Mini-Goals - Lost 18 pounds WITH adrenal fatigue! HIIT and opposite dieting strategies

02-05-2013, 10:14 AM
Hola everyone!

I tend to avoid the message board, because it tends to make me a little "obsessive," or "disordered" a bit, but I wanted to drop in and say that I've lost 18 pounds, and I overcame adrenal fatigue/chronic fatigue syndrome (atleast for now I think)!

I've lost 3" from my belly, 4" from my hips, 3" from my waist, 1.5" from each of my arms, and 1.5" from each of my legs! woohoo!

I first started out on a low carb diet, and dropped my calories to about 1,000-1,200 per day, and lost steadily for a few months, but I started to plateau. I wasn't working out, because I was afraid of adding to my fatigue symptoms. With the help of supplements, I started feeling better.

Once my health started to improve a little, I started adding juices to my regimen, and now I've actually upped my calories to 1,500 per day, and I'm eating a vegan, whole foods/mostly organic & raw diet, with hardly any protein! I'm feeling much better with this diet, and actually losing more weight.

Since I droppped my calories so low for such an extended period of time, my metabolism was pretty sluggish. I had to integrate exercise that would raise my metabolic rate, so I integrated HIIT, pilates, and I'm taking CoQ10, thyroid glandular, naicin, iodine, liquid potassium, and I'm still taking adaptogenic herbs so that my body can recover better from the stress of HIIT workouts. This last bit that I started two weeks ago has been responsible for 4 pounds of the total 18 lost, and 2 of the 3 inches lost off of my belly!

HIIT is awesome! But I'm taking it slow and reading my body, because I don't want to force my adrenal glands to over work themselves, and end up overtraining, and ending up with adrenal fatigue symptoms again!

Has anyone else had any success with HIIT?

02-06-2013, 11:22 AM
I guess it's not that cool...

**Walks of meekly with head down

02-06-2013, 11:49 AM
That's awesome about the CFS and the adrenal fatigue subsiding. Congratulations! :carrot:

I have personally never done HIIT but I may one day.

02-07-2013, 03:09 PM
Congrats, that IS awesome!

i too have CFS and HIIT did it for me however pretty much any exercise causes me to have flu like symptoms but i just endure it until i know i need to take a couple days off. I've lost 90 lbs with CFS so it can be done and yes like you said the key is listening to your body and not pushing it

My HIIT consisted of walking up my graduated hill as fast as i could (i'd be gasping for breath) and the recovery phase was on the way down (i live on a dead end street) and i do that about 4X in a row, took me a long time to work up to that but i can do it now.

Enjoy your success, most people have no clue what it's like to live with CFS especially since we don't "look" sick!

02-07-2013, 03:21 PM

02-07-2013, 03:28 PM
I'm really proud of you! Dealing with weight loss while having adrenal fatigue is daunting. You're dedication to understanding your body is paying huge dividends!!!

03-07-2013, 10:39 PM

This post was a godsend to me!

Some BG: I'm a mom of 2, who has gained and lost 60+ weight 2 times in my life (first time lost weight in High School, other time after first son).

I am 5'8" and and am on my THIRD weight loss journey after the birth of my second son, and I'm telling you, everything is different.

Before it was easy; Eat LESS Exercise MORE. Weight lost! At first my same routine worked. I started at 210 this time and got down to 170 (my goal was 160) then something went wrong. My hair started falling out, the weight loss stopped and started to REVERSE despite running 3-5 miles a day and eating low carb/low calories. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't handle stress, I felt panicky, my period was all weird and various other issues. I didn't know what was going on, so me being the "go getter" I just pushed further, with NO results.

Fast forward 1 1/2 years to now. A lot more stressful events happened, which required me to stop working out, so I slowly put on about 10 pounds. I tried various different approached to losing weight, with no avail (less carbs, less calories, more calories, more carbs, clean eating, you name it.). I completed the Insanity workout ( plus two months) felt great, but I GAINED 12 pounds! I couldn't believe it! Followed the program to a "T", but it put me at my current weight of 192 :(. I've tried working out again, running, strength training, etc, and I always seem to put on MORE weight when I work out.

