Tag Archives: healthy

Low Fat Diet – A Health Perspective

low fat, keto, macro, balanced diet, ray peat, weight loss, hormones, thyroid

(Image by www.adrianalfordphotography.com)

I just wanted to give everyone an update on my super low fat diet experiments.

As you may or may not know, since about June (4 months,) I have been trying to have only 20g fat a day, (10% of my 1,800 calories,) which was spurred on by the desire to lose about 5kgs (10lbs) within a Ray Peat diet framework.

(10% of calories was deemed to be the magic level where weight loss was more likely, along with a wider margin of calories allowed to no adverse effect.)

After reading some pretty compelling evidence of past scientific ‘people’ studies (not just rats or mice,) where adherence resulted in the desired weight loss and other health improvements such as heart, kidney and diabetes type issues, and even Ray saying that a lot of fat isn’t actually necessary in the diet as we can produce our own, I thought it was worth a shot. The promise of more flexibility in calories with super low fat was appealing as well.

Sticking to the diet was the tripping point for most in the studies, however I didn’t find it hard to do in terms of hunger or variety of food, but the slow development of a few negative effects had my alarm bells ringing.

One is dry skin. Even when I was keto I still had dry skin, but this is more than that, it seemed like skin was losing elasticity! So perhaps people who genetically have oily skin may fair better on super low fat, but for me this is a big negative. (As fats are utilised in cell structure, it makes sense.)

Belly Fat. Certain weeks and days it appears the low fat is improving this area but then other days I’m not impressed. It has reduced somewhat but not completely.

(One other confounding point may be my increased dairy intake, even if it’s the skim or the low fat kind. So since going low fat I have increased my intake of skim milk, low fat yoghurt and cottage cheese – so I’m thinking overkill in this area maybe is throwing hormones out of whack? Again in the past I had a ‘no dairy’ phase and my belly fat was considerably less, as well as bust area. Dairy is too important to give up altogether – I realise now – but what if there is a tolerance limit and I should only have a certain amount each day which will result in more balance?)

Sleep. I always sleep through the night and as long as I keep fluids low after 6 pm, then I don’t have to get up to go to the loo. However since super low fat, I can feel a slow decline in sleep quality where maybe once a week, I wake up in the middle of the night, then twice a week. So it’s heading in the wrong direction!

Gut regularity/issues. Again no issues normally, but since super low fat, minor problems with constipation, inflammation and bloating creeping in more often. If left unchecked, this again is heading in the wrong direction and will get worse. While too much fat has negative effects on gut health, it appears it’s the same for low fat. The Goldilocks effect – not too much or too little but just right – is required.

Brain Fog/Concentration issues. This slowly crept in but was definitely getting worse in that it was stressing me out a bit, as I couldn’t focus on what I was trying to do. This was very noticeable for me as I’ve never had this issue before to this degree.

Body Temperature. This one was the death knell for me – it was going down!!! Waking up a few mornings at 36.3C then the following week 36.1C – Hey! Heading in the wrong direction!

So at this point I am super grateful to know what I know about health from the Ray Peat community and Ray himself. In the past, I would have kept heading down the wrong path, oblivious to these signs, chasing the weight loss at the expense of my health. (Also thank you to Jay Feldman Wellness for putting the doubt in my mind around super low fat as well.)

Moving forward, ultra low fat is not for me – this is what test and measure is all about right? It’s also why you can’t just believe scientific studies, as they never take a holistic view.

So I’m doubling my fat intake to 40 grams, which would be 20% of my calories – still low-ish compared to Ray who says he has 33% of each macro. Super balanced!

Even if there was more caloric freedom at the super low fat level, I didn’t find it and at the expense of all the health markers above, it wasn’t worth it.

So overall caloric intake will have to be monitored to some degree too now. (Doh!) I was hoping super low fat could free us all, but apparently not; which just goes to show that extremes of any way of eating all have their downsides.

I finally get it now. The diet must be balanced for so many different reasons and finding your own personal balance is the most important thing.

If you’ve tried super low fat, what was your experience?

Live and learn, the journey continues!


Kristy x

PS: For more discussion on this, join us in the Slim Birdy – One Ten Toned – Eating Peaty private Facebook Group.


Exercise – the minimum effective dose for health


Recently on the Slim Birdy – One Ten Toned – Eating Peaty private Facebook group, I told the story of the visit with my parents who live two states away. My father was finding the whole ‘taking your temperature thing’ revelatory in terms of helping with his eating habits. (He wants to put on weight, where as our group mostly discusses weight loss, however request to join if you would like to see how it was helping him.)

During that visit too, there is another story about exercise I wanted to tell and a running joke with my father – “Dad have you been lifting your weights a little?” He always replies, “I’ll start tomorrow.” He has said this for the last 30 years!

Now I haven’t seen my parents for about a year and a half – bad daughter I know – but we do speak every week. In that time though, I have written and been following my own One Ten Toned exercise program. This involves just a little amount of weight bearing exercises every day, or skipping a day here and there when life gets a little crazy at times.

