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Old 07-18-2011, 12:30 PM   #871
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Thank you for understanding - it can be so frustrating because it is so simplistic and not the case most often.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:38 PM   #872
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Clackley - I am looking for ways to undereat! I don't think I am overeating. In listening to Taubes, he says that once we get our insulin levels down, almost all of the rest of the hormones push fat out of the cells. So, why isn't this happening? Perhaps my other hormones are likely out of wack. I hope not. But I have been giving it serious thought.

Also, while I don't think I am overeating, I do think sweeteners and salt may be keeping me from finding a lower "set point" so to speak (if there is such a thing). I am really looking to decrease my appetite. Permanently.

Also, I think weight loss, for me, requires an attack on all fronts. I am reading everything I can to help.

All -

OK, based on information I've posted (and some I haven't), I am scraping together my strategy together for some more weight loss.

In listening to Dr. Berkowitz (of Atkins) shows on Jimmy Moore Livin' La Vida Low Carb, and my fasting insulin is too low and morning blood sugar is too high, meaning I have reactive hypoglycemia. This fits the profile of patients he described as having lost and stall out when more to lose. He says eat 5x per day to overcome this.

So, I am decreasing my meals to @200 calories 5x per day as he recommends. My own additional strategy - if I need additional calories, they will come from a little coffee/cream, not meals.

The second thing I'm mulling over is my thyroid - my T3 dropped, which means my thyroid has slowed. I am upping my carbs because carbs help with T4 to T3 conversion. This happens with any long-term diet anyway. It sounds scary, but I have been eating a small apple with meals (or blueberries or carrots) and I went down a pound. This is too short term to tell if it will help.

I am reducing sweeteners and wiping salt out from meals to prevent overeating. I'm going to have salt in chicken broth on the side instead. I have already taken sweetener out of the picture for foods and I think this has helped.

On another note - I have read that Ray Peats believes eating carrots scrapes estrogen out of the digestive tract and prevents its reabsorption. This is to help with estrogen dominance, which I believe I have. I have found this to be a credible observation - I have come across another source that says estrogen in the digestive tract can be excreted or reabsorbed. I don't think "carrots" are the only food that would do this. However, since I suffer from chapped lips, I think some carrots may help me.

I know this sounds like I am veering off of Kwasniewski. I am going to stick to the protein recommendations and keep an egg-based diet (and take the liver capsules, and make the bone broth soups, etc....). I might have to rename the thread, as Jem51 suggests, at some point. I will give this a trial and see.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:43 PM   #873
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And I should say, I really am enjoying the discussion and input from everyone!

Jem51-I think I am years behind all your discoveries. What plan are you following these days?
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:31 PM   #874
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KT- maybe a little exercise? Don't hit me, LOL!!!

But the driving force behind me moving, was the IR, and trying to get over that! For me I will move to be able to eat a little carbs and feel like a normal person again. I like to eat, and like last night we went to a friends house for dinner everyone shoved in desert, they probably will not gain 5 pounds overnight, but I would! This experiment of mine this week should be something, now keep in mind I lost 85 pounds being a sloth and doing Atkins, I was 265 in Jan when I joined the gym the weight loss was slower and I do think it was me not adjusting the calories before. Now with all this working out, like I would say since May, my needs have changed so I am going on the faith of this trainer and doing the 2000 calories and 150 carbs, God I felt like I was cheating on a lover today I ate a sandwich I cant tell you how strange that felt!!! The Ezekiel bread with white meat chicken, and FF mayo, the thing is if eating more carbs I have to lower fat! You know I am a big fan of experiments to see what works, so this should be interesting!!!!

You know I want to see you succeed so I will throw the exercise card out there, even some brisk walking might do wonders, when I get stuck I switch up the exercise, and then I seem to keep the scale moving, it is such a fine line of the nutrients and exercise together! I have been reading Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle, and amazingly he is very similar to what this trainer in Lancaster told me. I guess I have to look at myself as more athletic which is still strange to me, I feel like I am still a slug, but I guess 10+ hours or more of hard exercise isn't slug like, LOL

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Old 07-18-2011, 03:41 PM   #875
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Years ago, I read this analogy about smaller meals:

Think of your metabolism as a fire and your meals as fuel.
If you throw a big log on a fire that is not burning well, it's going to burn very slowly & incompletely, and maybe even put the fire out.
If you throw twigs on the fire, it will get it burning hotter and the twigs will burn up quickly...and you can feed the fire more often.

