March 13, 2014 at 9:46 am #15845codys182Participant
Hey guys. My name is Cody. I just wanted to share my story as I recently began reading these forums. It seems there is a lot of skepticism as to whether or not this works, and that is a good thing. I whole heartedly believe that it is NOT for everyone. Many people claiming that this method of increased eating and calories “can’t work or there wouldn’t be any obese people”. My answer: it is completely contextual.
I spent a few years (from about ’09-’11) slowly becoming very neurotic about what I ate. I have always been self conscious about my body and unhappy with where I was. It wasn’t until I went to Marine Corps boot camp that I really lost some weight and then toned up. Then began the fitness craze…hitting the gym 6-7 days a week, while slowly starting to learn more about calories and nutrition. Over the course of two years, I eventually tapered my calories down to 1200-1500 calories per day, while being active all day and working out for an hour or two. I was also intermittent fasting at the time. Eventually my health went off the rails and my sleep, mood, and energy were all shot. I continued to ignore these signs for a while, masking them with energy drinks and further restriction. Something had to change. It has been a rough roller coaster since this realization. I spent ’11-present experimenting with paleo, low carb, no sugar, etc. Nothing worked. I was depressed frequently with lots of anxiety and zero confidence. I was a wreck.
Since November of 2013, I started reading more of Ray Peat and his ideas. I knew of Matt Stone and listened to some of his interviews and read a few of his articles, but my skepticism kept me away from fully implementing his ideas. Ray Peat was an easier transition, as I continued my paleo lifestyle while adding sugars mostly in the form of fruit juice and also decreasing PUFAs. My symptoms started to improve dramatically. Sleep was the first to improve…and when I sleep well, everything else improves. Since then, I felt more comfortable experimenting. Enter Matt Stone. I started enjoying things like pop tarts, ice cream, pizza, etc. My sleep continued to improve. I wake up looking leaner, despite increasing my calories rather dramatically. My energy is up and my mood is very stable.
It’s important for people to understand that your results from “refeeding” depend entirely on where you’re coming from on the dietary spectrum. If you’ve been overeating for a long time and are obese, but with an otherwise healthy metabolism…this may not be for you. It may even make things worse. BUT, for those on the other end of the spectrum, who have lived under the plague of restriction for years or even decades, this is an absolute must in my opinion…both physically and mentally. Overeating is real, and I think it probably applies to the majority of the obese in the American population. However, I don’t think that is the core of Matt’s followers. Most of them are failed dieters.
I will note that I am not completely living without restriction. I still limit PUFA’s heavily. I read labels and buy things with coconut oil, palm oil, butter, or olive oil. The rest I just don’t buy. Maybe this is something I should get over as well, as it probably isn’t healthy psychologically, but I really believe it has helped keep my weight gain to a minimum. I still feel a tremendous amount of mental freedom using this approach.
Sorry for the long post! Hope this may help those who are looking for some hope! It works for me and I am eternally grateful for climbing out of that dark hole that is dieting!March 16, 2014 at 9:01 pm #15916katezaarParticipant
Thank you so much for this post–it echoes what I’ve been thinking. I needed to get away from demonizing the act of eating. Have made a habit of extremes over the years–over-training, under-eating, staying up too late.
I was habitually having no breakfast or just coffee/cream and a couple of Brazil nuts. My energy was incredibly low and I felt guilty about most foods. Got so tired of meat and eggs after my paleo stint. Nothing digested, was cold all of the time. Matt’s approach has relaxed my mind so that I can listen to my body. I feel much more peaceful.
Starting to exercise more because I feel like it. Slowly backing down on the Oreos. :-)March 17, 2014 at 4:37 pm #15941piranhaParticipant
@codys182 i agree that it’s contextual and varies from person to person. thanks for the long post! don’t apologize; more data is good. i’m glad you’re getting a handle on it for yourself!
i disagree maybe on one point:
according to my reading the majority of people classified as obese in america are failed dieters who were not initially anywhere as fat as they end up being after several cycles of fad diets. 95% of diets fail (after people initially lose weight, they soon stall and then promptly start putting it back on and then some; rinse, lather, repeat). so its not quite as simple as “overeating is real”, and i think we need to get off the train that shames people for eating — it just leads to more disordered eating.
still, i agree that somebody on the “extra fat gained” point of their diet cycle needs a somewhat different approach to refeeding than somebody who’s been, for example, anorectic. which is why i’m not eating pizza until it comes out my ears. ;) i am not restricting that, however — if i really, really want it, i can definitely have it. having ornery psychology means that therefore it’s actually been 6 months since i last had pizza, and i even stopped at 2 slices. we all need to learn to listen more closely to our bodies.March 19, 2014 at 6:58 am #15966codys182Participant
Maybe so. I can only speak for the obese people I know…and none of them seem like failed dieters after seeing their eating habits..just have very poor eating habits. Always fast food, order in, eating out of a box, etc. This is not without consequence, just as under eating isn’t without consequence. Failed dieters seem to have other indications associated with them…looking extremely drained, depressed, or even angry.
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