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Binge = Response to Starvation
- POSTED ON: Feb 23, 2017


No one in life gets away
with avoiding all problems.

Some problems are physical. 
Some problems are mental.
Some problems are the two combined.
If it’s my problem,
I’m the one who has to deal with it.

Defining a problem helps me understand it,
which helps give me
wisdom to know the difference
between what I can change,
and what cannot be changed.




What is a Binge?

The dictionary definition of bingeing is:

  • to be immoderately self-indulgent and unrestrained;

    to engage in excessive or uncontrolled indulgence in food or drink.

Bingeing isn’t usually because of lack of self control and weakness.  We binge because of a complex interaction of habit, brain chemistry, and external cues that signal us to eat. This interaction can be overcome, but it's harder to do and takes longer to change than most of us realize.

Current scientific research indicates that bingeing has a physical (PHYSIOLOGICAL) cause, and that mental & emotional (PSYCHOLOGICAL) problems are a RESULT of the condition, not the CAUSE of the condition.

Neuroscientists say that Bingeing is a normal response to Dieting because:  

Metabolic suppression is one of several powerful tools that the brain uses to keep the body within a certain weight range, called the set point. The range, which varies from person to person, is determined by genes and life experience. When dieters’ weight drops below it, they not only burn fewer calories but also produce more hunger-inducing hormones and find eating more rewarding.



The brain’s weight-regulation system considers your set point to be the correct weight for you, whether or not your doctor agrees. If someone starts at 120 pounds and drops to 80, her brain rightfully declares a starvation state of emergency, using every method available to get that weight back up to normal. The same thing happens to someone who starts at 300 pounds and diets down to 200.

Our brains send signals to the rest of our body that it is starving when our weight is below its Set Point range.  A person’s Set Point is determined by a person’s genes and life experience. 

Life experience involves a person’s weight history, because when a person gains and holds “excess” weight, their Set Point can rachet up, and up and up.  (A rachet is a mechanical device consisting of a toothed wheel or rack engaged with a pawl that permits it to move in only one direction.)  

However,  thus far all of the evidence shows that this is a one-way-street survival issue. While Set Points can go up with weight-gain,  they don’t go back down with weight-loss. 


Happily Ever After & Neuroscience
- POSTED ON: Feb 20, 2017


Once upon a time, there was a fat woman who wanted to become thin.  She began eating less food than her body used day after day, and eventually her body became a size “normal”. 

After she crossed the “finish line” to her weight goal, she slightly relaxed her rigid eating behaviors, but in order to maintain her weight-loss, she paid close attention to the hunger signals from her body, working to eat only when she felt hungry, and to stop as soon as she stopped feeling hungry.

And she lived happily ever after…..
…........... NOT exactly .......….

I advise anyone struggling with - or interested in - maintenance issues to go to DietHobby’s
BLOG CATEGORIES, Research - Science and read the articles that have been scrapbooked there.

The following article was written by Sandra Aamodt, a neuroscientist, author of  “Why Diets Make Us Fat: The Unintended Consequences of Our Obsession With Weight Loss” (2016). It was posted in the New York Times in May 2016. 

Dr. Aamodt makes the point that the problem with Dieting is not Willpower. It’s neuroscience.  I found her book to be well researched, and I believe she accurately states the basic problem.  Dr. Aamodt’s information is extremely valuable, and I recommend her book for people working to maintain weight-loss.  However, although the “solution” to the dieting and maintenance struggle that she proposes could be effective for some people, it is not one …. for various reasons … that I find personally acceptable or one that I’m willing to adopt. 


Why You Can’t Lose Weight on a Diet
                  by Sandra Aamodt

SIX years after dropping an average of 129 pounds on the TV program “The Biggest Loser,” a new study reports, the participants were burning about 500 fewer calories a day than other people their age and size. This helps explain why they had regained 70 percent of their lost weight since the show’s finale. The diet industry reacted defensively, arguing that the participants had lost weight too fast or ate the wrong kinds of food — that diets do work, if you pick the right one.

But this study is just the latest example of research showing that in the long run dieting is rarely effective, doesn’t reliably improve health and does more harm than good. There is a better way to eat.

The root of the problem is not willpower but neuroscience. Metabolic suppression is one of several powerful tools that the brain uses to keep the body within a certain weight range, called the set point. The range, which varies from person to person, is determined by genes and life e...


Eating Toward Immortality
- POSTED ON: Feb 12, 2017


I find the article below intriguing as well as appealing. Throughout my lifetime of dieting, I’ve seen a great deal of evidence supporting many of the statements it contains, such as: 

“The desire for more life … grew into an obsession with transforming the self into a perfected object.”

When we make the choice to follow the rules of any “recommended” diet, we do this because we want to make our bodies conform to cultural standards of “beauty” and/or “health”.  Which means, of course, our goal is … to transform our bodies into a more “perfected object”.

Another such statement is:

“People willingly, happily, hand over their freedom in exchange for the bondage of a diet that forbids their most cherished foods, all for the promise of relief from choice.”

