SugarFree Protocol – Charlotte

Charlotte will join us on Monday, April 8 but please welcome her now.

Charlotte’s Introduction:

I am sixty-one, 5′ 6″ and weigh 162 pounds. My heaviest weight was 286, which was a few years ago. I managed to get down to 227, but stayed there for a few years without any further decline.

I had PCOS as a young woman, but after doing the Atkins Diet I got pregnant, and then eight years later had a second child. Last year I did three rounds of HCG, and lost over sixty pounds. I ate a Paleo diet in between rounds and lost a few pounds more. As I’m now 154 pounds, my total weight loss since last September is 73 pounds.

I discovered SugarFree through an online forum, came here and read her Metabolic Syndrome XX thread. I discussed it with a friend who is a scientist and contacted SugarFree immediately. She finally connected some dots for me which made me understand what is going on in my body and what it is necessary for me to accomplish.

I have been diabetic for the last ten years, and am still a diabetic, but the results of my metabolic blood tests show me also to be hyperinsulinemic, hypothyroid with Thyroid Hormone Resistance, and with very high triglycerides that indicate the beginning of arterial heart disease. I’m also a smoker (nearly a pack a day) with an ongoing cough, but SugarFree has helped convince me to stop, so stop I shall.

I am looking forward now to SugarFree’s Protocol helping me to regain my health. Wish me luck on my journey!

Protocol Round 1, Week 1, Day 1 – 4/8

Weight: 162 pounds

Bust: 38.5″
Waist: 36″
Hips: 41″

1 oz potato
8 oz calf liver
9 oz asparagus
.5 oz duck fat
.5 oz Ghee
1 egg
1 oz sour cream

Fitday Stats:
Calories: 779
Fat: 50.5 grams (58%)
Protein: 58.5 grams (30%)
Carbs: 22.5 grams (12%)

Ketostix: small

Blood Glucose:
Fasting: 93
1 – hour PP: 139
2 – hour PP: 115

The potato did not help my Glucose level. I am used to eating way less carbs to keep my blood sugar in check and did actually quite well. So I cannot tolerate many carbs at all.

[Note: Charlotte, welcome! Yes, it’s usual for Participants with insulin resistance and/or diabetes to have avoided carbohydrates of all kinds for months (if not years) before starting Protocol. But for them, as for you, that avoidance fixed nothing. The idea of Protocol is to heal your metabolism and regain enough tight blood sugar control to be able to eat all the carbohydrates that are good for you. Avoiding them is like having a broken ankle and instead of healing it by putting it in a cast, you sit on a couch for two years. Sitting still may help you avoid the pain of walking on that ankle – but it does nothing to knit the broken bone! If you have blood sugar problems, fix the problems so that you can eat everything except processed sugar with no problem whatsoever – do not avoid them. 🙂 Given your blood sugar numbers today, you won’t be eating potato for a while, but you can try again in another week or so when your numbers start to normalize.]

Protocol Round 1, Week 1, Day 2 – 4/9

Weight: 161.6 = down .4 pound

8 oz steak
9 oz asparagus
.5 oz duck fat
.5 oz butter
8 oz swiss chard

Fitday Stats:
Calories:  711
Fat: 51.2 grams (65%)
Protein: 52.6 grams (30%)
Carbs: 9.9 grams (5%)

Ketostix: small

Blood Glucose:
Fasting: 84
1-hour PP: 111
2-hour PP: 98

Food was good, a little too much maybe. I wonder what today’s blood sugars mean. I have no problem with eating one meal a day and I notice that it is good for my belly. Sleep was good. Was really aggressive yesterday and this morning, not because of the diet, but because of the nicotine withdrawal. A few more days and that is behind me.

[Note: Charlotte, congratulations on actually quitting! Yes, this will be a tough week for you, but the beginning of a truly healthy life. If, however, you find it too difficult to go cold turkey (those chemicals in cigarettes are incredibly addictive and play hell with your entire body and mind) it won’t be ‘weakness’ to get a nicotine patch to help you wean off more gradually.

As for your blood sugars, there are several reasons they’re not as terrible as yesterday’s: first, not smoking for 24 hours helped, you didn’t have anything but fat, protein and vegetable carbs, and your insulin – which is far too high 24/7 – was finally able to lower them a bit because you only ate once yesterday, instead of  your usual several times. This is one of the reasons Protocol is so effective in getting a jump-start on lowering insulin resistance and raising insulin sensitivity again, although it is a long process. One thing to keep in mind: your body is so awash in insulin that although eventually your pancreas will ‘get the message’ that so much is no longer needed, you will in the next week or so go through a process by which your blood sugars become really (but artificially) low because the insulin has very little to ‘work on’. It will pass, and your sugars will rise again before permanently lowering to a true normal.]

