Glucose Clearance

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“My high sugar diet has really improved my glucose clearance. My 1-hour post-prandial readings decreased from 120′s to the upper 90′s. My waking temps are 97.8, up to 98.4 after eating (that’s during the first half of my cycle, I get even hotter the second half).

Plus I’m happy, energetic, sleeping well and waking up spontaneously and well rested at about 6am.

I’m enjoying eating lots and lots of fruit, some milk, a little gelatin here and there, lots of carbs, a smattering of meat and veggies. I avoid [polyunsaturated fats], but not obsessively. And I eat Lemon Sorbet whenever I feel like it. :-)”

~Jessica Johnson

I’m in Reno for a couple of months, and, naturally, I went to a casino restaurant where some Asian dude (not Debbie’s husband) was putting on a cooking show – chock full of cheesy jokes, spatula acrobatics, and unnecessary explosions. And afterward, my buddy Aaron, weird diet warrior and follower of the 180 blog since way back, struck up a conversation with an older gentleman sitting on the other side of the Teppanyaki griddle.

“Well, you gotta watch out for sugar and carbohydrates in your diet now, my Doctor says,” I hear the gray-haired gentleman say.

I tried to hide my smile and prayed Aaron would shut the hell up and just talk about basketball, like a normal guy.  Oh but no.  He had to make a spectacle out of it and mention that I had written a book about type 2 diabetes.  Then he put me on the spot to somehow convince this guy, in a sentence or two, shouting across this giant, steaming, soy sauce target, that carbohydrates didn’t cause blood sugar to become too high.  I didn’t give it much effort.  It’s not that easy of a thing to explain.  Well, not on the spot at least.

Here is a quick and easy-to-grasp primer on why the belief that carbohydrates cause diabetes or some other nonsense is simple-minded fad thinking, more akin to rumor than fact.  Not to use a worn-out metaphor, but blaming carbohydrates for diabetes is like blaming firemen for fires, just because there are usually a lot of firemen around when a building is aflame.

In a healthy person, when you eat a meal rich in carbohydrates (as well as fat and protein), the body secretes insulin.  This insulin takes the sugar and amino acids that hit the bloodstream from the food you just ate and stores it away into skeletal muscle and the liver primarily.  Accompanying this process is a rise in glycogen synthase, an enzyme that helps to convert sugar into its storage form as glycogen.  Also, right after a high-carb meal, you see a big increase in glucose oxidation – the body is busy burning sugar for energy.

All these things combine to maintain homeostasis – keeping sugar levels in the blood stable by quickly “clearing” glucose out of the bloodstream by a combination of storing it away into muscles as glycogen and burning sugar at an accelerated rate.

But with the rapid surge of insulin resistance, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes that we’re seeing in the world today – this process is getting progressively worse.  Insulin resistance means that the body’s liver and muscle cells are less responsive to the hormone insulin, which stores this stuff away and seems to be the CEO of this whole glucose clearance process.  The more insulin resistant a person becomes, the less glycogen synthase they produce after a meal, the less sugar he or she burns after a meal, and the more slowly sugar is cleared out of the bloodstream.

In other words, slow glucose clearance is one of the early signs of there being a defect in glucose metabolism.  When glucose metabolism shows significant impairment, it’s referred to as “impaired glucose tolerance.”

“Impaired glucose tolerance is an intermediate category between normal glucose tolerance and overt diabetes, and it can be identified by an oral glucose tolerance test. Subjects with impaired glucose tolerance have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and therefore form an important target group for interventions aimed at preventing diabetes.”

-New England Journal of Medicine

The horrifying trend taking place currently is looking at this issue as precisely that – an ‘intolerance’ to glucose.  When you do not tolerate something, you stay away from it.  But that is extremely flawed thinking.  Try to fix problems by tackling them head-on before looking to permanent restrictions of one of the three sources of calories – carbohydrates.

We should be looking for ways, not just to identify impaired glucose tolerance, but to repair this intolerance.  That’s how I look at things, and is precisely why such a high percentage of people, like Jessica Johnson up above (but even some full-blown type 2 diabetics), have had such great success with improving glucose metabolism on the 180D approach.  Fixing this problem is one of the single most important things to know how to reverse in the 21st century.  And the best answers for how to achieve it in a sustainable and lasting way appear to reside here.

What should the focus be on?

I think the rate of glucose clearance should be the focus, Clarence.  The more insulin sensitive a person is, usually the faster their rate of glucose clearance.  Someone with ideal glucose metabolism should be able to eat hundreds of grams of carbohydrates in a matter of minutes without seeing much of a rise in blood glucose at all.  And this is an achievable thing.

So you grasp the concept, let’s say someone eats 4 slices of cheese pizza.  At 1 hour their blood glucose is at 170 mg/dl.  At 2 hours their blood glucose is at 110 mg/dl, and at 3 hours their blood glucose is back to what is a normal fasting rate at about 85 mg/dl.  That is some pretty crappy glucose clearance.

But after a month of raising metabolic rate, sleeping more, reducing stress, and eating a higher carbohydrate diet, that exact same portion of 4 slices of cheese pizza should now send blood glucose to only around 100 mg/dl at the 1-hour mark, and be back to normal in less than 2 hours.  Normal might also be a little lower.  Like 70-75 mg/dl.  That would represent a substantial increase in the rate of glucose clearance, and signifies a tremendous improvement in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

This may sound like a radical improvement for such a short period of time, but that ain’t nothin.’  A non insulin-dependent type 2 diabetic I worked with recently had her glucose clearance go from 340 mg/dl an hour after a meal to 130 mg/dl an hour after a meal – despite the meal having tons of carbohydrates.  It didn’t happen overnight though.  It took over a week to see this improvement.

There is much to be explored with glucose clearance, including exploring various meal frequencies, circadian rhythms, types and volumes of exercise, and something we may discuss in the future called glycogen supercompensation (where, by depleting stored carbohydrates, you create a greater reserve for stored glycogen and are thus able to clear much greater levels of carbohydrates out of the bloodstream – and there is some indication that the size of the glycogen reserve has a direct link with health and vitality).

But whether you are neurotic enough to play around with a glucose meter and track this for yourself or not (I wouldn’t recommend it, health fanaticism is a disease potentially worse than diabetes), you can at least take a sigh of relief and realize that you are now free from dully thinking that avoidance of foods that “spike your blood sugar” is the solution to rising rates of glucose in your blood.  It is not.  It can actually make the root problem worse and impair glucose tolerance and glucose clearance even further.  Do not accept insulin resistance as your fate.  Like Michael Jackson, just beat it.  How?  By being like Weird Al… Just eat it.  Food that is.

 

276 Comments

  1. First ! Haven’t read the article yet to say anything coherent at the moment :)

    Matt, would love for you to do a re-post of your old Circadian rhythms post – I think you may have revisited some of the ideas you expressed in that post.

    Reply
    • Reading a lot about circadian rhythms now and making a lot of observations amongst those whom I communicate with directly. Someday my friend. Some day.

      Reply
      • What titles are you reading?

        Reply
  2. LMFAO…..where the hell do you find all these pictures you post on your articles..kid crying cause of santa clause death now weird al…I’m besides myself.

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  3. No way I’d want to measure my blood glucose for more than a few days before getting tired/bored of it. I lasted about a week with refractometer urine measuring. (It was educational, though.)

    I kind of cheated and used a “Glucose Disposal Agent” supplement for a couple of months to get my muscle cells used to really soaking up a lot of glucose. I’m off it now and glucose still seems to get into the muscles just fine, especially post workout. (The GDA was really interesting though. It was like being on a post-workout pump all day long.)

    I also used heavy carb meals plus milk & molasses (thanks for that one!) to induce a “healing trance” (aka food coma) and heal a back injury in a few days. My chiropractor was impressed.

    Taking morning temps isn’t my thing, but I do measure temps after meals, and always pull 98.6-99.2 depending on how carb-o-licious the meal was.

    All the caloric surplus and high-carb eating feels great. Gym strength keeps going up, sleep is great, etc. Now if only I could convince my body to gently drop some of its excess bodyfat while still eating like it was my job…That would be so nice. :-)

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  4. Matt, I have personally experienced that I can comfortably ‘clear’ a large serving of carbs especially after weight training and the same quantity consumed on rest days might leave me a bit sleepy.

    I know you mentioned that you would discuss ‘glycogen supercompensation’ in a later post, but one quickie question :) The definition of this sounds like what can be achieved with IF.
    Fasting in the morning hours and eating biggish later (ala leangains) leaves me exhausted as I definitely need breakfast. So would doing a more ant-social fast where the eating is in a 8 hour morning window provide benefits wrt improving glycogen reserves and clearance? Also, is 8 hours a magic number or can that be stretched out a bit ? Thanks !

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    • Well I think the pursuit of glycogen supercompensation leads to an inconsistent and neurotic health approach. But the premise behind it is fascinating. I mean, if it were true that having low glycogen reserves was somehow causal, in part, of a low metabolism or impaired glucose clearance, then it would be interesting to pursue some of the easy tricks to increase glycogen reserves. And that just seems to be a matter of emptying glycogen, followed by refilling glycogen. This would equate to eating less often, eating high-carb meals less often, doing hard exercise, alternating undereating and overeating/calorie cycling, or a combination. Like Chief’s approach. Basically.

      It looks like there are some researchers thinking along these lines that just published something a couple months ago…

      http://casereports.bmj.com/content/2012/bcr.03.2011.3939.abstract

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      • Thanks Matt. But phew -> ” A healthy subject fasted for 44 h (water allowed) ” -> Mama Mia ! a 44 hour fast. They did not mention what this poor subject did after this fast though. Must have pigged out big time :)

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      • So is this why the Chinese doctor told me to use tapioca to treat (successfully) my hypoglycemia when I was 19 years old? That saved my life btw, I was having nasty seizures. I was under strict orders to eat at least a 1/2 cup of tapioca pudding every morning and every time I felt badly. I don’t really know why it worked. I thought it was bogus. But, my Mom insisted.

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      • So an early dinner and skipping breakfast would be natural fast everyday! Matt eating high carb meals less often – i hope that doesn’t translate to high protein meals often??

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        • There are many established ways to increase glycogen storage. Thes simplest, with the least amount of work seems to be exercising for 3 minutes at high intensity.

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      • “inconsistent and neurotic health approach” – isn’t that you, in a nutshell?

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        • Yes. Trying hard to change my ways.

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    • Narain,
      There is no true magic number for a fast. It’s just that 8 hour window as a rule of thumb applies to a large part of the population due to body size, lifestyle and other factors. Some may hit it in 5 hours an get no added benefit with 3 more hours. Some people may need it to be slightly longer at first as a kick start. From one person to the next it can vary in duration and achieve the similar results. That’s where listening to your body falls into play. If your hungry at hour 5, the hunger is there for a reason, trying to be the “boss” and pushing it can lead to serious trouble ( rebound weight gain among other things like temp drops ) and at the same time do absolutely nothing for you.

      In most people about 75 % of the biochemical changes that occur in fasting will be found in the 16-24 hour window. Technically speaking you fast while sleeping so 8 hrs in the morning plus roughly 8 hours of sleeping would be 16 hours.

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      • 14 hours for the ladies yo

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        • hey Deb, :) 14 hours for lil’ ass boys too yo’ !
          Its’ more of a size thing than a gender thing. Women just usually have less muscle to store glycogen and usually have less eating capacity( Sonya Thomas, Gal Sone WTF??) exactly like the featherweight boys. Some Really big girls jumping into IF for the first time looking to lose weight might not even see much happen using a14 hour time frame starting out.

          Again counting it with a clock instead of how you feel is not optimal, some petite ladies do well with less than 14 hours and using the clock in this case would be counterproductive going all the way to 14 not to mention requiring some serious will power. Many women are fine with 24 hour time frames. Use these windows as rough guidelines and tweak it by how you feel.

          Getting significant changes past that 75 % I mentioned takes a lot longer than an extra 24 hours. translation = don’t push it, not much benefit for the effort extending past your sweet spot.

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          • awesome! i am giving IF another shot; I tried it last year after I had a few months of low carb/paleo then jumped back on the carb wagon. i found IF to be really interesting and it felt great to not worry about eating for a while. however, i joined this IF group and got overhwelmed and frustrated. i’m a pretty small chick, short and weight-wise, and just wanted to IF for health and if i lost some body fat that wouldn’t horrible. anyhow, my sweet spot has ranged between 14 – 23 hours, with one magical day where i felt awesome for 25 hours. that was a good day! but i felt like i was not “good” at IF if i couldn’t make it past 14 hours, my goal being 24 hours a couple times a week. i guess what i’m babbling about is that i like your post because it seems like i can be a little more flexible until i get used to it. i only tried it for a couple of months, and probably need more time. i like the sweet spot idea, thank you.

          • your welcome

          • Chiefrok, what is the sweet spot? How does it feel? Did I miss where you explained it? And do you think that someone who usually can’t do without breakfast due to an almost certain crash at 11, can still do IF or must get stronger first? Or will IF create that strength? Thanks!

          • hard to explain, I’m going to post up a guide to fasting that will help with this.

            crash at 11, your not doomed for life but certainly not ready to hit it up now. feasting will create that strength not fasting, that and getting your meal times to pop up at a solid time, and getting proper rest at the same exact time.

          • Thanks for the reply!

  5. It is interesting how many of the fruitarian (80/10/10 to be PC) crowd are proud of their blood sugar readings after consuming a blender-full of pureed fruit. I have seen several videos of readings via a glucometer after such a meal with ranges within what is considered optimal. Looking at some of those 30BAD message boards, it seems pretty consistent that people are having good results with a high-sugar diet (although they would argue that it is because it is natural, unprocessed sugar from fruit). When I decided to trash my fairly low carb/paleo diet I experimented with a mostly fruit diet for a couple of weeks. Since I was not sure how my body would react, I used a glucometer and noticed that after only a few days I could consume a large smoothie chock full of dates, bananas and orange juice and still have blood sugar reading below 120 mg/dl. On the first couple of days it was around 140 (which is not bad considering my prior diet) and I think it was just that my body was not used to the carbohydrate load, especially high-glycemic dates blended in a smoothie. As far as I know I am not metabolically deranged, but found that it did not take long for my body to manage a high sugar diet. The experiment did not last longer than a couple of weeks because I found myself having trouble staying warm (and was tired of getting up to pee a couple of times a night)!

    Reply
    • I wonder what would happen if they supplemented 100 grams of protein to their fruitarian diet? Good results without a lowering of metabolic rate, urine concentration, loss of muscle mass, etc.? Nothing makes me colder than an all fruit diet. At least on a per calorie basis. But I could stay plenty warm eating Swedish fish!

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      • How about eating almost nothing but fruit and canned sardines? I’ve been considering this experiment myself to try for a few weeks. I’m thinking 2-3 cans of sardines a day (about 6-9oz of fish) and fruit ad libitum. Is this going to kill me Matt? :P

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        • The PUFAs from sardines and fructose from the fruit, if eaten together, could lead to fatty liver. I would eat lean fish/seafood with fruit and starches with sardines/other oily fish.

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          • Well I eat them canned in water, not canola oil (yuk!), but I can’t find data for sardines canned in water. So I don’t know how much of the PUFA content in the oil-canned ones comes from the canning oil.

            I really don’t think I’m going to get fatty liver from eating fish. I mean, honestly, it’s fish. Really?

          • The PUFA content of sardines is about 10.5 to 12% of total calories.

          • Well I’m not doing it anyway because I got tired of eating sardines after like 2 meals. So it’s largely moot.

          • You should read Chris Masterjohns blog posts about choline and fatty liver. If you get enough choline fatty liver doesn’t happen no matter how much booze, fructose and fat you consume. As much as I love Matts approach of just eating the food, it’s situations like that where certain nutrients make a difference that keeps me seeking nutrition info.
            http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2010/12/meeting-choline-requirement-eggs-organs.html?m=1

        • You might want to watch out for those canned fishes. I earned myself a nasty kidney stone from too much canned fish.

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          • I’m not trying to be an ass, but what makes you so sure it was the canned fish?

      • Now Swedish fish is some seafood I can get crazy with! :)
        I especially love the larger ones at the mall. But, rare do I
        buy these for cost.

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      • I got back into eating a higher fruit diet again after my 2 year stint that left me cold, malnourished and craving eggs like crazy. Now that I allow myself to eat eggs with salt and forget about the perfect 80/10/10 ratio, my temps have not fallen back like they were when I had done that style of eating. Also, knowing what I know now about our produce here in the states and how depleted the soils are(thank you RBTI) I realize that the fruits we get in the market are so devoid of sugars a.k.a minerals and are pretty much mostly water and fiber ( I think someone on here coined the phrase “water bombs”). As we all know, this is a nightmare for someone who is hypoglycemic. The eggs seem to help keep the sugars up. Not sure if it is the extra bit of protein or the fat or the combination of both, but I’m finally able to reap much of the benefits that the high fruit diet is known for, like the baby soft glowing skin,clear mind and wonderful digestion without the negatives such as the loss of heat, muscle mass and the having to get up to pee several times a night. If one is going to try the 80/10/10 way of eating, I think a great balance is to allow yourself the fruit carbs without fear of adding some animal products and the “dreaded” fat. Some of us could use more than the 10% fat and we should not fear it. Small amounts of natural fats and proteins have really helped me find the sweet spot with a higher fruit diet.

