Sunday, November 2, 2014

'Flu' and keeping the weight off after Dukan

The maintenance stage of the Dukan diet worked quite well for me for over a year and then I got the flu. Not just a cold, but a 2 weeks in bed, shivering cold with fever, sore all over, secondary chest infection type of flu. After that, Dukan stopped working for me. I never really got over feeling cold, so I had to start drinking hot water to stay warm, not that I was that thirsty. I tried attacking and dieting like before but nothing substantial happened anymore.

How different this was to when I first tried Dukan. In the Dukan book there was a mention of others for whom the diet had stopped working.

6 months later I was 10 kilos heavier and on my GPs doorstep asking about my thyroid function, which was low normal, but I knew there had been a significant metabolic change in my system.

I was speaking  to a friend who had followed my lead and lost weight with Dukan and had stabilised nicely - and then they said they too got the all-encompassing flu and lost their 'set point' weight, gaining a kilo a week to be back to where they were before hand.

So I did some reading and yes, influenza, as well as other viruses, do upset your metabolic pathways.

The research was mainly in the immunology lab where cell culture metabolic profiles were analysed post infection, but there was also some animal experiments that showed that hypothalamus function was the issue.

Viruses work by inserting their nuclear material into yours and getting your cell machinery to work to  replicate it, rather than make things for you. The hypothalamus is the master endocrine gland, impacting on all the other glands - pituitary, thyroid, adrenal. So a hit to the hypothalmus can have a major effect.

I stumbled across a 'hypothalamus re-set' diet - actually a whole series of them - that seemed to have worked for me. Yes, I lost the excess weight and a new set-point for my weight has been held. I feel my systems are back to how they were before the flu attack. I think that if I wanted to lose more weight, that Dukan principles would probably work for me again.

I am warm again without having to take supplements. I get the full sensation in my stomach again when eating  [I thought I always had this - you know Christmas full -  but I think this was just pain. This full sensation is quite different, coming in at the top of the stomach and very strong].

Another sensation I am enjoying being back is thirst. I knew I hadn't been drinking enough before, but was never inclined to drink - but not anymore (and yes I checked my blood sugar and that is all good - I haven't got latent diabetes).

There have been a few people I know for whom the Dukan did not work, and now I think this could be a way forward for them.

So what are these hypothalamus-reset diets?

They are 7 week long intervention diets that include a period of 23 days where you take a supplement to open up the molecular 'doors' on the abnormal fat cells in your body and keep them open. During this time you have a 500 calorie diet - actualy, there are 24 consecutive days of 500 calories. But the mobilised fat and 500 calories work together so you largely don't feel hungry and can be quite active (although only light exercise is allowed).

There are many other rules on this diet - it is very strict. Let me give you a sample - during the 24 days of 500 calories you can not colour your hair. You can not use leave in conditioner or oils. Only oil free moisturisers. Special Crystal Deodourant. Mineral make up only -  lipstick okay. Oil free soaps.

Then there is the diet itself. Only 2 types of vegetable a day from a short list. Only 2 lots of 100g of lean protein - but different protein sources from a short list. 2 fruits from a short list and 2 tiny serves of carbohydrate (2 mini toasts) a day. There are rules about when you take the supplement, when you brush your teeth and when you can have coffee. But it is only 24 days. The other days are relatively easy, much like Dukan PV days with fruit and without the oatbran.

The first one I tried was AuGO+ (I did the 6-day detox, then the diet, and raspberry ketones) and the next one was from  Trim N Healthy (no detox, diet and Vitamin B12, maintenance drops). Same principles, different types of supplements with similar point of action, similar outcomes although the metabolic set point readjustment was highly noticable with AuGO+ and this is my preference over the homeopathic option.

What I learnt from these experiences was that taking a daily probiotic was important - those poor gut flora miss out on so much during this process. I also took metamucil capsules (psyllium) which together with slim tea, kept the system moving.

So if you are stuck dieting, why not try one of these intervention diets and re-set your hypothalamus and see what it can do for your system.

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