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Just eat normally?

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lemur2

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Just eat normally?
« on: January 08, 2013, 02:29:37 PM »

If you eat normally, will the flavorless calories keep you from gaining?  I'm pretty sure this is what I've read but wanted to check to make sure I'm understanding.
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Seth Roberts

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 01:31:02 AM »

Let's say your normal diet is Diet X. On Diet X you gain 2 pounds per year.

On Diet X + lots of flavorless calories you will slowly lose weight (say 1 pound/week) for several months. Maybe 6 months. Maybe more, maybe less. Then you will stop losing weight. Your weight will be considerably less.

After that if you continue Diet X + lots of flavorless calories you will go back to gaining 2 pounds per year.

If you want to stop gaining those 2 pounds per year you need to change Diet X.

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euripides

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2013, 02:43:30 PM »

Just spotted this.

Let's say your normal diet is Diet X. On Diet X you gain 2 pounds per year.

On Diet X + lots of flavorless calories you will slowly lose weight (say 1 pound/week) for several months. Maybe 6 months. Maybe more, maybe less. Then you will stop losing weight. Your weight will be considerably less.

After that if you continue Diet X + lots of flavorless calories you will go back to gaining 2 pounds per year.

By "Diet X" are you referring only to the style/quality of diet (Standard American, Paleo, Vegetarian, etc, etc), or are you referring to style plus number of daily calories. If the latter, I don't understand your comments. (I don't understand something else if the former, but I'll get to that once you clarify.)

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Seth Roberts

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2013, 02:51:41 PM »

Just spotted this.

Let's say your normal diet is Diet X. On Diet X you gain 2 pounds per year.

On Diet X + lots of flavorless calories you will slowly lose weight (say 1 pound/week) for several months. Maybe 6 months. Maybe more, maybe less. Then you will stop losing weight. Your weight will be considerably less.

After that if you continue Diet X + lots of flavorless calories you will go back to gaining 2 pounds per year.

Why?

Because 1. you were gaining weight because your set point was going up. 2. Your set point was going up because of what you eat. 3. SLD lowers your set point. It will take a while to adjust to this (adjustment = lose weight). 4. Since you continue to eat the same thing, your set point will continue going up. 5. If your set point goes up your weight goes up.
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euripides

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2013, 02:54:58 PM »


Because 1. you were gaining weight because your set point was going up. 2. Your set point was going up because of what you eat. 3. SLD lowers your set point. It will take a while to adjust to this (adjustment = lose weight). 4. Since you continue to eat the same thing, your set point will continue going up. 5. If your set point goes up your weight goes up.

Sorry Seth. I realized I could pinpoint my question a bit more clearly and I modified the post. You answered the old version. I won't respond here until you've had a look at the newer one, but basically I'm looking for clarification on exactly what you mean by "Diet X".
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Seth Roberts

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2013, 04:55:31 PM »

by Diet X I mean style/proportional composition/quality of diet, not number of calories.

my answer is approximate. The underlying idea is that if you are gaining weight for a certain reason, doing SLD does not change that reason. It just changes the equilibrium weight (the weight at which all the various set point-controlling forces are in equilibrium) -- which will continue to drift upward.
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euripides

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013, 06:20:59 PM »

by Diet X I mean style/proportional composition/quality of diet, not number of calories.

OK, good. That's less confusing than the alternative.

Quote from: Seth
The underlying idea is that if you are gaining weight for a certain reason, doing SLD does not change that reason.

Hang on, surely that's *exactly* what SLD does? The reason I (and I suspect most overweight people) gain weight is because my desire to eat is higher than what my body needs. That is *the* primary reason. I still get full, I still get satisfied, I still can even get indifferent to food. But those things don't seem to happen for me as effectively as they happen for my thin friends. In fact, they happen to me to the tune of 50 calories per day ineffectively. As I've said elsewhere, I gain weight because I eat what I want, but what I want is too much based on my physiology and behavior. SLD's mechanism -- at least I thought it was -- is to modify the *want*. In simpler terms, it suppresses appetite. Now your theory is that it achieves that affect by lowering set point. Fine. Whatever. The point is, it does achieve that affect.

If I've got that wrong, I've thoroughly missed the point. What is potentially phenomenal about SLD -- I thought -- is that it offers that holy grail of dieting: the ability to eat what you want and still lose weight[1]. Of course it does that by modifying the "what you want" part, but who cares!

