gluten.

    Seriously. Gluten has been implicated in autoimmune thyroid conditions, and many doctors recommend their hypothyroid patients go gluten free.

    There's plenty of other delicious starches out there!

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  26. Hey Matt, I'm back.
    For the past month I've been doing some interesting things. For about a month now, I have been doing IF's during the week while having a more typical eating schedule on the weekends. Until last week, my food intake was pretty much mostly junk. A lot of processed foods and such. The funny thing was that I still lost weight, I must have been undereating when the workouts and IF were considered. Since last Thursday, I have been following the same IF schedule (1-2 meals per day) but have been all Paleo. Yes, that dreaded word. I'm down under 200 for the first time in awhile and my lifts have been maintaining. Now after this post, I may just have a bunch of potatoes post-workout tonight! I would love to lean out while eating a good amount of paleo-carbs (taters and yams) post-workout. I think that as long as my calories are low in the long-run, I should be able to achieve that. The carbs might help actually because I rarely get more than 5-6 hours of sleep during the week. By the way, I IF because I just find it convenient for scheduling and calorie control.

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  27. I don't wanna sound like I disagree with what this site is all about but my experience of upping my calories a great amount past few weeks is good and bad.The hypo just got worse and worse till I felt I couldn't do it anymore….plus my sleep was getting worse and worse.I have since started back on Kwasnieksi style eating but match my protein to carbs per day(90)and have been literally gorging on fat.I will say that I really feel that fat may actually be a greater metabolism booster.For the first time in many years I feel hot during the day and am the only one working with my coat off outside past few days.Its a chilly 60deg in NYC right now and I have my window open and a kool breeze hitting me and feel comfortable.I have gone from 1500 to 3000 calories with surplus I dont even count like a few cups of coffee with cream or small bag nuts.My whole appearance has changed and I look healthier and fatloss is back on a downward spiral again eating same calories as my HED.This means I so agree that I needed and need to eat alot of food again for health.What I don't agree with though is that high carb is king for health.I know Matt and many believe that here but I find that it wrecks my health slowly over time.My theory for all this is that IF you can maintain low insulin with a high carb diet then its ok but if your body veers against insulin then resistance is futile….just pack saturated fat onto your plate instead of carbs IMO.

    Why saturated fat?I believe that every other fat type causes inflammation.I remember following a bodybuilding high fat diet where all the fat you ate was the "healthy fats" like cashews,peanut butter and olive oil.I also remember having severe joint pain and was not alone as many others were experiencing it also.Researching into why this happened and I came upon the Omega3/Omega6 ratio and how higher omega 6 will cause this.When I calculated this diets fat sources I was eating basically Mcdonalds in "healthy" format.I went to cream as fat source and voila pain vanished.

    @TOMMY,I agree with Ailu that it depends what type fat.Studies are showing that PUFA's are proinflammatory and that inflammation is where heart disease stems.Being Hispanic I can tell you that there is no thought whatsoever for type of fat used and store purchased Crisco is fine by most.While Puerto Ricans traditionally use olive oil I see store purchased lard use rampant as in most Hispanic communities.Then Hawaii….isn't there national dish Spam?

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  28. Jenny not the Nipper-

    Great that your period is back. That's still major progress. Being able to pull that off on college cafeteria fare is pretty remarkable.

    Michel-

    Totally. If low-carb could be done forever that would be one thing, but eventually almost everyone has to come out of it due to accumulated health problems from it over time. When you do, it sucks.

    Wolf-

    Appreciate your feedback. There is a big difference between Kwazzy and full-on Atkins low-carb. But still, I would be wary of long-term consequences regardless of how you feel in the short-term. I felt awesome in the short-term on a Kwas-style diet too, but then developed tooth pain, indigestion, and other issues. Incorporating a carb re-feed concept or being open to eating with seasonal variation may be all you need to succeed. Just know that there is no demon macronutrient and you won't do yourself in like many have.

    Thanks Gazelle. I try to keeps it real. Don't tell everyone that I drank caffeinated tea (OMG) when we were hanging out at the Tea Spot together the other day… or that I ate a lobster roll covered in mayonaise shortly afterward. I don't anyone to think I'm a hypocrite.

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  29. Hey Matt,
    So to follow-up, on days where I eat a lot of taters, do you think it makes sense to cut down on my protein intake by a lot as carbs are protein sparing? I fast until dinner or post-workout. So I'm thinking of doing some protein, some fat, and lots of carbs on workout nights and then extra protein, more fat, and little carbs on non-workout nights. How does that sound to you?

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  30. I dunno Mark. I think I'd have to defer to Berkhan, who crushes both carbs and protein together in huge amounts on his workout days.

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  31. Good one Matt! I was also the lean person who went super low carb to kick Candida… and RRARF has added almost 30lbs now. Sigh… but my waist hasn't increased any more, at least. So maybe the last 5 lbs that came on this week have been muscle. We did add a second 4min Tabata set.

    But here's the exciting (TMI) thing. My sex drive has come back, at least around the time I'm ovulating! My hubby has been verrrry happy the last few days. I thought it was gone for good, coz I've been eating lotsa carbs for 6 months now. Plus my cyclical boob pain is pretty much gone (except last month it was back… but my boobs grew!) Who knew?

    It's the stress thing I'm trying to kick – sleep deprived stress. I have no probs getting up (which is also new), it's going to bed. I think it's just going to take willpower rather than tiredness. I get that second wind in the evening and have no way of going to sleep. On the other hand, I'm desperate for a nap around 2PM, so maybe I should cut it out – although sometimes I just shut down, I have no control.

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  32. People who have tried Isocort (where is JT, anyhow) – I know it helps you have energy during the day, but does it also help you to go to sleep at night?

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  33. Yeah I agree about carb spike.I have noticed the glycogen overcompensation from it.Whenever I low carb say for a week and then binge on a day I work out I wake up next day with this tightness in all my muscles and freaking veins in my forearms(not a vascular person).I feel so healthy and look super healthy.But this always causes me to think that more is better and so I am back on carbs the next day also.By the following day the swollen feeling is gone as are the veins in my forearms.A week of low carb definitely causes insulin sensitivity.

    There are people that are full and pumped and always veiny so they probably never get insulin resistant but me and many heavy hitters do.As I mentioned I was once 300 pounds with a heavy labor job.

    Matt,also you mention Atkins and how he said that prolonged dieting is detrimental over course.Sadly Atkins never fully understood why his diet caused such rapid weightloss eating all the calories one wanted.Insulin was his devil and he went with it.There was a video from BBC where they uncovered the truth that Atkins works because eating meat very effectively reduces appetite.This is why the very rapid fatloss occurs with little hunger but is its downfall since over time metabolism drops,fatloss crawls and the Atkins never seems to work as it did the first time many of its users tried it.

    He was already passed away when it aired and I find it funny no one ever figured that out up till that video.This is why I think that maybe the thinking is flawed against low carb eating but I am really starting to think your absolutely right about calorie increase for health and weight loss.

    @Hawaii girl…my sex drive is also revving up in a silly way.Makes sense from an evolution standpoint since low food sources in harsh winter climates would hence cause metabolism slowdown which in turn would slow mating drive since the food sources are scarce….?

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  34. Wolf, I have been thinking… your theory about saturated fat raising the metabolism does make since as I too feel much better on a diet that incorporates more butter and cream than starches. Doing a bit of research I found this study which I think may help explain- apparently dairy is high in conjugated linolic acid.

    http://ajpregu.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/275/3/R667

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  35. And I don't even like tea! That's how desperate my caffeine addiction can get. I'm down to one cup of green tea a day now, heading towards zero again. Adrenals were complaining.

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  36. Thats interesting Ana.Its funny how alot of bodybuilding supplements mimic an actual steak.They say to take CLA for fat burning effect then say to supplement with creatine for strength etc.Those two are found in high concentrations in beef not to mention the B12,zinc,iron etc tablets they sell us so we can avoid the main sources of them.

