17

votes

My proposed 30-day Guyenet Level 5 experiment (gulp)

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 04, 2011 at 9:30 PM

I've decided to try this for 30 days and see what happens. My proposed foods are:

  • Stewed chicken
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Hard and soft boiled eggs

I'm not planning to include the starch he proposes. No seasonings or added flavors. I plan to continue to drink coffee although only black (kill me now please.)

My questions are first do these food choices look to be in line with his proposal? Second, is my lack of carb intake going to nullify or skew any findings? Would this be more valid if I added a sweet potato? I hope to continue with daily water kefir to drink. Do you think that's too flavorful? It's mostly tangy with a tiny hint of sweet. I hardly feel rewarded by it but who knows? I calculate about 5g carbs in what I ingest daily. I can give it up but would prefer not to.

My other uncertainly is what things I should take note of each day. Obviously weight but I was thinking I would keep a journal regarding hunger and cravings as well as general mood each day. I'll record food volume and corresponding macros as well as times eaten. Anything else I should take note of?

I'm open to any and all suggestions on how best to do this. I hope to NEVER repeat this little experiment as I'm already feeling supremely bitchy just thinking about it. I need to get it as right as possible for this one shot deal.

Edit: I just emailed Stephan to see if he had any input. Not sure if he'll respond but I'd love to hear any thoughts he may have.)

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on November 25, 2011
at 10:06 PM

good pt. i am going with grassfed ground beef, tubers and greens (any green veg, steamed) for 4 wks

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on October 11, 2011
at 11:43 PM

Hey, just curious if you have any updates about this! Personally I am all about GAS - gluttony and self-indulgence!

A64ed062eb5e2c3407122fcf16c5de6b

(715)

on September 16, 2011
at 10:43 PM

How about adding coconut meat for fat? I find it very plain and easy to stop eating.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 23, 2011
at 11:24 PM

Excellent! I was worried you were going to make me do this now and I'd be in full bitch mode at AHS. Now no one has to be scared.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 23, 2011
at 10:52 PM

@Shari - I will write up my plan tomorrow and post it here. Or since I hope to see you at AHS, we can discuss in person!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 23, 2011
at 06:22 PM

He was upset that I was trying to lose weight when I should be concentrating on performance issues. He thinks I should wait to lose weight. And then I injured my back so it doesn't matter anymore. No competition for me in October and I'm off Kettlebell for at least another month. So tell me about your plan. I might be game. Performance is not an issue right now so this might be a great time to give it a go. Twist my arm!!!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 23, 2011
at 04:15 PM

@Shari - Why did your coach flip out? What specifically was objectionable. I am considering a Level 4.5 if you will. I think having a partner in crime would make it a lot easier. I'm game if you are!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 23, 2011
at 04:14 PM

@Shari - we did your coach flip out? What specifically was objectionable. I am considered a Level 4.5 if you will. I think having a partner in crime would make it a lot easier. I'm game if you are!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 14, 2011
at 09:31 PM

Here ya go Karen: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/06/food-reward-dominant-factor-in-obesity_28.html#more

C3c01f1210d2566fa32834f36a5b90ad

(0)

on July 14, 2011
at 06:34 PM

Can you (or someone please!) ...please send me link to all the levels that Stephen Guyenet talks about. I can't find them anywhere! On his blog, I cannot locate them THANKS! karen0863@gmail.com

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 13, 2011
at 02:03 AM

Aravind, no I haven't started yet. My coach flipped out over the idea a bit. Definitely going to give it a try soon though.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 13, 2011
at 12:55 AM

@Shari - would love to hear your progress assuming you've started

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 07, 2011
at 10:54 PM

Heh...If I eat a potato as a part of a "reducing reward" rotation in my diet, it will be...(GAG)....DRY...no nothing. I don't do potatoes except as very rare treats in my diet normally, which means like twice or three times a year...maybe...I will not include oil in cooking...(GAG)... ;)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on July 05, 2011
at 11:02 PM

Yeah, it's certainly such a mental game. I am not as tough on myself as I used to be and I'm really beginning to believe I won't just wake up obese again, most of the time. ;)

