Nutritional Ketosis + Stephan Guyenet + Seth Roberts
I am back. I've been on a hiatus. Super high stress at work, layoffs right before Thanksgiving, it was bad news. I don't cope with stress well. I freaked out and ate too much from Thanksgiving through Christmas until now. I am hair-trigger frightened, I thought some form my employer wanted me to sign meant I was being terminated (it didn't, I think, but they are probably wondering what is wrong with me). Before that was a super-happy time - a Disneyland vacation at the end of September. I put on about 5 pounds just that week. Then rumors of layoffs started in October and intensified and became more than obvious it was going to happen in November. Ugh. It was all true.
Sadly, after reaching a low of 191, I am at about 219 pounds! Not good.
I finally went to the doctor Monday. I am sad to say, the reason I was there is, I was ready to crack from stress. He is helping me with that (I have some non-addictive "chill pills" that are prescribed for anxiety but are actually antihistamines that will also help my chronic hives problem), but more pertinent to this forum...well, he tackled me, in a nice way, for going off track on the diet. My A1C is up. Yep, not good.....6.2. It was down into the 5s before. Last year, I found some other ways to lose weight (potato hacking for one), but he said no potatoes with this kind of A1C. He has ordered me to go on Nutritional Ketosis and get the ketone machine. Ugh. This looks expensive.
He talked to me about risk factors of where I am headed. I already know diabetes of course. I think I heard him say heart disease, and cancer. I don't hear much when I am freaking out. He shook me up. OK!!!
I know, I know...I lost most of my weight doing low carb, and he knows that. He is pushing me back on track here.
He told me to order Grain Brain, which I have done. I also already know that I need the Art and Science/Volek book, which I am sure I know because of Cathy/Clackley's posts (thank you, Cathy!!!)
So, OK, I am starting. Yesterday I didn't make it. Today feels good. Today is my first solid day one.
I am going to combine this with recommendations I have learned recently. Last year, I did great with some strategies I learned from Stephan Guyenet's blog wholehealthsource.
Stephan Guyenet's recommendations work really well for me - going bland and sticking to non-processed, paleo food. My layperson's understanding of this is that when you eat processed foods full of chemicals and whatever else scientists do to make you want to eat, this is inflammatory and full of toxins. The inflammation gets in the way of the hypothalamus in the brain from detecting the leptin put out by the fat stores. The chemicals and excitotoxins do the same thing - as I understand it, overstimulate the brain and interferes with the hypothalamus in the brain detecting the leptin put out by the fat stores. When you eat bland, unprocessed foods, finally, the inflammation dies down, the overstimulation dies down, and your brain finally "sees" the leptin and drops your fat set point! Your appetite goes down, your body stops trying to conserve every drop of energy, and all is good!
Also, Seth Robert's recommendations work well for me in combination. So, I am starting the MCT oil shots. The idea here is to use flavorless windows to trick the brain into lowering the fat set point. If the body is getting calories without flavor, the brain misses the intake and doesn't trigger you to EAT. This is another method to drop the fat set point. Same theory as Stephan Guyenet, different method. I learned about this from reading Stephan's blog.
I will post more about this later. I am especially excited because I actually met Stephan Guyenet and Chris Kresser today at a book signing event in Seattle. This happened to coincide with my appointment with my doctor this week.
With regard to "getting calories without flavor", I find homemade broth is actually perfect. It is appealing, yet never over appealing. It also has a high nutritional content and is comforting.
KT, so glad you are back and full of encouragement for us. I too am trying to get motivated again. Wish I could get back to eating the bland meals again. It worked so well for me. How exciting to meet Steven Guyanet and Chris Kresser!
:clap: So glad you are back!!:clap:
With regards to n.k., you would do very well to read Phinney and Volek's book(s).
Hey Key Tones! So glad you are back! Sending positive thoughts your way.
Wow, your doctor is a keeper! Lucky you.
I have mixed feelings about Guyenet. On the one hand I agree that the substances in processed foods fuel our appetites and are a big part of the reason we overeat. OTOH, I don't think that ALL palatable food does this--his theory has elements of "blaming the fat person" that I REALLY dislike. When I stay away from processed carbage I just don't overeat.