It sounds good...I love analogies...but do our metabolisms actually work like a fire?!

A few years ago when I only had about 40lbs to lose, I did the small meals 5x a day thing...mostly steamed veggies or salad with some tuna or eggs or grilled chicken.
Maybe I should have stuck with it; I did lose a bit of weight! But I think it was one of those no carbs & no dairy diets;
I got tired of that, as well as washing & chopping & cooking all those veggies!

I didn't realize that Dr Bernstein's 5-hour suggestion was just for insulin-dependent diabetics.
I'm not taking insulin; just Metformin.
My BG has gotten a little more stable...that is, it's ranging from 100-130 instead of 120-180.

Clackley, I too am tired of the stereotype of overweight people being gluttons.
Maybe some do...or do it in private...but I see it much more on TV than I do in real life!
The body may need extra calories to put on weight, but once it's on, the body is very good at maintaining that weight with few calories (especially if one is sedentary).

I honestly feel full after pretty small amounts of food, and sick if I eat even a little too much.
For example--2 eggs are good, 3 eggs are
I ate much larger amounts when I was thin...my family used to tease and harass me quite a bit.
When I was a kid, I could eat as much as a grown man! I could have put away 2 entrees at a restaurant, if I'd been allowed!
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:35 PM   #876
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Amber - on exercise - if I lose it that way, I'll gain it back because I know I won't keep it up. Long hours, long commute, and I'm shot. I get home at 7:30 a lot of nights.

Walking does work great for me! I was just diagnosed with Morton's Neuroma (I thought it was just Morton's toe, but it is worse and clear-cut issue on MRI - nerve the size of a pencil eraser!!!) so I can't get much walking in (I have Morton's foot "Greek foot" - prone to issues). Ugh, this problem is often a runner's problem, and I don't run!!! I am still doing the total body gym, exercise ball yoga, hand weights, and some of Mark Sisson's exercises anyway. The podiatist wants to operate to remove this swollen nerve, so I am getting a second opinion.

Jenny - I am so glad your blood glucose readings are improving! I hope the diet change and 5 meals works for me. If it does, I will have to take back what I said about Atkins - climbing the carb ladder (I used to think this was a pipe dream). We'll see.

I used to eat quite a bit when I was younger too!

If I can permanently get to 1500 calories as an average (meaning for the week - I always eat less M-F then eat more on the weekends), I think I will lose weight. As it is, I think I am having 1500 calories a lot of days and eat more on the weekends, so I know my average is too high. I hope to hold it to 1200-1300 during the week and have at least two larger meals (not junk) on the weekends.

I am looking to avoid metabolic backlash, so I don't want to go too fast. So far, I have been really lucky that way.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:17 AM   #877
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I have that Morton's toe thing too, in fact every toe is longer than my big toe! Except my pinky, very weird freaky toes I have. I just got some thing to separate them to stretch them I was having a tendon problem on the top of my foot, actually more running and less elliptical seems to help, darn toes it makes buying shoes so hard!!!!

I believe in the more meals with less calories, rather than larger meals. If I know I can eat something substantial at 3 and then at 9 I find I am more hungry and that makes me feel like things are burning, if that makes sense? I think not eating on low carb is easy you are just not hungry and my longest stall came eating 1100 calories and 3 meals a day.

You will figure it out, you are one smart cookie!!!!
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:04 PM   #878
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Amber - it is good to hear your advice, you have lost so much weight! Oh gosh, I hear ya on the dang shoe buying, it makes me crazy!!! I can't believe the little tiny shoes most women can wear.

I did feel like a pleasant sort of burn was happening all day yesterday. I am sticking with these 200 calorie meals, plus some coffee with cream.

This is still seriously egg-based. I love carrying these medium-boiled eggs to work! I will not be mal-nourished!