I'm certain I have adrenal fatigue, and probably insulin resistance (entire family on both sides has diabetes, but not me yet). My recurrent weight losses were pretty unhealthy, I'm a recovered bulimic (7 years ago), and live a very stressful life, and I'm positive I've blasted my system to garbage :p

I'm so lost on how to proceed to lose weight, and be healthy with adrenal fatigue, and DESPERATE to see progress with weight loss. It sucks because I DO have the dedication and willpower to do whatever it takes to lose weight, but what SHOULD work doesn't any more. I also have public events in 2-3 months, and I'd love to drop even a little weight by then.

So help me, please ReanBean! :p

Here's my information, and what I'm currently doing.

Age: 30
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 192 :(
Activity: I work at home drawing, so I sit for a large part of the day. I started back at the gym again but am unsure on what I should be doing (don't want to stress the adrenals more) so I just strength train and do cardio 45 mins. LOW impact under 140 bps heart rate.

I will say I have great muscle tone, and hold my weight well, but the fat will NOT come off!

Diet: I try to eat lowish carbs (anywhere between 30 - 60 a day), because of my diabetic family, and as clean as I can make it. I usually eat around 1200 - 1500 calories a day.

Basically right now I am eating low amounts of food, and exercising little, and my weight sticks at the same weight. What can I do to make me lose?!

Also, I am curious on the various supplements you take and what they do. I just started to take Ashwaghanda and a multi. What else should I be doing?

Sorry for the long post! I'm so excited and hopeful! And GREAT job for losing the weight! :carrot:

03-28-2013, 02:56 PM
Hey comicbookmommy! Sorry, I didn't realize that you posted in response until today!

And sorry, this post will be pretty long!

I have been experimenting with my diet as of late, and have found great success in eating a whole foods diet. Low carb is essentially the same concept, in that you cut out the majority of processed foods -- both of these diets are excellent for restoring balance to a tired body.

I would say, the best thing for success is consistency. For months, I ate 1/3 of a dark chocolate (72% cocoa) every night, and consistently lost weight, but almost NEVER cheated on my diet. It's sooo difficult to do, but make changes that you want to make for the rest of your life.

I'm still struggling with some fatigue symptoms, but I no longer consume ANY caffeine, and I feel pretty dang good most of the day.

I'd have to say that cutting out sugar and refined carbohydrates was the only thing that helped me in the beginning. Now, my diet is as follows (i'm trying be strict, but I fall of the wagon because I'm working at a job I hate right now, and I feast sometimes- gotta stop!!)

I have had TREMENDOUS success with this diet (lost 6 pounds in two days after feasting for a couple of days), but I've needed to supplement with extra food at dinner time every other day.

Breakfast : banana, pineapple & kiwi smoothie with chia seeds & ground flax seed (YUM! 323 calories)

Lunch: weight loss soup :-P (, ~ 3 giant spoonfulls with a cup of brown rice mixed in with tamari sauce (432 calories)

Dinner: Juice (one organic apple, LOTS of crazy lettuces, 2 small organic carrots, 1/2 beet, 1/2 lemon) YUM! And I usually have a glass of wine, or Avocado and Tomato slices with 2 over easy eggs. (300-400 calories)

Okay, this is all good and great, but I honestly think that without the supplements my body would resist weight loss 100%.

-At breakfast I take a bunch of adaptogens, and without them I feel like garbage. I get shaky when I need to speak in meetings at work, and I can't handle the stress. These adaptogens allow your body to cope with stress, and I WISH I'd known about them when I started to write my thesis and stopped sleeping. I buy these in extract form- the dropper bottle, and I pour about an ounce of water into a tiny glass, then put all of my adaptogens in, swirl around, and take it like a shot. I then add a little more water, and do this twice to get all of it.

*Ashwaghanda- great for inflammation and the stress response
*Licorice root- blocks reabsorption of cortisol, so your body doesn't keep reproducing more and more, for those with a propensity to stress out, like me.
*Siberian Ginseng (essential to recovering from adrenal fatigue. I forgot why :-P)

I'm also on a very strict budget, so I spend $50 every month (swanson vitamins online) on various extracts and vitamins. So over the months I've gradually built up an arsenal of adrenal fatigue combatants.

