8

votes

Free the Animal: The impact of 'Synthesis: Low-Carb and Food Reward/Palatability, and Why Calories Count'

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 01, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Richard has a great post up today, 'Synthesis: Low-Carb and Food Reward/Palatability, and Why Calories Count'

I've long since moved to a carb-friendly/friendlier place over the past few years (not for health but to fuel exercise), but whilst I find much of his post hits the target (Occam's Razor), I still have a few concerns that palatibility is far from the whole picture. I was wondering if others had similar thoughts...

One example from personal experience - I used to get hunger shakes in the afternoon, despite following a 'healthy vegetarian diet'. Following a paleo model has definitely helped me in this respect. I had to snack in the afternoon not because I the snack was palatable, but becuase I was hungry - and it is not as if I scrimped on lunch nor lacked bodily fat stores to rely on. Now I can fast for over a day without much of a problem.

Other thoughts that spring to mind - 'Isocaloric is not isometabolic'. Consider the differing fates awaiting protein and carbohydrate. Then there are hormonal factors (affected by such things as sleep, light quality and frequency, stress), levels of BAT, periodicity of consumption (ADF and IF can have a differernt impact on obesity than the consumption of the same number of calories on a regular basis). Then we have epigenetics, chronic inflammation, mitochondria and gut flora....

I don't want to confound causes of a disease like obesity with the consequence of eating foods with high palatibility, and I applaud the clarity of the FTA post, but it is one thing eating a bowl of ice-cream when you are 'stuffed' after a meal, and another being compelled to continually 'reach for the crapinabox'.

Is 'palatibility' too simplistic?

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on March 20, 2012
at 12:27 PM

"There's the rub. Is the volume of calories we eat a function of habit? I'd say that is unlikely." Well, especially with packaged foods, but some whole foods too, I can see it. For example, my Mom used to eat two slices of toast and two eggs for breakfast. Then she reduced that to one egg. Now it's one each. She just always ate the two and I think for many of us we eat because we're supposed to, etc.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 14, 2012
at 01:48 PM

And, lol, keto-paleo is pretty low reward by definition! In fact paleo, with fruit, tubers and rice is still pretty low reward even if it can also be very tasty.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 14, 2012
at 01:46 PM

I will binge on potato or corn chips quite easily, but not on roasted/baked potatoes or white rice. It might be the PUFA. They do, however, seem to stimulate my appetite somewhat even if I don't binge on them. I simply wanted to point out that there are many things known to cause hyperphagia. Not that hyperphagia is the only piece of the obesity puzzle. Probably for most people the insidious creep of excess fat over many years is more common.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on March 14, 2012
at 10:17 AM

It doesn't matter if I eat potato chips or plain cooked millet/rice...I'll always binge on carbohydrates more or less. it just brings out the worst in me (best appetite lol)...I'm going low-reward, ketogenic Paleo

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on March 14, 2012
at 10:17 AM

best answer yet

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 09, 2012
at 09:04 AM

I'm at an age where a lot of my acquaintances of similar age have long since become obese! But what interests me is that several of the obese I know have been obese but pretty much weight stable for a decade (despite dieting). I am always curious why they can 'balance CICO' in an obese state but not in a lean state. As for me, I've just realised I eat like a 50 y.o woman! One or two meals a day (and always until full). That IS sound advice IMHO.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on March 08, 2012
at 01:33 AM

How old are you? I've watched lots of friends, family, etc. eat the way they were always used to and gain weight as they age. Then they wake up one day, and eat less. "They" say women should eat only two meals after age 50. I say they're probably right.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 07, 2012
at 09:56 AM

"If we eat just as much as we always did out of habit" - There's the rub. Is the volume of calories we eat a function of habit? I'd say that is unlikely. Appetite strongly correlates with things like energy expenditure and nutritional requirements for example. If metabolism slows with age, why doesn't appetite diminish accordingly? I know that to make me eat more I either have to skip some meals or 'work up an appetite' through exercise.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on March 06, 2012
at 07:07 PM

Our metabolisms slow with age. If we eat just as much as we always did out of habit, the pounds creep on. Food reward doesn't explain that ... so what. Carbs don't explain it either because most folks I know tend to eat better (less junk) as they get older and more health conscious than when they are younger and immortal.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 06, 2012
at 04:55 PM

As the obeisty gradient rises with age, how does this tie in with FR? We've all heard of 'middle-age spread'. Doesn't this suggest that eating 'neo crap' is necessary to effect changes that then cause obesity but is not a direct causal mechanism (ie. it isn't due to simply eating too many calories a la FR)?

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 06, 2012
at 04:54 PM

As the obeisty gradient rises with age, how does this tie in with FR? We've all heard of 'middle-age spread'. Doesn't this suggest that eating 'neo crap' is necessary to effect changes that then cause obesity but is not a direct causal mechanism (ie. it isn't due to simply eating too many calories a la FR)?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 06, 2012
at 02:10 AM

And another thing... Cherry picking studies?? I used google scholar for 'npy + hyperphagia' and picked the first three (of many). Is that cherry picking? Do you dispute NPY and hyperphagia? Do you dispute carbs intake and NPY? Cite contrary evidence - I'm all ears. And nobody understands leptin. Not you, not Kruse, not Rosedale, not Lustig, certainly not me. I don't pretend to understand NPY or anything else. The only point I made is that food reward is not the be all and end all. It is important, but there are a lot of other things going on.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on March 06, 2012
at 01:54 AM

It's more insidious than that, they're designed to not fill you (not bulky, low fiber), they're designed to taste only mildly good, if they tasted really good, or the flavor lasted a long time, you wouldn't want more. They also have added odors so you crave them just by their smell. They contain things in them to make you addicted (MSG, HFCS, etc.) The people who make this stuff are as worse than drug dealers - they understand how to manipulate human taste buds and cravings!

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 05, 2012
at 11:36 PM

Now that I think about it, overall nutrient content of the diet increases if fat comes from nuts and yolks rather than steaks. Hmm.....

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 05, 2012
at 11:35 PM

I guess I should mention that if a particular person prefers leaner meat (I somehow totally lost my taste for fatty cuts over the last 6 months or so) then it would be reasonable to add what would have been an implausible amount of nuts, egg yolks etc. as I do in order to bring the balance back.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 11:31 PM

When things drag on like this, it just turns into two different approaches to Paleo, and those two go (I think) like this- 1) Paleo Robusto. Fit people getting fitter, learning all kinds of wonderful things about the body by looking back in time, and making best use of it. The trend setters write books and blogs, and never really went through what some of us have been through. They write about, are interested in, and seek to model "the optimum human." 2) The other camp is a mix of Drs, ex-basket cases or maybe just big and found a way out, and their interest is using Paaeo as medicine.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 05, 2012
at 11:13 PM

Travis. This is my favorite post of yours--very conciliatory and useful to me personally.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:53 PM

So DFH, you are saying that low fat foods are more highly rewarding leading to people overeating them? :)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:52 PM

So DFH, you are saying that low fat food are more highly rewarding leading to people overeating them? :D

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:50 PM

"Please explain, what use is the concept of palatability if someone is seeking answers to a medical cause for obesity, and getting nowhere, and FR is NOT the answer?" ---Melissa ovbiously suggested this because you are posting in a topic about FR claiming you are insulted by the very idea of it and that it's a "bad meme that needs to go away". She was merely suggesting that you read up on it before you openly criticize it in a forum. No one is trying to offend you from what I read. Your responses make you sound as if you are looking for a fight. FR doesn't explain it for you? Okay, we got it.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:47 PM

@Melissa, great point about free will and the brain. It's "free will" when everything's going fine and it's "genetics" when it goes bad. @Travis, I totally agree. I actually feel lucky that I began to gain weight, otherwise I would've never bothered to look beyond.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:25 PM

This one's kind of along the same lines: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0026049578901373

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:21 PM

There is no one single cause of obesity. There is no one single theory that explains everyone who is obese. There is no one single method for losing weight that works for everyone. People are complicated.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Here's one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1249190 I failed to bookmark the other ones I've seen. I think the basic idea is that the liver is the primary source of deiodination of T4 and that either a selenium deficiency or insufficient liver glycogen results in a marked reduction in T3 production, presumably in order to spare glucose for the brain in times of perceived energy scarcity.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:18 PM

"People" on the internet can make a mess of discussing any idea or theory. If you want to understand the merits (or lack of) a theory it is better to go back to the source than rely on bits of information obtained second hand.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:14 PM

There really are many different risk factors that influence the risk of an individual becoming obese or resisting obesity.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on March 05, 2012
at 10:13 PM

Melissa, great point. Actually food -- as in real food -- does control us. I was speaking more in terms of obsessing over food.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:06 PM

Stephan did not create this theory, he has explicitly stated this several times on his blog, the idea has been the subject of research for many years.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:04 PM

Souce for the impaired T3 production on low carb? I see one of the top thyroid/hormone clinics in the country. When I got my T3, the dr was very insistent that I do VLC, as long as I could stand it. I know this sounds like "appeal to authority" fallacy because it is. He's damn good.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 05, 2012
at 10:04 PM

DFH, thankfully we are not battling with anecdotes here. Maybe that's your problem. You just keep thinking about yourself as if this debate were about you. Show me the study where people stay thin while eating excessive calories if they fail to burn them off. Show me the study that shows that people gain weight without excessive calories.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:55 PM

Matthew- There are always outliers, things that don't fit. What are you saying? FR applies except for sick people? Why are there some people that can't gain much even if they gorge themselves? Are they food haters the same way FR people have "binge resistance?" Another reason this idea is due for the scrap heap is you can't even discuss it. Everyone here thiks its something different. SG has lost control of what he created, if he ever had it. Has SG ever had to lose over 100lb and keep it off? Do you see why obese and ex-obese people are sick of this??!!

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:51 PM

DFH: For whatever reason, they get sufficient satiety from hyperpalatable/non-nutritious food. I know a lot of rail-thin people like this. 7 hours of satiety from a fast-food meal. I get half that much. They're unlucky in a way because increased flabbiness won't ever drive them to a nutritious/non-toxic diet and it they'll pay the toll one way or another.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:29 PM

"Taubes and Stephan are looking for something that's a MAJOR driving force in the obesity epidemic." Food changed a bit before 1980. Low fat folks went nuts. Food suppliers changed food. People ate it. There is your theory. No insults required, and mine at least has some merit!

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:26 PM

It is disrespectful to me, because I was obese and that was not the problem. I spent 10 years when I was big saying it wasn't (because it wasn't) while dr surfing and now I find myself saying it again. Let me repeat. That is not what it was! The last thing on my mind was a treat. I wanted answers. Some other obese people are the same. I met them on the way. Some of you people are starting to show really bad attitudes about things you haven't experienced. Why can some skinny people eat crap all day and never gain? Where's your insulting theory now!? :)

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:12 PM

DFH, how often is hunger the real reason that people drink soda or eat popcorn at the movies or have desert after dinner? This seems to me to be a brain issue (the gist of FR) rather an issue with fat regulation. I don’t see how this is disrespectful to the obese.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 05, 2012
at 09:06 PM

It's only disrespectful because we come from a culture that has the absurd idea that we have free will control over our entire brain. Which is wrong. A lot of the culture wars in our country are because of this puritanistic nonsense. That's why we shouldn't use first-person language like "unable to resist food." The correct way to put it was that your appetite-regulation system in your brain was faulty.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:05 PM

Melissa, I don't make assumptions about you, I would appreciate it if you refrain from making them about me. I don't tilt a windmills. I just eat chocolate ones.. (OK-kidding!) Please explain, what use is the concept of palatability if someone is seeking answers to a medical cause for obesity, and getting nowhere, and FR is NOT the answer? I don't insult people with colds because they cough, think about it...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:00 PM

(No one cause of obesity) I'm curious though, why would the concept of food reward be disrespectful?