Quote from: Seth
It just changes the equilibrium weight (the weight at which all the various set point-controlling forces are in equilibrium) -- which will continue to drift upward.

Yes but the important effect (to the dieter) of that change is a lowering of appetite, right?

Anyway, back to your original comments. You posit three phases (here LOFC = "lots of flavorless calories"):
  • Weight Gain: Diet X
  • Weight Loss: Diet X + LOFC
  • Weight Gain: Diet X + LOFC
And just so I'm clear, based on your answer to me about what "Diet X" means (top of this post), in Phase Two the set-point lowering mechanism of SLD in fact results in appetite suppression of sufficient magnitude that the total calories consumed in that second phase are fewer than in Phase One and, specifically, are sufficiently fewer so as to induce weight loss. Correct? In other words, the additional calories represented by the LOFC are *more than* compensated for by a decrease in calories coming from Diet X. Right?

So then what happens in Phase Three to restart the weight gain? Are you saying the set-point lowering (and therefore appetite suppression) effects of the LOFC go away, and so the Diet X calories creep back up? If so, why does that happen? If not, then why does weight gain begin again if the person is still sustaining the same calorie-deficit they were in Phase Two?


[1] Yeah, sure, I'm not suggesting you're making such an extravagant claim and that no kind of restraint is needed. But the general idea is right, yes? Move the attack towards the "want" side of the problem, and away from the will-power one, yes?
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Seth Roberts

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2013, 06:28:53 PM »

Let me put it a little differently.

If you are gaining weight at 2 lb/year, that means something about your environment (probably your food) is raising your set point 2 lb/year. Doing SLD will lower your equilibrium weight (the set point at which all forces are in equilibrium) but it will not change your environment. Whatever is causing your set point to increase 2 lb/year will still be there.

You might want to use the fact that SLD works to study the ideas behind it. The fact that SLD works suggests those ideas are correct. Those ideas may help you figure out what in your environment is raising your set point 2 lb/year. If you can figure what it is (ditto food?) then cut out the bad food and you should stop gaining 2 lb/year.
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euripides

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2013, 07:37:03 PM »

Let me put it a little differently.

If you are gaining weight at 2 lb/year, that means something about your environment (probably your food) is raising your set point 2 lb/year. Doing SLD will lower your equilibrium weight (the set point at which all forces are in equilibrium) but it will not change your environment. Whatever is causing your set point to increase 2 lb/year will still be there.
That makes sense. But then why does the SLD effect cut out in phase three of your example?

Quote from: Seth
You might want to use the fact that SLD works to study the ideas behind it. The fact that SLD works suggests those ideas are correct.
Well that would be a tad post hoc ergo propter hoc,wouldn't it? That said, I don't actually doubt that the ideas are correct. I originally was confused by your set point theory but you explained that. I'm working under the assumption that the diet works (it is so far for me) and that your theories as to why it works are correct.

Quote
Those ideas may help you figure out what in your environment is raising your set point 2 lb/year. If you can figure what it is (ditto food?) then cut out the bad food and you should stop gaining 2 lb/year.

Then it sounds likely that I really have utterly missed the point of this thing. I have proven, over many years, that dietary restriction is in practice, if not in theory, impossible for me to sustain for any length of time. So if SLD is just yet another version of "Don't eat X", or "Don't eat Y along with Z", then it won't work for me, and it won't work for most others either.

If I did figure out the ditto food then the fact that I'm eating it means I want to eat it. So if I'm going to stop eating it, I'm going to have to choose not to eat that food. And if there's one thing I've shown over time is that if I (higher brain -- trying not to eat something) decide to have a stand off with I (lower brain[1] -- wants to eat it), then the latter I (Jonathan Haidt's elephant) is eventually going to win. A better tactic would be to make the lower brain change what it makes me *want*. Enter -- or so I thought -- the set-point-controlled appetite-suppression of SLD.

And the fact that it *does* appear to work suggests that *is* what's happening. SLD appears to *not* be just another form of what is effectively using one's pre-frontal cortex abilities to override what's coming in from the lower brain functions.  Well, until you confuse me with statements like "cut out the bad food", that is. :) That's conventional dietary advice -- consciously control what you eat. It doesn't work. Isn't the very essence of SLD that it manages, via set-point manipulation -- to let us *unconsciously* control what we eat?

