I do paleo for 1.5+ years now, and I will continue doing so for life, for health reasons. In that time, I also did paleo-ketogenic for a few months too. I have lost very little weight in all that time (15 lbs), I'm still obese (must lose another 40-45 lbs). I can only lose weight if I calorie-restrict myself below 1100 calories a day. The problem is that I can't keep that for more than 3 days. Yes, I do eat enough fat, and I restrict my carbs, and I eat fermented foods, good fats, offal, and all the shebang. I'm not interested to talk about my macros, or what I eat in the morning, or if i have reset my leptin. I'm not new to paleo, keto or low carb, and I read a lot around here too, for years now.
My question is different instead: Is it possible, when you have malabsorption like me, and you can't fix it anymore (10 years of undetected celiac has destroyed me inside), for your brain to keep asking for food all the time, thinking that I didn't have enough to eat? Is it possible that when I give in, and I eat what my body asks of me (usually between 1700 and 2000 calories per day), that my body stores all this energy (keeping me fat), even if certain nutrients don't make it through as they should? If that's so, how do I fix the chicken and the egg problem? I simply can't lose weight unless I also calorie-restrict, in addition to paleo-keto, and I can't calorie-restrict because I get super-hungry, and my thyroid starts acting up badly (I fall into a sort of hybernation, and get really cold -- no problems when I eat normal paleo though, up to 100 gr of net carbs per day/2000 cals).
Some more info: I'm sedentary because I'm super tired all the time, especially after I eat (eg after eating eggs/bacon with no/few carbs for breakfast). I'm constantly tired and hungry. My triglycerides are near 200, still have a fatty liver, and that's after Paleo too! Please give me some clues to this last problem I'm facing. I fixed many health problems with Paleo, but that's the last one that persists.
asked byEugenia (11697)
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on April 20, 2013
at 09:51 PM
Could you give a brief summary of what you eat in a typical day?
on April 20, 2013
at 01:15 PM
Eugina, you would be a perfect candidate for the Sprint 8 protocol by Phil Campbell. You don't need to buy anything for this, and you can do it in a pool, on an elliptical, bike, plyometrics or running(though I don't recommend running). If you have some time to watch this then I encourage you to watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geVJqKCFk-c&feature=youtube_gdata_player , read this http://www.kdmc.org/obesity_research_1.html and watch the 1:02:40-1:20:00 section of this biochem explanation by MD Doug McGuff here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PdJFbjWHEU&feature=youtube_gdata_player . If you have any more questions about the protocol I could talk to you all day about it in the comments below. Seriously though, you are the perfect candidate for something like this.
The reason you only lose weight when you go to severe calorie restriction is quite possibly because that's where you start losing muscle mass =. I think severe calorie restriction is one of the worse things people can do to their body. You want to be healthy and vibrant and strong , you don't want to create a state of internal starvation where your body breaks down muscles and organs because it CAN'T mobilize fat cells!!!
on April 21, 2013
at 05:26 AM
It strikes me that a focus on losing weight is addressing the symptoms not the root cause. I'm thinking that as you are suffering from malabsorption your body is not getting the nutrients it needs to heal itself, which in turn means it can't fix the cause of the malabsorption so you are stuck in a vicious cycle. Perhaps figuring out other ways of getting the nutrients into your body is a way to break the cycle? Have you tried or considered injections of, for example, essential vitamins?
Just came across this article, thought it might shed some light on the possible root causes:
So when we hear about those studies that talk about how second and third generation immigrants in a new land suffer from diseases unknown to their parents and grandparents ??? and fast food and diet in general are blamed ??? we might also want to ask if their gut microbiome is missing some important ???old friends.??? Has their birth in a new land ??? presumably one that is less wormy and less likely to promote the transfer of ancestral microbes between family members ??? shifted their gut microbiome just enough to invite some truly human-made diseases.
on April 20, 2013
at 02:50 PM
From what I understand, excess fat cells can mess up your hunger signals even if you lose the fat they contain. Along with a malabsorption problem, it makes sense to me that you are in a challenging place.
You might want to check out Alternate Day Fasting. It's not a complete fast; you calorie-restrict every other day and eat to satiety on the alternate days. Several women over on the Marks Daily Apple forum are having success with this. Here's the link to the thread and the info on the protocol they are (loosely) following.
Weight training twice a week for 10-20 min will help you build some muscle mass to keep your metabolism up. Also, gentle walking for 30-60 min will really help. This book has been really helpful to my clients if you can get it: http://www.amazon.com/Strong-Women-Stay-Miriam-Nelson/dp/0553379453
Personally, I would save Stephen's great sprint suggestion for when you have lost most of the excess weight & are feeling better. I have seen too many clients injure themselves by running before they are ready.
on April 20, 2013
at 07:28 PM
Eugenia, I have an answer to your question - it is different from everybody else's, I have checked.
