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Keto- It’s not for Everyone

Wow, the journey has been pretty amazing and challenging all at the same time.  But why did it all of a sudden stop working?  After seeking medical care and with the help of my nutritionist, we finally figured it out and I will tell you the story.

The Plateau!!

Things had been going pretty steady and the weight was staying off but even with all the exercise and clean eating I was doing it wouldn’t come off.  Menopause hit as well as some other job and family stresses and nothing was working anymore.  My female hormones seemed to be ok.  My Thyroid levels were all pretty much ok. Nothing really too far out of the norm but then I finally went back in to see my Nutritionist, Andrea at and she started to dig a little deeper.  She looked at a combination of thyroid, cortisol and Leptin and we finally had it figured out.  We hoped.

My Leptin level was off the chart and with this happening, leptin resistance, it meant I was fat, but your brain can’t see it. In other words, your brain is starved, while your body is obese. And that’s what obesity is: it’s brain starvation.  Leptin is a hormone that is produced by the fat cells in the body. Its main role is regulating how many calories we eat and burn, as well as how much fat we carry on our bodies. A properly working leptin system leads to better metabolic performance, brain function, mental sharpness, memory, coordination and it can even affect the regulation of mood and emotion.  But when it’s been hijacked, it can lead to obesity.

The thyroid and leptin have a crazy relationship. Your thyroid secretes hormones that act throughout the body, helping with metabolism, growth and development. The amount of leptin available to your brain has a major influence on how many thyroid hormones are released into the body. My TSH was slightly high and my T4 was slightly low.

Leptin holds the purse strings on your energy spend, based on our available food supply.  When your body can’t use leptin efficiently, it goes into a fake starvation mode known as leptin resistance. Leptin Resistance throws a monkey wrench into your thyroid function.  Leptin tells the TRH (thyroid releasing hormone) in your hypothalamus to set the thyroid hormones on low energy, otherwise the body may perish from starvation.

The hypothalamus impacts how much TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) your pituitary gland will produce. Along with this, your brain  depresses your metabolism so that you can survive what your body thinks is starvation, making weight loss nearly impossible and even promoting weight gain.

Plus, you’ll be tired all the time because when your thyroid is low, you make less energy in your cells. You feel like a flashlight with only half a battery left.

After years of eating a low-fat, carbohydrate-rich diet, our cells become resistant to the hormone leptin. This explains why when you eat large amounts of food, you never get the sense of feeling full. But when you eat a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet, your insulin levels stay nice and even. Hunger happens when your blood sugar dips too low. By never letting it get too high, you avoid the big insulin spike that makes your blood sugar go too low.

So we decided to have me try the Keto diet and she would monitor my progress with labs in a month.  I’ll tell you I was skeptical and confused all at the same time.  Eating a diet high in healthy fats and low in the carbs I had been eating for years was totally foreign to me.  But in the first month I lost almost 5 pounds and then the second month another 5.  I have done alot of reading from the book Keto Adapted and signed up for her email list and follow her on facebook.  I am finally understanding and loving this way of eating and it’s working.  Another thing that I have been able to do is called Intermittent Fasting.

This also helps reset your metabolism and at this time I am usually 12-14 hours in a fasted state and I’m not hungry and still have the energy to get in my workouts and do my daily tasks.  Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool to help you get over your insulin and leptin resistance. It’s also one of the fastest ways to shed excess pounds, as it helps shift your body from burning sugar to burning fat as its primary fuel. To me, the most exciting thing  of intermittent fasting is that once you make the transition, your hunger and cravings for sweets virtually disappears.

But in order to get it right, you need to severely restrict your sugar or fructose intake. so that means no fruit.  After you have been in a ketogenic state for a few months you can add back in berries, grapefruit and kiwi but nothing else.   A healthy diet becomes all the more important when you start intermittently fasting. Ideally, you’ll want to swap your non-vegetable carbs for healthful fats. Most benefit from anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of their daily calories in the form of healthful fat, such as avocado, olives, butter, nuts (I prefer macadamia and pecans), and coconut oil  or Avacado oil for example.

The results!!

So to wrap all this up, when I returned back to the doctor for my 1 month follow up by labs were all amazing and right on track.  I feel great.  No more belly bloat or achy joints.  And a total of 10 pounds lost and only 4.5 left to reach my goal

But remember, this isn’t for everyone.  Check with your physician first before trying it.  People without gallbladders may have a hard time with the added fat.