Protein-rich Diet (Liver Shrinking Diet) vs PSMF


(Ginger) #81

Every time yes. I always spent some time fat adapting first. A few times I took full RDA of vitamins and minerals and always take EFA’s anyway (plus would also consume a small amount of fish as part of the protein allowance). Once occasion I didn’t supplement with V&M’s apart from magnesium. Didn’t notice any particular difference.

But also, I was part of a group of people who did this WOE and my experience was not at all uncommon. Weight loss happened for all of us. BUT the only people that didn’t gain back were the peeps that continued a very extreme caloric restriction. So during the PSMF it would be 600-800 cals and then after they’d be on 1000-1200 for maintenance. I’ve not kept track of all those people since then, but I don’t believe that kind of perpetual caloric restriction is sustainable forever.

Coming off the PSMF I have always returned to LC or keto. I’ve keto’d on and off since 2006.

I have heard of the PSMF working well for quite a few guys (not sure about longer term though) however, it was a real struggle for myself and other women who attempted it. And I believe it harmed my metabolism. Which in all honesty, has taken many beatings anyway over my adult life, i’m not going to hang that solely on PSMF.

Interestingly, I didn’t experience the same metabolic damage just fat fasting (I also don’t believe I lost LBM fat fasting). For context, I lift weights, and have done on and off since my teens (i’m now 38) and I always, always, always have some kind of weight lifting regimen if i’m trying to lose body fat, to help preserve (not necessarily build) LBM.

(Ginger) #82

Hey Daisy,

Just been listening to some of your podcasts.

I have just read Lyle Mcdonald’s book on Women (re weight loss) and he sets out a lot of studies to support why it is so much harder for women to lose fat than men. Why our metabolisms are so much more able to adapt to survive (women actually survive starvation much, much longer than men, not just because of our greater fat stores, but because our bodies have better defences against giving up those stores and this is probably a fairly obvious evolutionary adaption :wink: ). Anyway, like many women, i’ve abused my body over the years with weight loss attempts. And after my 2nd child, I have struggled to get passed a very stubborn set point. I have about 43% body fat, so should be able to access these bountiful fat stores with keto and tra la la. But I believe the previous weight loss efforts have left me with metabolic adaption that fights against being able to lose weight now (plus likely insulin resistance and some hormonal woes in the mix). So now i’m giving up on the weight loss goals for a bit, and just focusing on healing. Keto, but keto at maintenance or slightly above calories, when I can manage it, to try and reset my metabolism back to a healthier range.


First thing I would check is your thyroid if you haven’t already. It is very common to become hypothyroid at significant periods of hormonal change - puberty, menopause, pregnancy - and this can royally screw with your metabolism. It would be worth checking also your iron, ferritin, B12, folate and D. Re thyroid - get TSH, Free T3 and Free T4 to see what is going on. TSH alone is not much use. Have a look at the STTM website to see if you have any other hypo symptoms.

It would be worth checking your metabolic markers to see what is going on - it might not be as bad as you think. So HbA1c, fasting glucose and insulin, HDL, LDL and triglycerides.

The other things to look at are stress, sleep and mood - all have underestimated impact on weight loss.

What about eating patterns? So you snack or stick to meals only? How long is your fasting window each night? Ever thought about throwing some intermittent fasting in?

(Ginger) #84

I have tried every variant of eating pattern tbh. I’ve been keto-ing on and off for 12 years. I am not a snacker anyway but i’ve had long spells of very substantial fasting windows (20 hours etc). I’ve tried water fasting but it was pretty much the worst (my husband found it a breeze but said I looked like I might die ha). I did my first fat fast in 2010, trying to get passed a stall. It was ye olde classic Dr Atkins fat fast (1000 cals of fat) and I found that extremely hard (even though i’d been low carbing for 10 months at the time) although it did work to get me past my stall then. I find fat fasting easier now, just not water fasting.

Over the past 4.5 weeks, i’ve been booze free, 75-80% fat, 15-20% protein, 5% carbs (usually just greens and salad leaves), I have a few spoonfuls of coconut oil and/or clarified butter during the day, and then eat between usually 2pm-530pm. Most often just at 530pm. In that time i’ve lost 800g, under 2lbs. My average GKI during those 4.5 weeks was 4.8.

I exercise moderately (walking, trampolining), lift free weights (and have decent guns :wink:) although i’ve not really lost any inches and the muscles aren’t a new thing.

I did have a TSH last year that was perfectly normal. And I have no symptoms of thyroid problems other than difficulty losing weight so my GP is disinclined to send me for more thyroid tests. I did my own DIY glucose test last night though. Took 65g of glucose and then tested.

