12

votes

Low Carb Dieters are ego-depleted

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 10, 2012 at 8:18 PM

One of the books I am reading right now is called "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Khaneman (the first psychologist to win the Nobel Prize in economics...and I am an econ junkie). In it lays out the two tiers in which our brains operate and inform our actions- the first is system I thought and the second is system II thought. System I is impulsive, instinctual, and requires little exertion. When driving on an empty highway, you can engage in conversation. This is system I operating. When you're mad at someone and you immediately blurt out an insulting remark..this is system I as well. However, you cannot merge into traffic while computing 17X30 in your head, nor can you walk while doing (you'll stop to do the calculation). The part of your brain that tells you to slow down, and think this through before resorting to ad hominem...this is system II. It is calculated and requires exertion of thought. It is what makes us very human. System I can bias our system II, but that is off topic for this question.

There is something called "ego depletion," which results when challenged by several tasks that involve system II function either simultaneously or consecutively. That is, there is a pool of self control (characteristic of system II) which is depleted during system II challenges (at once or concomitantly). For instance, when subjects are told to exhibit self control by choosing between celery and radishes or rich chocolate and cookies, they perform worse in subsequent tasks of both physical tasks of exhersion (grip tests) and mental tasks of exhersion (short term memory tests, such as add 1, 2, or 3). Additionally, challenged with a system II task and simultaneously asked to choose between celery and radishes or a sugary drink, without hesitance (That is, without system II forethought), subjects choose the sugar.

The nervous system is an expensive consumer of glucose, and system II thought (the part of our brain that makes us human, and able to to think critically and exhibit self control) is "especially expensive in the currency of glucose. When you are actively involved in difficult cognitive reasoning or engaged in a task that requires self-control, your blood glucose levels drop....The bold implication of this idea is that the effects of ego depletion could be undone by ingesting glucose, and Baumeister and his colleagues have confirmed this hypothesis in several experiments."

I would like to hear your thoughts. This makes me think that people on VLC diets do not thrive mentally or physically in the way that people who do not have an aversion to carbs do. In fact, this is born out in the physical capability of every competitive athlete, and it is only since the dawn of agriculture that we have made the tremendous scientific and intellectual advancements that we've made as a species. Do people on low carb diets have less self control? Evidence would show this to be the case, considering that low carb dieters have the lowest long-term success rates.

Thoughts? Compelling counterarguments?

WOuld it not apply when you are fat adapted, or is system II like any other glycolytic work where it is physiologically impossible to burn fat while completing the task (such as sprinting..which you burn fat afterwards, not during)? Khaneman seems to think that the nervous systems runs on glucose, not on fat and that System II is glyocolytic. He could be proven wrong. There would have to be a trial where subjects could choose between glucose drinks and lard/oil (not glucose and non-starchy vegetables) and then compare the performance on subsequent system II demanding tests.

EDIT: I feel I have to put this here to clarify I am really not trying to bash low-carb diets in general. I am simply playing the devil's advocate, which I found to be a useful tool to employ when I want to learn more. Low carb diets under certain circumstances can be beneficial for a lot of people, I am not denying that.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 23, 2013
at 09:03 AM

Actually, that makes little sense. I have enormous self control and discipline and I eat close to no carbs. Heh.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 23, 2013
at 02:18 AM

That's a fascinating theory that, at first glance, makes sense to me. Do you have any sources?

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on January 19, 2013
at 08:59 PM

Defensive much foreveryoung?

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on September 12, 2012
at 03:10 AM

Further proof of my egocentrism! If that's even a word! Yes, totally took eg0-depletion to mean lack of self esteem. I'm a long distance trail runner. I am not a scientist definitely more focused on what's working rather than whats going on microscopically. I'm results oriented. Paleo is working, other diets haven't.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:14 PM

If you are eating just a low carb diet year round and are active, there's no doubt that your brain is running partly on ketones, but I think it also has a greater ability to run on glucose as well for type II functions, considering its cells are still glucose sensitive.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:12 PM

people were calling anything greater than 100g carbs HIGH carb. That is dumb when taken in general context that is low carb. SO now I'm high carb by paleo standards when talking online to paleo-minded people, but low carb when I talk to my friends. When I say low carb around here, I generally mean no starch and no fruit. I think that is useful for the short term. WHen I say VLC/high fat, I generally mean ketogenic diets a al Sisson/Atkins, which I am skeptical of for long term use as well, and think they're primary use is for people with certain disorders, like epilepsy.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:08 PM

^ I never over-ate on carbs so I don't have an "agenda" for or against them. There is a lot of carb hate here, and I find it annoying that anyone who questions VLC/high fat diets for the long run gets chastised and down voted. I personally think lowER carb diets are useful for pretty much everyone on the planet, however, I like to question it because I'm always searching for something better, and retain some healthy skepticism and willingness to question our views. I don't know how to use the term low carb, VLC here because when I first came on here...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 05:43 PM

^ I don't have a low carb agenda- I am just inquisitive. How many carbs do you think I eat a day? Guess? I'm willing to bet I'm more disciplined than yourself, cycling between 35, 25, 25, and 45 grams of carbs for the past 4 months. Been eating below 150 grams of carbs a day since I was 16, except for on days when I had races/matches for competitive sports. Just because someone asks questions does not mean they're against something. Did you go to school? Have you ever taken a course where the entirety of it is a text on 1 topic examining opposing viewpoints? Try picking up a macro textbook.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on September 11, 2012
at 05:40 PM

Let's see you devil's advocate a position AGAINST the one you constantly harp on.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on September 11, 2012
at 05:34 PM

I think you are reaching for anything to support your anti-low carb agenda.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:37 PM

I don't what we're discussing anymore either. I just don't really understand what the reasoning of his was about why his different pairings of pre-workout nutrients with workout type. I think it would make more sense if he just did it fasted and saw what the results were. Doesn't really matter though, it's too complex of an issue for me to be able to comment on given my current level of knowledge on the topic, or lack there of.

Af086f0fa2dc4f294896d3c3b5e5e9a7

(76)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:31 PM

Thanks FY. This was my first stab at answering a question on PH. I really feel that our "beliefs" about food playing a large role in how our body reacts to that food. If you eat something you know is "bad" for you, you will feel guilty and will waste precious energy beating yourself up. So, in that regard, the ego depletion theory is interesting. I know people who don't feel the slightest amount of guilt about their high-calorie, high-carb modern diets and somehow manage to stay thin (not necessarily healthy).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:16 PM

^ I think you're speaking of the division of labor. I don't know if that explains everything, it can't- access to more calories (maybe from glucose, or maybe just generally) had at least a supporting a role.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:13 PM

ALSO.......... I forgot to add to point 1. that you made. I think you could be correct actually, and it might have somethign merely to do with TASTING sweet, and not ingesting it. I am recalling seeing some studies that were broken down on ergo-log.com (I think) about hwo cyclists perform better after sprint repititions after merely swishing a glucose drink in their mouth and spitting it out vs water.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:11 PM

but, I would be curious to see the effect of MCTs betwen System II bouts as well. Could be something there.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:10 PM