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  37. Hey Matt
    I am so glad that I found you before I got totally paleo/low carb fucked up after being a raw vegan massive mess. I am doing RRARF this month, have to say LOVE IT. My stress is lower, I am eating pretty hefty and the butter, oh I love me some butter! I too feel warmer, my temps are still the same but it's only been since Oct 1. Sleep is good, did yoga today, felt awesome, strolling with the pup.. resting as much as I can. I Likey!
    Dinner was free range italian chicken sausage with potatoes, asparagus and some parm. cheese. Damn good and good for ya.
    BTW I am Totally kicking your ass at the friend game.. hee hee
    your fav hag xoxoo

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  38. @Lorelei aka Hawaiigirl said…

    "It's the stress thing I'm trying to kick – sleep deprived stress. I have no probs getting up (which is also new), it's going to bed. I think it's just going to take willpower rather than tiredness. I get that second wind in the evening and have no way of going to sleep. On the other hand, I'm desperate for a nap around 2PM, so maybe I should cut it out – although sometimes I just shut down, I have no control."

    I don't think that this is the original article I was looking for, but here, Dr. Lam talks about that second wind at 10PM and adrenal fatigue…

    http://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenal_fatigue.asp

    I will still look for more on the 10PM crash and then becoming awakened shortly after.

    Reply
  39. This might have been it…

    "Sleep. The most important is to have enough rest. It is important to go to sleep by 10 p.m. every night. Why? This is because our adrenal glands kick in for a "second wind" to keep us going from 11 pm to 1 am. This puts tremendous stress on the adrenals. When we rest early, our adrenals are fully rested and the high gear is avoided. Between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., our adrenals work the hardest to repair the body. We should also try to sleep in until 8:30 a.m. or 9: 00 a.m. if possible. This is because our cortisol level rises to its peak from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. in order to wake us up and get us going for the day. "

    http://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenal_fatigue.asp?page=3

    Reply
  40. Lorelei aka Hawaii girl-

    When I read your post, it was like reading about myself. My sex drive has returned too, my boobs has grown and I have now no trouble getting up in the morning but I have a very hard time falling asleep at night. I have excluded all other stresses except sleep deprivation, which I don't seem to have any control over.
    Could it be that some people just don't require much sleep?

    Reply
  41. Just found this site via another blog, interesting stuff.

    I've been eating low carb for a bit more than 6 months now, and I guess the honeymoon is over since I have started to gain weight again. How would you suggest a low carber should eat to get back in balance?

    Reply
  42. I have tried eating a high-starch meal (mashed potatoes) in the evening and protein in the morning as mentioned in one of the recent blog posts, and I find that it gets me sleepy early and I sleep a solid eight. Trouble is, I typically eat my evening meal around 6pm, so I'm sound asleep by 8pm and wide awake again at 4am!! Those who have trouble getting to sleep might want to try that.

    Reply
  43. Thanks Honeydew and Matt. Honeydew, would you still recommend cutting out gluten even if I'm not gluten-intolerant? I did a home test kit for gluten intolerance and I was fine. I'm not putting on any weight but the weight loss has stalled. About 5 years ago I had a severe adrenal crash where I couldn't get out of bed for months and barely ate anything. In those first 3 months I put on 30kgs/66lbs which I have yet to lose.

    Some info I found on the effects of feeding on Free T3 (the active form of thyroid hormones) -

    Multiple alterations in thyroid hormone regulation and metabolism have been noted during caloric restriction. The most dramatic effect is a decrease in the serum FT3 within 24-48 hours of the initiation of fasting. Because
    changes in the free T3 fraction are usually small, the absolute concentration of FT3 is also reduced, clearly into the hypothyroid range. The marked reduction in serum T3 is caused by a reduction in its generation from T4 rather than by an acceleration in its metabolic clearance rate.

    Overfeeding produces an increase in the serum T3 concentration as a result of an increased conversion of T4 to T3. It is particularly marked when the excess calories are given in the form of carbohydrates. Thus, it appears that the effect of over-nutrition on iodothyronine metabolism is the opposite of that of starvation.

    Composition of the diet rather than reduction in the total calorie intake seems to determine the occurrence of decreased T3 generation in peripheral tissues during food deprivation. The dietary content of carbohydrate appears to be the key ingredient since as little as 50g glucose reverses toward normal the fast-induced changes in T3 and rT3. Replacement of dietary carbohydrate with fat, results in changes typical of starvation.

    http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/gCysTBkqNtxAc9Xno68rZAJu4R7gxpM2Xb3Xh72P3IXd9AiwwvGWU5dbBUKHaxAl4yXDj0UUSuNPP72GvrlrL5O0PjtaWMs4TfnnIguh/Miscellaneous%20Files%20to%20Read/LOW%20ENERGY.htm

    Reply
  44. Day Spa of Las Vegas offers a variety of skin care treatments including massage, bikini waxing, Facials, Peals, Wraps etc in Las Vegas.

    Reply
  45. Anonymous: Absolutely correct. The drop in T3, but otherwise normal thyroid is also called euthyroid sick syndrome (ie normal thyroid, but something else is out of wack, way else would they use the words "sick" and "syndrome" in the same diagnosis ;)

    Also, the fact the Stefansson and Andersen after the Bellevue all-meat experiment "failed" the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in the same way as starving people fail their OGTT should be a warning in itself (see refs below). The fact that this blood sugar curve is called "starvation diabetes" doesn't seem to suggest perfect health does it?

    Here in Sweden an md and phd in sports physiology – Michael Svensson (who I used to bash for his opinions) – coined the word "carbohydrate starvation" (better in swedish, only one word). It pretty much sums it up – restricting carbs too low for too long and the body responds in the same way as during starvation. It's possible to live very long like this, like Matt suggests, especially if insulin is chronically high. Lean people who exercise tend to have low fasting insulin levels and high insulin sensitivity, which is probably why we get to see the bad side of the "honeymoon" sooner than the rest.

    Refs:
    Stefansson and Andersens OGTT:
    http://www.jbc.org/content/83/3/747.full.pdf

    There's a nice quote in it too:
    "If then a low carbohydrate, low protein, and high fat diet lowers
    the tolerance to carbohydrate in normal human beings, is it reasonable to assume that a high carbohydrate diet will raise the tolerance? This too has been demonstrated. [...]"

    OGTT and insulin after starvation:
    http://www.jci.org/articles/view/104788/files/pdf

    Reply
  46. MATT,

    Excellent post ! it sounded like i wrote it ..lol
    been trying to say what this post says in a few comments lately.
    it's funny how something pretty much essential to life gets such a bad rep. Why would the human body evolve to poison itself??? silly rabbits

    Shiela,
    Congrats !

    TOMMY
    about taubes' book … it gets better about 60 pages after all the who created the fat propaganda stuff.
    I have read alot of books ( alot of which are geeky textbooks) and this one by far was the hardest to get through.

    Wolf,
    Don't think of fasting as a calorie restricting/ controlling tool it ends up being the same as reducing daily calories, I advise everyone that asks me about fasting to compensate for the missing calories during a re-feed.

    Reply
  47. Michael Blomgren,

    Why would VS and KA failing an OGTT be a warning? Of course they're going to fail: their free fatty acid levels are high, and their glucokinase activity is low. Notice that after a short period of a normal diet they had a normal response to glucose. This shows that low carb diets do not mess up metabolism long term. It probably only takes a few days of increasing carbs to be able to "pass" an OGTT after a period of low carb intake.

    CHIEF,

    Not that I disagree, but your argument lacks some logic. What if one considered insulin the antidote (with side effects) and glucose the poison?

    Anyway, nobody knowledgeable thinks insulin is non-essential, just that chronically high levels are bad. The idea that carbs themselves lead to too high of levels is obviously incorrect.

    Reply
  48. People leaving low carb,

    this may help for some depending how bad you have
    been turd burgling.

    I recommend either doing a short period of raw vegan mode before jumping in to an all out raarrfing
    this has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and i have never seen any fat raw vegans blowin' up.

    or doing 2 days of "paleo" ( such a retarded concept) low carb then working out the third day ( strength training) right before eating which will be pigging out on starches with some protein and fat. and repeating like a carb cycling. To give your body a transition or ease into it.
    i don't think either are necessary for more than a few weeks

    this will have less of an intense switch and will give your body a chance to adapt to the incoming change in diet. In some i have seen it have less dramatic initial fat gain by improving insulin response.

    then of corse relax and rest up once you are pig out mode !! :)

    Reply
  49. john: How come the Inuit didn't "fail" an OGTT and VA & KA did? A difference in diet for sure.

