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Feb. 1st, 2008

09:27 pm - The Blackmail Diet

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Date:February 2nd, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)


You CAN do the 20 lbs in 3 months...and it's a very fast pace since you'll be adding serious muscle if you're doing CrossFit!!

Your plan is frankly Stalinesque, but maybe that's what your psychology craves right now...

I'm gonna give you two words that may actually do more for you & for the 2nd Amendment than EVERYTHING ELSE YOU'RE PLANNING: intermittent fasting. Simply, eat a LOT less most every other day (starting whatever time you feel like, going 16-24 hours of sharply reduced intake) and eat only as much as you feel like (you'll find you feel like less than you think!) most other days.

I'll paste in some e-mails I've sent about the miracle of Intermittent Fasting.

I've become a big believer in Art De Vany's health/fitness observations/analyses generally. The guy is a raging genius, and you're absolutely acting epistemologically reckless on your body until you've read http://www.arthurdevany.com/webstuff/RevisedEssay.pdf (really) .
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[User Picture]
Date:February 2nd, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)

In research settings animals that are intermittently fasted are fed
every other day, so they eat whatever they want for a day, then they
are denied food for a day. Interestingly, on feeding days most of the
animals eat a almost double the amount that their ad lib fed mates do.
Thus the IF animals eat about the same number of calories overall that
the ad lib fed animals eat, but, and this is a huge 'but,' the IF
animals enjoy all the health advantages that the CR animals do, and,
in fact, are even healthier than the CR animals.

Like caloric restriction, intermittent fasting reduces oxidative
stress, makes the animals more resistant to acute stress in general,
reduces blood pressure, reduces blood sugar, improves insulin
sensitivity, reduces the incidence of cancer, diabetes, and heart
disease, and improves cognitive ability. But IF does even more.
Animals that are intermittently fasted greatly increase the amount of
brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) relative to CR animals. CR
animals don't produce much more BDNF than do ad libitum fed animals.

What's BDNF? (The Wikipedia definition is actually pretty good)

BDNF, as its name implies, is a substance that increases the growth of
new nerve cells in the brain, but it does much more than that. BDNF is
neuroprotective against stress and toxic insults to the brain and is
somehow–no one yet knows how, exactly–involved in the insulin
sensitivity/glucose regulating mechanism. Infusing BDNF into animals
increases their insulin sensitivity and makes them lose weight. Humans
with greater levels of BDNF have lower levels of depression. BDNF
given to depressed humans reduces their depression. And Increased
levels of BDNF improves cognitive ability. In short, you want as much
BDNF as you can get., and with IF you can get a lot.

But, who wants to go all day every other day without food?

Well, you don't have to.


One of the recent papers published on the less rigid IF schedules
caught my eye because one of the authors was Don Laub, who used to be
the chairman of the plastic surgery department at Stanford. When I was
in medical school I thought I wanted to be a plastic surgeon so I went
to Stanford during a part of my senior year and worked with Dr. Laub
as my mentor.

In this study, published in the journal Medical Hypothesis in March of
this year, Dr. Laub along with two other physicians (neither of whom I
know) underwent their version of and intermittent fast. The three of
them have since May 2003 been on a version of the IF in which they
consume about 20-50 percent of their estimated daily energy
requirements on the fast day and eat whatever they want on the
non-fast days.

Since starting their regimen they have observed health benefits starting in as little as two weeks, in insulin resistance, asthma, seasonal allergies, infectious diseases of viral, bacterial and fungal origin (viral URI, recurrent bacterial tonsillitis, chronic sinusitis, periodontal disease), autoimmune
disorder (rheumatoid arthritis), osteoarthritis, symptoms due to CNS
inflammatory lesions (Tourette's, Meniere's) cardiac arrhythmias
(PVCs, atrial fibrillation), menopause related hot flashes.

In their paper these researchers discuss a 1957 paper from the Spanish
medical literature.

…the subjects were eating, on alternate days, either 900 calories
or 2300 calories, averaging 1600, and that body weight was maintained.
Thus they consumed either 56% or 144% of daily caloric requirement.
The subjects were in a residence for old people, and all were in
perfect health and over 65. Over three years, there were 6 deaths
among 60 study subjects and 13 deaths among 60 ad lib-fed controls,
non-significant difference. Study subjects were in hospital 123 days,
controls 219, highly significant difference. We believe widespread use
of this pattern of eating could impact influenza epidemics and other
communicable diseases by improving resistance to infection. In
addition to the health effects, this pattern of eating has proven to
be a good method of weight control, and we are continuing to study the
process in conjunction with the NIH.
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[User Picture]
Date:February 2nd, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)

consume only water until your next meal (which should be breakfast).
After the work out do not drink sports drinks or "gainer" drinks and
do not consume any powdered protein supplements or protein bars. The
best thing to do after a work out is to take a 40 minute walk. During
this walk you will burn fat because you have released growth hormone
and your body is using free fatty acids to restore the phosphates and
glycogen in your muscles. If you block that process by consuming
anything that contains simple carbohydrate (and all the items I
mentioned above do) you will shut down this fat burning process.

