How To Increase Your Metabolism And Weight Loss With Hypothyroidism

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By Rob Archangel, staff writer

Anyone you know have a thyroid condition like Hasimoto’s thyroiditis? Matt’s got a new post over at Outsmart Disease answering some questions about enhancing the metabolism and losing weight for folks with those conditions.

As many of you know, though, functional hypothyroidism (or “Type 2 Hypothyroidism,” in the language of endocrinologist Mark Starr) is widely common, and even those without specific thyroid-related diagnoses can see benefit from raising their metabolism and enhancing their thyroid function. As he mentions in the interview, his recommendations and goals tend to be similar since the benefits of having a robust metabolism apply to all, and can be both therapeutic and preventative.

So mosey on down to Marina’s site there, and check out Matt’s interview here.


  1. First?

  2. Thyroid seems like such an easy organ to mess up.

  3. I haven’t read the article yet. I just wanted to be the first to comment. I promise I will read the article immediately.

    • Hey Matt, I really appreciate the work you are doing for people with weight issues, thyroid problems etc. I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism, Low T (less than a teenange girl, I’m a 46 yr old male), low B12, low VIT D levels. In 2009 I went on a medically supervised liquid diet (I weighed 325lbs, 6 ft tall, and had high blood pressure and skyrocketing tryglicerides but low blood glucose readings under 70) called Optifast and dropped oer a hundred pounds (dwon to 211 lbs) since June of 2011 I have put on massive amounts of weight rather quickly, now back up to 295 lbs, despite eating “clean” mostly vegetables and lean proteins. I have recently started Tim Ferris’s Slow Carb diet, but I fear that his high protein suggestions may make my hypothyroidism worse. Do you think if I modify his diet to reduce the protein and include other startches can work or should I try Intermittent Fasting protocol such as the Warrior Diet? Thanks.

      • First you should address your hormones. Are you on any thyroid or HRT? Also are you taking your vit D and getting enough of the other vitamins/minerals?

        Absolutely dont try the warrior diet.

      • Jon O,
        Working on the weight loss first is a backwards approach. Tim’s approach would help if you had a few pounds to lose and you needed a reliable approach to fat mobilization because your set point was not elevated. Fighting against the weight set point from 325 to 211 with simple dietary strategies, (carb restriction calorie restriction etc) is a whole other story and leads to a consistent 99% backfire rate! I fast daily but I couldn’t say for sure if fasting is appropriate for you personally at this point with the info in your comment. Start by addressing things like stress, sleep, nutrition, your lifestyle, your metabolism and then the weight will drop automatically as a “side effect” of proper body function even with junk food and 4000-plus calorie meals all in the mix.

        • As far as Anthony Colpo, To me his article is more of a rant than a serious look at the matter.
          He left out important details such as what people do during ramadan such as avoiding sex and other worldly activities. Why would anyone want to “bust their ass” doing anything while not eating like the studies on athletic performance he cited?? Recently some people were outraged at the olympic scheduling because muslim athletes know their not supposed to switch up to fasting while busting your ass otherwise muslims wouldn’t care when the games were held.

          Even if athletic ability is compromised What does athletic ability have to do with IF for fat loss ? Why should a non athlete give a shit ? I certainly don’t and It does not impair me or anyone else I know from their daily duties.

          If I rode the shit out of bikes like Colpo I wouldn’t fast either. Your typical overweight desk jockey tends to see benefits from fasting with very low output though. There are plenty of studies on improved health markers of people who fast during ramadan he didn’t cite any of them because they contradict his beliefs. There is also the effects of dehydration in athletic performance as they abstain from drinking as well during ramadan and that certainly plays a role in sports.

          Also I think there is some adaptations that also take place in those that do a ramadan-esque eating style year round like myself. If at times I am unable to eat because of lack of food nearby or drink while doing some extreme physical activity like chopping wood or some shit like that in a day, I’ve never noticed any lack of strength or stamina as Anthony fears will result from fasting.

          I wouldn’t ride a bike for 3 hours or jog or anything like the treadmill jogging they used in the studies anyways but thats a whole other issue.

          • Thank you Zach, Chief and Oracle for your replies. Much appreciated :)

  4. Good article!! I like the way specific questions were covered, am going to send this to my sister as another attempt to help her by providing alternatives for her thyroid/adrenal issues.

  5. What are the possible reasons body temperature doesn’t raise at all when you RRARF for a month? That’s what happened to me. Something’s not working properly, but my fat cells sure are!

    • The biggest barrier I’ve seen is inability to get a sufficient quantity and quality of sleep.

      • I’m in the same boat at Jimba. I’ve ETFed, restricted fluids, while getting 8+ hours of sleep, for over a month, without getting to the mid-to-upper 98s. Salt, including the under-the-tongue 4:1 sugar:salt mixture, does not reliably make me feel warmer, nor reliably purge the sympathetic-dominant state. (and as far as conventional medicine is concerned, I’m in perfect health, so there’s no obvious condition).

        About 2 months ago I fell back into drinking a lot of coffee and tea (like 10+ cups a day), and felt great for a little while, and then started feeling worse. Mini catecholamine honeymoon, methinks. So perhaps I need to undo that, again. Who knows.

        So I still think there’s value in fluid restriction, and am trying it again. Interestingly, I often have bad reactions to foods that are high in potassium (headaches, tiredness, having to pee every 30 minutes), so I think electrolyte regulation is involved in some capacity.

        So my new plan is to ETF, sleep 8+, drink only when thirsty, and try to avoid potassium-rich foods (like mashed potatoes, which also have a lot of water in them). I’ve also been giving blood to reduce iron, and using an earthing mat and negative ion generators.

        Yes, I’m willing to try just about anything. :)

        • Oh, one other thing I was going to try: Salt baths. I dunno if bathing in hypertonic solutions really can impact cells inside our body, but this article claims it can (in mice):

          • Thanks Zogby. That’s helpful as I’ve been pondering exterior fluid influences during the development of this book I’m working on too. I notice swimming in a pool, if I stay in too long, triggers frequent urination and coldness. It’s interesting because the entire concept of the book is the idea of the net sum of all your food and fluids equaling a hypertonic solution.