        Blessings and love,

        Jennifer

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  6. People who have insulin resistance have been ‘just eating it’ for a long time. Carb restriction is not the initial cause of insulin resistance for the vast majority. I don’t believe in the insulin overload causes desensitization of insulin receptors hypothesis but it also doesn’t make sense in the vast majority of cases that carb restriction was the initial cause of insulin resistance. I fail to see how ‘just eating it’ will help these people.

    Reply
    • I guess that depends on ‘just eating it’ entails. I think you are totally right that carb restriction is not the root of the problem (usually it is a response some folks take to attempt to deal with the problem). Some have hypothesized (Ray Peat for one) that it is the damage of excessive consumption of processed polyunsaturated fat that is causing many of the problems. Thyroid dysfunction can play a big part. A lot of these fruit-folks have been on their high carb diet for years without apparent blood sugar problems but then again such a diet is typically free of processed oils.

      Reply
    • It is interesting that Americans and Europeans eat amongst the lowest carbohydrate diets in the world though. And combined with sedenatrism and frequent feeding perhaps discourage glycogen storage in the same way that exercise and fasting increases glycogen storage.

      Just eating it, sleeping more, relaxing more… decrease glucocorticoid production. Glucocorticoids prevent glucose from being stored. Excess glucocorticoids are probably more at the root of insulin resistance. It’s probably a good idea to look at the hormones that raise blood sugar when looking at a disease of excess blood sugar.

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      • Yes. I’m almost positive stress plays a huge role.

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  7. Matt, what do you think of Dr. Schwarzbein’s ideas? I have been reading some of her work lately and find it to be pretty interesting. She seems a bit carb phobic even though she definitely recognizes that you need them and asserts that her plan is not low carb. She is pretty fond of protein but I thought protein causes an insulin response also.

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  8. Matt, super article again.

    From what I’ve read of yours, I can assume you favor starches over fructose-rich carbs. When you say “carbs” in this article, are you referring to all sources of carbohydrates?

    Per the 180 Kitchen instructions, I’m playing around with a High Carbohydrate diet. Figured that if 0%Carb/80%Fat was radically muscle-wasting and harmful, the exact opposite diet might prove beneficial. With my many digestive issues, I’m hoping that focusing on shoveling down resistant starches (while ignoring the sugary/frucotsey carbs) will really help my digestion and body composition.

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  9. Matt, the article was great and full of promises, but where is your solution? Do I have to buy a book to find out?

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  10. Hi Matt, I have a friend who is in her mid thirties, tall and slender, and has just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I have passed on your diabetes book, but I really have no idea if this is relevant to her or how to help. Any comment on difference between type 1 and 2? apparently if you have type 2 long enough it can become type 1 (failure of pancreas to produce insulin at all).

    Reply
    • Type 1 and 2 diabetes are completely different diseases that simply share similar functions – your friend’s height, weight and age have absolutely zero to do with why she got type 1 diabetes, it’s almost entirely genetic (though can be brought on by certain environmental precursors I think). Probably Matt’s stuff will help her manage it, and the worst thing she could do is go low-carb.

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      • Seems to me the worst thing a type 1 diabetic can do is eat high carbs, unless she is injecting insulin. Even then, Dr. Bernstein thinks otherwise. His idea is that when you inject insulin, you are probably going to give yourself the wrong dosage (either too much or too little, either of which may be a problem). To minimize this dosage “error,” he recommends eating little if any carbs so that you can inject a much smaller amount of insulin.

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      • From the words of my friend, this is how it has been framed for her “Type 1 is an autoimmune desease, my immune system has started to attack healthy cells in my body. It had nothing to do with my life style or diet. It just decided to go jump shift on me for unbeknown reasons. I have to take Insulin for the rest of my life together with a well managed diet and watching/counting my Carbs. I can still have a drink now and then but won’t be going on a ‘bender’ any time soon to never again.”
        So any input to share on this ‘management plan’ and the way the doctor has described it to her?
        ta,
        R.

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        • I also have a friend who is a type 1 diabetic and he definitely drinks plenty, and has some sugar, too, and eats carbs. He’s not a carb hound or anything, but he eats a pretty normal diet. He seems to be doing pretty well from what I can tell.

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        • My brother is Type 1 and he definitely eats his sugar and will have a drink now and then. He made crepes with raspberry compote last time I visited.

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  11. I really don’t understand the fact that having a high-carbohydrate diet can increase one’s risk of Diabetes. In Asian countries I’ve been to, almost all of their cuisines serve rice. Well, we all know that rice is high in carbohydrates and if broken down, will yield to sugars. But Asians have lower incidences of Diabetes compared to Americans. All I can say is that it’s not merely the type of diet one is used to, I guess we should all look on how a person lives.

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  12. could you briefly talk about the connection between blood glucose levels and refractometer readings. Specifically if you are quick to clear glucose after a high carb meal would it show up in the refractometer as a high reading since it is being cleared out of the system? Or does the clearance not show up in the urine because it goes to the muscles? Or something else??
    Basically, I’m wondering if it is possible to use a refractometer instead of a glucose meter for testing purposes…

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  13. I can see that you feel the need to use Asian stereotypical models such as Beni Hana chefs and what not.
    I challenge you to a Kung Fu off at high noon.
    Don’t be late Grasshopper.
    My wife will supply the wet noodles that I will slap you to death with.
    That is all
    Debbie’s Husband

    Reply
  14. how BRILLIANT! Now I can just link to this post, instead of trying to explain why sugar isn’t bad. Because I can’t explain. I am only a believer. :)

    Reply
    • “health fanaticism is a disease potentially worse than diabetes” – quotable

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  15. I was hoping somebody can chime in with some advice. Besides being overweight (5’3, 190lbs), the biggest issue I’m trying to resolve is intense tiredness/fatigue. I am tired every single day of my life. All day, every day. Brain tired is the best way to describe it. My eyes always feel heavy, and I have very little motivation (except to eat!). So I’ve been taking my morning temps, and they are hovering between 96.8 – 97.3. A little low after reading Matt’s e-books. I bought a blood glucose testing thingie and have averaged 95 in the morning, and 105-108 post-prandial, which surprises me as I thought it would be worse considering how I’ve treated my body, but obviously can be improved. I’ve had a blood test recently and all vitamin levels were good, except vitamin D which as low. I’ve been on 200mcg of thryoxine for 2 years since having a thyroidectomy, but am dropping back to 150mcg as my TSH/T3-4 levels were really high.
    So my question is: where do I begin? Do I just try and eat HED? More sugar, less sugar? Starch it up? As much as losing weight would be great, it pales in comparison to feeling tired everyday, and that is what I want resolved more than anything. I don’t have a stressful life at the moment, and am committed to resolving the Vit D thing with adequate sun, but I just would love for someone to push me in the right direction or just offer their 2 cents. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Tanya, sure you are sleeping well ? low fat ? not recently doing any raw vegan or some kind of low carb diet? rarrfing it up would most likely result in some immediate improvements. get some sun for sure! :)

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      • Hi Chief – thanks for your response. I’ve always thought sleeping might be a problem. I sleep fairly consistently, around 7 hours a night, sometimes 8 when I’m lucky. But I always want more. But just recently, I moved interstate for several months, where it is a bit cooler, and I was sleeping 9-10 hours a day and no change feeling tired/fatigue, although rather happy sleeping that much! So I’ve sort of ruled sleep problems out. Definitely no low fat. No raw vegan or really low carb, but often my carbs add up to less than 50% of my diet. My diet sucks in terms of just very little consistency. One day I’m eating fairly ‘healthy’, and the next I’m bingeing on sugar and carbs. I’m sure that’s not helping. I don’t know what I want, and my mind and body seem to be at odds with each other. Again, I’m positive that discord is not helping, and I am trying to get some peace with that.

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        • Hey Tanya, I’m trying to picture 190 at 5′ 3 and I wouldn’t rule out sleep apnea.If you are chest heavy it might be keeping you from sleeping properly all through the night. time in bed does not always equal time asleep or resting.

          the healthy one day binge the next is not a good idea what so ever. Just eat what you want for now working on getting your quality of life up. you subconscious knows what it needs, it might just be sugar. Nows not the time to force feed broccoli!

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          • Thanks again Chief. I just booked into my GP to discuss this and perhaps get a referral to a sleep testing center. My mother has sleep apnea so it probably is worth getting tested. She felt like shit all the time too at my age. Hmmm, seems like an obvious path to pursue now I put that on paper…

            As for the broccoli/sugar dichotomy….I agree. It’s a real battle for me to let go, but I am trying. I wonder what chocolate coated brocolli tastes like??

          • try sleeping on your side, it can help for light cases. a tennis ball duck taped to the back of your shirt can keep you from sleeping on your back. Also you might try raising the head of your bed with bricks or books and using a cervical pillow to make your head sit a little differently.

          • Thanks Chief, I’ll try the tennis ball tonight and see how it goes.

          • Tanya,
            Have you checked for adrenal fatigue? Thyroid issues and adrenal issues often go hand in hand. I highly recommend reading at stopthethyroidmaddness.com. Nothing to do with food, but figuring out your adrenal status. Apparently you can’t get a good outcome from thyroid treatment without addressing adrenal health as well. TONS of incredible patient experience/advice on that site. There will also be info on your thyroid meds/how you should feel/what the best med treatments are and how to go about getting them.

          • Hi Sandi – I’ve never had my adrenals checked – didn’t know I should! A couple of other people have responded too recommending stopthethyroidmadness and I’ve just been going over the website and getting more and more pissed at what I didn’t know. I did one of the basic adrenal tests they recommend (pupil test) and failed miserably. The advice I’ve been given from everyone here has been more than helpful. It’s motivated me to find support and I’ve found a doctor in the city where I live who tests everything relevant and goes on patients symptomns, not just lab results. And I agree, stopthethyroid madness is just amazing. Thanks for responding.

          • I don’t think anyone should sleep on their back, sleep apnea or not. Whenever I do sleep on my back, which happens sometimes when tossing and turning, I feel horrible when I wake up.

    • I have the same problem with being tired all the time, but mine comes and goes and I don’t even know why. I spend several days with that feeling like you feel when you first wake up, before you’ve had any coffee, and you would love to go back to bed for a few min- but I feel that way for DAYS. Then I suddenly snap out of it and back to normal. It doesn’t seem to track with my menstrual cycle, eating patterns, or anything. I just spent 4 days like that and today I finally feel better. When it happens now I just try to give my body as much sleep as I can, because that is obviously what it is crying out for (even though I sleep very well at night.) It is hard with a full-time job and two small kids to get any extra sleep but for instance yesterday I took the afternoon off and slept an extra 4 hours. I personally still think it’s a thyroid issue. It was much worse before I ever started on levothroid. If I can take some extra T3 now I do and it helps a lot but as I’ve been bitching about here for a while, the T3 makes my hair start falling out so I can’t take enough to really make a big difference. Can you play around with some T3? You can get Cynomel without an Rx, by the way. Other than that I have no suggestions- just commiserating :)

      Reply
      • Hi Tierney – I hear you, and I’m sorry that you have to go through that. It’s awful, I really know, and it would be super hard when you have a family to take care of. I’ve suspected the thyroid (not that I have one!) plays some part in this, but I’m struggling to get anyone (GP or the two endocronologists that I see) to do anything but just read their stoopid test results and say I’m fine, or I need to just adjust my dose up/down everything three months or so and then I’ll feel better, but that never happens. I’m clearly struggling and they act like because my thryoid test results are within the ridiculous test lab ranges, I’m just making it up. Frustrating. Anyhoo, I can’t get Cynomel in Australia as far as I know, but I would love to try experimenting with something different. I’m trying to find an alternative medicine practioner to work with me, but so far no joker has stood out from the pack. Will keep searching. I hope you work things out soon and feel better :-)

        Reply
        • yes, doctors are frustrating, I have a couple really good ones but even they don’t understand why I get this fatigue- they say things about how hard it is to have little kids etc etc but I have dealt with this since being a teenager (when, “coincidentally”, I decided to try to live on apples, lettuce, diet coke and cigarettes… it is possible I did some permanent damage though I don’t like to think about it.)

          I am not ruling out more drugs, at this point. I was so resistant to being on medications but a combo of thyroid meds, Lexapro and Xanax has absolutely improved my quality of life. When I think about what a basket case I was for certain periods of my life I am just very thankful that these things are there to help me. Diet can only do so much, depending on how much damage there is. So I am not ruling out something like Provigil to help me on the days when I can’t fully wake up and just want to spend a week in a fetal position under the covers :)

          I am also going to try some T2, here it is sold in places like GNC, I don’t have very high hopes for anything spectacular there but I suppose it’s worth a try.

          I hope you can find a good Doc, in the meantime treat yourself right!

          Reply
          • Tierney
            Here it is, T4 is required for hair growth…http://tiredthyroid.com/rt3.html
            You should pester this woman about thyroid hormone balance, I bet she has some good insights. If I had to make a guess I’d say that you’re not on enough T4, take the T4 up and then start adding T3.
            http://tiredthyroid.com/medications.html

            Tanya,
            Hate to tell you this and I guess you probably know already but doctors are complete donkeys when it comes to dosing thyroid hormones, Matt’s diet will help make your body more sensitive to thyroid hormones but obviously you really need to be taking the right amount and the right combination of hormones or you’re just not going to have a foundation to rebuild your metabolic health. Also you could have sleep apnea, but sleep apnea is heavily correlated with untreated or in your case poorly treated hypothyroidism, so if I where you I’d try to get someone to understand the thyroid angle first, in the mean time you should eat lots of carbs and fat, I can tell you from personal experience that dieting will only cause thyroid hormone resistance, making the process of getting medicated properly almost impossible.
            I’m really liking this woman’s blog right now you might find it helpful http://tiredthyroid.com/cv.html and this one has some thyroid groups it Australia listed, perhaps they can get you a lead on a better doc.http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/talk-to-others/
            Get well soon

          • Christal, thank you for an interesting new thyroid site. Lack of T4 is not my problem, however. I take 150 ug Levothroid and my T4 labs are always at top of range. It is only when I add in (even very small amount of) T3 that my hair starts to fall out. Every other effect from the T3 is positive- increased energy, better mood, weight loss, better skin, etc. So it’s just a mystery to me what it is that my hair needs.

          • Oh well, Dangit, I tried.

          • Christal that tiredthyroid website is great, thanks so much for that link!

          • Maybe it’s some sort of nutrient deficiency (b vitamins, iron, sulfur…). That can also make your hair prone to falling out. So can hormonal shifts, which makes sense here. When I went off the birth control pill I lost about 1/3 of my hair. It was horrible. The only saving grace was I started out with really thick hair so I still had an acceptable amount left But after 6 months or so it all started growing back. It’s possible your body would adjust after awhile. I know that’s a big risk, though.

          • Teirney
            Actually Real Army might be right, had to go back on Armour, long story, guess I’ll have to get in touch with Matt with the nitty gritty details on that, anyway picked it up today and right there on the pharmaceutical insert “Hair loss may occur during the first few months of treatment. This effect is usually temporary as your body adjusts to the medication.”

          • I am having some luck with Vit A which someone suggested to me in the comments in the last post here. I have looked at almost everything else that can cause hair loss. Was on huge amounts of iron for over a year due to reading STTM too much (I’ve decided that site is full of a lot of crap, actually.) B vits, same, at least a year on good quality supps with no difference in anything except my pee turning bright orange lol. A good hair vitamin supplement (mostly biotin, I think) really makes a difference in how my hair looks and feels (I have very fine blonde hair, so it can get really limp and flat) but it doesn’t stop the falling out. After about 5 days on Vit A my scalp is much better and it seems like less hair is coming out. I am praying that might be the answer, although it would surprise me because I feel like I must get a lot of Vit A in my diet (lots of eggs and raw milk…??) If I could raise the cytomel a bit more without massive hair loss I would be verrrrry happy and I think my fatigue problem would be much improved. I will post some sort of update on Matt’s next post in case anyone is intersted. I feel like it’s still a bit too early to tell.

          • I don’t know if Levothroid is a brand name or generic med, but my pharmacist told me that at some chain pharmacys the generic for Synthroid may be from a different manufacturers each time. For me the generic didn’t work as well as the brand name Synthroid pills.

          • Hi Christal – thanks for the information – more than helpful!

            The more information I get about my condition, the more livid I am at my current GP and not one, but two endocronologists that I see, who have done absolutely nothing to help me get well. I’ve been eating HED for a few weeks and my temperature has slowly been rising and even though I’m putting on weight like there’s no tomorrow, I feel like I’m doing something good for myself unless these dipshits who’ve completely ignored how I feel and how it impacts my life. I can’t thank Matt enough.

            Those websites are fantastic, and through many links I found a doctor here in Brisbane who takes a wholistic approach who I think will help me know end. Fingers crossed. Thanks again Christal.

    • Tanya,

      Did you have your thyroid removed? Have you tried supplementing with iodine? I’ve had hypothyoid for years and have been taking iodine for about a year. It’s essential for anyone with thyroid issues or if the thyroid has been removed. There’s a group that I belong to: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/iodine/ There are many people in that group who have had their thyroids removed and given their lives back from iodine and the companion nutrients that should be taken with it.

