You know you're in the presence of a bad diet when you feel like shit, and the people around you say "oh, it's just detox. Your body is just adjusting to raw shaved grass. Or beef. Or coconut."
No one else is an expert on what works for YOU. YOU are the ultimate best expert. Want daily poop? Clear skin? Energy? Only you know what will get you there. Or you have no idea--and are willing to change things up until you get the desired result.
Mark is an expert on what works for MOST people. Think of primal as an open-source template. You modify it for your needs, health conditions, allergies, genotype, religious beliefs.
Well if once I already opened this thread why not:
1st attempt: It was around december, when I came across the primal carb curve: I really liked the idea of having accelerated fat loss through this little hack. So I ate around 2-3 servings of broccoli a day, the rest were things like grass fed beef, butter, coconut oil, ghee and eggs. I got constipated right on the first day. I wasn't hyper concerned, I thought my body was just utilizing everything as energy or just not being used to so much "optimal" fuel. I kept things the same till about 2 more days, than I clearly saw that things just won't move. So on the fourth day, I went to the grociery store and bought blueberries and some melons, which got things immediately.
2nd attempt: A month or two passed, and went on a normal diet. Than came the point when I saw Mark's speech at the 21convention. And where he said that we could go entirely without carbs because our body makes 150 grams of glucose. That made me do some further research, and even e-mailed some health gurus and got on low-carb related forums. I got the advice that I should up my fat intake relative to protein, and that it might have caused the problem. So I went to a diet a lot higher in fat relative to protein, so I made it to be a real high fat low carb diet.
But it was not just Mark who made me doing it. The whole thing just made sense: we are primarily designed to consume fatty animals, look at the Eskimos, for christ sake. Most Paleo friendly health experts agree that the role of fiber is overrated. Long story short, I got constipated very soon again, quitted after a few days again.
The 3d attempt came after about 1 month.
Why did I try it again? I made a big research on the possible causes of constipation. Reading the sites of people like Mark Sisson, Chris Kresser, Paul Jaminet, Mercola, I found many reasons can contribute to this, like unhealthy gut flora, infections in the gut, lack of minerals, low glutathione levels.
So I made a third, final try, and actually supplemented with L-Glutamine, upped my vitmain C and magnesium, bought MCT oil as it can get things go, they said. Even learned that too little salt intake can be troublesome as salt increases water retention in the body.
This point I wasn't even that low carb, I ate up to 30 grams of protein, so I ate carrots, strawberries and things like that sometimes.
I got terribly constipated again. Now it was a bit better that I supplemented with these stuff, so some days I would have a stool while other days I wouldn't. That is why I waited a bit longer this time, maybe around 10 days. After that I went up to about 50 grams, but because I kind of tried to go for certain, kept pretty low carb. And that's when things got extreme. I went back eating normal, no masses of carbs but more veggies and stuff. Now my complete body mechanism changed...I had trouble gaining muscle and losing fat, and my constipation transformed to fecal impaction. I almost inexplicably gained 10 kilos, (22 pounds) which than took me ages to get rid of.
In the meanwhile my condition got serious because of the lack of stool, which I won't go into now, because I just wanted to let those who are curious know how I fallen to this trap.
Was I a bit stupid to try it the third time? Yes. I'm the kind of person who likes to jump onto conclusions, and likes experimentation. The whole don't need carb thing seemed so logical from an evolutionary perspective, there are numerous studies showing how people kept on ultra low carb diets gained great biological markers, and I really couldn't imagine that something that there was a problem of the statements of Mark.
And so once again: Did Mark suggest that we eat zero carbs? (actually, I wasn't eating zero carbs, min 20. grams a day) No. Did he say that we don't have to consume if we don't want? Yes.
Is it true? Sure, for some people it is, for some people it's terribly dangerous. But his statement was not "Some people could go without carbs." He stated it from a general perspective, multiple times.
Am I hating here? No. I'm still a massive fan of this site, and reading it regularly. I do think that Mark did an excellent job with his book, and his contribution to the whole paleo movement. He helped me and my family enormously and I have a massive gratitude and respect for him.
Do I think however that with these low carb claims he was irresponsible? Yes I do.
