Insulin Resistance as Starvation

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From the beginnings of my health nerdfest, I have always made a habit out of thinking through the eyes of the human body. In my experience, the body is a million times smarter than the mind – even my mind, which is like a holy deity of vast intellectual wisdumb.

In other words, I try to make sense of certain physical reactions and hormonal states in context of real life. Like for example, hypothyroidism, or a reduced metabolic state. That’s a classic example. You know that the body has reduced the rate at which it burns energy.

Why would it do that? Food shortage? Some other kind of shortage? It seems to me that, on a logical level, the body would only reduce the rate at which it burned though something – be it nutrients, calories, or whatever, if it perceived that it was going through supplies faster than they were being replenished. Give the body a surplus of everything it needs, and there’s no more need to conserve. Sho nuff, doing precisely that raises body temperature pretty reliably (as well as decreases insulin resistance) as you can read about in Diet Recovery!!!

If we look logically at insulin resistance, especially now that we’re beyond the idea that eating carbs and spiking insulin causes insulin resistance, which it doesn’t, we can see clearly how it is tied to the starvation “programs” for lack of a better description.

By starvation programs, I mean the hormonal chain of events that take place to:

1) Conserve calories (low energy levels)
2) Lower metabolism (low muscle mass, low heat production)
3) Increase appetite
4) Store more fat than fat burned (positive fat balance)

When we think of insulin resistance as part of the orchestrated effort to defend against starvation, it makes a hell of a lot more sense.

Insulin is a hormone that curbs appetite, raises metabolism and gives us energy – in large part by helping to store glucose and amino acids into muscle cells, builds muscle tissue – it triggers a rise in many growth factors such as growth hormone.

This is all counterproductive in a state of famine. In real famine, there is very little food and therefore very little insulin. But when the body is eating a lot and acting like it is starving (from lack of nutrients, chronic stress, sleep apnea, allergies, chronic inflammation?) it would make sense to block the action of insulin.

Doing so would keep metabolism suppressed, keep food energy from going into muscle cells where it might grow more muscle and raise metabolism while simultaneously triggering an increase in energy levels and capacity for muscular exercise, make sure food was diverted into fat cells for storage instead of muscle cells, keep appetite elevated, and so on.

In other words, in preparation for an upcoming famine, you wouldn’t want to have much muscle mass, much desire to exercise, have a normal body temperature, or have a small appetite. Rather, you’d want to be like a bear or squirrel in preparation for hibernation.

And yes, it is known that there is insulin resistance and obesity in hibernating animals, followed by an extreme manifestation of what you could call “hypothyroidism,” – a deep state of slowed heart rate, low body temperature, reduced respiration, halted digestion, and so forth.

So I’m proposing that insulin resistance is far more likely to be a state in the human body that is designed to be a preparatory state for hibernation/starvation/famine.

And I think it’s important to look at hormonal changes within the human body as a coherent network that is trying to accomplish a specific task, rather than trying to figure out what part is gummed up.

Unfortunately, when your average person eats ad libitum, they store fat, particularly fat in the abdomen where it is most readily available to the vital organs – priority number 1. That is because of the deprivation endured prior naturally triggers the storage of excess body fat for better preparation the next go around.

This leads your average person to think that the deprivation period was “healthy” and eating to appetite and taking ‘er easy is “unhealthy.” The only way to keep the body from storing fat when it is actively trying to is to eliminate one of the necessary ingredients in fat gain, such as carbohydrates, protein, fat, or overall calories. This is, of course, a short-term strategy with long-term health consequences for the vast majority of people.

I maintain that the only viable long-term solution is to thoroughly convince the body that there is no need to store excess fat, and, over time, dissipate the need to store it.  But ample food is only one form of sustenance that the body requires to deactivate famine chemistry, including insulin resistance. Sleep, rest, emotional health, inflammation, allergies, infection, and more are all things worthy of addressing in a comprehensive approach to shut this chemistry down and lose weight automatically instead of through one of the many forms of starvation/diets currently promoted.

More on the concept that obesity and insulin resistance is “Starvation” in this video…

141 Comments

  1. In some ways, you are even beyond what Jon Gabriel suggests – first he says don't deprive yourself, but then his subliminal suggestions tell you that you will want to eat less. Which for some people may just have the effect of working only on a subconscious level – but for me, I hear that suggestion every night and try to consciously convince myself every day that I'm not as hungry. It could be counterproductive if I am in fact hungry but trying to convince myself that I'm not.

    What I'm trying, clumsily, to say is that yes, automatic weight loss is the best – letting your body do the heavy lifting. And in some ways RRARRF is even more automatic than the Gabriel method (due to his reliance on O3's and his seeming leaning towards raw veganism.)

    The only problem is the patience! I can hear it in Lisa's comments as if they were my own – patience is the butt-kicker.

    Reply
  2. Yeah, if I knew of an alternative to waiting it out that I felt confident in, I'd let you know about it.

    But hey, maybe I should take the Vonderplanitz approach…

    1) Eat your face off until you get some fat on ya.

    2) Get it off by eating a golf-ball sized piece of meat every time you are really hungry and that's all.

    That seems like tail-chasing to me though, and sucky as all get out.

    Reply
  3. Hey Matt,

    I tried the protein-sparing modified fast for a few days. I dropped almost 5 pounds in 3 days, but I didn't like it. It felt too much like the old days when I didn't listen to my body and only followed rules.

    Two of the pounds came right back, but I'm still at a net loss. I don't think I'll do it again though. Maybe it was the jump-start I needed. I feel really good since listening to the Gabriel cd at night for the past two weeks. And so far I've resisted the urge to go buy some omega 3 supplements. We still don't think those are necessary, do we?

    It's really tough to take a man (Vonderplanitz)seriously when he has consumed his own waste. On purpose. For "health."

    Reply
  4. Hey Insulin Lovers,
    I can understand the hibernation theory, but for me, I do not have that large of an appetite. When I eat a yam with some butter I can barely finish the small salad I made to balance it out..with some sourcream and goat cheese in it. I have been trying to eat more and even though the dr's scales say I am the same, my stomach is sticking out and I am very aware of it.
    I also cannot understand why the dr's ear thingy said my temp is 96.2.. yet my armpit temps are in the normal range every day??

    Matt, I will keep on doing the RARRF but the insulin thing is really freaking me out. It seems that my blood sugar is always kind of high.. wonder what it was when I was eating fruit and dates all the time?

    deb

    Reply
  5. I keep on coming back to the Kitavins as a good model to follow. A lot of starch, some fruit, some fat, and some protein. No wheat, no grains, no processed sugars or veggie oils. If that doesn't get the metabolism going, I'm not sure what will. Who's with me? I love the Paleo mentality but I really think the 'run away from insulin parade' is not the way to approach it. I know many people get by and do well on low-carb but I just don't think it's necessary.

    Reply
  6. Mark-

    The Kitavans are just one example. You could also pick the Swiss of the Loetchenthal valley that Weston A. Price visited and eat mostly cream, cheese, and rye bread. Or you could be like the Sikhs and eat mostly whole wheat with a little goat's milk. Or you could be like an Eskimo and eat fermented fish, whale blubber, and caribou.

    I think nutrition must be looked at more in terms of what happens when you give "x" person "x" diet? What are the positives and what are the negatives and why?

    This is what makes health and nutrition such complex fields with endless conversation.

    And, when presented with whole wheat bread covered in cheese, how many Eskimos or Kitavans would choose their own diet?

    The answer to that question is "none." Humans have a vast innate appreciation for calorie density, and the fat-carb combination.

    Anyway, that's a whole separate tangent.

    Reply
  7. Good point Matt. I was only using them as a prime example of not being low carb. Its easy to get sucked into believing meat, non-starchy veggies, and fat are ideal and the best approach. While this works for some, I think it's important to remember that it's not the only way to be healthy.

    Reply
  8. @Danyelle: I'm with you. It's hard to be patient. But take it from me, it's worse to feel like a dieter again. I've spent the last few months trying to get some weight off, and while some things have worked, I was started to get weight-obsessive again and that felt rotten. I would rather have a better body image and sense of well-being with 20 extra lbs on me than be neurotic and obsessed with the scale and 20 lbs lighter. My mental well-being is exactly why I changed my diet in the first place two years ago, so that would definitely be some serious tail-chasing for me.

    I experimented with PSMF, too. Five days was the longest I could follow it. It seemed to work, but like you I really didn't like it at all. I've honestly found coconut water fasting to be more enjoyable, and I didn't have the cravings or fuzzy-brain I felt on PSMF. (Though I'm talking about 2-3 days at a time tops, with at least 10-14 days of normal eating between fasts.) I may dip into that again in a few weeks but I'm taking an official "duck fiets" break for a while. I want to get my head back on straight and address this from the right perspective. No putting fat loss first for me. No siree.

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  9. @Elizabeth:

    I was really surprised to read your blog post today. It sounded like some serious conventional wisdumb to me. "Just eat less, you'll lose weight." "It's easy!"

    Nowhere was there any mention of how that usually backfires in most cases when the metabolism is low, and results in (in the words of Chief) – "refattification" (sp?)

    Just eat the food, ladies!

    Reply
  10. Matt,

    But also, how many people eating whole wheat bread with cheese would choose that over a root-beer float and french fries?

    To some extent, I think our appreciation for calorie density can work against us. That's what makes the nutrition-disease connection so frightening in my mind. We crave many foods that are essentially toxic to us.

    Reply
  11. The big question is how much have our instincts caught up with cooking? Many of the starchy staples are quite unpleasant when raw. Potatoes? Bleah! Turnips? OK, in small quantities. Beets? Not so good. Sweet potatoes? Bleah!

    Wheat? Quite tasty when green. Need to visit a ripe wheat field to retest when brown yet fresh.

    Chestnuts? OK in small quantities.

    —-

    Try a mostly raw paleo diet and see what happens to your body fat. That is: lots of raw fruit and vegetables without mixing or condiments. Then throw in some meat. Even with the high sugar content of such a diet I lost close 30 pounds in about a month. The downside was losing too much weight combined with getting tired of the food after a few months. But as a quick way to improve digestion and burn up a grain belly, it rocked.

    Reply
  12. Hey Matt and crew.In past I had been posting to Jimmy Moore blog on how I wondered if we have gotten it all wrong in the LC world when we converted it from a meat only diet to the newly termed "high fat" diet.The arguments against this were so good I never tried it.The inuit and many native high protein diet based tribes forgo the meat for fat and Dr.Kwasnieski was another.

    I tried doing the high carb again and kept reverting back to high fat diet but the thought of eating meat just kept nagging at me and eating mostly fat was making my body unmuscular which I do not want.So many people have gotten amazing results from Atkins so why did we convert a natural meat based diet into one where we drink heavy cream,add tons of butter etc.I know how the high food intake is touted for health on here so I feel that this high intake of meat and fat may be a route for people who aren't doing well on high carb.Kwasnieski did say that he felt that a japanese diet is also healthy and you basically have to eat either high starch diet or low carb-meat diet.

    I have been eating meat,eggs and cheese….10 to 15gms of carbs 3 times per day since sunday.I have been really pounding the food down and woke up this morning looking leanest I have been in yrs.I felt great but today dragged abit and ate one meal with a good amount of potato.Not sure I wanna enter ketosis so will add in a big starch meal every time I get that feeling.

    So what is going on here?Could the forgotten high protein diet actually be good for us.Atkins didn't work for me as it did in first attempt and same is reported by most of its followers.What did we do differently I asked myself.Recently,I would add alot of fat and lower protein and calories since I remember cutting calories worked in past….for a bit that is.Yet first time with Atkins I went to town on protein rich foods,eating racks of ribs,cheese by the block etc and the fat melted off me at amazing rate.I also notice how a huge percentage of meat eaters that get very lean claim to eat an excess of meat.

    What are your thoughts……

    Reply
  13. wolf – The leanest I've ever been was on a high protein raw paleo diet. I got very lean and muscular (likely as low as 5% bf, which is probably too low). Literally I had just skin on my abs. I then bought into the "high fat" version of paleo and gained over 20lbs in 6 months. Even before I had read about PSMFing I had realized just eating the meat was a great way to trim down, and quickly. The problem of course is that in the long term it's really not that optimal for health.

