Ending Emotional Eating

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0

First of all, man am I glad to be back home. New York City was awesome this trip, and I’ll be writing about my food adventures there at http://180kitchen.wordpress.com/ very soon. But all in all it felt like a competition to see how much caffeine, alcohol, sugar, nitrates, and vegetable oil I could get into my system. I’m more than ready for a breather from that. I’ve never been so glad to see ground beef, coconut oil, sweet potatoes, and spinach. In fact, the burger I ate for breakfast this morning was so large I started singing “Everybody Wants Some.” I actually filmed it below. Any resemblance to a young John Cusack is purely coincidental.

Anyway, time to discuss what is a huge and extremely prevalent problem in the modern world – emotional eating.

As discussed in many prior posts, food triggers a response in the pleasure centers in the human brain, acting on pleasure neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. It is no surprise that when many people feel a sense of chronic stress, anxiety, shame, guilt, and so on – food becomes not just a way to fuel oneself, but a form of psychoactive medication. And in general, what provides the highest pleasure response is…

1) Rapidly-absorbed foods like white flour and liquid sugars
2) Sweets, whether natural as in honey, refined as in sucrose, or non-caloric
3) Calorie dense foods – like French fries, pizza, brownies, ice cream, or cheesecake
4) Alcohol and caffeine-containing drinks and substances
5) Foods with flavor enhancers like MSG found in most fast food and highly-flavored stuff like Cheetos or Doritos
6) Foods with low water content – that are therefore very calorie dense (butter, oils, nuts, dried fruit, chips, crackers, cookies, bread)
7) High-calorie liquids such as soft drinks, fruit juices, whole milk, half n’ half
8) Large quantities of food in general, of any kind

This is a 2-way street, as eating some of these foods, particularly those with the highest capability of triggering a pleasure center response like a fast food meal with a large sugary drink and a dessert all mixed together in one hit, can in turn cause massive emotional fluctuations. First a high, followed by a crash, which is addiction pathology 101 and can be caused by anything that is unusually, and unnaturally, pleasurable.

It works the other way as well. Chronic stresses such as the loss of a loved one, self-esteem issues, relationship problems, being in an abusive situation, financial stresses, and other problems that are of a chronic nature have a tendency to activate the same hormonal changes that a famine is capable of inducing. That is, an increase in cortisol production as well as synthesis in fat cells themselves. Hypercortisolemia, induced by any form of chronic stress from famine (the reason we are designed to have this fat storage response to stress in the first place – marked by a drop in metabolism, reduction in fat burning, increased production of fat storage enzymes, increased appetite, increased cravings) to depression to sleep deprivation can all trigger an increased appetite for the things on the above list.

This is why calorie restriction combined with a huge exercise load has the following impacts on a typical person…

1) Increased alcohol, sugar, and caffeine cravings – along with foods with very high calorie density and huge quantities of overall food in general
2) Increased appetite
3) Reduced body temperature
4) Increased risk of infection
5) Decreased desire for physical activity (as well as sex and other calorie-burning activities)
6) And so on

Likewise, following the guidelines laid out in how to RAISE YOUR METABOLISM brings about the exact opposite set of changes.

Anyway, ending emotional eating is not difficult. In fact, most people have emotional eating issues to begin with because of chronic dieting, undernourishment, insufficient sleep, and excessive stress in the first place. It all starts with feeding yourself well as in eBook DIET RECOVERY explains.

Helpful tips include eating a diet that keeps you even keel emotionally. No one ever could have convinced me of the power of eating a well-balanced, calorically-sufficient, whole foods diet without excessive exercise and adequate sleep on emotions until I actually tried it religiously. Like Jon Gabriel mentions in this fantastic interview, “there are no more good days and bad days.” You are more or less anti-dieting at that point.

Another helpful hint is to eliminate substances you know you are addicted to WHILE EATING WELL and RESTING WELL. Eliminating addictive or problem foods that have been a target of emotional eating binges for years does not work if you are depriving yourself of anything. Otherwise you will increase your cravings for those “problem” foods as each day passes. With the right set of nourishment and minimal stress from intense exercise regimens – as well as plenty of time for rest and relaxation, there is simply no low serotonin and dopamine state occurring in your brain that causes the outrageous cravings to eat foods that spike those feel good neurotransmitters into the stratosphere.

By keeping yourself even keel with consistent sleep patterns, regular mealtimes, no skipped meals (or at the very least not skipping meals when you are hungry), and plenty of calories at each feeding to leave you feeling satisfied – there is simply no low state in need of medicating with food and drugs.

The real problem is that people are under all kinds of emotional stress, work stress, lack of sleep, and more while at the same time thinking it’s healthy to eat as little as possible, or at the very least go to war with fat, carbohydrates, or animal products while exercising as much as they can stand to.

This is what CAUSES emotional eating in the first place, exacerbated of course by the halo of guilt that a person experiences after eating junk food and the shame and loss of self-esteem that they feel over whatever excess fat they carry after each episode.

In short, emotional eating is caused by being at war with yourself and asking much more of your body and mind than you give in return. The big picture answer to emotional eating is to end that war.

Would you try to raise a healthy baby by depriving it of food, making it feel constantly scared, torturing it, yelling at it for being fat, weak-willed, and lazy, not letting it sleep, and forcing it to do a lot of exercise? No. Then why are you pursuing health by trying to do that to yourself?

Physical, emotional, and mental health is obtained by obeying your physical, emotional, and mental needs – not ignoring them and then beating yourself up over your cravings, fatigue, depression, and body fat.


  1. FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!
    wow that was emotionally gratifying.
    now to finish reading and starting at that giant burger in the video
    xo deb

  2. nice post i think it'll get the "don't blame yourself"/" anti diet" message some light.

    one question you mention large amount of food as a cause and i believe large amounts of food is your rarrf strategy . how does this figure in ?

  3. Chief-

    That's a good question. However, when people eat to appetite or beyond appetite of whole foods, the appetite decreases. Not much total food is consumed compared to what you might consume if eating a restaurant meal finished with a huge dessert. Also, you change the rules of the game somewhat when you consistently nourish yourself in such a way, including an increase in baseline levels of feel good neurotransmitters – which prohibits the desire to have an emotional eating binge.

  4. I love your analogy in the end. It is very true. We would never bring a baby up the same way most people are letting themselves down.

    When I had my kids, it was strongly advised not to give them fat-free milk as it will have a very negative effect on their [brain] development to be deprived of the fat in the milk (I don't remember all the details anymore). If the whole milk was healthier than the reduced or fat free milk for children then it must be healthier for us grownups too. But everyone seems to think that fat-free milk is the healthiest!!! I even got point deducted from a fitness evaluation I took from drinking whole milk!

    Now I know why the whole milk is healthier, we need these fat-soluble vitamins and we don't get them if there is no fat to carry them to us!

  5. Who would have known that curing an eating disorder, would be that simple and easy? Ever since I started HED my eating disorder symptoms have been non existent. My body was just starving. And showing symptoms of an eating disorder, was how it tried to tell me. Finally I have ended the battle and am now listen to my new found friend -body and mind, together as a whole ;-)

  6. sonja
    i didnt see the message as vivid as you .. thanks for pointing it out. i always see people saying " dont give your son pepsi" meanwhile they have a big gulp. lol

    i was thinking it was a lack of drops in these levels from a less sporadic crack-head like binge eating
    but the baseline reset seems pretty strong corrector as it would make the drops not so contrasting.

  7. Shiela,
    I think you were asking bout body weight set points and muscle ratio in another post cant find it any more

    it made me think of a friend who came out of prison 10 years ago thick, i mean really massive and to look at him now he looks like will smith in his bel air days. i think set points can be manipulated all sorts of ways. In my case I've not changed diet or body temp much but have had slightly different bulks of muscle over the years.

  8. Great. Post.

    I have a question for everyone about this:

    "Eliminating addictive or problem foods that have been a target of emotional eating binges for years does not work if you are depriving yourself of anything"

    But eliminating=depriving, no? I have a few obvious "trigger" foods and find some relief from disordered eating by avoiding them. However, I often find that my body/brain finds a substitute. If I cut out nuts (serious problem/addiction there), for instance, I'll start getting binge-y about cheese, for instance. If I cut out cheese, I'll go for dried fruit. Cut that out and… well, eventually what's left? Now I have an ever-more-limited range of "safe" foods and feel seriously deprived. Do others experience something similar?

    Matt, this goes along with my whole paleo-or-no question. Cutting out whole categories of foods can make me feel (physically and mentally) healthier, but the binge-monster keeps finding the next best thing to target and the restriction becomes a vicious cycle.

    Because of their addictive qualities, allowing myself to eat bread or sugar for more than a few days at a time is way too scary. How best to avoid trigger foods
    without feeling too restricted?

    Sometimes all the butter in the world won't make up for a piece of carrot cake.