    Yeah, I know, it's a question of adapting to another substrate, question is if it's what you really want? Be extremely "sensitive" to carbs.

    Maybe VA and KA recovered quickly after a few days mixed diet, but I sure don't.

    Reply
  50. It probably takes just a few hours to "pass" an OGTT after doing ZC because of increased insulin production. Question is if the curve is normal or signalling reactive hypoglycemia.

    Reply
  51. Michel,

    I don't know: their diets weren't exactly the same. There are many things that can affect insulin/glucose sensitivity besides macronutrient proportions: mineral intake, vitamin A, unsaturated fat, activity/exercise.

    I don't think being sensitive to carbs is bad. If you want to eat them, go ahead. If you don't for a while and then decide you want to, a gradual increase over a few days is probably best. Evidence supporting low carb, low fat, or balanced long term is inconclusive, so personal preference is a factor.

    Reply
  52. As usual, a very informative post. I don’t think any GOOD blogger out there, like the guy at Weightology think that insulin is the ‘demon’. I also think the paleosphere is coming around on starch and carbohydrates.

    I still don't think your presumption that high carb is king for health is correct nor is it beneficial. I think what wolf said should be taken into more consideration:
    “My theory for all this is that IF you can maintain low insulin with a high carb diet then its ok but if your body veers against insulin then resistance is futile….just pack saturated fat onto your plate instead of carbs.”

    John also makes a good point about Steffasson because obviously everyone on ZC is going to fail the glucose tolerance test… that would be normal biological response right? I mean… I wouldn’t understand it if they did pass it. John, I wish you had a blog I see you comment everywhere!

    Reply
  53. Still, the Inuit didn't fail the OGTT.

    John: 5th week for me and I'm not over the hill yet, that's not "a few days" in my world at least.

    Reply
  54. Hey Matt, I need to clear my head and bounce my thoughts off of you if you don't mind.

    If one is looking to burn body fat, as long as they are hypocaloric, the underlying macronutrient composition shouldn't matter when considering their lose of body fat right? I was thinking of cycling carbs to match workout periods but then I thought that it doesn't matter as long as I am hypocaloric. I make sure to do resistance training at least a couple of times a week to maintain muscle mass while I lose weight. I think this approach makes sense but just wanted to get your opinion. Thanks.

    Reply
  55. Hey Mark, not Matt (obviously, LOL!) but Martin Berkhan from LeanGains is a master at what you are referring to. His blog has everything pretty much laid out for you. Good luck!

    Reply
  56. Hey Will. Yeah, I've read pretty much every page on Martin's site. My goal right now is to have a simple approach to lean out some more. I don't want to get too technical as I will over-analyze it to an unhealthy level and ultimately I don't think one should have to go to that level to lean out. I'm hoping the answer is just to eat a little less of mostly real food and do some heavy lifting here and there.

    Good recommendation by the way, Martin is a great guy.

    Reply
  57. mark-

    since i went from eating fat and carbs in similar amount to very high carb (70-80%) i have lost about 2 pounds each week of what looks like only fat. I eat mostly potatoes and beans. Whenever i feel like it i have a meal of cheese or ice cream or whatever and one whole day of eating as much as i can very high carb, pasta and rice cause its easier to eat more. i don't know how helpful this is since i always eat to appetite anyway but it cant hurt.

    I do a few reps of whatever once a week and thats my workout although i'm on my feet most of the day. I was i'd guess 16% or so bf and now close to 10%, fairly muscular.

    anwyay my point is that i'm losing fat effortlessly eating loads of carbs with almost no exercise. i dont know how that works but no need for carb cycling or anything

    Reply
  58. Hey Tarpel,
    Thanks for the great feedback. So do you just eat some protein and fat as you feel? Looks like a Kitavin meal plan.

    Reply
  59. tarpel:

    sounds a little bit of what I'm doing right now, but I have one protein meal a day (usually beef for breakfast), then it's just carbs (usually potatoes, bananas and/or quinoa). I also eat whenever I'm hungry, never go hungry for more than a minute or two. Even if I eat beyond appetite I fail to gain fat weight. Since the start just a few weeks ago I notice a big difference around the belly, six pack coming in just a few weeks for sure… at least if the progress continues (who knows?). My stomach is however quite bloated from stuffing down as much food as I can so it actually looks like I'm getting fat. I have also raised my basal body temp a lot which probably means I burn more fat during sleep now.

    That my belly fat started going was the first thing I noticed when reintroducing carbs and was of course a big motivational factor to just continue eating more and more carbs.

    Reply
  60. pretty much yes. sometimes no amount of starch is satisfying and i'll have some cheese or something and that will do it. sometimes i'll get a strong craving for sweets or ice cream or sausages but i think this is because my meals are bland and my taste buds are bored. if i really want something fatty or sweets i'll eat it on its own and really enjoy it and then can easily go back to day old cold potatoes which taste pretty good to me at this point haha.

    basically i eay very high carb most of the time and whatever i want the rest of the time and never feel deprived of anything.

    Reply
  61. cool, Tarpel. Can you give me some examples of meals to help me wrap my head around this approach?

    Reply
  62. some kind of beans in tomato sauce with potatoes thrown in and maybe an egg or some cheese is a staple for me. and uhh… cold leftover potatoes? i could probably eat only potatoes haha. shame that i live in ireland and theres only 2 varieties of potato where i live. potatoes and beans are unrefined and the most filling so i eat mostly those but i suppose rice is ok too although you'd end up eating more. fresh herbs would be great maybe and salsa? (never had it). my diet ends up being vegetarian most of the time, meat seems kind of unnecessary.

    i quickly got used to very little fat and a bowl of bland starch is pretty enjoyable to me now.

    Reply
  63. Michel and tarpel –
    You eat pretty much he same style I have been eating. I have been doing it for about 1 year now after leaving low-carb. The fat melts off and muscle is much easier to build. As well as maintaining energy levels and mood.
    After a while the bloated stomach feeling diminishes at about an hour after a huge meal for me. Plus, as your body gets used to it, you tend to hold less water under the skin and look leaner as well.

    Reply
  64. cool, thanks Tarpel. good perspective

    Reply
  65. actually i have a question for anyone who knows. in previous posts Matt talks about pleasure response and sweetness and calorie density and so on. how does salt and the salty flavour play into that

    Reply
  66. So Riles, this is pretty much eating like a Kitavin right?

    Reply
  67. Mark-
    I suppose in essence it is. I do aim for the most nutritious starches I can. Mainly white potatoes sometimes whole wheat pasta or legumes or rice. It is a pleasurable way for me to eat and I feel that is very important. I rarely feel the desire to "cheat" because what I am eating 98% of the time satisfies me.

    tarpel –
    cold boiled potatoes with a little sea salt are probably one of my favorite foods.

    Reply
  68. Thanks Riles, can I ask the same of you as I did Tarpel? A sample day of meals. Coming from meat, veggies, and fat, it's hard to think about anything else.

    Reply
  69. "[Major low-carb screwdom] takes a lot longer to take place in an overweight, insulin resistant person, and happens VERY quickly in an insulin sensitive lean person that has no business being on a low-carb diet in the first place." HALLELUJAH.

    Been a blog/forum stalker for a while, but now really have to agree vociferously with this remark.

    I'm 5'5''/6'', and went full-throttle into an ED when I went over 110lbs. (fine-boned, 20-something girl, if that gives some perspective). I decided that carbs were the devil, and starved myself into a wild-eyed, 90/95-lb. insane wreck. (All while being one of "those" insanely driven Ivy-League students, if that gives some further perspective into the neurosis.)

    At some point, I finally realized that I was not "fat," and that I was utterly destroying my life with this presumed "holy grail" low-carb eating plan designed for the morbidly obese (and which, incidentally, wasn't meant for even *them* to be on forever).

    …Did I mention that I was an Ivy-League *science* geek, and devoured endless amounts of low-carb "research"? Shows just how frighteningly compelling that sort of propaganda is……..

    Reply
  70. sometimes a little lean ground beef with mushrooms and peppers + 2lbs of boiled potatoes

    chicken breast + broccoli + lots of rice

    few eggs + green onions & kale + pasta

    I basically eat my protein portion first. Then when I am done with that I eat my starch&veggies until I am stuffed and satisfied.

    Reply
  71. cool, thanks Riles! I'm certainly going to be upping my carb amount and cutting my protein and fat amounts.

