Can you control your metabolism with your mind?
Turns out … yes.
Food as placebo! Does labeling something “low fat” or “healthy” trick our brains in the wrong direction? Feed your mind with this great vid from NPR Science.
Previously: Learn more about the weirdness of placebos, from medicine color to pill size, with this video.
The fact that this works for one feeding with a single milkshake means nothing. It’s basically a trick to fool your body into feeling fuller, temporarily, but it says nothing about how your body treats hunger over the long term.
See, there are three kinds of hunger.
There’s mechanical hunger, which is your stomach being empty and growling. It says “PUT FOOD IN YOUR STOMACH.”
There’s mouth hunger or aesthetic hunger, which is your need to eat food that satisfies you psychologically. Comfort food, the native foods of your culture, foods whose tastes and textures satisfy you innately. It says “PUT YUMMY THINGS IN YOUR MOUTH!”
And there’s chemical hunger. Chemical hunger is craving … something. That feeling you get when you don’t eat enough fruit for a while, and suddenly you crave citrus. The feeling you get when you are bleeding from your vagina for the tenth day in a row, and would literally murder old ladies for a steak and/or a bucket of bone marrow. The feeling you get when, for no reason you can name, you crave something like almonds or anchovies or really dark chocolate. At its most immediate, it’s the low-blood-sugar shakes and dizziness. At its most insidious, it’s the thing that leads you to eat and eat until you are satisfied. It says “MEET YOUR NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS BECAUSE YOUR CELLS ARE STARVING, YOU NUMBSKULL.”
Reduced ghrelin may not have much effect on mouth hunger, and it absolutely isn’t going to affect chemical hunger. It will affect mechanical hunger, but only for a short time.
As someone who, out of a hateful illness, starved herself for years like nobody else could do it right, I probably know more about actual hunger than most people ever, ever will. I can tell you all kinds of things about it. Things you probably don’t want to know, honestly.
I can tell you right now that I tried all the tricks.
I tried using smaller plates.
I tried drinking loads of water before each meal.
I tried chewing slowly. (SOOOO SLOWLY.)
I tried filling up on really bulky, low-calorie foods.
I tried really small, frequent meals.
I mean, if there was a trick, I tried it. If I’d known about this, I’d have tried this too.
And none of the tricks worked. I was still hungry pretty much every few hours, and the less I ate, the less time it took for me to get hungry. Eventually, I was hungry all the time. Like, I was so hungry I stopped being able to feel mechanical hunger.
No, stop, think about it. My body had become so used to my stomach being empty that it stopped sending me those signals completely. And yet … I was hungry. All the time. Even when I satisfied my mouth hunger, I was hungry. I needed to eat. I can’t even describe what that felt like, except to say that it was overpowering.
When I finally started recovering, I ate whatever I wanted. And for two years, two years, all I wanted to eat was salt, fat, sugar. For several months, I still never felt hungry, but I couldn’t stop eating. I would eat until I felt physically sick, and I still WANTED to eat more. Because I had been starving myself, and that is what starving yourself does.
Because my body knew, it knew, that 700 calories a day was not 2,000 calories a day. It knew it was starving. It thought it was dying.
You cannot fool that. You cannot permanently change your body’s metabolism with tricks. Just because it works once doesn’t mean it will work the nine hundredth time you try it.
So, unless it can trick your body into literally thinking that 100 calories is 300 calories forever and ever, your weight loss tricks are not going to work forever, you will rebound, you will gain back the weight you lose.
Research like this is useful, because knowing how the human body and mind interact is useful.
Research like this in the hands of people who aren’t qualified to draw conclusions from it is not useful. This will no doubt somehow enter the vocabulary of weight-loss “tricks” intended to help desperate and misguided people fool themselves into thinking they are smarter than the literal cells in their body, when they are not. And that is a sad thing.
So for the people saying “If you think of your kale/wheatgrass/quinoa/goat placenta smoothie as really indulgent, you won’t feel hungry afterward!”, you’re wrong. Do it often enough, and you’ll feel hungry constantly.
There’s not a shortcut. I don’t recommend weight-loss dieting to anyone, but if you’re going to pursue it — again, just don’t do this if you still believe all the crap about being thin being a somehow magical state that will insulate you from all kinds of physical and psychological and social ills — you should know that you are working against literally every cell of your body. There’s not a work-around for that. It is a bone-scraping, desperate hunger you will feel every minute of every day, worse and worse the longer you go.
