RBTI Lemonade

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Still got a half dozen more video clips of Challen on file.  Here’s one with him discussing a few topics briefly, such as why people are “night people,” the A through E ranges in RBTI, and the purpose of the lemonade – as well as the dangers with drinking the lemonade if your chemistry is not right.

Also wanted to make some announcements.  Just putting the finishing touches on a dual eBook, video, and audio package introducing the basics of the RBTI program.  It is an organized presentation of the program Challen is using to get such excellent results with the clients who manage to stick with his program long enough to reap the rewards.  Hoping to get this out on Monday, so stay tuned.

Pip and I will also be travelling to Reno and Northern California (mostly San Francisco area) next week.  We will be in Reno on Wednesday and early Thursday and then will be moving on to California after that – returning to Colorado the last week of October. We will have our test kit with us and will be happy to let you test and go over the program and the things that are particular to your chemistry.  The new RBTI package will be included with this if you are interested in us coming to see you.  Let Pip know if you are interested via email at pipparoni@yahoo.com



  1. Matt, what's with these "energy levels" – 25%, 80%, etc. How do you calculate those? Will your book go into it?

  2. Only Reams could calculate reserve energy I guess.

  3. So why do we need your book? I thought challen wrote the only health book we will ever need haha

  4. Hey Matt,

    Can the RBTI-tested alumni get the package, too? Pretty please?

  5. I only hope that your book will be more affordable than Challen's. Will it be good for those already doing RBTI, too?

  6. Matt, in trying to clear up my eczema, you advised me not to eat sweets or fruit after 2pm and to eat light and meat-free in the evening. Just wondering if I still have to get my protein at my evening meal?

  7. Let me know if you guys make it up to Seattle!

  8. Question about the lemonade – is it every half hour daily forever (stopping at 2:30pm or so)? But every day, for the rest of your life, in order to maintain health? I can understand achieving health, but also for maintenance? Same for supplements?

  9. Challen's comments here on timing and the sun, etc. are what has confused me for a while. If the sugars are supposed to do things at 11, 2 and 5, etc., then it should matter what time the lemonade is started. But the lemonade can be started at 7 or 8. I would think that the person starting at 7 will have all the sugar highs and lows one hour earlier than the person starting at 8, no? And shouldn't everything shift at the time change so that we stay in line with the sun?

  10. I prefer Grape Kool Aid. And god help me, I need testing.

  11. I went from drinking huge amounts of water to minimal water intake. That alone helped stabilize my blood sugar a bit.

    At the moment, I just have about 10-12 ounces of water in the morning with lemon juice, a dash of salt and a touch of honey. The rest of the day my liquid intake is mainly from raw milk kefir, but I do drink some water when exercising or doing yard work.

    Overall, I've seen subtle, but positive benefits. I wasn't sick though, so take this as a single point of anecdotal evidence.

    Matt, even though you're advocating non-exercise at the moment, I hope you can do a section on adjusting the sugar and water intake when doing strength-based exercise for those of us who don't want to give up our regimens of sensible weight lifting.

    I do cut off sugars at 2pm on non-lifting days, but on a day when I lift (usually around 5-6pm, 3-4 days a week) I like to have a teaspoon of honey and a little kefir about 30 minutes before the workout. Not sure how badly that violates the rules, but it's working for me.

  12. The F-word: FRUCTOSE… Anyone?
    @Matt: You have done zero to address the pathological effects of excess fructose consumption IMHO (or maybe I missed out on that).
    I remember you mentioning that triglycerides are not that big of a deal if your 'metabolism' is high enough to burn them for fuel, magnificent!
    What about this: remember Robert Lustig and his likes? they estimated the maximal daily allowance of fructose based on ETHANOL, because they’re metabolized in frightening similar ways.
    A now well-established fact in the medical literature: High fructose consumption is related to non alcoholic liver steatosis, (and a plotter of other metabolic problems that come along with that). I think it kind of matters.
    Why take the risk? You think that excess PUFA is like “giving a sniper a nuclear bomb to take out threads”, eating tons of fructose is like killing your liver with a granade launcher, be my guest.
    Here’s one (old) Matt Stone quote: "the question is not whether sugar (particularly the refined stuff) is bad, the question is WHY it's bad." Is lemonade not refined enough for you? Perhaps the polyphenols or some unmeasurable Higgs-particles (random lol) in lemonade undo hepatotoxic effects of fructose? Here’s an uneasy task: show me healthy populations drinking lemonade or eating any type of refined sugar over generations. You can’t, because they almost invariably suffer from diseases of civilization. These diseases seem to cluster together in modern societies. In the face of so much historical (anecdotal) evidence, it’s awkward to postulate that sugar is not a ‘disease-causing’ substance. A high frequency of cancer, diabetes, hypertension etc. in sugar eating populations is a tautology.
    In addition to that: what about AGE-products, wanna maximize serum fructose (systemic circulation) and fructation?
    Excuse me for my rants and for being a little hysterical, but this whole thing clouds my mind: what made you change your mind? What has happened to the old (sensible) matt, now completely brain-washed by some RBTI fruitcakes. Why lemonade, just to be fancy?

