I have recently been muddling around with the idea that some of us who are “driven” to overeat because of depression could have serotonin issues, and I was fascinated when Nora Gedgaudas, the author of Primal Body — Primal Mind, posited that 95% of serotonin production occurs in the gut — so depression isn’t necessarily a brain dysfunction, but rather an issue with digestion.
I recently read another book: Your Hidden Food Allergies Are Making You Fat. Despite the goofy title, the somewhat lukewarm reviews at Amazon, and the amount of repetition in the book itself, this is one of the best books I have ever read about allergies and the immune system and body weight. Did you know that you might be allergic to some of your favorite foods, and those allergies might be causing you to put on serious weight? Get some food allergy tests, like the ELISA IgG or the ALCAT, done, and put these possible thin-killers to rest.
Yeast infections can be a primary culprit for many, not just from eating lots of refined carbs, but from an immune response of eating the wrong foods — and I am not talking about just gluten or casein or the other Big Allergens but “healthy” foods that have become problems for some of us. For example, it could be foods like blueberries, peas, almonds, garlic, chocolate, tomatoes, and so on.
Is it possible you have any emotional/habitual issues making it hard for you to stick to a plan? If so, you might find self hypnosis, guided meditation, and neurolinguistic programming effective. I only recently discovered this side of weight-loss but I’d been unknowingly using similar approaches for the last 6 months, and I have been able to drop 30 pounds — without dieting.
That’s not to say I don’t generally follow a food plan. And as for the type of diet you choose, you already know that the key is finding one that’s the most comfortable for you and leaves you feeling the least deprived. I know how hard that is when food sensitivities are thrown into the mix and dairy or gluten are off the table.
Dieting definitely downregulates hormones, but it shouldn’t prevent us from losing weight. As our metabolisms slow down, so should our appetites. In theory. Those of us with food issues often don’t know what true stomach hunger is, and we eat despite all internal cues telling us otherwise.
Exercise will definitely help you become more insulin sensitive (see my Ecourse for information on insulin sensitivity), but it’s hard to get vigorous when you have low energy levels from eating the wrong foods.
In any case, if you want a ketogenic diet to manage your blood glucose, you can reach ketosis on 100 grams of carbohydrates per day or less. After experimenting, this is where I feel my best (and when I plug the food intake into a database, it comes to about 2 pounds of vegetables a day!) 100g of non-starchy vegetables (which provides ~25g of fiber) helps me feel my best, energetic self. I also try very hard to consume at least 100g of protein every day because protein makes hormones and tissues in addition to providing energy, and protein-carb balance is almost as important as low-carbs in the first place.