I was not a huge overeater in terms of servings before low carb. But I was definitely on the "blood sugar roller coaster" and I had to eat at least every 2 hours while awake. The elements in processed foods were definitely part of this problem, but my deranged, insulin resistant metabolism was the primary driving factor.
I have taken a paleo approach to low carb. NO processed, packaged foods (I don't count 1 or 2 ingredient things like coconut oil or almond butter). I eat organic, mostly pastured meats and organic veggies. I don't eat industrial oils, legumes, or grains.
My food tastes GREAT! It is not bland and "unrewarding". But I don't overeat because I eat enough nutrient density that I'm simply not hungry. I even make the occasional "treat". When I do that, I find one serving tastes great and I enjoy the heck out of it (very "rewarding"). But I'm very rarely interested in a second serving. The rest goes in the freezer until DH eats them because I won't.
IMHO, it's not about food reward so much as the physiological effect that the food has on our metabolism. If we aren't eating carbs that wreak havoc with our blood sugar, and avoid chemical additives specifically designed to fuel appetite and cravings, then we can eat delicious, healthful food without the need to overeat.
Guyenet specifically rejects the insulin theory of metabolism, which is the other thing I highly disagree with him about. Only one who has not "ridden the low blood sugar roller coaster" can deny that insulin resistance is a significant factor. And he rejects the observations of doctors like yours who see their patients do so much better with restricted carbohydrate diets.
If Guyenet's approach works for you, that's great. If bland food helps you stay on track, more power to you. Whatever works for you is right and good, I just don't happen to agree with the theoretical basis he espouses.
Good to see you all! I had a really hard time getting to the place where I am ready to dive in again. The doctor visit plus seeing Chris Kresser and Stephan Guyenet really, really helped.
OK, I'm going to post Stephan Guyenet's recommendations, since I can't link them. Let's see if they fit...
Stephan Guyenet Article Wholehealthsource
Food Reward: a Dominant Factor in Obesity, Part VII
Now that I've explained the importance of food reward to obesity, and you're tired of reading about it, it's time to share my ideas on how to prevent and perhaps reverse fat gain. First, I want to point out that although food reward is important, it's not the only factor. Heritable factors (genetics and epigenetics), developmental factors (uterine environment, childhood diet), lifestyle factors (exercise, sleep, stress) and dietary factors besides reward also play a role. That's why I called this series "a dominant factor in obesity", rather than "the dominant factor in obesity".
Nevertheless, the more I read, the more I'm convinced that excessive food reward and/or palatability is the elephant in the room when it comes to obesity and metabolic dysfunction. We live our lives surrounded by foods that are professionally crafted to satisfy our basest gustatory desires-- to drive us to eat more, against the wisdom that our bodies have accumulated over millions of years. They do this by exploiting the hard-wired preferences that guided us toward healthy food in the natural environment.
Obesity is not always going to be 100 percent reversible. I know no one wants to hear that, but I'm not in the business of selling snake oil. Some people can reverse it completely; others won't lose any fat at all; the majority can probably lose a substantial amount of fat but not all of it. Highly controlled diet studies in rodents show that obesity due to eating highly rewarding/palatable refined food is mostly reversible when they are placed back on low-palatability whole food, but they don't usually lose all of the excess fat, and the longer they've been obese, the less fat they lose (1, 2, 3). The capacity for the fat mass "setpoint" to re-establish at a lower level may diminish over time, varies between individuals, and probably also depends on other factors that no one currently understands. I think it's important to be kind to yourself, and not set unreasonable expectations.
I can't guarantee that what I'll present here will help everyone, but it is unlikely to do harm. As always, these are simply ideas for you to consider. You are fully responsible for your own implementation of them, and your own outcomes.
I've organized this weight loss strategy into five different "levels" based on the desired outcome. Some people may want to use this strategy in a preventive manner, or to address metabolic disorders other than overweight that are related to excess energy intake (insulin resistance, fatty liver, etc.), in which case they would probably want to stick to levels 1-3. Levels 4 and 5 are primarily for people who are not losing weight at the lower levels, and would like to further reduce food reward and the body fat setpoint.
The goal is to adopt a diet that allows fat mass to return to a healthy level, while eating nutritious food to fullness. You may initially feel deprived, but you should become more satisfied by simple food over time.
