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Couple of questions/brief intro

Blog Forums Raising Metabolism Couple of questions/brief intro

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    Brief intro: When I was younger, I was naturally slim. Two things changed that. When I was 16, I weighed 138 lbs at 5’6″ on a not-petite frame. I thought I was fat because I weighed more than 130. Okay, there started my dieting history. I’ve never been able to stick with a diet for very long (we’re talking a month to 6 weeks, tops). Anyway, by the time I was 18, I weighed about 145. This is still pretty slim for my build. Of course, I thought I was a moose.

    At 18, I had a baby. After that, my weight began steadily climbing, but leveled off at around 165. More dieting for short periods. More weight gain. You know the drill. There was also some disordered eating in there (emotional eating). This went on and on until I weighed 285 lbs.

    At age 38, I nearly died from heart failure brought on by zero thyroid function (my TSH was 191 at diagnosis). My endo informs me that I was probably hypothyroid from the time right after I had my first baby, but went undiagnosed even though my thyroid had been tested. It has to do with the insidious nature of the way Hashimoto’s presents.

    So, cut to the chase. Between bouts of restriction and low thyroid function, I’m sure my metabolism is a hot (or cold) mess. Now, over the past two days, I’ve read both 180 Degree Metabolism and Diet Recovery II. Oh, I should mention that I got down to 220 basically eating whatever I wanted and drinking 3-4 cans of Coke a day. About 2 years ago, I quit smoking (still chew nicotine gum which I need to get off of) and simultaneously quit drinking Cokes, for better health (hah!). Anyway, in those two years (but mostly in the first 6 months), I’ve gained 25 lbs. I’ve been holding steady at around 245-250 for about a year.

    Now, here are my questions (I know, FINALLY). Was the sugar I was getting in Cokes keeping my metabolism at least relatively high? I am not a big eater of sweets, but I eat it if I want it. Second question, is it possible to stoke metabolism without consuming vast quantities of sugar? I have a natural sweet satiation that usually kicks in after a few bites of dessert type food, unless it is phenomenally good (as in made in a high priced restaurant by a pastry chef and even then, I don’t usually want much of it). Can I raise metabolism eating things like sweet potatoes?

    Sorry for the length. I hope it wasn’t too TL/DR. Also, I’m sure Matt will appreciate my liberal use of parenthetical statements.


    You know it’s interesting that you mention the soda thing. Nothing will make my temp soar faster than drinking soda. I grew up being a big soda drinker. I wonder if my regular soda habit kind of kept my thyroid fire going. Of course it’s horribly negative effects were rapid tooth decay, and acne. I remember one time when I was like 20, and I was on my lunch break at work and I was buying a 20 oz pepsi, and a candy bar. My co-worker looked at my 5’3″ 115lb. frame, and said, “wtf?”. At the time I just shrugged my shoulders and walked away.

    Matt Stone

    Yes, you can probably do well without too much sugar. Sugar and caffeine could have been responsible for your past success, as well as just taking in sugar regularly (keeps the fires a burnin’ in a sense).

    But you can get a lot more sugar in by eating straight sugary things than desserts (mostly fat). Coke, grape juice, orange juice, dried fruit, sweet cereals, bananas, papaya, other tropical fruit… you should be able to nibble/sip on these types of things throughout the day and get the benefits of sugar.


    Thanks, Matt. I’m getting a plan in place. I know this approach has worked for me in the past–or a least an intuitive variation of it. My first order of business is eating when I wake up. I’m one of those people who, if left to my own devices, will go 3-4 hours or more after waking without eating anything. After I read about the cortisol connection, a light bulb just kind of went off in my head. I can see a lot of things I’ve been doing that have probably haven’t done me any favors, metabolism-wise. My plan for mornings is jasmine rice with a little coconut milk and coconut sugar/maple syrup/honey (for the pre-breakfast) and then my normal breakfast of Greek yogurt (full-fat, unsweetened) with honey, walnuts, and raspberries or mango/banana a bit later, maybe with an egg thrown in for good measure. Alternately, I could do sweet potato cooked with butter and coconut sugar and topped with some kefir cheese. I already have my rice cooked for tomorrow morning so all I have to do is heat and eat.