4.I don't know if we can say it doesn't take into account the use of ketones in the brain. Virtually all people within the medical fields knows that the body and brain can operate on ketones, they jsut see it as a less efficient alternative to glucose. So, I am sure Khaneman knows the fuel systems within the body, and he seems to think that system II is as glycolytic as running a sprint (he actually compares it to athletes drawing down muscle glycogen).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:08 PM

3. I can't argue with this, assuming there is evidence to support it. It seems logical if what your saying is high-carbers typically use more glucose during low-intensity work as an adaptatino to high carb feeings, and vlc dieters typically use more fat at low intensity work as an adaptation to spare glucose for when it is truly needed. Makes sense and anecdotally feel that is the case, as someone who follows a low carb (sub 150g) diet most of the time.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:05 PM

I am wililng to bet taht every single person guzzling sodas with abandon is either a) not fully aware of the magnitude of its reprecussions or b) simply do not care. If it is B) thent hat is a value judgement being made, which likely involved some system II thinking about the present benefits over the future costs.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:05 PM

2. It is not jsut glucose before, it is glucose as needed, b/c system II performance declinse as glucose is used up, so more glucose replenshes the available pool of energy for system II. Also, as for the people with big gulps, what you wrote says nothign about there ability to engage in repetitive systyem II stress. What you said is that they can't exhibit self-control. I am sure they can, but they are making different value judgements that yourself.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:01 PM

2. It is not jsut glucose before, it is glucose as needed, b/c system II performance declinse as glucose is used up, so more glucose replenshes the available pool of energy for system II. You are also misusing the term self-restraint. What is meant is forethought. People guzzling sodas are making value judgements based upon current current reward over future costs. Perhaps they are unaware of the magnitude of the future costs, which I am willing to bet is the case.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:58 PM

Great answer JJ. To the points 1. Khaneman states that blood sugar drops when engaging in system II function, and he even compares to an athlete who is depleting glycogen during a race. So, it owuld be the glucose that is in high demand, not the insulin.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Have you ever heard of Devil's advocate? It is a useful strategy to employ when you want to check that the ground beneath which you stand is solid. You wouldn't vote for Obama vote for President X without seriously examining the claims to contrary of President Y, would you? Well, given your above answer, I think I can already guess.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:54 PM

Excuse me, I'm trying to ask a thought provoking (hopefully, unless you're already ego-depleted) question so that we can learn more, and all you can do is falsely critisize my statements as baseless (falsely, because they are not mine, but Khaneman's...said to be one of the greatest thinkers of our time) and recite your own immedietly go on to flat out deny the possibility that high carb diets have can certain advantages over ketogenic diets as "obviously bullshit."

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:50 PM

Excuse me, I'm trying to ask a question about statement written by one of the greatest minds in the 21st century (not my words) so that we can learn more, and all you can do is critisize my statements as baseless (falsely, because they are not mine, but Khaneman's...said to be one of the greatest thinkers of our time) and recite your own baseless comment that high carb diets have certain advantages over ketogenic diets is "obviously bullshit."

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:36 PM

Todd great answer. I was literally thinking the same thing- for some us it is not viewed as a sacrifice to choose vegetables over processed food- it is instinctual becasue we understand the consequences. If I could plus this x10 I would.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:08 PM

The leaps that we made as a species since adapting agriculture have actually been attributed to the ability it gave us to live in greater proximity to one another and specialize tasks.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:15 AM

I only care when I feel people wreck their lives/health or their kids' lives and do some permanent damage to themselves without ever knowing. It really makes me upset because I went through it.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:13 AM

There are some things in the body whose sole energy source is glucose. From what i have read these include; the testes, erythrocytes, kidney medulla, lens and cornea which are dependent upon glucose as their sole energy source. Gluconeogenesis can meet these glucose requirements. Not sure about the nervous system/nerves (glucose sole or primary source?)

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:10 AM

ketone bodies can replace up to about 70% of the brains glucose requirement; "After the diet has been changed to lower blood glucose for 3 days, the brain gets 25% of its energy from ketone bodies. After about 40 days, this goes up to 70%" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketone_bodies

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:06 AM

Don't worry - I don't care about votes or scores or anything like that. So I give you permission to down vote as many times as you like :)

05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

(795)

on September 11, 2012
at 04:23 AM

http://www.brianpeskin.com/BP.com/reports/Ketosis-CAMB.pdf that is one source, but it makes sense, glucose glycates things, where as fat doesn't? I dunno about you I rather be a fat burner than a sugar burner.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on September 11, 2012
at 03:09 AM

I upvoted you because I agree that such a simple math problem should take less time to solve than it would take to stop the car instead of merging.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on September 11, 2012
at 03:07 AM

The brain can also use lactic acid as a fuel source.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:46 AM

Where'd you hear that ketones are the preferred fuel source for the brain? How many brains were surveyed on their preferred fuel? Is it just because ketosis eliminates certain kinds of epilepsy?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:04 AM

That was a single instance that is easily accessible. The "on one day he would...." idea would totally miss the point of his N=1 which was to determine how being well adapted to low carb changes energy usages at different levels of workout intensities. I must say I'm not even sure what your trying to say in your last three sentences??? Do you mean fat is neutral or natural? Glucagon increases blood sugar too....what are we discussing?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 11:03 PM

And for all I know, what constitutes "High intensity" for him is not for another.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 11:01 PM

protein spikes it and fat is natural (?). Cortisol alone increases blood sugar.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 11:00 PM

That is not well controlled or citable- it's not even controlled. A controlled trial would be on three different people or himself on separate occasions. He would do one workout that is typically glyocolyitic (sprinting), another that is "fat burning" (walking). Before each routine he would consume on one day glucose, on another fat, and on another protein (all equivalent calories) and see which is burned (which apparently he gathers from his post exercise levels? That is inaccurate method considering the complex inter plat between hormones and glucose levels. Glucose lowers cortisol...

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:59 PM

We know that there are physiological shifts in how we process and produce energy in different states....carb loaded vs carb depleted vs ketogenic.....why would it be unfathomable to think that this system II is easily supplied by ketones or some other process when someone is adapted to a state of low carb?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:56 PM

That does not show anything of relevance. Something of relevance would be him consuming three different solutions (1 protein, 1 fat, and 1 carb) and seeing which fuel is burned during y activity. NOT eating a ketogenic diet and doing different exercise and seeing what his post exercise glucose and lactate levels are.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:49 PM

PS I didn't down vote this. I don't do anonymous DVs.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:49 PM

Actually THE INPUT ABSOLUTELY plays a determining role in what is used at various levels of activity. Just as a for instance http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-interplay-of-exercise-and-ketosis-part-i. To claim the input has NO role is flat out wrong.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:39 PM

spriting, you'll burn the carbs during that work and fat in a low-intensity state. THE ACTIVITY DETERMINES THE FUEL BURNED, NOT THE INPUT. THAT IS WHY YOU USE YOUR CARBS OR THEY GET STORED AS FAT.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:38 PM

Yeah, but when you say "the liver is going to supply the brain's demands" you surely mean that it is going to supply the brain with glucose (for that is what the liver will stores- glucose). If you are doing glycolytic work (which is highly demanding activity both physically and apparently cognitively with System II performance), that liver glucose will burn at the same rate as a sugar burner. The ACTIVITY determines the fuel burned, not the consumption. If you eat a bunch of carbs on a sedentary lifestyle, you'll get fat. If you eat a bunch of carbs and do high volume weight training and...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:32 PM

you're probably somewhat of a math buff (I slow down for a second to compute it, and it's part of my major), so another system II operation would be spelling "acrylic" backwards.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:29 PM

