sethroberts.net forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Then I had breakfast and for the first time in my adult life I had a regular human breakfast. I ate a sufficient amount of food for a regular size human. And I was full. -- Morex

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 24   Go Down

Author Topic: New Application of Theory -- Extinguishing Conditioned Reinforcer (flavor)  (Read 62517 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Doug

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8

I will preface this by saying I have not read the book, but I plan to, but I did read the original paper on self-experimentation back when it first came out, and I have read a lot of the tips on this forum and elsewhere.

That said, when the original paper came out, I tried the sugar water for about two weeks with no appetite suppression.  Recently, I tried again with the oil, starting with two tablespoons of ELOO, then gradually working up to 6 tablespoons of flax oil plus a tablespoon worth of fish oil pills, both taken with noseclips.  By the time I was at 6 tablespoons, I think I may have felt very minor appetite supression, but it certainly did not come anywhere near making up for the calories from the oil.

Back when I tried the sugar water, however, I learned that fructose has the same amount of calories as regular sugar, and is, supposedly twice as sweet.  This gave me the idea to replace all the sodas I was drinking with KoolAid made using half as much pure fructose instead of the recommended amount of regular sugar.  I lost a TON of weight doing this, which, at the time, I attributed to the reduction in calories from not drinking sodas anymore.  Looking back, however, I realize that my meal portions during that time were also a lot smaller, and I did not have a lot of cravings.  Eventually I stopped doing it, because I just didn't feel like making KoolAid all the time, and I've come back up from my low point, but I am still 25 pounds lighter than when I started with the Kool Aid.

That brings me to the new application.  The Shangri La theory seems to be based on the notion of a learned calorie-flavor association.  From what I've read about conditioning, flavor would be considered a secondary or conditioned reinforcer, while the calories consumed would be the primary reinforcer.  Shangri La, then, attempts to weaken the conditioned reinforcer (flavor) by presenting the primary reinforcer without also presenting the conditioned reinforcer.

This may have some extinguishing effect, but theoretically its backwards.  Again, from what I've read about conditioning, the best way to extinguish a conditioned reinforcer is to do the opposite--repeatedly present the conditioned reinforcer (flavor) without presenting the primary reinforcer (calories).  Thus to get the most advantage from the Shangri La theory, you should not be focusing so much on flavorless calories, as calorie-less flavor.  Perhaps Dr. Roberts or someone else with more training than me in behavioral psychology can confirm or deny this.

Back to the Kool-Aid.  I made it with the individual, unsweetened flavor packets that require you to add your own sugar.  I used the ENTIRE flavor packet, but instead of adding the recommended 1 cup of sugar, I added about 1/3 cup of pure fructose.  So it had just as intense a flavor as regular koolaid (which is pretty intense), but 1/3 the calories (which is, I think about 1/6 the calories in a soda).  At first it seemed sour, but eventually it was absolutely addicting.

Anyway, the low-calorie Kool-Aid worked great for me, while the flavorless calories have not done anything, so some of you others might want to give it a try, especially if you're one of those who is not experiencing appetite suppression.  I haven't and won't try it with sucralose, only because it gives me horrible headaches.

The other side of this, though, is that diet sodas don't seem to work for too many people, and I can't really reconcile that with my experience with the low-cal koolaid.  I imagine the sweetness might play some factor.  Also, people generally drink diet drinks when they are also consuming a lot of food calories.  They might actually work if one drank them without consuming any calories from food at the same time.
Logged

frenata

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3008
  • mustela frenata

This may have some extinguishing effect, but theoretically its backwards.  Again, from what I've read about conditioning, the best way to extinguish a conditioned reinforcer is to do the opposite--repeatedly present the conditioned reinforcer (flavor) without presenting the primary reinforcer (calories).  Thus to get the most advantage from the Shangri La theory, you should not be focusing so much on flavorless calories, as calorie-less flavor.  Perhaps Dr. Roberts or someone else with more training than me in behavioral psychology can confirm or deny this.

Hi Doug. Welcome to the forums.

Funny you should mention this. I've just had some similar thoughts. No, that's wrong -- I didn't think my way into this, I kind of hit on it by accident.

