After reaching your target, what next?

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  • posted by JGwen
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    Hi DD,
    Thank you for sharing how you feel after reaching maintenance.

    I am sorry I can’t answer the question on if the pattern you are seeing on ketones is correct. 🙁 I am still working on trying to heal to that stage. I grew up in a household with a heavy carb intake, and now that I know what the signs of Insulin Resistance are I am sure that I have been IR for over 40 years. – I think I can thank my lucky stars that an active lifestyle and regular control of calories to try to keep weight under control prevented me from being T2. –

    A few years ago I fell with my foot back under my leg breaking the bones on both side of the ankle and had 6 months of not being allowed to put weight on the joint. The bone fragments had fortunately remained in place but if they moved I would need plates and screws to rebuild the joint. That period of inactivity followed by years of shooting pain in my ankle meant that I ended up spending to much time sitting around comfort eating and piled the weight on.

    So far I have discarded all that weight so I am back to the normal for me body weight, but that’s still fat. Body scans show that all my fat is subcutaneous fat. But my metabolism has not healed yet to the point where I am no longer IR. My readings are that I can go to 26g of carbs a day and stay in ketosis. Anything more and it takes me 3 days to get back to having any reading of ketones. I do still crave carbs.

    Right now I am focusing on improving my gut bacteria and the ph of my gut. – It comes from something I have observed working with horses which have health problems following a period of a high sugar diet. – I observed that just controlling sugar levels did go a long way to helping them, but they had to stay on a very low sugar, highly controlled diet because even after years of controlling sugar intake a small amount of sugar would cause a major setback in their health. – But one owner I was working with was using a coconut feed with her horses and they healed quickly and there was no need to control sugar levels excessively in the future. The feed she was using is coconut pulp. – There are 2 possible reasons why it had an effect, the manufacturers noted that the gut ph of horses fed with this meal became ph neutral. There is also a chemical in coconut which occurs in a more dilute level in milk and it seems to be that its role is to help control the levels of bad bacteria to help in the establishment of a healthy mixture of gut bacteria because it kills one particular strain of gut bacteria which is linked to causing inflammation and feeds on sugar. – I went on to recommend the same feed to all owners who had horses recovering from the same condition and it had the same effect every time. (Providing they didn’t also feed a high sugar diet at the same time.)

    I came to me the other week that I was being stupid not applying this knowledge to my own healing. You could use fermented foods to also help balance the gut ph if you were not into eating coconut.

  • posted by DoubleDutch
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    @FireAnt, I interpreted the nl part of your name correctly, then 🙂 I didn’t do the build-up in cals, because I’ve had a few really high calorie days since starting this WOE in January. So I couldn’t really see the point in it, unless you want to loose more weight, obviously. I stayed really strict for the first 8 weeks, then I started on a bit of feasting and fasting,where my feasting days were not all out, but around 1400,where I should be eating 1900 to maintain. Anyway, I had the fears you’re talking about as well. Big time. A friend of mine encouraged me to eat something that I was addicted to (speculoos spread) she expected me not to like it that much anymore. And she was right. After 6 months of low carb, I’m over it. Never thought it would happen, but I am totally capable of eating a tiny bit of sweet or carby stuff and not crave more. If I feel like snacking, cheese, nuts, olives or cold cuts are on my mind. I wish I could tell you how or why this changed, but alas, no such luck. If you feel you are still craving carbs, stay away from them. But if you feel you might possibly give it a try, I can totally recommend doing so. In my case, I helped me to get over the fear. Perhaps you need more time, though.

    This is the site with great recipes in Dutch https://www.lowcarbchef.nl/brood-recepten I’ve had the ‘wit meerzaden’ , don’t be put off by the ‘wit’ because it isn’t white bread, obviously. Most recipes are great!

    @jgwen,i love your research and fantastic you get new ideas from observing your horses. I might dive into fermented stuff at some point as well. Right now, I’m into ice coffee with almond milk 🙂
    DD

  • posted by FireAntNI
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    Hi JGwen, DoubleDutch,

    Thanks again for the advice and the sharing of your experiences. I don’t feel there’s enough experience of the stage between ending the diet and starting maintenance (i.e reverse dieting or simply upping food intake in one go to recommended calories as DD and Freester did) captured on the forum.

    Now that I have been reverse dieting for the past week, and after having talked through my ideas and plans & used your experiences where possible to refine these plans, I feel less worried about this element of the process.
    I was quite worried before. I didn’t want to lose a number of the things I’d gained over the past 11 or so weeks; Weight-loss (obviously!), body’s acceptance of such low calories, the loss of most sugar-related cravings & most carb cravings, the sense of positive movement, etc, etc… I really feel this is a risky stage, setting me up for the rest of my life, and I wanted to make sure I got it right!

