Sunday, August 2, 2015

The right kind of dietary fat = lean body for the WIN- for me, Needing to remind myself

Trader Joe's says the light coconut milk will be back Oct 2015

What's working for me right now. 

Vinnie Tortorich is right, we should change the word for dietary fat to ENERGY. Just saying.

1. FAT, dietary FAT. The right kinds of delicious, natural, dietary fat = lean body.

2. Eating 3 meals a day, maybe a little coconut cream in some coffee between meals.

3. Eating carbs somewhere in the 40+ gram range = as many veggies as sounds good at lunch dinner.  If I'm hungry, I eat within my  Paleo-ish food template.

 My root problems this month, and over the last few months:

1. Eating too much protein and not enough dietary fat (for me)
2. I stopped Intermittent fasting due to not being hungry signals,( but I do eat 3 meals a day.)
3. Going back too far in my success history. I need to keep it current. Sure lower fat higher protein worked a long time ago. Eyes on my own plan. :)

 Determining root causes:

1. I went back in my current history only about 6 months at My Fitness Pal and Fitbit and put pen to paper. I determined that
  • when I eat too much protein (for me > 90 grams a day) I don't do as well.
  • when I eat too little dietary fat (for me <90 grams a day) I don't do as well.
  • Remember, I'm super short and 49 years old, your results may vary. 
  • My dietary fat = guacamole, coconut milk and coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, avocado oil, grass fed beef, lamb, whole eggs, and sometimes salmon.  
  • My favorite coconut milk ( I choose it due to price - $0.99 and no emulsifiers) is out of stock until Oct 2015. Darn it. This effected one of my favorite ways to get some dietary fat- in soups, stews and my coffee. 
  • *NOTE* I would choose full fat coconut milk if I could find it easily, cheaply. I'm not paying $2.50 + per can at the local grocery for full fat. Xantham Gum and Guar Gum trigger binge eating for me. It's hard to find processed products without emulsifiers and stabilizers. Don't be fooled by marketing "all natural". No wonder I had binge urges in the past.
  • I can see how low fat works for many people, but not me, on a Paleo template.
Electronic data, paper notes. DATA is KING. Owning my own data and making changes = long term weight maintenance. Seriously. I would be 10, 20, 30, pounds higher right now if I didn't track  food, exercise, binge urges,  weight, etc.
Data on paper, from an electronic source

2. I stopped Intermittent fasting and I  ate 3 meals a day, within a 12-14 hour time window, this restored my normal hunger signals in 2 weeks.

  • I'm not naturally hungry enough when I Intermittent Fast (IF) also known as time restricted eating window , for me, 8-10 hours. 
  • Where was IF when I was 70 pounds overweight??!!! LOL. 
  •  I'm guessing that IF would have worked like a charm to stop binge urges.  Holy NO Hunger.
  • I will still IF once and awhile, when convenient, but not routinely
  • I can see how IF works for many people. 
3. I had some "Old" thinking- well high protein and lower fat worked well in 2011, when I was 70 pounds overweight.
  • That was too far back. I needed to look 6 months back, not 4 years back.
  • Eating high protein works great for some people
  • Eating too  high protein for me, today, gets me a fluffy mid section and weight gain. 
  • I can see how high protein works for many people, but not me in long term maintenance.

What didn't work in the past

1. Eating the wrong kinds of fat: Canola oil, corn oil (it was NOT heart healthy for me), fatty baked pastries, fat from chips ALSO: eating low fat and baked chips, low fat muffins (high sugar). Processed foods in general. Prior to 2012. High Omega 6 sources of fat and low fat processed foods are just so,so wrong for my body.

1.5 Being deathly afraid of natural fats. GASP!  If I eat avocado = high WW points. GASP!

2.  Intermittent Fasting too much ( for me 2 X per week was too much) at a normal weight. Recent past- Jan- June 2015.

3. Looking at my success within a recent time frame. Pre menopause is so much different than Post Menopause. Whole different world.  March-July 2015

The right kinds of FAT = ENERGY + Lean Body = Long term weight maintenance for me. 

 In just half a week, I can feel it.  Lean and energetic. It feels good.

Current Macros ( don't be afraid to dial in your own best macros, or to IF, it works very well for some).

What works well for you? Have you been afraid to go outside of mainstream low fat? What's your favorite natural source of fat?  I eat a low carb, higher fat Paleo-ish food template in long term weight maintenance. But what works for you?