Clever “tricks” like this are sops thrown to you to say “Look, look, it’s easy, look how easy it is! Look how stupid the human body is! Look how much more powerful your brain is! You can totally fool yourself out of being a meat-popsicle that craves fat and starch and salt if you just work at being satisfied with less.”
All they do is make it easier to start, and easier to keep limping along pretending nothing is wrong, when you can feel with every fiber of your being that there is.
Whenever new “science” shows something that implies, from research based on a single event, one single meal or item of food, that there is a faster way to lose weight, or an easier way to not feel hungry, give it the stinkiest of all stink-eyes. Because one meal? One meal more or less is not hunger. Not really. The measure of hunger is what happens once you have depleted your body’s reserves enough for it to start eating itself away … and then you keep going. And going. And going. What you feel then is hunger.
You know what else probably kills your appetite? Videos of surgery. Nobody’s suggesting that we take up watching those before our meals so we don’t feel like eating as much. And if we did? We’d get used to it pretty fast, as the large number of surgeons nurses and veterinarians and techs who can still eat will attest.
They get over it because our bodies need food. We need to eat, both physically and psychologically, to be healthy. And that is stronger than pretty much any other urge we have except maybe thirst — I don’t know, I never tried to dehydrate myself to death. Hunger takes longer to kill you. (And yeah, you feel every minute of it.) It is stronger than the urge to lick Ben Barnes. Stronger than the urge to pet kittens. I could stop thinking about those things for hours at a time. I never forgot that I was hungry.
Also, as one final note, there’s a huge error in this research. Food is not neutral, okay? We have such a guilt complex around food these days that if I give a random person a 600-calorie treat, it’s 99% certain that they will feel some guilt. And they will feel less guilt over a 100-calorie treat. And guilt? A surprisingly good motivator for feeling sated sooner. Which is why the diet industry is so huge on guilt and shame. So unless you could find someone who had literally no associations with food/calories/guilt — and these days, even finding tiny children who do not have that is going to be a job of work — your study might be measuring something other than what you think it is.
(And guilt doesn’t work long-term, either. I was still hungry enough after four years of 700 calories a day to eat a whole goddamn box of Pop-Tarts. I felt pretty fucking guilty after the first one. I still ate them all, and every piece of fruit in the house.)
(Also, anyone who expects you to endure that sort of hunger just to access a higher tier of respect in the pecking order is a fucking douchebag and you can safely disregard anything they say as toxic bullshit.)
Ugh. Rant over. I’m going to go eat something bad for me, because I fucking can. The best way not to feel hungry — eat when you want to eat.
this is probably the most well-spoken and intelligent thing I’ve read today, and if you scroll past it well you’re missing out
I spent several years subsisting on very low calories. I’d go a few days without eating. I was hungry CONSTANTLY. and now, some ten years later, I don’t always recognize when I’m hungry and sometimes my blood sugar drops so low I almost pass out. I seriously and hugely permanently fucked up my body more by dieting than I ever have or ever will being fat. When I did eat, I had guilt-ridden NIGHTMARES about food… nightmares and anxiety dreams that have ceased entirely since I started eating actual food on the regular.
Our bodies and brains need food, need calories, need sugar and fat and protein and vitamins and minerals, need fuel. Without that, we will die.
Goinnnn to the bookstore
gonnnnna get maa-aa-aarired
ransom and i got married several months ago in an intimate ceremony, but recently had a larger reception for more family and friends, and it was a blast! as we’re both writers, it seemed fitting to have the event at one of our favorite bookstores: the last bookstore in downtown LA. we’ve had a lot of requests for photos, so i thought i’d drop a few here. hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
:::for the especially curious:::
my bouquet: was made from the pages of ransom’s novel (miss peregrine’s home for peculiar children).
our photographers: brandon + katrina of brandon wong photography.
venue: the last bookstore in downtown los angeles.
catering: the extremely fabulous heirloomla.
flowers: from floral art!
the band: one of our favorite local indie bands, the gallery.
hugs and books!