    Reply
  72. Matt could you write more about butter. Beause I cannot get enough of it right now. Eating cold japanese yams with Vermont cultured butter or raw butter and some Real Salt.. it is Just The BEST meal ever.
    eating lots of fish too. The Healthy Skeptic did an awesome podcast on fish oils etc, really eye opening.

    Your butter fingered friend,
    deb

    Reply
  73. I am trying to go high carb, but for some reason, potatoes send me realing! I can eat honey like crazy and drink milk, but taters, any starch for that matter ruin me! No sleep, anxiety. I talked with Matt about this, but want to see what others have dealt with. Do I push through this? Or go back to my milk and honey and fruit for carbs???

    Chief, you talked about cycling. Would you ahve any thoughts on what this is? I am thin, and have insulin resistance. Potatoes give me insomnia like crazy, and I don't think I digest them. Can I even out my metabolism and insulin issues and then go high carb??? How does this work?

    Reply
  74. Malpaz,

    Ha, maybe one day I'll start a blog–my e-mail is on my profile though.

    Reply
  75. erika –
    I would suggest using white rice as an introduction to starches for your body. It is very easily digested and a "safe" food to eat.

    After that, then you could try incorporating other sources.

    Reply
  76. Hi Erika,

    I get the same thing with potatoes, they absolutely destroy me, anxiety, shaking, insomnia, depression, fuzzy head….

    I was wonderin if it was some kind of sign of diabetes hyper/hypoglycemia

    Reply
  77. john

    I probably could have elaborated a little more.
    People often say to me, when i talk about this stuff
    "aren't I supposed to avoid insulin" to which i reply your body is not poisoning you .. you are.

    but you are right it can be misinterpreted making me appear stupid.

    Reply
  78. Erika,

    look to more of a "starvation response " issue for an answer. I am only just getting into hardgainers' issues but In my eyes overly thin and fat people are the same thing. most fat people are thin people with fat all over them. one is getting enough calories to supply fat gain the other is not. if you look at morbid obesity many of them can barely lift anything. because underneath all the fat they have poor muscle mass. The body chooses to supply the fat.
    in overly thin people once they have enough they gain fat too. my dad was never more than 5 pounds over weight is diabetic and started eating all day (even waking up at night to eat) and got fat. cured his diabetes and had no problem with bodyweight.

    Your potato problem is most likely lack of enough potatoes as more food makes digestion better. and more time to get used to them i haven't seen any one with trouble( not saying it is impossible) perhaps try adding more fat to make them digest slower giving less of a "buzz" lol Still try properly prepared corn, quinoa sweet potatoes or yams and other starches and maybe even exotic potatoes before giving into something more drastic

    Reply
  79. Oh my Exotic Potatoes! Sounds like food porn time :)
    Add butter and I am so There!
    xo

    Reply
  80. Chief said:

    my dad was never more than 5 pounds over weight is diabetic and started eating all day (even waking up at night to eat) and got fat. cured his diabetes and had no problem with bodyweight.

    You have said that your dad "is diabetic" but then you said that he "cured his diabetes". Sorry to nitpick, but the word "is" implies the present tense. So I interpreted your words to mean that your dad is still diabetic.

    It would be more grammatically correct if you said your dad "was diabetic" rather than saying that your dad "is diabetic."

    Anyway, I agree with you that skinny people don't eat enough to become fat. I once binged on carbs whenever I felt anxious and shaky, and I could see that my face got rounder within a day.

    Reply
  81. It's obvious that a diet can work regardless whether it's high or low in carbs. There are too many successful (even after years on the diets) on either side to ignore that. Obviously there must be something else to it other than carbs.

    Is there really some evidence showing that a low carb diet would inevitably lead to adrenal fatigue after six months? Many of the doctors/therapists I see recommending low carb also are very much aware of adrenal fatigue and it's never an issue. Neither is cortisol. Are you suggesting they all live in denial?

    And Matt, you also suggest that any low carber is doing bad in the gym. That's very far from the truth. Are you suggesting that every damn low carber with normal thyroid function and perhaps even some muscles is equipped with quite rare genes?

    Also I think that just saying low or high carb is bad or good is generalizing at best. It doesn't say very much about the food at all.

    Reply
  82. re sugared coffee addiction

    I heard apple cider vinegar and honey mixed with water works wonders as a substitute.

    re fat

    Recently I've been reading up on ayurveda a bit. I'm just getting started, though. Afaik ayurveda recommends high-carb to anyone. But fat depends on your type. Some should eat a lot, some restrict it. It also holds that potatoes are good for some, but not for others.

    Personally I've upped the fat, and I'm happy that way. Also added some rapadura. My stomach really can't process 3,000kcal of carbs a day, even if it's polished rice.

    Reply
  83. I was just watching The Biggest Loser. I feel so sorry for them the way they have to starve themselves and work out like dogs to lose any weight. They are constantly berated for being weak willed and lazy. I feel like screaming at the tv every time someone says "It's calories in versus calories out". Also the fact that all of them throw up after working out shows that they have adrenal fatigue and yet it's looked at as proof of them working out hard enough. And the fact that the majority of contestants end up putting all the weight back on after the show finishes, shows that it doesn't work. It's hard watching the show now knowing what I now know about nutrition and weight loss.

    Reply
  84. Tim,

    I definitely agree with you. There is not evidence showing long term low carb diets lead to more cortisol, less t3 uptake, or "adrenal fatigue."

    Without biological support, the theory of adrenal fatigue during low carb is illogical without a corresponding theory of "islets of Langerhans fatigue" during high carb.

    Reply
  85. John & Tim: I have to agree to some extent. I'm not so sure that cortisol is really elevated just due to either low carb or high protein per se. As with carbs and insulin – I believe in another factor.

    From the moment I started with carbs I noticed that I lost fat mass (ie from the first week). If cortisol was a severe problem one assumption could have been that cortisol levels would "linger on" and that the carbs would become fat (DNL). Of course, I also could have cut my cortisol level by taking up carbs and that was the reason for getting leaner.

    In my case it's possible that a combination of too hard training and failure to eat enough food was the main culprit (because low carb food suppresses appetite). The other one is of course that high intensity training only runs on glucose and I have to rely on gluconeogenesis alone = added stress for sure.

    I do however subscribe to the idea that lean people with low fasting insulin levels will eventually suffer malnutrition unless they eat a very high protein diet (that raises insulin high enough).

    Reply
  86. Michel,

    Well, low fasting insulin is defintely a positive. If, for some reason, it is hurtful for it to always be low, many things other than carbs cause secretion: protein, short and medium chain fats, salicylates.

    Certain sources of protein seem to induce a higher response than others, casein being at the top.

    Reply
  87. Michae, why do you think lean people with low fasting need a high protein intake? a high saturated fat diet makes more sense than a high protein

    Reply
  88. Too low insulin = simply not good, especially if it's chronic.

    Only protein can match carbs in insulin response, but there's a catch (or two). Not very many low carbers eat as much protein as a moderate or high carber does (I eat between 500 and 800 gram these days, that would be an exceptionally high protein diet to match that insulin response). Thus, insulin response is lower. Not because of what brings about an insulin response but the amount. Also, protein (especially casein) takes "forever" to enter the blood – another factor to consider. Casein exits the intestine in the rate of about 6g per hour, that's why builders (etc) use it as a "night protein" to preserve lean tissue – a typical dose lasts about 7 hours. Egg protein is even slower, less than 2g/hour.

    Maximum protein absorption per day is usually no more than 200 gram (depending on the type of protein of course).

    It's true however that dairy causes a much higher insulin response than carbs (comparing unit by unit energy) – so that's one way to go low carb and still have a good insulin response. Since dairy is both a complete protein and insulinogenic it's considered highly anabolic. Some think it's why we are so tall compared to hunter/gatherers. Dairy has always been apart of builders' diet for example.

    Dairy was what triggered my hypoglycemia while still on low-carb. Carbs triggered it much more of course.

    Another argument could be that muscle cells become more sensitive to insulin due to the low circulating insulin levels (due to a low-carb diet). See, I said a good thing about low-carb :). Just a theory of mine behind the fact that many low-carbers doesn't tolerate medium/high amounts of magnesium (either in food like nuts or as supplements) without cramping up for instance (myself for example). Since it takes a while before people develop these symptoms it could be true. On the other hand, insulin could be that low that cramps are caused by lack of magnesium (or other electrolyte), but I don't think that's true, it would affect heart rythm pretty quickly.

