The Healthy Skeptic Podcast – Episode 8

April 26, 2011 in Podcasts | 61 comments

ths podcast logoBring on the Paleo-Nerd-A-Thon! In this week’s episode paleo nerds Robb Wolf and Mat LaLonde (a.k.a. “The Kraken”) join me to discuss some of the finer points of the paleo/primal approach to nutrition. We answer cover the following topics:

  • Why weight loss often plateaus or even reverses on low- or zero-carb diets, and why increasing carbohydrate intake can often jump-start weight loss again
  • Whether ketones or glucose are a better source of fuel in particular circumstances
  • Whether it’s important to eat glycine-rich foods like bone broths as well as methionine rich foods like muscle meats and eggs – and what the consequences may be of too little glycine and too much methionine
  • How to increase testosterone and libido without testosterone creams
  • Whether elevated LDL after adopting a paleo diet is caused by micronutrient deficiencies
  • The complete lack of evidence supporting “metabolic typing”
  • The potential causes of excessive bloating
  • The myth that a paleo diet is bad for the kidneys
  • What a paleo diet can – and can’t – do for type 2 diabetes

Since we’re all nerds that like to talk, the episode is longer than usual – 90 minutes. But we had a great time and we’re thinking of making it a quarterly event. Let us know what you think!

P.S. You’ll notice the theme song is different this week. We pulled it from Release the Kraken.


{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

yarn chef April 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Oh, PLEASE, quarterly, nerd-a-thons would be so wonderful. Amazing information from beginning to end.


Andrea Schüler April 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I am excited. Thanks a lot for this podcast! Something is wrong: I can’t download the file. :-(


Me April 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm

(in IE8) Right-click on Download and choose Save Target As.


Mark Lanza April 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm

My plug-in crashed before I got to the end of it, but I REALLY enjoyed the episode. Not only was the content superb, but the varying personalities (Mellow Chris and Outspoken Mat balanced with a bit of The Wolf) added interest to the answers. Key learning: Mat will beat you up if you piss him off! Hahahahaha
Thanks for the podcast, Chris. Great work.


Anonymous April 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Sweet stuff. Yeah I agree that it is a little unreasonable to expect that you guys ply the literature on amino acid metabolism to prepare for one question in a long show. I can see plausible counter-arguments to all points on the protein issue and also that it is folly to take nutrients in a vacuum and try to extrapolate that to a properly functioning human metabolism. I’m sure we’ll all keep our eyes out on the issue. Right now I seem to feel a lot better with a higher protein intake.

Also there are a few acceptable spellings for Jell-o. I like the goofiest of them.


Jeromie Preas April 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Along with cortisol, I think plateaus can be overcome because of leptin, too. if you look under the header: “effects of overfeeding” (with references): “The other argument, about tricking your body into fat-loss mode, usually alludes to the effect of overfeeding carbs on leptin. For a lean person, or for someone one a prolonged dieting stint, low leptin is an issue. This hormone, the king of hunger regulation, controls metabolic rate, appetite, motivation and libido, among other things. Leptin drops whenever your body senses a calorie deficit and when fat mass is lost.”


Karen Pendergrass April 26, 2011 at 7:03 pm

I want to know who asked that particular question about bloating– please send me a message at , or add me as a friend at
I also want you to check out this youtube video which I made :
-Karen Pendergrass


Nutty Kitchen April 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Chris – you asked for the Coconut Milk recommendation “Aroy-d 100% Coconut Milk”. No preservatives and no BPA they also have an excellent 100% Coconut Cream. It is the only one I’ve been able to find that meets our strict criteria. The only downside is that once you open it it spoils quickly. Also, I was at an Asian Market in Northern California last week and noticed they had some available. We get ours online here:


Anonymous April 27, 2011 at 4:34 am


David Palmer April 26, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Awesome podcast. Is there any chance I could be directed to the study that debunks the alkaline diet? I’m having a hard time finding it.


lalondematt April 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm

•Acid Diet (High-Meat Protein) Effects on Calcium Metabolism and Bone Health. Cao, J. J.; Nielsen, F. H. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 2010, 13, 698–702.

