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Thread: Gained 7 lbs that won't come off no matter what I do, please advise me

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  1. #1
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    Gained 7 lbs that won't come off no matter what I do, please advise me

    Greetings everyone. I own the Primal cookbooks and have been a long-time lurker on this site. Aside from eating cheese, my diet is consistent with primal principles.

    (*I know that this is not a weight loss forum* but will you please bear with me? I'm coming to you guys because you know more than most doctors, and you certainly know more than the dieters obsessed with counting calories on the weight loss forums.)

    From ages 16-40, I easily maintained my ideal weight of 125 pounds. At age 40, half of my thyroid was removed due to cancer, but I did not receive chemo or any form of radiation.

    After the thyroid surgery at age 40, I noticed a tendency to gain weight, so I immediately removed all carbs from my diet, which enabled me to maintain a weight of 125 until I hit age 43, after which 7 pounds crept on me over a 7 month period. This 7 pound weight gain is independent of any changes to diet and exercise. In fact, each month as a new pound would creep on, I would exercise harder and eat less, but nothing will reverse the weight gain.

    Each month my endocrinologist tests my blood and adjusts my daily thyroid meds. I am on a combo of T3 and T4. (I tried natural desiccated, but it made me gain at an even faster rate.) I wonder if the thyroid medication is affecting my insulin levels and thereby causing a weight gain? Although my blood sugars are all normal and I have never been diabetic.

    I am not menopausal, and my estrogen levels are normal, but my progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA were low, so my doctor has prescribed a small dose of bioidentical progesterone and testosterone cream plus small dose DHEA pill.

    My daily diet is under 1500 calories consisting of healthy oils/fats, meats, eggs, cheese, and low carb veggies such as lettuce and spinach. I do not even eat fruit. My exercise routine consists of cardio, resistance training, light weight lifting. But no matter how much I tweak my diet or exercise routine, the weight will not come off.

    The weight gain is inexplicable, because I do not eat carbs or anything that would raise my insulin. Nor do I ever overeat.

    I assume that my hypothalamus has downgraded my metabolism. Is there a way to reverse this and raise my metabolism again?

    I have considered the HCG diet, but it would require me to remove all fats from my diet for a month.

    Should I get tested for leptin resistance or reverse T3 build up?

    I have also read that taking a combination of naltrexone and Wellbutrin raises metabolism. Do you know anyone who has tried this combo?

    *SORRY* for being selfish and going off topic with my weight issues, but you know that you are in a better position to advise me than any doctor or dieter.

    I appreciate any suggestions that you care to offer.

  2. #2
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    Hi~ I'm new here too~ but not new to low carb~ I would first start with how much protein are you eating? The body doesn't store protein and will use excess as either a glucose type energy or store it as fat. Even though you aren't eating insulin triggering foods, too much protein can cause the same effect. gram protein per pound of body weight is considered adequate for average activity levels~

    HTH~

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nady View Post
    Even though you aren't eating insulin triggering foods, too much protein can cause the same effect. gram protein per pound of body weight is considered adequate for average activity levels~

    HTH~
    Nady, I didn't know this. I thought that protein could only be stored as fat in the presence of insulin. Thank you for your post.

  4. #4
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    You could also try intermittent fasting. Perhaps a 15 hour fast several times a week. That's pretty painless. Don't make up for it later. Or, try a 23 hour fast. Apparently these kinds of short fasts have healing qualities beyond just the reduced calories of eating less. The trick is, if you can do a fast like this without difficulty, it can only help. If you struggle with a lot of hunger, don't do it. You aren't ready yet.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    You could also try intermittent fasting. Perhaps a 15 hour fast several times a week. That's pretty painless. Don't make up for it later. Or, try a 23 hour fast. Apparently these kinds of short fasts have healing qualities beyond just the reduced calories of eating less. The trick is, if you can do a fast like this without difficulty, it can only help. If you struggle with a lot of hunger, don't do it. You aren't ready yet.
    Hi SBHikes. I read conflicting opinions regarding the effect of fasting on metabolism. I am so afraid of doing anything to make my already slow metabolism even slower. Does anyone who has fasted have an opinion on this? Does it lower your metabolism because you think you are in a famine?