    At home, I always use either butter or olive oil for cooking, but I’m going to look into adding coconut oil. Actually, for me, I feel my best on certain carbs (rice, potato, sweet potato) with some protein, veg, and a healthy amount of fat. I’ll be taking my temps for a while to figure out what works best for me. I had a pretty substantial Middle Eastern meal tonight. When I got home, I took my temp and it was just shy of 99 degrees, so I know that type of meal raises my temp and puts me right into that feel-good zone.

    Sorry for being so wordy. It’s mainly for my own benefit as it helps solidify the plan in my head. Plus, I’m one of those Lit nerds who is used to writing a lot!


    Matt (or anyone), how much food is required to counteract early morning cortisol? Would a few spoons of white rice with salt/butter and maybe 1/2 cup of whole milk with coconut sugar do the trick? Would a spoon of peanut or almond butter with the milk do it? I found this morning that getting a carb dose actually made me hungry for an actual breakfast, which is good.

    I’ve found my water replacement drink. Cranberry juice cocktail (sugar sweetened). It has 0 potassium. This is the evil WalMart brand, so it’s cheap to boot!


    RegL, are you trying to avoid potassium? If so, what’s the reasoning?


    Light bulb moment. Thanks.

    I’ve been gaining weight essentially since the day I stopped drinking Pepsi and began drinking Diet Pepsi.

    In high school, at 5’6″ and 130 pounds, I had a Pepsi and a Baby Ruth candy bar for breakfast every weekday, and I ate anything I wanted the rest of the time. Ain’t that a bitch?



    Hi cookin,

    No, I am not really limiting potassium as it’s a vital nutrient for cardiac functioning. However, in Eat for Heat, Matt talks about being aware of it, especially in regard to fruits and fruit juices. Too much potassium can diminish the sodium concentration in the blood, which defeats the purpose of ingesting sodium to raise temps and help metabolism.

    In other words, almost all fruits and vegetables have a good amount of potassium. Certain fruit juices, like orange juice, can give you a big rush of potassium since they are digested and absorbed so quickly. It’s important to get enough potassium, but too much can slow down the very processes we’re trying to get going. In addition, Matt recommends counterbalancing fruits and fruit juices with sodium. So, if you eat a banana, make sure you have something salty with it, etc.

    If you have the book, the information on fruit juice starts on page 75.

    mighty m

    RegL, FWIW, I don’t think your comments are too wordy. If it’s well-written as yours have been, it’s valuable context! Short vague posts aren’t really “concise,” they’re just vague. That’s my bias, and I’m sticking to it.


    Thanks! I could have written even more. ;)


    Wow! I get up every morning and take a green drink supplement in 3 ounces of pineapple juice diluted with 3 ounces of water. Since I eat a good breakfast not too long afterward I didn’t think the 6 ounces of fluid were that detrimental. However, I was also ignoring the itty bitty sodium amount in the drink compared to the much larger amount of potassium in both the juice and supplement (28mg/258mg). Do I add salt? Leave out the extra water too? Have it at a different time of day when my temp is solidly in the 98s?

    And this I have been doing after getting up with a low 97 degree temp.


    Hi Tammy,

    What is the supplement? Is it just a vitamin/mineral mixture? Matt does say to dilute most juices with water, so that’s good. Do you havevto take the supplement by itself? If not, maybe you could drink it with your breakfast.

    I’m pretty new to this, so in order to get a more experienced opinion, I think you should make a new thread with your question. You might have a better chance of Matt seeing it.

    As I said in an earlier reply, potassium is vital for cardiac function, so you definitely want to make sure you get enough. If you are on a diuretic, this is really important.

    For the purposes of this plan, you just want to make sure you are balancing potassium with sodium, so maybe either adding a little salt to your supplement or eating something with salt either with it or soon after is probably a good idea.


    The supplement (Greens+ Organic Superfood) is a powder that my nutritionist recommended because I have apparently not been absorbing nutrients well. So, yes, it does need to be dissolved in something. I will be more aware of making sure there is sodium to balance it from now on.

    I just didn’t realize that I was unintentionally working against an already low basal temp with this drink. It was an ah-ha moment. So, thanks.

    I am not on any diuretics, so that is not a problem.

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