•A Diet High in Meat Protein and Potential Renal Acid Load Increases Fractional Calcium Absorption and Urinary Calcium Excretion Without Affecting Markers of Bone Resorption or Formation in Postmenopausal Women. Cao, J. J.; Johnson, L. K.; Hunt, J. R. Journal of Nutrition 2011, 141(3), 391–397.


darius sohei April 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm

quality podcast, lalonde always brings something extra crispy to the discussion, and lol on mentioning my email abut your perceived sleepiness.

theres a meta-question i’m trying to articulate regarding whether or not you, robb, kurt harris, and paul jaminet (and to some extent sisson) are all saying basically the same things, differently & repeatedly. this is gross generalizing i’m aware, but it does seem like the majority of questions are re-explaining the basics to total newbie/skeptics.

for me, a person willingly doing lots of self-study (but still not memorizing the actual bio-chem) and also doing the more difficult self-experimentation, i find it seems silly that a large part of paleo 2.0 is a convice-a-thon to people that either aren’t willing to put in the time or aren’t willing to fully commit.

since both you and robb (maybe jaminet & sisson too) have healed from chronic illness, i do appreciate your ideas more than people who either have always been relatively healthy and/or people who can eat whatever they want with seemingly no problems. (of course i also think it’s rare that these people are ever actually looking under the hood and doing functional testing)

i feel like a strong statement is needed about whether it’s just plain easier to maintain or degrade current health & symptoms vs. actually healing yourself. i think healing is much harder.
for instance my girlfriend is a vegetarian for 15+ years and outwardly seems to be healthier than i am, which is an example of why “they” think “we” are kind of crazy.

it seems like there is hope to reverse chronic/mysterious illness, and to hack our genotype/phenotype, but that hope comes with all the baggage of spending the time and money to try and get there without any guarantees that we ever will.


Chris Kresser April 27, 2011 at 3:09 am

Darius: I’d say your last paragraph sums it up. The truth is that not all problems are solvable. We recognize that quite easily when it comes to physical injuries. For example, if someone gets in a car crash and becomes quadriplegic, we don’t expect them to “heal” – if what you mean by healing is full recovery of function.

We also know that certain illnesses are progressive and at least apparently irreversible.

The difficulty lies in determining where someone falls in the spectrum of “total recovery” to “progressive, irreversible damage”. I think improvement is possible in almost every case, and even if total recovery isn’t possible, there’s a lot that can be learned about how to live gracefully with chronic illness and/or pain. That’s a missing piece in a lot of the nutrition discussions, of course.


José Ñañez April 26, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Chris, in a past post called is “Paleo even Paleo”, you said the following about HGs: “And, even more telling, when these groups return to their traditional ways, the modern diseases disappear again. This suggests that it wasn’t some genetic vulnerability that caused them to develop modern diseases with the introduction of modern foods” Why is that so? It doesn’t rule out the possibility of these groups being genetically (or epigenetically,etc.) more sensitive. Which may be the case given how tremendously bad do such groups react to our modern diets.


Anonymous April 27, 2011 at 12:14 am

I like to hear you guys banter back and forth, as well as each person bringing their perspective to the topic. Would love to have you do this quarterly.


Jenna Van Sickle April 27, 2011 at 1:15 am

About the person with excessive bloating asking about gluten intolerance…I just wanted to mention two other food intolerances that were not mentioned in the podcast, although I also think that gluten intolerance is certainly likely. Two other food intolerances are fructose malabsorption and lactose intolerance. Everyone knows about lactose intolerance, and the paleo diet will help that, too. Fructose malabsorption (FM) is much less well-known, and the paleo diet can make this a lot worse. I have FM, among some other issues, and I began to do a paleo diet only to get much worse. I get terribly bloated if I eat fructose (more specifically foods with a bad fructose/glucose ratio–many fruits and vegetables) or fructans (including onions, garlic, and lots of other vegetables). Even at 5’8″ and 120 lbs, I can look like I am 6 months pregnant if I eat high fructose/fructan foods. I now eat a paleo diet that is very low in fruits and vegetables.


