12

votes

If you were a 300lb+ hormone wreck and got sorted out with Paleo, do you eat a lot now?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 28, 2012 at 12:16 AM

I'm curious if anyone else was one of those 300+lb hormone wrecks, got sorted out with Paleo (and/or) help from a good dr, got good blood numbers, but to stay at a reasonable weight, you don't eat near as much as everyone else you know?

This is what happened in my case. I was over 300, had ugly blood numbers, got to 200, and labs are great. Still I'm pretty sure I don't average 1,500 cal a day, usually less. I do normal breakfast of bacon eggs, and avocado, lite lunch, and usually a few scoops of Greek yogurt and nothing else in the evening. I feel fine. (m/51)

My drs site has some tech articles about patients that did extreme calorie restriction or yoyo dieting and even if they get metabolic markers optimized, they still have damaged metabolisms and have low calorie requirements for years.

I should mention that I didn't start out full on Paleo at 300+. I was on a lot of meds and probably eating more protein than fat but very low carb, and this worked fine until about 210. I read up on Paleo and find that it helps when what I was doing before stopped working.

Anyone else experience this?

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 29, 2012
at 06:02 AM

Also, DFH, I think the "20%" Sharma cites is a baseline number that for some, yes, is greater than 20%. I suspect this is especially likely to be found among us "big losers."

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 29, 2012
at 06:00 AM

Wow! Amazing loss!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 29, 2012
at 05:59 AM

Amazing, amazing, amazing, Firestorm. You have my great respect and admiration. And I think in this, for all of us, "you're not alone" means so much. Hang in there!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 29, 2012
at 05:57 AM

Missy Lynn - You are a peach, as ever and a wise peach at that!!! :)

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 29, 2012
at 05:56 AM

Glad you experienced some of the info as helpful. Great re: down loading Phinney's book. You won't be sorry!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 28, 2012
at 09:35 PM

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19785688

393c5247e468f6460d823afcf26c89b1

(80)

on February 28, 2012
at 07:19 PM

That's a fantastic weight loss, Firestorm! Don't be disturbed too much by the 15lbs gain, you caught it, you are fixing it, that's life. I went from 247 down to 160, back up to 180, back down to 150, back up to 160 then pushed down to all time low of 136 and now hover in the 140-145 range comfortably.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on February 28, 2012
at 06:48 PM

I'm downloading the Phinney book right now. I read about it, just never picked it up. I like this quote from Sharma (second link above) "...One of the key underlying problems is that when people lose weight, their energy expenditure does not simply fall to that of the energy expenditure of a person ‘naturally’ at that lower weight - it drops to levels far greater than expected. Thus, a formerly-obese person burns 20% less calories than a never-obese person of that lower weight..." I was thinking the number to be about that too, maybe 30%.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on February 28, 2012
at 06:43 PM

Pretty low nutrient density there...maybe you could add in some steamed vegetables or something to address that without adding in much energy.

393c5247e468f6460d823afcf26c89b1

(80)

on February 28, 2012
at 06:07 PM

It's exactly why I came out of my lurker place for you DFH. I have questioned myself too many times over the years. ~I~ lost this weight. ~I~ have kept it off. Who knows better than me how to do it? No one, that's who. I am open to new ideas and I have tried different macro levels and different exercise levels. I have allowed "gurus" and authors to make me feel like I was DOING IT WRONG, but you can't argue with success. Trust yourself.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on February 28, 2012
at 05:58 PM

This is what I was looking for also. Some others with the same experience. No wonder it's hard to keep it off! Don't you get sick of people telling you don't eat enough?! I have been working on a path out of a low-carb stall for the formerly huge folks, and more low carb doesn't seem to be the answer, it's less food-assuming you went through the keto-adapted phase and stay there. All these people saying eat MORE have never been there, done that.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on February 28, 2012
at 11:31 AM

Last one-my doc still has me on a ton of meds and supplements. If you click my profile and read the website there is a list. I'm doing 10K IU Vit D3, and omega 3 fish oil, and some other things (DHEA etc) plus pure T3 thyroid and testosterone cypionate. Again,blood work is great now.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on February 28, 2012
at 11:27 AM

Nice answer thanks! I didn't add a lot of detail to the qusetion but I've been experimenting a lot too, and we are just talking about the last 20 lb anyway. I think it should be 180 and it's at 200. Since I migrated to Paleo things are starting to work again. I just have the low calorie requirements and it looks like I'm not the only one. I think if you become keto adapted, low carb has done what it's going to do. Lower carbs more wont make you more keto adapted.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on February 28, 2012
at 04:50 AM

DFH, I'll respond more fully tomorrow, but for now just a quick note to second mem's recommendation of Phinney and Volek's book. It's excellent.

