Tag Archives: weight

Weight gains and weight loss: does food give some people an "eaters high?"

Weight loss and CrossFit. Weight loss is hard for most people. Maybe harder than Crossfit.   And there many different factors involved in weight gain.  One of the things that differs in people is the ability to taste bitterness.  Food does not taste the same to everyone.  And some people seem to be more “into” food than others.  They seem to get much more pleasure out of food than others.  There’s an entire foodie culture with clubs and magazines.  Even among hard core “Paleo Diet” CrossFit ers.  Note the many Paleo websites and Paleo recipes out there. Then there are people who would be happy eating peanut butter sandwiches three meals a day.  Who just don’t get what is so great about Cheetos. These people tend to have no problem with weight loss. What’s with that?
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Pierce Colman
This infant has a non-taster father and a prop-taster mother.  Both parents follow the paleo diet.

People who perceive bitterness intensely tend to have lower BMI, lower food intake and different levels of appetite-regulators in their blood streams.  Some things taste not so good to them.  In fact, some things will taste very nasty.  Some people don’t notice a thing.  The difference between them is genetic.  You can tell if someone has the gene for tasting the bitter by use of a simple test strip.  The strip is a small piece paper coated with 6-n-propylthiouracil.  Call it PROP.  Ask a group of family and friends gathered around a Thanksgiving dinner table to taste one of these PROP strips.  Chances are some will taste nothing.  Others will taste a mildly bitter flavor.  And a few will be running to the sink spitting and then scrubbing their tongues with a scouring pad.  Who knew your auntie could behave like that in front of everyone?

People who are insensitive to PROP (can’t taste it) tend to eat more than other people.  They also tend to prefer strongly flavored, fatty foods, have a higher BMI, and are more likely to be obese.  The are also more likely to eat purely for the enjoyment of it.  That is also called hedonic eating.  As in hedonism.

Weight loss: Food makes some people “high” but not other people?

Appetite is regulated partly by endocannabinoids.  Think cannabis.  And pot.  And runner’s high.  Endocannabinoids are natural regulators of appetite.  People who are non-tasters have endocannabinoid levels that are significantly different from those of tasters. The way the body regulates food intake and maintains body weight differs between these two groups.  Even when both of them are of the same BMI (body mass index).  This may not mean that some people get a greater high from eating.  But it might.  It might also mean that in the future people may be able to control their weight by altering endocannabinoids.  Taking a bit of a jump here, but as physical activity alters endocannabinoids, and physical activity supresses appetite (up to a point), maybe here’s another reason to exercise.  Especially if you test positive for PROP tasting.  More research will tell.

Tomassini Barbarossa I, Carta G, Murru E, Melis M, Zonza A, Vacca C, Muroni P, Di Marzo V, & Banni S (2013). Taste sensitivity to 6-n-propylthiouracil is associated with endocannabinoid plasma levels in normal-weight individuals. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 29 (3), 531-6 PMID: 23398921

A Diet of Animal or Plant Proteins: Which keeps you leaner?

Intake of vegetable protein is negatively correlated with waist circumference and BMI. In contrast, intake of animal protein is positively correlated with waist circumference and BMI, at least in Belgians. There are a lot of questions to raise with this including the possibility that people who eat less animal protein consume less animal fat which can be a rich source of bioactive, lipophilic contaminants which may also be endocrine disruptors that increase adiposity or alter blood lipids. Note Ruzzin et. al.’s April 2010 paper “Persistent Organic Pollutant Exposure Leads to Insulin Resistance Syndrome.” (Very nice work! Congratulations to all authors.) Also possible that people who eat a lot of vegetable protein also eat fewer calories, are less sedentary etc. There is also the argument that lean, grass-fed animals (happy cattle, miserable chickens) would eliminate this vulnerability in meat eaters. That would be an interesting study. BMI and blood lipid profiles in matched cohorts of grass-fed/organic animal protein eaters vs. regular grocery store consumers. Anyone . . . ?
Ruzzin J, Petersen R, Meugnier E, Madsen L, Lock EJ, Lillefosse H, Ma T, Pesenti S, Sonne SB, Marstrand TT, Malde MK, Du ZY, Chavey C, Fajas L, Lundebye AK, Brand CL, Vidal H, Kristiansen K, & Frøyland L (2010). Persistent organic pollutant exposure leads to insulin resistance syndrome. Environmental health perspectives, 118 (4), 465-71 PMID: 20064776Lin, Y., Bolca, S., Vandevijvere, S., De Vriese, S., Mouratidou, T., De Neve, M., Polet, A., Van Oyen, H., Van Camp, J., De Backer, G., De Henauw, S., & Huybrechts, I. (2010). Plant and animal protein intake and its association with overweight and obesity among the Belgian population British Journal of Nutrition, 1-11 DOI: 10.1017/S0007114510004642