@ClaraJTeixeira & @jennytoy1, I think @JackieBlue will be thankful to see two such different experiences (and more from the rest of us) that have both given successful results, It shows that our way of life has many paths to success. I’m showing my age here - an old, OLD text-only adventure game called “Zork” mentions “a maze of twisty turny winding trails that all look the same” (or some such nonsense). Well, our paths don’t all look the same, but it’s apparently quite the adventure to find our way through!
You’ve brought five humans into this world and, as a breastfeeding mother, put the first 20 pounds on each of them!
You’re definitely in a different hormonal land than your husband - try to be very kind to yourself about it, every single day. 5 pregnancies and 13 years of making milk and tandem nursing can take a toll on maternal nutrients.
You have a history of serious high risk prenatal health issues (pre-eclampsia, which is rooted in malnourishment and metabolic disorder) and most likely experienced subsequent medical interventions/shocks with your births and/or surgeries and various postpartum after effects. This, with as you said - little to no break from pretty regular bleeding cycles!
Your body’s been through A LOT on an essential level on behalf of reproduction and mothering of your cubs. It’s highly likely that the fairies are primarily concerned about restoration and rejuvenation as priorities for your recovery of wellness, involving many unseen, visceral, and physiological processes. Give yourself at least four seasons on keto before drawing conclusions on body recomposition - it takes time for females, esp for females with complex hormonal histories or present midlife Change.
Body recomposition is about hormonal healing - a massive RESET button in your case. Based on your reproductive history as a high carb sugar burner I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve had some long term nutrient issues and hormonal imbalances that involve some time to heal. Restoring muscle and bone while losing fat may not show much change on any scale for some body types - your best friend may be a measuring tape once a month on key areas.
When it comes to weight loss - body recomposition - most people don’t think about hormones but it’s all about hormones: the chemical molecules that govern nearly all aspects of your body fat. From how much you store and where it’s stored, to cravings, appetite, gut bacteria, and even addictive eating patterns. Both keto and fasting are fabulous for hormonal balancing (focus on becoming 100% fat adapted first then fasting will happen naturally - it may take 6 months, or even a year for some people to become 100% fat adapted). Being overfat is the result of major hormonal misfires involving seven metabolic hormones —cortisol, thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, growth hormone, leptin, and insulin. The body adjusts by increasingly raising your hormone levels and ultimately slowing down your metabolism. You may well find after a number of seasons on keto, your excess breast fat does transform as hormonal balance heals. Plenty of women on this forum have posted about losing boob and butt fat after some time. I myself have lost 3 inches from my bust and also 3 inches from my low hips in 16 months of keto - meaning I’ve lost most all my midlife fat gain and am back to my mostly fit 30s body. Postpartum metabolic healing may take longer - a few years - you have to give it time. Slow, intense strength training can help you speed your progress though.
It’s complex, but there is a delicious way to heal via whole keto foods and further boosting your mitochondrial processes and metabolism through slow burn weightlifting 1-2x a week for 20 minutes (for more on that see the books by low-carb/keto trainers Slow Burn Fitness Revolution, and Body By Science).
Nutrient density is super critical for you - and you may need some serious supplementation for your first 4 seasons on keto, to help restore your functional levels of things in order to maximise your metabolic healing. Even on a keto diet - most meats and veg are lacking nutrients that they used to have before the soil was depleted and before most all meat was grain-finished.
***Avocados are a great source of nutrients to add to your plate! Rich in potassium — 975 mg in one avocado — as well as vitamins and good raw fats. Potassium helps with waste removal during healing and detox. Rather than a fat bomb dessert or snack - you may find that eating one or more avocado a day (with plenty of sea salt) satisfies better.
***Speaking of salt - trace minerals in ancient sea salt ( Utah cave salt, Himalayan, etc) are hugely important for electrolytic functionality and charging the body’s battery so to speak. Dr. Phinney recommends upwards of 3-5grams of sodium a day (which is around 4 1/2 teaspoons of table salt). Salt is essential for deep hydration, it helps the body utilize water effectively - otherwise water just passes through the body quickly. You shouldn’t be peeing 7-8 times a night - this indicates that you may be drinking too much water - or that you need to greatly increase your salt intake/electrolytes so that your body can assimilate the water you’re drinking. To make tap water tasty, I use a water filter on my tap water that removes 99% of crap (including nanparticles like hormones, which matter a lot when doing hormonal healing) - the Epic Water filters are easy to install and relatively cheap. I also add lemon juice and salt to my water and try to drink a cup of bouillon/bone broth per day
***Supplementing with EPA and DHA (high doses of fish oil - a tablespoon a day), GLAs (black currant seed oil), and biggies like magnesium (angstrom, the most highly absorbable kind), and its counterpart Vit. D3 (best absorbed by soaking in sunlight for 10-15 minutes every day - with closed or mostly eyes, looking up at the sun) and also Vit. A (best found in whole form via cod liver oil) - and Vit C (necessary for collagen uptake, the liposomal form is highly absorbable) they all work synergistically.
