Getting Stronger: Discussion Forum

Discussion Topics => Hormesis => Topic started by: Steph on February 12, 2011, 03:36:35 AM

Title: New here, question about thermogenesis
Post by: Steph on February 12, 2011, 03:36:35 AM
I am really loving intermittent fasting (I'm doing the Fast-5 program).  I feel terrific and have already lost some weight, I am suffering much less from cravings, etc. etc.

But I feel cold, right to my bones.  (Granted it is winter, but still...)

I did try a cold shower last week (honest!) and lasted about a minute.  I will consider trying again and working up to five minutes, but... there another way?  Maybe cayenne capsules?
Title: Re: New here, question about thermogenesis
Post by: buffetjunkie on February 12, 2011, 05:45:31 PM
I have some thoughts (no answers unfortunately) here,61.0.html (,61.0.html)
Title: Re: New here, question about thermogenesis
Post by: Steph on February 13, 2011, 03:47:53 AM
Thank you Buffetjunkie!  I followed all the links - interesting.

I tried the cold pack on the neck for 30 minutes yesterday, which seemed to help.  I may just hop into the cold showers and see what happens.  (If someone told me it would prevent wrinkles, I'd be in every morning, without fail!)
Title: Re: New here, question about thermogenesis
Post by: Todd Becker on February 13, 2011, 01:45:11 PM
Welcome to the forum, Steph!

You are certainly not the first one to report being colder after starting IF. Many have reported this. There are a few explanations I've seen for why this occurs:

1. Calorie restriction can reduce BMR (basal metabolic rate) and NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis)
2. Calorie restriction can lower thyroid function, particularly T3.

These effects are not general and seem to occur only in some people. Regarding thyroid function, you might look into this. One way to get an indication is to check your armpit temperature upon waking in the morning before eating. If it is lower than 98F (36.7C) you may want to have your thyroid checked.

I have two recommendations that may help immediately:

1. Use virgin coconut oil. This can be used in cooking instead of oil or butter, but a very pleasant way to take it is to add it to your coffee or tea. The MCT oil in coconut is not only very healthful, but it increases thermogenesis and aids in weight loss, while providing a long lasting, even source of energy and warmth.  I recommend 1 tablespoon per cup of hot beverage. You can take 1-3 tablespoons a day.

2. While fasting or calorie restriction can produce a "starvation response" and reduce your BMR, this is not inevitable. Robert Lustig describes and explains this in his great article on the hormonal causes of obesity:

In particular, he points out that plateaus in weight loss often result from a reduction in NEAT (or what he calls REE - resting energy expenditure) but that this can be reversed by driving basal insulin levels low enough. He proved this by giving obese children an insulin inhibitor (octuride) and finding that they both ate less and spontaneously increased activity levels!

So the key is to continue with your IF, but possibly drive insulin lower by adding in some intense spurts of exercise and add nutritional components that improve insulin sensitivity, such as fish oil, magnesium, chromium, and high dose vitamin D.  I think that one of the advantages of IF over an calorie restricted diet in which you just eat low calorie foods throughout the day, is that IF really groves down basal insulin, but also periodically restokes the fires with a high calorie meal.

Good luck and please post your progress and results. Your experience could help others here.

Title: Re: New here, question about thermogenesis
Post by: Steph on February 14, 2011, 08:38:31 AM
Thank you, Todd, for this thorough reply!

I love coconut oil, and take it by the spoonful here and there, but I thought I shouldn't during fasting.  I will try a tablespoon tomorrow morning and see if it's helpful re: feeling cold. 

Thank you for the link, I admire Dr. Lustig and will read the article.

I am already hypothyroid and on syntheroid, so I think I will request a new blood test soon, thank you.

I heard you on Jimmy Moore and was fascinated/horrified when you said "Don't eat when you're hungry" but out of morbid curiosity, I tried it and found I had what I can only call a paradigm shift in my attitude toward food.  So, thank you - this is quite a change after decades years of being mildly possessed by food/diet/etc.

Almost a week in and I'm six stubborn pounds down.  I expect to stay there for a bit, leveling off, and then I hope to move toward my goal, which was just to stay in the 140s, but I'm becoming ambitious...I almost feel like I could eventually get to my absolute ideal weight, which at 5'6 would be closer to 130-135...don't want to go all Icarus, however...

Thank you again! 
Title: Re: New here, question about thermogenesis
Post by: Todd Becker on February 14, 2011, 07:28:40 PM

That's nice to hear you already like coconut oil.  I find that it definitely warms me up and energizes me. (If I take too much it actually wires me).  From self-experimentation and a little research I also learned it lowers and stabilizes blood glucose and promotes lipolysis and fat burning.  So it is totally compatible with can think of it a way to "jump start" a fast.

Yes, I know "don't eat when you're hungry" goes against everything your mother and dietician ever taught you, but the other half--"...but eat as soon as you're not hungry"--fills in the gap.  It's all about the timing. You still get to eat, but waiting until the cravings pass is critical to deconditioning the Pavlovian response and putting you in control of when you'll eat.  I still enjoy food as much as I ever did, but now it is devoid of any sense of craving.

Your progress with weight loss sounds great.  You are right not to push it too fast...slow and steady wins the race. I have no doubt you'll reach your goal soon enough.  If you find that you stall along the way, you might take a look at my posts about plateau busting and George Leonard's book "Mastery".

Glad to have you posting here!

Title: Re: New here, question about thermogenesis
Post by: UrsusMinor on February 20, 2011, 12:30:59 PM
I like coconut oil. I frequently use it for frying; I also mix it with cocoa powder, stevia, and slivered almonds and put it in the freezer to make a low-carb almond bark.

But putting it in coffee had never even occurred to me. I'm going to go try it.
Title: Re: New here, question about thermogenesis
Post by: UrsusMinor on February 22, 2011, 08:16:45 AM
Tried coconut oil in coffee.

Afraid it's not my cup of...well, you know what I mean.