  13. @Anonymous (Fructose)
    Matt used to be very anti-fructose but has since revised that stance somewhat. The problem with demonizing any macronutrient is that it almost always depends on context. Many of us thought there was ample evidence to indict carbs, only to suffer health consequences of restricting them. I'm not too worried about fructose from whole molasses, honey, maple syrup, and fruit. My main concern is whether the body can metabolize it, and for that I assume a few things. Either, the right nutrients are there in the whole food form and I needn't worry, or if I'm eating desserts or some such, then make sure to get plenty of whole foods along with that. RBTI probably helps in that it ups mineral absorption. I'm honestly more concerned about the mineral depleting effects of sugar than fructose overdose. I would think if the metabolism is high enough, the liver isn't gunked up, and there are plenty of minerals, the liver would be able to handle it.

    That being said, I have pulled agave nectar out of the rotation. I was unsure about the level of refining on agave nectar, and since it is 90% instead of around 50%, I felt like that was too much. I also don't eat those "light and fit" yogurts sweetened with fructose for the same reason.

  14. This explains what I was wondering about the ranges. I wasn't sure if A range meant completely healed or just healing faster. Now I know! The next question is then: are you still healing in the B through E ranges, albeit more slowly? And looking at this chart, is D range equivalent to B range? Or does D come after B and C? That is… is it better to be very alkaline with very high sugars than slighly acidic with slightly low sugars?

  15. @Anonymous,

    A big take away for me about this new direction for Matt is that he's looking at interventions that specifically target people who are in ill health. That's why he had that anti-traditional diet stuff months ago. While those guidelines may be helpful for people who are fundamentally well, simply doing what those populations did may not restore health for people specifically experiencing what many today do And so, what does? RBTI, perhaps and apparently for many people. If that means having some sugar, all good, if it aids in restoring health.

  16. Cameron-

    A little sugar in the evening is fine. Challen drinks Sprite in the evening for crying out loud, and puts molasses and maple syrup in his dinner.

    I have been exercising too. It makes my sugars crash like a mofo the following day. Went to 0.5 today on refractometer for the first time ever after 4 straight days of hiking (about 75 minutes per day, but tough hikes). I could have used my toes as an air conditioner all day. But it depends on your chemistry. The idea it to exercise within the limitiations of your own personal mineral supply. I think I've exceeded mine!

    Anonymous fructose-

    Certain things are only harmful in a certain context, and in a certain form. Reams stated that one should not consume more than 2 pounds of refined sugar per year. Challen consumes ass loads per year, but that doesn't mean I condone that or choose to do that myself.

    I was having probably 150 grams of fructose per day prior to arriving in Wheeling, so this is a very low sugar diet in comparison, very low in refined sugar for me personally (I had cookies once this week, that's all the zero-mineral sugar I've consumed), and low sugar in comparison to the typical American diet – a typical American consumes more than 20% of calories from added sweeteners alone – mostly sucrose and HFCS.

    You should try eating sugar midday but not after 2pm, and then try eating the same amount of sugar at 11pm at night. Do 2 weeks of each and tell me that the context of WHEN you consume sugar is irrelevant. You will likely see that it is not.

    As far as AGE's are concerned, my blood glucose is extremely low 24 hours per day (65-100 typically), so I doubt I need to freak out about such things. Going lower in carbs to what I'm currently eating would likely make my average glucose level go up, not down.

  17. Question one: If you occasionally sleep in till 9 or 10, do you drink extra in the morning, drink later in the day, or just forget about it?

    Question two: If you regularly get up at 9 or so, does that shift your whole drinking schedule later? Does that change the 2PM meats and sweets cutoff as well?

    Question three: What if you work the night shift, so some days you're getting up with everybody in the morning, and sometimes you're just getting off work and going to bed… how do you plan it out then?

    Question four: Can you drink extra in addition to the lemonade and water if you're extra thirsty, say when you're eating your meals? Or can you only drink that much in a day?

  18. Ingrid-

    The lemonade is not supposed to be for life. You drink it once every hour 8 times per day. So 7-2 or 8-3 depending on what time you start.


    The drinking schedule isn't necessarily supposed to correlate with the sun, but just create regularity and rhythm in your body. It's to sort of help your body get into a better daily cycle. As are other little things with the program.


    You can still have cottage cheese, unsweetened yoghurt, and milk in the evening. I have one of those almost every night. Mostly milk.

  19. Hawaii Girl-

    You drink whatever else you want with your meals. I usually have juice or milk with meals.

    Ideally a person would get up earlier and eat breakfast at about the same time and start the lemonade at about the same time every day.

    If you sleep in, the WHIZard says it's better to get up and eat breakfast at normal time and then go back to sleep than to just sleep late and get out of rhythm.

    If you work the night shift, you just do whatever part of the program you can. I assume just drink the lemonade on a schedule, but starting whenever you start your day. Regularity and consistency is probably the most important thing.

  20. Hmm. Hubby has nooo consistency to his schedule. The only way would be if he still stayed up nights and slept days on his off days. I think he would go psycho though (that lack of 1-3AM sleep controls mental state, right? He gets more lolo toward the end of the work week). Plus the rest of us would never see him. Oh well, don't know if he'll even jump on the wagon anyhow.

    New book new book new book new book!

  21. Matt said, "Stephanie – The drinking schedule isn't necessarily supposed to correlate with the sun, but just create regularity and rhythm in your body. It's to sort of help your body get into a better daily cycle. As are other little things with the program."

    Matt, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I've been wondering that for some time now.

  22. So if Carey Reams helped improve the health of livestock… did he give them lemonade to drink?

    Is there a perfect equation for a cow?

