You can't expect your body to let go of fat that it still needs

(Sarah Bruhn) #1

Ok so I’ve been keto for 10 months, not exactly an oldie but my discovery, my newest change of dogma might be helpful to reflect here (or this might be entirely for me).

You can not and should not force your body to let go of the fat that it still requires… (instead you should focus on finding out why your body needs the fat and THEN TO FIX IT SO YOU LOSE IT)

Your body is not betraying you by going through a plateau, it is healing and protecting you. Now you have probably heard that before but I am the kind of person who needs to know “what is it healing?” “how is it protective?” so here is some of the stuff I’ve come up with (as always feel free to correct me or add-on)

Some people hold on to fat for emotionally protective reasons- as protection against unwanted attention (sometimes particularly true of people who were taught that people are dangerous, were sexually or physically assaulted or were bullied), as a way of coping with loneliness (comfort/nourishment you carry with you), as part of their identity (mothers are soft to the touch, married people shouldn’t be attractive to other people, all the people in my family are overweight, I’m not vain like them, I’m am just broken or built this way). You will freak out and self-sabotage if you do not address these beliefs as you lose weight. This relates to cortisol and coping with stress as well.

Fat is associated with health risk but may not be the cause… so why does our body produce fat if it is awful? Why would we store so much of it so easily?
Because fat is way better for our bodies than having high blood sugars, and it is way better for us than high levels of inflammation and chronically high cortisol levels. I can’t prove it but fat looks metabolically protective. Until you can sort out those chronically high cortisol and insulin levels, and until those mechanisms are healed to some degree your body needs that fat as a buffer.

Your body has learned that the food coming in will be nutritionally inept, it’s going to take a while to build up your stores of everything your body needs that you lacked when you ate Low fat, CICO or SAD diets. Your fat is storing Vit A, D, E, K and B12, your bones are scrambling for minerals, and until plenty is coming in, your body still thinks it can’t get what it needs to run properly… feed it, don’t starve it (except fasting, fasting is magic and a great chance to heal. fasting is not the same as starving).

Anyway excuse my ramblings but I have to bother someone with it, and my family will kill me and eat me if I keep talking about keto lol


That would qualify as a keto meal, no? :thinking:


I disagree. Being obese is not some sort of healthy psychological defense mechanism. It is just simply unhealthy.

Show me the science!

(Sarah Bruhn) #4

carnivore depending on what you serve with it

(Sarah Bruhn) #5

Perhaps i didn’t express myself clearly enough. I meant that you should find out why your body is hanging on to the fat in order to fix the problem to lose the fat ie healing the problem should be the goal not just trying to force your body to lose fat without fixing the underlying problem.

I didn’t say it was a healthy coping mechanism, but it is a coping mechanism, and one that can trip people up, that mechanism doesn’t disappear with the fat.

and as I said I can’t prove it- but there are some indicators going in that direction

(Empress of the Unexpected) #6

I liked your post, but have to disagree (for me). I got my belly at menopause, duh!. On keto, it is finally going down. I want to rock a flat belly. I love attention! I have stopped the comfort food. I have very high triglycerides, and belly fat is linked to triglycerides, another reason to flatten it. My friends notice when I stand and talk I cover THE BELLY. No, in my case, this is just a menopause-induced nightmare that I don’t wish to fix with hormones. Keto is definitely working. It might be different for other people, but that is my story and I am sticking to it.

(Empress of the Unexpected) #7

Also, I should add that I am sixty, so my metabolism has slowed way down. But I am as vain as I was at 20, so will KCKO.

(Taleisha Collins) #8

LOL … we are what we eat, and what we eat eats :wink:

(Mary) #9


I’m pretty sure I’m not hanging on to my fat for emotionally protective reasons but there has to be some reason why my body refuses to use it. I’m suspecting high insulin.

Anyway, I hope whatever is “healing” jolly well gets on with it! Nearly 8 months is a long time to be patient…

(Nathan Toben) #10

This is a fascinating notion to me.