    Here’s hoping for a soft landing at the desired weight / waistline just as my calorie intake reaches the number I’m expecting to maintain weight…
    I’ll post the odd update here for others interested in going from dieting to maintenance…

  • posted by Verano
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    Hi may I suggest you search in the box above, top right for ‘maintenance’ threads. There are lots of them and you may just find the experience of others that you are looking for.
    Enjoy the journey!

  • posted by WindyJulz
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    JGwen – can i jump on your post re horses and gut PH please???
    Sorry – i realise this is not a horse forum and this will not make sense to non-horse people but I totally need to know about the coconut feed!
    I have a horse who was chronically laminetic last year, he has been sound and well for 12 months now thanks to a muzzle limiting his grass intake, he’s been tested and does not have cushings. However he is leaner than i would like and just looks a bit under condition wise (he’s 17yo IDxTB). I have increased hard feed and included linseed but little difference (although he is delighted about a bigger bucket as he’s been on a diet most of his life). I’m too scared to turn him out on grass without a muzzle tho as the sugar scares me.
    So what is the coconut feed? Never heard of it at all. And do you think it would allow me to get him short duration turnout on grass with no muzzle and to help with weight and condition??

    I do often take learnings from horse health to try and apply to myself – if i looked after my own health and body the way we do horses I am sure I would be so much leaner and healthier for it!

    Fascinating thread though – thanks to all those who are contributing.

    🙂

  • posted by JGwen
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    Hi WindyJulz,

    I am happy to share more information on the coconut feed and equestrians Its a bit of a long story, so will write it up this evening if thats OK with you. If you want to research the food, look for Coolstance. It is widely sold in feed merchants.

  • posted by WindyJulz
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    Brilliant – thank you! 🙂
    do you want to share via email instead? Is there an easy way to share my email address with you?

  • posted by DoubleDutch
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    Hi FireAntNl,
    mind you, I didn’t up my intake to a certain amount of calories, I simply stopped counting and weighing. I trusted my body would tell me when I’ve eaten enough. And it does. I have honestly no clue how many cals I eat right now, but it feels like a LOT. As long as I am not gaining weight, I don’t feel the urge to start counting. If I do gain weight, I’ll try adding a fast day and /or one or two 800 days per week, for a few weeks but so far so good. I know it’s scary, been there, but I think you’ll be all right. Keep an eye on the scales, be honest and trust your body. Je kunt het!
    DD

  • posted by JGwen
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    Hi WindyJulz,,

    Right hold on to your hat here I do doing a full Aspie style data dump. – With regard to sharing this information on the forum, I think lets do that, horses are deliberately given a high sugar diet to create Laminitis, then are killed so that experiments can be made on the structure of their hooves. – I feel therefore that the more everyone learns as a result of the experiences of those horses the better. But first some background information.

    —————–
    A couple of decades ago my horse developed Navicular, (pain in the heels of the front hooves for the none horsey people on the forum). He reached the point where the vet gave me two options, bute (heavy duty pain killer that damages organs if given too long)
    for up to 6 months and then shoot him or shoot him now. – I didn’t like those options so I searched for an alternative solution. It just so happened that a German speaking Canadian had gone through a similar experience with her horse, had discovered the work of a German Vet, followed the procedure herself, and was so impressed that she decided to share / translate the information in English online. The principle was that you pull the horses shoes and trip the hooves to allow the hooves to return to a healthy shape. I talked about the ideas with my vet, and she said, well you have nothing to loose. I talked my farrier into following the instructions I had printed off the internet, and the upshot was this horse who couldn’t walk downhill in a straight line due to pain was within months trotting down hill and jumped a 5 bar gate to get in for his feed one night.

    During this period one person had travelled from the UK to Germany to study the professional barefoot hoof care course with this vet. – She then went on to organise training courses in the UK. I was so impressed with the improvement in my horse that I decided to study so that I could care for my horses hooves for myself in future. First I went on an introduction to trimming for horse owners, and then a 2 year long professional hoofcare orthopaedics course. During my second year, there was growing publicity on the techniques so people started to contact the course tutor for help. and she would pass on my contact details to people who lived in South Wales and contacted her for help. These were all horses in pain, and I ended up spending my spare time going out to help them.