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:53 PM

Step one would probably be to avoid foods that you eat or are willing to eat even when you are not hungry. I think that is the most straightforward way of looking at. For example, some people will a can of pringles even if they are not hungry. Modern junk foods have been engineered to work this way.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:41 PM

I would expect that other people would have the opposite experience to you and that is what makes human beings complicated.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:40 PM

Why should I believe FR when I never got huge due to being unable to resist food? That wasn't it. That's why I think it's the worst idea in Paleo. For me, it IS the worst. It's no better than a fat joke. In fact, it kinda is. At this point I don't care about Taubes and the debate with a Paleo Robusto that hasnt been through what I went through. Taubes words work for me, right or wrong. That's what I'm going with. Can you FR folks at least CONSIDER the fact that when you see a fat person, maybe you really don't know the reason and the FR stuff may disrespectful?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 05, 2012
at 08:38 PM

Actually, food having control over you is probably a relic of Paleolithic times. It's so paleo. I'm controlled by all kinds of basic primal desires, as is everyone else. The question is whether or not you allow it to destroy you.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:37 PM

But DFH, that same principle could be applied to every theory. If I find someone who lost loads of weight eating a high-carb diet does that completely discredit all low-carb diets?

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:31 PM

I went there and started it but didn't get past the stuff on chocolate cake! It was exactly opposite my experience. I probably should have never commented because it just makes people angry. I guess they like cake. Haha

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:20 PM

DHF, have you read Stephan's blog posts on the subject of food reward or are you basing your opinions on what others have said about it. In many of his posts he has helpfully linked to quite a number of references and extra sources of information for you to read up on.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 05, 2012
at 08:16 PM

The essential Taubes v. Stephan conflict is whether or not obesity is primarily a factor of neurological dysfunction or insulin dysfunction. Primarily being the operative word here, meaning there ARE other factors in place, but both Taubes and Stephan are looking for something that's a MAJOR driving force in the obesity epidemic.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:15 PM

FWIW, I remember in SAD days being able to put away gallons of pasta, pizza, or cereal in a sitting. And I recall the literal buzz I would get as a result, a pleasant hum coming directly from my brain. I used to joke about it, and it's not funny now. I'm lucky to have nipped all of it in the bud before it got too scary.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 05, 2012
at 08:15 PM

DFH, please do try to read some more about palatability instead of getting angry and just reading tiny PH soundbytes (even though Nance's is fine). I'm going to suggest The End of Overeating and The Compass of Pleasure again, but I'm sure you are just not going to read them and continue to tilt at windmills.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:12 PM

DFH, there is no one single cause of obesity for everyone, no matter what anyone says and I don't believe Stephan Guyenet ever has. If food reward plays no part in your personal case that has little bearing on its validity as a theory that may have relevance for other people in the larger population.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:11 PM

DFH, there is no one single cause of obesity for everyone, no matter what anyone says and I don't believe Stephan Guyenet ever has. If food reward has effect in your personal case that has little bearing on its validity as a theory that may have relevance for other people in the larger population.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:56 PM

Nance, based on your above definition, I can be 100% sure that my intial angry reaction was justified! Obesity was never an issue of palatability or satiety. It was just a puzzle that drs or experts I went to could not figure out, until one did. I would have eaten nails and liked it if it explained the weight. I was that desperate. I was even looking for used blood lab equipment to start my own lab (crazy, I know) and figure it out-or quit my job and go to medical school and use the labs-or just die early. Oh wait, the new theory is I could not stop eating. Yeah, that's quite a blockbuster!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:50 PM

What is it about my answer that pissed you off? I agrre that you can lose weight on any macronutrient ratio, if calories are restricted. The question is why do people eat too much. Food reward is one reason (perhaps the most important). Causes of hyperpahgia include: NPY, Ghrelin, lesions of the hypothalamus, lack of BDNF, stress, hyperpalatability (reward), lack of seratonin, lack of IL-18 (or it's receptor, undernourished fetal development - and I probably missed a few or some may exist for which there is no science yet. And wtf do you know about my activity levels?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:48 PM

@Karen, it's still about the whys because when my processes are in "fixed" mode I can eat chips without a binge being triggered. If I eat them repeatedly (tested at Christmas) I can feel the beginning of a slide toward "broken" and stop in time. (shrug)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:47 PM

@Korion, it's still about the whys because when my processes are in "fixed" mode I can eat chips without a binge being triggered. If I eat them repeatedly (tested at Christmas) I can feel the beginning of a slide toward "broken" and stop in time. (shrug)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:43 PM

@Korion,LOL, me too! And THAT marriage would last a lifetime if my health stayed good.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:40 PM

Thank you Nance, I suspected that was the case. But then I don't understand why everyone can throw out the Taubes with the food reward bathwater. I still don't see them as being mutually exclusive.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:39 PM

Another question: So then doesn't food reward also substantiate Taubes's claim that not all calories are created equal? If you get a calorie from a food reward food, won't it influence the acquisition of more calories?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:38 PM

Have you considered that carbs stimultae insulin which is anorectic? Or do you intend to cherry pick studies when clearly people can and do lose weight on high carb diets. Maybe it's not for you, and maybe you should blame your own activity levels and genetics rather than grab one of the satiety hormones to suit your purposes. Carbohydrates also raise leptin far more than either other macronutrient.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:10 PM

Reading about potatoes while eating liver makes me wanna cry. If I could marry a potato chip, I would.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:03 PM

The debate, whether you talk about food reward or some other catch phrase, is really about the whys/whats of what breaks or fixes my bodily processes.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:02 PM

The "food reward hypothesis of obesity" is what is being so hotly debated. If you have never been obese, the hypothesis is not applicable to you. It gets shortened to food reward for convenience but it's always about obesity. I can say that when my body's processes are working properly I stop eating when full and I tend to lose any excess body fat. When it isn't working properly, I never get full and wind up 50-80 lbs overweight.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 06:47 PM

4. Can someone explain why I spent 10+ years trying to find the answer to a metabolic problem, ate bland food most of the time, didn't crave or really ate that much and all I wanted was answers, and now it's "palatability?" OMG! If someone can explain WHY I should accept palatability when that was the last thing on my mind all this time, I might just buy their entry into AHS2012... That's a challenge people...

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on March 03, 2012
at 04:42 PM

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16712573 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20107198 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9805219

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 02, 2012
at 07:48 PM

Then what IS part of the theory? I have read "it's not this" and its not that," "you are making a strawman.." and almost noone will say what "it" is that people are on about. Someone said yesterday what it meant to them was food was hyperpalatable, and people can't resist it. "binge theory" replaces "insulin theory?" Anyone? It's like a vaporware theory, it changes once a day? In less than 1,000 words, can you explain? So far the number of people that have avoided my question is about equal to the number of down votes I got on this topic!!! )

90754eb77fa3835526151624ce6c4ea8

on March 02, 2012
at 06:47 PM

"The very idea that I'm so incredibly stupid that I (or others) just wreck themselves is insulting and absurd." I agree. Good thing that idea isn't part of food reward theory.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 02, 2012
at 03:33 PM

@Asclepius, yeah there are weeks when it's easier for me to fast 48 hours than eat moderate meals. Oh, well. I'm sure strangers look at me and see a woman who could stand to lose 20 pounds--they don't know I'm down 40+ from last year.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 02, 2012
at 02:51 PM

Neuro-Good one! Thanks. This one- "Stephan never claimed food reward is the only factor or that it applies to absolutely everyone.." So what's the fuss with Taubes then? Wasn't food reward some way to replace "insulin theory" with "binge theory?" Still, if so, isn't that still insulting people? Like we are not smart enough to notice that? Is this really supposed to be "The food reward theory of obesity?" (meaning, it IS the primary cause for obesity going up)? If not, is this a strawman? Am I the only one that noticed everyone takes something different from "it" it's still fuzzy?

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 02, 2012
at 02:28 PM

Food reward is what drives eating. We'd starve otherwise. Seems to me you should work with it rather than try to remove it.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:00 PM

About the no butter thing, it was just for experimentation. I do kindof like just baked potatoes plain now though.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 02, 2012
at 09:07 AM

@Nance - I've have to say I know obese people that have spent years on lowfatdietcrapinabox combined with lots of weekly cardio and are still obese. THAT is willpower. Also some of the most slothful and indulgent people I know, who seem to show zero willpower are bloody skinny!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 02, 2012
at 01:31 AM

@Nance...put a pizza and beer in front of me though and all bets are off! :)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 02, 2012
at 01:22 AM

@JayJay I'm jealous! If we were standing beside each other I'd touch you in hopes you were contagious. You, on the other hand, would run screaming in the other direction. :-))

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:55 AM

Just kidding...it is obviously not either/or, and I have never been obese and/or addicted to foods so my satiety feedback loops are likely well maintained.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:54 AM

I ate my potato with a half stick of butter and a half cup of guac and plenty of salt....Did the satiating effects of all the fat override the reward feedback (couldn't eat more than one small potato this way)...BATTLE!...Satiety vs Reward...FIGHT!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:43 AM

@Asclepius, in my view no it's not about willpower. I have a ton of that--people nod their heads when I say I am stubborn. Lots of strong-willed people have fallen to addictions to alcohol or drugs; it just so happens my addiction is to processed carb/fat/salt products.

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:28 AM

This isn't to say there aren't other factors in play. Some people find that they need to restrict carbs to lose weight, but this in no way invalidates food reward being an important factor. Stephan never claimed food reward is the only factor or that it applies to absolutely everyone.

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:26 AM

The whole LOL I eat bacon and lose weight!1!1!1!1! Food reward is st00pid meme is just plain ignorance. Palability is not the same as reward. Most people find steak tasty, but they usually don't find themselves resisting the urge to down a pound of steak as quickly as possible because steak is palatable, not rewarding. Some rewarding food isn't necessarily even that tasty, some people just can't stop eating it.

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:22 AM

Just like a cocaine addict should avoid cocaine, a person predisposed to over eating high reward food might find a low reward diet to help regulate appetite and weight loss. If anything, Stephan is saying it isn't people's fault they get fat eating high reward food because the food intentionally overrides the brain's mechanism to curb high reward food intake.

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:20 AM

Basically, modern processed food is specifically designed to overstimulate the brain's reward center, just like cocaine or heroin would. Some people eat these rewarding foods and not get "addicted" to them, but for other people they're for whatever reason predispose to be unable to regulate their intake of the rewarding food. There are many compenents to food that make them. Low carb diets are inherently low reward because they cut out a very rewarding food- starch and sugar. Low fat diets are also low reward.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 11:04 PM

So would you replace the concept of insulin resistance with binge resistance?