Is this summary of SLD wrong:
  • A key factor in weight loss is set-point
  • A key mechanism whereby set-point controls consumption is by controlling desire for food (a.k.a. appetite)
  • Lowering set-point will lower appetite which will, unless consciously overridden by the individual, tend to lower consumption
  • Lowering set-point enough will therefore lead to weight loss via the mechanism of appetite suppression
  • Consuming calories in such a way that the brain does not associate the flavors of the food concerned with the calories it provides will tend to lower set-point
  • Consuming *flavorless* calories -- for example ELOO -- is a method for consuming calories in that fashion
  • THUS, consuming flavorless calories can produce weight loss

If that's *not* wrong, then I already get the core of SLD. In which case, my questions are just me looking for more understanding. For example, as I asked above, why does the SLD effect stop in phase three of your example? The only reason I can think of is that the set-point lowering effects stop, and in fact the set-point starts to rise again. As a result the appetite increases, followed by consumption, followed by weight gain.

But *why*,given that SLD was able to lower the set-point during phase two?


[1] Or wherever appetites come from
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Seth Roberts

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2013, 07:45:43 PM »

"that's conventional dietary advice -- control what you eat." I'm not saying control how much you eat. I'm saying control what you eat. For example, I stopped eating bread. It wasn't hard. I lost weight. It's perfectly possible.

in phase 3 SLD continues to work. In the sense that if you stop doing it, you will gain weight much faster than if you keep doing it.

SLD only lowers appetite because it lowers your set point. Once you have lost enough weight so that your actual weight is close to your set point, your appetite will return. But SLD is still working! It is keeping your set point lower than it would be otherwise.



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euripides

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2013, 08:15:40 PM »

Quote from: me
"that's conventional dietary advice -- control what you eat." ...
Quote from: Seth
I'm saying control what you eat.
Exactly  ;) But moving on to the more important (to me) point. I think I'm almost getting it, but not quite yet.

Quote from: Seth
SLD only lowers appetite because it lowers your set point. Once you have lost enough weight so that your actual weight is close to your set point, your appetite will return. But SLD is still working! It is keeping your set point lower than it would be otherwise.

But it's clearly not keeping it *as low* as it was before. Why?

Consider the point partway into phase two -- e.g. for a person going from 200lbs in phase 1 to 150lbs at the end of phase 2, let's consider the 175lbs point. At that point "on the way down" they were consuming A calories of Diet X + B calories of LOFC; at that point "on the way up" they were also consuming A calories of Diet X + B calories of LOFC. Yet one has them heading up and one heading down.  Why has the set-point-lowering capabilities of B calories of LOFC decreased? Fair enough, you say SLD is still working. But it's clearly not working *as well* as it was on the way down. Why?

As you describe it, you have A+B calories going down, and A+B calories going up. Why the change of direction?
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Seth Roberts

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2013, 09:28:51 PM »

I never think about the number of calories being eaten. It isn't helpful.
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euripides

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2013, 11:13:20 PM »

I never think about the number of calories being eaten. It isn't helpful.
Hm :( .I think we'd both, as scientifically trained types, agree that the extent to which you, I, or anyone else find it useful to think about the number of calories has a negligible effect on the physics underpinning all of this.

Look, you proposed an example of someone who was gaining 2lbs a year and then went on SLD. You stated that after they lost weight, weight gain would resume at the same rate as before:

... if you continue Diet X + lots of flavorless calories you will go back to gaining 2 pounds per year.

But you also stated, of that same post-SLD phase (i.e. what I called phase 3):
in phase 3 SLD continues to work. In the sense that if you stop doing it, you will gain weight much faster than if you keep doing it.

Together your statements imply two rather frightening prospects for someone who has reached that low point in weight you're talking about:
  • Even if they stay on SLD, their weight will begin climbing just as fast as it was before they even started SLD
  • And if they come off SLD at that point, their weight will begin to climb even faster than their orignal pre-SLD climb rate
Is that really the case? I mean, on the surface it looks like the poor dieter will end up in a worse state, with respect to rate of gain, after using SLD than they were before they started! That's not right, surely? But it's implied by what you said.

