Eating Strategy... apologies [Marz + others] this is rather long :-)

On first encountering this method some years ago, I was too ill at that time to think about it. Once taking Armour, but then gaining weight due to [further] horrible stressors, I decided to go for it in 2011. I got to my lowest weight [not huge by any means but enough to be concerned re health] since being diagnosed hypothyroid, and when taking Armour Thyroid! This method worked a treat BUT I had bizarrely put on almost two stone in 3 months [my diet was, still is, exemplary and I exercised like nothing you can imagine - lots of resistance training, HIIT and other stuff], yet with no change in food or exercise; this was purely down to my broken 'thermostat' and due to horrendous stress, first starting in 1995. So when I plateaued, as is inevitable, I let this great method slip over time. You know, when you get confident that its all OK now [let's face it, how often do many of us hypothyroids get that?]. Just a little slip here, Christmas and New Year, and then "Oh its winter and I'm freezing" [my thyroid issue is predominantly low temperature which, of course, leads to slow metabolism and fatigue] and before we know it, weight creeps back slowly... but then that rollercoaster takes over.

Apparently Leptin is a hugely important hormone. Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones that have been recognized to have a major influence on energy balance. Leptin is a mediator of long-term regulation of energy balance, suppressing food intake and thereby inducing weight loss. Ghrelin on the other hand is a fast-acting hormone, seemingly playing a role in meal initiation. Ghrelin is an endogenous orexigenic peptide, not so long ago discovered to be in the stomach. [I have read that a large proportion of our T3 receptors reside in the gut [lining]? I cannot assert that as 'fact' [what's one of those? ;-)] but it all seems rather plausible.] Please jump in and correct, anyone... I want accuracy, I never seek to 'be right'.

So, having tried the above method of eating once before... I have to say that once you're in it - actually doing it - you are the best salesperson there is for this method. It works, it feels so empowering, you feel great, weight comes off... what more could you want, apart from your thyroid fixing? However, being vigilant and never dropping your guard is the absolute watchword.

The constant 'grazing' and encouragement to 'snack' [along with fake food and trans fats] seem to have led to the increasing obesity levels throughout the West [and when USA fast food goes to the East... this seems to affect them too: not knocking America, my family lives there]. Snacking is a huge problem [even for diabetics... you know how they are/were? told eat little and often? Apparently that just keeps the insulin spikes going longer :-( ]. So NO SNACKING WHATSOEVER.

Right, here goes and this is soo simple to follow: my food choices are pretty much as they have been for many years... but timing is everything. Eat like 'war days' but not war food, just small.ish portions and eat three times each day and that is it, you are done! The more you do this, the more content and happy you become with it. I recognise that some of you may well be saying, "I do that anyway" :-) Do you leave a good 12 hours, preferably 14 hours, before your last evening meal and breakfast? That seems to be the biggest key to this; plus leave 5 hours between each meal, eating 3 times over the day.

Choose the time for your last evening meal because this determines everything else you do; mine is 8.30 pm [I leave myself slippage of between 8.00 and 9.00 pm so as not to get too bogged down by rules... on occasion I swap to 7.00 - 8.00 but any time is good so long as it fits your needs, someone might choose 6.00 pm]. It seems good to jumble it up a bit... so that no totally consistent pattern develops for the body to 'switch off' to. The last meal must be eaten at least 3 hours before going to bed/sleep; don't want to be digesting food when the body is meant to be sleeping and repairing itself... doing its night work.

The aim is to have as little sugar/carbs as possible. I eat meat, chicken, salmon, prawns, mackerel and eggs [usually a medium or small egg daily] and use good EV olive oil, nut oil and good old butter to cook with. I eat dairy: cheese - many kinds but small amounts, unflavoured full fat proper Greek yogurt and double cream for coffee or as a treat pouring on berries. So, I have protein, fats and dairy + I eat veg [mostly raw and cooked spinach, Cos/Romaine lettuce, avocado, asparagus, mushrooms [much less often I have all coloured peppers, courgettes and aubergines all tossed in with chunks of chorizo and an egg put in at the end to set]. Oh, you can still have [good] sausage, bacon and egg with a small tomato - just be sensible with the portion size! Think the Queen instead of a Trucker ;-)