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5 Answers

12
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 28, 2012
at 04:08 AM

http://www.drsharma.ca/obesity-why-diet-and-exercise-is-not-a-treatment-for-obesity.html

http://www.drsharma.ca/obesitywhy-is-it-so-hard-to-maintain-a-reduced-body-weight.html

http://www.gnolls.org/2407/when-satiety-fails-why-are-we-hungry-part-4/

"In reality, because of the obligatory homeostatic counter-regulation that occurs with weight loss, to sustain this degree of weight loss, patients would need to maintain a diet that is generally well over 500 KCal less than they started out with. Always remember, that many of the successful weight-loss maintainers of the National Weight Control Registry are surviving on 1200-1400 KCal per day! (not very different from the effective caloric intake of a post-bariatric surgery patient)."

http://www.drsharma.ca/when-will-health-professionals-understand-obesity.html

I don't feel much like writing tonight, but wanted to answer your question, so have supplied what I feel are excellent sources of info. Do not be discouraged, but DO be realistic, as it sounds like you are. It is my belief that over time, and I mean years, some healing can occur. I personally believe that this takes alot of careful experimentation and optimizing and highly consistent clean, paleo, and in your case, as a low carber, continued low carb eating.

Are you taking any supplements? I fall on the side of the argument that those who are or have been obese need consistent, high quality supplementation. In your case, I'd recommend a baseline of something like GNC's UltraMega Gold for men over 50 or very active men. I would also suggest additional zinc and magnesium in the form of mag citrate or gycinate, probably 400mg/day. Citrate will help move stool if that is an issue for you. As well, for many, it is calming and induces sleepiness if sleep is an issue. Vitamin D at 5,000/day and then get your level checked in 3 months. The GNC is quite comprehensive except for the amounts of the above cited. However, I do believe they have increased their D to 1800 now, so figure that into the amount of D you take.

I also would recommend a high quality Omega3 at 2-3GMs, like Barleans brand or Carlsons. Studies are not conclusive, but there has been good research showing a thermogenic effect as well as the other positive effects you may be aware of re: joints, anxiety/mood, heart, eye, etc. If you like cold water fish, that would obviously be a good thing to eat for 2-3 meals/week. CQ10 200mg/day would be good to consider, especially in light of your illness history and meds you might have been taking. I also take a slow releaseVit C 1000mg/day.

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2010/06/low-micronutrient-intake-may-contribute.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkdFkPxxDG8

The youtube talk ^^^ by Steve Phinney, MD is excellent. If you don't have his book, The Art and Science of Low Carb Living, buy it!!!!

There are a number of good and some excellent big weight loss maintainers blogs on the net. Barbara Berkeley's: Refuse to Regain is an excellent physician blog with a wide audience of maintainers.

My very favorite is: Debra's Just Maintaining. It is now not active as she has gone on to other pursuits, but is really of extraordinary high quality and has lots of high quality science as well. It is a difficult blog for some people because the truth of big weight loss maintenance is a fairly harsh and well kept secret, but if you can glide past the angry tone in some posts, it is really worth reading, practically in its entirety.

My own history is that I am a 58 year old female low carber who "clean" low carbed 99=02.I was 240lbs and lost to 145-148 originally and have been maintaining that approx90lb loss since 02. I stumbled into "paleo" in late 09 or early 10. I have lost additional weight over the last approx 1.5 years and am now 130-132 at 5'6".

You didn't mention any exercise?

Sorry this has been a sort of chaotic/ramble, but I am mentally tired tonight!

