1

votes

Few questions: Body fat / adaptation to paleo / cooking meat

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 27, 2012 at 2:21 AM

Ok got a few questions here that don't quite make sense to me yet, though I'm sure they all have valid answers.

  1. I know the spiel about eating more fat/protein and fewer carbs means your body will start burning more of its body fat stores, but not once has this actually been explained in anything I've read. Is it because when you are primarily eating animal meat, your body figures that it is 'safe' to burn its fat stores as it knows that you have animal meat available, and you will be eating more of it in the future?

  2. I started easing into a paleo diet about a month and a half ago, generally cutting processed sugars down and eating gluten free or low wheat breads and very little rice, I am now close to 99% paleo as I now eat no grains at all and very minimal refined sugar (1/2 tsp in my coffee). For the past week or so I have had a mild but constant headache and felt a bit flat in terms of energy. Is this normal? I assume it's similar to coming off coffee where you just fee shit for a few days, although in this case it's been more than just a few days.

  3. Is cooking meat really paleo? There is plenty of info out there suggesting that cooking meat destroys the majority of nutrients, not to mention plays havoc on our digestive systems. So what is the stance on this? Did our early ancestors cook their meat or did this happen more recently? I'm not saying in modern times that uncooked meat would be more beneficial or not, because I don't know whether or bodies could handle it or not but I'm still interested in how this fits into things.

Cheers,

Rob

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on February 27, 2012
at 09:18 PM

I haven't had a chance to measure my exact carb intake but the sources of carbs include 1/2-1tsp refined sugar each morning in my coffee, 1.6g in my protein shake + full cream milk. The rest of my carb intake is solely from vegetables and a couple pieces of fruit. SO carb intake is quite low. The way I'm feeling is quite subtle, it's not even a real headache, it's just some slight tension in my cranium, its the exact feeling you get when withdrawing from caffeine. And energy levels just feel a little below optimum levels, & it's consistent with when I completely kicked grains.

  • 81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

    asked by

    (1022)
  • Views
    1.2K
  • Last Activity
    1425D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

3 Answers

3
3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

on February 27, 2012
at 02:27 AM

  1. It has to do with hormones. In theory, your body should know it's 'safe' to burn stored fat on any kind of diet with adequate calories, but certain diets support better hormone signalling and cell function than others. Ketogenic/low-carb diets are very effective weight loss tools, particularly in people who are insulin insensitive.

  2. What is your carbohydrate intake? Could just be the keto blues. Or you could just not be feeling well. Not everything is due to diet.

  3. Throughout our evolutionary history there is evidence of cooking, yes, meats included. I haven't heard that cooked meat wreaks havoc on digestion or that it destroys the majority of nutrients. Cooking meat destroys some nutrients but makes others more available. Perhaps most importantly it kills bacteria. Raw meat is probably okay sometimes, e.g. sushi and steak tartare are common fare. I don't think you can say cooking is all bad or that raw is all good.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on February 27, 2012
at 09:18 PM

I haven't had a chance to measure my exact carb intake but the sources of carbs include 1/2-1tsp refined sugar each morning in my coffee, 1.6g in my protein shake + full cream milk. The rest of my carb intake is solely from vegetables and a couple pieces of fruit. SO carb intake is quite low. The way I'm feeling is quite subtle, it's not even a real headache, it's just some slight tension in my cranium, its the exact feeling you get when withdrawing from caffeine. And energy levels just feel a little below optimum levels, & it's consistent with when I completely kicked grains.

0
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 06, 2012
at 05:52 AM

In answer to your first question:

Here's how it works, to the best of my knowledge.

It's not the eating more animal protein and fat that flips the switch in your body to burning fat, but rather the reduction in carbohydrate.

I'm gonna quote from another answer I gave a few days ago:

We've all heard that "glucose is the preferred fuel of the body." Well, it's only preferred in that the body will use it first. It's not necessarily the best or the most efficient fuel, only that it'll be used first, before the body taps into its other fuel sources. The body can run on carbs, protein, or fat. We do NOT want it running on protein, because we work too hard building up muscle to catabolize it for the sake of feeding ourselves, right? (And we need protein for way too many other great things in the body -- making enzymes, neurotransmitters, building tissues. I wouldn't want to "waste" all my good protein as fuel when it's supposed to be doing other stuff for me.) We can run very efficiently on fat, but the thing is, our bodies will only run well on fat when there isn't a whole lot of carbohydrate (glucose) around.

Our bodies want to run on glucose. As long as there's lots of it around, that's what we'll use. If we want our bodies to run on the fuel we have (fat), we have to deprive it of the one it wants (glucose). And when we're running on fat, we're using both the stored fat on our bodies and the fat we eat. And think about it -- we store fat. We can store fat like crazy. We can't store all that much carbohydrate. We store it as glycogen, but nowhere near as much as we store fat. Looking at it from an evolutionary/biological point of view, it stands to reason we're better off running on fat because that's the fuel we're able to store the most of. (If my gas tank were designed to hold 16 gallons of gasoline and 2 gallons of corn oil, I'd want it to run on gasoline, know what I mean?)

And when you're pretty well "fat-adapted," this is why it's so easy to go hours upon hours between meals. You're not a slave to your blood glucose levels, and you have more than enough fuel reserves (fat) to keep you going. Even a pretty lean person still has ample body fat stores to keep them going for a long time...provided they're not living on carbs.

As for #2, I'd have to know a little more about your diet to hazard a guess. You said you had sort of eased into Paleo, but are now stricter. It could be that tightening things up has pushed you even more into switching your metabolism to running on fat. Most people do have a kind of adjustment period where they're literally withdrawing from drugs (sugar & wheat). Sometimes it's headaches, nausea, dizziness...kind of like the flu without a fever. Some people feel like a million bucks right away. Seems to vary. Don't forget that you're completely changing the way your body fuels itself. That's a big deal. Even though it'll be GREAT once you're used to it, there are sometimes a few bumps along the way. (Sounds like yours are pretty mild, though.)

3 -- Plenty of people eat raw meat. (Provided they absolutely trust the farmer who raised it.) Like someone else said, cooking destroys some nutrients but makes others more bioavailable. I think nutrients in veggies are more susceptible to destruction by cooking than meat (especially when boiled and a lot of the good stuff leaches into the cooking water. But that's a BORING [and semi-tasteless] way to cook veggies anyway.) I don't do raw meat myself, but I get pretty close. Sear a steak just so the outside is cooked but still mooing in the middle. ;-) And raw eggs are great in a lot of different dishes.

0
A840b3d46289f77893fdd4cd06777c1d

(0)

on May 05, 2012
at 10:48 PM

Headache seems related to the cream and that you need more water to process the cream. Increase water + reduce cream = no headache. Energy is another matter - if you are low, add a starch veggie and a little more fruit and nuts. Don't give up but do try subtle changes until you can access what is working best for you. You didn't include info about your weight and other habits so these conditions and circumstances must be considered too. If you're detoxing rapidly, the added vegetable starch and fruit sugars will slow it down. Exercise via cardio and add mini-trampoline to move toxins from your lymph nodes. Make sure you are fully hydrated in between your meals and exercise. Get sleep over 8 hours. If you feel better please report.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!