21

votes

Kumar and Kumar Escape From Rewardtanamo Bay

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 18, 2011 at 10:29 AM


EDIT:

Aravind and I are escaping to the low-reward cave again. Until next time...you stay classy Paleohacks! --Kamal


Some of you know that Kamal Patel and I (aka Kumar and Kumar) have been engaging in a Low Reward Lifestyle experiment, based on the Food Reward series by Stephan Guyenet at Whole Health Source. We started on August 15th and after 8 weeks, prepared a summary which Stephan has just posted -

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/10/losing-fat-with-simple-food.html

  • What questions do you have for us have about the experiment above and beyond what has been posted?
  • Have you experimented with the Low Reward approach? If so, what were your results?
  • What are your biggest issues with the theory as ONE, not the ONLY, factor in obesity?
  • Would you care to join us?

BTW - The experiment is not over but continuing indefinitely based on the incredibly positive results we've seen. We will elaborate upon our current phase of the experiment when appropriate. Our motivation for adherence is simple - fear of the cockmeat sandwich

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnKMKAEvLxM&feature=related

Ghee Wolverine, out...

EDIT - In case there is any doubt, I am Kumar #1. Say my name!

One other very important comment. While Kamal and I were co-sponsoring each other, we also received a lot of support from other PH-ers : Shari, Danielle, Meredith, AKD, LuckyBastard and some others (sorry if I forgot you). This is very important that irrespective of the dietary approach one follows, having such a strong support system is HUGE. Thanks for the support!!!

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on October 20, 2011
at 04:17 PM

Yes, thanks Aravind! The beer analogy definitely resonates.

15e684f6f716f88c99f641098a6e06ca

(922)

on October 20, 2011
at 03:50 PM

a well earned +1 for both the topic name and committing to this experiment

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 20, 2011
at 02:38 PM

Also, I believe that Paul Jaminet is onboard with the "nutrient poor" line of thinking. I think that likely plays a role too.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 20, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Check this out from the link attached at the end - "Food reward is the process by which eating specific foods reinforces behaviors that favor the acquisition and consumption of the food in question." So foods you cannot stop eating / easily overeat. Also think beer - first time it tasted like crap but you pushed through because of other rewarding properties. What's rewarding to me might be different for you. Does that help? - http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/05/food-reward-dominant-factor-in-obesity_26.html

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on October 20, 2011
at 02:10 PM

Makes sense, thanks Melissa! :) Seems to be starchy stuff for me- I used to overeat bread & pasta, and last night I went a little crazy on baked oatmeal :/

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 20, 2011
at 01:51 PM

It's quite complex and varies per person. Something like bacon might be considered stereotypically high-reward since it it high fat and often has quite a bit of salt, but I would never overeat it because my brain finds it very satiating. I have to find balance because there are things that trigger binging behavior for me like pork rinds, but if I ate a diet like either Kamal's or Aravind's, I'd lose way to much weight because I am so picky.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on October 19, 2011
at 02:39 AM

haha fair enough

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 19, 2011
at 01:21 AM

Jeff - we made an exception for today to enjoy our 15 minutes of fame on WHS. Tomorrow we're off the sauce.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 19, 2011
at 01:07 AM

Hen dog eh? I stick with the Irish usually but it's if it intoxicating it can't be that bad. Like pizza and sex

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 19, 2011
at 12:57 AM

I added salt and pepper to potatoes and fish. This was mostly because I was having a hard time eating enough calories. On days without any seasoning at all, I had a hard time getting up to 1000 kcals!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 19, 2011
at 12:55 AM

Oh crap. Back to the low-reward cave...

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on October 19, 2011
at 12:49 AM

and follow up question due to the popularity of this post and the original, will all of the responding to comments lure you back in with its technology reward?

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 19, 2011
at 12:23 AM

I did not salt or season any of the potatoes or rice. Only ghee for some good fats. Ghee is not very rewarding to me. Add salt to the rice or potatoes, and better bring a fork lift to help me out

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on October 18, 2011
at 11:50 PM

Interesting! Your described diets don't sound low-reward to ME--this is basically how I eat, albeit higher fat. Somehow I imagined lots of potatoes with no salt or pepper...

