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How to Lock In Your Loss After a Correction Day, and Get Back on Track: Ch. 5

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In this Post-Correction Day strategy, calories from fat grams will always need to be higher than calories from protein grams, and calories from protein grams will always need to be higher than calories from carbohydrate grams. Keep this in mind as you use a tracker.

Note: many trackers display their ratios in the order of fat/carbs/protein. So don't get this mixed up with your order of importance: the fact that you need to have fat highest first, protein highest next, and carbs highest last.

There are no carbs eaten during these first two days, as explained earlier. This is done to not just kick your body into a higher metabolism rate via an increase in stomach acid, but it is also done to get your pancreas to secrete more digestive enzymes.

It takes more energy to break down fat than it does to break down anything else you eat. And fat is the strongest stimulator of the production of pancreatic enzymes. Without fat, the pancreas is not as stimulated to produce enzymes, and all food does not break down as efficiently without a sufficient level of pancreatic enzymes.

During Phase 2, many of us experienced constipation issues. I certainly did on my first round. And me being me, I went looking -- researching, googling, talking with others -- about how constipation could be averted. I tried enema(s)....ugh. But then I heard about how there is a lack of pancreatic enzymes due to the fact that there is very little stimulation from other foods in the absence of fat. So, with the help of someone who had been taking digestive enzymes for years, I chose a brand of pancreatic enzymes I was told would work. And boy, did they! They were very effective, which was the case because they were very potent.

So, as I entered Phase 3 my first round, I looked forward to stopping the digestive enzymes. I was starting to eat fat again, so this looked like the ideal time to stop taking them.

Unbeknownst to me, Phase 3 was actually a horrible time to stop taking them.

When it comes to digestive enzymes, a high potency/dose of digestive enzymes for a brand-new user is not a good idea. This is because it's a shock to the system, and results in the pancreas being lulled into a nice, deep sleep. It's the chapstick principle: once your body sees that you're providing it with something it produces on its own, in a significant amount, it figures, "hey, I don't have to make this anymore!" Which is what happens exactly with chapstick, if someone is using chapstick heavily. The heavy dose/potency of the enzymes I took followed this pattern exactly.

So, without going into great detail, I'll let you know that one of the first symptoms that something wasn't right was after a trip to the bathroom. I could see fat in my stool -- it was floating there as if I'd just emptied the contents of a pan of bacon grease into the toilet.

Not long after that, I started to have horrible pain in the area surrounding my pancreas, and then going through that same area, radiating to my back. It intensified whenever I ate. At first I thought it was some sort of food poisoning, and started googling those symptoms. Then, to my shock, I started seeing symptoms for acute pancreatitis pop up when I put these symptoms in, plus a few others I was experiencing.

And, the treatment? A stay at the hospital, where I would have to be fed via IV drip. I hated the idea that I would have to go off protocol, but seeing as acute pancreatitis can turn into permanent damage, with the potential to make me a diabetic, or even kill me if it got too bad, I didn't have a choice.

An MRI was done of my pelvic region, blood tests were done, and I was told, thankfully, that I had not permanently damaged my pancreas...but there was a chance that if I went back to eating without pancreatic enzymes, I could cause the permanent damage I'd narrowly avoided this time. So, I had no choice; I had to go back on pancreatic enzymes immediately.

I hated having to go back on digestive enzymes, but I didn't have a choice at that point. If I wanted to avoid permanent damage, and an eventual hospital stay, I had to go back on them. Immediately.

So that's what I did. I felt immediate relief when eating, and had no more bathroom "bacon grease" appearances. But, I had become dependent on digestive enzyme supplements.

I had to go through two more bottles of the stuff before I was able to successfully "wean" myself off those supplements. And even when I did, I had a lingering sense of paranoia, that I'd wake up to another bout of acute pancreatitis. Stepping down gradually worked, though, and over the period of 3 months, the symptoms of an under-active pancreas -- dry mouth not withstanding -- began to subside. Because even though I wasn't dependent on the supplements to digest my meals, I knew my pancreas still wasn't 100% as it used to be.

To help get my pancreas back to where it needed to be, I took magnesium chloride. This is a version of magnesium that helps decrease insulin resistance in studies, when it's given to diabetics in certain amounts. I verified everything I saw in research studies online with a local pharmacist; before even uttering "magnesium chloride," she recommended this form of magnesium as the best version of magnesium to take to help my pancreas recover. I then told her about what I'd seen, and she agreed that everything I'd read was valid. I immediately purchased "Mag64 Magnesium Chloride," by a brand named "Rising." They keep it behind the counter at Walgreens; it doesn't require a prescription, but you'll have to ask for it by name if you want to purchase it from any Walgreens pharmacy.

One other supplement that's safe for every phase but Phase 3 (due to starch content, and some soy as well) is a multi-vitamin by One A Day, their "Essentials" line. This is a "bare minimum" version of their vitamin, which makes it the perfect supplement to "nudge" anyone's system back into a normal state, without overdoing it. I've read a few studies that state taking a vitamin that has ALL the RDA of certain things is a bad idea -- we don't want to get too much of calcium from a vitamin, but rather from natural sources instead -- so this "Essentials" line was perfect. And...since I was a little more cautious about anything that was "high potency," a bare minimum for a supplement was a welcome relief.

I took both supplements -- the magnesium and the multivitamin -- throughout all of my second round load and VLCD, and actually lost 1.2 lbs more that round than the previous one! And, constipation? NOT ONCE. I stopped taking it in P3 because of the starch content and fillers in each, but they're just fine to take in P4. I HIGHLY recommend these supplements for anyone, in every phase except P3.

So, what did I discover, after this experience, that is relevant to the no-carb approach with the Post-Correction Day strategy I'm telling you about now? I learned that the best way to get your pancreas to perform is to stimulate it through the consumption of dietary fat, or at the very least, dietary supplements that help the pancreas function. In Phase 3, the supplement I had been taking was full of starch and some soy, so it was off-limits. And, quite honestly stimulating the pancreas is best done by eating as much dietary fat as possible, with a high amount of protein next (not by consuming large amounts of supplements). And, I also learned that if I want to take full advantage of every calorie I eat in Phase 3, I need to make sure it has as much fat as possible in it. By not taking advantage of this 3-week window to lock in a new metabolism, with a high amount of fat, I would be doing myself a disservice. And, perhaps most of all, I learned that fiber and carbs stimulate the pancreas THE LEAST. So if I was to ever get my body functioning at a high metabolism again, I knew I had to cut out carbs and kick it into high gear, ASAP, through a no-carb approach the first two days. Later on though, when it was apparent that my body had returned to a higher metabolism once again, I knew I could start re-introducing carbs (vegetables) once more, and also increase my calories to a higher level. Then, I'd be back where I was at the beginning of Phase 3, when I was stabilizing just fine, and operating perfectly.

So, that's exactly what I did. My metabolism increased as a result of the no-carb days, and the use of the low-carb re-introduction strategy, and as a result I wound up with a metabolism that hums along quite nicely.

I'm restricted from posting more than a few characters of text at a time. So rather than skimp on details, I've decided to split this strategy up into several mini-posts. Think of them as "chapters," in a manner of speaking. Each point in the summary (first listed in the "Introduction") will be covered in a separate chapter, numbered according to the sequence listed.

NEXT BLOG ENTRY: The schedule -- how to slowly re-introduce carbs into your diet, with good results (Ch. 6)

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Updated September 15th, 2012 at 06:22 PM by GonnaLoseIt