    Reply
  89. Michel Blomgren:

    I noticed you also have struggled with edema. I never had edema in my life until I went super low carb. Then it became a huge daily problem. It got WAY better once I got back on high carbs but I still have it. Do you understand what it is about low carb that causes edema of the lower legs? If I could understand it perhaps I could figure out a way to get rid of it.

    Also, yes I was feeling dreadful for about two months when I got back on high carbs, but I did low carb for three long years. But my blood glucose levels got better very fast so I used that as my measurement over how I felt.

    debbiedoesraw:

    I also felt that my inner stress levels got lower when I went on RRARF.

    The Real Will:
    I hae such bad sleep problems. I have to take vitamin D as a supplement and then I sleep really deeply, however I think it may be causing me worse period cramps for some reason. I just don't know what else to do about my sleep.

    Lisa E

    Reply
  90. I do however think that you become insulin sensitive if you eat real whole food without (added) n-6, fructose and sugar – to appetite. Sat fat is a good thing!

    Peter @ hyperlipid fed his rat a real low carb high fat diet and his rat is lean. Rats fed an n-6 based high fat diet become obese and insulin resistent in no time.

    Reply
  91. Lisa E: My edema was after I added carbs, before I was fine. Low carb = low glycogen = less water in the system (maybe there's a glycogen:water ratio?). I think the low carb diet make the body more efficient at holding water (because there's not much glycogen to hold water). Once carbs are added they "flood the system" until the body "get the message". Now I'm fine, no edema from carbs, so somewhere along the line the body got the message not to hold that much water.

    It's probably like Riles said, this kind of edema will be much less of a problem the higher amount of carbs the body tolerate.

    Reply
  92. Michel,

    Yes, "too" low insulin is bad, which is inherent in using the word "too." Simply eliminating carbs does not cause insulin to be too low. Why do you think you need so much protein with carb restriction? I don't think it's clear whether more or less is needed, but it's probably not significant either way.

    "Dairy" isn't necessarily more insulinemic than "carbs." The specific sources are important. I doubt there's any carb source that causes less insulin secretion per calorie than cream for example.

    Insulin sensitivity typically decreases (which is necessary) with decreasing carb intake. Also, polyunsaturated fat would probably increase sensitivity, all else equal, but the black & white idea of insulin resistance being bad while sensitivity is good is flawed.

    Reply
  93. OMG BIGGEST LOSER SUCKS BALLS!!!!!!
    They torture these really HUGE people, make them into barfing, retching, messes, stress them out every second of the day, THEN the TOPPER:
    Freaking Bob Harper takes the oldest contestant into the "kitchen" and tells her to have a snack, "Get that Yoplait Smoothie out and some milk." DUDE< this stuff was bright purple, loaded with sugar, processed factory dairy, and let me guess that the gallon of milk she poured was NON FAT… .Fucks sake!!!! And then he tells her she needs to "step up her game" if she wants to stay here???? WTF???

    The should arrest Bob and Jillian and that annoying Alison announcer chick for kidnapping and torture.
    And they should IMMEADIATELY put the entire loser cast on RRARF.. bet that show would top the ratings when they find out that after the RRARF they can Actually lose weight, eat real food and have a healthy life.. but no, that won't happen., this show just is awful, tedious and painful to watch.

    Thinervention is just the lesbian version of above, with more whining and Jackie Warners bizarre torso distracting the audience.

    Rant over,
    time to eat a taty
    xo
    deb

    Reply
  94. Hi Lisa,
    I don't know how closely related menstrual cramps are to muscle cramps (i.e. leg cramps) but let me tell you a story. The summer before last I started getting leg cramps when I would wake up in the morning. I had been working with a chiropractor on my adrenals so I talked with him about this. I told him that I had been doing lots of work outside in the hot sun and this is what he told me. My body was producing lots of vitamin D while working outside. Vitamin D works in conjunction with calcium, so the increased vitamin D was using up more calcium, causing the cramps. I told him that I was taking calcium (the expensive Standard Process Calcium that I had bought from him). He said that it must be because I was deficient in PUFA's (oh, no…the evil PUFA's LOL!) So he took a blood pressure cuff and put it around my calf, and pumped it up until my calf cramped up. He then gave me a tablet of something called Cataplex F (which is a supplement containing polyunsaturated fatty acids). While that nasty tablet was still in teeth, he did the blood pressure cuff again until my calf cramped and it was like 30 points higher before my calf cramped again. He waited a few minutes and repeated the process and it was even higher before my calf cramped. So to make my long story short, vitamin D caused my legs to cramp, and although I had enough calcium, it wasn't getting into my muscles, therefore my need for more PUFA's. So maybe zero isn't the optimal amount of PUFA's. Just my experience. Good luck!

    Reply
  95. John:

    Simple, the inuit (ref in Bellevue study and a few danish studies) wouldn't have "passed" an OGTT without either having lots of protein OR adequate amount of carbs. The ref in the Bellevue papers said 280g of protein per inuit per day, that would suffice to keep them out of ketosis alone. Adding +50g of carbs (from glycogen) would definitely raise their insulin much more than a modern ZC Stefansson-inspired diet would.

    Milk and insulin:
    http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/74/1/96

    Yes, n-3 does decrease insulin resistance – there's a big difference between the PUFAs. A good n6:n3 ratio is probably key.

    There's two ways to go to preserve glucose 1) physiological insulin resitance or 2) low insulin levels. Both are probably working on low-carb, at least initially.

    I don't think either one create *real* insulin resistance.

    A low carber doing an OGTT produce too little insulin to "pass" it, not because the cells won't respond to it. But wait a few hours and the pancreas has produced enough insulin, then I'm pretty sure most people (previously non-diabetic) don't get a curve indicating "starvation diabetes".

    Reply
  96. Michel,

    Passing an OGTT does not imply good health, so who cares if the Inuit passed or if Joe Schmoe on low carb doesn't. It simply shows current sensitivity to insulin and/or blood glucose changes.

    Umm yea, I said they decrease resistance, except I think both may actually increase sensitivity compared to saturated fat. Again though, that fact in and of itself does not imply they're better or worse.

    That's not true: someone who's adapted to carb restriction may be more resistant to insulin and/or secrete less. Blanket statements like carb restriction causes "too little insulin" are unfounded.

    Reply
  97. The Real Will
    Wow, thank you so much for this post. It's incredibly interesting. It confirms my suspicion that the vitamin D caused more cramps for me. I'd say that the calf muscle is totally similar to the uterus. The uterus is just a muscle and it's connected to so many ligaments it's very painful when it goes into cramps. It also is so relevant to what I'm doing right now. I realize too that perhaps I've gone overboard on cutting out all Omega 6 oils. Perhaps some olive oil and avocado may do the trick. So, how did you solve it? Do you eat some PUFAs?

    Debbie:
    I totally can't handle those Biggest looser shows anymore either. I totally appreciate your "rant"! lol. The show just drive me nuts, it makes me feel like Cassandra….lol….knowing the truth but no one will believe me…..lol….

    Reply
  98. Wait, is olive oil a PUFA? Or is that just an Omega 6? Are there any "healthy" PUFAs? Like flax see oil or something? Anyone know?

    Reply
  99. For those with problems of edema, sleep issues, adrenal fatigue, diabetes etc should look into using more grey or pink salt (either Celtic or Himalayan). I intially started using half a teaspoon of Celtic salt in a glass of water every day (for a few weeks) plus I use plenty on my food. It helped my body hold onto potassium as I was low (a sign of adrenal fatigue). It's also helped with water retention. Also get plenty of vitamin C as your adrenals need the highest percentage in your body.

    Reasons for using more salt:

    Natural sea salt [reconstituted seawater] allows liquids to freely cross body membranes, the kidney’s glomerulus's and blood vessels walls. Whenever the sodium chloride concentration rises in the blood, the water in the neighboring tissues is attracted to that salt-rich
    blood, and the cells then re-absorb the enriched intra-cellular fluid. If they are functioning properly, the kidneys remove the
    saline fluids easily. Refined salt does not allow this free-crossing
    of liquids and minerals, and causes accumulated fluids to stagnate in joint, producing edema and chronic kidney problems.

    to be continued…..

