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One of my readers asked if I was still doing the leptin reset, and would I post an update.
I started the leptin reset on October 31st, I was apprehensive initially but I could stick with the full GAPS menu so I decided to go for it. A lot of what concerned me was the fact that at the time I was still trying to rise every morning at 4am to get to work by 6am (my commute is an hour long). I wasn't sure how I was going to do the leptin reset “correctly” if I were getting up at 4am. Dr. Kruse says he is up to see the sunrise every morning, and he says lights out by 10pm so I didn't know if I'd be messing things up by going to bed so early and getting up so early. I asked my boss on October 30th if I could start working 6 hours a day to use up some of my vacation time and she said that was a great idea and relieved that I had thought of it, and she also told me to make my own hours.
I think she's growing a little weary of the “make your own hours” bit because the earliest I make it to work now is 9:30am. She's there at 6am and I know she is throwing me under the bus to everyone about this situation but I think I need more time to heal my adrenals and sleep is on the top of the list.
In the first week my sleep went wonky. I had a few good nights, then a few nights where I had to get up to pee many times (my normal is once or twice) started to sleep better. I managed to eat by 7pm each evening (which is sometimes hard since “making my own hours” sometimes my day runs late) and was also able to wait 4-5 hours between meals with no snacking. On November 7th I began tracking all my food intake using My Fitness Pal because I started to realize how many carbohydrates I was eating on a regular basis. It was nothing for me to eat 2-3 or even four cups of vegetables with my dinner meal. Since Dr. Kruse said if you have over 30 pounds to lose go to less than 25 grams carbs I wanted to do things right, so I began tracking diligently.
During the second week because of the big protein breakfast my cravings were completely obliterated. I hadn't even realized I was having cravings! Once they were completely gone the difference was quite noticeable.
By three weeks into the leptin reset I was still trying to adjust to the big protein breakfast since I've never been much of a breakfast eater to start with. I got over it because now I have no problem whatsoever, and if you click on the link you will see a list of some of the things I was having for breakfast to meet the 50 grams protein requirement.
In November, one month on the leptin reset and staying under 25 grams carbohydrates for three weeks, I lost 5 pounds. My weight had pretty much stayed the same during the first ten months of the year, so this was a nice reward (not that being on GAPS has ever been about losing weight!). I noticed food had become less important, with more of an attitude of eating to live, rather than living to eat. I also made it through Thanksgiving without indulging in too many carbohydrates. I calculated 53 for the entire day, which was pretty darned low in comparison to Thanksgiving 2010 on GAPS (I have no idea how many I ate, but I made a lot of carbohydrate-rich dishes and dessert), and monumentally low in comparison to Thanksgiving dinner pre-GAPS (which was a typical Thanksgiving carbohydrate-laden meal).
Things went along pretty much the same during December, with the marked change in being able to skip lunch some days which meant I was going without eating for about 10 hours during the day. This was a remarkable feat. Bear in mind that I will not force myself to go without eating, so this was definitely not something I imposed upon myself, but was simply able to do. Amazing.
I was able to go some nights without eating all night long and feeling full of guilt when I had no other choice but to get up and eat. I noticed a pattern in where if I had a stressful day, it could affect my sleep at night. If I didn't sleep well, then I was less able to cope the next day, then I wouldn't sleep well. It is a vicious cycle. I lost 5 pounds more in December, and continued to track every bite of food using My Fitness Pal. I wrote a post on December 31st, thinking my eight weeks was up and I'd go off the leptin reset.
I didn't feel I'd done the leptin reset perfectly, some days I had trouble sleeping and was unable to get to work until so late in the day that I was not able to eat dinner by 7pm. I tried really hard, and one night I even stopped at Costco and bought myself a rotisserie chicken and ate that sitting in my vehicle, feeling sorry for myself. But then I read Mastering Leptin the authors of which also have their rules, one being you need to wait 11-12 hours in between meals. After reading that, I stopped trying as hard to eat by 7pm – meaning I still made a point to eat by 7pm but if I was unable to eat until 8am, then I would just wait to eat breakfast at 7am, instead of freaking out and worrying myself that I was blowing the entire leptin reset. Also, I was still having cortisol issues which were causing blood sugar issues in the middle of the night and I would wake up with the feeling that I needed to eat. If I don't eat, I cannot get back to sleep. If I can't sleep, I can't get up and go to work. I have to work, it's a fact of life.
Dr. Kruse says if you mess up on one of his rules, you set yourself back 12-14 days. But again, in reading Mastering Leptin I found something that led me to believe I wasn't doing myself that much harm. Because the fact of the matter is I'm not perfect, and if I was truly setting myself back 12-14 days each time I ate after 7pm, or had more than 25 grams carbs in a day, or ate in the middle of the night I'd be back at the start every few days. I don't need any more stress in my life than I already have to deal with, so I can't fret over doing things imperfectly. Here is what I found in Mastering Leptin that allowed me to relax a bit. Yes, they are talking about fat burning and Dr. Kruse is talking about resetting our leptin but this stuck in my mind as reason to not create anymore stress for myself than necessary:
ONCE YOU ACCESS FAT-BURNING MODE, STAY THERE! Following the Five Rules and accessing fat-burning mode creates a wonderful feeling of energy and well-being. However, when individuals have been in fat-burning mode for a few days and feel great, it does not mean their underlying issues with leptin resistance are solved. There may be numerous temptations that divert people from fat-burning mode. Such temptations cause them to violate one or more of the Five Rules. Beware: fat cells lurk in the wings, ready to refill themselves at a moment’s notice. While it may not seem like a big deal to occasionally go out of rhythm, unfortunately it is. If a person is in a good fat-burning mode and then violates one of the Five Rules, fat-burning mode will stop. However, even if the individual goes back to the Five Rules the next day, it may take two to five days for fat-burning mode to resume. During that time, the individual will have to wrestle with the additional urges of leptin resistance and previous compulsive eating patterns that did not exist in fat-burning mode. Unfortunately, when a person tries to lose weight and is in a good pattern, any violation of the Five Rules can slow progress for a few days. Sometimes extra exercise can get you back on track faster. Once in fat-burning mode, stay there!
Richards, Byron J.; Mary Guignon Richards (2009-02-17). Mastering Leptin: Your Guide to Permanent Weight Loss and Optimum Health (pp. 162-163). Wellness Resources Books. Kindle Edition.
I lost five pounds in December.
This is getting to be a pretty long post, so I'm going to share the rest tomorrow.
Here are my posts about the Leptin Reset:
- November 1, 2011 Dr. Jack Kruse Leptin Reset GAPS Style
- November 4, 2011 Thoughts so Far on the Leptin Reset
- November 21, 2011 Three Weeks GAPS Style Leptin Reset
- December 31, 2011 Last Day on the Leptin Reset, Last Day of the Year
- January 2, 2012 Is My Leptin Reset?
- January 4, 2012 I'm Going to Continue on the Leptin Reset
- January 13, 2012 Sleepy = Leptin Sensitive?