Much more on ancestral nourishment can be found through reading functional keto-paleo nutritionist and personal trainer Nora Gelgaudas’s book Primal Body Primal Mind. I just finished reading it finally - it’s packed with relevant tidbits. She was one of several experts featured in the amazing keto documentary film that came out last year called The Magic Pill - also recommended, as it shows diverse stories including various midlife and older women transforming their health. (Your bodybuilding 18 year old might also really like the keto documentaries Cereal Killers and Run On Fat - which are focused on athletes!) Also check out Sara Gottfried MD’s books - she’s a Harvard-MIT educated physician who has helped thousands of women address the root hormonal causes of slow body recomp - using a functional medicine low-carb/verylowcarb approach and elimination diet. She has 3 or 4 books geared specifically for female hormonal healing.
I love data, and I personally weigh every morning to get those data points. If you do this, you cannot let yourself freak or get down about random weight fluctuations! If you can manage that, it can be incredibly useful for learning the ins and outs of your personal weight loss.
Here are some of the things I have learned:
- I lose better when I do not restrict calories.
- Anything more than a trace amount of sweeteners typically prevents me from losing.
- My body does better with more vegetables vs less.
- If I have too much cheese in one day, I will temporarily gain.
- When I follow the same eating pattern for more than a few days, weight loss slows and then stops.
- Fasting at least 1x48 a week gives me the most consistent results for weight loss over time.
I really recommend that you don’t change everything all at once, but try one change at a time and gather data to see what works and what doesn’t.
Finally, I’ve heard and read that some women don’t lose anything the first few months on keto, and it is hypothesized that the body is prioritizing healing and hormone balancing ahead of fat loss.
Best of luck to you!
I love your honest post! I have felt that way so many times. I also really appreciate everything everyone has thrown into this , but here is another thing to think about. So you first said:
and then you said:
To me that is not good sleep (some people who dream “alot” are waking in REM and thus not getting solid sleep) and since sleep is very important to wt loss, this might be one area to look at.
I wish you the best!
I am intrigued about the bacon and eggs for 3 days? There are virtually no carbs there- is that the point?
I’m still obese (by BMI). I’ve been doing fasting for 3.5 years, so one would assume I have access to my fat.
This was my last set of DEXA scans:
I had 70 pounds of fat on me in June. I’ve gained muscle by now, but I’m not sure about fat. The scale is useless for this.
I honestly think it was overdoing fasting and lowering my BMR. The only other thing it might be would be not enough iodine, but I eat quite a bit of liver.
I used that calculator and got zero.
Thank you so much for this wonderfully thorough and enlightening response! I appreciate very much the time you took to write it. It makes perfect sense to me, loathe as I am to agree that this might take longer for me.
I was actually lucky and stalwart enough never to have a C-section and the resulting tailspin of the entire homeostatic world of my body. I was induced with my first son at 35 wks and my resulting labor was precipitous and he was born just as they were rushing to prep me for a c/sec b/c he was going into distress. I kept asking the Dr. if diet or anything at all could prevent this from happening with future pregnancies and he insisted that birth was the only cure. Fast forward to me researching and finding out about the Brewer’s diet (protein based) and the rest of my babies were born at home -and one of them was a footling breech! So, no more damage to my systems other than what a pre-eclamptic pregnancy takes from a mother - x5.
Since beginning fasting, I am only getting up to pee about twice a night now. I do drink a LOT of water, but I thought I was also eating a Lot more salt. BY better sleep, I mean that I do not wake up many times a night due to arthritis pain anymore and do not take hours to fall asleep due to same anymore. I also don’t wake up feeling like the rest of my family gave me a blanket party in the night! I would LOVE not to be up so many times to pee, but it’s a price I have ben paying happily for the anti- inflammatory benefit I’ve gained. Maybe I need to tweak those things a bit more. I also use lemon juice and salt during fasting and drink bone brother for hunger cues. The hot flashes seem to be less frequent now, too.
I am a fearless sun worshipper and am doing most of the supplements you mention already. I am taking the rest of your suggestions very much to heart - again thank you for sharing your hard-won wisdom!