    Reply
  100. …continued….

    Vital Functions of Salt in the Body

    1. Salt is most effective in stabilizing irregular heartbeats and, Contrary to the misconception that it causes high blood pressure, it is actually essential for the regulation of blood pressure – in conjunction with water. Naturally the proportions are critical.

    2. Salt is vital to the extraction of excess acidity from the cells
    In the body, particularly the brain cells.

    3. Salt is vital for balancing the sugar levels in the blood; a
    Needed element in diabetics.

    4. Salt is vital for the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in the body. It is used for local power generation at the sites of energy need by the cells.

    5. Salt is vital to the nerve cells' communication and information processing all the time that the brain cells work, from the moment of conception to death.

    6. Salt is vital for absorption of food particles through the
    Intestinal tract.

    7. Salt is vital for the clearance of the lungs of mucus plugs and
    Sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis.

    8. Salt is vital for clearing up catarrh and congestion of the sinuses.

    9. Salt is a strong natural antihistamine.

    10. Salt is essential for the prevention of muscle cramps.

    11. Salt is vital to prevent excess saliva production to the point that it flows out of the mouth during sleep. Needing to constantly mop up excess saliva indicates salt shortage.

    12. Salt is absolutely vital to making the structure of bones firm. Osteoporosis, in a major way, is a result of salt and water shortage in the body.

    13. Salt is vital for sleep regulation. It is a natural hypnotic.

    14. Salt is a vitally needed element in the treatment of diabetics.

    15. Salt on the tongue will stop persistent dry coughs.

    16. Salt is vital for the prevention of gout and gouty arthritis.

    17. Salt is vital for maintaining sexuality and libido.

    18. Salt is vital for preventing varicose veins and spider veins on the legs and thighs.

    19. Salt is vital to the communication and information processing nerve cells the entire time that the brain cells work – from the moment of conception to death.

    20. Salt is vital for reducing a double chin. When the body is short of salt, it means the body really is short of water. The salivary glands sense the salt shortage and are obliged to produce more saliva to lubricate the act of chewing and swallowing and also to supply the stomach with water that it needs for breaking down foods. Circulation
    To the salivary glands increases and the blood vessels become "leaky" in order to supply the glands with water to manufacture saliva. The
    "leakiness" spills beyond the area of the glands themselves, causing
    Increased bulk under the skin of the chin, the cheeks and into the neck.

    21. Sea salt contains about 80 mineral elements that the body needs. Some of these elements are needed in trace amounts. Unrefined sea salt is a better choice of salt than other types of salt on the market. Ordinary table salt that is bought in the super markets has been stripped of its companion elements and contains additive elements such as aluminum silicate to keep it powdery and porous. Aluminum is a very toxic element in our nervous system. It is implicated as one of the primary causes of Alzheimer's disease.

    22. Twenty-seven percent of the body's salt is in the bones.
    Osteoporosis results when the body needs more salt and takes it from
    The body. Bones are twenty-two percent water. Is it not obvious what happens to the bones when we're deficient in salt or water or both.

    Reply
  101. …continued….

    Vital Functions of Salt in the Body

    1. Salt is most effective in stabilizing irregular heartbeats and, Contrary to the misconception that it causes high blood pressure, it is actually essential for the regulation of blood pressure – in conjunction with water. Naturally the proportions are critical.

    2. Salt is vital to the extraction of excess acidity from the cells
    In the body, particularly the brain cells.

    3. Salt is vital for balancing the sugar levels in the blood; a
    Needed element in diabetics.

    4. Salt is vital for the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in the body. It is used for local power generation at the sites of energy need by the cells.

    5. Salt is vital to the nerve cells' communication and information processing all the time that the brain cells work, from the moment of conception to death.

    6. Salt is vital for absorption of food particles through the
    Intestinal tract.

    7. Salt is vital for the clearance of the lungs of mucus plugs and
    Sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis.

    8. Salt is vital for clearing up catarrh and congestion of the sinuses.

    9. Salt is a strong natural antihistamine.

    10. Salt is essential for the prevention of muscle cramps.

    11. Salt is vital to prevent excess saliva production to the point that it flows out of the mouth during sleep. Needing to constantly mop up excess saliva indicates salt shortage.

    12. Salt is absolutely vital to making the structure of bones firm. Osteoporosis, in a major way, is a result of salt and water shortage in the body.

    13. Salt is vital for sleep regulation. It is a natural hypnotic.

    14. Salt is a vitally needed element in the treatment of diabetics.

    15. Salt on the tongue will stop persistent dry coughs.

    16. Salt is vital for the prevention of gout and gouty arthritis.

    17. Salt is vital for maintaining sexuality and libido.

    18. Salt is vital for preventing varicose veins and spider veins on the legs and thighs.

    19. Salt is vital to the communication and information processing nerve cells the entire time that the brain cells work – from the moment of conception to death.

    20. Salt is vital for reducing a double chin. When the body is short of salt, it means the body really is short of water. The salivary glands sense the salt shortage and are obliged to produce more saliva to lubricate the act of chewing and swallowing and also to supply the stomach with water that it needs for breaking down foods. Circulation
    To the salivary glands increases and the blood vessels become "leaky" in order to supply the glands with water to manufacture saliva. The
    "leakiness" spills beyond the area of the glands themselves, causing
    Increased bulk under the skin of the chin, the cheeks and into the neck.

    21. Sea salt contains about 80 mineral elements that the body needs. Some of these elements are needed in trace amounts. Unrefined sea salt is a better choice of salt than other types of salt on the market. Ordinary table salt that is bought in the super markets has been stripped of its companion elements and contains additive elements such as aluminum silicate to keep it powdery and porous. Aluminum is a very toxic element in our nervous system. It is implicated as one of the primary causes of Alzheimer's disease.

    22. Twenty-seven percent of the body's salt is in the bones.
    Osteoporosis results when the body needs more salt and takes it from
    The body. Bones are twenty-two percent water. Is it not obvious what happens to the bones when we're deficient in salt or water or both.

    Reply
  102. …continued….

    Vital Functions of Salt in the Body

    1. Salt is most effective in stabilizing irregular heartbeats and, Contrary to the misconception that it causes high blood pressure, it is actually essential for the regulation of blood pressure – in conjunction with water. Naturally the proportions are critical.

    2. Salt is vital to the extraction of excess acidity from the cells
    In the body, particularly the brain cells.

    3. Salt is vital for balancing the sugar levels in the blood; a
    Needed element in diabetics.

    4. Salt is vital for the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in the body. It is used for local power generation at the sites of energy need by the cells.

    5. Salt is vital to the nerve cells' communication and information processing all the time that the brain cells work, from the moment of conception to death.

    6. Salt is vital for absorption of food particles through the
    Intestinal tract.

    7. Salt is vital for the clearance of the lungs of mucus plugs and
    Sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis.

    8. Salt is vital for clearing up catarrh and congestion of the sinuses.

    9. Salt is a strong natural antihistamine.

    10. Salt is essential for the prevention of muscle cramps.

    11. Salt is vital to prevent excess saliva production to the point that it flows out of the mouth during sleep. Needing to constantly mop up excess saliva indicates salt shortage.

    12. Salt is absolutely vital to making the structure of bones firm. Osteoporosis, in a major way, is a result of salt and water shortage in the body.

    13. Salt is vital for sleep regulation. It is a natural hypnotic.

    14. Salt is a vitally needed element in the treatment of diabetics.

    15. Salt on the tongue will stop persistent dry coughs.

    16. Salt is vital for the prevention of gout and gouty arthritis.

    17. Salt is vital for maintaining sexuality and libido.

    18. Salt is vital for preventing varicose veins and spider veins on the legs and thighs.

    19. Salt is vital to the communication and information processing nerve cells the entire time that the brain cells work – from the moment of conception to death.

    20. Salt is vital for reducing a double chin. When the body is short of salt, it means the body really is short of water. The salivary glands sense the salt shortage and are obliged to produce more saliva to lubricate the act of chewing and swallowing and also to supply the stomach with water that it needs for breaking down foods. Circulation
    To the salivary glands increases and the blood vessels become "leaky" in order to supply the glands with water to manufacture saliva. The
    "leakiness" spills beyond the area of the glands themselves, causing
    Increased bulk under the skin of the chin, the cheeks and into the neck.

