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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

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Fat Loss Supplements for Women

This is an excerpt from the now completed Women’s Book.  It is part of a longer chapter looking at general use supplements with sections on luteal phase specific supplements (including PMS), and supplements specifically for women entering menopause.  No joke.  So here’s an excerpt on fat loss supplements for women.

Fat Loss Supplements

Perhaps the single most popular, lucrative and marketed type of supplement is those aimed at fat and weight loss. It’s an industry filled mostly with nonsense and false claims with hundreds if not thousands of products having come and gone with little to no effect. This has led many to conclude, at least partially correctly, that there is no product that any impact on fat loss. But this is a little bit too extreme of a conclusion.

There are absolutely compounds that have been shown to have some effect on one or another component of fat loss.… Keep Reading

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Insulin Resistance and Fat Loss

The topic of insulin resistance/insulin sensitivity  and body fat is one that is still rife with confusion and misinformation.  Specifically, it’s usually stated that insulin resistance causes fat gain or that insulin sensitivity improves fat loss.  However, in at least one of my books (The Ultimate Diet 2.0) I stated that insulin resistance is superior for fat loss, which seems to run against both common thought and common sense.  So let me address the topic again.

How Hormones Work

A hormone is any substance in the body that causes something to happen elsewhere. Technically you can divide up neurotransmitters (which work locally) and hormones (which work elsewhere/all over the body) but this is unnecessary detail.  So a hormone is released from some gland or another (i.e. thyroid from the thyroid gland, insulin from the pancreas), binds to a receptor somewhere and makes stuff happen (a technical term).

The almost universal analogy for how hormones work is the lock and key analogy. … Keep Reading

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The 3500 Calorie Rule

I’ve previously written about the concept of energy balance and why many people’s understanding of it are incorrect. Today I want to revisit that by providing an excerpt from The Women’s Book.  Specifically I want to address one of the oldest “Rules” of dieting, what I will call the 3500 calorie rule.  This is another place where, due to their misunderstanding of what it represents, many make some truly hilarious arguments against energy balance.  So let’s clear things up.

The 3500 Calorie Rule

I’m fairly certain that almost all readers of this book are familiar with the old rule that 3,500 calories equals one pound of bodyweight. Which leads to very simple mathematical approaches to weight loss via the energy balance equation. Presumably the simple act of decreasing food intake by 500 calories/day, or increasing energy expenditure by 500 calories/day, should result in exactly one pound of weight loss/week.

And whenever people do that, it never works out.… Keep Reading