This is a crucial point. I'm seeing weight loss on SLD, so that's good. But the implication of what you've said in this thread is that there will come a time when that loss will stop, I will begin gaining again at at least the same rate I was before I started, but it will only be as low as that if I *stay on* SLD. If in fact I decide to come off SLD at that point, my rate of gain will then become higher than it was before I started.
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Seth Roberts

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2013, 05:08:37 AM »

Together your statements imply two rather frightening prospects for someone who has reached that low point in weight you're talking about:
  • Even if they stay on SLD, their weight will begin climbing just as fast as it was before they even started SLD
  • And if they come off SLD at that point, their weight will begin to climb even faster than their orignal pre-SLD climb rate
Is that really the case? I mean, on the surface it looks like the poor dieter will end up in a worse state, with respect to rate of gain, after using SLD than they were before they started! That's not right, surely? But it's implied by what you said.

This is a crucial point. I'm seeing weight loss on SLD, so that's good. But the implication of what you've said in this thread is that there will come a time when that loss will stop, I will begin gaining again at at least the same rate I was before I started, but it will only be as low as that if I *stay on* SLD. If in fact I decide to come off SLD at that point, my rate of gain will then become higher than it was before I started.

Let me say again: SLD provides both 1. A way to lose weight and 2. Evidence that my theory of weight control is correct. Both the weight loss method and the theory behind it are useful. You might want to use both.

Here are three possibilities:

1. You use SLD only as a way to lose weight. Suppose it allows you to lose 80 pounds and you keep doing it. You will spend the rest of your life at a considerably lower weight (80 pounds lower?) than you would have without SLD. Yes, eventually you will go back to gaining 2 lb/year but from a much lower starting point. There are likely to be huge benefits of being 80 lbs lower for the rest of your life so I am puzzled that you talk about "crucial points".

2. You use SLD only as a way to lose weight but when the weight loss stops (after 1 year?) you stop doing it. Then the benefits will be temporary -- as with any weight loss plan you stop -- and you might spend only 2 years at a considerably lower weight than you would have without SLD.

3. You start SLD and keep doing it forever. PLUS you think about theory behind SLD. It may explain why you are gaining 2 lb/year. You test the ideas it suggests (e.g., stop eating ditto food). If one of them works, you can not only lose 80 lbs but you can get rid of the 2 lb/year gain. Even better.
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euripides

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Re: Just eat normally?
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2013, 07:47:36 AM »

Seth, I'm not sure what's going on in this thread. You have stated a couple of times now that SLD is evidence that your theory is correct but I don't know why you feel the need to stress that. I'm not disputing your theory.

What I am asking you to do is clarify what initially appeared to be, and now I am sure are, discrepancies in what you are saying on this thread. And the point is crucial because it speaks to the wisdom or otherwise of using LSD at all given the long term effects that *your statements* imply.

You do it again here:

...Suppose [SLD] allows you to lose 80 pounds and you keep doing it. You will spend the rest of your life at a considerably lower weight (80 pounds lower?) than you would have without SLD. Yes, eventually you will go back to gaining 2 lb/year but from a much lower starting point. There are likely to be huge benefits of being 80 lbs lower for the rest of your life so I am puzzled that you talk about "crucial points"...

You are contradicting yourself. You say that the person will spend the rest of their life 80lbs lower, but you also say they will eventually go back to gaining 2lb/year. Those statements are inconsistent. Staying 80lbs lower for the rest of their life is a 0lb/yr gain. A 2lb/yr gain is, well, a 2lb/yr gain.

Did you perhaps make an error in this thread? If so, fine. It's only a forum, and not a paper to Nature; slips and ambiguities happen all the time. Just fix the slip and there are lots of other interesting things to discuss.

But at the moment you are implying that Z=0 and Z>0, and I don't need my doctorate to know that is false. More to the point, if the resolution to the problem is that Z>0, then SLD may have some serious negative long-term issues and I think that's something worth making more widely known.

So which is it. After saying this:
...Suppose [SLD] allows you to lose 80 pounds and you keep doing it.

Were you then wrong to say this:
Quote
You will spend the rest of your life at a considerably lower weight (80 pounds lower?) than you would have without SLD.

or wrong to say this:
Quote
Yes, eventually you will go back to gaining 2 lb/year but from a much lower starting point.

?
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