          • hey matt, One thing you may have overlooked in relation to pools and fluids is the temperature of the pool. Your body naturally moves the blood flow to your core, circulation goes down and fluid needs to decrease overall because of the blood volume going down. This is why people need to pee when they jump in the pool to regain balance. I thought I should chime in as this might help in your book/ thinking about fluids and how this relates to post-swimming internal state of the body.

          • A couple of years ago, I used to take long hot baths frequently (5x a week). They felt great while I was in ‘em, but awful afterwards (cold, anxious). It took me a while to make that connection, though I never could figure out why. Of course I took them precisely because I was cold.

            I suppose it’s possible that hot, hypotonic water might be bad for people with low electrolyte balance, if electrolytes can indeed be lost through the skin in sufficient quantities.

            It also fits in the category of things that, prior to civilization, the body never needed a defense for, because natural hot water isn’t a very common thing. So you can find pleasure in something that’s maybe bad for you, which in general doesn’t make much sense.

            I think drinking too many fluids fits nicely in this category, too, because I would guess very few people naturally drink too much unflavored water (i.e. unless they’ve been told its healthy).

        • Yeah, potassium is like the anti-salt. And I’ve had several people be more attentive to it. I should be coming out with a short book in a couple of weeks that will really help you master this concept, hopefully.

          • I’ve been drinking a lot of orange juice for months now, bad idea?

          • I went through an orange juice phase. Maybe 1-2 quarts a day. I felt that initially, it was very relaxing, and so I kept going. I don’t remember specifically if it gave me cold hands & feet, but I definitely noticed that I would have to pee absurdly often, often with low volume. And the feelings of relaxation morphed into fatigue.

            So the symptoms didn’t fit neatly into either the parasympathetic or sympathetic buckets. But ultimately, I think the frequency of urination was a sign that my body wasn’t happy about something, and the large amounts of potassium in OJ is my best guess.

          • freshly squeezed OJ is sooooo good though! It’s been about 70% of what I drink :P. But yeah, I’m gonna take it easy on the OJ and see what happens.
            I mainly got some stress and sleeping issues, it doesn’t take much for me to have trouble sleeping.

          • Would you stop being a tease and release the book already? Good grief.

          • I think the phrase you are thinking of is “lazy ass,” not tease.

          • Matt, you make me laugh. :)

          • LOL. I’m in the same boat as everybody here with the OJ and Sierra Mist and blah blah blah.

            I pray for myself and others, that we may sip our beverages, let our bodies slowly get a feel for the right ratios, instead of being bombarded with too many fluids at once.

            I also pray that we may get more of our cravings fulfilled by solid foods, for the body might start to confuse calories with thirst with lots of caloric beverages being the norm and then we end up having an inbalance.

            I can only speculate but this is one of my issues I am working on, and let me tell you, restricting OJ, and sipping on things is really REALLY hard for me. I told Chief it’s like sticking your Bleep inside a hot chick and not being able to move.

            Simply Orange is what I usually get when it comes to juice. and right now, if I want some, I have just a tiiny bit. It’s like fucking crack. Good luck!

          • if orange juice tastes that good to you then you should probably keep drinking it unless you notice you get extremely cold hands/feet afterwords, or it starts to taste not so great. when i was drinking OJ as much as i wanted, i was going through a half gallon or more every day. at the time i weighed 195.

            one thing i made a connection to was my desire to drink alcohol and juice. if i reallllly wanted a beer, but i drank juice instead, my craving for alcohol went down a lot (didn’t disappear, though. it has recently when i decided to go to buffets every day). Thanks for the idea, Lustig.

          • Ok, let me do all the hard work while you laze around. The new book captures the post-rrarf world. So after the 30 day rrarf ‘cleanse':
            a) No need to eat beyond appetite except occasionally pwo.
            b) Salt your food liberally.
            c) Balance fluid intake depending on amount of (b). Also, do not drink a lot of water (8+ glasses) unless you are a competitive athlete or training hard.
            Hope I did not give it all away ;-)

        • Have you noticed any impact on your fluid/ electrolyte regulation after giving blood?

          • Not specifically. I usually feel good the week after giving blood, though. It could just be random, or it could be feeling good about donating.

            The theory I prefer — and I have absolutely no proof of any of this — is that iron is probably less available after donating, since the body is using available iron for hemoglobin production. High iron can lead to increased infection (bacterial growth is often limited by iron availability), or an increase in oxidation.

            As with so many things, putting iron in context is difficult, because it may be that only hypometabolic people have trouble with it. Perhaps a strong body easily fights off infections, has anti-oxidant power to spare, and is better about putting iron in long-term storage anyway.

            Ray Peat has written that calorie restriction in some species may actually be iron-restriction, which is an interesting idea that I’ve never really looked into in detail.

      • Something not covered much here but if ‘stomach’ pains keep you from a good night sleep 90% of nights for the last 15 years, then recovery is always going to be difficult if not impossible. Increase fat intake, too much large bowel stimulation at night. Increase meat, pains underneath the sternum. at night. Too much card, headaches and extreme hunger all the time.

        Super low metabolism? Gastroparesis? Matt can you focus a little on the second one soon?

        • Damn that sounds bad I am sorry =( Anyone here think cayenne pepper (I heard it helps with ulcers and all kinds of GI issues cuz it promotes blood flow idk…)would help Shinrai at all? Perhaps some spicy bone broth. Maybe some glutamine idk =\

          • Ive actually heard that cayenne,chilipepper&other capsicums aggravate the gutlining?at least when one has a sensitive gutlining:s

  6. Matt,

    Have you encountered a situation where someone routinely feels really warm( belly, face, hands etc) after eating, yet when they check their temp it may still only be mid/upper 97s?

    Thanks for the blogs, the paleo myths book is a blast and needs a sequel of some sort!

  7. I have been taking both potassium (bicarbonate) and salt, with emphasis on the salt. Last summer, I was driving in the outback with temperatures way above 40 degrees C (105+ F), so I needed to drink. I would dissolve salt and potassium bicarb. in my water in a ratio of 2 or 3:1, according to need.

    I also wondered how do hypothyroid people handle very hot weather? Is it just the cold that affects them, or do they have trouble regulating their temps when it is hot also?

  8. Hey Matt,
    What are your thoughts on Borge/Børge Fagerli aka Blade, and his ‘Biorythm diet’?


    • Hi Kris, throwin’ my 2 cents in. He is getting a fasting effect by moving his carbs to night time. You would see similar results not eating at all or by restricting carbs for the early part of the day.

