FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I have been following a lowfat diet for years and never could lose weight. After reading Eat Fat Lose Fat, I decided to try the high-fat approach. I started my morning with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 teaspoon cod liver oil and scrambled eggs and soft bacon. Then wham! I was really sick and threw up everything. What’s wrong and what should I do?
After following a lowfat diet for many years, your body is not used to fats. You need to start slowly, with just 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil and less fat in your meals. Then gradually build up your coconut oil and fat intake—we’ve had several individuals report that they could tolerate the fats just fine after a slow buildup. Be sure to include Swedish bitters in your diet as these help in fat digestion. Beet kvass can also be very helpful.
I recently purchased Eat Fat Lose Fat and find it very helpful in converting to a new way of eating after trying to lose weight on a lowfat diet, and after giving up Atkins as unpalatable and unsustainable. The diet has completely eliminated cravings for sweets, ice-cream, pastry and chocolate, much to my surprise. I am able to feel completely at ease without them, even when my husband is indulging in front of me.
I have access to raw milk and butter and I am taking cod liver oil first thing in the morning. My only concern, after about two and a half weeks on the diet (and I am losing about a pound a week, and I do exercise regularly) is that I am bothered by a mild nausea, which I did not have before starting the diet. It is often strongest in the morning after breakfast and may be related to the cod liver oil. But it also happens when my stomach is almost empty—as my hunger signal. I feel slightly nauseous and don’t really want to eat anything, but when I do, I feel better. (And it’s usually a good 4-5 hours after a meal, so I’m not eating for emotional reasons.) Sometimes it feels like a reaction to the thought of drinking yet another two tablespoons of coconut oil, though I do not find the taste offensive in any way—it just seems to get old after a while so I sometimes put the oil into my meal rather than taking it before the meal to curb appetite. (My main problem was sweet snacking and desserts, not overeating at meals themselves.)
I can’t find any info on this on the site. Any ideas? Could it be just a reaction to a substantive change in diet? Should I not take the cod liver oil on an empty stomach? I started out on capsules and am now taking the liquid.
The slight feeling of nausea is your body saying, “This is just a bit too much fat for me.” Everyone differs in the amount of fat they require and the body has the perfect mechanism for telling you it has had enough—nausea. I’d suggest cutting back on the coconut oil to just 1 tablespoon before each meal, and slightly reducing the amount of fat in your meals. It is a question of balancing the amount of coconut oil and other fats you need to lose weight and feel satisfied while not feeling any discomfort. Once again, Swedish bitters and beet kvass taken in the morning and evening can be very helpful for combatting intestinal distress. As for the cod liver oil, most people report that the liquid is the best, and that the capsules often make them “repeat” and taste the cod liver oil throughout the day.
I am now having about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil a day and find I am having problems with constipation. This is very unusual for me. I’ve had lots of positive effects including increased energy, mental acuity, emotional stability and warmth but would like some suggestions on the constipation.
We’ve had a few people report that this problem and tell us that it usually clears up after a few days. Things that can help are the lacto-fermented foods, especially the beet kvass, and Swedish bitters. Also, try doing the porridge for breakfast for a few days. Although this is a low-carb diet, adding the grains in the form of soaked porridge often resolves the problem.
ALLERGIC TO COCONUT
I’d like to try the Eat Fat Lose Fat approach to weight loss but I am allergic to coconut. Will I have a reaction to the coconut oil?
It is proteins that cause allergic reactions, not fats, so the oil should be OK. Purchase an oil that has no coconut smell (such as the Omega brand refined coconut oil), because the coconut smell is an indication of the presence of some of the coconut meat, and hence the proteins. Start very, very slowly. First put a drop on your tongue to assess any reaction, and if that is fine, then go to 1/4 teaspoon and build up from there. Of course, you will have to avoid all the recipes containing coconut meat, coconut milk or coconut cream.
DON’T LIKE THE TASTE
Your diet plan is intriguing but I hate the taste of coconut. What’s the solution?
As with the previous question, use a coconut oil that has no smell and avoid the recipes containing various coconut products. You can still take advantage of the coconut oil without incorporating products with a coconut taste into the diet.
A good friend of mine purchased your book and followed the recommended diet and gained 7 pounds. She doesn’t know whether it was the coconut oil or what. Do you have any ideas what might have contributed to her weight gain?