^ excuse the run-on sentence.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:29 PM

You are correct. 17x30 is system I for some people, but not the majority. So it might be entirely reflexive system 1 for you, I don't doubt it at all, but then if it really is 100% reflexive for you, then I'll just go with 17x36, which is system II for 99.9% of the population.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:09 PM

I know you're not fighting. Jeez, if only we could all Skype our comments so inflection could be garnered. We're all good!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:05 PM

3. why did this get up voted twice? It is based upon a misunderstanding of the term "ego-depleted"?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:04 PM

OMG. I am not fighting!!! I am just trying to explain!!! :))) LOL. Bye.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:01 PM

Good quote. You win that round, but the battle is not over. No i'm just playing, I see what you're getting at. Honestly do not want to go back and forth forever though. Nice to learn though. Thanks:)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:57 PM

It is why Primal a al Mark Sisson works very well for low intensity exercise (see his exercise prescriptions, it is very easy), but higher rep lifters, rowers, swimmers (not long distance, but within the 50-400M swims), and sprinters all do better on higher carb diets, not higher fat, lower carb diets.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:56 PM

Fascism was based on propaganda, people were denied the truth and lied to left and right.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:55 PM

This is why you can't eat 400g of carbs a day and just walk for exercise..otherwise you'd develop an unfavorable muscle/fat ratio (and hypo caloric). BUt I know many lifters and sprinters who pound at least 300-400g carbs a day, and are well muscled and lean.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:54 PM

@ Jac- I was under the impression that burning fat and burning glucose depend on the activity that is demanded of the body. Do low intensity activity, burn fat. Do high intensity, glycolytic activity (sprinting, gymnastics, weight lifting in a higher rep range, etc), then burn glucose. The composition of your diet will just allow (demand?) of you to favor one activity over another.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:54 PM

Certain value judgements have to be based on some kind of knowledge, whether it is a law or a fact. Socrates once said, "All I know that I know nothing" and then added "but others don't even know that much".

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:51 PM

1. ego-depleted does not mean low-self esteem (lack of ego). It means system II depleted for all intents and purposes. 2. I would just guess that your sport is not glycolytic then? You're not gymnast or a sprinter eating not a ketogenic diet. And, if you're eating a high protein diet, some of it will be converted to glucose via gluconeogenesis, but I am unclear on how much this actually amounts to.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:51 PM

Sorry, it looked like my original comment was lost, so I answered you again.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:48 PM

It isn't simply to that. Blood sugar is steady; the liver is going to supply the brain's demands and the entire situation is going to look nothing like the average carb eating college student they had as test subjects.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:48 PM

I suspected you were, but that is the difference between the mindset between where I was, and the "normal" life I have returned to (feeling the need to explain myself or respond to a challenge until understood, no lack of ego response there I suppose), vs. simply sharing a thought and letting the chips fall where they may. Having been there and back, luckily I have the perspective to be mindful. P.S. It is extremely difficult to meditate with small active children around, so depending on your life trajectory, I highly recommend developing that skill while you are young and have time to do so.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:48 PM

* fuel not file. Read x as fat or glucose, depending not the scenario.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:47 PM

@ Jac- Was it disingenuous? I really don't know enough, but where is the evidence that says some people are more able to burn fat than others? I think if you eat a lot of sugar, you are going to have to burn it until you run out, at which point you'll have to rely on fat for low intensity work and muscle/protein for high intensity work. IF you don't eat sugar, you'll have to rely on muscle/protein for glycolytic work. That may be wrong, but that's just how I understand it. You can't circumvent the type of effort being done and the file source it demands, but you can get x from several places.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:43 PM

You can eat carbs and have stable blood sugar as long as you are not metabolically deranged and insulin resistant. Carbs does not mean high blood sugar. Also, I haven't checked any of his sources. The book has gotten such wide acclaim, he's said to be the greatest psychologist of our time, and I already was biased towards liking him since I read about him in the "black swan" by Nassim Taleb (one of my favorite economists) a couple years back. I'm sure I've not done my homework on all the references, but I am reading this book for pleasure, so that kind of takes the fun out if it...you know?

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:40 PM

Yeah, but that comment about everyone burning fat was a bit disingenuous, don't you think? We may all be able to burn fat, but some do it more readily than others.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:38 PM

And you have to be 'on the glucose' in order to be in that situation. The blood sugar of a low carbers is steady. Also, you have to be careful with Khaneman. Some of those studies aren't very good.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:37 PM

I deleted it, even though I thought it was a an example made in a good fun. I thought it would bring some relevance and provide a comical example. FOr all I know he's a grade-A gentleman, but it is an example of System I taking precedence over a system II function (censorship and forethought, not ad hominem attack). It is gone now.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:35 PM

@HN- Yeah I was just giving you a hard time. It sounds delightful. I should try meditating more often, but when I was a caddy this zen-guru golfer told me that being in the now is the most convenient form of true meditation one can implement. I practice that daily, but often do have to remind myself of it and be conscious of it.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:33 PM

The Nikoley comment was merely to be snarky and to spark a heated debate. I wasn't thinking anyone was actually going to respond simply to that, but since you have, I will just say that I don't know anything about Nikoley as a person, and only know of negative things I read on the internet. FOr all I know he's a grade-A gentleman, but it is an example of System I taking precedence over a system II function (censorship and forethought, not ad hominem attack).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:32 PM

The Nikoley comment was merely to be snarky and to spark a heated debate. I wasn't thinking anyone was actually going to respond simply to that, but since you have, I will just say that I don't know anything about Nikoley as a person, and only know of negative things I read on the internet. FOr all I know he's a grade-A gentleman, but it is an example of System I taking precedence over a system II function (censorship and forethought before ad hominem attack).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:28 PM

@ VB- I think if we allow that to happen it is a fast track to fascism .

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:26 PM

@ VB- I definitely agree with you that if you know a law or fact is being impossibly contradicted, then you certainly can "judge" whether the answer is wrong or right. I just don't feel that whether one has earned a master's or not gives them more sway in making VALUE judgements than a lower educated person.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:18 PM

@Foreveryong - if you don't think the education gives your the right to judge than what would you say to a person who would get all the basic math facts wrong? Like, yes, 2+2 is 4 but if you think it is 5, I respect your opinion... BTW, if you are an economics and mathematics major chances are you are high on testosterone and that qualifies you to be a nerd. :)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:17 PM

I'm not saying they do, or even referring to manipulation in the sociopathic sense, more in the self-preservation of image and material possessions sense, which I don't think anyone would consider to be even remotely pathologic. It makes sense to prioritize ambition in modern life if you want shelter, a mate, and successful offspring, but I wonder if that place I accidentally stumbled into could have been the mindset from which gift cultures and collectivism sprang up?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:13 PM

yeah, definitely pick up a copy. It has been compared to being in the same league as Freud's Interpretation of Dreams and Smith's Wealth of Nations. I don't know about that, but worthwhile read and about as good of any that I could recommend to a curious mind.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:10 PM

JayJay- I'm not really either. I'd say I have the right amount of neurosis to make me successful. I was operating on a past comment made by VB which informed my opinion of her. I could be wrong about it.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:08 PM

Alrighty...I will say I am interested in the book though. It is at least a bit outside of my normal reading area so should be interesting.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:07 PM

Which system is it that makes you insecure and hypersensitive? Is that glucose mediated?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:07 PM

@VB- Last biology I took was freshman year in college, that is it. AP chemistry in high school was my last chem course. I am an economics and mathematics major with a minor in statistics. I don't think education gives you the right to judge, but I don't know about the final say thing- depends on what it is for. I'd rather not go down that road. For what it is worth I am a die-hard Hayekian and generally weary of those that consider themselves "intellectuals" and therefor able to make grand decisions on a wide number of issues, pertaining directly to their field or not.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:03 PM

@JayJay- HAHAHA. I was literally thinking the same thing as I was writing this- "OMG this is going to be self-defeating!"