Here's hoping!
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:17 PM   #879
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KT- you know I started that BTFFTM, burn the fat feed the muscle and I was like OMG all these carbs am I going to burn them, the one gal on the running thread said you will gain the first week then it melts off she said her family told her to stop it was the leanest she ever was, and I find eating those oats for breakfast and stuff I am burning fuel! I ran this morning and I was sweaty and hot all day!!! I am in the smaller meals is better camp, I think you will surprise yourself! I wonder if 1500 calories is too low though. Surprisingly calories do count and not eating enough can really send you into muscle loss as well. I am sure you can do the calc based on your weight and activity and then shoot for a 20% deficit to lose about 1.5-2 pounds per week but it will be fat not muscle and water.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:48 PM   #880
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Hi, Ladies.

Lucas Tafur's latest post is about the pathways for leptin and insulin signals:

Ketogenic Nutrition: Hypothalamic leptin and insulin signaling pathways

Thought it might be of interest.

Best wishes to all.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:56 PM   #881
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Thanks Auntie Em - waiting for more comments to 'light the way'!!
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:57 PM   #882
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Cathy, the comments do help, I agree. Hope you are doing very well.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:58 PM   #883
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I am well and hope you are too!
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:26 PM   #884
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Yes, I hope comments help unravel...

Amber - women used to eat somewhere the mid 1500s in terms of calories in the 70s before high fructose corn syrup hit the scene. I'm tall, but I'm not large framed nor active, so I think it is reasonable. Fat isn't metabolically active, so I don't think taking my weight into account means much as to how many calories I should be eating. If I were running, that would be a different story!

I'm still not eating high carbs, maybe 65 today is all.
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:56 PM   #885
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I asked Chris Masterjohn on facebook if he would talk about the fluffy particle LDL counter argument. He says he isn't going to cover it in on an upcoming podcast, but he does plan to write about it soon.

I did a search and found he posted a comment to Matt Stone's blog, which lightly touches it, but more importantly, what a find!

Here is Chris Masterjohn's comment, March 15, 2011:

A few years ago, I wrote the following in Wise Traditions, which was based on a lecture I had given at the conference that year:

=========
Vitamins for Fetal Development: Conception to Birth

Glycine is depleted in the detoxification of excess methionine, another amino acid. Eggs and meat are the main sources of methionine—it not only constitutes a greater percentage of their total protein but these foods are also higher in total protein than plant foods (see Figure 9).56 It is important, therefore, for the expectant mother to liberally match her eggs and muscle meats with glycine-rich skin and bones and folate-rich liver, legumes and greens.

FIGURE 8. PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL PROTEIN AS GLYCINE

Glycine is found primarily in skin and bones.

* Chicken Breast 5%
* Chicken Skin 16%
* Chicken Stock 31% (estimate)

FIGURE 9. PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL PROTEIN AS METHIONINE

Animal products have a higher percentage of their total protein as methionine than plant products. Although not shown in the chart, they also contain much more protein per unit of weight or volume. The main sources of methionine in the diet, then, are eggs and muscle meats.

Plant Foods
Almonds 0.8%
Lentils 0.8%
Tofu 1.3%
Walnuts 1.9%

Animal Foods
Bacon 2.3%
Ground Beef 2.5%
Chicken 2.8%
Eggs 3.0%
==========

Seems consistent with what you are saying here. This also seems consistent with some of the questions of "why are my LDL levels so high on this diet" popping up in comments on my current series.

Chris

= = = =

Here's my post on the central role of LDL receptor activity in governing the risk of heart disease risk. I'll venture into thyroid next post, but I introduce it here:

Genes, LDL-Cholesterol Levels, and the Central Role of LDL Receptor Activity in Heart Disease

http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.c...evels-and.html

And here's a response to this post of yours I just left:

Anyone Doing Paleo Without Liver, Bones, Skin, and Greens?

http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.c...ver-bones.html

Chris
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:01 PM   #886
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Chris Masterjohn's article linked below, but here is the article. I think these are extremely important points.

= = = =

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Anyone Doing Paleo Without Liver, Bones, Skin, and Greens?

Matt Stone is doing an interesting series on the damage to the thyroid caused by eating too much muscle meat instead of the gelatinous materials found in the other half of the animal.

Muscle meats and eggs are very rich in methionine, which increases our need for homocysteine-neutralizing nutrients (vitamins B6, B12, folate, betaine, and choline), and also increases our need for the amino acid glycine, found most abundantly in skin and bones.