    One of the people who contacted me ran a racing yard. – I started off going to help one particular horse and eventually ended up working on all the horses she bought in. She raced Arabs, but also bought in thoroughbreds with fantastic breeding but they were on the scrap heap as three year olds because they had turned out to not live up to expectations in races. – Many of these horses had feet that looked like dinner plates. much larger and flatter than a healthy hoof should be. – It doesn’t matter if you are talking about a miniature Shetland pony or a shire horse the angles of the hoof and its shape should be the same and these were not a healthy shape as a result of being kept in and fed a high sugar diet from an early age. I realised that all these horses were recovering a healthier shape hoof with the new shape forming from the coronet band and growing down in a way that wasn’t happening with other horses. Yes I was helping other horses recover, but these you could literally see a change in angles and quality of horn which gradually grew out. from the coronet band (the point where the hoof wall joins with the leg) I studied everything she was doing to work out what could be the difference.

    At the same time I was helping someone else who had a Section D cob with laminitis, so severe that his owner spent lots of time managing in detail every element of his fields, he was only on native species grasses, no rye grass. no hard feed, (Native grasses are between 8 and 14 % sugar levels, rye grass has been deliberately engineered to create species which are 48% sugar to bulk up as many beef and lambs to slaughter weight per acre as possible . ) No matter what she did we would start to make progress and he would be walking a little more comfortably and then wham, he would be back to being down with all four hooves inflamed. All the training I had had on hoof care was not enough, we had the hooves perfectly balanced so that there was no uneven pressure anywhere on the hoof.

    So I ended up search for the latest research online which is when I came across the research published by Queensland University. – A horses hoof wall is made of lots of individual tubes of horn. each connected to the surrounding tubes. When the hoof wall grows the tube disconnects from the adjoining tubes grows and then reconnects. – A Professor had identified that when a particular bacteria responsible for digesting sugar existed in the gut, then a chemical element was found in the blood stream. When that element came in contact with the structures responsible for hoof growth it caused rapid hoof growth. When hoof wall growth is very excessive, so many horn tubules are disconnected that the structure becomes weak. If the heels of the hoof are too high then the forces cause the connective tissue between the front of the main bone in the horses hoof and the hoof wall to give way and the pedal bone rotates inside the hoof capsule if the hoof is balanced and the angles correct so the horses weight is spread evenly over the joint, then the bone is ripped away from the whole of the hoof wall and drops within the hoof. Wincing yet folks? Horses are regularly deliberately put through this in the Queensland University and then they and and the horses on a different diet are killed so they can study the damage to the connective tissue. in their hooves.

    So then my search went on to research the bacteria responsible. I found there was a particular acid which appears in 2 natural situations. Its in milk, particularly in the early milk production and seems to be involved in the prevention of mastitis, (it maybe has a role in helping the development of a new born’s got bacteria mixture) the other natural occurrence is in coconut. At this point I had a light bulb moment. My horse training client was the distributor for an animal feed made from coconut meal and she fed that to all the horses in her yard.

    I went over all the research materials I had found and shared photographs I had taken of the progress of the horse trainers horses hooves with the owner of the Section D. I brought a sack of the feed over for her and we tried it. – We started to see really positive changes in the hoof walls of this horse. It was a stressful time, the Section D’s owner had decided that she should not put him through further pain and if this attempt didn’t work he would be put down. But after a couple of months his progress was such that I started to share the information with the owners of other laminitics. – I saw the same success with all bar one horse. – I discovered that the owner of that horse was so hard up that she was struggling to buy hay, but she worked for a bakery and was bringing home sacks of left over bread every day to feed to her horses.

    What I noticed with all the horses was that no matter how closely the horses owner controlled their diet, even those horses which didn’t have a laminitic attack had hooves growing faster than they should. In every case feeding coconut changed that. Some where the owners were reluctant to feed much, or the horses were reluctant to eat the coconut went through a two step process, with a positive result when they first incorporated coconut meal. better, but not right. and then as they gained confidence and indreased the amount of coconut a second improvement. Others had one dramatic change in angles and a sudden correction in hoof growth.

    ————–

    So why does the coconut feed work? – Well as I mentioned there is an acid in coconut which kills the streptococcus bacteria named by the researchers at the university.

    Other research into the health benefits of coconut came up with a description of how it cures leaky gut. – Apparently yeast infections in the gut result in the yeast roots entering the gut wall and then larger particles can pass from the gut into the blood stream. Coconut oil kills off the yeast infection.

    Finally I can’t remember where I read it, but I understand different gut bacteria thrive at different PH’s. A balanced gut bacteria occurs with a neutral ph. Apparently the manufacturers of the coconut feed. discovered that the Ph of the horses gut changed to a neutral PH when they were on this feed.

