Author Topic: Lose weight & recover health!  (Read 444 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Lose weight & recover health!
« on: November 23, 2018, 07:49:40 AM »
Proper diet is crucial for human health and it dwarfs the exercise in addressing overweight/obesity, science and clinical practice say. Diet not as in “dieting” but as in “normally eating what human organisms have been evolutionary designed to eat”.

Discussion in another thread made me realise that this important and (not so) recent scientific hypothesis and clinical advancements are not as widely known as they should be, since they address global obesity and chronic disease epidemic.

On the other hand, there are people dear to me, which are obese or poisoning themselves and their kids daily with their diet, and nothing I did could make them listen or learn on their own and do something about the issue, quite the opposite. Plato got it right long time ago.

Therefore this challenge with the following rules:
• On my part, an extended summary of the science and results of my own “validation experiment” as well as direct links to reliable resources (so anyone can check on one’s own and not have to take my words at face value, that’s how science works) will be provided
Those taking up the challenge will
* Work through ALL THE MATERIALS (BEWARE: the amount can easily drown you but well worth the effort)
* ACT UPON the information therein (change diet to see what happens).
* Finally, from your own experience report to the forum or PM what in all these materials would be the best trigger to make people I care about listen or learn, and most importantly change something for the better in their lives. Or vice versa, what would be the detriment repelling them from listening/learning and acting accordingly.

In other words, help me prove Plato wrong, for your own benefit and the benefit of my beloved ones. A win-win.

So, whoever dares taking up the challenge, pledge now.

Who is eligible? Essentially anybody living in the developed west: overweight, skinny (are you sure about that, TOFI?), those with chronic condition and all the others that are bound to develop one.  Don’t believe it? Read on.

On we go then with the “informationboarding”, a little twist on the infamous waterboarding. I should probably apologise in advance for the very long post.

ME SAYS, PART 1: Western diet, i.e. sugar chronicles in a nutshell (sort of)

Health is the primary concern, weight is just a side effect of bad health in most cases (aside from detrimental effects on skeleto-muscular system). Conversely, weight is just a marker for metabolic syndrome (common name for a bunch of contemporary chronic diseases): ~80% of obese people have a chronic disease(s). BUT, surprise surprise, ~40% of skinny people also have a chronic disease(s) for the same reason as obese, indeed, they are fat as well, albeit only on the inside.

There is a global epidemic of metabolic syndrome and, consequently, obesity, the syndrome is growing faster than obesity.

The root cause is the western diet.

The villain is the sugar in western diet, in particular the fructose within sugar. Fructose has no physiological function in human body, so it is entirely metabolised in the liver. Because it has no use elsewhere, it is almost entirely metabolised into about half a dozen waste products and reactive agents, each of them eventually leading to at least one chronic condition. One important effect is insulin resistance and increased level of insulin, more on that later.

Fructose is poisonous to human body, more specifically it is a “dose-dependent chronic hepatotoxin”:
•   Dose dependent: liver is capable of handling a small amount of fructose without causing metabolic syndrome, fructose intake above that limit is detrimental. Recommended daily limits of sugar (half of it is fructose): 9 teaspoons (36g) for men, 6 for women, 3-6 for children
•   Chronic: fructose needs to be consumed in unsafe amounts for longer period to cause metabolic syndrome, it is not an acute (instantaneous) poison, however, we all overconsume it now
•   Hepatotoxin: liver poison, because it directly harms the liver, e.g. by causing NAFLD, literally your intimate, personal foie gras

Fructose is also the sweetest of all sweeteners, moreover it affects the dopamine cycle. As a consequence, fructose (i.e. sugar) is addictive, leading to increased food intake – a positive feedback loop,  a vicious cycle.

The banished saviour is the dietary fibre. It acts as an “antidote” to fructose by slowing the nutrient absorption in the intestine (reducing insulin peaks) and speeding the intestinal transit (speeding the satiety signal in the brain). In nature all food with fructose contains a sufficient amount of its antidote fibre, the one exception is honey. Thus, eating fruits is fine even though they contain fructose. That is how are gatherer/hunter ancestors consumed 100-300 mg of fibre per day, now we are down to 10 mg/day.

