Monday, June 23, 2014

The Lettuce Effect

So why should a small butter lettuces plant cause hunger when eaten in the middle of the afternoon, while picking weeds? Valerie got me needing to explain.

It is not the carbohydrate, nor insulin reaction. The only thing that could happen that fast is some psychological or appetite signal, which is psychosomatic,not physical. OK, that type of hunger is totally psychological.

In dealing with obesity, there are four groups of problem, at least. These could be further divided, and some people (Phil Werdell) say three groups.

The first group have some physical problem that drives them to eat: hyperinsulinemia or insulin resistance, thyroid issues, adrenalin issues, some thing that produces excess hunger or appetite. These require some sort of physical intervention or extended mental effort to overcome what is a physical problem being overcome by mental/ behavioral effort. Think gay man behaving straight effort, long term, struggle.

The second group are normal people who are in a food rich environment, where there is continuous temptation. These people must learn to adapt to their environment, or change their environment to recover.

The third group, I will call maladaptive behavior, and may be emotional eating, compulsive eating, obsession driven, stress, boredom, lonely, tired, whatever. We need to learn real coping methods for situations, escape from that situation, recognizing there is no real solution for the situation, (learn acceptance of bullshit produced by others), whatever.

The fourth group that are defined as food addicts; there are chemicals within the food that cause a addiction like behavior, craving, desire, and withdrawal. This addiction may be behavioral in addition or instead of chemical.

Now there are a few of us that have all four described conditions. Food was plentiful, growing up in a big farm kitchen environment. Food was pushed and became a maladaptive behavior. Along the way I became dependent on food, addicted. Insulin resistance, at least, is physical. Recovery is a ongoing physical struggle of doling out suitable amounts of food to the body, all the while the body is desiring more food. Stewardship over the body, is the best term. Some of the time the body wins, some of the time the mind wins. Life is a bitch.

It is not a food - no food decision, for the body must also be distracted away from the food. Not a east proposition 24/7.         


  1. "The Lettuce Effect" is a good name! :)

    Maybe it is some sort of conditioning. Tasting food (like ringing a bell) indicates that fuel is about to arrive, and somehow the body/brain gets very enthusiastic about that. Maybe.

    I'm trying to remember if it has always been like that for me, or if it started only after I lost weight by intentionally restricting my caloric intake. I'm not sure. I've been a restrained eater most of my life, so I don't much of a comparison point...

  2. Conditioning, habit, cue, priming, taste, appetite stimulus, psychological hunger, maladaptive behavior, physical over-driven hunger, mild Pander-Willie, some physical defect, behavioral addiction, eating disorder, disordered eating, hyper-hunger, mineral deficiency. It does not matter, the treatment is the same - learn to live with the problem and not overeat. A change in lifestyle - learn to live hungry and not eat.

    Some of the problems have real solutions, others there is no known solution - yet.

  3. Great comment FredT, learn to live with problem, I will use that one. Suck it in and learn to live with this crazy urge to overeat. Get out of the kitchen/environment/area, change of scenery. I also find Wooo's hack of glass of ACV in water to signal end of eating.

  4. Recently, this occurred to me:

    There will always be food and there will always be stress.

    It's up to me to manage them both.

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  6. and the best treatment for diabetes is a low carb - no carb - diet. See Bernstein, the diabetic solution. But what do I know?

  7. I found the way not to over-eat - I eat each time to a satiety two times a day LC food. I used to be a grazer.

  8. But I do not feel satiety... so eating to satiety is more like eating my metered amount of food and hopefully being able to stop eating.

    It is not hunger that I feel but some unsettling angst, not even a craving, but some other agitation.


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