  9. One thing I forgot… staying low carb/ion ketosis seems to eliminate the urge to binge almost completely. Hm.

  10. Sheila-

    Beautiful. Glad to hear it. I was the same way. I started eating. Viewed hunger as an imminent threat to my well-being. The next thing I knew I was a new person, free of cravings, mood swings, and more.


    Carrot cake definitely kicks butter's ass in stimulating the pleasure centers.

    I like Shawn Talbott's assessment of the leading causes of hypercortisolism – "watching what you eat."

    He takes the whole dieting thing causing hypercortisolism a step further and basically states that overthinking and overstressing over getting a diet just right can be problematic in and of itself. To a certain degree, this is probably true.

    I greatly prefer Jon Gabriel and/or Diana Schwarzbein's methodology of dealing with eliminating the "problem" foods, and that is basically to start out eating well without even thinking about cutting out the favorite foods or emotional eating items, then transition to subsituting healthier versions of the same things your are craving (carrot cake substituted with, say, a sweet potato covered with butter), and then finally weaning yourself off of junk altogether, at which point occasional indulgences are no big deal and don't send you off the deep end.

    For people with severe issues, I would think that this would be the only way to make it to the promised land without feeling deprived and setting oneself up for a monster binge of one kind or another.

  11. Gazelle-

    Yeah, ketosis, and also very, very low-fat/starch-based seem to be so unpleasurable to the reward centers that they can make eating almost like a numb activity. I once likened eating a meal on zero carb to trimming my fingernails or brushing my teeth. But I experienced the same thing eating at the other extreme.

    But either tend to send people on rampages once they finally get out of either state, and neither diet is an accpetable diet for life in my experiences. Not for a typical person at least, and certainly not someone that already has metabolic disease.

  12. matt you said you experienced the same at the other extreme ..

    what is the opposite extreme of zero carb all carb and protien ? or all fat and carb ?

  13. Starch and very little else, which does contain protein. I'm talking about mostly vegan, starch-based though, with no fruit or other sweets. Like, the most unpleasurable diet ever other than maybe Zero carb, which was pretty brutal as well.

  14. Excellent. Brilliant and its about time … this is probably the common issue most people (health consumers/aficionados or professionals) experience yet few discuss, admit or deal with intelligently.

    Last sentence hits the nail on the head .. great VH tune as well. Thank you

    btw, had a great time hanging' at Barrio Chino in the L.E.S.

    >>>also, how do I get my image/icon in these posts?

  15. Matt,
    My experience was the same as yours when it came to enjoyment of eating low carb. There was no enjoyment or desire to eat, I only did it because I had to. Eating the other extreme of low fat/high carb was MUCH more pleasurable than low carb, but still never a desire to binge. There seems to be something about the combo of high fat and carb that triggers the binging.

  16. Matt

    I'm glad all the vegan types i encountered were always scrawny, a little quirky and had bad body odor (even the women ) although i thought that was more a "stick it to the man" " i aint buying deodorant !" activisty thing

    either way they weren't the prized formula to emulate

    with your vegan experience and stating the pleasure was ultra low, would you say being a long term vegan and emotional eater cant be in the same equation?

  17. Better off Dead along with Sixteen Candles, Strange Brew, The Goonies, A Christmas Story and The Empire Strikes Back pretty much defined pop culture for me growing up.

    Also, who is the dude with Choco bar? He looks a little like the shirtless werewolves from Twilight, but that can't be right.

  18. Antonio-

    I think you have to have a google account and an uploaded image to post and have your pic shown with it.

    I enjoyed our conversation tremendously as well. I had already planned to hit this topic before we talked, but you reiterated my enthusiasm for it based on what you've repeatedly seen in private practice. It's this war against self that was the orginal impetus for this blog. It feels good to bring it back up, and realize that it isn't a purely ethereal claim, but has a real physiological basis rooted in the human response to chronic stress – which manifests no differently than chronic dieting or starvation in terms of its metabolic effects.

  19. CHIEF
    Yes, I did talk about weight set-point in another post and MATT feel free to drop in on this conversation too, as I would like to hear your opinion on the matter too.
    I am muscly by nature and put on muscle quite easily. In the last year, I have lost a lot by under eating and cutting way down on my protein (i know, bad) Now doing the HED, I'm a little bit worried my leptin wont balance out, before I again look like the female version of HULK ;-) Is that forever my new weight set-point? Does my body no longer remember how I was with less muscle?

  20. Sheila,
    You look OK to me, not excessively muscular in your picture. Females are scared of gaining muscle, but it is rare to see one that has too much muscle unless large quantities of drugs are used. I have seen a few former female bodybuilders who permanently changed their bodies from excess steroid use. Most of the female and male bodybuilders who stop using steroids usually end up going back to normal after time.

    If you really want to strip muscle off of your body you could go vegan/fruitarian, or zero carb. Those people always look pretty scrawny. I have tried both diets and they both rapidly removed muscle from my body. You could also avoid resistance exercise and just do cardio.

  21. JT
    I am a former competitive bodybuilder myself. Weighing in at 65kg spread on 1.66cm. Off season I weighed around 72-75kg. On the picture is AFTER striping some muscle off. I weigh around 65-68kg on that photo.

    Trust me, I have tried all the diets stated above. Nothings seems to strip me of muscle, besides not eating at all. -And as soon as I start eating again, the muscles jump on me, like a cat on a mouse!
    I completely stopped resistance training a year ago and went full on with muscle eating cardio. Now I am hypothyroid, have adrenal fatigue and arms that still would make Popeye jealous.

  22. Chief you seem very informative and know what works for you!

    I smply just think that emotional eating(starving or binging) is the simple result of malnutrition…

  23. Thanks malpaz …

    it works for me but i have actually replicated my results with other people and i have not had any "yell at em cuz they cant lose weight" situations like Jon gabriel and atkins. lol . not saying its the panacea but if i can help 1 in 10 even it would be great.
    ill be the first to say i have not tried any of my techniques on any morbidly obese but we shall see.
    i would love to help anyone i can. it was hell having people say i ate too much saying i eat more than hunger.. i was hungry. I eat more than twice as much now.
    never had to count a calorie or a macronutrient only plates.

    everything about metabolic syndrome and fatness is fundamentally is malnutrition. if it causes your bio chemistry to go haywire n emotionally eat is bad nutrition.

  24. Sheila,
    well my thoughts are leptin does not govern muscle persay it is largely a fat regulating hormone and a regulator of other hormones but I doubt it directly effects the muscle ratio.

    i have seen people with obvious metabolic issues myself included vary the amount of muscle either way. i think what you are experiencing is temporary
    like the fat gain on skinny fats only difference between you and them is you have more muscle to begin with which is getting some of the nutrients during a non diet feeding as it is part of your body like the fat is. I don't use scales, they fuck with your mind and get in the way of real results by making you think the short term results have any bering. give it time the short term matters not.

    muscle is a highly anabolic tissue and as your body heals itself and straightens out your metabolism. your body with out the stimuli which normally tells it that it "needs" muscle. It does not matter if this stimuli is from training or steroids. over the long term it will no longer stimulate it. your body will in an attempt to be more efficient reduce the high energy demanding of the unneeded muscle.

    to give this some type of visual,
    i have a female friend who was "big boned" thick claves which looked odd as they were the same size as mine and very firm. she lost the 60-70 pounds of excess fat. Leg measurements without the stimuli in the form of excess weight she carried was no longer comparable to mine and still to this day comments on how she misses her tough looking legs lol

    otherwise you would be trying out for for the X-men with your superhuman never ending muscle growing ability.

  25. Sheila,
    That size and weight isn't bad at all. Most of the men here in the USA would like a woman like that. Where do you live? I think that is a healthy weight for your height, and if you are carrying more muscle than fat you are really lucky. I wouldn't worry about it, actually i would be very appreciative if I was you, especially as you age and muscle is harder to gain.

    If you have severe metabolic damage you should check out Scott Abel's forum. He deals with many former bodybuilders and fitness girls that have really screwed up their metabolism. I had severe metabolic issues due to chronic low carb dieting, and consulting with him helped me the most in getting better. Matt has written about his methods as well.

  26. Well, it has to be said… I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS! Best movie ever.

  27. JT was it a drastic difference in workout that gave you the metabolic edge with abel's methods coming off low carb? to say was it less or more i guess or more intense or less intense?

    i don't usually give much credit to numbers on a scale especially when a girl can carry a more weight in the thighs and breasts than KFC ! you never can say without looking … i just looked close at your pic and I agree with JT!
    even if that is "some removed" as you say. I wouldn't sweat it.

    fix your metabolism n let your genes decide what is the right un-stimulated ratio is. you may also notice a huge temporary surge in glycogen and water into your muscles judging by what you said about not eating.

  28. @Sheila:
    Actually, I was going to say something similar to what chief said. I'm not sure whether focussing on leptin and/or the body weight set point is the way to go. As chief said and as I understood it, this is mostly regulating fat mass.

    So, I'd say chief's advice is pretty solid. Also have you ever had your hormones checked? I'm anything but an professional, but I'd guess that testosterone might have something to do with it. You might have higher levels of it than women usually do because of your exercise background, genetics or whatever.

