From Papa Vox
Hacking yourself: Losing
reducing your "Set Point."
The Fructose method:
The Oil method:
3 tablespoons of fructose in 16 ounces (one pint) of water.
- Start by
drinking 12 to 16 ounces, once a day, at least an hour before or after
meal. You can drink up to 16 ounces, twice a day. (Drinking very large
all at once can cause mild diarrhea.)
- Take one
Tablespoon of any low-flavor oil, followed by a glass of water, at least an hour
before or after a
highly recommend walnut
oil.) Do this once or twice a day.
You may use
either method, or alternate between them. Some people tolerate one
well, but not the other.
Fructose / Chia combined
- 3 Tablespoons of fructose, 1
& 1/2 tablespoons dry chia
seed, one pint of water. Shake well several times during the first
few minutes, until the chia seeds absorb water and distribute evenly.
This combines the fructose with a very high-quality oil source (chia is
high in Omega 3) while retaining a basically flavorless profile. The
appetite-suppression with this formula is considerable, and the lasting
effect far exceeds fructose alone. Additionally, the amount of water-soluble fiber
in chia represents a substantial health
the Set Point.
The set-point theory of weight control assumes that adipose fat is
regulated by a feedback system with a set point. Its core assumption is
that when the amount of fat is less than the set point, changes occur
(e.g. more hunger) that increase the amount of fat. This idea is widely
Although the set point may change with age, it does so according to a
fixed genetic program; diet or exercise can move you away from your set
point, at least for a time, but the target itself cannot change. (Some
studies have shown that a half-year exposure to a high-fat diet can
irreversibly raise the set point.)
Simple "starvation" dieting -- trying to thwart the set point
twenty-four hours a day -- results in ever-increasing feelings of
deprivation and resentment, and a nearly instant return to the pre-diet
weight, as a result of the set point reasserting itself. Unless you
have an iron will and are completely comfortable feeling deprived --
all of the time -- a simple "dieting" approach is doomed to failure.
The set point will win, every time.
It is well proven that taste and exercise can affect the set point, at
least temporarily. There is a theory that, over long periods of time, a
set point may be permanently changed as a result of dietary changes,
exercise, and living at a healthier weight for a sustained period of
If you lose substantial weight easily and stay at the lower weight,
your set point must have decreased.
Flavor-calorie associative learning is very important. Foods with a
high-calorie / intense flavor profile raise the set point. Fast-food
products and packaged "ready to eat" snack foods are classic examples
of high calorie / intense flavor foods. They are also devoid of genuine
nutrition, which will increase your hunger intensely between meals.
Fast Food is a perfect recipe for raising your set point through the
roof. (Fast food is, simply put, bad for you.)
The following changes have been
observed as being effective at lowering the set-point:
From the above tried-and-true list, it is easy to
see why there are only three discrete methods of weight loss that enjoy
any long-term success: falling in love with exercise (#1, above); a
paradigm shift in ethical / moral / health ideas about diet which
result in a change to vegan / macrobiotic foods (#s 4, 5, 6); and
Weight Watchers (#s 2, 3, 4, 5.) Aside from #1, there are virtually no
long-term weight loss using only one factor. As people age, #1 drops
off, and rapid weight gain can be dramatic.
- Consistent prolonged exercise,
- Careful attention to eating a
- Reducing portion size / eating only
no longer hungry (instead of eating to stuffed satiation.)
- Eating less-processed food.
- Eating bland food.
- Reducing the variety of foods at each
- Drinking large amounts of
Clearly, any weight-loss program with a chance of success -- and a wish
for good health -- will include #s 1 & 2.
Unless factor #3 is taken into account, no method will work: you can't
eat until your belly is nigh unto bursting every single time you sit
down at a table and expect to lose weight. The macrobiotic approach
seems to short-circuit the problem by giving you such bland,
low-variety foods that once you are no longer hungry, your appetite
basically says "why bother" and you naturally gravitate towards #3
without specifically working at it.
#6 is apparently a biggie: a wide variety of foods at one sitting tells
your body that you are food-wealthy, which triggers the signal to pack
on fat in times of plenty. Eating a
wide variety of foods at a sitting raises the set point.
Seth Roberts may have discovered
an additional method; using unflavored fructose water to lower
the set point. The fructose water raises blood sugar (thus reducing
feelings of hunger) but since it is bland, it does not have a high
calorie / intense flavor association, so drinking it lowers the set
point. The resultant decrease in overall calorie consumption is not
perceived as deprivation.
fructose water = weight loss (link to complete
visited Paris. The food was excellent. I wanted to eat three meals per
day but to my surprise and disappointment I had little appetite, even
though I felt fine and was walking a lot. I realized that the new
weight-control theory suggested an explanation: It had been hot and I
had drunk two or three sucrose-sweetened soft drinks each day, about
630 kJ (150 kcal) each. All of them had been new to me because they
were brands not available at home. The novelty meant that their flavors
were not yet associated with calories and therefore would not have
raised my set point. They had been sweet, of course, a familiar flavor
that presumably was associated with calories. But the sweetness was
effectively a weak flavor, an instance of bland food reducing the set
I tested this idea. I began drinking fructose-sweetened water in
addition to normal food. I used fructose alone because in rat
experiments it produces weaker flavor-calorie associations than sucrose
and because it has a much lower glycemic index (23) than sucrose (65).
I made the fructose water by mixing crystalline fructose and filtered
tap water, so that no flavor/calorie associations would form aside from
calorie signal generated by the fructose from becoming associated with
the rest of my diet, I never drank the fructose water at meals or
within an hour of meals. After experimentation, I settled on 90 ml
fructose (3 fluid ounces), in 1 l water, about 1,040 kJ (250 kcal).
between meals was zero or close to it. Eating seemed optional but
plainly it was unwise to eat nothing so I ate about one small meal per
day (in addition to the sugar water). After I started eating I
developed some appetite and it was easy to continue, but not hard to
stop. I tried to get adequate amounts of protein, fat, and calcium, and
I took a multivitamin pill every day. I lost weight so easily that it
seemed I could end up at whatever weight I chose.
weight, about 12 kg (26 lb) below my initial weight, I ate much less to
stay there than I had eaten to stay at my initial weight. Before losing
weight, I had eaten about 11 MJ (2600 kcal) per day, two large meals.
Afterward, I ate about 5 MJ (1200 kcal) per day, one normal-sized meal
plus two pieces of fruit and the fructose. (My daily activity, which
never changed, included 30 minutes of aerobic exercise plus about 2
hours of walking.)
intake, I noticed two desires I had not noticed before: a desire for
taste, which could be satisfied with calorie-free tea, and a desire for
crunchy food, which could be satisfied with crackers, carrots, popcorn,
and apples. I had no difficulty staying at the lower weight.
it appeared I would never regain the lost weight... There is no
precedent for losing so much weight so easily.
calorie / intense flavor" set point] theory suggests a broader
explanation for worldwide increase in obesity: the worldwide increase
in wealth. Wealth brings choice. When we are given a choice between two
otherwise similar foods, we prefer the one with the stronger
flavor-calorie association – the more fattening one. An increase in
wealth allows the purchase of foods with stronger flavor-calorie
associations [as well as a dramatically wider variety of foods.]
evolutionary argument for the theory, our body-fat regulatory system is
designed, like any good storage system, to make us fatter when food
becomes cheaper. The worldwide increase in obesity indicates it is
Roberts, University of California, Berkeley