    Lately I have been experimenting with a high-starch + moderate protein diet with mixed results. I'm more relaxed emotionally then on high protein and sleep longer, but am not really sure if metabolism has increased (temp measuring is so inconsistent for me so I don't rely on it, but keep tracking it). I am willing to let body composition slide for a while, but upcoming thyroid tests will be a factor in deciding if I should continue. Hyper-caloric high-fat paleo diet did very little for my thyroid numbers, awaiting the results of a hyper-caloric high starch diet…

    On a side note has anyone considered hormone replacement and/or drugs to jump start their metabolism? I know doing it "naturally" is the best way, and I would be have been appalled at the suggestion just a year ago, but I am willing to consider whatever works. I read lyle mcdonald's "bromocriptine" earlier this year and was interested to find out that essentially the drug seems to have the effect of mimicking leptin in the brain. Increased insulin sensitivity, lowered appetite, increased metabolism, etc. etc.

    It's mostly used as a diet drug to prevent metabolic slowdown during calorie restriction, but taking the drug while overfeeding should have interesting results. I may guinea pig myself for this in the near future. I'll keep you guys posted if anything interesting happens.

    btw I think you need a forum Matt :)

    Reply
  14. Hey Matt,

    I disagree with you starvation theory of insulin resistance. A few months ago, do you remember us debating about the theory that gaining fat towards your body-fat set point will increase insulin sensitivity? Do you also remember me pointing out to a study which found out that anorexics actually have higher insulin sensitivity?

    As I understand it, your theory states that insulin resistance is a starvation mechanism which forces the body to store energy into fat cells rather than muscle cells. So the starvation mechanism decreases muscle insulin sensitivity so glucose would not enter the muscle cells and instead stored in fat cells. This is a way for the body to store energy to prepare for "hibernation".

    But your theory contradicts with a study that James Krieger pointed out in this Weightology page. That study shows that insulin resistance is NOT caused by muscle insulin resistance, but liver insulin resistance!

    Normally, the liver shuts off its production of glucose when your blood glucose is high, such as when you just after a meal. But in insulin resistance, the liver refuses to shut off its production of glucose after meal. This results in higher blood glucose after meals. Because of the higher blood glucose, the pancreas will secrete more insulin to re-compensates for the high blood glucose after meals and also the liver.

    So why is liver insulin resistance useful in preparation for starvation? I can't think of any reason why liver insulin resistance is useful in starvation.

    Reply
  15. (continued from above)

    A alternative theory is one which is investigated by our renowned Ray Peat. He states that higher blood glucose levels are useful in protecting the organism from inflammation. He cites a study in which high blood sugars protect organisms from antigens.

    The simplest illustration of how inflammation relates to the organism's resources was an experiment in which blood glucose was varied, while an animal was exposed to chemicals that varied from mildly irritating to potentially deadly. When the animal had very low blood sugar, the mildest irritant could be deadly, but when its blood glucose was kept very high, even the deadly antigens were only mildly irritating. Varying the blood sodium concentration had similar, but weaker, effects.

    There is a tendency to see inflammation not only as a normal part of immunity, but to see it as being proportional to the nature of the antigen, except when the immune system has been primed for it by previous contact, in which case the organism will either not react at all (because it has become immune), or it will react much more violently than it did on the first exposure, because it has become allergic. But, in reality, the mere concentration of glucose and sodium in the blood (and of thyroid, and many other substances that aren't considered to be part of the immune system) can make a tremendous difference in the degree of "immunological" reaction.

    So, basically, high blood glucose isn't the effect of decreased muscle insulin sensitivity, but the increased production of glucose in the liver in response to stress.

    Things which induce stress include poisons like excessive polyunsaturated fatty acids, thyroid inhibitors such as cruciferous vegetables and soy products. These substances suppresses thyroid function. So the body responds to them by causing a stress reaction by production of cortisol, which causes liver insulin resistance.

    Reply
  16. (continued from above)

    Let's go into our observation that upping starch increases belly fat. Why does increased starch intake cause belly fat?

    What you theorize is that the body is in a phase which tells itself that it's starving, and the belly fat is a mechanism to store extra energy in preparation for hibernation.

    I disagree with this theory. I think the increased belly fat while upping starch is the effect of blood sugar swings from reactive hypoglycemia. For instance, when you eat a starchy meal, you blood sugar will rise. You secrete insulin to bring down blood sugar. But because you're insulin resistant, you have to secrete more and more insulin to compensate for your insulin resistance.

    But one or two hours later, you blood sugar will fall in result of excess insulin. Eventually, your blood sugar will fall so low that the body responds to it by increasing the production of cortisol which increases blood sugar.

    So the pattern of a reactive hypoglycemic is high blood sugars one or two hours after a meal, and low blood sugar two or three hours after a meal. But the low blood sugar increases cortisol production. And cortisol causes belly fat.

    It's cortisol which increases visceral fat. In fact, cortisol receptors are more concentrated in the visceral region than in any other region. Have you heard of Cushing's syndrome? Cushing's syndrome is a condition in which the body produces excess cortisol for some reason. Those with Cushing's syndrome have lots of visceral fat.

    So it's the hypoglycemic state which increases cortisol, which in turn cases belly fat. In order to reduce belly fat, you must reduce your hypoglycemic episodes. One way is to switch to a lower carb diet and gradually increase the carbs. Another way is to eat protein with carbs, so protein will release glucagen which prevents the hypoglycemic state. Fructose will do the same thing in preventing hypoglycemia. (I think that's one reason why low-carb diets work in decreasing belly fat for some—it reduces their hypoglycemic episodes by stabilizing blood sugar swings.)

    What are your thoughts about this? I'm interested in hearing your responses.

    Reply
  17. (continued from above)

    I understand that nutrient deficiency can induce starvation-like symptoms which can cause excess cortisol production and insulin resistance. Stephan at WholeHealthSource pointed out a study which concluded that nutrient deficiency induces stress on the system. You your starvation theory may be correct to some extent.

    Have you seen this analysis? The author concludes that insulin resistance is caused by liver insulin resistance, not by muscle insulin resistance. So this implies that your theory doesn't to the full extent.

    Perhaps your theory and Ray Peat's theory both are correct, to some extent. I'm very interested in hearing your response!

    Reply
  18. Hey Matt,
    Although this is not necessary RARRF, it is a pretty interesting overfeeding experiment:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6-A0iHSdcA

    It is a 7 part BBC documentary thing. Maybe you've seen it. It would have been interesting if someone in the group did it without all the sugar.

    Reply
  19. Organism as a whole-

    Could another solution to preventing hypoglycemia, other than lowering carbs, just be to eat before you get (really) hungry? That way you would inhibit the cortisol response you get when your blood sugar drops.

    Reply
  20. "
    And, when presented with whole wheat bread covered in cheese, how many Eskimos or Kitavans would choose their own diet?

    The answer to that question is "none." "

    I'm not actually sure this would be the case. Have you seen "bienvenue dans ma tribu" ?? It was a cultural exchange between French families and primitive tribes. When the primitive people came to France, they nearly vomited chocolate and showed no interest in our calorically dense foods !

    I think acculturation plays a big role too. Because they've never tasted the food, they have huge apprehensions and may never overcome them !

    Martin.

    Reply
  21. Hey, Sheila!

    I tried it once before. I binged on starch whenever I get stressed, but I would get hungry again right after. Plus, my face got fatter in just a day. Even my sister saw it.

    I don't think eating starch when your blood sugar is low is a good thing, because it would further rise insulin. I may be wrong, but I don't wanna try it again.

    Eating more protein and fructose with meals helps with my stress levels two hours after eating. So I will stay with this method rather than binging on starch again!

    Thanks for your help, anyway!

    Reply
  22. Has anyone considered the time of year with respect to what they're craving? For me personally, since letting go and eating what I want I'm finding that I'm craving more food as the weather gets colder, in particular meat of all kinds and in large quantities. During the summer with all the humidity we had here, a pot of roast beef didn't cross my mind and I ate lots of fruits.

    Perhaps winter is just a time to slow down in general in preparation for some human type of hibernation that so many of in the northeast experience. I say this now having experienced the stark contrast of life here compared to several years I spent in the Mediterranean where 'winter' was a few weeks of cold and rain between January and February. I can't deny that there is a difference in everything from my eating and exercise habits to my mood. Eating imported fruits and vegetables hardly seems to be a solution when there is so much local squash, potatoes and beef that satisfy my appetite for longer time periods and reduce cravings for junk food. The net effect seems to be that I'm eating less and despite the passing of Thanksgiving I'm down another two pounds.

    Reply
  23. MATT,

    I have been approaching things with this theory for a while. the only difference is I refer to it as a mechanism not a program. and I include leptin in the mix as part of the mechanism working in unison to do what the body was designed to do.
    When I tell people fat people are starving they think I'm nuts and are reluctant to try what I say but are amazed by the results after taking a leap of faith. I think this changes the game and if "paleo" can be made into a movement with "experts " agreeing i think we can do the same.

    Reply
  24. Organism as a whole-

    What I am saying is; eat BEFORE your blood sugar drops! When your blood sugar is already low, the cortisol response is inevitable. Keeping blood sugar constant by eating before it's too late.
    I don't believe you put fat on in a day, what I do believe is that you had water retention. If your not used to eating starchy carbs, you will retain water. It could also be that the extra carbs came with extra sodium?

    Reply
  25. Organism,

    great argument, well put but I think the reason why it is hard for people to make sense of it all is that it is all interrelated. I think the inflammation improvement is just part of the process not the end all be all.
    furthermore, I can not counter your argument directly with studies and papers as I doubt any research to "prove " this theory will exist any time soon due to the dogma among scientist that fat is caused by excess eating. … Who would fund a study on how fat people are starving ?? the scientist ready to research this would commit career suicide.

    I can say one thing, applying this concept makes it easy to rectify the big FAT problem. It also shows no sign of not being true so far.

    Reply
  26. Anonymous,
    the proper term is actually Refat-assification i missed spelled it originally thanks for pointing it out.

    Reply
  27. @Anon: I'm not sure if you caught that it was a guest poster who wrote what went up on my blog yesterday. I ardently disagree with the guest poster and said so without reserve in the comments. I was just using the post as something to bounce off a discussion about the futility of dieting, a topic that is going to take center stage on my blog in the coming weeks and months.

    Reply
  28. I am working with a theory that says that insulin resistance is controlled by the liver, and metabolic and digestive ills are caused by mineral and 'energy' deficits. The energy is glucose. So yes, I believe insulin resistance is starvation.

    If anyone cares to look into it, it's Cary Reams' biological theory of ionization. He found the perfect soil numbers as far as ph, salts, and what not, that would allow for crops to grow most nutrient dense, and are resistant to mold, fungi etc. He came to the same conclusion as Pasteur. It's not the bug, but rather the soil. He found the same principles applied to living things. It's all very interesting and minerals control the ph of the bile. If the ph of the bile is off because of mineral defficiency, the liver is not able to produce all of it's millions of enzymes, and your body compensates.

    @Organism as a whole

    I have been very ill. And because of the inflammation my blood sugar was high. I believe you are absolutely right, that high blood sugar is a compensatory action. But, as I am getting healthier, by fasting bg is dropping. Possibly because my inflammation is dropping? I don't eat white potatoes though. THey cause inflammation! Cary Reams found that they turn to alcohol within the body, and a decompensated system could not keep up with the effects, hence a loss of energy. Yams do not produce the same effect. White potatoes are not the same ones eaten by the kitavans. Ours today are all hybridized, and who know what they do.

    Reply
  29. Organism,

    "So, basically, high blood glucose isn't the effect of decreased muscle insulin sensitivity, but the increased production of glucose in the liver in response to stress"

    It could be a combination. I think the only time to worry about insulin resistance, as you said, is when the liver has the problem.

    I also think you're right about protein and hypoglycemia: a higher protein diet prevents it.

    Reply
  30. I hate to agree with an 'anonymous' no cute name poster. but I do.
    I tested my blood sugars yesterday for the first time.. and remember, I have leukemia and a fair amount of stress.
    fasting: 119
    after a balanced 180 meal: 120
    one hour later: 116
    two hours later: 116
    three hours later: 123

    fasting today: 116
    one hour after chicken/potato/herb tea with raw cream splash: 107

    I would never have dreamed that my bg would be so high and I am not even eating much fruit and zero sweeteners, not even stevia. a "clean diet" of yams, butter, cream, fish, shellfish, bison, salads, a few apples, plain yogurt, coconut oil, coconut water, herb tea…you get the gist.

    I am working on getting my bg in a more normal range but as for now I am feeling like the fat that I have gained (mostly belly), the stress and inflammation are all tied up with the blood sugar increase/insulin resistance bow.

    I don't even want to tell my husband that I may have a blood sugar issue, I mean he already has to deal with a cancer chick for a wife.