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 11:02 PM

Maybe you can be the first one to explain what he says, instead of just "I agree," or whatever! :)

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 01, 2012
at 10:57 PM

My guess would be some genetic predisposition to become more "addicted" to food. Same idea why some people can stop at one beer while someone else wouldn't stop until they had 5+.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 10:49 PM

I agree that food is engineered to be moreish. But, not withstanding all those other factors that seem to affect obesity (mitochondria, gut flora etc....), the obvious question from your analysis is 'why do some folk seem able to eat a portion of crapinabox and leave it at that, and others seem to 'belt-feed' packets of crisps/Pringles/cookies etc... without the ability to restrain? Are we back to the explanation of willpower?

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 01, 2012
at 10:40 PM

It has nothing to do with intelligence. No idea how you even got that idea. It's not Stephan's fault if you misrepresent what he says.

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 01, 2012
at 10:38 PM

If you really don't think that there are many companies that specifically design food to be hyper rewarding, you are painfully wrong. What is so difficult to understand that high reward food makes you want to eat more of it, past satiety? It really isn't about binging, either. Palatablity is not the same as reward.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 10:00 PM

Relax. You think that was serious? Sheesh. I'll go with data and theory too, and let's skip the part about eaters being too stupid to know they are being lured into hell with chocolate cake! One measure of how horrible this hypothesis is is that no one can repeat it or explain it except say things like "oh, he made me reflect a little, this guy is good!" That's nice but it's not science. :)

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on March 01, 2012
at 09:32 PM

Come on PrimalDanny, don't be so coy, be direct. I have never weighed in on what I think of the food reward theory, anywhere. For all you know, I might agree with DFH completely. I've just chosen to keep my opinion of the theory to myself. That doesn't mean I won't call out somebody for making aggravated remarks. Expressing a desire to punch somebody in the face is a blatant lack of emotional detachment. All that is really important here is the data and the theory.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 09:29 PM

Nandalal- I think there is a kis understanding. I didn't mean that Nikoley was experimenting with SAD. I read his blog and it's not what he did. What I meant to say is that there are many people with problems due to SAD. These people change their habits, and they change inside. Any experiment done before some significant changes (like damage due to SAD) would not be the same as an experiment done after the changes. My body is different too. I can do all kinds of experiments that would have not made a difference when I was huge a few years ago.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 09:10 PM

Nance- OK, back to the definition of "reward..." You (SG, whomever) are actually saying that the explanation for obesity (and I am specifically referring to the increase since 1980 to really get to something specific) is explained because people are motivated to eat more somehow. How did this happen all of a sudden? I bet a lot of companies would want to know how to motivate a large population too. This looks like a reasonable topic for individuals and I think lost people think of it that way. When you try to apply it to the population, it doesn't work. Plus it insults people who don't binge.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 08:54 PM

Nance- What, exactly, about those posts made sense? Some people keep saying that Stephan is right, but no one can repeat what he is right about, I guess. Ate you saying that T2 diabetes and obesity in the total population are because of binge eating, and not because of changes in food composition due to low fat hysteria? Or are you saying his ideas helped you (the individual) on binge eating? If the latter is the case, fine. My interest here is the part about explaining what went wrong with the whole population.

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on March 01, 2012
at 08:48 PM

Totally get you there bro. Those things are stupidly great at making me uninterested in eating. I'll be really hungry and if I pick up a chicken breast I'm likely to eat half of it and then not want it at all. I'll think I am full! If you give me a cake, ice cream and potato chips, I would eat them all and still think I am hungry.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 08:10 PM

I think Stephan's articles may speak more loudly to those who were out of control on SAD and found control returning--gradually or abruptly--on some version of paleo. For me, it's unique as I had lost about as much weight 4 times before but my control had gotten worse not better. To have a total lack of binge eating disorder since at least November, nearly 4 months now, is truly unprecedented for me and seems directly compatible with Stephan's posts.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 01, 2012
at 07:14 PM

I'm pretty sure that Guyenet VS Taubes arguement may be the absolute silliest there is. Why can't we get like a Kruse VS Peat thing going...you know something thats a lot more apples to apples :). Anyhow, I like G's theories and all but find it more abstract and less actionable. I mean you really do have to have some serious knowledge about neurotransmitters and whatnot to even begin grasping what he's getting at.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:59 PM

Thanks Danny. I don't know enough about Guyenet to even go "ad hom," and I don't even want to. I have to use his name because, well, it's the name he has! I'm only basing what I'm writing on what he put on his blog to start this nonsense, and I do remember the chocolate cake thing.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:54 PM

On the contrary David, it sounds to me that DFH has no knowledge or personal problem with Stephen G and is basing his judgements on the work he's done - specifically on food reward. From that point of view, it's a lot easier to see who's biasing their comments based on personal acquaintances and who isn't.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:52 PM

I have a nice salad that I could eat right now, but I don't want to. However, I could easily down a large bag of BBQ Fritos right now - and I'm not hungry at all.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:50 PM

If you can eat it when you are not hungry, then it has a high food reward value. If it tastes good but you stop when you are full, then it doesn't. A nice steak tastes good, but most people don't binge on steak.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:44 PM

Remember when the essence of things were referred to as "meat and potatoes"? Meat and potatoes have long been honored as essential food, everything else is secondary.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:28 PM

DFH, your comments indicate to me that this "debate" is more of a personal problem with Stephan G, than an issue with the merits of food reward theory. Having met Stephan personally, I feel confident in saying he is one of the most gracious and easy-going people I've ever met. I think your characterizations are off-base, and have likely biased your opinions unnecessarily.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 01, 2012
at 06:15 PM

"If I take the fact that the "low fat" craze kicked off about 1980 (give or take), food suppliers changed food, and people ate it." But that's just it- carb consumption didn't change that dramatically, but processed foods like low-fat crap did.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:09 PM

Oliva-Good for you! I think the reason some ex-obese have the low calorie requirement thing has to do with how much damage obesity did, or sometimes the damage that caused the obesity in the first place. In my case things got nuked due to strong meds (Prednisone). Again, I get the attraction to treats, it just is a foolish way to try to explain what has happened to the population at large when it's pretty clear that the "low fat" insanity is a far better explanation. Minger said in her interview at the Paleo summit that Paleo corrects its own mistakes. This one can't last.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:05 PM

This is a great discussion. :) Melissa, I disagree. If I take the fact that the "low fat" craze kicked off about 1980 (give or take), food suppliers changed food, and people ate it. The spike in T2 diabetes and obesity matched this, that's all I need to see. I don't need a scientific study to tell me what happened, and it certianly can not be attributed to a mass change in behavior where people can't control their eating for no other reason than they can't stop eating! That's crazy. I get it that some people like dessert and comfort foods. That is not new.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:00 PM

Hi Karen - for me also, food reward does not seem to apply. I have this idea of 'paleo' which includes high/low fat and protein days, high/low carb days. Some days high calorie, some days low calorie. There is no counting of calories and only a nod to macro nutrients. I really mix it up intuitively and am leaner and more muscular than ever. So has by mitochondria changed? Is my gut flora healthier? Have I developed my fat-burning metabolic pathways? I wonder if my pre-paleo hunger-shakes indicated I was close to the start of becoming obese or developing metabolic syndrome.

Dabdb4e771b72dff14709b0258b207a7

(201)

on March 01, 2012
at 05:58 PM

I get your anger at "fit" people telling you what to do but don't like that you lump all ex-obese people in with yourself. I am an ex obese person who now maintains 15 - 16 percent body fat pretty easily. I don't have to watch calories more than non ex-obese people I know either. I think food reward is an important theory worth studying and just because it doesn't apply to you doesn't mean it won't apply to others just as your calorie thing doesn't apply to all ex-obese people.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 01, 2012
at 05:40 PM

Thanks for this question, a fascinating thread. I've never been able to wrap my head around food reward theory, and especially how it applies to me now that I eat Paleoly. I don't think it does.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 01, 2012
at 05:28 PM

why does the potato have to be unflavored? is grassfed butter/ghee off-limits?

284213562569be43dfda0ad40914da6f

on March 01, 2012
at 05:21 PM

I don't think Peat is correct but I did no-veg/much dairy/fruit/juice/ no musclemeat/limited protein, etc, and within a week got to the point where I derived little enjoyment from icecream, milkshakes, gallons of oj, etc. I do understand the fear component though--the mere thought of going back to my 0-24yr lacto-veg diet for more than a week gives me the willies.

284213562569be43dfda0ad40914da6f

on March 01, 2012
at 05:16 PM

@DFH, how is what Nikoley ate SAD? His front-end was an experiment too, in terms of macros, and it benefited him greatly in his back-end experimentation. If you haven't tried a different approach to the point where your chosen metrics change, and you're not satisfied with what you have now, how logical is 'stay the course'? I'm an all or nothing person, so I guess it's easier for me to take a new approach to the point of outputs being revealed as truly dependent variables, but I wouldn't know if I didn't try. "Things change," to me = "the devils is all up in them hills."

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 01, 2012
at 05:01 PM

"Insulin theory does in fact explain the spike in obesity and T2 diabetes since 1980." Unfortunately, it doesn't. Stephan and many others have written many many posts about it and it's not an accepted idea in any area of the sciences. It's more complex than that. I would suggest The End of Overeating because the author is better at explaining and he has struggled with obesity himself.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:51 PM

Re: Richard's experiment, I've also found that if I cut my typical meat portion in half and substitute a triple-volume portion of cauliflower I also lose weight. An equal-size switch from meat to sweet potato does the same thing.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:49 PM

I absolutely love steak, bacon, etc., but I can also attest they are less "palatable" for me within Stephan's definition than McDonald's fries or BQ chips. No contest. When I'm full I stop eating steak but I never stopped with fries/chips until the bag/container was empty.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:46 PM

I uber-condensed the above and you should read the entire post to really absorb the definitions. And all Richard is saying is that when he went low-carb he ate less energy overall than on SAD, and now that he's increasing carbs and reducing protein/fat a little he's seeing the same thing--eating less energy overall.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:43 PM

Excerpt from Stephan's post, "The Case for the Food Reward Hypothesis of Obesity, part I" - "I use the term food reward to refer specifically to the motivational value of food, i.e. its ability to reinforce behavior. ... acquiring a taste that causes a person to seek out the food in question more often. ... Palatability refers specifically to the enjoyment derived from a food, ... (the 2 are different) One example is a person who is addicted to a drug despite no longer deriving pleasure from it. This is a case of strong "wanting" without "liking".

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:33 PM

As long as there are those of us who increased calories, cut carbs, and lost weight, the "you lost weight because you ate fewer calories" assertion is bankrupt.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:32 PM

From Nikoley's post: "LC simply, effectively, lowered our food reward/palatability and as a consequence, we spontaneously lowered our average daily intake of calories." And this is where I, and many others, disagree completely. I could not lose weight by reducing calories to 1,200/day, but only when I got down to 500/day did I see any weight loss (I repeated this experiment multiple times over *decades*). On VLC and then ZC, I eat upwards of 1,600/day, sometimes over 2,000. I lost weight eating *more* calories. This doesn't work for everyone, I know, but it did for me and others.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:26 PM

Could you please copy and paste one definiton of reward we can work from for us "everyday" people? This everyday simpleton went to Guyenet's blog to get see what it was about and stopped at chocolate cake. So shoot me! It's still the worst idea in Paleo!