There is more. You are slightly insulin resistant after a work out
because growth hormone is an antagonist of insulin. Hence, any glucose
that makes it into your blood stream will not be well-controlled and
you will have excessive blood glucose, with all the consequences that
this entails. It will be a mild form of elevated blood glucose, but it
will be there nonetheless and it is to be avoided.
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[User Picture]
Date:February 2nd, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)

And here! http://www.arthurdevany.com/2005/05/reproduction_an.html :

Reproduction and Renewal

I have been watching this little cactus in my back yard. It is trying
hard to reproduce; about 30 percent of its resources are going into
these flamboyant displays in its effort to reproduce. It has no chance
of reproducing. This means that its limited resources are being almost
squandered on reproducing its genes to no benefit to the plant itself.
There is no more extravagent effort than the effort to reproduce,
because the effort is of no benefit to the plant or person. Only the
genes reap the benefits. So, they call the shots and plants and humans
that carry these genes have little choice.

I suspect that 30 percent is about what most prime age males spend on
reproduction efforts (can I buy you a drink? and time in the gym and
in expensive displays of athleticism and prowess). Women are not
likely to be much behind that spending curve (make up, clothes,
plastic surgery and other things I don't know about), for their genes
also wish to reproduce.

Females want good genes and, thus, may actually display more than
males to attract them. Males don't care as much as females about
mating with good genes, though they do care. They spend a lot of their
resources on trying to dominate other males for reproductive
opportunities (this is where I disagree a bit with Darwin's theory of
sexual selection, at least in modern theory where female sexual
selection is given too much weight and males dominating other males is
given too little. But, who am I to disagree with Darwin? Anyone can
disagree with Darwin or anybody else; it all comes down to the
evidence, not the weight of history or authority. Authority is
meaningless in the face of confirmed theory and strong tests of

Back to the little cactus in my back yard. Given its vast expenditure
on reproduction, what are its chances of surviving? In a word:
diminished. What is spent on reproduction is not available for

Switch now to humans. What is the signal that turns the organism's
resources toward reproduction over maintenance? Insulin. When food is
plentiful, insulin levels are high and this is a signal to the
billions of uninterested cells (they don't care about your motives and
goals) in your body to shift resources away from their own survival to
the survival of the genes.

Consequently, adequate and more than adequate nutrition redirects the
body's allocation from maintenance to reproduction, usually
extravagantly so because your genes don't care about you. Why should
they? They are millions of years old and you are only a few years old
in the evolutionary scheme of things.

So, what to do?

If you want to redirect your resources from expensive reproduction to
maintenance, then keep your insulin levels low. We are back now to a
common theme on this web site.

This is where fasting comes in. I mentioned in a recent post that Ray
Walford died not long ago, after having spent many years in chronic
caloric deprivation. It works on rats (in experiments where one rat is
loafing and pigging out and the other is made to do hard work and eat
intermittently). The latter lives longer because it allocates more of
its resources to maintenance than to reproduction.

Walford spent years in caloric deprivation when nature tells us that
acute deprivation is the signal the body needs to reallocate resources
from reproduction to maintenance.

There is emerging evidence that supports the hypothesis that episodic
caloric deprivation extends life more reliably than chronic
deprivation. Acute, episodic deprivation is easy to take. Chronic
deprivation, as many dieters try to do, is unbearable. Your genes
won't let you do it because they don't care what your waist or dress
size is. They are just passing through your body on a journey far into
the future that began long before you existed.

I have practiced episodic caloric deprivation for years, but I do not
practice the chronic form. In a technical paper I did some time ago
and have not sent out for publication, I estimated that our ancestors
were in negative (on a scale of a week) caloric balance one third of
the time. It could not be otherwise given the fugitive high calorie
targets (big game) in the ancient human experience.
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[User Picture]
Date:February 2nd, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)


Another thing is that apparently each 16-24 hour fast gives the
digestive system (especially the liver) very valuable "rest time" that
it's always had in our evolutionary history. Specifically, the
cleaning out toxins claims that I used to roll my eyes at from New
Agers seem to actually be true for fasts! Many of those toxins are
what keep fat cells around in our bodies, because it turns out
that...De Vany's main theory in "Why We Get Fat" is to store specific
toxins that our overtaxed (from constant eating) bodies never have
enough lazy fasting time to get rid of!!
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[User Picture]
Date:February 3rd, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)
I've always been skeptical of full-on fasting. But I have noticed that when I feel best-regulated eating/health-wise, there are days when I really just don't want to eat much, more like the modified 'fast' you mentioned. Then when a good workout or something happens, I want to eat a bunch, and enjoy the food that much more. Which sortof/maybe goes with some of this.

Isn't 1600 calories on average still overall calorie restriction though, for most men?
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[User Picture]
Date:February 3rd, 2008 03:09 am (UTC)

I have noticed that when I feel best-regulated eating/health-wise, there are days when I really just don't want to eat much, more like the modified 'fast' you mentioned. Then when a good workout or something happens, I want to eat a bunch, and enjoy the food that much more. Which sortof/maybe goes with some of this.

Yep, I find the same!

Isn't 1600 calories on average still overall calorie restriction though, for most men?

Totally. But apparently not for the retirement home! (Their weight stayed stable.) These were considered the "healthy" seniors of 1957 who nonetheless were in what sounds like a (light) special care institution...so, they're old to begin with (and therefore of greatly reduced muscle mass if they live like ordinary modern people) + adversely selected for lack of activity/independence.
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[User Picture]
Date:February 3rd, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
what is the source of this excerpt?
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[User Picture]
Date:February 4th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)

I like your Ron Paul sign photo!


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[User Picture]
Date:February 3rd, 2008 05:20 am (UTC)
Thanks for the encouragement and the links! I'm still absorbing them. I'm a fan of De Vany as well, and I may go to a Paleo fitness diet during the next phase. I chose this one because I know I can lose weight on it.
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