PFC= Protein (24%) + Fat (66%) + Carbs (10%)= LCHF Paleo-ish


  1. I love this post, Karen. I have begun eliminating all forms of gluten in my diet. I am not eating anymore bread and I have not eaten pasta in along time. I don't miss those at all. But I am really struggling to remove gluten in the form of baked goods from my diet. I am a person who likes sugar! I have found that I want to eat too much fruit, which is also problematic. (And I do need gluten out of my diet for health reasons.) So I am still tweaking things. I am also one who is afraid of too much fat. I use coconut oil and eat avocados and guacamole, but I measure out my coconut oil. I also eat two eggs each day and grass fed beef and bison. I have lost weight (two pounds from my highest), but I still feel I am snacking too much. I am keeping my eye on everything.

    Thanks for sharing this post. So, so helpful!

    1. Ali, giving up gluten and processed sugar were two things that were not without withdrawls, binge urges and serious symptoms. Big time. I think it took 6-8 solid weeks of (at the time Medifast- don't judge) to get past processed sugar and gluten.

      Once I did my Whole30 in Jan 2013, it took me another 4 months to accept I was binge eating on nuts and dried fruit even while in long term weight maintenance. I had a Lara Bar, fruit, and nut problem. I can still do fruit, but in small quantities, berrries. Maybe a super small sliver of in season apple, peach, pear. - think Farmers Market size. I can still do one square of 85% chocolate on many nights, <2-3 grams of sugar with the natural fat.

      Good news: my withdrawals to the Lara bars only lasted a week or two. Much less mentally painful than the sugar and grains. I can't recommend enough getting off any food that is problematic from an over eating stand point for from a joint pain or inflammation stand point.

      Glad you are aware. Getting rid of snacking, unless I'm hiking more than 1 hour has really helped regulate my blood sugars, as much as the type of foods I was eating. Good luck. With careful experimentation, you'll find what works for you. Never easy, always worth it. On ward!!!

  2. I did alternate day IF for weight loss and now I've been doing 16:8IF as part of my maintenance plan for a little over two years now. It works great for me and it makes up 90% of my maintenance plan. I usually break my daily fast at around noon with my largest meal of the day and then I have a smaller meal at 5ish. Sometimes I'll eat a snack in between, like a Greek yogurt, but most days I just have the two meals. IF definitely isn't for everyone but it's been perfect for me so far!

    1. Sara, Yeah, I know, IF works well for many. I really wanted it to work for me. I realized on my late June vacation where my hunger came back, I started to lose the extra subcutaneous fat and felt good.

      I started to IF and immediately my normal hunger went away again. Weight went higher. I'm sure it would have been a dream come true when I was 70 pounds overweight, because I would have lost that massive amount of visceral fat I had.

      I think IF could be a valuable tool for many. Just not for me near goal weight.

  3. Hi Karen,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

    I'm curious about your reason for stopping IF. You write that IF made you never hungry. That sounds great to me! It must so liberating! Why stop? How is it a problem for you? Did you lose any sense of satiety along with the hunger (like, you're never really hungry, but once you start eating, you can't stop)? Or are you guessing that somehow IF is responsible for you recent trend up in weight, because or despite its effect on your hunger?

    I must be missing something here, because your reason for stopping IF seems like a reason to continue IF to me.

    1. Valerie- IF was a lot of fun. I loved it because IF worked great with my current schedule on the weekends, family trips. I felt great at the start. etc.

      But, I felt like I had a brick or a lid on my stomach and I was barely able to eat 1,000 calories a day. Normally I eat anywhere from 1, 300-1,500 or more a day, depending on my natural hunger.

      1. My stomach/visceral fat was low, but my hips and thigh subcutaneous fat was growing. A lot, layers.
      2. I started to feel like Sh*t and one of those kids toys - from the 70's- Weebles wobble but they don't fall down.
      3. I had no natural hunger. None. Even after a 2 hour beach/photo walk, lots of house work, all that would happen would be an extra layer of fat on my outer hips and my glutes.

      Compare this with 2012 and 2013 when I started to binge eat on Paleo foods-dried fruit, fruit, and nuts- I got a bunch of visceral fat and started to look 3-4 months pregnant. Very different look and feeling.

      I was worried that I might have some sort of acute disease where you lose your appetite and then get sicker from there, but so far so good. Normal Appetite is back, some of the subcutaneous fat is going away.

      I'll still use IF, maybe once a month or so when it's more convenient to eat twice a day, too big meals, but I like natural hunger. I depend on it now.

      After 40 years of non-stop binge eating, being in touch with normal hunger signals is a gift. Not ready to gain layers of subcutaneous fat and weird signals. I just got rid of "false" eat everything in the room signals. It's weird, but a good learning experience. I can feel great and be bottom leaner, also. I'll always have curves, and I'm happy with that.

      Hope that explains it better. I always get an extra pound or two in the cooler months in the form of subcutaneous fat, but this time I had 3-4 extra pounds.

