Tuesday, February 13, 2024

My problem

Assertion: My body has finely tuned homeostatic mechanisms to keep me at a healthy weight.

Evidence: Satiety hormones: GLP-1, cholecystokinin, peptide YY

Evidence: Hypothalamus legioning experiments

Evidence: Lack of obesity of animals in the wild, prevalence of obesity in pets

So then the question is: What the heck is throwing my weight set point off?  

(I phrase it this way, because the answer for me is likely different than the answer for someone else.  )

  • addiction to processed flour and sugar.  These foods blow right past satiety signals.
  • shopping in a food environment that features these foods. (is there one that doesn't?  This is a legitimate question.)
  • Diet limited by budgetary constraints.   It's a double whammy that the flour and sugar are both addictive and cheap.
  • Social constraints pushing me to eat out more than I should.  Restaurant food can be engineered to tickle those flour/sugar addictions.  I don't have a family at home or people to eat with unless I eat out.
  • preference for sedentary behaviors like working in front of a computer over activity.
  • preference for solitary activities that are sedentary.  A lot of people get a lot of success out of group classes like CrossFit or Zumba.  I find these classes psychologically taxing even before the physical activity starts.
  • disordered eating that goes back as far as cutting weight for lightweight sports, or farther.  Potentially being made worse in the present by attempts to control weight like fasting that result in bingeing.
  • Historic lack of temporal structure around eating.  There was never a meal-time growing up, snacking was always permitted.  In the present, I have trouble having food in the refrigerator, because I just eat constantly.
  • I don't feel like I am well tuned into my satiety signals.  I have a regular experience of craving some food, eating it, and then lying down an hour later only to realize how stuffed or bloated I feel.  This is related to the answer about flour/sugar.  Sugar overrides the satiety signal, providing that "second stomach [always have room for desert]" effect. 

Some things I'm interested in trying out
  • Treating flour/sugar as an addiction, and opting to abstain completely.
  • exploring weighing food
  • Cooking more, eating luxurious foods that I love (the first thing that comes to mind here is basil, tomatoes, mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Learning to cook some new low-carb foods.  This isn't a matter of learning 20 new recipes.  It's a matter of learning 1. (at a time).
  • Experimenting with keto meal delivery.
  • Not worrying so much about eating luxurious low-carb meals out, balance them with a cheap second meal of eggs.
  • Changing where I shop from convenience stores to real markets where I have some better shot at not being fucked-over by a shit food environment.
  • Trying to find a group fitness experience where I feel like one of the in-group, and that reinforces my participation, rather than serving as an additional source of anxiety.  That or just walking outside more and learning to really love the feeling of being outside.

There is another class of problems though beyond the largely behavioral ones I listed above:  That is namely, insulin resistance and a pre-existing condition of obesity.  Having become obese before my teens, it became all that much more difficult to maintain a normal weight.  I'm not sure of the mechanism here -- dieting surely doesn't always help and can make things worse if done wrong.   Insulin insensitivity is a biological condition that just makes things like avoiding addictive flour and sugar all the more important.

Ideas for working on insulin insensitivity:
  • Avoid foods that spike insulin
  • Fast somewhat regularly for periods equal to or over 36 hours. [I might avoid this in preference for the next two as fasting relates to disordered eating, binging, and regulating sleep-wake cycle]
  • Exercise
  • Exercise at high intensity with some regularity