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What Can We Learn About Behavior Change from Training Dogs?

The post I’m going to make today is something I’ve not only wanted to put down for a while but was originally written for a monster book on fat loss that I started last year (which is 95% done and from which The Women’s Book sprang).  Since that book focuses on fat loss, most of the language deals with that topic.  But it would generally apply to behavior change overall.  I’ve changed some of the text and verbiage for various reasons.


An older idea of human behavior (called behaviorism) suggests that we do things either to obtain reward (things feel good) or avoid punishment (things feel bad). While there is obviously more to it than that in humans, there is no doubt that these types of pathways play a role in human behavior.

Humans tend to do things that feel good/reward them (like eating) and avoid things that feel bad/punish them. … Keep Reading

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Podcasts and Interviews

I wanted to collect the various podcasts and interviews I’ve done with folks in one place (and thanks to the folks who helped me get this list together since I’m awful at saving these) for those who want to hear me babble about the same stuff repeatedly for 60-90 minutes at a pop. Unfortunately, the nature of Itunes is that I can’t link directly to the podcast I was on. Instead, I’ve linked to the general page and indicated the number of the episode where I babbled.

The Revive Stronger Podcast

Back in 2004, I wrote a little book called A Guide to Flexible Dieting, basically arguing that being less extreme with a diet would work better.  Of course, nobody was ready to listen then although, in the last few years you can’t swing a dead cat without seeing a post or ebook about flexible dieting.  Sometimes folks even cite my work (in one case it was blatantly plagiarized but that’s a different story). … Keep Reading

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Does the EC Stack Stop Working?

A common question regarding supplements, especially fat loss supplements is how long they can or should be taken.  I addressed that question regarding the ephedrine/caffeine (EC) stack previously but want to expand on a comment I made in my answer which had to do with whether or not the EC stack stops working.

My specific comment was this:

I do mean that this is unusual in that most drugs lose, or at least appear to lose, their effect over time (it’s a little more complicated than this but I’ll save my explanation of this statement for next week or something).

Ephedrine Doesn’t Stop Working

I also presented data showing that this is actually absolutely not the case, that EC clearly not only continues working in the long-term but, for some reason, becomes more effective over time.  And this goes against what is most commonly believed about not only EC (with claims that it stops working, usually based on the fact that the side effects are no longer felt) but with almost all dieting drugs (including the big pharmaceutical ones).… Keep Reading

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Meal Frequency and Meal Patterning

The following is an excerpt from The Women’s Book.  Specifically it looks at the issue of meal frequency and meal patterning.   Specifically it looks at the issue as it pertains to women, who often face issues that males do not.

Chapter 13: Meal Frequency and Meal Patterning

In the last chapter, I looked in a great deal of detail at concepts related to setting up what I consider an optimal diet. This included a look at general dieting concepts along with information about setting protein, fat, carbohydrate and sodium/potassium intake. I also looked at fluid intake and artificial sweeteners.

Having set up a diet, there are additional issues that need to be addressed such as meal frequency and overall meal patterning (on a given day) and calorie distribution (over the course of the week). I’ll look at each in some detail including some relatively “new” approaches that may be superior under some conditions.… Keep Reading

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Do Antidepressants Cause Weight Gain

Given that I’ve been fairly open talking about my own mental issues and dealing with bipolar, I tend to get my share of questions regarding either mental health in general or medications.  These are only potentially overwhelmed by the number of questions I get about women’s periods.  In any case, a commonly asked question is “Do antidepressants cause weight gain?” and that’s what I am going to address today.

Let me say up front that neuropsychiatry and all of this is not my primary field nor area of expertise and absolutely don’t claim that it is.    At the same time, the neurochemistry of eating behavior is a long time interest and there is certainly crossover between the topics which is why I feel comfortable enough writing about this.  Anyhow.

So far as the general question of whether or not antidepressants cause weight gain, there’s no singular answer.   Different drugs have different relative risks or propensities with some causing weight gain, some causing weight loss and others being relatively neutral.… Keep Reading