I most recently made this point in my post on meeting the choline requirement:

Thus, although having a PEMT gene that Uncle Buck would surely envy might lower our choline requirement, consuming lots of methionine won't help us at all. In fact, extra methionine just gives us more homocysteine and thereby increases our need for choline, betaine, folate, B12, and B6.

I had first made this point, however, in my 2007 article on pregnancy nutrition:

Glycine is depleted in the detoxification of excess methionine, another amino acid. Eggs and meat are the main sources of methionine—it not only constitutes a greater percentage of their total protein but these foods are also higher in total protein than plant foods (see Figure 9).56 It is important, therefore, for the expectant mother to liberally match her eggs and muscle meats with glycine-rich skin and bones and folate-rich liver, legumes and greens.

While the metabolism of methionine uses up glycine, betaine and folate can generate glycine in addition to neutralizing homocysteine, although the effect of betaine is restricted primarily to certain tissues such as the liver and kidney.

But where's all the folate? Liver and beans. You can get lots of folate if you eat liver, and you can get lots by eating lentil soup, but if you're eating a bean-free diet and you can't stand the taste of liver, you're going to have to eat the quantities of green vegetables that Joel Fuhrman recommends in order to obtain a comparable amount of folate.

And where's the betaine? We can make betaine from the choline obtained from egg yolks and liver, but the best source is spinach and the most common source is wheat. Again, the utility of choline and betaine in neutralizing homocysteine and generating glycine is limited to the liver and kidney, so folate is more important.

Glycine itself is most abundant in skin and bones.

Thus, while many people may improve their digestion and other symptoms by removing wheat and beans, the fact that they may consider these foods "evil" does not automatically deliver them from the need to make up these nutrients from some other source. Muscle meats will always increase the need for glycine from skin and bones, but this effect could be greatly exaggerated if one eliminates legumes (and fortified bread?) without also increasing one's intake of organ meats and green vegetables.

This gives me a lot to think about, as I've really slacked on making stocks since starting grad school, and I often find myself in the office or lab too often to steam many vegetables.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:31 PM   #887
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Hey guys, have you ever run across this guy Monastyrsky? I've been reading around his website and he has some interesting ideas. I was fascinated with his ideas on the dangers of fiber:

Gut Sense: The Ingredients of Longevity Nutrition
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:15 AM   #888
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K.T. Thank you for the great links to Chris Masterjohn's blog. I listened to him via podcast recently on the subject but what I missed was the comments. One commenter by the name of 'John' appears to be a doctor and have some insight into the role of thyroid. I have copied his comments here. I am really beginning to think that thyroid is at the root of my problems... I had not been aware of the connection between leptin and thyroid and just thinking that I am leptin resistant without any clear treatment....??

Chris thyroid function is intimately tied to leptin sensitivity for sure. We also know inflammation is critical to the thyroid receptors. First, inflammation (which is characteristic of all autoimmune diseases, and Hashimoto’s is no exception) causes a decrease in thyroid receptor site sensitivity. We also know the sex steroid hormones have huge effects on the TBG's in both sexes and leptin directly exerts control over the production of sex steroid hormones. We also know people who are leptin resistant are also are bad converters of T4 to T3. It is also very important to know that the brain has its own control of thyroid hormone levels so peripherally their can be thyroid issues while centrally the brain does not. This is a critical difference between the heart and brain with respect to thyroid hormone receptors and production. Moreover, several medications that alter the absorption or activity of T4. These include commonly prescribed drugs like antibiotics & antifungals (i.e. sulfonamides, rifampin, keoconazole), anti-diabetics (Orinase, Diabinese), diuretics (Lasix), stimulants (amphetamines), cholesterol lowering medications (Colestid, Atromid, LoCholest, Questran, etc.), anti-arrhythmia medications (Cordarone, Inderal, Propanolol, Regitine, etc.), hormone replacement (Premarin, anabolic steroids, growth hormone, etc.), pain medication (morphine, Kadian, MS Contin, and oxycontin etc.), antacids (aluminum hydroxides like Mylanta, etc.) and psychoactive medications (Lithium, Thorazine, etc.).
In January 2010, as part of Thyroid Awareness Month, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)released the results of a new survey on the thyroid-cholesterol connection, looking at the connection between undiagnosed hypothyroidism and high cholesterol.