  4. I love this post! I eat high fat/low carb primal menu to maintain my weight. I went on vacation and enjoyed regrets. I did gain 9 lbs. I joined a paleo challenge to help me get motivated to lose the vacation weight. It's coming off very slooooowly. I'm not frustrated with the weight loss, but couldn't understand why it was so slow, not to mention my energy is nonexsistant. I thought I was missing dairy. Lightbulb moment.....Could it be the fat? I am testing it out this week and eating during an eight hour time window.

    1. Running Stitches, the dieting world is so afraid of fat. They say "eat more protein" but for me, I just feel better, my skin is better, I have more energy on a higher fat ratio. Needing to take off my former WW hat.

      I'm sure gut bacteria, cell signaling, and more is at play. I'll bet it will take a few months to get all systems plugging along. Let me know if eating a little higher fat ratio works for you.

      I've never spent years at goal weight (today marks 3.5 years for me +/- 5 pounds of having 68 of the 70 pounds off). It's a whole new world. Very well worth it.

    2. Have to be careful that the people living on almost all carbs do not misunderstand what you are saying about protein. Because they DO need to eat more protein. And more healthy fat. And get that carb number more proportional. You are tweaking at one end of the scale, they are in process of getting down from the total opposite end of the scale.

      I love that you mentioned what worked other years, does not work now, you have had to tweak and tweak and tweak. I think this is something people just do not understand.

    3. I agree with Vickie that it's great you have to tweak and tweak. I think I read one other blog by a man (that I just happened to find by googling LCHF). He started years ago with high protein and low carb. Then he gained some weight and started back really focusing on the fat like you and staying very low carb.

    4. I guess it bugs me in general when people talk about two (high protein/low carb or high fat/low carb) without mentioning the third (fat in the first example, protein in the second). Because it is always all three. It just varies in where those percentages fall. Yes, the percentages (healthy fat, protein, carbs) shift for most people with where they are in their process, their age, other health conditions, etc. But what they eat still falls in those categories, all three of those categories.

    5. Ali and Vickie- yes, totals matter- say total calories ( or grams of protein/fat/carbs) as well as ratios.

      Almost like blood work where we count totals, but the percentages of WBC's- matter greatly. Have to look at both total and absolutes.

      Grams, oz, calories, fat, protein, carbs. All inter-related. Good points.

    6. Yep, I think you should use higher "higher healthy fat/low carb/moderate protein" everytime you post or leave a comment somewhere (vs high fat/low carb). Good way to state it. More accurate.

  5. Thank you that's a good point maybe I'll add a disclaimer to the top of this article for people need to eat enough protein.

    Yes that's right tweak tweak some more

  6. Your mention of xantham and guar gum sure caught my eye. What exactly is it do you think in these substances that would trigger binge eating? I use a pinch of xantham gum most days in a type of coffee "smoothie" i throw together in my blender. the xantham of course helps it thicken up the way i like it. I logged it into mfp and it comes in at 1 carb. I'm very curious to know more about this substance and how it affects you. I have been so reluctant to give up my coffee concoction (I can't stand hot coffee, only cold)....but I'm tweaking things and really trying to do these self-experiments to find the right combination of foods that will help me lose fat. Right now, it's just overwhelming to me....menopause has changed EVERYTHING for me. But I'm tell me more about xantham or a good source so I can learn more about it. Thanks!

    1. AllysonB- I think for many people, they can have the xantham gum and guar gums just fine. I was in long term recovery from binge eating when Trader Joe's ran out of the light coconut milk. I substituted with Trader Joe's coconut concentrate (has xantham gum). I could have eaten everything in my kitchen, then returned for days. The binge urges were so, so strong.

      Now I know why I couldn't stop eating light ice cream and other things with the gums. Something in my geneotype that turns on those FTO (obesity/binge related) genes. There was a big mouse study and emulsifiers and obesity in Feb 2015 ,

      All I know is that I can easily fight binge urges for 1-3 days after a xantham gums or guar gum. That makes it easy to abstain for me. The mind space binge eating takes up sucks. I'd rather spend it on hobbies or tide pooling. :)

      If it works for you, continue.

  7. IF suits some but not all, it is important to share and exchange experiences...

    I do think at times I must sound 'like a broken record' but for me a template that is lower carb, higher healthy fats and moderate protein works. We all need to find our own balance.

    All the best Jan

    1. Jan, yeah, IF, I really wanted it to work. The side effect of no hunger at all and the too low of food intake... sigh. I feel so good on the day to day and so crappy with the side effect.

      Good news- I can think for myself- balance is key. Thank you. :)