Today was definitely the most easy-breezy day. The system feels like it’s starting to normalize. Sleep was a little better. My eyes did not glow red when I asked for things like kegs of beer. I’m really having to remind myself to eat now because I just don’t think about food or have any hunger signals. Crazy I know.
Back to the conversation on up and down regulation however before leaving that near and dear topic:
When you get off of a beta-endorphin spiking substance for example, or even quit a beta-endorphin spiking activity like intense exercise, receptor sites for beta-endorphin begin to open up again. The lower the levels of endorphin, the more receptor sites are open.
This is what sets a person up for relapse. Consider the simple scenario of dropping sugar, or even just carbs in general?
Sugar spikes beta-endorphin. You get a little, happy buzz from it when you first start eating sugar. As receptor sites shut down to keep too much endorphin from flooding the system, the sugar no longer provides a buzz. In fact, without the sugar, and less receptor sites open, you feel crappier without your sugar. Sugar, is the only thing that makes you feel normal, although that’s temporary. Thus addiction is established.
If you stop eating sugar, you will crave it strongly as endorphin levels drop to normal because your receptor sites will be too low. You will then have the experience of having too little circulating endorphin. Instead of feeling the ?runner’s high,? where pain subsides and euphoria takes over, you will have a perpetual low, experiencing extra pain, dysphoria (not actually a word but we’re communicating right?), grouchiness, depression, you name it.
The longer you stay away from the sugar, the more receptor sites spring back into action. You are now in a more ?upregulated? state. All this means is that your chances of relapse are even greater. The reward, if you touch sugar, will be enhanced since you have more receptor sites open. This is often why people, when trying to quit a substance, make it for a while and then, when they encounter the substance again, get hooked on it even worse than they were before deciding to quit. In a way, trying to give up something addictive is risky. If you fail, odds are your addiction will be even more severe than it was if you had never tried avoiding it.
And it doesn’t matter what you do or ingest ? if it has a stimulating property to biochemicals like serotonin or beta-endorphin, norepinephrine, dopamine, or whatever ? that substance/activity will enter you into an addictive cycle due to downregulation as a result of frequently spiking those chemicals.
Consider legendary ultramarathoner and author, Dean Karnazes. Dean is famous for running 200 miles in one lick and other truly super-human endurance feats. His accomplishments in that arena are truly beyond believable.
In one of Dean’s books though, he talks about the three days he?d tried to rest one time. When trying to rest, since Dean probably has fewer beta-endorphin receptor of any living human being, he absolutely collapsed. Again, Dean experienced having far too little beta-endorphin, which is the exact opposite of the symptoms of the high. He became sick, depressed, ached all over? So he got back in his running shoes and got his beta-endorphin levels back up to where his tiny amount of receptor sites could take in enough for him to feel like his normal, positive, incredibly enthusiastic, and good-spirited self (or so he makes it seem).
I too had this experience when I was an exercise addict. If I didn’t get intense exercise by noon I was beyond unruly. The pain I felt in my back was so intense I could barely stand up, and I would yell at my then girlfriend over whatever I could find to yell about. Either that or have an emotional breakdown. After exercise, it was like someone drugged me with happy juice, and I had no physical pain whatsoever.
It wasn’t until I decided to stop exercising, take an extended break, and just focus on eating a healthy diet that my pain went away without having to rely on exercise to override my downregulated receptor sites. Life then became stable, instead of wavering back and forth between Godzilla and Barney depending on how much blood, sweat, and tears I’d left on the trail or in the gym that day.
All I’m saying is this, in relation to this diet?
Just because something makes you feel better doesn’t mean it is good for you. Just because something makes you feel bad doesn’t mean it is bad for you. Oftentimes, much healing occurs when you’re feeling bad, and much damage occurs when you are feeling good. Anyway, no matter how good I feel on this diet (and I feel pretty swell at the moment), that’s not necessarily proof of anything. We’ll see where it goes from here.
Breakfast: 4 eggs scrambled in 1.5T of butter with 3 massive uncured pastured pork bacon strips
Lunch: 1 pound raw fatty ribeye, sliced and drizzled with 1T macadamia nut oil and 1t truffle oil
Dinner: 6 soft-boiled eggs and 4 ounces Fontina cheese
Matt, dude, your blog is fucking AWESOME! I just found out about it and I’m going to follow your progress on the zero carb journey.
Don’t know if you have read about Metabolic Typing, but that’s one of the principles I believe in when it comes to diet. Hell, it has to be true: there are people who have eaten light vegetarian diets and done well for most of their lives, while others do horribly without generous quantities of meat. BIOCHEMICAl INDIVIDUALITY.
