Have you changed your diet but you are still not losing weight? Today I'm sharing the most common reasons I find that my clients are still not losing weight, even after adopting a real food diet.
1) You've Got Gut + Liver Issues
Did you know the bacteria in your gut can predispose you to gain weight? 
Conditions like estrogen dominance and small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) can both encourage weight gain by way of your gut bacteria.
Certain types of gut bacteria produce beta-glucuronidase enzymes that can re-activate (or deconjugate) estrogens that were already detoxified (conjugated) and on their way out of the body leading to estrogen dominance. Decreasing levels of beta-glucuronidase enzyme producing bacteria in your gut is key to stopping the cycle of estrogen recirculation, as well as estrogen's impact on weight. 
Balancing your gut and supporting your digestion should be a top priority by way of prebiotics, certain probiotics, digestive support agents, and antimicrobial agents that are specifically targeted to your own gut imbalances.
My favorite way to assess beta-glucuronidase levels as well as the gut microbiome is the GI Map test.
And because the liver/gallbladder helps to regulate your gut, gut issues almost always stem from the liver having 'too much work to do'.
2) Your cells are not healthy
One of the first steps to healthy weight loss should be creating healthy cells.
A biggie here is cellular inflammation (!). When your cells are inflamed (you have 30 trillion cells in your body) from unhealthy cell membranes, your cells tend to retain more water and weight loss can be an uphill battle.
What impacts cellular health in a big way? Fatty acid balance, specifically your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. In fact, an imbalanced omega 3:6 ratio is actually linked to obesity. 
Support your cells by increasing omega 3 fats in your diet from low mercury seafood as well as reducing your intake of omega 6 fatty acids like those found in processed oils such as soy, canola, and man-made other vegetable oils.
Want to assess your fatty acid balance? You can learn more about testing here.
3) Your body is operating from an energy deficit.
When there is a chronic energy deficit (fewer calories coming in than going out), over time the body starts thinking food is scarce. This results in the body holding on to fat as a way to protect itself.
To make an analogy, think of your body like a house. If you're not making enough money to pay your electricity bill, what do you do? Well, you turn down the heat in your house to compensate. The body operates in a similar way. When there are not enough calories coming in, the body saves energy by reducing body temperature (slowing the metabolism), turning down digestive juices (making digestion weaker), reducing the pulse, and slowing thyroid function (resulting in less energy).
This is a built-in survival response by the body, to help you go longer on less food that is often induced through calorie counting and dieting.
4) You've cut out carbs and/or sugars.
When you’re not eating enough of the right carbohydrates that are essential to stimulating your metabolism and the conversion of thyroid hormone (T4 to T3) in the liver, weight loss is unlikely. Without an adequate store of carbohydrates (glycogen) in the liver, the body will not make enough of this very important thyroid conversion.
An easy way to self-check yourself is by taking your body temperature first thing when you wake up in the morning. If it's lower than 97.8 degrees upon waking, your inability to lose weight is probably related to #3 and/or #4.
Get Healthy to Support Weight Homeostasis
The fact that you can't short-cut to weight loss, should be no surprise. It should only come after the body is healthy enough to do it naturally.
As Diana Schwarzbein wisely says, "You need to be healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to be healthy."
And don't forget to make sure your mindset isn't what's keeping you from success. This quick read will let you know right away.
How to get back on track?
My Masterclass: How to Align to Weight Loss and e-book: Creating Wealth: The cure to nutritional debt are designed to get your body and metabolism back on track so you can conquer your weight loss goals while avoiding restrictive dieting! Read more about it them so you can get healthy to lose weight naturally!
Need even MORE help navigating your weight gain?
Subscribe below to gain instant access to my interview: Why Your Metabolism Was Fast, But Now It's Slow. You'll learn a ton of my best metabolism boosting strategies!
Are these problems stopping you from losing weight? Please share in the comments!
I would review number 3 and four, Catherine. There is much research out there (see Nora Gedgaudas and Dr. Dwight Lundell’s publications and research) that shows that keeping the body in a glucose burning state (or non-ketogenic state) contributes to inflammation of the entire body, and can lead to the degradation / mutation of many tissues over time causing cancer and dis-ease.
To suggest not cutting out sugars is absolutely backwards as nutritional advice goes.