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 05, 2011
at 09:28 PM

LOL! I do that too sometimes. Let me lose a few before I go pack them back on with some extras usually. Maintanence kinda sucks sometimes, lol. As I think about my Guyenet experiment I am thinking how I need to restructure a lot of my life as so much of it revolves around food. I read way too many food blogs and do way too much food shopping as entertainment (3 farmers markets a week usually) It will certainly give me some extra free time that's for sure.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:31 PM

food macros or grams or calories, they lose weight because what was acting as an antagonist is not a agonist and vice versa. but it all depends how your dopamine is firing

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:30 PM

per say, but not every obese person, IMO, has their problem rooted in dopamine. i bet a LARGE HUGE majority do, which is why a large huge majority of obese people are insulin resistant and diabetic and carry excess visceral fat. this is all b/c of a dopamine problem in the brain. its just so complex though, theres like 5 or 6 dopamine receptors each does something different. the D1 and D2 are what i think stephen is going to focus on, as they are more related to 'food' and reward. if interested, look into drugs for parkinson's, they cause unintentional weight loss that has nothing to do with

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:27 PM

i never meant fat people lack self control or determination...the problem is their brain doesnt signal it right, their chemicals are off. trust me, i have one of the most f*cked up brains possible for someone to live in everyday. but the 'will' for a body to be one way, get one way or stay one way is ALLLLL rooted in the brain. i think diet/food has very little to do with the whole process, but it is a step nonetheless

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:50 PM

I probably gained it back over the last two days with our party, but that was the point really. It was a preemptive attack. Yeah, the food thoughts didn't drive me crazy, but I noticed them. We were watching Man Vs Food and instead of everything looking giant and disgusting, I actually found myself thinking it looked good.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:15 PM

I'm concerned about the food thoughts. I was hoping this would turn me off food for a bit but I can see how it could easily go the other way. Congrats on the 5 bls! Those are some nice results!!

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 05, 2011
at 02:51 PM

even chris voigt allowed himself some hot sauce and seasoning on his potatoes. i don't how you could possibly eat a dry potato. are you going to cook it in coconut oil? or would you consider that another "food intake"?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 05, 2011
at 02:22 PM

@desertsnail: I'm using Google forms for the paleo chix experiment and happy to lend a hand if you need need it!

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:06 AM

@Shari - your words are true, when I comment I am meaning someone who has no metabolic derangement or other conditions.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 05, 2011
at 05:00 AM

@SHari: +1 and Amen.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 05, 2011
at 04:37 AM

I know mem! No butter on the potato?? It's like "why bother?!" Honestly I think a dry potato might be the hardest of my 3 foods to choke down.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 05, 2011
at 04:35 AM

Thanks Josh. I appreciate that.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 05, 2011
at 04:35 AM

It seems counter-intuitive but fat people are some of the most determined people I've ever met. I think it's hard for some to imagine that your body can actually trump your mind but for fat people that's a lot of what's happening. Fat people aren't weak or lacking self control. I'm grateful not everyone has to experience what it is to be at war with your own body because it's quite unpleasant. The will of the body to stay fat or get fatter can be overwhelming to even the most determined mind.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 05, 2011
at 04:30 AM

Mallory I've done those types of diets but always tried to make the food taste good and had to rather forcefully restrict. I am hoping that the blandness of the diet will turn off the desire for food so that the restriction doesn't feel as difficult. I think that's what's Stephan is trying to say. Cut diets are miserable. I guess somehow making the food even less tasty will make it less miserable??? But that' what I want to find out. It's just an experiment. Don't plan to eat this way forever. Yes weight loss will happen but will it be easier is the question for me.

Aeec781cc234fcae119d4a71532058f5

(2047)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:09 AM

I can't wait to hear about your progress. Good luck!

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 05, 2011
at 02:44 AM

Dang- I need to look into the google form thing too- I love data tracking and have been looking for something like that- thanks for the info baconbitch!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 05, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Yes Ben. Good call as Google forms Will timestamp each entry.

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on July 05, 2011
at 01:54 AM

Aye. Trouble is that self control muscle has atrophied in the majority of people.

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on July 05, 2011
at 01:22 AM

Nice. Thank you, Shari :)

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 05, 2011
at 01:13 AM

This is part one of a multi-part series. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/04/food-reward-dominant-factor-in-obesity.html

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 05, 2011
at 01:10 AM

@Ben: +1 Thx. Do you use anything on your sweet potato, Ben? Butter? Salt? Any fat with cooking?

