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Helping my dad's metabolism, input?

Blog Forums Raising Metabolism Helping my dad's metabolism, input?

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    My dad turned 50 last month. He is a logger and has been working harder than usual lately since his worker quit him He’s doing everything including cutting trees, which around here we live in the hills so that’s a lot of walking up and down hills carrying a chain saw and such. Normally this would result in him losing a few lbs, but it hasn’t and he’s wondering why.

    Background on my dad… Dad grew up in a pretty stressful household, his dad had a really really bad temper. My grandpa was one of the greatest, most loving and amazing people in the world that would give you anything, until he got mad and then he was just horrible, honestly. Don’t get in his way, don’t get in his line of site [never to me mind you, he never said one cross word to me his whole life] I think he did hate that about himself though and tried to do better later in life (he himself, also had a really stressful childhood, like one meal a day working daylight till dark at 8 yrs old, and walking three miles in the dark through the woods on the way there and home, grew up in the depression type childhood, and his mama had that same temper, his dad went blind and his mom worked like a man to grow food for like over a dozen kids). Growing up they did not eat well really, not much veggies or fresh food, my grandma worked and she doesn’t like to cook.. but he always ate whatever he wanted, like ya know cheez whiz and crackers and lays chips crushed down into a glass of milk, he used to eat that all the time lol. My dad played football in highschool and was athletic and good at it. After that was over, he immediately gained weight and has been overweight every since. There’s been a weight watchers attempt or two and I think he lost most of it once. But in our family, weight loss is just about impossible. Even starving never got me even temporarily thin. My dad had three sisters, all were/are morbidly obese (one passed away this year, she and one other sister had their stomach’s stapled, I’m talking like probably over 300 lbs).

    My dad always ate whatever he wanted (minus a few brief attempts at weight loss, he never really had enough “willpower” to restrict food, especially since he works so hard), until probably over 10 years ago when he started having migraines. Eventually we figured out wheat and dairy were causing them. Dad weeded things out of his diet until eventually he got to where he couldn’t eat much of anything but meat and sweet potatoes, maybe some carrots. He did lose some weight (he was getting really heavy back then) and felt better, even felt good. But if he ate most any fruit, grain, white potatoes, etc etc he got migraines that would have him throwing up, they were so bad. So he ate like that for years, oh he could have pineapple for a long time and I made him smoothies with pineapple and bananas some. Those started bothering him after a while. In the last few years, mom got him taking ACV and echinacea and since then he can eat more variety. Indeed he can pretty much anything now if he doesn’t go wild with it or eat something that kinda bothers him over and over. Like if he ate chili today and tomorrow for supper he’d probably complain about having a headache or his “ears popping and cracking”. I don’t know what it is about chili, but it bothers him, tomatoes?

    Almost everything he eats is homemade, cooking oil is coconut oil (was olive for years before that). He mostly just likes hamburgers and steak and fried chicken with potatoes in some way. He drinks my goat milk but doesn’t do so well with cow dairy, even raw and pastured from our own cow. Dad eats a TON of salt, he likes to frost his food so that’s good. Of course he sweats like crazy. Dad tends to eat before he leaves for work and not eat again until he gets home. Here lately I’ve been telling him to eat more carbs. He’s started going to walmart and grabbing cans of stuff, anything from turnip greens and olives to pineapple or pears or peaches and eating a couple cans of them at lunch time.

    We took his temp the other day of the evening, under the arm was like 96.6 or so as I recall. It was low anyway.

    I think he needs to eat more often. Like take some cookies with him to work and eat one every couple of hours or something. But I don’t want him to gain weight. Although I think maybe he might eat less later in the day if not going without all day while working? He eats a lot. Like, man you make cookies and he gets a plate of them suckers. So he doesn’t mess around at meal time, but I think going so long with so little to eat is a big part of his problem.

    Oh, he also sleeps well, gets to bed at a decent hour and has no trouble sleeping. He’s the kind that can sleep even if the world is going to explode tomorrow.

    Any thoughts, just getting him to eat more carbs, and eat more often? He’s getting a lot of exersize and he’s just exhausted in the evenings lately because he works so hard, but he hasn’t lost weight.

    Oh, he also carries his weight in a cortisol pattern. Lower belly, lower back and the upper back kinda has a hump of fat and also his face. And he doesn’t handle stress well. He gets agitated and is prone to that same temper I mentioned… but he has worked very very hard on that. He does much better than he used to.


    I don’t know the answers to your questions. So take what I write with a grain of salt. But I have a few thoughts about this that may or may not be helpful.

    It is interesting that you mentioned that he carries his weight in a “cortisol pattern.” In my ignorance I wasn’t aware of such a thing. However, in reading the rest of what you wrote I kept thinking that he was setting himself up with optimal conditions for excess cortisol with prolonged periods of activity coupled with no food. It is my understanding that some of what cortisol is meant to do is provide necessary energy for the body when it is not available through other means. Fasting and intense activity are both known to increase cortisol levels. I have read some reports that it is possible to sustain intense activity without spiking cortisol by eating enough during the activity – specifically carbohydrates. I don’t know if that is true, but it is an encouraging thought for your father.

    If I was going to offer advice based on what little I know about such things and based on my own experiences, I would suggest that he sees what happens when he has a steady supply of energy throughout the day. Perhaps some sort of sugared drink that he can sip throughout the day, even while working could help. Sugary or starchy and salty snacks that are easy to keep on hand and eat during work could help too – things like pretzels or cookies. (regarding pretzels: might be worth trying to find some that are made without soy or corn oil.) Basically, if he could eat or drink something with substantial energy in it once an hour that might help. And I’d also think that adding a little protein throughout the day along with the other snacks could be helpful – maybe just a hard-boiled egg or something. I think he could find foods that could help him stabilize hormones throughout the day that would be convenient enough so that they wouldn’t interfere with his work.


    That’s really along the lines of what I’ve been thinking… I think he’s like me, he’s focused on his work. I work as a farrier and for years I just didn’t eat all day while I worked. I wasn’t hungry when I worked that hard. Until I started eating the food! The first day I went to work after I started eating more I got part way through the first stop and I was STARVING! LOL Client offered me a drink and I was all ORANGE JUICE PLEASE haha So I bring plenty of food now.

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