      Also, in the mean time, I found that eating vanilla ice cream (pref Haagen Dazs!) a couple of times during the afternoon and then a large bowl right before bed make me sleep through the night like I’d never had before. I give a bowl to my chronically poor sleeping 7 yr old and he sleeps soundly.

      Reply
      • Hey Lanie – yes, I’ve had the thyroid removed completely and have had one treatment of radioactive iodine therapy. I’ve never taken iodine and did not know I had to after a thyroidectomy. No one has ever mentioned that to me! Thankyou for the recommendation for iodine group. I’ve just gotten approval and am going through the information now. And look, if I must eat some Haagen Dazs, I will. It would be rude not to :-) Thanks so much for your advice.

        Reply
      • Hi Nomad – thanks for the link to the website – it’s a wealth of information. I know my iron is ok, but and adrenal function not so sure. I will be following this up. Thanks again.

        Reply
  16. How can I fix my situation? I’m 52, female, overweight, and after spaghetti dinner last night my 1 hour post-prandial BS was 131, 2 hour was 136, and 3 hour was 180!!! By then it was time to go to bed. If I had some free weights around the house I would’ve pumped iron for a while to bring the BS down, but instead I went to bed feeling horrendously guilty about the damage going on inside me. I eat plenty of carbs, get plenty of rest (well, I’d like more, but who wouldn’t?) and lead a pretty stress-free life. You say this can be reversed easily?!?!?!

    Reply
    • regardless of any weights around, I’m sure you could at lest partial squat down to the ground. your legs have the biggest muscle and therefore get the biggest return on effort in terms of glucose clearance. If you are over weight and can not go very far down into a squat, start small every bit counts. Keep a couch nearby for safety to fall into.
      You could also do push ups with your abdomen or knees on the ground would give the same resistance as weights. if it is too easy, slow down the tempo considerably you’ll get an effect.

      Reply
      • Chief, interesting points. I have read that the deadlift and squat are very useful compound exercises. Unfortunately, with my long legs and flat feet, I somehow never feel comfortable/stable doing a squat so I have to stick to the darn leg press machine :(

        Reply
        • leg press machines are awesome, it will do the same exact thing as a squat for this purpose, slow tempo for best results.

          Reply
    • Hi Laurel–you might try Teresa Tapp’s hoe-down moves (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsURicKB_G8) for quick glucose-burning exercise that uses the big leg muscles and doesn’t rely much on balance. She designed the exercise for this very purpose.

      I have a hard time with how much she reminds me of gym teachers but have had good luck in the past with following some of her workout routines. Now would be a good time to start up again ;)

      Reply
  17. Routine is so simple that it’s overlooked. The mention of meal frequencies and circadian rhythm here is a good insight. Regular meal times and regular bed times are a tremendous help.

    Relaxing is also a tremendous help. “Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.” Here’s one quick note: I’ve been taking rhodiola rosea and have been finding that really helpful with my PTSD symptoms. Here’s an interesting article related to that:

    http://www.medicinegarden.com/2011/02/20/high-cortisol-ptsd-4/

    For me, identifying ‘routine’ problems is the first step. If someone’s having problems and is skipping lunch and having a light dinner and binging on cookies late at night, that’s a red flag. You can take those same cookies in the same amount and eat them after lunch and have a normal dinner, and I can almost guarantee that there would be improvement.

    Time and rhythm are overlooked elements. A cookie is not just a cookie; a cookie at 12AM is different from a cookie at 12PM. Your body will react differently to the food you’re eating, no matter what it is, depending on the window in your rhythm that you eat it in. I don’t understand how hormones work, but I do know that I feel a hell of a lot different at 12PM than 12AM, and I don’t feel the same when I eat the same food at different times.

    All of the concerns about diet and nutrition are COMPLETELY valid, and should be debated and discussed so we can keep progressing with that. But it’s important to remember that foods have a neutral element to them, and whether they’re ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ depends not only on the food’s inherent qualities, but on the state of our bodies when they’re introduced.

    I had to pretty much force feed myself early in the morning to adapt to my work schedule. It sucked for a few months, but eventually I got used to it. I usually go to bed within a two hour window (9:00PM-11:00PM) and wake up within a two hour window (5:00AM-6:00AM), and breakfast, lunch and dinner every day are within an hour or two of a window. Breakfast usually between 6:30AM and 8:30AM, lunch usually between 11:30AM-1:00PM, dinner usually between 5:30PM and 7:30PM.

    A lot of people are on a tighter schedule than me, but this is a HUGE improvement from where I was a couple years ago. Going to bed between 12:00AM and 6:00AM, waking up God knows when, skipping meals all day and eating late at night, sometimes not eating at all, etc.

    I’m tempted to veer off into nutrition/diet world, but this is the main point I want to make for this post. This is important, and paying attention to rhythm would help a lot of people. Sometimes you just need discipline: if you’re getting hungry and it’s getting near lunchtime, go eat. You have to respect your body enough to drop what you’re doing and take care of it when it needs it, and that’s been a challenge for me and I know it’s a challenge (and an overlooked one at that) for a lot of people. But it can help so much when you dial in on that.

    Reply
  18. What are your thoughts on lowering serum ferritin levels to improve glucose clearance/insulin sensitivity?

    Reply
    • Insulin sensitivity is increased by…wait for it…not eating (also by physical activity).

      Reducing body fat is always SLOWED DOWN by consuming calories. Want to prove it to yourself? Go on a water fast for several days and compare your weight loss to an equal amount of time consuming calories from whatever diet you happen to be sold on at the time.

      Who cares if insulin helps store fat? More importantly, insulin PREVENTS the body from burning fat. Once insulin levels are lowered, body fat can be burned. If your insulin levels are never lowered, your body fat would continue to be accumulated. Here is what would happen–

      Eat 100 grams of fat per day and you would gain:

      2.2 lbs. every 10 days
      22 lbs. every 100 days
      220 lbs. every 1000 days (about 3 years)
      2200 lbs. every 10,000 days (about 30 years)

      Since this is not happening, where is the body fat going? It is burned only when insulin levels are lowered. This means the obesity epidemic is being caused by chronically elevated insulin levels. How do you keep your insulin levels chronically elevated? The best way to do it is by consuming calories continuously.

      If you were to take breaks from calorie consumption between meals (like they do in France, China, Japan, Kitava, etc.), then you will have EXTREME difficulty getting obese, diabetes, insulin resistance, etc.

      Leaving cat food out all day for your tabby? Don’t be surprised if your cat gets fat.

      Giving your toddler juice between meals? Where could that childhood obesity be coming from?

      Sipping soft drinks from lunch time to dinner time? Guess what can happen?

      Think your metabolism is screwed up? Try going on a water fast. If you lose body fat then CONGRATULATIONS your metabolism is working. If not, then you should probably see a doctor. Body fat is not reduced by eating food, but only between meals when insulin levels are low enough.

      I sent Matt my blog post explaining this to his Youtube channel and got no response. I emailed Stephan Guyenet on my article explaining this on 5/02/2012 and got no response. I wrote a quick explanation for my introduction on 3 Fat Chicks On A Diet and the post was almost immediately deleted and I was banned.

      This is information I wish I had a long time ago. Finally losing weight after filtering through so many crazy ideas. I think you can view the original article by clicking on my name above.

      There is still much to figure out, but this is big.

      Reply
      • This was my fifth attempt to leave a comment. Switching to Internet Explorer worked. Google Chrome did not work. Not sure why.

        Reply
      • This is a really interesting comment. Thanks for sharing. I think you’re right about this. And we are certainly a snacking society these days.

        Reply
      • Charles – This is the same idea put forward by the intermittent fasting people. I think it definitely works. I’ve been losing weight (slowly) by skipping the occasional meal, eating more nutrient-dense foods, and just eating smaller meals.

        Reply
      • Charles, I encourage you to keep the discussion going, don’t be bothered that we disagree in some things.
        you said,
        “Leaving cat food out all day for your tabby? Don’t be surprised if your cat gets fat.”

        I’ve actually done this experiment with 100′s of cat’s and they do not get fat, dogs do not either provided other things are taken out of the equation. ( pets certainly become fat)
        liquid calories on an empty stomach for humans is a whole other thing though but it’s not only their effect on insulin that creates a problem.

        food availability or elevated insulin is not to blame directly as the cause of obesity, something else is causing people to make use of that availability and eat more, while having a biochemical profile that favors fat storage. Getting that in check is the only way to easily maintain your body weight.

        I do agree eating continuously is not optimal, and I have been saying this all along, even here on 180, going way back. I actually thought at one time, that the phenomenon you discussed was the main issue much like yourself. It is a piece of the puzzle but the rabbit hole is very deep my friend.

        I also disagree that a water fast is a good idea for testing your metabolism or to be playing with period for fat loss. Anyone would see fat burning as long as they’re alive while cutting calories 100%, including those with metabolic issues who only stand to make them worse.

        I would say that eating while losing weight is far superior in fat loss than long duration fasting by a long shot, unless of course you are not interested in long term permanent fat loss. In the short term, all forms of calorie restriction will do the trick, including the water diet but they all have the same end result. Loose skin, empty skin bag where the gut once was, rebound weight (usually more than before), terrible body function. mental issues, ultra low sex drive and yes, a lowered metabolic rate.

        Reply
        • Chief, what do you think causes pets to get fat?

          Also:
          “something else is causing people to make use of that availability and eat more, while having a biochemical profile that favors fat storage. Getting that in check is the only way to easily maintain your body weight”

          What do you think that “something else” is?

          Reply
          • Pets getting fat is caused mostly by the owner element, partially nutrition in some cases. Usually the owner passing the buck on what is causing their own issue. Sometimes it happens in a family that has no obesity issue but it’s more common in obesity prone homes.

            I’ve done many experiments to figure this stuff out, one experiment with a giant garage full of cats living on their own with giant bags of cat food open and giant litter boxes. After months and months the cat food supply never ran out and they never got fat.

            As for the “something else”

            useful reading will be added here
            http://www.chiefrok.com/blog/?p=676

            but a good start would be here
            http://www.chiefrok.com/blog/?p=212

            keep in mind getting it in check won’t instantly fix everything, but it’s importance on a scale of 1 to 10 is number one for prevention number 4 for reversal.

          • Interesting. I sure agree that stress is a massive issue, and our current lifestyle. One book I love is French Women Don’t Get Fat, and the author makes a huge deal of enjoying your food, enjoying life, relaxing, having play time and taking good care of yourself. Maybe that’s the #1 thing the French get right. When I was in France last year, I noticed how much happier people were than here in NYC. The energy was very different.

          • I have never read the book but I make it a point to tell people to fully enjoy their food as well as every other facet of their life. So it may be an interesting read. There are a few other things the french do right such as a shorter work week and more vacation to name a few.

          • That’s really good stuff Chiefrok. I’m taking this on board.

        • Interesting points here, then how do we lose weight while eating? Fasting 14 hours and then eating the food works but i still have 15 pounds extra fat on my body. I’m going to incorporate sleeping better/more.should i avoid pufas? Is that piece of the puzzle? I’m very confused. I have seen first hand the rebound fat gain after dieting and over exercising so many times that I’m not willing to do that again

          Reply
          • Maya, Nah, pufas mufas or umpa-loompas are not a big deal for obesity, avoiding them will help make your body function better but no major changes in chub factor.
            sleeping is important.
            in your case I presume without any additional info weight set point is at play and being patient helps with this in alot of people while sometimes
            it requires coaxing if in fact that 15 is not “normally” supposed to be there. sometimes it takes time to “even out” and have better composition while having the same amount of fat after finally letting the body have it’s way. Perhaps that 15 is meant to be there in a different way.
            I can’t say for sure with so little to go on.

            I’m trying to fill in the principles( the rest of the puzzle) thank you for being patient. asking questions will help me direct my attention to the more confusing aspects in the short term though so thank you to any comment contributors, constructive critics and facebook likers.

          • I like that: pufas-mufas. Inspiring stuff :)

        • Chiefrok,

          It would be interesting to see obesity occur without insulin. I’ve never heard of it happening, so I’m not sure what you are suggesting.

          In order for a cat (or probably any mammal) to become obese would require insulin levels to be elevated long enough for body fat to accumulate.

          If you put me in a room full of sauerkraut, chances are I would not become obese. But that doesn’t mean obesity isn’t caused by ad libitum eating. It has to be a source of calories (specifically carbohydrates or proteins) that one would be willing to eat often enough to keep insulin levels elevated.

          Your experiment did not falsify ad libitum eating causing obesity. It verified that the food you used was ineffective at motivating ad libitum eating.

          Reply
          • I understand what you are saying , Charles but It’s not the issue.

            Obesity would not occur without insulin much like it would not occur without gut bacteria, gastric juices, enzymes etc to provide the calories but it does not mean any of them cause the calories to enter the body in the first place. You would die without em much like insulin, these things are just mechanisms. They are not broken or malfunctioning from misuse thereby causing obesity. Obesity is a natural protection mechanism, people just need get out of harms way to prevent it.
            staying in harms way while restricting calories will lead to much worse stuff that a little flab.

            If you are saying like many people have that obesity is caused by ad libitum eating, would this be enough calories from carbs and protein sources in your opinion? http://www.chiefrok.com/blog/?p=540

            I definitely think it qualifies as ad libitum eating and regardless if you do not believe the cat experiment, I am living proof it is not ad libitum eating to blame as I tell everyone I train to eat ad libitum as part of the process to reverse obesity.

          • Matt/Charles/CHIEFROK and co,

            I have a question, how do you explain this tiny chick that eats all this and is teeny weeny? I saw this on your blog, Charles, and was curious to see everyone’s input.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5XAoC88Xrw

          • no need for explanation,most likely she is just naturally skinny.

            Someone in background “cough cough bulimic” lol

          • ahhh gotcha…. ouch, that’s a lot of food to come up the tube.

          • I don’t think it’s all that much to eat really, Sonya thomas the competitive eater eats lighter most of the time then binges this may just be a binge for this girl and then she eats a little lighter the next day as an automated response. kind of like a mini rarrf.

            space it out as breakfast, lunch and dinner it’s not much more than a typical breakfast platter.
            picture this 1/3 of that meal… 4 sausages 1 and a half eggs 4 pancackes and a slice of the pie thingy. I do think hitting it all together improves digestion and glucose tolerances and a few other minor benefits which would make it very doable for the average girl.

          • CHIEFROK, you are telepathic! I was just reading up on Sonya Thomas (probably while you were typing that response… spooky, haha) and really found it cool. I read in the FAQ’s page on her site that as you said, she eats light most of the time. Plus I noticed she mentions she’s on her feet all the time and works out like 2 hours a day…? basically said she has a super high metabolism. Either way, I think it’s interesting. I’m just trying to figure out the best way to raise my metabolism so I can eat like a boss (or Chief!) and be fat-proof :-)
            I did however read on another site how fasting and IF can be harmful for women… it’s all confusing. Do you deal with any smallish women that have reduced their BF using fasting/IF? I’m just curious. Honestly I’m just enjoying eating real food and noticed that I dont’ really get hungry until mid morning at the earliest.

          • Here’s an article about Sonya Thomas and her routines (seems her exercise schedule would raise cortisol through the roof,cause that’s close to what I did for years….and high cortisol can blunt appetite,so that’s why she might be able to live on these light meals? just a theory)
            However I am curious about the fact that,after doing the same thing for 10years her body hasn’t become used to that exerciseroutine,thus leading to fatgain/lower metabolism?

            http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB115143326125292083-7BoDMNwTItdSiHxyl1HFvYxcvvs_20060707.html

          • Though I think eating heaps as competitive eating isn’t really that much fun. I mean what’s the point of being able to eat a lot,not gain weight/fat,but having to rush it down and not being able to enjoy it?

            I think most of us like to be able to become like CHIEFROK,who doesn’t have to scarf it all down in x-minutes,but actually can enjoy his meals.

            @CHIEFROK one thing I do wonder,however,is if you never experience subtle side-effects (cause of mineral&vitamin depletion,cause that’s what regular table salt&sugar do on a daily basis) afterwards with all your eating out?

          • Chiefrok,

            I never suggested that obesity is due to the insulin mechanism being broken.

            Eating meals is not proof that ad libitum eating does not cause obesity, that is exactly the opposite of what I suggested.

          • I never said you did, charles I was simply clarifying it is not broken.

            I’m saying I always eat ad libitum and it is proof that doing so in itself does not cause fat gain let alone obesity.

          • Awesome video Charles, I’d like to point out the researchers states it is contributor to obesity not the cause like you are saying here.

            I wish I had a cool lab coat, I could have told people everything in the video ten years ago. :) maybe the will finally start doing important tests instead of low fat vs low carb mice studies.

