1

votes

Managing Leptin, Cortisol, etc with Extremely Active Job and Exercise

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 26, 2011 at 4:20 PM

I know the title is slightly convoluted and I apologize for that- this is my first question to be hacked. So some background, I have recently just lost approximately 30# through a PSMF (not with refeeds as the first time I did Lyle's program with the refeeds I felt that shite for 3 days after and have come to the conclusion that I just do not process carbs other than veggies well at all if how my body feels says anything about it). I also have lupus that I was officially DX with 2 years ago that is currently in remission. I believe that my background of competitive swimming since the age of 5 through 20 concurrent with constant eat disorder issues (undereating, overexercising chronically) while eating SAD (re: low fat, standard "carb-up" approach for meets) set me up for the autoimmune disease, severe depression I went through, and weight gain that was a source of constant frustration to both me and my long-time nutritionist as I could not lose it despite rigid calorie counting and exercising a ton (triathlons, weights, etc). I went through a huge change in mindset after reading Schwarzbein's book and beginning to delve into the delicate balance of hormones and food and started to actually warm up to the idea that fat was not the enemy. I also was forced to slow down a LOT, i.e. my dr. actually told me not to do anything for a month when I first started having the worst of the Lupus symptoms and to be honest I could hardly move from the bed or think properly. SHe of course still had some carbs in, though carefully counted out in grams and not the high GI kind. Then I feel into the metabolic typing experiment which said I needed to eat like a hunter-gatherer, although he kept his carb amounts too high for that category I believe to not rock the boat too much, but I did immediately lose weight (water I'm sure though I kept my carbs around 120 daily).Then it was MarksDailyApple and the primal crowd and I actually went VLC, was eating only two large meals a day with lots of fat and protein, IFing, but felt like I was gaining weight and getting chubbier. So then I found Lyle and did his PSMF which worked like a charm but then I had this mindset that I'd be "free" of my ED once I lost the weight...well, no not at all, still counted calories, exercised too much right when I came off, had carbs at 120-150 (veggies/fruits), and was still indulging too much every weekend). So I gained it all back...then I started seeing a weight loss doctor to see what was "wrong" with me. Well, no matter what I did I still couldn't lose weight so I said, screw it, we're PSMF again but this time I'm transitioning SLOWLY, not going straight into crazy workouts, and stopping all this calorie counting and weighing nonsense as it clearly hasn't helped to date.

So, here I am, 7 weeks post the official end of my PSMF although I kept losing after. I barely exercised on the 6 week program, and no refeeds but managed to lose more but less lean mass than last time. I do not count calories and don't know my official weight as I ask doctors not to tell me. But to get to the point (and thank you for bearing with my extremely long story but I think it does play into how my current hormone levels may be working) I work as a chef in a restaurant so I am on my feet 6 days a week for 7-9 hours a day. I also do hatha yoga 2x week, swim 45 min 2x a week (I love swimming), and weights 2x a week for 45 min with some walking beforehand and always workout fasted which I prefer.

I have started reading GCBC, THe Quilt, and have been furiously reading through posts here to try to find out if I should not be exercising at all due to my job and what I should be eating. It is hard to eat at work at all- I bring homemade grass-fed beef jerky and chew a piece when I get the opportunity. Sometimes I snag some leftover meat and butter though I try to avoid dairy. I am just parenoid about any fat regain and would honestly like to see some improvement in my bodyfat % (lower)- currently my docs tanita scale says 33% but I think thats bullocks, I'm 5'7" and if my doctors badly veiled hints are any indication I am hovering around 145# with a very muscular build- think mesomorph. But I am worried about my hormones levels- I have had no period for 3 months and have only had about 3 periods in the last 12 months. I have always been irregular with a "trigger-switch" for them meaning literally any change in my diet or exercise would mess it up. So I am worried that adding more fat means that I will just store it instead of use it for energy if my hormones aren't optimized but I have no idea how to tell! I crave fat A LOT and am honestly thinking of tossing the coconut cream concentrate jar because I can just spoon that stuff out (granted I only have one real meal a day due to work). How do I go about testing to see if I'm leptin resistent/sensitive as well as other hormones and how does my exercise and work routine fit into this?

