Does the Autoimmune Protocol Work? I am starting to notice drastic improvements in my health since starting AIP! Below is my experience with some of the changes I have noticed in my first 7 weeks of the AIP/paleo diet.
Health Struggles Before AIP
Before starting AIP I was starting to have health and beauty issues. I noticed my skin looked very grey and dull. I also had blotchy uneven skin and dark spots on my forehead and on my upper lip. An esthetician pointed this out to me and told me it was called melasma and was caused by hormone imbalances that cause your skin cells to be more sensitive to the sun. I no longer felt very beautiful when I looked in the mirror. I told myself it was because I didn’t have time to put on makeup or do my hair anymore because I was focusing on graduate school. Also, I was thinking that maybe I was just starting to age, after all I was 29.
My weight was also creeping up. I had never struggled with weight in my life, and in fact was underweight for a long time due to my Grave’s disease. I was only about 10-15 lbs over my ideal weight but I wasn’t as happy as I used to be with the way clothes fit.
I also had very low energy and would sit at work sometimes and struggle to find the will and the energy to get up and complete a task.
How AIP Has Helped Me
Lifestyle Changes: Diet and Exercise
Recently I started making some lifestyle changes. I am currently taking dance classes (ballet, contemporary, or pole) about once a day. I have also been on the AIP/Paleo diet for 7 weeks now (~1.5 months). Check out my AIP weekly meal prep menus to see what I have been eating.
I weighed myself yesterday and realized that I already lost 11 lbs!
On Oct 10, 2017 I weighed in at 129 lbs, my BMI was 21.47, and my body fat percentage was 25.41%
I started AIP on Jan 2, 2018
On Feb 16, 2018 I weighed in at 118 lbs, my BMI was 19.64, and my body fat percentage was 21.23%
On March 23, 2018 I weighed in at 118 lbs, my BMI was 19.64, and my body fat percentage was 21.57%
BMI Healthy range: 18.5-24.9
Body Fat percentage ranges: Athlete range:14-20% / Fitness Range: 21-24%/ Average Range: 25-31%
So I have been in the healthy range of BMI this whole time but now my body fat percentage went down from average to a range the fitness range. I don’t really want to lose anymore weight than this so hopefully I will be able to continue on AIP while maintaining this current weight.
Reduced Resting Heart Rate
A normal resting heart rate for adults can range from 60-100 beats per minute (BPM). A lower resting heart rate usually implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. My resting heart rate has gone down since starting AIP, although I also started doing more dance classes when I started AIP too, so I could just be improving my fitness in that way. My thyroid disorder actually normally makes my heart run really fast so I am hoping that the reduced heart rate is a reflection of my thyroid calming down.
Oct 10,2017: 81 BPM
Feb 16,2018: 96 BPM
March 5: 93 BPM
March 23: 63 BPM
My skin looks much better
I also have noticed that my skin is bright and vibrant and no longer grey. My acne has subsided. The past few days when I have looked in the mirror I am slightly surprised to like what I see. Suddenly, I feel beautiful and young again. It is amazing how much your health is reflected in your face.
My hair is growing longer and is less frizzy.
I am still working on getting my energy levels up and on trying to improve my Grave’s disease but this drastic progress is keeping me motivated and hopeful that other areas of my health will benefit as well if I stick to it!
Moral of the story is that if you are unhappy with your health, you don’t have to just accept it as a sign of aging. You can change the way you eat and that can drastically affect the way you look and feel!