Dr. Jeffery Friedman discovered a short chain protein secreted by fat (Adipose tissue) which controls appetite. He published his findings in Nature 1994 and Science in the 1995. This protein acts on receptors in the brain. If the receptors are covered by this protein, then you are satiated. Dr. Friedman named this hormone Leptin, derived from the Greek word “leptos” meaning thin. (The secret life of fat by Sylvia Tara PhD; published W. W. Norton & Company) So… cold turkey is a problem. To wean our brains from Leptin craving, we have found severely restricting intake for two days (500 cal. per day for Tina and 600 cal. perday For me) is tolerable and sustainable.

  1. 80% of all diets fail after a year. The most likely cause is the negative feedback from the Leptin-Hypothalamus-Cortisol-Stress-Anger loop. You reached your goal. You don't want to continue the bad feelings. Soon you are fat again. This time you have less muscle mass and more fat.
  2. Diet programs center around the feedback mechanism based on manipulating the hormones Leptin and Insulin. Little time is spent, by several commercial weight programs, towards a life long commitment to good nutrition. Even less time is spent on the negative feelings developed during the process. There is a good overview of Leptin, Insulin mechanisms on which most diet programs are based (footnote 1.).
  3. Stress increases the production of Cortisol. This is well documented. Most of the research has been done showing Cortisol is a major cause of weight gain (footnote 2). But there is more to the cycle.
  4. New research shows low calorie diets Increase Cortisol (footnote 3.)
  5. Standardized tests for anger shows elevated anger with increased Cortisol production (footnote 4.) It is a two way street.

Managing the Anger!

  1. The most effective method, for me, is two days of fasting followed by five days of eating reasonably. Take it easy. Losing a pound or two a week is easily done by reasonable intake and monitoring. I use the App Lose It.com. By going slowly, you are more likely to continue the more healthful lifestyle once your goal is achieved.
  2. It helps to have a Diet Buddy. Someone who is in the same boat as you and can share the travail.
  3. Sylvia Tara's book " Thia Secret Life of Fat" discusses Fat as a necessary organ of the body. Too much or to little is bad for you.
  4. There is a really good overview of the Cortisol connection and management of same by Christine A. Maglione-Garves, Len Kravitz, Ph.D., and Suzanne Schneider, Ph.D. in "Cortisol Connection: Tips on Managing Stress and Weight" (footnote 6)