Sounds to me like you are a protein type/fast oxidizer? considering how you feel more focused and energized on generous amounts of fat/protein.
Good luck on your diet brother. Please report as much as you can, what you feel like, how your stools look, you know.. To let others know what to expect when going zero carb.
I’m not a real believer in Biochemical individuality to the extent that Roger Williams believed.
It’s not like I do better on a high protein diet, or a high-fat diet. In fact, consuming mostly raw juices and eating half-heads of raw cabbage as a snack was far better than my childhood diet of higher-protein/moderate-fat with refined sugar.
As long as there is just a touch of animal products in a diet, it can be nutritionally-complete enough to make it through life with good health, barring the possibility that something you’re eating is not digesting properly or causing allergic reaction.
In late adulthood, even a vegan diet can be sustainable over decades, winning the hearts of guys like John Robbins and T. Colin Campbell.
If someone doesn’t do well with animal fat and protein, well, try eating nothing but animal fat and protein to heal that. Some people just don’t have the stomach acid for it, or they have inflammation or infection that disrupts proper digestion, etc. Sure, that’s biochemical individuality in the sense that some people have screwed up their bodies in “x” way and can no longer eat “x” without causing harm.
However, from a physiological, biochemical perspective, there’s at least 99 similarities that all humans share – and even that we share with other mammals, for every 1 truly unique and distinct difference.
I’ve found tweaking the diet in certain ways is a good way to learn that everything you thought about your supposed tolerance for a certain food can fly out the window.
Like if I drink orange juice with my regular diet, I get zits. If I drink orange juice with other fruits, vegetables, and juices, my skin clears — even my teeth get whiter and any tooth pain disappears.
That’s what I mean. Most people think they “know” what they digest well and don’t digest well, but they have no idea becuase they were too quick to come to a conclusion, or their conclusion was based on a misinterpretation. Changing other factors can reveal a totally different story.
Anyways, that’s my take. I don’t get stuck thinking that I can’t eat x or do better without x ‘no matter what’, so I encourage other people to keep that same open mind.
“If someone doesn’t do well with animal fat and protein, well, try eating nothing but animal fat and protein to heal that.”
“Like if I drink orange juice with my regular diet, I get zits. If I drink orange juice with other fruits, vegetables, and juices, my skin clears — even my teeth get whiter and any tooth pain disappears.”
“Most people think they “know” what they digest well and don’t digest well, but they have no idea becuase they were too quick to come to a conclusion, or their conclusion was based on a misinterpretation. Changing other factors can reveal a totally different story.”
Great comments. This is what I’ve found too. My skin, teeth, eyes, and so forth look great eating milk and raw honey or and milk and juice. Mixing foods – like milk and meat, cheese and meat, or eggs and meat will cause problems that don’t occur when eating simpler combonations. That is the mistake people like Charles make. They change several variables and mix several things together, then reach conclusions that “adding cheese to meat makes me gain weight” and “adding eggs to meat makes me gain weight.”
It’s the same garbage as people who say “stop eating dairy and you’ll lose 5-15 pounds.” So what? The weight loss might be muscle, bone, organ, and water, with little or no fat. Doesn’t prove dairy’s bad. Maybe dairy wouldn’t have the same effect if it was raw or didn’t have “x” additives or if you didn’t eat dairy in the same meal with meat or other foods.
Diet is infinitely complex, but usually people approach it in a very superficial way, blaming some food for problems and not looking at other variables. I agree that people who feel they can’t eat red meat should try eating nothing but meat, pref raw beef, lamb, etc. They probably will find that their situation changes.
People think they know how food affects them, but most of them don’t bother to really look at things objectively. They just pick some religion like zero-carb, and never bother thinking again.
Your comments also explain why the diets like WaiSays can cure acne. She says her diet will cures acne and cellulite 100%. It consists of raw fruits, EV olive oil, hand-shelled raw nuts, avocados, etc. It only allows a very small portion of raw, non-frozen fish and/or raw egg yolk like 50-100g a day max. Many people have been able to completely eliminate acne on her diet, but some developed tooth decay due to excess fruit, IMO. I’ve never seen a health blog that admits the facts you do in your comments above. People promote a religious doctrine, like Charles, and do not acknowledge the fact that anyone can be healthy on another diet or fail to be healthy on their diet. Charles accused a friend of mine of lying, because she did not have the miraculous results he feels are guaranteed on zero-carb.
Being able to realize that the body will adapt to various diets is a breakthrough that people like Charles will never get. They see things in black-and-white. This food is good and that food is bad. Never looking at things in a more complex way, like you are doing here. Never bothering to address the holes in their theory, or the fact that the food he eats might not appeal to everyone or work.