At some point, whether it is neurological or physiological…the argument breaks down into semantics—or rather, linguistics.

In my experience, there is a threshold that my weight bumps up against, and whether it is a lack of will or the internal bodily mechanisms of compensation, my weight hovers around a certain 10lb +- range. when i get to the upper limit of that range, my motivating to be disciplined about my nutrition increases, this i come back down. When i reach the lower limit, i am more prone to eat at a caloric surplus.

There is an emotional component and physiological component.


@Sarah_Bruhn, I would agree that our goal shouldn’t just be about weight loss, but more about our health. If there are some emotional issues regarding our weight/health, that should definitely be addressed.

I know I’ve said I would eat keto for the health benefits alone, even if I didn’t lose the weight, but the more weight I lose, the harder it is to not make it about the weight. :smile: And I have to remind myself to not fret about the weight, and just enjoy the lifestyle. I know my life is MUCH better now than it was before keto, so I can’t possibly see myself going back.

I do believe there is a threshold where fat becomes hurtful to our bodies, and it should be reduced, but we should all have a more holistic approach to our bodies/health, and not get hung up on just one aspect.

Thanks for reminding us of this. :+1:

(Debi) #12

I have 2 cents about the “emotional padding” of fat. I have worked with people who were abused at a young age, and some of them are obese. This seems to be 2 fold in reasoning - 1 food is comfort, and 2 if you are “unattractive” because of excess - you may not be the target of sexual abuse. I have heard first hand from someon who was abused as a 10 yr old how she knew food wasnt going to want anything from her, so she ate for comfort. As she gained weight, she thought “maybe he ( older male relative) will leave me alone if I am fat”.

It is a thing.

I also love the thought about your body not getting good nutrition, so holding on to a usable source, for just in case. As a reformed sugar addict (6 years no sugar except fruit) and a beginning to recover carb addict ( which is essentially the sugar addiction taking a different route) - 2 weeks into Keto…potato chips were my only vice left…and I ate WAY too many of them. Other than that, I ate plants, lots of complex carbs and plant proteins and had amazing health benefits. But I could not shed the 20lbs I need to and constantly craved carbs. Sooo I adjusted my macros to keto…have lost the standard first 10lbs fast ( I know it is mostly water) and the cravings are mostly under control :slight_smile: Sooo the lack of nutrition and holding weight, rings true with my thinking, because 80% of my diet before was amazing, chips were the only poor nutrition…but I ate them in too large amounts, so that depleted my nutrition.

Enjoyed the read :slight_smile:

(yes, I am a plant based keto person - I know weird combo, but it is nutritionally solid and working :slight_smile: )


Not true though is it. The more immobile you are, the more you can be abused. Fight, or flight becomes totally redundant as you become a victim for all! And, then you have the disgusting “Feeders” who hone in like sharks to their prey!

(Rob Maisey) #14

I think Sarah was suggesting a working hypothesis to explain a plateau in weight loss. The way science works is that someone with imagination suggests an explanation for something and it is up to the reader to learn from it or disprove it. I would be much more interested if you had available science that disproves her position.

(Sarah Bruhn) #15

Definately more of a discussin of a hypothesis rather than a hard science concept… to be explored

(Kirk Wolak) #16

Well, there is some science here, but it may be inverted a bit.
Depressed people, who had their colons cleaned out, and were given poop from healthy, and non-depressed people, stopped being depressed in over 80% of the patients!

Skinny rats who were fed the POOP of obese rats, become obese! And the process was reversed.

That was the setup to the following. I had a miserable time losing weight. Until I discovered food allergies were causing inflammation (and cortisol, and insulin responses, and my high blood pressure). Within 8 days of going Carnivore and eating only one meal a day, I was dropping weight with easy, my edema was going away, and my high BP was gone.