  9. Great article. Maybe it shouldve stated too to avoid soy and gluten.
    As far as bodytemp and fluids,might there also be a relation to acid/alkaline balance in the body?

    • I recently watched a vid on youtube about alternative cancer treatments, and one talked about high alkaline foods leading to more oxygen in the cells. I figured that would also be good for raising a low metabolism since oxygen = fuel for the fire, right? I already had a list of high alkaline foods, and it turns out a lot of the veggies I eat are on that list, as well as high-ish in minerals (like green beans and peas I think…).

      I’m not sure what Matt’s observation on the topic would be, but I’d be interested to know myself.

      • Do you have a Link to that list? my body is already acidic by die-off and i keep poisoning it with more acidic stuff out of pure misery,anxiety,hurt,anger,practical stuff etc.

        to the people who rrarfed,what did you eat mealwise on a day? And did you take probiotics? Or maybe still do?

        • I have several links. Here are the best ones I think:

 (this is the one I printed)

          However, the things I avoid are gluten, soy, and any sulfite or MSG type additives. Raising my metabolism is also a work in progress, and I keep a food diary. Just a few days ago I had an oral morning temp of 97.8, but yesterday it was down to 97.2, maybe due to not enough sleep.

          I don’t currently take probiotics, but I do eat plain yogurt with homemade applesauce now and then, which I sweeten with cane sugar and/or honey. fwiw.

          • Thanx 4 the link. I’ll look into it,but from what I gathered mostly all veggies&fruits are alkaline and all animal proteine sources acidic.

        • Dutchie,

          I did not take probiotics.

          I ate about every 2 hours for months.
          Today I eat every 3-4 hours
          I eat whatever I want
          Biscuits and, Jelly or syrup
          Mashed potatoes with butter
          Beef & gravy with rice or, potatoes
          Hamburgers & fries
          Meat Loaf
          It is rare that I eat chicken or fish
          Ice Cream, cookies, candy bars, and, cake
          Orange juice 3 cups a day no pulp, not from concentrate
          4% cottage cheese, because I like it. :)

          I avoid fiber
          I avoid nuts
          I avoid greens
          I avoid PUFA’s
          I avoid gluten
          I avoid most fruits they aggravate my IBS

          Funny, all the things I avoid now, were the mainstay of my diet prior
          to reading Matt. :) I had read so many books saying how healthy
          all the above foods are for you. All the while I was steadily going
          down hill and, believing I was “detoxing.” As recommended I started
          drinking excess water to help detox. I was killing myself.

          I drink water sparingly now, meaning only if I feel thirsty.
          I do have 2 cups of coffee in the morning. I will have juice first.
          Then I use some sugar with my coffee and, a little rice milk.

          In the beginning I used sugar often. I would take 3 tsp first thing in
          the morning. Now I usually just have a cup of juice first thing.

          I too was very acidic, I took 1/2 tsp of baking soda once or, twice a day
          for several days. Then once or, twice a week. Now I might use the baking soda once or twice a month.

          I did gain over 10 pounds. But, my family thinks I needed the weight.
          I am trying to be content with the extra weight. It is hard because I enjoy
          being thin. I feel free in a thin body. I am a size 8 now. I was a size 4.
          My husband said I look like a woman now, instead of a little girl.

          Too, I have tried cutting back on food and, every time I do old symptoms
          start rearing their ugly head.

          I don’t count calories but, guessing I would say I eat 2000-2500 daily.
          I am sure before, I ate around 1300-1500 daily.

          • Thanx for the reply Betty:)

            Back in the days during my ‘blissfully naive/ignorant’ food&health days, thinking of it now,I ate very little fiber too. Though I did love to eat wholewheat buns,some kinda-like sourdough bread mainly bc I loved the firmness and they filled me up/satiated me more.

            It has been indicated by several people,who don’t know eachother, that a somewhat (Lacto)Paleo(no/little fruits) foodpattern would be best for my overall health in the long run. That hurts/frustrates/angers me so much,bc I actually deep down know&experience it’s true. Yet I keep wanting to ‘close my eyes’ and ‘pretend it’s not true’,which has led me even further down an ugly vicious cycle,bc I really don’t know what to do anymore with all these strange mood&anxiety disorders,weird energy patterns etc.
            I guess there’s really truth in the acid/alkaline&energy theories….:( (That could also probably be why I always felt kinda sluggish all the ‘acid foods’ I was consuming.Maybe that’s also part of the puzzle regarding metabolism/hypothyroidism/diabetes etc.)

          • Yes,I know there are lots of researches that state it’s not valid theory. However on this thread: lots of people claim to feel better by some alkalizing drink they take.

            A while back I also read about a study regarding diabetes…that people who consumed bread and some apple cider vinegar before,had more stable bloodsugar. Makes me wonder now,if it might’ve also had something to do with the vinegar alkalizing the acidic effect of the bread…..

          • Sounds more like that the Apple Cider Vinegar is having an effect on the phosphor content of the bread. Only thing ACV has going for it is the Salicylates.

          • I feel for you Betty. If it helps any, I like me’s a full woman. I’m not talkin obese or anything, but some meat on dem bones just looks physically and mentally more healthy, and damn it looks attractive.

            I mean don’t get me wrong, a “fit” body can be attractive too, but when we do the hanky panky I’m not tryin to take skeletal anatomy classes at the same time.

            For years I avoided pop as a teen, and also milk cuz I believed those were the cause of my migraines. LOL it’s hilarious I still have an email I send to the FDA when I was younger about why they allow bullshit dairy products to be sold. Oh what a funny dude I was.

            Beside the fact that one time when I was younger one of my uncles told me that I could lose weight if when I was hungry just chug water to get the pangs to go away. I drank a lot of water because I too thought I was detoxing and because I read that peeing clear was good for me. Well when your hair starts falling out at 17/18 years old and you’re fat and want your world to end, you might not want to drink unless you’re actually thirsty.

            Mkay? Mkay.

          • Bob Dean metal dude

            Thanks. My husband feels the same too.

            I too don’t care for skinny in other people. Funny huh?
            I agree that people need a little meat to cover their bones.
            Yet, it is hard for me to like it on myself. Odd.