The National Cholesterol Education Program and the Food and Drug Administration recommend thyroid testing in patients with high cholesterol levels. The prescribing information for the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs also recommends that patients be tested for thyroid disease before beginning cholesterol-lowering drug therapy. Few doctors even know this data.
March 15, 2011 5:47 AM
john said...

If you are one of the people with high cholesterol levels but you have not yet been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, how can you tell if you are hypothyroid?

First, start by doing the Thyroid Neck Check, which is located at the AACE website.
Second, fill out the Hypothyroidism Symptoms Checklist
Third, ask your doctor to run a Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test to evaluate your thyroid levels. You really need a full panel done and a doc who knows how to intrepret them.
Fourth, if your TSH levels are normal but you still suspect hypothyroidism, be aware that there are different ways to interpret the test results that might have an impact on your diagnosis.

Here is a list of symptoms.


•Weight gain, or inability to lose weight

•Fatigue, exhaustion

•Feeling run down and sluggish

•Depression, anxiety, mood swings

•Constipation

•Menstrual irregularities, including more frequent or heavier periods

•Dry, coarse and/or itchy skin

•Dry, coarse and thinning hair

•Feeling cold, especially in the extremities

•Muscle cramps, joint pain, carpal tunnel or tendonitis

If you look at old textbooks of internal medicine the link between low thyroid levels and cholesterol was well known and treated. Since 1980 this information appears to be non existant in medical textbooks and heavily weighted to just treating with a statin first if the TC is above 200. Insanity really.
March 15, 2011 5:53 AM
john said...

One last point.....reverse T3 is the best biochemical test for leptin resistance we have......it is never part of a regular thyroid panel and has to be special ordered. And when it is the labs very rarely get the test done unless the doctor calls them directly. I know because I order the test all the time.
March 15, 2011 5:55 AM
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"The energy content of food (calories) matters, but it is less important than the metabolic effect of food on our body." Dr. P. Attia

"dumping carbohydrates on your broken metabolism is tantamount to doing jumping jacks on two broken legs" -The Spark of Reason

“Eat animals. Mostly fat. Enjoy!
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:30 AM   #889
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Hi Eliza - thanks for the link to 'gut sense' and yes it makes perfect sense to me. I thought the comments on 'over hydration' were pretty interesting. I am one that has long believed that most hydration should come from food but occasionally question this...

I think we (western society) have been brainwashed by the advertisers that fibre is necessary to good health. It appears to be a crock but a crock that works very well in convincing people that they need to buy packaged, processed foods in order to get all their 'fibre requirements'.

Brilliant on the part of advertisers but not so great for public health. Personally, my gut thanks me daily for stopping the fibre madness! There needs to be an 'anti-fibre' campaign!!!
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:38 AM   #890
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clackley View Post

I think we (western society) have been brainwashed by the advertisers that fibre is necessary to good health. It appears to be a crock but a crock that works very well in convincing people that they need to buy packaged, processed foods in order to get all their 'fibre requirements'.

Brilliant on the part of advertisers but not so great for public health. Personally, my gut thanks me daily for stopping the fibre madness! There needs to be an 'anti-fibre' campaign!!!
This!!!!

Eliza-yes, I have heard of Monastyrsky and his book Fiber Menace. I looked into this when my father in law had intestinal surgery then was told to avoid fiber. I thought, "What, eat fiber until your intestines break down, then, OK don't eat it now." ?!?! Um, how about, don't eat it in the first place? I am afraid of Fiber One cereal and the likes of it. I have this visual of it expanding in the intestines, damaging them as your poor body tries to move that horror through
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:44 AM   #891
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Cathy - Thank you for your post!!! Such great information!!!

Leptin resistance and thyroid as related - I must study this further! I don't think I've heard of reverse T3.

Absolutely, I mostly fit this profile.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:17 AM   #892
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Reverse t3 is new to me as well. Please share what you find out? The more I read, the more I become convinced that thyroid is my issue. Unfortunately, my tsh came back within normal range even though it had been outside that range a year prior. With the medical system I have to deal with (government funded), I can't get an appointment with a endo until I can convince my p.c.p. that it is warranted - very frustrating.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:28 AM   #893
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Wow, that is frustrating. I will definitely share what I find out.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:31 AM   #894
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Thank you!!
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:17 PM   #895
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This!!!!

