Thursday, August 30, 2012

My reply on Dr. Rosedale's blog

Dr. Rosedale recently posted an interesting "finale" to the latest AHS12 safe starch debate.  This response is from js 290:

"I’ve often wondered if the people claiming to have thyroid (typically low energy) problems on a VLC simply are not eating enough? That is, the claim is that by adding back carbs into the diet, they miraculously solved their low energy/thyroid problems. Perhaps all that really happened was they ate more, which happened to have been carbs. My guess is they would have experienced the same effect by eating more fat.
This is really a very fundamental concept that anyone who’s gone through a differential equations class should pick up very quickly: the concept of a coupled system. That is, energy input and energy output are coupled in the mathematical sense; therefore, they cannot be treated independently. Changing one affects the other, probably in very non-linear ways. So, if one understands coupled systems, then one can immediately reject the notion of “eating less and moving more.” Because eating less may cause one to move less. And, in order to move more, it may absolutely require eating more.
As an unqualified skeptic, that’s my guess on the supposed “thyroid problems” that people claim to experience. They either aren’t fully keto-adapted, they aren’t eating enough, or both."

Gotta luv it when diffyQ is invoked, like that makes the argument sound more plausible, especially for those folks who cover their eyes during the mathy parts.  Clearly, this person hasn't a clue with what is happening to some of us on this type of diet.  JS also seems to be quite caught in the lure of thermodynamics.

I was on the leptin reset for several weeks with little weight-loss success, and feeling colder and a bit tired.  When I went off the diet with one carby meal  it immediately kicked me into something that worked better.  My energy was better, my mood was better, sleep got better and I started losing weight.  Yes, the calories were higher than a typical evening meal, but overall not as high as many other days on the plan.  On days I was eating the Big A$$ Breakfast featuring fatty hamburgers lots of un-drained bacon, the overall calorie level was relatively high compared to the caloric level on a more typical pre-leptin-reset day.

I responded:
"Your calorie explanation sounds plausible, but untrue in my case. I think one of the problems with many of the theories and chatter about this effect is that it is very difficult for people who have few problems transitioning to the diet to understand or even believe that the issue exists.
The problem with the explanation by many low carb experts is that it oftentimes does not adequately address that transition phase. I know in my own case, had I not backed into a lower carb diet accidentally, I would never have stuck with it. Returning to the “safety” of a high carb diet can really make a difference to people who are on the edge hormonally, at least adrenally.
It doesn’t help much when people continue to insist that we are all doing it wrong. I followed a number of plans religiously. Now that I know how it feels on the other side, I have no problem going through a bit of hell to get back into a fat-burning state if I get out it for some reason. I have developed short cuts. Before I did Kruse’s leptin reset with CT, re-entry meant certain loss in weight, but also loss of sleep ability, libido, energy, and feeling constantly cold.
I do not think it is wise for the low carb community to ignore such data. There are plenty of people in the high-carb community who are more than ready to bash us for their perception of the failings of our diet. Let’s not give them any more ammo by not dealing with it. Instead of sweeping such data points under the rug, it would serve us well to stir them up, take a look, and make the diet more workable and successful for everyone."

And, lucky for the state of my low carb journey, adding back carbs more than a meal here and there always makes me feel much worse.  I would never want to pitch my tent in the "safe starch" camp for very long, preferring to view the extra carbs as more of a temporary drug with significant negative side effects.  Better, ya'know, in those one-pill-per-prescription bubble-packs so it is hard to overdose and kill yourself.

I read Animal Pharm's leptin reset post with great interest.  She was unable to successfully do the leptin reset as written.  It sounds like her experience was similar in some aspects to mine, and people should be reading and talking about it.

I would suggest that Dr. Rosedale and others not have his post be the final word in this matter.  Just take a look at his quote picture at the top of his post.  People who don't do as well on VLC aren't even fully into the ridicule stage yet.  It is still pretty much total denial.  Nobody over on his "team" even responded to my comment.

I listened to Jimmy Moore's podcast with Dr. Phinney, and came away disappointed in the range of the doctor's answers to stalls.  When a questioner mentioned thyroid and adrenal issues as possible players, he strongly denied any thyroid issues based on his experience, but he never even approached the adrenal question.  And another thing that really bugged me is that he discounted one thyroid comment that he heard because the comment was from someone who had a "terminal" degree.  Hey, Dr. Phinney, Dr. Schwarzbein does not have a terminal degree.  Maybe you should stroll on over to her site and see about what she has to say.


  1. very good points here, and inspiration for me as well!

    again and again we see, as in Phinney's case, once they start defending a hypothesis, reason goes out the window! anything that doesn't agree is a paradox -- i'm beginning to despise that word. and when something REALLY threatens their little worldview, they get their noses in the air and start talking about ... harvard or something. ;-)

  2. Thank you Sidereal! Tess, yes, it was disappointing to have him seem so rigid, even though I think his tinkering of the original Atkins plan works better for lots of people. I am just not sure I am one of them (or WAS one of post on the way!)

  3. I would have expected that terminal-degree crap to be coming out of the "perfect" or "whole" camp not the LC camp. Everyone knows we are the ones that didn't go to Harvard.