            Yes drinking excess water and, lots of green smoothies was
            literally killing me. I can’t thank Matt enough because I had
            seen so many MDs, Naturopaths, Chiropractors etc…..
            Not one of them understood what I was doing to myself.
            I would tell them what I ate and, drank and they all thought I
            was eating very well. So, they proceeded to give me supplement
            after supplement grrrrr! All the money wasted. Too, all the needless suffering.

            Glad you made it to Matt too. :)

          • Btw Betty, you write you avoid gluten but in your list there is some stuff which normally would contain gluten,such as: pizza,hamburger,lasagna….
            Or can you get them glutenfree where you live? There’s some glutenfree stuff at the healthstore here,but the one time I had something it really tasted like crap……besides that,there’s so many additives in it that I don’t think it has any healthy stuff anymore in comparison with normal gluten supermarket stuff.

          • Dutchie,

            I make my own gluten free foods. I usually use
            white rice and, potato starch in a 2 to 1 ratio.
            Rarely, I will use a little sorghum and/or oats. Whole
            grains and, I don’t get along.

            Yes I do have two Natural/whole food stores here that carry
            many gluten free foods. You are right that they have tons
            of additives. Too, they often contain flax seed, whole grains,
            and, gums. All of of those are not great for me.

            I will “rare” eat some of the above pre made GF foods in a
            lazy/busy day. As long as I don’t make a habit out of eating
            this stuff I can get away with it.

          • Would you and other RRARFERS be willing to share some before&after pics? if Matt/Rob gives my email,bc I dont feel comfortable typing it openly online just as I might imagine people not wanting to post their pic online.:)

          • Dutchie,

            I don’t have any before or after pics. While it is true I
            was a size 4 and, I am now a size 8. I don’t take pics of
            myself. I never have wanted to look good for others to
            see. It was always for myself. Too, I was trying to eat
            for my health. Not really eating for my physical appearance.

            Any pics I have would be a head shot with perhaps a
            grand baby sitting in my lap. I am 50.

            Too, I am a big believer in modesty/holiness. I dress to
            cover myself, never to advertise.

          • Thanx Betty…I thought you were more my age. However I quickly Googled what a ‘size 8′ lookls like and I have to say it doesn’t look like fat/obese to me,especially seeing most women nowadays in your age-range:)

            Thing with me is that I should eat for my health,yet I also constantly keep being trapped in this anxiety/fear of getting fat/general anxiety/mood disorders,being addicted to all the wrong stuff and all these other weird things….
            Back in the day,when I was still oblivious about it all and had somewhat of a life/routine,I wasn’t healthy at all either but all those symptoms/weird patterns were just normal to me didn’t even think about it….neither about food.(Well I was focused partly on the lowfat stuff,but I also ate what I enjoyed/when hungry,quantities I felt like.Basically ‘rewarding myself’ with certain meals at the time,looking forward to when done exercising.)

            Now I can’t even think normal about food anymore….I actually don’t know anymore what feels ‘normal’ to me foodwise.

          • Dutchie,

            No, I don’t think I am fat. I think I am well nourished.

            It is just that I have been a size 4 since I was 20 years old.
            All my clothes are size 4. (slowly adding in new clothes) Too, I felt free in my body. Now, I notice my new weight, if that makes any sense.

            Anxiety and, fear are terrible emotions to put up with everyday. I hope you can find a way to be free of
            the torment and, enjoy being healthy.

            That is what I think about when I am feeling aware
            of my new size. I think about how great it is to have energy, warmth, and regular BM’s. Too, my hair and, skin look healthier. The quality of my life now far outweighs all the “hypo” symptoms I suffered.

            My oral temps use to run between 96.5-97.2 I felt
            cold all the time. Now my temps are 98.2-98.4
            My hands and, feet can run a little cold now and then.
            This is a good reminder to eat. Sugar is my friend.

        • I thought I posted a reply earlier, but it hasn’t shown up. (If this is a duplicate, you have my permission to delete it.)

          Here are a couple of links for the alkaline vs acid foods:

          I don’t currently take probiotics, but I do have plain yogurt with homemade applesauce and cane sugar now & then. I also avoid gluten, soy, PUFA’s, pork and anything with sulfite or MSG type additives.

          And getting my metabolism up is a work in progress, but between a food diary and morning temps, I’m figuring it out. A few days ago my morning temp (oral) was 97.8, it had been pretty steady at 97.6 for at least a week prior to that. Then it crashed down to 97.2 yesterday, possibly due to sleep issues (noisy neighbors mostly).

        • I posted a reply to this 3 times yesterday, but I’m guessing since I had a website url it didn’t make it through, or it’s still waiting for moderation? I’m not trying a 4th time, using Chrome browser instead of iceweasel (Debian linux’s firefox).

          Here are some links for alkaline vs acid foods — though increasing my metabolism is a work in progress. I do avoid gluten, pork, soy, sulfites, msg, and gmo’s (i.e. any corn that’s not labeled organic or non-gmo), and PUFA’s.

    • I posted a reply to this 3 times yesterday, but I’m guessing since I had a website url it didn’t make it through, or it’s still waiting for moderation?

      Here are some links for alkaline vs acid foods — though increasing my metabolism is a work in progress. I do avoid gluten, pork, soy, sulfites, msg, and gmo’s (i.e. any corn that’s not labeled organic or non-gmo), and PUFA’s.

    • I posted a reply to this 3 times yesterday, but I’m guessing since I had a website url it didn’t make it through, or it’s still waiting for moderation? I’m not trying a 4th time, using Chrome browser instead of iceweasel (Debian linux’s firefox).

      Here are some links for alkaline vs acid foods — though increasing my metabolism is a work in progress. I do avoid gluten, pork, soy, sulfites, msg, and gmo’s (i.e. any corn that’s not labeled organic or non-gmo), and PUFA’s.

      • In the above comment, not trying a 4th time should be now trying …

        The moral of the story on comments is, don’t include more than 1 link, or the blog software tags it as spam. :-/ Sorry for the multiple replies!