I restrict my fruit to a small amount of berries [the only fruit I really, really miss = hard, crisp Cox's or Braeburn apples... so as a rare treat, I peel the skin and eat that, tossing the apple away or to my husband :-) ]: the berries I eat are blueberries, blackberries, pomegranate seeds and cranberries [have to get these frozen - 50+ bags go in the freezer at Christmas for x1 per week], made into a compote [obviously NO SUGAR to sweeten] and kept in the fridge to have with yogurt. I eat nuts [almonds, pecans, macadamia, fewer walnuts and brazils] with my coffee and cream, washed down with a square at each meal of 90% or 99% chocolate - its an acquired taste but for me now the 90% is just normal chocolate... barely any sugar in comparison to ordinary choc and plenty antioxidants.

There are several variations for all meals but the meal I often eat: salmon + fried in butter egg with asparagus + [as pudd] a heaped dessertspoon of full fat Greek yogurt with about 8 blueberries, 12 pomegranate seeds and a dollop of cranberry compote sprinkled with pumpkin and sunflower seeds [sometimes a small amount of pure cacoa powder sprinkled on - as I said, I love dark chocolate ;-)) ]. I am eating probably the same amount [maybe a little more!] so I have to put this down to good, healthy eating but TIMING has to be the significant factor where leptin [also whipping ghrelin into shape] is assisting our other hormones, including insulin to regulate. The whole purpose of this method is to 're-set' our leptin hormone to work efficiently as it used to... I do not know enough to comment on that statement but what I do know is that it works if scrupulously applied. Apparently, our snack in between meals is meant to come from our liver 'kicking out glycogen'. Anyway, I feel great [aside from concern in the background of low temps in winter which may or may not take me down]. Weight has been consistently dropping to a level of that around 1995 [when the diabolical stress first started].

Recap: once you've eaten - Low Carbs High Fat/Protein - simply leave the system alone for 14 hours. You can drink herb tea or any tea/drink so long as there is no sugar [or cream or milk - lemon maybe?] is added. A foul little habit I have for when its cold with low temps: as kids [11 - 13 y/o] we used to throw potatoes in a fire outside of a park shrub area in winter, someone would get a flask of hot water and some oxo cubes and we'd feast on potatoes and hot oxo... urrgghh. Well, I've resurrected hot oxo... for those moments when vaguely tempted [rarely] and, I'm embarrassed to admit, it hits the spot! I have to say that, over time, this is becoming much easier to do - very easy now - I'm excited to see where it goes.

So, that is it. Last time I did this I lost my way... can't afford to this time. So far I have not been at all hungry: I eat sufficient but not too much. The appreciation of eating with a good few hours in between meals is evident by hmmm noises [last time I used to think it was my lovely dressing... NO, its hunger - proper hunger - not simply peckish]! Also, last time I had no strategy to deal with the plateau but now I have. Do not use a further strategy until there is a plateau... let it happen naturally, not trying to rush.

When necessary I can: choose x2 days per week [likely Tues and Thurs for me] where I can miss the evening meal and slightly re-jig the other two meals, extending the fasting period longer [apparently it is best to do this with more hours before bedtime without food]. I could alter the portions to very slightly less on alternate days, which is why I have not skimped at all on my food for this initial period... so that I have 'somewhere else to go'. I have only recently introduced exercise again but purely resistance and HIIT [High Intensity Interval Training] - all exercise is now for much shorter periods than ever in the past [e.g. now 15 - 20 mins for resistance and HIIT, only ever 4 mins] for good fitness/toning but not to stress the body, which can lead to the stress hormones going berserk and sabotaging many dietary and exercise efforts.

My big thing next year is to move from relatively high acid to more alkaline foods... any questions or views would be appreciated. All I can say is that this works really, really well :-)

Best to all

Linda

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  • Wow ! - that was worth waiting for ! Like many others I have read about leptin and ghrelin and thought it made sense but have not tried putting it into practice. Am fine with the night gap of 12 hours - but would struggle with the others ! Yes I am starving hungry after taking a yoga class - so that too would be hard. But hey I do need to lose weight :-)

    Berries here in Crete are in short supply and when we find Blueberries they do not seem fresh and are 5 euro for the smallest punnet ! Heaven knows how far they have travelled ! Of course we have pomegranates in abundance right now ! I can buy frozen raspberries in Lidl - oh joy ! Blackberries in the hedgerows are the size of currants !

