Abdominal Fat Is A Phase Folliwing The End Of Calorie Restriction

Kelj

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This website:

Phases of Recovery From An Eating Disorder Part 5

has this to say about the temporary nature of abdominal fat upon the resumation of eating plentiful calories after a period of eating restriction:

"I can often identify someone on sight who is living within the neither/nor space. It is difficult to describe, but patients genuinely appear unformed—not misshapen, just lacking definition and subtle age-appropriate refinement in shape. The term we have settled on is: adult-sized toddler.

The body preferentially lays down fat around the midsection to insulate vital organs from hypothermia. 16 And unfortunately, many relapse at this point because the level of distress is high and associated with a sense that the shape they have is permanent. The face, neck, shoulders, and abdomen appear out of proportion. This is a normal and transient phase in recovery, but it is difficult to maintain enough mental and emotional distance to appreciate that the body is healing. The even redistribution of the fat around the midsection to the rest of the body occurs if you persist right to the final phase."

I can personally testify to this redistribution of fat with persistence in eating to/or above minimum calorie guidelines. I can also testify to the difficulty of maintaining mental and emotional distance to appreciate that the extra abdominal fat was a phase of healing. It is the body that chooses that phase to protect us. What happens when we try to "hack", manipulate and jerry-rig our bodies? Nothing of a permanently positive nature. Ideally, we should have never restricted calories, dropped macros, and over exercised. But, we did. The only way out of this situation we have created is to let the body go through its phases of healing, without judgement, with plenty of calories to fuel the process. It has been worth it to me and others who have had the courage to stop worrying about the temporary abdominal fat.

Mayer, Laurel, B. Timothy Walsh, Richard N. Pierson, Steven B. Heymsfield, Dympna Gallagher, Jack Wang, Michael K. Parides et al. "Body fat redistribution after weight gain in women with anorexia nervosa." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 81, no. 6 (2005): 1286-1291.

Mayer, Laurel ES, Diane A. Klein, Elizabeth Black, Evelyn Attia, Wei Shen, Xiangling Mao, Dikoma C. Shungu et al. "Adipose tissue distribution after weight restoration and weight maintenance in women with anorexia nervosa." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 90, no. 5 (2009): 1132-1137
 

Peater

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But I've looked like that all my life even at my lightest of 74kg, my fittest/strongest of 85kg and all points and diets in between
 

Kelj

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I can't comment on what you look like. There are different body types, some of whom are less defined in the waist than others, some with a tendency to be fleshier in the cheeks, upper arms and thighs. But, if you are talking about truly carrying a lot of abdominal fat, I was pretty consistently carrying too much for years. I was eating enough just to maintain the excess and inconsistently, so that my body did not trust the environment was secure and the fat storage unnecessary. And it wasn't secure. My body was right. Fortunately, it was my choice to change it.
 

mrchibbs

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Very interesting, I was also too lean and cold throughout my teens and early 20s, and after being vegan for a while my weight plummeted (and I certainly did not eat enough). With the introduction of sugar and milk etc. I've definitely developed this shape and while I'm not significantly overweight, I do have this accumulation of fat around the mid section and elsewhere, which is new to me. My health is als0 much better, so I don't worry about it too much. As I've gotten healthier I've stopped gaining weight. I suspect as the metabolism improves the weight will stabilize to a lower level.

I think building muscle mass slowly will help increase metabolism, as muscles burn fat effectively even at rest. Taking thyroid is also important I feel because this accumulation of fat for most people is a strong metabolic drain. Those PUFA stores are potentially dangerous if the blood sugar isn't kept elevated.
 

Kelj

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I had the experience of building muscle when I increased carbohydrate and calories, though doing no deliberate exercising. I wonder if some of the fat stores were used in that process, like Ray says here:

Ray Peat, PhD: Quotes Relating to Exercise – Functional Performance Systems (FPS)

“In the resting state, muscles consume mainly fats, so maintaining relatively large muscles is important for preventing the accumulation of fats."

But, I recovered the muscle after previously depleting it through low carb dieting and intermittent fasting.
 

baccheion

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Fat around the middle is due to cortisol. Love handles and back fat are usually due to insulin/blood-sugar. There could also be low HGH and/or DHEA. With low/normalized insulin + cortisol, weight gain is less likely. And apparently even with elevated cortisol if catecholamines are higher.
 

mrchibbs

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Just want to add my 2c.

After gaining weight eating more milk, sugar etc. I had been stuck at 220lbs (6'3'') and about 20lbs overweight.After more than a year of ''Peating'' my weight stabilized at that number and I must have gained over 40lbs.

