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Thread: Does being fat-adapted give you an edge in survival situations? page 2

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forgotmylastusername View Post
    Most peoples cold tolerance goes right down on very low carb as it tends to lower thyroid hormones. But if you're in a state of starvation that's probably going to happen anyway and make no difference, but you'll probably be better off if you have some glucose stores to use up first though. Overweight people would definitely have the edge in survival situations.
    Fair enough. I'm probably an extremely poor example anyway since so much of what I do for fun involves being cold -- and the athletic performance benefits of being LC or VLC seem to outweigh any increased temperature sensitivity (which I haven't noticed, if anything I tolerate the cold better).
    And I am aware that people with a bit more body fat have an advantage in survival situations where cold weather is a factor -- but it could be a double-edged sword -- if you have to do something physically exerting to survive, overweight people will expend more energy and tire out more quickly.
    Subduction leads to orogeny

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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    And if you are hypothermic, you can't just sit there and wait. You have to act.
    So true. One 85 degree day we went for a ride in an open Jeep. I had just gotten out of the shower so my hair was wet. I pulled it all back into a ponytail. When we got to our destination 40 or so miles away we stopped at a hamburger stand. As I was sitting at an outdoor table in the sunshine I observed my fingers turning purple and watched the purple go higher and higher and higher until I was purple past my wrists.
    I sure got some strange looks after my husband bundled me up in all sorts of coats and had me drinking hot fluids.
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  3. #13
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    I will point you to the backpacking light forum where there has been much discussion about the benefits of low carb and backpacking. Here are a few:
    Philosophy & Technique Ketogenic diet as a way to lighten pack? -- BackpackingLight.com Forums
    Food, Hydration, and Nutrition My Paleo -- BackpackingLight.com Forums
    Food, Hydration, and Nutrition Very Low-Carb Trip Report -- BackpackingLight.com Forums
    Food, Hydration, and Nutrition BPL Forum-Created Paleo Cookbook -- BackpackingLight.com Forums

    The reverse t3 thing is totally misunderstood. It's really similar to the reduction of insulin on a low carb diet. It's an adaptation to the whole fat burning thing. You don't think the fat burning thing just happens, do you? It takes metabolic machinery to happen and the change in lots of hormones is what makes it possible. People feel run down, cold and like their metabolism is slow because they've reduced their calories too much and lost body fat that used to fuel the calorie deficit.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    I will point you to the backpacking light forum where there has been much discussion about the benefits of low carb and backpacking. Here are a few:
    Philosophy & Technique Ketogenic diet as a way to lighten pack? -- BackpackingLight.com Forums
    Food, Hydration, and Nutrition My Paleo -- BackpackingLight.com Forums
    Food, Hydration, and Nutrition Very Low-Carb Trip Report -- BackpackingLight.com Forums
    Food, Hydration, and Nutrition BPL Forum-Created Paleo Cookbook -- BackpackingLight.com Forums

    The reverse t3 thing is totally misunderstood. It's really similar to the reduction of insulin on a low carb diet. It's an adaptation to the whole fat burning thing. You don't think the fat burning thing just happens, do you? It takes metabolic machinery to happen and the change in lots of hormones is what makes it possible. People feel run down, cold and like their metabolism is slow because they've reduced their calories too much and lost body fat that used to fuel the calorie deficit.
    Exactly. Any time people "diet" it has an effect on thyroid.

    Also overweight people tend to have thyroid problems, often undiagnosed. When the try to go low carb and don't feel well due to either excessive protein, not enough salt/electrolyte imbalances, or just a severe reduction in calories all at once they go to the doctor who then does some tests, finds out they have a thyroid problem, asks what they have been eating and correlation becomes causation. The pre-existing but undiagnosed thyroid issue come to light and the low carb diet gets blamed for it.

    I have never felt less cold and heat sensitive than when on a low carb diet. I used to wear socks to bed (in southern California) but last winter I think I only turned on the heater maybe twice for a couple of hours.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    I have never felt less cold and heat sensitive than when on a low carb diet. I used to wear socks to bed (in southern California) but last winter I think I only turned on the heater maybe twice for a couple of hours.
    Yeah, same here. I mean come on, sleeping on 3/8" of foam on top of snow? I can't say this born and raised Santa Barbara girl (ain't no snow in Santa Barbara) has suffered any increased cold-sensitivity.

