How to Get the Weight Loss Benefits of Ephedra Without the Risks

How to Get the Weight Loss Benefits of Ephedra Without the Risks
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The diving reflex shows that it’s possible to have selective adrenal hormone effects.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Thermogenic drugs like DNP can cause people to overheat to death; they can increase resting metabolic rates by 300 percent or more. A more physiological spread would range about 10 times less, from a 30 percent slower metabolism in people with an underactive thyroid to a 30 percent higher metabolism when the part of our nervous system that controls our fight-or-flight response is activated. In response to a fright or acute stress, special nerves release a chemical called noradrenaline to ready us for confrontation. You experience that by your skin getting paler, cold, and clammy as blood is diverted to your more vital organs. Your mouth can get dry as your digestive system is put on hold. Your heart starts to beat faster. What you don’t feel is the extra fat being burned to liberate energy for the fight. That why people started taking ephedra for weight loss.

Ephedra is an evergreen shrub used for thousands of years in China to treat asthma, because it causes that same release of noradrenaline that offers relief to asthmatics by dilating their airways. In the United States, it was appropriated for use as a metabolic stimulant––shown to result in about two pounds of weight loss a month in 19 placebo-controlled trials. By the late 1990s, millions of Americans were taking it. The problem is that it had all the other noradrenaline effects like increasing heart rate and blood pressure; and so, chronic use resulted in strokes, heart arrhythmias, and death. The FDA warned the public of the risks in 1994, but it wasn’t banned until a decade later after a Major League pitcher dropped dead.

In the current Wild West of dietary supplement regulation, a supplement can be marketed without any safety data at all, and the manufacturer is under no obligation to disclose adverse effects that may arise. No surprise, then, that online venders assured absolute safety: “No negative side effects,” “100 percent safe for long-term use.” The president of Metabolife International, a leading seller of ephedra, assured the FDA that the company had never received a single “notice from a consumer that any serious adverse health event has occurred….” In reality, they received 13,000 health complaints, including reports of serious injuries, hospitalizations, and deaths.

If only there was a way to get the benefits of ephedra without the risks. There is, but to understand it, first you have to grasp a remarkable biological phenomenon known as the diving reflex.

Imagine yourself walking across a frozen lake and suddenly falling through the ice, plunging into the icy depths. It’s hard to think of a greater instant fight-or-flight shock than that. Indeed, noradrenaline would be released, causing the blood vessels in your arms and legs to constrict to bring blood back to your core. You can imagine how fast your heart might start racing, but that would actually be counterproductive because you’d use up your oxygen faster. Remarkably, what happens instead is your heart rate actually slows down. That’s the diving reflex, first described in the 1700s. Air-breathing animals are born with this automatic safety feature to help keep us from drowning.

In medicine, we can exploit this physiological quirk with what’s called a “cold face test.” To test to see if a comatose patient has intact neural pathways, you can apply cold compresses to their face to see if their heart immediately starts slowing down. Or more dramatically, it can be used to treat people who flip into an abnormally rapid heartbeat. Remember that episode of ER where Carter dunked the guy’s face into a tray of ice water? (It was on TV when I was in medical school, and a group of us would gather around and count how many times they violated “universal precautions.”)

Okay, but what does this have to do with weight loss? The problem with noradrenaline-releasing drugs like ephedra is the accompanying rise in heart rate and blood pressure. What the diving reflex shows is that it’s possible to experience selective noradrenaline effects, raising the possibility that there may be a way to get the metabolic boost without risking stroking out. Unbelievably, this intricate physiological feat may be accomplished by the simplest of acts—instead of drowning in water, simply drinking it. Wait, what? You can boost your metabolism drinking water? Buckle your safety belts; you are in for a wild ride, which we’ll continue next.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Video production by Glass Entertainment

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Thermogenic drugs like DNP can cause people to overheat to death; they can increase resting metabolic rates by 300 percent or more. A more physiological spread would range about 10 times less, from a 30 percent slower metabolism in people with an underactive thyroid to a 30 percent higher metabolism when the part of our nervous system that controls our fight-or-flight response is activated. In response to a fright or acute stress, special nerves release a chemical called noradrenaline to ready us for confrontation. You experience that by your skin getting paler, cold, and clammy as blood is diverted to your more vital organs. Your mouth can get dry as your digestive system is put on hold. Your heart starts to beat faster. What you don’t feel is the extra fat being burned to liberate energy for the fight. That why people started taking ephedra for weight loss.