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:13 PM

He experimented on the front end of his journey too though. His approach in general is valid. But you're accurate that this particular experiment is back end.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:06 PM

Shari-Thanks. Of course any reasonable idea has some merit. We all have them once in a while. But, the reward hypothesis is being promoted as an explanation of obesity in the population, and real explanations get set aside. It's amatuer in the extreme. I don't know Guyenet. Maybe he is not a thin punk that thinks he's smarter than the big folks, sure. But his writing leaves that impression. I'm not a fan at all. I quit reading his stuff over this.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on March 01, 2012
at 03:46 PM

DFH I was originally very interested in food reward then came to see it as you do and then mellowed out a bit on it. I think there are some merits I don't think it has much to do with cause of obesity. I know the in crowd of blogs say Taubes has been debunked and that everyone has moved on but there are many of us here where the rubber hits the road who haven't budged an inch and don't intend to so you're are not alone.Stephan is anything but arrogant and he is working hard to find answers for all of us and is worth a listen. I see food reward as a possible tool for some to assist weight loss.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 03:30 PM

Stephan started his crazy meme with something about people not being able to resist chocolate cake. I switched it off. He comes across as arrogant. If someone wants to explain food reward without insulting people, I'm all about learning something new. Insulin theory does in fact explain the spike in obesity and T2 diabetes since 1980. Its real. Food companies took fat out and put sugar in. Again, it's not rocket science!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 01, 2012
at 03:28 PM

I did the "vegan paleo" experiment and realized I'm probably not on the carb tail end of the normal distribution. To be honest, I felt pretty awful and I really did give it my best. It also really drove home the unappetizingness of plain starch to me. I don't know if I recommend the experiment.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 01, 2012
at 03:26 PM

Also, a low-reward diet can include bacon. It's all about not tripping that switch (IE the opiates you mention) that leads to brain damage and overeating. Maybe it's easier for me to accept because that system is involved with several other disorders in my family (cocaine addiction, alcoholism, gambling addiction) .

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 01, 2012
at 03:24 PM

I don't think anyone has argued that insulin isn't an issue anymore or something. It's certainly really really really important for diabetics and pre-diabetics. It's just not THE overarching explanation for weight-related diseases of civilization.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 01, 2012
at 03:24 PM

"Food reward/palatability is the worst idea in Paleo. This is a bad meme that needs to go away." It's not an idea from paleo at all, it's from neuroscience and no one believes it's the only factor. Maybe Stephan isn't explaining it well enough for you? I'd suggest The Compass of Pleasure or The End of Overeating before you dismiss it and call it stupid.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 03:12 PM

"He's experimenting on the back end of his journey, not the beginning" +1

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 03:11 PM

@DFH - I see by the downvote above that someone doesn't agree with you. I wish they'd flesh out their downvote with a comment/justification.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 03:04 PM

Food reward does not take into account the fact that not everyone is as stupid as fit people think they are! I guess you can tell this one gets under my skin. What crap.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:55 PM

If you are talking about the explanation for the amount of obesity and T2 diabetes in the population, food reward/palatability gets you nowhere. Just look at obesity and T2 diabetes data since 1980. The increase follows carb consumption and fat reduction. Food suppliers changed food. It's not rocket science. It is an interesting behavioral topic, but as far as explaning the big picture, its a joke and I can't believe it got as far as it did.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:51 PM

Thank you. I didn't lose my weight eating a low-reward diet, but rather a high-reward diet of bacon and ribeyes that happened to not include carbohydrate. To the degree that food reward hypothesis *does* make any sense, IMO, the phenomena are more realistically and physiologically explained by hypoglycemic reactions and by opiates and other substances in the food itself (something FRH seems to include sometimes, but mostly downplay in favor of "brain-based" responses).

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:47 PM

Nikoley's n=1 is not something people can use. Many people repair damage due to SAD and other things eating one way, and once they get there, things change. He's experimenting on the back end of his journey, not the beginning. I experimented a bit the same way and I'm better off staying close to ZC than even 100g carbs. I never go over 50, and usually my best days are closer to ZC. Nikoley and I have much different medical pasts, Im sure. I don't need his n=1 and he doesn't need mine!

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:45 PM

Contentious! ;) Your post gets us back to Beth's point about 'is it really "the" factor at work?'. Are all these 'answers' we have established so far, downstream of the original cause? Where is this tipping point and what causes it?

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 01, 2012
at 01:55 PM

But there's also physiology at work. I'm fascinated by the endocannabinoid system. People with low fasting levels of insulin may be less likely to convert the LA in their diets from veggie oils to the THC-like cannabinoid than those with metabolic syndrome. So I think it's very conceivable that someone with metsyn may respond very, very differently to crapinabag than someone like you. And that's just one aspect of it.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 01, 2012
at 01:52 PM

I think genetics is a piece of that. But part of it is learned. If you just eat crapinabag cause it looks good, that has one effect. If you just had a major fight with your spouse and you're way stressed and eat crapinabag and the resulting stupor relieves the stress, well, you've just taught your lizard brain a new trick! So for some, it now becomes fight or flight ... or food.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 01:49 PM

" "No question that food reward is not the whole picture. And to be fair, Stephan never made that claim" - good point!

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 01:42 PM

Hi Beth - we're definitely thinking along the same lines here, even down to the elephant analogy! My eating patterns are arguably 'binge-like', yet I am lean. I know several folk who eat crapinabag regularly, yet some are thin and some fat. Why does crapinabag affect some more than others?

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 01:30 PM

Interesting. I can eat modern crapinabag, but that doesn't necessarily inhibit me from resisting another helping of crapinabag for some time. This is what interests me because I certainly don't have will power. (The Gnolls series on food reward did much to tie some of this stuff up)

  • F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

    asked by

    (1837)
  • Views
    2.7K
  • Last Activity
    1279D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

12 Answers

7
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 01, 2012
at 01:20 PM

No question that food reward is not the whole picture. And to be fair, Stephan never made that claim.

It's interesting to me that NPY (neuropeptide Y) is one of many causes of hyperphagia (overeating). NPY production is stimulated by carbohydrate consumption and in turn it stimulates carbohydrate consumption:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/019697818690149X

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0196978185904528

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/036192309190121Y

"Neuropeptide Y (NPY), acting through various medial hypothalamic nuclei, is found to have potent effects on a variety of endocrine, physiological and behavioral systems that modulate energy balance. This peptide affects the release of various hormones, such as corticosterone, insulin, aldosterone and vasopressin, which modulate energy metabolism, as well as food intake. It also has direct impact on energy metabolism through an effect on substrate utilization and lipogenesis. Finally, NPY has a remarkably potent stimulatory effect on feeding behavior, which is characterized by a selective increase in carbohydrate ingestion that is strongest at the beginning of the active feeding cycle and is dependent upon circulating levels of corticosterone. This evidence has led to the proposal that NPY exerts anabolic effects to restore energy balance at specific times of energy depletion. Increased NPY activity may occur at the beginning of the active cycle or after a period of food deprivation. Further evidence, that chronic NPY stimulation produces profound hyperphagia and obesity and that endogenous NPY concentration is increased in genetically obese animals, strongly suggests that hypothalamic NPY may contribute to the development of eating disorders and obesity."

In other words, carbohydrate addiction is real, irrespective of palatability - but food that is engineered to be hyperpalatable is even more addictive IMHO. Also, wheat has specific addictive components beyond simple palatability.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 01:30 PM

Interesting. I can eat modern crapinabag, but that doesn't necessarily inhibit me from resisting another helping of crapinabag for some time. This is what interests me because I certainly don't have will power. (The Gnolls series on food reward did much to tie some of this stuff up)

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 01:49 PM

" "No question that food reward is not the whole picture. And to be fair, Stephan never made that claim" - good point!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 06, 2012
at 02:10 AM

And another thing... Cherry picking studies?? I used google scholar for 'npy + hyperphagia' and picked the first three (of many). Is that cherry picking? Do you dispute NPY and hyperphagia? Do you dispute carbs intake and NPY? Cite contrary evidence - I'm all ears. And nobody understands leptin. Not you, not Kruse, not Rosedale, not Lustig, certainly not me. I don't pretend to understand NPY or anything else. The only point I made is that food reward is not the be all and end all. It is important, but there are a lot of other things going on.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:50 PM

What is it about my answer that pissed you off? I agrre that you can lose weight on any macronutrient ratio, if calories are restricted. The question is why do people eat too much. Food reward is one reason (perhaps the most important). Causes of hyperpahgia include: NPY, Ghrelin, lesions of the hypothalamus, lack of BDNF, stress, hyperpalatability (reward), lack of seratonin, lack of IL-18 (or it's receptor, undernourished fetal development - and I probably missed a few or some may exist for which there is no science yet. And wtf do you know about my activity levels?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:38 PM

Have you considered that carbs stimultae insulin which is anorectic? Or do you intend to cherry pick studies when clearly people can and do lose weight on high carb diets. Maybe it's not for you, and maybe you should blame your own activity levels and genetics rather than grab one of the satiety hormones to suit your purposes. Carbohydrates also raise leptin far more than either other macronutrient.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on March 14, 2012
at 10:17 AM

It doesn't matter if I eat potato chips or plain cooked millet/rice...I'll always binge on carbohydrates more or less. it just brings out the worst in me (best appetite lol)...I'm going low-reward, ketogenic Paleo

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 14, 2012
at 01:48 PM

And, lol, keto-paleo is pretty low reward by definition! In fact paleo, with fruit, tubers and rice is still pretty low reward even if it can also be very tasty.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on March 14, 2012
at 10:17 AM

best answer yet

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 14, 2012
at 01:46 PM

I will binge on potato or corn chips quite easily, but not on roasted/baked potatoes or white rice. It might be the PUFA. They do, however, seem to stimulate my appetite somewhat even if I don't binge on them. I simply wanted to point out that there are many things known to cause hyperphagia. Not that hyperphagia is the only piece of the obesity puzzle. Probably for most people the insidious creep of excess fat over many years is more common.

6
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 01, 2012
at 01:32 PM

I, for one, don't think 'palatibility' is simplistic at all ;). But do you mean is it really "the" factor at work? Good question! As someone with clear food reward issues (compulsive eater/binge eater/food addict of many decades), I absolutely am on board with the idea that palatability and reward -- as processes in the brain -- can have a major affect on appetite and more.

But do I think it's the whole picture? No. (Nor does Stephan for that matter.) It's interesting to me that both Kurt Harris and now Richard have embraced the concept as they have. But me personally, I think that it's a major piece ... one that food manufacturers are definitely exploiting.

That said, I believe that there are other major contributors, inflammation for one. Eating a "low-reward" diet clearly reduces inflammation. Another is nutrient density. Palatability/reward is largely upstream (brain), but there's a LOT going on downstream, especially in the gut. See Chris Masterjohn on lack of choline in the diet and cholesterol for example. A "low-reward" diet tends to be more nutrient-dense, so that may be at work too.

I'm a fan of the six blind men and the elephants metaphor (man feeling the leg thinks it's a pillar, man feeling the tail thinks it's a rope, etc):

free-the-animal:--the-impact-of-'synthesis:-low-carb-and-food-reward/palatability,-and-why-calories-count'

I think this fits our current discussions pretty well. Everyone is looking at their piece of the elephant. Eventually we'll get to the point where we're able to step back and see how all the pieces fit.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 01:42 PM

Hi Beth - we're definitely thinking along the same lines here, even down to the elephant analogy! My eating patterns are arguably 'binge-like', yet I am lean. I know several folk who eat crapinabag regularly, yet some are thin and some fat. Why does crapinabag affect some more than others?