Thanks Katie. I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one! While I’m familiar with the research, I’ve seen too many people’s health go downhill on low carb/paleo diets (slow liver detoxification, slow metabolism, tank the thyroid, and burden the adrenals). I’m a fan of Ray Peat’s research on the harmfulness of fat metabolism, and base my writing more off of clinical experience & observation.
Thanks for reading!
I have cut out processed sugar from my diet, but I still take in the sugars I get from fruits, and also honey and molasses, etc.
I eat carbs, but not a lot -- I don't eat bread or gluten -- the only wheat I eat is sprouted wheat. I mostly stick with rice and quinoa.
I eat veggies more than fruits, and I try to stay organic.
I eat a lot of good fats -- avocados, coconut oil, pastured eggs, raw dairy, raw milk kefir, water kefir, fermented veggies, too. I suppose in my water kefir I do get some organic cane sugar and molasses.
I eat grassfed beef, and higher quality chicken. I drink bone broth with gelatin.
And because of my years of adrenal fatigue and over doing it, my body now is hypothyroid. I am unable to lose weight. I am not overweight, but I am at the higher end of my BMI range and it frustrates me. I just started treating this adrenal fatigue and thyroid issue, so I hope it budges soon... (the weight) and I hope the energy comes back as well.
Stress is a sucker, for sure. I keep thinking "once this thing happens I can learn to relax, but right now I have to be on my toes" and then that thing happens, and I put another "thing" in its place. Being a caretaker for a parent with dementia, working full time, having a side business, taking care of my family, lots of thing to do at church, planning a move to Central America in 2 months, and not being able to sleep at night really doesn't help the healing process.
I wish it were as easy as just changing diet or popping pills. 🙁
I see don't think adrenal fatigue is all it's cracked up to be, I see it more of a side effect of not enough fuel. I'll write about this in an upcoming post.
Getting stress under control and getting enough sleep is a big part of recovery, but very difficult to accomplish with a demanding schedule! Best wishes to you!
I believe I'm suffering from hyperthyroidism because it's impossible to lose weight for me it was much more easier when I was in my early 20s now I'm 27 and around 260 I have been eating very healthy and consuming 1500 calories
for the past two weeks and working out 2 hours am and pm, I gained a lot of weight being severe depressed for a long time which lead me to being hospital on suicide attempts which I'm not very proud of the doctor diagnosed me with depression ocd and body dismorphic disorder and put me on strong SSRIS antidepressants during the first 6 months I gained a whopping total of 280 and became morbid obese from a healthy weight, I lost 20 pounds when I stopped taking medicine and I'm stuck on 260 I cannot seem to drop anymore weight out of all my siblings I'm the biggest guy so it doesn't make sense my sister and brothers are around 5 feet 5 and up while I'm 6 feet and their weight is 130 for my sister my brothers both weight about 140 and my oldest brother weights around 170 I think I'm just adopted I don't even belong in this family my mom is well in her 50s and she weighs 150 my dad is 60 and weights around 180 but mostly muscle because he was a boxer back home but everything looks so down for me all my friends and cousins are in excellent body shape and even if I workout like 10 hours and eat a small portion of healthy stuff it will make me gain weight I'm afraid that if I don't lose weight I'll become very I'll and eventually have a heart attack if I gained another 200 pounds, now that I have started count my calories and adapt to eating healthy I still cannot lose weight so today I went to see my doctor and asked him if he can check my thyroid because I feel depressed feel very fatigued these past 2 years hyperthyroidism is apart of my family my sister has it and she went on medicine and lost over 100 pounds within like 6-7 months and she doesn't even move a muscle all she does is complain, also would lack of sleep play an important role because I haven't been sleeping for these past two years at night and only sleep during the day I'm not working right now I taught if I could lose the weight I would be qualified to get a job and start getting my life back but that didn't happen I have talked to a personal trainer because cardio alone won't do the trick and I'm meeting him tomorrow let's see what happens if you have any advice for me please email me at email@example.com
Great article and wish all these beautiful people with their healthy weight loss and lives #Youguyscandoit
Rebecca, I too suffer from hypothyroidism in addition to juvenile diabetes. When my hypothyroidism hit, it stopped my dance career, took me out of work, and ground my life to a pain filled fatigued halt. I *do* take thyroid medication (look in to dessicated thyroid, a lot of people have much better results on it) and was on a whopping dose for a long time.