    How about a dog? We could settle this meat versus veggie thing once and for all!

    (I really need to learn the emoticon for tongue in cheek).

  23. Response about fructose:

    @AaronF, thank you for responding.

    I think it’s misleading to call fructose a macronutrient, we need to make a clear distinction between fructose and glucose and not loop them together. They have entirely different metabolic effects.

    I agree that a low-carb diet is overly restricting for most people. I’m not about to demonize glucose, the primary fuel of your brain!

    You correctly point out that high fructose intake appears to throw off mineral levels in the body, another very significant problem.

    @RobA, thank you for responding.
    We don’t have all the answers, but we do know that excess fructose (the rate at which it’s absorbed is probably crucial) has a hepatotoxic effect, resulting in fatty liver. This is the most dangerous type of fat, ie ectopic fat.

    The point I was making about traditional societies, was that historical data are very valuable, and we need not to ignore these pieces of information. So far, and this goes back at least a century, missionary doctors implicated refined sugar as a directly disease-causing substance.

    BTW, I wasn’t talking about “some sugar”, I was talking about EXCESS FRUCTOSE which Matt neglects to mention.

    @Matt, you’re kind enough to respond (even facing trolls like myself), so thank you for responding.

    “Eating sugar midday, but not after 2pm”? seems like a ton of speculative nonsense, sorry for being so blunt.

    Also, your missing the boat on the AGE issue. Fructose directly impacts glycosylation, not by interfering with glucose metabolism perse, and has a mucher higher tendency to cause glycation than glucose. Fructose glycosylation is called FRUCTATION. The problem is when fructose enter the systemic circulation. It normally doesn’t, because your liver is so forcefully trying to keep you serum fructose as low as possible.

    Your blood serum glucose doesn’t say squat about non enzymatic glycation, you need to measure glucose turnover in all you body tissues as well. It can’t tell you how high your HbA1c is. Eating low carb and cranking up your blood sugar can result in very low HbA1c, because glucose metabolism is decreased on a low carb diet.

  24. hmmm… ok, my comment about HbA1c appears to be incorrect, HbA1c is an indicator of average blood serum glucose over a certain timespan, which leaves me with a paradox. Why would some people have low HbA1c while following a low carb diet and having high fasting blood sugar at the same time? that doesn't make any sense to me…

  25. RBTI's emphasis on the body's daily rhythms reminds me of a question that's been (ahem) eating me.

    Seth Roberts claims that eating breakfast encourages you to awaken too early. He thinks that anticipating a meal in the near future disrupts sleep, and he therefore recommends not eating for about three hours after awakening.

    I've had some experience consistent w/ Seth's view, but perhaps only because until recently, I was slumming with the low-carbers in Cortisol City.

    What do you think, Matt? Does Seth's advice make sense, or is it just another demented way to convince our bodies that we're starving and need more abdominal fat? Do you usually eat breakfast? Having to choose between sleep and food makes Sir Eat-a-Lot sad.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    Sir Eat-a-Lot
    ("Hate the game, not the tater.")

  26. Thanks Matt, problem is my eczema is triggered by dairy. I had been having small amounts of cream and cheese because it didn't affect it too much but this week it has got so bad (covering most of the back of one hand and very painful) that I'm going to have to stop dairy completely for a while. Will it be ok if I don't have protein in the evening?

  27. Bettie-

    Yes, you don't need dairy or any concentrated animal protein or anything in the evening at all. Dairy also seems more problematic when consumed late in the evening as opposed to earlier in the day in those that notice a sensitivity to it.

    Sir Eat-A-Lot-

    Meal schedule, daily circadian rhythms – these all affect appetite and sleep regulation tremendously. I do think that eating breakfast regularly taps someone into a cycle of being hungry, alert, and energized in the morning – which I think is the natural, healthy pattern, and also lends itself more towards being tired and ready to go to sleep at night. But consistney and regularity is the most important factor of all.

    And dont' hate the game, hate the tater is probably the funniest one-liner I've read all week.

    Hawaii Girl-

    Reams used high-brix food to heal animals, but realized this was impractical for humans. So he tried to devise a system using supplementation and body chemistry monitoring that enabled humans to heal in the same way they could on super-mineral food, but using food that was easily available at their supermarket.

  28. Fruc-face-

    Unlike your typical douchey guru, I actually crave being trolled. Dissenting opinion is a sign that either…

    a) I'm wrong and need to adjust my thinking – becoming wiser in the process


    b) There's an opportunity to help someone else who needs an adjustment in thinking to become wiser

    Usually such interactions results in both parties learning something.

    I'm aware the fructose is more glycating than glucose. I'm also aware of polyunsaturated fat causing more glycation than fructose.

    But again, you must appreciate context.

    For starters, you are making a big mistake if you discredit time of day of consumption, and circadian rhythms in general. There is an imcredible amount of revealing research on abnormalities in circadian rhythms and their ability to cause metabolic syndrome. This abnormality usually first surfaces as being abnormally hungry in the evening, particularly for chocolate, ice cream, alcohol, white flour breads, and other highly-stimulating foods. You will be hard-pressed to find an obese, type 2 diabetic person that got obese eating a light or normal-sized dinner with no desserts or snacks late in the evening.

    I for one, if I eat lots of sugar and heavy foods late in the evening, have runaway hunger and fat gain. But eating those same foods midday (fruit, ice cream, pie, pizza, burgers, etc.) and eating light at night causes appetite suppression and fat loss.