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on October 18, 2011
at 10:06 PM

Sexual harassment, bacon, guac, and muppets aside (oh they all go together nicely!) I'm formulating something that kinda keeps to the thread but also kinda veers sideways.. I have questions, dammit! I'm also kinda shy when writing and using big words but you guys will be gentle, right? Also, when I steal sips from my parents, I like Rittenhouse and Redbreast the best.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 09:00 PM

Yes ben, and that is key. Excluding the adaptation period, we did not willfully control our caloric intake. This is the same argument made by low carbers that there was spontaneous caloric reduction due to diminished hunger. Also, I prefer Hennessy but that's because I'm street like that.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 08:45 PM

Kumar#2 - you are not more resilient now. That is the rewardaholic devil on your shoulder talking. Step away from the burrito bowl!!!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 08:30 PM

(that was at the beginning of the experiment though...probably much more resilient now)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 08:18 PM

I dare not include things like bacon and guacamole. Chance of failure would go up dramatically. I got a paleo-burrito-bowl-hack from Chipotle one day when I didn't cook, and it totally threw off my game.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 08:17 PM

I dare not include things like bacon and guacamole. Chance of failure would go up dramatically. I got a paleo-burrito-bowl-hack from Chipotle one day when I didn't cook, and it and totally threw off my game.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on October 18, 2011
at 08:05 PM

Yeah, seems like in practice most low-fat diets are very high in sugar. I wonder if your experiment would have failed if someone ate steamed pork belly or something similarly fatty.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 07:55 PM

Perhaps both are true? Low-reward diets don't seem to involve much added fat, like cooking in bacon fat or having berries with heavy cream. Low fat diets CAN be low-reward, but conventional low-fat dieters seem to try their darndest to make these diets rewarding.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on October 18, 2011
at 07:47 PM

I mean low-fat relative to your previous diets (which produced fat loss stalls). Is it that low-reward diets are incidentally low fat or that low fat diets are incidentally low-reward?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 18, 2011
at 07:37 PM

*we ate as libitum and still experienced caloric reduction.* - not to put too fine a point on this (and remember I'm a big fan of your project and this thread) but have you guys simply shown a way of tricking oneself to eat less calories, rather than choosing to? By of devil's advocate I suppose but I'm trying to get to the base fundament here. It's simply consuming less calories - either unconsciously or consciously, no? Thanks again. Jameson on the rocks plsthx

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 07:34 PM

@Ben - you can always get game if you put your mind to it. Keep the faith! At AHS11, I outdrank all the meat eaters. They were embarassed.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 18, 2011
at 07:32 PM

As my physical endeavor game has gone up my drinking game has also suffered. Damn shame. I can be had, drunk under the table anytime

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 07:15 PM

Bro - At AHS 12 you will have to control yourself so that we don't turn it into Incestral Health Symposium (for the record, I can't take credit for IHS. LuckyB came up with that one)

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on October 18, 2011
at 07:13 PM

i don't. too high reward...

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 07:08 PM

Well played Kumar. How could we not drop hormesis in our post? At least we covered leptin

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 06:52 PM

Travis - Not sure. What is your definition of low fat? I don't consider 25% low. Moreover, from a maintenance point of view, I fully expect to be back to my pre experiment levels of 35-40%, which again is not low. I think part of the issue is that when you are hypocaloric (which we were), the ratios get a bit skewed, particularly when you take Kamal's approach which was pretty severe. Also, it should be noted, that most of my fat was saturated. I am not at all a lipophobe for the record!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 06:51 PM

Studies have shown that a little bit of sexual harassment can help in certain situations through hormesis.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 06:50 PM

Good question. It does look eerily similar to Cordain v1.0. That being said, I think our diets were only incidentally low/moderate fat. Aravind ate a bunch of eggs every day, which if I recall correctly is not Cordain v1.0 approved. I ate fatty beef every day as well. But the biggest difference is that we did not season our foods much, which I think is typically used in Cordain v1.0 to make the diet more desirable.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Mer - You write sexual harassment as if that's a bad thing. Not in my bizarro world. Low Reward Lifestyle rules still encourage this.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Dang, my Aravind comment-prediction rate is getting higher and higher.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 06:25 PM

maurile- Interesting idea. Personally, I wasn't eating *enough* calories. So the marginal utility of a Shangri-La boost would have been small or perhaps even negative. Aravind was all about diet sustainability, so he probably also would not consider the Shangri-La boost.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 06:24 PM

LB - you are worrying me. And stop checking out my ass on my FB pictures, would ya?