Ephedra is an evergreen shrub used for thousands of years in China to treat asthma, because it causes that same release of noradrenaline that offers relief to asthmatics by dilating their airways. In the United States, it was appropriated for use as a metabolic stimulant––shown to result in about two pounds of weight loss a month in 19 placebo-controlled trials. By the late 1990s, millions of Americans were taking it. The problem is that it had all the other noradrenaline effects like increasing heart rate and blood pressure; and so, chronic use resulted in strokes, heart arrhythmias, and death. The FDA warned the public of the risks in 1994, but it wasn’t banned until a decade later after a Major League pitcher dropped dead.

In the current Wild West of dietary supplement regulation, a supplement can be marketed without any safety data at all, and the manufacturer is under no obligation to disclose adverse effects that may arise. No surprise, then, that online venders assured absolute safety: “No negative side effects,” “100 percent safe for long-term use.” The president of Metabolife International, a leading seller of ephedra, assured the FDA that the company had never received a single “notice from a consumer that any serious adverse health event has occurred….” In reality, they received 13,000 health complaints, including reports of serious injuries, hospitalizations, and deaths.

If only there was a way to get the benefits of ephedra without the risks. There is, but to understand it, first you have to grasp a remarkable biological phenomenon known as the diving reflex.

Imagine yourself walking across a frozen lake and suddenly falling through the ice, plunging into the icy depths. It’s hard to think of a greater instant fight-or-flight shock than that. Indeed, noradrenaline would be released, causing the blood vessels in your arms and legs to constrict to bring blood back to your core. You can imagine how fast your heart might start racing, but that would actually be counterproductive because you’d use up your oxygen faster. Remarkably, what happens instead is your heart rate actually slows down. That’s the diving reflex, first described in the 1700s. Air-breathing animals are born with this automatic safety feature to help keep us from drowning.

In medicine, we can exploit this physiological quirk with what’s called a “cold face test.” To test to see if a comatose patient has intact neural pathways, you can apply cold compresses to their face to see if their heart immediately starts slowing down. Or more dramatically, it can be used to treat people who flip into an abnormally rapid heartbeat. Remember that episode of ER where Carter dunked the guy’s face into a tray of ice water? (It was on TV when I was in medical school, and a group of us would gather around and count how many times they violated “universal precautions.”)

Okay, but what does this have to do with weight loss? The problem with noradrenaline-releasing drugs like ephedra is the accompanying rise in heart rate and blood pressure. What the diving reflex shows is that it’s possible to experience selective noradrenaline effects, raising the possibility that there may be a way to get the metabolic boost without risking stroking out. Unbelievably, this intricate physiological feat may be accomplished by the simplest of acts—instead of drowning in water, simply drinking it. Wait, what? You can boost your metabolism drinking water? Buckle your safety belts; you are in for a wild ride, which we’ll continue next.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Video production by Glass Entertainment

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

This is the first of a four-part video series. Stay tuned for:

If you missed it a few weeks ago, check out The Best Diet for Weight Loss & Disease Prevention

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

67 responses to “How to Get the Weight Loss Benefits of Ephedra Without the Risks

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  1. Dear Nutritionfacts Team, I have a question.
    I eat the exact same foods daily (mostly oatmeal, nuts, lentils and kale) but I hit 100% of all RDAs (except choline). Should I be worried about the lack of variety?
    Thank you! :)

    1. I find that eating the same things gives people what I call ‘pet kibble syndrome’. Pet Kibble syndrome happens to cats and dogs who may be getting the most great and balanced cat or dog food, but the same thing over and over and over and over after some time has many of the poor things not very into the food they are given eat. The second they get a chance to gobble something new they pounce, even if it is a lesser quality food simply because it is different.

