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Q & A on Conquering Morbid Obesity

If Wishing could Make it so
Creative Commons License photo credit: Svadilfari

We have been focusing a lot lately on U.S. dietary guidelines, so from the mailbag comes a request from a British citizen on how to conquer her weight problem with nutrition. Looks like we are not the only nation struggling with the obesity crisis. I have asked two of the experts whose USDA oral comments were published on this blog to answer her query.

Question: How Do I Lose Weight?

Dear Weston Price Org,

Having found your web, and reading through your info find it very interesting, I have a question I hope you will be able to answer.

I was told by my G.P., that I am morbidly overweight so went on a diet. I decided to cut out sugar, and in 7 months have lost 2 stone which is very good for me but still have 2 stone to go. I looked up many nutritional web sites and have more or less been doing what you recommend, I eat butter, not too much, have semi skimmed milk, eat medium amount of hazel nuts, fish, mainly salmon, porridge, wild strawberries and blueberries, boiled eggs, 2 a day, meat, lots of green veg and take 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per day and yet I am only loosing approx 1/2 lb of weight per week but more interesting my body fat content has increased from 45% to 49%, which is far above the recommended 30% here in England

Would appreciate your comments and suggestions.

–Mrs.  B.

Answer from Dr. Richard Feinman, Ph.D. SUNY Downstate Medical Center

If you are in the care of a physician, especially if you have other health problems, you will have to work out the details with them but there is some inconsistency in your diet from a nutritional standpoint.  I am guessing that a low fat diet is being encouraged in some way and the porridge stands out as a sore point, in the list of foods.  Serious carbohydrate restriction which I recommend can be very effective but there does tend to be a break point, so, again within the limitations of what your physicians says, I would restrict my carbohydrates to non-root vegetables.  The porridge will not help and you have to be pretty moderate on berries.  (You don’t mention them but the first thing to cut out are potatoes, bread, rice, etc.)  The good news is, for most people, if you keep carbs very low, certainly below 100 g or for serious weight loss under 50 g, the fat won’t make a difference and you can have whole milk and more butter. On per cent body fat, very low carb may help but you will do better if you add in exercise, probably resistance training if you are very overweight (two best books are Slow Burn and TNT).  Everybody is different but I think removing most starch and sugar is usually best.

Hope this helps.

Regards, RDF

Answer from Adele Hite, Scientific Advisor to Nutrition and Metabolism Society

As someone who as worked with the morbidly obese, I would say that she is off to a very good start and should continue as she is but with a few modifications.

While I think that the WAPF food groups are perfect for everyone, some people need to focus on particular foods from each group.  For instance, from the “Grains, Legumes, and Nuts” category, she should choose foods that are least likely to stimulate an insulin response, such as nuts rather than porridge, because insulin promotes fat storage and prevent fat burning.  In the “Fruits and Veggies” category, she should stick primarily to non-starchy veggies rather than fruit for the same reason.  In the “Animal Products” category, eggs, meat, and cheese may be better choices for her than milk.  As she continues to lose weight, she may find she can introduce some of those other foods again without problems.

Adele

See Richard’s testimony & bio:

Government has Failed to Halt Epidemic of  Obesity and Diabetes

See Adele’s testimony & bio:

USDA Dietary Guidelines Responsible for Obesity and Diabetes Epidemic

Kimberly Hartke is the publicist for Weston A. Price Foundation, a 501 c3 nutrition education non-profit.

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Comments

  1. These are excellent guidelines for someone who wants to conquer their weight problem. One piece of advice I would offer other than eating real food, traditionally prepared (and limiting carbohydrate to begin with as suggested) is to start to really enjoy food and see that seasonal, fresh, simply cooked food is a pleasure you can have every day. This is excellent advice for anyone wanting to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. I blog in the UK about real food so perhaps your British reader will find the recipes and advice at http://acookslibrary.com/ useful.
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..The Raw Milk Debate =-.

  2. I am so happy to see this article. I am morbidly obese, and cannot – for the life of me – lose weight. I started down the WAPF way of eating several months ago and have actually gained weight. I see now that I need to cut the carbs. I feel much better than I used to, but it has been discouraging to see that I gained weight eating a natural, traditional diet. Thank you again!

  3. 1) The 180 Degree Health Blog by Matt Stone has many great resources and collects a lot research he compiled into e-books. He posts one a week and there are lots of interesting feedbacks/comments. Would recommend looking into.

