Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Metabolic advantage

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Foods eaten: Eggs, Cream, Jersey cow milk, Decaf espresso, Potato, 1/8th of an onion, Butter, Leeks, Beef, White bread, Sugar.
Kcals: 2013, Protein: 69g, Fat: 163g, Carbs: 65g.

I’m still feeling very energetic. Last night I fell asleep as soon as the light was switched out, and I woke up at 6.30 this morning. I’ve been back on optimal diet ratios for four days now, though it went wrong for me later in the day today. No longer bloated. My stomach is as flat as a pancake. My weight has settled back down to 8st 10.2 from being 8st 9.6 before I started failsafe and pigged out. My body fat percentage confirms I’ve gained about half a pound of fat. That means I’ve been burning around 250 calories more than I should have per day based on my activity level, which has been a big fat slothful zero. If it was only one hundred calories out I could understand it, but 250 is quite a big difference, the equivalent of a couple of hours walking per day for the last twenty days.

I’ve done this before when I lost a stone in two weeks on Atkins. Then again when the stats didn’t add up on the optimal diet. And again on the Atkin’s fat fast.

Unfortunately as I wasn’t really bothering to perform a scientific experiment at the time, I didn’t keep a close enough record of my calorie intake and body fat to prove it once and for all. Looking back through my fat fast diary, there are periods where I dropped weight very quickly, and periods where I stopped dropping weight. I kept having to “zig-zag” and force my thyroid up a gear with days of overeating and additional carbohydrate. When I first started to plateau on very few calories, it was associated with eating strong, spicy, and aged foods, and taking aspirin. I didn’t make the connection at the time. I thought the aspirin was helping because it seemed to break a plateau for about three days, but longer term the aspirin taking was associated with reduced weight loss.

The data from medical studies of low-carb diets, and my own experiences of them just refuse to add up to the “calories-in-calories-out” theory. So I became convinced of the theory that there are a couple of hundred calories of leeway on either side of your optimum calorie intake that your metabolism will take care of. I’m not the first to think of it. If you want to gain weight (including building muscle), you have to raise your calories above your maximum leeway, if you want to lose weight, you have to lower your calories below your minimum leeway, and you can tweak your leeway depending on whether you are supporting or undermining your metabolism. I guess different people may experience a greater or lesser effect depending on how “sturdy” their thyroid/metabolism is, and indeed whether they have food chemical sensitivities.

There are studies that have found a “metabolic advantage” to low-carb diets, without undermining the importance of calorie control for weight loss. I’m convinced that the metabolic advantage is a separate phenomenon from the wonderful appetite control effects of a low-carb diet.

I wish I’d been recording my weight data more closely. I’m going to continue logging in FitDay for now. I’m planning another fat fast, this one failsafe, to see what happens. I hypothesise that I’ll lose weight faster and more consistently than the last time.


Written by alienrobotgirl

17 March, 2006 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Failsafe Diary

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