Eliza-yes, I have heard of Monastyrsky and his book Fiber Menace. I looked into this when my father in law had intestinal surgery then was told to avoid fiber. I thought, "What, eat fiber until your intestines break down, then, OK don't eat it now." ?!?! Um, how about, don't eat it in the first place? I am afraid of Fiber One cereal and the likes of it. I have this visual of it expanding in the intestines, damaging them as your poor body tries to move that horror through
KT, I am giving up fiber supplements - have a huge tub of 270 count and take them for constipation - reading Monastyrsky has convinced me to give it up! It is making things worse! Oh, how we have been conditioned to eat more fiber!!! I can't tell you how many FiberOne bars I ate before my LC days. To think I have been damaging my intestines all along. I even force-fed it to my kid thinking it was sooo good for him.
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:19 PM   #896
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One last point.....reverse T3 is the best biochemical test for leptin resistance we have......it is never part of a regular thyroid panel and has to be special ordered. And when it is the labs very rarely get the test done unless the doctor calls them directly. I know because I order the test all the time.
March 15, 2011 5:55 AM
Cathy, this is most interesting! I need to look into it further. I have been tested twice and both tests came back within normal range, but apparently they are testing for the wrong thing!
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:52 PM   #897
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OK, I FINALLY found something concise on leptin that makes sense to me. I think leptin is a big part of the puzzle. I wish someone had more answers.

Lyle McDonald is THE MAN for ketogenic dieting the bodybuilders look to. I'll paste the article as well if the link does not survive. Somewhere, I read that he believes leptin as a drug would help prevent weight regain after dieting. It has been proven leptin as a drug will not cause weight loss. This may help bring continuity to this article.

I'm putting the interesting part in first, and his summary of what he wrote up to this point (that I don't think is as interesting) last.

Bodyweight Regulation: Leptin Part 6 | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald




Bodyweight Regulation: Leptin Part 6

In Bodyweight Regulation: Leptin Part 5, I explained that, while injectable leptin would be a true boon for dieters, it appears unlikely that it will ever reach commercial or clinical use.

This leaves us with other approaches (e.g. nutritional, supplements, training) to attempt to manipulate either leptin levels or signaling.

There are basically three places where dieters might impact leptin levels and/or activity in terms of fighting off the adaptations to dieting.


1. Production at the fat cell

2. Signaling in the brain

3. Transport into the brain

Leptin production in the fat cell
I talked a little bit about #1 in a previous post, when I talked about refeeds. At this point, and this topic is discussed to some degree in nearly every book I’ve written at this point, interjecting high carbohydrate, high calorie refeeds of varying lengths (anywhere from 5 hours to 3 days) is (currently) the best way to raise leptin while dieting.

One of the interesting (and often missed points) is that, as dieters get leaner (and leptin drops more and more), refeeds need to become larger and/or more frequent. That is, rather than necessarily dieting harder as they get leaner, some people are actually doing better by ‘breaking their diet’ (with specific high-carb refeeds) more frequently.

I’d note again that leptin production is related primarily to carbohydrate intake in the short-term, high-fat refeeds aren’t the best way to raise leptin levels. I’d also note that single ‘cheat’ meals won’t impact on leptin levels significantly as leptin doesn’t really change on a meal to meal basis.

Tangent: I’d note that, in this regards, some of the work being done with intermittent fasting and every other day refeeds has relevance here as some data suggests that leptin may be maintained better with that approach to dieting. But until I get Martin Berkhan in here from LeanGains for an interview and dig into it more, I’m not going to talk much about IF’ing as a dietary strategy other than to say: there’s some compelling **** going on here.

An additional strategy, talked about in some detail in my Guide to Flexible Dieting is the idea of full diet breaks, periods of 10-14 days in-between periods of active dieting where calories are brought back to maintenance (and carb intakes brought back to at least moderate levels).

Not only does this provide a psychological break from the grind of continuous dieting, it helps to ‘reset’ some of the metabolic adaptations that occur with dieting. Leptin levels will come up, thyroid conversion in the liver is improved, etc. Assuming dieters have no strict time constraints, I strongly feel that inserting full diet breaks every so often (how often depends on body fat levels) is important for long-term success. Again, for both physiological and psychological reasons.

There are at least two other regulators of leptin levels here, both zinc and Vitamin E intake appears to regulate leptin production and I have suggested supplementation of both in the past to try to help raise leptin. How much (if any) impact this actually has I can’t say.