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 05, 2011
at 01:09 AM

@mallory: +1 and agreed! And I will be trying it out soon, on a rottional basis. ARGH! Potatoes without BUTTER? Whatever is the world coming to, lol! ;)

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on July 05, 2011
at 12:53 AM

@Shari - perhaps that 'fif' gene has some advantage ;) Perhaps the trouble Western culture finds it's self in, with regards to diet, it the inability to suppress the gene when it is not needed. I think your n=1 experience will have interesting consequences. I am with you in spirit :)

2f361c2cec9ddf7409bf0094977aac1e

(150)

on July 05, 2011
at 12:44 AM

Bless you for taking one for the team! I also have the "food is fabulous" gene, so will be keenly interested in your results.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 05, 2011
at 12:26 AM

@Shari: +1 to you for emailing Stephan.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 04, 2011
at 11:49 PM

maybe choose something easy to make in bulk like chuck roast in the croke pot. green tea for coffee? maybe...

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 04, 2011
at 11:45 PM

the difference is lyles is managed, youre held accountable only to eat a certain amount of protein. stephen proposes that the amount will take care of itself, as you wont betracking grams, calores, carbs etc. i think this is a money idea...no tinking about food. just eat what you pick(whatever 3 things) and the rest, according to him, will take care of itself

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 04, 2011
at 11:42 PM

yes, the first sweet potato is good, plain, but once youre full they lose their appeal, especially plain ones, which is the point of the series, down regulate the reward and focus on the satiety of food. so when you get full you can either have another tater, another bowl of plain chicken or another steamed unseasoned veggie...food loses its appeal REAL quick when those are the choices and your full

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 04, 2011
at 11:35 PM

this sounds lie a bodybuilding cut diet...so of course it will work. how many eggs, plain unsalted chicken and plain unflavored/salted broccolli can one eat. not much, been there done that

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2011
at 11:34 PM

For better or for worse I didn't get the "food as fuel" gene. I got the "food is fabulous" gene. It's actually a big part of my life. This little experiment is going to throw my world off it's axis in a big way.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2011
at 11:12 PM

Thank you mem. You made me tear up. I really appreciate your words of kindness and support. I just emailed Stephan. I didn't want to write on his blog. I a not sure if he'll respond but I figured it was worth a shot.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 04, 2011
at 10:47 PM

@Shari: Suggestion for drink: I drink LaCroix waters which have no sweet taste whatsoever, even a bit bitter, and have natural flavors which are just sort of "there." For me, they are low reward, but, are a step above plain water, and in the summer they are great *carbonated* drink subs.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:43 PM

Very cool. I'd amend it with perhaps this chart being updated throughout the day: morning, lunch, dinner?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:42 PM

Nice post. I'll just add that for me a plain old sweet potato well baked has a definite reward factor. I mean, as far as I enjoy eating them and am happy to have them on my daily menu

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:39 PM

Good luck. You know I dig on the self experiment projects. I'd be interesting in getting a report from you regarding any craving you might have for salt. That's the only one that I could see being kind of tough. Keep us informed.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:38 PM

You can create a google form with all the tracking data you need and extract it graphically. This saves me so much time.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:36 PM

Yeah I need to think about this potato thing. As luckybastard pointed out I'm basically proposing a PSMF just without seasoning or food that I actually enjoy. So double torture. I imagine a sweet potato without salt and butter won't thrill me so maybe I should add that in so this can't really be considered a PSMF?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:34 PM

Oh I've done quite a few and yes all low carb. I guess I'm hoping to see what the lack of food reward brings to the table so to speak. I mean I can do RFL but it allows cottage cheese which is my favorite thing on the planet. I could do whey shakes but I happen to love the taste of those things. I love broccoli but only roasted in CO. I hate it steamed. HATE. I tolerate chicken but honestly don't think I've ever had it without any seasoning. That's the new component I want to look at see if it makes things easier or harder, more weight loss or less, etc.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:31 PM

Good idea. Thanks! I can chart the macros and weight change with fitday but other factors I'd have to chart by hand.