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and I will read it again and see what I can do !

  • Thank you. Seriously Marz, it works :-) You get so used to relishing the food that you're going to have... soon :-) and, once you get that feeling of 'I can do this' and see the results... you'll never look back. xox

  • Sorry Marz, those are my food choices, oh and OLIVES!, but just follow it with your choices. As for after a yoga class... you'll be amazed at the sense of achievement you have from withholding x, y or z until its your time to eat, then enjoying so much what you do eat. x

  • Thank you for this, shall look forward to having a proper read later today.

  • Apols its so long... sadly my ability to precis kind of left me when my thyroid issues got really bad [I think its my superordinate structures... gone strange]. Follow it to the letter and it works. Best of :-)

  • Thank you LindaC

    We can only try :)

  • That's what I thought - I was eating pretty much the same in any event but with all of that exercise for no results. It really is the food BUT timing seems critical. Give it a go :-)

  • Same with me exercise & slimming club with no results have started this morning.

    Will keep you posted with results :)

    Have a nice day LindaC

  • Best of mrs44mac - I'd ran myself ragged with exercise and a very good diet... small loss every year in summer [when I warm up!] then back on in winter.

    You don't need to eat the food that I do - those are just my likes - so long as its Low Carb High[er] Fat/with Protein - that should help. Seriously, it has to be TIMING.

    You too, have a great day mrs44mac :-)

  • Impressive LindaC. Have read through 3 times and taken notes. However, I can't see when you take your thyroid meds' (what are you taking?) and when if any supplements? Curious to know?

  • Eek Margo, proceed with caution and recognise that this is not a 'diet'; rather a change for good. If you get into it, this can work a dream.

    Yes, I take my thyroid hormones immaterial of 'Trough Time' ;-) but I try for some of the day to have thyroid hormones and supplements coincide loosely before mealtimes.

    A little hormone history: I took the contraceptive pill for 17 years [never had a weight problem but 'grew up' to begin to think, "Why am I taking these hormones?" I never once considered HRT for the very same reason.

    I was loathe to take thyroid hormones [as Dr S first noted to my GP] but couldn't continue the way I was. I was started on Levo, mid-Feb 2010 @ 25mg, increased to 50 and simply could not tolerate it [must not have needed it but was hypothyroid without doubt!]. From end March/April 2010 I took Armour Thyroid and found this amazing, not 100% but 95% some of the time... sometimes 80% [still a huge improvement from prior to that]. I got 2 1/2 very good years from Armour but [likely due to my not taking it up and up as people are meant to... I stayed at 1 to - 1 1/2 Grains a day] over time it became less effective. Potentially, the T3 I was getting from it and maybe even the T2, T1 and calcitonin helped me a lot [but I was still getting an excess of T4 which I had not previously needed]. Another doctor advised me in May 2010 to try T3 but again, I'm quite squeamish about taking stuff. I tried a few times but didn't get much from it [likely too little again!].

    So by December 2012 I moved across to T3 alone, with advice from people who really know about this stuff: wasn't going to do this alone. Again, I had almost two really good years on T3... until end 2014. It was possibly my leptin resistance/insulin not functioning well [I had never been fat as a adult, quite the reverse but huge, diabolical - totally unavoidable - stress in 1995 led to sudden weight gain] making matters much worse for me. Once I warmed up in July [temps at low 36'sC] I was fine again. I kept taking my T3 throughout, albeit I did my very best to try to reduce [at the suggestion of an endo] but within no time, my temps were going back down and my arrhythmia with very low heart rate returned. Oh, I take 62.5 mcg of T3 each day... if I am freezing in winter [house at 25/26C and layers of clothes, with a temp of 34.5C... mild hypothermia] I add another 12.5 mcg of T3 in the mix. What can I do?

    The supplements I take are many and varied... I began taking them to try to 'fix myself' because docs weren't listening. Once diagnosed, I went to see a doc [one who advised me in May 2010 to try T3] to ask him which vits/mins and supplements I could take out of the equation... he added more ;-) and never stood to benefit financially, so that was not his reason. He is hypothyroid himself and knows quite a bit about it all; as did the late great Dr John Lowe and Dr Mark Starr... these two men have taken me from the depths of hell - read what they have to say.

