You’re probably eating more than you think

If you are struggling to lose weight and you don’t track what you eat, Occam’s razor suggests that you are likely eating more than you think. People underestimate their calorie intake by an average of 10–20%. This can be as high as 50% in people who think their metabolism is broken. Why you are overeating is another question entirely.

Niacin, heart disease, liver toxicity, and diabetes

Niacin therapy is effective at reduce heart disease risk due to lowering LDL particle numbers and triglyceride levels, not due to increasing HDL. The risk of diabetes can be minimized by eating within 2 hours of taking niacin and avoiding digestible carbohydrates 3–6 hours after, unless another dose of niacin is taken. Liver toxicity can be minimized by eating a diet rich in methyl donors like folate, vitamin B12, methionine, betaine (trimethylglycine), and choline.

Supplement riboflavin to fix the MTHFR polymorphism

Improving riboflavin status (via supplementation) may make MTHFR work like it should, since the 677C→T mutation simply reduces its ability to bind with its riboflavin-dependent cofactor (FAD).

It’s literally addressing the cause (making MTHFR work like normal) rather than the symptom (supplementing with 5-methyl THF because you make less of it).

Willpower to habit: what we can learn from anorexia

Evidence continues to support the theory that anorexia involves excessive habit development. The habit of food restriction doesn’t occur overnight, but does occur over time after the initial effortful attempts. Drawing parallels to you and everyone else, it’s rather suggestive that dedication to a diet, a goal-oriented focus, and classical learning will eventually turn willpower to habit. Change is difficult, but if you stick with it, things get easier.

Isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMOs) are not a fiber

In short, read the ingredient label of your favorite high-fiber protein bar. If it uses isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMOs), then it is best avoided. The FDA has ruled that IMOs have insufficient evidence to be claimed as a dietary fiber, and a handful of studies suggest that they are absorbed with similar efficiency as sugar.

Is normal weight an artifact of society?

We need to stop normalizing overweight and obesity. Yes, these are the most common weight statuses in the Western world, but that does not mean they should become the norm. The health detriments of being too fat are well established, and that needs to be made clear.

People are far more likely to pursue lifestyle changes to lose weight when they perceive themselves, or receive a doctor diagnosis, as overweight or obese. So, let’s get self-perceptions back on track.

Can you be too thin to health?

Being underweight is associated with an increased risk of death, just as being obese is, but the causes are fundamentally different. The risks of obesity are owed largely to having too much fat mass, while those of being underweight are owed primarily to having too little muscle mass.

Regardless, being underweight is nowhere near as large of a health concern considering how much more prevalent obesity is.

Is healthy obesity a thing?

There is no such thing as “healthy” obesity. Sure, you can be obese and free of metabolic abnormalities, but you still have a markedly increased risk of developing obesity-related diseases in comparison with normal weight individuals.

Not only are your ever-expanding fat cells giving out more and more stress signals as they fill up, providing a beautiful setting of low-grade, chronic inflammation, but if things don’t change, you’re going to pass your personal fat threshold at some point. Hello diabetes, fatty liver, and heart disease! 

Starches last for better blood glucose

Eat fibrous vegetables and proteins first during meals, saving your starches for last, and you can drastically reduce the blood glucose and insulin response to that meal.

Foods matter, not just macros

Calories and macronutrients matter, but so do the foods we eat. We need to appreciate the role that the food matrix plays in health and disease. To ignore it is ignorance.