      Plus there are over 20,000 species of edible plants in the world yet fewer than 20 species now provide 90% of our food. The average person only eats around 40 of them in their entire lifetime. Just think how many tastes and textures you may be missing that if you tried would be a permanent part of your life? Ever eat plantains, soursop, ube sweet potato (purple), bitter melon, Korean chili flakes (which are just the red part of the chili-no seeds so not as hot so floral flavors come through), I could go on and on. I encourage everyone to go shop at your local Asian, Indian, Latino, etc markets. There you will almost always find produce not sold in most US supermarkets that will change your world.

      1. Reality bites,

        I enjoy reading your descriptions of food. Passionate. Almost poetic at times.

        You appreciate the tastes and textures and colors and describe the subtleties of the flavor notes.

        You could go on and on is what you said and that is a beautiful passion for you.

        When you comment about those types of things, you show a side of your personality that is open and adventuresome and engaging.

        You spoke about being with people who were bullies about veganism and that is surprising to me in that you are introducing so many interesting and probably uncommon flavor palettes. Closer to what a chef would introduce. I would have thought they would be curious about so many of the foods that they wouldn’t even notice the vegan part.

      2. Rb, As Dr Greger and many other WFPB doctors have revealed, green leafies are a really healthy food for humans. I’ve often wondered just which leaves of plants and trees are safe to eat. I have a large maple tree in my back yard which has some nice big green leaves on it all summer. I did a search and found a website that discusses the edibility of different wild plants and they state that maple leaves are, indeed, edible. I haven’t eaten any yet, but am tempted to do so!

        https://www.ediblewildfood.com/blog/2019/04/edible-maple-leaves-deep-fried-and-delicious/

        Does anyone know if this website has accurate information?

        Also,:

        https://www.americanforests.org/magazine/article/edible-trees-foraging-food-forests/

        As an “out of the box” thinker, I’m wondering if we could also feed a lot of hungry, needy people with all the forests we have around! It may be just habit that prevents us from exploring new alternatives.

        1. Hi, Darwin! I’m floored–maple leaves–and I can see a sugar maple right outside my window. Thanks for bringing that up.
          Early in the pandemic, my family pondered what was safe to eat. We really wanted greens back in the spring and were afraid to get them from the store because the Internet said don’t use soap on them, just wash with water, etc. Consequently, we went out in our yard, (we have a large, unsprayed one,) and picked dandelion greens. We did this because I heard tales from my mother about families she knew that were excited(!) about the first appearance of dandelions in the spring. I washed the leaves and included some dandelion flowers and cooked, sliced beets (canned–from the store.) On top of these, I put a mixture of balsamic vinegar and tahini. We relished these salads for quite a while this past spring.

          1. Hi WFPBLiisa, Thanks for the reminder about the dandelions! That’s another one that I have been pondering. Your salad sounds delicious.

            I haven’t tried them yet, but a previous neighbor ate them all the time and raved about them as being “inexpensive” and healthy :-)

            1. Hi, again, We also have wild grapes around our property. We never have picked these because (1) they’re so small compared to commercial grapes, and (2) they have huge seeds in them compared to the amount of fruit. Late this fall I found a few grapes the birds/animals had not yet eaten, and I washed and ate them, spitting out the seeds. Because of our continuing reticence about eating food from the store, we have been living on dried and previously frozen fruit. The taste of the grapes, what little I got, was memorable and amazingly good–tart and sweet. I have lived here 30 years and never enjoyed these little treasures before. It took a pandemic to bring them to my attention. Because of the pandemic and the business shutdowns, I also enjoyed clean, fresh air like never before; I noticed it without anyone asking me about it.

              1. Liisa,

                I envy you your access to fresh grape leaves – you have a treasure, there.

                Stuffed grape leaves (“dolmas” / “dolmades” / “dolmadakia” / “yalanji” / “waraq enab”) being a favorite dish in Mediterranean / Middle Eastern – and other – cultures, as evidenced by their being in the menu in many languages.

                Vegetarian or no (often with lamb).

                I prefer dolmas served warm – some prefer cold.

                One always has a choice.

