Messed up with long term VLCing = Hello Matt Stone!
I started on PB about seven months ago and saw some massive weight loss (about 20-30kgs) and felt great for the first sixish months. Allergies disappeared and my energy was herculean. I was completely seduced by these low carb induced changes and so I began to progressively reduce my carb intake and incorporated IF. Often I would just go without eating much for couple of days because I couldn't find anything paleo around me or was just plain lazy.
A month ago, my VLC dream began to dissipate. I was constantly constipated (alliteration - A+), nauseous, dizzy, allergies returned and were worse than ever, and I was a top-notch B to be around. My hands and feet were perpetually cold and even the littlest of things would stress me out to breaking point. Two weeks ago I came to America to visit family and I had a meltdown about how I was going to keep up with my strict diet (My family is high-carb 80%vegetarian + 20%junkitarian).
for the first few days, I ate nothing but eggs, milk and veggies. Eventually, I caved in and started eating whatever I got my hands on. Funnily, this is when I started to read work by Danny Roddy, Matt Stone and others from the ex-paleo bad boys club. Their literature made so much sense to me. I've started on Matt Stone's High Everything Diet recovery protocol and have gone up couple of inches in waist size in the past few days. I'm pretty sure I will gain back all the fat i lost, and in record time, but I don't mind because I feel much better and sleep like a baby. Digestive issues much better. Irritability in check.
My next move once my metabolism is stable is to go back to eating mostly whole foods BUT without micromanaging what I eat i.e. omega balance, macronutrient and such. I will eat whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like, which I'm hoping will be mostly whole food once I'm done with the temporary junk binge i'm on.
I have a lot of respect for PB for introducing me to concepts of whole foods, chronic cardio and a host of others, but I have come to believe that being too religious about diet (and anything else for that matter) and not respecting what your body craves is counter-productive to health and actually quite dangerous in the long run. It can also isolate you from friends and family, and make you very hard to be around.
Now I'm sure many of you folk are or have been on similar trajectories to that of mine. I would like to hear your stories, where they've led you and how they've changed you.
I also want this post to serve as a warning for people not to get too caught up with LC. Its very easy to fall prey to its charm and go overboard, consequences of which aren't pleasant. Unlike me, I hope you don't forget that you're on a quest for good health, and not merely aesthetic perfection at an unsustainable pace.
Last edited by pabs; 06-29-2013 at 04:00 PM.
Primal is not synonymous with low carb. Sadly, this type of situation is very common in someone who takes diets to the restrictive extreme. Primal doesn't have to be as restrictive as you made it, and unfortunately, this was you failing the diet rather than the diet failing you in my opinion.
You most certainly will gain all of the fat back if you go back to eating the way you did before. So many people make the mistake of crash dieting, only to go back to their old ways when the diet is "over". It's important to be flexible from the get-go in order to create long term habits rather than just short term crash diets.
I certainly have experienced feelings similar to yours. It seems that you have gotten into the mindset of one extreme or the other, and you've completely exclude the middle, which is where most people should be.
I suggest that you go back to the basics of controlling caloric intake, having a good idea of your macronutrient totals, and being flexible with your diet to prevent purging/binging and ruining the diet. I recommend that you read Lyle McDonald's book A Guide to Flexible Dieting, and I think you will be much better off with this approach.
P.S. I have been keeping up my strength training though, and it seems like along with fat gain, I'm also gaining muscle mass like nothing I've experienced in the past six months. I'm guessing that it has to do with the anabolic environment brought on by all the carbs i'm eating, which my body has probably missed with the prolonged VLC. I'm expanding at a scary rate, much like the hulk. I've had to borrow my brother-in-law's shorts because I outgrew the ones I brought in less than 3 days of my refeed.
You're spot on about me tending to take things to extremes. I will read the book you suggested.
It's a great book. Something that people need to realize is that it's soooo much easier to be flexible from the get go, rather than having to go through the pain of constant restriction, only to risk binging later. Lyle uses the example of a cookie vs. the whole bag. Someone who has a flexible approach to dieting can eat a cookie, and realize that it won't make a difference in the long run. Someone who is rigid might give into the temptation of eating a cookie, feel miserable and think the diet is ruined, so they eat the whole bag. Flexibility and adherence is key to the success of any diet in my opinion.
Originally Posted by pabs
I'm guessing a good number of overweight people who come here looking to lose fat (like me) will have dysfunctional relationships with food and exercise, and this will sabotage us no matter what diet and exercise regime we adopt.
Last edited by pabs; 06-29-2013 at 04:19 PM.
I don't think that's entirely true. I think people somehow adapt the mindset that they have to be obsessive in order to be successful, which couldn't be further from the truth. Proper information (which is scarce) on how to follow a diet that fits your individual needs and psychology should get the most attention, rather than being restrictive and saying don't do this and don't do that.
Originally Posted by pabs
Hey pabs! I started out paleo about a year and a half ago. I have type 1 diabetes and deal with hypothyroidism. Everything was great for the first few months. I was eating a great variety of primal foods including plenty of fruit. I was intrigued by VLC and eating more fat. I was in pretty good shape, weight stable, very active, etc. About a month into VLC I would start crying in the afternoons, hair falling out like crazy, horrible chills after eating.... and the list goes on and on. All of those things are symptoms of low T3 (the active thyroid hormone).
Originally Posted by pabs
Right now I still seem to be in the process of healing. I'm into the Peat stuff too. I eat plenty of fruit now days. My dietary focus is on protein, carbs and saturated fat. I'm not micromanaging the way I used to... I have at least on off day a week and don't sweat it.
It's sounds like you have a good plan. Good luck with it!
Reading this w/ interest Pabs because your story could be mine (tho' I've been in Primal more than a few years).
Originally Posted by jakejoh10
My take jakejoh10 -- is that people can naturally find themselves in an obsessive mindset because one of first steps a person has to adopt is to track what they are doing. Going from mindless eating to awareness eating, then you see some form of results and slippery slope, whoops, you are hyper focused. Because that's what seems to *work*. So you keep doing it.
That coupled with how satisfying the high fat, high protein meals were led me into a similar patch as Pabs. I'm still trying to find the balance. Need to look into these book(s) & authors.
I absolutely see what you're saying, which is why I spread this information and stress that moderation and flexibility be the main focus from the beginning rather than waiting for a huge slip up.
Originally Posted by spk
Tags for this Thread