I had not being able to lose weight at all, no matter what I did, but recently I've started to feel better after more than a year of illness, my weight has finally started going down. In the past month I've lost about 7 lbs without trying at all.

I think it comes down to three things I've added recently and that I think have made all the difference.

1. Take supplemental thyroid (I had stopped with summer but turns out I needed it still)

2. Slight weight training throughout the day (OH Press with dumbbells, Pullups, Pushups, Squats). Just easy work in the house with dumbbells. From listening to Ray, it seems really important to build muscle mass, and light weight work like that is an easy, non-stressful way of doing it. And for the past few years I didn't do it at all.

3. Focusing on getting lots of sun and vitamin D.

Of course, along with the usual easy to digest diet and supplements. Overall, gaining muscle mass improves ratio of metabolically active tissues, and taking thyroid religiously maintains a the rate of metabolism even further, and vitamin D just seems to make everything in the body run much more smoothly.
 
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Just want to add my 2c.

After gaining weight eating more milk, sugar etc. I had been stuck at 220lbs (6'3'') and about 20lbs overweight.After more than a year of ''Peating'' my weight stabilized at that number and I must have gained over 40lbs.

I had not being able to lose weight at all, no matter what I did, but recently I've started to feel better after more than a year of illness, my weight has finally started going down. In the past month I've lost about 7 lbs without trying at all.

I think it comes down to three things I've added recently and that I think have made all the difference.

1. Take supplemental thyroid (I had stopped with summer but turns out I needed it still)

2. Slight weight training throughout the day (OH Press with dumbbells, Pullups, Pushups, Squats). Just easy work in the house with dumbbells. From listening to Ray, it seems really important to build muscle mass, and light weight work like that is an easy, non-stressful way of doing it. And for the past few years I didn't do it at all.

3. Focusing on getting lots of sun and vitamin D.

Of course, along with the usual easy to digest diet and supplements. Overall, gaining muscle mass improves ratio of metabolically active tissues, and taking thyroid religiously maintains a the rate of metabolism even further, and vitamin D just seems to make everything in the body run much more smoothly.
Yes, vitamin D is a really powerful tool. A few years ago, when I was eating very little calories, I started supplementing with it, and although I had been weight stable/ not losing too much weight, after the vitamin D I started losing weight like crazy( and I was already kinda underweight before). I also noticed a huge increase in arm strength( before that I always had weak arms), even though my appearance wasn't very muscular. I felt a lot of stress, probably due to ingesting very few calories and using metabolic stimulants, but when I upped my calories a lot, my sense of well-being went up dramatically, and so did my musculature.
 

mrchibbs

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Yes, vitamin D is a really powerful tool. A few years ago, when I was eating very little calories, I started supplementing with it, and although I had been weight stable/ not losing too much weight, after the vitamin D I started losing weight like crazy( and I was already kinda underweight before). I also noticed a huge increase in arm strength( before that I always had weak arms), even though my appearance wasn't very muscular. I felt a lot of stress, probably due to ingesting very few calories and using metabolic stimulants, but when I upped my calories a lot, my sense of well-being went up dramatically, and so did my musculature.

I agree, it is o easy to become Vitamin D deficient and like Danny Roddy has said many times it can really be the easiest and most powerful change one can make, it affects so many aspects of the physiology.

Personally, I've probably been vitamin D deficient since high school, with life and responsibilities I think I've spend way too much time indoors the past few years
 

teds

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I agree, it is o easy to become Vitamin D deficient and like Danny Roddy has said many times it can really be the easiest and most powerful change one can make, it affects so many aspects of the physiology.

Personally, I've probably been vitamin D deficient since high school, with life and responsibilities I think I've spend way too much time indoors the past few years
My concern with Vit D is the balancing of (I think) A, D, E and K.. I’ve never really been able to piece this together to work out if I’m going to **** my arteries up by taking D and also having Ca in my diet.. if anyone has an easy answer to this..?! (Sorry for taking thread sideways).
 

mrchibbs

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My concern with Vit D is the balancing of (I think) A, D, E and K.. I’ve never really been able to piece this together to work out if I’m going to **** my arteries up by taking D and also having Ca in my diet.. if anyone has an easy answer to this..?! (Sorry for taking thread sideways).

Well with regards to the vitamin D, it helps with just about everything. A safe approach is to get full body sun exposure whenever possible (right now for me It's easy there's loads of sunshine everyday I my backward. I think about 20 minutes is enough, and when you realize that the body might make upwards of 20000UI from a single session, vitamin D supplementation seems very safe.

