Challenging Eating Behaviors
So-called “emotional eating” might be “depressive eating” or just seeking out foods that make you feel better (sugar). If carbs and “low-quality” food are in the house, and the person is in an unpleasant emotional state, it’s going to be hard to stop emotional eating. The first lesson for a smoker trying to quit is to throw out all the cigarettes and ashtrays.
“Mindless eating” is due to boredom (and mild hunger, probably). Avoiding that too depends on the food not being available, and the low-carb food being easily available. I think mindless eating is treatable, through grocery shopping for healthy food and throwing out most food in the pantry that isn’t an ingredient.
“Craving eating” parallels craving in addiction. Typically one craves a type of food (sugar/fat). This is the kind of eating that will respond to naltrexone/buproprion, but it is probably not that common. In conjunction with craving eating is binge eating or uncontrollable eating, which is similar to OCD. It’s hard to stop once it starts.
Uncontrolled hunger is when the drive to eat simply cannot be satisfied (without eating). Typical restriction efforts fail, since food is everywhere and people are crafty. It’s an experience that every single person has experienced hundreds of times when they get themselves into a situation (e.g., plane trip) when there is no food (or no palatable food) available.
It seems unfair to folks that are losing all the weight that they can’t see it. If someone runs faster, they have a tally of the miles run and can see the speed increase. Perhaps folks could build up a pile representing the weight lost as they lose weight. Perhaps go out and buy an equivalent number of bricks (5 lbs each) for the weight loss. With every 5 lb weight loss, buy another and add it to the pile. In the end, you can put them in the garden as a reminder of how much you have accomplished. But, don’t pick up all the bricks at once. You will hurt your back! ?
Exercise/muscle building is great and wonderful and inspiring, but it isn’t a way to lose weight. That requires eating/drinking better food and less of it. Though, exercise/muscle building is essential to keeping the weight from coming back. Starting an exercise and muscle building plan early is essential (and good for people’s heart).
Ketogenic Diets and Protein
One must also keep up the protein. You want to keep muscle mass, especially heart muscle. A PSMF (protein sparing modified fast) diet is basically the same as someone who got weight-loss surgery. 65 g of protein is an absolute minimum to preserve muscle mass, but perhaps 100 g for folks who are active; especially heart muscle. Some claim that high protein can kick one out of ketosis, but I can’t find data to back that up, and I don’t see that claim attached to a mechanism. Too much protein yields a not very subtle ammonium smell in urine, since the body has no choice but to dump the extra protein. There is nowhere to store it. The body can burn it (yielding ammonium – NH3), but fat is easier.
The key is to have an amino acid available every time the body needs one, otherwise, it won’t be able to build up (or repair or rework) muscle. There are many amino acids, so the body needs the specific amino acid in the system that the body needs at that moment. Being high in one amino acid might mean one is low in another. That’s another reason to be on the higher side.
One value of insulin is it tells the kidneys to preserve ions. Thus, without insulin (because of no carbs), the kidneys will be “wasting” ions and need to make sure the body has enough. Leg cramps, especially at night, are the easiest way to know one is low. Assuming one has normal blood pressure, salt is no problem, and weight loss is the best treatment of high blood pressure for most people. Cramps can be addressed with 50/50 K/Na salt and other electrolytes. Zinc is also helpful, or a Ca, Mg and Zinc combo.
Once a person is ketogenic, they are no longer getting their energy from glucose and glycogen (stored glucose), but instead from fat stores. Essentially, for the next 4 months or so, that person (assuming they have fat stores) has an unlimited supply of energy. As long as they are getting protein, essential fatty acids, Ca, K, Na, Zinc, and Mg, they are good to go. They could run a marathon and never run out of energy. Some folks have run 100 miles just burning fat stores. It’s what the whole system is designed to do. How else would we have survived through winters and long periods of drought thousands of years ago? But, that energy comes slowly. It isn’t going to work for kickboxing or other high-intensity prolonged activity.
Hard to believe, but eventually, someone with lots of adipose will lose it all. And then the ketogenic low carb diet runs into a problem. How do you get enough calories for all that activity you need to do to keep from gaining weight? The carbs have to come back, but slowly and carefully. Be mindful of your diet, else you are back to the same unhealthy situation where you started.