Hang in there. There are other low carb maintainers here who have lost and maintain large amounts of weight. Their experience can be helpful to you!

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on February 28, 2012
at 11:27 AM

Nice answer thanks! I didn't add a lot of detail to the qusetion but I've been experimenting a lot too, and we are just talking about the last 20 lb anyway. I think it should be 180 and it's at 200. Since I migrated to Paleo things are starting to work again. I just have the low calorie requirements and it looks like I'm not the only one. I think if you become keto adapted, low carb has done what it's going to do. Lower carbs more wont make you more keto adapted.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on February 28, 2012
at 06:48 PM

I'm downloading the Phinney book right now. I read about it, just never picked it up. I like this quote from Sharma (second link above) "...One of the key underlying problems is that when people lose weight, their energy expenditure does not simply fall to that of the energy expenditure of a person ‘naturally’ at that lower weight - it drops to levels far greater than expected. Thus, a formerly-obese person burns 20% less calories than a never-obese person of that lower weight..." I was thinking the number to be about that too, maybe 30%.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on February 28, 2012
at 11:31 AM

Last one-my doc still has me on a ton of meds and supplements. If you click my profile and read the website there is a list. I'm doing 10K IU Vit D3, and omega 3 fish oil, and some other things (DHEA etc) plus pure T3 thyroid and testosterone cypionate. Again,blood work is great now.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 29, 2012
at 06:02 AM

Also, DFH, I think the "20%" Sharma cites is a baseline number that for some, yes, is greater than 20%. I suspect this is especially likely to be found among us "big losers."

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 29, 2012
at 05:56 AM

Glad you experienced some of the info as helpful. Great re: down loading Phinney's book. You won't be sorry!

8
393c5247e468f6460d823afcf26c89b1

on February 28, 2012
at 05:43 PM

I was previously 5'2" and 247lbs, so I think that compares to where you were since I am so short. I lost most of my weight non-Paleo, but going Paleo fixed my high blood pressure and I was able to drop my meds. I am 40 and female.

I have been eating ~1200 calories per day for the last 7 years. If I go over 1400 calories consistently, I gain. I am often told that it isn't right or it's not enough calories, but for the formerly obese things are just different. Our bodies are constantly fighting to get back where they were. I wish I could eat more, I really do. People also try to tell me that if I ate the "right" food then I could eat more. Sorry, also not true, for me. I've eaten high fat, high protein, higher carb and in the end, I just can't eat more than the calories my body likes. My current macros are 1200 calories / less than 75g carbs / around 100 grams of protein and I don't count the fat. It just kind of ends up where it ends up.

It took me about 5 years to lose the weight and I've been maintaining for 2 years. It's never going to be easy or effortless for me, but it's worth it.

Awesome job losing the weight! Bottom line to me is to do what works for you. Don't worry about what other people tell you should work and don't feel like you did it wrong because it doesn't fit the "norm". Only about 3% of formerly obese people keep the weight off, obviously the right answers aren't that easy.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 29, 2012
at 05:57 AM

Missy Lynn - You are a peach, as ever and a wise peach at that!!! :)

393c5247e468f6460d823afcf26c89b1

(80)

on February 28, 2012
at 06:07 PM

It's exactly why I came out of my lurker place for you DFH. I have questioned myself too many times over the years. ~I~ lost this weight. ~I~ have kept it off. Who knows better than me how to do it? No one, that's who. I am open to new ideas and I have tried different macro levels and different exercise levels. I have allowed "gurus" and authors to make me feel like I was DOING IT WRONG, but you can't argue with success. Trust yourself.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on February 28, 2012
at 05:58 PM

This is what I was looking for also. Some others with the same experience. No wonder it's hard to keep it off! Don't you get sick of people telling you don't eat enough?! I have been working on a path out of a low-carb stall for the formerly huge folks, and more low carb doesn't seem to be the answer, it's less food-assuming you went through the keto-adapted phase and stay there. All these people saying eat MORE have never been there, done that.

5
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on February 28, 2012
at 06:13 PM

I don't have much to add to Missy Lynn's and mem's great answers, but I just wanted to add my support and congratulations, and also pontificate a bit on the issue of getting advice from people who haven't been obese.