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:03 PM

I still think that people who are more educated in certain fields have the right to make the final judgement when it comes to their field of expertise. I am a complete zero in chemistry and a 0.5 in biology so you know more than me in those fields for sure. I will never be able to match your level of knowledge in those fields. So I am just sharing my thoughts, for whatever they are worth (which is not much). I hope there will be some better answers than mine.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:02 PM

@forever....Dude...cut back on the carbs. You seem a bit jumpy. ;)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:57 PM

^ Great answer. Fully redeemed. Personally, I like playing devils advocate in the best way possible for too many things (which often aggravates Professors), so I just though this would be a good old notch in the belt against vlc, so I would throw it out there. I am not trying to say vlc has zero benefit for everyone- that would be ridiculous. I am playing devils advocate because I thought it was a compelling argument that can help us learn more. And that question above is the right question that should be asked to learn more.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:54 PM

As for answering the question... it is a bit irrelevant I think (just don't take it in a negative way, please). Because instead of focusing on HOW one's self-control is altered, I think we should focus on WHY and the evolutionary advantages to consuming foods that are higher in glucose.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:54 PM

No, it honestly doesn't bother me one bit, but I wanted to respond to it. That statement reminded me of a condescending remark you made to a fellow p-hacker a while back about being educated means you can judge others. So I assumed you criticizing me for being uneducated relative to you. System I operates under biases and recognition, and I suppose that is what I was going by. I wasn't just going to let a comment like that fly. BUt if that's not what you meant by it, then I appreciate your explanation. :)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:50 PM

I also suspect it is like this. WHile sprinting, it is physiologically impossible to burn fat for energy- it is highly glyoclytic work. Walking you can burn fat though. The way Khaneman presents is this- System II is glycolytic, while system I is not. Literally, he believes system II to be the primary consumer of glucose in our bodies.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:50 PM

@Foreveryoung - OMG. Wow. Why did you take my comment in a negative way? No, you are more entertaining than a nerd. A nerd is pure testosterone, and you have more dopamine I think. It has nothing to do with Masters degree. If you want me to, I will delete it.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:47 PM

I was suspecting that someone was going to say, but "I wonder how it is with fat-burners." The truth is everyone burns fat, otherwise we would die very fast.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:46 PM

Right, but most people do not need to be low carb to keep from being manipulative and having low self esteem.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:45 PM

There is no single part of the brain that is responsible for system II thinking that has yet been identified, but that doesn't mean it is a failure. They do not believe there is a part that is responsible, but rather it is more or less ubiquitous in our brains.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:43 PM

And your nerd wannabe crack was not over my head. I understand you think I am stupid and that anyone without a Masters is a moron.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:42 PM

It doesn't read low carb means no self control. it means ingesting glucose prolongs your capacity to undergo system II brain function. System to is difficult mental tasks and self-control.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:41 PM

Holy cow, Happy - I want some of THAT feeling!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:40 PM

Right. I have not earned my masters yet, so I am probably more of a nerd wannabe. But why would I want to be a nerd? ANyways, those are all good comments, but you did not answer the question...you answered an easier one (which is a way of circumventing system II, fyi). I did not ask what causes lack of self control, as the it is not a lack of self control that is at at stake here- it is DIMINISHED CAPACITY for self-control after system II engagements, which are found to be remedied by ingestion of glucose. Like an athlete can keep playing as long as he sips Gatorade at half time.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:39 PM

Right. I have not earned my masters yet, so I am probably more of a nerd wannabe. But why would I want to be a nerd? ANyways, those are all good comments, but you did not answer the question...you answered an easier one (which is a way of circumventing system II, fyi). I did not ask what causes lack of self control, as the it is not a lack of self control that is at at stake here- it is DIMINISHED self capacity for self-control after system II engagements, which are found to be remedied by ingestion of glucose. Like an athlete can keep playing as long as he sips Gatorade at half time.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:39 PM

I don't think it was laziness, at least that isn't what I remember, I was very active socially and physically, and I remember feeling tremendous compassion for the struggles of others, I just felt no investment in manipulating situations for personal gain or emotional validation.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:36 PM

What you described sounds like a euphemism for lazy to me. Smarter people would use the euphemism of ego-depletion, which has a typical charectistic of apathy and a-motivation.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:34 PM

What you described sounds like a euphemism for lazy to me. Smarter people would say that you're ego-depleted and now unmotivated (a characteristic of ego-depletion).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:32 PM

What you described sounds like a euphemism for lazy to me.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:31 PM

??? I'm not sure I have much to add to this, but will enjoy seeing what unfolds. Personally, LC (but not VLC) plus meditation, seemed to move me into a state beyond even needing self control, I just could not be moved to want any more than what was immediately available to me, it was a weird almost "Vulcan" state of absolute acceptance. I did a lot of soul searching during that time wondering how much of our "progress" was the result neurosis from wanting more than we have. And now, I'm wondering how much of that want is related to blood sugar regulation?

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13 Answers

6
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:02 PM

Well, I suppose I'm going to give a couple of thoughts. First I suppose we should address that you may want to link the "experiments" that where done that seem to validate this hypothesis, but supposing your run down on the lemonade experiment is correct and doesn't have too many confounding factors or obvious faults (which we can't say, but just supposing)...then I have some observations:

  1. It really is not a question of high carb vs low carb dieting. It is a question of do you consume glucose to enhance these system II tasks. From what you write it appears that you must consume glucose immediately before performing the task....so is it the insulin spike, the glucose, or some other mechanism. Seems you cant extrapolate his data into diet at all.

  2. If we take that premise that consuming sugar just before any task in life that needs system II activation would help us be better adapted to things like self restraint and so forth it would stand to reason that the most well adapted people would be those constantly consuming sugar. You know those fellas with the 64 oz big gulp that never seem to put it down. Just by observation I would say this kinda falls apart right here.

  3. Purely glycolitic activity is usually measured in terms of seconds....even VLC persons have enough glucose in the system to sustain bouts of glycolitic activity. They just have about half as much glycogen available as a high carb person. I would have to look up additional studies (which I haven't as of yet), but it seems that the re-proportioning of fuel in a VLC person is glucose sparing at low to moderate intensities just so they do have more glucose available when TRULY high intensity work is needed, thereby evening things up.