    2) Also Julia Ross’ the Diet Cure. For supplementation suggestions (shortterm use)

    3) And deep Cleanses – including colon cleanses. 10 Days to Ultimate Health also the G.A.P.S book

    4) Dr Brownstein Books on: Iodine, Thyroid, Hormones

    6) Finally 4 Fold Path to Healing by Thomas Cowen and his supplements suggestions from Standard Process (expensive)

    From what I’ve learned thus far:
    1) Cut Sugar and eat breakfast
    2) Control blood sugar levels (short term Supplement use can help get jump start, homeopathis or nutritional)
    3) Build strength in adrenals and thyroid (also supplemtns help for short term, even amour thyroid and/or dessicated thyroid gland)
    4) Build seretonin levels to fight depression (ditto about supplments)
    5) Overfeeding and lots of rest for 30 days plus to bring up body temp to normal levels and restore adrenals and thyroid (180 degree metabolism) – the milk diet can also work for this and taking dessicated thyroid (and iodine?)
    6) cleanse out digestive system with cleasing programs and colonics (for some maybe only after building up strength with supplemnts and overfeeding with nourishing foods

    hope this helps

  4. Also — To heal any conditions always adress in order:

    1) The Digestive system (stomach, colon)
    2) then the Liver
    3) Finally, the hormones: adrenals, thyriod, etc

    Also any body temp below 97.7 indicates problems and long term healing will never be resolved until body temp is brought up to healthy level

  5. p/s DO NOT CUT CARBS — body temps will fall and it is not a long term solution! (180 Degree Health Blog and my own personal experience.)

  6. The problem with low-carb gurus is that they think you need to lose weight to get healthy. Dr. Diana Schwarzbein says you need to get healthy to lose weight. To say that a diet is bad because you gain weight in the short term is nonsense. It is like saying cocaine is good because it causes you to lose weight. We need to look at long-term trends (months, years). Many things might cause you to lose weight short-term, but ruin your metabolism in the long-term. I think Matt Stone is right. Cutting carbs is like cutting off your foot because you have a splinter. Many healthy cultures ate lots of carbs and did very little exercise, but were thin (Kitavans, for example). The problem isn’t carbs, but all the refined carbs, junk fats, and chemicals people are eating which ruin their digestion, metabolism, hormones, etc.

  7. Kathryne says:

    Mrs. B,
    All I can say is that you need to check out Dr. Josh Axe. He has a website (www.draxe.com) as well as a blog, Facebook, radio show, etc… On his website he has a diet called the healing diet. This is not the kind of diet that you do for a little while to loose weight. It is totally changing the way you look at food and what is really healthy. My whole family eat like this. Since we started our new healthy eating lifestyle back in January I have lost 45 pounds, 20 of it in the first month. I have gone from a 26 to a 16/18 in pant size and a 22/24 to an XL in shirts and dresses. My husband has also lost almost 50lbs and has gotten off his medications for high cholesterol and a fatty liver.

    We heard about Dr. Axe through my father-in-law. When he started the healing diet he had Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure. After one month he was totally off his meds. and had lost almost twenty pounds. He is still off all his medications and is in excellent health. He is 61 years old.

    Basically with the Healing “diet” you go back to eating the way God intended. Get all fake food out of you diet and only eat what is real. Stop eating processed packaged foods, artificial sweeteners and anything that contains High Fructose corn syrup. Get the grains out of your diet. Most of them are over processed and don’t have anything good left in them. If you want some grains in your diet switch to something like Ezekiel bread which is made with sprouted live grains. Stop drinking diet soda and start drinking green/white tea and water. Eat lots of fruits and vegetable, grass fed/free range/wild caught(fish) meats. Go for the organic stuff as much as your budget will allow.

    I know this is a lot of information to take in but it is actually really easy and I promise you that it works. I could share even more with you but I wont. Go to http://www.draxe.com and check it out. There is a lot of really good information on there and also testimonials to help encourage you. You can also ask him questions and he always gets back to you in a day or two. I want to tell you that this is not an impossible thing when you have the right information. It takes commitment to make a change for life. You have to truly want it. We have been doing it for six month now and its just part of our life now.

    If you are a believer then give it all to him. One of the best things I did was to realize that this body is not mine. God bless you on your journey and I know that you will find success. Good luck

  8. Kathryne says:

    Ian,
    You are so right. I used to say that it’s not what you eat but how much you eat. Was I ever wrong. Now I say its not what you eat but the kinds of food you eat. Real food! That is what our bodies want. Not the fake stuff that you find on the shelves in the grocery store.

  9. Kathryne says:

    Let’s not forget that exercise is key. You’ve got to get up and get moving. Start with whatever you can do right now and go from there. I recommend what is called burst training. That’s where you push it for 30 second and then slow for 30. You continue this for twenty minutes. When that gets easy you increase to a minute fast, a minute slow. If you want to learn more about this go to http://www.draxe.com/burst-training/. Oh and don’t forget to lift some weights. The more muscle you have the more fat your body will burn.

  10. Kathryne says:
  11. Also: The Healthy Skeptic blog currently has a great series on thyriod and weight. He also did a great interview podcast with Stephen Guyenet that is worth listening to. Basically it comes down to this: we muct heal our gut first before anything else will work.

  12. I cut my carbs back in my diet and the weight fell off easily, so I’m happy. I have morphed into a more paleo diet which keeps the weight off and keeps me satisfied. Feeling better than ever, and no I don’t get cold. My advice to people struggling with their weight (as well as cutting carbs) is not to eat anything with ingredients your grandmother (or if you are young, your great grandmother) wouldn’t recognise.

  13. You made various fine points there. I did a search on the topic and found most persons will go along with with your blog.

  14. Posted by Ian, “The problem with low-carb gurus is that they think you need to lose weight to get healthy. Dr. Diana Schwarzbein says you need to get healthy to lose weight.”

    Brilliant. Just Brilliant. Thank you.

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