-At lunch I take the following supplements: Vitamin C (essential for recovering the adrenal glands, 500-1000mg), Calcium, Magnesium (essential for absorption of calcium), a nulti-vitamin, and vitamin-D.

-Dinner is one of the most important times. I get a lot of vitamins from my juice, and I add potassium and lugol's iodine to the juice. I then supplement further with Thyroid glandular, DHEA, Coenzyme Q10, liquid B-complex(Walmart), and Niacin (B3) (megadoses, start with 50-500mg, work your way up to 1000 mg). Buy Niacin last, as a lot of people don't like Niacin, but I love it! It turns my skin red, it burns a little, I get super hot, and I feel like my system is detoxifying. It's addictive if you like it :P It's not necessary, but I feel like Niacin is necessary for my health.

The other thing is, make sure you don't over-exercise. 45 minutes is probably too much. I don't do more than 20-30 minutes. If you eat whole foods, and allow your body to eliminate toxins with healthy foods, you will be far better off than working out so hard.

It's also a good idea to look into which foods you should buy organically and which are okay to buy conventionally. That's why my smoothies contain 3 fruits that I don't need to buy organic- because my husband likes them too! :)

04-21-2013, 08:43 AM
Hi reanbean

Congratulations! That's so lovely and good for you :-)

I have adrenal fatigue and I the question from me you is, can I tell you my "story" and ask you some questions too?

04-21-2013, 12:35 PM
Yes, of course :)

04-23-2013, 06:51 AM
Thank you, i will. I am from Denmark, so maybe it will take some time to write it ;-) And I just found this site a few days ago :-)

04-30-2013, 08:12 AM
Hi again :)

In august 2012 I went to a special clinic and had a blood and saliva test done and the result was, that I have adrenal fatigue (with too low cortisol, not high, thyroid and hormone problems).
My body was totally ¨shut down¨ many places and I didn't produce any hormones (almost any hormones), and my body was in menopause, though I'm only 35 (34 at the time).

I have a lot of hormone imbalances and I have had them for years and I have PCOS. And I know that the stress in my life also plays a big big part in all of this.

I was put on a lot of natural food supplements and natural progesterone gel and was ordered to rest much more. I have taken special supplement for 7 months and I have stopped in april because it is very expensive and I'm not sure, that it is working the way it should. I did a blood and saliva test again in January this year and some of the thing were actually getting worse according to the numbers on the scale in the test....hmmmm.

Now, that was the short version ;)

When did you know you had adrenal fatigue? And how much of the adaptogens do you take every day? And have you read the book Adrenal Fatigue by James L. Wilson?

Many of the foodsupplements I buy in England, because i unfortunately can't get them in Denmark :( And worldwide delivery is so expensive.

05-07-2013, 06:42 PM
hey reanbean do you have thyroid problems also?

05-08-2013, 01:02 AM
That's a good question, and I'm not sure, I've never gotten it checked out. But I read the Gerson therapy, and he claims that nearly everyone has thyroid issues to some extent, so I supplement w/ thyroid glandular to be on the safe side. I should probably stop taking them after a while, but I've only been on them for 2-3 mos.

05-08-2013, 01:27 AM
CHH, I found out about my adrenal fatigue Sep 2012. I take a squirt of each adaptogen every morning. I could definitely take more throughout the say, but it's a pain to carry them around. I haven't read the book, but I've read into what everyone else has found out from reading it.
I basically experiment with a bunch of vitamins & hormones to see what works for me. I think the pregnenolone might help the most.

A whole foods diet turned out to be too difficult to stick to for me, so now I'm on a very high fat (>70%), moderate protein (~25%), low carb(<10%) diet, and it's been working fabulously for me. This is known as the ketogenic diet. All natural sources of protein, organic etc. and less than 4 oz. of meat. The only crummy part is that my muscles feel achy, but I supplement w/ K+ and it goes away. I'm told that once I'm keto adapted (~2 wk) I'll start feeling better.