                A food processor is unnecessary – chef’s knife and wooden cutting board are fine. Note – Middle Eastern cuisine puts lotsa parsley to good use as food, not garnish – makes for a very “fresh” taste – I recommend “Italian” flat leaf parsley in this context over curly leaf parsley.

                Also “mint” – I prefer true fresh peppermint.

                Below is a fairly authentic version. You may see some similarities in the following presentation and Dr. Greger’s current presentation style.
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0JRjwUEq_E

                Harvesting fresh grape leaves off the vine:
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-I4m6rft5I

                The precise recipes vary with the culture and the household. I’m not big on ones including raisins. YMMV.

                You might see also:

                Vegetarian stuffed grape leaves
                https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=vegetarian+stuffed+grape+leaves

                Stuffed grape leaves:
                https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=stuffed+grape+leaves

                Bon appétit –

                Vivamus

                1. Hi, Vivamus!
                  I have wondered about the leaves–and we’ve had a lot of them. They’re nearly in the category of irritating since they grow up the sides of our house, at the base of our downspouts, and in our forsythia!
                  Somehow I wasn’t afraid to eat a few grapes but would think eating the leaves might not be a good idea since I had not had confirmation from anyone that that would be okay for our wild ones. I have had the commercial variety in restaurants and from the grocery store stuffed with rice.
                  Thank you for bringing this up. Now I’m wondering if the leaves are too tough at this time of year.

                    1. Vivamus, Cold–from a health food store deli. They originally had brown rice, olive oil and real lemon juice in them (Oasis brand) and subsequently they switched to sunflower oil and citric acid. What a difference in flavor! I don’t buy them since they changed their recipe.

        2. DG,
          I’ve also pondered on an infinite way to feed hungry people. However, this might insure a death sentence for more billions of people. We’ve already discussed the Green Revolution, a patch for the problem. Dr. Bornam, the chief agronomist of the movement, knew at the time that they were only feeding the beast and that the problem would continue to get bigger. Population growth moderates if enough wealth is introduced, but the western consumption model won’t export to the whole world. It would take resources from a few more planets to do that.
          Collapse may be inevitable and we may see this in our lifetimes. The life force is in our DNA. It needs new space to colonize. Earth has been a wonderful host. AI may be the form of intelligence that will take over from here. It cares little about radiation, pollution and food shortage.

          1. Dan, lost your thinking…how does pondering a way to feed hungry people ensure billions of a death sentence? (maybe you were following up some other thread?)

            Anyway feeding the planet isn’t so hard. Bugs too can be farmed and eaten. This would add to an “animal” protein substitute. I’m not sure many tests have been done, but I am assuming there is some historical precedence for the consumtion of bugs, but in general entomophagy may be an easy and sustainable way to feed millions, in addition to hot destroying crops for political and corporate interests.

            We actually already have plenty enough food to feed us without looking for Mars bars..

            The bug meals will take some getting used to admittedly.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insects_as_food#/media/File:Speiseinsekten_auf_deutschem_Streetfood-Markt.jpg

            1. JB,
              I guess I just woke up on the science fiction side of the bed this morning. Maybe the idea I was trying to get across is that our ecosphere is in collapse. Actually, I am also interested in cheap and abundant food. I’ve brought up the idea of eating dirt which some people do to clear toxins, obtain minerals, for cultural reasons and as a last resort when starving. I’ve also mentioned fungus, like mushrooms and nutritional yeast. The latter is a complete food when a few synthetic vitamins are added. Then there is starving. Millions of people subjected to austere living conditions have led much healthier lives than people living in abundance.

              1. Hmmm, Im not sure cholera, malaria, high infant mortality, and malnutrition count as healthier than heart disease, and diabetes after you coached soccer and vacationed in italy, but if you say so…

      3. I love this reply…shopping in ethnic markets does indeed introduce you to a wide new variety of fruits and vegetables! If you don’t know what something is or how to prepare something, ask. Most everyone I’ve talked to in any ethnic market is more than willing to help you out. There are sooo many delicious fruits and veggies around the world!

    2. Chaaron,

      There was a Blue Zone of poor people where all they could afford were beans, rice, and corn, and that is what they ate 3 meals per day and yet they had longevity.