      • Nice try Charles. But this is totally flawed, myopic, narrow-minded thinking that is refuted by research – all of which shows lower total exposure to insulin when meal frequency is higher vs. lower – not to mention lower cortisol, free fatty acids, trigs, and greater insulin sensitivity. Not that these are the only factors in obesity. Far from it. Meal frequency seems to have little to no total effect on weight regulation if calorie intake is kept constant. Eating frequently probably can increase calorie intake IF the snacks consist of very calorie-dense foods.

        http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/16/1/4.short
        http://www.ajcn.org/content/55/2/461.short
        http://articles.elitefts.com/nutrition/logic-does-not-apply-part-1-meal-frequency/

        Reply
        • Matt,

          I tried to leave a comment earlier and it didn’t work. I’ll try again.

          The first study you cited stated:

          “Subjects were assigned in random order to two 8-hr observation periods after an overnight fast.”

          The second study you cited stated:

          “The acute effect of increasing meal frequency as a model of slow absorption was studied for 1 d in 11 patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes.”

          You are arguing against cultural examples all over the world since the dawn of history eating three meals a day vs….how long were those studies?

          The last article you cited stated:

          “No matter how many meals the body gets through the day or how tightly spaced those meals, what matters for fat loss is the total calories consumed.”

          This isn’t just disputed by me. There is now evidence from the Salk Institute that proves him wrong.

          http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/abstract/S1550-4131(12)00189-1

          Reply
      • Childhood obesity is not from giving a child juice in between meals! wow how narrow-minded! I could snack all day and not gain an ounce! Same can be said of my 3 yr old who can eat pretty much anything he wants whenever he wants and still be lean with some healthy baby fat still even at only 27 pounds. We both have very fast metabolisms and its very hard to put fat on and I’ve noted that even if I get a little belly fat it can easily be reduced by just a couple days of restricting bloating type foods. I don’t think any one theory is going to crack this obesity problem because no one theory fits everyone.

        Reply
        • “Childhood obesity is not from giving a child juice in between meals! wow how narrow-minded!”

          That was an example, not the rule.

          “I could snack all day and not gain an ounce!”

          In order to eat ad libitum enough to become obese requires foods/calorie sources that one would find enticing enough to eat often enough to keep insulin elevated. I’m sorry you misunderstood that.

          Reply
          • Charles, you said
            “In order to eat ad libitum enough to become obese requires foods/calorie sources that one would find enticing enough to eat often enough to keep insulin elevated. I’m sorry you misunderstood that.”

            Now it is sounding more like you are describing a palatability theory on obesity and eating is not the true culprit the flavor is enticing them to consume excess calories and thereby elevating their insulin resulting in fat. …….but that theory can be tucked away right in there with your fructose and pufa theory you posted up last year cuz I steady rock enticing food.

            Any obesity theory needs to account for every singly human and explain the skinnies it does not affect, there are plenty of skinny people eating as much yummy food as they want all day long.

          • Palatability is true and extremely subjective. Examples:

            Cheesy Potatoes

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJGIMd3_LfY

            Corn Starch

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngQaBvz5nmA

            Here is one I cannot explain. While looking for the links to the above videos, I found this one. Calorie theory also does not explain it. This woman (it is claimed) eats 6500 calories a day of sugar and eats sugar “every hour”. Although she is not thin, she does not look like someone who eats 6500 calories a day while consuming food every hour.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMLCKh5oDwE

            That one has me stumped.

          • Why are my comments being selected for moderation?

          • charles,
            too many links in one shot, it does that automatically with wordpress.

          • Charles the freaky eaters show is hardly a good baseline for how the human body works. I’ve seen a woman addicted to eating drywall and one that eats rocks neither of those things will cause insulin to change much.

            If palatability was so subjective and varied that drastically the fast food business model would not work at all. Almost all fast food and (fine cuisine for that matter) follow the same trends because palatability is not as subjective as you make it out to be. I eat my personal favorite foods ALL the time without any of these foods causing my insulin to “spike” and make me fat like your theory suggest would happen.

            Any scientist with a theory would try to prove the theory wrong perhaps that is why you are stumped if you look around harder you will see it does not hold it’s own.

            Do I look like someone that eats 6500 calories either ? why do I not stump you as well? did I mention that I eat whatever I want and maintain my weight yet I struggled with obesity most of my life. I once thought the same as you early down the rabbit hole.
            I would think, people would listen to those that have been there done that. I only hope I can save you a bunch of wasted effort.

            your insulin theory is no different than the calorie in/out theory, without enough of either one fat will not be deposited but neither one cause anyone to become obese directly. they are only cogs in a big wheel. Focusing on the mechanisms is like saying the gas pedal makes a car go fast when without an engine it isn’t going anywhere and without a driver speeding is not possible. Focus on the “whole car” instead, the big picture.

          • “Charles the freaky eaters show is hardly a good baseline…”

            I specifically said they were examples, not a baseline. The grocery store is FILLED with foods I don’t buy. Palatability is extremely subjective. I have no idea why that statement would generate a debate. People can get obese eating foods I don’t find appealing at all.

            “I would think, people would listen to those that have been there done that.”

            Low calorie diet? Been there done that.
            Low carb diet? Been there done that.
            Low fat diet? Been there done that.
            Low protein diet? Been there done that.
            Gabriel Method? Been there done that.
            RRARF? Been there done that.
            Vegetarian diet? Been there done that.
            Low PUFA diet? Been there done that.
            I have never gained so much weight in my life as I did when I started listening to people who said they had “been there done that”. The effort was not wasted because I was able to figure out how they failed to see the cause of the obesity epidemic and filter through their theories which clearly didn’t work and compare them with experience that absolutely works without question.

            “Focusing on the mechanisms is like saying the gas pedal makes a car go fast when without an engine it isn’t going anywhere and without a driver speeding is not possible.”

            Eating food when one is hungry is something universally understood, but the effect on a person’s weight is variable. If one doesn’t know why they are gaining weight, then the “mechanism” explanation helps to understand and justify changing eating behavior to effect weight.

            I prefer not to live in the “demon haunted world” of metabolism explanations. I am not using “theories”.

            Elevated insulin prevents burning fat–proven.
            Fasting burns fat faster than consuming calories–proven.
            Eating at restricted meal times is more effective at preventing obesity than ad libitum eating of equal calories–proven.

            What part of this absolute clarity do you disagree with?

          • “changing eating behavior to effect weight.”

            D’oh, should be “to affect”.

          • Charles , I mean’t I’ve been there approaching obesity with the same concept and have consulted a ton more in the same thing, I had that theory proved it wrong and moved on to the bigger picture.

            I do feel there is benefits to fasting and meal timing, I’ve never changed my view on that. only it’s a piece of the puzzle now not the end all be all, insulin is not to blame for the obesity epidemic.

            you can keep experimenting the way you have been but the honeymoon will be short lived like your low carbing was when the weight comes back or you have to monitor calorie intake and stare at the forks of those around you and obsess.
            I’ll try to explain how i disagree with your three points

            1.) “Elevated insulin prevents burning fat–proven.”
            ok, but this does not allow a person to maintain weight loss or prove that it is to blame for the obesity epidemic.

            2.) ( this is pretty much relates to number one over again with faster thrown in the mix)
            “Fasting burns fat faster than consuming calories–proven.”
            Obviously : x amount of calories vs zero calories, zero calories wins every time. Now in certain contexts more calories will beat less and zero but thats beyond the scope of the convo. Go ahead and try a fast to lose 100 pounds and see how it goes from there. you will still struggle with eating issues, cravings and obesity the rest of your life.

            who cares if it is faster? Speed in weight loss is meaningless when there is this pesky little thing called the weight set point to overcome.
            Eating absolutely nothing at all while swimming as fast as you can in icey waters while being chased by someone trying to kill you will trump everything. It will burn a manuel Uribe’s ass-load worth of calories faster than anything else but it won’t make someone able, over the long term to maintain that weight, let alone not have a second person worth of sagging skin.

            3.) “Eating at restricted meal times is more effective at preventing obesity than ad libitum eating of equal calories–proven.”
            Don’t get me wrong here I do feel eating at specific times and not 3 squares to be beneficial. IT”S JUST NOT THE CAUSE OF OBESITY.
            If there was anything about eating at restricted meal times proven to prevent 100% of obesity cases by awesome dudes with magic papers and white lab coats michelle obama would have made it an law to fast by now.

            if you looked at the link on my blog that I sent’cha
            in the comment all three of your points should have you stumped.
            http://www.chiefrok.com/blog/?p=540
            ad libitum eating straight pawns everything!!! PROVEN

    • Original question = hijacked…

      Reply
      • Derek sorry for being part of the hijack I didn’t even notice your question lol

        Reply
  19. Matt thanks for the great visual of you and, Aaron at the restaurant. :)
    What a great laugh! Felt for you too.

    Enjoyed the post.

    Reply
  20. Hey Matt, what do you think of Drew Manning’s experiment the past year? Eating the food didn’t seem to do him much good!

    Reply
    • yea FORCE-feeding is a good way to create fake obesity, it also makes it super easy to lose it after which I’m sure will make him look like real good at “curing” obesity.

      Reply
      • As somewhat who somewhat casually followed Manning’s experiment, “force feeding” is certainly the term I’d use to describe it.

        More than often, he ate himself sick. And he often (weekly, I think) participated in these extravagant “how many tacos can I eat in 30 minutes?!” binges where he purposefully kept testing his limits. Don’t quote me on any of this – it’s just a vague memory of reading through his stuff. But whether or not people truly eat like that or not (and some do, of course), it was more than the composition of the junk food that caused his obesity.

        I have no idea how many calories he recommends consuming during the weight loss phase. That caloric gap from “feeding” to “fit” must be drastic. All of that being said, his experiment is quite intense for a free program – mealplans, workout videos, forum, everything free for weeks at a time. He will/has been gaining monetary action elsewhere (and he knows that), but I totally applaud his efforts and his desire to put out a free program that people can follow on a daily basis.

        Reply
        • Hi Eri, I applaud his effort as well, and anyone else sincerely trying to help. I meant no offence to him by my comment.

          I only meant that promoting more calorie in calorie out “proof” that works fine for naturally thin folks (who don’y actually need to do anything at all to lose or maintain weight ) will do little to help people that are actually fat to begin with including a free program based on concepts that have been shown to do little to turn obesity around. ( eat less move more )

          Eventually the weight comes off after a naturally skinny person stops force feeding as a lot of studies have shown. He certainly had excess fat but his “obesity” was certainly not the same as your typical 300 pound guy struggling for decades with his weight.

          Reply
          • Ok – but how do you do it? Whenever I eat too much I gain weight, I don’t lose it. If I eat less I lose weight. So there must be some trick to the way in which you are eating because for me and I’m sure for a lot of other people too, eating more leads to weight gain.

          • TMS71, eating more only leads to gaining weight if

            1. it is force-feeding past what the body wants

            2.) your body “wants” to gain weight and you have been starving it the whole time by under-eating.

            in both of those cases someone will gain weight. if you gain weight eating as much as you body wants there is something wrong that you need to correct. Everyone’s body has a shut off switch yours is no different than mine. I was told since birth “you eat too much you gain weight” so I understand where you are coming from. Most people get afraid at the sight of 5 pounds shifting on the scale and give up when that and a few more may come at first and leave if you listen to your body.

            There is no trick to how I eat, I just eat, no bulimia or ephedra or any kind of eating trick. Small tricks in the way of eating desert in the middle of my meal when I actually do eat it but thats not going to help me pound an extra 1000 calories. Everyone will continue to focus on what I do in terms of eating and exercise because the past hundred years of weight loss has focused on eating less and moving more but there is far more to learn elsewhere. .

          • @CHIEFROK Regarding point #1….forcefeeding past what the body wants,don’t you think that can also easily happen with certain foods and/or the combination that have an addictive/opiate like quality to it?
            (These types of food might differ for each person. I know that every food I really love to eat are actually detrimental for me and leads to wanting more&more preferrably everyday.)

          • Ah Chief I didn’t mean that at all – wasn’t implicating you in any malintent. I actually gave him the benefit of the doubt b/c I was about to write something shiesty. But in the end I think he is doing what he thinks is helpful to people. Definitely will help some people. Just not the plan I’d want to be doing :)

    • Yeah, good point. I thought about how eating WAY beyond appetite, to the point of being sick is not really the same thing. lol

      Reply
      • Yea, I ended up rechecking some of his stuff and his diet plan for women recommended around 1700 calories daily. To me, that sounds pretty good, but probably because of that flawed common knowledge that women should be on 1000-1200 calories a day to lose weight. I STILL am confused about how much calories matter. A couple of posts ago a woman wrote in who was 5’2″ and ate 3200 calorie to maintain her weight, but could easily eat more. That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever heard. Every day I struggle with the notion that I have to cut calories down to that limit of ~1200 (~1600 when I’m feeling particularly adventurous).

        What I’m struggling with right now is trying to figure out how to eat without restricting myself and not gain any more weight (fat). I wouldn’t mind losing a little weight over time, or maintaining, I just don’t want to gain more. I just keep thinking that if I want to eat carbs AND fats together, even if it’s all whole foods, something has to give. I MUST have to lower calories. But then I read all this stuff on 180 and I keep getting the message that people can lose weight over time by eating MORE. I guess I’m just going to have to go to my old neurotic ways and plug some recipes into cronometer just for a reference and then adjust accordingly :-/.

        Reply
        • Hi Eri
          I am the one who eats 3200.

          I hear your struggle and have been there a hundred times myself and am still there to a degree.
          Still now if I eat without restricting myself I gain weight- my real appetite is over 3200 cals.
          I have managed to raise metabolism through eating more, but still not made myself “fat proof”- as Chiefrok calls it.

          I raised my ability to eat more by eating more, and accepting the weight gain, then gradually edging it off by small calorie deficits;
          The best way was calorie cycling. I did a calorie cycle for a long time;
          3200 one day and 2400 the next.
          I did this for many months and it was bearable and edged off some pounds without too much stress, and also without the metabolic reduction that normally occurs with continuous calorie restriction.

          But at the end of the day it is still all counting, restricting and restraining,
          and in order to keep my weight decent , I still have to restrict and restrain; even though I am doing it at a higher level than most women.

          I am still having to calorie count and restrict my calories to below my hunger level to maintain homeostasis.

          Still looking for the same answers you are!

          I wonder if I just ate to appetite and let go if the weight loss would stop and eventually reverse;
          I have tried this at times- but by the time I get to about 20 pounds gained
          I lose faith, and feel like the weight gain will never stop;
          and dont want to accept any more weight gain and so halt the process and go back to restricting calories again.

          I want to eat freely but not at the expense of losing a body I find ok and can accept.

          I am looking at Chiefroks stuff now to see if he has some clues I can latch on to.

          Reply
          • Nola,
            I really appreciate you thoughtful and candid response. I’m sorry if my comment seemed to oversimplify what your situation is :).

            The more I read this blog, the more I realize that so many people are in the same boat here. Many of us (myself included) really believe and accept the science that Matt puts forward. Most of us have been through so much – starving ourselves, restricting dozens of foods, binge-eating, and overall developing ridiculously disturbing relationships with food. We’re smart enough from our past in studying diets and counting calories that we can understand what Matt and others (namely Chief) are saying, and even though these notions would be preposterous to our former selves, we cheer with the belief that this radical notion that masses of food and pancakes and sugar can be healthful.

            Obviously I’m not the only one having a problem connecting point A to point B. I eat too much and I gain weight. I eat too little and I worry about not eating enough. And to clear I’m not complaining here – I fully understand that everyone has to find what works for them. And I know that many people probably roll their eyes at (at least my own) attempts to tie every blog post into a weight loss issue. I am really proud of myself and everyone else involved for doing what used to be the most terrifying thing imaginable – eating and gaining weight. It just gets to a point where I want to stop watching my belly get bigger :).

            Hopefully we can all help one another out. I can’t let go of the fact that I woke up this morning and my temps were 98.8. Holy Cow! And I have boobs again, not complaining about that!

          • No I didnt think you were oversimplifying things! If anything I am flattered to be brought up as an example..lol.

            I do think women should eat more- they are too used to ridiculous diets and starving themselves in the name of meeting societal standards.
            And I think that sticking to a restrictive unsubstantial diet swallows up and restricts energies on a wider scale so that women have essentially been hamstrung by the process of dieting and the pursuit of a particular body standard.
            They have lost their power and their connection to their own bodies.
            Instead of trusting and loving their own bodies, they distrust and fear them and lock and chain them up by diets and externally imposed regimes.
            It swallows up their energy and pizzaz for life.

            This is how I have experienced it anyway.
            Most of my entire adult life has been consumed by the pursuit of thinness and getting my body to stick to a certain standard. My body always seems to pop up out of the box though- no matter how hard I push it down.
            So these days I am working from and inner and outer standpoint- I have tried to reconnect with my body (had to do lots of painful inner work- particularly with abuse issues), and listen to my body, and put my desire for the perfectly shaped body on the back foot.
            I still have a desire for a certain shape and size, but I kind of hold it to the side, and concentrate more on the inner feeling of my body, and its intuitive sense, and living more by this.

            And yes- I have better breasts at a fatter weight too! lol . There have got to be some advantages.

            And as to eating freely, and being able to have a body/weight that I like/accept ; this is my goal and a kind of dream I hold in mind.
            So far I have not been able to achieve it- always when I eat freely I gain weight and it doesnt stop;
            so I figure the answer must lie somewhere, whether on the inner and the outer,
            and I still keep looking for clues as to how to achieve it.
            In the meantime I am going with a light restriction of calories, so as to not throw myself into a traumatic state by the continual gaining of weight.