I think vitamin C, Mg, Ca, D, and B-complex are essential for proper healing. I supplement additively on top of my multivitamin. I also megadose with niacin because I love niacin flushes, and I take DIM and use progesterone cream because I have estrogen dominance (& probably PCOS/uterine fibroids).

I hope this helps a bit.

Try out, they have incredible deals. I spend 50$ every month (literally the only $ I spend on myself), get the necessities, and then I get to try new stuff when I have my necessities stockpiled up. Also, basic megadose of C, Mg, Ca, D, etc. can be bought at any large supercenter or grocery store cheap.

05-08-2013, 01:29 AM
P.S. Don't work out too hard on a ketogenic diet. Jogging or light aerobics is excellent. I lost 5 lbs in 3 days, and a week later it hasn't come back :p

05-08-2013, 01:32 AM
P.P.S. I'm posting on my smart phone, so autocorrect probably snagged some wrong words, so I'm sorry if some of the sentences don't make sense. I can't always see the entire text box :p

05-18-2013, 06:08 AM
Thank you for your response :D

I eat paleo diet. Mostly fish as my protein with a lot of vegetables. I eat a little Udo's Choice oil every day (2 table spoons) and fish oil (1 table spoon). When my fatique is very bad and i'm so tired and stressed out, i crave almonds and dry fruit (yes, those carbs....). But i'm extremely intolerant and my digestion goes totally dead and stops, when i eat almonds and dry fruit. And i feel sick like a have a the flu... Gotta stay off carbs from other than vegetables. Well, it is a big problem and have been all my life with my digestion :(

I haven't eaten gluten, sugar, dairy products for over 5 years now, and that has helped a lot with my digestion problems. I never ever eat it, not even a taste and i make all my food myself - never by processed food or things like that.

I also eat vitamin C, Mg, Ca, D, B-compelx, vitamin E, Arctic Root, Licorice Root Extract (600 mg), Chrome, Probiotics, HCI, and Enzymes every day, but i still feel that a need more/something else besides all of that.
I would like to take some more adaptogens licorice. I drink licorice tea every day from organic roots.

My problem is, that i need extremely high doses to even feel anything or to just give a little respons, because my pain tolerance is non existing after a big operation 12 years ago and that have destroyed my nervous system big time. I live with chronic pain every day and my nervous system is constantly in alert after the operation. So my response to stuff is very bad. I never eat painkillers, because i get sick i my stomach and all of my body.
I'm extremely sensitive to everything, from the food i eat (can't eat too much, too little, i need to eat at the same times every day because of my bloodsugar), noises, heat/cold, and my light sensitivity is enormous! I get so sick when i'm exposed to too much light, both winter and summer.

I live very "clean" and organic and i often crave protein. Therefore i began eating paleo long time ago. The paleo diet helps my bloodsugar, which very quickly gets too low or much to high both with and without too many carbs. I don't crave carbs during the day, it is in the evening, but not every evening.

Can you describe what you eat in a day, some examples from your ketonic diet? And have you tried other diets to help your adrenal fatigue?

Even though a have eaten so many natural food supplements for many months (the ones i have described here i still eat, but i have eaten so much more, all natural and what my doctor prescripted), i don't feel much better, unfortunately.

A couple of month ago a had a saliva and bloodtest done again (so that is 2 times within 7 month) to see how my response was, eating all the food supplement and taking progesterone gel. And i was so disappointed, because my morning cortisol was even lower than last time (and there i was also too low...) and my DHEA was much to low to. My progesterone was a little bit higher, but still to low on the scale. My free T3 is also still too low.
I can't loose weight, the fat i need to loose, especially on my stomach (cortisol-fat) want get off no matter what i do. Until 2012, i have always been able to loose weight, without problems, but not now.

I have checked out swanson, but i can't by from them because i live in an EU country, so i will have to pay a lot of extra taxes. But i found out, that swanson has an website in England, but they are currently redesigning it....

Can you tell me some more about the swanson products you use? And how much licorice to you take and also your other adaptogens?