Western diet originating from USA, but now becoming global, is mostly based on industrial processed food, which is flawed in two respects concerning our discussion. First, it is stripped of dietary fibre in order to extend shelf life and enable faster cooking – less antidote. Second, it is plagued with sugar/fructose in part due to low fat craze – more poison. BTW, "low fat" food shoudl be avoided lake plague,  since fat is replaced with the same amount or more sugar.

With western diet people on average consume way more than the safe limit of sugar every day, so fructose can go do its thing. The sources of sugar intake are roughly: 1/6 from desserts, 1/3 sugared beverages, 1/2 hidden sugars in the food you would not expect to contain sugar. That’s right. Almost 80% of processed food in stores are spiked with added sugar and you consume it without knowing. In fact, processed food is “designer food”, i.e. engineered to be craved (with a little help from addictive properties of fructose in sugar).   

Getting rid of added/free sugars in one’s diet and considerably increasing the intake of fibre is therefore paramount to one’s health. 

There you have it for the health.

Getting rid of added/free sugars and increasing fibre intake is also paramount in losing weight, because obesity “travels with” metabolic syndrome. In smaller part obesity is due to increased food intake because of addictive properties of fructose.  In larger part it is due to detrimental effects of fructose metabolism, here is how.

Human body features a wonderful and delicate biological control mechanism with a negative feedback loop for automagically balancing food intake and energy expenditure. The hormone leptin, also called “the energy expenditure hormone”, is an important component of the mechanism. When filled, fat cells in our body release leptin to signal to hypothalamus, the control centre in the brain, that there is sufficient energy available for burning. Based on the leptin signal hypothalamus uses the central nervous system to control appetite and energy burning in the body. In the presence of leptin hypothalamus blocks the appetite and “orders” the body to burn energy – engage in physical activity.  Conversely, in the absence of leptin hypothalamus increases the appetite driving food intake and “orders” the body to conserve energy (do not move), i.e. there is a “starvation” state. 

Leptin discovery in mid nineties was a salvation for about a dozen of extremely rare individuals with leptin deficiency, i.e. they had no leptin due to a gene defect. They have grown massively obese from their birthday onwards. Absence of leptin was interpreted as constant starvation by their hypothalamus, so they were in a constant starvation state – eating and conserving energy as much as possible. With leptin replacement therapy they started losing weight at considerable rate.

However, there’s a mystery: most people are not insulin deficient, but their leptin is still not working as testified by the obesity epidemic, even though obese people should have more leptin than skinny, since they have more fat cells release leptin. Why leptin is not working? The intake of unsafe amounts of sugar/fructose leads to insulin resistance, which means that pancreas needs to release more insulin into the bloodstream in order for insulin to do its job.  Insulin is also known as “the energy storage hormone”, so higher insulin directly drives more fat deposition. It also turns out that increased level of insulin blocks leptin so your hypothalamus does not “see” your leptin, a holy grail discovery in obesity research. As far as hypothalamus is concerned, no leptin means starvation, so it orders “eat more, do not move” to your body. This order is good till cancelled by leptin, which means it is never cancelled, since leptin is permanently blocked.   

In summary, sugar/fructose drives insulin resistance, which drives fat deposition and leptin resistance, which drives obesity, which is erroneously attributed to personal traits of gluttony and sloth, when in fact obese people are victims of their hacked biochemistry.

Bottom line, our eating and exercising behaviour is controlled by our unconscious mind which is driven by biochemistry 24/7, our conscious control is rather limited, to put it mildly.  And our biochemistry, i.e. bodies and brains have been hacked to our detriment by the processed food industry in collaboration with the food policy. We all eat way too much sugar and so we are all insulin resistant today.

There you have it for weight.

