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