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Shangri-La and Low Reward have a lot of overlap. I am not a big fan of the actual protocol of SL because sipping on oil seems very contrived as opposed to just eating real foods prepared simply, which yielded good results and to me seems more sustainable. But I know Stephan was influenced by Seth Roberts' writings so I don't discount it. But if it works for you and you can sustain it without any detrimental effects, then go for it!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 06:01 PM

I credit Kamal with helping me kick the soda. He is a tough RA sponsor. If I had to do it all over again, I would have tried kicking the soda first before the experiment, but...maybe doing it together made the difference. Not sure and hopefully will never have an opportunity to test it again since I never can drink diet soda again since moderation is not in my vocabulary. Hello, my name is Aravind and I have a diet soda problem...

E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5

(2226)

on October 18, 2011
at 06:01 PM

Any thoughts on trying "Low-reward paleo leangains Shangri-La"? (That's a serious question. A daily tablespoon of nose-clipped coconut oil has been at least as effective for me as eliminating highly processed [i.e., high-reward] foods, in terms of inducing spontaneous calorie reduction.)

E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5

(2226)

on October 18, 2011
at 05:59 PM

"Low-reward paleo leangains" could be made even better: "Low-reward paleo leangains Shangri-La." Any thoughts on trying that? (That's a serious question. A daily tablespoon of nose-clipped coconut oil has been at least as effective for me as eliminating highly processed [i.e., high-reward] foods, in terms of inducing spontaneous calorie reduction.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on October 18, 2011
at 05:49 PM

thanks Aravind, that is a good answer. I suppose I am thinking most specifically about the diet soda addiction which many people have. Practical uses of this treatment would be for a dietitian to prescribe this type of low reward diet, but I wonder if the diet soda addiction for one example, could prove too much for some people.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on October 18, 2011
at 04:05 PM

just like in my favorite hugh grant movies...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 03:34 PM

Poor Cookie Monster!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on October 18, 2011
at 03:29 PM

http://images-mediawiki-sites.thefullwiki.org/03/1/8/6/20085394060822783.jpg

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on October 18, 2011
at 03:15 PM

But you know, the thing about romance is... people only get together right at the very end.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on October 18, 2011
at 03:09 PM

Hmmmm - not sure how I lent support seeing as I was constantly sexually harassing you and sending Muppet photos to Kamal on facebook. There are so many temptresses out there. Great job guys!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 03:00 PM

Once I'm lean and have proven I can maintain, my drinking will resume (increase from near zero). I will start my liver-ups to get back in drinking shape – Aravind 0 secs ago

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 02:59 PM

Once I'm leaning, my drinking will resume. I will start my liver-ups to get back in drinking shape

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 02:59 PM

To answer your question - yes I think a "normal" person could use this diet with success. Both Kamal and I feel that adherence is not an issue. IF....however you are a foodie, I think this approach may be an issue. Being lean beats being a foodie for me. To each their own. Again, I want to reiterate that I did not eat bland food. I just wasn't eating Taco Bell, ice cream, and drinking. But there is no diet/lifestyle where I should be doing that anyway. Hope that answers your question

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 02:54 PM

Jeff - excellent question. The diet soda elimination unquestionable required willpower and the "peer pressure" was undoubtedly a factor. After kicking that habit for me and from Kamal from the get go, we had no problems adhering to the plan. Dare I be so bold - addressing Food Reward was fairly easy. However for me (unlike Kamal), I like to get my drink on - just ask everyone from AHS11 at the W bar. This was also a bit tough.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 02:47 PM

Anony - regarding participating, my first suggestion is to find a "sponsor" to partner with. This is not just a bromance comment, but I don't think I would have achieved the success I did without Kamal. We will be happy to give our lessons learned also.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 02:45 PM

Man crushes go without saying. Brokeback Mountain is totally Paleo.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 02:45 PM

I only read the first few words of your reply before starting to madly cycle through archevore, wholehealthsource, and hyperlipid. Tech reward, you are an evil evil succubus!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 02:45 PM

Anony - regarding participating, my first suggestion is to find a "sponsor" to start with. This is not just a bromance comment, but I don't think I would have achieved the success I did without Kamal. We will be happy to give our lessons learned also.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on October 18, 2011
at 02:41 PM

Great job guys! What a fantastic idea to have two people so knowledgeable doing this...tracking it and writing it out so well. Kicking the diet soda may have been the most impressive part! One small question, can the sentence "Compliance was maintained strictly though willpower" be changed to read "Compliance was maintained strictly though man-crush?"