    Now, even if that were true, I wouldn't know what exactly to do about it. But I thought I'd still share my thoughts with you to offer a new way of looking at the issue, in case you haven't considered that yet.
    Perhaps you could look into some herbs that naturally regulate testosterone levels, but I guess that's something that rather should be done by a professional.

  29. CHIEF-
    I totally understand what your saying. I know that muscles require more energy than fat tissue and that the body never will hold on to unnecessary muscle tissue. Actually, in regards to my muscle tissue, I should be able to handle more food than the "normal person" but comparing myself to people weighing less than me, I can never eat the same amount of food (before HED)as them, without gaining weight. I guess my metabolism have been pretty fucked for a long time -ever since I got into bodybuilding, its been this way.
    I guess I just have to take it one day at a time. I am not training at all at the moment as I am trying to heal my adrenals too. I haven't been on the scale (to scared ;-) but I can tell I have A LOT of water retention, both in my muscle tissue and under the skin. I feel stronger (I was moving heavy objects this weekend) than I did before I started so I have definitely put on muscle.

  30. JT-
    Ha ha.. Well thanks, I just don't like the attention it brings with it ;-) It's the wrong kind of attention, if you catch my drift ;-)
    With that said, I rather be muscly than fat but after my metabolism and adrenals have crashed, I am battling with that issue as well.. I have disciplined my body my whole life and I am just now learning how to relax.

    Thank you for your input about Scott Abel, I have read about him here on Matts blog and seen a few videos on youtube. I didn't know that he helps former female bodybuilders, going back to homeostasis -interesting! I will definitely check that out as I think it's the core of the problems I have.

    Thanks for you input!
    I have gotten my hormone levels checked out and my testosterone levels are in the range of a young teenage boy. Now if they have been like that all my adult life, I don't know? I have always been quite muscly, even as a kid -I wish I could upload a photo of me as a kid, on here. My progesterone is low to. To get really graphic, my periods are very irregular too, like 5 months in between. I am basically all over the place. I have been in and out different doctor offices an nobody have been able to tell me exactly what is wrong. One doctor told me it was my thyroid. Another it's my liver and kidneys. The last doc suspects problems with my hypothalamus. So confusing! Anyways, I've BEEN on natural meds to balance out my hormones, with NO affect what so ever. Only thing that has made a visible change, is HED because my hands starting getting warm for the first time in years.

  32. JT-
    I forgot to answer your question.. I am from Denmark ;-)

  33. I agree from an asthetics point of view that there's nothing wrong with a muscly woman. Some men prefer it. I found myself wishing your profile picture would get larger when I clicked on it :)

    There's no doubt that you have elevated testosterone. You don't need a lab test to determine that, as it would be impossible to have abnormally large muscle stores without abnormally large testosterone production.

    Get your body temperature up and cortisol levels in line from dieting and overexercising for a long period of time and you should see some improvements.

  34. MATT-
    Ha ha, thanks -but be careful what you wish for or I might blow up in your face ;-D

    Those words were exactly what one of my doctors said; you don't need a lab test to prove that.

    Yeah, I am all about resting and stuffing my face at the moment. What's funny, is that I obviously are an exercise addict (dohh) and now since I haven't allowed myself to do any exercise, I now got this new-found interest in horror movies?! Only way to explain it must be that since my brain doesn't receives its daily kick from exercise, it must seek it elsewhere. I guess it's not a too bad of an exchange, I just don't like waking up in the middle of the night, covered in sweat because of a wolf, having my head for dinner!

  35. Sheila,
    The ladies in Denmark don't like muscles? Aren't viking women supposed to be big and muscular!? Europeans normally have different ideas on what is excessive muscle, in america most fitness minded people wouldn't think it is a problem.

    If you naturally have the hormone levels of a teenage boy then dietary changes wont do much to fix your situation. You would probably have to work closely with a doctor who specializes in hormone disorders. The problem is finding a doctor that actually knows how to treat these disorders and doesn't make your problems worse. Again, I would check with Abel to see what he thinks, as he is one of the only people who specializes in helping people with your situation.

    My training was more intense with high volume. I think it was a combo of the exercise with the diet that helped. Also got help from some Ayurvedic docs that was really beneficial.

  36. thanks JT exactly what i was looking for as far as clarity

  37. Sheila,
    as far as what Jt said looking for a specialist might be able to help far more than any of us as the effects of body building on women is rare as far as information goes.

    If i were in your place in the meantime i would stress getting a lot of rest to be the utmost importance and by that i mean to the degree of perhaps letting someone else move the heavy objects you spoke about :) as this is hypotrophy stimuli.

    i would expect and encourage a little fat gain eating unrestricted. Women body builders have less than
    average fat ratios compared to other women.
    studies have shown that fat increases lowers testosterone. and in males it causes gynecomastia or "MAN BOOBS" as a side effect. I think it wont be an over night thing with you and for the healing process it's gonna take a certain amount of fat gain which will balance out later.

    I don't do this but If i were in your place i would space my meals out and avoid low carbing at any meals to avoid the muscle building effects of fasting.
    and eating something like a baked potato before bed.
    i once went without solid food and less than 500 cal a day for more than a week according to a cultural ritual. and to my surprise not only did i not lose muscle (measurements remained the same as well as lifts) Once i fed myself back up for a few days i actually increased. the effects of which you also noticed.

  38. It's interesting cause I still have the same feelings of chronic stress, anxiety, shame, guilt etc that I've had my whole life. But my emotional eating is no more. Since I got on RRARF there is no cravings for sweets, caffeine or any other refined foods. I crave real foods and I overeat once a week.

    What I'm saying is that for me, it seems the addiction to sugar and junk food was it's own problem, probably caused by under-eating and not getting enough starches. The emotional issues are constant and for me it seems they are not related to my food issues.

    "When Matt says that "ending emotional eating is not difficult" I couldn't agree more. RRARF fixes it. Totally cures it! For me in just a few days. It's quite amazing.

    Also, I love the comparison to the baby. That's so funny and so true. We have to learn to parent ourselves way better. :) I still don't love my baby-fat though…lol….

    btw, Matt what do you think about "grounding/earthing"? Is this totally silly? Not that I could afford their grounding sheets anyways, but still, I remember running around barefoot all summer long as a child and I was super healthy then.


  39. Matt

    I don't think I understand the big difference from the "fat loss" stage and normal eating. You say to only do the fat loss stage for 30 days and then eat normal. I'm done RRARFing and I am now eating nice balanced meals (approx. 500-700 calories per meal) to appetite and have good energy. So I don't understand why I have to come off this phase since my meals are healthy and satisfying already. I feel like maybe my "fat loss" stage isn't restrictive enough, but I thought the whole point isn't to restrict. I just feel confused reading the Body Recomposition Part 2 chapter. I aim for 60-20-20, I'm doing the 2:1 bfast moving into the 4:1 dinner. My next move is to get most of my calories in the am. So I'm tracking right along, but I don't feel like I'm in a drastic "fat loss" phase.

  40. Sheila,

    forgot one thing in your case eat right away in the morning and pick a meal or time to be the bulkier part

    Lisa E, kudos on breaking the addiction cycle!
    on the grounding note i have never researched it as far as online or in books. But culturally speaking we have a concept of keeping in touch with the earth and i do it often cant say what effect it has physiologically speaking but a lot of the old school ideas have merit I "keep it real" unless i can find harm in it like the baby dropping ritual they do in india.

    barefoot running is another thing it can be great for your back/posture as it changes your gate to a natural one without shoes. I never used to run much other than for sports even then the big guy doesn't run much in football. i used to get a lot of pain in my lower back i have noticed this eliminated it the first time i put it into my routine i now even play basket ball barefoot.

  41. Matt: even though I have cut my fruits/dates and eat zero sugar or sweeteners, so theoretically my blood sugar should be stable, why do I feel like sleeping about 3 hours after my workout?
    I finished around 11:45, had some coconut water, few almonds and a green apple, got home, ate a hard boiled egg, some mac nuts dry roasted salted types. Had some green tea, water.. now I feel just wiped.
    Is this normal?
    My workout was 1/2 hour yoga, 1 1/2 hours of spin and weights. my preworkout meal (breakfast) was some turkey sausage (the good kind with no bad ingredients and no hormones/antibiotics etc) with one scrambled egg and some green decaf tea. I have had tons of rest due to my recent cold.

    your pal

  42. deb,

    doesn't sound normal to what i experience or see training people in rtelation to their workouts.

    how often do you workout ? do you sleep really well at night?

    the one thing i can say is its that itme of day "the afternoon slump" part of a circadian rhythm which some researchers consider the "natural human nap zone " some say if you don't sleep as well at night you crash harder.

    intriguing …. wonder what matt's thoughts are .

  43. Deb ,

    oh yea are you craving sugar or hungry in between your crash and work out ?

  44. Hi Chief,
    I totally love napping.. but I can tell when I feel like just dropping vs a nice short refreshing nap.
    And today I felt the former, like just done.

