Monday, 8 October 2012

Overfeeding does not imitate obesity + Diet Update

One of the more common arguments we often see is that "over-eating" causes obesity by the mechanism of "positive energy balance", and part of the evidence for this is overfeeding studies, whereby we force feed animals or humans extra calories, and lo and behold, they gain fat mass and become "obese".

Or do they?

Do they really become obese?

Well, that really depends on how exactly you define "obesity". One of the most important characteristics of obesity, in addition to the obvious elevation in fat mass, is that this elevated fat mass is homoeostatically defended against by the body. Obesity is MORE than just a simple increase in fat mass. This is why overfeeding does not imitate obesity, because although we can successfully elevate the fat mass of organisms by overfeeding them, that elevated level of fat mass is NOT defended against. Instead, the organism easily returns to their original weight once the over-feeding ends.

This really is a critical distinction that is often overlooked in obesity discussions, and is exactly why obesity should be treated as a disease.

This paper is where I got this argument from, the paper also has many other interesting observations about the misconceptions of obesity, if you click on the PDF link its free access, the paper is not at all technical and is very accessible to the lay-person.

Diet Update

So ive been on the warrior diet ( 23/1 IF ) for 3 weeks now, and I think its going well. Lost about 6lbs so far, not amazing, I know I would of lost significantly more if I had been strict ketogenic but the advantage is that currently im not restricting any food groups and as such the diet is more sustainable. Im doing about 50/50 high-carb to low-carb days, the fact that ive lost weight while eating in excess of 2500 calories per day is especially motivating.

This is the longest ive ever been on 23/1 IF, in the past I tried to do it with strict low-carb but I always fell off the wagon because combining low-carb with 23/1 was too restrictive. Maybe its time for me to finally accept that I cant do low-carb for life, ive been on and off low-carb for the last 10 years because I cant sustain it longterm. Although I still gain weight easily from carbs, my weight is far more manageable doing intermittent fasting.

Im amazed at how the diet has changed my feelings towards food. I no longer get any sort of food cravings, the desire to eat during the day has waned greatly, the desire to eat for pleasure, to eat out of boredom etc those feelings towards food have completely vanished. Now I eat to satisfy hunger, and it feels great.

Sometimes I get very heavy hunger pangs around lunchtime, 2pm, but it quickly goes away within 30 minutes if you can resist it. Alternatively I can just take 25g of coconut oil and the hunger will go away. Coconut oil will not take you out of the fasting state because the short and medium chain fats directly enhance liver fat oxidation.

I eat my meal between 5pm-8pm everyday, I make sure its always high protein, something like 120g, eating low protein makes it very hard to do the 23hour fast. If I dont feel im going to get enough protein from the meal I supplement 60g of whey. Despite whey being highly insulinogenic, it seems to be very favourable for body composition ( 1, 2 ), in the past I had thought of whey as just a gimmick, but there is some science to back it up.

Something else that seems to be important is the order of eating, I feel much better if I eat the carbs AFTER the protein + fat. If I eat the carbs first it takes more food to satiate me and I feel more hungry the next day. My first impression is that the protein + fat first delays gastric emptying and potentially lowers the glycemic index of the carbs.

A big disadvantage to this style of eating is the large meals at night can completely sedate you, youll be lying on the couch / bed for 2 hours after eating waiting for the food digest and your big stomach to shrink.

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