Getting off a sugar train is one of the most difficult things for many of us. There are good reasons for that – drug-like nature of the sugar impact, and gradual loss of sensitivity to the sweet taste, leading to ever-increasing dose . There is no lack of advice how to diminish cravings for the sweets, with various strategies, replacements etc. In this post, I would like to focus on the logic underpinning all these approaches and tricks; understanding of the mechanism will help you pick those that work for you or construct your own approach.
Before we get to the essence of this post, I must warn you: you are about to go down the rabbit hole. This whole field of knowledge is full of controversies and contradictions. Everyone knows there is this scary substance in our blood called cholesterol, and we need as little of it as possible, right? Oh, and everyone also knows there is bad cholesterol and good cholesterol, right? Well, just start researching it, and these seemingly commonly acknowledged notions suddenly become so very non-obvious, you might regret ever getting interested. However, we are after real health here, right?
If you are from the low carb camp, your brow just went up. Yes, you read that right – potato diet. What on green Earth is that, you ask? Well, you probably heard of egg fast, fat fast or bacon fast – days or weeks of eating just one foodstuff. This is it – potato diet is like potato fast. My eternal curiosity got me to try this weirdest diet of all, for the whole of 3 days. I was interested to find out about it for a while, ever since I’ve read the theory behind it, many personal accounts of success, and even a lukewarm endorsement from the #1 low-carb website in the world, believe it or not.
Battles are raging on the internet. Flames are all over these scorching hot topics. Do we need to count calories or can we eat to our heart content, as long as macros are right? Which macros are right? How much fat? Is there a limit to consuming fat bombs and putting butter sticks in our coffee? To every meek “I do everything by the rules, yet don’t lose a single pound” there is a scolding “You must be doing something wrong, because it worked for me,” cheerful “Continue doing it, it will work,” or consoling “You are getting healthier, that’s what matters.”
Reading Rob Wolf’s recently published brilliant book Wired to Eat, I was immediately struck by the remark he made at the beginning. It touched on the theme that bothered me for a while. Here is a quote, and see if it sounds true to you as well:
Perhaps even more frustrating, however, was the tendency for folks who actually followed the Paleo diet to turn the general concepts into quasi-religious doctrine. Folks newly converted to Paleo tended to be quite dogmatic in the insistence that this was “the one true way” to eat. Often, these devotees had reversed serious health problems with this way of eating, so their enthusiasm was understandable, but not many people enjoy the company of or the message from someone who comes across as a holier-than-thou diet zealot.
In some situations, your tried and true weight loss methods seem to stop working. Sometimes you run into a plateau – a phenomenon well-known to most of us who embarked on a weight loss journey. Sometimes during maintenance mode, you notice that your weight starts creeping up and, despite your best efforts, you seem to be able to stop it from gaining but not to bring it back down. Often this is caused by our body adjusting to your routines and setting its thermostat to a new set point, as we discussed here. If you run into one of these situations, I suggest trying one of the fasting protocols shown below. They are intended to surprise your body, shake it out of complacency, break through the plateau and restart the weight loss process.
Is type 2 diabetes reversible? For one man, the answer is yes. In his own words, here’s the story of how Vadym Graifer freed himself from diabetes by tearing up the rulebook.
Don’t swim with the current.
Don’t swim against the current.
Swim to where you need to be.
It sounded attractively rebellious, mature and self-reliant. I loved it. For a good reason too, as it turned out 40 years later.
Would you like to learn a relaxation technique from a Special Forces officer? A guy who uses this method to get a good night’s sleep before an operation, to get some rest during a break in tense situations, or to calm down after a stressful time must know a thing or two about effective methods for relaxation. I have been lucky enough to learn from such an instructor and have been using his method for many years. If you’ve tried the traditional advice of imagining yourself at a beach or a lake while breathing deeply and still find it difficult to escape rushing thoughts or to calm down restless muscles, try this technique and see if it works better for you.
Sad to say, but it probably is. Worse yet, it’s doing so while pretending to be your friend – the one you miss, wait for impatiently, and embrace when finally get to see. How treacherous. If you feel betrayed, you should – and not only by the snack, but first and foremost by a misleading nutritional advice
Last week we discussed one of the major reasons for the weight gain. That would be a waste if we didn’t follow up with a post discussing to lose that weight, wouldn’t it?
As a quick recap, it’s elevated insulin levels that command our body to store fat. They trigger a vicious cycle where elevated insulin causes rise of insulin resistance, which causes even higher insulin level. Initial increase of insulin originates from a double-trouble combo: eating the wrong things (added sugar and refined carbs) in a wrong pattern (eating too frequently, thus being in a permanent fed state with no fasted state, thus not letting insulin level drop).
Summarized in such brief form, it makes the way to stop and reverse this cycle clear. It consists of two steps.