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Help- Whole30 with Leptin Resistance


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Background: I went to a naturopathic doctor in February of this year. At that time I was in the high category for insulin resistance and had extremely high levels of leptin. For reference, my leptin level was 110 (Normal is less than 20, 20-43 is intermediate risk and 43 or higher is high risk). 

 

The doctor had me follow a diet excluding grains, certain fruits, potatoes and sugar/sweeteners. When I went back in May, my insulin level was back to normal and my leptin results were 54. Obviously not great, but progress. 

 

I'm doing this for my health, but I NEED to lose weight as well. I have lost no weight yet, in fact, I gained 10 lbs around a death in the family. Is there anything I can do better/should be avoiding? I'm feeling frustrated and have never had someone in the same boat as me to talk to. My doctor just says "keep going". I'm on day 13 of the Whole30. 

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Keep going...keep going.

 

Thirty days may not be enough to kick insulin resistance in the head.  This pre-diabetic monster creeps up on you slowly over years.   Years and years of sugar and processed  carbs in the gut may not want to give up the ghost.  Stick with it.   Forget about the weight for now.  It's going to wax and wane, go up and down and all around.

 

Think about all of the little kids we now see who have this at the age of 10.  They're living on soda pop and fast foods.

 

Don't cut back on fruits or vegetables.  Don't dial it down until you're in ketosis.  You'll relapse and go on a bender.    Stay consistent with your breakfast like the forums tell us.   The breakfast is the one thing I keep on automatic pilot.   Within one hour waking, get into the kitchen and have your extra special breakfast.

 

It is the meal that starts your day and gets those hormones back in balance.  I'm here to tell you, it's the most important step to kicking insulin resistance.  It's worked for me.   I had 2 other good meals, too.

Don't count calories and make it a cruel diet.

 

I used macadamia nut oil to cook with and over vegetables.  I used two teaspoons in a cup of coffee.   I didn't use ghee because I wanted to give up everything that would stir up my love for cream/dairy.  It was strictly a personal preference of mine.   I made salad dressings with macadamia nut oil and balsamic reductions.

 

I have coconut oil, too.   But I found the nut oil a tad milder when mixed with other ingredients.  I have avocado every day with a fresh lemon or lime juice.  Concentrate on everything you can have and you won't feel deprived.   Try and make one new recipe aday....have loads of variety.   You can nip this thing before it really takes a big bite.

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I'm sorry for your loss.

 

If you post a few days' worth of what you're eating, what kind of activity you're doing (if any), how much/what kind of sleep you get each night, and how much water you're drinking, you can get better feedback on if there are things you could be doing better.

 

During my first Whole30, I felt the entire time that I was not losing weight, sometimes even that I might be gaining, but I stuck to it. At the end of the month, I'd lost 6 or 7 pounds. I was disappointed in that at first, because I've seen people posting 10-20 lb losses in a month, but then I thought about it and realized that was over a pound a week on average -- a safe rate to lose. And I hadn't exercised that month, which I'm sure would have increased that amount, but this way of eating was such a huge change for me, I had chosen to focus just on the food.

 

Stress can lead to weight gain, so it makes sense that you might have gained some weight due to the death in your family (you know you're not supposed to get on the scale at all during a Whole30, right? That's just as important as what you're eating, really).  I'm guessing that in addition to the grief and stress, there was probably an interruption to your routine that may have resulted in less sleep and either eating more or less than usual, and those things could also affect your weight. 

 

I would also remind you, if you improve your health, your weight will end up where it needs to be. It may not happen as quickly as you'd like, but it will happen.  I try to remember that I'm going to be eating something every day anyway, and either getting healthier or not, and since that's the case, I might as well make the best choices I can, and just try to be patient. I didn't gain this weight overnight and I'm not going to lose it overnight. 

 

Be gentle with yourself. Be patient. Stick to the meal template for every meal. You will see improvement. 

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Thanks, I didn't think about adding more info. Exercise is not a strong point for me right now. I run around after a toddler all day, take a walk maybe a few days a week. I'm suffering from chronic fatigue- a big point of amping it up and doing a Whole30 instead of what the naturopath suggested. So exercise is not good right now. I sleep about 7 hours at night. I never wake up feeling rested. 

 

Typical food:

Breakfast: As much as I want of meat, eggs, compliant bacon, avocados, ghee, coconut oil, black coffee, occasional piece of fruit (I've been doing this for months, just took out the cream in my coffee)

Lunch: leftovers from dinner, grassfed beef hot dogs, vegetables, nuts, oils, meat, hardboiled eggs, sauerkraut

Dinner: average paleo meals- meat, veg, oil, potatoes 2-3x per week

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One things that leaps out at me is that your breakfast doesn't seem to include vegetables. All meals, even breakfast, need to follow the meal template.  Vegetables are more nutrient dense than fruit, so while fruit is allowed, you should make sure you have plenty of veggies before you add fruit.

 

I don't know a lot about chronic fatigue or leptin resistance, so hopefully someone with more experience will weigh in. 

 

I would say that sleep makes a big difference for everything, and while I know you probably can't get 8 hours every night with a toddler around, maybe there are things that could improve the quality of your sleep. I know I've seen one of the mods here on the site say he sleeps better when he has a sweet potato with his last meal of the day. Or you might try magnesium, like plain, unflavored Natural Calm before bed -- most people find it helps sleep, although I've seen a few people say it actually kept them awake, so you'd just have to try it and see what happens. (It has to be the unflavored during W30, the flavored ones have stevia or something to sweeten them).  I don't know if it's possible for you, but I find that a hot bath with epsom salts helps me relax -- part of it is just the hot bath part, but I think the epsom salts (which are just magnesium) make a difference too. 

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Frozen are fine, as long as they don't have any non-compliant ingredients. Anything that has a sauce on it will have butter or cheese or something, so that's out, but plain frozen veggies are great.

 

I make a breakfast salad -- I got the idea from here, but mine is typically (for several servings): jicama, zucchini and/or yellow squash, celery, maybe snap peas if I have them, carrots (I prefer these blanched or grated), and maybe some fruit that will hold up well. Apple, especially if you can find a honey crisp or another variety that doesn't brown as easily, is good. Actually, I made one last week and didn't put any fruit at all and it was fine. I do juice a lemon over it, just to help it stay fresher -- I'm not sure how much difference it makes with most of the veggies. You can add anything you want to it, just chop up a bunch of veggies that you like raw and have a big spoonful or two with breakfast in the morning. Or add it into salads at other times, since the jicama and celery will have a crunch to them.

 

The Clothes Make The Girl has a velvety butternut squash that is good hot or cold. Soup is good. If you've roasted a bunch of veggies beforehand, it's easy to throw them in a skillet to warm up, mix in meat like ground beef or sausage, then either scramble eggs in with that, or fry eggs to put over the top.

 

Really, I think the key is to have things prepped and ready to go so you don't have to put a lot of thought and effort into it first thing.

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Good News!  (and bad news)  You are not alone!  Just about all of us on SAD (standard american diet) are leptin resistant.  It's just that no one knows it because its not something thats checked for or even an after thought in conventional medicine.  

 

A super easy way to get veggies in the morning is to do an egg scramble.  For instance, throw some spinach or cilantro or kale in a pan with some ghee in it, wilt and saute the greens for about 60 seconds, then throw in the eggs and sausage or bacon or whatever you like and scramble it up.  It's super quick and voila, you have morning veggies!  You can also throw in some onions and mushrooms and peppers and the like but it takes a little more time because you have to cut them up first.

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