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Old 04-25-2013, 03:03 AM   #1
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Ramblings and Laments

Long time lurker, and dabbler in low carb for over a decade, now on this diet w/ my 16yo son, who has epilepsy and is successfully treating his seizure disorder w/ this diet. It works! He is completely off his meds, which made him crazy, and has no seizures if he is in ketosis. I am so lucky that I found this forum!!! Reading all the posts here has helped tweak things so my son stays in ketosis (ie, learning about gluconeogenesis, which causes him to fall out of ketosis and have seizures, so now he avoids eating too much protein at one sitting), and has given me great ideas for interesting snacks and meals so he doesn't feel deprived. He has never looked or felt better. I am so grateful to you all! He is enrolled in a Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures at Childrens Hosp in Seattle and is being monitored by a nutritionist and neurologist.

My 11yo son volunteered to do the diet too, and loves it. Now that is amazing! Both boys keto-adapted easily.

I, however, didn't lose an ounce for a couple of months so I ramped up the fat to macros appropriate for NK, and gained 10lbs in one month. It happened so fast, and most of it abdominal fat, that I feel soooo uncomfortable and like there's a foreign object attached to my belly. And that was on 1200-1600 calories per day, 65-90% fat, <5% carbs, the rest protein. Now holding steady for a couple months at the highest weight of my life, but at least no longer gaining.

Do you think my metabolism was too damaged from a lifetime of abuse that I will never lose weight? There is no question that I will stick w/ this diet, as it is so important for my son and I have to support him in this.

Thank you all for forming this great community and for reading!
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:43 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by tntne3 View Post
Long time lurker, and dabbler in low carb for over a decade, now on this diet w/ my 16yo son, who has epilepsy and is successfully treating his seizure disorder w/ this diet. It works! He is completely off his meds, which made him crazy, and has no seizures if he is in ketosis. I am so lucky that I found this forum!!! Reading all the posts here has helped tweak things so my son stays in ketosis (ie, learning about gluconeogenesis, which causes him to fall out of ketosis and have seizures, so now he avoids eating too much protein at one sitting), and has given me great ideas for interesting snacks and meals so he doesn't feel deprived. He has never looked or felt better. I am so grateful to you all! He is enrolled in a Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures at Childrens Hosp in Seattle and is being monitored by a nutritionist and neurologist.

My 11yo son volunteered to do the diet too, and loves it. Now that is amazing! Both boys keto-adapted easily.

I, however, didn't lose an ounce for a couple of months so I ramped up the fat to macros appropriate for NK, and gained 10lbs in one month. It happened so fast, and most of it abdominal fat, that I feel soooo uncomfortable and like there's a foreign object attached to my belly. And that was on 1200-1600 calories per day, 65-90% fat, <5% carbs, the rest protein. Now holding steady for a couple months at the highest weight of my life, but at least no longer gaining.

Do you think my metabolism was too damaged from a lifetime of abuse that I will never lose weight? There is no question that I will stick w/ this diet, as it is so important for my son and I have to support him in this.

Thank you all for forming this great community and for reading!
Hi there! Welcome to the boards... it's great to have you!

First off, I want to say that's FANTASTIC news about your son! Well done in getting that under control and going the extra mile to do that research... I honestly never knew that seizures could be ceased by sticking to a ketogenic diet. I'm really glad you guys found something that would work to keep him healthy that wouldn't affect his personality like that, because believe me... I know how pharmaceuticals are after being on enough of them in my life. If I can avoid them and find a more natural option, I advocate doing that as well!

As far as your weight loss/weight gain issues go... no, I definitely don't think your metabolism is just that badly shot that you can't lose weight anymore. Believe me... I was a yo-yo dieter to the max, and I have PCOS with insulin resistance AND hypothyroidism... and I can still lose. I think you're safe

First thing's first... how old are you, do you have any underlying medical conditions, and how tall are you? Age can play a factor in how quickly we lose weight, as can medical conditions obviously. I ask for your height so we can know an appropriate "ideal" weight for your size. I also urge you to find your frame size if you don't know what it is already by checking out the first couple posts on the monthly April thread. If we know your height and your frame size, we can easily figure out how many grams of protein are appropriate for your frame size

My first thought when I heard about how your belly is right now (the uncomfortable, almost bloated feeling) it sounded like how I was before I cut out wheat/gluten... but with those macros, I'm not sure you could be eating any. Are you eating any wheat or gluten products at all? Or anything with MSG or something sneaky like that in there? If you are, that would be my first suggestion is to cut those things out. Lots of us have issues with wheat/gluten!