Chris Masterjohn April 27, 2011 at 2:27 am

Awesome interview and thanks for the props guys. One point, though. As I pointed out in my choline series, inefficient conversion of methionine to choline is widespread in our population, and conversion of methionine to choline generates homocysteine, which requires other nutrients if not choline to neutralize. You can only get so far with protein. Beyond that, you need choline itself, other choline sparers (betaine, B6, folate, B12), or displacement of sugar and fat with starch, in my opinion.


Chris Kresser April 26, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Chris: I agree, and have always been a proponent of glycine-rich foods in the diet. That’s one of the reasons, I’m sure, that GAPS is effective for some of my patients who were on Paleo diets and not getting the response they hoped for.


Anonymous April 27, 2011 at 3:46 am

So eat some eggs with your eggs. Makes sense!


Peter April 29, 2011 at 7:34 pm

My personal experience agrees with Chris (against Mat’s point). I ate a low-carb Paleo diet with ample muscle meats but few eggs and no organ meats. I also took 4 grams per day of EPA+DHA per Robb’s old recommendation. At my next physical I had elevated liver enzymes, and my doctor confirmed I had a fatty liver with an ultrasound. I immediately stopped the fish oil and two months later the liver enzymes were going down. Lately I’ve been eating lots of egg yolks and beef liver and have added back safe starches. In a few days I will find out if my liver enzymes are back to normal.


Garry May 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm

This Nature article on gut microflora ( mentions phosphatidylcholine and choline, and how high dietary/supplemented levels can contribute to cardiovascular disease (see Figure 1). I’m somewhat familiar with Chris M’s articles on choline for fatty liver, but the Nature article caught me by surprise. Can you clarify at all?


Anonymous April 27, 2011 at 6:00 am

Thanks for answering my question on raising testosterone and libido. I definitely won’t try the creams. What was that Robb mentioned, Meta Root???

I am stressed, but am clean Paleo
I bought a bottle of Tribulus from Now Foods, but have been reticent on including that. I have heard of hormone-assisting supplements helping, but that they also inhibit the body’s natural production of such hormone(s) for the long-term. But I’m guessing Robb means taking it for a brief time only ramp up production. I’ll up Vitamin D levels; I have stopped taking the consistent, higher levels of Vitamin D for a few months.

Also, could Matt shoot me the reference on how “increasing saturated fat intake lowers levels of sex-hormone binding globulin which increase the levels of free-testosterone”?

I guess I have to decide who’s particular advice on training to follow first. Robb’s resistance training (w some carbs) or Matt’s ketogenic, only lifting protocol.




lalondematt April 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Robb was talking about nettle root. I personally don’t recommend messing with that stuff.

Here is the reference you are seeking:

Dietary Lipids: An Additional Regulator of Plasma Levels of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin. Reed, M. J.; Cheng, R. W.; Simmonds, M.; Richmond, W.; James, V. H. T. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolsim 1987, 64(5), 1083–1085.


Mark Lanza April 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

How about a DHEA supplement?


Dean Gutberlet April 27, 2011 at 6:06 am

Awesome podcast. Definitely one to listen to twice. Thanks Chris for putting it together. Just get Kurt Harris in there and you will have the full spectrum of personalities!


Andrea Schüler April 27, 2011 at 9:28 am

Matt & Robb & Chris as quarterly event? Please do it. That would be great!


Nick Covino April 27, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I havent even listened yet.. but this needs to happen once a week.. Three of my Favorite minds coming together on one show!! its like Nutrition with the Stars!!


Laura P April 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I love the idea of a quarterly nerd-a-thon! I like the interaction between the 3 of you, it’s informative and entertaining.


Anonymous April 27, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Thanks so much. This podcast may resolve severe bloating, burping, flatuelence, constipation, diarrhea and even the emergence of gastroespphageal reflux so bad that I got an upper GI bleed (black tarry stools x4d) since I started Paleo 1/1/2011.