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 03:04 PM

Food reward does not take into account the fact that not everyone is as stupid as fit people think they are! I guess you can tell this one gets under my skin. What crap.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 01, 2012
at 01:55 PM

But there's also physiology at work. I'm fascinated by the endocannabinoid system. People with low fasting levels of insulin may be less likely to convert the LA in their diets from veggie oils to the THC-like cannabinoid than those with metabolic syndrome. So I think it's very conceivable that someone with metsyn may respond very, very differently to crapinabag than someone like you. And that's just one aspect of it.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 01, 2012
at 01:52 PM

I think genetics is a piece of that. But part of it is learned. If you just eat crapinabag cause it looks good, that has one effect. If you just had a major fight with your spouse and you're way stressed and eat crapinabag and the resulting stupor relieves the stress, well, you've just taught your lizard brain a new trick! So for some, it now becomes fight or flight ... or food.

5
7b11ed525ffa23bc7257684e27488a6a

(366)

on March 01, 2012
at 09:44 PM

I think palatability is too simplistic. I think nutrient load plays a big role here. When a person consumes industrially processed crap food, s/he is not meeting her/his nutritional needs and end up pounding down a ton of this food in a vain attempt to satisfy real hunger, which is based in part by the body's ability to sense nutrient load coming in. Sure, these crap foods have been engineered to taste good, but I don't think that in and of itself is why they are over consumed. By the same token, when a plate of liver and onions (or steak and salad or other nutritionally dense food) is consumed, the body is nourished by this and so blind munching is not as easy to continue.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on March 06, 2012
at 01:54 AM

It's more insidious than that, they're designed to not fill you (not bulky, low fiber), they're designed to taste only mildly good, if they tasted really good, or the flavor lasted a long time, you wouldn't want more. They also have added odors so you crave them just by their smell. They contain things in them to make you addicted (MSG, HFCS, etc.) The people who make this stuff are as worse than drug dealers - they understand how to manipulate human taste buds and cravings!

5
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:11 PM

I'm not sure why these terms, reward and palatability, are so confusing as Stephan and others have provided definitions quite distinct from the first-glance everyday-use definitions of the words. Many comments I've read seem based on the everyday definitions and that's a little bizarre to me. I'm pretty comfortable with how Stephan, Kurt and Richard are using the terms based on the definitions they gave us.

I'm with Melissa in that I don't seem to have the "starch tastes good" gene. Steak and potatoes might work if every bite of potato was seasoned by a morsel of steak or garlic or sweet pepper. Sweet potato is okay if it's one part butter to 2 parts potato.

I browsed the "20 potatoes a day" site and I find it credible given the mass-scale experiment history observed in Ireland. However, I would get fat on it because every 2 or 3 spuds would require a stick of butter. :-))

The conversation at Richard's blog, Free the Animal, has been terrific and I recommend that all who read this thread go there and read his last 2 posts and all the comments.

I have no more aptitude for VLC than I do for high-starch, but I do strongly believe that moderate carbs in the form of low-density greens and low-starch vegetables plus a little fruit is by far the best approach for ME. You need to find your own best way and, like Richard, you need to be flexible enough to try different things every now and then.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:43 AM

@Asclepius, in my view no it's not about willpower. I have a ton of that--people nod their heads when I say I am stubborn. Lots of strong-willed people have fallen to addictions to alcohol or drugs; it just so happens my addiction is to processed carb/fat/salt products.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:50 PM

If you can eat it when you are not hungry, then it has a high food reward value. If it tastes good but you stop when you are full, then it doesn't. A nice steak tastes good, but most people don't binge on steak.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 11:04 PM

So would you replace the concept of insulin resistance with binge resistance?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:52 PM

I have a nice salad that I could eat right now, but I don't want to. However, I could easily down a large bag of BBQ Fritos right now - and I'm not hungry at all.

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 01, 2012
at 10:57 PM

My guess would be some genetic predisposition to become more "addicted" to food. Same idea why some people can stop at one beer while someone else wouldn't stop until they had 5+.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:49 PM

I absolutely love steak, bacon, etc., but I can also attest they are less "palatable" for me within Stephan's definition than McDonald's fries or BQ chips. No contest. When I'm full I stop eating steak but I never stopped with fries/chips until the bag/container was empty.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:55 AM

Just kidding...it is obviously not either/or, and I have never been obese and/or addicted to foods so my satiety feedback loops are likely well maintained.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 02, 2012
at 03:33 PM

@Asclepius, yeah there are weeks when it's easier for me to fast 48 hours than eat moderate meals. Oh, well. I'm sure strangers look at me and see a woman who could stand to lose 20 pounds--they don't know I'm down 40+ from last year.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:54 AM

I ate my potato with a half stick of butter and a half cup of guac and plenty of salt....Did the satiating effects of all the fat override the reward feedback (couldn't eat more than one small potato this way)...BATTLE!...Satiety vs Reward...FIGHT!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:33 PM

As long as there are those of us who increased calories, cut carbs, and lost weight, the "you lost weight because you ate fewer calories" assertion is bankrupt.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:51 PM

Re: Richard's experiment, I've also found that if I cut my typical meat portion in half and substitute a triple-volume portion of cauliflower I also lose weight. An equal-size switch from meat to sweet potato does the same thing.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:43 PM

Excerpt from Stephan's post, "The Case for the Food Reward Hypothesis of Obesity, part I" - "I use the term food reward to refer specifically to the motivational value of food, i.e. its ability to reinforce behavior. ... acquiring a taste that causes a person to seek out the food in question more often. ... Palatability refers specifically to the enjoyment derived from a food, ... (the 2 are different) One example is a person who is addicted to a drug despite no longer deriving pleasure from it. This is a case of strong "wanting" without "liking".

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:32 PM

From Nikoley's post: "LC simply, effectively, lowered our food reward/palatability and as a consequence, we spontaneously lowered our average daily intake of calories." And this is where I, and many others, disagree completely. I could not lose weight by reducing calories to 1,200/day, but only when I got down to 500/day did I see any weight loss (I repeated this experiment multiple times over *decades*). On VLC and then ZC, I eat upwards of 1,600/day, sometimes over 2,000. I lost weight eating *more* calories. This doesn't work for everyone, I know, but it did for me and others.

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 01, 2012
at 10:38 PM

If you really don't think that there are many companies that specifically design food to be hyper rewarding, you are painfully wrong. What is so difficult to understand that high reward food makes you want to eat more of it, past satiety? It really isn't about binging, either. Palatablity is not the same as reward.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:26 PM

Could you please copy and paste one definiton of reward we can work from for us "everyday" people? This everyday simpleton went to Guyenet's blog to get see what it was about and stopped at chocolate cake. So shoot me! It's still the worst idea in Paleo!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:46 PM

I uber-condensed the above and you should read the entire post to really absorb the definitions. And all Richard is saying is that when he went low-carb he ate less energy overall than on SAD, and now that he's increasing carbs and reducing protein/fat a little he's seeing the same thing--eating less energy overall.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 02, 2012
at 09:07 AM

@Nance - I've have to say I know obese people that have spent years on lowfatdietcrapinabox combined with lots of weekly cardio and are still obese. THAT is willpower. Also some of the most slothful and indulgent people I know, who seem to show zero willpower are bloody skinny!

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 09:10 PM

Nance- OK, back to the definition of "reward..." You (SG, whomever) are actually saying that the explanation for obesity (and I am specifically referring to the increase since 1980 to really get to something specific) is explained because people are motivated to eat more somehow. How did this happen all of a sudden? I bet a lot of companies would want to know how to motivate a large population too. This looks like a reasonable topic for individuals and I think lost people think of it that way. When you try to apply it to the population, it doesn't work. Plus it insults people who don't binge.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 10:49 PM

I agree that food is engineered to be moreish. But, not withstanding all those other factors that seem to affect obesity (mitochondria, gut flora etc....), the obvious question from your analysis is 'why do some folk seem able to eat a portion of crapinabox and leave it at that, and others seem to 'belt-feed' packets of crisps/Pringles/cookies etc... without the ability to restrain? Are we back to the explanation of willpower?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 02, 2012
at 01:22 AM

@JayJay I'm jealous! If we were standing beside each other I'd touch you in hopes you were contagious. You, on the other hand, would run screaming in the other direction. :-))

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 02, 2012
at 01:31 AM

@Nance...put a pizza and beer in front of me though and all bets are off! :)

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:10 PM

Reading about potatoes while eating liver makes me wanna cry. If I could marry a potato chip, I would.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:43 PM

@Korion,LOL, me too! And THAT marriage would last a lifetime if my health stayed good.

5
E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:25 PM

Food reward/palatability is the worst idea in Paleo. This is a bad meme that needs to go away.

I can't believe I'm reading this stuff.

The very idea that I'm so incredibly stupid that I (or others) just wreck themselves is insulting and absurd.

I was one of those 300+lb hormone wrecks and spent 15 years in hell, going from one dr or blowhard to another until I found one that knew what to do. Insulin was well over 18. Now its as low as I want it to be. Weight fell off. I heard endless crap from fit people telling me what to do. None of them knew. My endocrine system had been nuked from drugs used to treat colitis, and it fell apart. Food reward my azz!

And would fit people kindly keep their carb theories about us to themselves? Some of us are smart enough to experiment too. Cutting carbs is the best strategy for a lot of folks. We also don't need fit people's bad theories on whats going on when the last 10-20 lb won't move.

I've experienced this myself and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the ex-obese have calorie requirements as a fit person that are probably 20-30% less than a never-obese person would have, everything else being equal. (I posted a question on itthe other day).

Additionally, many have issues with past insulin resistance. The always-fit persons carb input is- 1) Too high because insulin resistant people can't do that many carbs. If you haven't been insulin resistant, good for you, but you haven't been there, done that. 2) Too much because calorie requirements are just different. 100 to you is 130 to me, even though my weight is decent now (198).

The fuss over Taubes and insulin theory is a non issue. Taubes is close enough for the people who are insulin resistant right now. Forget how they got there, what do they do? Insulin must come down.

Sorry for the rant. If I could reach through my screen and punch people in the nose that think big people are as stupid as Guyenet does, I would have a sore hand!

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 11:02 PM

Maybe you can be the first one to explain what he says, instead of just "I agree," or whatever! :)

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 03:11 PM

@DFH - I see by the downvote above that someone doesn't agree with you. I wish they'd flesh out their downvote with a comment/justification.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on March 01, 2012
at 03:46 PM

DFH I was originally very interested in food reward then came to see it as you do and then mellowed out a bit on it. I think there are some merits I don't think it has much to do with cause of obesity. I know the in crowd of blogs say Taubes has been debunked and that everyone has moved on but there are many of us here where the rubber hits the road who haven't budged an inch and don't intend to so you're are not alone.Stephan is anything but arrogant and he is working hard to find answers for all of us and is worth a listen. I see food reward as a possible tool for some to assist weight loss.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:59 PM

Thanks Danny. I don't know enough about Guyenet to even go "ad hom," and I don't even want to. I have to use his name because, well, it's the name he has! I'm only basing what I'm writing on what he put on his blog to start this nonsense, and I do remember the chocolate cake thing.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 01, 2012
at 06:15 PM

"If I take the fact that the "low fat" craze kicked off about 1980 (give or take), food suppliers changed food, and people ate it." But that's just it- carb consumption didn't change that dramatically, but processed foods like low-fat crap did.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:54 PM

On the contrary David, it sounds to me that DFH has no knowledge or personal problem with Stephen G and is basing his judgements on the work he's done - specifically on food reward. From that point of view, it's a lot easier to see who's biasing their comments based on personal acquaintances and who isn't.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:06 PM

Shari-Thanks. Of course any reasonable idea has some merit. We all have them once in a while. But, the reward hypothesis is being promoted as an explanation of obesity in the population, and real explanations get set aside. It's amatuer in the extreme. I don't know Guyenet. Maybe he is not a thin punk that thinks he's smarter than the big folks, sure. But his writing leaves that impression. I'm not a fan at all. I quit reading his stuff over this.