**I know this is very long and probably confusing, so let me know what I need to clarify!

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on August 27, 2011
at 12:08 AM

my weight issues are largely out of my hands, all I can do is try to fend it off and unfortunately to do that I apparently can only consume mostly lean protein with little added fat...such but such is life for now

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on August 27, 2011
at 12:06 AM

well I gained some weight back despite not eating over 25 g total carb most days and not touching sugar or starches with a 10 foot pole , seemed to have stablized at this weight but did start to eat more dairy recently so am cutting it out again, increasing my protein, and decreasing my fat again. I also just found out I have a lot of hormonal deficiencies- both my free T3 and free T4 are low, my estrogen is menapausal low, as are my other sex hormones and I am seeing a reproductive endocrinologist and going on some type of hormone replacement (bioidentical of course). It's very obvious that

Fde481d115913859a96338955ff7a959

(0)

on August 26, 2011
at 12:56 PM

sorry about the spelling! typing in the dark

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on June 28, 2011
at 11:37 PM

so...ED is short for eating disorder i had for over 10 years which is why i no longer track my weight or food or macros because it was obsessive and got me nowhere weight wise. I am also not looking to lose weight, I am at an ideal weight now I just don't want to gain and the eating poorly one meal a week was after I finished my first attempt almost a year ago and just means I had too much fatty, sugary "chef" desserts (re: flourless chocolate cake). I eat no sugar now ever and the only dairy I have it when I have to taste food at work (so butter or full fat cheese) and it's not a lot.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:19 AM

Thank you! I was thing so much about that. I know TKD, CKD etc but that one stumped me. ED? I thought erectile dysfunction but the OP isn't a dude.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:10 AM

I believe PSMF = Protein Sparing Modified Fast

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:58 PM

oh and this might sound weird since youre a chef but cook all your meals. never eat out.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:27 PM

Totally - I listen to a broad range of podcasts - I take all of them with a bit of salt - but he puts out good stuff!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:25 PM

actually byron richards' podcast is worth listening to. if you can remember to take it with many grains of the finest sea salt.

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on June 27, 2011
at 08:52 PM

I know the post is too long, I guess I feel like some questions don't make sense without background but I did edit to see if I could make it more skimmable. I am a bit reluctant to use online nutritionists...I guess I'm wondering how they can help me optimize my hormones without ever meeting in person or being qualified to get/interpret the appropriate blood tests.

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on June 27, 2011
at 08:47 PM

I appreciate the comment, but I need to emphasize that this period loss isn't new nor is it singularly related to the PSMF. I have had irregular periods since I began menstruating and even lost it for 9 months when I was 15 until they put me on BC and that was after I had started a break from swimming. I am very aware of what stress of all forms leads to- I have an AI because of it although I managed to put it into remission with diet and greatly decreased exercise. I am interested in how to get more information in regulating the hormones.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on June 26, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Good Luck and don't give up!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on June 26, 2011
at 06:36 PM

JAS contact one of Robb's RD's to get you going. You need direction. http://robbwolf.com/2011/06/22/when-“one-size-fits-all”-paleo-stops-working/

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 26, 2011
at 06:34 PM

Yes? Have you spotted more???

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 26, 2011
at 05:56 PM

and the midrif game continues

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 26, 2011
at 04:45 PM

TL;dr. Try to use bold or italics or at least paragraph breaks. It's daunting seeing a post like this. Make it as easy as possible for people to help you.

  • Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

    asked by

    (214)
  • Views
    2.4K
  • Last Activity
    1520D AGO
Frontpage book

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

7 Answers

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 26, 2011
at 04:44 PM

it depends on who you are writing to, but some of us don't want to read all this and I'm sure this could be a paragraph with all that really matters. Paleo isn't scientific, it's about feel and self-experimentation. My answer: follow paleo guidelines, and find what personally works best.