Dr. Kresser’s comments on guar gum in the coconut milk now leads me to believe it could be the WF coconut milk I’ve been having! PCP prescribed Prilosec and an upper and lower endoscopy. While I may have had some, unbeknowest to me, GERD symptoms (sore throat and tiny pains in sternum off and on) prior to going Archevore, I never had major symptoms, and no other GI problems at all, until Archevore. I’ve been scratching my head wondering how everyone swears their GI symptoms and GERD go away with a Paleo diet while all those symptoms started with my going Paleo. I will drop guar gum and see if that clears up my problems.

MD said I was overproducing acid since I was on the bad SAD but when I disclosed Paleo, he switched to too much fat just sitting there in my stomach (I chose not argue) and that diet changes wouldn’t do me any good.

Thanks so much guys! I’m learning so much.


Chris Chatzoglou April 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Love the Clutch intro this week!


Lawrence April 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm


I disagree with making this a quarterly event. You should make your dialog with Robb Wolf and Dr. Mat Lalonde a weekly event! Of course, given how busy all of you guys are, with your own work, research, and podcasts, I understand this would be impractical. So please try and make this round table with Wolf and Lalonde AT LEAST a quarterly event. The level of knowledge that you guys dispense is tremendous and the public can greatly benefit from what you guys have to say. In a world inundated by so much confounding nutritional advice, which tends to be based on inept scientific research, corporate interest, and downright mythology, it is nice to have three intelligent, articulate, and lucid voices to deliver scientifically accurate information to the masses. You guys are really providing an invaluable service, and I think I can speak for your other listeners in saying that it is a pleasure listen all of you.



Lawrence April 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm


I disagree with making this a quarterly event. You should make your dialog with Robb Wolf and Dr. Mat Lalonde a weekly event! Of course, given how busy all of you guys are, with your own work, research, and podcasts, I understand this would be impractical. So please try and make this round table with Wolf and Lalonde AT LEAST a quarterly event. The level of knowledge that you guys dispense is tremendous and the public can greatly benefit from what you guys have to say. In a world inundated by so much confounding nutritional advice, which tends to be based on inept scientific research, corporate interest, and downright mythology, it is nice to have three intelligent, articulate, and lucid voices to deliver scientifically accurate information to the masses. You guys are really providing an invaluable service, and I think I can speak for your other listeners in saying that it is a pleasure listen all of you.



Lawrence April 27, 2011 at 10:27 pm

In minute 1:17:50 – 1:18:25 Chris, Matt, and Scott dismissed a question by Ezasio (forgive the spelling) entitled “Eat To Live Diet”, concerning something about the vegan Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and Robb Wolf chimed in about “not kicking a downed man.” What happened to Dr. Joel Fuhrman? Why did both Wolf and Lalonde refer to him as a man that should be pitied? I am just curious.


darius sohei April 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm

i think it has to do with being tired of repeatedly debunking the vegan diet and not feeling like convincing vegans is worth the time.


Kimberly Murphy April 28, 2011 at 1:13 am

Hi, I would like to hear the podcast but it says “file not found.” Please advise. Thanks.


Kimberly Murphy April 28, 2011 at 1:28 am

Nevermind….. now it’s connecting!


Anonymous April 28, 2011 at 7:18 am

Matt. Home made beef liver pate… my favourite.

I do mine from scratch… grow, kill and remove the warm liver (the other organs as well)… Best snack ever.


Anonymous April 28, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Mat was a bit rude to Paul, but other than that he’s brilliant and fun.

It was good to hear about metabolic typing. I had hoped there was something to it, but I was pretty sceptic. I’ve made a metabolic typing test and I’m apparently a mixed type. I’m supposed to eat 35% protein. That’s a lot of protein. The questionnaire asked if I was sensitive to sunlight, if I was burping after meals etc. I’m not sure how that information can lead to 35% protein. I think the idea of metabolic typing is that different parts of the world has evolved to eat different foods and different ratios of macronutrients. Like the inuits has evolved eating mostly fat and protein and they wouldn’t do very good on a Kitava diet. But I’m suspecting the inuits would do just fine on a Kitava diet after the adaptation period.

