carb/glucose intolerance in formerly obese (now lean) individuals?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 11, 2012 at 6:01 AM

Some of us have been following the "safe starch" and LC vs. moderate/high carb debates for some time now. I have no doubt starches and even fruits are not only paleo but fine and healthy. However, there has not been precedence in formerly obese people eating including carbs as a significant portion of one's diets.

I could be wrong but I feel lean individuals who were once obese still have some glucose (carb) intolerance even though they have improved their leptin and insulin sensitivity by even dramatic measures.

Would anyone be able to share any studies on macro-nutrient ratios or poor carb tolerance in formerly obese people? I was obese from 8-15 years old and am now lean and athletic. I am interested in dietary approaches to long-term weight management for those formerly obese.



on December 03, 2012
at 09:19 PM

Correction to ^^^: What was happening with your weight between ages 15 (not 5) and 24? Also, do you have any medical issues or sleep/stress issues?


on December 03, 2012
at 09:17 PM

I think you could get replies with more helpful info if you share some more specific info. Your profile says that you are 24 yrs old. What was happening with your weight between ages 5 and 24? How long have you been at your present weight and "lean and athletic?" What did you do and how did you eat to lose your weight? How are you maintaining *now*? What factors do you believe led to your obesity between ages 8 and 15? Were either of your parents or other family members significantly overweight - Grandparents, etc?



on November 11, 2012
at 06:56 AM

Me too! I'm not lean yet but I am getting there. I'd like to know if I will ever cope with a higher carb level. I've lost 200, am only slightly puffy now but even though I acutely can handle high-carb I can't chronically.

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3 Answers


on December 03, 2012
at 11:04 AM

This is indeed an interesting question. Due to difficulties in finding funding/subjects, I doubt that the literature can provide an adequate answer. It would be possible to investigate oneself by measuring blood sugar and/or A1c. It should be noted however that glucose tolerance varies over time and energy status and habitual diet composition can influence test results.



on February 05, 2013
at 05:08 PM

I have been experimenting with safe starches this winter. I was formerly obese: 5'10 was 250lbs now 170lbs.

Here's what I have found so far.

I went from eating VLC, 10-50g/day, to eating at least 1 pound of starch which is roughly 150-250g/day.

I gained 5 pounds in a month, but it seemed to be in muscle and increased fecal matter, not fat based on measuring.

My body temp went from 96 to 98. I'm off my Synthroid. Workouts are much better. Feet aren't cold any more.

My FBG went from 90's to 120. That is not cool! This past week, I have been focusing on eating most carbs at evening meal along with a good bit of fat. Last two days, FBG was 106. Headed in right direction.

I plan on keeping my ratios about 30-20-50 (C-P-F) for about 6 months and then reevaluate, but I think I like it so far.



on February 05, 2013
at 04:01 AM

I have never been obese, but I have been overweight. I had some chub all over, but mostly in my hips and thighs. I also had pretty bad cellulite, and I was only 20 at the time. After a few months of VLC and the subsequent weight loss, I added safe starches back into my diet because I am fairly active and enjoy weightlifting. I am low to moderate carb, ranging between 50 and 100grams per day. I have built muscle, and the cellulite has not come back, thankfully. I went from a 8-10 to 2-4 in women's pants. I am only 5'1".

I am thinking that it was more of the grains and sugar and lack of protein that contributed to my former flab. After all, I had never even eaten a sweet potato before going paleo, so how can I blame it on sweet potatoes? That being said, I still watch my carbs. I am just not VLC (less than 50g per day) anymore.

This works for me, and I feel as though I am recovering well and having great energy from staying between 50 and 100grams carbs per day. I therefore see no need in upping the carbs. I do not know if I would pack on weight in the hips or if cellulite would reappear if I went back up to my former carb range (about 200-250 grams per day from non paleo carbs), instead using safe paleo starches. Honestly, I can't really imagine eating that many sweet potatoes in one day!

All in all, even though I had some huge problems with cellulite and large hips in the past, I seem to be doing fine on low-to-moderate carb. I don't have to be zero carb or VLC to maintain the AMAZING results that I have experienced after going paleo

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