The low-hanging fruit:
1.Avoid the highest reward foods: candy, sweetened chocolate, ice cream, cake, cookies, other sweet baked goods, fast food, pizza, and other foods that you know are particularly problematic for you. Don't put yourself in a position to be tempted by these if you can avoid it.
2.Minimize liquid calories, particularly sweetened beverages, beer and sweet cocktails. Modest quantities of milk, wine, and unsweetened spirits are fine.
3.Don't snack. In France and many other countries with strong food traditions, snacks are for children. Adults eat at mealtime, in a deliberate manner.
In addition to everything in level 1:
1.Avoid industrially processed food in general, particularly packaged food with many ingredients. Minimize restaurant food. Cook your own food from single ingredients to the extent that you're able.
2.Avoid adding sweeteners to food and drinks-- including artificial sweeteners. The sweet flavor itself is a reward factor.
3.Avoid seed oils (corn, soybean, sunflower and safflower in particular).
4.Include a regular source of omega-3 in your diet. This can come from some mixture of wild-caught fish, flax seed/oil, pastured meat/dairy/eggs and green vegetables.
In addition to everything in levels 1 and 2:
1.Reduce the overall energy density of your food (calories per volume) while keeping it nutritious, but don't go overboard. This can be accomplished by adding extra vegetables to the meal, and using potatoes and sweet potatoes as the main source of starch (rather than bread, pasta, rice, etc.).
Microwaving is a fast and effective way to cook potatoes and sweet potatoes for those who are short on time.
2.Focus on minimally processed foods.
3.Don't add fat to your food. That doesn't mean don't eat fat, it just means keep it separate from your cooking. If you want to eat butter, eat it separately rather than mixing it in with your dish.
This level is about simplicity. Here, we are approximating the reward value of certain non-industrial diets. In addition to everything in levels 1-3:
1. Eat only single ingredients with no flavorings added. No spices, herbs, salt, added sweeteners, added fats, etc. If you eat a potato, eat it plain. If you eat a piece of chicken, eat it plain. It can be in the same meal as other foods, but don't mix anything together. If you would like to keep salt in your diet, dissolve it in water and drink it separately.
2.Cook foods gently. Minimize grilling, sauteing, broiling, frying, and particularly deep frying. Add a bit of water to the pan, rather than oil, when cooking meat or vegetables, and cook gently with the lid on.
3.Minimize all liquid calories.
4.Only eat foods that taste good when you're hungry; avoid foods that you'd be inclined to snack on even when not hungry. A lot of foods move from the latter category to the former when they're completely unseasoned.
5.Some people will benefit from avoiding wheat. Your mileage may vary on this.
This level reduces variety, which is another reward factor (4). This is something that you attempt at your own risk, as there may be downsides to eating the same foods every day. I think the risk is small if you choose your three foods carefully. I wouldn't recommend doing this indefinitely, but rather as a short-term strategy to lose fat, followed by a more relaxed maintenance phase.
1. Pick three foods, and eat nothing else. Try to pick foods that will provide a relatively balanced diet. A starch, a meat and a green vegetable is one possibility. For example: potatoes, broccoli and beef. Again, cook everything gently and add no seasonings to your food whatsoever, including salt.
Some people have lost fat simply by avoiding carbohydrate or fat. I've heard people say that a low-carbohydrate diet in particular curbs their cravings and allow them to have a healthy relationship with food again (although others have developed strong cravings on low-carbohydrate diets). I believe this is mostly, if not exclusively, driven by the fact that carbohydrate and fat are major reward factors.
I believe that all things being equal, it's best not to restrict any macronutrient to an extreme degree (there may be some exceptions, such as diabetes). That being said, as carbohydrate and fat are major reward factors, they are additional tools in the toolbox that you can use to further reduce reward if you choose.
Don't be a Drill Sergeant
Ultimately, for any diet to work, it needs to be sustainable. It's probably a good idea to allow yourself a meal or two a week that you really enjoy. Just don't indulge in the worst offenders-- foods that will stay on your mind, and reinforce your cravings for days or weeks. You know what your own trigger foods are. Don't even put yourself in the vicinity of those foods if you can avoid it. If your diet is balanced and nutritious, your cravings should subside over time, and you will become more satisfied by simple food.