    Off to yoga.. and the three hour test.
    stayed tuned, it is sure to be interesting.
    deb

    Reply
  31. one MORE thing: Estrogen dominance, yep, that's me, I dominatrix with too much estrogen and zero testosterone and progesterone. Another amazingly horrible toll on the belly fat/insulin resistance deal.

    Any suggestions would be gladly entertained.
    HRT is not an option though so stay away from that tree.

    Reply
    • Why no HRT? Is it because of your leukemia?

      I can tell from my side is that the metabolic side of me seems to be fixing itself now after I started taking bioidentical progesterone(Peat’s favourite). I had been on bioidentical estrogen but that made me fat and grumpy. Now that I am on progesterone I am much better.

      Reply
  32. debbie-

    i know you say hrt is not an option but theres tons of info here about estrogen dominance and progesterone replacement.

    http://raypeat.com/

    http://www.litalee.com/

    also ray peat replies to emails so you can ask him anything

    Reply
  33. Anonymous-

    I only eat potatoes (organic) because it's very hard to get yams, in my country. Are all potatoes bad?

    Reply
  34. @Sheila:

    Don't believe the anti-potatoe propaganda. Those are all lies, just lies!
    It would be silly to believe that potatoes are capable of having any negative properties AT ALL!

    Stupid sillyness aside, I am also a bit curious about this.

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  35. Hey Matt,
    I have noticed you have mentioned sleep apnea as a stressor of the metabolism a couple of times recently. I really appreciate your mentioning it. It has been my health challenge. Years had passed where it went undiagnosed…as my body was not getting enough oxygen throughout the night, my body was in distress and pumping out cortisol…the result= weight gain, pre-diabetic conditions, moon-face, abdominal fat (picture someone on prednisone, cortisone shots)…by day I was pretty focused on health of body, mind and spirit…by night, my body was sabotaging my efforts. The causes of this malady are varied…mine could have been from a car accident when I was 12 where I smashed my face, nose area into the seat in front of me, or it could have been malformation of the respiratory passages at birth (according to a great article at westonaprice.org called From Attention Deficit to Sleep Apnea), or deviated septum, who knows. Regardless, this is a highly undiagnosed problem for many.
    Sleeping with a cpap isn't my favorite thing to do, but I went from 112 apneas an hour to 0. Pretty awesome. I feel that the intercellular cortisol is taking quite a while to normalize…I feel I am on the right track by RRARFing though. I appreciate your work.
    Another thing I am going to follow up with is Cranio Sacral Therapy and possible retainers to widen my palette.
    You are awesome Matt. I love your belief in the innate wisdom of the body. I think this is the core of your teachings that resonates with me the most.
    Keep up the great work.
    -Katie

    Reply
  36. @Yves….If its the slowdown of metabolism then I say eat more fatty meat to keep it revved.That's the reason I believe that many do so well on it while others do not.I agree PSMF is awesome for fatloss but will then have your metabolism swamped.This is where I was for years,eating low calories and any little splurge causing fat gain where on a normal person it would not.

    I also believe that random carbups will benefit me.I do not wanna do zero carb where all I eat is meat as its not fun at all.I wanna drink on friday and eat popcorn at movies saturday etc.But what is happening to me just by going back to Atkins with a slight overfeed attitude is pretty amazing.Its Atkins without the ketosis….of which he believed was the reason for the exaggerated weightloss but instead was found to be simply that eating meat kills appetite.

    Reply
  37. Nyström and his colleagues have published a follow-up on the super-size-me study. "Long-term increase of fat mass after a four week intervention with fast food based hyper-alimentation and limitation of physical activity"
    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/7/1/68

    Matt, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

    Reply
  38. @tarpel:
    The reason HRT is not an option is that my ob/gyn told me that in order to take testosterone, you also need to balance it with estrogen. And as for the prog. creams, I am not convinced that they really work or that prog. alone would help me.
    Also, My oncologist would have to agree to all this.
    I would be super worried that the hormones/drugs would acclerate my leukemia. I can handle a few hot flashes and even the belly fat deal.. the blood sugar thing I am still trying to figure out.. but I CANNOT handle making my cancer worse.

    For everyone:

    Update for My BG count, three hours post meal: 118
    Does anyone understand why my BG goes UP as hours pass? I am so confused by this.. I always thought the bg would go down, then you get hungry etc.
    deb

    Reply
  39. Deb

    i would say the food is slowly being digested and creeps into your blood and raising the levels slowly, if your talking bout post meal testing within a few hours of eating. If it's gradual and not alarmingly high i would think the pancreas is doing it's job to some degree and at least not over producing insulin. after rarrfing a while i would think things will "normalize"

    I don't think 118 is really high enough to "trip out" considering you just started your rarrf adventure but 3 hours after is usually enough time to get it down
    i think this may be normal as cancer causes the body to react to itself thinking it is the enemy. you might a slightly less functional system.

    give it a little more time before jumping to a conclusion based on how little time you have been monitoring.

    DO your yoga before you eat. eating right after it will help.

    Reply
  40. DEB

    i would also think your fasting level is kind of high but not hospital bound. stick with it

    how is your overall digestion ?

    Reply
  41. Hi — I live in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg and it is amazing to me that nearly NO ONE here has belly fat!

    This is what they do not write about in The Lonely Planet or Rick Steves Travel Guides:

    Everyone's tummy here is FLAT – So flat – it is flat but without a six-pack abs type of flat.

    And women's tummies are effortlessly flat without working out at the gym doing hours of workouts. Within six weeks women shed back down to their super flat tummies – no belly rolls. Only the English and Americans seem to maintain a belly roll.

    People here drink loads of espresso, smoke, and drink lots and lots of wine and cremant. People here do 'sport' once or twice (at the most) a week. There are not many fitness centers, and the ones we do have are a throw back from the 90s and they come with espresso and wine bars instead of juice and wheatgrass bars.

    I do not believe people here eat less and exercise more, ie because they "walk" more. Okay women walk a lot with baby and buggies but that is not enough to have super flat tummies.

    I think Matt Stone is right on about fat is a sign of starvation. Most people here have their main meal between noon and 2:00pm. It is actually impossible to have a meal after 2:00pm or before 7:00 pm because only cafes for teatime treats are open then. The whole world generally still stops for lunch here and lunch always include a meat and starch together and is a warm meal. And espresso is usually consumed right afterwards to help with digestion and sleepiness from a large meal.

    It is always healthier to consume the largest meal mid day not only because that is when our bodies are at their peak for digestion, but going a long with Matt's theory, it would for sure keep our bodies for thinking they are starving. And blood sugar levels remain quite level on this plan too. People here do not really eat dinner (unless they are going to one of our many 5 star Michelin restaurants). Dinner is generally bread and cheese or soup. Breakfast is also fairly light: the proverbial croissant or toast or hard-boiled egg. No one here eats protein bars or drinks protein shakes. They are not even sold here.

    There is such a premium placed on lunch here, it is even reflected in the schools right on down to the crèches and nurseries. School starts at age three (it is a requirement by law by age 4) and lunch per child costs an average of 100 euros per month (140 USD).
    … Continued

    Reply
  42. Continued…. I also think that they have healthier "gut bacteria." From eating more nutrient dense foods, less processed and pasteurized foods. I also think that most women nurse/breastfeed for their baby's first year of life due to generous maternity leaves (13 months paid). This in turn also creates stronger "gut bacteria" for people.

    This is however slowly starting to change though. Many grocery carts are filled with junk foods and nearly every parent feeds their children processed biscuit/cookie/cracker things (but "Bio/organic" of course). But still for the most part children here are not sick like the children in the US – gassy, snotty, congested coughs, stinky stools….) But when I look in grocery carts and see what people feed their kids in the park, I fear that in 1-2 generations they will start having more chronic symptoms like Americans.

    In short: Lots of insanely FLAT tummies while consuming loads of bread. Gluten Free is a foreign concept here. And grain free? That is just outrageous. I get loads of incredulous looks when I tell people I can't eat bread, etc….for all the embarrassing reasons I can't mention aloud: belly weight gain, bloated ness, gassy, eczema flare ups….

    And although most breads are still baked with a sourdough and/or overnight slow rise (not with a quick three hour rise yeast that is the bane of gluten problems in the US), I have heard many complaints from the above 40 crowd that the croissants are just not as good as they used to be. For example, I can choose between a butter croissant or a croissant….

    Another thing noted: There is no way to buy bulk grains (or bulk anything). Nuts, seeds, flours, grains are sold is very small packages (500 grams max). For good reason I am learning — they go rancid quickly. So avoid the Whole Foods bulk bins section and store your open packages in airtight containers. Most American's have had a lifetime of consuming baked goods with rancid flours. There are lots of reasons why we have digestive problems, toxicity build up, and metabolism/body temperature issues.

    Final note: eating to appetite with a nutrient dense lunch (while sitting down with other people) significantly reduces food cravings and ravenous hunger in the evenings. Digestion is happier. Blood sugar is stable (4-6 hours until hungry again). And the body will not think it is starving.

    And oh yeah a note on Family Values: work vacation: 6 weeks paid annually. And working late? Only the American bankers (like my husband). Everyone else is normally home by 6:30. Three-day weekends from national holidays? Lots of them. Christmas – a 4-day weekend. Easter is also a four-day weekend. Health care? Free. Maternity leave? Mandatory 8 months paid full time and allowed up to 13 months paid half time – job will be waiting. The option for 6 months of parental leave is also available for fathers to use up until the child is five years old. Stores open 24 hours? No way! Everything is closed by 6:00 pm (the grocery closes at 7:00pm) and is closed all day on Sundays (But thank God online internet grocery shopping is available – with locally grown organic foods too)….

    Reply
  43. debbie-

    if you haven't already i suggest you have a look at those sites, theres a lot of detailed info about how progesterone by opposing estrogen helps against cancer and many other things and the interaction between different hormones. also why its essential to use natural progesterone and not synthetic. lowering estrogen with progesterone could allow testosterone to increase on its own. theres no doubt something about it somewhere between those two sites.

    you can always email ray peat. he has always replied to me, often within a few hours

    Reply
  44. L G

    thanks for sharing at first seeing the lengthy post i was like hmmm.. is it worth it . lol glad i read it.
    I think I'll have to see the city first hand this year.

    I think the last paragraph sums up a big part of it as a lot of people in north america eat whole foods but are still fat. ( i agree with the rest as well that it is aggravated by poor food)

    Reply
  45. Thanks Matt for explaining this all again. Great blog and video. It helps me stay patient in this process. I'm also fruit fasting today. Eating copious amounts of fruits. lol… I'm not hungry at all but I feel dizzy though from the fructose….I think I have lots of leptin resistance going on, will have to stay patient…..Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
  46. debbiedoeraw

    Hi Debbie,
    I totally recognize the frustration and surprise at having such high blood sugar despite eating only whole foods. It was the same for me. At the beginning of RRARF getting off 3 years of strict low carb my blood sugar levels also went insane. For me they came back down to a healthy range within just few weeks of RRARF. The potatoes did wonders for me….until I was unable to eat them anymore. But white rice actually works too and my blood sugar continues to become better and better. My morning Glucose readings went from around 100 in June to 87 in September. The postprandial went from 106 in June to 78 in July when I ate potatoes. It's back up to 88 on white rice.

    Katie,

    Wow, that's so interesting that you're writing about this. I don't think I have sleep apnea but I do mouth breathe so now I tape my mouth shut at night. I have a lot of problems with my breathing and I just ordered my retainer to widen my upper palate. I also just started Cranio Sacral Therapy. It's all so connected. My control pause that measures how well my body oxygenates is really, really low (20 seconds only). And I've been trying to increase it via Buteyko breathing exercises this whole year but it doesn't seem to work for me yet…It's so fascinating with the narrow upper palate cause it will put pressure on the pituitary gland causing hormone issues and stress. Hope it works out for us with widening the palate. Fingers crossed. I have high hopes for it.

    Here is a link that shows the different states of illness depending upon how your CP is.

    http://normalbreathing.com/index-buteyko-table-of-health-zones.php

    Reply
  47. LG: Are you a travel agent or a PR person for Luxemborg? Because I want a ticket!!! Sounds just like a perfect situation for families and for overall health!