  4. Of course this does not take into account usage of ketones by the brain, so more studies would be interesting in ketoadapted individuals who were fed....say coconut oil just prior to testing the system II response.

So in summation there is really no evidence to state that a VLC dieter would be ego depleted any more so than any other person who is not actively hooked up to a glucose dispensing IV every hour of every waking moment of every day.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:58 PM

Great answer JJ. To the points 1. Khaneman states that blood sugar drops when engaging in system II function, and he even compares to an athlete who is depleting glycogen during a race. So, it owuld be the glucose that is in high demand, not the insulin.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:13 PM

ALSO.......... I forgot to add to point 1. that you made. I think you could be correct actually, and it might have somethign merely to do with TASTING sweet, and not ingesting it. I am recalling seeing some studies that were broken down on ergo-log.com (I think) about hwo cyclists perform better after sprint repititions after merely swishing a glucose drink in their mouth and spitting it out vs water.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:05 PM

I am wililng to bet taht every single person guzzling sodas with abandon is either a) not fully aware of the magnitude of its reprecussions or b) simply do not care. If it is B) thent hat is a value judgement being made, which likely involved some system II thinking about the present benefits over the future costs.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:11 PM

but, I would be curious to see the effect of MCTs betwen System II bouts as well. Could be something there.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:10 PM

4.I don't know if we can say it doesn't take into account the use of ketones in the brain. Virtually all people within the medical fields knows that the body and brain can operate on ketones, they jsut see it as a less efficient alternative to glucose. So, I am sure Khaneman knows the fuel systems within the body, and he seems to think that system II is as glycolytic as running a sprint (he actually compares it to athletes drawing down muscle glycogen).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:08 PM

3. I can't argue with this, assuming there is evidence to support it. It seems logical if what your saying is high-carbers typically use more glucose during low-intensity work as an adaptatino to high carb feeings, and vlc dieters typically use more fat at low intensity work as an adaptation to spare glucose for when it is truly needed. Makes sense and anecdotally feel that is the case, as someone who follows a low carb (sub 150g) diet most of the time.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:01 PM

2. It is not jsut glucose before, it is glucose as needed, b/c system II performance declinse as glucose is used up, so more glucose replenshes the available pool of energy for system II. You are also misusing the term self-restraint. What is meant is forethought. People guzzling sodas are making value judgements based upon current current reward over future costs. Perhaps they are unaware of the magnitude of the future costs, which I am willing to bet is the case.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:05 PM

2. It is not jsut glucose before, it is glucose as needed, b/c system II performance declinse as glucose is used up, so more glucose replenshes the available pool of energy for system II. Also, as for the people with big gulps, what you wrote says nothign about there ability to engage in repetitive systyem II stress. What you said is that they can't exhibit self-control. I am sure they can, but they are making different value judgements that yourself.

5
Af086f0fa2dc4f294896d3c3b5e5e9a7

on September 11, 2012
at 02:27 PM

This study implies that by choosing celery and radishes over chocolate and cookies, you are exhibiting self control. Your ego is supposedly depleted by the internal (subconscious?) cognitive dissonance of choosing one action when you would really prefer the other, is how I interpret this. Consider the fact that many of us truly believe that we DO NOT WANT the chocolate and cookies anymore. In our case, we are eating only what we truly want to eat, even if that is celery and radishes. In that case, would the ego depletion still occur? I would guess not.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:36 PM

Todd great answer. I was literally thinking the same thing- for some us it is not viewed as a sacrifice to choose vegetables over processed food- it is instinctual becasue we understand the consequences. If I could plus this x10 I would.

Af086f0fa2dc4f294896d3c3b5e5e9a7

(76)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:31 PM

Thanks FY. This was my first stab at answering a question on PH. I really feel that our "beliefs" about food playing a large role in how our body reacts to that food. If you eat something you know is "bad" for you, you will feel guilty and will waste precious energy beating yourself up. So, in that regard, the ego depletion theory is interesting. I know people who don't feel the slightest amount of guilt about their high-calorie, high-carb modern diets and somehow manage to stay thin (not necessarily healthy).

5
3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

on September 10, 2012
at 11:17 PM

I don't see any references for the claims/insights made. Yes its an interesting and thought provoking question but the premise doesn't necessarily have foundation since we don't know that the person/study you discuss actually had controls or even defined "very-low-carb" in any way that matches reality, or at least matches a fully adapted ketotic state.

5
792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:39 PM

Interesting, foreveryoung! I have this book on my kindle, but haven't gotten far through it yet. Now I think I'll have to pull it to the top of the list!

One question I have, as someone who is trying out VLC, is where is the 'pool of control' located and what is it, exactly? I've read (can't remember where) that serotonin becomes depleted during the kind of thought processes you describe - I was reading to try and find out why it's so easy to refuse sweet/creamy foods the first time, even the second time they're offered, but it gets more difficult and is accompanied by different emotions (anger, sadness etc) as the food is offered again and again. It seemed to me that it wasn't a matter of willpower, but that you become less able to process the thoughts that are required to act in opposition to the social norm of accepting a cake when it's offered.

If the pool of control is fuelled by glucose, then perhaps you're right. But what if it's only fuelled by glucose in a body that has little metabolic flexibility or adaptation to non-glucose fuel sources?? And what if its apparent glucose connection is a result of system II challenges, and isn't causative at all?? Perhaps a small ramble here, but I think until the variables are explored, including information about people who seem to be well adapted to VLC, I think the jury is out. Still interesting, though!

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:40 PM

Yeah, but that comment about everyone burning fat was a bit disingenuous, don't you think? We may all be able to burn fat, but some do it more readily than others.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:48 PM

* fuel not file. Read x as fat or glucose, depending not the scenario.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:47 PM

I was suspecting that someone was going to say, but "I wonder how it is with fat-burners." The truth is everyone burns fat, otherwise we would die very fast.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:50 PM

I also suspect it is like this. WHile sprinting, it is physiologically impossible to burn fat for energy- it is highly glyoclytic work. Walking you can burn fat though. The way Khaneman presents is this- System II is glycolytic, while system I is not. Literally, he believes system II to be the primary consumer of glucose in our bodies.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:57 PM

It is why Primal a al Mark Sisson works very well for low intensity exercise (see his exercise prescriptions, it is very easy), but higher rep lifters, rowers, swimmers (not long distance, but within the 50-400M swims), and sprinters all do better on higher carb diets, not higher fat, lower carb diets.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:54 PM

@ Jac- I was under the impression that burning fat and burning glucose depend on the activity that is demanded of the body. Do low intensity activity, burn fat. Do high intensity, glycolytic activity (sprinting, gymnastics, weight lifting in a higher rep range, etc), then burn glucose. The composition of your diet will just allow (demand?) of you to favor one activity over another.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:45 PM

There is no single part of the brain that is responsible for system II thinking that has yet been identified, but that doesn't mean it is a failure. They do not believe there is a part that is responsible, but rather it is more or less ubiquitous in our brains.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:55 PM

This is why you can't eat 400g of carbs a day and just walk for exercise..otherwise you'd develop an unfavorable muscle/fat ratio (and hypo caloric). BUt I know many lifters and sprinters who pound at least 300-400g carbs a day, and are well muscled and lean.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:47 PM

@ Jac- Was it disingenuous? I really don't know enough, but where is the evidence that says some people are more able to burn fat than others? I think if you eat a lot of sugar, you are going to have to burn it until you run out, at which point you'll have to rely on fat for low intensity work and muscle/protein for high intensity work. IF you don't eat sugar, you'll have to rely on muscle/protein for glycolytic work. That may be wrong, but that's just how I understand it. You can't circumvent the type of effort being done and the file source it demands, but you can get x from several places.