The safest way is probably to get sunshine and use liquid vitamin D3 on your skin. Then after a couple of months, get a blood test and see where your levels are at. To get your A, just eat some liver every 1-2 week, plenty there. Some Vitamin K2 supplementation is probably advised, Thorne or Health Natura make good products, just one 1mg drop daily is very good.

If you do all of that, and drink milk for instance, there's no worry to have at all. Its the parathyroid hormone that leeches calcium out of your bones and into your tissues, and keeping your vitamin D high suppresses it strongly. It's really an easy way to make sure you're covered health-wise, just get your vit D levels up. The Vitamin D Council website has some good information on vitamin D. Ideally you should get 50ng/ml or more.

This page is useful for information: I tested my vitamin D level. What do my results mean?

And if you can't get your doctor to order a test (unlikely), you can also order a DIY home test from that website.
 

Vinny

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It has been worth it to me and others who have had the courage to stop worrying about the temporary abdominal fat.
This is what bothers me... How do we know it`s TEMPORARY?
Starting this year, after stumbled upon Dr Peat, I decided to give it a go and eat without restriction.
I became obese.
I`ve always had problems maintaining my weight, but never been obese. Now I am, for the first time in my life.
Some say it`s from cortisol, others - from bad bacteria... where is the truth?
And, what do we do if the fat keeps piling up for whatever reason?
 

Hans

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This is what bothers me... How do we know it`s TEMPORARY?
Starting this year, after stumbled upon Dr Peat, I decided to give it a go and eat without restriction.
I became obese.
I`ve always had problems maintaining my weight, but never been obese. Now I am, for the first time in my life.
Some say it`s from cortisol, others - from bad bacteria... where is the truth?
And, what do we do if the fat keeps piling up for whatever reason?
Sometimes it's as simple as consuming too many calories. Not everyone can eat 5000 calories and stay lean and it should not be the goal. Forcefully restricting calories when you're hungry is also not a good thing. Lowering cortisol (or should I say re-establishing its proper rhythm) and reigning in serotonin, estrogen and prolactin will help you go longer between meals and automatically you'll eat less and lose weight.
 

Kelj

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Both thyroid function and temperature improve with persistant refeeding long before any extra fat stores are lost. I can say nothing except that you have to trust the rationality of your body. I disagree that being able to eat without worry and intellect-imposed restriction is not the goal. It was my goal. I achieved that goal and everyone with a body like mine can achieve it, too. I'm not special. Some factors may make it really difficult, ie: some kind of gastric bypass surgery, removal of the thyroid, or part of the intestine, etc. Otherwise, why should you be any different than all those who have recovered from undereating. Here's how I know anyone was undereating in the past... .when they started to eat more calories, they gained weight. That is the problem I fixed by temporarily letting my body gain as much weight in both fat and water that it needed to without manipulation. I can now eat any amount I feel like without gaining weight. All my health problems also resolved with the abundant energy and nutrients. Also my goal.
 

mrchibbs

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This is what bothers me... How do we know it`s TEMPORARY?
Starting this year, after stumbled upon Dr Peat, I decided to give it a go and eat without restriction.
I became obese.
I`ve always had problems maintaining my weight, but never been obese. Now I am, for the first time in my life.
Some say it`s from cortisol, others - from bad bacteria... where is the truth?
And, what do we do if the fat keeps piling up for whatever reason?

I think many people seem to focus on the eating part, and not on the other aspects of health.
If your basal temperature is not improved with the new foods, then you probably need thyroid suppl.
Is your bowel motility good to excellent? If not, take cascara, activated charcoal and get your intestine running and clean. A carrot salad daily would help also.
Are you getting enough sunshine? Is your vitamin D level above 50ng/ml?
Are you eating liver, shellfish and gelatin (broth, or otherwise) for the important nutrients?
Do you have decent muscle mass? If not, do some light dumbbell or calisthenics or yoga to tone your muscles. They help raise the ratio of metabolically active tissues and they are the only tissues which can burn fat safely.
Do you take aspirin to lower inflammation during the night, do you shine red light on your body daily?
Have you eliminated the worse sources of EMF in your environment? Etc.