    If you don't think context matters, study Martin Berkhan's approach. He eats whole Cheesecakes in one sitting. Where's the fatty liver there?

    Again, this is coupled with long durations of fasting, heavy weight training, lots of rest, no catabolic exercise, and so forth.

    Without that context you might get a foie gras effect, but that's not how it works at all.

    As far as blood sugar and carbohydrate intake, usually the higher the carbohydrate intake the lower the blood sugar as a general rule, but again this is highly dependent on context.

    There are a couple of reasons for this. With low-carbohydrate intake, adrenal activity is increased, which impairs glucose uptake while also liberating glycogen from liver and muscles.

    Spiking insulin lowers blood sugar. Spiking adrenaline raises blood sugar. The two compete against one another as the primary blood sugar regulating forces in the body.

    The body regulates things. Yeah, carbs have glucose, but carbs trigger the temporary release of insulin to counteract that. A very healthy person will not see much rise in blood sugar from eating a full meal.

    Protein stimulates insulin, which lowers blood sugar… but protein also triggers the release of glucagon, which raises blood sugar via triggering more adrenal activity.

    Basically, you can lower insulin and blood glucose levels by:

    a) Improving glucose clearance
    b) Eating a low-carb diet

    Insulin and glucose levels go much lower using method A vs. method B.

    That's probably why cultures eating a carbohydrate-based diet are so damn small.

  29. @matt on fructose, appreciate the response,

    “Fruc-face-“ you’ve got no idea what you’re messing with here boy, I could be Robert Lustig himself!! Just kidding.

    From a practical perspective, I think you had all the answers a long time ago.
    You presented a simple strategy that works for most individuals: low fructose, low pufa, eat when hungry etc. That’s it, no counting/measuring involved. I suspect that most people just want to know what the heck a healthy diet is, eat the damn food and move on. They don’t want to bother about ‘circadian rhythms’ and the whole junk pile of speculations about what impact food X might have in the context of food Y. What supplements you need to shit. we’re not living in a lab, don’t want to use a stopwatch when we’re eating, we want to eat when we’re hungry and avoid getting sick along the way. You can’t cheat death by manipulating your diet. Ok, but enough of that.

    “I'm aware the fructose is more glycating than glucose.“
    At least you acknowledge the existence of this concern instead of ignoring it, so I’m glad to hear that. But you don’t address the issue.

    Sure, context is important, marathon runners drinking sport drinks don’t get fatty liver. Michael Phelps doesn’t get fatty liver while eating 12000 cal a day with tons of fructose, Martin Berkhan doesn’t get fatty liver while eating cheesecakes. Awesome!

    “Without that context you might get a foie gras effect, but that's not how it works at all.”
    How does it work according to you? is high fructose consumption linked to fatty liver disease, or not?
    Everything is about context huh? Ok, so let’s not bother about serum fructose… why even bother about serum blood glucose? It’s sounds equally stupid to measure one parameter, blood glucose, and think that hyperglycemia is dangerous based on a bunch of ‘well-controlled’ trials.

    Maybe you feel like you’re talking to wall by now, don’t worry, I feel the same way.

  30. Matt, do you think you might put out a post reviewing Martin Berkhan's approach, why it works and its similarities with RBTI? I would personally find it fascinating.

    I am very intrigued by RBTI, but I don't know if I could consistently keep meat out of dinner.

    Do you plan on revising RRARF soon to include your new RBTI related ideas?

    What is your take on the tater given that it is a RBTI No No?

    I'm loving this blog and all of your materials. I've used RRARF to drop from 325lbs to 250lbs and I feel like my glucose clearance is significantly better. Now I've stagnated but I definitely EAT THE FOOD. Your work has helped me over come some of the significant issues with dieting for several years. Matt Thank you! :)

  31. @Anonymous Fructose

    I think what Matt is saying by context matters is not whether the person is some super athlete and therefore going to burn the energy anyway, but the metabolic/hormonal state of their body, which can change throughout the course of the day. It also changes based on how healthy the person is.

    If he knows that fructose is more glycating, then maybe he doesn't consider it the most pertinent factor.

    What I said about not singling out or demonizing macronutrients was in reference specifically to fructose. Human health is too complex to extrapolate anything based on limited context. Many doctors are convinced that saturated fat is bad. I was once convinced carbs are bad. I don't easily buy into any theory that demonizes one macronutrient anymore.

  32. That article by Masterjohn is very interesting. I especially like this quote:
    "We must therefore reach the verdict that peroxidation of PUFAs is very unlikely to be a major source of AGEs."

    This further amplifies that Ray Peat is wrong about PUFA peroxidation being the primary cause of AGEs. That doesn't mean that we should gobble down corn oil or eat a lot of PUFAs. it just throws doubt at Ray Peat's scientific rigour. just sayin

  33. Matt, I think it's time to admit to myself that following the RBTI basic patterns has done nothing for me, and has actually made my health worse. Even after I modified it to include more protein at breakfast and a snack in the afternoon and started drinking more water again, which made me less sick. I started the summer at a pretty high level of health and feel like it's way lower now. I can't exactly blame this on RBTI because I've just been following the basic guidelines without testing. But it makes me really wary of anyone else doing the same.