4
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on September 12, 2012
at 01:44 AM

Very glad you added the edit where you said you understand that low-carb diets can be beneficial for people with certain conditions, because if you knew anything about Alzheimer's disease, you would not have said this in a million years:

"This makes me think that people on VLC diets do not thrive mentally or physically in the way that people who do not have an aversion to carbs do."

Also, this is intriguing to me: "System II thought (the part of our brain that makes us human, and able to to think critically and exhibit self control) is especially expensive in the currency of glucose.'"

For me, the more carbohydrate I eat, the less self control I can muster. (Well, maybe not carbohydrate, per se, but simple sugars for sure.) Seems like I am mentally sharpest and psychologically strongest (including willpower/self-control) when I'm in a super-sweet spot of fat adaptation. Not ultra low-carb, but keeping carbs to non-starchy veg only and maybe a tiny amount of fruit.

3
0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

on September 11, 2012
at 02:26 PM

Your misunderstanding of low-carb ain't so good.

"The nervous system is an expensive consumer of glucose, and system II thought (the part of our brain that makes us human, and able to to think critically and exhibit self control) is "especially expensive in the currency of glucose.

Yes, this is correct. PRECISELY why low-carb diets give you muscular insulin resistance. The glucose is redirected to where it needs to be - the brain. But let's not forget that the body is fully equipped to produce enough glucose on its own in the complete absence of carbohydrates (unlikely.)

Ketones also make for a better functioning brain.

Also "expensive" means nothing. Can you tell me exactly how many molecules of glucose the brain needs everyday? When you baselessly throw around words like "expensive" you give the impression that a high-carb diet is EVEN BETTER than low-carb, which is obviously bullshit.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on September 11, 2012
at 05:40 PM

Let's see you devil's advocate a position AGAINST the one you constantly harp on.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:14 PM

If you are eating just a low carb diet year round and are active, there's no doubt that your brain is running partly on ketones, but I think it also has a greater ability to run on glucose as well for type II functions, considering its cells are still glucose sensitive.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:08 PM

^ I never over-ate on carbs so I don't have an "agenda" for or against them. There is a lot of carb hate here, and I find it annoying that anyone who questions VLC/high fat diets for the long run gets chastised and down voted. I personally think lowER carb diets are useful for pretty much everyone on the planet, however, I like to question it because I'm always searching for something better, and retain some healthy skepticism and willingness to question our views. I don't know how to use the term low carb, VLC here because when I first came on here...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:54 PM

Excuse me, I'm trying to ask a thought provoking (hopefully, unless you're already ego-depleted) question so that we can learn more, and all you can do is falsely critisize my statements as baseless (falsely, because they are not mine, but Khaneman's...said to be one of the greatest thinkers of our time) and recite your own immedietly go on to flat out deny the possibility that high carb diets have can certain advantages over ketogenic diets as "obviously bullshit."

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Have you ever heard of Devil's advocate? It is a useful strategy to employ when you want to check that the ground beneath which you stand is solid. You wouldn't vote for Obama vote for President X without seriously examining the claims to contrary of President Y, would you? Well, given your above answer, I think I can already guess.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:12 PM

people were calling anything greater than 100g carbs HIGH carb. That is dumb when taken in general context that is low carb. SO now I'm high carb by paleo standards when talking online to paleo-minded people, but low carb when I talk to my friends. When I say low carb around here, I generally mean no starch and no fruit. I think that is useful for the short term. WHen I say VLC/high fat, I generally mean ketogenic diets a al Sisson/Atkins, which I am skeptical of for long term use as well, and think they're primary use is for people with certain disorders, like epilepsy.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:50 PM

Excuse me, I'm trying to ask a question about statement written by one of the greatest minds in the 21st century (not my words) so that we can learn more, and all you can do is critisize my statements as baseless (falsely, because they are not mine, but Khaneman's...said to be one of the greatest thinkers of our time) and recite your own baseless comment that high carb diets have certain advantages over ketogenic diets is "obviously bullshit."

2
1e4b2000e3b0f528ff4dbe42f1795b97

on September 11, 2012
at 02:12 AM

Depends whether someone is KETO-ADAPTED or not. Once this happens the body functions optimally using fat as it's fuel source and there'd be no "ego-loss" from lack of glucose. Takes a few weeks for the body to acclimate to become keto-adapted to burning fat/ketones for energy (lots of enzymes have to get activated that were dormant due to years of glucose burning). Point is, unless the study participants were on a long-term very carb diet (and thus keto-adapted) this "study" sounds pointless and flawed...

2
8af1e83ec3ea5a39f050baf362708a78

(253)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:25 PM

However, you cannot merge into traffic while computing 17X30 in your head,

While I'll freely admit that there are math problems that require concentration, memory, and effort, and that these may well be difficult to perform while merging into traffic, 17x30 shouldn't be one of them.

It is, rather, the sort of problem that should have its answer pop into your head reflexively, without thought or reflection. (Unless, of course, you were the unfortunate victim of a "modern" education, and were never properly drilled on the multiplication table.)

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on September 11, 2012
at 03:09 AM

I upvoted you because I agree that such a simple math problem should take less time to solve than it would take to stop the car instead of merging.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:29 PM

^ excuse the run-on sentence.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:32 PM

you're probably somewhat of a math buff (I slow down for a second to compute it, and it's part of my major), so another system II operation would be spelling "acrylic" backwards.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:29 PM

You are correct. 17x30 is system I for some people, but not the majority. So it might be entirely reflexive system 1 for you, I don't doubt it at all, but then if it really is 100% reflexive for you, then I'll just go with 17x36, which is system II for 99.9% of the population.

1
4c0b3e80d98b3fc0e9a4ec4fa8a4eb44

on May 23, 2013
at 12:20 AM

Hey guys, i just found this thread randomly. I know I'm late but I wanted to share this. There's a new theory regarding glucose as an energy source for self-control. There is the possibility that glucose triggers the reward pathways in the brain and that the replenishment of volitional resources may occur simply through exposure of glucose to the oral cavity (example: gargling a glucose solution).

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 23, 2013
at 02:18 AM

That's a fascinating theory that, at first glance, makes sense to me. Do you have any sources?

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 23, 2013
at 09:03 AM

Actually, that makes little sense. I have enormous self control and discipline and I eat close to no carbs. Heh.