I don't think there is such a thing as a ''Ray Peat'' diet and if there is one it certainly isn't just OJ and Milk. If you eat incessantly and your metabolism (i.e. temperature is too low) you'll just accumulate. The goal is to restore metabolism. It's a lifestyle change, from reading Ray's work, you gotta help your physiology from every angle you can.
 

baccheion

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Both thyroid function and temperature improve with persistant refeeding long before any extra fat stores are lost. I can say nothing except that you have to trust the rationality of your body. I disagree that being able to eat without worry and intellect-imposed restriction is not the goal. It was my goal. I achieved that goal and everyone with a body like mine can achieve it, too. I'm not special. Some factors may make it really difficult, ie: some kind of gastric bypass surgery, removal of the thyroid, or part of the intestine, etc. Otherwise, why should you be any different than all those who have recovered from undereating. Here's how I know anyone was undereating in the past... .when they started to eat more calories, they gained weight. That is the problem I fixed by temporarily letting my body gain as much weight in both fat and water that it needed to without manipulation. I can now eat any amount I feel like without gaining weight. All my health problems also resolved with the abundant energy and nutrients. Also my goal.
How soon before bed do you eat your last meal? 4 hours or more to have digestion complete (to not miss the HGH release 2-4 hours in)?
 

mrchibbs

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How soon before bed do you eat your last meal? 4 hours or more to have digestion complete (to not miss the HGH release 2-4 hours in)?

Personally I had to experiment, but easy to digest stuff like apple sauce and milk can be eaten right before bed. Dinner-like meals with meat, pasta potatoes etc should be eating 3-4 hours prior to bed I think, if only to keep digestion easy and smooth during sleep. Especially low-tryptophan foods seem to prevent serotonin production in the intestine during the night. Eating gelatinous desserts like jello or chocolate squares made with gelatin also help since gelatin has no tryptophan at all and is calming, plus it gives you a good source of protein.

From the Ray Peat perspective, something like a warm glass of milk with honey and gelatin is very close to the ideal bedtime food.
 

Hans

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Everyone has a different BMR but it differs by only 500 calories at most. It's a fair amount but really not that much and its mostly influenced by the amount of fat free mass someone has. Apart from that, you have non-exercise activity thermogenesis which can vary by 2000 calories per person. Someone with lots of energy with be a lot more active and burn a lot more calories and can eat more. Someone with low NEAT will have to eat less to maintain weight.

The major problem with staying weight stable is eating too much because of low satiety. Some peoples metabolisms are very adaptive and can increase a lot based on how much they eat whereas other's metabolisms aren't very adaptive, and they can gain or lose weight only by increasing or decreasing their calories a little.

Now, if someone has a non-adaptive metabolism and gains weight, they're consuming more than they burn. So finding ways to curb appetite should be of a greater focus for them. A lot of people that eat the Peat way eat more energy dense food that has low satiety that don't shut down appetite and as a result they snack/eat more and gain more. Only a few exceptions of people can stay lean on 4000+ calories while doing close to no activity. But I'm not even sure why people would want to eat that amount just for the kicks...or the idea that that amount is needed to keep metabolism optimal.

Curb the appetite and no forceful calorie restriction will be required because weight loss will happen when someone eats less. By this I'm not saying to do chronic calorie restriction, but excess weight gain is really majorly due to caloric surplus and increased appetite, most likely due to lifestyle, dietary patterns and food choices.
 

Vinny

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Everyone has a different BMR but it differs by only 500 calories at most. It's a fair amount but really not that much and its mostly influenced by the amount of fat free mass someone has. Apart from that, you have non-exercise activity thermogenesis which can vary by 2000 calories per person. Someone with lots of energy with be a lot more active and burn a lot more calories and can eat more. Someone with low NEAT will have to eat less to maintain weight.

The major problem with staying weight stable is eating too much because of low satiety. Some peoples metabolisms are very adaptive and can increase a lot based on how much they eat whereas other's metabolisms aren't very adaptive, and they can gain or lose weight only by increasing or decreasing their calories a little.

Now, if someone has a non-adaptive metabolism and gains weight, they're consuming more than they burn. So finding ways to curb appetite should be of a greater focus for them. A lot of people that eat the Peat way eat more energy dense food that has low satiety that don't shut down appetite and as a result they snack/eat more and gain more. Only a few exceptions of people can stay lean on 4000+ calories while doing close to no activity. But I'm not even sure why people would want to eat that amount just for the kicks...or the idea that that amount is needed to keep metabolism optimal.

Curb the appetite and no forceful calorie restriction will be required because weight loss will happen when someone eats less. By this I'm not saying to do chronic calorie restriction, but excess weight gain is really majorly due to caloric surplus and increased appetite, most likely due to lifestyle, dietary patterns and food choices.
Hans,
How curbing the appetite would look like in practice?
 
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