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 02:30 PM

What an excellent question Kumar. My answer is indefinitely with respect to diet. I don't view that my life is lacking because of this change. Of course there will be cheats/indulgences once we have our Sisson like abs. Life is more than obsessing about food. I look forward to the day that this experiment is truly our lifestyle, particularly with Tech Reward. TR sucks!!! There will be a flaming red N on our spreadsheet today. TFB!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 02:14 PM

the **hot date** may or may not have been hypothetical.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 02:14 PM

ben- I did the refeed simply because I couldn't eat enough calories on a daily basis, and didn't want my metabolism to go to heck. My hunch was that if I increased daily intake by 300-400 kcal, that would have been even harder, and would not capture any nebulous leptin-refeed benefits. The calorie-counting issue is an interesting one. It definitely helped, but only because I had a sponsor (Aravind). I've calorie counted for large stretches of time in the past, and with no accountability, it was like "who gives a #%^@?".

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 02:08 PM

As Aravind said, we are doing that rarest of diets "Low-reward paleo Leangains". Seems a bit goofy, as leangains is typically done to allow you to reward yourself with big rewarding meals. My diet will be the same as my current one, plus extra rice and potatoes, with coconut oil and/or ghee. Tech Reward is going to be a tough nut to crack. If my intended goal is the meat of a coconut, I'm currently trying to break the husk without a hammer, in a room lined with pillows.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 02:04 PM

1) I varied before the experiment, but usually around 30% carbs, 55% fat, 15% protein. 2) I exercised perhaps 5-6 times during the eight week experiment. This was actually more than before the experiment. There was a confounder involved though (joint issues).

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 01:57 PM

You're not supposed to be online Kumar. Back into the cave! Ok, today we can make an exception. How can we not???

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 01:56 PM

Short version - as of this week, we have implemented a Leangains style IF protocol (16 hour fast, 8 hour feed). I am not changing my diet at all. I will let Kamal comment on his diet changes. Regarding the Tech Reward, this will be the majority of our focus. For me, this will involve a lot more meditation and tech "fasting" for days on end. For Kamal, I have called his Internet provider and told them to disconnect his service. Chip Douglas should be by his house any minute now.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 01:51 PM

Kamal was scoring the chicks like a madman during the experiment. Some of them sprung leaks due to the abuse.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 01:51 PM

We intentionally did not want to count calories because otherwise people would argue we were just following conventional wisdom of calories-in/out. We ate ad libitum and still experienced spontaneous caloric reduction. Yes the First Law always applied, but the point was that one can still eat a on Paleo (low carb) diet. Plus I needed an excuse to drop the line that "physics in not just a good idea". I love Family Guy! Totally agree about the fuel comment. People still think low reward = untasty/unpalatable. I can now experientially assert that is not the case.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 01:47 PM

How many times do I have to tell you...I am Kumar #1!! My parents named me according the precise alignment of celestial bodies on the night of my birth, knowing that the name would come in handy 31 years later.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 01:45 PM

@ben - like I used to tell the ladies in my single days at the bar, I would show them my license and after they struggled to say my name, I would tell them "don't let the length intimidate you. Just take in a little bit at a time and it won't hurt that much". Half the time it was a great ice breaker. The other times, not so much. Of course now that I'm married, the truth is known. Dammit!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 18, 2011
at 01:13 PM

Awesome title :)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 18, 2011
at 12:42 PM

Balasubramanian is a kickass name

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 12:28 PM

If only you were of age Ms Juba, you could "debate" the sandwich with me in person

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on October 18, 2011
at 12:23 PM

Oh thank god GWAR.. welcome kinda sorta back. Now, re: cockmeat sandwich, we talking human or animal? There's a difference you know. Looking forward to reading the summary, I'm always pleased with what you and/or Kamal, aka Kumar y Kumar, post.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 12:21 PM

1) For me before the experiment - 45% carbs, 40% fat, 15% protein. 2) No change in physical activity: 1-2x light resistance training per week. Unfortunately working out has not been an integral part of my life. I am changing that for the next phase of our experiment.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 11:33 AM

It must have been all the extra mayo :-)

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on October 18, 2011
at 11:08 AM

just read the whole thing. funny thing is that you must have had a seriously rewarding paleo thing going on because the way you and kamal have been eating during this experiment isn't too far off from the way i've been eating paleo. so, yeah, i can attest that it's sustainable.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 11:04 AM

LB - you know you're still my main man. I never misrepresented myself as being anything other than a man-whore. Just ask Shari.

