01/25/12 UPDATE: Nearly 3 years of experimentation and
here’s my summary: My Last Post on Nicotine.
On April 13th of this year I started experimenting with nicotine, in the form of Commit lozenges, as a means to help stave off food cravings. As of today, 6 months later, I would say this:
- The 4mg lozenges, taken on average 4 times per day, do reduce food cravings
- I have lost no weight since starting this
The conclusions drawn from this can be many – especially because nicotine has moral implications.
It’s a ‘bad’ chemical – as if a particular molecular structure carries with it any morality. We’ve been so trained that smoking is bad, and that nicotine is in cigarettes, and nicotine is addictive – bad, bad, bad.
Our morality tells us: of course it didn’t work. It’s a bad thing, that nicotine, and it doesn’t do anyone any good – not even in this case. And so far, the evidence does point to the fact it doesn’t work – by 6 months of data and a scale that Does Not Lie.
But putting our moral confirmation bias aside, there’s something here that is intriguing: if it does reduce food cravings, why didn’t I lose weight?
Someone once said that a conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. Conclusions allow the mind to go back to sleep, ‘knowing’ they’ve solved the problem.
Fact is: most of what we conclude is WRONG. Look at the people around you – is it not true that you view nearly all of them as having some deep inability to comprehend certain things? Some blinders that they wear? Some view held that makes you think that they have a screw loose?
What makes you think you are any different?
These are conclusions I’ve come to with myself – and it makes me certainly more forgiving of others, being that I, myself suffer the same diseases of thought and mind blindness that they do. But being aware I have this condition makes me more cautious as to conclusions I draw, and less ego-driven about them. I change my mind regarding my conclusions easier.
That might make me soft-headed to some of you: I’m OK with that – it is what it is.
But back to nicotine. The digression was important, I think, because many of you probably feel that the whole nicotine thing was dumb and I’ve proved it – why beat a dead horse?
But the fact remains – it did kill appetite.
So – I’m OK with coming to the conclusion that: it doesn’t work.
But another in competition in my mind is this: I am not using it properly. That bring to mind another possible conclusion: any appetite suppressant, used improperly, is worthless.
That’s an interesting conclusion for those of you who might be considering other techniques or compounds that claim to do the same thing.
For me, evenings are the worst. And what I have found is that I tend to avoid taking them in the evening – the EXACT time I should be taking them to prove their worth. So the next experiment with nicotine should be: if I take them at my worst time, do they work?
A point that comes out of this as well – if I have been avoiding them at my worst times, my weakest moments, then until I test that hypothesis, I have been committing some sort of unconscious self-sabotage – at least until now, where it has risen to my conscious mind, gone through the Internet, and ended up in this blog post.
Woah. This is getting complicated.
So – yet again – I am going to try to refine my approach to the nicotine – and try to focus using it mostly in the evenings.
Oh – and as to the addictive properties of the stuff, I have had 4-5 of these 4mg lozenges just about every day since April. That’s 16-20 mg of nicotine daily. I usually had 3-4 before 6pm. I would start at 9am or so and each lasts me about 2 hours. On Friday, I forgot them. After a minor panic, I said to myself: OK – today is an impromptu experiment in nicotine lozenge addiction. What will withdrawal be like?
The answer: no big deal. I thought about it maybe twice. Nothing like quitting smoking – which I did in my youth and it was Hell. The difference might be the delivery. If a 4mg lozenge lasts me 2 hours, I am getting 2mg per hour and a pretty constant rate. Smokers, on the other hand, get a rush of nicotine – maybe 1mg to 2mg – in about 10 minutes. Perhaps my lower but more consistent level isn’t enough to become heavily addictive – or there are other compounds in smoking that might play a role in the addiction.
I have more questions than answers – I know. But this blog was never about answers – I’m more interested in the questions.
5 thoughts on “Update On Nicotine as a Weight Loss Device”
the only thing I was wondering about is how much sugar is in them? That could add up and really be detrimental to any appetite suppressant…just a thought.
Supposedly, they contain aspartame – 6.8 mg. I’m not a big fan of aspartame, and Atkins does say that it can stall weight loss, but I have found that a little bit doesn’t hurt – my fiber therapy contains the stuff and I took the stuff every day for the last 6 years. What is 6.8 mg comparable to? Depending on who you source, the average diet soda has between 125 – 200mg of the stuff, so this would amount to a few sips of a diet soda.
Honestly, Denise – the searches I am doing on this stuff now are coming back with real awful, poorly sourced numbers – but the fact is, that for me, they reduce appetite. And they probably don’t have sugar in ’em.
So I still think it’s because I’ve ‘misused’ them (I’m *already* misusing them as they are for smoking cessation, not appetite suppression) in that I take them at the wrong time – so now I’ll try ’em in the evenings and see what happens.
LCC, I honestly think that the war with yourself is not only biological but also psychological. When nicotine reduced your appetite, did you truly reduce what you ate, too? From my experience, even if my appetite is less, it’s easy for my intake to stay the same out of sheer habit.
Low-carb or not, insulin levels or not, I don’t see how anyone who is honest with themselves cannot lose weight by simply eating less. The hard part is doing it.
You know, MCT, I’ve done a LOT of thinking on your comment, and have been struggling to respond to it. Here’s my best shot at it.
The first point is: of *course* I am at war with myself – I am artificially thin – kept there by my diet, and surrounded by foods that, if I ate, would quickly balloon me back to my 265 lbs. and beyond.
Losing weight is easy compared to keeping it off: in my lifetime, I’ve lost over 60 lbs. 3 times. The previous 2 times I gained it all back with interest in a year. On low carb, I’ve kept at least 45 lbs. off for 5 straight years. Right now I’m down 60.
‘Just Do It’ is a great mantra for a sprint, but it starts to get old in a marathon, which is what I’m running. So I try mixing it up, and trying different approaches. Some work, some work for a while, some don’t work at all. It all seems terribly inconsistent, but I’m OK with that – it keep it interesting for me.
So I agree with you: yes, I AM in a war with myself – both psychological and physical.
But really: who isn’t?
I have found your blog today, and I must say I aggree with you on the noctine. I was doing the same kind of experiment with myself, partly for loosing some weight, but especially for treating my PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). The start of my PCO symptomes coincided with my stopping smoking, and I know that PCOS is related to insulin resistance. And nicotine helps also sugar to to go into your cells, acts like insuline in someway. That’s may be the reason that former somkers develop insuline resistanc also. It is a known fact today that ex-smokers develop diabetes 70% more than non-smokers. Once you turn of certain genes, there is no going back, so if I had IR, there was no going back. Being a researcher myself, I started experimenting with lo-carb + nicotine chewing gums, and after 1 year there I am, most of my symptoms are cleared. Anyway, I am not recommending anybody to do that, But I just wanted to let you know that there might be something in nicotine, more than just an appetite supressant (for ex-smokers at least).