I have been following a traditional diet now for quite some time, and eating to nourish my body and get it out of deficit. I have increased my carbs, and contrary to the post saying it increases inflammation, I can say for the first time in 7 years I can actually sleep at night because I am not in pain. Other inflammation markers like C-Reactive Protein, Cholesterol etc. as well as thyroid antibodies have gone down.
I am still very over weight, but the balance is finally tipping, and for the first time in YEARS I have energy coming back, and the scale is moving towards a more balanced body. (I don't care about thin, I want to be healthy for my body)
One thing I can't stress enough, and I hope Catherine doesn't mind me mentioning is to get your MTHFR tested. It is a genetic defect that a surprising number of people have, and may be part of your fatigue issues with hypothyroidism. Most major insurance covers it, and the treatment for it is not complicated. In addition to changing my diet, getting my thyroid doses stabilized, and getting the MTHFR defect diagnosed, my life is on a big turn around.
Good luck, and thank you Catherine for this post. I am sharing it with people in this boat so to speak 🙂
What is MTHFR? I have had hypothyroid for years and am tired a LOT- but I eat good foods and still have a lot of trouble losing weight, even though I eat about as much or less than my family does (and they are normal weight).
3 ounces of lean protein for breakfast and 1/2 cup fruit. 4 ounces of lean protein for lunch and 1 cup vegetable and 1/2 cup fruit. Repeat same for supper as lunch. In two days u will start to feel full. The first week is the hardest. You will crave sweets. Water tea and coffee only for drinks. Skim milk only no yogurt. The sugar killed my body. Try dulse red sea weed. Amazing stuff. And u will see in a week the belly bloat is gone. God bless Michelle.
I lost 140lbs on low carb but struggled/white knuckled it and occasionally binged. Never ate bacon/butter but more salmon/olive oil.
In a bad car accident required 4 surgeries, gained back 70lbs... then I was diagnosed with MS and it was recommended to try AIP/Paleo.
Effortlessly dropped those 70# and not only have my symptoms improved dramatically, but all my indicators: BP, cholesterol, liver function, etc are "perfect" according to my doc ( who had never heard of Paleo and initially objected when I said I was giving it a try).
Have not been tempted once to "cheat" - I have gone from being bedridden to leaving next week for 6 wks of backpacking and kayaking down the Grand Canyon for 16 days. Not everyone who eats Paleo chows down on bacon at every meal. (I don't eat pork, I hate chocolate, but me love the avocado! )
I agree with number 3 - that reducing carbs too much can lower thyroid function - from personal experience and I've come across researchers who address this too, including Chris Kresser. I'm with you, Catherine!
Thanks for this! I've just been struggling with this myself. I've been eating real food now for the last year and a half (10 months of that spent in pregnancy) but haven't been able to lose weight once my baby weight left. #4 definitely applies to me! Any practicals on remedying this?
Also, where did you get your degree? I'm thinking of pursuing becoming a nutritional therapist and I'm looking for an online course.
Thanks so much for your blog!
Thanks so much for your kind words! I'm working on an e-book that addresses all this and more--coming in a few months! My education was through the Nutritional Therapy Association: http://nutritionaltherapy.com/ along with years of self study.
Thanks for reading!
Just a thought on pregnancy. I had three children. All my children were beautiful. I gained normal amounts of weight with the first two, and slowly lost it by being busy with my life. But, with my third baby, I gained 7 pounds and delivered at 137 lb. ( I am 5ft 6 inches tall) Had tons of milk for nursing my baby. My baby weighed 8 lb. 8 1/2 oz. What did I do differently with this third pregnancy? I ate between 2 and 3 pounds of raw vegetables each day.
I am a huge fan of Ray Peat's work, and have roughly followed his dietary guidelines after my health suffered on low carb. Feeling a lot better but have gained weight (mostly in my boobs, bum, hips and thighs). It's been about 3 months and my metabolism seems almost healed. Would you suggest slightly cutting back on overall fat intake to lose weight? (I mainly stick to quality saturated fats anyway). Also what is your view on starchy veggies vs. fruits for optimal carb sources?
While I can't give out specific advice, going from a mostly fat & protein diet (low carb, and then switching to a balanced diet (plenty of protein/fat/carbs) there has to be some reduction in fat compared to before.