C3edabc6267abec9b5f8178e5d73552c

(725)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:23 PM

im really interested to see how this goes.. Good luck! Although I would add a sweet potato, just without salt or fat.. potato might be better actually they are quite bland by themselves.. that way you would be certain the results are from the guyanet experiment and not from ketosis

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:22 PM

Regardless of our personal histories, I think that we all go through “those moments”, including the most beautiful people on earth (who certainly have their bad angles...). Anyway, posture is key - everyone knows it doesn't count if you're slumping. ;) As to the caffeine pills, although some of the stricter Paleo purists might disapprove, they can be a cheap and clean source of pure caffeine, provided you find the right brand.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:11 PM

Good luck, Shari! I admit I'm ambivalent about Guyenet's thesis here, but the only way to check it out is to experiment. You're a brave woman.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:01 PM

hey shari. i don't know how you did psmf's before, but aren't they almost just a low carb version of guyanet's stage 5? i mean all i could eat were chicken breasts and limited green vegetables. i do think that his method of basically not seasoning anything will cause you to eat less and therefore drop some weight because you will only eat what you need to sustain yourself because there's very little pleasure there...

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2011
at 09:57 PM

Thank you Simibee. While my war has been won as far as I'm concerned I made the mistake of sitting down on my bed in front of a mirror and the roll of fat I saw made me cringe. I try to forget about it but sometimes it likes to taunt me. I know this isn't perfectly paleo but I figure for 30 days it's fine. No skin so hopefully not too much damage. I'll up the fish oil capsules for sure and make sure to do the multi and a few other things like strategic vitamins and mineral supps. Not sure I can go without coffee. Caffeine pills? Are those paleo, lol??

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2011
at 09:53 PM

I agree and have some concerns about this. Yes PSMF works and works well. I was hoping that the added facet of food that tastes like crap would ....I don't know. Do something different? Maybe less hunger or fewer thoughts about food? So you think the lack of carbs pretty much makes it pointless. Just another PSMF?

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on July 04, 2011
at 09:42 PM

Jea, that is everyone's big criticism. Such diets look sucktastic and aren't necessary to reach optimal body composition, they also might make you kill your loved ones. We appreciate your sacrifice for the sake of knowledge :)

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11 Answers

9
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 04, 2011
at 10:36 PM

OK. Here are the pertinent instructions from section for doing the Stage 5 reducing reward experiement.

This level reduces variety, which is another reward factor (4). This is something that you attempt at your own risk, as there may be downsides to eating the same foods every day. I think the risk is small if you choose your three foods carefully. I wouldn't recommend doing this indefinitely, but rather as a short-term strategy to lose fat, followed by a more relaxed maintenance phase.

Pick three foods, and eat nothing else. Try to pick foods that will provide a relatively balanced diet. A starch, a meat and a green vegetable is one possibility. For example: potatoes, broccoli and beef. Again, cook everything gently and add no seasonings to your food whatsoever, including salt. Macronutrients

Some people have lost fat simply by avoiding carbohydrate or fat. I've heard people say that a low-carbohydrate diet in particular curbs their cravings and allow them to have a healthy relationship with food again (although others have developed strong cravings on low-carbohydrate diets). I believe this is mostly, if not exclusively, driven by the fact that carbohydrate and fat are major reward factors.

I believe that all things being equal, it's best not to restrict any macronutrient to an extreme degree (there may be some exceptions, such as diabetes). That being said, as carbohydrate and fat are major reward factors, they are additional tools in the toolbox that you can use to further reduce reward if you choose.

Don't be a Drill Sergeant

Ultimately, for any diet to work, it needs to be sustainable. It's probably a good idea to allow yourself a meal or two a week that you really enjoy. Just don't indulge in the worst offenders-- foods that will stay on your mind, and reinforce your cravings for days or weeks. You know what your own trigger foods are. Don't even put yourself in the vicinity of those foods if you can avoid it. If your diet is balanced and nutritious, your cravings should subside over time, and you will become more satisfied by simple food.>

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/06/food-reward-dominant-factor-in-obesity_28.html

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Now, he says he believes it is best not to restrict macronutrient groups, but from my reading of it, this is not an absolute.

"That being said, as carbohydrate and fat are major reward factors, they are additional tools in the toolbox that you can use to further reduce reward if you choose."

I think each individual with be obviously a bit different. In your case, you have written about the need to greatly restrict calories and to not be able to eat to satiety - to have to endure hunger to some degree on an ongoing basis.