    No sugar cravings, I ate enough that I felt satisfied, no longer hungry. I really think I don't eat as much food as everybody else somehow. Maybe I have to try getting a bit more calories in pre workout. But even this sort of smallish breakfast left me with some nausea during my workout. And I should have explained that this spin class is more like a metabolic style one, with sprints, recovery, sprints on the bike, then get off and do stuff like pylometrics, heavy dumb bell work on all different body parts and usually around 120 pushups of all different styles, say 20 ea with short breaks. Lots of sweating, lots of lactic acid burn, you get the gist.

    I am a bit of a complex case, Matt knows all my health details..
    I guess I was just hoping that cutting caffeine (2 months ago) and then cutting all sugars (I was eating dates, fruit, dried fruit and using stevia and raw honey) about 4 weeks ago would equal nice even energy all day long.
    Maybe it's just going to take some more time to get my body in tune with not having the quick easy sugar fuel it has burned for 51 years!
    Thanks Chief!

  45. Deb,
    I wouldn't advise being in the gym for more than 45 mins if your going multiple times per week. Rest and recovery is highly underrated.
    In my research ( and experience) there really is no drastic health benefits with longer work outs.

    upon looking at the type of intensity you describe i am pretty confident to say your post workout meal isn't high enough in carbs to recover well. Which would not help in the metabolism dept to limit available energy on a cellular level.
    don't wanna put my foot in my mouth if your doing this on purpose for some reason :) but even if you were 105 pounds with a big work out like that it does seem to be enough.

    I did at least look at your profile before commenting lol and props for getting through it and i wouldn't have guessed over 51 by the pic !

  46. Ok Chief you are now my favorite! Sorry everybody else!
    Matt: you will always be the top gun around here :)

    Well, here's the deal, yes, 51, yes 3 yrs in menopause, former raw vegan but that has been over for around 1 year and 4 months.. and after I left that style of eating, I have steadily gained weight*some is muscle for sure, but some is fat* that will not budge. I got my hormones tested, I have zero progesterone, low estrogen and almost no testosterone. typical for menopause but SUCKS for my muscle building/fat loss attempts. They said my thyroid was normal and I am not anemic.

    I was underweight as a raw vegan, now I feel about 5-8 lbs over what I consider my ideal weight. oh and I forgot, I have a case of chronic leukemia, it's called CLL, stage zero. So fatigue worries me due to this. Due to the leukemia, I am very leery of HRT and not even sure my Onc. would ok it.
    which is another reason I came off caffeine and fruit/sweeteners.. also I tested at the dr's after eating some dates (did not know there would be a blood test!) at 130, an hour or so after eating them. So I decided to cut my fruit and see what happened.

    All that and I have not lost an ounce. my temps are always good, between 97.8 and 98.4 as a high. I sleep as much as possible, using shooting for nine hours a night. I am eating most everything with the exception of grains, sugars, processed foods, caffeine etc. Pretty clean diet. I work part time out of my house, pretty low stress there.

    I am super frustrated about not losing ANYTHING.
    I work out with weights three times a week and do some other stuff too.

    Getting old kinda of sucks.. oh well, sorry for the long post. Now you have more info on my health history. I suppose when I see all this, I could say I have a touch o the chronic stress issue, ya think?

    Thanks Chief :)

  47. and another thing, I don't get all that hungry and when I do eat, I don't really eat big quantities. Which is just how I am, always have been except for some binge eating in my early twenties of ice cream and cookies.
    Yes, sugar had been my fuel my entire life. and wheat/bread stuff. and some alcohol for fun :)

  48. Hey Matt,
    I ordered you 180 Degree Metabolism e-book but I have not received it. I am having trouble contacting anyone about this. Please let me know if you received payment. lorihora@verizon.net

  49. Hey Deb,

    I'm no expert but your pre-workout meal looks pretty carb-less. Keep in mind that weight training is mostly sugar-burning work. If you don't have enough carbs, your weight training will suffer. Most low carbers will admit to that. There are a few that say they have adapted, but they are few and far between. The workout you describe would add more to the anaerobic side of things (workouts are generally not 100% one or the other, but a mix) than just LSD (long, slow, distance) work. The nauseousness comes from the buildup of lactic acid and the depletion of glycogen stores. For someone with CLL, 2 hours of high intensity work is too much in my opinion, and that coupled with the no carbs before your workout makes it worse. But then again, that's just my opinion. ;-) Good luck!

  50. Thanks Will, I think you are right. Guess I need to throw some tatos in the mix. It was low carb for me, not on purpose, just ran out of time and appetite.

    I used to eat fruit a lot, like.. all the time. But my concern is 1: adding to cancer's fuel and 2. causing insulin surges, esp. with dates which I ate way too much of.

    There are more than one way to skin a carb right?
    Thanks! I guess I just want to be as fit as when I was younger and did not have CLL.. sigh, a girl can dream :)

  51. Deb,
    although I've seen maintenance of muscle mass with no calories, unfortunately I have not seen anyone make any gains in muscle without a surplus in calories and at least some of the protein that the body can not synthesize on it's own. (protein-wise your probably good) In terms of physics : mass is/has energy and energy can not be created out of nothing. Saying that you don't have much of an appetite leads me to believe this is one factor.

    second,but equally if not more , i would say is stress. Chronic worry creates chronic stress.I would assume dealing with a big issue like CLL would do that. Also you mention frustration with aging and with stubborn fat. This is a self fulfilling as you stress more about it the more it refuses to leave.
    evidence that you stress about it is the dedication to heavy workouts. Which brings the next point.

    working out is stressful in itself although beneficial when it is acute, too much can be futile and cause weight gain even if its not so called cardio, provided you truly are going at it intensely enough without recovery. More is not better.Excess fat leaves without conscious physical effort or intentional calorie restriction.

  52. Deb,
    damn wrote the last one, didn't hit publish went upstairs n forgot bout it ..haa haa Will beat me to the carb thingy … but yea like 60 types of potatoes :) throw em in the mix ! I'd say post work out is more critical than pre-workout. as all the glycogen in the muscles needed for a good workout would still be there from supper the day before.

  53. JT-
    Yeah, unfortunately the Viking days here are over and I am a out dated brand -I guess I can always knock down those who disagree ;-P
    When I lived in Australia for a year I definitely felt the difference. Aussies embrace muscles too. Mind you, I've always loved muscles, I just like it more subtle now + I can never find womens clothes that fit (narrow hips and wide shoulders)!
    Your right! It IS about finding the right doctor! Most doctors I've seen don't have a clue. One doctor actually made my condition worse AND cost me a lot of money (worst combo!) The last doctor I went to, my knowledge about the matter, was superior to hers?! I think it's safe to say I have kinda given up on them.. Because I don't have an obvious disease or look like I am dying, I feel they don't take me serious enough. I just know something isn't right, I feel it and I see it. Also my blood work proves it. They just don't know what to do.
    I've looked at Scotts site but couldn't find any info on that specific matter. Do I just write him a personal email?

  54. CHIEF-
    I totally follow you on that.. I have committed myself to rest so I have to stick to it -no exceptions! I really feel that weekend put me back as I actually got sick from it and the following days I have had sugar cravings (which is typical for me when I am sick and/or stressed)
    I eat straight away after waking up!
    I hear you about putting on some fat. I just already think I have put on enough. To get a little graphic again, normally when girls have high testosterone, their female parts decrease, right? Well not in my case!? I have already gone up 2 cup sizes?! Even though I have low estrogen, I have even lower progesterone, which would actually put me in the estrogen dominance category. Maybe that could be the answer..

  55. Although this is getting off the topic of emotional eating, Sheila's posts about hormones reminded me about something that I have been thinking about from some of the things that Matt has said. I'm thinking that since insulin resistance is a widely accepted medical condition, and now we are talking about leptin resistance, maybe this resistance condition is possible with most, if not all, hormones. People have talked about testosterone having a role in prostate cancer, but it usually occurs in men after their testosterone levels are decreasing. (Actually it is supposed to be the conversion of excess testosterone to DHT, but I digress). Perhaps even with lower levels of testosterone, there is some kind of resistance that occurs where the body can't even use the little bit of testosterone that it has, which then gets seen as an excess and then is converted to DHT. Matt…thoughts? Or am I just off my rocker?

    So to Sheila, this probably wouldn't apply to you as it sounds like you have a feedback loop issue where your body isn't getting the signal to stop producing testosterone even though it has much more than you need. I know some alternative doctors use something called "triple blockade therapy" for prostate cancer where they block the body's production of male hormones for a year or so to stop the cancer. Some mainstream guys use drugs for this but there is an herbal product called PC-SPES that supposedly does the same thing. I know Dr. Bruce West uses this herbal product so you might be able to consult with him about your problem. He has a newsletter and if you are a subscriber, he will answer personal questions for free or he has an evaluation service which he will do an in-depth evaluation, and the last I checked, it was $39. Please work with someone on your hormone issue…I think it's too easy to do wrong and wouldn't want to see you do more harm to yourself. Just my 2 cents. Good luck!

