This archived forum used to be called 'Peatarian' (in reference to Ray Peat).

My no supplement strategy for increasing metabolism and balancing hormones

This is what works for me:

Stage 1: Kill your cortisol with carbs and sun

Pig out as hard as possible on low moisture, low fibre carbs with low fat and lower protein foods for about four weeks. I've found that pasta, bread, cereal work better than fruit and fruit juice as staples. Potatoes are fine, but not as most of your calories because I think the excessive potassium and lower calorie density are a little stressful. Cooked rice should be somewhat minimal too, because it has a little too much water content for this stage. Equally important is getting as much sun and outdoor time as possible for knocking cortisol way down.

Eat as much as possible starting early all the way until bed time. Density and chewing very well are key. Ideally eating near 4000 calories per day of mostly carbs and maybe a little protein from some cheese or a little milk.

A little exercise is fine, but keep it mostly to something easy like walking 2-4 miles a day. A minimum of two hours of outdoor sun time per day, preferably much more and in the morning and evening.

This stage sets you up to get the benefits of eating more protein. Since you are eating low protein tryptophan and the other inflammatory amino acids are also low.

By the end of the month as cortisol has been down for awhile your thyroid should be starting to kick in harder.

Stage 2: Eat more protein and do a little more exercise and stop pigging out as hard

After about a month up the protein to a palatable amount. The extra protein should be put to good use. Now that your cortisol is lower your body should be able to digest and utilize protein much better. You can also up fat as well and lower carbs a little if you prefer.

Total calories can come down to 2500-3000 calories. Now that thyroid hormones are converting better you shouldn't need quite as much food to keep cortisol down.

At this point your body should also be able to handle doing some kind of weight lifting or anaerobic exercise a few times a week which will help out a lot with balancing testosterone and estrogen.

Stage 3: Keep it up.

Don't fuck up and start under-eating, under/over-exercising, under-sleeping, sitting too much, being indoors too much or going too low carb ever again. If you do you will need to go back to stage one for awhile.

This is just my experience. I think it works well for people who simply have stressed themselves out too hard for a few months.

The common conception of a "Peat inspired diet" doesn't seem to work at all for me when my cortisol is high. I don't seem to have the digestive power for all that protein and liquids. Once my cortisol is down from cramming non-stop dense starch down my throat I seem to actually do quite well on a dairy and fructose centered diet, but my taste buds actually prefer a more meat, egg, cheese, and starch type menu (traditional cuisines) and I still do well on it.

I think it can be done without any supplements at all, but reasonable amounts of A, D, E, K are probably helpful as well as some zinc once cortisol is down.

Has anybody else used a similar strategy?
asked Apr 2, 2015 by Brian
edited Apr 2, 2015 by Brian
You contradicted yourself, you said you can't handle all that protein, but them said you do well on meat eggs and cheese which are high protein. So which one is it! Isn't the high starchy carbs with lower protein a Matt stone approac I am doing lots of mashed potatoes and milk right now and doing netter than when I eat too much inflammatory meats or eggs.
I can't handle a lot of protein if my metabolism is low from chronic stresses.

But a month or so of eating a lot of easily digestible starch plus a little fruit and milk and not much else seems to bring the stress hormones down reliably for me and restore thyroid function. Then I notice I'm able to eat a lot more dishes with meat and eggs and actually use them effectively without inflammation.
This sounds a lot like the Matt Stone approach. I've been entertaining the idea for a while, but I think careful consideration would need to be paid to fat intake, which can tend to be smuggled in with carbs and piles up in an "eat for heat" approach. Matt Stone undeniably turned into a fattie with his approach, even if he thought it helped him. I'd like to avoid that while still maintaining the positives of his method.
Yeah, I don't like the "Eat for Heat"approach as outlined in Matt's ebook. Fat probably isn't the best de-stressing tool. It can be great once my metabolism is higher, but personally I've found that a month long lower fat dense starch feast from sun up to sun down to be pretty effective at getting my body to believe that it doesn't need so much stress hormones. Although a little coconut oil and MCT oil do seem to be helpful.

Matt Stone really abused his body before going higher carb through lots of starving while hiking for months. I think a lot of his fat gain is something he will probably have to live with, but maybe he would have gained less by eating less fat during his re-feeds. I wonder what his liver health is like, he might benefit from the caffeine and K2 protocol that some Peatarians have found to greatly improve liver health by getting it lean.

And I must admit I do find supplementing A,D,E,K to be crucial for balancing hormones at the reasonable levels that Haidut from uses in his product. I have done well without them, but do much better with them.

1 Answer

not so similar, but i see the points.  i think that the desire for more dense or more watery foods can change for a person seasonally or however their body is healing/working.  

but this brings up a perennial issue for me:  calorie density.  i swear i will write the cookbook on calorie dense meals someday (that don't have crap in them or traditionally inflammatory foods)if i can ever figure it out.  in other words - how to get enough calories without having to eat a buffet every meal.  i wish i could eat a ton of granola and bread, but there's always a threshold for me with these items.
answered Apr 2, 2015 by Nicholas