  10. Hello

    How is your body composition or bodyfat% levels going? would be really cool to hear your story and see a picture after all your wonderfull experiences

  11. About sleep and weight gain. I have had problems my entire adult life with sleep. As a software engineer, I’ve also had more than my share of work-stress. However, I NEVER had any weight issues. The first time I EVER started getting a bit overweight was on the “Weird Ray” diet. I canned that, but now eat a lot more starch, so that has contributed as well. I am not grossly overweight (by my standards). A good weight, in terms of aesthetics, for me is 210. I am presently 220. At one point I was up to 230. I am just saying that the cause can’t be attributed to any one thing but a confluence of things.

  12. Unrelated comment here, but hoping to ‘seed’ a future blog/discussion. I went to a health seminar last night, kind of a strange event that I learned about from my sons public school. It was put on by a chiropractor, with strong christian beliefs, and was purportedly about ‘killing cancer’. Surprisingly it turns out that I agreed with nearly all of their material except possibly their main 2 points:

    (1) Spine/neck problems (misalignments) are actually the _cause_ of most chronic diseases, including cancer. Their explanation was basically that ‘nerve’ dysfunction can set into motion disease as the CNS regulates all tissue processes. Nerve dysfunction results from spinal chord problems so to prevent disease fix the spinal chord.

    (2) Cancer cells _love_ sugar. To help kill cancer cells off, one should switch to low carb or at least limit highly refined sugars.


    • I should probably do a post on this, as I have to repeatedly explain the ridiculous rumor that “cancer feeds sugar” to people. Yes, cancer does like sugar because cancer cells produce energy via glycolysis. But that’s a result of a departure away from an oxidative metabolism, something you see in neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, all kinds of things. It’s a metabolic defect that doesn’t have anything directly to do with eating carbohydrates.

      • Great, I would love to see a blog on cancer and sugar.

        Also, to clarify point (1): I’m doubting it’s a primary _cause_ of disease. Certainly CNS dysfunction doesn’t help anything, but I ‘intuitively’ see it more as a _cause_ of discomfort. The senior citizen ‘bag boy’ at my local grocery store has an horribly misaligned neck. His head sticks out at least 4″ in front of the rest of his body. Other than being elderly, and all the typical things associated with that, he’s ‘healthy’ and holding down a full-time, manual labor type job at 70+.

      • Please do Matt. I would be so grateful and I am sure many would agree. Cancer still one of those things that’s so hazy and clouded with fear. And of course, rampant. With my 59 yo sister in law just diagnosed with a really bad one, bone cancer, I’d like to know just how big a role could be played by her PUFA diet, hysterectomy 15 years ago, gall bladder removal 8 years ago, and 3-4 years of vegetarianism. And very low stress usually, except for the past 4 years. I read up on Peat and summarized his anti-cancer stuff as aspirin, gelatin, coffee, sat fat, progesterone, salt, sugar, sunlight, CO2, and thyroid.

        • Oh, and donating 102 pints of blood over the course of her adult life. I’m wondering whether that kind of strain could have played a role.

          • yeah, I’m donating blood as well but I’m wondering if this will have a negative impact on my health :/. Not that I have a choice though, got too much iron…

          • I think like with everything, individuals vary. The once or twice they would even take my blood I felt very very ill and weak for a week after. Other people feel good. I think she felt okay. Is there a link with her cancer? I don’t know. But your body has to register it and adapt. And seeing as a pint of blood loss is usually an emergency, surely that would trigger emergency measures – and what might that do, over years and years? (She got an award for giving so much)

      • This is indeed something I’d like to hear you explore. Over my years of nutrition minutiae investigation, there’s a particular rabbit hole I remember visiting that didn’t mean much at the time, but that means a lot more in the context of ‘raising metabolism’.

        It’s discusses the success of an antiquated cancer treatment (Coley’s toxins) where advanced patients went into spontaneous remission after spiking a high fever in response to infection. The author, Thuo, points out that while this is regarded as an early form of immunotherapy– perhaps the real key to the remission was the sudden increase in metabolic rate (as fever is a metabolic process, not simply an immune process.) He also notes that there is a case of spontaneous remission after therapy for a myxedema coma. Anyway, it’s way over my pay grade, but it’s something I thought of as soon as I begin falling down this 180 degree rabbit hole.

        • OH SHIT Susan thank you for this. I had no idea anyone was playing with this. I’ve been working on some ideas lately with people that deal with hashimotos and I had a Eureka moment thinking about heat ( it had me thinking about localized hyperthermia as a therapy because of my thoughts on metabolism) while I was in the hot tub because the water was hot hot ( i’m in there again lol and bam you drop this.) Awesome, thank you for sharing.

          • in my excitement I forgot to put a buttload of explanation points !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Ha! Your excitement is contagious– better than a cup of coffee (a.m. where I am– hmm could that be a country lyric?). It’s definitely an under-explored area. This would kind of explain why hyperthermia treatment for cancer is not (though apparently effective) a completely predictable treatment– internal, metabolic rise in temp versus an external force. However, I will say that hot tubs and sunbathing are as close to magic bullets for the cure of all disease as I can think of;-)!!

          • Some hot tubs have even provided the remarkable ability to explore time travel.

          • …and restore hypometabolic, middle-aged men with obvious signs of low testosterone to their ideal, youthful hormonal and metabolic state.

            Rob– that’s interesting about the cold sheet therapy. It made me think of a spa staple– the steam or sauna followed by a cold dip up to your neck to stimulate the thyroid (perhaps they should reverse the order)

            Chief- if you get around to reading the full article, I’d be curious to hear what you think about the role of a starvation state prior to the rise in metabolism.

          • ha ha matt, it sometimes feels like I’m in the 80’s reading 180 in the hot tub.

          • I thought hot baths were bad for your balls…

        • Fascinating stuff- some of you readers may remember Michael Miles of the ‘Nutrition and Physical Regeneration’ blog. He did consultations with folks, and claimed to specialize in really tough cases, including folks given up by modern medicine.

          His preferred modalities were primarily herbs and hydrotherapy, and one of the intense but allegedly highly effective techniques was the ‘cold sheets therapy,’ as developed by Dr Christopher and revived by naturopath Dr Richard Schulze. An outline here:

          Basically, you induce hyperthermia with herbs and a very hot bath, then crank it up by wrapping yourself in an ice cold sheet, making the body raise its temperature even higher. The idea is pathogens are much more quickly dealt with, and in some cases, deal with at all.