    Thanks! The last thing I want to do is harm myself further. It's very frustrating that even after doing all the supposedly right stuff, my body still fails to regain homeostasis.. The body is one big puzzle and to fix the problem, you need to get to the root -whatever that is?! It's the endless question about the chicken or the egg.
    I've been thinking about the same thing lately, blocking my testosterone hormones for a while. This Dr. Bruce -do you have a link to his website?
    I really appreciate all these inputs as I am pretty lost at the moment.
    Matt, let me know if I have crossed my spam-limit ;-P

  57. Sheila,
    You can send him an email, or post your question on his forum. If you post on his forum you could probably hear from some women who have been in similar situations as well. Its too bad that finding a decent doctor is so difficult. You may have better luck with a real ayurvedic doctor, everything they do is about balancing the system.

    Why do you think that eating fruit fuels cancer?
    You are definitely not eating enough carbs for the type of workout you are doing. I would crash if i was eating like you too. Also, you have rock bottom hormone levels so this would probably play a big factor, so you should be very careful. With your condition I would consult with experienced medical professionals before doing things.

  58. I don't think Dr. West has a forum that I know of. Here's a link to his site…


    Good luck!

  59. JT-
    Finding a good doctor is like finding a needle in a haystack! I did try a doctor who practiced homeopathic medicine, it cost me a lot of money and he was no help at all.
    It's so hard to pick the scammers from the genuine ones.
    Good idea. I might try to post on the forum first.

  60. Deb,
    From reading your posts it seems like you are dieting. It doesn't look like you are getting enough calories period to fuel your workouts which is why your body is storing fat like crazy. You are starving it. That is why you don't have much appetite either. If you quit doing these epic long workouts you'd probably gain a lot really quickly, am I right?

    And less than 10 pounds over your ideal weight? Seriously, that is the place where many of us began our dieting troubles. After years of yo-yo dieting (that started over a measly 10 pounds), I'd kill to be only 10 pounds over ideal weight.

    I'm glad you've found this forum now before things are really screwed up.

    Yeah, eat more unrefined carbs, change your workouts to be shorter and higher intensity (and forget about the exercise bike, except as a warm-up cool down tool) and stop obsessing about 10 pounds.

    Get some sleep and eat the food. The Gabriel Method has really good stress relief information. I highly recommend checking it out. It's helped me a lot.

  61. Sheila,
    I went through the same problems as you when trying to find a doctor. But, if you can find a good one it is really great. If you go the natural medicine route I would be careful with the internet guys selling supplements.

    Like I mentioned, Ayurveda really helped me, so if you ever had a chance to spend time in India you could look into seeing some REAL Ayurveda doctors, they could possibly help you.

    Talk to Abel first and find out what he thinks.

  62. Jennythenipper: Not really dieting but yes, those last few lbs have been really bothering me.
    Chief: you are so correct about the eating, I will start really working on it. I had talked to Matt about Oct being a rrarf month for me. On the stress, yes, I have had the "aha" moment now, finally, after freaking out about it.. that the freaking out is really a big part of the problem. xo
    JT: You are correct sir. Carbing up now! Sugar feeds cancer has been out there for years, in many different books/theories. My concern was to get my blood sugar more even and not go to fruit/dates/larabars every two hours..

    Matt: I am so sorry for bugging you so much with my crazy obsession/quest for the holy grail of over 50/cancer girl optimum miracle health. You and this blog have helped me realize that "I yam what I y'am" yes, I quoted Popeye. Time to Really RELAX and Just eat the food and stop mentally beating myself up like a red headed stepchild.

    Thanks everyone, need to process my reality now,
    xo deb

  63. Deb,
    Another thing to really think about is if you are doing the type of exercise that is right for you. If I was you I wouldn't do such strenuous cardio since you don't have the hormonal profile to sustain well. You might want to think about transitioning into something like yoga and getting rid of the high intensity cardio.

    If sugar causes cancer, then why do so many of the people go on all raw high fruit diets to recover? I am not an expert in this area, so I don't know, but I am curious about your experience.

    Are potatoes your only carb source? I can't understand why all the people here limit themselves to potatoes. Many people do not do well on potatoes, but do well on other carb sources.

  64. Deb, I'm with Jenny. That just does not sound like enough food to keep going, regardless of the intense exercise piled on top of it. I'd pass out, too, if I were eating such small amounts. I used to eat very low calorie (similar to what you describe) while practicing long-distance/endurance running. A few hours after I'd finish a run, I'd be ready to sleep half the day away. Even though I was the "picture of health", racking up the miles and eating lots of salad, I wasn't a functional human being when I wasn't pushing myself to run – I had zero energy to socialize with family, friends, coworkers, or focus on any other interests or hobbies. That was a tremendous waste of time and energy in my life that I can't get back, and regret now.

    From personal experience, it's not a good state to be in. If it were me, I'd cut out the spin classes and really try to eat more. But you have to make your own decisions :)

  65. Sorry for hijacking your comment board, but I'm too lazy to join up on a body building forum or anything just to get this one question answered.

    To all the weight lifting folks out there:
    I've got a question about deadlifts and to be more specific about deadlifting with a belt. There's this one dude in the gym who always says I should get a belt for doing deadlifts as it would otherwise mess up my back. However, this seems like an unnecessary perhaps even bad idea to me.
    I do get the idea, that a weight lifting belt would help stabilize my back and thus make the lifts safer. But is this really such a good approach? Wouldn't it be a better idea to build up some stabilizing muscles yourself by not using a belt? To me this seems a bit like this machines vs free weights thing. Or is it actually different this time? Of course we are talking about properly executed deadlifts here.

  66. MADMUHH-
    Your right on the money! A belt is a bad idea. You shouldn't lift more than your body can handle and by that I mean your stabilizing muscles. Also you muscles tend to grow faster and stronger than your joints can handle, which is why I have never been a fan of using straps. Unless your a power lifter or want to build abnormally big muscles (bodybuilder) just do it the "natural" way. You want to build an overall strong body, not just a body that looks strong ;-)

  67. Madmuhh,
    I don't use a belt when deadlifting, but their may be some instances for some people where it is appropriate. It is very important to use good form when deadlifting because it is very easy to hurt yourself. You are better off lifting lighter weights with good form. Get an expert to teach you how to do it correctly.

  68. The real will,

    I was thinking something similar. Perhaps extremely lanky individuals have a resistance to testosterone and perhaps scientist might one day find It's equivalent to leptin and how it affects insulin.

    I've been focusing my research on putting weight on hardgainers lately as they have been coming to me after seeing my success with overweight individuals too early to say if there is some kind of similarity .

    I was suggesting potatoes because she mentioned avoiding grains. because its easy n versatile.

    Jenny ,
    your advice was spot on in my opinion really thorough and i think even skinny people can learn from gabriel's book. as anorexia and obesity are starvation one and the same.

    never used a Belt, ever had any problems. ( except to hang weights on for chin-ups lol
    as far as proper tech check out mark rippetoe, his books are excellent and he has videos


  69. When I used to squat and deadlift I never wore a belt. First of all, I was doing high rep "heavy" squats. I would take a weight that I could absolutely only get 10 reps with. A weight that would cause me to fail at rep 11. Then I would do 20 reps with that weight…no matter how long it took and never racking the weight till I was done. This was done with heavy breathing and a back support would hinder that breathing. I would do lots of stiff leg deadlifts and heavy sidebends as well as weighted crunches/situps to strengthen my midsection sort of making my own natural belt. I was actually crunching with the equivalent of my bodyweight which as 220 at the time.

  70. I just thought I should let everyone know that I am officially over my adrenal fatigue! Just got back from a doctor's visit to go over my saliva test results!

    Everyday I wake up effortlessly around 6am, sans alarm clock, and get sleepy right around 8pm. No more brain fog, lethargy, or mood swings. No more panic attacks, heart palpitations, etc. I am so happy, and feel oh-so vibrant. Everything just seems so much more clear, almost as if I'm experiencing life for the first time (sorry if that sounds corny, or cheesy… but it's the truth!)

    Thank you Matt Stone. Doubt I could've done it as effectively without you!

  71. Good for you Katarina!
    @ Sarah: the odd part is, I don't feel all that hungry.. but when I do I eat. So maybe some rrarf is in my future :)
    Thanks for everyone's comments and advice, I do appreciate it and I need to read Jon Gabriel's Book!
    deb xo

  72. Katrina,
    Congrats and only pessimist think positivity is corny :)

    best thing i ever did was say fuck it!.. with everything. letting go is powerful stuff. especially with stress.You stop looking at food as the enemy who always wins and letting go of the notion that you can control your fat stores. You go girl ! heal up don't be scurrred of eating.

    I agree with JT start with lower weights i have seen it take a lot of practice and conditioning mental and physical to develop proper technique especially with deadlifts.