My second thought is dairy. Do you ever have an inflammatory response from dairy? You may need to cut your intake down if you do.

Alternatively, have you ever tried drinking Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar in a tall glass of water? I drink 3 or 4 glasses a day, and this helps to keep excess water weight off as well as minimize bloating from sodium intake because I'm someone who's very prone to bloating. It has a whole bunch of other health benefits as well, INCLUDING the treatment of low stomach acid (a common problem in adults that causes dairy intolerance, occasional acid reflux, etc) so you may want to check that out too. As a woman, if you're still experiencing your monthly cycle it does help with that bloating too as well as cramping!

Check out this thread if you're interested in learning more about that: ACV Tonic - Color Me Surprised

And this one as well for some extra reading: Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and potassium levels

My next thought would be... do you take any supplements? If not, I highly recommend taking a good multi as well as magnesium (the BEST supplement there is, imo) as well as potassium (if you're not on BP meds!). All very very important to keeping our bodies running efficiently, especially on LC diets

My recommendation beyond that would be to try and keep your fat closer to the 80% mark, because when you're at 65% you're likely getting too much protein and when you're at 90% you may not be getting enough. But that "too much protein" could be kicking you out of ketosis! We'll know more when we know your height and frame size though, and be able to advise further on that.

Also, I would up your calories as well. I think you're eating at too large of a deficit to lose weight. Are you active at all, or sedentary? If you stuck to the upper tier of your calorie range (1600) daily you may see losses, but 1200 is FAR too small an amount for NK and likely why you've been having no luck too. I know it's scary when you're gaining weight to think about adding more calories, but believe me... at my size, when I was eating 1200-1300 calories a day every day, I couldn't lose ANYTHING. When I upped my calories to 1500-1600 I saw movement. Definitely give it a shot!

Reddarin will be able to advise you more closely on calories and give you a better estimate... I bet it'll be right around where I'm eating, or maybe even a little higher since I've got medical issues working against me. Calories still elude me somewhat, but he's a genius

Anyway, I hope some of that managed to help you out a little and hopefully we can help you some more to figure out what's going on! You can go ahead and post a sample menu if you want too so we can take a look at what you're eating on a typical day as well, but I think we'd get a pretty good idea of what's going on once we figure out your height/frame size and the right level of calories for you
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:02 AM   #3
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Thanks so much for the reply.

I'm 5' 7", small to medium frame, 46yo, and I have a very sedentary job, tho I walk to work and back and do yoga. I estimate my protein requirements at about 75-80g. No medical conditions.

I feel pretty good except for the discomfort from the belly. My belly is not so much bloated, but like a solid mass stuck to my front. It's bizarre. And now I get indigestion sometimes when I eat a lot fat.

I do all the supplementing that you suggest, also take ACV, probiotics, am consistantly in ketosis, have been grain-free/gluten-free for years.

One thing I haven't tried is giving up dairy. I will try it, starting tomorrow (just hwc in my coffee is all).

Thanks for mentioning the dairy thing....it's been on my list of things to try.

This diet has been life-changing for my family! I got my son back from the fog and depression, etc caused by pharmaceutical drugs, and a lifelong battle w/ seizures. Btw, the local neuro would not recommend this diet because he said "it is unhealthy, and it doesn't work, and he doesn't know anything about it anyway".

I totally believe this is how people everywhere should eat for health and optiimal brain function, so if I never lose a pound I'm cool w/ it.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:08 AM   #4
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tntne3

I am one who gained 10 pounds when I lowered protein and upped the fat too.

Once I was truly in NK, I had to drop the fat in my diet in order to let my body use my own fat for weight loss happen. I increased calories in the beginning and I too gained 10 pounds quickly. It took months of hard work to lose that weight. Once I started testing blood ketones and found I wasn't in NK at all, I was able to change things and see results.

If you google "keto calculator", you can see a range of calories from BMR to maintenance. It shows you between 1400 and 1650. If you were eating close to 1600, you are like me and will gain weight. I have to stay at or below BMR to lose weight. You can also play with the numbers and see how it will effect your weight loss over 1 year.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:22 AM   #5
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Tntne3
Can I ask, Did you find the diet for your son or did the Drs recommend it? I ask because I think it is wonderful and so much healthier than drugs. Congratulations. I am so happy the diet is working for your sons.

Come on over and join us on the Nk thread. It's a great place.

High Fat NK 80/15/5 - April Version

Lots of people over there and we all help one another.