An Alternative Strategy
In his book The Shangri-La Diet, psychology researcher Dr. Seth Roberts outlines a simple strategy that he claims can lower the body fat setpoint without significantly altering the diet. The technique involves taking flavorless calorie-containing foods between meals, which lowers overall energy intake by suppressing appetite (according to him, by lowering the setpoint). I'm not going to steal his thunder, so you can read his book, or visit his website or forum if you want more information about how to implement it.
I tried Dr. Roberts' strategy for a week out of curiosity, and it did suppress my appetite somewhat. According to the theory, the more excess fat mass you begin with, the more your appetite should be suppressed. I didn't have much fat to lose, but I noticed a modest effect on my appetite nevertheless. I have a few reservations about the technique. I don't know much about its long-term effectiveness or safety, and neither does Dr. Roberts, according to our communications. It doesn't strike me as having the potential to be very dangerous, but as our ancestors didn't sip refined olive oil between meals, the precautionary principle applies. Still, it's an interesting technique that I'll be keeping my eye on in the upcoming years.
Thanks! I'll post my doc's videos.
I have heard people make that comment about Stephan Guyenet. I haven't once been offended reading his research. I don't get it. Perhaps I am one with the fact that I will gorge on certain foods if I let down. I'm not offended. The food has been formulated by scientists to make sure this happens. They are messing with our brains. I find it fascinating!
I have heard the argument about insulin vs. leptin causing obesity. I think they go together, but the more I experiment, the more I think leptin is a factor, especially when I have wiped out any possibility to the best of my ability that it could be the insulin. I'm going to continue with this theory and see where my numbers go.
A few years ago, I did Kwasniewski's Optimal diet. This is moderate protein, high fat, low carb (I used 50 grams). I got down to something around 225 pounds, but after a while, it didn't work anymore and I started gaining on it. After a while I was back in the 230s. I think the mechanism there is I figured out how to make the food taste better and better and I lost the level of satiety I found at first. This is a guess. I have heard so many people complain about various diets and why the heck are they effective at first and then lose their effectiveness? I think Seth Roberts has the answer. After a while, your brain associates the flavors with the calorie intake. Once it makes the association, it activates the eating programs. You raise your fat set point by making the food more flavorful, you lower it by making it less flavorful, and you trick it completely by taking in flavorless calories (in flavorless windows one hour on each side - I do it with MCT oil shots).
My insulin level was LOW on Kwasniewski's Optimal diet. My doctor could not believe it - it was only 2. How the heck could I possibly gain weight with insulin levels extremely low?
Another observation - the fact that I have observed that I can lose a lot of weight really quickly on the potato hack, I think because it is monotonous and bland. I don't think it has much to do with the resistant starch, and anyone that knows anything about insulin would find it puzzling. I think this is mostly because it addresses leptin. Potatoes pretty much taste like nothing with a hint of dirt.
I don't doubt the insulin theory and it is pretty obvious. I was morbidly obese and diabetic. I lost a lot of weight on low carb. But I got stuck. I think it isn't the entire answer. I think some of us have a much larger problem than others.
This time, I'm going to try low carb again, and I'm going to address leptin at the same time and see what happens. I can't say for sure until I do it. Even if it works, it is just another n=1.
Always enjoy your posts Key Tones, glad you are back!
Hi Keytones, I remember you from the daily weigh thread last year. I read some of your posts recently and discovered you were gone :( Nice to see you return! Best wishes to you.
Edit: how cool to meet Chris K and Steve G!
Whew...down a couple of pounds now...down to 217. I hope it continues!
I microwaved a little frozen broccoli until thawed, added a generous amount of butter, cracked two eggs and scrambled them, put back in microwave on "vegetable setting." It came out pretty well, nice and fluffy! Easy work lunch.
I don't have my Volek book yet, but I am reading Grain Brain and Your Personal Paleo Code (Kresser) now.
I really liked Grain Brain. May give that a re-read; a lot of it helps dispel the scare mongering of "don't eat too much cholesterol."
I need to get the Volek book....
I went to another Chris Kresser book signing event last night. This time, he gave a 90 minute presentation.
As I recall, he put up a case of one of his patients, a woman in her 40s that was having difficulty losing weight. He recommended a low carb diet and a window of eating between 11 and 7. He doesn't recommend low carb for everyone. I am going through his "Your Personal Paleo Code" - hard to be patient enough to read it all because I want to get to all the bits and his recommendations concerning weight loss and blood sugar/glucose.