    Chief: I agree, it's not an emergency, but Like Lisa E, I was shocked. I have been eating pretty well for a long while now.. RRARF is now 2 weeks. After three hours, my stomach is empty enough to do yoga no problem. And yes, I did eat afterwards. My digestion is good, although sometimes I feel I 'need' the Natural Calm magnesium to keep things moving. I occasionally take HCI caps too.
    Lisa E:thanks for the encouragement. I do find when I exercise of course, the blood glucose goes down. And oh yes, lots of potatoes and yams over here.

    trapel:
    I have read tons on hormones. I even have a perscription for "natural compounded progesterone' from my ob/gyn.
    But unlike Susan Sommers et al, I realized natural or not it is still a drug, still not produced by my body. Three years into menopause now, not sure if I want to mess with it. I have read Ray Peats info before, I will revist it and perhaps email him. But no matter what he says, my oncologist would have to agree. And he is not very "open" to more than standard care as it were.
    Thanks
    deb

    Reply
  48. Deb: I also agree with you on the natural progesterone. I opted out of it too when it was suggested to me as an endometirosis treatment. I did hear that if you supplement with it, then the body will stop all production of progesterone, so that sounded like a problem to me. I think the system is far too complex to be tampered with.

    Reply
  49. "…ample food is only one form of sustenance that the body requires to deactivate famine chemistry, including insulin resistance. Sleep, rest, emotional health, inflammation, allergies, infection, and more are all things worthy of addressing in a comprehensive approach to shut this chemistry down and lose weight automatically "

    This sounds so wise but also so overwhelming. Does anyone know where to start? Doesn't RRARF take care of all of this in one beautiful swoop!!!???? lol….Can't life be that easy….

    Reply
  50. In other words, I try to make sense of certain physical reactions and hormonal states in context of real life. Like for example, hypothyroidism, or a reduced metabolic state. That’s a classic example. You know that the body has reduced the rate at which it burns energy.

    Matt – Brilliant. You highlight an extremely powerful principle that can generalized to so many aspects of life. I think another way of stating the same thing is that if you understand what a human being truly "is" in the context of where he has come from (history of mankind and his diet), then it gives you a basis for interpreting physiological phenomenon…. But note that it is not just the body that can be interpreted in this way but just about everything that is human; emotions, politics, behavior of others, social structures, etc, etc.

    I like that you use the word programs to describe the body's responses… and Chief, mechanism is a great word as well… For mental and social phenomena I also use the word "circuit"… That is exactly what appears to be operating on people physiologically, emotionally, socially… Sometimes it is very subtle, like how certain body language reflects a state of mind that reflects social status…

    Anyways, I just thought it would be worth pointing this out as this is an extremely powerful way of thinking for those capable of grasping what I mean. Kudos to you Matt.

    Reply
  51. IN,

    i generally refer to what the body is doing in a starvation response scenario as a mechanism because it is just bio mechanical chemical processes doing what they are supposed to designed to do.

    The mental factor can be thought of as programing or conditioning. i tend to describe it in that way so people stop focusing on some magical fat pill that will "fix" their leptin or insulin and make their bodies impervious to fat gain. and focus on the mental aspect which they have a certain degree of control.

    Reply
  52. Matt,
    sorry just watched the video and noticed you tied in the leptin issue to starvation as well.. i don't tend to watch many video as i read really fast and get bored with video's slower pace. I however do love all the youtube hate you get from the "think tank" comprised of greatest minds in the world ….

    Reply
  53. Deb,

    you might notice improved digestion once the volume of food has increased. I have seen that a lot.

    YOU go girl!

    Reply
  54. Thanks Chief!
    @tarpel
    I have emailed Ray Peat and he is great on answering.. although I am a bit confused by his answers.. we are trying to figure out what additional tests might help me. He is even thinking that my leukemia is somehow tied to the my lack of hormones.. so I am trying to get what he is saying.. thanks for the reccomendation!

    I wish I could find out that all this stuff, cancer, blood sugar, fat belly is all due to menopause. Then, maybe HRT MIGHT be something quite magical..but maybe is a wide canyon.. not yet ready to Evil Kanevil that bad boy just yet.
    xo deb

    Reply
  55. Sheila – I've never been "officially" low-carb, so I don't think my rounder face had anything to due with carb intolerance. I might try to binge on carbs again possibly in the future, but I'm too closed-minded to do this right now. Thanks again, anyways!

    Like you said, it's possible that excess sodium caused me to retain water. The sodium retention perhaps may be caused by too much cortisol.

    In fact, two days ago, I started to eat more fruit in place of water. That has reduced my water intake from 6 gallons per day to 4 gallons per day. However, I do sometimes feel muscle weakness, as I did before I did the fruit thing.

    I sometimes do eat some starch or frucotse after meals. I'll just have to go with my instincts.

    Chief – Your own theories sound excellent. I like your holistic approach to the organism. Things are indeed interrelated, and more complex than they seem. Thank you for all your comments here.

    Anonymous – Excellent theory. I haven't heard of Cary Reams before.

    By the way, I quit buying any potatoes a few days ago, after a commenter on my blog named Good Samaritan warned me of nightshades. Besides, sweet potatoes are more nutritious! They have more calcium, beta carotene, and vitamin K1. If you compare it with potatoes, potatoes have virtually zero calcium. Sweet potatoes also have fructose, which is needed to prevent hypoglycemia. The best things are that sweet potatoes taste better and are cheaper!

    John – You're totally right! I may indeed be a combination. Muscle insulin resistance may be significant enough to negatively effect glucose tolerance. It's caused by excess free fatty acids. There may be other causes of muscle insulin resistance…

    Riles said that in the bodybuilding community, it's pretty much common knowledge that protein helps with the symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia.

    Reply
  56. Sheila – I've never been "officially" low-carb, so I don't think my rounder face had anything to due with carb intolerance. I might try to binge on carbs again possibly in the future, but I'm too closed-minded to do this right now. Thanks again, anyways!

    Like you said, it's possible that excess sodium caused me to retain water. The sodium retention perhaps may be caused by too much cortisol.

    In fact, two days ago, I started to eat more fruit in place of water. That has reduced my water intake from 6 gallons per day to 4 gallons per day. However, I do sometimes feel muscle weakness, as I did before I did the fruit thing.

    I sometimes do eat some starch or frucotse after meals. I'll just have to go with my instincts.

    Chief – Your own theories sound excellent. I like your holistic approach to the organism. Things are indeed interrelated, and more complex than they seem. Thank you for all your comments here.

    Anonymous – Excellent theory. I haven't heard of Cary Reams before.

    By the way, I quit buying any potatoes a few days ago, after a commenter on my blog named Good Samaritan warned me of nightshades. Besides, sweet potatoes are more nutritious! They have more calcium, beta carotene, and vitamin K1. If you compare it with potatoes, potatoes have virtually zero calcium. Sweet potatoes also have fructose, which is needed to prevent hypoglycemia. The best things are that sweet potatoes taste better and are cheaper!

    John – You're totally right! I may indeed be a combination. Muscle insulin resistance may be significant enough to negatively effect glucose tolerance. It's caused by excess free fatty acids. There may be other causes of muscle insulin resistance…

    Riles said that in the bodybuilding community, it's pretty much common knowledge that protein helps with the symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia.

    Reply
  57. I feel like removing some of my posts above, because they're redundant. Ray Peat basically agrees with you, and I agree with you that physical and emotional stress causes insulin resistance.

    I still don't think overeating will cure insulin resistance.

    I think it's a combination of eating nutrient-dense whole foods, avoiding excess polyunsaturated fatty acids, and avoiding food additives.

    These papers hints that leptin does not influence thyroid function.
    http://www.jci.org/articles/view/9725
    http://www.thyroidresearchjournal.com/content/2/1/11
    http://www.eje-online.org/cgi/reprint/139/4/428.pdf

    I think the body-fat set point is "emergent." There isn't a fixed body-set point. The body-fat set point varies during during different times of the day.

    Let's say that your body is stressed. Because it's stressed, and stress decreases leptin sensitivity, it therefore wants to be fatter. Now, let's imagine the opposite scenario. If your body is relaxed, without much stress, it then wants to be way skinner.

    Because stress levels fluctuate during different times of a day, the body wants to be fat during stressful times of the day and and wants to be skinny during calmer periods of the day.

    So it's the cumulative effect of how long your body wants to be skinny verses how long your body wants to be fat that determines your overall body-fat set point.

    In other words, it's the total amount of stress added up within a period of months which decides how much body fat you should maintain. If the total amount of stress added up is low within a period of several months, the less fat your body will keep. Contrastingly, if the total amount of stress added up is high within a period of several months, the more fat your body will keep (unless you're starving yourself, of course).

    Hope I explained it clearly…

    I posted the above comments because I originally intended to educate myself more about health, not to patronize my theories or Ray Peat's ones. That's because I don't think I'm much of an expert of health because I haven't read enough scientific papers to eliminate any folklore I may believe in. I'm sure that a lot of very similar theories to mine are already discussed; those theories are simple so they probably aren't original. I don't have time to reply; bye.

    Reply
  58. Again very informative and knowledge building post. Thanks Matt.

    Leptin synthesis is related to the size of the adipocyte. Large adipocyte ("fed state") will secrete more leptin. If PPARg activity related adipocyte differentiation fails to keep up the pace of digested calories the amount of large adipocytes will grow to the point where the cells can't grow any larger without turning hypoxic and eventually die.

    In this situation glucose metabolism of the hypoxic fat cells is directed towards lactate production instead of pyruvate mitochondrial oxidation. That will lead to decreased amount of ATP needed for normal function of the tissue and it will feed the problems as well.

    Increased amount of dead adipocytes is bad news for several reasons. One very important is that dying or dead cells will attract macrophages and other cells related to innate immunity. Fat tissue will become systemic inflammation promoting site. This is atleast one situation when we can see the rise of "proinflammatory phenotype" which leads to chronic systemic inflammation. We need to reverse all of that if we want restore the healthy balance in the organism.

    It is important to notice that steadily growing adipose tissue is one way to deal with the problem. I don't think that this is the best one though.

    When adipose tissue insulin sensitivity is increased, FFA derived Randle cycle activity downregulated and mitochondrial glucose oxidation increased then the homeostasis of the adipose tissue might be restored. It would be a big benefit if we could do something to the over sentive macrophages too. I personally think that innate immunity function has to be normalized before restoration of the health is possible.

    Reply
  59. Organism as a whole-

    Hmm.. Interesting. I too have too much sodium i my body, which I first thought was my bodys way of holding on to something it rarely got. You say that excess cortisol could have that same effect?

    Regarding potatoes, I have heard the exact same thing; Nightshades! That's what got me thinking too!
    Unfortunately yams are almost impossible to find here and when I do fin them, they are ridiculous expensive! Boy is it the opposite world here!

    Reply
  60. Sheila,

    Cortisol causes sodium retention and potassium loss within the small intestine.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7323700

    You have water retention? Riles said that it took two weeks for him to adjust to an increased sodium intake. Perhaps you should wait longer?

    I don't think it's a good idea to eat less sodium to solve sodium retention. I once nearly killed myself when I restricted salt because I felt pressure on my head whenever I ate salt.

    I think it's important to get a balance of electrolytes. For example, I can't eat salty food by itself because I will get very thirsty and urinate too much right after and/or have kidney pain. But I don't have a problem eating a meal with a balance of electrolytes.

    Even if I get thirsty after a balanced meal, I won't drink plain water. Drinking plain water will make me even more thirsty.

    Drinking fruit juice solves the problem. I think fruit juice contains potassium; which is important when the small intestine is excreting potassium due to excess cortisol. Drinking fruit juice or at least water with juice from a squeezed citrus fruit helps me if I ran out of fruit juice.

    How do you know that you have too much sodium in your body? If you didn't do any test, then how do you know? Each individual is different, so the cause of water retention may be different.

    Restricting sodium may be deadly if you have Addison's disease, for example. However, eating a normal amount of sodium may be excessive for someone with Cushing's syndrome.

    I think JT was right that each individual is different from one another so we shouldn't eat the same diet. We should test to determine exactly what is going on because the symptoms are different for lots of people.

    BTW, where is JT?????

    Reply
  61. "This sounds so wise but also so overwhelming. Does anyone know where to start? Doesn't RRARF take care of all of this in one beautiful swoop!!!???? lol….Can't life be that easy…."

    Rrarf is the place to start. For me it was just beginning to quit being fat phobic. I noticed a huge reduction in my stress and anger management issues (I have a hair trigger temper and years of low fat didn't help it) when I just started eating animal fat and coconut oil on a regular basis. Skin and scalp issues and allergies started clearing up as well when I left behind low fat dairy products and their additive-laden "extras." And the reduced stress of not having to shun any macronutrient, count my calories, obsess about meal time spacing, etc really helped.

    A long time ago there was a aspirin commercial parody that went like this:

    Guy with anvil on his head: Wow, my head really hurts.

    Announcer: would you be willing to take the anvil off your head?