I don't know about your tummy issues but I gained some lean body mass when I switched to LC/NK.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:26 AM   #6
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I am one who gained 10 pounds when I lowered protein and upped the fat too.
For comparison, did you also experience the gain as she describes, like a bolted on plate of fat on her belly?
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:26 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tntne3 View Post
Long time lurker, and dabbler in low carb for over a decade, now on this diet w/ my 16yo son, who has epilepsy and is successfully treating his seizure disorder w/ this diet. It works! He is completely off his meds, which made him crazy, and has no seizures if he is in ketosis. I am so lucky that I found this forum!!! Reading all the posts here has helped tweak things so my son stays in ketosis (ie, learning about gluconeogenesis, which causes him to fall out of ketosis and have seizures, so now he avoids eating too much protein at one sitting), and has given me great ideas for interesting snacks and meals so he doesn't feel deprived. He has never looked or felt better. I am so grateful to you all! He is enrolled in a Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures at Childrens Hosp in Seattle and is being monitored by a nutritionist and neurologist.

My 11yo son volunteered to do the diet too, and loves it. Now that is amazing! Both boys keto-adapted easily.

I, however, didn't lose an ounce for a couple of months so I ramped up the fat to macros appropriate for NK, and gained 10lbs in one month. It happened so fast, and most of it abdominal fat, that I feel soooo uncomfortable and like there's a foreign object attached to my belly. And that was on 1200-1600 calories per day, 65-90% fat, <5% carbs, the rest protein. Now holding steady for a couple months at the highest weight of my life, but at least no longer gaining.

Do you think my metabolism was too damaged from a lifetime of abuse that I will never lose weight? There is no question that I will stick w/ this diet, as it is so important for my son and I have to support him in this.

Thank you all for forming this great community and for reading!
That is so wonderful about your son!

I don't know that I can help but I'll sure try.

"I, however, didn't lose an ounce for a couple of months so I ramped up the fat to macros appropriate for NK,"


How were you eating before you changed your macros?

"And that was on 1200-1600"


That is a really big swing in calories at that level of eating. Were you using a food logger? Was there a particular reason for the very low calorie days? Sick, busy, etc?

"and most of it abdominal fat"


When you say most of it what percentage would you attribute to being accumulated in your mid section and around the rest of your body (hips, thighs, butt, arms, etc.)? Has abdominal fat been an issue for you previously or is this a change from body fat proportionality?

What sort of fats were you eating to increase your fat macro? Veggie oils? Store bought mayo? Coconut oil? Butter? Did your added fat come mostly from a single source?

When you increased your fat did you experience any type of indigestion or heartburn?

"Now holding steady for a couple months at the highest weight of my life, but at least no longer gaining."


You changed your macros and gained 10 pounds in about a month. Did you continue with the macros that seem to have produced the weight gain or did you change them at the 30 day mark?

Were there any changes in your health during that month? Sickness or illness? When you were gaining how was your general sense of well being? Any stress events during this time?

Great comments and observations from Melanie. Continuing with your responses to her...

" probiotics,"


I'm not very knowledgeable about probiotics but I have a favorable opinion of them. Have you been taking them all along?

"am consistantly in ketosis"


Are you testing blood ketones or using the urine strips?

"Btw, the local neuro would not recommend this diet because he said "it is unhealthy, and it doesn't work, and he doesn't know anything about it anyway". "


lol! Doesn't the final part of that statement negate the former parts??? /bonk the doc.

Last edited by reddarin; 04-25-2013 at 11:28 AM.. Reason: added italics for readability
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:59 PM   #8
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Well thank you so much for the welcome!

frjlocarb, if you described your experience like a bolted on plate of fat on your belly, that's me too! Perfect description! I will read about your experience, if you don't mind.

reddarin, how did you know about the bolted on plate of fat? Ratio would be about 70% abdominal fat and 30% all over, tho I've always had some abd fat. I started gaining a few weeks after transitioning from paleo to keto, using a food logger, thought I was doing the diet perfectly (tho I never seemed to turn those ketostix purple), eating evco, mct oil, butter, too much cheese and hwc, but then it led to the plate-o-fat and heartburn from eating fat. Eliminated cheese a few weeks ago (it immediately makes me feel bad), and now no dairy at all. Other than the weight gain, I've been healthy. Now I'm consistantly in light ketosis per the ketostix, eating lower fat, and probably not eating nearly enough food, lots of raw low carb veggies. My son has his blood ketones tested at his appointments, and I never have, as we don't have a meter. I'll get back on track here shortly.

clueless, ref the drs recommending this diet...no, not one of my son's 4 previous neuros recommended it, in fact they all denegrated it. He failed 7 medications. After failure of the second medication, there is only 3% chance that another will work. I've known about the diet for seizure control for 8 years, but Ethan wasn't motivated to do it till last December. The craving for simple sugars was extremely strong for him. Thank goodness he is all in!!! You can't force this diet on anyone.