    21. Sea salt contains about 80 mineral elements that the body needs. Some of these elements are needed in trace amounts. Unrefined sea salt is a better choice of salt than other types of salt on the market. Ordinary table salt that is bought in the super markets has been stripped of its companion elements and contains additive elements such as aluminum silicate to keep it powdery and porous. Aluminum is a very toxic element in our nervous system. It is implicated as one of the primary causes of Alzheimer's disease.

    22. Twenty-seven percent of the body's salt is in the bones.
    Osteoporosis results when the body needs more salt and takes it from
    The body. Bones are twenty-two percent water. Is it not obvious what happens to the bones when we're deficient in salt or water or both.

    Reply
  103. Sorry about the previous post being doubled up. Not sure how that happened.

    Anyway for those having problems with cramping, vitamin D etc:

    When supplementing Vitamin D, it's also recommended to supplement with Vitamin A (in cod liver oil) and vitamin K2 (which you'll find all three in butter). You will avoid any toxicity when all three are in balance. K2 is also good for heart health and calcium absorption.

    For more information:
    https://www.westonaprice.org/blogs/tags/Vitamins-A-D-and-K/

    Reply
  104. "[Major low-carb screwdom] takes a lot longer to take place in an overweight, insulin resistant person, and happens VERY quickly in an insulin sensitive lean person that has no business being on a low-carb diet in the first place." HALLELUJAH.

    Been a blog/forum stalker for a while, but now really have to agree vociferously with this remark.

    I'm 5'5''/6'', and went full-throttle into an ED when I went over 110lbs. (fine-boned, 20-something girl, if that gives some perspective). I decided that carbs were the devil, and starved myself into a wild-eyed, 90/95-lb. insane wreck. (All while being one of "those" insanely driven Ivy-League students, if that gives some further perspective into the neurosis.)

    At some point, I finally realized that I was not "fat," and that I was utterly destroying my life with this presumed "holy grail" low-carb eating plan designed for the morbidly obese (and which, incidentally, wasn't meant for even *them* to be on forever).

    …Did I mention that I was an Ivy-League *science* geek, and devoured endless amounts of low-carb "research"? Shows just how frighteningly compelling that sort of propaganda is……..

    Hallelujah x2.

    Similar thing happened to me. Being an undergrad and learning about physiology and metabolism just made the ED worse. Screwed my life up just when it didn't need any more screwing with. Thank goodness for this blog!

    Reply
  105. Anonymous, I appreciate your outreach of support. However, for me the things you suggest have not worked so far, for me, perhaps it's effective in other people though.

    I've used Celtic grey and pink Himalayan sea salt exclusively for the last couple of years. For me that made no difference to my edema, sleep issues, adrenal fatigue nor blood sugar issues. I drink it in water too several times per day, and take plenty with my food, and I've taken vitamin C in big doses too during the years. I also do take cod liver oil and plenty of raw butter every day. None of it seems to help at all.

    Reply
  106. Hey Lisa,
    I had extreme adrenal issues where I couldn't get out bed and slept like 20 hours a day for months and had dangerously low body temperature. I was like a zombie when awake. It has been five years since I had a major adrenal crash and I'm not quite 100% yet but in the last year and a half I've been working really hard to get my health back and I'm almost there. I got off the AD's a few tears ago as I believe they only made me worse. I can now get out of bed in the mornings and am actually hungry for breakfast which is a miracle for me. The last 2 months I've added in a lot of saturated fat and the last 3 weeks I've been trying to do the RRARF. Initially my appetite for saturated fats was almost insatiable. Within 6 weeks of eating fats I've gotten my periods back (I hadn't had a proper period in 18 months and they got messed up 5 years ago). You need cholesterol for hormones. I've now loss my cravings for junk food that just so happened to be high in saturated fats. Prior to all this I did mega dose on the vitamin C and celtic salt which helped but I needed to use hydrocortisone cream for a few months which I think really helped me to get out of bed and reset my body clock from sleeping daylight hours to night time hours. The other thing with adrenal fatigue is that it usually puts pressure on the thyroid (or the other way round). The cortisol is needed to help the T3 get into your cells so it could look like you have enough T3 in your blood but you end up with hypothyroid symptoms. The other thing needed for T3 assimilation is iron (vit C helps iron absortpion and is also needed as an antioxidant as iron can increase free radicals) and to a lesser extent B12. You need to get your ferritin levels checked and if on the low side it needs to be at least 50 but preferably 70-90 which is just under halfway of healthy ranges (17-200). It's taken me about a yrear to go from 7 to 45 for ferritin. B12 also helps with blood and you should get them up to the upper levels. B12 and iron at optimal levels really boost your energy levels and clarity of mind and help your thyroid. Use sublingual methylcobalamin at 5000mcg per day will really help as the older you get the least likely you will have enough intrinsic factor to absorb enough B12 through food. You won't overdose on B12 as it is water soluble and you will just urinate out the excess B12.
    Have you ever had your thyroid checked (TSH and FT3 and FT4)? Your thyroid needs cortisol and your adrenals needs thyroid hormones so it can be hard to get the right balance.
    Sorry if I'm a bit preachy but I've done so much research on this and done so much work on myself I'm pretty passionate about it and I know that it has changed my life.

    Reply
  107. I just feel like I need to know more about salt. Like six hundred and forty three more uses of it.
    Salty is my favorite color.
    xo

    Reply
  108. HI Lisa,

    I actually started taking a Cataplex F with my calcium and I never had a cramp since. Here is what Cataplex F is from the Standard Process website (not sure if it was the EFA's or the iodine, but it worked for me)…

    Cataplex® F Tablets
    Introduced in 1934

    It is often necessary to supply a source of iodine when increasing essential fatty acid (EFA) intake, since additional EFAs increase the body's need for iodine proportionately. A strong functional and interdependent relationship exists between this vitamin and the thyroid gland. As fats are metabolized, the thyroid gland works to meet the demand, and iodine is essential for thyroid function. The tablet form of Cataplex F contains iodine to help the thyroid meet this demand.†

    I know others have given some good advice as well, but if you created an imbalance by increasing your body's vitamin D, then correcting the imbalance would probably be your best bet. Hope this helps.

    Reply
  109. My opinion on B vitamins (I know you guys are going to get sick of hearing it, LOL!) but I don't believe in the synthetic/fractionated versions. I prefer to get my B vitamins in the form of Brewer's Yeast and Dessicated Liver…those 2 together supply all of the B vitamins. And I have had MIRACULOUS success with Brewer's Yeast, so my opinion is based on lots of real life experience. Someone had mentioned using Nutritional Yeast before as an alternative, so I bought the primo, unfortified, imported Nutritional Yeast but my wife said that it didn't do anything for her. I've said this before but when my wife takes Brewer's Yeast, it's like she's on Prozac, LOL…big improvement in mood. Just sayin'.

    Reply
  110. Oh, the question on Olive Oil…I believe that the bulk of it is MUFA (monounsaturated). Oh, hell, I just Googled it instead of guessing…

    "The major fatty acids in olive oil triacylglycerols are:

    Oleic Acid (C18:1), a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. It makes up 55 to 83% of olive oil.
    Linoleic Acid (C18:2), a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid that makes up about 3.5 to 21% of olive oil.
    Palmitic Acid (C16:0), a saturated fatty acid that makes up 7.5 to 20% of olive oil.
    Stearic Acid (C18:0), a saturated fatty acid that makes up 0.5 to 5% of olive oil.
    Linolenic Acid (C18:3)(specifically alpha-Linolenic Acid), a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid that makes up 0 to 1.5% of olive oil."

    Reply
  111. I guess at the end of the day, do what works best for you. For me personally I needed the hydrocortisone treatment and the B12 tablets, iron tablets and T3 medication. Maybe it was because my health was so poor? Now I don't need to take the B12 or cortisone cream anymore, but it was what I needed at the time to boost my health the quickest.

    Reply
  112. just wanted to ask a question about how to eat before and after a workout? my husband works out at the gym early–he just started doing the tabata (sp) exercises and has lost 4 lbs already. anyhow, he is confused about what to eat and when! thoughts? thanks!