Awesome podcast. Obviously I agree with everyone who thinks this podcast should be done more often than quarterly.


Anonymous April 28, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Great episode! You three are nutrition superstars AND very entertaining together. Three cheers for quarterly nerd-a-thon!


Dan Pope April 29, 2011 at 12:59 am

Chris, I haven’t even listened to it and I already know its going to be good!



Lancaster April 30, 2011 at 9:28 am

A trifecta of paleo nerdiness. The perfect storm comes to mind.


R.K. April 30, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I would like to hear more about autophagy. I know Paul has discussed it at the PHD blog, yet I’m still having difficulty understanding the concept, its benefits, and how to turn it on strongly.


Eric Lepine May 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

I agree with some of the comments above; this should be made into a weekly thing :) Geek I am, but whatever…

Great stuff from the whole group!


Eric Lepine May 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Specifically with regards to gluconeogenesis and ideal or increasing levels of carb consumption with an increasing level of activity… You guys mentioned how it is activity-dependent i.e., the more you tap in to your glycogen stores as intensity/duration increases, the more carbs you will possibly need to consume. Assuming one was, as per the mention of Dr. Eades, to base their fitness regime on walking or other low-level intensity activities and lifting weights (for strength, not as part of a metabolic conditioning workout), with intermittent and infrequent addition of a high-level intensity activity (say, once a week, you play a sport, or do a short to medium-duration Crossfit type workout), am I correct in assuming that even with very low carb intake, your body would have ample time to replenish its glycogen store?


David F May 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm

is supplemental glycine a good idea for healing the gut?


Eric Lepine May 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Hey Chris….

Specifically with regards to the BPA-free, gum-free coconut milk, outside of the light coconut milk at Trader Joe’s that Mat mentioned, there are a few options. Tropical Traditions sells a high-quality coconut cream, out of which you can make a pretty darn good coconut milk by simply adding the amount you desire. A bit fibrous compared to proper coconut milk but otherwise, works really well in curries. The other option, also as per a Tropical Tradition recipe, is to use properly dried high-quality coconut flakes, adding water, and blending for a few minutes. Drain liquid through a cheesecloth, and you get a good coconut milk. Check out this link for the latter(


Joshua May 11, 2011 at 9:24 am

I second the recommendation for Tropical Traditions concentrated coconut cream… I just tried some recently and it’s a really high quality product and tastes great (I love the coconut oil too). I mix mine about half and half with water with a little vanilla extract and sometimes cinnamon.


Whitney May 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Thank you very much for the podcast and specifically for discussing the autoimmune protocol in the very beginning. My question is if Howard L Weiner still works at Harvard and if he is on board with this healing? I read his book ‘Curing M.S.’ when I was first diagnosed and it really helped me understand what was going on in my body. I have used all the advice presented by the people in this podcast and had life changing results. I would be so disappointed if people like Dr. Weiner are shunning it and so happy to find out if they are accepting it. Thank you again for providing this podcast. The fact that you do it for free is so wonderful, I am very grateful.


STG May 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Fantastic podcast! I always learn so much from these podcasts-thanks! The cortisol and under-consumption of carbos in relationship to exercise was of particular interest to me. I don’t do high endurance races but I do ski for 7- 9 hour days (food, water, and rest breaks included). I am a female over 60 so my nutritional needs and metabolic issues may be different than some of the younger people who listen to these podcast? I do not follow a low carb diet but more of a “slow” carb. I do not eat grains, wheat or processed foods anymore but I have not adopted a total paleo diet since I drink kefir and eat other dairy, eat filberts and almonds, black beans and lentils. Coming from a WPF tradition, I am a little skeptical about coconut milk because I do not consider it a “real” food; rather, I consider it a processed food. Also I noticed on the label of some coconut milk at my local co-op the ingredient–”natural flavors.” Sounds like MSG to me?


chuck May 2, 2011 at 8:51 pm

The podcast is recorded at 192kbps. I think this is a waste of your bandwidth. The standard rate is 64kbps (Robb Wolf, Jimmy Moore, NPR). So you are spending 3 times as much as you should and it’s taking 3 times as long for folks like me hooked to the internet with a soup can and string.

