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ScoutFinch

Question re: weight loss recommendations

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I've noticed looking at several mainline paleo-based eating plans that the recommendations for weight loss seem to be pretty contradictory in terms of what to limit. Sisson and Taubes say, up the fat, reduce or eliminate carbs. Wolf says lay off the fat until you reach where you want to be. Hartwigs say keep at least one fat at every meal regardless and keep a rein on fruit consumption.

I understand that all of them also say many other things about weight loss, but recommended restrictions seem to be the most contradictory. For myself, I think it would be foolish (not to mention a setup for failure) for a woman of my age to take fat out of the diet, but I am curious if anyone knows why there is this disparity in the recommendations.

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I think what works will be different for each person. Some people can tolerate going pretty low carb, others need starchy carbs to feel good. Some people instinctively eat very little fat (from years of dieting, perhaps) and reducing that would be a huge mistake. Some people can not stop at one serving of fruit and it sets off cravings, etc. etc. I think this is very much a case of "what works for you" FOR ME, cutting fat a little (ie. not using as much fat in cooking/sautéing or adding mayo, etc. to meals but keeping fatty meats, eggs, some avocado and coconut milk, etc.) and keeping a minimum on meat/veggie portions is working (ie. AT LEAST 2 cups veggies, AT LEAST one palm meat!). I didn't lose much weight at all on the whole30 until I cut back on fats a little, but now I'm losing steadily. YMMV.

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Thank you, but don't know YMMV? (not a texter!) Still am wondering the reasons behind the suggestions, since they seem so disparate.

I also began losing once I cut fats about in half, but also I am pretty sure sleeping in a pitch black room at night now is making a difference also.

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Thank you, but don't know YMMV? (not a texter!) Still am wondering the reasons behind the suggestions, since they seem so disparate.

I also began losing once I cut fats about in half, but also I am pretty sure sleeping in a pitch black room at night now is making a difference also.

YMMV = your mileage may vary....meaning individual results will vary. I had to look that one up before! ;)

I too am interested and confused beyond belief about what to do for weight loss! Cut fat, some fat, no fat, more fat?!? I have been low carb (mostly!) for years and the only time i actually lost substantial weight, I was on south beach and running 8-10 miles a day 7x a week, plus swimming, plus hitting the weights in the gym. Not only do I not have time for that now, I truly don't have the motivation for it anymore! :( Wish I did!

I decided to start the W30 today and for the most part (minus the artificial sweeteners and alcohol) I already eat this way....so i'm interested to see what that will bring. Best of luck to you on your journey! :)

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Interesting about the sleep. I know people always say it helps with weight loss, but I guess I've been a little skeptical and never tried to change that area of my life. What do you notice is different, now that the room is pitch black? I have cats that often wake me up early (or just multiple times during the night). I get up once or twice to use the bathroom. I've got several night lights and LEDs from electronics...plus my boyfriend always comes to bed several hours after me, and to avoid tripping over animals we keep his bedside light on until he's ready to go to sleep. So I'm sure all of this adds up...just not sure how things would be different if I were able to make changes (not much I can do about the cats!).

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The explanation for the sleep comes from Robb Wolf, and he explains it well on his blog, but I think it's also treated pretty well in ISWF also. Mostly has to do with circadian rhythms and their effect on cortisol, if I'm remembering it correctly, and the less cortisol that gets dumped into your system, the less your system hangs on to fat. Anyway, I got blackout shades and disconnected the fire alarm in my room (there's one right outside the door, so I'm not going to burn up) to get rid of that light, and I have an alarm clock that only lights up when you press the top. What I'm finding is that I've gradually gone from only being able to sleep four hours at a stretch, to almost seven each night (I take Natural Calm before bed as well).

One of the main reasons I started W30 apart from stopping weight gain (I'll be happy about that even if I don't lose an appreciable amount of weight over time) is that I can no longer take pain meds for fibromyalgia, and sleep disturbance seems to have a big effect on pain (and with fibro you also get terrible cognitive cloudiness, memory problems, sensory disturbances like feeling you can taste noise in your mouth). I'm already noticing that pain is less, I wake up clearer and less feeling depressed (never been a big caffeine drinker so am pretty sure it's not that), and my memory is a zillion times better than it was four months ago, seriously. I'm also turning off computers, television, and lights about an hour before I go to bed, watching the sun set naturally. It means I go to bed pretty early right now, but I'm liking that!

Your mileage may vary--I like that one! Thanks!

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ISisson and Taubes say, up the fat, reduce or eliminate carbs. Wolf says lay off the fat until you reach where you want to be.

Hmm I thought Robb is with "low-carb" approach. Can you link to the "lay off fat" deal?

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Regarding the original post... The ancestral health movement is growing. Each author gives us their best when they publish, but understandings change over time and each builds on those who came before. The Whole9 is very explicit in saying that Robb Wolf was very important to shaping their work. That does not mean that the most recent is the best. Different authors value different parts of the puzzle differently and emphasize different things. Some may be more correct than others. That said, this forum is a good place to talk about the Whole9 approach.