1
1b7ea364def02ac2257d7c8557fa200f

(50)

on June 26, 2011
at 05:12 PM

With all of your activity (work and exercise) I doubt you would start to store fat if you upped your intake, but if you are only eating 1 real meal a day then trying to snack on what you can at work I'm not sure. Try it! The fat will at least keep you satisfied when you can eat.

My wife's a chef, too, so I know the how challenging it can be for you to eat right at work. For her, getting a really good breakfast in before work (4 eggs and some beef, or a few bacon/egg cups) can usually be enough to get her through her shift.

0
Fde481d115913859a96338955ff7a959

on August 26, 2011
at 12:55 PM

Hi Jasmin

I read your post and I am at the same sport as you. Diet and exercixe - restricted calorieas and over exercised but i just ended up fatigued and could not lose the weight! I am now just walking during the week to work and abck sometimes (45mins each way) and eating VLC high fat. I'm wondering to up my carbs to help with stress? would love toh ear how you are going and get anyones elses commengt on this!

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on August 27, 2011
at 12:06 AM

well I gained some weight back despite not eating over 25 g total carb most days and not touching sugar or starches with a 10 foot pole , seemed to have stablized at this weight but did start to eat more dairy recently so am cutting it out again, increasing my protein, and decreasing my fat again. I also just found out I have a lot of hormonal deficiencies- both my free T3 and free T4 are low, my estrogen is menapausal low, as are my other sex hormones and I am seeing a reproductive endocrinologist and going on some type of hormone replacement (bioidentical of course). It's very obvious that

Fde481d115913859a96338955ff7a959

(0)

on August 26, 2011
at 12:56 PM

sorry about the spelling! typing in the dark

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on August 27, 2011
at 12:08 AM

my weight issues are largely out of my hands, all I can do is try to fend it off and unfortunately to do that I apparently can only consume mostly lean protein with little added fat...such but such is life for now

0
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:23 PM

OK, i finally sat and read your post thoroughly, here is what I got:

What is a PSMF?

I know nothing about Lupus so you should heavily consider that with anything else I say.

All that swimming, triatholoning and weight training has prolly sent continuous signals to your body that you are surrounded by chronicly stressful environments. This is not good. Chronic stress like this is what leads to chronically elevated cortisol levels and will keep that fat-padding on you essentially no matter how many calories you burn. This is the bad kind of cortisol release. I would say pay no attention to the people that harp on and on about workouts lasting more than an hour releasing cortisol, etc. That is acute release and is totally fine.

It sounds like you’re already properly cynical (yay!) but def ignore the metabolic typing BS. It is based on faux-science of the highest degree. Ignore it totally.

What is “ED”?

What does “indulging too much on the weekend” mean? If it just means you eat shit and stuff your face and drink booze all weekend, that right there is prolly the problem.

Why in the world do you tell your docs not to tell you your weight? That is silly. That is some mental weirdness that you gotta just stop. Hate to be harsh but burying your head in the sand is not going to solve anything and make you any lighter (if that is even what you should be).

You work too much to exercise that much. Stop all the exercising for one week. Then just lift weights with compound exercises three times a week and that’s it. Do it for three to six months and see how you feel.

Stop reading the quilt right now. That’ll keep you fresh and clear.

Don’t pay any attention to the doc’s body fat percentage measurement; I’ve never encountered any accurate one. Look in the mirror and take some pics right now. Use those as your ruler. As you progress with what you do take more pics in the same light, same stance, etc. Forget the scale.

Sorry, no help with the menstruation issue. Though there are very helpful people of the female persuasion here that may help.

Throw out the coconut concentrate if you like it that much. If you don’t toss it, don’t kid yourself, you’ll just get home from work late, not eat real food and spoon that down and boom you’ve just sucked down 3000 calories that’ll make you feel shite tomorrow.

Eat strict paleo all the time starting now. If you don’t you’ll keep screwing up. Eat strict starting now, done. Tinker with your macros but why not NOT gorge on anything and shoot middle of the road: maybe something like a 30 30 40 share of carb protein fat for starters? Or carb fat protein. Track all your eating with an online tracker so you know how many cals youre eating. Livestrong is easy and free. Be meticulous and do it for at least two weeks, pref one month plus. Then you’ll have an idea of your macros and cals. Then tinker more. Keep us updated, we can be surprisingly helpful.

