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Personal Journal 05-24-09: I Got My Mojo Again?

Posted May 25 2009 10:01pm

A long while back, I got tired of posting my lack of success in losing weight and stated that I wasn’t going to post my personal journal until I got under 210.

Since then, the overall quality of content of the Internet rose considerably, but now I’m back to bring the average down.

This morning I’m 208.0.

It was tough – I seemed to be in a stubborn stall, and I needed to take a long look at what I was doing and come up with some new approaches – and rethink my assumptions, since they weren’t helping things.

First, in March I gave up the wine as I had looked through my writings and found no evidence that I could have sustainable weight loss with it. I certainly can maintain while drinking alcohol, but I can’t lose. So I committed to having a glass of wine only when I reach 180. In March, I was close to 222, so I’m about a quarter of the way there. At this rate, I’ll be having a glass of vino next March. Sigh.

Next, I gave up my high-octane lifestyle consisting of a pot of coffee before work, and another during the day. Now I still have a pot of coffee (with cream), but the coffee is 2 scoops of the full octane stuff and 3 scoops of the decaf. I think I miss the go-go juice more than the wine, but I must say, in general, my stomach feels better.

I had also read that, to accelerate weight loss, it helps to go easy on the liver. Here’s what Dr. Michael Eads has to say about this (slightly redacted and emphasis mine):

Another reason people have difficulty losing as they get older is that their livers don’t function as well. As we get older we tend to have more aches and pains, and we take more Tylenol and Advil and similar OTC medications for them. These drugs are metabolized in the liver, and, consequently, they consume some of the liver’s capacity. Same goes for coffee. No one likes coffee more than I. But when I want to pick up my weight loss after I’ve gone off the wagon for a while, I cut back on my coffee. Why? Because caffeine is metabolized in the liver just like the above drugs. It also consumes some of the liver’s capacity. I switch to decaf for a few days whenever I’m getting back on the straight and narrow.

Finally, as we age, we tend to drink more. Most people drink like fish during college, then slack off. They start to pick it back up (never to college levels, though, thank God) as they drift into middle age. Alcohol is detoxified in the liver just like caffeine and OTC pain relievers. All these things add up to put quite a load on the liver. And if you’ve regained weight, you’ve probably got some fatty accumulation in your liver and it’s not working at peak levels anyway. All these added substances that compromise the liver even more don’t help.

Insulin stays in the circulation because it is put there by the pancreas and because it isn’t metabolized in the liver. A liver that isn’t functioning up to snuff won’t break down insulin as rapidly as it should. Consequently, higher levels of insulin mean more difficulty in losing weight. Plus, since the liver is the major organ involved in the entire metabolic process, it works a whole lot better to stabilize everything when it is unhindered by having to detoxify a lot of unnecessary stuff. Which is why you need to baby your liver when you restart your low-carb diet.

I never heard this before – interesting if it’s true.

If I look at my weigh charts, I was dancing in a narrow 5 lb window between 215 and 220 for 2 months despite this change – then in May, my weight started trending lower. I remember reading something Dr. Schwartzbein mentioned about the body needing time to recover from such abuses – might it be that my liver, after a spa vacation of 2 months (mostly) free from the consumption of these 2 items, is feeling refreshed and reinvigorated and ready to get back to the job of mopping up that extra insulin?

I also began taking blood glucose measurements. Not that my doctor recommended this – I’m trying to understand my blood sugar more, and thought it would be interesting to monitor for a while. It is. Long story short: it appears that my diet can influence my fasting blood glucose by almost 30 points.

Does anyone point this out to diabetics?

I also also had an opportunity to listen to some hypnosis tapes by Dr. Roberta Temes. I found it an interesting experiment because I listened to them one time in March, and there was a suggestion in the tapes about eating more vegetables – and since that day I’ve had fresh vegetables every day, which was something I tended to skip a lot prior.

I had a problem with the tapes – Dr. Temes tries to create a program that will work with any diet, but a few of the things she mentions are from the low-fat school of thought. From what we know about hypnosis, a hypnotic subject will not do anything not in alignment with their values, and hearing this in what I guess was some sort of hypnotic state was especially off-putting – more so than if I was just reading something in a normal state.