    Apologies Margo, I said to someone earlier, I have lost the ability to precis which is most unfortunate for anyone having to pick the bones out of my words. Hope you can :-)

    Linda

  • Thank you so much LindaC very kind of you to keep us all posted on your brilliant progress. Long may it continue for you. X

  • Thank you so much Margo. Its getting cold so hoping to keep OK... flagging a little but the eating plan stays for good. x

  • Thank you so much for the info about leptin and ghrelun! I will check it out. I have insulin resistance. If I go too long between meals I get hypoglycemic. That is where the graze method comes from. Done properly it doesn't keep insulin elevated. It just keeps it from spiking. Properly means low carb, low fat, high protein. I eat this way and I am losing a sh*t ton of weight (medical term... Lol. Not). It also restricts hunger after the first week or two. You don't desire carbs or extra food. *really*

    Meals consist of around 100-200 calories in protein and vegetables. Lean chicken, Turkey, fish, occasional hard cheese (less fat than soft cheese), nuts (watch the calories) as many non-starchy vegetables as you want. Little grain, starches, sugars. I eat 8 meals a day (every two hours) and am losing a lot of weight.

    We tend to eat all the wrong things.

    Jen

  • Jen that is great to hear - whatever works for you/anyone is excellent news. We all have our own 'key' lurking somewhere and need to find it :-) Keep up the excellent work and yes it is great eating several times a day :-)

    I have tried low fat and several meals each day [my never overweight mother was T2 but for different reasons to me!, that is how she ate] and I pretty much ate just as I do now but low fat. I had long since cut out bread, starches, grains and have cut sugar for a long, long while but barely lost a few pounds except in summer [back on in winter with exactly the same eating habits... my temps = huge problem]. So, I had to keep trying to find a solution. I would really prefer to have your solution but it didn't work for me... all of these things are so individual to our particular chemistry. It can be difficult for many because solid dietary advice is hard to come by; much of today's health issues seem to have come from dreadful dietary advice.

    I had insulin resistance then borderline T2D and kept it in check for two years until becoming sooo horribly ill from back end of December 2014 'til end June 2015. I did none of my usual exercise [and I've been exercising for many years] which seems to have tipped me into full blown T2. That is WHY I started doing the above eating. It is not a diet; rather, a change of eating forever. Intermittent fasting is recognised by some docs now as a way of dealing with T2. So this 'key' is working for me at this point.

    Linda

  • You are so right. Everyone needs to find what works for them. This way of eating was prescribed by my endocrinologist for life. I had done low carb in the past but not low carb, low protein. This is working much better for me. I've already lost 35 pounds since April.

  • That is excellent, keep it up... yes, it becomes for life - and you know what, life is much better with some weight dropped, eating well and feeling content about things.

    Good luck with your continuation :-)

  • This sort of diet is excellent for people who are insulin resistant/type 2 diabetics/metabolic syndrome. For them the main problem is glucose and fructose which comes from all sugars, and starches. Glucose, triggers the production of insulin, and if you eat too much, and too frequently (so the receptors never have a 'rest' when they can reset themselves) leads eventually to insulin resistance which becomes T2D as your blood sugars rise. Fructose is converted by the liver, where it is stored and causes fatty liver disease. Sugar is made up of one molecule of glucose, and one of fructose!!

    However if your primary problem is the thyroid this sort of eating can hammer your adrenals and cause yet more problems. I decided to go this route because thyroid under-treatment was piling on weight. As a result, my already fragile adrenal system (from a stressful life) went into overdrive trying to compensate for too little thyroid hormone, and too little food. Because make no mistake, its not just less of the bad stuff, but also less of the good. I was lucky to meet a doctor who told me that my adrenals were stressed, if he hadn't I'd be in a full adrenal crash by now.

    So, what to do? Cut out sugar. If you can't cut out snacks stick to healthy stuff like nuts, crispy veg, berries. Eat small amounts of very complex carbs. Good fats(animal fats and olive oil), good quality animal protein, lots and lots of veg. Get out in the fresh air, and daylight early in the day, or use a lightbox. Get to bed at a decent time.

    I can't tell you enough how 'The Adrenal Reset Diet' by Alan Christianson - which is not just about diet at all, has helped me. He also has a lot to say about the thyroid.