I DO appreciate all the replies and even conflicting advice. I am saving this shit up like gold in an airtight vault and I will do each and every single one of them before I give up.
I’m starting to have the tiniest glimmer of hope that might not be necessary, however - b/c guess what???
I only have 3 hrs left in my 2nd alternating 24 hr fast day and I just weighed in at 159!!! I have been going between 160 and 162 for the last 3 months on keto, after the initial 5 lbs of water weight I lost during keto flu. I am balanced right on the fine line of Actually Losing Weight and It’s Just My Imagination !! This is the most progress I’ve made in 3 months, so I’m very excited!!
Today’s fasting was SO much easier. I am doing 5pm yesterday to 5pm today. I still had to fast through after dinner snacking and even a movie at the theater, but somehow looking forward to breaking my fast at dinner time makes it easier. I’ve only had water and the juice of 1 lemon and I feel fantastic. Almost manic, a bit. I could eat, but I’m not ravenous. If it keeps getting easier as I go, I will probably even be able to get back in the kitchen and make dinner for the kids during a fast. Don’t worry, I’m not making them fast with me - they are old enough that they have taken over in the kitchen while I fast!)
Thank you all again for supporting and educating me on my fledgling fasting flight (say it fast 10 times!), I will keep you posted!
She is excellent, isn’t she! I ALWAYS love @SlowBurnMary’s advice.
If your body responds so differently, we may be in the same weird metabolic family, you and I. I might get blown up for this, but this is what has helped me… I am a lot of muscle under all this fat lol. I find I chronically err on side of underfeeding myself and that causes me to stall. When I increase fats and make sure my eletrolytes are in a good place (higher than we ever realize we truly need from my POV), I also found out that i need a few extra carbs. (waiting for lightening or stones to be hurled my way). Under 20, I stall. 40-44 is my sweet spot. That’s my N=1… things to think about Hope to hear you find what dials you in and helps move you along soon!
I just want to offer my 2 pesos about fasting. I have never experienced an organic energy buzz until I tried fasting. During the 2nd day, I have had amazing energy and motivation and to say that my metabolism had fallen would be a gross misstatement.
And 2nd, I’m a 177 pound male and I run on anywhere between 1200-1800 calories a day without slowing my metabolism because my body uses my fat to supplement any deficit. I have more energy than I have had since the 1990’s so for me, it’s not just about calories in.
You’re very welcome! Am so glad you found the Brewer Diet years back and got to experience lower risks with physiological birth and cosy neonatal bonding. That’s definitely in your favor to have had less hormonal derailing than many other postpartum women.
Glad you’re getting better sleep - angstrom magnesium may be amazing for you if you’re not taking the angstrom kind yet. Some folks swear by apple cider vinegar as well. While losing water weight, it’s normal to pee at night - but more like only once or twice - not seven times! Yep, tweak those things some more - and am so glad you’re already supplementing with sunlight and supplements. You’re well on your way JackieBlue!!!
Awww… thank you for your kind words!
You asked about blood tests regarding insulin resistance…
Here is information on such a blood test, from FxWellness.com (which allows you to order your own tests) :
About HOMA-IR SCORE
The homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) is a mathematical model that is used to quantify your levels of insulin resistance (IR). The HOMA-IR calculation takes both glucose and insulin levels into account. Under normal conditions, insulin signals cells to transport glucose from the blood into the cell. Chronically elevated blood glucose causes the pancreas to overproduce insulin leading to high blood levels of insulin. High insulin in the blood results when cells no longer respond to insulin in the same way; a state referred to as insulin resistance. HOMA-IR looks to quantify insulin resistance numerically. A higher HOMA-IR score means that you are more insulin resistant. Chronic insulin resistance may mean you have metabolic syndrome and may lead to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and possibly stroke.
I don’t swear quite as much as you (and I’m Aussie), but I fucking loved your post! that’s all.
I’m in the camp of - you are metabolically healing, then the weight loss will come.
keto on! and keep us updated. then get the guys to have you on the podcast - can’t fucking wait for that one!
Are you kidding? That would be just one big bleep sound!
“Hey Jackie, welcome to the show.”
“Thanks guys, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, keto, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep,bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, my weight, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep.”
Intermittent fasting should be a way out trying to delay eating any type of food and only drink black coffee or black tea, up to 3-5 days. This should block the plateau and you would loose weight but you need Gp support and drink electrolyte’ drinks with no sugar especially Potassium it is extremely important but also all the other electrolytes…good luck
What does KCKO mean?