So if you have put your body into a state that you talk about under #1 can you undo this and get your metabolism back on track? I also. have been eating low carb and low sugar for several years. I have a low thyroid and my body continues to put on weight despite healthy eating. Your advice is appreciated.
You might find these two articles relevant:
Thanks for reading!
I think it is always good to remember that we are all individuals and what works for one may not work for the other. Always debate and always question. I'm glad we have many people looking at health from all sides.
Cassie (Chow Bella)
I have been wondering for some time whether calorie deficit could eventually stall weight loss (#1). There has to come a point where calories can no longer be lowered while the individual stays healthy and loses weight in a healthy way. Conventional wisdom teaches us that calories in vs. calories out is the mechanism of maintenance/weight loss/weight gain but that logic may not take into account 1) the sources of calories, 2) whether general nutrition is met within the allotted calories, and 3) whether the individual is taking in enough calories to support basal metabolism. Basically, my logic is if the food/calories going in don't support general well being, I figure our bodies might hang onto the fat because a "lean time" may be coming. Or possibly ditch muscle, which is "expensive" to maintain. Is there any research on this? Besides just eating more, do you have any specific advice for someone trying to overcome years of metabolic damage from eating calorie levels that are too low?
I'm working an e-book regarding this right now-- should be out in a few months! I don't have any specific research to refer you to at the moment-- as I base my writing more off of what I see working with clients and well of course the never-ending diet spiral that our culture seems to be caught in!
I think losing weight is all about-- getting nutritionally wealthy!
Thanks for reading,
I wonder about this too, but what about someone who's blood sugars are hard to manage due to low cortisol levels and hypothyroidism. Eating super clean and low carb seems like the only option while the body is healing. Any suggestions? I've been gluten, dairy, soy and sugar free for a while now.
I don't think cutting out sugar helps the problem. You might find these two articles relevant:
Thanks for reading!
Do you have any research to back up the claim:
"When you’re not eating enough of the right carbohydrates that are essential to stimulating metabolism and the conversion of thyroid hormone (T4 to T3) in the liver, weight loss is unlikely. Without an adequate store of carbohydrates (glycogen) in the liver, the body will not make enough of this very important thyroid conversion."
Even just from a biochemical perspective, I am trying to understand how the glycogen affects the conversion of T4 to T3.
Here are a few articles you might enjoy that explain this further:
"Since food, especially carbohydrate and protein, will increase blood sugar and T3 production, eating is “thermogenic,” and the oral (or eardrum) temperature is likely to rise after eating." - Ray Peat, PhD from http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/hypothyroidism.shtml
"Glucose is required to convert thyroxin (T4) to its active form, triiodothyronine or liothyronine (T3). This occurs mainly in the liver, if glucose is adequate. Why? Glucose activates sulfhydryl enzymes that convert T4 to T3. What happens when T3 is not produced, whatever the cause — stress, radiation, environmental toxins, excess dietary estrogen or liver problems? When T3 decreases, the respiratory or mitochondrial enzymes do not work. T3 is essential for activating the electron transport chain down to the production of oxygen. When T3 is inadequate, sugar (glucose) is burned inefficiently to lactic acid instead of all the way to carbon dioxide. So, the body gets less energy from the same amount of glucose. When the liver runs out of stored sugar (glycogen), it stops converting T4 to T3." -Lita Lee, from http://www.litalee.com/shopexd.asp?id=180
"If your liver is not overburdened with polyunsaturated fats (PUFA’s) and hormones like estrogen, and the liver has ample supply of sugar, it can readily convert T4 to T3.The liver is the factory of the body, it stores sugar as glycogen for later use, organizes proteins and fats for distribution and breaks down toxins and hormones.You cannot live without sugar! It is the most important fuel for the human body, When you increase your sugar intake you speed up the conversion of T4 to T3 in the liver." Josh & Jeanne Rubin from http://eastwesthealing.com/the-thyroid-part-1/
Any peer-reviewed scientific literature to support you, instead of others' blog posts?
I've always been more of a common sense gal myself.
If I recall correctly, it was the peer reviewed & double-blind scientific studies that got us into all this nutritional trouble with avoiding saturated fats, fearing cholesterol, and encouraging vegan diets. I write about things I notice from working with people, physiology books, what has nourished people for generations and from Dr. Ray Peat, PhD.
