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  • Your Brain on weight loss

    Ok, in a ranting fashion here I go…. I am realll tired of seeing people eating low calorie diet and going VLC/ZC as a last resort. Primal is not a low calorie diet. It is a health and nutrition based diet. With that said

    *I disagree with Taubes that insulin=fat(unless this is the ultimate stressor)
    *I disagree calories are something that need to be counted(unless you overeat causing a stressor)
    *I disagree macros are something that need to be counted(unless again, your creating a sressor)

    I have an awkward background to be talking about this, but please take it from someone who has experienced more physical problems and ailments than many people. If you think you have thyroid problems, there something wrong ELSEWHERE and treating the symptoms is not gonna help long twerm. If you think your adrenals are exhausted treating the symptoms isn’t gonna help. If you cant sleep, ODing melatonin isn’t gonna help. I am talking long term here, real health. I have learned a LOT through self experimentation, reading and studying nutrition. I don’t really like to talk about ‘how to lose weight’ but IMO, there are SO MANY PEOPLE on this forum doing it wrong I just need to say some stuff..

    First, gaining weight is IMHO, 100% due to how your brain handles stress. It is ALL in your head. Gaining and losing weight and sitting at your set point is basically an open system, all determined by how your brain handles life and how flexible it is. This, was determined in your mother’s womb. There is nothing you can do about how your brain responds to what IT thinks is a stressor.
    To quote:
    The amplification model of the set point pressupposes that at lower levels of bodyfat, the body's primitive physiological and survival instincts are heightened or 'amplified.' That is, we are more alert, vigilant, notice hunger more, are aroused (generally) more. Stress-induced symptoms are also amplified and augmented by lowered bodyfat such that immunosuppression and the optimal functioning of the HPG axis are contraindicated. In addition, and of special import here, the capacity to emotionally regulate or 'autoregulate' in the face of exogenous environmental perturbation is also contraindicated. In order to explain this, I offer another example.

    So, if your body handles low calories as a stressor, your NOT going to lose weight but what you will do is dysregulate your opiod sensitivity, your leptin levels and sensitivity, your thyroid and your adrenals. This is ALL the result of how your brain takes to caloric restriction. This determines whether someone gains or loses weight. A diet all starts in your head. How you perceive it, analyze it, manage it, everything that goes into how you ‘diet’ is ALL a stressor to your body. I don’t think enough people realize this. If you are waking up to step on the scale, that’s a stressor. If you wake up and immediately think about food, that’s a stressor. If your sitting at your desk job ‘intermittent fasting’ thinking about dinner, that’s a stressor. If you HITT too often, that’s a stressor. How you mentally take to dieting determines how your diet reacts in your body composition.

    I see this pattern on this forum: Bob goes primal, 30 days in he has only lost ‘5 lbs’ and expected to look like old school Schwarzenegger at the end of the month. The fact that he came to this forum, posted and is frustrated signals a stressor overload. He is frustrated because of food (this is a strange concept…TO MOST of the world). So he aims to modulate his diet even further cutting x y and z via rigidity and mental determination…stressor 2. Lets say Bob is looking to get a 6 pack for the beach. We can now add in an exogenous social stressor not to mention a perceived expectancy in a certain time frame. Coming to post at MDA stresses him further as he feels he might be on the cusp of rejection or a failed attempt at establishment of what appears to be a potentially positive diet. More stress. Being told to not eat so much damned food, Bob becomes incredibly sensitive to his surroundings and environment. The emotional response triggered from starting this diet has led now to an emotional attachment and desire for food or the ‘perfect combo’. He reads his thyroid need checked, test levels, hormones, SOMETHING MUST BE INCREDIBLY WRONG with Bob…add 10x more stress as he fears for his body health. Every stressor compromises your hypothalamic-CNS connections, which are going to determine whether you gain or lose weight- always.