I am doing something similar with MCT oil shot upon waking and not eating until mid-day (for a long, flavorless window). I have a goal of not eating after dinner (I want to take another MCT oil shot at night for another long flavorless window, but so far have only done it once this session).
216 this morning! This is good news. I was expecting a pretty slow reaction here. This isn't debloating - I already did that over the past couple of weeks (I was as high as 224 morning weight).
HI keytones, I look forward to what you find in his book. From the podcasts, I believe he suggests safe starches as Paul Jaminet does in PHD. and only ketosis for brain diseases/issues. I hope I'm wrong. I'm also confused about carb loading twice a week for women for leptin release?? Know anything about this?
I just started the MCT oil a few days ago and went from 1 tsp to 2 tsp in my coffee this morning with a sick stomach and....yuck. That is one reason why you might want to go slow with that. Plus I hear that it gives energy you might not want at night.
But I've "thwarted their evil plan" :laugh: by eschewing processed foods for organic, whole, and pastured foods instead. No evil additives to stimulate my appetite. No MSG, no GMO's, no hidden sugars and grains. Nothing formulated by a scientist.
I went to the grocery store around the corner from our home the other day to buy toilet bowl cleaner, and I felt so odd there. I used to go there as often as once or twice a day to buy food "products" to feed my family (they are only two blocks from my house, so it was very convenient if I forgot anything). I haven't been there in MONTHS. Now we shop at the farmers market (we're lucky it's year round here in California), Trader Joe's and Whole Foods for almost everything--Costco for most of our paper goods and cleaning supplies. There are aisles at TJ's and WF I never even go in because I don't buy packaged stuff for the most part. And at Costco I rarely taste anything because it's all packaged junk (occasionally they are having people taste nuts or something like that I do eat). Every time I skip the aisles and aisles of packaged food products, I'm thumbing my nose at those Wall Street execs. HA!:D
I haven't made it through the whole book yet, so I don't know on his recommendations for the ketogenic diet. He doesn't give cookie-cutter advice; I would not doubt that he has complex, situational views on this.
I haven't heard about leptin release. I have heard about carb loading for exercise and something Cathy/Clackley had posted about spiking insulin. OK, I just googled it, here is what she posted:
Originally Posted by clackley View PostI really like the idea of doing this.
I have a pretty vile reaction to MCT oil until I get used to it. I am a pretty good sleeper, but after listening to Chris Kresser talk about how people that have the diet really, really dialed in but neglect the other important elements (sleep, play/enjoyment of life, getting some sun, exercise, etc.), I do think this is good advice. I don't want to disrupt my sleep.
My solution to this is to have some dark chocolate instead (LOL). OK, maybe I'll try some unsalted butter at bedtime.
Sigh. I have been thinking about how to get play, sun, enjoyment, social activity, etc., into my life. I think I need to move to California. I need some ocean, sun, and Disneyland :)
I would love to sit on Coca-Cola corner at Disneyland and play ragtime piano for people all day long.
That sounds so nice K.T.!
I just wanted to clarify that the information on carb loading was intriguing in 2 ways. First the idea of 'resetting' hormones known to influence weight loss. This is not a new concept and has been floating around low carb forum since I can remember.
The 2nd thing I thought was interesting and worth pursuing was the method of doing a purposeful insulin spike by eating excess protein rather than simply having a meal of carby foods (be it potatoes or anything really outside the normal keto diet).
I did try this without much success. I don't think managed to move out of ketosis. The 3 attempts I made, where with my evening meal and I tested for blood ketones the next morning and always was in good range. One of the mornings, I was actually measuring higher than normal.
I came to wonder if one has been in nutritional ketosis for a long time, if it is more difficult than 1 event of excess protein to move out and burn glucose.... It really was puzzling for me.
Hmm, interesting Cathy. I don't know much about the mechanisms involved, but it does sound like a good idea.
I've been busy listening to paleocon and the future of nutrition conference. I learned about these from email alerts I received from Chris Kresser. These presentations are free for a short time then taken down, so...
Chris Masterjohn's presentation was awesome. I didn't realize there are different types of vitamin D from various food sources. Apparently, getting what you need sounds lot more complex than just popping a vitamin d pill.