Thanks for reading,
Thanks. I was wondering just that. I suspect there may be lots of good science here but pitting anecdotal evidence against large, randomised control trials is a warning flag to me. (I accept that there can be faults in the design of some trials but the concept has to be better than relying on one person's views, common sense, anecdotal evidence or blog posts.)
Hello Catherine. Whilst it is true that glucose is needed, it can be made by the body. Where is the research that says it has to be eaten, rather than produced via gluconogenesis? I get suspicious of statements like, "You cannot live without sugar! It is the most important fuel for the human body." In fact, carbohydrates are the only non-essential food group.
(I am not saying that a keto diet is good and I am not arguing against a healthy diet possibly being better with some CHO added, but the extremes of the claims for sugar make me think that people don't really know what they are talking about. I am happy to be corrected by good research, if appropriate.)
When you dive into the research, you will find studies that support both sides, so yes, one could cherry-pick studies to support their case. This post was written based on what I see working with hundreds of clients. I do tend to work with people that do not do well on low-carb diets and crash, which may cloud my own clinical experience. I do suspect gender and genetics plays a big role on how one responds to changes in macronutrients, specifically carbohydrates.
While glucose may not be essential, available carbs for fuel in the environment represents abundance (and one not stressed for a food supply). I find that the healthiest diets are those with the widest variety of nutrients and the least restriction.
Moreover, carbohydrates are abundant in nature all over the world, with the exceptions of a few areas and seasonal variations. Enforcing a ketogenic paleo diet (a very low carbohydrate way of eating that is typically reserved for those living in extreme temperatures like the Arctic where lush, carbohydrate-rich vegetation is not possible) could be very confusing to the body. Your body can’t tell your extreme diet of caloric, protein, or carbohydrate restriction from actual starvation or harsh environmental conditions. The body’s interpretation of these drastic dietary changes lands somewhere between intense stress and the possibility of death, which often first manifests with the absence of normal digestive function and an obvious lack of energy. Not exactly the ideal scenario for someone seeking health.
I hope that clarifies things.
Thank you 🙂
How long after you start to add the calories and carbs back in does it take to get that fire burning again and your body out of starvation mode?
It really depends on where your body is coming from, and how depleted you are. I write all about how to create your own wealth building plan here: https://butternutrition.com/creating-wealth/
Thank you for another great article! I'm also a nutritional therapist who found her way to Ray Peat. I am very grateful to be reaping the benefits of his wisdom, both personally and clinically. I, too, believe that sugar plays an important role in healing the metabolism and has been demonized just like salt and saturated fat.
Can you clarify this for me? My temps are different depending on where I am in my cycle. My pre-ovulation temps are in the 96.8 range. My post ovulation temps are 97.2-97.6. Would this be a cause of concern? I also have several others points you listed. I am just not sure I want to get my thyroid tested or not.
I've used Basal Body Temp for many years to avoid/achieve pregnancy. Your temps will vary through your cycle, just as you described, due to your hormonal fluctuations. In the beginning of your cycle when estrogen is higher, your temps will be lower. Once ovulation has occurred, progesterone kicks in and your temps rise. In fact, progesterone stays high if you're pregnant and the resulting higher temps are an early indicator of pregnancy, along with a missing period. When you see your temps take a dive again, you can expect your period to start very soon. There can even be a short dip in your temps right before ovulation.
I think 3 and 4 tie together more than you really realize. Every body is different and requires different things. I, for example, cannot digest grains. Any grains. And I am also pre-diabetic so sugar is out of the question. So I eat low-carb out of necessity. I also have had no gallbladder for over 20 years, and before you go off half-cocked saying I should then eat low-fat, my body reacted to the loss of my gallbladder by my liver OVER producing bile. So I now have a constant drip of bile into my intestines that I must eat enough fats to make up for or I have pain and well, let's just say, very unpleasant digestive issues. So all I'm saying is blanket statements about any type of eating or another do not apply to everyone.
Kristina, nothing applies to everyone. Ever. I'm certain Catherine is aware of this. She said many times in response that she bases her advice on her own experience, that of her clients and the research of others. Not on everyone in the world. Read it, take what fits, leave what doesn't. At the very least, what doesn't fit can be ruled out and give some a basis to find out what does.