I believe that you could specifically target these two issues with this experiment.

The other thing is, he writes re: avoiding trigger foods. Much like you, for me to do a potato of any kind is a major treat event and occurs, maybe twice to three times in a typical year. A potato, as I want to eat potatoes is a major trigger food and if I were counting calories, a caloric nightmare.And of course, it is a starchy carb and I don't do them with any regularity. However, a potato with NO salt, NO butter, NO sour-cream, NO bacon bits...NO NOTHING...I can say without skpping a beat that that naked potato would in reality, most likely, be hard for me to even finish. (Trigger GONE - detriggered potato!) If I did the experiment, I'd go with the white potato as it has rock bottom palatability for me.

I think I would do better with a sweet potato, (as in gagging it down!) but it would still really have negligible reward value for me.

I also want to suggest that you consider doing it for maybe multiple, but shorter periods of time. I think 2 weeks, for instance, solid, could get you alot of noticeable bang. I am actually betting that a solid seven days could yield real results.

I have been considering doing it for 5 days to a week at a time as one of my change-it-up rotations...ongoing...

Given your response to black coffee, I think there is no reward value, there, lol! So, I think it fits fine. If you began to want to throw down an escalating number of cups for a caffeine blast...you'd experience and know this.

Lastly, Stephan is really very accessible via his blog. He responds to comments and questions regularly.

I really admire you. ALOT. No, not for contemplating just this specific experiment, but for the amazing journey you've taken and are on and the degree to which you share your experience, and not in a "yes - woman" way. You put your truth out there. You smack people in the face with the reality of your experiece, but in the most articulate, graceful and often compassionate way. And I believe that is worth far more than you will ever know to so many, especially women, who read your posts.

Thank you. (Write your blog!)

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 05, 2011
at 02:51 PM

even chris voigt allowed himself some hot sauce and seasoning on his potatoes. i don't how you could possibly eat a dry potato. are you going to cook it in coconut oil? or would you consider that another "food intake"?

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 05, 2011
at 12:26 AM

@Shari: +1 to you for emailing Stephan.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:42 PM

Nice post. I'll just add that for me a plain old sweet potato well baked has a definite reward factor. I mean, as far as I enjoy eating them and am happy to have them on my daily menu

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 04, 2011
at 11:42 PM

yes, the first sweet potato is good, plain, but once youre full they lose their appeal, especially plain ones, which is the point of the series, down regulate the reward and focus on the satiety of food. so when you get full you can either have another tater, another bowl of plain chicken or another steamed unseasoned veggie...food loses its appeal REAL quick when those are the choices and your full

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 05, 2011
at 01:09 AM

@mallory: +1 and agreed! And I will be trying it out soon, on a rottional basis. ARGH! Potatoes without BUTTER? Whatever is the world coming to, lol! ;)

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2011
at 11:12 PM

Thank you mem. You made me tear up. I really appreciate your words of kindness and support. I just emailed Stephan. I didn't want to write on his blog. I a not sure if he'll respond but I figured it was worth a shot.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 05, 2011
at 04:37 AM

I know mem! No butter on the potato?? It's like "why bother?!" Honestly I think a dry potato might be the hardest of my 3 foods to choke down.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 05, 2011
at 01:10 AM

@Ben: +1 Thx. Do you use anything on your sweet potato, Ben? Butter? Salt? Any fat with cooking?

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 07, 2011
at 10:54 PM

Heh...If I eat a potato as a part of a "reducing reward" rotation in my diet, it will be...(GAG)....DRY...no nothing. I don't do potatoes except as very rare treats in my diet normally, which means like twice or three times a year...maybe...I will not include oil in cooking...(GAG)... ;)

9
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:26 PM

This is interesting. One bit of advice: instead of just recording how you feel each day, report it on a quantitative scale, e.g., a 7-point scale ranging from extremely lethargic to extremely energetic, and so on. You could report on a dozen scales like this in about a minute. Doing it this way will make it easier to distinguish one day from the next, and, more importantly, it will make it possible to graph your data, which will allow you to see possible trends. Good luck!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 05, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Yes Ben. Good call as Google forms Will timestamp each entry.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:31 PM

Good idea. Thanks! I can chart the macros and weight change with fitday but other factors I'd have to chart by hand.