Also, cod liver oil - I need to get some after listening to him; it is a great source vitamin A and D. It was known to cut the incidence of colds, reduced deaths after childbirth, and improved immunity to various infectious diseases from the 20s to 40s, and when antibiotics became available, people stopped taking their cod liver oil and everyone has forgotten about it.
I love this!
There will be a series on vitamin D I'll watch for on Weston Price.
I haven't been a cod liver oil taker, but perhaps the vitamin d in my diet is my secret, I don't know. My boss and coworkers have noticed I never seem to catch anything that goes around the office.
I think Chris Masterjohn is one of the really brilliant guys who will go on to do great things. I am so glad he decided on his current path. He has a lot of very interesting stuff to say. There was a great podcast on the J.M. show a couple of years ago in which he talked about cod liver oil and why it was specifically good. I find it to be outrageously expensive so resorted to the costco capsules. Not sure if that is better than nothing.
I also learned that in order to properly absorbed D3, it needs K2. Many of us on this kind of woe will likely get enough through their food but I am taking it as a supp. cause, I already know my body does not function the way it should.
In the time since I have restarted low carbing, I have had 1 cold and that was 2 years ago. It was nasty and turned into bronchitis and/or asthma. It turns out it was the push I needed to quit smoking. There has always got to be a silver lining - right?
Cathy - what great things you have done for your health!!!
I'm taking K2 as well, and B12, and D3, and a multi....I have the krill oil pills but I haven't downed them for a while.
I'm going to look at Masterjohn's writing on cod liver oil - apparently, there are different levels of vitamins in various formulations. Ugh.
I'm not really clear on whether this is super beneficial for someone on a paleo diet. I wonder if it is mostly beneficial for people eating the SAD. Still, I want some!
I think I am glycating my proteins. I went to the salad bar and made a huge green salad. Luckily, they had seaweed salad (yum, but tasted sweet - sure it had a little sugar) so I think I got my minerals and iodine. But, I know I put too much meat on top. I didn't get much sleep last night and am incredibly tired. I just had to eat more to get some energy. No NK for me today.
Tomorrow is another day.
Chris Kresser Podcast 15 - Jaminet
Wow, I need to expand the title of my thread to include Jaminet and Chris Kresser. Look at this tidbit I caught today. Podcast 15 on Kresser's site:
Paul: Alright, well let me say Iím not an expert on depression so this would be probably a better question for Emily Deans or Nora Gedgaudas or someone like that. But I know a little bit about it. It tends to be associated with obesity, it probably has similar causes and itís very likely caused by the presence of high levels of inflammatory cytokines in certain parts of the brain. And so obesity is probably caused by that too, itís probably caused by those cytokines getting into the hypothalamus and certain parts of the brain that are involved in food and metabolic regulation. Depression involves reaching other parts of the brain but very similar effects probably. And those cytokines can reproduce elsewhere in the body and imported into the brain. So they can be produced in the gut if you have gut dysbiosis and the immune system is reacting to it. So the gut is definitely a good place to look for addressing depression. You wanna clear chronic infections, if you have a brain infection that can easily produce depression. So there can be a diverse set of causes of depression, and the common feature will be inflammation in parts of the brain that regulate mood. And so you really have to do some detective work and start looking at what other symptoms do I have. And I would say basically our book, our 4 step program in our book is a general program for fixing any disease, unknown diseases and so I would start by following that. And usually when you fix enough things
then the other symptoms clarify and it becomes much easier to make a diagnosis and figure out something you can attack. So thatís the general process I would go through. It could be anything from a brain bacterial infection that you treat with antibiotics to a gut dysbiosis that you treat with probiotics, fermented vegetables, some other gut modulating supplements. Itís not really possible to name one therapy and say this is what you do but I think thereís a general strategy that people can follow. You may find that ketogenic dieting and intermittent fasting help. Any kind of neurological disorder I would recommend giving ketogenic diets a try. You should follow the kind of ketogenic diet described in our book, donít go too low carb, include some starches. It doesnít need to get you into extreme ketosis, it just needs to supply enough that neurons have an alternative fuel to glucose. So any kind of brain or neurological disorder itís worth giving ketogenic diets a try. Itís not guaranteed that theyíll improve things but youíll definitely get information. People can get protozoal infections of the brain like toxoplasma gondii infection of the brain are very common. And if you try a ketogenic diet and you have that then I would expect youíll get worse. But that would be a great clue and then you could go and try and get treatment for toxo or for some other protozoal infection. I would say depression, itís definitely gonna take kind of experimental, exploratory approach before you pin down the cause and are able to fix it. But I think it should be curable.