    Guy: Yes. Yes, I would.

    A short while later…

    Guy: Wow. I feel so much better. It's like there was an anvil on my head.
    …and scene!

    Moral of the story: sometimes we are doing stupid things and don't realize it. The solution can be really as simple as to stop doing it.

    Reply
  62. Organism as a whole-

    Thanks for the link, I will look at it after this post!

    I know now, it's not a good thing to avoid sodium. I was just less smart, in my younger days ;-)
    I still have big water fluctuations, even though it has been a while since i reintroduced sodium to my diet. Mind you, my hormones is pretty out of whack too and that could possibly be another explanation.
    I had blood work done, which showed I retain to much sodium. The doctor didn't seem to be able to explain to me why, other than I should definitely stay away from sodium (seemed like he thought I was eating a lot of it when in fact I was doing quite the opposite)!
    I have had suspicions about having too much cortisol in my system, before.. I have basically limited ALL physical stress what so ever and really paying attention to limiting psychological stress too, just too see if my problems come from excess cortisol. Even after all that I still have tremendous problems falling asleep at night and staying asleep too. On top of that it seems like my body only lets me urinate at night, which makes it even harder to sleep.
    I am exhausted and lost on the matter..
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Reply
  63. "On top of that it seems like my body only lets me urinate at night, which makes it even harder to sleep."

    I have the same thing! I urinate so much at night that I have to drink so much at night. I think it's typical of reactive hypoglycemics. I think it's due to an electrolyte imbalance from excess cortisol secretion during hypoglycemia.

    For example, I get thirsty two or three hours after my dinner time. Starting from that time, I would drink water all night and urinate all night.

    I think fruit or fruit juice will help. Because of the potassium content. It helped me.

    (I once got water poisoning from drinking so much water at night. See my blog for more info.)

    Reply
  64. Hey LG: Beat poet Frank O'Hara has a whole book of poems about lunch. Looks like the Luxumburgians (?) took it to heart.

    As Matt has said in the past about the French paradox, probably the saturated fat they eat is protecting them from white flour, cigarettes, booze and coffee, not the other way round.

    I've always thought it was the slowed down pace of life that accounts for that paradox. The long lunches, the super long maternity leaves, the long vacations that you mention.

    Reply
  65. Organism-

    Sorry it took me so long to get to your comments. They were excellent. You are missing the point of the post though. I'm saying more that insulin resistance, from a functional standpoint mimics what happens to humans during starvation. I'm also saying, like you point out, that elevated cortisol is identical to what happens during starvation.

    Some other holes in your theory…

    1) Hypoglycemia is easily and consistently "cured" on RRARF – thus a sign of decreased insulin resistance

    2) If anorexics have no insulin resistance, then why are they the BIGGEST sufferers of reactive hypoglycemia upon eating? And why do they gain the most fat on the fewest calories of anyone on earth? I believe they quickly become insulin resistant upon exposure to food.

    3) Eating fat and carbs together allows the body to store fat if it is trying to. Not everyone gains belly fat when eating starch. Some lose belly fat rapidly eating starch.

    Also, I'm not saying that muscle insulin resistance is the cause, but the result. I agree that liver insulin resistance is a major factor and the combination of lots of PUFA with lots of fructose and/or alcohol is the probably the predominant cause of liver insulin resistance in the first place.

    Reply
  66. Thanks, Matt.

    The assertion that anorexics get reactive hypoglycemia contradicts with the study that I pointed out long ago.

    Maybe I missed something. Maybe than anorexics have little viseral fat so they don't secrete much resistin and secrete too much adiponectin, both hormones which regulate insulin resistance. As they gain belly fat, they will become more insulin resistant.

    I think my theory was based on my anecdotal evidence, that I can't get any better even if I ate high starch for two months.

    Based on my anecdotal evidence, I think that RARRF will only work on people who previously starved themselves by calorie restriction or starved themselves on low-carb diets because fat and protein are satiating. I never did any of these.

    I know that low-carbers get more insulin resistant when they eat more starch, but isn't that because their bodies are more adapted to starch after they go high starch?

    As I ate more and more starch, I gained belly fat. I think it's caused by the stress of my reactive hypoglycemia. I did high-carb (carbs at 60% of my Calories) for two months, but my belly got bigger and bigger.

    "Not everyone gains belly fat when eating starch. Some lose belly fat rapidly eating starch. "

    True. But I think it only applies to low-carbers who are starving themselves with the satiety power of protein and fat. Starvation is a stress which causes excess cortisol and belly fat.

    Yes, it's partially based on anecdotal evidence, but more on it tomorrow…

    Reply
  67. Organism-

    I really think you have this all wrong. Low-carbers are VERY insulin resistant, and eating starch makes them gain weight rapidly and become more insulin sensitive until they reach a point of insulin sensitivity where weight gain stops.

    In the process reactive hypoglycemia disappears, which is very commmon, and also high postprandial and fasting blood glucose readings come way down – back to normal – a sign of increased insulin sensitivity not decreased insulin sensitivity.

    Belly fat is a sign that you WERE insulin resistant. When you stop gaining belly fat that's a sign you have become LESS insulin resistant.

    If you don't think anorexics suffer from reactive hypoglycemia, ask one that you know what their fasting BG is (almost diabetic typically) and their postprandial BG (typically falls way down immediately upon eating).

    In fact, one of the primary reasons anorexics have trouble forcing themselves to eat is that they feel so horrible when they do due to the reactive hypoglycemia they typically suffer from.

    Others that really suffer from reactive hypoglycemia are those that have dieted for a long time or lost a lot of weight, like Jimmy Moore or all those Atkins dieters that Keith Berkowitz discusses in a Jimmy Moore podcast long ago.

    Reply
  68. Organism as a Whole,
    thanks for your opinions and encouragement.

    you kind of describe a piece of the puzzle in my opinion only problem with your theory is the stress factor is not a dose dependent scenario.
    certain people deal with stress differently and there is certainly a genetic maximum fat potential so at a certain point you cant get any fatter but you can certainly increase stress.
    Even people like walter hudson or manuel Uribe hit a plateau. weather or not this is due to digestion capacity or some other factor i cant say.
    They were both arguably only stressed by the fat and living conditions alone as i cant see much in the way for external stress being increased over time to match the fat gain in there daily lives. Further more extreme cases like this have a lot of the people seeming pretty happy about their lifestyle.

    There is also is certain dietary cues that effect the set point as well In my opinion intelligently applying eating strategies that maximize intake correct this because this is what any non industrial society would have done coming out of a famine. I don't really see it as overeating. I believe true overeating is extremely rare, to illustrate see the movie se7en , gluttony scene.

    keep in mind as well It's more of a combination of muscle mass set point and a body fat set point that we see in a starvation so some of the cues are related to physical activity.

    I do think that over a certain amount of time (cumulative ) a lifestyle that avoids or properly manages stress, has a proper amount of positive stress and rectifies dietary issues changes the set point to make one a skinny person.

    Reply
  69. Organism as a Whole

    to quote you :

    think that RARRF will only work on people who previously starved themselves by calorie restriction or starved themselves on low-carb diets because fat and protein are satiating. I never did any of these.

    keep in mind a person can be in starvation mode for years, never gain any fat and never have felt starved having a " calorie " set point much lower than what the body runs the most efficiently on. (See Hardgainers)

    I have repeatedly put fat on these people that are supposedly impervious to fat.

    I think there are plenty of people with a myriad of health issues that improve with rarrf and at minimum i cant find a reason not to eat as much as the body wants. Key is not being afraid to find out how much it actually wants.

    some people also gain a belly from more food being in their system which makes the fat they alway had protrude,making them think they gained fat. This rectifies overtime once the body starts adapting to larger volumes.

    It is important to not make decisions on any dietary or lifestyle change on short term evidence. The body needs time to adapt. It will not " trust" you to not starve it based on a few days.

    Reply
  70. Sheila – What country do you live in? Somewhere in Europe?

    Reply
  71. Re Luxemburg

    What a load of bs. Seriously I knew some guys from Luxemburg, they all had round bellies. I also went to Luxemburg and I didn't notice much of a difference in the people there from those in say Germany / Holland / Belgium. That was like 10 years ago.

    Reply
  72. Re Hans

    I think many guys here are pretty this – esp compare to Americans who are much "beefier." But more notably to me are the women – up until older menopausal age.

    Clothing sizes prove it – 34s (size 4) are the most popular size to go. Id o notice however that outside of the city, people are a little more larger – but not as large as many Germans.

    Reply
  73. I meant guys are pretty thin. Women especially so effortlessly – not from working out loads, and definaly women do not weight lift. Pilatese is popular but only as sport 1 maybe 2x per week. We live in the city.

    Reply
  74. Chief-
    Over all, really nice post you just made! I totally agree.
    I think you make an really important note in saying;

    *It is important to not make decisions on any dietary or lifestyle change on short term evidence. The body needs time to adapt. It will not " trust" you to not starve it based on a few days.*

    Lynn-

    I am from Denmark!

    Reply
  75. Organism as Whole,
    regarding frequent urination, particular foods on some individuals have a marked diuretic effect.
    Sweet potatoes, white rice, pumpkin, carrots, and other vegetables too (depending on amount and individual)
    Often this is most pronounced at night while resting as bodily housekeeping takes place.

    Reply
  76. @Chief: I like what you said, "I think there are plenty of people with a myriad of health issues that improve with rarrf and at minimum i cant find a reason not to eat as much as the body wants. Key is not being afraid to find out how much it actually wants."

    I think this applies especially to women, who generally seem to think anything above 1800 calories a day is decidedly un-feminine and even gluttonous. I think what sealed it for me was doing the milk diet for 23 days and consuming an average of 2500 calories a day without any weight gain at all (in fact I dropped a couple pounds). And part of the diet was resting so I didn't exercise much during it, either. I think most women would be terrified of eating 2500 calories in a day.

    Reply
  77. Ok, I figured now would be a good time to poke my own experience in…
    Organism said:
    The assertion that anorexics get reactive hypoglycemia contradicts with the study that I pointed out long ago.

    Maybe I missed something. Maybe than anorexics have little viseral fat so they don't secrete much resistin and secrete too much adiponectin, both hormones which regulate insulin resistance. As they gain belly fat, they will become more insulin resistant.

    In my experience…
    I think the reactive hypoglycemia anorexics(myself included) get is only in the initial refeeding stages of weight gain. I don’t however think it has anything to do with insulin resistance. Insulin is something the body is prone to function well on. I think the drop in blood sugar post eating(be it any combo of food) is the body’s response to speeding up thus going through everything you eat. Anorexics when they reefed correctly*** are almost guaranteed to hit a ridiculous stage of needing to eat an incredible amount of food everyday to keep weight gain occurring. I experienced it myself, spending 3 weeks making SURE I ate 4500 calories a DAY. It didn’t last, as I now hover around 3000-3200 a day. I think an anorexic person, not so much just a dieter or starved person, but someone with the disease anorexia, is incredibly LOW in cortisol and insulin sensitive, not high. A dieter however, high in cortisol. This has been my personal experience.

    MATT Said:
    I'm saying more that insulin resistance, from a functional standpoint mimics what happens to humans during starvation. I'm also saying, like you point out, that elevated cortisol is identical to what happens during starvation.
    Some other holes in your theory…
    1) Hypoglycemia is easily and consistently "cured" on RRARF – thus a sign of decreased insulin resistance
    2) If anorexics have no insulin resistance, then why are they the BIGGEST sufferers of reactive hypoglycemia upon eating? And why do they gain the most fat on the fewest calories of anyone on earth? I believe they quickly become insulin resistant upon exposure to food.
    3) Eating fat and carbs together allows the body to store fat if it is trying to. Not everyone gains belly fat when eating starch. Some lose belly fat rapidly eating starch.

    Reply
  78. Ok, I figured now would be a good time to poke my own experience in…
    Organism said:
    The assertion that anorexics get reactive hypoglycemia contradicts with the study that I pointed out long ago.

    Maybe I missed something. Maybe than anorexics have little viseral fat so they don't secrete much resistin and secrete too much adiponectin, both hormones which regulate insulin resistance. As they gain belly fat, they will become more insulin resistant.

    In my experience…
    I think the reactive hypoglycemia anorexics(myself included) get is only in the initial refeeding stages of weight gain. I don’t however think it has anything to do with insulin resistance. Insulin is something the body is prone to function well on. I think the drop in blood sugar post eating(be it any combo of food) is the body’s response to speeding up thus going through everything you eat. Anorexics when they reefed correctly*** are almost guaranteed to hit a ridiculous stage of needing to eat an incredible amount of food everyday to keep weight gain occurring. I experienced it myself, spending 3 weeks making SURE I ate 4500 calories a DAY. It didn’t last, as I now hover around 3000-3200 a day. I think an anorexic person, not so much just a dieter or starved person, but someone with the disease anorexia, is incredibly LOW in cortisol and insulin sensitive, not high. A dieter however, high in cortisol. This has been my personal experience.