    I think I may have a candida issue which has gotten worse again. I'm going to take three lac (a probiotic that clears up candida) to try to clear it out, but I'm stopping the RBTI principles other than avoiding pork, etc. Rrarf seemed to work way better for me, and all I can say is that 3 months of following the basic RBTI principles has made my health issues worse not better. Maybe it's because I didn't consult with Challen and I have trickier issues. Maybe candida gets in the way. But whatever it is, I have to acknowledge I'm on the wrong path.

  34. Amy – After 6 weeks, I didn't notice any difference till I made the switch to distilled water this week. Did you try that? Of course, without testing, you're right, it may not work well at all.

    Matt – Lemonade cows = tongue in cheek! And now you've ruined the wonderful video in my head of Reams chasing cows from lemonade trough to distilled water trough and back again, catching their pee at 11, encouraging them to eat lots of "sweet" clover at lunch, and using a cattle prod to keep them away from the same clover after 2PM.

  35. I feel like thie hardest thing about all of this is the fact that everyone has different schedules.

    For example, I personally get up around 4:30 almost everyday for work, that said, I feel like my body's "natural" 2:00 is very different from the next person.

    I haven't bothered obsessing over this as I'm pregnant and I'm just eating when I'm hungry till I'm full since sometimes I just can't eat because I am so nauseous. But whe I'm up to it I try to eat my bigger meals during "my morning"(my morning because by the time noon rolls around i've usually been awake for 8 hours or so).

    Just something I've been thinking about while reading "the challen series."

  36. Does RBTI help with hormonal issues? It seems like it focuses a lot on minerals and I didn't know if that could solve hormonal problems or not.
    I suffer from PCOS, hirsutism, acne, etc. and would be interested in what Challen thinks causes this.

  37. Lorelei, I haven't been doing the distilled water. I'm nervous about messing around with it on my own. I don't really want to go shooting around in the dark anymore. I feel like I've sufficiently worsened my health that I don't want to do anything else without formal testing/working with Challen. And honestly I'm not super inclined to do that either at the moment. I'm going to hang out and see everyone else's experiences for awhile.

    I think I probably have some hormonal stuff going on as well as the candida, and I'd rather use the traditional methods to try and fix both in the short-term. This all started with massive blood sugar fluctuations brought on by trying to follow the RBTI meal plans (the candida was worsened by having to take a week of steroids for an allergic reaction, too). I managed to majorly heal my health before using non-RBTI methods, and I'm sure I can again. Being a former ED patient, I also am having increasing concerns about following such a strict plan, and having to go hungry at night, etc. It's starting to feel dangerous to me (I'm sure for some it's fine, but for me – and Ela probably understands this – this sort of thing can be a slippery slope and I'm seeing red flags). I want to go back to listening to my body again. I will continue avoiding pork and shellfish and sea salt, because that actually makes sense to me.

    In addition to the three lac, I'm going to get checked out by a doctor who specializes in this stuff and uses a combo of conventional and integrative medicine, and luckily takes insurance since he's an MD. I think I need some hormone tests.

    Can only blame myself for this, but I would caution anyone else doing a DIY approach to be careful and watch your body's reactions.

  38. Amy, I totally relate to what you're going through and admire how quickly you've been able to take a step back and say "whoa, this isn't going in the right direction!"

    I hope you feel better soon and think it's awesome that you're going to see a holistically minded doctor. Dysbiosis is definitely a pitfall post-EDs and underscores the importance of keeping a balance.

    I've been eating some lighter dinners and waking up very early, hungry–I love it because I feel like I get more done, but my husband reports that I'm more stressed out, more likely to flip out, more on edge, and I'm starting to feel like I'm getting a cold. So, case in point: at this stage, the 'small dinner' thing is making great sense to me, but it could just be 'my demon' trying to take over again…

    I hope you find your balance again soon.

  39. Amy- I would not let myself go that hungry. I'm only comfortable skipping or having a light dinner if I have had a bigger lunch and I'm not actually hungry. These RBTI methods may work for people without the ED histories. I used to be hyper vigilant about my eats and I never lost any weight and then went to eating more intuitively and my weight came down so I'm not as enthusiastic about outside dietary recommendations. Sometimes just eating exactly what feels good is the right thing to do and I don't know why.

    Have you tried any gymnema sylevestre with a higher carb meal to try and kill your gut problem? It does drop sugars but it also works great on yeast infections and helped iron out some of my hypoglycemia issues. Oddly enough, tapioca did help with that too. My experience has been that only the Nature's Way brand or Elliot's house brand worked, I don't know why that would be.

  40. Thanks Matt for confirming what I was observing, that some sugar after 2pm isn't a show-stopper.

    For the fructose-haters, I like to think of fructose like this:

    Isolated fructose = evil

    Processed white sugar with no minerals = meh…take it or leave it. But I usually leave it.

    Mineral rich whole sugars = JOY

    Eat "real" sugar and you get minerals, glucose and some CO2 when the fructose is split off. Seems to be fine and actually beneficial for my chemistry in the right amounts / times.

    Amy: Candida is a bitch that dies harder than John McClane. Over a year ago I decided to commit to a 2+ year regimen of (near) daily home-made raw milk kefir consumption as a long term solution to an undiagnosed, 25 year candida problem brought on by reckless (multiple) prescriptions of anti-biotics by a doctor when I was 10-11.

    14 or so months later, candida symptoms are hugely reduced, but she's not dead yet.