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:20 AM

Basically, modern processed food is specifically designed to overstimulate the brain's reward center, just like cocaine or heroin would. Some people eat these rewarding foods and not get "addicted" to them, but for other people they're for whatever reason predispose to be unable to regulate their intake of the rewarding food. There are many compenents to food that make them. Low carb diets are inherently low reward because they cut out a very rewarding food- starch and sugar. Low fat diets are also low reward.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:45 PM

Contentious! ;) Your post gets us back to Beth's point about 'is it really "the" factor at work?'. Are all these 'answers' we have established so far, downstream of the original cause? Where is this tipping point and what causes it?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 01, 2012
at 03:24 PM

I don't think anyone has argued that insulin isn't an issue anymore or something. It's certainly really really really important for diabetics and pre-diabetics. It's just not THE overarching explanation for weight-related diseases of civilization.

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:22 AM

Just like a cocaine addict should avoid cocaine, a person predisposed to over eating high reward food might find a low reward diet to help regulate appetite and weight loss. If anything, Stephan is saying it isn't people's fault they get fat eating high reward food because the food intentionally overrides the brain's mechanism to curb high reward food intake.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 01, 2012
at 03:24 PM

"Food reward/palatability is the worst idea in Paleo. This is a bad meme that needs to go away." It's not an idea from paleo at all, it's from neuroscience and no one believes it's the only factor. Maybe Stephan isn't explaining it well enough for you? I'd suggest The Compass of Pleasure or The End of Overeating before you dismiss it and call it stupid.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:09 PM

Oliva-Good for you! I think the reason some ex-obese have the low calorie requirement thing has to do with how much damage obesity did, or sometimes the damage that caused the obesity in the first place. In my case things got nuked due to strong meds (Prednisone). Again, I get the attraction to treats, it just is a foolish way to try to explain what has happened to the population at large when it's pretty clear that the "low fat" insanity is a far better explanation. Minger said in her interview at the Paleo summit that Paleo corrects its own mistakes. This one can't last.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:28 PM

DFH, your comments indicate to me that this "debate" is more of a personal problem with Stephan G, than an issue with the merits of food reward theory. Having met Stephan personally, I feel confident in saying he is one of the most gracious and easy-going people I've ever met. I think your characterizations are off-base, and have likely biased your opinions unnecessarily.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 01, 2012
at 07:14 PM

I'm pretty sure that Guyenet VS Taubes arguement may be the absolute silliest there is. Why can't we get like a Kruse VS Peat thing going...you know something thats a lot more apples to apples :). Anyhow, I like G's theories and all but find it more abstract and less actionable. I mean you really do have to have some serious knowledge about neurotransmitters and whatnot to even begin grasping what he's getting at.

Dabdb4e771b72dff14709b0258b207a7

(201)

on March 01, 2012
at 05:58 PM

I get your anger at "fit" people telling you what to do but don't like that you lump all ex-obese people in with yourself. I am an ex obese person who now maintains 15 - 16 percent body fat pretty easily. I don't have to watch calories more than non ex-obese people I know either. I think food reward is an important theory worth studying and just because it doesn't apply to you doesn't mean it won't apply to others just as your calorie thing doesn't apply to all ex-obese people.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:55 PM

If you are talking about the explanation for the amount of obesity and T2 diabetes in the population, food reward/palatability gets you nowhere. Just look at obesity and T2 diabetes data since 1980. The increase follows carb consumption and fat reduction. Food suppliers changed food. It's not rocket science. It is an interesting behavioral topic, but as far as explaning the big picture, its a joke and I can't believe it got as far as it did.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 01, 2012
at 03:26 PM

Also, a low-reward diet can include bacon. It's all about not tripping that switch (IE the opiates you mention) that leads to brain damage and overeating. Maybe it's easier for me to accept because that system is involved with several other disorders in my family (cocaine addiction, alcoholism, gambling addiction) .

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on March 01, 2012
at 09:32 PM

Come on PrimalDanny, don't be so coy, be direct. I have never weighed in on what I think of the food reward theory, anywhere. For all you know, I might agree with DFH completely. I've just chosen to keep my opinion of the theory to myself. That doesn't mean I won't call out somebody for making aggravated remarks. Expressing a desire to punch somebody in the face is a blatant lack of emotional detachment. All that is really important here is the data and the theory.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:51 PM

Thank you. I didn't lose my weight eating a low-reward diet, but rather a high-reward diet of bacon and ribeyes that happened to not include carbohydrate. To the degree that food reward hypothesis *does* make any sense, IMO, the phenomena are more realistically and physiologically explained by hypoglycemic reactions and by opiates and other substances in the food itself (something FRH seems to include sometimes, but mostly downplay in favor of "brain-based" responses).

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 03:30 PM

Stephan started his crazy meme with something about people not being able to resist chocolate cake. I switched it off. He comes across as arrogant. If someone wants to explain food reward without insulting people, I'm all about learning something new. Insulin theory does in fact explain the spike in obesity and T2 diabetes since 1980. Its real. Food companies took fat out and put sugar in. Again, it's not rocket science!

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 10:00 PM

Relax. You think that was serious? Sheesh. I'll go with data and theory too, and let's skip the part about eaters being too stupid to know they are being lured into hell with chocolate cake! One measure of how horrible this hypothesis is is that no one can repeat it or explain it except say things like "oh, he made me reflect a little, this guy is good!" That's nice but it's not science. :)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 01, 2012
at 08:10 PM

I think Stephan's articles may speak more loudly to those who were out of control on SAD and found control returning--gradually or abruptly--on some version of paleo. For me, it's unique as I had lost about as much weight 4 times before but my control had gotten worse not better. To have a total lack of binge eating disorder since at least November, nearly 4 months now, is truly unprecedented for me and seems directly compatible with Stephan's posts.

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 01, 2012
at 10:40 PM

It has nothing to do with intelligence. No idea how you even got that idea. It's not Stephan's fault if you misrepresent what he says.

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:28 AM

This isn't to say there aren't other factors in play. Some people find that they need to restrict carbs to lose weight, but this in no way invalidates food reward being an important factor. Stephan never claimed food reward is the only factor or that it applies to absolutely everyone.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 01, 2012
at 05:01 PM

"Insulin theory does in fact explain the spike in obesity and T2 diabetes since 1980." Unfortunately, it doesn't. Stephan and many others have written many many posts about it and it's not an accepted idea in any area of the sciences. It's more complex than that. I would suggest The End of Overeating because the author is better at explaining and he has struggled with obesity himself.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:05 PM

This is a great discussion. :) Melissa, I disagree. If I take the fact that the "low fat" craze kicked off about 1980 (give or take), food suppliers changed food, and people ate it. The spike in T2 diabetes and obesity matched this, that's all I need to see. I don't need a scientific study to tell me what happened, and it certianly can not be attributed to a mass change in behavior where people can't control their eating for no other reason than they can't stop eating! That's crazy. I get it that some people like dessert and comfort foods. That is not new.

Bbceb114ed2332c22490e324d991497e

(705)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:26 AM

The whole LOL I eat bacon and lose weight!1!1!1!1! Food reward is st00pid meme is just plain ignorance. Palability is not the same as reward. Most people find steak tasty, but they usually don't find themselves resisting the urge to down a pound of steak as quickly as possible because steak is palatable, not rewarding. Some rewarding food isn't necessarily even that tasty, some people just can't stop eating it.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 08:54 PM

Nance- What, exactly, about those posts made sense? Some people keep saying that Stephan is right, but no one can repeat what he is right about, I guess. Ate you saying that T2 diabetes and obesity in the total population are because of binge eating, and not because of changes in food composition due to low fat hysteria? Or are you saying his ideas helped you (the individual) on binge eating? If the latter is the case, fine. My interest here is the part about explaining what went wrong with the whole population.

90754eb77fa3835526151624ce6c4ea8

on March 02, 2012
at 06:47 PM

"The very idea that I'm so incredibly stupid that I (or others) just wreck themselves is insulting and absurd." I agree. Good thing that idea isn't part of food reward theory.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 02, 2012
at 07:48 PM

Then what IS part of the theory? I have read "it's not this" and its not that," "you are making a strawman.." and almost noone will say what "it" is that people are on about. Someone said yesterday what it meant to them was food was hyperpalatable, and people can't resist it. "binge theory" replaces "insulin theory?" Anyone? It's like a vaporware theory, it changes once a day? In less than 1,000 words, can you explain? So far the number of people that have avoided my question is about equal to the number of down votes I got on this topic!!! )

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 02, 2012
at 02:51 PM

Neuro-Good one! Thanks. This one- "Stephan never claimed food reward is the only factor or that it applies to absolutely everyone.." So what's the fuss with Taubes then? Wasn't food reward some way to replace "insulin theory" with "binge theory?" Still, if so, isn't that still insulting people? Like we are not smart enough to notice that? Is this really supposed to be "The food reward theory of obesity?" (meaning, it IS the primary cause for obesity going up)? If not, is this a strawman? Am I the only one that noticed everyone takes something different from "it" it's still fuzzy?

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 02, 2012
at 02:28 PM

Food reward is what drives eating. We'd starve otherwise. Seems to me you should work with it rather than try to remove it.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:14 PM

There really are many different risk factors that influence the risk of an individual becoming obese or resisting obesity.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:55 PM

Matthew- There are always outliers, things that don't fit. What are you saying? FR applies except for sick people? Why are there some people that can't gain much even if they gorge themselves? Are they food haters the same way FR people have "binge resistance?" Another reason this idea is due for the scrap heap is you can't even discuss it. Everyone here thiks its something different. SG has lost control of what he created, if he ever had it. Has SG ever had to lose over 100lb and keep it off? Do you see why obese and ex-obese people are sick of this??!!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:37 PM

But DFH, that same principle could be applied to every theory. If I find someone who lost loads of weight eating a high-carb diet does that completely discredit all low-carb diets?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:41 PM

I would expect that other people would have the opposite experience to you and that is what makes human beings complicated.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:06 PM

Stephan did not create this theory, he has explicitly stated this several times on his blog, the idea has been the subject of research for many years.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:18 PM

"People" on the internet can make a mess of discussing any idea or theory. If you want to understand the merits (or lack of) a theory it is better to go back to the source than rely on bits of information obtained second hand.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:31 PM

I went there and started it but didn't get past the stuff on chocolate cake! It was exactly opposite my experience. I probably should have never commented because it just makes people angry. I guess they like cake. Haha

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:20 PM

DHF, have you read Stephan's blog posts on the subject of food reward or are you basing your opinions on what others have said about it. In many of his posts he has helpfully linked to quite a number of references and extra sources of information for you to read up on.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:21 PM

There is no one single cause of obesity. There is no one single theory that explains everyone who is obese. There is no one single method for losing weight that works for everyone. People are complicated.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 11:31 PM

When things drag on like this, it just turns into two different approaches to Paleo, and those two go (I think) like this- 1) Paleo Robusto. Fit people getting fitter, learning all kinds of wonderful things about the body by looking back in time, and making best use of it. The trend setters write books and blogs, and never really went through what some of us have been through. They write about, are interested in, and seek to model "the optimum human." 2) The other camp is a mix of Drs, ex-basket cases or maybe just big and found a way out, and their interest is using Paaeo as medicine.