Going to 64kbps will not affect sound quality, it will save you money and will save me time. I’m going to let it run tonight and go to bed. Will see if it has downloaded tomorrow.



Tyler Backman May 4, 2011 at 7:15 pm

I wanted to post a correction to my question which was answered, but I think mis-interpreted. I’m not personally a psychiatric patient (as was assumed) but I was asking about possible advice psychiatrists could give to their “Standard American Diet” patients to improve omega 6/3 ratio without convincing them to adopt a full Paleo diet, and if such an approach would be worthwhile.

Most psychiatrists seem to be aware of the omega 3/6 ratio issue, but just advise patients to “take fish pills or eat fish” without any specific advice on reducing omega-6, which (by my thinking) could be sabotaging any benefit.

I don’t think it’s realistic to assume that most psychiatrists would agree with and recommend a full paleo diet to their patients, so I’m wondering if there might be some practical compromise.


Ellen Stinnett May 6, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Excellent podcast! I too would love a quarterly podcast of this sort. Thanks for providing this!


simona May 8, 2011 at 6:18 am

High LDL might not be caused by vascular damage due to nutrient deficiency (choline or minerals) on a paleo diet, or fatty liver, which should normalise after a few months on a paleo diet with eggs, but then what is the cause? Are long term changes in LDL (from 2.9 to 12 in 14 months) as a result of a low carb diet- started in August 2008- something to be worried about or not?

Mat pointed out, I think, that high insulin is a result of pathologic insulin resistance (probably in the liver) and not the other way around which kind of undermines the observation that female hormonal problems are caused in part by high carbohydrate consumption, more correctly put would be ‘in the presence of insulin resistance’ wouldn’t it?. I have suffered from the mentioned symptoms for the last ten years or so but was told on numerous occasions that I do not have PCOS or fibroids and the pelvic scan a few months ago was clear. The acne hasn’t dissappeared with the high fat diet which points to either underlining hormonal problems not helped by diet or to a reaction to a component in the diet, possibly dairy. Could psychological stress/an erratic cortisol pattern/a negative mental routine reaction influence the HPO axis?


anon9000 May 10, 2011 at 12:18 am

Hey can you please post the timestamp of each questions. Some of us don’t want to listen to some answers.



Maryann May 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm

So, just catching up on all your podcasts… I am a big Clutch fan, so really appreciated the musical intro! I know I am going to enjoy this one! Thanks for all you do to help us regain our health!



Ricky H. May 11, 2011 at 2:02 pm


I am 41 yo male, 5’11 215 and very active with lifting and tennis. I am trying to get the diet in check with real paleo food but get off the wagon more than I should.

My question is about neuropothy. About 6 months ago, I started noticing that my feet (left mostly) would go numb when in a sitting position and when I stand in the shower in the morning. Since then, it seems to have been happening some other times too but mostly those instances daily. I am also noticing that my feet (left mostly) are getting really cold, this usually presents itself in the middle of the night. I saw my doctor who did a circulation test and he says it came back normal, chiropractor can’t find anything causing it either but I do have to see him for lower back pain (left side mostly) once or so a week. I just wondered if you, Robb or Mat have any thoughts? Could there be diet related causes? I am not diabetic, last A1c was 5.3. Thanks for any help.


Henry May 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Matt (or anyone else),

Matt mentioned he started having a very low protein and mostly having carb and a little bit of fat for dinner for his Post-workout meal. I can see how Matt wants autophagy to kick in with the coconut milk breakfast, but I thought having a good amount of protein for post-work out meals is the best window to have protein your protein?



Grace May 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

This podcast was SUPER! Thanks Chris & Danny for putting it together. Keep up the good work.