      1. Agree. Variety is way overrated. Potatoes or sweet potatoes are a complete human food. An old NF video stated that around the turn of the (twentieth) century, Polish and Russian peasants diets consisted wholly of potatoes and brown bread. They worked very hard, under very harsh conditions yet were very healthy.

    3. As a nurse and one of the volunteers on this site, I’d cite the same NFO video Mr. Fumblefingers referenced indicating that you indeed should be concerned about lack of variety. So while you are eating admirable foods regularly, I’d ask you to consider why you aren’t eating more fruit, so important and other veggies? What barriers you perceive in getting a little more variety into your meals and snacks? If it’s convenience (It’s easier to just you buy/prepare the same things week after week, could you challenge yourself to perhaps pick up some blueberries to add to that oatmeal, and instead of always lentils branch out and buy other kinds of legumes, like beans one week, peas the next. And of course there’s all sorts of greens you could pick up – each change bringing the variety of phytonutrients that is so needed (although not spelled out in RDAs). Since you ae smart enough to eat such healthy foods, I think you’ll be up to the challenge of figuring out how to get more variety in. Of course you don’t need to give up your favorites, just make a few additions and changes. It’s especially important to get that fruit in. Check out this video to help motivate you:https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/11/15/we-have-specific-fruit-and-vegetable-receptors/ Best wishes as you get more variety in your meals,

    4. Chaaron, Variety is the spice of life. And that variety gives your body a larger variety of antioxidants both known and unknown. Those different antioxidants may protect your body in different ways and may act synergistically with the daily foods you already eat (i.e. turmeric and black pepper) . RDAs are current knowns, which may change with further study. But it’s the unknowns in nutrition which brings most of us to this site. Have you tried incorporating Dr. Greger’s daily dozen into your diet? And as the NF-nurse says fruit is needed, berries are especially good for you; try putting some in your oatmeal. If you’ve been visiting this site for awhile, Dr. Greger emphasizes eating as many antioxidants as you can. If you make changes, note how you feel after a few weeks. 10 years ago I made drastic changes to my diet; 2 to3 weeks into my new diet, I woke up one morning and realized I didn’t hurt…I didn’t wake up with the body aches I was used to having in the morning.
      Shalom

    5. “I eat the exact same foods daily (mostly oatmeal, nuts, lentils and kale) but I hit 100% of all RDAs (except choline). Should I be worried about the lack of variety?”

      Chaaron,

      You raise a key question.

      The answer to your question is – the answer is unclear.

      If I may . . .

      On the one hand – you have those who come down on the side of variety. They make their case well – and their case is sound.

      On the other hand – the traditional Okinawan diet – and the traditional Okinawans have been amongst the longest lived peoples on the planet – is relatively limited in variety. By memory: ~60% purple sweet potato by calories.

      No flaxseed. No tumeric.

      Just real food. Primarily local.

      And they do very, very well for themselves, thank you.

      —————————————-

      My own take on the matter of dietary variety is as follows:

      (1) If you are going to follow a limited diet pathway – it should probably be one that has been already vetted for you by a traditional long lived culture. If it has been proven efficacious over hundreds or thousands of years by a whole population – growing, reproducing, fighting, dying – it is probably a very sound bet for you.

      But an unvetted limited diet which we invent for ourselves based on this year’s science is probably going to have something inadvertently missing. Hitting “100% of all RDAs” is unlikely to actually cover you completely – as you will discover with next week’s science. “Oops – we didn’t know then what we know now . . . ”

      When an experiment fails, one is consoled by one’s Professor with the old “don’t feel bad – 90% of even well-thought out experiments fail. That is what being on the cutting edge is all about. Next step to being a scientist – is that you try again.”

      Or the old rocket science cartoon with the crashed rocket: “Back to the drawing board!”

      Well – by inventing your own personal experimental diet – you are creating your own experiment.

      ~90% of which fail.

      The odds, simply, are not balanced in your favor.

      And you will only find this out over time.