Nevertheless, I do feel that there was something there, and if you want to check it out, here’s the link. I corresponded with the president of the company, and he seems a nice fellow who appears to be trying to sell science-based hypnosis rather than some quack tapes – at least that’s my impression. I’ll probably be returning to these tapes in the future and explore this avenue more.

Lastly, I have continued my experimentation with the Commit nicotine lozenges (see this post ) and the result are amazing. I use these lozenges after a meal to prevent overeating, and it makes the appetite disappear in a minute or two. I place the lozenge in my cheek, like I imagine people who chew tobacco might, and it lasts over an hour, providing a small trickle of nicotine all the while.

There have been times where I was really hungry – to the point of food fantasies – imagining what was in the fridge. It’s a powerful type of hunger for me, and hard to resist. I take a lozenge and the feeling dissipates in an instant.

There’s some side effects: it can upset my stomach, so I try to only take them after a meal. At times, they can also provide something of a mild buzz – at least mild now - when I began this, they were much more a shock to the system and took a little getting used to. I my blood pressure is fine now, even though I’m taking a bit more than when I started – I have about 4, and usually keep the lozenge in until it totally dissolves, rather than just the 15 minutes.

I also noticed a mild…how can I say it? A state of well-being. I found this odd – then I read research on nicotine that stated that it had a remarkable ability to increase stimulation when low, and reduce stimulation when it’s high – evening out the rats that the testers used.

Yeah – that kinda fits.

So I found an appetite suppressant that works for me – and provides a state of well-being as well. And it works almost every time.

Before you tsk…tsk me on this, remember: nicotine is not smoking. When you tell me all the nasty facts about smoking, you are talking about inhaling smoke with 1000 other compounds other than nicotine.

Research nicotine itself, and it doesn’t sound all that bad.

Lastly, I have NOT been exercising. I stopped that in February. I got sick, didn’t go for a few days, and lost the mojo. Now this might sound heretical, but I was analyzing my weight charts over the last year or so a month or two back, and the sudden and surprising weight gain I had last year coincided exactly with the time I was exercising.

Does exercise make you fat, as I stated somewhat tongue-in-cheek in a post from long ago? This time period also coincided with my experimentation with irvingia and the shortening of the days, which might indicate Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – a disorder that sounds as crackpot as they come – except that even my doctor said it was real (though I still am skeptical).

So perhaps there are other reasons for the weight gain than exercise. I’d still like to exercise – I was beginning to enjoy it, but I think I’m going to focus on just weight loss now – I find I’m more drawn to exercise as I lose more weight.

So here I am, seemingly on the way down again. Ketosis is a breeze lately, and cravings for the cookies downstairs are almost nonexistent – though occasionally, I do give in and have a high-carb blowout. But I’ve found some interesting results from this: occasionally, the administration of some carbs seems to help my diet. I haven’t figured out the pattern just yet, but there are times when, after a while in ketosis, I have a moderate amount of carbs, and the next day my weight more or less ramins the same, but my blood glucose is lower. Then jumping back on the wagon, I seem to have an easier time of continuing my weight loss.

This seems to indicate that some of the things regarding ‘carb cycling’ might work. Here’s a link to a fellow who’s done some empirical research on himself using this method:

I recommend Saturdays as your “Dieters Gone Wild” day. I am allowed to eat whatever I want on Saturdays, and I go out of my way to eat ice cream, Snickers, Take 5, and all of my other vices in excess. I make myself a little sick and don’t want to look at any of it for the rest of the week. Paradoxically, dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate (thyroid function, etc.) doesn’t downregulate from extended caloric restriction. That’s right: eating pure crap can help you lose fat. Welcome to Utopia.

He seems to have drawn his conclusions. For me, more research is needed.

Posted in Articles, Atkins, diet, drink, Exercise, External Links, Food, Goals, Hypnosis, Induction, irvingia, low carb, Mindset, Nicotine, Personal Journal, weight loss
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