HAPPY TAX DAY, AND WHY THE TOP 1% PAY A MUCH LOWER TAX RATE THAN YOU
It’s tax time again, April 15, when our minds turn toward paying the taxes we owe or possibly getting a tax refund. But what we don’t think about enough is whether our tax system is fair. The richest 1 percent of Americans are now getting the largest percent of total national income in almost a century. So you might think they’d pay a much higher tax rate than everyone else.
But you’d be wrong. Many millionaires pay a lower federal tax rate than many middle-class Americans.
Some don’t pay any federal taxes at all. That’s because they‘re allowed to deduct from their taxable income such things as large interest payments on mortgages for huge homes, also the costs of business entertainment and conferences (aka vacations at golf resorts), and gold plated health care plans.
Some also take advantage of tax loopholes that let them park some of their earnings in offshore tax havens like the Bahamas or the Netherlands Antilles.
And other loopholes that allow them to treat some income as capital gains – subject to a much lower tax rate than ordinary income. If you happen to be a hedge-fund or private-equity manager, there’s a capital gains loophole designed especially for you.
Consider the Social Security payroll tax and the situation is even more lopsided. That tax applies to every dollar of income up to a cap — which this year is $117,000. Anything earned above the cap is not subject to Social Security taxes at all – meaning anyone with a high income pays a much smaller percentage of it in Social Security taxes than most people do.
Put these all together and you see why Warren Buffet, the second richest person in America, pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, as he readily admits.
State and local taxes are even more regressive. The poorest fifth of Americans pay an average state and local tax rate of over 11 percent, while the richest fifth pay only 5.6 percent. This isn’t small change. State and local taxes account for about 40 percent of all government revenues.
Believe it or not, Republicans want to make all this worse by cutting taxes on the wealthy even more. Paul Ryan’s new budget doesn’t just slice Medicare, education, and food stamps. It also lowers the top federal tax rate to 25 percent.
When the rich are let off the hook in all these ways, the rest of America has to pay more in taxes to make up the difference – or have services cut because government doesn’t have the funds.
First I know nothing about Marvel comics: all my context I got from the films Thor (delightful) and Avengers Assemble (remember very little except it had good jokes and the final action scene was too long), and reading The Amazing…
Internet, stop giving me so many Cap feels. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO PICK A FAVORITE AVENGER NOW.
Is there a term for like… poly fan feelings? Do you NEED a favorite? Can’t you… love more than one? A big sweaty pile of love and feels?
First I know nothing about Marvel comics: all my context I got from the films Thor (delightful) and Avengers Assemble (remember very little except it had good jokes and the final action scene was too long), and reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.
I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier last night because of this which I saw a few people reblog:
(okay and also all the gifsets of Sebastian Stan crying. I WAS MIS-SOLD ON THIS FOR THE RECORD, THERE IS LITTLE TO NO CRYING AND ALSO HIS HAIR IS AWFUL.)
If Kavalier and Clay taught me anything it’s
threesomes are the best solutions to love trianglesJewish-American cartoonists in the 1930s and early ’40s were all over inventing subversively American heroes to fight Hitler, and I was very unsurprised when I got home and looked it up to learn that Captain America was created by two Jewish guys too. (I know this is really basic comics history stuff and I’m sure fifty people have written dissertations on “He’s A Mensch: The Jewish Identities of Captain America and Superman” or whatever.) What really slotted everything into place was realising that Captain America was created and entered on a cover punching Hitler in the face before America had entered the war.
Basically (right?) Captain America was created by two Jewish-Americans to shame the US into properly fighting Hitler.
Like, I am Captain America, the America you say you want to be, and I challenge you to put your money where your mouth is and actually do something about it. And yes he’s over-the-top and tacky but that’s where the challenge is, right? The chest-thumping American patriotism says “We are good and spread liberty! And also freedom!” and Captain America is like “great! I am that, and I have to point out you are not actually doing that”.
AND I think this is Jewishly on purpose, and here’s why:
Judaism has this important phrase/concept/slogan/life motto from the third-century-ish text Pirkei Avot, which goes: Lo alecha hamlacha ligmor (it’s not to you to complete the work of repairing the world) v’lo atah ben chorin l’hivatel mimena (but neither may you desist from it). You won’t be able to fix the world by yourself, or in your lifetime, but that doesn’t absolve you of responsibility to work towards it.