I am a definate #1. In the first place, I was always near the top of normal weight, but still normal. Got PCOS, began to gain, got pregnant and kept the weight 3 times. I was gestationally diabetic twice, gained even more than average during that time, later becoming diebetic outside of pregnancy. A year after my 3rd pregnancy, I had a complete hysterectomy which encouraged even more weight gain in menopause. At my heaviest, I was 305 lbs. I worked super hard and lost about 75 lbs, had gastric bypass and lost another 55 lbs and have kept it off for 4 years now.
While I still eat everything, I eat less carbs because they are filling, less sugar because my intestines are picky, I eat real butter, fruits, veggies, fit in stupid snacks because they are tasty and enjoy all great numbers when I get my blood work done with only minimal assistance from outside vitamins, which is nearly unheard of for gastric bypass patients. This is an obvious sign that I am eating well. My portions never exceed 1.5 cups of food at a time and mainly is less, but it depends on how filling it is. I own and operate from a spa and perform approx 4 to 5 massages a day. That's at max 2,000 calories burned from working for the past 3 years. My good cholesterol or HDL has increased to 55, which means my body reads this activity as exercise, even though it doesn't happen at the gym. I should be taking in approx 2,500 calories to maintain my weight with my level of activity and with what eat, this never happens. I am stuck at 175 lbs. If #1 wasn't true, I would have already lost the extra weight. My body is always loacking enough fuel and is in starvation mode. I've been saying this for years! When I went on a 5 day vacation this past October, I had time to eat more, rest more and wasn't working at all. I lost 5 lbs.
Anyway, sorry for the long post. I just think that YES, everyone is an individual, but many people fall into these 4 categories while others will not.
What are steps you would take to get out of the long cycle of #1?V I've been like that for years and it's hard to break the habit of it because you start doing it without thinking about it.
Great summary! Totally agree with them all.
Hi Catherine, thanks for this great article!
Particularly points #2 and #4 really resonated with me; we should eat in order to be HEALTHY, not skinny. When our body is balanced inside and out, our weight will naturally adjust to what is ideal for our current state of health. 🙂
The part on carbs I totally agree with as well. I mean, sure we ought to cut out processed and refinned sugars/ carbs, but natural carbs from fruit and veggies are incredible fuel for our bodies - we're made to run on glucose, after all!
Thanks again and have a fantastic day!
But my "house" has a million "dollars" set aside JUST FOR THE "HEATING BILL." Analogy in #1 does not work.
Excellent article. Well-explained and very informative!
I don't see listed here, the real cause for weight gain. Research tells us that if we can digest protein, we can loose weight. So why is I so hard to digest protein? Our environment is full of chemicals. Chemicals kill digestive enzymes. 1) free yourself of all chemical exposure, this includes preservatives in food and chlorine in water. 2) Without good digestion, we become alkaline increasing pathogen growth. to overcome this, eat pickles, sauerkraut, relishes, and lots of organic raw foods, garlic, onions, etc. 3) meat requires too much vitamin B-6 for digestion, and should be eliminated. Pathogens create toxins and must be bound with B-6 for excretion. Low Vitamin B-6 does several things: prevents digestion of pathogens ( protein wall) causes kidney problems, and hundreds of catalytic actions of B-6 are prevented causing illness, and death.. 4) walk frequently to naturally remove toxins, increasing B-6. 4) yeast is a complete protein, and with sour dough the basis for many recipes, burgers, tortillas, rolls, fruit dumplings, etc. 5) research show oranges cause infection, increasing pathogen growth (M. Werbach MD).
Your website is amazing Catherine! It has really helped me deal with my energy deficit issues. I've recently written an article called "Mental Health Must-Haves" and linked to this post. Great nutrition is not only important for weight but mood as well! http://simplynatureplusnurture.com/2016/02/19/mental-health-must-haves/
Ah. I see. You want to weed out even marginally intelligent people with this nonsense to make sure that you have only the most gullible to peddle your crap to.
Amazing article. Portion control is necessary if you want to lose weight. Also, eliminate processed foods because they are full of sugar.
Good Information. Thanks for the same. If we are too lazy, we only plan daily to lose weight but never implement.
Much thanks to you for another extraordinary article! I'm likewise a dietary advisor who discovered her approach to Ray Peat. I am appreciative to receive the rewards of his knowledge, both actually and clinically. I, as well, trust that sugar assumes a vital job in recuperating the digestion and has been decried simply like salt and immersed fat.
A very well written piece! Most of the reasons were new for me and your blog helped me to understand what to do for weight loss. I will share this article with my family and cousins so they can also understand it.