30 mins 6.8 = mmol,
60mins = 7.8mmol
90mins = 8mmol
120 mins = 7.9 mmol
150 mins = 10.3 mmol
180 mins 10 mmol

And then I was utterly exhausted and fell asleep! I’m planning to get the blood tests you suggest also.

I’m not stressed particularly and sleep well, although i’m kind of a hyper, excitable person by nature and have become more sensitive to caffeine the older i’ve become. I only drink one caffeinated drink a day now or else my heart is pounding and i’m climbing the walls.

As for mood. Keto is amazing for my mood, it really levels me out. I had no PMS or hormonal symptoms at all until my last pregnancy in 2011/2012 (and it is also since then that I have been unable to get passed my stall point of 200 lbs/ 90kg/14st). Since 2012 I have heinous PMS and all manner of obvious hormonal/mood probs, keto helps massively but they are still worse than prior to my 2011/12 pregnancy.

I’m pretty sure I am insulin resistant to some degree now, and possibly oestrogen dominant, both of which are also obesity related as you know.


Always get a baseline first so test before consuming whatever you are testing.

TSH alone is unreliable. However, if you have no other symptoms then further testing is probably futile as your GP stated.

IR is easy enough to test with fasting glucose and fasting insulin - plug into a HOMA calculator.

The only thing I can suggest re fasting is to switch it up like Megan Ramos talks about and mix fasting and feasting. So many (women especially) don’t feast but rather restrict eat and then fast. Mix things up with maybe a regular long fasting window of say 18 hours so you can eat twice a day, a real full on feast day and then a 24 or 36 hour fast day?

What about salt? Do you get enough salt? This is especially important if you do any fasting. You could try the 24-36 hour fast with some salty, buttery broth?

Just some ideas. It sounds like you are doing great.

(Ginger) #86

Yeah, I had a baseline, i’ve been testing blood and ketone 4x per day for the last week. My average blood glucose for the past week has been 5mmol (but keto throughout). I was testing to see how long it took my body to get back to that. After I woke up, had a cuppa, packed the kids off to school and tested (12 hours later) it was 6.2mmol.

Ah, Yup. I’ve been switching it up for years. I’m not a creature of eating habit really and get impatient with my glacial pace losses. Certainly within the paleo community since that first started, or since I first started reading about it 15 years or so ago, it’s made sense to me to keep a body guessing. And I will continue to do it. However, I do suspect that I have rarely been eating on or above maintenance calories, as you say, so many women don’t ever truly “feast”. If I ever have feasted, it’s been during a carbocide. :sob::sob::sob:
So my plan for now, is to try a week or two of serious keto feasting! Try and eat between 2000-3000 cals per day. I may gain, but i’m not going to worry about that. I will try not to weigh if I can. And then I will try some more fasting. And try that on a varying pattern.

I have always been a salty lass, and I take other electrolytes too. I doubt i’ve ever been lacking in sodium :rofl::joy:

I did a 3 day bone broth fast with my hubs this week. I did add fat too. I’m a big fan and that is definitely an easy breezy way to practice fasting for me, so will try that again after my feast period! Hopefully at some point in the future I can manage proper water fasting.

Honestly, other than possible IR, I think my body has regulated down to protect my current weight. So i’m hoping “feasting” will help. And I will try to much more consciously eat higher calories on “feast days” in the future. I suspect I was probably never eating more than 1800 cals on an up day previously and most times less. I eat to satiation, keto makes it easy to eat to appetite. The problem is, in keto, it’s hard to over eat. If I eat to appetite that is always only about 1500 cals per day. But I will give it a bash and see if that helps. If it doesn’t, then I will prolly just have to suck it up and accept that my weight loss will take years and years. But that’s better that nuttin’ at all.

Thanks for all your suggestions! And i’m, really enjoying your podcasts.


Well I will be interested to hear how you get on and see if you can find something that works.

I’m glad you are enjoying the podcast :smiley:


Have you read anything by Lyle McDonald before? He addresses and debunks a lot of these myths (ie, losing weight quickly is always worse, etc). The reality is that stresses on the body are often how we can ultimately effect positive changes: exercise, cold therapy, fasting, etc. Being comfy and cozy all the time is not ideal in my opinion, the body adapts and needs to be kept guessing.

(Scott Cavendish) #89

For me, no I was not fat adapted when I did mine. Didn’t even know what that meant back then. I supplemented with 10 fish oil a day, multivitamin, and for a while I followed Lyle’s protocol for the EC stack (ephedra/caffeine). Not sure if it helped, but I continued my weight loss until I stopped. After I transitioned out I just watched calories for a while, and maintained for a year or two before it slowly crept back up.