Leptin action in the brain
Although it seems a bit out of order, I want to jump next to leptin activity in the brain. This is part of the area that gets generally referred to as ‘leptin sensitivity’ in the literature and is, unfortunately, poorly studied and even more poorly characterized.

What causes it, what (if anything) can be done about it is a huge question mark although finding ways to improve leptin sensitivity would probably also have huge benefits. Similar to improving insulin sensitivity, increasing leptin sensitivity would mean that the same level of hormone sends a larger signal. A supplement or drug that increased leptin sensitivity would be expected to do some very nice things.

I would mention that there is indirect evidence that regular exercise improves leptin sensitivity. I say indirect because measuring leptin sensitivity in humans is very difficult. Improved leptin sensitivity is being inferred from the fact that endurance athletes often have leptin levels below what you’d expect given their body fat level; this suggests increased sensitivity. Again, it’s hard to measure in humans.

It does appear that increasing levels of leptin induce resistance to itself (I’ll spare you the mechanism) so it’s conceivable that reducing leptin levels (e.g. with a diet) could transiently reduce leptin resistance/improve leptin sensitivity. How much of an effect or how long this would take is currently unknown.

If this were the case, would provide more support for cyclical dieting approaches such as my Ultimate Diet 2.0. During dieting periods, leptin levels would go down (but sensitivity would go up); during periods of deliberate overfeeding, improved leptin sensitivity (until such time as it went down again) could possibly be taken advantage of.

A similar logic could be applied to weight gain, eventually chronic overfeeding/weight gain might potentially induce leptin resistance; inserting periods of dieting to deliberately lower leptin might offset this.

While I’m on the topic, I should mention that leptin resistance can occur at other tissues such as skeletal muscle (I haven’t talked much about leptin’s actions there).In animals at least, both exercise and fish oils increase skeletal muscle leptin sensitivity.

Leptin transport into the brain
The final topic I want to talk about is that of leptin transport into the brain, something else I haven’t really talked about in this series. But it’s thought that leptin transport issues at the blood brain barrier may be part of the overall ‘leptin resistance syndrome’ and impaired leptin transport into the brain may be part of the problem. It’s thought that leptin transport into the brain can become saturated, that is, once leptin gets above a certain level in the bloodstream, no more can be transported into the brain.

But leptin transport into the brain is also actively regulated by the blood brain barrier, by a variety of things, let’s look at a few:

High blood triglycerides tend to reduce leptin transport and it’s interesting to note that, despite being high in fat, low-carbohydrate diets often reduce blood TG levels; is enhanced leptin transport part of the often observed appetite blunting effect that is often seen (along with other potential mechanisms of course)?

In a similar vein, high-carbohydrate diets, especially combined with low levels of activity often raise blood triglyceride levels, probably hindering leptin transport into the brain.

Both insulin and epinephrine increase leptin transport into the brain. Tying in with my comments above, this might be another reason that high-carbohydrate refeeds ‘work’ after a period of dieting; between (potentially) increased leptin sensitivity in the brain and insulin increasing leptin transport, there is a brief period where leptin signalling should be increased.

The supplements ephedrine and synephrine would be expected to increase leptin transport, ephedrine by raising epinephrine levels and synephrine by directly binding to beta-receptors.

And, of course exercise raises levels of epinephrine and, at least transiently should increase leptin transport into the brain. In that vein, quite a bit of research suggests that the body better regulates food intake when exercise is performed, increased leptin transport (and signalling) might be part of the mechanism.

And while I can’t find the paper now, I seem to recall a rat study suggesting that long-term (4 months if my memory isn’t failing me) fish oil supplementation could increase leptin transport into the brain. But it would likely take a very very long time to occur in humans.

And, at least for the time being that’s pretty much all I have to say about leptin. Next time, I’ll take a quick look at some of the other hormones involved in this system before (finally) moving onto some psychological issues that play a role in dieting.








Bodyweight Regulation: Leptin Part 5

Summarizing what I’ve discussed so far:


1. Human bodyweight appears to be biologically regulated, that is it makes some attempt (that can be overcome by environment, of course) to maintain body fat within some range or level.

2. The system regulating body fat is assymetrical, for most people it defends against fat loss much more strongly than against weight gain.