          A variant Michael mentioned to me was a hydrotherapy facility that alternated between very very hot (but not scalping) water, and cold as possible water, over several cycles. The idea was that it enhanced circulation, which in turn allows the body to naturally heal. In TCM, illness comes from a blockage in energy flow, and that was the context I made sense of this in: if we get energy flowing again, the body can mobilize its tools to heal and restore.

          Anyway, thanks Susan. That link reminded me of this. Be curious what you think Chief ole’ buddy!

        • This was totally on an episode of House. I knew I’d heard of it somewhere :)

  13. A great youtube lecture capture on psychoneuroimmunology.

    I truly believe that all these “diseases” eg. hypo/hyperthyroid, cancer, lupus, etc. are directly correlated with emotions and stress. Our thoughts create disease and there is extensive scientific research to back it up. The works of Candace Pert, for example in “Molecules of Emotion” etc.

    I am fascinated by this topic and how neuropeptides and neurotransmitters are created by our thoughts. Much like Emoto, and his studies on how our thoughts influence the shape of water molecules, our physiology is directly linked to our thoughts.

    Think about multiple personality disorders and how one personality will have all the physiology of type 1 diabetes and then when that same body switches to a different personality, the diabetes disappears completely to be replaced by some other disease like hypothyroid or lupus. The mind is very very powerful.

    Neuropeptides/neurotransmitters are almost identical in chemistry to seawater. This means that our bodies produce neurotransmitters effortlessly. SSRI’s can also boost the production of specific neurotransmitters however, studies do show that we can create, almost effortlessly, just by thought, the correct neurotransmitters to create a feeling of well being. In others words, we create our own serotonin, endorphins, etc. just by thinking.

    Diet hacking, hypochondria/orthorexia is very stressful on our bodies. All of this obsession over what we are eating and how it affects us, our weight, and self image is harmful. These thoughts are wreaking havoc on our homeostasis. We become out of balance. The worry over weight gain, belly fat, body shape, what we eat etc.

    The theory behind RRARF and why it works is that we have released the negativity and stress associated with obsessing over what we eat and how it affects our bodies.

    Stop obsessing. Believe that the food that you are eating is nourishing your body. Once the belief sets in, you are well on your way to true health. Intuition is your friend. It will guide you to the right path. The point of life is to be happy and to experience joy, and that, my friends, will not come from the outside.

    • I agree with you for the most part, but I have to take partial issue with the last line, and I may be interpreting it in a way that you did not intend. I take issue with the quasi solipsist attitude of the New Thought Movement and its New Age variations, i.e. change your mind, change reality. That is true to a certain extent, even in extreme circumstance. I am thinking about those circumstance detailed by Viktor Frankl. However, there is an OUTER world, there is war, there is poverty, there is also beauty and visualizing world peace ain’t enough.
      My point is that releasing negativity isn’t enough. For example, I don’t know how well releasing “negativity” is going to do our bodies against extreme forms of environmental degradation. If a nuclear power plant meltdown in your proximity, you can let go of all your negativity, but it’s still going to poison you.

      THERE IS AN OUTSIDE. Surely we have to learn how to make the best of certain circumstances, but I also worry that this “Secret” mentality can lead to passivity towards making changes in the world. I am suspicious of “technologies” of happiness, like those offered up by Yuppie King Tony Robbins or “The Happiness Advantage.” Like I said, I am not attacking you. I am probably exaggerating the point you are making. However, this is one of my pet peeves :)

      • Yeo, there’s definitely an outside. And we don’t have bodies. We are bodies. With psychological identities. The identity is the illusion, not the outside world. Improve your mind and you can change some things to a small extent.

        • Well said! Some people may be at the stage where diet/lifestyle and stress haven’t completely ruined their digestion yet and some, well, are beyond reasonable repair. Ones mental attitude is very relevant and strength of will power i think is probably what helps those that can succeed and overcome the million obstacles to achieving good health. Sometimes though, don’t we have to admit that we can’t reach our farfetched goals and just accept that our current health and mental well being are the best they will ever be? And then just live and enjoy what you have?

        • We are bodies and souls, not one or the other. A pretty baffling concept to contemplate.

      • It’s interesting because there are two competing philosophies right now in alternative health- either “Change your mind and change you health” OR “take a bunch of amino acids and supplements and your mental health problems will disappear.”

        I think I am converging on something in the middle. “The Secret” disgusts me, and yet I have had huge success with hypnosis tapes by Glenn Harrold (I ignore the fact that he does sell one CD along the line of The Secret.) And of course as we have discussed, I would be a basket case right now without Lexapro and Xanax (there are also a couple aminos I take on a as-need basis.)

        I grew up in Santa Cruz CA, the New-Age capital of the world, and the thing that really disgusts me is the implication that serious diseases like cancer are caused by “negative thinking.” The people who think this way are some of the most screwed up people I’ve ever met and if their premise was true, THEY would all have cancer!

        • Come on…Santa Cruz isn’t the New Age capital of the world (although it might come in second or third). Marin County is the New Age Capital of the world ;)

          Go to the New Age section of your book store, especially those books having to do with pop-psychology. Open the book and see where the author is from. At least one out of two times, the author will be from Marin County, California.

          • Marin is where they go when they get rich from selling whatever bullshit they came up with. Santa Cruz is where they are when they’re still slumming it :)

          • I can’t disagree with that!

        • There’s definitely room for both in us good ol’ humans.

          But animal studies make it clear that nutrient deficiencies area a cause of disease. Baboons have died in cardiovascular studies that restricted EFAs for example. Were the baboons just not using the right kind of thinking in their life or was it the EFA deficiency?

      • Viktor Frankl= numba 1 badass. If I may submit a small disclaimer- Let’s not get Nihilistic here and say that old Vicky thinks that our perception of reality is reality… Reality is what it is, is it outside of our idea of it. What he did beleive was Logotherapy, which is essentially a way of healing from and dealing with grief/ terrible past experiences by striving to find the existential meaning in our own lives. The only reason I bother to bring that up (because I am so not looking to pick a fight I promise :)) is because I think many people who are here could benefit from some of what he says… It is a tragedy to feel your health and well being slipping out of your own hands. I have been there. I don’t know if it will solve anyone’s health issues, but I would HIGHLY recommend “Man’s search for meaning” by Viktor Frankl to learn I bit more about him and what he overcame- the subject matter is difficult but I assure you it’s an easy and life changing read. Good luck to everyone.