Protocol Round 1, Week 1, Day 3 – 4/10

Weight: 164.5 = up 2.8 pounds

Meal: unknown

Ketostix: small

Blood Glucose:
Fasting: 107
1 – hour PP: 84
2 – hour PP: 105

Last night I blew it royally. Took a visitor out for dinner and watched him eat. Long story short: When I got home I raided my fridge. I had this hollow feeling in my body all afternoon and evening. I wasn’t hungry but I started to get really bad cravings. I drank a lot of tea and my water weight gain today shows I’m still retaining it. I am also used to eating more dense food. The vegetables make me full to the point where I cannot eat them all, but they do not last very long.

[Note: Your cravings have more to do with nicotine (and other chemical) withdrawal than from being on Protocol. Vegetables are so fiber-filled that they are in fact dense, but again, it takes several days – not two – to go into lipolysis, open your fat cells, and feed you their energy. Hyperinsulinemic Participants can take up to a full week, which is why they are often on Phase 1 for three weeks instead of two.]

I have on purpose not quit smoking while losing weight, as I thought it was too much to tackle both at one time.  Evenings are a dangerous time for me in terms of weight loss and the smoking has helped me to stay busy when I felt cravings. It worked for me.  So I now consider continuing smoking until I am in maintenance where I can have more food.

[Note: Being slightly overweight and insulin resistant won’t kill you. Smoking will. The chronic cough you’ve developed is evidence that you’ve sustained tremendous damage and going back to smoking will make it worse. If you’re not willing to get a nicotine patch to help you through withdrawal, it’s better to suspend Protocol for the two weeks it takes to get the nicotine out of your system completely, and restart then. I know this is incredibly difficult for you, but sabotaging yourself at this early stage is not a good idea. The patch can help and I hope you will reconsider it.]

Protocol Round 1, Week 1, Day 4 – 4/11

Weight: 163.4 = down 1.5 pounds

9.5 oz beef liver
8 oz swiss chard
.75 oz pork fat
.5 oz  butter
5 oz green beans
2 oz sour cream

Fitday Stats:
Calories:  801
Fat: 52.2 grams (59%)
Protein: 59.9 grams (30%)
Carbs: 23.0 grams (11%)

Ketostix: trace

Blood Glucose:
Fasting: 118
1-hour PP: 81
2-hour PP: 105

I won’t do the nicotine patch, as I want to get away from nicotine altogether, but I won’t start smoking again, either.

[Note: I’m really glad to hear it. 🙂 I would like to point out, though, the ‘carry-over’ effect from yesterday’s fridge raid. This happens to highly insulin resistant and diabetic individuals: the blood sugar results of a single bad meal or day can last for days, or even up to a week. This does not happen to people with normally functioning metabolisms that have tight sugar control. That is to say, I could eat sugar today, perhaps hidden in a restaurant meal and certainly my 1-hr PP would spike. However, it would be back to normal by the 2-hr PP, and my fasting and postprandial sugars tomorrow would all be normal as well. This will happen to you a year or two from now, when you are fully insulin sensitive again.]

Protocol Round 1, Week 1, Day 5 – 4/12

Weight: 162.3 = down 1.1 pounds

10 oz pork chop
8 oz spinach
5 oz green beans
1 oz butter

Fitday Stats:
Calories: 770
Fat: 53.8 grams (63%)
Protein: 61.4 grams (32%)
Carbs: 10.1 grams (5%)

Ketostix: trace

Blood Glucose:
Fasting: 70
1 – hour PP: 122
2 – hour PP: 113

I was very hungry last night and could not fall asleep for a long time. Woke up twice in the night and again very early and had a lot of energy. Food was satisfying and I ate it all today. Assume I am going to be very hungry again tonight, so I needed a strategy to distract myself. Therefore I booked a massage for tonight.

[Note: You are hungry because you are not yet in lipolysis, which cannot take place in the presence of insulin. This inability to open fat cells for perhaps a week is common with people who, like you, have hyperinsulinemia. It takes a long time – perhaps several weeks – for your pancreas to get the message that so much insulin is no longer needed. That your blood sugars remain high even in the absence of any starch or sweet carbs show just how severe your diabetes is. That will eventually (and slowly) change, but it will take months and even perhaps a year or two – not five days.]