            Gaining weight brings up LOTS of issues for me!!

            I hope we can help each other. I always appreciate and value what people have to say..

          • I love this comment, it touches on so much of the “weight” issue for me that has little to do with metabolism or calories – stuff that Matt writes about every now and then, but that I feel is implicit in a lot of his stuff. Basically, sometimes I wonder just what our bodies would do and be capable of if our brains weren’t constantly freaking out over weight gain. I think that’s the number one thing that hamstrings people following Matt’s protocol, and Chief mentions this too – we see weight gain, so we either stop, or slow down, or freak out, usually all of the above, and the stress-response feedback loop just keeps going.

            I too have huge problems with gaining weight – why the hell wouldn’t we? We live in a fat-hating society, and nobody wants to be hated, not to mention the deeper issues of the way femininity is all tangled up in it. Unfortunately that was part of the appeal, psychologically, of paleo diet for me – not the diet, but the fantasy of putting youself mentally in a time when we simply wouldn’t have worried about our weight. Of course it gets twisted back to being all about thinness. Anyway, thanks for your comment, it really resonated with me.

  21. roger, Roger.

    Reply
  22. Feeding off stored fat (IF) always gave me headaches. Except the time I fasted for 5 days on water, then I got headaches AND dizzy spells. Super awesome! I like a good old daily calorie surplus.

    Reply
    • I always get migraines if I go too long without eating. It definitely has seemed like it’s chemical related. like if i eat really “clean” (and of course gave my body a chance to clear out some shit) and fasted it might not happen.

      Reply
  23. Hey Matt,
    Very food post! My dad was diagnosed as Type 2 diabetic a few years ago. He was never over weight maybe gained a few pounds of belly fat which came off easily. He had been athletic when he was younger, always ate well but major major type A personality. A workaholic who stressed about work, I think that personality along with life stresses causes the diabetes.He also had high blood pressure at 40.
    He didn’t change change his diet much but the doctors did put him on medication.
    What kind of die/ lifestyle advice would work for him?
    Thanks

    Reply
  24. My Glucose Clearance is currently in the crapper! :(

    Reply
  25. Eri, i have to say that is pretty troubling for me as well.
    How much to eat to keep your weight from jumping around..
    I did stabilised it this summer being 5’9 on 130 lbs which
    is 6 lbs more then i use to be when early 30. i was eating a lot, carbs and
    rest , being a die hard glutton living in Paris..
    Then something happened, the “something” is and old addiction
    to pills that came to life again. for a month, then i battled down,
    still the damage was done.. i had gained 12 lbs and
    the scary inability to get them off.
    I do believe the Chief is right about stress. stress is another word for
    fear and i think that our bodies are easily scared.
    Something interesting is that my whole life i’ve been a
    natural IF person. Hated breakfast all my life.
    And always been skiny.. till now .

    Reply
    • 5’9 and 130lbs sounds pretty skinny to me. I’m five inches shorter at 120 and am a size 0 or 2.

      Reply
    • Hahaha Jackie, my poor Mum heard me agonize each day during my worst phases of orthorexia – I could bitch and moan about my worries of eating too many calories and turn around one second later and bitch and moan about how I though I wasn’t eating enough and that my body would retaliate against me and go into starvation mode blah blah blah…

      From what you wrote, I’m hoping you got off the pills. That’s freaking awesome. Sorry for what you had to go through :(. I hope you’re able to figure this whole deal out with the rest of us!

      Addiction is a funny thing – it runs on both sides of my family, so I kept my nose clean my entire life. Had my first little drink on my 21st birthday. And then when I thought I was in the clear, my brain went “HA Screw you!” and I developed a freakin’ food addiction that nearly destroyed my life. Thank God that’s in the past now (thanks Diet Recovery!)

      Reply
      • Sorry – above comment was to elina. Don’t know where I got Jackie from!

        Reply
    • @Elina I think you and CHIEF are right,stress is the worst cause for everything health related. That’s why it’s so complicated…..there’s obviously lots of mental stress and everyday life,but there’s also stress for a body that might not be so obvious for an individual bc of ‘non-stressful’ feelings they might experience at that moment,while stressing for instance the adrenals such as eating foods you’re intolerant to/deplete the body nutritionally while the person might experience an ‘opiate-like blissfull feeling’ (which I’m constantly struggling with, the ‘high’ one might get while over exercising etc.

      Reply
  26. Been quite thin and famished all my life. Totaly useless
    for a nutrition study.. no quintity of calories could bring a qulity change,
    weight stayed the same.
    And now it looks like my metabolism is changing for worst and
    the truth is while i cant say i look fat(far from it) ,
    i just strongly dislike losing the pleasure to eat
    ad lib.. with no difference in the way i look.

    Reply
  27. Has anybody read the June 2012 issue of Scientific American? The article titled “Your Inner Ecosystem” seems particularly relevant to the topic at hand. The article mentions a Martin Blaser, a professor of internal medicine. I quote from the article by Jennifer Ackerman, “In 1998 Blaser and his colleagues published a study showing that in most people, H. pylori benefits the body by helping to regulate levels of stomach acids.” Ackerman goes on to say that Blaser also published a study ‘suggesting that H. pylori has another job.” Ackerman quotes Blaser, “When you have H.p pylori, you ahve a postrpandial decrease in ghrelin. When you eradicate H. pylori, you lose that.”

    Incidentally, when I was a kid they gave me antibiotics before every dental cleaning, twice a year, for about 10 years. So. . I may not have much in the way of H. pylori at all.

    Its an interesting thing. Someone (earlier in the comments.) mentioned the book ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat.” I suggest that the reason they don’t get fat is their culture, not their learned culture, but rather the bugs in their cheeses, their milk products, and frankly in their mothers before they are born.

    Reply
    • Maybe, although the french take antibiotics, too. The author has specifically said that eating yogurt is one of the biggest secrets of French women – the good bacteria, which she claims help burn off fat.

      Reply
    • Or the reason they don’t get fat (the non-PC version) is that they’re too busy smoking all the freakin’ time.

      Reply
      • The rates of females who smoke in France and the US is about the same. The rate among men is much higher in France. It’s funny, lots of the smokers I see here are fat so it’s definitely not a total obesity solution either!

        Reply
  28. Matt, you should check out the recent post at Suppversity on GLP-1. Its right up your alley and I think it may tie together some things regarding eating and metabolism.

    Reply
  29. Hey Matt…just signed up here, and am new to your thinking. I can’t seem to find a “contact us” section, probably because if you had one of those you would be attached to your computer. BUT I have a question/problem that I am hoping you can work with me on.

    Quick history you may or may not read :I am 23 year old female, been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome since age 17. Since then I have tried many many things, with some improvements, but nothing lasting. My latest attempt was a food allergy elimination diet. This included no grains, no dairy, and no fruit. I lost 25 lbs and felt stellar…also went on birth control pills to fix the acne. Everything was looking good until I became exhausted and my CFS hit back with vengeance. I wanted bread, and brownies, and fruit….and cheese! I lost my job due to the relapse in health, and went back to eating wheat and dairy and just whatever was in the house. I also lost insurance and went off of birth control pills. Needless to say, I gained back the weight and the acne. Mysteriously after I went off of the birth control pills, I started to lose some hair too.

    Just started GAPS last week to see if I needed a more organized approach to food allergies, and I am so exhausted and something just does not feel right. I am thinking I might need to come off of GAPS. which I pretty much did last night when I had a piece of chocolate cake and milk, and this morning I feel pretty ok. Go figure.

    I sincerely believe my CFS /acne/hair loss issues are related to thyroid problems and a vitamin d deficiency. But again, I am just spit balling here. I did find out that the my vitamin d level is at 17, so I started taking fermented high vitamin cod liver oil, and my acne is already clearing up and my hair is coming back….unless of course that was the GAPS intro I did. I have no idea anymore. The doctors are clueless and say my blood work is “beautiful.”

    You seem like you know what you are talking about and you add no pain with it. Possibly you can help me?

    How do I overcome this illness, lose the weight and gain energy and live like a 23 year old?

    I appreciate it,
    Nicole

    Reply
    • Nicole,
      I’m not Matt but thought I’d chime in anyway, since I like being a big know it all.Your blood work probably isn’t beautiful, most doctors don’t know how to read labs, sorry they don’t, it’s the truth. I’ll make this real simple if your TSH is over 2 its your thyroid, if your freeT3 (did they even take this one? No, see what I mean complete morons) is below 3 its your thyroid, actually lots of people feel better with this higher but that’s a whole nuther discussion. If you have low alkaline phosphatase its your thyroid, if you have low triglycerides its your thyoid. Don’t restart the birth control it lowers freet3. Vitamins A and D will make your tissue more sensitive to thyroid hormone, magnesium and zinc might be helpful, if you want have some bone broth or easier yet eat some jello with an extra sheet of gelatin, I posted some links up above; read. Don’t do Gaps or any other low carb nonsense, eat up sleep, buy some pants with elastic waistbands, see if you can get your temps up and feel better, if that doesn’t work call Matt and go back to your doctor and tell them to run a full thyroid panel, and an iron panel, this is 11 tests not the 2 .
      Good luck

      Reply
      • Thanks for the input Christal, I appreciate it. First, I agree the blood work can’t be beautiful, or else why do I feel so sick? But I am just going off of what the doctors have told me, and included that little piece of info , in the off chance they were right. I did get a copy of my lab work the day I got my results. It’s a few pages long. I’m happy they tested so much, but unhappy because they feel that’s enough and now it’s time for me to just shut up and enjoy being tired. Anywhoooo….. They did not do the reverse T3…Specifically to what you brought up, the results are:
        t3 uptake which was 37
        T4 was 8.4
        FTI 3.1
        TSH.66…
        Iron was 81
        Triglyceride 30
        Magnesium1.9
        sodium marked as deficient as 136
        potassium 3.9
        Alk Phosphatase is 72
        Zinc not tested

        What do you make of that?

        Question: Are you saying the cod liver oil will make me feel a little worse because of the Vit A and D in it? I have got to say, I do feel a little weak after a take it, than other times I feel a little better. My acne is clearing up, so I know it has to be needed.

        My temps weren’t as low as I thought they would be. When I wake up it averages 98.1….98.3 average throughout the day. 98.6 is of course what I am shooting for, but I am kind of surprised it is not really in the 97′s all the offten. Sometimes my temp even reads 99.1. I am not exactly feeling stellar at that moment it reads high, so go figure.

        What exactly is the definition around here of eat up? Is that just 3 solid squares? Sleep up I shall try, although my sleep quality is not the best.Also, way ahead of ya on the elastic :)

        Again, I appreciate it.

        Reply
        • Try upping your salt intake. Sodium deficiency is a hallmark of thyroid issues according to Ray Peat.

          Reply
          • Thanks Hulda Sif…..I did not know that. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist in some weeks, maybe I will point that out. Also, I did try upping my salt intake, and it bloated my like nobody’s business. Of course, I was putting this in water, someone deficient suggested it worked for them. I was deliberately adding 1/8 teaspoon per 8 oz of water. No bueno. I am putting it in my meals more now, and I drink beet kvass which has a tablespoon in the batch. I tend to drink the batch every 4 days. Doesn’t bloat me as much as just water.But I don’t really feel any better, so who knows.

      • @Christal – thanks for this. I was tested recently (had to order them myself from the US) and my TSH is 2.8 and free T3 1.3. Suspected a thyroid issue for some time, mainly due to difficulty losing weight and then a sudden regain (low carbing/paleo) Apparently my estradiol/progesterone ratio is very low as well. My GP is useless, and the ND I recently started seeing seems to just want to test my ‘carb sensitivity’ with a low carb diet that doesn’t include beef, but includes copious amounts of fish oil and poultry. Does ANYBODY out there know what they’re talking about?? I am so frustrated with this crap.

        At any rate I am ignoring advice and eating starches and fruit again – it really improved my energy. Will read the links you posted above. Just wanted to say thanks, I guess, for your blunt comment here. I’m almost certain my issue is thyroid and hormone balance, and your comment reinforced my instinct to tell this ND to go frack herself.

        Matt – interested to read more of your stuff!

        Reply
  30. Matt,
    I REALLY need help. Going to ask my hubby if I can set up a call with you. Long story short (and anyone with opinions feel free to say something) I treated my body horrible (a lot of eating out and sugar) and went through a pregnancy. After that I got really sick with heart palpitations and racing, food allergies, gut/yeast issues and such. I tried getting “healthy” by eating less, picking up running and staying busy… misscarried during that time which now I realize my body probably could not handle it. the weird thing was I would “crash” (get dizzy, headaches, racing heart and horrible digestion w/ a lot of chest pain) and be in bed for a week and then would eat a lot (even during the night) and would feel better at the end of the week but a week or two of normal activities would bring me back down. A doc I just started seeing said I have AF (my cortisol sky rockets in the morning and I have little immunity) He has me on a lot of bedrest (trying but I have a 4 year old and 1 year old! LOL!) and lower carb with supplements. I accidently went low carb over the weekend and totally crashed again! AG! which book do you think I should by? I feel so lost in the kitchen and have no idea what to eat and honestly have grown to HATE food. I have to set a timer to remember to eat. I am so screwed up. at 28. oh geez

    Reply
    • For me, the key to stop feeling lost in the kitchen and hating having to find things to eat was to let go of the idea that every meal has to be novel and different and exciting. I have two things I make for dinner currently: french toast (with homemade bread and lots of egg- you could use the GF bread), or some combo of beans/rice/chicken/veggies. My husband often gets bored with it so he learned to cook a little ;)

      I know what you mean about hating it. I often wish I could be like a snake and just eat once a month.

      Reply
      • Chicken does go good with beans. Beans and chicken what a heavenly combo.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX5-bfLg9r0

        I never feel better than when I eat grilled dark meat chicken with beans and veggies. I love you Pollo Tropical.

        Reply
  31. FYI my regular MD says all my testing ( and I had EVERYTHING checked out) is normal. go figure

    Reply
    • Jackie,
      Please read what I wrote to Nicole above, you should always get copies of any lab work, take it home and analyse it yourself also, MD’s like to say they tested you for everything, but they seem to have a fairly limited idea of what everything means, you need to make sure you were tested for Hashimoto’s, and also in my experience low carb and calorie restriction in general lowered my tsh (thyroid stimulating hormone) sure I was still having problems but docs were like, “your tsh is normal you don’t have a thyroid problem” My guess is that your thyroid is shut down for some reason or other and your running high adrenaline in addition to the high cortisol, thus the heart problems, I’ve been having problems with this myself of late. You should also look at the electrolyte section on your labs sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, these can be in range but be out of balance with each other, for example last time I had labs taken I was having major vertigo, and passed out with the needle still in my arm, on the labs I was on the bottom of the range for sodium and at the top for potassium, both were normal but obviously out of balance with each other, this can also cause heart beat abnormalities as well. Anyway, I hope that helps, as I said above I’m back on thyroid and was given a short term prescription for xanax, which has pretty much eradicated all of my palpations and the tachycardia/panic symptoms. I’ve also been reading Heartmath, its a little corporate but as far a stress relief self-help literature goes I’m pretty impressed.

      Reply
      • Oh good another Xanax fan here! I thought I might be the only one. Xanax has improved my life immensely by giving me a full night’s sleep, every night. Any negative effect from it (and I haven’t noticed any) must be offset by this huge improvement in my sleeping schedule. Before Xanax I would mix elaborate cocktails of melatonin, benadryl, magnesium, kava kava, doxylamine, 5-htp, Ambien- you name it I mixed it up and nothing ever gave me good long-term results like Xanax. hooray for modern medicine :)

        Reply
        • lol:)

          Reply
      • I, too, am reading Heartmath. The tools they give you to deal with anxiety and panic are excellent. It’s been a help to me.

        Reply
  32. Sorry! call me crazy lady learning new things
    we love bread but I have to go G/F… what bread do you recommend? we eat Sami’s Bread from FL. its yummy and is made with rice flour but I am guessing its not the best. ?

    Reply
    • Hi Jackie,

      In my house we’ve found the brand Pamela’s to be one of the best. The bread mix we make fresh in our bread maker, but I think you can also just bake it in your oven. On the back of the bag there are different bread recipes/variations you can try. The one with the molasses is really good and we have found this brand stays the softest of the ones we’ve tried. It actually stays as soft as regular bread which is quite seems to be quite rare for gluten free. I’ve found most of the gluten free breads to be as hard as bricks! It sounds like the brand Sami’s you buy is working for you though, unless it isn’t gluten free? Besides the all purpose bread flour mix, Pamela’s makes other baking products such as a pancake/pastry flour mix. The best part is you can make your breads with good quality oils instead of the soybean oil that seems to be in every prepackaged food. Here is the website is pamelasproducts.com if you want to check out her product line. Hope this helps!

      Blessings and love,

      Jennifer

      Reply
    • Hands-down, Udi’s bread. You don’t have to toast it like other GF breads. Wonderful stuff. They also have pizza crusts and burger/hot dog buns.

      Reply
  33. Matt, just read that David Smith, that guy that lost all of the weight by dieting(650lb virgin), gained 100s of pounds back. I guess he didn’t read your stuff!!!