4
Medium avatar

on March 05, 2012
at 09:48 PM

Bottom line is always going to be that any given overweight individual needs to take the approach that most easily results in a persistent energy deficit. For some that's zero carb, for others that's high carb. Because so many encounter side effects from low carb, it would probably be best to only utilize that as a last resort where you're staring down the barrel of a truly unhealthy weight and the prospect of impaired T3 production isn't quite as important (though the priorities will switch as one leans out).

The great thing about a truly elemental paleo diet is that it takes care of most everything for you. If you eat foods that are minimally prepared, the palatability issue is accounted for, whether it's a baked sweet potato or a steak. Once you start adding things like salt/butter/chocolate/whatever though, things get unhinged and it makes it far more difficult to control food intake. I believe that this is the major mistake that many people make.

Additionally, our appetite regulation mechanisms can't really account for carbs without fiber or fat without protein. We probably all used to drink caloric beverages and eat foods with fat added to them and this was extra energy that just padded our diets. If the fat is attached to meat and the carbs come with some bulk, then the overall diet is far more satiating per unit energy. Odds are that the macronutrient ratios will take care of themselves. You'll crave some fruit or sweet potato some of the time and some meat other times. If you're eating mixed meals, that's taken care of already.

I've run a lot of experiments on myself over the last year or two and I've found that actively restricting anything is simply too psychologically taxing. If you decide to eat whole food in a largely unprepared state when your body tells you you're hungry and that leads you naturally to low carb with no ill-effects, then you should probably do that. Most people will probably want to incorporate some fruit and tubers, and though you don't get nearly as much satiety (per pound) as if you were to eat a steak, from a per-calorie point of view, it's probably largely the same.

Overall, I'd say that though food reward may not start the obesity fire, it's definitely an accelerant.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 05, 2012
at 11:36 PM

Now that I think about it, overall nutrient content of the diet increases if fat comes from nuts and yolks rather than steaks. Hmm.....

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 05, 2012
at 11:35 PM

I guess I should mention that if a particular person prefers leaner meat (I somehow totally lost my taste for fatty cuts over the last 6 months or so) then it would be reasonable to add what would have been an implausible amount of nuts, egg yolks etc. as I do in order to bring the balance back.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:25 PM

This one's kind of along the same lines: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0026049578901373

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Here's one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1249190 I failed to bookmark the other ones I've seen. I think the basic idea is that the liver is the primary source of deiodination of T4 and that either a selenium deficiency or insufficient liver glycogen results in a marked reduction in T3 production, presumably in order to spare glucose for the brain in times of perceived energy scarcity.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 05, 2012
at 11:13 PM

Travis. This is my favorite post of yours--very conciliatory and useful to me personally.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:04 PM

Souce for the impaired T3 production on low carb? I see one of the top thyroid/hormone clinics in the country. When I got my T3, the dr was very insistent that I do VLC, as long as I could stand it. I know this sounds like "appeal to authority" fallacy because it is. He's damn good.

3
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on March 01, 2012
at 01:31 PM

I have experimented with eating simply meats and unflavored white potatoes. I can attest to it being extremely satiating. I wouldn't feel full per se but I would reach the point of being uninterested in food. The bonus here is that white potatoes are cheap. Best price per calorie diet ever?

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on March 01, 2012
at 05:28 PM

why does the potato have to be unflavored? is grassfed butter/ghee off-limits?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on March 02, 2012
at 12:00 PM

About the no butter thing, it was just for experimentation. I do kindof like just baked potatoes plain now though.

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on March 01, 2012
at 08:48 PM

Totally get you there bro. Those things are stupidly great at making me uninterested in eating. I'll be really hungry and if I pick up a chicken breast I'm likely to eat half of it and then not want it at all. I'll think I am full! If you give me a cake, ice cream and potato chips, I would eat them all and still think I am hungry.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 01, 2012
at 06:44 PM

Remember when the essence of things were referred to as "meat and potatoes"? Meat and potatoes have long been honored as essential food, everything else is secondary.

2
Ac44930a62044d038e16f027629b9206

on March 01, 2012
at 06:45 PM

I keep asking people to show me some real scientific proof that your blood lipids (VLDL/HDL) / Triglycerides actually improve while increasing any carbohydrate intake. I know I've seen tons that show the opposite (more fat/less carb)

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on March 03, 2012
at 04:42 PM

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16712573 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20107198 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9805219

1
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on March 05, 2012
at 08:30 PM

This unfortunately is a signal of the success of Taubes' strategy for deflecting criticism for his flawed hypothesis: Set it up as FR vs. CIH (or as I call it TWICHOO) as competing hypotheses. This is a false construct but he achieved his purpose, few people are interested in hearing where TWICHOO is indeed wrong, they are too busy tearing down Stephan.

I can't for the life of me get why so many react so viscerally to the mere suggestion of FR. It's as "passive" a mechanism -- eating rewarding foods causes overconsumption -- as the whole carbs lock fat away so your cells are starving meme of TWICHOO. It seems, at least, that most have come to the grudging acceptance/admission of the obvious that the obese, on average, do indeed eat more than the lean. Or

at least you don't get obese without overeating for your metabolism. TWICHOO says you're insulin caused the fat to accumulate and then you overate because you were just undergoing a normal spontaneous insulin-evoked horizontal growth spurt. FR offers up an alternative explanation for why we as a nation started increasing our caloric intake to the tune of some 3-400 cal/day in the 80's.

The thing is, FR could be flat out wrong and that doesn't matter as regards the validity of TWICHOO ... and vice versa.

I can't explain the transformation (not physical, mental) that occurred with me in 2007. I just decided enough is enough and I was going to do something about my weight. I knew LC worked and fast, though I'd never gotten down to "skinny" before doing it ... I figured I'd cross that bridge if and when I came to it. I didn't get obese the last time binging. I just ate too much all the time which is ridiculously easy to do when you are eating a lot of take out and junk food. It adds up easily, and although it seemingly padded on over night, it took me around a year and a half to gain about 100 lbs. That sounds like a lot, but let's say 70 weeks at 750 cal/day surplus will do it. When most appetizers at a family style restaurant weigh in over that, it's not rocket science to see how one gains weight and gets fat.

My LC success plateaued out. It took me like two years to really embrace changing my diet up, and although it did change my body composition a tad (or seemed to), I've yet to gather the mental energy to devote to this when there are other things of greater importance on my plate. I don't know Richard, but it sort of seems he reached the same place.

I know that I used to binge like the best of them. Folks in a pinch I would mix packets of instant oatmeal with maple syrup and shovel it down (long, LONG ago), brown rice with a ton of butter and soy sauce would do too. Never in a million years would I think that a bowl of oatmeal would last me several hours ... and yet these days I make steel cut oats with almond milk -- a whopping 200 cals worth -- and I'm good for several hours. Or I can eat two hard boiled eggs. Or like today, a chunk of cheese and liverwurst. It's a very unique switch that happened -- I eat for fueling and fortifying my body.

And yet, I live in a world where I find food enjoyable. Somehow this has become the new taboo. Sort of like all those folks who only have a glass of wine for the antioxident benefit ;) When I go on vacation in a couple of days it will be to an all-inclusive with an amazing array of restaurant options. But I will come back weighing no more than I do now. Food doesn't have some ridiculous control over me. FOOD IS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE ANY CONTROL OVER YOU. THAT'S NOT PALEO PEEPS!

I have been amazed how my body reacts with carbs. Favorably. The LC'ers are griping that paleo attracts young undamaged metabolisms with maybe 20 lbs to lose. By the time folks find LC they are hopelessly damaged and worse off than even the poor saps on the treadmills at the gym. BULLTWINKIES. Lots of these people are veritable drug addicts popping supplements like they formerly ate candy. As well, LC'ers are feeling abandoned by those like Richard for whom LC helped immensely.

And there's the rub folks. Extreme LC can be a very effective means to an end. But when you reach that end, most will likely do far better rediscovering the beleaguered carb.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 05, 2012
at 08:38 PM

Actually, food having control over you is probably a relic of Paleolithic times. It's so paleo. I'm controlled by all kinds of basic primal desires, as is everyone else. The question is whether or not you allow it to destroy you.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:00 PM

(No one cause of obesity) I'm curious though, why would the concept of food reward be disrespectful?

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on March 06, 2012
at 07:07 PM

Our metabolisms slow with age. If we eat just as much as we always did out of habit, the pounds creep on. Food reward doesn't explain that ... so what. Carbs don't explain it either because most folks I know tend to eat better (less junk) as they get older and more health conscious than when they are younger and immortal.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 05, 2012
at 10:04 PM

DFH, thankfully we are not battling with anecdotes here. Maybe that's your problem. You just keep thinking about yourself as if this debate were about you. Show me the study where people stay thin while eating excessive calories if they fail to burn them off. Show me the study that shows that people gain weight without excessive calories.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 06, 2012
at 04:54 PM

As the obeisty gradient rises with age, how does this tie in with FR? We've all heard of 'middle-age spread'. Doesn't this suggest that eating 'neo crap' is necessary to effect changes that then cause obesity but is not a direct causal mechanism (ie. it isn't due to simply eating too many calories a la FR)?

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:26 PM

It is disrespectful to me, because I was obese and that was not the problem. I spent 10 years when I was big saying it wasn't (because it wasn't) while dr surfing and now I find myself saying it again. Let me repeat. That is not what it was! The last thing on my mind was a treat. I wanted answers. Some other obese people are the same. I met them on the way. Some of you people are starting to show really bad attitudes about things you haven't experienced. Why can some skinny people eat crap all day and never gain? Where's your insulting theory now!? :)

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:51 PM

DFH: For whatever reason, they get sufficient satiety from hyperpalatable/non-nutritious food. I know a lot of rail-thin people like this. 7 hours of satiety from a fast-food meal. I get half that much. They're unlucky in a way because increased flabbiness won't ever drive them to a nutritious/non-toxic diet and it they'll pay the toll one way or another.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on March 05, 2012
at 10:13 PM

Melissa, great point. Actually food -- as in real food -- does control us. I was speaking more in terms of obsessing over food.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 05, 2012
at 09:06 PM

It's only disrespectful because we come from a culture that has the absurd idea that we have free will control over our entire brain. Which is wrong. A lot of the culture wars in our country are because of this puritanistic nonsense. That's why we shouldn't use first-person language like "unable to resist food." The correct way to put it was that your appetite-regulation system in your brain was faulty.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:40 PM

Why should I believe FR when I never got huge due to being unable to resist food? That wasn't it. That's why I think it's the worst idea in Paleo. For me, it IS the worst. It's no better than a fat joke. In fact, it kinda is. At this point I don't care about Taubes and the debate with a Paleo Robusto that hasnt been through what I went through. Taubes words work for me, right or wrong. That's what I'm going with. Can you FR folks at least CONSIDER the fact that when you see a fat person, maybe you really don't know the reason and the FR stuff may disrespectful?