    To quote:” As noted in Young-Hwan Jo et al. (2001) "the hypothalamus coordinates motivation and emotion-related features of feeding behavior (via direct interactions with medial prefrontal; mPFC and cingulate cortex, basal forebrain, and medial septal nuclei; MS/BF) with more fundamental aspects of appetitive and aversive responses (via interaction with nucleus accumbens, ACC, amygdala, AMYG, ventral tegmental area (VTA-dopamine); substantia nigra and raphe (serotonin); e.g., Bittencourt and Elias, 1998; Broberger et al., 1998; Peyron et al., 1998; Stratford and Kelley, 1999; Pajolla et al., 2001; Fadel and Deutch, 2002)." The Young-Hwan Jo group further note that it is the interactions of the hypothalamus that convey the emotional salience of feeding "context" from the cortex to the brainstem autonomic nuclei (e.g., NTS, PBr, VLM) and focally to the fundamental visceral motor and sensory mediators of biting, chewing, and swallowing (Cranial nerve nuclei, 7-9-10).
    The issue of NPY receptor desensitization is an interesting one and certainly has application although a critical question to be answered is in regards to the time-course of receptor perturbations. The idea of this route of modifying body-fat set point downstream of leptin-NPY signalling in the ARC-PVN; ARC-LH; or DMN-VMN axis' stems from the finding that increased NPYmRNA and/or NPY production does not result (necessarily) in obesity and that Y1 receptor sensitivity (in particular) is associated with hyperphagia and obesity. Indeed, it appears that NPY receptors Y1 and Y5 may play at least a tantamount role in phagic dysregulation as NPY itself does. If receptor sensitization can amplify even a little bit of NPY and create such a drastic effect, then it would appear that receptor desensitization would promote a similar orthogonal outcome. In the case of severe and prolonged semi-starvation there is a marked increase in NPY production in an effort to drive feeding. However, given cognitive control over this biological push, what we have is a whole lot of NPY (and other upregulated orexigenic peptides) contantly pounding on their receptors. Such a prolonged, sustained and high intensity transmission may 'desensitize' these receptors, which then would indirectly reduce feeding by requiring a whole lot of NPY”

    When we talk about weight loss and set point I think this should be understood: We don't change setpoint, we change or alter those systems that control it. That is where the brain and stress come in.
    If you eat something, and you get the shits, this is the brain responding to stress. Whatever you ate, the brain sensed as a stressor. Let’s say you eat a bowl of oatmeal, BS shoots up to 3845623845(that’s a stretch, hah). This is not due to your liver and pancreas sucking, it IS due to your brain perceiving what you ate as a stressor and to deal with the stressor YOUR BRAIN initiated the spastic liver-pancreas BS rise. It was not the carbohydrates, it was the stressor. If you have a buttered mahi mahi fillet for dinner but you start sweating, get constipated and have oddball hypoglycemia followed by hyperglycemia, again, the response of your brain to a stress (the food) that it didn’t like. If you excalate for FFA with excess circulating, your brain sensed stress and reacted- again, not exactly anything to do with what you ate.

    The point of primal should be to find what works for you by how your BRAIN reacts to food. For example, I have nothing against bell peppers, but I get diarrhea every time I eat them and they spike the living sh*t out of my BS (when in reality this makes no sense). It’s because my brain senses peppers are a stressor and reacts. However, I can eat a sweet potato and have a very small rise in BS and a very predictable transit time out the other end. If I am stressing about work, family, boyfriend all day and eat a ‘PERFECT primal palate’ for dinner nice and high in fat and my BS spikes, it is my brain dealing with environmental stress and food just aint to be part of that, so, spike BS but nothing to do with what I am eating.

    Everybody, who wants to lose weight and get to their ‘set point’ need to realize it isn’t what you eat as much as is IT how your brain responds to food. Not all carbs will spike your BS, not all fats will spike your BS, not all protein will spike your BS. Obviously, every time you eat your BS rises simply because an exogenous stress has entered your body but when acted upon as a good stress, you body self regulates. When acted upon as a bad stress, you get bad responses. Not about calories, not about carbs. Tallow may be the best thing in the world for ONE person, but cause acne, inflammation and IBS for another. Coconut oil may be God’s gift of health for one but not for another. Same with potatoes, nightshades, EVERY FOOD in the ‘primal list’.

    Making primal work for you lies in finding and making your primal list and focusing on and DEALING with what stresses you(in all parts of life). But it is so underemphasized here how much of a role your brain plays in this.
    Get on my Level
    http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

  • #2
    This... will not end well.
    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

    Comment


    • #3
      However, while I generally agree with you I do think some foods have just been historically linked to weight loss/gain. So while it may be (or is) the brain that ultimately recognizes food as either safe or not, if 90% of people have issues with “x” food then I think it’s not negligent to say “you probably shouldn’t eat so much X” without having to ask the person “how does your brain feel about x?” you know?

      But I am in agreement with almost all you’re saying. It’s ALWAYS the people that worry the least, or think about all this stuff the least that have the most success in terms (primarily) of body composition.

      Look at the Unconquerable Dave, he was all “WHAT?! IF IT MOVED OR GREW I ATE IT, I LIFTED SOME HEAVY STUFF THEN I PUT IT BACK DOWN. THAT’S ABOUT ALL I REMEMBER”

      Remember Steve-o? I think he’s still around. His 7 month transformation made me want to head-butt the wall. When asked how he did it he gave a somewhat lose account on how he lives, but he did make sure to mention how little he stressed about things, from memory: “I fasted… intermittently, and usually by chance. I didn’t bother to cut out x, y, z … I sprinted… sometimes and I did some lifting”

      Two strong examples of two people that simply ate primal, tried not to let that be a cause for stress, and just lived their day to day. I can’t say with 100% certainty that they didn’t stress about it, but it doesn’t sound like they did.