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 05, 2011
at 02:44 AM

Dang- I need to look into the google form thing too- I love data tracking and have been looking for something like that- thanks for the info baconbitch!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:43 PM

Very cool. I'd amend it with perhaps this chart being updated throughout the day: morning, lunch, dinner?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 05, 2011
at 02:22 PM

@desertsnail: I'm using Google forms for the paleo chix experiment and happy to lend a hand if you need need it!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:38 PM

You can create a google form with all the tracking data you need and extract it graphically. This saves me so much time.

5
07154e6d8e42065f230d06249700fe5b

(2057)

on July 05, 2011
at 01:51 AM

If I were to do this, I would definitely go for a better o3/6 ratio meat like lamb or beef. Living only on chicken and eggs... Even if they're pastured, seems like a bit too much o6 - too little o3, imo. Actually, it seems like it would be more productive overall to do a lean protein, like lean ground beef, a veg/starch, and a pure fat, either butter or coconut oil. That way you're getting plenty of good fats in.

As far as the starch goes, I would think adding potato would be more in line with his theory. Plain potatoes are about as bland as you can get. I personally love plain broccoli, and I've gone through over a pound of it on its own without feeling sated, but you might feel differently about it :P

So... Since the object is for bland food that would provide adequate nutrition and support weight loss, I would personally go for a fat, a lean meat/fish, and a starch. But then again, I think even if this method provides some miraculous appetite suppressant quality I wouldn't follow it quite so strictly, if only for the lack of nutrient variety. Perhaps you could try experimenting with single ingredient meals but a including wider variety of nutrient dense foods? It might be just as effective and slightly less torturous, which might make it a bit more sustainable.

(Side note: I got to that series of posts this weekend, after just having bought a weeks worth of delicious lamb sausages, herbed butters, berries, and full fat yogurts. I just had to sigh and say, "control week I guess..." Because I've been interested in trying this theory out to help out with my neo-binge-prone-edness.)

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on November 25, 2011
at 10:06 PM

good pt. i am going with grassfed ground beef, tubers and greens (any green veg, steamed) for 4 wks

4
Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on July 04, 2011
at 09:50 PM

First of all, I just wanted to tell you that I've been following your story via the comments, and really admire your courage in facing up to things (this challenge included!). So good on you for taking the plunge!

I hate to say it, but I wonder if drinking black coffee might hinder you. As well as a strong/exciting flavour (with a strong aromatic component), it's sort of the opposite of what Seth Roberts advocates to decrease the set point e.g. flavourful and calorie free, as opposed to flavourless and calorie dense. I wonder if timing is important here. Maybe someone more into Roberts??? ideas could tell you if drinking coffee away/with from mealtimes might be better. Perhaps if you really can't do without it, a caffeine pill might be a safer temporary replacement.

Have you run your planned foods through nutrition analysis software? This could highlight any potential deficiencies, although I would advise that you take a good quality multi-vitamin anyway. At the same time I wonder of starting a new supplement might compromise the experiment if you want to be really strict. Are you taking any other supplements?

Finally, the one thing that occurred to me was that if poultry (albeit skinless I presume) and eggs are your main calorie sources, it might be pretty easy to rack up an undesirable level of O6s.

Good luck, and please keep us all posted.

PS If you stop posting updates after the first week, we'll assume that you're AWOL/up a clock tower somewhere. ;)

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2011
at 09:57 PM

Thank you Simibee. While my war has been won as far as I'm concerned I made the mistake of sitting down on my bed in front of a mirror and the roll of fat I saw made me cringe. I try to forget about it but sometimes it likes to taunt me. I know this isn't perfectly paleo but I figure for 30 days it's fine. No skin so hopefully not too much damage. I'll up the fish oil capsules for sure and make sure to do the multi and a few other things like strategic vitamins and mineral supps. Not sure I can go without coffee. Caffeine pills? Are those paleo, lol??

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:22 PM

Regardless of our personal histories, I think that we all go through “those moments”, including the most beautiful people on earth (who certainly have their bad angles...). Anyway, posture is key - everyone knows it doesn't count if you're slumping. ;) As to the caffeine pills, although some of the stricter Paleo purists might disapprove, they can be a cheap and clean source of pure caffeine, provided you find the right brand.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 04, 2011
at 11:49 PM

maybe choose something easy to make in bulk like chuck roast in the croke pot. green tea for coffee? maybe...