What does the niacin do for you and what does DIM and HIIT mean? Sorry, i don't know...:?:

Kind regards,

Charlotte :^:

05-18-2013, 08:02 AM
this is so interesting. i think i might have adrenal fatigue ....

reanbean- what are the adoptants? is it a sort of herbs or vitamins,minerals??? is the licquorice that you take the same licquorice that you buy in store in sweets department??
i take one multivitamin pill a day that enough?

01-05-2014, 10:26 PM
Hello Reanbean, I too am from Iowa and am working on my Adrenal fatigue and trying to lose wt. I am trying the5:2 Fast diet. Have not been totally committed
but getting there. Hope to hear from you I am looking for support.

01-06-2014, 12:00 AM
Hi all,
Sorry I took so long to respond. Adaptogens are usually herbs that balance your body. HIIT is high-intensity-interval-training.

I went off of my stupendous low carb diet for a couple of months (holidays!!) and put on 15 lbs, so now I'm going on an extreme diet.

Applecrisp, you may want to be careful fasting with adrenal fatigue. It can make your condition worse. I've been intermittently fasting the last 3 days, but I make sure to keep my carbs under 20g to stay in ketosis.

As of the last 3 days, I wait until 6pm or later to eat, and I have melted coconut oil mixed with Maca (an adaptogen, the only kind of adaptogen I'm taking now), and a couple drops of stevia extract. The first 2 days i also had a small chicken breast or lunch meat drenched in cheese, cream cheese, and ranch dressing.

Today I just had the coconut oil, and I'm seriously considering eating something else, but probably won't. It's 10pm, why bother? I also painted the walls for 3 hours. I feel great.

To stave off hunger the first day, I took 2g of L-tryptophan & 88mg saffron. The next days I skipped the hunger suppressants, and I took 400 mg magnesium and 600mg calcium twice per day, as well as a prenatal vitamin since I'm hardly eating anything. I only drink water, but when I got headaches I drank chicken broth.

The first day was very uncomfortable, with severe headache, but by increasing magnesium & calcium intake, and eating very little the first day, I only had keto flu for one day, and woke up energized, happy, and not hungry at all the 2nd day.

Liquid potassium or lots of potassium in pill form works wonders for sore muscles in ketosis, but I don't have any right now. BE aware that if you take more magnesium than you need, you will have watery stool, and might want to take less.

It's important not to eat more than 20g of carbs per day when you're significantly lowering your calorie intake, otherwise your blood sugar goes all over the place, you feel starving, and you rebound and eat a BigMac.

For me personally, I've had eating issues for years, so waiting until dinner to eat is literally the only way that my body will give up its precious fat stores. Other people can eat much more.

-what is most important is that you understand how carbs make adrenal fatigue worse.
-some people say that going on a raw diet with tons of fruit will cure adrenal fatigue. Well it did NOT for me. I just felt more tired, and more starving each day. SEE WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU.

In the morning of the 3rd, I was 157, today (the 5th) I came in at 151.

This works best for me. GOSH THAT WAS LONG :p
P.S. I'm writing this from my phone, so sorry for the typos.

01-06-2014, 12:24 AM
One more thing. I took all of my adaptogens in extract (tincture) form, except now I only take Maca, and it's a powder. Mixed with melted coconut oil & stevia, it tastes like nut butter. Yum!

Licorice root isn't the same as the fruit twists. You can find it at most health food stores, and it would be in a brown dropper bottle. Most adaptogens also come in pill form, but they are not as effective.

Normally, I (used to) just put the recommended number of drops into a very small amount of water, swirl it around, and chug. Then rinse & repeat. I keep my vitamin costs per month under $50, so I've dropped most adaptogens. Plus, I obtained my master's finally, and I have less stress. These days I feel much better, but I can tell that I'm still affected, so I don't drink coffee, and I go to bed on time, And I try to laugh a lot. I'm blessed with a good boss these days.

I still feel tired a lot, but not the last couple of days. I generally feel great once my body is in ketosis, and has a constant fuel source-fat. Woohoo!

01-06-2014, 09:16 AM
Reanbean, on the fast days I eat low carb and divide up 500 cal. for the day usually about 10am and 6pm. My plan is to do South Beach other days as recommended by my Dr. Thank you for your advice and will really see in the next couple of days what I can handle.