There is one simple thing you can do to preserve your health and energy/weight balance. Eat real food that your body has been designed for, i.e. food with no added/free sugars (e.g. sugar in fruit juice) and a lot of fibre.  The best part:
• Once your biochemistry is recovered you have no choice but to eat in moderation and enjoy in spontaneous exercise, because your brain tells you so.
• If you manage to get rid of sugared beverages and hidden sugars, you can keep the desserts in moderation, because it would be below the daily limit for sugar intake

Clinically proven (over and again in the last 20 years) approach for curing child obesity (and applicable to adults) involves four steps:
• Get rid of all sugared beverages – only water and milk
• Eat your carbohydrate with fibre
• Wait 20 minutes for second portions
• Buy your screen time minute-for-minute with physical activity

ME SAYS, PART 2: My own “validation experiment”

Once I bought into the science, I started “an experiment” to check in person what happens.  The primary goal was to change my diet to consume as much fibre as humanely possible. As a secondary goal I did also work on reducing sugar, mostly hidden sugar in processed food. I did not change anything else, i.e. no increase in exercise.

I was interested in health effects due to chronic health conditions, had no issues with/interest in weight loss. I also tried and managed to affect as little as possible our home meals not to force family members into anything. Fortunately, the company canteen features a great salad bar and one vegetable meal a day.

Strong emphasis was on fibre, i.e.
• fruits, veggies, legumes, mushrooms 
• wholegrain bread, pasta, rice
• nuts and dried fruits
• seeds
• flakes, mostly oat flakes

I managed to increase the intake of these considerably. As a consequence I ate less other stuff, most notably processed food and meat. I did have a head start – we already had a habit of regular cooking with basic/natural ingredients throughout the week, so getting rid of processed food/ingredients was much easier. Moreover, sugared beverages were a non issue, I had quit them long time ago. I would kill for a sweet/dessert of any kind, though, so I put them off the table for the experiment.

Results in a few weeks time:
• Considerably reduced blood pressure and heartrate at rest, the former expected the latter not so much
• Lost 6kg/13lb, i.e. reverting to the weight of times long gone when I was in my best shape, this was expected.
• Felt less appetite between the meals, felt full sooner during the meals, expected but still a bit of a surprise
• Could easily pass on desserts/sweets even at parties. This was off the table for experiment so a big surprise, I attribute it to internalising the fact that sugar is an actual poison to humans. Once you do that, you can almost see the “poison” warning sign (skull and bones) printed all over the sweets :-)
• Got myself a new “designer cholesterol profile”, i.e. from borderline/slightly pathologic my cholesterol profile changed to almost ideal at the last blood check, as if it was designed according to my desires and specifications. Although improvement was expected, the magnitude fo improvement was a surprise.
• This is the new normal now, an effortlessly self-sustainable state, as expected. Health benefits as well as energy/weight balance are automagical once you improve the antidote/poison ratio and your leptin control loop works as designed. Repeating myself, I know, but the importance of this cannot be stressed enough.

SCIENCE SAYS:  Science and clinical practice of metabolic syndrome and obesity epidemic

The extended summary above is based on the hypothesis explained in the materials below. It is presented mostly first hand by the guy who contributed with his own research and clinical practice in curing obesity. But most importantly, there is a huge body of relevant research and our guy connected all the dots and set out to cure the world, fighting the food industry and policy on the way.  Definitely not your average Youtube Joe.

Start here: 
The Complete  Skinny on Obesity (2013)

Mandatory video lectures:
Sugar: Bitter Truth (Lustig, 2009) 
Fat Chance: Fructose 2.0 (Lustig, 2013) 

That sugar film (2014) aka Sugar for Dummies
Fed up (2014) 
Sugar Coated (2015) 
Sweet Revenge: Turning the Tables on Processed Food (2015) 

Pure, White, and Deadly (Yudkin, 1972) 
Fat Chance (Lustig, 2012) 
The Fat Chance Cookbook (Lustig, Gershen, 2013) 

Interview (2017) 

« Last Edit: November 23, 2018, 12:04:46 PM by lightbulb »


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Loose weight & recover health!
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2018, 08:30:01 AM »
You might want to correct spelling in subject line so that people are more inclined to pay attention to your detailed post.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Lose weight & recover health!
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2018, 11:56:55 AM »

Corrected, thanks for pointing it out.

To be honest, it should read "recover health and lose weight", but it would not work*, so the subject line is a marketing bait. :-)

*I explained this to many people emphasising health benefits and expecting everyone to jump aboard immediately, health is most precious after all. But much to my surprise noone could care less. But everybody noticed my weigth loss and that made them more interested.  So I was scratching my head.