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9 Answers

11
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on October 18, 2011
at 10:48 AM

Stephan posted about you? Did that experience meet all your bromantic fantasies? heh...

good job...

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on October 18, 2011
at 04:05 PM

just like in my favorite hugh grant movies...

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 11:04 AM

LB - you know you're still my main man. I never misrepresented myself as being anything other than a man-whore. Just ask Shari.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 06:24 PM

LB - you are worrying me. And stop checking out my ass on my FB pictures, would ya?

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 11:33 AM

It must have been all the extra mayo :-)

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on October 18, 2011
at 07:13 PM

i don't. too high reward...

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on October 18, 2011
at 03:15 PM

But you know, the thing about romance is... people only get together right at the very end.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on October 18, 2011
at 11:08 AM

just read the whole thing. funny thing is that you must have had a seriously rewarding paleo thing going on because the way you and kamal have been eating during this experiment isn't too far off from the way i've been eating paleo. so, yeah, i can attest that it's sustainable.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 07:15 PM

Bro - At AHS 12 you will have to control yourself so that we don't turn it into Incestral Health Symposium (for the record, I can't take credit for IHS. LuckyB came up with that one)

6
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 18, 2011
at 01:12 PM

One basic question pops to mind after I read your We kept a food diary of everything eaten, though did not count or deliberately restrict calories:

Do you think that simply counting calories/tracking what you ate with an online calculator would have enhanced your progress? Also, is your entire experiment not simply skirting the issue of consciously reducing caloric-intake as the way to produce weight-loss (the emphasis being on bodyfat-loss)?

Rather than the 3000-4000-calorie weekly re-feed do you think eating that additional 320-350 calories daily would have brought about a different result? Why the once-weekly choice?

Could you expand on why the turnip or taro occasionally thrown in the beef stew would be irritating to the gut?

Holy hell, I just can???t resist saying that 3 liters per day of diet soda is a f%*king ton of soda. Good for you for dropping that hudda.

Reading Compliance was maintained strictly though willpower makes me smile. In the years of LC and Taubes??? book gaining popularity, the simple idea of willpower (not just eating ad libitum) has been undervalued. People who maintain that using willpower might be a good idea have been made out to be enjoyment-depriving nuns. A middle point is a nice place to be.

the First Law of Thermodynamics still applies - did it ever not?

Food has transitioned from a source of entertainment to fuel - thank goodness you guys wrote this. I???ve commented numerous times on paleohax that currently in US food has become too central a part of our reward systems. It is fuel first and foremost; it still can taste good and be enjoyable; try and derive enjoyment and fulfillment from EVERYTHING ELSE YOU DO IN YOUR LIFE.

Absolutely killer post in general on Wholehealthsource, great work to all three of you.

PS: How much of a boost to Kamal???s progress was the hot date?

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 01:51 PM

Kamal was scoring the chicks like a madman during the experiment. Some of them sprung leaks due to the abuse.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 02:14 PM

ben- I did the refeed simply because I couldn't eat enough calories on a daily basis, and didn't want my metabolism to go to heck. My hunch was that if I increased daily intake by 300-400 kcal, that would have been even harder, and would not capture any nebulous leptin-refeed benefits. The calorie-counting issue is an interesting one. It definitely helped, but only because I had a sponsor (Aravind). I've calorie counted for large stretches of time in the past, and with no accountability, it was like "who gives a #%^@?".

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 02:14 PM

the **hot date** may or may not have been hypothetical.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 01:51 PM

We intentionally did not want to count calories because otherwise people would argue we were just following conventional wisdom of calories-in/out. We ate ad libitum and still experienced spontaneous caloric reduction. Yes the First Law always applied, but the point was that one can still eat a on Paleo (low carb) diet. Plus I needed an excuse to drop the line that "physics in not just a good idea". I love Family Guy! Totally agree about the fuel comment. People still think low reward = untasty/unpalatable. I can now experientially assert that is not the case.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 19, 2011
at 01:07 AM

Hen dog eh? I stick with the Irish usually but it's if it intoxicating it can't be that bad. Like pizza and sex

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 18, 2011
at 07:37 PM

*we ate as libitum and still experienced caloric reduction.* - not to put too fine a point on this (and remember I'm a big fan of your project and this thread) but have you guys simply shown a way of tricking oneself to eat less calories, rather than choosing to? By of devil's advocate I suppose but I'm trying to get to the base fundament here. It's simply consuming less calories - either unconsciously or consciously, no? Thanks again. Jameson on the rocks plsthx

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 09:00 PM

Yes ben, and that is key. Excluding the adaptation period, we did not willfully control our caloric intake. This is the same argument made by low carbers that there was spontaneous caloric reduction due to diminished hunger. Also, I prefer Hennessy but that's because I'm street like that.