I believe that you have the same problem as I do and ALL your problems, including weight problem stem from it - a messed up gut. That's what made you celiac, that's what keeps you tired, etc. etc.
The answer is NOT to restrict your caloric intake. The answer is to change your gut flora, and that is easily said than done. Goat kefir is wonderful, but it might be so messed up that goat kefir is just a band-aide and it cannot help to heal the wound.
Again, I am not a doctor, but this is where I would start:
A comprehensible stool analysis to see what exactly is wrong.
A very good doctor who is experienced in recovering gut flora/ an immunologist. A fecal transplant could be an answer here too.
Multiple measures, a variety of approaches and combination therapy that would help you to recover your gut flora, including conventional medical treatment, boosting your immune system, etc.
There is only one diet that REALLY helps me, but it is so restrictive - I cannot keep up for longer than 3 months. Fish, meat and low FODmap vegetables. That's it. Nothing else.
I am myself struggling with trying to get my gut flora in order. If I figure out what to do and how to do it, I will let you know.
Good luck! And thank you for your thoughtful and sweet answers.
on April 20, 2013
at 04:22 PM
Eugenia, I also love reading your answers, and all the wonderful insight you have on traditional foods in Greece. I'm kind of in the same place as you, to a degree. I am finally not at an "obese" bmi, but still at an "overweight" one. I walk/cycle/rollerblade at a slow pace 3-4 hours a week. I do crossfit 2 hours a week (which I love, and have definitely converted some fat to muscle. It may not be the perfect exercise, but I enjoy it enough to go every week, so I'm sticking with it for now).
However, I am still "fat." And no, I don't have an eating disorder. :) I have massive amounts of cellulite on my thighs that won't budge. I have so much fat on my upper arms that I can't even pinch it, lol. I have a roll on my stomach that may never go away (okay, that's probably from birthing 4 children, and I can live with that one).
My weight hasn't budged in 3 years, in spite of trying everything under the sun, including being 100% paleo for over half of that time, and 90% the rest of the time. At the very beginning of my paleo journey I ate 3000 cal a day, and lost a bunch of weight. When I plateaued I started dropping the cals, now down to 1500-1700 a day, but no change. If I go under that I'm starving and more likely to make bad food choices. I've tried every macro from keto to high carb. No difference.
So in answer to your question, yes, I think our bodies can be permanently damaged. Well, in my mind I have decided to call it the "20 year healing plan." Which is basically my way of saying I plan to eat this way for life, and hope that REALLY long term I may start to see some healing and changes. I grew up with processed food literally EVERY meal of every day. I don't think it's exaggerating to say that might cause permanent damage. I was also born with some digestive issues that required surgery, so I think I have some genetic baggage, maybe coupled with surgery scars, etc.
Of course I'm stubborn so I always have something on the list to try next. Up next are (1) IF, which I've been doing, and actually dropped half a pound last week; but I'm not holding my breath on that one. (2) alternate day fasting, as per dragonfly. (3) once a week fasting. (4) starting to toy with supplements more, starting with the list from the Perfect Health Diet. I did have some success with my appetite being controlled when I started magnesium (it also lifted my mood), so I'm hoping to find at least some small successes. Of course the malabsorption is a factor here, but I'm hoping I can figure out some ways to help that, maybe by combining with certain foods. (Need to do more research on this idea.) I have been taking more enzymes lately, and one thing I figured out was to take them in the middle of my meal (not at the beginning or end), and that has made a big difference.
on April 20, 2013
at 08:28 PM
I'd suggest you to get Jack Kruse's book the Epi-Paleo RX. Ok, I know many people here don't like him and that they could jump to my throat for saying this, and I can more or less understand why they might not like him but frankly if you read the book, IMHO there's a lot of invaluable info about how the body works. You can read the blog posts also but they are dense, the book is pretty well explained and all put up quite nicely. My current position for now is that it is a must.
I say this because for what you describe it seems you could discover new ways to look at your issues. He discuses why many people cannot make use of their own fat reserves, how to heal the gut (this seems top priority for you), he makes detailed explanation on why chronic inflammation is so bad (and I think you can suffer from this because not using body fat properly + feeling always tired + high triglyceride levels... all points in that direction).
You said you didn't want to hear about leptin resistance but if what he thinks is true... it may be the key. He also explains what blood work is important to understand what is going on and how you can interpret it... and much more, for me this is amazing.
Frankly, I think it pays off to get a copy and read it at least once.
on April 20, 2013
at 04:31 PM
Two keywords you said: "I'm sedentary" Fix that. In my experience, my body condition primarily follows my activity level. HIIT is fine, as Stephen points out, but probably unnecessary. Simply increasing aggregate activity will help.