    Reply
  34. the less sugar he or she burns after a meal, and the more slowly sugar is cleared out of the bloodstream.

    Reply
  35. Eri ,thanks. I did got off pills.
    and i know that talking a difference of 10 lbs is in the domain
    of ridiculous for some and yet it is a something of a serious matter for me.
    Hell, the only thing i would like to know is why my body decided that the
    happy hour is over. Is it my age( just hit 37) or my relapse
    or the little green aliens..
    For now the only thing i have discovered is that
    there is no one person on Earth that really knows what goes on in nutrition
    and only one that admits that he doesn’t know it,
    cheers mr.Stone..

    Reply
    • IMO, it was probably the stress, and drugs are hard on your adrenals so maybe that has to do with it, too. It very well could be totally temporary and your body could readjust once it realizes you’re back to taking good care of it again.

      Reply
  36. Almost condorman. You didn’t finish well.

    “Roger, Roger. What’s our vector, Victor?”

    Reply
  37. The thing that’s been on my mind lately-and really bumming me out, is the fact that shaming someone about weight is socially acceptable. And it’s everywhere. It makes me sad when I read these posts and see how pervasive this is. A friend of mine sent me this blurb this morning:

    According to the historian Peter Stearns’s book Fat History, public sentiment began shifting toward the svelte in the 1890s, when overweight was first linked to chronic disease. Fat did not take on a moral dimension, however, until the cause was taken up by Christian ministers, who railed against the increasing sedentariness of the postindustrial middle class. The timing of that trend was fortuitous: their previous target — rising materialism — was proving unpopular. Weight, Stearns writes, was a perfect substitute, not only replacing conspicuous consumption but legitimizing it: as long as you exercised restraint over eating, you could freely indulge your appetite for luxury. Initially, fat was equally demonized in both sexes, but by the 1920s, the focus had narrowed primarily to women and girls. Since then, one could argue, the more extreme our consumer culture has become, the more hostile we have grown toward even slight overweight in women. Not just concerned, not just disapproving, but repelled.

    People have been bigger than skinny for a long time. I don’t think it was separated by wealth (and therefore access to more food.) This makes me sad. I’m sick of hearing friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike, making it obvious- that on a minute-to-minute basis they feel like gaining weight would be the last thing that they would want to happen to them. I just want to say “really?!” But I’m a plus size girl, and I know that I have no credibility to them with statements like this.

    I love the fukitol “diet”. I feel happy and finally free of the worst struggle of my entire life: feeling out of control about food and my appetites. This lead to never feeling good enough and feeling untouchable when I found the fix (WP, Paleo, etc) that meant I had “ultimate control” — the answer!

    My initial giddiness and frickin relief when I embraced Matt’s ETF philosophy morphed into a naturalness around food and how I consumed it that I haven’t experienced since I was 7 or 8 when I was going through a tough change and consciously knew that eating some sugar would make me feel better. Which led to me growing a tummy and meant immediate being ostracized immediately–which reeeaaaaally helped my stress level (aaaarrrgh).

    I’m frickin tired of the frickin once over I get when people see my larger body. The judgement is written all over people’s faces. Sure, I’ve learned to have a thicker skin and not let it limit me, but it’s always a fight. It’s always something to get past.

    I’m so glad I found your work and your site Matt. This path of pulling data and doing the research you have been on (and all of us who meet at this site) needed to be focused on 130 years ago.

    Sorry for the long, emotional posts peeps. It’s just that the information in posts like this are just what our society needs to get past this shiz.

    Reply
    • Oh-and I didn’t mean to say that there was much, if anything, in the way of shaming people on this site. Cuz there ain’t.

      Reply
    • Hi Karen, Great share but as long as there is a consumer culture we will never get past this concept. As obesity becomes more and more prevalent skinny becomes more and more exclusive much like diamonds after the supply is purposely restricted, they become rare hence desirable. The skinny is in, is part of this same consumer concept, things to acquire in life skinny models included when sex is a commodity.

      I agree we need to get past it as a society as well as all the other stupid notions such as acting like oil is not running out. It’s kind of a catch 22, If society was not consumer based the body image would not even be an issue because obesity would be non existent.

      I do disagree with one thought in your comment.
      While It has nothing to do with access to more food now, people were not big like they are now or it would have been noted in explorers journals all over the world. Don’t let this bother you or make you feel “un normal”. I felt that way a large part of my life and now my old life seems like a book I read. As far as life now you are very normal at your size whatever it may be. If you want it to be different, first step start loving yourself unconditionally and stop needing acceptance from everyone just a select few that matter, in the internet era this is easily achievable for everyone.

      you said “I’m frickin tired of the frickin once over I get when people see my larger body.” take 2 Fukitol and call me in the morning!

      Alot of this is your perception of how you are seen by others and can change depending on the mindset you have, the body language you project as well when all else fails, FUCK ‘EM, turn your attention towards things that make you happy instead.

      Reply
      • Yes well, Fukitol and unconditional acceptance- lol.. I like it!

        But you are right the first step is unconditional acceptance/love of yourself.
        I having struggled with this immensely when I am gaining weight- my feelings have been more akin to hate, fear, and loathing and despising myself in every pore of my body.

        I am getting closer to the acceptance bit though- and one thing that I found coming to me earlier in the year during a gaining weight period,
        was a sense of enclosing myself in my own acceptance/self-love;
        kind of like a barrier against negative attitudes from the outside, and even from my own negative attitudes.

        Reply
        • Such a lovely thought. I’m going to do that. I feel so yummy just thinking about it.

          Reply
          • That IS beautiful. I’m gonna take that advice too.

    • Well, my mother actually sees being overweight as a sin!
      And a sign that someone has been having “sinful” uncontrolled eating.
      She said it basically – literally, – when I went to see her a month ago.
      I couldnt believe it actually- and could only think how far she was from my own thoughts and feelings on the matter.

      She suggested I eat less when I was pregnant (I was already restricting food in a desperate struggle to halt run-away weight gain)
      And one of the first things she comments on after meeting people is if they have gained weight or not.

      Needless to say, I did not grow up feeling very free about my body!
      And there is always this huge judgement around gaining weight and the feeling that you are somehow no longer a person! – or a “good” person.

      Reply
      • So interesting Nola. It sounds like you can kind of step away from it and not adopt her way of thinking. Has it always been that easy?

        Reply
        • Lol – well , I would like to say it has been easy, but it has been a long hard road with lots of painful bits along the way!

          I have had to revamp myself from the inside out.
          I have had to go inside and find all the painful suppressed stuff that has been unconsciously shaping the way I feel and believe about myself.

          From childhood I really morphed a lot of my Mums unspoken attitudes and beliefs, and internalised them in such a way that I did not feel good about myself or my body.
          I saw my body as a negative entity- and I dont mean in so much in a conscious way, but as a deep inner unspoken feeling.
          And I definitely couldnt trust or believe in my body, or think it might be okay just as it was.
          It needed to be “controlled”, and “made to do the right thing” , and “pushed and forced” – into the correct mold and way of being.
          Appetites could not be trusted, they have to be “controlled” , “restrained”, and “disciplined”,
          and distrusted.

          I always had this nebulous feeling that there was something wrong with me, and something wrong with my body.
          Unconsciously I viewed it with fear, horror and distrust, and had the feeling that I, and my body, were intrinsically bad, and “wrong”.

          I think these feelings and attitudes are old archetypal kind of stuff – very puritan based – like self punishment – and beating and whipping the body into submission;
          and they are still very prevalent in society, and are unconsciously underlying our belief systems about the body and food.

          Reply
          • Awesome Nola !

          • I grew up in a very fat-fearing/shaming house as well. IT was all unspoken, but very much there. It is so hard to shake once that becomes the way you see the world and yourself. But your own work and suggestions are wonderful.

    • I hear you. I often remark to my mother that gals like us used to be the desirable chicks. Seriously, you see my figure in paintings. 150 years ago, I was one hot babe!!!

      Reply
      • Nola, as I suggested in an earlier post, get a blog :) There will be a lot of people interested.

        Alisha, I find stick like figures quite unattractive myself. Makes me shudder to think of all those rattling bones. There has to be some meat on the bone ;) Trust me, lot of people still find that desirable even today. I think classical figures will make a comeback.

        Reply
        • Thanks Chief and everybody for such thoughtful replies. So many cool things to think about. Makes me realize that “society at large” (heh-pun not intentional-and yet, I’m not sorry about it)–but makes me realize that we’re all in this soup we call society together. I’ll focus on luvin’ up myself and only focusing on the jewels–the people–who can see beauty outside skinniness.

          Kind of easy–too easy probably–for me to focus on the disapproval I might get as opposed to the warm fuzzies.

          Reply
    • KarenE,

      I know what you mean about getting the once over and seeing peoples faces, but mine was at the other spectrum. I was so thin due to illness and I use to get people who would stop me or my mom( my shopping buddy) in the grocery store saying that they wanted to help get me treatment for my anorexia. They would automatically assume that because I was very thin that I must have had an eating disorder. We would tell them that I was ill and then they would leave me alone. I have had friends who refused to believe that I was not anorexic/bulimic to the point that they came to my home and harassed me and my family. They kept yelling at my mom saying she had me locked up and that she would be sorry when the authorities came to take me away in a body bag/coffin. Never thought the people who were suppose to have loved me could do this and this is still something I’m working through! All because the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Also, I could never figure out how our society feels it’s okay to use the term “skinny b*tch” as a form of flattery. Every one has something they feel self conscious about and for those who feel to thin, that term can be very damaging to hear. Yet, people have no problem saying this to our faces. I would never go up to someone and use some derogatory term to describe them. That is just so WRONG on so many levels. Anyhow, what I realized is the only approval I need is from me. I answer to myself and God! At the end of the day it’s between me and God. It always has been. I just forgot for a while, but I won’t make that mistake again! :-) Remember, God makes no mistakes. Why we try so hard to change what God felt was perfect from the start…well, I’ll never know! Just keep your head up and be proud of who you are and how far you’ve come in this life and see yourself the way the ones who love you most see you! Pure love!

      Blessings and love,

      Jennifer

      Reply
      • You are so awesome Jennifer. Seriously. Thanks for this.

        Reply
        • Karen E, Nola, Jennifer, Chiefrok, everyone who just had this conversation – this is why I read this blog. This is so cool, it’s cutting edge thinking, artists and such people should be reading it. Add to all this, what have the moods of adrenal and thyroid stress been doing to society? How many ‘psychological’ and ‘relationship’ issues, are fuelled by them? Not to mention, bred in the first place by the stress of ‘civilization’ (and unfixable without totally reworking society, aka some kind of revolution) If it wasn’t going to swamp the legal system and totally sideline the existing medical paradigm (in other words, turn society on its head) – can you imagine it becoming an argument for mitigating circumstances in court? My (skinny) mom thinks carrying weight is a sin too, or at least a sign of weak moral fibre. Putting aside that she is now frail through osteoporosis (lifelong annual medical checkups notwithstanding) she did me a favour, pushing me out on the margins where I can see this stuff and have a chance of more mental freedom than if I’d been ‘lucky’ enough to just happen to conform.

          Reply
          • Sue W,

            I so agree with your statement about the psychological and relationship issues being fueled by adrenal and thyroid stress. In RBTI the lack of calciums/minerals are believed to be why we have such a high rate of divorce. Having all our mineral stores helps us function properly. Not just physically, but mentally as well. When we are balanced so are our relationships. It must be noted that our soils have depleted at an alarming rate and it’s only getting worse. I remember when I was in grade school and whenever you heard a classmates parents were getting a divorce there was this sense of death…like something so beautiful had died! Now it seems like no one stays together anymore. This breaks my heart because when you marry someone you are making a promise to always be family. How can we divorce family? Then we as children become burdened with the heart break that divorce causes. From an early age we are burdened with such unthinkable stress. I’m surprised we have adrenals at all! These kinds of things really shape a child’s whole sense of self. Nothing seems sacred anymore. If we have anything to learn about the old world and other countries, it’s not what they eat or don’t eat, but it’s that they have a strong sense of family. They seem to have what we as Americans once had…a sense of family and community support. Like they say “it takes a village to raise a child.” That’s why we are lucky to have online communities. It gives us support. I just wish everyone could also get that from their families and neighbors. I know I feel my most strong and beautiful around my family and I wish that for everyone too! It makes me so sad to hear people on here say their mother thinks it is a sin to be overweight. No disrespect, but shame on them. Not shame on you for being overweight/underweight, but shame on them for making you feel like you are less than the perfect, beautiful spirit you are. When we have children we make an unspoken promise to God to love and protect that child unconditionally. Our children should never have to be protected FROM us. I know many family members are saying it with the best of intentions, but they need to really stop and think first on how they would feel if one of their loved ones said those things to them. We need to start building each other up instead of tearing each other down.

            Love and respect to all of you,
            Jennifer

          • I read Suzanne Somers’ books on hormone replacement and she has stories all the time about marriages falling apart from hormonal imbalances. As soon as the hormones get re-balanced, the marriages recover.

            I know Matt’s not a fan of cod liver oil, but I started taking the CLO-butter oil blend recently, along with a min-col, each morning, and I am definitely feeling more stable moods as a result. I don’t know if it’s minerals or vitamins, but it definitely has an effect.

            Totally agree also that we need to rebuild the sense of family and community. I actually think that is probably the #1 cause of stress. When you have a good support structure, you can get through most things in life. Hugs and cuddles are major stress-reducers, too.

          • So true Su W! My mom was pretty crazy around food and diets. I was on Atkins in high school. A lot. All of my siblings (save 1) are skinny, but are really crazy around the issue of eating and food-super controlling with themselves.

          • Sue W, nice,
            “bred in the first place by the stress of ‘‘civilization’ (and unfixable without totally reworking society, aka some kind of revolution)”

            It’s like words right out my mouth! Actually I did say something almost exactly the same on my bloggy blog lol. cutting edge thinking taking on critical mass, this is why I read this blog.

            kudos on a great comment and ..the revolution will not be televised, it’ll be tweeted.

          • Chiefrok, if I unintentionally plagiarized, I sincerely apologize! My head works the same way and like you I see connections most others do not. Which is why I’m a writer. I live on the outside of many mainstreams and the view is better from there, as you know. I sometimes wonder whether subtle ill health isn’t a sign (one of many) of mankind heading for extinction – or at the very least, being too tired for any revolutions! (It’s certainly taken a huge chunk out of my life and I’d like it back …)Who would have thought that health could be poltical (as opposed to health plans, that is!)

          • I only meant it in the great minds think a like kinda way, I think one day information will be freely exchanged without pesky things like copywrite infringement getting in the way. as long as people are not making money off of it, steal away.

            The way I see it you are right, these are signs of a system in peril. Now are people willing to make sacrifices to turn things around before it’s too late? or is it like a guy I know who I told to change his lifestyle up and try new foods besides fried chicken, french fries and soda pop. Fast forward 2 years and the doctor ordered him to eat exactly the foods I told him to, because as the doc put it “he would not last long with a liver worse off than an elderly man”. He is 21 years old. Just yesterday he was talking about trying traditional foods like moose liver and beans for the first time only because he is facing death… same Idea with society when the last tree dies, the last river is poisoned and the last fish is caught only then will people realize you can’t eat money.

        • Thank you for that Karen! Right back at you! :-)

          Blessings and love,
          Jennifer

          Reply
  38. Matt, you should do a story on Mila Kunis. She starved herself down to 95 pounds for Black Swan, and now has has a problem with rebound weight gain (and has said it’s not going to the right areas – i.e., belly fat!). I’ve seen a few stories on it, and no one seems to make the connection that she is gaining weight because of the starvation diet.

    Reply
    • I’ve notice that too and made that connection. It seems so obvious to me! But, I guess to others who don’t see weight that way…

      Reply
  39. In my house, whenever we are consuming anything particularly high in sugar, I say we’re Matt Stoning it.

    Reply
    • Thats awesome!!! I must use him as a verb!!!

      Reply
    • Brilliant! I hope you don’t mind me borrowing that.

      Reply
  40. Or, hey….new thought. You should do half hour phone convos, please. My chances of figuring this out would go up dramatically in that case. Here’s to hoping you respond!

    Reply
    • Hi Nicole,

      I’ve hired Matt for 30 minute follow ups before. For a first session, I’d go with an hour though.

      Reply
  41. Almost condorman. You didn’t finish well.

    “Roger, Roger. What’s our vector, Victor?”

    Jonny Lawrence – good to know that somebody is paying attention to the finer points…

    Reply
    • That’s all I really know how to do. All this health garbage gets rather boring.

      Reply
  42. Is there any reason I can’t eat all my calories at one meal in the evening just to simplify my life? I have been absolutely gorging on food at the end of the day for about 3 days now, and am down 1 lb and my temps are good! I am drinking green juice and coffee (1-2 cups max) during the day. If i eat three meals i am afraid of gaining too much and i really can’t afford not desire to buy any extra work clothes. i am really depressed that the clothes i wore past few summers dont fit me at all :(

    I really am anxious to speed up my weight loss. I have about 40lbs to lose. I have your Diet Recovery book, I know not eating bfast isnt the best (iam drinking a little green juice and having a tiny bit of coconut oil first thing).

    help!