Justin June 16, 2011 at 11:50 pm

It’s too bad Matt makes fun of Tim Ferriss. I agree that a lot of the stuff that Tim says is 1/2 truths but without the marketing that Tim does I never would have found and become a huge fan of Robb, Matt and now Chris.


Jessica June 20, 2011 at 6:29 am

Hi Chris,

First, thank you for such an informative service you offer to the
world. I have learned a great deal from your site, and I am truly

However, new knowledge always brings more questions, and unfortunately
mine are specific to the weight gain I have experienced since
beginning a paleo lifestyle over two years ago. I happened upon the
paleo approach after being diagnosed with PCOS with amenorrhea. My
doctor told me she was surprised by this, as at the time I was 5’5″
and 115 lbs. She wanted to put me back on the birth control pill to
induce menstruation, however I had decided months before that birth
control was not for me. I decided to take a more natural route, and I
began my research.

I found the paleo approach and was hooked. I followed it meticulously,
however a menstruation never came. Initially, I leaned out, but then I started gaining a bit of weight – only a few pounds and nothing to be concerned about. I kept
this up for over a year, then I decided to add maca root to my regimen
because I heard it could help with lack of menstruation…it did! I
had a period within two weeks. However, after the addition of the maca
(and now Siberian Ginseng for some adrenal issues), I have steadily
gained weight and am now at 138 lbs. This is not muscle mass – I have
always had a hard time holding onto that anyway. I have also noticed
an increase in cellulite over the past 6 months, or so. I have since
stopped taking maca and Siberian ginseng (and my periods have ceased
once again), and I remain steadfast in my eating.

Additionally, I sleep 7+ hours/night in a pitch black room, I take
CLO, vitamin D, HCl with meals, Acetyl L-carnitine, folate (not folic acid), and a B complex
vitamin. I have tinkered with going very low carb with higher fat
(body comp seems to worsen – mushier and bigger), to moderate fat with
higher carb. I tend to gain fat when I eat near 1 gram protein/pound
of body weight, and coconut oil makes me feel ‘thick’ (the only word I can think of to describe my composition when I eat it). Recently, I added psyllium husk to the mix because the veggies were making my stomach so distended…it seems to help. I have also tried IF, but this seems to interfere with my sleep. I have been incredibly exhausted over the past few weeks,
too; completely foggy headed with heart palpitations and some anxiety
during the day and in need of naps in the afternoon (could this be the
B vitamin? I’ve read that too much can cause such symptoms…I plan on
excluding it from now on). I am not a chronic cardioer – I walk daily
with my dog, lift heavy things a couple times/week, do a HIIT or
sprint workout once in a while, and do yoga a few times/week. I would
not say I’m stressed, just tired and pudgy.

So my question: I see you recommend The Perfect Health diet – lower
protein, a bit higher starch, lots of fat, and I’ve heard you mention
that you have seen some of your patients lean out when they add more
starch to the mix. In what eating pattern would you recommend one adds
this in – three larger meals or more frequent smaller meals throughout the day?
I am considering trying to eat three meals a day (I usually eat 3 with
a couple of snacks), similar to Richards’ Mastering Leptin. I guess I
just am confused by all of the different methodologies and am trying
to make sense of it to improve my health…right now I continue to
tout a paleo approach as optimal to health, but I feel far from it! I
have not been to a doctor in years, as I have not had health insurance
for some time, but I plan to when my job starts in the fall (I teach
and have only had a half-time position this past year).

Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated, and
congratulations on your incoming bundle of joy:)

Best regards,


Rick Osborn August 9, 2011 at 7:45 am

Chris, thanks so much for resharing this episode on Twitter today. I inadvertently spent 1 1/2 hours this morning listening to it. It’s so refreshing to have guys such as yourself, Robb and Mat talk Paleo and science. I’ve dealt pretty extensively with different diets, even been a part of writing a book myself and know that there’s a lot of fluff out there. Your insight into the science is greatly appreciated and I find that it’s helping me give better direction to my clients. Thanks for all the great work that you’re doing. Also, congrats on your new baby!




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