Protocol Round 1, Week 1, Day 6 – 4/13

Weight: 162.3 = no change

– 9 oz salmon
– 10 oz swiss chard
– 12 oz asparagus
– 2 oz avocado
– 1 oz butter
– .5 oz cream cheese

Fitday Stats:
Calories: 802
Fat: 51.8 grams (58%)
Protein: 65.1 grams (33%)
Carbs: 18.4 grams (9%)

Ketostix: negative

Blood Glucose:
Fasting: 101
1-hour PP: 89
2-hour PP: 96

Protocol Round 1, Week 1, Day 7 – 4/14

– 9 oz top sirloin
– 8 oz kale
– 6 oz string beans
– 1 oz lard
– 1 oz butter

Fitday Stats:
Calories: 743
Fat: 50.7 grams (61%)
Protein: 59.5 grams (32%)
Carbs: 12.1 grams (7%)

Ketostix: trace

Blood Glucose:
Fasting: 116
1-hour PP: 76
2-hour PP: 96

Protocol Round 1, Week 2, Day 1 – 4/15

Weight: 163 = up .7 pound

Bust: 38.5″ = no change
Waist: 36″ = no change
Hips: 41″ = no change

– 10 oz liver
– 8 oz spinach
– 5 oz lettuce
– .3 oz goose fat
– 1 oz butter
– .3 oz lard

Fitday Stats:
Calories: 752
Fat: 50.7 grams (61%)
Protein: 59 grams (31%)
Carbs: 15 grams (8%)

Ketostix: trace

Blood Glucose:
Fasting: 97
1-hour PP: 111
2-hour PP: 98

Not very encouraging for the first week. One pound up from last Monday. I was afraid that to quit smoking and trying to lose weight at the same time might prove a challenge since it had always been my observation that to quit smoking resulted in weight gain. However, at least I was successful at that.

[Note: Congratulations on making it through an entire week without smoking. That’s a true achievement. And so was the rest of the week, though it may not seem like that now. Since the Protocol is not a diet, and since the scale lies, those numbers are immaterial right now. What matters is that you begin to restore a body severely damaged by obesity (you’ve lost a lot of fat over the last few years, but carried that fat for a long time before that), diabetes and smoking. That will take a year or two (at least), not seven days. But even in one week there was measurable improvement in your blood sugars — though they will be unstable for some time — and that’s truly important.]

Eating all this food in one meal proves to be a challenge I have not yet mastered. For the most part I seem to be in ketosis, but it seems that I am not in lipolysis.

[Note: Ketosis, which is incredibly hard on the liver and should be avoided at all costs, simply means that you are or have eaten insufficient carbohydrates for your body’s needs, and so glucose must be made from protein via gluconeogenesis, a very wasteful process. It’s even worse for those with Metabolic Syndrome XX, who tend to have lazy insulin and runaway gluconeogenesis (the body makes more than it needs) – a terrible combination.

Lipolysis is an evolutionary species survival adaptation allows the body to have access to excess adipose fat that excess insulin has locked away. But in order for the fat to come out, two biological processes must occur simultaneously: the intake of insufficient calories to your needs, and the absence of insulin. Lipolysis cannot take place in the presence of insulin. You have satisfied the first part of the equation – but because of your excessively high insulin 27/7 – not the second part. That’s why you’re hungry. That’s why you’ve lost no fat this week. Your fat is still being locked away by insulin, and until your pancreas gets the message that it no longer needs to make so much, you will not get into lipolysis. That’s why hyperinsulinemic Participants must stay on Phase 1 for a week or two longer than most others.]

I am continuously constipated, despite 3 g of magnesium twice daily.

[Note: Easily fixed: take Vitamin C every few hours until bowel tolerance is reached.]

Protocol Round 1, Week 2, Day 2 – 4/16

Weight: 162.8 = down .2 pounds

10 oz trout
8 oz spinach
1.5 oz butter
6 oz lettuce, red leaf
5 oz green beans
1 oz leek

Fitday Stats:
Calories:  784
Fat: 50.4 grams (58%)
Protein: 64.8 grams (33%)
Carbs: 18 grams (9%)

Ketostix: trace

Blood Glucose:
Fasting: 81
1 – hour PP: 99
2 – hour PP: 96

I am impressed with my blood glucose readings. Something seems to move here. Slept like a log. Glad I had prepared my food the night before or I would have been late for work. Ate every bit of my meal, but two hours later my stomach is still bulging and it does not feel very comfortable. I was really hungry before I ate. It was not the “want food” type hungry, but rather the “need food” type hungry where my stomach was growling.

[Note: Wow – what great readings; not a drop of red ink! 😀 Be prepared, however, for them to go up again, since once your pancreas stops over-producing insulin in the next week or two, they will. As for the bulging tummy, that’s easy to get rid of. Roast your veggies and stop eating lettuce, which only provides bulk without any nutrition. If you are hungry in the evening then simply add more of your good (roasted) veggies to your menu. Ten ounces of spinach, etc. and ten ounces of your greens. Roasted, they will provide nutrition to keep you filled without bulk.]