The Whole9 approach is to get the nutrition right first. Many people are fat, but malnourished. Malnourished people are prone to overeating and cravings. Once the nourishment is in place, eating appropriate portions gets much easier and cravings tend to disappear or at least become milder and weight loss just happens.

The Whole9 recommends fat at every meal because fat is essential to nutrition - some vitamins require fat to be absorbed. If you don't eat fat, some nutrition passes through without doing you any good. And fat is very important to being satisfied so that you don't need to eat again for a meaningful period of time. Also, fat is a relatively cheap source of calories.

The Whole9 grew out of an athletic performance model rather than a general diet model. Athletes need carbs to fuel performance. The Whole9 recommends that you eat as many carbs as needed to satisfy energy requirements and to feel right. People who are not active do not need many carbs. People who are very active need a lot of carbs.

Being cautious about fruit is kind of a Whole9 thing. I thought it was a silly peculiarity of the Hartwigs for years, but have more recently begun to appreciate two good reasons for limiting fruit. One is that you can only eat so much food and veggies are much more nutritious than fruit. You should always give precedence to veggies in your diet. Two is that fruit can be a sugar trigger and inspire cravings that lead to eating unhealthy foods in often over-sized amounts.

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Interesting about the sleep. I know people always say it helps with weight loss, but I guess I've been a little skeptical and never tried to change that area of my life.

Disturbances in sleep reflect hormonal/chemical disturbances in the body and can create hormonal/chemical disturbances in the body. I can't explain the science involved, but when I started my first Whole30, my sleep improved a lot and I finally started to lose weight. I think the sleep was the most important thing to my losing weight. I was eating a lot of salmon and veggies before and did CrossFit 3-4 times per week, but was not losing any weight. I adopted a Whole30 diet, started sleeping, and immediately began to lose weight steadily. I do not know what changes in my food were responsible for the improved sleep, but something made a big difference.

Later on, I learned the importance of creating a better environment for sleep. I have not created a totally dark room, but have reduced much of the light that was in the room and that is helping me sleep better. I also use a sleep mask to reduce being disturbed when my wife comes in and I am already in bed. The mask will not overcome all issues from light in the room, but it helps. From what I understand, our bodies are sensitive to light, so any exposure to light whether on our skin or eyes, triggers hormonal/chemical processes that can interfere with sleep. In addition to bedroom conditions, I take Natural Calm and a timed-release melatonin supplement that improves the quality of my sleep. The Natural Calm has a sedative quality that helps me fall asleep faster. The timed release melatonin helps keep me sleepy all night. I tried melatonin years ago and it quit working after about 6 weeks. I learned about taking a timed-release melatonin about 3 months ago and it has continued to work for me. I guess before I was getting knocked out, but the melatonin was wearing off before the night was over. Now I am getting a steady dose all night and it helps me stay asleep. I get up at least once every night due to prostate issues, but unlike years ago, now I fall asleep again quickly.

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Thanks Tom! I could certainly try a mask and some time-released melatonin. I think we already have some in the cupboard. I take Natural Calm as well, but sometimes I do have trouble falling back asleep. I will try to focus on this in April and see if I notice a difference.

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I got mine from Amazon. There's also a cheaper version at vitacost.com. Just make sure you got the unflavored variety if you're on a W30. The flavored stuff has sweetener.

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Where do you find Natural Calm? Is it available in the US?

I have found Natural Calm in a vitamin store and in a health food store near me, but I buy it regularly from Amazon.com because it is cheaper and I can get the exact variety I want.

THE ingredient in Natural Calm is magnesium and you can take other magnesium supplements. I've never paid any attention to the dose with other supplements because I like Natural Calm. Another way you can supplement with magnesium is to soak in Epsom salts. If you soak in a hot bath with a good dose of Epsom salts in it, your body will absorb magnesium through your skin. The soak will have a sedative effect in multiple ways, the relaxation of the hot water and the magnesium.

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Something that helped me initially get over my sleep issues is this white noise maker. It seems kind of loud at first, but then it just fades into the background and masks any kind of noise. It won't cut out someone yelling in the next room, but stuff like traffic/road noise, etc.

Marpac Dohm-DS Dual Speed Sound Conditioner - on amazon, about 50 bucks.

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Something that helped me initially get over my sleep issues is this white noise maker. It seems kind of loud at first, but then it just fades into the background and masks any kind of noise. It won't cut out someone yelling in the next room, but stuff like traffic/road noise, etc.

Marpac Dohm-DS Dual Speed Sound Conditioner - on amazon, about 50 bucks.

Another sound machine option is to check out the baby section of amazon - I have a toddler who has slept with a white noise machine since birth. She sleeps through the night, and I have found that it's something I came to rely on (I hear it via the baby monitor).

Ours is made by Graco, I think, and was about $30.

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