      —————————————————

      When I looked at the Okinawan diet, well – even a daily sweet potato was a bit too sweet for me, and I had to abandon the idea of following it precisely. I did take away what lessons I could – and have tried to apply them as I can to my own lifestyle.

      Applied Science is, of course, Imperfect Science.

      If you are going to go the experimental limited diet route – you have chosen reasonably well. From memory – which is likely flawed – in the Consumer Reports exclusive cereal nutrition study circa 1976 or so, the oats cereals kept the rats alive the healthiest over time in better condition than the Total and Product 19 and the granola and rice and wheat cereal groups. Oats also beat out other grains for anti-oxidants and for keeping fresh over time without going rancid. Oats appear to be an excellent choice.

      Nuts are a gofine choice for dietary fats. And all sorts of nutrients – known and likely unknown.

      Lentils give much. No need to reiterate, here.

      Kale combines both green leafies and cruciferous vegetables in one food. Covering two bases at once. Apparently, a excellent choice.

      So if you are forced – perhaps by a wicked witch – to live in tower with no stairway and to limit yourself to just four foods – and you are intent on growing out your hair – these seem as good a choice of four foods as any that one might make.

      The question is – why go with four choices?

      Why not three? Two? One?

      Five? Six? Ten?

      Or as many as the trees in the forest?

      (2) Knowing what I know, I have chosen the variety route, instead.

      Lessee – a food diary from last year when I was keeping track of such things gives – nope – can’t find it – I cleaned the place up a little while ago, and now everything interesting is in hiding – but I do recollect a typical 11 or so fruits and vegetables on a typical day – plus different whole grains, seeds and beans – plus oysters or Alaskan pink salmon twice a week. Plus a daily sniglet of chocolate.

      Why all the variety?

      Well – why in the world not?

      It keeps me entertained. Covers all bases. Helps with weight control. Keeps the microbiome fat and happy. Nutritional synergism.

      And – mainly – well – I tried – Lord knows, I tried – but I’m just not that big a fan of Okinawan purple sweet potatoes.

      ————————————-

      Most important foods in my book are the veggies: Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, alliums, nightshades. Vegetable roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit. Colors.

      Next come fruit in all their glory.

      Next – the legumes. All sorts of legumes. There are more legumes than you can shake a stick at. Why not try them all before you die? Then you will have things to talk about to all the other legumes should you ever be reincarnated as one – always an important consideration. Keeps me up at night, just thinking about it.

      Then the whole grains. Oat groats, millet, hulled barley (when I can get it), whole wheat bread. This year’s discoveries: Ezekiel bread and Wasa Rye crisps! Who knows what the future might unfold?

      Chaaron.

      Do as you feel best –

      Vivamus

    6. So even Dr. Gregor, an obvious plant based supporter, would say you still are deficient or at risk.

      Current supplement advice includes:

      B12
      Fish Oil
      Vitamin D
      Possibly Creatine

  2. Considering how many obese people I know who drink water all day, I seriously doubt water is a magic weight loss solution.

    Ephedra was fine when it was sold for nasal congestion and asthma. That is what the Chinese use it for and it requires a much lower dosage than the amounts weight loss supplements were using.

    And all of those ‘thermogenic’ weight loss supplements were based on research using caffeine-ephedrine-aspirin which allegedly activated brown adipose tissue to burn body fat….while the person is tweeking out all day as a side effect.

      1. Marilyn Kaye,

        What an interesting concept, that discomfort is required for health.

        After switching to eating whole plant foods (from vegetarian), my husband and I both lost weight without even trying — even though we were already at healthy weights (“normal BMIs”). We now weigh about what we did in high school — and no, we were not overweight then, and nor are we now. And this happened without increasing our activity levels, and without shivering. And we eat as much as we want, till we feel full.

        Also, we had each previously lost weight (yes, we were overweight), by making healthier choices and practicing portion control. In fact, I had begun an exercise program a year before I changed my eating habits, and after one year, I was a lot more fit, but hadn’t lost any weight. Once I changed what and how much I ate, I lost weight (about 25 lbs over about 18 mos). I did continue to exercise.