THAT may not be emotionally hanging on to the weight. But it was CERTAINLY my body using INFLAMMATION to protect itself, which was causing me to eat more, and store fat. Once Addressed… I have lost 40 lbs in 8 weeks.

I now do IF plus KETO, but I have to keep going back to Carnivore. Just when I think I can eat something like cabbage, my BP goes up for 3 days after having it. Bacon and Meat seem safe. I have a list of over 50 things I cannot eat. It will probably take me the rest of the year to find the rest of the things that cause me back pain, migraines, BP issues, etc. And some of them are DELAYED by 2-3 days.

BTW, after reading Dr. Gundry: the Plant Paradox… I realize this is your bodies response. As long as food is in your colon, it can have an affect on you. There are 10 times as many connections FROM the gut to the Vagus nerve as there is in the other direction.


Have to agree with Sarah on this. Not everyone, of course, “some people”, as she said.
I have a friend for whom this is really the case. We have talked about weight loss for years. She has spent a lot of money on various schemes. I have talked to her endlessly about keto, etc.
She has agreed to buddy with me as support. But she always sabotages herself.
She finally confessed that she is insecure about her marriage and the fact that he stays when she is fat is proof of his love.
As whacked as that seems, it is what I have suspected for 15 years.
I just try to be there for her without judgement.

(Empress of the Unexpected) #18

Latino men spout that bullshit. I’ve fallen into the “happy women are fat women” trap. A woman needs to be proud of herself, for herself. Women know what they need to do, they should not do it for a man. Ladies, just stand up for yourselves.


Wow, I have a similar story.
I had food sensitivities tested 1.5 years ago. 220 items were tested. It was expensive, but so worth it.
As soon as I quit grains and dairy and surprisingly, Turmeric, my joint pain disappeared, my brain fog lifted, I started to sleep better, my blood pressure fell into an almost normal range, my blood sugar dropped, my inflammation disappeared, my cholesterol normalized, my triglycerides fell to a ‘low range’ … AND I lost 20 pounds. I eat lots of meat! ( my motto: Either you love bacon or you’re wrong. Hahaha.)
I added a keto meal plan, and lost more weight. Though I am not 100% keto…with my long list of food sensitivities, I blend the two.
Then I discovered fasting. Read a lot of research. Dr, Ohsumi won a Nobel prize (2016) in medicine for his research on autophagy and fasting. I increased my circadian rhythm of eating and fasting. I eat a LOT…but then I fast. I eat enough that I am never hungry. (Once a week, or thereabouts, I do a 24 hour water fast, the rest of the time I fast an average of 18 hours a day.)
Dr.Jason Fung, a Toronto neprtologist, is reversing diabetes with fasting. His research is very interesting.
I am a science nerd, so I read and read and read…then I think and think and think,
I have now lost 62 pounds over 1.5 years. I plateau lots as my body adjusts, but I do not ever gain more than 2 pounds. So, good bye yo-yo weight. Good bye calorie counting. I have another 20 pounds to go to be in a healthy range. I expect to achieve this in another year.
I am almost 67 and have been obese for most of my life…but now I am just ‘overweight’. (For now.)
I feel great, I have lots of energy. My skin is keeping pace with my weight loss…oh, have a bit of bat wing over my triceps, but no hanging belly skin. I have gone from a size 24 to 14.
My doctor is so excited, he is asking ME for advice.
I don’t really exercise…normal activities: gardening, grocery shopping.
And, CaptainKirk…the poop studies are fascinating. Have read a lot about this. It is a miracle cure for people with C-Diff to restore gut flora. Literally a life saver.
Knowledge is power. Being brave enough to think things through and try things out brings about change. The whole stupid ‘eat 6 little meals a day’ trend, was an absolute disaster for me. All of my numbers went up…and I was showing signs of metabolic syndrome.
We were designed to not eat from the time we wake up until we go to bed.
My rant is over, I feel much better now!

  • Dr, Fung is a nephrologist…sorry, weird autocorrect