    Interestingly, there are multiple articles online about coconut oil being used to reverse insulin resistance and T2.

    —————————

    So there you have it. I did say at the start here we go with a data dump. – My horse was 14 when he suffered from Navicular, he did return to soundness and we had another 14 years together exploring the countryside before he had to be retired due to ill health put to sleep after a heart attack. All of the laminitics returned to soundness, and the owners no longer had to use muzzles and starvation patches to control access to grass, except 2. The one who was fed bread and the one where the owner was not willing to wait until the pedal bone had reconnected enough to the hoof wall to enable the horse to carry her weight. (The horses hoof capsule distorts under pressure as a shock absorber, put too much load on the hooves before the connection between the hoof wall and pedal bone has healed and it rips apart again.

    —————–
    WindyJulz, the product name is Coolstance, it consists of minced up coconut meal which is the flesh left over after pressing to produce oil. but it still contains a high level of oil. It has been dried, and you need to soak it before feeding, but it does not take long to absorb water. I recommend for a horse at least 1 feed size scoop a day of soaked Coolstance as well as controlling sugar levels in feed the rest of the time.

    So the next quest will be does coconut help those of us who have been on a high carb diet long term. Don’t know that’s what I am experimenting with at present. – I am going through 2 small coconuts a week. That’s why at present I have stopped calorie counting. I can confirm so far its good for helping to control the carb cravings.

    Queensland University has had for many years a

  • posted by WindyJulz
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    JGwen – you are a hero. That is all very fascinating and fits with my chap. We’ve found a way to keep him sound but he’s not back in ridden world yet (I tried once at the end of last year and he became lame again – ties with what you said about the connective tissue etc)
    I would love to get him unmuzzled (also have another one muzzled as a precaution as she carries weight so easily). The lami one is Irish draft x thoroughbred and the mare is from the same TB mother by a Warmblood stallion. The muzzles are great as have allowed them proper turn out and to move, graze and socialise like normal horses but I’d like them to be able to have time without them.
    I shall go and find the feed you mention and get going with it. Thank you so much.

    It is interesting how stuff we learn about for horses could be relevant and transferable to ourselves. Another example of forgotten, I fed both these horses (before the laminitis but when they were overweight) a supplement high in vitamin Bs. I saw a significant change to their fat distribution making no other changes. I promptly went and got myself some Vit B and other vits that were in it. Kinda forgot to keep taking them…. must go back to it.

    Really appreciate you taking the time to share this.

  • posted by FireAntNI
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    DD, thank you for correcting my understanding.

    I had promised a quick update on the results of my strategy, mainly to benefit those considering different strategies for entering into maintenance.

    I wrote about two weeks ago with a “reverse-dieting” plan to increase my daily calorie allowance each week and so, over time, reach a sustainable calorie intake. At the time of writing, 10/08/2020, I weighed 14st 7.5lbs with a waist-line of 39″
    In the first week, I increased my calorie intake by 150 per day from 800 to 950. Based on the advice received in this thread (Thanks again, folks!) I used protein and fat containing foods to do so (Egg, meat, nuts, etc.) to keep my carb levels low.
    In the second week, I increased the daily total again by 150 to 1100.
    I have been keeping carb levels as low as I had them all along, averaging 30-40g per day, though I have found they did rise a little in tandem with the increased calorie intake as even low carb foods usually carry some carbs, especially veg.
    I have continued to lose weight and past Monday, 14 days into this strategy, found myself at 14st 1.6lbs with a waist-line of 38″.
    That day was also week 12 since starting.

    I did encounter a series of days during the first week where no weight-loss was occurring, where I responded by sticking to 800 for one day, just to get things moving along some more. Having said that, this was also common during the 800-calorie weeks… I found it was easy to revert back to 800 for a day, which confirms its use for me as one of the great tools of this way of life.
    I also experienced a birthday party and three meals out during this time where measuring intake was harder so I had to rely on guestimates plus “listening to my body” and relying on the portion-size-experiences gained. I did not feel comfortable with it, though it seems to have worked OK as there were no adverse effects. Still, I much prefer sticking to my rigid recording using MyFitnessPal for the foreseeable.

    As all seems well, I increased daily calorie intake again to 1250 this past Monday and have continued to lose weight. I am now wondering if this process is going to bring me to beyond my goals.. Still, it’s a positive problem to have! It’ll be good to have some spare pounds to work with going into maintenance proper!

    It’s great having all this extra food!

    thanks again for the advice offered here!
    I will keep you posted

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