        1. Dr. J –
          In a previous discussion you were lamenting (just a bit:-) about wishing for quick, easy, healthy WFPB meals. I have one quick recipe to share. My new favorite breakfast is a previously baked gold potato covered in canned creamed style corn, warmed in microwave. Two ingredients, 5 minutes. I have been eating this for breakfast and it is yummy, filling, and sticks with me. I also eat this for any other meal and change ingredients: nutritional yeast, salt & pepper, various spices, cilantro, hot sauce, BBQ sauce……..limited only by your imagination. Eat this with a big salad on the side for dinner . . .what more could you want? Talk about comfort food! :-)

          1. Ruth,
            Microwaved, cut-up potatoes & onions is my second breakfast; the first being oatmeal and fruit. I need a lot of food to keep me going. I forgot to take peanuts to work this morning so I raided my lunchbox for a banana, mixed fruit and bread. On top the potatoes & onions I will add nutritional yeast, turmeric, pepper, oregano, mustard, maybe more.

        2. Marilyn the weight loss, in spite of exercise, is interesting to me. I have found that I’d been losing weight on WFD, but then leveled off, even gained a few pounds (3-5) when I went back to my regular strength training. My body looks fitter and more defined, but the weightless is stalled.

          I think you mentioned exercising AND losing weight, so I’m assuming you are doing only cardio based, and not much resistance training.

          Shed any light there? I like looking better, healthier, but would like to get down to a lower weight. (Apparent muscle is heavier, which may explain much of this, but am still curious to your experience)

          I may be eating too much protein I suppose….

          1. jazz, I do both cardio and resistance. I run, use a 25# kettlebell, other weights, some yoga. Hike at least 6 miles on the weekend. I like to mix it up. This time of year I have a lot of heavy outdoor work. Usually at least 1-2 hours a day. More on weekends. I walk whenever on the phone. Don’t sit much except to answer mail or read, no TV.

            Mostly follow Dr. Valter Longo’s diet. Do his 5 day fasts 3-4 x a year. Also intermittent fasting.
            I do count protein, and try to stay to about .8 x weight in kilograms.
            Spend time outside whether hot in the summer or cold in the winter. Our weather can be very variable. I live in a mountainous desert climate.

            1. Marilyn… Ok runner, that explains it.. resistance to me is 250lbs. lol. Highschool skinny is tough when doing resistance training, and I include swimming there too. This type of exercise just makes you more hungry. Dr Greger mentioned it once… its why I stopped for a while, but I feel way better working out.

              resistance upper body 2x/week
              resistance lower body 1x /week
              Intervalic cardio 3x per week.

              = hungry but feeling strong.

              Its a bit of a riddle. will need to see where it goes. I IF’d last week, even as I was doing the training, every day 10pm till 3pm next day. I gained weight.

              I had thought the dont eat after 7pm thing would be swayed by not eating at all till 3pm the next day, but who knows…

              1. jb, the idea is to eat early in the day, and not at night. 700 cal before 11am is what I believe NF support said. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-benefits-of-early-time-restricted-eating/
                I eat breakfast at 7 or 8am, and supper before 5 usually.
                Running/hiking, cycling, swimming can make you feel hungry but that’s because you are using up calories.
                Cold, hungry, tired,… just signals to me that I am running a calorie deficit ie losing weight.

      2. Shivering isn’t really an option where I live. The temperature seldom goes below 25C.

        Fidgeting may be an option though

        ‘Conclusions: There is marked variance between subjects in the energy expenditure associated with self-selected fidgeting-like activities. The thermogenic potential of fidgeting-like and low-grade activities is sufficiently great to substantively contribute to energy balance.’

        https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/72/6/1451/4729468

          1. Thanks JB but all my showers here are ‘cold’. However, the ambient water temperature is such that shivering is never a possibility, Ditto for pools..

            1. fumbs, got it. Do they make ice there? lol

              Next possibility is to go to an air conditioned mall, just before you enter, pour freezing ice water on yourself, and walk in and find a bench and cover yourself with big with a wet towel. C’mon thats gotta do it.

              1. JB

                Thanks again but I think I’ll stick with fidgeting.