        • Having said that, who’s to say that prayer and positive thinking can’t improve your health? Crazier things have happened.

          • I think they can and do. I do pray, usually when I’m feeling down, because the act of praying itself makes me feel better. Whether or not God hears my prayer is kind of beside the point really.

            As to my search for meaning in my own life, it has occurred to me the effort to come to a better understanding of health is a part of that. Particularly better aging.

            As Stevie Wonder sang a long time:
            ‘When you believe in things
            that you don’t understand
            Then you suffer
            Superstition ain’t the way’

            The short form of all this might be to say: ‘health superstitions ain’t the way’.

          • I’ve seen evidence in my own life that prayer and positive thinking work, many times. And as someone who encountered a significant amount of emotional stress in my childhood, I can say that it still affects my world experience every day (it is much improved after many years of therapy), and stress definitely affects health. Emotional trauma has been linked to MS and other conditions, and absolutely to cancer. The rate of cancer is higher in people who have experience recent grief (like losing a spouse). So are heart issues, and just overall immune issues (like getting the flu and colds). Not saying that being happy will instantly create world peace, or that you can fake it, and denial of reality is dangerous, but I do think that you can change the people around you slightly by adjusting your own mood in healthy ways (a shift in consciousness the new-agers might say).

        • Edubs, I didn’t mean to dump on Vicky. Like I wrote before, I am probably taking her point to an extreme that she did not intend. I am only attacking the extremes of those who claim that our thinking changes our reality. There are just too many examples from life where we see that our mentality does affect our reality. We’ve all known people who’ve had it all and yet are miserable and a pain to be around. They’ve got money, looks, good job and yet are miserable and turn everybody off. We’ve also known people from modest, even poor backgrounds, whom life has not rewarded particularly well, but who are positive and have a good life. So obviously, your mental disposition has an effect, and the cases that Viktor Frankl cites-in that case, the circumstances of WWII pogram- substantiate this claim.

    • “Neuropeptides/neurotransmitters are almost identical in chemistry to seawater.”

      Say what???

    • It’s all about the nervous system…parasympathetic vs sympathetic. Most people have overdeveloped sympathetic nervous systems, so they burn themselves out easily and end up with loads of problems (obsession & orthorexia are part of this, I believe).

      The solution is to become more grounded, less stressy and obsessed, relax more, and enjoy and take time out for your food – to rest and digest.

      Easier said than done of course!

    • “Stop obsessing. Believe that the food that you are eating is nourishing your body. Once the belief sets in, you are well on your way to true health. ”

      Tell that to someone with celiac’s disease, or even mild gluten intolerance.

      • Kelly


        Too, if believing were enough I would have been the healthiest
        women on earth. I had read so much on health foods and, diets
        it was crazy. I believed it. I destroyed myself.

      • @Kelly, Thanks for bringing up the gluten issues. I spent a year of my life handicapped because I was in such excruciating pain and it wasn’t because of a lack of positive thinking.

  14. Matt-

    What’s the deal with food allergies? I’ve read that avoidance is not necessarily the answer and that the symptoms of asthma, for example, are actually a “healing process.” I can’t tolerate dairy without getting this type of reaction and I want to know what your view is on this.


  15. Does anybody here avoid avocados for the sake of avoiding PUFAS?

    I eat a lot of avocados, almonds and I’m sure my omega 6’s are way higher than my 3’s and I’m trying to balance it out. Should I delete 6’s entirely?

  16. Hello

    How is your body composition or bodyfat% levels going?
    Do you have pictures of your current condition? how much calories you eat a day etc

  17. Are my messages being moderated or blocked? Why could I post a comment the other day, but now I can’t reply to one that is asking for follow-up links? Sheesh. This is in reply to Dutchie, but I’m posting it as a new comment instead of a reply, since it doesn’t appear to be working. I’m sorry mods if you’ve blocked me for moderation, if that’s the case please email me about it?

    Ref. the alkaline thing, reply:
    I posted a reply to this 3 times yesterday, but I’m guessing since I had a website url it didn’t make it through, or it’s still waiting for moderation? I’m not trying a 4th time, using Chrome browser instead of iceweasel (Debian linux’s firefox).

    Here are some links for alkaline vs acid foods — though increasing my metabolism is a work in progress. I do avoid gluten, pork, soy, sulfites, msg, and gmo’s (i.e. any corn that’s not labeled organic or non-gmo), and PUFA’s.

  18. Ok, I’ve tried many different styles of eating and the most recent one I was on was Bulletproof which I did for a few months before I decided it wasn’t possible for me to sustain. I lost some inches, had great skin, and felt pretty good overall but I still didn’t get my period which I’m guessing is because of consuming zero carbs not to mention a lot of other crazy things you can’t have!. For the past 4 years, I’ve had hormonal issues and thyroid problems which has resulted in unexplained weight gain. I’ve always been skinny so when I was gaining weight, I was freaking out. Which I’m still gaining but I’m trying not to worry so much.I’ve always been 105-110 lbs so when I gained 15 lbs last year, it was tough for me. It’s not muscle by any means! It’s ALL fat and in my stomach and thighs. I’m trying to follow Matt’s plan and eat what I want which I think I’m doing well at it BUT I don’t feel better than I did on my past diets which could just be my mind playing tricks because to me I’m fat and disgusting! I’ve always been a healthy eater and I eat all organic and grass fed meats as well as mostly gluten free. Following Matt’s plan, I did get my period back after 4 1/2 years which is awesome but my face is awful and breaking out bad and it hurts! I’m also taking a liver tincture I made to strengthen and rebuild my liver from a sickness I had over a few years which resulted in high doses of antibiotics which I believe did a lot of damage to me. I was just wondering if anyone could help me or offer any advice as to why I’m reacting this way. Everyone else says their skin is great on this diet. Could it just be my hormones or detoxing? My temps were around 96-97’s and now they are upper 97’s to mid 98’s so I’m doing good there. When can I start exercising?! I’ve just been walking a few miles a day and doing some plank and ab exercises. Sometimes I do yoga too. My love is high intensity so I definitely want to get back to that! If I do exercise, can I just keep eating enough to keep my temps up? Will that still help me lose this fat or do I just have to “wait” for it to fall off? So confusing and frustrating!!