Chris: Yeah I agree, definitely and certainly in my practice Iíve seen the biggest bang for your buck focusing on the gut-brain axis and following the type of strategies that Paul outlined there with the gut. Making sure that youíve got enough good gut flora and restoring intestinal barrier integrity and reinvigorating that communication between the gut and the brain. A couple other things that might be helpful is making sure you have good essential fatty acid balance, the omega 6:3 ratio which Paul talks a lot about in the book. And this probably goes without saying but I think nutrition and nutritional status is a huge huge part of depression but itís not the only factor that goes into it. There are other things to consider like your relationship to your work, to your life, whether youíre getting enough exercise, whether youíre getting enough sun, whether youíre having enough fun in your life, all the things that go into total health. One question Paul, what do you think about micronutrient deficiencies and depression?
Danny: I was just gonna go there except with obesity.
Paul: Yeah, I think theyíre contributing factors in just about every disease, so I think itís very important in general to be well nourished and especially if you have any kind of disease. Any kind of nutrient deficiency or imbalance is probably gonna impact your immune function and is gonna inhibit recovery from any disease. Itís gonna produce odd symptoms, transform the symptoms, make it harder to diagnose. Itís gonna slow down healing, so thereís a constant balance. Your body has to constantly fight off pathogens, it has to constantly rebuild itself. A good part of the immune response is killing infected cells, so many cells when they realize theyíre infected they kill themselves and that kills the pathogens at the same time. But then you have to heal all those injuries, and a lot of these brain infections, a lot of the problem is people arenít healing their brains very effectively. So they have neurons dying or becoming damaged but theyíre not healing. You definitely wanna be well nourished. In a lot of these cases the interaction is so complex, the malnutrition isnít the primary cause, but itís a secondary contributing factor and that makes it harder to prove that it really has a crucial role. Danny you raised the subject of obesity.
Danny: Yeah your article was fantastic and it brought on a third view of obesity besides the Taubesian view and Stephanís food reward hypothesis and if you could just speak a little on that Iíd be super interested because I thought you did a really great job.
Paul: Yeah, well I think obesity is really multi-factorial and in general the three classes of factors that we think are the big ones causing disease are malnutrition, toxins, which is usually food toxins not so much environmental toxins but actual bioactive compounds in the foods we eat, and then pathogens and infections. And so weíre all exposed to all of these things but if we can minimize them then are chances are we have the best shot. And thereís various evidence linking malnutrition to obesity, so in general undernutrition of micronutrients and over-nutrition of macronutrients both contribute to obesity and thereís a variety of evidence on that. And in famines people are just focused on getting calories they donít worry too much about food quality, and the cheapest and most available calorie sources are usually things like the grains that have not very much micro-nutrition per calories so low nutrient density. So in famines you find a lot of people that are still getting adequate calories but theyíre very poorly nourished with micronutrients. And what you find is that the children who are born during these famines are much more likely to be obese at age 50, that was one of the results of the Dutch famine studies. You also find these people who do yo-yo diets, a lot of weight loss diets where theyíre restricting calories severely they end up being very poorly nourished while theyíre on the diet and it turns out that the more times you go on one of these weight loss diets, the higher your ultimate weight. So it seems like an episode of being malnourished leads to higher future weight. And thereís some various other sources of evidence thereís a Chinese study recently where just giving people multi-vitamins and multi-mineral supplements helped them to lose a significant amount of weight compared to controls. I think definitely on any weight loss diet you should strive to be very well nourished in terms of micronutrients and also macronutrients, you donít wanna be extremely low carb and deficient in glucose. You donít wanna be deficient in protein or in valuable fats, itís good to eat some salmon to get some omega-3, itís good to eat some starches to get some glucose. But especially you wanna be well nourished in micronutrients, so eat some vegetables, take a multi-vitamin, take some extra supplements, and I think it becomes much easier to lose weight if youíre well nourished.
I was lost in a lot of this conversation. Are they saying that the gut/brain axis is perhaps a factoring illness including obesity? And that a ketogenic diet may reduce inflammatory responses and be beneficial?