01-06-2014, 01:59 PM
That sounds like a good idea. Let me know how it works out for you. I was able to lose about 12 lbs. just doing low carb with moderate calorie intake at the start. Now it's taking a little bit more effort on my part to lose weight.

I weighed in at 150 this morning. Woohoo 7 pounds down in 3 days!

I'm going to a tradeshow for the next 5 days, so hopefully I can avoid all of the food! Yikes!

Let me know how the dieting is going. I've never tried South Beach, only Atkins and the Ketogenic Diet. I also tried Jamie Eason's Live Fit program (2 months), and that was pretty much low carb. HOLY COW, she is crazy fit! She's my HERO! ( To get into shape for a bikini modeling session that requires her to look softer, she just stops lifting weights... lucky...

01-18-2014, 01:47 PM
Update: I've lost about 12 lbs doing my intermittent fasting in Ketosis so far, so only 3 more holiday pounds to go (145 this morning).

I WAS down to 142 at one point. I'm hoping that I can get into the 130's, and then I'll be closer to what I was after my husband and I were married :)

01-18-2014, 01:49 PM
In my signature, I was either in the 130's, or the 120's, gotta get back there!

01-23-2014, 05:03 PM
Reanbean, Hi I'm still fasting 2 days(Mon.& thurs.) 500cals. each day. Now I am looking into The Low GL diet. You seem very knowledgable about Adrenal Fat. and just wondered if you knew any thing about this diet? I have lost alittle so far and the fast days are getting easier. Now I have to find the best way to eat on non-fast days. I am reducing carbs slowly. It's hard I sometimes really crave them. Thanks for your input.

01-23-2014, 09:36 PM
Great thread- thank you! I don't have CFS, but my poor diet and soda consumption were out of control so I felt exhausted from the moment I woke up in the morning. 2 weeks ago, I started high protein, low carb, low fat diet and quit soda and anything else caffeinated. The first week was ****, but I'm feeling so awesome now!! My energy hasn't been this good in years!!

One more thing- I want to tell you that I'm impressed and proud of your weight loss. Many of us would use those health issues as excuse to not lose weight. You faced them head on and kicked butt!!

01-31-2014, 08:20 AM
Its great that you have found a vegetarian diet to be good for you. Although it is a mistake to keep protein low. I think the recommended about minimum is about 25% of the daily diet. You need to rebuild tissues and keep all that side of things going. Worth looking up to see what else protein is used for. e.g. hair condition, nails, skin renewal, healing in general. Good sources for vegans would be beans, lentils, nuts. Check out my salad in my vegetarian food diary in that section. Called, a highly uninteresting title A Diet Blog. Incidentally i'm losing weight easily and not doing any exercise yet. I think its also good you increased your calories. Sounds like they wear unhealthily low.

I think you are being scammed. I think if you would read this link and consider diagnosis of the other possible conditions described such as sleep apnoea, depression or adrenal insufficiency, you may find a better explanation of your symptoms when you are feeling them. Its a good article, clear and logical right to the end unlike the articles written by naturopaths that i've read e.g. a certain Dr Lam. And it doesn't try to bamboozle you with pseudo scientific nonsense.

"The adrenals are a pair of glands that sit on the kidneys and produce several hormones, including the stress hormones epinephrine and norepiniephrine that are associated with the “fight or flight” response. Can you tire these glands out? In the absence of any scientific evidence, chiropractor and naturopath James Wilson coined the term “adrenal fatigue” in his 1998 book of the same name."\

"Fake diseases are compilations of various symptoms into conditions without any scientific basis. Peter Lipson has examined this in detail here at SBM. As Dr. Lipson points out, it’s human nature to want answers and to understand patterns of symptoms. Defining a cluster of symptoms in general terms is the first mistake. Symptoms need to be collated in a rational way to understand the parameters of the disorder. With adrenal fatigue, there’s no objective operational description, nor is there a validated symptom score. Using a vague list of symptoms to identify patients is the second mistake. While laboratory tests are advertised for identifying adrenal fatigue, there’s no persuasive data to demonstrate that blood or saliva tests provide any meaningful information, or are correlated with any underlying pathology."