(Scott Cavendish) #90

My wife tried the PSMF with me, but she only wanted to lose 25 lbs or so. Despite my fat melting away, she struggled to lose any real weight, and being miserable eating the bland low fat low carb diet, didn’t last long.

(Adam Kirby) #91

Ok then, try a PSMF and get back to us on that. :stuck_out_tongue: I’m not particularly interested what Lyle McDonald thinks about anything. Like I’ve said before this protocol is a good hack for certain people and situations, but based on the N=1 of people in this very thread it looks like the consequences of it can be very much like any low-calorie diet. It certainly is not some panacea of weight loss. But self-experimentation is the key, so for reals make a thread chronicling your PSMF.


Alas, there are other places to read about the results people have had doing PSMF. But I get your point, I’ll document and post based on my success. Spoiler, I have already dropped below my 9-month low of 208lbs and it’s day 3. Rapidly approaching high school weight. From a “how does it feel” standpoint, it feels like a water fast but with about 30% less effort and head-trash.

(Adam Kirby) #93

If it works effectively that will be awesome! I genuinely believe there are people who will get great results and terrible results with any diet protocol. Even our beloved keto, there are people who can’t stand eating huge quantities of bacon and cheese for some reason. :confused:

(Richard Morris) #94

I can tell you a guaranteed way to lose weight. eat less food.

If you don’t have enough body fat to supply the energy shortfall then you will burn protein for energy (even if you eat ONLY protein) and you’ll weigh less.

If you have restricted access to body fat because some tissue other than your adipose tissue is keeping insulin elevated … then the same will be true.

You can also expect to experience a lowered metabolic rate as your body tries to find ways to avoid using protein for energy (ie: lethargy), you can also expect increased hunger signalling.

These symptoms may be familiar to anyone who has tried calorie restriction. You will definitely lose weight, until your can’t out-restrict your reduced metabolic rate … and then you will gain weight again. That is why the biggest loser competitors all gained back all the weight after 6 years, and their lean mass dropped from their lean mass when they started the competition.

I suspect that anyone who has lost a significant amount of their body weight, and has stalled has necessarily regained insulin sensitivity in their adipose tissue AND some other tissue is keeping their insulin elevated - meaning they have reduced access to energy from storage.

But If you do have plenty of body fat, and you have low fasting insulin then this will not be a problem for you. As you consume less energy, you will happily draw down some from storage.


Yep. WLS person here and that is exactly what happens unless you wise up and change how and what you eat.

(Adam Kirby) #96

Have you tried a PSMF yet @Rian? I just did one for 2 days. It was totally fine for me. Was definitely hungrier than normal but that’s the extent of the problems. I feel like I could definitely do a longer one if I wanted. Whether or not I get any lasting benefits from it I don’t know.


I’m nearing the end of week 3 of my PSMF. Over that time there have been a couple days where fat was a tad higher via ribeye and also a couple glasses of wine but overall it’s been approx 800-calories containing around 130-grams of protein per day, low fat and next to no carbs and plenty of EFA’s from fish oil. I can honestly say I have never felt better. Never. The hunger from the early days is long gone, I’ve now transitioned to OMAD on most days and even then I’m not really hungry per se. I plan on doing a write-up at the end which will likely come sometime in early June. So far fat loss is around 10-lbs give or take (5% of bodyweight). Keep me updated on your progress, there aren’t a ton of people I’ve seen experimenting with this WOE so it’ll be interesting to compare results.

(Adam Kirby) #98

Wow that’s great! Looks like this is a good approach for you. My experiment was about 800 calories of tuna for 2 days, so pretty much pure protein, no fat at all. I’m not sure how long I could keep that up before I felt ill effects, but a few days is no problem. I’m thinking about working in a 3-day fast or protein fast every month just to get an extra catabolic state going periodically.


One thing I’ve noticed before and noticed again during this PSMF is I feel really, really good when I supplement fish oil. I’m not sure if I’m naturally lacking in EFA’s or if the added vitamin A or D is what I’m feeling but 5-6 grams of fish oil per day is something I plan on doing long term.

One thing that’s interesting is which amino acids are contained in various protein sources. Some are definitely better than others and in my experience a variety is crucial. I feel the most satisfied and the best overall when I eat beef which is a common theme amongst the ZC community. I’ve heard Shawn Baker say something similar before. That being said, beef is obviously not as lean as chicken or tuna so maybe that’s a contributing factor also.

(G. Andrew Duthie) #100

How long have you been supplementing at that level? Have you experienced any unusual bruising?

Personally, I’ve found that if I overdo fish oil, it can have an anticoagulant effect, so I dialed back my fish oil a bit to reduce unwanted bruising.