Cathy, yes, I think that is exactly what they mean. I'm going through Your Personal Paleo Code now.
It isn't long, but Chris does recommend resistant starch for gut health. It produces butyrate in the gut. Eating it in butter doesn't get it down into the intestines, it is digested before it gets there.
He has other recommendations. I really don't know if I can eat fresh sauerkraut. I'm a bit perplexed about getting ferments in and will probably end up just taking pills, but I will give it some thought.
Anyway, I have been taking 1 1/2 teaspoons of resistant starch 2x per day. It really cuts my appetite down. I hope it does something beneficial to the gut. I KNOW I have an autoimmune problem because of my ongoing problem with hives. Grief and anxiety over work stress is really getting to me and has caused me to go off track (and unfortunately not care).
I read about the starch on free the animal. I hope that this is just the thing I need with my new plan.
I'm going through stomach cramps again with the MCT oil. It just takes too long for me to get used to in order to get to the dose I need. I think I will just put unsalted butter in my coffee and see if it works. I'm going to stick to no breakfast (just buttered coffee), lunch, and dinner no snacking after bed.
I want a really long window with no food.
I got a little further into the Chris Kresser book.
I pretty much like to rely on nearly all the foods he suggests eliminating to detect whether you are sensitive. I can't even begin to think about eliminating eggs. I know that people that are sensitive are usually reacting to the white, so I think I will just throw yolks into my blueberry/kale smoothies.
Well, then there are the veg - I pretty much only like cruciferous, and I need to ramp that down. He suggests going to veg people don't react to (low FODMAPs), I think no kale either for a while.
No dairy (ugh), no almond milk with carageean (is there such a thing)...I think he said it is inflammatory.
Well, if nothing else, a 100% kick over to foods you never eat WILL cause weight loss. Per Seth Roberts, it is the foreign country effect (he says eating strange food for a while will work because your brain hasn't linked calories with the flavors yet so you don't get the "EAT UP NOW" signal when you taste something).
I got into the kale chips yesterday, not good because I ate too much. I'm going to pack these away as "party food." I think I'll tuck some into my desk to grab when there is carbage in the office for something to go to along with a dark chocolate square.
Wait, I think I have to give these up for a while too....
Well, I do need to get to the bottom of the hives. Obviously something is causing me a problem. It is embarassing to see how many things I take in that could be inflammatory. The potato hack did not resolve hives, but those were night shades.
Good grief...! If this works, I will rename my thread Chris Kresser...
Today (I need accountability)
Broccoli (no salt)
grass-fed burger (trader joes) (curry spices but no salt)
coffee with unsalted kerrygold butter (my coworker saw this, said nothing!)
blueberry-kale smoothie (with Stevia) - add 2 egg yolks
beef home-made bone broth (with plenty of salt)
Kresser - grass fed beef for better nutrition and better fat profile, very low carb for weight loss and blood sugar issues, has his own definition of paleo
Guyenet - do not salt food, have salt separately, as in broth; do not add fat to food, have fat separately (my buttered coffee and avocado), avoid wide food variety for short periods of time for weight loss, avoid processed, highly-palatable or rewarding foods for weight loss
Seth Roberts - intake of calories in flavorless window (a very small shot of MCT oil first thing this morning with no food for four hours (he only requires on hour on each side)
Oh K.T..... I admire yor attention to detail and rigor!
Have you ever done the GAPS diet to heal leaky gut? It is my understanding that many allergys are due to leaky gut.
I have heard of the GAPS diet. At the time, I was too big of a baby to do it. I feel differently now that I understand how there is something really, seriously, systemically going wrong.
I just checked what Chris Kresser says about it - really interesting! He has an interview where he compares GAPs, paleo, and WAP.
What I can't believe is, reading his example of one of his patients, that was totally me in 1994. While I was pregnant and after my baby was born, I had serious problems that no doctor could diagnose. Stress was really sky-high; my bi-polar mother revealed her suicidal tendencies while I was pregnant.
It just gradually, very slowly over years, got better a teeny bit a time, no thanks to any doctor I saw. I always thought it was the pregnancy that messed me up.
Now I wonder if something set off an autoimmune problem coincidentally, and I am not really fully recovered, still.
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