Protocol Round 1, Week 2, Day 3 – 4/17

Weight: 162.8 = no change

– 11 oz chicken liver
– 8 oz spinach
– 8 oz green beans
– .5 oz goose fat
– 1.5 oz sour cream

Fitday stats:
Calories: 755
Fat: 49.9 grams (59%)
Protein: 58.4 grams (31%)
Carbs: 18 grams (10%)

Ketostix: trace

Blood Glucose:
Fasting: 76
1 – hour PP: 86
2 – hour PP: 88

Last night for the first time I was not hungry. Felt good and satisfied. Got hungry this morning by 11 o’clock, but waited until 1 p.m. so I would not get hungry until bed time.

[Note: Part of getting better on Protocol is learning – sometimes for the first time – to pay attention to the hormonal signals our brain sends us. “Waiting to eat” is part of the old way of thinking, where we’ve been taught to think of food as the enemy, and ‘strength’ is ignoring our body’s need for it. And where ‘giving in to hunger’ is a sign of weakness.

If you get hungry at 11 – eat at 11. If you get hungry that evening, pay attention to that signal, what it’s telling you, and add more veggies to the next day’s menu – a lot more if necessary – so that you are not hungry the following night. Ignoring the signals only means keeping your metabolism low, instead of raising it. And it postpones full recovery.]

Protocol Round 1, Week 2, Day 4 – 4/18

Weight: 162.6 = down .2 pound

– 9 oz salmon
– 10 oz swiss chard
– 16 oz fennel bulb
– 1 oz potato w/skin, weighed raw
– 1 T goose fat
– 1 oz butter

Fitday stats:
Calories: 773
Fat: 51.7 grams (60%)
Protein: 59 grams (31%)
Carbs: 17.9 grams (9%)

Ketostix: trace

Blood Glucose:
Fasting: 89
1-hour PP: 104
2-hour PP: 100

The potato still does not go down well with my blood sugar. I suspected that already though, so I was not surprised. But it is better than last time.

[Note: That your blood sugars are getting better generally is important, but even more important that they did so even while eating potato, which you could not do last week. The idea behind Protocol is to normalize your metabolism so that you may eat everything but processed sugar with no harm and all the benefits.]

I ate everything today and did not feel full like yesterday. Garlic is in season, so I put a lot of it on my veggies. I was not hungry last night and not even when I ate my lunch. Had my liver, pancreas, kidneys checked this morning and am so glad that my fatty liver is gone.
The weight loss could go better, but having lost so much weight already it is probably better to take this slow anyway.

[Note: Protocol is not about losing weight. It is about reversing insulin resistance, losing excess fat – not numbers on a scale – and restoring your metabolism to health, which is exactly what your reports are beginning to show. :)]

Protocol Round 1, Week 2, Day 5 – 4/19

Weight: 162.6 = no change

– 8 oz wild boar, raw
– 8 oz broccoli, raw
– 8 oz string beans, raw
– 1 oz butter
– 2 oz pork belly raw

Fitday stats:
Calories: 743
Fat: 49.4 grams (60%)
Protein: 58.3 grams (31%)
Carbs: 16.2 grams (9%)

Ketostix: trace

Blood Glucose:
Fasting: 87
1-hour PP: 117
2-hour PP: 107

Something did not go down well with my blood sugar today. I was totally surprised. No hunger last night and none this morning. Lunch was delicious and easy to finish.

[Note: Your blood sugars were not affected (except perhaps in a positive way) by the food you ate, but by something I wrote ten days ago, after your 4/9 report: “One thing to keep in mind: your body is so awash in insulin that although eventually your pancreas will ‘get the message’ that so much is no longer needed, you will in the next week or so go through a process by which your blood sugars become … artificially low because the insulin has very little to ‘work on’. It will pass, and your sugars will rise again before permanently lowering to a true normal.”]

TUESDAY, APRIL 23, 2013 – 4:01 PM ET




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2 Responses to SugarFree Protocol – Charlotte

  1. Laurie says:

    Stay strong, Charlotte. You may think this is overwhelming now, but by June you will feel so much better. Get yourself through one full round of Protocol Phase 1 as best you can.

    Nicotine is stored within fat cells, so as they open the nicotine is circulated in your system all over again and activates “cravings.” That’s why, even though nicotine is out of others’ systems in a week, it will not be true for you. Eventually though, your body and mind will stop fighting you and begin co-operating.

    Try to find some ‘craving interruption’ coping behaviors for when those overwhelming urges seem to be driving you. They will help you get through those moments or even hours. SugarFree will help you if you let her.


  2. Charlotte says:

    Thanks, Laurie. I am not discouraged. I have learned that it is not about falling down, but getting up again. In a few days it’s going to be over, as I will be used to not smoking to give myself a break, but to use some other means of relaxation. Since my cough is getting better already and I feel more energetic, I assume this is due to not letting toxins in, but getting them out. I am looking forward to the next few days and weeks and will see where it takes me.


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