    I drink a few ounces of kefir with every meal, and also in the evening if I get a little hungry after dinner. I listen to what the body tells me it needs and experiment with things that look interesting (like RBTI), but not at the expense of what works for my unique and somewhat candida-stressed physiology.

    Whatever you decide to do to deal with your candida overgrowth, be aware that it may take a long time before you're victorious.

  41. Thanks, Ela, CADreamin and Cameron, for the support. Yeah, I think I need to remember that I have a unique physiology that has been stressed in many ways. Eating disorders do screw up your gut (and hormones) big time, and I was on antibiotics for about a year during the ED, which I can only imagine made things worse. And then with the mental stuff of EDs, I probably have to be much more careful than most.

    I'm hoping three lac will do the trick for my candida. Supposedly it's the best thing out there for candida, but I know it will probably take some time.

    Ela, yeah, it sounds like you're smart to be careful. Personally, I would listen to those warning signs. I'm also realizing that my life this summer was less enjoyable and it's really important to me not to be stressed about what I eat and to be able to eat normally socially. I was feeling like the ED girl again.

    CADReamin, I'll have to look into the gymnema. On tapioca, do you mean just tapioca pudding?

  42. The point of RBTI is know exactly what is going on. I almost decided to stretch my two week follow up with Challen until next week- bad idea. I ended up calling him because I felt like total crap and he had me adjust my water and took me off dolomite because my neck has been killing me. Had I not called, I would have had a miserable week drinking too much water and taking something that was causing a large amount of pain.
    At the very least, I would say to get a refractometer.
    He also told me that RBTI would help get my hormones balanced.

  43. Amy–I hope the three-lac helps. From my experience, antifungals may be necessary too (although I don't know that my restriction of all sugars for two years was entirely necessary)!

    Matt–or anyone else–I'm at my wits' end. Since I've had energy to exercise again, I've exercised regularly and fairly intensely for five months now. I've cut fat down to near-zero and then added a little back in on my ND's insistence–similarly for protein. I've exercised in intervals, done resistance training, taken rest days.

    And although I've gotten somewhat stronger, my body composition hasn't changed at all. Which means the excess revolting fat all around my middle is still there. My husband used to be an athletic coach and he's boggled at how little change there is in me too.

    I need for something to work. Am thinking of doing Ferriss' beans/veg/protein only diet, or cutting a whole bunch of what I've added in back out again, or something. Obviously, I'm going to ask my ND too, but (since many are on similar journeys) if anyone has ideas, experience, suggestions, I'd be most grateful.

    Thanks in advance.

  44. @ Ela,

    re: Tim Ferriss diet.
    I would seriously recommend you try this. I've been eating protein, veg & legumes Mon-Fri and anything (and I do mean anything!) I want on Sat & Sun.
    In 5 weeks I have gained lean mass and lost fat and more importantly am having dramatic health improvements from long term issues.

  45. And I forgot to say, this is without exercise.

  46. I've been stuck at lower body temps for several days now… it's been over a week since I hit 98.0. Often I seem to be hovering around 97.5 or a little lower. I'd thought perhaps I'm simply not eating enough but attempts to eat more have not been pulling it back up. I'm a bit at a loss. I've been keeping a log since starting RBTI and one thing I'm thinking is maybe not enough dessert. But that doesn't seem to quite be it because there have been a few days where I ate quite full and still got a scone or donut or something.

    Maybe it comes down to the spike days. Maybe I need a day or two a week to really just go all out. Or maybe the light dinner thing is doing me in.

    The other thing I'm having trouble gauging is how much to eat at lunch. Yesterday I ate a lighter lunch because I was starting to feel really full. Then come dinner I start to feel a fair amount of hunger, but try to eat lighter so as to be consistent with RBTI. I ended up getting poor sleep, which my guess is due to inadequate calories.

    I feel like I've lost the rhythm of this whole thing. Any feedback from Matt or anybody would be appreciated.

  47. @Ela,
    The best I can gather is that health and body fat are not directly correlated. My note keeping and careful observation over the past 5 to 6 weeks, plus paying attention to a lot of comments and blog posts (not just Matt's) I believe true weight loss is really a function metabolic health and not exercise. The best I understand is you have to get your body temps up, however that happens. Other than that, I'm inclined to agree with Rocket. The Tim Ferris diet is a typical cheat day type of diet. Tim Ferris, along with many others, is of the belief the cheat day is important to spike leptin and keep the metabolism revved. I'm guessing it's also important to spike pleasure centers and get out of the limiting diet type mindset. I'm also guessing once weight loss is achieved with such a diet, there would probably be some more leniency. Those are just my speculations on body weight regulation.

  48. Amy- yes I just mean tapioca pudding. I just make mine on the stove top, nothing fancy, vanilla extract for flavor. I buy the pearls in bulk, soak them over night. 1/3 c. of pearls in 3/4 c. of water, then cook in organic milk with a little sugar. I used to stress about the calories/sugar etc. but I don't worry anymore, its real food, there is nothing wrong with some milk (if you can tolerate or just make it with water.)

    Ela- You might switch out the fats are you eating for the coconut oil, I know that Matt has mentioned it, but I have personally had good results from it and I'm naturally very strong and very fat. Do you get enough iodine? Btw, I too find cheat days to be important when losing weight. If I have 3 days of dieting or sub caloric intake my body temp takes a dive.