I've had really excellent results with appetite suppression and ELOO. However, I am now down to the famously difficult last twenty pounds or so, and finding it as difficult as they say to shed them. So I've been increasing my flavorless calories: my usual oil in the morning, a cup of noseclipped oatmeal mid-morning and, if I don't have too many calories at lunch, a noseclipped protein smoothie in the afternoon.

For my food calories -- here's the part that jibes with what you're saying -- I've been eating things with very few (and sometimes no) calories and very intense flavor. Olives marinated in hot peppers. Shrimp in extra hot cocktail sauce. Raw apples sprinkled with cinnamon. One of the most effective things of all has been chewing cinnamon flavored sugarless gum.

We'll have to see how effective a strategy this is for weight loss, but the combination of calories without flavor followed by flavor without calories has been oddly satisfying, even as I cut my daily intake below 1,400 a day (including oil and alcohol). It's like each component fulfills some want, but keeping the two apart prevents the dreaded "ditto" association. It's most odd.

I wasn't going to post about it until I saw if it actually works for weight loss. I wouldn't want to live like this forever, but it's a curiously peaceful routine.
Logged
Running weight tally:

Seth Roberts

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2570

Very interesting. While I was losing weight via sugar water I started to drink lots of tea -- which had flavor but no calories. I also started chewing gum. Again, flavor but no calories. People who experience no appetite suppression while drinking plain sugar water or flavorless oil may be those who

-- don't ingest flavors without calories (no tea, no gum, no diet sodas)
-- count as appetite any desire to put food in their mouth

They may find that although they have no "appetite suppression" while drinking the oil or sugar water their appetite in fact has changed: It can now be greatly reduced by flavor without calories, such as gum. Whereas before the oil gum did not reduce it.

Frenata's observation supports this idea, I think.

Logged

frenata

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3008
  • mustela frenata

Diet soda! I forgot that one.

After losing my taste for soda for months, in the last six weeks I've craved it again. I generally have one for breakfast. I much prefer the intensely flavored ones: Dr Pepper Diet Berries and Cream is my current favorite. This goes against our notion that SLD makes us favor pure, non-artificial foods, but favors the idea that flavor without calories scratches an itch.

My experience dates from a couple weeks ago, when I really ramped up the SLD calories and tried to tamp down the flavorful calories. I found I could satisfy my hunger by dipping a finger in the cocktail sauce --  even without the shrimp. I've tried a taste of raspberry jam with similar happy result. A few pistachios or roasted almonds. A lick of hot mustard. Sushi with a gob of wasabi.

The gum is still my new best friend. I think the chewing is important there, too. Isn't there research that chewing releases serotonin?
Logged
Running weight tally:

CD

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5

That is very interesting, Doug.  At first glance, your theory appears to be consistent with the underlying theory of the SLD.  The important part, I think, would be to adhere to the same 1-hour window rule, except, instead of avoiding flavors, you would need to avoid calories.  It makes sense -- favors without calories should weaken the flavor-calorie association in the reverse direction.  I think I'll give it a try.  I've always had trouble with the SLD -- despite upteen combinations of dose size and source of flavorless calories, I notice only a little AS, enough to knock off 3-4% of my weight, but that's it.  I rarely, if ever, consume diet soda, tea, etc. with or without meals.  Time for some "flavorful no-calories".
Logged

Magpie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1101
  • It's not a sparrow. It's a bird with attitude.

Have to say I'm thinking the same thing.  I'm finding SLD wonderful in that it has greatly diminished cravings for me, but my weight loss to date has been very disappointing (partly because Easter got in the way and I know I have to be far more disciplined with eating and wine intake!) But this new idea has me intrigued, and it sounds like fun so I'm going to self-experiment.  Will post if anything worthwhile happens.. 
Logged

Doug

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8

If you do try it, I'd note Seth's comment on his blog today that in theory it would only work if the flavors in the flavorless calories are the same flavors that are sometimes paired with calories.  I think I agree with this, as I drank the koolaid both with and without food.  Im starting it again myself, and will post my results in a week or two.  I'm also going to try heavily spiced soup for lunches.
Logged

shinju_chan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 350

It's funny because my experience also fits with this as well.  One of the most bizarre things I started craving after taking the oil was japanese pickles, something I could barely stand because of how intense the flavor is, as salty and sour as it gets.  All the sudden after SLD I was craving the flavor intensity and sometimes I would buy a large variety of them and just eat that for dinner. 