    Anyway, this whole paleohacks topic on the subject is very interesting.
    Is lowered T3 resulting from a low carb diet problematic? - PaleoHacks.com

    Not that any of this really matters to being fat-adapted, as this can happen even on higher carb levels with adequate aerobic fitness. Having metabolic flexibility is going to give you an edge in a survival situation for sure. I love this gnolls.org article for a description of that edge:
    Occasional Insanity Outperforms Daily Misery: Day-Hiking Mt. Whitney, Fasted - GNOLLS.ORG
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

  6. #16
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    That PaleoHacks link was very informative particularly Ambimorph's post. It clearly showed that t3 lowering is a normal adaptation that the body makes in times of caloric or carb scarcity in order to spare muscle from being catabolized. It is not pathological and does no lasting damage to the thyroid. It is not the same thing as "being hypothyroid".

    The back and forth between Jaminet and Rosedale was interesting too.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    It is not the same thing as "being hypothyroid".
    Yes, that's what I keep pointing out. But it's like an urban paleo legend that just won't die. You can't expect your body's machinery to change to get energy from fat without there being actual, you know, changes. The t3 thing is one of those changes. If that didn't happen, you'd probably convert all your muscles into sugar and never be able to use your body's fat stores for energy. What sense would it make to store energy that is unusable?
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    Yeah, same here. I mean come on, sleeping on 3/8" of foam on top of snow? I can't say this born and raised Santa Barbara girl (ain't no snow in Santa Barbara) has suffered any increased cold-sensitivity.
    ]
    Even rosedale says it CAN lower body temp and increase cold sensitivity in some people.

    It's not the same as actually suffering from hypothyroidism as it's not an autoimmune disorder and can be reversed with dietary carbohydrates, which regulate t3 levels unlike fat which has no effect, so increasing your fat caloric content will have no effect. It's called Nonthyroidal Sickness Syndrome and it can have all the SYMPTOMS of hypothyroidism due to lowered t3 and elevated rt3. It's a "natural" change that happens on very low carb, very low calorie, times of starvation or illness. It doesn't mean it's desirable for most people if it leaves you fatigued, cold insensitive and your hair falls out. Not everyone reacts well to it.
    If it works for you great! I'm happy for you! Just don't try to pass it off as though it's right for everyone and saying rubbish like it's an 'urban legend' or saying that people just weren't "doing it right". That's just disturbing dogmatic denialism that's completely incorrect and contradicts thousand of peoples experiences and as well as practicing clinicians like Chris kresser who deals with people suffering these issues all the time due to VLC.
    Last edited by Forgotmylastusername; 09-07-2012 at 05:27 PM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forgotmylastusername View Post
    Even rosedale says it CAN lower body temp and increase cold sensitivity in some people.

    It's not the same as actually suffering from hypothyroidism as it's not an autoimmune disorder and can be reversed with dietary carbohydrates, which regulate t3 levels unlike fat which has no effect, so increasing your fat caloric content will have no effect. It's called Nonthyroidal Sickness Syndrome and it can have all the SYMPTOMS of hypothyroidism due to lowered t3 and elevated rt3. It's a "natural" change that happens on very low carb, very low calorie, times of starvation or illness. It doesn't mean it's desirable for most people if it leaves you fatigued, cold insensitive and your hair falls out. Not everyone reacts well to it.
    If it works for you great! I'm happy for you! Just don't try to pass it off as though it's right for everyone and saying rubbish like it's an 'urban legend' or saying that people just weren't "doing it right". That's just disturbing dogmatic denialism that's completely incorrect and contradicts thousand of peoples experiences and as well as practicing clinicians like Chris kresser who deals with people suffering these issues all the time due to VLC.
    I know you feel that low carb=hair loss and nothing is going to change that perception for you. There are a lot of other things that do cause hair loss including vitamin and mineral deficiencies, excesses, and imbalances. You don't want to consider that your hair loss may have had something to do with one of those even though you said you tried it one time with "a boatload of supplements" and another time with zero supplements, so you blame it on the low carb instead.
    If you have found something that works for you terrific. Just don't go trying to scare others away from something that could be helpful to them.

  10. #20
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    What I don't get Forgot, is why did you hijack this thread that wasn't even about VLC to spread your anti-VLC message. Being fat-adapted is not the same as VLC. Having metabolic flexibility while you are out in the wilderness or in a survival situation is totally something different from practicing long term carb-restriction. You have an agenda and are just looking for a place to spread it. You have nothing to contribute about actual survival situations.

    My hair is fine and my metabolic flexibility is a blessing out there. It's night and day compared to my high sugar 3000 mile trek on the Pacific Crest. Using your body fat for energy rather than constantly snarfing food is such a huge advantage it's hard to describe. I am certain it would give you a huge edge in a true survival situation. While someone else might have to go through a period of low energy, hypoglycemia, overwhelming hunger, and unclear thinking you could just concentrate on getting yourself out. You can carry less weight since you could cover long distances without food, plus you know you could do it so you would be calm. You wouldn't have to eat your fellow plane crash survivors or ration crackers and chocolate bars. You could just hike out.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

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