Sunday, May 1, 2016

Type 2 Diabetes, a Dietary Disease #326: Are you hungry in the morning?

Seriously. Your mileage may vary (YMMV), but I’m not hungry in the morning. . I don’t know if that’s an adaptation my hormones have made since I began eating Very Low Carb (VLC) in 2002. Or if it’s evidence that I’m in ketosis after an overnight fast (with only a little stored glycogen in the liver from VLC, and taking Metformin ER to suppress unwanted gluconeogenesis). Either way, I’m not hungry.

So, I don’t eat breakfast anymore. That’s a big change for me. Ever since I began VLC on Atkins INDUCTION (20g/d) for 9 months in 2002, losing 60 lbs), I have eaten a breakfast of just eggs, bacon and coffee. A few years later, after gaining back a little weight and reading Dr. Richard K. Bernstein’s “Diabetes Diet,” I lost 110 more on his 30g of CHO per day (6-12-12) WOE (Way of Eating).

Since then, however, some of my 170 lb weight loss has crept back, and eating VLC doesn’t seem to be enough by itself. My metabolism adjusts and refuses to move my “set point.” So, in January I added an additional weapon to my arsenal: Intermittent Fasting (IF). It’s a “fad,” you say? Well, yes, but it is grounded in ancestral/evolutionary precepts, and it is good science. It’s only in modern times that 3 meals a day is the norm. And even today, many Europeans eat a very light breakfast. Americans are the exception to the rule, and look where it got us
My new approach employs 5 simple rules that Andreas Eenfeldt, “The Diet Doctor,” described in this video (2/2): 1) Follow strictly a low carb diet, 2) Eat only when hungry, 3) Sleep 7-8 hours a night, 4) weigh yourself daily, and 5) intermittent fasting. The two IF methods Dr. Eenfeldt “prescribes” are 5:2 and 16:8. I chose 16:8, seven days a week! I skip breakfast because I’m not hungry at breakfast. I sometimes even skip lunch. I’m honestly not hungry.

I’m doing this to lose weight, to break the plateau and reset my “set point,” and it’s working. After losing 20 pounds by just eating strictly VLC (addressing the “compliance issue”), I stalled. That’s when I started IF (skipping breakfast) and “eating only when hungry.” I quickly (in 5 weeks) lost another 10 pounds. Then I stalled again. Hmmm, I wondered. Did my metabolism do another adjustment, or did I sub-consciously sabotage myself by eating when I wasn’t hungry, or even eating too much fat, instead of letting my body break down stored fat?

The answer, Eenfeldt says, is to mix it up a little. Instead of an 18 hour fast, go to a 23½ hour fast, from supper one day to supper the next. Just taking water and maybe 70-80 calories in supplements. (I take 2g fish oil and 6g of MCT oil a day. When I started this IF regimen, I also added a 2nd multivitamin, just for insurance. I don’t care if I piss away some of it. I take 8 oz water and my morning supplements at the “breakfast” table with my wife, and others, including Metformin ER, at supper. Anyway, mixing it up seems to be working. I’m losing weight again.

I am now totally off coffee at breakfast. I know it’s a good antioxidant, but I’ve never liked it black or bulletproof, and I am now abstaining from all sweeteners at breakfast, artificial or otherwise. Before, I used pure stevia powder (w/o maltodextrin added as a bulking agent), but I do not want to stimulate an insulin response from the sweetener, even if it is calorie-free. My object is to lower my serum insulin, not just my serum glucose. It is insulin levels that 1) contributes to insulin resistance and 2) blocks body-fat breakdown (lipolysis) for energy.

We used to think of insulin primarily as the glucose transporter hormone that it is, but it is much more than that. Insulin is also the body’s fat storage hormone. And, if you have Insulin Resistance (pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes) and you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to severely restrict dietary carbohydrates to lower serum insulin. When the level of insulin in your blood drops (since it isn’t needed as a glucose-transporter), it signals the body (your brain actually) to break down stored fat (triglycerides) into free fatty acids and ketones for energy. Now that you understand the physiology, you know how to “eat right,” lose weight, and be healthy.

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