4
Medium avatar

on October 18, 2011
at 06:44 PM

I may be missing something here, but isn't this simply an affirmation of the efficacy of a low fat diet? Wouldn't a First Edition Cordain paleo diet have produced the same results with similar degrees of satiety?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 19, 2011
at 12:57 AM

I added salt and pepper to potatoes and fish. This was mostly because I was having a hard time eating enough calories. On days without any seasoning at all, I had a hard time getting up to 1000 kcals!

Medium avatar

(39821)

on October 18, 2011
at 08:05 PM

Yeah, seems like in practice most low-fat diets are very high in sugar. I wonder if your experiment would have failed if someone ate steamed pork belly or something similarly fatty.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 06:50 PM

Good question. It does look eerily similar to Cordain v1.0. That being said, I think our diets were only incidentally low/moderate fat. Aravind ate a bunch of eggs every day, which if I recall correctly is not Cordain v1.0 approved. I ate fatty beef every day as well. But the biggest difference is that we did not season our foods much, which I think is typically used in Cordain v1.0 to make the diet more desirable.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on October 18, 2011
at 07:47 PM

I mean low-fat relative to your previous diets (which produced fat loss stalls). Is it that low-reward diets are incidentally low fat or that low fat diets are incidentally low-reward?

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 08:45 PM

Kumar#2 - you are not more resilient now. That is the rewardaholic devil on your shoulder talking. Step away from the burrito bowl!!!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 08:18 PM

I dare not include things like bacon and guacamole. Chance of failure would go up dramatically. I got a paleo-burrito-bowl-hack from Chipotle one day when I didn't cook, and it totally threw off my game.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 08:30 PM

(that was at the beginning of the experiment though...probably much more resilient now)

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 19, 2011
at 12:23 AM

I did not salt or season any of the potatoes or rice. Only ghee for some good fats. Ghee is not very rewarding to me. Add salt to the rice or potatoes, and better bring a fork lift to help me out

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 06:52 PM

Travis - Not sure. What is your definition of low fat? I don't consider 25% low. Moreover, from a maintenance point of view, I fully expect to be back to my pre experiment levels of 35-40%, which again is not low. I think part of the issue is that when you are hypocaloric (which we were), the ratios get a bit skewed, particularly when you take Kamal's approach which was pretty severe. Also, it should be noted, that most of my fat was saturated. I am not at all a lipophobe for the record!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 08:17 PM

I dare not include things like bacon and guacamole. Chance of failure would go up dramatically. I got a paleo-burrito-bowl-hack from Chipotle one day when I didn't cook, and it and totally threw off my game.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 07:55 PM

Perhaps both are true? Low-reward diets don't seem to involve much added fat, like cooking in bacon fat or having berries with heavy cream. Low fat diets CAN be low-reward, but conventional low-fat dieters seem to try their darndest to make these diets rewarding.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on October 18, 2011
at 11:50 PM

Interesting! Your described diets don't sound low-reward to ME--this is basically how I eat, albeit higher fat. Somehow I imagined lots of potatoes with no salt or pepper...

4
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on October 18, 2011
at 02:48 PM

I was gonna continue in the comment section but I think this actually warrants a question....

do you think you would have had enough willpower if you didn't know and respect Stephan and if this wasn't being documented? i.e. as it would be for a normal person being prescribed this diet?

