Wednesday, March 6, 2013

one mechanism

When weight loss slows or plateaus, my instinct is to read all sorts of articles/chapters of books on the subject, just to encourage myself, clean up my "technique" and reinforce my will to succeed.  Thus i often read things online which could be considered just confirmation of what i already know, by way of a pep-talk ... but i never know if i'm going to come across something new or especially-inspiring.  I'm sure i've read a lot of THIS info before, but this time i was ripe to appreciate a particular aspect of it.

One of the (many) ways we see the basic CICO concept fall on its ass is where isocaloric diets differentiating between low- and high-carb arms show significantly different fat-loss results.  And one of the (many) ways low-carb diets "waste" calories lies in the process of gluconeogenesis -- turns out, 100 grams of protein convert to only 57 grams of glucose!  That's some pretty impressive inefficiency!

But that's not the mechanism i was referring to.  The one that "turned on the lights" for me just now is the fact that alcohol use INHIBITS gluconeogenesis.  I had observed that i could still lose weight on my ultra-LC regimen with one glass of wine with brunch and dinner, but beyond that it was (if i may coin a phrase) orvieto-land -- that CITY ON A PLATEAU [evil grin].

I already knew that for the best weight-loss results it helps to stay strictly on the wagon.  Just a reminder, then....


  1. A wagon I've been chasing for the past few months after I fell off due to school stress and the easy availability of a Tim Hortons on campus, of which I've partaken only a few occasions, but which set me up to crave carbs more often. So I started indulging in maple syrup sweetened full-fat greek yogurt, telling myself it was good because it was full-fat, never mind the 2 tbsp of carb-heavy maple syrup I'd add to it, and then chocolate-avocado pudding in the evening (EVERY evening for two weeks). Presently I have a mostly-empty bag of chocolate-covered almonds hiding in my computer drawer.
    I need to jump back on that wagon, push through the carb-flu that's wracking me as I write this, and remember what I used to do when I first started this way of eating, 1.5 years ago. Oh right, I had MENUS on my fridge! I had mantras I told myself over and over again. I was firm, almost zealot-like in my adherence to this new way of eating, which brought me out of a decades-long depression. Oh yeah, and I MOVED! I walked in the mountains. I biked. Now, due to the 2-feet of snow, I ride the bus to school, sit in a classroom, ride the bus back home where I SIT to do my homework. So, I'm going to start getting off BEFORE the school and WALK to the school. This I'm going to do until I can get back on my bike and start biking to school again.
    Seems my new year's reslution came late this year.

    1. :-) springtime is a much easier time to clean up one's act, though!

      i know how you feel, i think -- it's so easy to do the things that help us COPE when life gets challenging. but eating the higher-carb foods just as an "experiment" completely derails my weight loss, and i feel crummier on top of everything else!

      good luck with your reestablishment of the old successful strategies!!!

  2. To add to the protein and glucose debate, there was this little study detailing how protein is converted to hepatic glucose output at a rate of about 8%

    I wish they had repeated the experiment for higher doses of protein though, like 100g.

    Dietary Proteins Contribute Little to Glucose Production Even Under Optimal Gluconeogenic Conditions in Healthy Humans.

    1. that's interesting.... it said the subjects were accustomed to a medium sort of dietary protein intake -- you have to wonder if their usual diet was on the high-carb side, because in that situation, surely their livers were full of glycogen and they didn't HAVE to create glucose from the dietary protein, don't you think?