Thursday, July 29, 2021

Surprise things Covid 19 taught me about electrolytes, dehydration, potassium and weight loss

I've been blogging about how I got overweight and then how I lost 100 pounds and recently, about my prolonged bout of Covid 19. Well, let me just say that although Covid 19 was awful and recovery challenging, I have learned some surprising things about obesity, weight loss, calorie restricting, dehydration and electrolytes (particularly potassium). 

I got Covid 19 in early May. Surprise! I was scrupulously careful but it is a tricky disease. I'd waited to get the Covid vaccine because I was recovering from shoulder surgery. Thinking, I guess, that it might make recovery worse. Surprise! Turns out I shoulda gotten it right away because Covid definitely made it more difficult. 

I lost 100 pounds seven years ago and had started calorie restricting again to lose weight gained back after surgery. Covid nausea and diarrhea did provide me with weight loss but also dehydration, exhaustion, dropped metabolism, lethargy and brain fuzz which have continued through July. Surprise! Weight loss also stalled. 

During the Covid fever, I was insanely thirsty but water tasted funny and made me sick. My poop turned orange. My husband (who also had Covid) had brown pee. Surprise! That was dehydration but I was too sick to connect or think to drink Gatorade or coconut water or some beverage with electrolytes. 

But it's a good thing that I was unable to lose weight and shake Covid exhaustion because it sent me researching. First, what is dehydration? Lack of electrolytes. What exactly are electrolytes? Calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium. But I was confused. Sure during Covid I was dehydrated. But normally? I drink water all the time and take calcium, potassium and magnesium supplements and drink Emergen'C. What gives?

Well, I started reading labels and surprise, my potassium supplement only has 2% of the RDA, which BTW is 4,000 mg. So I got some Propel but misread the label. It only has 60mg not 60% RDA. Most "vitamin water" has little potassium. The best is coconut water but even Body Armor Coconut Water only has 10% is a 12-oz serving. 

So why am I now struggling with weight loss and dehydration when I was able to lose weight before? I think one reason is because I switched from calorie restricting to more of a keto diet. I quit eating some high electrolyte foods (potatoes, beans, watermelon, sweet potatoes, bananas) because they're not keto. So I'm not getting enough potassium, at least, on my diet. 

No surprise, most people don't whether they're trying to lose weight or not. That's because most of us, overweight or not, eat the wrong foods. I always source "My 600-lb Life" for roots of obesity.  "My 600-lb Life" patients got overweight and end up needing gastric bypass because of poor diet. Their metabolism is frozen and they end up with diabetes, hypertension, etc. 

You never see anyone on "My 600-lb Life" drinking water and always soda. So yeah, hydration is just a small part of their problem, but is it? I think hydration is at the core. I've found that Covid 19, obesity, metabolism (or lack thereof in metabolic syndrome, aka insulin resistance aka pre-diabetes), hypertension, high cholesterol, liver problems, you name it--all can be remedied with proper hydration and balanced electrolytes. 

More tomorrow on how I lost 100 pounds and diabetes without gastric bypass using a high potassium/magnesium diet. 

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