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By Freddie Ulan, DC, CCN

(A question about “worrisome” weight-loss while on a low carb/low inflammatory diet.)

The other day I received an email from an old friend who I had not seen in more than 30 years prior to running into him at an event several months ago.  He is a few years older than me, and looked pretty good for an 82 year old (I recently celebrated my 78th birthday).  During our conversation he revealed that he was suffering with a debilitating rheumatoid arthritis condition affecting his hands, and I of course, referred him to a highly reputable NRT® Advanced Clinical Training graduate in his location.

She is doing a great job with him, with the combination of appropriate nutritional supplements and dietary guidelines, which are already giving him relief as the underlying cause of the problem is being corrected.

However, today’s email from him indicated he was concerned about weight loss and “looking haggard.”  His email and my response might be of use to other practitioners so I thought I would post it here.

“Several weeks ago, I stopped eating wheat, nightshades and (mostly) sugar.   I did not record my weight that day, but it was around 181. Yesterday I was at 174. (I weighed 172 when I got married.) I don’t want the gaunt look.  I don’t want to lose any more weight. Some chocolate chip cookies would solve the problem. But that blows apart my intent to get rid of this arthritis, which is still cooking my joints. How would you recommend I stop the weight loss?”

My response:

The best way for me to be able to answer your question specifically for you is to find out what you ARE eating.  Losing “weight” should not make someone look gaunt unless the weight they are losing includes muscle mass.  Faces look older as a body ages due to loss of muscle mass and the integrity of facial muscles so they begin to sag.  Same thing happens to other muscles.

Eating refined carbs puts “weight” back on by putting the body back onto sugar metabolism (which causes inflammation — in your case the rheumatoid arthritis) and causing the body to store fat instead of using it for energy.  So the solution to loss of muscle mass is more good proteins and good fats (which, in the absence of refined carbos, will be mainly used for energy).

I personally maintain my weight (and good looks) by supplementing my protein intake with a protein powder in various natural flavors.  The brand I am using is called PERFECT AMINOS:

In the morning I have a “protein shake” which consists of a scoop (about 6.5 gms) of strawberry flavored Perfect Aminos plus 1 scoop of Perfect Greens (from the same company) plus scoop of L-Ribose (5 gms — a beneficial sugar) plus 1 scoop of carnitine (5 gms of a protein specific for building and repairing muscle tissue).  I blend this in with a handful of re-hydrated organic prunes (I soak them overnight in very clean water which they absorb and into which they excrete most of their sugar — and I throw that sugary water away) and add enough good water to make a 12 ounce smoothie.  This holds me well for several hours while I exercise such as a good walk or bike ride or swim — which builds muscle or at least supports better muscle tone.

For lunch I eat a high protein vegetable quiche I bake by putting a package of mixed non-starchy vegetables into a Pyrex baking dish with a dozen organic eggs and bake in my toaster oven — I eat a quarter of this each day with a half an avocado.  And often have a salad of a good organic lettuce with sliced organic cucumbers and other good garden veggies.

Mid-afternoon I have a snack using a scoop of Perfect Aminos Chocolate  flavored (actually pure cacao sweetened with a little monk fruit) Power Meal plus a half scoop of their vanilla power meal plus a scoop of their Perfect Greens and another scoop of L-Ribose with enough good water to make a 12 ounce thick-shake.

For dinner I may have some wild caught salmon (about 8 ounces) or organic chicken breast or a few poached or fried eggs (if fried, it’s in organic butter or coconut or olive oil) with a half an avocado plus some steamed or otherwise cooked organic veggies such as in a homemade vegetable soup I blend up.

The above is what I have evolved for myself over quite some time, to ensure that I am getting plenty of good nutritious food while not creating inflammation and while maintaining and/or improving muscle mass.

My weight also dropped (from a high of 165 to 150) but I look and feel better at this weight (which is a few pounds above my prior most optimal “fighting” weight of my youth: 145).

Also I occasionally splurge by eating a slice of a Keto type of bread (usually gluten free made of almond flour, etc.) and on occasion have a low-carb high good-fat dessert such as a cheesecake made from organic dairy or coconut plus almond flour crust with some organic blueberries on top — when I can find it at Nature’s Food Patch here in downtown Clearwater.)

Sometimes, if I wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry —I handle by taking 5-10 Perfect Amino tablets with another half an avocado.

This dietary regime has been working real well for me.  It has been evolving over time, and who knows how it will continue to evolve.

The reason I use Perfect Aminos as my supplemental protein source is because my body reacts poorly to milk based proteins such as whey— which is also a great muscle builder if the body can handle it.  Many people with immune based inflammatory illness cannot. I recommend the whey protein powder from Standard Process.

Perfect Amino is vegetable based and is well tolerated by most bodies, especially those who have suffered from immune compromising health challenges in prior years.  We recommend it to slow down cachexic muscle-wasting in cancer patients, and to speed up recovery in high-performance athletes. That’s quite a range of effectiveness.  I am at neither extreme and it suits my body well.

Does this help?


Dr. Freddie

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