    I think what JT is saying is that he had good results with ayurvedic experts maybe your homeopathic advisor was not on par with that system at all. I have done some looking into it and that old school knowledge from india seems like it has A lot to offer.

  73. On Emotional eating : LOL

    ok , I have noticed something interesting in my self experimentation. I Don't know if i was ever an emotional eater, I was most definitely a "certified fatass" and … addicted to pepsi.

    I have found that as a transitional period avoiding something like pepsi outside of large meals ie no sporadic use on an empty stomach causes less cravings for it as a result.
    and then moving it to a weekly "cheat day" has some phycological benefits as well. after a while the cheat day starts to feel gross and you give it all up all together.

  74. Tommy – 20 Rep Squats John McCallum style is definitely a great routine.

    Madmuhhh – Say "No" to the belt.

    Matt – Do you tend to accept the views on Hans Seyles' GAS theory as well as his views on "distress" and "eustress". Are there any modern works/views that are more accurate today?

  75. "Deb, I'm with Jenny. That just does not sound like enough food to keep going, regardless of the intense exercise piled on top of it. I'd pass out, too, if I were eating such small amounts. I used to eat very low calorie (similar to what you describe) while practicing long-distance/endurance running. A few hours after I'd finish a run, I'd be ready to sleep half the day away. Even though I was the "picture of health", racking up the miles and eating lots of salad, I wasn't a functional human being when I wasn't pushing myself to run – I had zero energy to socialize with family, friends, coworkers, or focus on any other interests or hobbies. That was a tremendous waste of time and energy in my life that I can't get back, and regret now."

    That's exactly my experience as well Sarah. I was doing huge amounts of endurance exercise on not enough calories. I wasn't hungry and I would have to force myself to fit in all my meals (I was doing a five small meals a day thing). When I quite exercising for more than a week, the weight piled on and cravings for junk food came on the worst of my life.

  76. Riles ,

    my opinions on hans Seyle and his
    eustress and distress concepts. ( the tabata study comes to mind here.) In my pinion there are only 2 ways the body handles stress acute stress :
    1.)adrenaline rushes that save your ass, weight training etc
    2.) chronic stress :Dieting, Running marathons, losing a loved one etc.
    there is really 2 results acute is like an immediate danger which the body handles with a quick response of energy or adaptive change for the future.

    and the chronic stress has the effect of emulating the fear of starvation and causes emotional eating, weight gain, lethargy etc. As the human body really only needs these 2 different reactions to survive.

    and his thoughts on stress being stress even thought it is positive is being studied with the effects of drugs "burning out " brain function with too much of a good thing.

    i came across alot of new studies on stress that relate i just think many don't connect directly per say

    anyways my 2 cents

  77. CHIEF,

    What do you think is the best way to lower chronic stress?

  78. I think Chief IS Matt.. have you even seen them together?

  79. deb
    I am most certainly not matt in some alter ego BRUCE K IAN type thing lol
    I can see the similarity both a bit geeky, Both love corn, anti status quo, experiment with crazy ideas, have similar views BUT we have drastically different views n other aspects.

    I'd gladly take a pic standing next to him on my next trip to colorado. I travel alot and I mean alot .
    I would love to get together in the real world and chew the fat with with him or anyone else interested in doing so.

  80. Lisa,
    Primarily it is easier to avoid the stress in the first place. I think the most important thing is truly embracing what i call the "F@ck It method"
    1. first accept the worst case scenario
    EX. few extra pounds ?. so what, Im already fat better than having stress which leads to illness and possible death and eating disorders etc….

    2 . Is accepting the stressor going to save someone I love …ie is it really worth it ?
    Ex the minute someone gets mad i leave the room the house whatever don't say a word just leave em in the dust. ( usually people that yell direct their stress at others is their way "passing the buck") But i would sit through 5 minutes of racial aggression if it would keep my brother out of jail or save a life etc.

    3. F@ck it anyway! "most" of what you do about said stress has little effect on the outcome of anything. Alot is just out of your immediate control ( especially calorie tyranny)

    I simply apply it to everything, even relationships I would rather lose a house car or whatever else that i cant take with me when i die then spend one unhappy minute.

    for extra credit , I enjoy COMEDY! (mostly stand up) when they say laughter is the best medicine they are not far off. punching bags, Using wife beaters as punching bags, going in the middle of nowhere just to be alone and reflect, I meditate daily, I seek out the sun on a daily basis,
    I look for enjoyment in everything I do especially job-wise, I would rather be a Bum with a smile than any one in the movie office space.

  81. oh yea to add to the stress relief ….sex ..lots of sex :)

    stress has a major effect on emotional eating as your naturally looking for the feel good response of food …

    might be quite helpful for every one to find it elsewhere :) Did i mention sex??

  82. On weight belts, save it for you maxes and near maxes. For every day training, skip the belt.

  83. To add to what Chief said about stress…worry is a sustained form of fear. If you are constantly worried about something (i.e. losing your job for instance), think about what is the worst result (you lose your job and you have to look for another one) and what control you have over it (other than doing your best at work, you have no other control over the situation). Accept what is out of your hands and realize that worrying about the end result will have no bearing on that final result. If it eventually does not happen, you will have wasted all of that energy on worry for nothing. Just my 2 cents.

  84. Katerina…AWESOME!!!! It's great to hear success stories. I myself am actually slipping back into adrenal fatigue because of family stress (I have a child with severe health problems), work stress (too many projects, working long hours and still falling behind daily), and just general stress (dealing with house repairs from last December, just had a storm that blew apart landscaping, blew my chimney covers away, etc.). Because of the home repairs, I haven't been able to maintain any kind of workout schedule and I actually enjoy working out. BUT, this time I know what the symptoms are, I recognize what is causing them, and I already have my supplements ordered to help me correct them (they should be on my doorstep early next week). This, instead of spending YEARS trying to figure out what is wrong with me, so I figure I should be able to overcome this pretty quickly. Katerina, you are giving me hope!!! And congratulations to you!!!! :-)

  85. Will
    well put will,

    i couldn't seem to remember the quote based on worrying about everything when in the end the worrying doesn't have an effect on the outcome. but you got the idea out there. if it comes to me ill post it.

  86. Lisa,
    one more good stress killer is a combo of massages, steam baths hot tubs and finding a routine and or hobby to keep your mind focused on something positive.

  87. ACCEPTANCE is huge in regards to limiting stress, as mentioned before. Accept the things you can not change, are key!
    What's weird is that I have been told from many doctors that I stress too much (psychologically) which I can understand to some degree but nobody told me that my psychical life was SO stressful on my body?! I mean I have put my body through HELL, constant stress with diet and exercise, for the past 8 years! -And to top that, I was stressing to find out what I was stressing about psychologically! My stress was definitely physical. If I can eliminate that, I will have resources to deal with once-in-a -while psychological stress. That's my believe anyway. Jeeeezzz I can't believe that for so many years, I thought I could discipline my body that hard, with no after effects.. Well I guess it is possible (thinking of numerous of athletes who have done it for years and still going strong) if you are happy with what your doing. Truth is, I wasn't. I was constantly pushing my body in a direction which didn't match the life I really wanted -now that is stress, right there..

    Kudos! So great to hear! You really give us with adrenal fatigue a lot of hope! Thanks for sharing! How long did it take you?

    I get it now ;-) I will look more into that type for treatment. I am just a little hesitant with those kind of things, as I have been taken advantage of before, by docs who practice natural medicine. I guess it can't hurt, besides I am all curious now!
    Btw -stand up ROCKS! Who is your favorite?

  88. Shiela, Yea definitely be skeptical of anyone asking for money.
    comics ….hmm
    George Carlin, dana Carvey, Dave chapelle, kat williams, chris rock, Russel peters,Eddie murphy, george lopez,
    Richard pryor a couple of more i cant remember right now
    i go to comedy clubs at random without looking to see who will be there n just go

  89. Matt –

    OT but any chance you'd write something on hair loss/MPB in the near future? It's pretty much the only topic you haven't covered to my full satisfaction. Since following your blog/reading your books my metabolism has much improved but I can't be sure my hair loss has stopped, which suggests it isn't completely fixed.


  90. I am interested in that matter too!

  91. Damnit, I hate falling behind in the comments.

    First up…


    You are thinking about things correctly. I do not encourage people to diet hard, but after doing RRARF often people can get away with dieting. I've heard multiple stories now from people who had low temps, raised them, dieted and lost their excess weight, and did so without compromising their temps. But you have to be careful. Like I recommend in the book, most are better off just eating the food and living their lives. I also recommend continuing to eat well and see if the weight starts coming off spontaneously, which it can if you manage to thoroughly convince your body to come out of its famine state and start shedding weight. I'll be happy to answer any of your questions as you move forward here, on Facebook, or whatever is easiest for you.


    Your sense of humor is phenomenal, which is precisely why I'm going to make fun of you :)

    Menopausal, flatlined hormones, tired, extreme diet history, and Leukemia all put together don't make a good setup for doing really hard exercise.