3
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on July 05, 2011
at 01:59 PM

I've basically been doing this as a PSMF with a couple extra foods, but not much. I've been eating boneless skinless chicken breasts, green beans, hard boiled egg whites and black coffee. I managed two weeks and lost 5lbs. I did have tilapia one night with my husband and ground turkey another. I was doing it for fat loss, not to reset anything with food and/or cravings so choosing the really lean meats was important. Chicken is just easiest.

I actually found it makes me think about food way too much. I managed, because I have done low calorie, bland food diets before and I can handle it. It's not super easy though.

I took a break for the holiday because we had a party. I'm fasting today, then back on the protocol tomorrow for another two weeks.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 05, 2011
at 09:28 PM

LOL! I do that too sometimes. Let me lose a few before I go pack them back on with some extras usually. Maintanence kinda sucks sometimes, lol. As I think about my Guyenet experiment I am thinking how I need to restructure a lot of my life as so much of it revolves around food. I read way too many food blogs and do way too much food shopping as entertainment (3 farmers markets a week usually) It will certainly give me some extra free time that's for sure.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:15 PM

I'm concerned about the food thoughts. I was hoping this would turn me off food for a bit but I can see how it could easily go the other way. Congrats on the 5 bls! Those are some nice results!!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on July 05, 2011
at 03:50 PM

I probably gained it back over the last two days with our party, but that was the point really. It was a preemptive attack. Yeah, the food thoughts didn't drive me crazy, but I noticed them. We were watching Man Vs Food and instead of everything looking giant and disgusting, I actually found myself thinking it looked good.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on July 05, 2011
at 11:02 PM

Yeah, it's certainly such a mental game. I am not as tough on myself as I used to be and I'm really beginning to believe I won't just wake up obese again, most of the time. ;)

3
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on July 04, 2011
at 09:48 PM

i think doing it low-carb is kind of doing a basic protein sparing modified fast- which definitely works for almost anyone for weight loss. i believe the core of what stephan was getting at was that the food reward- the food being bland and not sweetened, salted or seasoned to make more palatable- by itself, regardless of macronutrient ratios, is a powerful tool for weight loss. it sounds about right but from my experiences, you don't have to go as far as some of his suggestions recommend(i'm talking about the 4th and 5th level of recommendations) when eating a generic paleo diet in and of itself reduces food reward, reverses inflammation of the hypothalamus and clears up problems with leptin signalling for all but the most hormonally damaged. the way he has his recommendations set up, maybe that i what he's saying also...

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:01 PM

hey shari. i don't know how you did psmf's before, but aren't they almost just a low carb version of guyanet's stage 5? i mean all i could eat were chicken breasts and limited green vegetables. i do think that his method of basically not seasoning anything will cause you to eat less and therefore drop some weight because you will only eat what you need to sustain yourself because there's very little pleasure there...

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 04, 2011
at 11:45 PM

the difference is lyles is managed, youre held accountable only to eat a certain amount of protein. stephen proposes that the amount will take care of itself, as you wont betracking grams, calores, carbs etc. i think this is a money idea...no tinking about food. just eat what you pick(whatever 3 things) and the rest, according to him, will take care of itself

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:34 PM

Oh I've done quite a few and yes all low carb. I guess I'm hoping to see what the lack of food reward brings to the table so to speak. I mean I can do RFL but it allows cottage cheese which is my favorite thing on the planet. I could do whey shakes but I happen to love the taste of those things. I love broccoli but only roasted in CO. I hate it steamed. HATE. I tolerate chicken but honestly don't think I've ever had it without any seasoning. That's the new component I want to look at see if it makes things easier or harder, more weight loss or less, etc.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2011
at 09:53 PM

I agree and have some concerns about this. Yes PSMF works and works well. I was hoping that the added facet of food that tastes like crap would ....I don't know. Do something different? Maybe less hunger or fewer thoughts about food? So you think the lack of carbs pretty much makes it pointless. Just another PSMF?

2
A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

on July 04, 2011
at 11:04 PM

I think to make this a truly n=1 experiment you need to eliminate as many other confounders as possible.