Every voluntary action we make, or don’t make, is a choice.  When we choose one action, … it eliminates the ability to choose an alternative action  …. at least for that present time. So, when we choose to follow any specific outside dieting rules, our choice is also to give up making our own ongoing individual food choices.

My current choice is to read, think about, and share the concepts contained within this following article. 

 

Eating Toward Immortality
Diet culture is just another way of dealing with the fear of death.
by MICHELLE ALLISON posted in The Atlantic in 2/2017

Knowing a thing means you don’t need to believe in it. Whatever can be known, or proven by logic or evidence, doesn’t need to be taken on faith.

Certain details of nutrition and the physiology of eating are known and knowable: the fact that humans require certain nutrients; the fact that our bodies convert food into energy and then into new flesh (and back to energy again when needed).

But there are bigger questions that don’t have definitive answers, like what is the best diet for all people? For me?

Nutrition is a young science that lies at the intersection of several complex disciplines—chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, psychology—and though we are far from having figured it all out, we still have to eat to survive. When there are no guarantees or easy answers, every act of eating is something like a leap of faith.

Eating is the first magic ritual, an act that transmits life energy from one object to another, according to cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker in his posthumously published book Escape From Evil. All animals must feed on other life to sustain themselves, whether in the form of breastmilk, plants, or the corpses of other animals. The act of incorporation, of taking a once-living thing into your own body, is necessary for all animals’ existence. It is also disturbing and unsavory to think about, since it draws a direct connection between eating and death.


Weight-Loss Alternative Facts
- POSTED ON: Jan 24, 2017

What is commonly believed to be “Fact” about weight loss, including weight-loss and health, has no basis in evidence from Scientific Research.

No matter how many people believe a lie, it will never become the truth.

Repeating an untruth as though it were true, over and over, will never make it true. 

Also, wishing, hoping, or believing that something is true won’t magic away objective facts.

A current event along that line occurred when aides of the new president recently denied the reality of certain specific objective facts even though photographic and other verifiable evidence proved that those facts were True.  Even though the truth was clearly visible, the White House denied it.  One aide even defended their false statements as being an offer of “Alternative Facts”.  After that new political term was used to justify Falsehoods, Lies, and Untruths, it was corrected by a tweet from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary saying: “A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality.”

Below is an accurate article showing how the marketing of  “Alternate Facts” has been effectively applied to Weight-Loss isues.



When We Talk About Weight Loss Research
                    
              by Ragen Chastain of Dances with Fat

One of the reasons that I’m no longer interested in attempting weight loss is that my review of the literature informs me that it simply has no basis in evidence as being an effective way to either lose weight or become more healthy (which are two separate things).  When I say that, people often object insisting that there are studies where people have lost weight.

The problem is that any old research where a couple of people lost weight won’t do (go ahead, review the literature.  I think you’ll be shocked to find how often the average participant lost a few pounds, gained back half of it before they stopped tracking, and then the authors declare the study a success.)

The research we would need for weight loss to meet the criteria of an evidence-based medical intervention is twofold.  First, we would need a study where the majority of the participants lost the amount of weight that we are told we need to lose to change our health and maintain that weight loss long term (over 5 years).  If we had those studies – and we don’t –  we would then need some proof ...


Set Point
- POSTED ON: Jan 20, 2017

We do not understand how the body resists weight change and why, after weight loss, so many people regain it. The concept of a set point for weight is widely accepted.

The set point is like the thermostat in our central heating system. It is switched on when the temperature falls below a critical (set point) temperature and is switched off when that is exceeded.

Using the word “rachet” might help one conceptualize the set point concept.

To rachet is to cause to increase or decrease by increments. A rachet is a mechanical device consisting of a toothed wheel or rack engaged with a pawl that permits it to move in only one direction.

A person has an existing set point. That person gains weight, and then gains and sustains even more weight gain. This causes the set point to be racheted up, and once it passes each rachet, there is no going back. The rachet is the biological set point and it can be easily driven upwards, but is very difficult to drive back down.

Using the fat cell theory is helpful to further explain how this works.

For an example, let’s assume an average fat cell contains 0.4 micrograms of fat each. A person gaining weight might see that fat cell load expand to 0.6 micrograms. This is an acceptable load increase, and when the person loses weight, the fat cell level drops back to 0.4 micrograms.

 This seesaw can go on forever, but when the weight gain loads the fat cell up to 0.8 micrograms, a tipping point is reached, and the fat cell divides. Now we have two fat cells, each containing 0.4 micrograms. Click! That was the ratchet turning irreversibly.

When we want to return to the previous weight, we must lose half the fat we gained. The problem with this is that each fat cell now has the standard fat load of 0.4 micrograms each, and to halve this to just 0.2 micrograms per cell requires us to get the cells to live a life they do not like. If we let our mind tell us what to eat, we can overcome the disgruntled fat cells which are below their fat quota. But all the time the basic animal biology of our body will be waiting to return to 0.4 micrograms per cell.

Then, along comes an event like a vacation, a holiday, or other eating occasion, and we take our eye off the ball .. lose our mental concentration, but the fat cells in our body didn’t rest, and we’ve regained our weight. The body is now back to the new set point it made when we went past the older set point and hit a...


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