I went line for line and tried to address your issues as accurately as possible, please don't think I'm a dick, just trying to be straight with you.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:58 PM

oh and this might sound weird since youre a chef but cook all your meals. never eat out.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:19 AM

Thank you! I was thing so much about that. I know TKD, CKD etc but that one stumped me. ED? I thought erectile dysfunction but the OP isn't a dude.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:10 AM

I believe PSMF = Protein Sparing Modified Fast

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on June 28, 2011
at 11:37 PM

so...ED is short for eating disorder i had for over 10 years which is why i no longer track my weight or food or macros because it was obsessive and got me nowhere weight wise. I am also not looking to lose weight, I am at an ideal weight now I just don't want to gain and the eating poorly one meal a week was after I finished my first attempt almost a year ago and just means I had too much fatty, sugary "chef" desserts (re: flourless chocolate cake). I eat no sugar now ever and the only dairy I have it when I have to taste food at work (so butter or full fat cheese) and it's not a lot.

0
1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 27, 2011
at 01:25 AM

  • stop routinely exercising, go casual with it. not everyday. walking is good, slow, use it to be in the sun and reflect and calm down. swimming is prolly fine but 45 mins is excessive. go for a 5-10 min swim after work or someting a couple days a week. that is it

  • you have to sit still more, and eat more often. your hormones will regulate themselves when they feel you are sedentary enough to hold a child

  • you need to keep your insulin levels elevated, not high, but elevated meaning eat more often.

  • dont go to bed with a full stomach. get sleep and a lot of it. even try to sneak in naps during the day. eat breakfast, a big one

knowing you know lyles work, the man is a downright genius i agree with everything he has written, you need a DIET BREAK. it is one of the posts on his website. this means at least 2-3 weeks of NO MOVEMENT, no exercising, and at or above maintenance calories without holds on LC or HC, just zone-like ratios. you should IMO continue that until you restore your period

not to harp, but a female doing the PSMF is prolly the most detrimental diet you could have chosen due to its stress response on the body. VLC = stress, high protein = stress, VLC + exercise= more stress. not eating enough=stress. as long as you continue to stress your body your body will continue to fight back with weight gain. its only trying to HELP you by adding weight- be nice to it

as someone who has gone 7 years witout a period, i really really would like to stress to you the damage you are doing to your body by not getting your lifestyle and stress under control. the amount of bone density and well being you lose each month without your period is taking years off the span of your life.

Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on June 27, 2011
at 08:47 PM

I appreciate the comment, but I need to emphasize that this period loss isn't new nor is it singularly related to the PSMF. I have had irregular periods since I began menstruating and even lost it for 9 months when I was 15 until they put me on BC and that was after I had started a break from swimming. I am very aware of what stress of all forms leads to- I have an AI because of it although I managed to put it into remission with diet and greatly decreased exercise. I am interested in how to get more information in regulating the hormones.

0
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 26, 2011
at 05:20 PM

Is Cheffing as stressful as it looks on TV? Marco Pierre White is dreamy, but he looks like hell. Lady friend, I think you are trying to do too much! No cycle? Me either. I'm no endo, but stress (cortisol steals those sex hormones) can wipe out those monthly cycles but good. Me? I'd go for some dinnertime carbs for sure. You've got to stomp out those stress hormones.

Also, about learning about leptin, read the Rosedale Diet and Mastering Leptin - good resources. Mastering Leptin's author has a site here where you can learn more www.wellnessresources.com.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 26, 2011
at 06:34 PM

Yes? Have you spotted more???

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:27 PM

Totally - I listen to a broad range of podcasts - I take all of them with a bit of salt - but he puts out good stuff!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 26, 2011
at 05:56 PM

and the midrif game continues

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:25 PM

actually byron richards' podcast is worth listening to. if you can remember to take it with many grains of the finest sea salt.

-1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 26, 2011
at 05:49 PM

I would continue to exercise. It sounds like you have that correct. You might describe your workouts in more detail.

Answer Question


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