I am a real fan of Stephan Guyenet and Chris Kresser, but try as I might, I am struggling with the idea that a low-reward diet "reduces the fat set point."
Now, I have no problems with the idea that a low-reward diet results in weight loss. And it's possible that my concern is mostly a quibble or semantics (which I've raised over at Stephan's blog).
But I just finished watching Mat Lalonde's day-long Science of Nutrition seminar from the Optimum Performance Training folks and at the very end in the Q&A there's a very interesting exchange that was a bit of an "a ha" for me (10:15):
Participant: When they are done [eating clean] a couple of months of that ...
Lalonde: They will naturally start to eat less. As the whole leptin sensitivity improves, that's one of the biggest things. They will feel, their brain will start detecting the fat mass, and they're gonna start burning that fat for fuel and they're going to be a lot less hungry.
There are extreme examples of people who are really overweight where you start to fix the leptin sensitivity by giving them really tasteless food but that provides everything that they need without messing them up and their caloric intake goes down to like 200 calories a day because they've got so much fat mass to burn, the body's just like "alright, I see it now, I know what's going on, we're going to start getting rid of this stuff, let's go."
So there's some pretty extreme examples of that. Now as they get leaner and leaner, they have to eat more and more. But initially, the caloric intake can be really low.
Participant: That's because they don't need to eat that much anymore, because they have so much storage in the body?
Lalonde: Exactly. Because the body starts to detect the fat stores that are there and starts to clean house. So they'll naturally start eating less.
Maybe it's me, but the idea that the body starts to receive the signals about the fat mass resonates with more more than the idea that there's a "set point." And the "a ha" I had while listening to Lalonde today was the idea that diets that reduce inflammation are what allow the leptin signalling to start registering loud and clear.
I've not done Dr. Kruse's leptin reset, but by following my version of the PHD, I have experienced his "Your hunger is gone and so are your cravings" and been able to drop a whole boatload of weight.
So what about it PHers? Am I the only one who has issues with the fat setpoint? I know it's essentially a metaphor, but there's something about it that just doesn't resonate with me.
And what about inflammation? Anyone else suspect that that's the real issue? It would explain why all sorts of diets work ... they remove inflammatory foods and allow the hypothalamus to do what it's supposed to do.