Saturday, March 28, 2015

driving through a tunnel

"I tried Atkins for half a day, but it made me feel bad so i stopped."

The medical shyster who said the above (approximately) has got to be the poster-child for stoopid when it comes to diet.  One can't realistically try ANYTHING for just a few hours and expect to succeed.

ESPECIALLY when it comes to diet.

No matter what the change, if it's radical enough, the body HAS to make adjustments like upregulating enzyme and hormone production/use, specific to the macronutrient content of the new regimen.  Such a process takes some time.  To expect to feel good immediately on the new food ... well, just shows how nutritionally-ignorant that self-promoting, egomaniacal Dr. Ass is.

And this takes us back to those people who think they "CAN'T fast"....  Have they ever actually tried?  Have they read up on how to do it?  More importantly, have they learned how to break their fasts?  Or have they listened to people who have FAILED at fasting and been discouraged?  We all know how people who have failed at anything enjoy it when we fail too -- it bolsters their damaged egos.

Learning how to follow any regimen properly is central to being able to do it successfully.  I'm sure all of us have heard of people who tentatively began low-carbing, but who were still afraid to add natural fats;  the double restriction results in ASSURED failure!  Or those who called their eating style "low carb" but who were inhaling fruit and reduced-carb baked goods in astonishing quantities....  When we don't do our due diligence, our chances of getting the results we desire are infinitesimal.

When i first went on the Strong Medicine regimen a couple of years ago, even though I followed instructions to the letter, i had to tweak and practice patience before I got to a point where it operated smoothly.  Even though the doctor who presented the diet had treated countless patients with the plan and perfected details as much as he could, individualization is essential.  So it is also with fasting.

You have to juggle liquid intake and mineral supplementation.  In opposition to Conventional Wisdom, i firmly believe that sodium/salt is GOOD for you!  Sometimes potassium supplementation is the right answer, as is magnesium, zinc, etc etc etc....  If you're doing an "all meat" diet, you must not dilute your stomach acid -- so minimal beverages during meals is the way to go, and extra betaine-HCl might be necessary.  Making sure your meats are very fresh to minimize histamine issues helps, too.  If you're completely fasting, liquid is your friend, but it's still possible to drink so much that your stomach feels funky.  A LITTLE coffee/tea is very valuable as an agent of lipolysis but a lot can cause trouble.

It's well known that a low-carber needs to plan to increase carbohydrates for a couple of days before taking a glucose-tolerance test.  Same principle.  If you get a huge blood-sugar spike out of the blue when your body isn't used to it, you'll feel like death-warmed-over while your organs are scrambling to cope with such an unaccustomed load.

The upshot is, you should allow your body plenty of time to get used to any new regimen.  If you've been a glucose-burner for decades, you can't swap over to burning fat/ketones immediately.  "Atkins flu" IS the period of adjustment, and "keto-adaptation" does NOT happen overnight.  Two or three days are necessary to go the other direction, too.

The time between starting a new dietary style and beginning to feel really good on it is like driving along on a bright sunny day and suddenly entering a tunnel.  You're going to feel uncomfortably out of your element for a little while -- your body is scrambling to adjust to the abrupt change, and it won't be efficient.  You'll feel systemically drained until your fat-digesting and -mobilizing enzymes reach optimal function, or alternatively you'll feel wired then starved till your sugar-using mechanism is hitting on all eight.  In either case, it requires a period of feeling gawd-awful before you settle into smooth operation.  If we're prepared for it, the experience is less alarming.

I figure that people who don't properly learn how to follow a special dietary regimen, who do it half-assedly and then proclaim that "it doesn't WERRRRK" (like Dr. Ass) really didn't want to do it in the first place -- why they wasted their time (and ours) is all about their prejudices and intellectual laziness, nothing more -- we can't help but suspect some of them of having ulterior motives.


  1. Replies
    1. :-) i'm afraid there was a lot of noise in the room while i was writing, and it's not as clear as i would have liked it....

  2. Yes, I own my evil/wimpiness...after about 12 hours of feeling like shit yesterday from a big plate of carnitas (only)...I cried UNCLE on Zero Carb eating. And for a couple of other reasons, as well.

    I knew there might be an adjustment. I didn't expect to be hurting so bad I was moaning out loud. :( I am a wimp. Yes ma'am.

    1. i'm sorry your ZC attempt turned out so poorly for you! but we have to obey our bodies who they lower the boom on us. similar thing happened to me once, when i had too many nightshades in one meal -- i felt like hell for about a day afterward!

    2. ...but i hope you don't think my posting was in response to your experience -- i actually didn't read yours until after i had published! i had been ruminating on people who claim they "can't fast" and something reminded me of Dr. Ass's "attempt" at low-carb. :-P if he couldn't do it by the book, why did he bother to do it at all?

  3. Any new lifestyle / change in lifestyle that you are hoping to improve on has to be given time to work, time for your body to adjust.

    It's like saying 'oh yes, I read two pages of a book' and thought that's not for me.

    Guess it still comes down to the individual .. each of us decides the why's and wherefores.

    All I know is I'm glad that because of Eddie's Type 2 diabetes we both discovered the benefits that living the LCHF lifestyle can and does bring.

    All the best Jan

    1. Eddie's lucky that you like low-carb too -- a lot of people who need to restrict their diets face a lot of resistance at home. :-(

  4. I can't fast. I've tried while fat-adapted. I was hungry, my head hurt, and my blood sugar slowly fell all day until I went on the only food binge of my life.

    It's been five years since I started LC, and I usually don't even do well skipping lunch.

    1. that's interesting -- I've hypothesized that the way Wooo feels sometimes suggests inefficient gluconeogenesis or some kind of liver-malfunction.... are you prone to hypoglycemia?

    2. I suspect I always have been: pre-LC, I had up-and-down moods, I'd get hungry enough to eat the wallpaper a few hours after meals, and most of the other symptoms Atkins and Bernstein list. I also do better with three solid meals a day and snacks. However, if I go VLC (like Atkins induction), it kills my urge to snack and I can sometimes even skip lunch. It could be Woo's and my alpha cells don't work very well and/or our beta cells overdo it.