Welcome to part 2 of my weight loss special. In this segment, I focus on the second biggest reason why people can fail to lose weight on LCHF, and what to do about it.
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Like I mentioned in the last video, for all the amazing success stories with LCHF, the huge transformations, what you probably don’t see is that there are probably just as many who have tried LCHF and have failed, at least for women anyway. Not because LCHF doesn’t work, but because they don’t quite have the balance they need.
The most important thing to look at is whether or not insulin resistance is an issue, which is what I discussed last episode. The second biggest factor is starvation stress.
Most of us start LCHF in a state of starvation stress, again, this is women in particular. Why women? Because most of us have spent most of our lives dieting and/or low-fat. When we do that, our body goes into a state of starvation stress. Our thyroid slows down, our metabolism slows down, and our body tries its best to hang onto to as much of its fat stores as it can. This is a survival mechanism because the body thinks it is dealing with a famine.
In fact, this is why most people are stuck in an endless cycle of dieting. They diet, they lose weight (because they are starving), they may lose fat, but usually lose a lot of muscle too. In any case, this shows up as a loss on the scales. They think woo-hoo, how exciting. They may feel depleted, grumpy, tired or even fatigued, but their fabulous body is back!
So then they go back to normal eating feeling very pleased. But then, when we return to normal eating in this state (with a slow thyroid and slow metabolism), our body wants to store fat! It wants to store as much fat as it can. Again, this is a survival mechanism.
Then we think, oh, man, I have no control, I am useless, I don’t have any will power, and we go back to the diet, never realizing that the diet is what is making us fat. Actually it has nothing to do with will power, we have just been taught to eat the wrong foods.
So, most of us have spent our lives in this pattern, and it gets worse and worse the longer we do it, the thyroid struggles more and more (the majority of women now have underactive thyroid now because of low-fat dieting), and we are generally in this state when we start LCHF.
So, what is likely to happen when we start LCHF in this state? We could gain weight, and at the very least, probably not lose anything. Yes, there are the very lucky women who lose right away (they may be younger, they may not have as much damage, they may not have been very good at dieting). But for around 50% of women, the weight isn’t going to budge at the start.
Now for all the men out there, there is great news. You are very likely to be successful first time. Most men find it very easy to lose weight on LCHF. Why the difference? Most men haven’t spent their entire lives dieting. The only men I see who have trouble shifting weight are the ones who have become more and more insulin resistant over time.
So, what is the answer to starvation stress. Well, first of all, simply understanding the fact that it exists. Understand that it is likely that your body will have time to heal and give it that time. Be kind to yourselves as that happens.
The absolute best way to approach weight loss is to focus on healing rather than weight loss. The more our body heals, the better results we will get with weight loss.
And, it is absolutely incredible how the body does heal. I remember a few years ago at one of my seminars, a lady said to me, “I have been doing this for three weeks and it just isn’t working!” I said, ok, so you are not seeing weight loss results, but is anything else happening? She said, “Oh, yes, my blood sugar has come down, it is normal now, my bloating is gone, and I feel really good.” And I said, “So, it’s not working?”
She immediately smiled and understood what I meant. If the body has the capacity to do that in three weeks, imagine what it can do in three months, 6 months, or a year. Like Sam Queen, the biochemist and nutritionist says, “The body is designed to win.” And, it does that if we give it what it needs.
So, hopefully, with this understanding of starvation stress you can look at things a little differently, be kind to yourself, and give yourself time. How often do we do that; give ourselves time?
If you keep following your tips, staying keto in the first phase, balancing your pH, getting enough rest, balancing your gut bacteria, all of these things are conducive to healing, including starvation stress.
And, because this is such an important topic, in the next video I will tell you the most incredible story that will illustrate this point really well, and also shows that while it may take months to heal, the freedom on the other side is simply priceless.