1
05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

on September 10, 2012
at 11:44 PM

I heard that ketones are the preferred fuel source for the brain, the brain is versatile and can use whatever fuel is available. and unlike glucose, ketones doesn't glycate things :) The only part of the body that needs glucose is red blood cells, because they feed anaerobically but we can create glucose in absence of an exterior sugar source through gluconeogenesis. There is also a correlation between glucose and ADHD/ADD. When I see such studies I wonder if big agra is behind it after all they are the ones who create the food pyramid of death, so if they fund such a study it may be somewhat biased :)

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on September 11, 2012
at 03:07 AM

The brain can also use lactic acid as a fuel source.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:10 AM

ketone bodies can replace up to about 70% of the brains glucose requirement; "After the diet has been changed to lower blood glucose for 3 days, the brain gets 25% of its energy from ketone bodies. After about 40 days, this goes up to 70%" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketone_bodies

05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

(795)

on September 11, 2012
at 04:23 AM

http://www.brianpeskin.com/BP.com/reports/Ketosis-CAMB.pdf that is one source, but it makes sense, glucose glycates things, where as fat doesn't? I dunno about you I rather be a fat burner than a sugar burner.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:46 AM

Where'd you hear that ketones are the preferred fuel source for the brain? How many brains were surveyed on their preferred fuel? Is it just because ketosis eliminates certain kinds of epilepsy?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:13 AM

There are some things in the body whose sole energy source is glucose. From what i have read these include; the testes, erythrocytes, kidney medulla, lens and cornea which are dependent upon glucose as their sole energy source. Gluconeogenesis can meet these glucose requirements. Not sure about the nervous system/nerves (glucose sole or primary source?)

1
47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on September 10, 2012
at 09:41 PM

Anecdotally and totally aside, I am an athlete and since going Paleo or VLC i've medaled and increased my pace by two minutes a mile. Subjects in this study are probably on a high carb standard diet anyway. As far as creativity goes, I am a creative type and wrote a slew of plays after going Paleo and I am hugely egocentric (although I've been that for life, I don't think a diet of whole foods is gonna change me or make me humble especially when I'm looking this hot!)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:05 PM

3. why did this get up voted twice? It is based upon a misunderstanding of the term "ego-depleted"?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:51 PM

1. ego-depleted does not mean low-self esteem (lack of ego). It means system II depleted for all intents and purposes. 2. I would just guess that your sport is not glycolytic then? You're not gymnast or a sprinter eating not a ketogenic diet. And, if you're eating a high protein diet, some of it will be converted to glucose via gluconeogenesis, but I am unclear on how much this actually amounts to.

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on September 12, 2012
at 03:10 AM

Further proof of my egocentrism! If that's even a word! Yes, totally took eg0-depletion to mean lack of self esteem. I'm a long distance trail runner. I am not a scientist definitely more focused on what's working rather than whats going on microscopically. I'm results oriented. Paleo is working, other diets haven't.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:36 PM

  1. Lack of self-control and impulsiveness are attributes of too much free dopamine in the brain.

  2. Certain mineral deficiencies and problems with malabsorption can trigger biochemical imbalance and excess production of dopamine. Dr. Natasha from GAPS actually explains the gut and psychology connection.

  3. I agree with you that people on VLC do not thrive mentally because they are lacking certain nutrients. Our bodies are designed to eat all kind of s#it that was just there, but our brains were wired to recognize sweet taste among others. We are biologically wired for starches and sweet foods, as well as meats/fish/fat.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:08 PM

Alrighty...I will say I am interested in the book though. It is at least a bit outside of my normal reading area so should be interesting.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:39 PM

Right. I have not earned my masters yet, so I am probably more of a nerd wannabe. But why would I want to be a nerd? ANyways, those are all good comments, but you did not answer the question...you answered an easier one (which is a way of circumventing system II, fyi). I did not ask what causes lack of self control, as the it is not a lack of self control that is at at stake here- it is DIMINISHED self capacity for self-control after system II engagements, which are found to be remedied by ingestion of glucose. Like an athlete can keep playing as long as he sips Gatorade at half time.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:01 PM

Good quote. You win that round, but the battle is not over. No i'm just playing, I see what you're getting at. Honestly do not want to go back and forth forever though. Nice to learn though. Thanks:)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:07 PM

@VB- Last biology I took was freshman year in college, that is it. AP chemistry in high school was my last chem course. I am an economics and mathematics major with a minor in statistics. I don't think education gives you the right to judge, but I don't know about the final say thing- depends on what it is for. I'd rather not go down that road. For what it is worth I am a die-hard Hayekian and generally weary of those that consider themselves "intellectuals" and therefor able to make grand decisions on a wide number of issues, pertaining directly to their field or not.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:04 PM

OMG. I am not fighting!!! I am just trying to explain!!! :))) LOL. Bye.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:28 PM

@ VB- I think if we allow that to happen it is a fast track to fascism .

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:56 PM

Fascism was based on propaganda, people were denied the truth and lied to left and right.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:15 AM

I only care when I feel people wreck their lives/health or their kids' lives and do some permanent damage to themselves without ever knowing. It really makes me upset because I went through it.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:02 PM

@forever....Dude...cut back on the carbs. You seem a bit jumpy. ;)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:54 PM

As for answering the question... it is a bit irrelevant I think (just don't take it in a negative way, please). Because instead of focusing on HOW one's self-control is altered, I think we should focus on WHY and the evolutionary advantages to consuming foods that are higher in glucose.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:09 PM

I know you're not fighting. Jeez, if only we could all Skype our comments so inflection could be garnered. We're all good!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:03 PM

I still think that people who are more educated in certain fields have the right to make the final judgement when it comes to their field of expertise. I am a complete zero in chemistry and a 0.5 in biology so you know more than me in those fields for sure. I will never be able to match your level of knowledge in those fields. So I am just sharing my thoughts, for whatever they are worth (which is not much). I hope there will be some better answers than mine.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:10 PM

JayJay- I'm not really either. I'd say I have the right amount of neurosis to make me successful. I was operating on a past comment made by VB which informed my opinion of her. I could be wrong about it.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:43 PM

And your nerd wannabe crack was not over my head. I understand you think I am stupid and that anyone without a Masters is a moron.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:57 PM

^ Great answer. Fully redeemed. Personally, I like playing devils advocate in the best way possible for too many things (which often aggravates Professors), so I just though this would be a good old notch in the belt against vlc, so I would throw it out there. I am not trying to say vlc has zero benefit for everyone- that would be ridiculous. I am playing devils advocate because I thought it was a compelling argument that can help us learn more. And that question above is the right question that should be asked to learn more.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:50 PM

@Foreveryoung - OMG. Wow. Why did you take my comment in a negative way? No, you are more entertaining than a nerd. A nerd is pure testosterone, and you have more dopamine I think. It has nothing to do with Masters degree. If you want me to, I will delete it.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:42 PM

It doesn't read low carb means no self control. it means ingesting glucose prolongs your capacity to undergo system II brain function. System to is difficult mental tasks and self-control.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:26 PM

@ VB- I definitely agree with you that if you know a law or fact is being impossibly contradicted, then you certainly can "judge" whether the answer is wrong or right. I just don't feel that whether one has earned a master's or not gives them more sway in making VALUE judgements than a lower educated person.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:54 PM

Certain value judgements have to be based on some kind of knowledge, whether it is a law or a fact. Socrates once said, "All I know that I know nothing" and then added "but others don't even know that much".

