Last week’s “Why Diets Fail” post elicited some great discussion. There was a bit of everything – from wrangling to rallying, appeals to encouragement. It was the kind of conversation that, I feel, really makes the community. People are real. They put their experiences out there. From there the discussion, inquiry, challenge and support get going. It’s spirited and honest – doesn’t get any better than that in my book. I invite you to look back to the conversation yourself. For my part today, I want to address by far the biggest theme of that day – cravings. Your comments explored the issue from all kinds of angles. What do I do with cravings? Can I prevent them – pre-empt them in any way? Is it a bad sign if I have them? Do I need to give it time? Do I need to take a different approach? If I have them, does it mean eating Primally can’t work for me? Let’s take it apart.
Think back to the last time you were under stress. What kind of physical symptoms can you recall?
Pounding heart. Increased pulse rate. The sensation of blood rushing through your body and brain. A narrowing of focus, your thoughts and gaze centered on the stressor itself; and then, suddenly, you’re scatterbrained. Anxiety. Your stomach a pit apparently filled with fluttering, winged insects. These are all familiar to anyone who’s faced down a deadline, bull in the arena, mounting stack of bills, or mugger.
But those symptoms also show up at other times in response to different situations. Mustering up the courage to ask a girl or guy out? Trying to make a move on the first date? Preparing to take a big test? Stepping up to the free throw line for potentially game-winning or game-losing foul shots? Psyching yourself up minutes before a public performance? You’re going to feel anxious and sweaty, your pulse will pound and you’ll exhibit all the classic symptoms of being under immense amounts of stress. But you’re not actually in danger. You’re under pressure. You’re gearing up to perform. Your nervous system is preparing you to handle the coming task.
Let’s look at those symptoms differently for a second.
You could be having a fairly routine conversation about health and nutrition where everything discussed is familiar. You hear things like “carbs” and “medium chain triglycerides” and “fructose” and “macros” and “gluten” and “PUFAs,” thinking nothing of it. Like I said, routine. Then someone mentions FODMAPs. Huh? What the heck is that? Quite possibly one of the strangest, seemingly contrived acronyms in existence, FODMAPs represents a collection of foods to which a surprisingly large number of people are highly sensitive. To them, paying attention to the FODMAPs in their diets is very real and very serious if they hope to avoid debilitating, embarrassing, and painful digestive issues.
To begin, what exactly are FODMAPs?
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I answer two good questions from readers. First up, I discuss the conditioning of bare feet for the purposes of walking across a multitude of surfaces. Believe it or not, much of the conditioning happens upstairs – in the brain. Then I give a little advice to a woman who’s having trouble losing stubborn weight after a miscarriage. She’s doing everything right without getting anywhere; could that actually be the problem?
Hey guys, let’s try something cool. If you use Twitter, send a tweet to @TomHanks on my (@Mark_Sisson) behalf. I think we can help the dude beat type 2 diabetes if he agrees to give it a go.
Research of the Week
Is the endowment effect a universal human trait, as many claim? Apparently not. Hadza Bushmen living near major roads who participate in the tourism trade have it, while otherwise culturally and genetically identical Hadza Bushmen who have no contact with tourism do not. It may be that the endowment effect arises from market-driven societies.
When we sleep, the brain clears out the toxins that accumulate during the day.
The popularity of deli meat can’t be explained by convenience alone. There’s something about the smooth, supple texture and salty, slightly sweet flavor that some people love. If you’re one of those people, homemade deli meat could become your new favorite snack or salad topper.
It turns out that meat of questionable origin, half a dozen unrecognizable ingredients and preservatives and loads of salt and sugar aren’t necessary to make deli meat. All that you really need is chicken (or turkey) breast, a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.