When people believe we are designed to be fat eaters, I have to ask where did the supply of fat come from in nature? Animals, dairy and eggs contain the majority of fat that is available in the natural world. Question is how available were those sources prior to agriculture and mass production of food? Dairy was not a food source at all until something like 5,000 years ago (may be wrong on the exact time, but in the scope of our time here on earth, it is a fairly new source of food). Hunter-gathers would have stumbled on eggs from time to time but they were not readily available nor a daily source of food. Hunting without the weapons we have now was no easy feat. Sometimes there was meat and often there was not. In the plant kingdom there are few sources of fat, mainly nuts, seeds, olives, avocado and coconut. Oils did not exist. Olives have to be processed to be edible. Nuts and seeds were seasonal and required a lot of effort to obtain enough for a meal. There weren't fields of sunflowers, groves of nuts, orchards of avocado that could be shipped all over the world. Try getting into a walnut...it ain't easy. Then they have to be dried to get the moisture out or they become moldy. One place there would have been plenty of fat is from coconuts in the tropics where we hail from originally. But no coconut oil in our ancestors day. The sea contains animal fat but you need the right environment to spear a seal or walrus such as ice in the Arctic. Fact is, fat was not a plentiful or easy source of energy to obtain. The predators are best adapted to obtain fat. What was a plentiful food source for us was fruit. We make our own fat from excess carbs that we can burn when carbs are scarce. When we are living on our fat, the body perceives we are starving or in a famine. Burning fat is a starvation mode and not meant to be our permanent state. Dr. Diana Schwarzbein talks about this, how her diabetic clients on low carb diets did well for a year or two were seemingly getting better based on blood sugar but developed other issues like heart disease. She also has a talk on youtube "survival of the smartest" in which she explained that in 2006 when they were first able to see inside a cell, the necessity of carbs could be observed. Watch it for yourself. Since most cultures of the world survive on high carb diets and plant food is the most plentiful food source in the world, and the majority of animals survive on it, it seems a silly argument that we weren't meant to consume carbs, especially since our cells are designed to burn glucose!! Sugar is found in our atmosphere!! During times of stress you especially need "sugar", but sugar comes in many forms. Because our world is vastly different from our ancestors and we have very large brains that most of us tend to use frequently, our bodies require more fuel than we did eons ago. Our brains are glucose hogs! I stuck to a so called "healthy diet" for 20 years and did nothing but watch my weight go up and down and stress my body. I finally quit it and started eating carbs again, even yes some sugar. Sugar is nutrient deficient so get the majority of my sugar from natural whole food sources but if my body says "sugar please" I will give it some white stuff, but because the majority of my diet doesn't contain added sugar, I see sugar as more of a therapeutic drug than a food. I no longer deny, deny, deny. Yes, done the Atkins and other low carb diets and shunned sugar for years, but never lost my post smoking, post menopause weight. We need a lot of calories, don't kid yourself. We can do nothing but sit still all day and we burn a surprising number of calories just to keep our body operating. High fat diets are not sustainable or healthy. You need carbs, but the right amount for your BMR and activity level and during stress....do yourself a favor and eat some sugar. You will feel much better and probably lose weight as well by not keeping your body in a stressed out state with high cortisol levels. I have always noticed how women who don't over stress themselves with exercise and who don't fret so much about what they eat are their ideal weight!! Keep it up Catherine! Many will be hard to convince but sooner or later they are going to cave into carbs anyways, because our body's naturally desire what they are designed to eat! Try to get a cat to eat fruit or a deer to eat prey. They just aren't going to do it!
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and joining the conversation Susan!
Additional proof we need sugar, (sugar should really be defined as to the source because refined sugar should be minimized due to its nutritional deficiency), is milk, the most perfect food on earth, and it is the only food source designed to exclusively be food. So why on earth would milk contain lactose if the infant mammal didn't require sugar? Seems Mother Nature made a big mistake if you believe carbs are not an essential macro-nutrient! Because we have a back up system to burn our own fat doesn't mean carbs are not essential!! Go without them long enough and you will die. But then you may say, yes but they stop consuming milk when they are able to eat the adults diet, but that doesn't mean they no longer need carbs! Other than strict carnivores, the rest of the world's species eat some form of plant food containing carbohydrates, so why wouldn't we, especially since we are not carnivores?