      I just think that weight loss is such an important thing for people, for millions of reasons all equally important (even vanity to an extent) that it’s hard NOT to give it some thought and if that becomes a stressor then what can one really do about it? Forgetting about it is really not all that easy.
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

      Comment


      • #4
        i'm coming from an eating disordered background as well and i've been seeing more and more than numbers really don't rule or help weight loss/gain and health. means a lot that you put this out there!

        thanks
        ☆*☆my journal☆*☆

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        • #5
          I agree with Iniquity. This will not end well, but I also think there is something to the idea that stressing/obsessing about weight (and even health or fertility) often only makes matters worse. Each to his own but stressing, obsessing, counting, tabulating, etc. just doesn't work for my personality (it stresses me out WAY too much) which is why I dearly love primal. I also think keeping the primary focus on something rather than weight and examining our relationship with food is a really good idea. I think a very worthy primal goal is getting back to listening and understanding the natural rhythms of our body in relation to food/fuel. CW nonsense and a horrible food supply have taken that away from us and we need to reclaim it.
          True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
          The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl

          Comment


          • #6
            I really like the provocative nature, but don't 100% agree with the seemingly dogmatic approach to linking all physiological responses with psychological state.

            Certain foods in large amounts WILL invoke a dangerous rise in BG with subsequent insulin spike no matter what the stress level (perceived or otherwise) of the individual. Granted, stressing about it will worsen the effects.

            That being said, stress is a MAJOR component in weight, health, and longevity. In fact, I'm willing to state that I believe it is FAR more important than food.

            Originally posted by MalPaz
            Making primal work for you lies in finding and making your primal list and focusing on and DEALING with what stresses you(in all parts of life). But it is so underemphasized here how much of a role your brain plays in this.
            Loved this, btw.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by shat View Post
              I agree with Iniquity. This will not end well, but I also think there is something to the idea that stressing/obsessing about weight (and even health or fertility) often only makes matters worse. Each to his own but stressing, obsessing, counting, tabulating, etc. just doesn't work for my personality (it stresses me out WAY too much) which is why I dearly love primal. I also think keeping the primary focus on something rather than weight and examining our relationship with food is a really good idea. I think a very worthy primal goal is getting back to listening and understanding the natural rhythms of our body in relation to food/fuel. CW nonsense and a horrible food supply have taken that away from us and we need to reclaim it.
              Agreed, and thanks MalPaz for the information. This is kind of what I was wondering in a thread I just created... the longterm effects of semi-starvation on the body (or as you point out, the brain). And I agree that Primal eating is more about listening to your body & eating what is right for you instead of the typical recommendations for weight loss or good health.
              Jen, former Midwesterner, living in the middle of nowhere.

              Comment


              • #8
                How dare you disagree with His Garyness!!

                interesting thread and I agree to an extent that chilling the funk out goes a long way towards dropping that extra ass or two...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Is there a cliff notes version of this available?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nomad1 View Post
                    Is there a cliff notes version of this available?
                    to be healthy you must stop worrying about being healthy

                    i really liked this...i'm a huge fan of the mind-body connection. i think i've been pretty successful with being primal and i think it's because i largely come at it from a pretty laid back perspective. sure, i have goals, but not deadlines...and none of my goals really have any sort of number attached to them. this really reduces my stressors.
                    but, i think a lot of people think they need to be detail oriented and work really hard to lose weight, get fit, or whatever. i certainly thought that at first, and i'm a pretty easy going guy to begin with. i imagine it's really difficult for some people to loosen their grip.
                    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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                    • #11
                      thanks for the responses guys! yeah, i do study the brain a lot so 99% of my knowledge in health in based out of the brain
                      Get on my Level
                      http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Funkadelic Flash View Post
                        Certain foods in large amounts WILL invoke a dangerous rise in BG with subsequent insulin spike no matter what the stress level (perceived or otherwise) of the individual. Granted, stressing about it will worsen the effects.
                        that is making my point....who in their right 'mind' is going to eat something to the point of provoking a dangerously high insulin level? something is sidetracking and stressing the brain, causing this binging effect on food.
                        Get on my Level
                        http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MalPaz View Post
                          that is making my point....who in their right 'mind' is going to eat something to the point of provoking a dangerously high insulin level? something is sidetracking and stressing the brain, causing this binging effect on food.
                          Forgive me; I gathered you meant it was purely the mind that controlled the release, not that the mind would lead people to consume foods of a quantity to lead to such releases. That being said, I believe we agree.

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                          • #14
                            Found some more brain-adrenal-cortisol stuff i like...