I feel like grimdark/anti-heroes are a response to the fact that the world is neither good nor moral, like “well if the world isn’t like that, I won’t be either”. But they’re also excuses for not working towards fixing the world: I won’t bother because it’s all fucked anyway. Lo alecha and Captain America say, yes, it is fucked, but you still have to work towards fixing it. And yes, it’s hard, that’s why it’s called work.
Which is why I think saying “Oh, if Captain America represents the US he should be a dick, because the US is a dick” or “Captain America is an imperialist symbol of US superiority and is therefore bad” are both off base and a dodge of having to do that hard work.
"If Cap = America then Cap = dick because America = dick" is basically just throwing hands up and going "right but guys have you noticed that actually America is imperialist and horrible? DO YOU SEE?!” and implying “so what can you do about that, right?”. Captain America says, “Try to make it better! is what you can do!”
And about saying he’s a symbol of US imperial superiority, I mean, he is a symbol of America but aimed as a criticism at real America. He’s the American ideal cranked up to five million - for the purpose of shaming America for not living up to what it says it wants to be. And he is aimed at Americans, so I can see a criticism for him being US-centric in that metanarrative sense, but he’s yelling at America to sort their shit out and I think him yelling at non-USAmericans to sort their shit out would be much worse? But I definitely don’t think Cap is supposed to be about how great America is, he’s about pointing out exactly in what ways and how much America is failing to be great. And then saying “but, that doesn’t mean you get out of trying harder!”
Also, how great is it that his ‘weapon’ is a shield.
so um that’s what I thought about when I saw The Winter Solder last night. that and biceps.
This is amazing on so many levels and also makes me want to have a special fandom-centric Shvi’i shel Pesach/seventh night of Passover virtual seder table on Tumblr to talk about the intersections of Judaism and popular culture with food and media crit and discussions of the diaspora. ALSO everyone should read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.
THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS
I find all the “Captain America Should Be A Dick” articles straight up OFFENSIVE and the above pretty much explores why.
David Gilson is a French Artist. In 2007, over being excited for Disney’s Black Princess, he created a plethora of wonderful artwork in anticipation.
Many of them created during earliest production in which the film was then titled The Frog Princess and the heroine was named Maddy the chambermaid. These works since have been passed around as if they were conceptual artwork during production. In part for being well done and existing a year prior to any real art released to the press and public.
As The Princess and The Frog hops towards five years since theatrical release, it it time to identify these great works of art as they are, fan art.
The right column showcases the beautiful pieces by Disney Artists. David Gilson’s fan artwork is used often when talking about natural hair for Tiana. Lorelay Bové, Sue Nichols, Chris Appelhans, Armand Baltazar and Kevin Gollaher have drawn natural hair in their concept art and unfortunately that aspect did not make it to realization.
David was contracted by Disney Publishing and Disney Consumer Products for Tangled in 2010. Hey, who knows maybe all the attention to his Tiana art landed him the job. We wish him the best in all his artistic endeavors!
David Gilson’s work is incredible. A lot of the other concept art is utterly amazing.
I’d love to see a Disney Princess movie starring a Black girl or woman living in Harlem or Chicago during a more recent time.
Thin privilege is never being embarrassed by your wedding photos.
I recently got married and am excitedly awaiting the arrival of my wedding photos in the post. To make the wait easier, the professional photographer I hired sent me a link to her online portfolio so I could see how some of my…I’m terrified I’ll feel this way about my wedding photos. So much love & empathy to the poster.
I’m a big fat fatty ( DEATH FAT !!!!!!! ) and I hate looking at photos of myself because I look fatter and like… swollen and lifeless… in photos. Or so I think! But I’ve noticed that the more I look at photos of myself the more I like them. Photos of me look different than the me that lives in my head or the me I see in mirrors because they are still… and because I have more time to pick at my own flaws. Bam! There they all are! But when I get used to seeing myself in photos I can get past that initial hump and just… there I am. I’m fat. I’m having fun. Whatever.
Some of the photos I absolutely HATED like FIRE when I first saw them? I love them now. They hang on my wall and I look awesome. Here’s me standing next to a tractor with wheels taller than I am. Here’s me with my toddler child sitting on a different tractor. Here’s me in front of an ancient train. Here’s me in the lake in a goofy dress. Here’s me napping with my baby. Here’s me making pizza. Here’s me living. Here’s me. Here I am. I’m here.