I am so grateful to you all for the support and kindness I'm feeling from you now. I'm motivated to continue, and just try to be a healthy as possible.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:25 AM   #9
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clueless, ref the drs recommending this diet...no, not one of my son's 4 previous neuros recommended it, in fact they all denegrated it. He failed 7 medications. After failure of the second medication, there is only 3% chance that another will work. I've known about the diet for seizure control for 8 years, but Ethan wasn't motivated to do it till last December. The craving for simple sugars was extremely strong for him. Thank goodness he is all in!!! You can't force this diet on anyone.

I am so grateful to you all for the support and kindness I'm feeling from you now. I'm motivated to continue, and just try to be a healthy as possible.

Congrats to you for finding the answer for your son. And congrats to your son for doing the hard work. Finding a cure for his seizures is amazing and wonderful!! And without the side effects of drugs!! This is so awesome and exciting!
There is a 4 yr old girl in our community going thru this. It is sad, Dr's are pushing meds of course.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:00 AM   #10
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frjlocarb, if you described your experience like a bolted on plate of fat on your belly, that's me too! Perfect description! I will read about your experience, if you don't mind.
You said you do not have any medical conditions but I think drjlocarb does have hypothyroidism. But it'd be very interesting to know if the weight gain was also in the abdominal area.

It could even indicate an undiagnosed condition.

Quote:
reddarin, how did you know about the bolted on plate of fat?
Purely from your description.

Quote:
Ratio would be about 70% abdominal fat and 30% all over, tho I've always had some abd fat. I started gaining a few weeks after transitioning from paleo to keto, using a food logger, thought I was doing the diet perfectly (tho I never seemed to turn those ketostix purple), eating evco, mct oil, butter, too much cheese and hwc, but then it led to the plate-o-fat and heartburn from eating fat. Eliminated cheese a few weeks ago (it immediately makes me feel bad), and now no dairy at all. Other than the weight gain, I've been healthy. Now I'm consistantly in light ketosis per the ketostix, eating lower fat, and probably not eating nearly enough food, lots of raw low carb veggies. My son has his blood ketones tested at his appointments, and I never have, as we don't have a meter. I'll get back on track here shortly.
Help me understand, when you transitioned from Paleo to NK did you change your calorie intake or just your macro composition?

The way you describe your weight gain makes me think there is something other than NK macros and calorie level that happened although clearly there is a correlation.

This in particular:

"and heartburn from eating fat"

...sticks out. Did this happen over time or was it right from the start? If you had a meal of any sort that was very high fat would it cause heartburn?

You mention that you have been GF/GF for years. Why? I mean was it something you read or do grains and gluten make you feel bad? Does anyone in the family have Celiac or Crohn's Disease?

You gained the weight within 30 days of going NK? Then maintained the gain for the last two months?
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:53 AM   #11
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Help me understand, when you transitioned from Paleo to NK did you change your calorie intake or just your macro composition?
I just upped the fat and lowered protein and kept carbs minimal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
The way you describe your weight gain makes me think there is something other than NK macros and calorie level that happened although clearly there is a correlation.

This in particular:

"and heartburn from eating fat"

...sticks out. Did this happen over time or was it right from the start? If you had a meal of any sort that was very high fat would it cause heartburn?
Occurred and increased over the month of weight gain, was pretty bad by the end of the month, has diminished w/ my lower fat intake, and was related to the amount of fat consumed. I have never gotten heartburn from fat before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
You mention that you have been GF/GF for years. Why? I mean was it something you read or do grains and gluten make you feel bad? Does anyone in the family have Celiac or Crohn's Disease?
Grains used to give me terrible heartburn, then for a while I had debilitating IBS type symptoms. But the pervasive brain fog was the worst. No grains, no symptoms. Yes, Crohn's Disease and lots of autoimmune and thyroid stuff in my family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
You gained the weight within 30 days of going NK? Then maintained the gain for the last two months?
Yes, still holding steady at my high, feeling a little better everyday, no more heartburn. I was going to post a macros breakdown, but yesterday I only consumed 562 calories, mostly raw vegetables and fat. What's the point of posting that? I figure I'm resetting or something. I'm thrilled that both of my boys are doing so amazingly well and so I don't dwell on myself too much, tho I guess it would be wise to get some bloodwork.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:08 AM   #12
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Well thank you so much for the welcome!

frjlocarb, if you described your experience like a bolted on plate of fat on your belly, that's me too! Perfect description! I will read about your experience, if you don't mind.