                            It All Starts In The Brain (The Really Technical Stuff)
                            Adrenal gland function and release of cortisol is a coordination of three different structures in the brain:
                            1. Hippocampus — Inside the temporal lobe of your brain, the hippocampus regulates the circadian rhythm of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
                            2. Mesencephalic reticular formation (MRF) — Within the brain stem itself, the MRF is responsible for promoting a sympathetic response in the body. It does so via excitation of the intermediolateral cell column (IML) in the spinal cord, which stimulates the adrenal medulla to release epinephrine and norepinepherine.
                            3. Hypothalamus — There are a number of nuclei within the hypothalamus, one of which is called the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). The PVN of the hypothalamus receives a variety of inputs that ultimately results in secretion or suppression of cortisol by the adrenal glands.
                            
The Stress Response, 2010
                            The PVN is considered to be the final common structure where numerous different inputs initiate a stress response. Cytokines from the immune system, neurotransmitters from the nervous system, input from the limbic system (emotions), and hormones from the endocrine system all converge to elicit a stress response from the HPA axis at the PVN.
                            There's a concept in neurology called the central integrative state, which basically states that the net output of a neurological structure is a summation of the excitatory inputs versus the inhibitory inputs. In other words, if a combination of stimulus from neurotransmitters, hormones, and cytokines all result in an excitatory state, the result will be an elevation of cortisol.
                            On the other hand, if the combined total input is that of an inhibitory response, the results will be a low output of cortisol. This is how someone can go directly to the adrenal exhaustion phase: If the total summation of inputs is inhibitory to the PVN, there will be a diminished adrenal response and low cortisol.
                            Using this model, there's no such thing as "adrenal fatigue." Rather, it's merely a lack of inputs that can generate an adequate adrenal response.
                            The following can excite the PVN and therefore contribute to high cortisol: insulin, acetylcholine, elevated epinephrine and norepinepherine, and Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-10).
                            The following can inhibit the PVN and therefore contribute to low cortisol: GABA, low epinephrine and norepinepherine, endothelial nitric oxide, interferon, tumor necrosis factor, and Th1 cytokines (IFG, IL-12, TNF).
                            So the next time someone tells you, "Dude, you wore your adrenals out!" You can respond, "No, I probably inhibited my paraventricular nucleus."
                            
Symptoms and What To Do
                            Symptoms can help point you in the right direction:*
                            Symptoms of hyperadrenal states include: difficulty falling asleep, allergies, excessive perspiration, and gastric ulcers.
                            Symptoms of low adrenal states include: difficulty staying asleep (waking up during the night), dizziness when standing quickly, blurred vision, shakiness or lightheadedness between meals, and relief of fatigue after eating.
                            Symptoms aside, laboratory testing is your best bet. The preferred method is salivary testing due to the ease of measuring circadian rhythm.
                            This type of testing utilizes four salivary samples throughout the day and averages out the total production of DHEA to help evaluate adrenal function. The adrenal salivary test not only allows you to evaluate adrenal function, but can also give implications into the function of degree of hippocampus destruction as well. It's a great test.
                            While the details of interpreting this test are beyond the scope of this article, here are some generalities you can use:
                            1) Chronically elevated cortisol:
a. Phosphatidylserene — 2g a day in divided doses
b. Adaptogenic herbs — panax ginseng, rhodiola, ashwaganda, eleutherococcus
c. Cytokine support — resveratrol, pycnogenol, green tea extract, pine bark extract
d. Neurotransmitter GABA support — taurine, valerian root, passion flower, L-theanine
                            2) Chronically depressed cortisol:
a. Licorice root extract — Dosages depend on the type of licorice root extract used
b. Adaptogenic herbs — panax ginseng, rhodiola, ashwaganda, eleutherococcus
c. Cytokine support — Echinacea, astralagus, shiitake mushroom, beta-glucan, beta sitosterol
d. Excitatory neurotransmitter support — acetylcholine (Alpha-GPC, huperzine, galantamine), serotonin (5-HTP), tryptophan, St. John's wort
                            3) Abnormal circadian rhythm:
a. Acetylcholine support — Alpha GPC, huperzine, galantamine
b. Phopshytidylseriene — 2g a day in divided doses for minimum of 6 months
                            
Summary
                            Adrenal gland dysfunction is real. However, the way it's explained and treated by many integrated practitioners today is an outdated and incomplete model.
                            With new research and a deeper understanding of how systems of the body work, our methods of treatment should evolve. Hopefully this article has lead to a greater degree of understanding of an otherwise misunderstood and overused concept!
                            Get on my Level
                            http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              to be healthy you must stop worrying about being healthy
                              +1000000000
                              omg this pretty much sums up what I need to do. I need to just do it, and stop all this confusing, over-thinking, over- researching thing.
                              I'm too stubborn to give up so I keep on trying.

                              You're never going to get to the top of the stairs if you don't walk up them.

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