3. For proper regulation, the body needs a way of ‘knowing’ two things: how much fat you’re carrying and how much you’re eating; a variety of hormones play a role here.

4. At least in terms of indicating the amount of body fat is present, the hormones leptin and insulin appear to play a major role. Leptin scales with subcutaneous body fat levels (higher in women), insulin scales with visceral fat levels (usually higher in men); there is some indication of a gender difference in response to the different hormones.

Leptin and insulin also both change with changing food intake; leptin levels can drop significantly within a few days of dieting even with no change in body fat levels. Insulin changes meal to meal.

5. When people reduce calories and lose fat, leptin levels drop, and this appears to be a major part of the overall adaptations to dieting in terms of metabolic rate, hunger, etc.

While leptin certainly isn’t the only hormone involved it appears to be one of the major ones not only having direct effects but also impacting how well or how poorly other hormones (such as CCK) work in the brain.

6. While studies have found that raising leptin in overweight individuals typically does little (for reasons related to either leptin resistance or insufficiency in the brain), preventing leptin from dropping during a diet (or raising it) appears to reverse many of adaptations that occur.

Point 6 raises a question that someone actually brought up in the comments: why can’t I find leptin for sale?

And the answer is that it has never (and I suspect will never) been made available outside of research. When I originally wrote my Bromocriptine booklet, an effective dose of leptin came in around $1000 PER DAY. The last time I looked (about a month ago), it’s down to about $500 per day. That’s assuming a chemical company would sell it to you.

That’s not a typo mind you, leptin makes growth hormone look cheap.

For various reasons, it simply hasn’t been developed for human use outside of research applications. Why? I can’t say for sure. I suspect it’s because drug companies primarily want weight loss drugs that cause weight loss and leptin doesn’t do that.

They don’t seem to want drugs that simply make dieting work better. I’d note that the average dieter isn’t looking for that type of compound either. Drugs that generate weight loss without the person having to change their behavior patterns are the real goal.

There is also the issue of leptin being a peptide hormone, meaning it would have to be injected. Injectable drugs are a ***** practically and there’s been a huge push to develop diabetic solutions not involving injectable insulin for that reason; the odds of the typical person injecting leptin twice daily while dieting are slim.

Bodybuilders would, of course, but that small percentage of people trying to get to 5% body fat are not the target market of the drug companies.

End result: nobody is developing leptin for commercial use so far as I can tell and I doubt this will change.

But for dieters and especially the very lean, injectable leptin would be a godsend fixing a majority of the problems that occur with dieting. Unfortunately, it’s a pipe dream at this point.

Where does that leave us?

Last edited by Key Tones; 07-23-2011 at 08:00 PM..
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:04 PM   #898
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KT, I am giving up fiber supplements - have a huge tub of 270 count and take them for constipation - reading Monastyrsky has convinced me to give it up! It is making things worse! Oh, how we have been conditioned to eat more fiber!!! I can't tell you how many FiberOne bars I ate before my LC days. To think I have been damaging my intestines all along. I even force-fed it to my kid thinking it was sooo good for him.
Hmm, I would go slowly - maybe don't toss them out yet until you figure out what to do. I don't know how to transition off of those safely. Be sure to look into it to see if he says what to do. A rebound reaction would be a *****
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:20 AM   #899
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KT- I like McDonald a lot we have been reading his site, the leptin thing is a big mystery to me, like the IR what really overcomes it? I know the fish oils are very important,and one of the things in Tom Venuttos program that he recommends is the Udi's flax seed oil, I am debating buying that but at $18 a bottle I didn't get it. I will say that since i have been adding high quality carbs the bathroom thing is much better!! I was so careful all week, and then yesterday was a total bust, it was low carb but high fat, ugggh I felt terrible so I ran this morning!
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:38 AM   #900
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K.T., very interesting stuff! I have considered leptin resistance as problematic for myself but apparently one of the 'symptoms' is an inability to feel satiated. I don't have that problem but hear lots of people complain of it.

The reverse t3 is something new to me. It appears to be something that can be tested for but would need to have a up-to-date endo and a guess a testing facility. Not sure either exists in my 'neck of the woods'.

Here is a link to an news report on the subject..

Kent Holtorf: Long Term Weight Loss - More Than Will Power?
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