With that in mind you should do two things:

  1. Do not restrict macronutrients - if you do it low carb then how do you know that wasn't the determining factor?

  2. Try your best to eat maintenance calories. If the theory is true you will be unable to do this. Otherwise you might just not make yourself enough food.

Definitely keep a record of everything and best of luck, if I'm honest it sounds brutal!

I thank my lucky stars I can lose weight eating food I enjoy eating. That's one of the main reasons I came to Paleo.

1
B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

on July 05, 2011
at 01:09 AM

So what is Guyenet's thesis? From the comments and questions I gather it has something to do with the food reward system. Does it dull the appetite on a bland diet or something? How about some background for the paleo-noobs like me? Thanks!

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on July 05, 2011
at 01:22 AM

Nice. Thank you, Shari :)

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 05, 2011
at 01:13 AM

This is part one of a multi-part series. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/04/food-reward-dominant-factor-in-obesity.html

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:31 PM

food macros or grams or calories, they lose weight because what was acting as an antagonist is not a agonist and vice versa. but it all depends how your dopamine is firing

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:30 PM

per say, but not every obese person, IMO, has their problem rooted in dopamine. i bet a LARGE HUGE majority do, which is why a large huge majority of obese people are insulin resistant and diabetic and carry excess visceral fat. this is all b/c of a dopamine problem in the brain. its just so complex though, theres like 5 or 6 dopamine receptors each does something different. the D1 and D2 are what i think stephen is going to focus on, as they are more related to 'food' and reward. if interested, look into drugs for parkinson's, they cause unintentional weight loss that has nothing to do with

1
1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 04, 2011
at 11:51 PM

self control and determination come from the brain and dopamine signaling. that is his essential argument.

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on July 05, 2011
at 01:54 AM

Aye. Trouble is that self control muscle has atrophied in the majority of people.

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:06 AM

@Shari - your words are true, when I comment I am meaning someone who has no metabolic derangement or other conditions.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 05, 2011
at 04:35 AM

It seems counter-intuitive but fat people are some of the most determined people I've ever met. I think it's hard for some to imagine that your body can actually trump your mind but for fat people that's a lot of what's happening. Fat people aren't weak or lacking self control. I'm grateful not everyone has to experience what it is to be at war with your own body because it's quite unpleasant. The will of the body to stay fat or get fatter can be overwhelming to even the most determined mind.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 05, 2011
at 05:27 PM

i never meant fat people lack self control or determination...the problem is their brain doesnt signal it right, their chemicals are off. trust me, i have one of the most f*cked up brains possible for someone to live in everyday. but the 'will' for a body to be one way, get one way or stay one way is ALLLLL rooted in the brain. i think diet/food has very little to do with the whole process, but it is a step nonetheless

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 05, 2011
at 05:00 AM

@SHari: +1 and Amen.

1
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on July 04, 2011
at 10:48 PM

I might try sweet potato for one of the 3. You'd save yourself some of the stress of gluconeogenesis and gain a good source of potassium. Besides that, it looks fine for what it is. Not pleasant, but I think it'll be very effective for weight loss.

You might try doing it for a week and going from there. But if you think you can make a month, go for it. Good luck and make sure to update!

0
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on July 04, 2011
at 11:21 PM

Although Guyenet's thesis is very interesting and may have merit, I look at things from the stand point of self control and self determination to achieve the same results. I do not care how sinfully delicious a food is, if it is bad for me and I choose not to eat it, nothing will force it into my mouth and if I do choose to indulge I can stop at a mouthful. Will be interesting to see a real world application of it though. I view food as fuel not entertainment or reward.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2011
at 11:34 PM

For better or for worse I didn't get the "food as fuel" gene. I got the "food is fabulous" gene. It's actually a big part of my life. This little experiment is going to throw my world off it's axis in a big way.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 05, 2011
at 04:35 AM

Thanks Josh. I appreciate that.

2f361c2cec9ddf7409bf0094977aac1e

(150)

on July 05, 2011
at 12:44 AM

Bless you for taking one for the team! I also have the "food is fabulous" gene, so will be keenly interested in your results.

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on July 05, 2011
at 12:53 AM

@Shari - perhaps that 'fif' gene has some advantage ;) Perhaps the trouble Western culture finds it's self in, with regards to diet, it the inability to suppress the gene when it is not needed. I think your n=1 experience will have interesting consequences. I am with you in spirit :)

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