    Reply
    • eating it all in one shot, this is precisely what I do…

      Reply
      • Chief – have u been losing or gaining by doing it this way? are your temps going up?

        Reply
        • This will sound confusing but here goes… it is possible to maintain, lose or gain weight this way, I’ve done all of them depending on my goals.

          question #2 Most people see a rise in temperature by feasting in this manner.

          Reply
          • Could you please briefly explain how to change the fasting-feasting variables to achieve 1. maintenance, 2. weight loss, 3. weight gain?

            Thanks!

          • ok lol so if one wanted to go about losing weight, do you have a suggestion? and thank u for the insights :)

          • I’ve been eating Chiefrok’s way for about a week or so now. It’s not long enough to draw a real conclusion but so far I have noted the following:

            More mental clarity during the day.

            No food cravings. I would “like” to eat something sweet but don’t have an overwhelming desire to do so. Easy to ignore.

            I’ve been sleeping more soundly.
            My weight has been about the same but I could just be adjusting.

            I really look forward to the evenings and eating without regard to amounts or macronutrients, etc.
            I never like the idea of stopping when I really wanted to eat more.

            Looking forward to seeing where this leads and I hope to reach Chiefrok’s eating prowess someday!

  43. ps i just want to follow that with a interesting observation about gluten. the days this week when i was eating huge meals that had lots of gluten in them, i didnt lose much or saw slight gains. the days i ate enchiladas and corn chips w/ guacamole and salsa, rice etc, i saw losses. interesting. just wanted to share. : )

    Reply
  44. As this a place of a contraversial props, eretic thinking and tinkering,
    here i chime in..
    I have remarked that when i eat high calories value food in smaller
    quantity i lose more weight then when i eat low caloric food.
    Examle of eating rice soup( Thai breakfast thing i can consume all day) which contains
    not so much rice ‘couse it’s boiled to mush and a bit of meat, green and fresh spice
    i lose less then when i eat bread with butter, sweets and rest.
    Isn’t that strange? Also, i go down with 1,5 or 2 lbs while sleeping,
    if is eat less then that in weight i basicaly lose the difference.

    Reply
  45. Hi Matt, I know you arent doing as much commenting to specific posts these days but I am really hoping you will see this and have some thoughts as I am pretty desperate. My younger brother, who is currently 21, started having Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome when he was young. He would have episodes every few weeks that would last for a week or two where he could keep nothing down and he would lose so much weight and barely be able to move. Anyway he has the metabolism, appetite and body of an anorexic because of all this. Even thought he has a sort of remission a few years ago he was so suppressed physically that he hardly ate all day and it was mostly sugary cereal. All of the sudden it has returned and he has had 3 episodes in the last 2 months. I feel really heartbroken for him because he has trouble thinking and speaking as quickly as he should be able to because of all this. I had started him on RRARF but with junkfood because he refuses to eat rice and complains about potatoes (this health stuff has stunted his emotional development so he behaves as if he were much younger.) Despite being able to raise his temps and even get him to where he was eating and hungry all the time and gain weight, he has still had more episodes and I dont know what to do. I was even researching Specific Carb diet just because it seems to be one of the only things on the web that people mention having symptoms stop. But it goes against rrarf and the things I believe about including as much food instead of excluding for health. Do you have any thoughts or experiences with this? The medical industry says it doesnt know cause or cure (not that I give much weight to that) but I am at a loss for direction. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Try Dr Bob Marshall at healthline.cc. He has a radio call in show and digestion is his specialty.

      Reply
  46. Hi Matt

    You website is great but I am confused as to what I should be eating…. I am about 3 stone underweight and after a high junk food diet moved to the vegetarian and then to being a vegan (I was a fully fledged vegan for only 6 months). I’ve been on GAPS for a year and currently eat a lot of raw milk kefir, cheese, butter, egg yolks, avocados, plantain, potatoes and squash. I also have some meat and fish and a lot of vegetables with minimal fruit. Other fats are suet, coconut oil and a little olive oil. My temps are 36.3 – 37.1 celcius. I eat three meals per day and do not snack. Everything is homemade with no added sugar. I cannot get my head around returning to a high junk diet ladened with sugar. However I am at a loss as to my next step as I need to put weight on and recently have started to pee a lot (clear). I also feel anxious a lot of the time, sleep poorly and feel like a wound up spring. I only want to eat nutrient dense food but don’t know what carbs to focus on. I have read that protein and fat are the way to go but I know you disagree with this. I’ve only had a little grain off late but it requires so much preparation that I have avoided adding it to my diet. I seem to spend my life sourcing or preparing food.

    Oh, I’m curious, what foods do you eat and a typical day?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • “I seem to spend my life sourcing or preparing food. ”

      This.

      I’m not Matt, but I have definitely been at a similar point. Until I went zero carb and crashed so thoroughly that I still haven’t recovered now 3 years later.

      I don’t know if you’re a guy or girl, but I have also had to gain some weight. At 192cm 75kg (6’4″ 165lbs) it was much needed. So I started eating lots of potatoes, white rice and milk, and I did gain about 11kg. But energy suffered, too.

      Then a life crisis happened that lasted for about 10 months, I lost most of the weight, and now that I’m in the process of regaining it again, I’m doing it with various gruels with rapadura sugar for breakfast, buffet for lunch (rice, potatoes, meat, sauce in various variations mostly), and some carb for dinner. I’m at 89kg now, but also doing some weightlifting.

      You probably won’t have an easy time gaining weight without adding some relatively refined carbs. I have been very skeptical about adding “junk foods” back, and I have noticed that the way in which I react to e.g. sugar depends on many things – the time of day, if I eat it alone, and especially how stressed I am.

      Reply
      • Thankyou Nicklas, I am a girl. It frightens me to think of going down the junk food route again. In the past I have eaten tons of processed, high calorie food to try and put weight on (pizza, icecream, chips, burgers) but it never worked and I am now every lighter than I was back then. I cannot see how empty calories are going to nourish me!

        Are you following Matt’s recommendations on food to raise your body temp?

        Reply
        • I have had a lot of success with adding raw cane sugar, or honey to raw milk for raising temps. Kind of like ice cream without the work of making it (I don’t have an ice cream maker anyway). Nothing beats this for getting warm and toasty.

          Reply
        • Well unfortunately I don’t have the perfect answer for you. If you were a guy, it would have been relatively simple, just do weight lifting and eat a LOT, with a strong focus on carbs. Maybe chief can help here?

          I’ve had a very interesting experience with “junk food”. For a lot of years, I’ve eaten hardly any refined sugar at all, and as I mentioned, I actually went zero carb at one point. Before zero carb, while I was just lowcarb, I started getting issues with impetigo (an infection that usually starts in the face). It got really nasty, responded very slowly to topical antibiotics, and I wouldn’t use oral antibiotics. I could slowly beat it down with a LOT of effort, using the topical antibiotics and various other things.

          This repeated itself about every three months over 3 years. Then in the beginning of 2012, I tried adding rapadura (unrefined cane sugar) to my diet – first, it gave me none of the effects I had come to expect of sugar. Second, I got an outbreak of impetigo that was incredibly weak and disappeared the next day!! Completely unheard of for me! So now I’m not getting impetigo any more, and I’m certain it’s because of the rapadura. I haven’t done any other significant changes in that time period.

          Also, there are too many cases of “highly nutritious food” not having the intended effect, when someone with sub-par health eat them, as Matt has also mentioned. We have to search for new explanations. And it does seem that “junk food”, used correctly (however way that is), can be the missing link in some cases.

          Personally I think there might be an optimal ratio between a) calories, and b) everything else the body needs, and that this ratio might very well be different from the societies that weston price visited. It might be that you’re getting way more of b) than your body can use, and not enough of a) to properly metabolise b) anyway.

          Remember that calories are also vital – and that if you’re too thin, too few calories is definitely one of the usual suspects.

          I’m mainly following Matt’s recommendations to try to get my energy levels up to where they were before all the low/no carb nonsense. This seems to be pretty slow unfortunately, but at least I’m gaining a good deal of weight, and especially muscle at the moment, which helps my mood.

          Reply
          • Just a few additions –

            I think a possible reason for a potential different optimal ratio between a) and b) could be something like epigenetic adaptations, in combination with (or just as a result of) modern life. As I understand, carbs have an anti-stress effect, and also the huge demands on our brain could also have significantly increased our need for calories, preferentially in the form of various combinations of starch/glucose/sugar(sucrose), so that a complete return to the days of weston price could actually potentially move you away from optimal adaptation.

            I think that if these points are all valid, they would be especially valid for people that tend to stress easily and are naturally thin. Such as me.

            You mentioned that you have tried with junk food before – are you sure you have actually eaten enough calories of it? If you’re like me, just eating junk food type foods wouldn’t necessarily increase your caloric intake significantly, unless I make sure I actually eat enough.

            Also, the foods you mention are rather high in fat – maybe shifting the ratio towards more carbs would be a worthwhile experiment?

          • Something really interesting that Matt said last summer during the whole RBTI period was that people with health issues were often best off eating refined foods and adding molasses and min-col for nutrient purposes. Since they couldn’t extract the minerals properly from whole foods, they were better off having the easily digestible foods (for the energy portion) and adding in the minerals in an easily digestible form. It actually made a decent amount of sense.

          • It sure helped me.

          • Lately I’ve been going to for instance Chinese buffet restaurants with lots of icecream desserts&whipped cream) and liberally sprinkling Himalaya Salt on all of it(except the icecream). It does seem like (some) minerals are taken up well that way,but it also seems like my body (the adrenals) doesn’t like it. (I now have this weird belly flab skin,which makes me even more out of proportion than I was). I experience weird mixed emotions, sometimes I sleep well and other times I’m in this sleep pattern where it feels like I haven’t slept all night.
            And everytime it becomes harder to kick the habit/addiction (especially bc it seems to be becoming more frequent and amounts even more)

  47. Callie,

    What all has been tried at this point?

    I ask because my youngest son developed GERDS in his early 20′s. He was put on Prilosec.
    It didn’t help. He then began vomiting on a regular basis.
    I asked him to try gluten free. He did. Symptoms vanished.
    I hope it could be that easy for your brother.

    Reply
  48. Hi Betty, thank you so much for your response, I appreciate it. We had limited his dairy and grains at one pt, I believe. Will have to find out from my mom. He was juicing and taking zofran a few years back when the symptoms left, as well as eating a more specific diet. We dont want him on zofran though because the side effects are really bad and its still hard to say how much it helps. I will see about doing gluten free if I can get him to go along. Thank you and I am glad to hear your son is doing better:)

    Reply
    • Callie,

      If your looking for good baking mixes, breads ect. that are gluten free, but don’t taste it, I would try Pamela’s brand. I mentioned this brand to someone elso on this forum. It is one of the only ones for my family, that consistently made wonderful bread that stays as soft or softer than even the premade breads. Hopefully, this way he won’t see a difference between gluten free and will be fine with eating it. I would also suggest Kosher gelatin (I buy Great Lakes brand) just make sure it’s the kosher one since they also carry a porcine(pork) one and hopefully this will help heal his gut if gluten is actually a problem for him. If you can, and this is probably going to take some convincing if he is like most people, I would try to avoid pork products(chops, bacon, ham, pork based hotdogs, sausage ect. anything containing pork) and other unclean meats(not basing this off of religion and you can google some of the studies out there on the problems with the unclean meats) and see if this helps at all. You could also try sprouted gluten free whole grains/flours like the brand ‘To Your Health’ as the harder to digest starches are broken down to more simpler sugars much like that in fruits/vegetables, but at least your brother will be getting the nutrients from the whole grains as apose to the refined grains. If he can handle dairy, he could eat organic plain yogurt and add raw honey or maple syrup to it. This tastes super yummy! :-) Also, at my house we add black strap molasses to everything we’re cooking/ baking. It helps to add back the minerals that our food is so depleted in. Other great carbs are sweet potatoes/yams(can also make homemade fries baked in the oven with olive oil or coconut oil), squash, other root veggies, fruits especially the tropical varieties. I think if you can get those minerals in him while healing his gut by adding in the gelatin, yogurt ect. He will hopefully see a difference. Good for him on doing the juicing. That is such a great way to flood the body with the minerals it needs to heal! I send you and your family my love and prayers.

      Blessings and love,
      Jennifer

      Reply
    • Callie,

      After 15+ years of taking antacids and then prescription antacids, I now take apple cider vinegar tablets with meals and haven’t had a flare-up since. I get them at health food stores. I started out with 4 tablets with each meal and am now down to just 1 tablet after a couple years. Also, since starting this, I am almost never sick! My whole family will have a cold and I never catch it…

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
      • Thank you ladies for your very kind and thoughtful comments. There are several things we are adding in right now, including mangosteen juice which I have heard some stories about it stopping the cyclic vomiting symptoms once an episode has initiated. And thanks Jennifer for that thought about Pamelas, I have wanted to try them because i heard good things. I will see if i can get him to do ACV:)

        Reply
  49. Hi Nicklas

    As I had been on GAPS high fat and protein dominate but I now eat a lot of red skin potatoes, squash, creamed coconut and plantain which are high carbs. I havn’t gone full throttle with the grains yet as I did this in the past and they didn’t fill me. Thing is I really crave fat but nothing seems to sate me…..

    I have read so much about sugar being bad for the body with the same said for carbs. Even when I eat loads of the latter I then panick about it! I think I now have developed a fear of food as while I think about it all the time and spend a large portion of my salary on it I ultimately don’t enjoy the eating experience :-(

    Reply
  50. Any thoughts on coupling T-Tapp after RRARFing to work together on getting a sluggish metabolism going?

    Reply
    • Emily,
      There is a thread on the t-tapp forum entitled Craziest Health Site-raising temps and reversing insulin resistance w/FOOD. There are a bunch of us there doing the RRARFing and beyond. Come on over and check us out. :D

      Reply
    • T-tapp and raarf are a perfect combo in my mind. Once you are able to add in consistent workouts, even short ones, you will see even more muscle gain and metabolism changes from having the good fuel to build. And they both rehab the body in their own ways:) Do join us on the thread!

      Reply
  51. Anyone’s comments appreciated!
    Matt! I talked to you las friday and started high carbing it right away! Results? MUCH better sleep (with no getting up in the middle of the night to snack!) , cold hands and feet are getting much better as are the headaches and muscle twitches that LC had created and SO MUCH more energy! after crashing by being too LC I couldn’t find the energy to do anything. 4 days on your plan and I took the kids to the park and hit up 3 stores on the way home and still was up for a movie night in with the hubby without falling asleep! …. Cons? My GERD (which was totally gone) has come back with a vengance with chest pain, periods of hard time breathing and chronic cough, heartburn and some stomach bloating… is this something that will resolve itself eventually?
    Honestly I am so happy to have energy and clearer thinking and SLEEP!!!!!

    Reply
    • Jackie, cat’s claw bark gel caps helped me a lot with that. I take it with meals and then if gerd is really stubborn after, I’ll take a couple again. Make sure it’s the bark itself and not the dried tincture.

      Aloe very gel mixed with a little juice works great too (tinker with the timing on that. I like the aloe best when the food’s mostly digested.)

      Also, there’s a great RBTI digestive with creme de menthe, gin and apricot brandy – a spoonful of that after ever meal helps too. I can’t remember the recipe!

      My GERD and acidic feeling tummy have gotten much better (usually non-existent) when I forget to take any of these things as well. Just fyi.

      Reply
  52. Matt-
    I know you are no expert in eating disorders, but I wanted your opinion. I was at a bmi of 14.9 last sept, and now am at a bmi of 20. I ate an average of 2500 calories from Nov-Feb, was always sooo hungry and was in binge mode. In march I finally said the hell with it and ate 3000-4000 calories a day. I didn’t gain the weight too rapidly, probably because I ate a lot of meat and didn’t eat pastries?? Anyways… I decided once I started menstruating (Mid-april) to drop my calories to 2500. Which was great, I felt fine and my mental health was pretty stable. Well I think I might have dropped my calories too low. I have been eating 1500-2000 calories for about a month, maybe a little more. And by many nutritionists standards this what I should be eating! I am getting very worried though.
    I have been having panic attacks, heart palpatations when I exert myself at the gym ( I have not had these since I was 85 lbs), and I have the body dysmorphia again. I only lost 2 pounds with this calorie reduction. But I am not cold and my hands and feet are pretty warm. Oh, and I want to binge all of the time again. So I was wondering besides hypothyroidism, what other things do you know of can calorie restriction cause? And also about BMR, before my anorexia, I had a big appetite. More than most people I ate with. I never became chubby or overweight, even without exercise. Why is it that some people have bigger appetites and don’t become overweight?

    Reply
    • Oh, and I have no period this month. I had two in a row after not having it for 13 months.

      Reply
      • When people are recovering from EDs, they need way more calories than normal maintenance. Why not increase to appetite again, which will probably fix the issues? The goal is to heal your metabolism and nutritionists will tell you it takes a year. Unfortunately you will gain more weight than you want, and that part is not fun, but it does come off again. I went through the same thing, and my metabolism is pretty good now.