  49. RBTI Testimonial: I was pretty skeptical at first. I gained just short of a ton on RRARF after abusing my body with hCG and was leery of doing the program. I watched a few of the videos here on Matt's blog and thought about the potential benefits, and decided I'd give it a try.

    One of the main health issues we have been dealing with was a persistent liver problem in my husband. Last year he was REALLY sick for four months with hepatitis like symptoms. Then this spring he developed a strange break-out on his middle finger on his right hand. The DC treated with herbs, tinctures, etc. for almost six months, and took him off all sugar, fruit, yeast and dairy.

    When I first started changing the meal plans and putting lemon in our RO water, finally began to see a turn around, but it was still very dry and flaky even through the end of September. When we got our test kit and had our consultation with Pippa on September 30th, he stopped taking all the supplements from the DC. Over the weekend he had a little "healing crisis" that lasted about a day.

    Monday he was somewhat improved (mind you this was three days of the controlled lemonade and distilled water) but Tuesday had a little outbreak. Today, nine days after beginning the program, the skin is almost like new, with only a tiny spot of dry skin where the last break out was.

    His blood pressure dropped from borderline high to low/normal, he's lost about 10 lbs, and several inches, is sleeping well and has better clarity of thought. There have been other things cleared up, but the candida (or whatever it was) issue is as good as gone after six months of fighting it with everything we could think of.

    RBTI is NOT for the faint of heart, but if we could see that much result in that short of time, I am a believer!!

  50. Rocket and AaronF, thanks for sharing your experiences with the Tim Ferriss thing. AaronF–I'd far rather be leaner than healthier, so at this stage I don't care about improving my health but if it came about as a side effect of losing the excess midriff, that would be ok. Unfortunately, extreme measures don't seem to work anymore, so I feel stuck.

    My concern with taking on the Ferriss thing is twofold: first (and maybe more importantly), my health and general digestion improved a lot when I added starch back into my diet (initially in the form of root veg) earlier this year, and I don't want to regress in that regard if I cut it out. Second, I don't eat meat, can't eat dairy. If I were to do this system, I might be able to force down an egg a day, and would continue to use pea protein powder, which seems to work for me. Dunno if it would 'work' like that. I'm very bad at 'cheat days'–it's hard for me to deliberately eat a lot and break food rules.

    CADreamin'–when I eat fat, it's either coconut or flax or a little avocado. I definitely gained some weight eighteen months ago when I was getting probably the bulk of my calories from coconut oil, so I'm afraid of going back on it.

  51. Hi Ela,

    I would increase your fat intake via coconut butter (not oil) and avocados. And olives too. And any other fats you fancy. I think your belly fat issues have to do with low hormone production and you need good fats in higher amounts (more than 10% of your caloric intake, for example) for hormone production. I don't think increasing your fat intake will make you gain weight. I know for myself, after 4 years of 80/10/10, increasing my fat intake has done wonders. It may be slow progress though….at least it's been slow for me. But after 4 months, I just had my first period where I actually ovulated and a number of things are coming around. Course, I'm taking herbs too. And following a big lunch via RBTI.

    But I don't think a low fat approach is going to help you.

    Good luck you :) I know it can get frustrating when it seems to take forever. I find it very difficult to not get impatient.

  52. Ela, ha ha, didn't see your recent comment before you posted again :) But I would move from a little fat to much more fat. Just my two cents, and I know it's very scary at first :) But it's worth it.

  53. Just to say that I feel saturated fat has become over emphasised.
    My personal experience tells me that mufa's are king.

    Chris Masterjohn wrote a good piece a while back called "Precious Yet Perilous" touting the benefits of them which led me to experiment.
    I was previously using coconut oil exclusively but now it's olive oil/beef fat and I feel much better than I did on the coconut oil ( I tried many brands btw), just wasn't for me.

  54. $100 to talk to Matt for over an hour. I know what I want for xmas! Hmmm, how to explain that to hubby… yes, I want to spend $100 to talk to another man… it's cheaper than phone sex?

  55. RE: Cheat days….
    I did Body for Life a few years ago, along with other similar "cheat day" diets, and it seemed to create a monster in my head. There were times I would literally eat until 11:59.
    Intermittent fasting created similar issues. RBTI allows for a "cheat"- except it's daily and required….lunch with dessert. So far, I have remained a lot more calm about the food. In fact, today I'd rather skip dessert-ho hum ice cream…again….
    It's still too soon to see this long term as far as mental games are concerned.

  56. SJ–thanks so much for sharing your experience on a similar journey.

    If I increase fat by a lot, I've have to reduce "something else" correspondingly unless I want to hugely increase my calories (which I don't: I already have a hard time eating as much as I do). So presumably, that means reducing my fruit and starch intake. And perhaps there's a way to do it so that I haven't cut them out entirely, like I did previously (when I was also dealing with candida, etc), which is when I gained weight doing that.

    I keep thinking about those statistics that the populations that eat the least fat tend to be the smallest physically. I guess I also need to remember that I'm not 'a population' and that my body's messed up needs may be somewhat different.

    Deedle–that's interesting about the RBTI lunch as a kind of institutionalized 'treat.' My problem with treat days is more the opposite: I don't want to wreck my pure, restricted diet.

  57. Ela,

    Can I ask how many calories you are eating? The cool thing about increasing your fat intake is that you feel like you are eating less, as your volume can go down. When I first switched back to cooked food, and then started increasing fat intake, it took me a while to get used to the idea that I didn't need to eat as much volume. Meals are a lot easier for me now.