    Reply
  113. LIsa,
    about hubby not knowing what to eat.

    the verdict is not totally in but alot of research shows most important time is post workout and that at least some protein (15 g)carbs (40 – 60g )within an hour after a workout has been shown to improve results in strength training significantly. Insulin being a primary factor keep in mind you can certainly exceed these guidelines without any problems.

    to be noted these test were done with liquid solution and i doubt a steak will digest fast enough to match the results. but there are certainly other protein sources which digest faster. I personally go alot higher in terms of grams than the researchers did when i eat post workout… a lot.. :) lol I dont think more than 45 g of protein really has any impact though but he can go as hard on the carbs as he wants post workout when his body says he's full he's good.

    pre-workout has two different schools of thought.
    i personally work out fasted usually but I have seen research saying there is a 15% increase in workout success from consuming glucose (20 grams) during the workouts. eating a big meal pre workout (within 4 hours) is not a good idea as the blood moves to the digestive track and if you work out at the same time it cant do both properly one obviously suffers.
    and as many might have noticed after eating you tend to not run at full stream in athletic endeavors.

    if he is going to cheat with junk carbs post workout would be the one time he can kind of get away with it but the workout intensity has to be there.

    tell him to shoot for a pound of fat. a week the 4 lbs could be just water as well. but either way going too fast only makes it come back.

    Reply
  114. debbie,
    hilarious comments :) pleasure to read your rants and salty comments :)

    Reply
  115. Organism as a Whole,

    about the nitpicky thing..

    if you look at the sentence
    my dad was never more than 5 pounds over weight is diabetic and started eating all day

    i put started in past tense because the sentence was in past tense. then i went back and put is/was and i guess i accidently deleted the" /was part "

    reason I rephrased was because he finally sought help from a traditional healer (medicine man) after failing with the eat all day for stable blood sugar method. He was told it would come back if "he f*cked around " again.

    so depends on how you look at it. personally I still think he eats like a dumbass smokes and a host of other dumb shit so he could very well
    still "Recatch diabeetus" even with 3 condoms a SARS mask and an aluminum foil hat to protect em from the aliens.

    Reply
  116. Chief, thanks for the clarification.

    Reply
  117. Dermatology Las Vegas is your local and prime source of skin care needs like anti-aging treatments, facials, microdermabrasion, skin rejuvenation etc.

    Reply
  118. Thanks Chief , this old hag still has some miles in her <3

    Reply
  119. MATT: It is high time you tried RAW PALEO DIET.

    Learn how at http://www.rawpaleoforum.com

    I am on raw paleo diet and not low carb.

    Reply
  120. Good Samaritan
    because I oppose your views please do not take this as a bashing, i am genuinely curious.
    what are your carb sources on paleo to achieve "not low" ? i thought low carb was what the paleo community was going for? In the article you mention yams being a bad idea but say that your carbs are not low i would expect tubers to be available to the original paleo people . if I'm wrong enlighten me. I read the first link but I'm not really interested in digging through a forum to find answers that at this point i don't deem high priority.

    Maybe Im wrong but i thought paleo was just a revamped atkins with a little archaeological slight of hand.In my opinion there's no real way to say that eating a mastodon compares to eating baby back ribs because we don't have any mastodon to compare. Really there is no real way to prove definitively what was eaten by the entire population at that time anyway. further more i doubt any hunter gatherer milked anything before they killed it but I often see paleo enthusiasts eating cheese and other dairy. The term is kind of thrown around to mean alot of random diets that more or less center around an atkins theme or what ever earlier source you might consider as atkins' inspiration.

    i'm not saying there are no problems with grains i avoid some and take extra time to prepare others. I can say this my people as well as alot of people around the world flourished due to agriculture and kicked some major ass due to some around us being a little more hunter-gatherish. and you can see it even today post contact we are pretty tall and beefy.

    most paleos ive seen ( low carb ) have the deflated fat guy look. which to me doesn't see like a good indicator.

    in peace and friendship

    Reply
  121. The Real Will:
    If I understand it correctly: too much vitamin D causes muscle tension. The Cataplex supplement contains EPA and Iodine as the main components? Then taking that helps reduced muscle tension. Could it in theory be possible for me to just increase my EFAs in other ways (through Fish oil or avocado/flax seed oil etc)?
    I'm super oversensitive to iodine (it gives me severe insomnia) so the Cataplex® F Tablets are out of the question for me. (They also have soy, gluten, and honey in them which I can't tolerate either). I guess another option would be to just reduce the amount of vitamin D I'm taking in?
    I get my vitamin Bs from Yeast Flakes too and I like that, it seems very natural. Are you saying that you think there is a big difference between brewer's Yeast and Nutritional Yeast flakes too or just that both of those are good?

    Anonymous
    I'm so glad you've found a way to heal your adrenal fatigue. It sounds very tough to have slept for 20 hours and then still be tired. Great that you figured out what works for you. It sounds like you've put a lot of thought and energy into that and succeeded very well!

    Reply
  122. Hi Lisa, in a roundabout way, the extra vitamin D "consumes" calcium (consumes isn't the best word, but it works with calcium and uses it) which then lowers calcium levels, which can lead to cramping. You can try some fish oil and see how it works. The way that I understand it, omega 3's and omega 6's are polar opposites. While w-6 increases inflammation, w-3 decreases inflammation. w-3 also tends to make tissues more porous (for lack of a better term), hence it's use as a transporter in this case. So it wouldn't hurt to try something like fish oil to see if it helps, along with extra calcium. I would just start out with a small dose and see how it helps. I'm not a huge fan of fish oil although I take it occasionally myself. At one point I was a fish oil abuser and I went from looking young for my age to looking old for my age…the one girl I used to work with told me "man, you're looking old"…it was rude, but it was true, LOL! I stopped megadosing and was able to reverse some of it, but not all of it. A lesson well learned. I had even gone the other extreme to near zero PUFAs for a few years and actually had a few different problems from that. I guess that's what they mean by balance and moderation. Most things in life follow a bell curve and aren't "the more the better" or "the less the better". The trick is in finding the peak of the bell! ;-)

    Reply
  123. In regards to the Yeast Flakes, from a "medicinal" standpoint, the Brewer's Yeast has given us better results. I don't know if Nutritional Yeast is worthless in that regard, but we use the B'sY for specific conditions and it has given us miraculous results, as well as people that we have recommended it to. Not that we are talking either one as being good or bad, but it seems that on a spectrum, B'sY is better than Nutritional Yeast.

    Reply
  124. RAW Paleo Diet can be high, medium, low carb / protein / fat .

    It depends on what you eat and what you want to achieve.

    RAW Paleo Diet has many variants, wai diet, instincto, raw omnivore, etc.

    Increase your carb intake with Paleo Fruits in season! I live in Manila. Tons of fruit here.

    And people shouldn't go bashing fruit as all fructose just as bashing all carbs as bad carbs.

    http://www.rawpaleoforum.com shows the broad spectrum.

    Reply
  125. Hey Chief,
    thanks for your input! i really appreciate the time you took to respond. passing along to my husband.
    lisa

    Reply
  126. LIsa ,
    NO prob thanks for the appreciation, any time don't feel to shy to ask..

    Reply
  127. Hi Matt! Great post :)

    I would only quibble with insulin increasing lipolysis, as I believe the opposite is true. Same for concurrent lipid oxidation. It seems to me that insulin plays primary "traffic cop" for fuel selection and substrate heirarchy (carb then protein then fat). The problem is with the assumption that this shuts down fat metabolism entirely (which it does not) or for lengthy periods (which again it does not w/o excessive carb consumption).

    I linked to this post in my blog. As I said there, I don't think I could do the refeeding thing as ANY weight gain is unacceptable for me.

    I'm also intrigued by the number of female commentors here have erratic periods. I wonder if LC put me through early menopause :(

    Reply
  128. THanks CarbSane. Like I said, your blog is awesome. I hope everyone checks it out.

    LC probably didn't put you through menopause. Many restore their normal cycles instantaneously upon refeeding, along with restoring fertility after years of no success. (See Paleo for Population Control).

    Insulin is not a stimulator of fat burning when it is present in high amounts. But being able to shuttle nutrients into cells and stimulate the metabolism does increase fat burning in between meals, during sleep, etc. It also allows insulin to fall lower due to increased insulin sensitivity.

    Anyway, thanks again. Look for great things to come from you and your blog.

    Reply
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