I was obese but not morbidly so (220 lbs, 5'6"), and battled weight my whole life. Family history of obesity going back generations, etc. After stalling on very low-carb at around 190 for a couple years, I tried zero-carb eating, and that finally, thankfully worked for me. Like Missy Lynn with her calories, though, I find I have no wiggle room at all with carbs -- not only do I gain weight at over 5g/day, but the joint pain that went away with ZC comes back quickly and terribly.

However, I don't know how long my good fortune will last. I've only been at my current weight (155) since December 2009, and I seem to float up and down around 5 pounds in each direction on a semi-monthly basis, for reasons that are unclear to me. I do live in some fear that my fat will come roaring back despite my "clean" diet, but what else I can do other than keep on keepin' on isn't obvious.

I don't unequivocally recommend specific carb ratios, calorie counts, supplements or any other strategy to anyone else because I've been around enough dieters and diet boards, including this one, to really get that people respond very differently to the same diet. I didn't want to believe that--we're all one species, after all--but unless a whole bunch of people are lying, it's clear that low-carbing isn't the magical solution for everyone, just as calorie-cutting wasn't for me (I had to cut down to 500 cals/day to lose any weight back when I did "regular" low-fat dieting).

Anyway, congratulations on your great weight loss! And yes, please ignore the people who are certain you're doing it wrong and they've got the solution for the last bit of weight, or your long-term maintenance. Even people who've done it themselves -- you're not living in their body, but in yours. The only real strategy to pursue is careful monitoring and tinkering, and observing how your body responds to changes, one isolated variable (to the extent possible) at a time.

4
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on February 28, 2012
at 06:49 PM

I, too, have a large quantity of weight loss, and a small "credit" for calories. I started out at 450 lbs about 2.5 years ago, and dropped down to 275. A bad, sedentary winter and multiple illnesses and medications (and yes -- far less attention to my nutrition than I usually maintain) brought me a ~15 lb gain in the past quarter (I usually weigh once per quarter). This was...disturbing. I actually got up the nerve to post on it earlier. In the end, in order to get past the side effects of the medications, the reduced mobility, and the recurrent illness, I've had to pay super-close attention to my diet, and I absolutely HAVE to keep track of my calorie intake and adjust it to my activity level.

You're not alone. Make sure you nourish your body as well as you can, and congratulations. What you've done is an achievement, and shows a great deal of (as my mother used to put it) "intestinal fortitude". My dad just called it "guts". (f/49/292/5'5")

393c5247e468f6460d823afcf26c89b1

(80)

on February 28, 2012
at 07:19 PM

That's a fantastic weight loss, Firestorm! Don't be disturbed too much by the 15lbs gain, you caught it, you are fixing it, that's life. I went from 247 down to 160, back up to 180, back down to 150, back up to 160 then pushed down to all time low of 136 and now hover in the 140-145 range comfortably.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 29, 2012
at 05:59 AM

Amazing, amazing, amazing, Firestorm. You have my great respect and admiration. And I think in this, for all of us, "you're not alone" means so much. Hang in there!

3
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 28, 2012
at 08:21 PM

I was a male, 430lb hormone wreck (Test: 108 ng/dL) and went on hormone therapy. To be fair, the low test was more a result of an injury I sustained as a kid (untreated vericocele) and not so much the obesity, although that (and rather frequent binge drinking) didn't help.

I couldn't afford the treatments (insurance didn't cover it so I had to pay cash) so I went off them and went to paleo.

Paleo + Strength Training for a few years, I now have levels still considered on the lower end of normal (480ng/dL) but not so abysmal (having been on therapy and receiving synthetic hormones meant it took me about 2 years to really recover) but the loss of 100lbs of bodyfat, the increase of sunlight and strength training has vastly improved my test levels.

To answer your question, I ate a lot during my initial Paleo transformation. I eat less now, but that's mostly due to how efficiently fat-adjusted I am and how much satiety I get from my meals. I still feast from time-to-time, but probably only once a month where I exceed 3200cals/daily.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on February 29, 2012
at 06:00 AM

Wow! Amazing loss!

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