Your friend should persevere, making sure to limit carbs and not go over the 2000-2100 calorie limit. We’ve had a couple of individuals report initial weight gain, but then a gradual and slow loss. Often they do not lose as much as the goal they have set for themselves, but find that they don’t actually have to lose that much—they get to the right dress size anyway. This is because the diet makes the muscles firmer and the bones denser.
WEIGHT LOSS TOO SLOW
I started the coconut oil weight loss plan three weeks ago and have reduced the calories gradually from about 17-1800 to 12-1300. I feel very good—good energy, clear head, good sleep. No real hunger, eating the three meals a day. Included in the calorie count is 4 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 teaspoon cod liver oil, 1/2 teaspoon butter oil, 1 tablespoon Frontier yeast, 2 tablespoons ground flax seed and liver tablets. I drink homemade broth (feet included in the making), coconut tonic kefir, or raw cheese 3 times per day for the calcium. A little homemade sauerkraut with each meal and some dilute kombucha. Unfortunately, I have only lost 1.5 pounds in the three weeks. I will continue anyway because I feel so good but I would like to lose more weight! I’m 61, which may account for the slow loss. I get in 20 minutes of walking nearly every day. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
The slow weight loss may be due to the drastic reduction in calories. Your body has gone into a famine mode and slowed down its metabolism, in spite of the coconut oil. A diet of 2000-2100 calories would be more productive and I think you would see more weight loss.
DHA AND EPA
I am a student of nutrition and dietetics at my local university. I like the program very much, although I disagree with its lowfat, high-carbohydrate emphasis. In doing a research paper on DHA in mother’s milk, I came across a study that mentioned that high levels of EPA in fish oil are transferred to mother’s milk and are somehow dangerous for infants (Am J Clin Nutr 2000 71(suppl):292S-9S). The researchers felt that these high EPA levels in fish oil defeat the benefit of DHA for the infant via the milk. I know you recommend cod liver oil during pregnancy and nursing. Why would these researchers say this about EPA? I took fish oils while pregnant and nursing my daughter now four. She is leagues ahead of her little friends, what a bright and intelligent spirit!
EPA and DHA occur together in cod liver oil and many other foods, so it would be odd if one were good and the other were bad. A supplement containing only DHA (made from bluegreen algae) has been developed for addition to infant formula and natural, inexpensive cod liver oil would be a competitor to this supplement. Perhaps this is an example of science being used to demonize the competition to patented products. Your daughter is proof that the combination of DHA and EPA in cod liver oil helps children achieve optimal neurological development.
COD LIVER OIL
In a recent column, Joe and Terry Graedon of The People’s Pharmacy, warn against regular use of cod liver oil. They say:
Regular use of cod liver oil has been associated with weakening of the bones. That is because of the high dose of vitamin A it contains. Purified fish oil avoids this problem.
Surely this cannot be true.
Although there have been several well-publicized studies showing a relationship between high levels of serum vitamin A and bone loss, none of these studies actually looked at cod liver oil consumption (although commentators have used these studies to warn people about cod liver oil). A 2002 study at the University of Wisconsin found that men taking 25,000 IU cod liver oil for 6 weeks had no alteration of bone loss indicators; and the 3rd National Health and Nutrition Survey, 1988-94, found that serum levels of vitamin A were not associated with reduced bone density. The recent studies that have garnered so much publicity may have reflected adverse effects from synthetic vitamin A contained in multivitamin pills and often added to margarine, milk and other foods. Use of cod liver oil is associated with strong bones and is a must for pregnant women. The vitamin A and D provided in cod liver oil are key components of our weight loss program. For updates on cod liver oil, go to http://westonprice.org/cod-liver-oil.
I love using your Coconut Milk Tonic as an alternative to milk--I am very allergic to milk, even raw milk. But the tonic contains dolomite as a calcium source and I am concerned about reports of toxic metal contamination “of many randomly selected and analyzed dolomite supplements” (www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/dol_0099.shtml).
Dolomite is a rock substance that was used by traditional peoples, and is also an ingredient in many calcium supplement pills. KAL, producers of the product we recommend, reports that the legal amount of heavy metals including lead is 3 parts per million. The KAL product tests for 1 part per billion. If it is more than 1 part per billion, the batch is rejected. Note that the pdr site says “many” randomly selected supplements, not all. Dolomite is a very inexpensive source of calcium and may represent competition to other more expensive supplements. Hence, the bad press about contamination.