    Secondly, the human body has a tendency to get tired after doing 2 hours of the most intense exercise ever. This is not a sign of some health failure. We're not all Jack LaLanne.

    What you wrote is akin to saying "you know, I stayed up all night and then I crashed in the middle of the day. What's wrong with me? Am I eating the right carbs?"

    No, you're tired because you just did something that made you tired. Lions crash too after they run down zebras and eat a nice meal, except they don't read into the feeling, they just pass out.

    It is true that low-fat raw vegan-style diets and juice fasting are used as curatives for cancer – and it does bring glucose levels back to normal because it restored insulin sensitivity as any extremely low-fat diet will do. The rules change while eating a mixed diet, and keeping sugars low was something that Melvin Page among others saw normalized blood glucose in many of their patients – none of which ever had cancer unless they had "disturbed glucose tolerance."

    You are not trying to sugar-starve cancer, but restore optimal glucose metabolism, and favoring starches over sugars has repeatedly shown me to be a big help.

    As for losing weight, I have never in my life lost a significant amount of weight doing hard exercise like that. Endurance exercise 10 hours a day, yes – but only temporarily. In fact, hard exercise always makes me gain fat – perhaps because I produce more cortisol than most.

    Real Will-

    Great comments and feedback for Spam Sheila (just kidding, I would never insult a woman with your level of muscle development honey).

    I believe that cortisol is the primary hormone that "blocks" the action of all the hormones, which I hope to talk about in an upcoming audio program – including leptin, insulin, testosterone, thyroid hormones, and so on.

  92. Why you little…..!


    Looking forward to your next audio! Sounds interesting!

  93. Jacob-

    I second Riles on Danny Roddy's healthy hair diet. I've read it and it is solid. I have also experienced hair regrowth following a similar protocol.

    On Selye-

    He labels eustress and distress, but really stresses should probably be looked at as chronic and acute.

    A good example of the difference would be an acute shot of cortisone (greatest medical cure-all ever discovered) and chronic corticosteroid use (cushing's syndrome, extreme immune system breakdown, potentially death).

    I'll be going off on this soon.


    That's awesome. Please share with us the details of what allowed you to heal them, in your opinion.


    Chief is not me or Bruce K. He's the reincarnation of Half Navajo (Troy). Appreciate your comments a lot chief, although, for comic relief, I just watch the Hangover again and again. I'm actually wearing a shirt right now that says "One Man Wolfpack," but don't be deterred, I'd be happy to form a 2-man wolfpack with you if you came through Colorado.

  94. Mr. Stone,
    I appreciate your poking fun at me, it's kind of nice actually.. when I try to talk to my poor confused husband he just gives me the puppy dog eyes… :)
    You get that a lot when people think you are going to die soon.. but of course I am not planning on that happening for a long time, leukemia be damned!
    I hear you, I am eating the food, I skipped out on spin class today and am thinking I have some nice yoga and a good series of naps in my future. I think you get into such a habit of eating and your body responds in kind.. so I am sort like a rat on a wheel, spinning fast, going nowhere, really fast.

    Thanks for the poke and I am still hanging on to the you=Chief rumor until I see photographic evidence.
    your favorite sugar free hag
    PS @ Chief, If you ever are in Los Angeles, let me know. We can meet up for some verbal arm wrestling :)

  95. I was on Isocort for about 5 months, taking it first thing in the morning, and then right after lunch. Honestly, I think what's helped me more than anything (aside from eating really well) has been to deal with the negativity in my life, Jon Gabriel style. I never fully realized how unhappy I was until I started doing things that made me happy! The funniest part is that my health started tumbling right around the time that I was starting to need to make some important decisions regarding college, and I kept fighting against what I really wanted to do (go to art school) in order to pursue a more lucrative major… but I was also just fighting against myself in general, trying to make myself something that I wasn't, nor would I ever be. The further away I got from what my heart wanted, the worse my health got. Now I'm here, not feeling rushed to start school or anything, really accepting where I'm at in my life and the events that brought me here… and continuing to treat myself with respect. Katerina and I are on the same team now :]

    I'm really happy that I've learned my lesson now, at 18, instead of years down the road though.

  96. Also-

    When I started feeling up to it, I began going on a lot of meditative walks (listening to Brain Eno, haha) early in the morning. They do wonders for how I deal with the rest of my day. Sometimes I throw a few sprints in for a bit of a boost. Eating more in the beginning of the day is helping as well.

  97. Katerina,
    What IsoCort dose did you take in the morning and and at noon?

  98. That's great Katerina.

    I didn't join team Matt until I was 26 (shortly after starving myself in the wilderness to "toughen up"), and then I got all Wayne Dyer about it and started this weird blog called "Sacred Self." Yeah, I was a dork under the influence of new agey feel good stuff. Guilty.

    But basically there can be mental and emotional "dieting" as well, and the physiological response is identical. I think the original chronic distress pathway exists for starvation prevention, but emotions can trigger the same exact chain reaction.

  99. Oh wow, I go away for 24 hours and all you guys can talk about is conspiracy theories (Chief is BruceK who is Half Navajo who is Da'Droo who is…Elvis?) and New Age feelgood shit. What is this, the internet?

    Seriously, though I'm totally down with the Jon Wuwu Gabriel Method and joining team Nipper. I will go take a meditative walk with Brian Eno, any day,cause that dude is AWESOME. (Katerina, good taste in music. No wonder you're in art school!)

  100. Jenny-

    I went camping last weekend, woke up at 7am to go hike some little trails with my dog, and Brian Eno's "An Ending (Ascent)" came on my ipod… and right as I looked up at the trees, the sun was positioned right behind them so I could see a perfect circular rainbow around the sun. It was so beautiful, and paired with the music, I admittedly started to tear up. But then again, this is coming from someone that cries whenever she listens Coldplay (even if it's on a commercial or something).


    I took 4 tabs in the morning, and 4 tabs at noon.

  101. Coldplay are my one my favorite guilty pleasures. I tear up just thinking of Doctor Who fan vids with The Scientist.

  102. Hey Matt, I am interested to hear more about how your wife's orthodontic treatment is progressing. Any updates are appreciated. Thanks

  103. Deb ,
    verbal huh? you afraid of the real thing ?

    I have been to L.A. 5 times in 2 years but i hope your not down town as I find it smells like urine and vomit.

    I am going to oakland soon and if the tickets to LAX are cheap again i'd gladly take detour for some green tea and convo.

  104. Selye: eustress and distress

    i think he was pretty on par just different choice of terms.

    for instance eustress like lets say an orgasm, is acute
    doesn't stick around all chronic-like. ( at least i don't think snoop dog pops up unexpectedly to take a hit)

    But an orgasm does have lasting effects like "hey girlfriend got that glow" "mmm hmm"
    sort of like weight training and muscle gain.

    and distress like a shitty job that the effects of which stick around on a daily basis and can lead to depression.

    I think stress as we know it in the biological sense was given little thought before him and i believe regardless of terminology its all related.

  105. Meghan , matt

    I do agree that it is possible to lose the weight through conscious restriction like Tom Venuto, lyle Mcdonald etc. Weather or not Rarrf is in the picture.

    I think it is important to stress it is not required. and can be a bad idea.
    It is in my experience is not necessary for anyone to ever diet. It takes patience in that regard. Some may think they are "healed" because of good results in the "here n now" but it may take more time for true rectification of self regulating homeostasis.

  106. Chief,
    judging from the size of your biceps, yes, verbal is all I can offer :)
    No I don't live near the "hobos" downtown, with the urine/vomit perfume wafting through the air.
    I am in the suburbs, closer to Pasadena, home of the Rose Parade.

    If you show up and Matt stops blogging, well, the mystery will be solved won't it?
    Now if you two showed up together, I would have egg on my face. And that is just not a good look for me.
    Nor do I like to eat crow.


  107. Deb,

    I'll bring the eggs :)
    ill have to show you a trick to winning arm wrestling.

  108. On exercising for weight loss…my son has been going to physical therapists and it is amazing to see how many of these folks are overweight, yet they spend their entire day being very active (they are often out of breath working with my son). I also make note of overweight mailmen (and ladies) and they spend their entire day walking. Granted not all of these folks are overweight but it should be noted that their activity level does not protect them from obesity. What you eat rules over everything else. Just a brain flash that went to my typing fingers. ;-)

  109. I have noticed a lot of the same Will.. seen more than a few chubby gym teachers.

  110. CHIEF-
    LMAO! Now that is the funniest campaign speech ever. I love how one youtuber wrote:

    The only man who can physically move the capital building to another location.

    The only man who can control wind direction so that all flags can fly right.

    and the only man who is also a website

    One of my favorite videos:


  111. Nice post. emotional eating is equal to binge eating which can have disastrous effects.

  112. The Real Will wrote:

    On exercising for weight loss…my son has been going to physical therapists and it is amazing to see how many of these folks are overweight, yet they spend their entire day being very active (they are often out of breath working with my son). I also make note of overweight mailmen (and ladies) and they spend their entire day walking. Granted not all of these folks are overweight but it should be noted that their activity level does not protect them from obesity. What you eat rules over everything else. Just a brain flash that went to my typing fingers. ;-)

    Jack Lalane said that " Exercise is king and nutrition is the queen." I think that if you are balancing exercise with food intake then exercise will make up for many diet shortcomings. The people you note, although they are walking and seemingly active probably aren't doing enough compared to whatever it is they are eating.

