Turn Up the Flash Gordon Noise and Put More Science Stuff Around

Interesting stuff at Body Recomposition, which I am boldly attempting to link, in spite of my failures of last post. (I have scrutinized, and my html looks good. Gremlins.)

In this article about leptin, there is discussion about the difficulties of long term calorie restriction and how it drops leptin levels, which may contribute to that "GOT TO EAT" feeling. If I'm getting this right, full diet breaks or (yes!) cheat days may help to raise leptin levels which presumably help with satiety over time. The author feels that eating lots of carbs versus fat is more helpful with this.

So I haven't been futzing around for the past three months. I've been on a diet break to restore my leptin. Sounds so much more respectable.

There is discussion of set points vs settling points. Personally I am of the settling point school-- if you change your environment (more apples, fewer cookies) your weight will move down within a range. I've seen studies that say maintainers use slightly fewer calories than the never-overweight, and other studies that say calorie burn is equal for both groups. I'm deciding not to worry about it.

There's good buzz about intermittent fasting, which I am skeptical of for one reason only: unpleasant personal experience. When I was putting on my first 20-too-much at age 12, I fasted most schooldays until 4 pm when I got home, followed by large quantities of toast. (Not deliberate, I just wasn't together enough to get breakfast or lunch.) I really believe the fasting followed by large late starchy meals contributed to my weight gain. My other experience with it was as an anorexic, fasting on days following a binge, which combined with stringent restriction certainly kept my weight down to that ideal parent-scaring BMI of 16. Or more recently as a hypoglycemic-then-prediabetic, where it pretty much makes me feel like shit. There's some persuasive stuff about IF out there. Just not my cup of tea.

So that's the Science round-up for today! You can slip off the protective eyewear and hang up the labcoats. Tomorrow will by the psychology discussion where I tell you all about my (completely internalized) raprochment with my Zumba instructor.


  1. "So I haven't been futzing around for the past three months. I've been on a diet break to restore my leptin. Sounds so much more respectable."

    LOL That's so funny. Yah, me, too.

  2. interesting! I don't believe in the Intermittent Fasting thing, but hey, if it works for some people, whateviah. ;)

  3. I think your on to something with the set points vs settling points statement. I settled too long in the 160's and now my body is fighting me so hard to get out of them. For a long time (4 years) 168 was my new set point.Now it is a little bit lower.

  4. As crazy as it sounds, sometimes throwing a naughty day into the works gets things working again. It's like a body can't tolerate too much goodness. If only it were the other way around...

  5. Clearly, the science backs you up on the period of nondieting. Way to go! ;-)

    I read the whole thing. Good news about the effects of exercise. But I'm still not taking fish oil.

  6. I'm a big believer in the periodic splurge meal. (I still can't get my mind around an entire DAY of it.) I think it keeps the body guessing. :)

  7. I think you said it best when you said, "not my cup of tea." IF works for me, but I also realize it doesn't work for everyone. The sooner we all quit trying to place ourselves in the same box, the better.

    I'll read your article later when I have a better Internet connection.

  8. Steve, somewhere I found this interesting bit that IF was good for men's blood sugar, but in women (at least in this one study) made glucose tolerance worse. I wonder if it is one of those things that can be/feel good under certain condition and not others (such as the fact that you're in much better shape than me!)


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