When people first start on a Ray Peat diet, most find it confusing, overwhelming and contradictory to everything else they’ve ever learned about health.
Then some negative effects start to kick in. They start to wonder if this approach is any good at all. Isn’t a Ray Peat diet supposed to be great for your health? Why do I feel like crap?
At this point, most give it away.
So I wanted to give some perspective from a person who’s experienced all the crappy stuff when starting a Ray Peat diet, got through it and now feels better than ever.
The message is – learn as much as you can, be patient, keep going.
Once your body has undone the last ‘however many years’ of torture you put it through and cleared the lingering disease, you will feel better than ever. Best of all, you’ll never have to start at rock bottom again.
So here are some of the things that happened to me at the start of the Ray Peat diet journey:
Needing to eat all the time – raging hunger
As I was coming off a 10 year Keto diet, my body obviously had trouble processing carbohydrates. So I moved quickly to eating less fat than a Keto diet and more carbohydrates. My body would process the fat for fuel as it had been doing for the last 10 years, and not doing anything useful with the carbs. So my body thought it had to function off half the quantity of fats and would protest with raging hunger.
So I needed to eat every two hours to maintain some kind of even keel and keep functioning. When the hunger hit, it wasn’t a comfortable, ‘oh yeah, I guess I could think about something to eat soon.’ It was an urgent piercing feeling, as if I would pass out on the spot if I didn’t eat something NOW!
It was horrible and felt incredibly out of control.
But slowly over time (like 1-2 years,) my carbohydrate processing improved. I was able to extend the time between meals. Hunger returned to a normal, comfortable slow onset, as now my body’s carbohydrate storage and usage functions were working properly. So if I was running short of fuel, it would now easily take it from glycogen storage in the liver, or muscles if I was using that muscle. Rather than freaking out like it did before.
Feeling dizzy if I just had juice or fruit
Following on from the first point, faulty carbohydrate processing mechanisms in the body were the issues here too.
You often hear the advice to eat each macro at every meal to balance blood sugar. Which it does.
However I’ve discovered via experience that this is only necessary when your carb processing is faulty. Now that mine is fixed, I can drink a whole glass of orange juice by itself first thing in the morning and still feel fabulous. So it’s obviously now clearing it from the bloodstream, into cells which it is supposed to do, but couldn’t do before.
Arthritic pain in the joints
Now I’ve NEVER suffered from this my whole life, but it started when starting a Ray Peat diet. It was mainly in my hands.
Sometimes it was caused by eating too much plain sugar without accompanying nutrients. As soon as I switched to fruit as my sugar source, it went away.
Another cause is eating too much meat. Again this was fixed as soon as I added gelatin or bone broth along with the meal.
This is why understanding your body and how all this works is really important. A minor fix or food combination, and it was gone. In years gone by I would have headed down the path of ‘all sugar is bad, quit eating sugar.’ Or ‘all meat is bad, stop eating meat.’ So then I would miss out on all the pro metabolic benefits and nutrients they bring, just because I didn’t understand what I was doing.
Blemishes on the face
This one was crazy as I didn’t suffer acne even as a teenager. But launching head first into dairy and plain sugar again and also too much overall fat – I later found out – was the cause of these outbreaks.
Once again, fruit instead of plain sugar primarily fixed the issue. I did reduce dairy too but it was for other reasons which I will explain later.
Bloating and cramps from Carrot Salad
This one was wild because everyone says that the carrot salad is the best for your gut. But here I was with a huge balloon gut and in a lot of pain from cramps.
So for a long time, about 6 months, I could only eat about 2 mouthfuls of the carrot salad. So I would make a batch with the coconut oil and vinegar and just have a couple of bites out of the fridge.
Again then over time, whatever was wrong with my gut started to fix itself. Now I can eat a whole medium sized grated carrot in a carrot salad and feel nothing but good. Here is an article on the Carrot Salad, the recipe, benefits and FAQs.
Big boobs, sinus congestion and belly fat from dairy
This happened to me as well and I’ve explained it in a separate article here. It also details how much dairy I’m eating now too.
I’ve said it many times in our private group, at least 80% of those starting a Ray Peat diet put on weight. It’s not the diet itself but the wrong advice to eat way more calories than you normally would in the name of healing.
I’ve written a more detailed article on that here.
Also for me personally, eating too much fat along with the increase in carbs was the culprit for a few extra pounds for me. Switching from a Keto diet, it was difficult to stop making or buying what I normally did. It took a real focus to study what I should be doing instead and what to cook and buy instead. These meal plans and recipes are detailed in my books available here.
This happened to me early on now drinking coffee with sugar and orange juice throughout the day. Also having to eat/drink every 2 hours wasn’t helping.
I now drink everything through a straw and make sure I rinse my mouth with water after any drinks. The increased calcium in the diet and enough sun creating Vitamin D, tended to fix the sensitivity once the straw usage was implemented.
Jitters & feeling anxious after coffee
This is to do with liver function, carbohydrate processing and drinking coffee correctly. Again at the start of your journey even if you are taking in enough carbohydrates with your coffee, if your body can’t process them, it’s not going to help.
So go slowly if this does affect you, it will get better over time. It is worthwhile persisting because when functioning properly, coffee acts like a thyroid supplement and is very worthwhile to your health and weight loss. Again, here is another article where I explain how to have it correctly.
Cold sore flare ups
This can be caused by being run down but also when you eat too much Gelatin. The balance of amino acids Arginine and Lysine are the issue because gelatin has a high amount of arginine in it which cause the herpes virus to flare. So does orange juice apparently so there’s a double whammy for us!
So again, not that Arginine is bad necessarily, but all needs to be in balance to maintain health.
In all of the RP groups whenever anyone mentions constipation, everyone answers with the different remedies that seem to help them overcome it. There were over 50 different things to try! But when you delve a little deeper and understand the mechanisms at play, then your remedy can be more precise. Learn more via my constipation article here.
So as you can see, if we didn’t have everyone to share these experiences, you might be going through all this and thinking that this diet is terrible and not working at all!
Unfortunately with mainstream programs falsely promising 20lbs lost in 10 days, everyone thinks health and weight loss should only take about a month. But it takes years to undo the damage we’ve all done to ourselves.
It took me at least a year to see body temperature increases that were the result of metabolic healing and not stress. So this is why any plan you follow has to be easy, comfortable, and enjoyable to do. It’s the only way you will stick at it long enough to experience the true healing and benefits.
Feel free to join our private Facebook here to discuss it all further. Get started today on a sustainable plan using the ZEN Beach Diet, the 3 Day Summer RESTART and the ONE TEN TONED exercise plan. And never look back!
To our health!