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 07:34 PM

@Ben - you can always get game if you put your mind to it. Keep the faith! At AHS11, I outdrank all the meat eaters. They were embarassed.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 02:54 PM

Jeff - excellent question. The diet soda elimination unquestionable required willpower and the "peer pressure" was undoubtedly a factor. After kicking that habit for me and from Kamal from the get go, we had no problems adhering to the plan. Dare I be so bold - addressing Food Reward was fairly easy. However for me (unlike Kamal), I like to get my drink on - just ask everyone from AHS11 at the W bar. This was also a bit tough.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 02:59 PM

To answer your question - yes I think a "normal" person could use this diet with success. Both Kamal and I feel that adherence is not an issue. IF....however you are a foodie, I think this approach may be an issue. Being lean beats being a foodie for me. To each their own. Again, I want to reiterate that I did not eat bland food. I just wasn't eating Taco Bell, ice cream, and drinking. But there is no diet/lifestyle where I should be doing that anyway. Hope that answers your question

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on October 19, 2011
at 02:39 AM

haha fair enough

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 03:00 PM

Once I'm lean and have proven I can maintain, my drinking will resume (increase from near zero). I will start my liver-ups to get back in drinking shape – Aravind 0 secs ago

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 06:01 PM

I credit Kamal with helping me kick the soda. He is a tough RA sponsor. If I had to do it all over again, I would have tried kicking the soda first before the experiment, but...maybe doing it together made the difference. Not sure and hopefully will never have an opportunity to test it again since I never can drink diet soda again since moderation is not in my vocabulary. Hello, my name is Aravind and I have a diet soda problem...

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on October 18, 2011
at 05:49 PM

thanks Aravind, that is a good answer. I suppose I am thinking most specifically about the diet soda addiction which many people have. Practical uses of this treatment would be for a dietitian to prescribe this type of low reward diet, but I wonder if the diet soda addiction for one example, could prove too much for some people.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on October 19, 2011
at 12:49 AM

and follow up question due to the popularity of this post and the original, will all of the responding to comments lure you back in with its technology reward?

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 19, 2011
at 01:21 AM

Jeff - we made an exception for today to enjoy our 15 minutes of fame on WHS. Tomorrow we're off the sauce.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 18, 2011
at 07:32 PM

As my physical endeavor game has gone up my drinking game has also suffered. Damn shame. I can be had, drunk under the table anytime

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 02:59 PM

Once I'm leaning, my drinking will resume. I will start my liver-ups to get back in drinking shape

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 19, 2011
at 12:55 AM

Oh crap. Back to the low-reward cave...

4
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 02:22 PM

I have a question.

How long are you going to stick to this low-reward lifestyle? Seems pretty, umm, low-reward to me.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 02:30 PM

What an excellent question Kumar. My answer is indefinitely with respect to diet. I don't view that my life is lacking because of this change. Of course there will be cheats/indulgences once we have our Sisson like abs. Life is more than obsessing about food. I look forward to the day that this experiment is truly our lifestyle, particularly with Tech Reward. TR sucks!!! There will be a flaming red N on our spreadsheet today. TFB!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 02:45 PM

I only read the first few words of your reply before starting to madly cycle through archevore, wholehealthsource, and hyperlipid. Tech reward, you are an evil evil succubus!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on October 18, 2011
at 03:29 PM

http://images-mediawiki-sites.thefullwiki.org/03/1/8/6/20085394060822783.jpg

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 03:34 PM

Poor Cookie Monster!

4
27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on October 18, 2011
at 12:10 PM

Question: Prior to the experiment, how much fat were you eating daily (as a percentage of overall calories)? If that's impossible to calculate, could you give me an idea of how much your ratios changed during this experiment?

I;m asking because this seems like an appealing way to break through a plateau, but fat currently consists of 60-70 percent of my calories and it's hard for me to imagine being satisfied with less.

Second question: What physical activity did you engage in during the experiment and was there any change from before the experiment?

Thanks for sharing your experience!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 12:21 PM

1) For me before the experiment - 45% carbs, 40% fat, 15% protein. 2) No change in physical activity: 1-2x light resistance training per week. Unfortunately working out has not been an integral part of my life. I am changing that for the next phase of our experiment.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 02:04 PM

1) I varied before the experiment, but usually around 30% carbs, 55% fat, 15% protein. 2) I exercised perhaps 5-6 times during the eight week experiment. This was actually more than before the experiment. There was a confounder involved though (joint issues).