When I was writing it, I told them all about it and even sent my father a little seven-day sampler to try out as part of my research. While he did it to help me, he was convinced that I wasn’t quite on the right path and I needed to do at least 30 minutes of all different exercises. He switched to what he thought he should be doing and then after a while he stopped.

So when they saw me, they couldn’t quite believe the muscle tone! The fact that I could do my push ups without effort, squats, throwing the weights around like they were nothing and for the first time in my life, looked rock solid and fit, with muscles shaping my legs, arms and back. Where as when I lost weight before, I would just look skinny and weak.

So it comes down to a few factors:

  • the minimum effective dose
  • prioritising weight bearing exercise over cardio (even walking)
  • doing a little something each day
  • doing the things you don’t hate
  • having it home-based and readily at your disposal
  • understanding that exercise for health is not the same as sports performance

So my father is really active in terms of walking, shopping, practicing golf etc but prioritising this was actually contributing to his health issues. So we set up three compound exercises with weights for a minimum of 3 reps x 3 sets a day and that’s it!   He can do one exercise, he can do all three, he can add more of other things and he can even skip a day. He has placed his weights in a spot in the house that he walks past often and says that it reminds him to do another set. Three weeks on and he is still going strong.

Realistically the biggest challenge is keeping it up. If it’s too difficult, goes for too long, costs too much, requires you to drive a while to get there, requires childcare, special equipment, you hate it, you already have a busy life or if the stars have to align before you can do it, then it won’t work. And I should know, as I avoided weight-bearing exercise for about 20 years, until now!

Health is about creating a relaxed, easy-to-do lifestyle. To find out how to do that with exercise, grab a copy of my book One Ten Toned and just start today.

To your health and muscles!


Kristy x

Image by www.adrianalfordphotography.com

Veggie Burger – Ray Peat Inspired

low fat, ray peat, weight loss, metabolism,

(Image by www.adrianalfordphotography.com)

While grass-fed meat is definitely on the Ray Peat menu, there is some debate on the forum & groups as to how much everyone should be eating.

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Low Fat Chewy Plum Fudge

ray peat, low fat, weight loss

When people start eating a Dr Ray Peat type of diet they think, “look saturated fat is protective so gimme all the ice cream, let me put butter on everything and what do you mean a handful of grated cheese at every meal may be too much?”

20 kgs (40lbs) overweight a few months later and they wonder what happened!

Saturated fat IS protective, but only in the right doses.

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What I eat in a day – Ray Peat Inspired

coffee, metabolism, ray peat, breakfast, orange juice

I frequently get asked – so what does a day of eating look like for you? So I thought I would document it, to help others out.

  • Note I have updated this to reflect the fact that I am not doing super low fat of 20g a day (or 10% of calories any more.) Click here to read why this came about.

So overall I aim for 1,800 calories – 100g protein, 40g of fat and the rest carbs per day. I won’t always hit these targets, as measuring and counting every ounce of food I eat is not conducive to a balanced, happy life for me. However every quarter or so, I plug everything into cronometer.com to see what’s what, and if anything needs adjusting.

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Rice Slice – Vege Moko

easy cooking, kid friendly cooking. recipe, vegetarian, easy cooking

This dish was created due to the outrageously long-term summer heat in Brisbane and my laziness!

I just don’t want to cook elaborate meals every day, especially after a workday, so we needed to be able to cook something once and eat it for the rest of the week. We do add other things to switch it up, but at least half the cooking and thinking about it is already done.

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Butter “Chicken” Vegetables Recipe

protein fasting, ray peat, vegan, intermittent fasting, metabolism, hormones

Who’s heard of protein fasting?

It’s supposed to be the safest way to tap into autophagy (body protein recycling) without wrecking your metabolism and hormones like regular intermittent fasting tends to do, especially for women.

More on that another time but in the meantime, a big batch recipe that saves you cooking for a few days at least.

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Cardio Workout at Home – High Metabolism

ray peat, high metabolism, cardio, There is no exercise that can actually increase your metabolism per se, only exercise that can lower it – when it’s too hard and extreme it may damage your thyroid and engage stress hormones too often.

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Sweet Paprika Fish Pot with Mango

I keep hearing this a lot in the Ray Peat groups and forums – but what can I eat? So this year, I’m going to find, share and create more food suggestions and recipes to make life easier for myself and everyone else.

I’m not a fan of long-winded, elaborate recipes, I prefer quick and simple, but you can still pick a herb or a spice that can change the dish completely and give it a little pizzazz.

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Dr Ray Peat Inspired Weight Loss

ray peat, weight loss, metabolism, losing fat, healthy

So interesting reading in the RP groups recently and the study where a bunch of guys were given 6,000 calories and no exercise and demonstrated that while their metabolism increased, so too did their fat and other, not so great, health markers.

While the study was extreme, I think it was a great example of how too many people emphasise the increase of calories as the only way to get to health and a higher metabolism using Ray Peat principles. (Anything under 2,500 calories was deemed to be an eating disorder! What?)

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