    I started increasing my fat intake by just adding a tablespoon of coconut butter to each of my meals. That's about 100 calories each meal. I agree that it's not great to reduce your starch intake, but I'm not sure that your body will be able to get its hormones into serious production without some fats.

    And my version of 811 cut out all fats too. It was more like 85/10/5, if that.

    Anyway, more good luck to you. I know how hard it can be, and the awful 'rules' that can become insidious in your mind. But also remember that there's another part of your mind that also wants to shout a big "FU" to the restrictive, controlling, insidious part. And that "FU" will ultimately serve you and feel good. Hard to believe, but true.

  58. Ela, I would just be careful. To me, any sort of diet is risky post-ED. In fact, for me, the less restrictive I got the better my body comp got. I would think eating eggs would probably be helpful as well.

  59. SJ, Amy–thanks so much.

    SJ–I got that about the reduced volume back when I cut out all carbs and realized what small packages fat-based things can come in. I was quite gleeful. But the fact that I gained some weight eating like that still has me running scared.
    I try not to count calories anymore (although I'm starting to think I may need to measure, just so that I get a certain amount of fat per meal) but I'm guessing that most days I eat somewhere between 1200-1500 cals.

    Amy–thanks for that point about restriction: my ND has said something similar. At this point, I've cut down on fruit and starchy veg and upped beans, but haven't quite cut higher glycemic carbs out entirely. Of course, I think I'm transitioning toward that, but maybe there's another way to shift this.

  60. Ela, I think your cals are still too low. 1200-1500 cals/day is probably holding down your metabolism. My belly def got flabbier when I was eating mostly vegetarian, low-cal and I ended up with reactive hypoglycemia which made it worse. I think I come in closer to 2,000/day now although I do not count. Personally, I would really encourage the eggs. Protein will probably help.

  61. Ela, I think your cals are too low as well. I also don't count, but have typed my daily meals into Nutridiary in the past, and am usually between 1900 and 2200. I'm a very sedentary person at the moment, too. If you can't stomach the eggs, consider a protein powder. I'm thinking of one, too, but haven't gone there yet, mostly because some days my protein is coming in at above 90 grams per day, even though I'm vegan. I'm not sure that I need to increase my protein since it's that high. Actually, when I think about it, it's probably much lower now that I'm eating more fat.

    I've also noticed that even though I've gained weight, my body is less flabby and more, uh, taught? Not sure what the opposite of flabby is, ha ha! And the initial weight that I first gained is now coming off, 4 months later. And I'm still pretty sedentary, although I've started walking/hiking much more, and am doing some weight bearing exercises. But nothing like what I was doing before, which was yoga 7 days per week and 'Bootcamp' or HIIT another 5 days per week. (Can you say adrenal fatigue and sub-clinical hypothryoidism, ha ha! Except it's not really funny as I was diagnosed with both of those last July)

    Anyway…I know it can feel like the end of the world and contrary to everything you intuitively feel, but getting enough calories is key.

  62. Amy, SJ–I so appreciate your thoughts and comments.

    I'm surprised you say that's too few cals, but the fact that you both say it makes an impression. And I've been pretty active–more like what SJ described for her old program. I don't often consciously restrict, and I feel awful if I eat 'too much.'

    But I do have hypothyroid (although I'm taking naturthroid) and adrenal fatigue, and I have had reactive hypoglycemia, although it seems to be better now.

    I do use pea protein powder and one or two others, and have been eating lots more beans. SJ–I appreciate that you're finding yourself more taut, and Amy, I know your body comp is great. I just really don't want to gain more…

    Thanks again!

  63. I know it's scary, but the ironic thing is, you really do tend to lose weight when you eat enough calories (you may gain a few right at the beginning but it will come off). As much as you can listen to your body and eat to appetite will be helpful.

  64. Wow, that was really cool. Made me understand it better. Makes me feel lucky that I can drink the lemon juice. :)

  65. For Amy and SJ: sounds like my ND is in agreement with you! He said I won't be able to lose the flab until my body stops thinking it has to prepare for starvation. I'd cut out fruit, he told me to start eating it again. I ran by the Tim Ferriss diet, and he said no, not enough carbs for me. And definitely yes on the eggs. Since I'm having major psych-reg issues at the moment, I think I'm going to have an egg a couple times a week, pull myself back from the edge… So, thanks again for your suggestions: I've tended to resist my ND's urgings, and having your suggestions match his is a big help.

  66. Hey Ela! That's really good news :) I was thinking a bit more about it, and thinking that if you added those 3 tablespoons of coconut butter at each meal, you'd have a nice increase of an easy 300 calories per day, so at least up to (hopefully) 1800 on the high days and 1500 on the low days. I think you'll feel a lot better, ultimately. It will help your anxiety and psych issues greatly, even though you may experience fear at the beginning. But that will pass, as will the awful anxiety that comes with not enough calories.

    And I think if you ate more calories that what I outlined above, you'd do even better. But small steps in the right direction are better steps than no steps. Good for you!!! And keep us posted :)

  67. Does he have a retreat program that you can attend if you are sick? I know there is one in KY but it does not have his name attached..

    • No. I would love to someday be affiliated somehow with some kind of retreat or healing center. But not quite at that stage in the game just yet. But there are many practitioners out there that will work with you, and much of it can be done at home.


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