3
9106340a33a2407d63d22e6275300d33

(60)

on October 18, 2011
at 12:56 PM

What are the next steps in your experiment? I'd like to participate.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 02:47 PM

Anony - regarding participating, my first suggestion is to find a "sponsor" to partner with. This is not just a bromance comment, but I don't think I would have achieved the success I did without Kamal. We will be happy to give our lessons learned also.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Dang, my Aravind comment-prediction rate is getting higher and higher.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 01:56 PM

Short version - as of this week, we have implemented a Leangains style IF protocol (16 hour fast, 8 hour feed). I am not changing my diet at all. I will let Kamal comment on his diet changes. Regarding the Tech Reward, this will be the majority of our focus. For me, this will involve a lot more meditation and tech "fasting" for days on end. For Kamal, I have called his Internet provider and told them to disconnect his service. Chip Douglas should be by his house any minute now.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 02:45 PM

Anony - regarding participating, my first suggestion is to find a "sponsor" to start with. This is not just a bromance comment, but I don't think I would have achieved the success I did without Kamal. We will be happy to give our lessons learned also.

E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5

(2226)

on October 18, 2011
at 05:59 PM

"Low-reward paleo leangains" could be made even better: "Low-reward paleo leangains Shangri-La." Any thoughts on trying that? (That's a serious question. A daily tablespoon of nose-clipped coconut oil has been at least as effective for me as eliminating highly processed [i.e., high-reward] foods, in terms of inducing spontaneous calorie reduction.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 02:08 PM

As Aravind said, we are doing that rarest of diets "Low-reward paleo Leangains". Seems a bit goofy, as leangains is typically done to allow you to reward yourself with big rewarding meals. My diet will be the same as my current one, plus extra rice and potatoes, with coconut oil and/or ghee. Tech Reward is going to be a tough nut to crack. If my intended goal is the meat of a coconut, I'm currently trying to break the husk without a hammer, in a room lined with pillows.

E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5

(2226)

on October 18, 2011
at 06:01 PM

Any thoughts on trying "Low-reward paleo leangains Shangri-La"? (That's a serious question. A daily tablespoon of nose-clipped coconut oil has been at least as effective for me as eliminating highly processed [i.e., high-reward] foods, in terms of inducing spontaneous calorie reduction.)

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 18, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Shangri-La and Low Reward have a lot of overlap. I am not a big fan of the actual protocol of SL because sipping on oil seems very contrived as opposed to just eating real foods prepared simply, which yielded good results and to me seems more sustainable. But I know Stephan was influenced by Seth Roberts' writings so I don't discount it. But if it works for you and you can sustain it without any detrimental effects, then go for it!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 18, 2011
at 06:25 PM

maurile- Interesting idea. Personally, I wasn't eating *enough* calories. So the marginal utility of a Shangri-La boost would have been small or perhaps even negative. Aravind was all about diet sustainability, so he probably also would not consider the Shangri-La boost.

2
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on October 20, 2011
at 01:45 PM

Kumar & Kumar, when you guys return from the low-reward cave- I'm still confused about food reward! I know it's not just about palatability, so I was thinking "ok, a high-reward food is uber-palatable and also nutrient-poor" but I guess that's not really it either? I was thinking about my own diet, which has quite a bit of fat and seasonings/strong flavors, and I'm thinking that's pretty typical for paleo. Is that a high-reward diet? If so, how are so many of us successful eating that way? I've read Stephan's intro to food reward, but I'm still fuzzy on this.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 20, 2011
at 01:51 PM

It's quite complex and varies per person. Something like bacon might be considered stereotypically high-reward since it it high fat and often has quite a bit of salt, but I would never overeat it because my brain finds it very satiating. I have to find balance because there are things that trigger binging behavior for me like pork rinds, but if I ate a diet like either Kamal's or Aravind's, I'd lose way to much weight because I am so picky.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on October 20, 2011
at 04:17 PM

Yes, thanks Aravind! The beer analogy definitely resonates.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on October 20, 2011
at 02:10 PM

Makes sense, thanks Melissa! :) Seems to be starchy stuff for me- I used to overeat bread & pasta, and last night I went a little crazy on baked oatmeal :/

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 20, 2011
at 02:38 PM

Also, I believe that Paul Jaminet is onboard with the "nutrient poor" line of thinking. I think that likely plays a role too.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on October 20, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Check this out from the link attached at the end - "Food reward is the process by which eating specific foods reinforces behaviors that favor the acquisition and consumption of the food in question." So foods you cannot stop eating / easily overeat. Also think beer - first time it tasted like crap but you pushed through because of other rewarding properties. What's rewarding to me might be different for you. Does that help? - http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/05/food-reward-dominant-factor-in-obesity_26.html

1
Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on November 25, 2011
at 10:11 PM

this is awesome. you guys are awesome. i read Quilt isn't convinced about reward theory but i am.

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