    • Alison, are you sure that gaining 15 pounds was a bad thing? I don’t know how tall you are but 105 pounds sounds very light to me. Obviously this is subjective, but I don’t see how being 120 pounds could be considered fat and disgusting. Again, this is a chart and is subjective, etc. etc. According to it, even if you were only 5’0 tall, 120 pounds would be a good weight to target.

      It’s none of my business, but are you sure that you are fat and disgusting? I honestly doubt it. You probably look better!

    • STOP and relax, you are terribly stressed. you are not fat, although you may feel disgusting. eating what you want, when you want to will leaving you feeling shitty some days and amazing others. this is due to a host of hormonal changes happening. in time, you will feel more consistent. do you best to free yourself from your old mindset as it simply is not sustainable, no matter how wrong you may think i am.

  19. I’m trying to post this again today after shutting off ad block plus and allowing all trackers in ghostery. This is in reply to Dutchie —
    I posted a reply to this 3 times yesterday, but I’m guessing since I had a website url it didn’t make it through, or it’s still waiting for moderation?

    Here are some links for alkaline vs acid foods — though increasing my metabolism is a work in progress. I do avoid gluten, pork, soy, sulfites, msg, and gmo’s (i.e. any corn that’s not labeled organic or non-gmo), and PUFA’s.

    • Rob and/or Matt, you have my permission to remove at least the last 2 of my repeat comments, if you’re so inclined. Thanks for pulling them out of the spam bucket.

  20. does anybody know if coffee raises your temp/metabolism and if so is it a double edged sword because it saps your adrenals at the same time? thanks

    • I don’t know, but you might want to read what Ray Peat has to say on the subject. He does indeed think that coffee raises your metabolism. He doesn’t believe in adrenal issues, so much as thyroid issues. Food and or milk/sugar should be taken with coffee however, according to him.

  21. Okay, so maybe I was a bit dramatic saying I’m fat and disgusting! I’m just so mad at my body and I’ve struggled for so long with it’s issues so I guess I’m just sick and tired so it came out a little wrong. I don’t mind being 130 lbs but I would like to be a toned and fit 130 lbs! I guess that’s why I was wondering if it’s going to do more harm than good if I work out….

    • Alison, why don’t you get a consultation with Matt? My understanding is that he offers a sliding fee and will even do a consultation gratis.

      I suspect that what is going on here on this board is a sort of backlash against extreme diets. However, as with any backlash, there comes a moment when moderation and rethinking is required. In other words, I think a lot of it is a reaction to the extreme diets. That reaction is good and healthy, but it can also lead into another extreme. By the way, me too, I’ve put on a little bit more weight than I would like. It’s not too bad, but at some point, I want to get it off. I am not convinced that an increased metabolism is going to do the trick.

      In my case, it is quite clear what caused the weight gain. It was the starches. So, it occurs to me that I have to reduce them. I also have reduced my exercising over the past couple of months.

      What exactly do you think has caused your weight gain?

      I am afraid that we can turn anything into a dogma, even good advice. It would be easy to turn “EAT THE FOOD” into a dogma. And also the recommendation that we reduce exercise could be made into a dogma, too. We need to use our own good sense and find what works for us. So why don’t you go back to exercsing, but just not doing it every day? I don’t know what high-intensity means for you, but as long as you aren’t running long distances and doing short bursts, I personally don’t see the problem (Others might).Make sure that you are getting good recovery, whatever that is for you. For example, I do heavy weight training (Olympic style weightlifting). I have taken a break from it over the last 6 weeks. When I go back, I might do two days of weightlifting and one day of bodyweight only exercises. Why don’t you try eating to your fill but maybe REDUCING foods that you suspect might be causing the weight gain. In my case, that would mean reducing starches. Sugar on the other hand does not have that effect on me (I know this from when I was doing the Weird Ray diet. I was eating lots of sugar and only very little starch). Of course that does not necessarily apply to you.

      Any ideas what food might be causing you to break out? Are you eating lots of chocolate? Are you on the pill? These come to mind.

      Like I said, why don’t you get a consultation with Matt? He has more knowledge about this stuff than I do. Feel free to hit me up on Facebook, if you want to talk about it further (clicking on my name will link you to that).

  22. Where the f’**k did my question go?????

    • Ok!!! Now I`ve got it! :-) :-) :-)

      • Or did I?? No, sh**t I will have to wright it all down one more time….*sighs*

  23. Hi Matt! (Again…My question seems to have disappeared when I submitted it so here I go again…)
    I read an interview on Outsmart Disease with a Tom Brimeyer who claims to have the solution to curing hypothyroidism….
    Since the program was quite expensive, 97 dollars on discount – and normally about 200 dollars more – I just wanted to ask you if you know anything about this person and his method before I go ahead and order this. I´m not able to work so my economy is awful and 97 dollars is A LOT of money to me so I just wanted to ask you first if you know anything about this….? (Seems to be a lot of hypothyroid-plans out there and they all claim to have the solution to fixing hypothyroidism so I´m a bit confused…..)

    I have bought 2 of your e-books and I have learned soooo much but I´m still very interested in this Tom Brimeyers program since it´s targetet directly to curing hypothyroidism. I have hypo type 2 myself….And I have gotten a little bit better by roughly following your suggestions but I still feel that maybe I have to change certain things to fully recover, but I´m not exactly sure what to change so I thought that this program might just be the answer..there seems to be a more detailed plan on exactly how to eat and so on.

    This is the interview =

    This is Tom Brimeyers commercial and offer =

    What do you think, Matt?
    Best regards from a chilly swedish girl :-)

  24. Hi Matt! Why doesn´t my longer question submit?? I´ve tried several times for a few days now. Even tried to post it in the Barbie-thread but it didn´t work either! Seems that my short comments is accepted as seen above. (And here ofcourse if this works….) Do you have an e-mailadress that I can send you my question to instead? I REALLY need an answer to this question! Best regards from a chilly swedish girl :-)

    • Were there a lot of links in it? Sometimes it gets marked as spam. I’ll go look through the spam box and approve it if I see it.

  25. Matt, was that a “Hot Tub TIme Machine” reference earlier up there in the comments? I knew there had to be one other person on Earth to have seen that movie.

  26. I am also interested in your opinion about the Tom Brimeyer’s diet. Please advise, thanks


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