    MATT Said:
    I'm saying more that insulin resistance, from a functional standpoint mimics what happens to humans during starvation. I'm also saying, like you point out, that elevated cortisol is identical to what happens during starvation.
    Some other holes in your theory…
    1) Hypoglycemia is easily and consistently "cured" on RRARF – thus a sign of decreased insulin resistance
    2) If anorexics have no insulin resistance, then why are they the BIGGEST sufferers of reactive hypoglycemia upon eating? And why do they gain the most fat on the fewest calories of anyone on earth? I believe they quickly become insulin resistant upon exposure to food.
    3) Eating fat and carbs together allows the body to store fat if it is trying to. Not everyone gains belly fat when eating starch. Some lose belly fat rapidly eating starch.

    Reply
  79. I still don’t think insulin resistance is mimicking starvation, a lack of proper nutrients mimicks starvation and produces nil results like insulin problems by as a by product of a larger nutritional problem. I don’t think insulin should be singled out on weight gain weight loss or starvation. As much as I by into what your saying about cortisol, that’s just not my experience. I was a flippin nutjob when I was anorexic and starving, anxiety/worry through the roof but I do not think I had high cortisol levels. During recovery however, I do know GH increases and probably brings up the once low cortisol and possibly making it elevated above normal levels which results in the larger post-feeding trunk weight many anorexics suffer from.
    This is from one of my ‘go to’ anorexia studies… I think essentially it depicts the difference in starvation, and the difference in a mental illness. Either way, both are cured/fixed through adequate nutrition… I think the difference in cortisol and GH distinguishes between whether one is obsessively dieting(like the Keys starvation thing) vs a real mental illness anorexia nervosa….
    {No relationship was observed between GH concentration and regional lean mass or between cortisol concentration and regional body composition. In contrast, GH concentration did not predict regional body composition in adolescents with AN on regression analysis. However, nadir cortisol concentration correlated inversely with percent extremity lean mass (r = –0.49; P = 0.02) and positively with percent trunk lean mass and T/E lean (r = 0.48, P = 0.03; and r = 0.49, P = 0.02) in girls with AN. A similar trend was observed between other measures of cortisol concentration (mean cortisol and AUC) and percent trunk lean mass and T/E lean in AN. Trunk fat was lowest in girls with AN who had high GH but low cortisol levels (based on median values), whereas some preservation of trunk fat was observed in girls with low GH and high cortisol levels. Weight recovery occurred in seven of 11 girls with low GH and high cortisol values; however, only two of the nine girls with high GH and low cortisol recovered weight. High GH with lower cortisol levels may thus be a marker of greater severity of AN. Our results suggest that in healthy controls, GH concentration predicts regional body composition and favors a redistribution of body fat such that T/E fat ratio decreases. In AN, however, high levels of GH and cortisol have contrasting associations with fat mass. High cortisol levels in AN predict a redistribution of lean body mass such that extremity lean mass decreases}

    Reply
  80. malpaz, you said…

    ……" I think the reactive hypoglycemia anorexics(myself included) get is only in the initial refeeding stages of weight gain. I don’t however think it has anything to do with insulin resistance. "
    …….

    well. I would argue that after the initial weight gain period, just like the case of overweight individuals on rarrf, the insulin resistance is at least to a certain degree corrected if not completely. Therefore your experience actually proves this theory when this is taken into consideration.

    Reply
  81. Thanks sheila !

    it is so true , I pretty much live a rarrf like lifestyle so i don't think there is a point in which it's overeating and definitely has not had any negatives. I think people need to coast on rarrf as long as the body doesn't say to stop. On occasion I eat very little and I just obey the signals. A lot of people go wrong when they decide they need to cut back because of weight gain after 30 or so days or give up in 5 days due to weight gain. even 60 or 200 days ride it out.

    your body knows it'll subconsciously cut back in its own way.

    Reply
  82. Elizabeth,


    I agree fully women now a days have been conditioned socially to think a certain way regarding food.

    

I used to date a model back in my fat days and she would repeatedly gain like 5 pounds get freaked out and diet with 500 calories of raw veggies and a little bit of a chicken breast. She also complained about it always being cold in my car and cranked the heat until I was sweating so much i would keep a change of clothes for a one hour drive…hmm

    

she was in effect conditioned to think she could not "eat that much" and also to only look at the short term weight gain as evidence that " this or that" was making her fat and did her crash diet on a clockwork like bi-monthly cycle.



    tried to tell her that was a bad move even then, but who is gonna listen to the fat guy about weight management ..right? lol

I

    I might not have had it all figured out enough back then to be in shape but I stuck to my guns til i succeeded :)

    Reply
  83. Fruit fast was difficult to get through, I felt pretty terrible, but today when I woke up I was able to close my right hand almost completely into a fist for the first time since I got my gout issues. My TMJ was also better. But I can't stay on fruits forever though sadly. lol.

    Matt,
    What you were writing about the different native diets was really fascinating to me. I'd love to know more about it. I wonder, why do you think that we can't heal eating any kinds of whole foods alone? That diets need to be individualized and specific in order to work?

    Do you think that Eskimos eating whole wheat bread and cheese would still thrive, or do you think they might get sick from it just cause their bodies are not used to it?

    Is it as simple as saying that if metabolism is high, anything in the whole foods genre can be consumed, and if its low the most amazing organic whole food in the world would not be enough to heal the body? Could it be kind of like the thing about exercising. It doesn't lead to health on its own, but once a person is healthy, then exercising is possible and healthy? If so, then do we get there simply through improved metabolism?

    Do you think that ultimately each persons diet has to be individualized? That some would thrive only on a Swiss style diet, while others may thrive only on an Eskimo diet? How would one know what diet works best? Like how long would a person have to give it before they could determine if it's good or not good for them?

    Or is it a matter of looking at where one's family history was located and what the local food was? Or is it a matter of avoiding what one is allergic to or specifically eating a lot of what one is allergic to?

    So many questions and I understand that you don't have the answers but your theories would be very interesting. Perhaps a future blog post on it? I would find that very interesting.

    Reply
  84. Fruit fast was difficult to get through, I felt pretty terrible, but today when I woke up I was able to close my right hand almost completely into a fist for the first time since I got my gout issues. My TMJ was also better. But I can't stay on fruits only forever though sadly. lol.

    Matt,
    What you were writing about the different native diets was really fascinating to me. I'd love to know more about it.

    Do you think that Eskimos eating whole wheat bread and cheese would still thrive, or do you think they might get sick from it just cause their bodies are not used to it?

    Is it as simple as saying that if metabolism is high, anything in the whole foods genre can be consumed, and if its low the most amazing organic whole food in the world would not be enough to heal the body?

    Do you think that ultimately each persons diet has to be individualized? That some would thrive only on a Swiss style diet, while others may thrive only on an Eskimo diet?

    Is it a matter of looking at where one's family history was located and what the local food was?

    So many questions and I understand that you don't have the answers but your theories would be very interesting. Perhaps a future blog post on it? I would find that very interesting.

    Reply
  85. Just wanted to clarify; my issues about my weight have less to do with patience, or vanity and more to do with faith. If I knew with some certainty that RRARF would work for me, then I'd be much more relaxed and able to stick with it for the long run. I'm a very stubborn person as evidenced by my recent three year low carb stunt, doing the full program despite feeling like a bloated, nauseous wreck every day of those years.

    I'm simply put scared. Super scared that I'm in for yet another disappointment and that I'll have become fat and perhaps not able to get out of it, perhaps getting even more sick from it…..Just as what happened with my low carb experiment. But at the same time, I realize that I do have good perceptions and I do believe in RRARF. I just sometimes freak out about it when things are not going smoothly….

    Reply
  86. Chief, I think you just wanted to tell us about your model dating :) kidding, such a true story. I realized that my BFF who I see every Sat. is constantly either five lbs up or five lbs down.. every week.. she is about 20lbs over ideal I would say.. but those five that come off I guess keep her thinking that it's working.. till they come back with friends.

    Lisa E. I can identify with your fear. When I started rrarf, and I felt my stomach feel big, I had that thought "what if I can't lose this???" That said, healing is so not linear..even on my raw foods deal, at first my blood work got worse, like the worst EVER, took five months for it to come down.. and 7 months for it to at it's lowest level. My mind tells me I was too thin as a Raw vegan.. but my mirror says, Damn, you look fat as a omnivore.

    Keep on the path.. healing takes a lot of time after all the years we spent doing the damage! I ate/drank/lived like shit for what, 47 YEARS?? So I can give this some time to work.
    xo deb

    Reply
  87. chief, that would only hold true is i at all followed RARF while i was refeeding, and in no way did i

    Reply
  88. Matt said:

    "Low-carbers are VERY insulin resistant, and eating starch makes them gain weight rapidly and become more insulin sensitive until they reach a point of insulin sensitivity where weight gain stops."

    Have you heard of Peter's post about physiological insulin resistance? It only takes a few days for a low-carber to adapt to a higher starch intake.

    "Belly fat is a sign that you WERE insulin resistant. When you stop gaining belly fat that's a sign you have become LESS insulin resistant. "

    I agree. I believe that belly fat is caused by the excess cortisol from hypoglycemia.

    "If you don't think anorexics suffer from reactive hypoglycemia, ask one that you know what their fasting BG is (almost diabetic typically) and their postprandial BG (typically falls way down immediately upon eating)."

    I might be wrong. I think it's because anorexics are gaining fat, predominantly in the viseral region. Too much fat in the visceral area will decrease insulin resistance due to the hormones secreted there. I think if they got their body composition back to normal, they will be cured. Maybe they are physiologically insulin resistant too like how low-carbers are!

    "Others that really suffer from reactive hypoglycemia are those that have dieted for a long time or lost a lot of weight, like Jimmy Moore or all those Atkins dieters that Keith Berkowitz discusses in a Jimmy Moore podcast long ago."

    I think it is normal for low-carbers due to physiological insulin resistance. It would just a few days of high-carb feeding to increase their insulin sensitivity. It may well be a combination of the weight gain from prolonged low-carb dieting.

    Thanks for your reply.

    Reply
  89. Chief said:

    "I do think that over a certain amount of time (cumulative ) a lifestyle that avoids or properly manages stress, has a proper amount of positive stress and rectifies dietary issues changes the set point to make one a skinny person."

    I don't think that there is a set point for body fat. I just think that stress makes one fat. For example, let's say if a person is stressed for an hour each and every day, and because of that stress, he will gain 10 Calories of fat. Over time, the Calories gained from that stress will add up. For example, if the same thing happened for a month, he will gain 300 Calories of fat.

    Cortisol will additionally inhibit leptin sensitivity, therefore will make the person eat more in addition to the fat gained. Over time, one hour of stress per day will add up. For that hour, it stores 10 Calories of extra fat every day. It also inhibits leptin sensitivity for an hour. Therefore, within that hour, the person will get hungrier and he will either eat more, and if he does not eat, his muscles will be broken down as fuel.

    Over time, an hour of stress every day will gradually make them store more fat and wear away his muscles.

    If he experiences two hours of stress every day, then the rate fat gain and muscle loss will be faster.

    But the hormone leptin will blunt that effect. So it's harder and harder to gain fat the fatter the fatter the person is. So it's like "diminishing returns."

    That's what I meant by saying that body fat is "cumulative."

    I don't believe there is any "body-fat set point", but the amount of body fat is a gradual and complex process determined by the total amount of stress within a several months.

    Reply
  90. malpaz,

    ok sorry bout that if i assumed in any way, how was your re-feeding different if i may ask ?

    i guess I assumed coming from anorexia one would have to eat more than before ?? I don't claim to know it all. So please elaborate so I may understand.

    thanks

    Reply
  91. When I heard Jon Gabriel talk about the different ways people handle stress and how it affects their bodyweight, a light went on for me. I started taking note of people and their personalities and people going through stressful times and seeing what happens to them physically. Someone who internalizes stress (like Gabriel himself) handles stress like someone facing a harsh winter…food is scarce, it's a longer-term stress, etc., so that's why these people store fat…to keep them warm and allows them to survive in the long haul. Someone who blows up all the time, handles their stress as an emergency situation, like fleeing a predator. This person needs energy quick, for a short period of time, and they need to be lean so they can be faster. It was interesting to watch a couple going through a nasty divorce and how both of them lost weight in the process (explains the divorce). The kids that keep everything in, were/remained fatter. The kid with the temper was lean…kind of ripped. It probably doesn't explain everything, but I have seen it in action.