I started gaining a few weeks after transitioning from paleo to keto, using a food logger, thought I was doing the diet perfectly (tho I never seemed to turn those ketostix purple) My son has his blood ketones tested at his appointments, and I never have, as we don't have a meter. I'll get back on track here shortly.


I am so grateful to you all for the support and kindness I'm feeling from you now. I'm motivated to continue, and just try to be a healthy as possible.
I am so fat, it's hard to tell where the whole 10 pounds went. I went from 238 to 248. I dropped protein a bit and added lots of fat (calories) and gained FAST. I dropped the calories back some and lost a few pounds over several months (244).

I wasn't seeing much on the urine sticks either. I had to get a meter to help me get the right amount of protein and calories. When I started tracking, the protein was still too high, so I dropped to 88-90g and replaced those calories with fat. It took several weeks to get the blood ketones in the NK range. Once the ketones were high enough, I dropped the calories(fat grams) and let my body supply the missing fat grams and still register in the NK range, over 0.5. So far that is working and I am down to 228.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:04 AM   #13
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thank you drjlocarb, that sounds exactly the same as my experience....and now you've given me the formula for success(maybe, why not?), so another thank you! I so appreciate hearing your story!
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:21 AM   #14
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You are welcome! Good luck to you and please keep us posted on your methods and successes.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:01 AM   #15
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Occurred and increased over the month of weight gain, was pretty bad by the end of the month, has diminished w/ my lower fat intake, and was related to the amount of fat consumed. I have never gotten heartburn from fat before.
Usually this is caused by low stomach acid I think. Google 'apple cider vinegar low stomach acid'.

Also, Google 'LLVLC-ep-629-dr-avery-carpenter' - in this ~30 minute podcast Dr. Carpenter talks about fat/protein digestion problems. Right at the 08:50 minute mark she talks about this particular issue.

Quote:
Grains used to give me terrible heartburn, then for a while I had debilitating IBS type symptoms. But the pervasive brain fog was the worst. No grains, no symptoms. Yes, Crohn's Disease and lots of autoimmune and thyroid stuff in my family.
This is what I was thinking. It probably wasn't the NK macros/calories so much as a nutrient absorption issue that the changes you made brought to light.

When you tweak your approach try to make isolated changes and observe the results for x amount of time before making the next change. For example, if you tweak your fat intake try to keep steady on your protein and carb intake. If you tweak your protein intake try to keep fat and carbs steady.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:41 AM   #16
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Usually this is caused by low stomach acid I think. Google 'apple cider vinegar low stomach acid'.

This is what I was thinking. It probably wasn't the NK macros/calories so much as a nutrient absorption issue that the changes you made brought to light.
You are exactly right. I have almost all the symptoms of low acid. I've treated myself for it in the past with Betaine HCl, but didn't follow through. This past week, I have been feeling much better, probably because of the ACV/lemon water. And I've been eating raw veggies and juicing to up my alkalinity. (I'm too acidic. When I get acidic, I'm prone to interstitial cystitis, which recurred for the first time in a couple of years about a week into the change to NK from paleo.)

How did you know? You're telling me these things and now suddenly it is so obvious!!! I can't adequately express to you how grateful I am. Thank you! You're my hero
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:13 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by tntne3 View Post
You are exactly right. I have almost all the symptoms of low acid. I've treated myself for it in the past with Betaine HCl, but didn't follow through. This past week, I have been feeling much better, probably because of the ACV/lemon water. And I've been eating raw veggies and juicing to up my alkalinity. (I'm too acidic. When I get acidic, I'm prone to interstitial cystitis, which recurred for the first time in a couple of years about a week into the change to NK from paleo.)

How did you know? You're telling me these things and now suddenly it is so obvious!!! I can't adequately express to you how grateful I am. Thank you! You're my hero
Thank you

Good questions and observations are part of it but your honest answers are *the* biggest part

Good luck and feel free to keep us posted. Everyone is happy to help. Don't get stuck on macro ratios and the most important thing is what works even if it doesn't fit inside some generic paradigm.
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