  • Thank you Ruthi, and yes I do absolutely know what horrendous stress does to the body. I'll have a look at the Adrenal Reset D... much appreciated. I know, not a diet its has to be a way of life. Yes, I've had a light box for years and still use it :-)

    It was very heavy duty exercise that kept on hammering my adrenals... I can't believe that I continued [given everything with my thyroid] that I was so stupid to believe that I could do that to myself [again, trying to 'fix myself' because no one was listening... doctors say, "Calories In - Calories Out" and simply won't accept that nothing is that simple: it definitely is not]. I support my adrenals also [diagnosed May 2010 and every time I try to stop the dreadful stuff I take, I go down again... I now know to just do it.

    Re-setting Leptin is working great for me - yes very little sugar is the key [only, unavoidably, from double cream etc and a small amount of berries] but I now totally accept that intermittent fasting and eating every 5 hours - no snacks - 3 times per day really works where nothing else has. Off to amazon now to check the book out :-)

    Be well xx

  • Thanks, Linda. I had never heard of Ghrelin before. But had read an article regarding the twelve hour lapse to allow the liver to metabolize all the glucose remaining until the next meal. I, too, think it's a very important point so I'm glad you brought it out.

  • Thank you Heloise - this method works, really works - I do 14 hours overnight and 5 hours between meals; there are other ways too. Love it... no going back :-)

  • Hi can you have coffee? and also tablet sweetners during fasting times?

  • That is so kind of you Kai--An and thank you too, I have just seen your highly interesting posts!

    I'm afraid that 'trial and error' for 12 years is not so good ;-) BUT boy did I give it my all for many of those years [omitting when I was wiped out and couldn't function]. I always knew there was a highly specific, individualized 'key' for my situation and so continued to strive to find it. Sadly, this seems where standard medicine fails where hormones are concerned - their 'ranges' say very little about me - other than human... or sometimes it feels like 'animal, vegetable or mineral'!

    Perhaps medics simply don't realise the huge [yet often quite subtle yet cumulative] impact our thyroid hormones have on the whole of our lives... then when leptin and ghrelin, insulin [won't go through all hormones] begin to take their toll, it feels as if the person is falling apart. In our internal reality, we are falling apart when several process do not function well... it is here that medicine and the NHS could actually save ££ over the long run by preventing the deterioration outfall down the line... I would still like to think that docs actually cared about our health :-)

    Off to read your posts! Be well :-)

  • Hi Kai, I appreciate your comment about the birds-eye view. We have to look more holistically at the body. That's why I have posted Dr. John Bergman's videos as he uses the whole anatomy in conveying his ideas. I also like your advice to use GPs only for testing or observing and balancing that with the information from much better sources.

    I'm into gathering information about biofilms which I think have interfered with immunity and may be the basis of so many conditions. Have you run across any inferences to that?

  • Thank you, Kai. Don't worry about bungling and you have hit the nail on the head. There are wonderful graphics but still difficult to tie the pieces together. Yes, mournadventure did host a nice thread. I think antiseptics work better than antibiotics although minocycline may have some effect on these cell wall deficient bacteria (CWD).

    I hope the scientific minds can come up with something as I'm believing that these infections are the cause of many autoimmune conditions.

    I will check out Paddison program. Also PR4NOW has a post today with interesting links.

  • I see Matthews is a guest on one Podcast so I'm sure will be interesting.

    Dr. Bergman warns against almost all painkillers and since they don't really work that well, I have found them easier to avoid.

    Good to talk to you!

  • Kai-An, I must get 'round to your wonderful posts... backlogged - thank you and I will - great info you're posting, thank you!!

  • Thank you so very much Kai--An, mine is simply thyroid/gut but all of your posts are saying a lot about what is known and can be discovered. Wonderful stuff :-) very best to you, will be checking out your posts/info xx

  • Found this interesting article on fixing leptin issues:

    wellnessmama.com/5356/fix-y...

  • realturbo, thank you very much for that. I'll read it over the holidays. xx

    Merry Christmas or whatever it is that you do :-)

  • Wishing you a good christmas and seasons greetings LindaC. And to all members on this forum, :-)

  • realturbo, I've just looked over it and its spot on... seriously, this works folks :-)

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