    Reply
  92. Organism as a Whole,

    I have to respectively disagree with your theory as it does not fit my observation of my "guinea pigs".
    some of which have lived with me to be monitored so i tend to trust my observations over most fat science published studies.

    your theory does not explain how the human body remains at a set point regardless of changes in different hours of stress for certain people. The stress and the effects of which simply cant be monitored in terms of time under stress.
    the death of a loved one for instance could be chronic for a long time to varying degrees and cause no change in some while it quickly and drastically effects others.

    nor would this theory explain rapid fat gains or yo yo dieting. It does not explain sticking points aka stubborn fat. It definitely does not explain fasting then refeeding right back to the same weight in a matter of days which i have seen many times.

    I don't think it is really a set ..point per say but more of a percentage with a slight range.

    Reply
  93. DEB,

    lots of stories, lots of hotties! :P just saying to explain the crazy obsession with weight. some of them can be nutty with it.

    Reply
  94. The real will,
    I agree long term stress, whether emotional or physical, causes high cortisol and subsequently weight gain. However I disagree with Gabriel, that it's mainly about your emotional state. What about 6 month old babies who are obese? I had junk food addictions, weight gain and depression. So what came first? People can still be thin and be depressed and eat junk food. Although most psychiactric patients tend to become overweight but that's because of the antidepressants and antipsychotics.
    I followed Gabriel for awhile but it was an uphill battle. I couldn't give up the diet coke and chocolate. I think he misses the boat by not reccomending saturated fat. He also doesn't agree with using coconut oil because it didn't work for him and he believes it can cause weight gain. But for me it was my life saver. I really believe it made a huge difference in my moods, satiety and hormones. For 6 weeks I really ate a lot of coconut oil and butter and suddenly I could easily give up junk food and get my periods back after 18 months without having to listen to meditation mp3s. I don't eat as much coconut oil now (down from 3 tbs to 1 tbs). I would not have been able to cut out processed foods by just thought power alone. So while he does have some good points, without the fat though it's not going to help everyone.
    A friend of mine is actually going to see him speak next weekend. She's been trying to follow his method for awhile but has yet to succeed. She's hoping it will all click into place for her once she spends 8 hours listening to him. I'll be crossing my fingers for her.

    Reply
  95. t is so true , I pretty much live a rarrf like lifestyle so i don't think there is a point in which it's overeating and definitely has not had any negatives. I think people need to coast on rarrf as long as the body doesn't say to stop. On occasion I eat very little and I just obey the signals. A lot of people go wrong when they decide they need to cut back because of weight gain after 30 or so days or give up in 5 days due to weight gain. even 60 or 200 days ride it out.

    your body knows it'll subconsciously cut back in its own way.

    Chief-

    I can so relate. After my first 30 days on RARRF, I looked down my body and thought to myself; HELL NO! :-D This is where it's SO important that you continue or you are just telling your body once more, that you can NOT be trusted and that the body needs to make adjustments accordingly, meaning; Slow down metabolism! The more days/weeks/years you have with surplus the lighter the scale for under eating gets and the more the body needs to make NEW adjustments for the NEW diet, meaning; Speed up metabolism -this is where weight loss happens effortless!

    I once was exactly like your girlfriend, convinced that I could not eat the same amount of calories as everyone else! Sure, but I taught my body to be like that, with not giving it enough calories! We really need to get out of this way of thinking and just EAT THE FOOD!

    Funny thing, when I am sick I tend to have a greater appetite than normal? Everyone else I know can't eat when they are sick. I wonder what goes on in the body in the different scenarios..

    Btw, thanks for getting my name right -the swing with my police bat, woke you up! LOL!

    Reply
  96. ok guys, 119 fasting bg this am..I am starting to get really worried.
    I may cut the yams out for a few days, see if it comes down.
    Anybody have any wise words? I am thinking that I really need to get my body fat down or the blood sugar is going to stay high.

    Thoughts?

    Reply
  97. Debbie-

    I am no expert but I would say keep going. It's going to get worse before it gets better! It's probably going to take more than a month, for your body to adjust to the "new enviroment". It's not used to this kind of food and in that quantity, of course it's going to act up. I say give it some more time..

    Reply
  98. DEB,

    blood glucose levels can be high even among the skinny so although impaired function of glucose metabolism has been linked to obesity it is not necessarily because of the body fat.

    people with hardcore problems are much higher too by the way the fasting levels you state are a sign the body has been insulin resistant for a while. (starvation mode) but its definitely not saying "oh shit you have diabetes"
    more in the pre diabetes range. as long as it continues to improve and not worsen i don't see it as that alarming.I would expect coming out of a "spin til you die" exercise regiment and eating very little your body would respond as so.

    as odd as this sounds i think more food is needed and more time is needed as sheila said.

    cutting the source of the load might help but for long term results don't cut all carbs out. You need to have them stimulate your body, maybe as you said removing the yam .. perhaps trade them for something else and see.

    Reply
  99. sheila, yea i started cheating and copy pasting names mostly to not mess up ..lol

    very well put in your post btw.

    Reply
  100. ANON, to quote you :

    "What about 6 month old babies who are obese? I had junk food addictions, weight gain and depression. So what came first? People can still be thin and be depressed and eat junk food. "

    babies have brown fat which is a different thing meant to protect them the cold like bears hibernating.

    secondly the stress of the mother has the effect of creating the environment that makes the baby gain weight by having an affect of creating the perfect environment inside the womb.
    as we all know a child gets everything from their mother because it shares a living environment for 9 months if this is is under starvation response, the baby will also be.

    as for skinny people being under the same stress as you put it thin and depressed.
    some people let go of the stress in a shorter time frame and it has less effect as well some people due to social pressure and other things simply do not eat enough calories to create the fat gain. In some cases their digestive system is incapable of assimilating the nutrients. However in an over weight person, they do not ignore the body's signals. Both the ultra skinny and the overweight person are in fact working with the same internal environment. Once you feed the ultra skinnies enough calories and in some cases increase the stress, they gain weight much like their more corpulent counterparts.

    anyone that claims they can not gain fat, i say come live with me for 30 days. I have not seen a case yet where it is impossible.

    Reply
  101. not everyone who gets tressed has high cortisol and not every stressed person gains weight…thats simply not true. i dont think every person is predisposed to gain weight due to stress. some bodies handle it different than others. i think it has to do with predisposition and if you come froma family line of famine/bad diet vs a family of real food and no famine.

    chief, i did my refeeding using Martin's leangains. i started with a lower carb approach as i was coming off a year of zero carb. i added lotsa vegetables back and then swung into a lower carb week and high carb refeeding 2 days back to back a week.
    before i started the higher carb days every week i did suffer hypoglycemia post meal but quickly found out it was caused not by protein/fat/carbs but by dairy. if i ended a meal or snack with dairy i was guaranteed to have a rise and sudden drop in BS.
    when i started the high carb days, i had a fasting BS in the upper 80's and post lotsa carbs it never went over about 120.

    there is something, for me, to the dairy and it's insulogenic effect. but when i read weightology, James seems to think that it isnt persay a bad reaction to have BS rise from dairy(which mine does now w/o the hypo anymore) as the amino acid profile of it more or less causes it but it is a balanced hormonally efficient body reaction…?? not sure

    i took vita-d, zinc and krill oil…still do. i ate a shitload of organ meat, tallow, bone broth, marrow and kept my focus away from muscle meat and on nutrient bang for my buck. i started around 3000 cals a day and when i started the high carb days had to move to around 4000+ during the lower carb days to keep weight on,

    as mentioned, i did bloat up intitially in my stomach it resembled like a figure 8 ball, stuck out on top and on bottom…but after about 3-4 months my stomach is flat again.

    i will say that i am utterly, utterly flabergasted at the amount of muscle i have put on(you can check my website i post pics all the time)

    i dont take BS readings anymore, i just eat. some days its higher carb and some days its ridicuously high fat it just depends on what i make. hell some days its high protein too and i still do consume a lot of dairy, i like it lol- it aint goin anywhere

    Reply
  102. Thanks Chief.. I just see this fat on my torso that was not there, on my upper back, midsection of course.. and wonder if it is adding the to bg problem.
    Dairy seems to really make me gain weight. I think I will back off of the butter (use coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, mac nuts and meats for fat source) and raw cream and cheese, yogurt.
    I am really concerned as my dad was type one, his sister was type one and had amputations she was so bad.. trying not to stress but am concerned.
    Dr. Christine Northrup in her book on menopause advocates a low glycemic, protien at every meal, eat often approach. Not zero carb, but lowish.. maybe that is something I will have to do eventually.. I KNOW IT IS NOT 180 degree style.. but I am just trying to live a long life here without medical intervention!

    deb

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  103. DEB,

    i strongly feel most if not all medical problems can be handled via lifestyle and eating so worrying about genetics can never be a positive thing as the mind is an extremely powerful thing.

    there have been cases where a doctor reads the symptoms of side effects of chemotherapy and gives the patient a placebo…and the patients hair starts falling out!!!

    so all in all don't focus on what happened to others to predict your own case.

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  104. malpaz,

    I have checked your page in the past and conrats on the transformation i hope it can help others as well.

    I agree that not everyone exposed to stress becomes fat it is how they handle it and other opposing factors in their life.

    I do feel ultra skinny ( not "normal" body weight) are in a starvation mode that is identical to obesity.

    after your clarification i can see how i assumed wrong in your eyes, I personally don't see a difference between leangains, rarrf or an "eat like a muffuka and stay active" approach, fundamentally they all do the same thing to reverse the problem. REFEEDING

    ( i will admit leangains page is very ambiguous on what it actually is his approach) I fast but I also think you could short term fast on rarrf and get the same results if not better as well.

    arguably each of these scenarios may have slighter better applications to certain individuals but all in all I still think its the same.

    Reply
  105. I have not kept up with the entire thread, so this may have been covered. Sorry if it has. But, this whole thing about if you gain belly weight when you gain weight, it's a sign of being insulin resistant. Is this typically the role? I ask this because when I try to put on weight (muscle), a long with the muscle I do gain some fat and it typically goes to my lower abs.

    Is that a bad thing, or just how I gain weight. Most guys I know gain in that region, so I figured it was fairly normal.

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  106. Hi Chief
    I got it. You are right.. but I am fed up with this upper body fat.. it has to go..

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  107. I've been on RRAF a month and now I've started spiking in blood glucose after meals. An hour after a RRARF meal I'd normally be about 72 then yesterday I had missed a meal and ate 6 hours after last meal. Afterwards I was feeling really weird so I took my BG and it was 146! This morning it went back down to 79 then after breakfast I was again feeling weird. One hour after bacon, eggs, potato and salad and a small glass of milk my BG was 162! Is my body rebelling against this diet? Should I cut out the salad and milk?

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  108. I cannot believe people think theay can eat as much as they want (including wheat!) in order to "heal" their bodies…..I think most people find these HED idea attractive because they find it as the most amazing excuse to self indulge in food, I wonder if people has taken the emotional side of it?…people tend to fill "emotional holes" with food, maybe its not the case for everyone but certainly is a major point.I think people forget to consider balance as the key ingredient to all…just dont fool yourself and be honest, I think eat to live is way healthier than live to eat.
    PS: No offense Matt but judging for your recent video you certainly had put a lotta weight, you look like a puffy version of your twit pic…healing???

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  109. ANON ( on oct 17th 8 pm about rarrrf and blood glucose.) please get a name ..lol

    post meal under BG levels under 180 is not alarming really but it is puzzling if your saying it was better before …hmm its hard to say with out a detailed food log. I would dodge the milk n see what happens it is known to do crazy BG spikes in alot of people ( I personally don't see a reason to breast feed from any animal after 4 years old)

    the fasting level looks real good and considering it's in that range i would not be that alarmed in your case.

