Overcoming Emotional Handicaps That Sabotage Weight Loss

Introduction

Here’s an interesting tidbit on the placebo effect from New Scientist – a great website full of info of great nerditude:

Several times a day, for several days, you induce pain in someone. You control the pain with morphine until the final day of the experiment, when you replace the morphine with saline solution. Guess what? The saline takes the pain away.

This is the placebo effect: somehow, sometimes, a whole lot of nothing can be very powerful. Except it’s not quite nothing. When Fabrizio Benedetti of the University of Turin in Italy carried out the above experiment, he added a final twist by adding naloxone, a drug that blocks the effects of morphine, to the saline. The shocking result? The pain-relieving power of saline solution disappeared.

It’s the last two sentences that are truly revealing. What it tells me is this: what we think can change our body chemistry in a measurable way.

Now, we know that, but the above experiment shows just how powerful that can be.

Since I started doing low carb almost 6 years ago, I’ve always thought that your mental outlook plays a critical role in weight loss. I’m vulnerable to emotional eating – pigging out because I’m stressed – so that’s at least one easy to see way that mind affects diet.

But can it be even more profoundly true than that simple and obvious correlation?

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The Nicotine Experiment: Can it Help You Lose Weight?

01/25/12 UPDATE: Nearly 3 years of experimentation and

here’s my summary: My Last Post on Nicotine.

It’s been about 13 days since I started the nicotine experiment, using Commit lozenges in an attempt to help me lose weight.

There is nothing on the Internet I could find that talked about this – except to say: ‘don’t do it.’ Now, I try not to be a dope about things, but this ‘don’t do it’ message didn’t seem to be evidence-based, but rather it came from a moral base: cigarettes are bad, so using nicotine lozenges to lose weight is bad, too.

The disconnect in logic here is: nicotine lozenges aren’t cigarettes.

Cigarettes are a delivery mechanism for nicotine, and there’s no doubt these suckers are bad for you. Jeez, we instinctively know not to inhale smoke, but smokers pull that smoke way down into their lungs for pleasure.

At all costs, the lungs should inhale only air. Dumb animals know this.

The guy who invented smoking had to be really, really bored. Imagine all the other stuff he tried smoking before he hit on this.

So nicotine is not tobacco – now that we’ve gotten around that mental block, we need to take a hard look at the nicotine compound myself.

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Auto-Experimentation With Supplement X – Don’t Try This At Home

guineapig

There’s a reason this blog is called ‘Low Carb Confidential’:

  1. The ‘low carb’ part being because I follow a diet based off of the Atkins approach
  2. The ‘Confidential’ part because sometimes…I feel a little weird writing some of the things I write

I feel a little weird about this post because I’ve started experimenting with a new supplement – for now, let’s call it X.

While not a completely original idea, it is somewhat (ahem)…unusual. A bit more on that later, but here’s a little back story.

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The Crackpot Continuum

Note: I am totally disgusted with trying to write this post coherently, and I don’t have time to do a rewrite, so I’m shamelessly posting this because I feel that there might be some worth to be found in this ramble – my apologies to the English language, as well as every English Composition teacher I ever had. – LCC

I’ve meant to write on this topic for a long time, but I haven’t gotten around to it.

I have long been – if not an actual member, a close follower of the ‘skeptical movement’. Among the things that these folks do, they debunk bad science, pseudo-science, and other ‘new-age’ BS that wraps scientific mumbo-jumbo around total nonsense and hopes no one notices.

There are a number of links for these groups – there are two magazines (at least last I checked – they might not survive the current economic collapse):

http://www.csicop.org/si/ – written in a ‘popular magazine’ style and accessible to the casual reader.

http://www.skeptic.com/ – written in a more scholarly style. If you are used to reading scientific research, you won’t have a problem here, but it’s not light reading.

There are also other websites that I use as references:

http://www.quackwatch.org/

http://www.skepdic.com/

These are both places where I go when I hear of new ‘therapies’ of any sort. I like my science ‘reality-based’ and there are a lot of ‘doctors’ out there that just don’t pass the ‘sniff test’ for their remarkable claims.

Why I bring this up in a blog about low carb is because low carb is frequently lumped in with this stuff – here’s the Quackwatch link on low carb:

Continue reading “The Crackpot Continuum”

Does Cutting Calories Improve Memory?

I thought this an interesting post from Jonny Bowden:

http://www.jonnybowden.com/2009/03/cut-calories-improve-memory.html

Especially because memory can be an issue for me. Also, since I’ve been buckling down on the low carbing, by appetite has gone through the floor – to the point where I find myself making myself eat.

What if there was an added benefit to a reduction in calories that gave us 20% more mental acuity?

A nice side-benefit of your diet, eh?

I was introduced to the fellow when a friend of mine showed me his 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, which I thought, with a few exceptions (being a low carber means having to run any info through your low carb compliance filter to be sure it fits), was a great listing of good foods – and all around good advice.

My one BIG problem with the book? NO REFERENCES! Reference-checking geeks like me are left hanging!

His blog is worth checking out, if you haven’t come across him yet.