Give up Snacking?
What am I, Crazy?
One of my great joys of the holiday season is cookies and hot coffee drinks! And I finally figured out how to make cookies that we can all eat!
With my usual jump in with both feet attitude I began the Leptin Reset the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I had learned about it the day before. Now to be sure it wasn’t a huge change from what I was eating already so that made it much easier to make the shift. It was simply a change of when and how much I ate the same foods I was already eating.
So what is the Leptin Reset? In short it is a way to reset your bodies sensitivity to the hormone Leptin. Leptin is what tells you to stop eating. It should go up when you eat enough and tell your body that you are full and it can stop adding more calories. It also sets in motion the message that tells your muscles to start working harder and spend any extra energy that your body is considering storing. It is a beautiful system. Eat a bit too much your metabolism bumps up and burns it off. Don’t eat enough and your body says “hey send down some more food”. Simple. But if you look around you, it is obvious that plenty of peoples bodies aren’t getting the message. This usually isn’t for lack of leptin. This is because of something called leptin resistance. Their bodies don’t recognize the leptin that is sent out. It doesn’t have the right key to fit in the lock. So high leptin, low leptin, doesn’t matter. The body never gets the message to stop eating and it never gets the message to bump up metabolism and burn off a few extra calories. People who are severely leptin resistant can be on extremely low calorie diets and still gain weight. I read an article about a woman with a gastric bypass who was still gaining and was admitted to the hospital and put on an 800 calorie a day diet and she still was gaining weight! She was extremely leptin resistant! Despite what many may say it isn’t calories in/calories out (in the form of exercise) that determines weight gain or loss.
Resetting your leptin has a “trickle down” effect. It can fix thyroid problems, adrenal problems, blood sugar/diabetes problems, and really any hormonal problems. For the most part all of your hormones are interconnected in your body. If one gets taxed another one can often take over the functions, at least for a time, to keep you going. Overtime however the wrong hormones doing the various jobs that need to be done taxes the body and brings on symptoms and diseases. I don’t fully understand it but resetting this leptin sensitivity, can reset the balance of all of your hormones. Awesome! I love it when one change fixes many things.
Dr Jack Kruse is a neurosurgeon who was obese and he decided to figure out why and how to fix it. He spent time looking into the science available and concluded that he could reset his body to teach it how to function as it should once again. You can read his story
and all about it on his website. www.jackkruse.com
I have been following the GAPS
diet for 2 years. When I started the diet I was at a very good weight for me. I stayed slim for the first few months of GAPS
but then my health crashed and I gained about 20 lbs and got stuck there. I didn’t go up or down no matter how I ate. I increased and decreased carbs and fats and protein trying out various theories. I was very ill and tried lots of things to try and help myself feel better. This past spring I got my routine thyroid test and I requested a reverse T3 test. I don’t exactly fit the profile and my Dr didn’t expect me to test positive but she humors me and orders the tests I request if I can make a good case for them. Well it did come back positive that I have an RT3 problem. I have been on a special thyroid hormone to compensate for my RT3 problem ever since. One of the main markers for being leptin resistant is elevated RT3. As soon as I read about the leptin reset I realized it applied to me.
The basics of the diet is you eat a low carb paleo diet (go to www.marksdailyapple.com
to read more about what that means). GAPS
generally fits within that paradigm so I was good. You eat a very high protein breakfast within 30 min of rising. 50-70 grams of real food protein (no shakes or powders). This translates into 5 eggs and 5 slices of thick cut bacon, or a bit more than 1/2 a lb of sausage! Rule #2 No snacking. Ever. (I thought this part would kill me but it didn’t turn out to be all that hard). At least 4 hours between meals, 2-3 meals a day max and eat nothing after 7pm. There is a bit more to it, but those were the rules that were most important to me.
First observation after I started. Eating 50g of protein is hard!!! Cooking and eating it within 30 min of rising is even harder. My body didn’t want to eat that much that early at first. Now it is much easier. Also stopping at 30 min was hard. I used to carry around a mug of coffee with heavy cream in it all morning, but I can’t be taking in calories after breakfast so I had to guzzle it down and then wait. A bit of a bummer on a cold winter morning esp since I don’t really like black coffee (non-caloric beverages are ok but not advised outside of water while trying to reset). My other major observation that first day was that eating that much made me feel full for a very long time. In fact I wasn’t very hungry at noon and I just ate a light salad. Another observation was that other than social pressure to eat/snack I didn’t really struggle with staying on the diet as long as my breakfast had enough protein and plenty of fat. One last early observation, if I could get my kids to eat a huge breakfast too, they didn’t ask for food till noon or 1pm. Usually they will eat what I used to think was a big breakfast and declare themselves stuffed and then an hour later the clamoring for snacks would begin. With a big breakfast those requests never happened till late afternoon. But it needs to be a really big breakfast. Some days they will eat it and some days they won’t and on the won’t days the snack chorus begins at about 10:30 a.m. and seems like it never lets up all day long.
A big part of the Leptin Reset is giving your liver a break. Taking a long time between meals means that your liver can get done digesting and then move on to it’s other important work. Detoxing the body. Within a couple of days of starting the Leptin Reset I was having massive detox symptoms! Muscle and joint pains, brain fog, tiredness, It was no fun. Hey, I thought this was supposed to make me feel better, not worse! I had already been through 2 years of GAPS
at this time and thought my days of major detox were behind me. Boy was I wrong.
So here I am about a month into the Leptin Reset. Dr Kruse says that it should take 4-8 weeks to become Leptin sensitive. He also says that one cheat sets you back about 2 weeks so I was very careful despite the holiday temptations. I want to be done with this! Why torture myself in the holiday season if I’m not going to go all the way? And…. I think it is working! After feeling pretty lousy for most of the past month, today, for the first time in a very long time I am feeling like I just might want to exercise. That is not a feeling I have very often. It isn’t laziness, it is survival. Thanks to Lyme
disease I usually don’t have enough energy to get through the day. Climbing stairs can be too much for me at times. Last night I fell asleep on the couch right after dinner because I just couldn’t keep my eyes open one moment longer. Today I feel like moving. It is a feeling I have been eagerly anticipating. I last had it in October while on vacation to the best of my recollection. This means that I can do my beloved T-Tapp again! I did the primary back stretch tonight and it was so nice to realize I hadn’t forgotten it after about 2 months of not doing it.
I have been missing it and how great it made me feel but until you are leptin sensitive you aren’t supposed to exercise at all. Jack says that you will then one day feel like moving and to start it up again then. He is right, I now feel like moving. Yesterday I didn’t. I don’t think I am quite done with the leptin reset but I am well on my way. It took about a month but I was already eating the right foods, just not in the right proportions. Your mileage may vary.So tell me, have you tried the Leptin Reset? How is it going for you? Are any of you out there stuck with your healing and wondering if this might be an answer for you? I would love to talk about this more esp anyone who is doing this along with your young children. I’m not forcing my kids to wait to eat if they are hungry as I do for myself on this plan but I am trying to encourage the big breakfast and that seems to benefit them all day long. My older daughter has been on thyroid medicine for a few years and also Isocort for her adrenals and resetting her hormonal system so that she can get off of these would be great.
You can see my first update on my Leptin Reset experience here.