My wedding photos are pretty shitty though. I’ve got a great marriage, so at least that worked out. ;P
Growing food instead of lawns is good, but can we PLEASE stop with the condescending bullshit that implies that people who choose to grow lawns must only being doing it for shallow ‘sheepish’ reasons?
Maybe instead of snidely saying ‘trying to impress your neighbors?’ give people instructions on how to work with and/or fight their home owner’s association, how to appeal to a landlord, how to address local ordinances, and how to grow stealth food crops as ornamental plants in areas where food gardening is banned. Seriously, they will come bulldoze your shit and then bill you for it.
I live in Chicago and refuse to put anything edible in the dirt in my yard because of lead and other contaminants. My FIL plants vegetables in garden beds he planted here and then eats those veggies. I refuse to. No way. No. I’ve been leaning on my husband to build raised beds we can fill with clean dirt, but he’s been working 15 hour shifts (literally) so hasn’t had the time, and my FIL who was raised in a communist country and frequently had to fill his belly with nettles doesn’t give a fuck about heavy metals. (also I’m pretty sure he’s immortal so lead in the soil won’t affect him obvs.)
Those who say the Black Widow’s fighting style is just movie bullshit can see the above. ^ Shit is terrifyingly real.
I think I’m in love.
She’s so tiny.
But she could kill me.
I will reblog this flying head scissors every time it comes on my dash because it’s so fucking awesome.
that, in wrestling, is called a huricarana. i’ve done it to my 6’5, 350+ lb boyfriend :-)
by Joe Phillips
oh, look this is what actual male objectification looks like
looks familiar huh?
If sex sells why aren’t these all spin-offs marketed to folks who are attracted to men?
It is a mystery.
What are you talking about? Clearly men are sexualized too, It’s totally not like we need to turn female characters into guys to have a little bit of taste of male objectification! </sarcasm>
Needs more ridiculously high heels throwing them off balance.
IT’S FUCKING SNOWING. LIKE ACTUAL BIG PIECES OF SHITTY ASS SNOW, COVERING SHIT, AND BEING GENERALLY DESPICABLE. IT’S FUCKING APRIL 15TH FOR PERSEPHONE’S SAKE. I WANT TO SEE THE BLOODY FUCKING MOON LOOKING SCARY AND LYCANTHROPIC BUT NO. IT’S FUCKING SNOWING.
My 5yo is super pissed at this weather. It’s just a huge injustice.
"But I thought the days were getting WARMER so why is it SUPER COLD today and the day before today? This is not spring weather! WHY IS THERE SNOW!"
Good job, Chicago Weather, you’ve infuriated my child.
Way back in the day, we’re talking dawn of time here, when ambitious fish had yet to crawl gasping onto the beach and there were only two volumes of A Song of Ice and Fire available in stores… I had a notion that I wanted the gods in this story to be something like a cross between Ghede Loa and Greek deities, very hands-on, willing to come and go among mortals as they pleased, willing to talk and trick and bargain and roll in the hay and seriously pervert the course of human destiny. That vision, sadly, directly conflicted with the approach I ultimately chose (Sarah Monette explained it really well recently when she said that my characters have dead serious religions, but I take care to never confirm or deny the objective existence of the gods in their world). As for what the Therins think their gods look like, they do describe them as completely anthropomorphic and generally too proud to take other shapes. The Vadrans do not have gods (as one of them points out smugly in THORN, Therins have a “god of the sea” but Vadrans just have the sea, full stop. It’s there, it’s inarguable, it encloses the mortal world, it doesn’t need symbolic representation, it simply and plainly IS). The Syresti have a pantheon sharing some gods with the Therins under different names (Zamira Drakasha, for example, thinks of Iono as Usharas). The Okanti have a tiered system of distant ruling gods and intermediaries anointed from the ranks of mortal heroes. The Jeremites have a two-god system and philosophy that coincidentally justifies the fact that they’re total assholes. The Jereshites worship the Therin pantheon as representatives of a unifying controller god and privately wish the Jeremites would all die in a fire. The mysterious peoples over the seas, cut off from Locke’s world by the barriers of mists and storms left by those lovable scamps, the Eldren, won’t be revealing their preferences for some time yet.
The mysterious peoples over the seas, cut off from Locke’s world by the barriers of mists and storms left by those lovable scamps, the Eldren, won’t be revealing their preferences for some time yet.
*high pitched squeal that only dogs can hear*