    As an interesting note, I eat huge amounts of food and I eat 7-8 times per day. The weight just seems to drop off of me even though I am fighting to gain. I have never been overweight and never had problems gaining or losing. While weight training I went from 177 to 220 (slowly over 2 years) decided I didn't like it anymore after hitting my late 40's so dropped the weight in 6 months.
    Now, since revamping my diet 15 lbs fell off(that I wasn't trying to lose) that I can't seem to get back no matter how hard I try. I was at my preferred weight of 183-185 lbs and fell quickly to 168. A couple of weeks ago I ended up at 166…YIKES!

    "BUT" I just went on a cruise last week and although I tried my best to eat well, considering I had no control over cooking, I gained 8 lbs. I didn't eat as much as when I am at home and I had no sweets or deserts. But they had no brown rice so I ate white, I had about 3 small pieces of bread over 8 days (I don't eat wheat)plus I have no idea whet they cook with. Bottom line the weight came on fast. Back home and back to my way of eating (and more food than on the cruise) and I dropped 4 lbs in a couple of days. I have tried not working out for a week or two but that didn't work. I either stayed the same or still lost. If I work out the weight just disappears and I struggle to get it back until next training session and so on.

  113. Ha ha. I couldn't watch the youtube videos you posted chief because I was sitting next to what Gabriel calls my "wife" and didn't want to look like a slacker (plus, she was listening to something).

    But after Sheila's comment I realized you were talking about the one and only Basil Marceaux, my favorite politician. I'm hoping he'll make a run for the White House. Go Basil Marceaux… dot com.


    Aurora is doing okay. Her skin is finally clearing up after her sugar fiasco, which was crazy. Healing was all WAY ahead of schedule across the board. She's already eating salad and stuff like that. Braces off in 6 weeks. We are gonna make out for like, at least 4 minutes.


    I would do what Jon Gabriel did to help his cat, who was underweight, to gain weight. He dieted him for a month. The kitty was like, "meow, meow, meow" for a whole month, and afterwards he gave him the full buffet of the tastiest tuna East of the Mississip and he chunked right up. Dieting is amazing for making your body more proficient at weight gain.


    What I can't believe is how many really fat marathon runners I've seen lately. Unbelievable. I wouldn't have thought it possible until you passed on that Cosgrove article. But yeah, they exist. One of Aurora's friends runs 100 miles a week and is like 50 pounds overweight.

  114. Hi Tommy,

    Much of what you are saying is the point that I am making…

    "The people you note, although they are walking and seemingly active probably aren't doing enough compared to whatever it is they are eating." (i.e. they eat too much to the activity, which means it is their diet overshadowing their activity level)

    Your personal example also proves this same point because you eat cleaner than anyone that I have ever heard of! Eating really good (diet) makes it really hard to be obese).

    And finally, when you went on your cruise, you ate food that wasn't so good (bad diet) and you gained weight easily.

    Brother, we are on the same page here, LOL! ;-)

  115. That's interesting about the marathon runners and the postal workers, but not surprising given what we know. It just goes to show the average person has no clue how to go about losing fat. I've noticed Weight Watchers and calorie counting are fairly common. I definitely think any regular reader of this blog has the upper hand despite how confusing the information may be.

    I'd swear I'm becoming leaner, although if it is happening, it's happening very slowly. I'm at a point, for a guy, where I can look good wearing fitted clothes. I don't like even a small paunch protruding but I'm wondering if I even want it to go all the way down as it may be better to look a little filled out rather than scrawny.

    Anyway, it seems to be happening despite huge off days. Like the time I just bought whatever and ate maybe 5000 calories in crap in a single day. Or the time I made chocolate peanut-butter chip cookies and finished them off in two separate binges. Off days always ruin sleep and lower temps.

    It seems overall to be related to a gradual level of healing. Eating well and keeping "toxins" low overall. I think it takes a long time to rebuild or heal anything. Think how long it takes to build muscle. And we know it takes months or years to overcome adrenal fatigue. And just look at GAPS diet. That takes a year or so to heal the gut.

    The point is heal/restore your body and it will go back to its natural state, although it may take a long time to get there.

    I think it's really good all the information we're getting on acute vs. chronic stress. I really give kudos to Matt for deprogramming us from the "exercise to lose weight" mentality that leads to long term cardio in the first place.

    Well, it appears I have the ability to ramble as usual. Better sign off…

  116. Matt,

    It was Rachel Cosgrove's husband, Alwyn (who is one the biggest names in training) who finally explained it, where it made sense to me.

    If you are training where fat burning is your primary fuel source, your body is going to preferentially store fat to be used for fuel. Now I understand what he meant when he kept saying "if you want to burn off bodyfat, you have to deplete your glycogen stores". It is kind of like going on a long car trip…you wouldn't shovel your trunk full of coal in case you run out of gas, LOL! (Sorry Jenny…I'm stealing from your car analogies!)

  117. The real will,

    To add to your statement in regards to fat as the fuel source,

    i agree that all the exercises viewed as "fat burning" ie steady state long duration, leads to increased fat storage, it is not due directly to the fuel used more to the stress involved in those types of activities. I disagree in terms of working out fasted where glycogen may be partially depleted, or in terms of extended fasting (days) where combined with a moderate ( far from matt's style lol) hike. where you make up for it through post training feeding. I have seen no such correlation with fat gain in those cases, regardless of macronutrient ( within reason)
    or calorie intake.

    truth be told, although only within certain ratios your almost always burning some fat even just sitting at a desk. glycogen is the primary fuel responsible for lifting a heavy weight let's say while the normal functions of the body are not maintained with glycogen during this activity.
    i haven't found any good research on lifting weights fasted but I have lifted after days of fasting and noticed no missing "power" (although zero carb long term must be brutal) I think at least some glycogen is always there as a survival system. kind of like energy reserves for samus on metroid :)

  118. YEP MATT, BASIL ALL THE WAY , and his vice president,
    Alvin Greene south carolina democratic senate nominee whose military record shows "inability to express thought clearly" "a threat to others" due to his "consistent inability to follow instructions or maintain basic job knowledge."

  119. Shiela,
    thanks for sharing eddie izzard…. hes got crazy boots. he's much funnier with legos adds quite a dynamic :)

  120. @chief:
    Mentioning metroid was the last thing necessary for me to put you into the same coolness category like Matt. Congratulations!

  121. madmuhhh, thanks , the song that now pops in my head "your the best around" feeling : Like I just took out johnny with my my swan kick !

  122. ll

  123. Hi Matt :)

    Since obsity is on topic, I just wanted to let everyone know I have my own obesity blog now, and I hope to provide the best quality I can.



  124. Has anyone read "Transformational Weight Loss" by Charles Eisenstein? It's available for free online at foodsanity.org.

    He also talks of how willpower, self-control and dieting don't work in the long term, and how for a lot of people it's an emotional thing above all else.

  125. And a summary of the message of his book could use the exact same words as the last sentence in this post!

  126. And, Matt, I just want to say that your site (and comments on other sites) has definitely changed the way I'm doing things.

    Only weeks ago I was damn sure (except for a niggling doubt that I tried to silence) that low-carb was the way for me in an effort to rid myself of 40-odd pounds of excess weight that I've accumulated over the last few year. I've lost weight in the past by going low-carb but didn't want to admit that it would always come back – I thought I just had to really embrace the low-carb way and accept that it was for me. As much as I love meat, fat, eggs, cream, etc., I love milk and potatoes too much to give them up forever!

    Focusing on hormonal imbalances as a healing method feels right for me. I think you're really on the money with this approach.

    After 1 week of RRARF, my morning temps are up from 95 to 97.7 and I have slightly more energy for more hours of the day but I'm sure my adrenals are pretty fried, so I'm looking at it as a long-term thing. I tick all the boxes for adrenal issues, not just for symptoms but for possible causes – PTSD being the main one, as well as the fact that it would be usual for me to get 4 to 5 hours of broken sleep per 24 hrs over the last 6 or 7 years. Plus, I basically lived off trans-fat filled junk and refined sugar, as well as 5-6 coffees per day (3 sugars in each, usually) for most of that time, as well. Oh, and at least 2 quarts of choker-cola per day, and most of that in the evening.

    I do think that a WAPF-style diet (bone broths, raw milk, a lot of sat fat, fermented CLO, coconut oil) running alongside my primary crap one helped prevent me from totally crashing and burning.

    Anyway, thanks for the food for thought!


  127. I still think diets are over thought. equal parts complex carbs and lean meat, along with veggies and fruit, and you don't have to be so persistent planning and counting.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>