Also while on my weight loss journey, I've begun to remember how I used to eat when I was a kid and super freaking skinny, because everyone thought my favorite foods were really weird.  My favorite foods were extra strong dill pickles, hot salsa (particularly TOM) and my favorite snack was extra sharp cheddar cheese and unsweetened grapefruit juice  :shock: I would go to bizarrely great lengths to put together this snack :)  Other than that I mostly ate pasta.  I also chewed almost half a pack of sugarless cinnamon gum a day, usually several pieces together to make my mouth burn; didn't remember that until just now and reading about the gum chewing.  Interesting.
Logged

multimoe

  • Guest

Please forgive the double post.  I wrongly posted this earlier in the 10-20 lbs. thread

Doug,

After reading this topic, with Seth's reply, I realized that I am seeing this actually happen with my husband.

I was wondering why he has almost NO appetite and no struggle with food since starting SLD with me in October 2006. He had just 15 lbs to lose.  He drinks about 5 glasses of Cool-aid daily, which I have been making for him in exactly your way from the start as he is not inclined to drink much plain water.  He is just merrily going on with life, never hungry or tempted to stray from a healthy diet, losing weight gradually without obsessing, (I am doing all the obsessing) while I carefully follow the forums for information. 

I believe that this theory of yours may bring us one step closer to perfecting this whole innovative idea of Seth's, and should be brought to the forefront for further examination.
Logged

multimoe

  • Guest

CORRECTION:

Seth's innovative idea is already perfect.  I am the imperfect one.  See, this is why I do not post much--afraid of saying the wrong thing.
Logged

Clarinette

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1995

:shock: I have some difficulties with taking the flavorless calories. I get a good AS with everything I tried so far but I experience all sorts of weird secondary effects with all. Maybe that the flavorful without calories might be a answer for me. I'll try it and post the results. Whohooo!  Is black coffee as calories?

jrenee25

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 51

I was sort of seeing the same thing, but I wasn't sure what to make of it since I'm so new to SLD.

I was a die-hard diet Coke drinker, and it usually made me crave other sweets and high-calorie foods.  Then, one day at the supermarket, I got the craving for Diet orange soda (very flavor intense) and discovered that when I drink that, I don't feel hungry for quite awhile after that.  The same goes for new flavors of sugarless gum - if I stick to my tried-and-true favorite (spearmint), I get no AS, but recently I have been trying lots of new flavors, and have found that with the new (more intense) flavors, the AS is long-lasting.  (My new favorite is Orbit gum's new flavor, "Mojito Mint".  Yay for alcohol-flavored gum!)

Anyway, I was able to cut my daily calorie intake in almost half without feeling hungry as long as I'm chewing the gum or drinking orange diet soda.  (But now I'm dreaming about food, which, as Frenata pointed out, may mean that I'm hungry in my sleep. Hmm.)

Anyway, not sure why this is working, but I am sure glad that it does!!!
Logged




Age 32, F, 5'6" started 3/26/07

mpq

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1423
  • PA USA

Are you all trying the no calorie flavor while keeping the 2 hour no-flavor window?
Logged

Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Calorie Counter

frenata

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3008
  • mustela frenata

Yes, but I'm not hugely conscientious about it. I'm absolutely ultra orthodox about my ELOO, but I'm less careful about my oatmeal and my calorieless flavors.
Logged
Running weight tally:

Magpie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1101
  • It's not a sparrow. It's a bird with attitude.

Are you all trying the no calorie flavor while keeping the 2 hour no-flavor window?
Well that's what I'm going to try.  I've cut out snacking between meals and my tea drinking has gone from many many daily cups to one or two (another effect of SLD that I've just realised).  I find the idea of a small "calorieless flavour burst" between meals quite appealing, and I'm going to do it within the two hour window, which is easy enough. 
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 24   Go Up
 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18