Welcome! Always nice to see a new face here!
In addition to the scale, I would recommend some other tools to help you measure your progress and fine tune your food choices.
It is important to keep track of your measurements with Peat's way of eating, because you are likely to gain weight as you increase muscle mass, but your measurements may remain the same or even decrease. The extra protein, and particularly the fact that the type of protein has a lot of cholesterol, which is a precursor to the steroid hormones, means you are likely to increase muscle mass. Peat told me that it is more important to monitor the changes in your body composition with these recommendations as opposed to your weight.
Also, it is good to take your temperature at various times during the day. You can get a cheapie digital thermometer, since they are much faster. Oral temps seem to work best. You want to know your temperature as soon as you get up, and then take it after breakfast. If the temp is higher BEFORE breakfast, and lower after you eat, you will know that your cortisol levels are too high. Also, this will help you determine how your thyroid is functioning, and you can measure the improvements in your thyroid health as you continue to follow Peat's recommendations.
I don't know if you have blood sugar issues, but it is also good to monitor your blood sugar responses to your meals.
I gained 11 pounds in the first 3 months of following Peat's recommendations, then the weight stabilized. But my measurements remained the same and my waist decreased in size. I am still wearing the same clothes I wore when I started. I can tell I am much stronger, however, and I am much less prone to injury and aches and pains and strains when I exercise.
As for your hair, my hairdresser informed me that I had TONS of new hair growth (her words, not mine) after I was following Peat's recommendations for 4 or 5 months. Like you, I lost some weight and felt good initially, about 2 years ago after my diabetes diagnosis, but then the weight loss ground to a halt and I started feeling very unwell. Lost a lot of hair, my skin looked gray, my eyes were droopy, no energy, covered with psoriasis and skin rashes, constant itching, insomnia, developed food sensitivities galore. I was a wreck!
All of these have completely cleared up following Peat's recommendations.
As for the weight loss, I think if you suffer from elevated cortisol (which given your stressful schedule, would not be a surprise!), it is very difficult to lose weight. And I don't think that lowering cortisol levels is a "quick fix". I believe Peat's recommendations are good for improving thyroid function and lowering cortisol levels, and if we are patient, we might even shed a few pounds eventually! But for now, I am just happy to be feeling so much better.
If I were you, I would ask Ray Peat what he thinks of your current diet and let him know about the problems with the bloating and fluid retention. He usually will respond to emails. In general, I know that he says edema is common with hypothyroidism, and it may be that you are going through a transition where your cortisol level is dropping but your thyroid is not functioning normally yet. But that is just a "wild guess", on my part, so as I said, I would check with Dr. Peat. You can contact him through his website at raypeat.com. He may take a while to respond, but he usually does respond eventually.
I know he recommends eating the raw carrot salad by itself, not with milk or anything else. Just a raw, shredded carrot with coconut or olive oil, distilled white vinegar, and salt. The best time to consume it is between 10 and noon. If eaten later, it can interfere with sleep. I have found this makes a big difference in how I feel and in bowel function so even though it is easy to omit, it is a good idea to try to have it each day.
Also, anytime you have muscle meat, or fish, or shellfish, he recommends having some gelatin with it, because otherwise, the muscle meat or fish will suppress the thyroid. You can add it to some broth, or make a "jello" with fruit juice and have it that way.
Sugar is good for quieting down the adrenals and lowering cortisol, so if your levels are high, that may be why you find yourself craving so much sugar, ice cream, etc. It is probably what you need right now!
Keep us posted on your progress!
Last edited by Cathy B. : Mon, May-23-11 at 15:59.