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by helpmelose7lbs View Post
    Hi SBHikes. I read conflicting opinions regarding the effect of fasting on metabolism. I am so afraid of doing anything to make my already slow metabolism even slower. Does anyone who has fasted have an opinion on this? Does it lower your metabolism because you think you are in a famine?

    Thanks.
    Oh yeah~ for me, fasting is the human equivalent of rebooting the computer! It gives the body a chance to houseclean and get rid of the 'junk'. Look at it this way~ do you think cavemen had a constant supply of food? Metabolism doesn't slow down because you miss a meal or two~ it takes longer term famine to trigger 'conservation' mode and even then, metabolism returns to normal when food intake becomes regular again.

    Personally, I think all these *ruins your metabolism* warnings comes from the USDA, because it sure doesn't jive with our evolution!

  7. #7
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    Nady, what you say makes sense.

    Here is the mystery: why have I gained one pound per month over the past 7 months with absolutely no change in diet and exercise or any other lifestyle change that would be impactful upon metabolism? I know that metabolism slows with age, but this seems like a steep drop.

    The T4 component of my thyroid medication was increased twice during this past 7 month period, and I wonder if T4 somehow effects insulin levels, and if increased insulin levels may have caused this? Although let me stress that I have never been diabetic.

  8. #8
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    I can't advise you on any medication you take, but i can tell you that doing IF (intermittent fasting) or something like Fast-5 might give your body the time it needs to balance itself~ Many medications address one issue but have a side effect that unbalances something else ~ everyone's different, even if this isn't a common side effect, it still may be true for you~ might be something you want to discuss with your doctor~

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by helpmelose7lbs View Post
    Hi SBHikes. I read conflicting opinions regarding the effect of fasting on metabolism. I am so afraid of doing anything to make my already slow metabolism even slower. Does anyone who has fasted have an opinion on this? Does it lower your metabolism because you think you are in a famine?

    Thanks.
    The first thing to understand is that your body responds to food metabolically. A short fast is also responded to metabolically. We're not talking starvation. 15 hours without food is all it may take and you can be asleep for part of that. Don't do it unless it's easy and pleasurable to do it. You have to be ready. It helps if your body is adapted enough that it can handle long periods of time in a state of ketosis, or that it can go in and out of ketosis easily, because that's what the fast will do. Put you in ketosis.

    As an example of how easy it should be, I had an all meat breakfast today and it is my plan not to eat until breakfast tomorrow. So far I have had absolutely no hunger. I feel totally calm and normal. If I feel ravenous tonight I'll eat dinner, but I'm expecting that I won't feel hungry even later tonight.

    The time off from eating will rev up my metabolism because hormones that don't normally get a chance to fire while I'm regularly fed get a chance to do their thing. I learned a lot of Dr. Eade's website here, especially reading the comments:

    The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. Fast way to better health

    One thing I was really impressed with reading the comments was how many women, especially older ones like me, had great success with this kind of fasting. Whereas almost everywhere you read from older women having trouble losing weight on primal diets, you read lots of reports of success in losing weight and improved health on topics regarding intermittent fasting.

    It's my plan to do this on purpose only once a week. Not every day. Not grit my teeth through it. If I'm hungry I will break the fast. The point is to feel great, not suffer.

    Mark's got some stuff on it too but I haven't read it all yet.
    Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy? | Mark's Daily Apple
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

  10. #10
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    What do your latest thyroid tests say? Please include reference ranges.

    How's your vitamin D, ferritin levels? Are you getting at least 200 mcg of selenium each day (my multi-vitamin contains that much).

    Have you asked your endo to test fasting insulin and HbA1c?

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