        Reply
    • It seems clear to me- go back to eating more!
      Panic attacks, heart palpitations, period stopping again, body dysmorhphia,
      wanting to binge again- a clear sign to me that your body was functioning better
      on the higher calories.
      And with a loss of only 2 pounds to show for the lower calories- it seems there is not much to lose!
      I think the nutritionists are out of order- 1500- 2000 calories is too low in my estimation. And your body is giving you clear signs that it is so.

      When I am getting in a food deficit/energy deficit/not eating enough calories for my body- I start getting that feeling of wanting to dive into a vat full of food-
      for me that feeling of wanting to eat unlimited amounts of food always stems from my body being in a state of deprivation.

      Reply
      • I doubt a nutritionist would advise 1500-2000 for someone recovering from an eating disorder unless they were ramping up from very low. I was told flat-out to eat more.

        Reply
        • I should have said before also, I was told not to count calories. The best possible thing you could do is learn to tune into your body, listen to your hunger and eat what your body wants to eat. At the beginning, I would literally mix up butter and sugar and eat it, but I think my body probably needed it. That didn’t last too long. But if you can listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs, and if you obey it, then it will eventually give you what you want (a great body composition).

          Reply
          • Hi Amy
            How much weight did you gain when you let loose and ate as you felt,
            and how long did it take for the excess weight to drop off afterwards?
            Did the excess drop off naturally and easily, or did you have to manipulate it?
            How long did you have ED for beforehand – or , how long had you been dieting for?
            And,
            do you have the body composition you want now with complete freedom of eating?

            I am asking because I still havent managed to get to the place of eating to appetite without gaining weight-
            every time I try the weight gain becomes too much for me and I back off.
            I wonder if I just have to let the body keep gaining till it is ready to stop?
            And if I am willing/able to do this?
            And if I do do this- will the weight naturally ease off afterwards? or not?
            I have heard stories where it has, and stories where it hasnt.

          • Probably about 20 pounds up from my lowest weight to highest, over the course of 4 years (I had several relapses). I’m now about 7 pounds or so under that, although I rarely weigh myself, It came off pretty naturally. I will say I have a good diet. I eat mostly real food (I eat refined stuff but really try to avoid things with chemicals). I just listened to my body, ate when I was hungry, stopped when full, listened to what I wanted. I made friends with my body. I do sometimes put on a few pounds and then it comes off. I don’t know if I would say I have “complete freedom of eating.” I don’t sit around eating doritos all day. I do listen to what I want and would eat them within reason if I were really craving them, but I try to get a balanced diet and again avoid the processed garbage. I eat plenty of pizza and stuff like that but it’s real stuff, not dominos or pizza hut. I eat organic as much as I can when cooking at home. My overall goals are to avoid chemicals and processed oils. I get a good amount of veggies in. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.

            I had an ED for about 5 years before I began getting help, about 8-9 years total if you include the relapses.

            I do have a great body composition now. I recently started doing some weight/toning stuff again but don’t have any major need to do it. More for health purposes.

            I will say my health is not perfect, I’m still dealing with issues (partly why I started exercising again). I went through a very stressful time last year and hormonal changes (going off pill) and my immune system took a major hit. But it’s definitely getting better again. The fact that I can start exercising again is huge.

            Not sure about your case, but the best advice I can give anyone is aim for a balanced diet, avoid the chemicals, and make friends with and listen to your body.

          • Thanks Amy
            That is really helpful just to hear someone else’s experience.

            Our diets are similar- I mainly try to avoid the polyunsaturates (cheap vegetable oils), and chemicals/additives.
            Other than that my diet is pretty free and easy- though I do eat decent homemade food most of the time, as opposed to “junk”.

            My main idea with food freedom, is just about eating to appetite and not restraining calories artificially.
            If I eat to appetite , following my body, I gain.
            My metabolic rate is high- but if I eat over my calorie maintenance figure- I gain very rapidly, and it takes ages and lots of care to get it off again.
            And I eat less than my hunger would dictate- which is my main issue.

            I think many years of calorie/food restriction has made my body systemically hungry and want to gain fat, if it can.. Or something like that.
            Because my gain doesnt stop at 20 pds- it would go above that- though at that point I usually halt the process because I dont want to gain any more. I dont know at what point the gain would stop!

            I am hovering in a place now between letting go again, and seeing where my body will take me,
            and still holding on to the control over my diet(calorie amounts), and figure.

            I am always trying to see if there is some way I can achieve what I want;
            eating to appetite and decent figure/weight control,
            without having to go through the process of exponential (possibly very large) weight gain;
            and who knows what at the end of that!

          • Well, I would not allow myself to gain lots of weight either, so I can understand where you’re coming from. In the end, liking your body and being happy are pretty important, too.

          • Thanks Amy,
            It is good to have that validated- because it is important to
            me to feel happy about the way I look-
            and to have a body I feel comfortable in.

          • @The Real Amy Very sound advice! but what to do when one can’t trust her own body/cravings? :s

          • Bang on!!
            That is the very crux of my dilemna!

            Caught between a rock and a hard stone.

          • Actually it just takes time. I think you can always trust them. When I was getting over my eating disorder, I would crave butter and sugar mixed up together. I rarely crave sweet things now. Once I started really tuning in and feeding my body, the “bad” cravings went away. But, you may need to obey them at first for this to happen. As well as making sure you’re properly nourishing your body with plenty of good food. The process takes time.

          • Hi Amy
            Well, I have been thinking about it all.

            I do have quite a good relationship with my body/food overall these days- I am intimately acquainted with my levels of hunger and can generally tell what kind of food my body needs and how much.

            I am long past any stages of compulsive eating or even real cravings because overall I know how to give my body enough of what it wants to keep it happy and balanced.

            But the last bastion is being able to truly eat to appetite, without the restraining factor.

            Now the theory is, that if you follow your bodies instincts, over time it will balance out and reduce to a normal weight (after an initial gain, which is more apparent long-term dieters).

            However from looking around on the boards all over the place- it seems that it doesnt always happen-
            some people gain and dont lose!
            I have looked at the “naturally thin” site by Jean Antoinelli; and there does not seem a high amount of success with her method- which is more or less following the bodies cues for food and hunger- allowing the gain, and trusting that it will balance out and drop off over time.
            Some women have gained masses of weight- and stayed there for months/years, still hoping for the natural drop off.

            As far as I can tell there is no guarantee that the body is going to settle down to the kind of weight our society considers normal/slim.

            If anyone has other thoughts/experience on this- please speak up!

            Is it just that for some- eating to natural appetite is going to involve a heavier weight?

          • I’ve read something that seems kinda interesting according to things like GAPS. Many strict GAPSers eventually move on to WP,yet most of them don’t gain the insidious weight/fat back. I wonder if this might be bc they healed their underlying gut problems and/or slowly transition into letting the body get used to more carbs? instead of just bombarding it by RRARFing?

  53. Hi,

    I remember growing up in rural Hungary in the late 1960s, early 1970s. The staples were pork, chicken and duck (very little fish, except canned sardines and no seafood – Hungary is a landlocked country). People used pig’s lard, sometimes duck fat for frying (now it is sunflower oil). For breakfast and supper we usually had bacon (not the meaty kind, that kind of bacon is mostly lard) and sausage. Sausages were homemade, as there were a couple of pigs in every household. People used to slaughter their own pigs and made everything at home. Also, if we wanted to eat chicken, my grandma bought one at the market and killed her at home by slashing her neck). She even killed ducks. Most of the fruit and vegetables we had were homegrown. We ate lots of onion – lard is always eaten with onion in Hungary – and bell pepper. Banana was practical nonexistent in the stores, in the winter there was orange. People also used to make their own jams and preserved fruit. Only one kind of white bread was available – it came in big loaves and was baked by bakers living in the village. Life was so much different. Still, people were generally thin, and cancer was rare. My mother-in-law is a doctor. She says when she was young, certain type of tumors could no be demonstrated on live humans, as no one had that kind of tumor. Other tumors only occurred in elderly persons. Now she sees the same kinds of tumor in children. Just a few thoughts.

    Reply
    • Hi Centurion
      My mother also commented that when she was a nurse- 50+ yrs ago, cancer was almost unheard of…
      And people were skinnier..lol

      Reply
  54. Hi Matt,

    I have been stalking this blog for years, but have only left a comment or two. First and foremost I truly appreciate your misanthropic style. So, thanks!

    I have been eating a lot of carbs, sugar, milk, etc in the past 5 weeks. As far as improving stress levels it has worked wonders. I sleep like a rock and am essentially stress free. However, this morning I took my fasting glucose and it was 95! Despite the fact that yesterday I measured my post prandial glucose 1 hour after eating 3 white potatoes and a glass of OJ and it was 96. What gives!? Any thoughts? I recall about a year ago I was low carb (less than 60 grams a day) and went to the doc for a blood panel. At that time my fasting glucose was 95 as well. I remember reading on Chris Kresser’s blog that low carb dieters often have high fasting blood glucose, but it shouldn’t matter as long as post prandial is in the normal range. So… anyway.. any ideas as to why my fasting sugar would be so high still, but my post prandial considerably low?

    For the sake of reference, my waking temp is generally 98.1 and my mid day ranges from 98.4-98.7. Although after that potato and OJ meal yesterday my temp spiked to 99.7.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Your adrenals are just a little overactive in the morning it sounds like. I would play around with the composition of your dinner and see how it impacts fasting glucose. Some people do better eating fewer carbs at night, some do better eating a lot heavier at night, with a bedtime snack like ice cream as well. See what you find.

      Reply
  55. I was low carb for about a year, felt really cold, hair falling out, and tired, etc. I was making homemade ice cream other raw dairy while on low carb, but not every day, just as splurges. I began adding back a few carbs, some fruit and some rice or potato. then i had an a1c of 6.0 and now the doc wants me to go low carb again, not that I’m high carb, now. i borrowed a friend’s glucometer and found that my fasting level was 69 one day and 80 the next. After meals I stayed in the range of 94-98.
    I did have a chai tea latte one day and hadn’t eaten much that day, one hour blood glucose shot up to 174 and back to 93 at the two hour mark. I do not have a large appetite and cannot eat a lot of food at one sitting due to some other gut thing going on – not sure what that is, just yet. Candida or h-pylori.
    I’m a 55 yr. old peri-menopausal female, if I were younger I wouldn’t be overly concerned about trying more carbs to try to level my blood sugar issues, but I am concerned at my age. Also, my docs (holistic) wanting my to do low carb again isn’t making sense to me with low thyroid symptoms even though the labs are normal.
    Any thoughts? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Eat more carbs, more often. Going long periods without food is what causes the huge blood glucose spike in response to food. Otherwise your fasting and postmeal levels are fine. Over time they will become more consistent.

      Reply
  56. Hi Dutchie

    Well my experience with the low carb is that I never lost weight on it and I never gained weight when I added carbs back in.

    For me it is simply a matter of calories;
    3000 cals a day on a low carb diet
    seems to have the same effect on my body as 3000 cals a day of either a high carb, or a mixed diet.

    So for me the factor is not coming off low carb and gaining- its simply a matter of gaining when increasing calories no matter where the calories come from.

    As for gut healing- I think I have healed my gut a bit over the years, but as far as weight goes, it hasnt affected that side of it for one way or the other.

    However my boyfriend of last year got rid of gluten- and spontaneously lost significant weight-
    he didnt eat less calories either- replaced them with other things..
    So for some gut issues or inflammatory issues with food has an effect on weight.

    Reply
    • Nola,

      Regarding the story of your boyfriend. There are quite some theories out there,that state that humans store toxins in their fat just like animals do,except for pigs the toxins in them get stored in the meat. Maybe there is some truth in there….regarding food-toxins,that whatever one eats that is an intolerance/detrimental to their body gets stored as fat.
      In my experience the foods that are detrimental to me,makes me crave them,eat more of it bc they give me a (temporary) “blissfull” feeling whether it be a refined or whole food etc…..so that could also be one of the culprits of fatgain/obesity and not just the sugar&fat debates.

      Certainly leaves one with lots of ‘foodissues’&suspicion etc.

      Reply
      • I do believe that toxins etc get stored in fat.
        And from an esoteric point of view I think we also store a lot of old emotional stuff in our cells- which in my mind can contribute to fat or not fat?
        Maybe unwittingly holding onto or storing old stuff in our bodies = fat ; whether that is emotional toxins or physical.

        I do know that when I was doing a lot of inner work at the beginning of the year, I got to a point where I felt food was really not the point anymore, and that if we had a more neutral stance to it- ie, neither good nor bad, it wouldnt really matter too much what we ate actually.
        I felt that the inner stuff I was holding (traumas/bad patterns etc) was of far more import than what I did or didnt eat.

        I think the food can be a mis-focus at times.

        In saying that – I dont discount what you say- some foods do lead me to eat more , and some are more satisfying relative to the amount of calories they hold.

        But I think there is a point which Cheifrok kind of said- where you may eat more in one sitting because of addictive/good tasting foods, but overall, it may not neccessarily cause you to eat more- ie, the body discerns the calories and it gets less hungry later??
        Something like that..
        I have just noticed for myself- that I can eat lots of wholesome non-addictive foods and feel fuller;
        but only temporarily;
        because then the body starts calling out for more – because it still recognises an energy deficit (relative to what it wants).

        For me – I can cheat the body for a while with more filling satisfying foods- but eventually it says- no! – and I start craving more food.

        My body just seems to want more food, and it all boils down to calories or energy at the end of the day- and eating “non-addictive” foods only works to redirect or assuage this need for a short time.

        I think it comes down to whether your body is wanting to get fatter or not:
        Chiefrok has said- there are some reasons our body wants to gain weight-
        and I think if our bodies are in this state (for whatever reason) of wanting to gain weight- then they are going to lead us to do so – whether we eat addictive foods or non- addictive foods,
        it all ends up at the same point in the long run.

        I know this is a long winded answer- but i am trying to get to some underlying issues. I too have done what you are doing, looked at the foods I ate and their effects on me in terms of wanting to eat more/ or less, leading to more cravings and so on..
        But it has not really led to any definitive answers or solutions, and in the end has not helped me get anywhere.

        I think the point I am making is that the foods that you consider detrimental and crave for the blissful feeling, and therefore eat more of;
        are not neccessarily the issue.
        The issue may be the need to get a blissful feeling,
        or,
        the body wants to gain weight, so craves or imparts that blissful feeling to encourage you to eat more so as to obtain its goals.. lol

        Jon Gabriel has one thing in his book which always sticks in my mind-
        one of his affirmations is,
        “My body wants to be thin”
        And I think that is the crux of the matter- if our bodies want to be thin- they will do things that lead to that end, not the reverse , as is happening with so many of us.

        So why are our bodies wanting to get fat?

        Reply
  57. Your “body” wants to not starve to death and up until very recently, the threat of starvation was way more likely than obesity. So we’ve evolved to have stronger defenses against fat loss than fat gain. Sure there are outliers, the genetically lean type who even until old age never become significantly fat and there’s certainly a continuum to how fat resistant people are.

    Reply
  58. oops, ignore the quotes around body. Didn’t mean to do that.

    Reply
  59. yeah- it seems that way!
    now the question is how to cheat it and get our bodies to want thin?
    lol
    or is that just way too hard?

    Reply
  60. Hiya,

    Hoping to get some answers. From the article and comments scanning I’ve done, I think I’ve come to the right place!

    I’m a 31-year-old in what I thought was relatively good health aside from chronic facial acne. I’ve always been a grazer, a believer in real food, and eat relatively low carb, although not on purpose, just staying away from grains and processed food. I have frequent headaches that start in the afternoon and are sometimes still there the next morning. I had a potato for lunch last week and afterwards had this odd diaphoretic event. Thinking that my blood sugar might be out of whack, I bought a glucometer and started checking. My fasting sugars in the mornings have been in the mid-90s. After a usual lunch for me of salmon, non-starchy veggies, lots of butter/coconut oil, and some kimchi, my postprandials were 107 at one hour, 97 at two hours, and 100 at three hours. And today after adding a half a baked potato to my usual lunch of meat and non-starchy veggies, I was 207 at one hour and 126 at two hours. Same kinda pattern after a yogurt and fruit smoothie. Not great!

    Oh, and my sleeping has been awful lately. Mostly terminal insomnia, but some initial too. My temps, though, are fine, 98.5 to 98.8. I switched from the pill (kariva for 7 years) to a copper IUD three months ago, which has been stellar. My cycle has been like clockwork. And I’m working on cultivating joy in my life and cutting out stress.

    I don’t have finances to try to find a practitioner who truly “gets it,” and I don’t know enough to go it alone. Those of you have read Matt’s ebooks, can you recommend one: Metabolism? Diabetes? Diet Recovery? I’d really appreciate any pointers.

    Reply
    • Hey Linds,

      ‘Diet Recovery’ is probably the best place to start in your situation. Sounds like you’re just trying to get healthy and not have such up and down reactions to food, and to help your sleep patterns normalize. The book outlines ways to increase the metabolism, which has downstream effects everywhere in the body.

      Alternately, if you’re interested in talking with Matt, you can check out the ‘Get Help’ tab. He’s offering consultations on a ‘pay what you can’ basis, including no cost if you’re in a bind. Don’t let a financial constraints stop you if you’re interested.

      Good luck!

      Reply

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