And yeah, we could argue all night long about whether he actually recommended to be ultra low carb. I think when publishing a carb curve in which there is a 0-50 segment for "accelerated fat loss" with no side note of "but be careful of the possible dangers of getting to low carb." it pretty much gives you the free path to go for it. Also, for me hearing that I don't need carbs means something pretty similar to "It's safe to go ultra low carb".
That's pretty much it.
And honestly, I'm tired of hating, calling somebody names, being cynical, and questioning somebody's identity instead of discussing things.
You can call me drama queen and whatever you want, but I came here to help others with my story and to express my own personal opinion about this particular claim of Mark.
I don't think that any of the above listed reasons are something to attack for.
That would be it.
Last edited by abel; 07-07-2013 at 02:51 PM.
Sorry but this thread highlights for me the total confusion that reigns about carbs. It really needs someone to produce a better guide. I will attempt it:
Firstly lets substitute the word 'carbs' for 'glucose' just to make it easier.
1) Consuming glucose bound up in cells (as in fruit and veg) gives totally different results to consuming processed (or extra-cellular) glucose. With natural sugars the body can measure what it's receiving and is usually not disposed to overeat them. In the refined form the body cannot regulate consumption and the response is more akin to that of a drug: Uncontrolled consumption and pathological symptoms developing over time (metabolic syndrome, hypoglycemia, mood disorders)
2) If you wish to become ketogenic for whatever reason, such as rapid weight loss, the best route is to firstly transition to exclusively natural sources of glucose so that the body can stabilise blood sugar without getting the shock to the system that ketosis always is for someone who has previously eaten a lot of refined food.
3) If you are dead set on going ketogenic, is also better in my view (others may differ) to gradually reduce your consumption of the natural sugars over a number of weeks, especially if you have a routine to maintain, job etc, and are not a movie star who can hole themselves up in a health spar for a month whilst the ketosis sets in.
4) Very low-glucose eating does have one definite medical use: as a way of reversing type II diabetes. A lot of 'low-carb' promotion is to do with its use as an extreme, though effective, measure. Outside of that context, 'VLC' is very much just an option within paleo/ancestral eating plans.
5) It is true that humans don't need glucose to live on, but we are usually approaching this as people who previously ate lots of refined sugar, we don't have the advantage of never having eaten it. It can take literally years for our bodies to adjust. Had we grown up never eating refined foods, this wouldn't have been an issue. There are a lucky few people posting in forums that appear to have gone 'VLC' without any of the difficulties, but they are going to be a minority. The good news is that we don't have to VLC to get amazing health results and weight loss. We just have to restrict our glucose consumption to intra-cellular sources (natural carbs).
Last edited by Owen; 07-07-2013 at 02:57 PM.
Healthy is the new wealthy.
I'm still skeptical that you had these issues due simply to being VLC.
How do you know your constipation is directly caused by the quantity of carbs consumed and not simply a result of a dramatic change in general? I thought I ought to eat more veggies recently and that has led to constipation for me but I don't blame the veggies. I blame sudden change in general.
Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
Starting squat: 45lbs. Highest squat: 167.5 x 2. Current Deadlift: 190 x 3
Are There Any Good Carbs? | Mark's Daily Apple
abel - are you entirely positive this constipation si from lack of carbs?
I'm thinking you may have other issues you're going to miss because you're so bent on blaming it on lack of carbs and Mark.
I have had issues with both VLC and constipation in the recent past, so I'm following this thread with interest. Great info, Owen!
Abel, you're not alone. A lot of us have gone down the VLC path with the best intentions and not faired so well. Don't abandon your quest for health, you are just going thru a phase of finding out what works for you and what doesn't. Even if you're not going low carb, and are simply eating whole foods, you're already doing yourself a good favour. Rock on, bruv/sis!
P.S. good on you for reaching out for help and sharing your story - I'm sure a lot of people have recently taken up PB and are considering doing VLC. VLC is addictive because of the rapid fat loss results that it can show for most people, but can also be very dangerous like you've displayed.
However, as someone suggested, refrain from posting threads with such sensationalist titles because it stirs up a lot of negative emotions (I speak from recent experience) and that detracts from the reason why you and I are here - because we want to better our health.
VLC diets cut off circulation to the intestines, there is no way around this. Having one BM every 3-5 days is not normal, no matter what anyone else tries to tell you.
Time is passing so quickly. Right now, I feel like complaining to Einstein. Whether time is slow or fast depends on perception. Relativity theory is so romantic. And so sad.