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  110. ANON, Oct 17 4:43 AM GET A NAME PEOPLE!! lol

    keep in mind its not eating as much as you consciously "want" its eating what your body wants and for some that have restricted it for so long it requires pushing their previous boundaries. It's not necessary I can show people how to increase their appetite incredibly but its time consuming and require a lot of effort. "overeating" just speeds it up the end result is no different. (don't eat to the point of puking people) :)

    I agree it's not about living to eat and the emotional side needs to be considered … I eat (A LOT) for nutritional value not for pleasure. I don't INDULGE in pepsi, gummi bears, crispy creme donuts or any other high pleasure junk food. ( side note to your "even wheat!" comment : personally I rarely eat it )

    I can assure with so much observational data I have acquired with so many people who have adopted an increased food consumption protocol, it definitely works ! If I had some fancy piece of paper that defines my IQ and some official title at some government or academic organization, at least some of mine or matt's theories would most likely be taught in home economics health and gym glass in high school just like Ancel keys' fat makes you fat theory has been for years.

    furthermore long term it has shown to be quite beneficial at least in my case of 5 plus years.
    This summer I decided to avoid the gym all together to prove to those around me it's not calorie in and calorie out.. 7000 calories a day and not even a bit of weight gain in 4 months. I will admit it was not sedentary but it was far from 800 lbs. squats.

    I put on weight on purpose during an experiment this spring and astonishingly although no surprise to me, this weight came of over the course of summer without restricting.

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  111. Will ,

    visceral fat ( belly) is the primary place where men get fat. ( beer bellies anyone? ) yes it is a sign your body is not handling itself properly. Contrary to popular body building concepts it is possible to gain muscle without the fat gain and I train people that all have been able to do so.

    look to what you are eating, how often you are eating ( too often is a bad idea) as well as what your lifestyle is like outside the gym and what you consider a good workout may actually be making you gain fat too.

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  112. Thanks Chief. Ok you can call me princess! ;)
    I was looking through some videos on youtube and I think I've found some kind of answer to my spiking glucose. Apparently cortisol raises glucose and skipping a meal raises cortisol. I've been regularly eating every 3 hours and maybe my body is no longer used to skipping meals. I wasn't hungry at all and didn't think it would affect me. I felt really bad from the high BG. It seems to have settled down today.
    To anonymous, I agree that HED seems crazy. It took me awhile to get my head around it. I wish it was a way to overindulge. If I wanted an excuse to pig out I'd be looking for a diet that said I could eat all the chocolate, diet coke and white bread I wanted. I haven't had any of those things for a couple of weeks now. And the crazy thing about that is I don't even crave them! And an even crazier thing is happening, I'm slowly losing weight while eating 3 or 4 meals a day! I'm eating bacon and eggs, steaks, ribs, potatoes, corn, butter, coconut oil, a banana, salads, fermented sauerkraut, occassionly milk all in one day. I'm embarrassed to admit how much I eat. I'm also terrified it'll make me put on weight but I'm willing to try it, not because I'm a glutton but because I know calorie restriction does not work.

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  113. thank you princess,

    I don't agree with the meal skipping concept as i skip "meals " all the time i think the research does not take into consideration most people skip meals without making up for it in terms of eating at the other meals.
    This would cause the body to react with a starvation response as calories are restricted in normal meal skipping.

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  114. @Princess

    Cheers to getting off the diet soda and white bread with no cravings. If it's only been a couple of weeks I'd give it some time. Omega-6 fats can stay in the body for a long time causing inflammation/Insulin resistance. Eating more protein and maybe avoiding foods your sensitive to might help with the blood sugar levels.

    Reply
  115. Chief-

    When you say that IF is only "harmful" when you don't make up for lost calories at the next meal, isn't that contradicting with the whole nonsenses; Calories in vs calories out?

    Reply
  116. Sheila,

    not at all. Im not saying to monitor exact calories or macro nutrients, your body does it for you. If you deprive your body one day and then not listen to hunger signals the next it will result in negative impacts on body function in terms of starvation response.

    Many people don't recognize these signals completely, consciously restricting eating during the first available re-feed day. They eat what one considers to be proper meals sizes or food types to "not over do it " or appear " pig-ish" or afraid of weight gain due to mental programming. Obviously if there is immediate weight loss directly related to the fast itself this is the case and is no different than dieting. Weather you cut 500 calories a day or 2500 every 5 days its the same restriction and effect on the body.

    Fasting benefits for weight loss are seen indirectly over time not as a direct effect.

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  117. Sheila,

    FASTING CONTINUED

    The way i see it, you send the signal that starvation is approaching any time you restrict calories below what your body has deemed as it's baseline at any given time, ( "calorie set point" TM lol in relation to body weight set point).

    Obviously over months restricting 10 calories per day wont have this effect or way more people would fluctuate in weight besides this small amount of restriction is very difficult to achieve so the body has to have a way to handle slight variations.

    Therefore fasting one day without making up for it will cause you to need more calories over say a week or even a month and may even lower the metabolic rate in the process for most individuals. A study was done on pigs in which they naturally ate more to make up for a less calorie dense food source that was given to them. same thing applies to fasting.

    In a similar way, the body fights back against conscious sleep deprivation by forcing you to sleep more or earlier to make up for lost time another day. In the same way i don't count calories I don't count sleep minutes. if one has to stay up all night for whatever reason for instance, I definitely would not suggest that setting and alarm the next day will not be detrimental as it has obviously been linked to car crashes and other impaired functions over time.

    Reply
  118. Chief,

    I always figured that was just where men put on fat regardless. I do enjoy a beer here and there but nothing in the amount that I would think it would cause fat gain. Overall my diet is very similar to HED, I don't restrict any macro, and eat whole foods as much as possible. The belly fat gain thing caught my attention. I do not have a lot of belly fat by any means, but have noticed when I do gain any fat (I'm talking maybe a pound or two on occasion) it seems to go to the mid area.

    I definitely don't eat to often. I eat 2-3 meals a day depending on when I'm hungry, and till I'm full.

    who knows….

    Reply
  119. Some very interesting comments and discussion.
    I wrote a few weeks ago about my new grain mill. My body has now totally adjusted to the grain, it has taken a long time! I realised as a life-long wholefooder I had eliminated grain unintentionally very early on in my life, because bread is factory made and most fast food is from refined flour. And I would only eat pasta or rice now and again. When I started following wapf I did start soaking grains and ate a bit more grain, but this petered out quite soon- back to a quazi-paleo type diet. So it was like a new food for me. But the results have been spectacular- energy up, gained a few pounds (good) and sleep is better! And I have developed an appetite- not a nutty raving appetite- just an appetite like I imagine normal people have. An interesting comment about eating in the afternoon- this is when I am now hungry- in the morning or evening my pattern is much as its been, not hungry but eat a bit anyhow. I don't think its about calories because I am still eating small amounts of all my foods (including the grain). I did introduce 2 daily freshly squeezed citrus juice drinks (reading Adele Davis who says cigarette smokers need more c and I couldn't see where I was getting much c). So maybe calories has something to do with it. But I still think grains brought in some micronutrients I was missing. Paleos always say you can get the same micro-nutrients from meat as from grain but I'm not convinced- and neither is Davis- I needed her reassurance- theres so much anti-grain philosophy out there. No doubt liver will do it but then liver is in a category of its own. She talks alot about the b vitamins and how they are needed by every organs in the body, in contrast to other vitamin where deficiencies will manifest in particular organs. She believes a lack of b vitamins are responsible for the diseases that occur in middle age among people who have felt themselves to be in good health up to this point, that b deficiency can creep up on you because of the way a deficiency of them affects all the organs a little at a time. She also talks about how there is a wide speectrum of b vitamins in grains. Do meats have the same wide spectrum of b vitamins? Even today I had a email from some paleo-person slagging off grains!
    I just don't have enough science understanding to counter the arguements they make. I wish I did! Its hard to believe in your gut feelings and personal experience sometimes.

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  120. Matt
    You kinda got lazy and let the chief take over. He obviously enjoys it so I can't blame you. I luv the Chief but I miss you! I know you're not the same person cause the Chief can't spell and a person who can spell can't not spell right- its just so inauthentic. But maybe you're super devious.

    Reply
  121. Chief-

    I totally agree that the body makes up for lost calories after fasting has ended. There isn't anything you can do about it. That's also my personal experience. Really, the worst thing you can do is restrict yourself. The body will undertake great adjustments accordingly, just like it does with dieting.
    I agree on everything, I just wanted to continue the debate ;-)

    Reply
  122. THE SYDNEY,

    would you believe I actually try real hard at spelling!! lol I read a lot in different languages but I always seem to mix spelling rules from different languages as well as i tend to rush through it all. SORRY everyone

    although I am not matt I happen to think he is pretty devious. :)

    As for your paleo vitamin situation : One thing most paleo enthusiast forget to consider is the entire animal was eaten in the past and you just cant assume the liver and shoulder contain the same vitamins when eaten. A lot of people cringe at the thought of eating organs. Also the bioavailability of some of the nutrients is reduced from cooking.

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  123. Sheila,

    

thank you for pointing out something that needs clarity… might help someone else :) others might have written it off as "He doesn't know what He's talking about.

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  124. about eating the whole animal and organs etc. they probably ate the glands and especially the thyroid gland which would have been a huge metabolic boost. steak and cheese doesn't cut it.

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  125. i agree with chief… i have yet to meet and eat an organ i didnt like. evn kidney is good once you get past the prep blood popping haha. liver is by far my favorite, but tongue/cheek, heart, tripe…all good. i acually get akik ou of finding parts i havent had and trying them

    next up…pig ears! founf them at the market, found a recipe…the finishdpduct(on thE RECIPE) looks surprisingly like bacon!

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  126. CHIEF, what are your thoughts on acne? Its a issue I have been trying to overcome; excessively oily/sebum skin, causing acne. 1 year on HED/RRARF, and still no luck there, things are better, but would like to be fully cured…

    Reply
  127. malpaz …

    yep If your gonna go heavy on the meat you cant dodge the organs Among heavy hunting societies They prize theses parts eating them first to ensure all the vital nutrients were obtained.

    tarpel,

    Alot of things like glands were (and still are ) harvested and put aside to help with certain aliments they were not eaten on a regular basis. But you are right it has a metabolic effect.

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  128. undertow,

    It's my thoughts that acne is a reflection of the internal state. I would look to something in your diet causing a reaction particularly something problematic in the digestive track. Starting one by one eliminate things and see. I have seen dairy connected to skin disorders but it could be anything.

    secondly I believe subtle and not so subtle DNA mutations, weather it be major like cancer or less severe like the inability to handle the blockage that occurs in follicles are primarily caused by the unavailability of building material during the DNA replication process. This causes less than satisfactory function on a cellular level.

    possible solutions would be supplementation of certain key vitamins in some cases to extremes for a short time in order to reverse things. some cases it is due to not assimilating certain nutrients which brings us back to the intestines as well as inadequate food sources.

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  129. undertow,

    about acne being related to low thyroid function, low progesterone plus vitamin A deficiency http://www.litalee.com/shopexd.asp?id=209

    CHIEF,

    i'd be interested in any info you have on traditional uses of glands and what not

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  130. Tarpel,
    as this pertains to medicine, posting the many uses without thorough information is not very ethical as it could be harmful in some cases. I am considering writing my second book with thorough info on this subject though. Sorry, I don't mean to hold you back, but I have to think of the population at large.

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  131. no problem CHIEF

    Reply
  132. Chief, thanks for you thoughts on acne.

    Tarpel, thanks for the Lita link, I will investigate that info further.

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  133. no prob :)

    Reply
  134. Undertow, ..

    yea I forgot to make it clear the with the internal environment concept in relation to acne you have to factor in hormones. Obviously when they are out of whack it presents a problem which manifests in out breaks.

    Reply
  135. Chief
    Sorry didn't mean to offend about the spelling. Afterwards I thought maybe hes dislexic and I am offending a disabled person. All intended in a spirit of fun!

    Reply
  136. No worries ..i know im like on the verge of dyslexic typing and probably ADD i don't care (you spelled dyslexic wrong :P ) i dont get offended much except when drunk girls that i have repeatedly avoided their advances in the club and they grab my junk :P

    i think everyone at 180 is pretty non-troll

    Reply
  137. Again, about Luxemburg. The comparison with Germany isn't fair. Luxemburgians are on average a lot richer than Germans, and there is a clear connection between being poor and being overweight. I'm quite sure if you compared Luxemburgians and Germans who earn about the same, the difference wouldn't be that great. Also, traditionally Germans eat a medium breakfast, large lunch, and rather smallish dinner as well.

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  138. I agree hans the link to social status/poverty and obesity is very obvious.

    Can't wait to check out germany.

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  139. Chief, if you ever plan to visit Germany, shoot me an e-mail. I dooubt that your travel will lead you anywhere close to my home, but you can never know for sure.

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  140. mad moooooo

    will do, i travel all out and go all over to the most random spots. unless your town absolutely sucks I'll prolly go besides you and hans i only know one person there so i might as well get some local help for explorative purposes.

    Reply

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