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:40 PM

Right. I have not earned my masters yet, so I am probably more of a nerd wannabe. But why would I want to be a nerd? ANyways, those are all good comments, but you did not answer the question...you answered an easier one (which is a way of circumventing system II, fyi). I did not ask what causes lack of self control, as the it is not a lack of self control that is at at stake here- it is DIMINISHED CAPACITY for self-control after system II engagements, which are found to be remedied by ingestion of glucose. Like an athlete can keep playing as long as he sips Gatorade at half time.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:03 PM

@JayJay- HAHAHA. I was literally thinking the same thing as I was writing this- "OMG this is going to be self-defeating!"

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:07 PM

Which system is it that makes you insecure and hypersensitive? Is that glucose mediated?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:13 PM

yeah, definitely pick up a copy. It has been compared to being in the same league as Freud's Interpretation of Dreams and Smith's Wealth of Nations. I don't know about that, but worthwhile read and about as good of any that I could recommend to a curious mind.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:18 PM

@Foreveryong - if you don't think the education gives your the right to judge than what would you say to a person who would get all the basic math facts wrong? Like, yes, 2+2 is 4 but if you think it is 5, I respect your opinion... BTW, if you are an economics and mathematics major chances are you are high on testosterone and that qualifies you to be a nerd. :)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:49 PM

PS I didn't down vote this. I don't do anonymous DVs.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:54 PM

No, it honestly doesn't bother me one bit, but I wanted to respond to it. That statement reminded me of a condescending remark you made to a fellow p-hacker a while back about being educated means you can judge others. So I assumed you criticizing me for being uneducated relative to you. System I operates under biases and recognition, and I suppose that is what I was going by. I wasn't just going to let a comment like that fly. BUt if that's not what you meant by it, then I appreciate your explanation. :)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 11, 2012
at 06:06 AM

Don't worry - I don't care about votes or scores or anything like that. So I give you permission to down vote as many times as you like :)

-1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:25 PM

This is not a question. It is rather, an insult. Nikoley is not on a low carbohydrate diet, nor is he particularly sexist. He is merely vulgar from time to time- largely, it seems to me, in response to constant carping. Indeed, he's too soft-heart to keep up any sort of invective against these clearly unhappy women.

So, you can keep the low carbohydrate dieters out of your little facebook war. Our glucose levels are rock steady as long as we eat enough- well, unless we drink- then we get a little hypo and get a little rundown. But that is an effect of alcohol and happens to all of us, not just low carbers.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:56 PM

That does not show anything of relevance. Something of relevance would be him consuming three different solutions (1 protein, 1 fat, and 1 carb) and seeing which fuel is burned during y activity. NOT eating a ketogenic diet and doing different exercise and seeing what his post exercise glucose and lactate levels are.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 11:03 PM

And for all I know, what constitutes "High intensity" for him is not for another.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:39 PM

spriting, you'll burn the carbs during that work and fat in a low-intensity state. THE ACTIVITY DETERMINES THE FUEL BURNED, NOT THE INPUT. THAT IS WHY YOU USE YOUR CARBS OR THEY GET STORED AS FAT.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 11:00 PM

That is not well controlled or citable- it's not even controlled. A controlled trial would be on three different people or himself on separate occasions. He would do one workout that is typically glyocolyitic (sprinting), another that is "fat burning" (walking). Before each routine he would consume on one day glucose, on another fat, and on another protein (all equivalent calories) and see which is burned (which apparently he gathers from his post exercise levels? That is inaccurate method considering the complex inter plat between hormones and glucose levels. Glucose lowers cortisol...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 11:01 PM

protein spikes it and fat is natural (?). Cortisol alone increases blood sugar.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:33 PM

The Nikoley comment was merely to be snarky and to spark a heated debate. I wasn't thinking anyone was actually going to respond simply to that, but since you have, I will just say that I don't know anything about Nikoley as a person, and only know of negative things I read on the internet. FOr all I know he's a grade-A gentleman, but it is an example of System I taking precedence over a system II function (censorship and forethought, not ad hominem attack).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:37 PM

I don't what we're discussing anymore either. I just don't really understand what the reasoning of his was about why his different pairings of pre-workout nutrients with workout type. I think it would make more sense if he just did it fasted and saw what the results were. Doesn't really matter though, it's too complex of an issue for me to be able to comment on given my current level of knowledge on the topic, or lack there of.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:49 PM

Actually THE INPUT ABSOLUTELY plays a determining role in what is used at various levels of activity. Just as a for instance http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-interplay-of-exercise-and-ketosis-part-i. To claim the input has NO role is flat out wrong.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:48 PM

It isn't simply to that. Blood sugar is steady; the liver is going to supply the brain's demands and the entire situation is going to look nothing like the average carb eating college student they had as test subjects.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:59 PM

We know that there are physiological shifts in how we process and produce energy in different states....carb loaded vs carb depleted vs ketogenic.....why would it be unfathomable to think that this system II is easily supplied by ketones or some other process when someone is adapted to a state of low carb?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:32 PM

The Nikoley comment was merely to be snarky and to spark a heated debate. I wasn't thinking anyone was actually going to respond simply to that, but since you have, I will just say that I don't know anything about Nikoley as a person, and only know of negative things I read on the internet. FOr all I know he's a grade-A gentleman, but it is an example of System I taking precedence over a system II function (censorship and forethought before ad hominem attack).

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:51 PM

Sorry, it looked like my original comment was lost, so I answered you again.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:38 PM

And you have to be 'on the glucose' in order to be in that situation. The blood sugar of a low carbers is steady. Also, you have to be careful with Khaneman. Some of those studies aren't very good.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:37 PM

I deleted it, even though I thought it was a an example made in a good fun. I thought it would bring some relevance and provide a comical example. FOr all I know he's a grade-A gentleman, but it is an example of System I taking precedence over a system II function (censorship and forethought, not ad hominem attack). It is gone now.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 10:38 PM

Yeah, but when you say "the liver is going to supply the brain's demands" you surely mean that it is going to supply the brain with glucose (for that is what the liver will stores- glucose). If you are doing glycolytic work (which is highly demanding activity both physically and apparently cognitively with System II performance), that liver glucose will burn at the same rate as a sugar burner. The ACTIVITY determines the fuel burned, not the consumption. If you eat a bunch of carbs on a sedentary lifestyle, you'll get fat. If you eat a bunch of carbs and do high volume weight training and...

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:04 AM

That was a single instance that is easily accessible. The "on one day he would...." idea would totally miss the point of his N=1 which was to determine how being well adapted to low carb changes energy usages at different levels of workout intensities. I must say I'm not even sure what your trying to say in your last three sentences??? Do you mean fat is neutral or natural? Glucagon increases blood sugar too....what are we discussing?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 10, 2012
at 09:43 PM

You can eat carbs and have stable blood sugar as long as you are not metabolically deranged and insulin resistant. Carbs does not mean high blood sugar. Also, I haven't checked any of his sources. The book has gotten such wide acclaim, he's said to be the greatest psychologist of our time, and I already was biased towards liking him since I read about him in the "black swan" by Nassim Taleb (one of my favorite economists) a couple years back. I'm sure I've not done my homework on all the references, but I am reading this book for pleasure, so that kind of takes the fun out if it...you know?

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