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:12 PM

DFH, how often is hunger the real reason that people drink soda or eat popcorn at the movies or have desert after dinner? This seems to me to be a brain issue (the gist of FR) rather an issue with fat regulation. I don’t see how this is disrespectful to the obese.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:47 PM

@Melissa, great point about free will and the brain. It's "free will" when everything's going fine and it's "genetics" when it goes bad. @Travis, I totally agree. I actually feel lucky that I began to gain weight, otherwise I would've never bothered to look beyond.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 06, 2012
at 04:55 PM

As the obeisty gradient rises with age, how does this tie in with FR? We've all heard of 'middle-age spread'. Doesn't this suggest that eating 'neo crap' is necessary to effect changes that then cause obesity but is not a direct causal mechanism (ie. it isn't due to simply eating too many calories a la FR)?

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on March 08, 2012
at 01:33 AM

How old are you? I've watched lots of friends, family, etc. eat the way they were always used to and gain weight as they age. Then they wake up one day, and eat less. "They" say women should eat only two meals after age 50. I say they're probably right.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 07, 2012
at 09:56 AM

"If we eat just as much as we always did out of habit" - There's the rub. Is the volume of calories we eat a function of habit? I'd say that is unlikely. Appetite strongly correlates with things like energy expenditure and nutritional requirements for example. If metabolism slows with age, why doesn't appetite diminish accordingly? I know that to make me eat more I either have to skip some meals or 'work up an appetite' through exercise.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 09, 2012
at 09:04 AM

I'm at an age where a lot of my acquaintances of similar age have long since become obese! But what interests me is that several of the obese I know have been obese but pretty much weight stable for a decade (despite dieting). I am always curious why they can 'balance CICO' in an obese state but not in a lean state. As for me, I've just realised I eat like a 50 y.o woman! One or two meals a day (and always until full). That IS sound advice IMHO.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on March 20, 2012
at 12:27 PM

"There's the rub. Is the volume of calories we eat a function of habit? I'd say that is unlikely." Well, especially with packaged foods, but some whole foods too, I can see it. For example, my Mom used to eat two slices of toast and two eggs for breakfast. Then she reduced that to one egg. Now it's one each. She just always ate the two and I think for many of us we eat because we're supposed to, etc.

1
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 05, 2012
at 06:37 PM

Okay, sorry to pose questions as an answer, but I gotta get some answers since my own searching seems to yield none:

  1. Can someone explain to me how food reward has any relevance to me as someone who has never been obese, has never had disordered eating, and has very few cravings?
  2. Can someone explain how food reward theory is applicable to someone eating Paleoly? It seems that by eliminating processed and engineered foods, we've eliminated most of the culprits.
  3. Can someone explain why Taubes's and Guyenet's ideas are incompatible? They seem to go hand-in-hand to me, with Stephan's being a bit more focused and specific.

I don't have any stakes here. I'm not trying to lose weight or wrest control over my metabolism. I'm just trying to understand the vitriol in the Paleosphere over these ideas. It is really starting to look quite silly.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 05, 2012
at 08:16 PM

The essential Taubes v. Stephan conflict is whether or not obesity is primarily a factor of neurological dysfunction or insulin dysfunction. Primarily being the operative word here, meaning there ARE other factors in place, but both Taubes and Stephan are looking for something that's a MAJOR driving force in the obesity epidemic.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:29 PM

"Taubes and Stephan are looking for something that's a MAJOR driving force in the obesity epidemic." Food changed a bit before 1980. Low fat folks went nuts. Food suppliers changed food. People ate it. There is your theory. No insults required, and mine at least has some merit!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:48 PM

@Karen, it's still about the whys because when my processes are in "fixed" mode I can eat chips without a binge being triggered. If I eat them repeatedly (tested at Christmas) I can feel the beginning of a slide toward "broken" and stop in time. (shrug)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:11 PM

DFH, there is no one single cause of obesity for everyone, no matter what anyone says and I don't believe Stephan Guyenet ever has. If food reward has effect in your personal case that has little bearing on its validity as a theory that may have relevance for other people in the larger population.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:03 PM

The debate, whether you talk about food reward or some other catch phrase, is really about the whys/whats of what breaks or fixes my bodily processes.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:56 PM

Nance, based on your above definition, I can be 100% sure that my intial angry reaction was justified! Obesity was never an issue of palatability or satiety. It was just a puzzle that drs or experts I went to could not figure out, until one did. I would have eaten nails and liked it if it explained the weight. I was that desperate. I was even looking for used blood lab equipment to start my own lab (crazy, I know) and figure it out-or quit my job and go to medical school and use the labs-or just die early. Oh wait, the new theory is I could not stop eating. Yeah, that's quite a blockbuster!

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:50 PM

"Please explain, what use is the concept of palatability if someone is seeking answers to a medical cause for obesity, and getting nowhere, and FR is NOT the answer?" ---Melissa ovbiously suggested this because you are posting in a topic about FR claiming you are insulted by the very idea of it and that it's a "bad meme that needs to go away". She was merely suggesting that you read up on it before you openly criticize it in a forum. No one is trying to offend you from what I read. Your responses make you sound as if you are looking for a fight. FR doesn't explain it for you? Okay, we got it.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 09:05 PM

Melissa, I don't make assumptions about you, I would appreciate it if you refrain from making them about me. I don't tilt a windmills. I just eat chocolate ones.. (OK-kidding!) Please explain, what use is the concept of palatability if someone is seeking answers to a medical cause for obesity, and getting nowhere, and FR is NOT the answer? I don't insult people with colds because they cough, think about it...

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:40 PM

Thank you Nance, I suspected that was the case. But then I don't understand why everyone can throw out the Taubes with the food reward bathwater. I still don't see them as being mutually exclusive.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 05, 2012
at 08:15 PM

DFH, please do try to read some more about palatability instead of getting angry and just reading tiny PH soundbytes (even though Nance's is fine). I'm going to suggest The End of Overeating and The Compass of Pleasure again, but I'm sure you are just not going to read them and continue to tilt at windmills.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:02 PM

The "food reward hypothesis of obesity" is what is being so hotly debated. If you have never been obese, the hypothesis is not applicable to you. It gets shortened to food reward for convenience but it's always about obesity. I can say that when my body's processes are working properly I stop eating when full and I tend to lose any excess body fat. When it isn't working properly, I never get full and wind up 50-80 lbs overweight.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:15 PM

FWIW, I remember in SAD days being able to put away gallons of pasta, pizza, or cereal in a sitting. And I recall the literal buzz I would get as a result, a pleasant hum coming directly from my brain. I used to joke about it, and it's not funny now. I'm lucky to have nipped all of it in the bud before it got too scary.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:39 PM

Another question: So then doesn't food reward also substantiate Taubes's claim that not all calories are created equal? If you get a calorie from a food reward food, won't it influence the acquisition of more calories?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:52 PM

So DFH, you are saying that low fat food are more highly rewarding leading to people overeating them? :D

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 06:47 PM

4. Can someone explain why I spent 10+ years trying to find the answer to a metabolic problem, ate bland food most of the time, didn't crave or really ate that much and all I wanted was answers, and now it's "palatability?" OMG! If someone can explain WHY I should accept palatability when that was the last thing on my mind all this time, I might just buy their entry into AHS2012... That's a challenge people...

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:47 PM

@Korion, it's still about the whys because when my processes are in "fixed" mode I can eat chips without a binge being triggered. If I eat them repeatedly (tested at Christmas) I can feel the beginning of a slide toward "broken" and stop in time. (shrug)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:12 PM

DFH, there is no one single cause of obesity for everyone, no matter what anyone says and I don't believe Stephan Guyenet ever has. If food reward plays no part in your personal case that has little bearing on its validity as a theory that may have relevance for other people in the larger population.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:53 PM

So DFH, you are saying that low fat foods are more highly rewarding leading to people overeating them? :)

1
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on March 01, 2012
at 07:57 PM

I guess I don't understand a diet that is driven by a fundamental difference between what you eat and what you want to eat. It doesn't seem natural to me, it is highly reminiscent of many many other diets that simply required you to restrict what you ate to exclude food you actually wanted to eat.

Does it work without potatoes?

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on March 05, 2012
at 08:53 PM

Step one would probably be to avoid foods that you eat or are willing to eat even when you are not hungry. I think that is the most straightforward way of looking at. For example, some people will a can of pringles even if they are not hungry. Modern junk foods have been engineered to work this way.

0
284213562569be43dfda0ad40914da6f

on March 01, 2012
at 02:21 PM

i do like discussing theories of bodyfat regulation as much as anyone. The main lesson from Nikoley, however, is to actually try different ways of eating and do so for a period of time sufficient for observing some effect on appetite. He ate 400% of his prior carb intake long enough to see himself not really wanting to eat that much. How many here can say the same?

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on March 01, 2012
at 03:12 PM

"He's experimenting on the back end of his journey, not the beginning" +1

284213562569be43dfda0ad40914da6f

on March 01, 2012
at 05:21 PM

I don't think Peat is correct but I did no-veg/much dairy/fruit/juice/ no musclemeat/limited protein, etc, and within a week got to the point where I derived little enjoyment from icecream, milkshakes, gallons of oj, etc. I do understand the fear component though--the mere thought of going back to my 0-24yr lacto-veg diet for more than a week gives me the willies.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 09:29 PM

Nandalal- I think there is a kis understanding. I didn't mean that Nikoley was experimenting with SAD. I read his blog and it's not what he did. What I meant to say is that there are many people with problems due to SAD. These people change their habits, and they change inside. Any experiment done before some significant changes (like damage due to SAD) would not be the same as an experiment done after the changes. My body is different too. I can do all kinds of experiments that would have not made a difference when I was huge a few years ago.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on March 01, 2012
at 04:13 PM

He experimented on the front end of his journey too though. His approach in general is valid. But you're accurate that this particular experiment is back end.

284213562569be43dfda0ad40914da6f

on March 01, 2012
at 05:16 PM

@DFH, how is what Nikoley ate SAD? His front-end was an experiment too, in terms of macros, and it benefited him greatly in his back-end experimentation. If you haven't tried a different approach to the point where your chosen metrics change, and you're not satisfied with what you have now, how logical is 'stay the course'? I'm an all or nothing person, so I guess it's easier for me to take a new approach to the point of outputs being revealed as truly dependent variables, but I wouldn't know if I didn't try. "Things change," to me = "the devils is all up in them hills."

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 01, 2012
at 02:47 PM

Nikoley's n=1 is not something people can use. Many people repair damage due to SAD and other things eating one way, and once they get there, things change. He's experimenting on the back end of his journey, not the beginning. I experimented a bit the same way and I'm better off staying close to ZC than even 100g carbs. I never go over 50, and usually my best days are closer to ZC. Nikoley and I have much different medical pasts, Im sure. I don't need his n=1 and he doesn't need mine!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 01, 2012
at 03:28 PM

I did the "vegan paleo" experiment and realized I'm probably not on the carb tail end of the normal distribution. To be honest, I felt pretty awful and I really did give it my best. It also really drove home the unappetizingness of plain starch to me. I don't know if I recommend the experiment.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!