I appreciate that commentary Bruce. I think it’s just a human tendency to pick the hero and villain, but nowhere in the universe, that I’m aware of, can definitive accusations be made.
Just as microbes can be both threatening, while at the same time we will die without them, the same is true of food.
I guess the vision here is simply that all natural foods that our ancestors thrived on, which covers an infinetly broad spectrum if you just read Weston A. Price’s stuff, are healthy foods.
As Natasha-Campbell McBride stated: “Weston A. Price proved what are healthy foods for healthy people, but [my diet – SCD basically] is a list of specific foods for addressing a specific disorder.”
I also really like Monastrysky’s concept of “Forensic nutrition,” the study of ‘why healthy foods kill people!’
Any dietary regimen that calls anything from dairy to fruit to red meat to butter a healthy, toxic food is ignorant. A diet that looks specifically into a disorder or imbalance and uses a particular combination of foods to address it with the exclusion or minimization of others can be wise – if it works without negative consequences down the line. All-meat or all-fruit, both have healing potential.
And on the exclusion of dairy and weight loss, Franco Columbo talked extensively about the unique property of dairy allergy to cause excessive fat and water retention. It wasn’t until he learned this about his own body that he excluded dairy completely and went on to win the Mr. Olympia title post-Arnold.
Any food allergy can probably keep excess weight on – activating the immune system, releasing cortisol and inducing edema and increased resistance to insulin. Probably why many people also lose weight when dropping grain out of their diet, even if carbohydrate levels remain unchanged.
But you can make a similar argument with meat or any other food. Stop eating meat and you will lose 5-15 pounds. That does not prove meat is unhealthy and it maybe due to no longer eating foods like bacon double cheeseburgers, loaded pizzas, and other Western foods. Also, body-builders don’t really care about health. They are interested in weight loss, just like the people on WaiSays are only interested in getting rid of acne. All of these eating regimens are flawed, IMO. Health must be the first, last, and only priority. One can be healthy and “overweight.” One can be unhealthy and ripped. Mike Mentzer is one of the most famous body-builders and he died of heart disease, as his brother died of Berger’s disease two days later. So, being muscular and lean doesn’t mean squat as far as health goes. If you have a toxic personality, you’re unhealthy no matter what you weigh.
Health does come first.
Bodybuilders do offer some insight into how the human body works and reacts to food. There are some important insights there for sure, one that Columbo’s experience provides. Not touting their health, in fact, building a lot of excessive body mass is probably the best way to lower your life expectancy. The NFL is a good case in point on that. Life expectancy for an NFL player, all positions, is like low 50’s. They of course not only eat a crappy diet like most peoople, but consume enormous quantities of that crappy food, all while getting repeatedly injured. Mmmm, healthy.
Franco Columbo was probably dealing with pasteurized dairy and eating it mixed in with lots of other foods, so the results really don’t prove anything. There are a lot of variables to consider. I think AV admits that dairy (even raw) may cause a slight weight gain in normal people, but that doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy. Melvin Anchell said in “Steak Lover’s Diet” you shouldn’t eat dairy (except butter) ’til you get to you target weight. Then you’d gain 5 lbs and stabilize. That does not prove that dairy is unhealthy. It may be because people are eating cooked food or mixing lots of foods together. You might not gain any weight if you ate 100% raw or separated dairy, meat, and eggs. I’m pretty sure most primitive groups never ate things like bacon and eggs or steak and cheese. Most ate simple meals, like cheese and bread, fish and oats, or one type of meat exclusively.
As a refutation of claims against dairy and eggs, consider the active no-carber forum had a thread where people ate all eggs. Many saw health improvements. Any mono-diet can offer short-term benefits, even the ice cream diet might help some people. This does not prove what is the best for long-term health. It is absurd for people to argue that eggs are “bad”, esp when the only evidence presented is that they gained a few pounds by eating eggs with meat and lost a few pounds by eating the meat by itself.
People are combining lots of foods, and the foods are often cooked or processed, so it’s impossible to say that any food is to blame for weight gain. You should try eating the all-egg diet and the all dairy diet. See what happens. I bet you would improve your digestion. Who knows. Maybe the egg diet would be even better than the meat diet. Maybe a “cheese and butter” diet is better still.
Yeah, I wasn’t saying Columbo proved that dairy is fattening. I was more interested in the fact that he said, specifically, that eating an allergen caused him to be incapable of achieving leanness. As we both know, pasteurized and raw milk are worlds apart.
Consider also Clarence Bass. He has won body-building contests and he’s eating dairy, albeit low-fat dairy. No food makes you fat. Your overall diet and lifestyle does. If you are up all night, you probably won’t be lean no matter what you do. Bass is incredibly ripped and he eats virtually the exact opposite of zero-carb.