                Your thinking processes are becoming as innovative and out-of-the-box as John Newell’s and Vivamus’. It may be time to start worrying.

    1. RB I guess you know many obese people and that they drink water all day. The idea that they drink water all day and they are still obese, going to: water doesn’t do the trick, is flawed.

      Ask all your obese friends to stop drinking water all day. Then see if they get sumu.

      ONLY then you will know if your impression is fact or just another unscientific observation. Even then it wouldn’t be terribly scientific, but likely closer to the mark in terms of starting a hypothesis etc…

  3. Another terrific video… I love the synthesis of many areas into a great story.
    I really liked his shining the light on “The Wild West of Dietary Supplement Recommendations” and the outright lying of companies to gov’t.
    The Fight or Flight response works great between species or for immediate threats like falling thru the ice. Within species it is Fight, Flight, Posture and Submit…. only a small number of a species can kill others in the same species… not much long term advantage to the species. Of course then there is “homo sapiens”… who with the invention of the “atlatl” and intra-group cooperation were able to spread around the planet…
    If interested in learning more about this hypothesis I recommend Professor Marean’s talk on coastal life and human evolution.
    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3nWjHPJqQE
    as my favorite Bizzaro cartoon.. the doctor talking to his patient, the world, on the exam table… “bad news is you have a severe case of the humans, the good news is they have about run their course and you will be feeling better soon”…..
    Keep tuned to NF.org as the science keeps coming…. hope everyone is doing well as the current Pandemic works it’s way through the population.

  4. If I’m in a warm shower and change it to cold, my heart rate speeds up significantly – especially if I have the cold water on my face (less if it’s on my back). According to the above, shouldn’t it slow down? am I broken?

    1. First let me assure you, Darcy, you are not broken! Most likely you are just another example of the variety of human responses to environmental stimuli. If you remember, one of the things that cause the heart to speed up is stress and that might be the explanation for your heart speeding up instead of slowing down when the temperature in your shower changes. it might be that your body is just more sensitive to the stress than the temperature change. The fact that you indicate that a temperature change on your back (presumably more shocking than on the face) does not cause a speeding heart rate would seem to give credence to this view. Just another example of how wonderfully individual our responses can be!

  5. Most people eat same thing for breakfast every day, cycle through a couple choices at lunch, rotate through about 8 different meals at dinner and order same choices at restaurants.

    1. Hmm, I routinely drink about 10 ounces of water on arising. Then make a 24 ounce pot of green tea, and drink that while checking mail.
      Then, time to work out in some way.
      Didn’t realize that it might be part of the reason people are always commenting on my fast metabolism.

      1. Marilyn,

        Today, I was meditating on the difference between knowledge, wisdom, and understanding in Proverbs and you have all of them. The concept of science being evidence that sometimes knowledge comes afterward is interesting to me.

        1. Knowledge and science = Chicken and egg.

          Knowledge and science compounded with experience may result in wisdom – if one is open to it.

          If the tides are fair and the wind is free.

          Our Proverbial Deb.

          All the best –

          Vivamus

    2. Hi, Frank! Great question. In a word, no. We do not advocate drinking more than 2 cups of water per hour. Chugging a liter of water all at once could be unsafe. You don’t need that much for a metabolic boost. In the Daily Dozen video, Dr. Greger lists a serving of water as 12 ounces. More on that here: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/dr-gregers-daily-dozen-checklist-2/ You can find everything on this site related to water here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/water/ I hope that helps!

        1. Ok if you have heart failure or kidney disease is all I found from Christine’s link regarding drinking excess water, but nothing about drinking a lot at one time.

          Share a link?

  6. 35 ounces is quite a bit of liquid to chug though, but I am certain this is normal – in beer – at certain keg parties in the US.

      1. Viv,
        My personal, anecdotal experience with running on a compromised (cartilage damaged) right knee is that “things are better.” But then, running really improves my mood also.

  7. My take on this video:

    –Ephedra (an evergreen shrub) increases metabolism (burning fat) but also increases BP and heart rate (can cause death).
    –The dive reflex can increase metabolism without increasing heart rate. This reflex can be activated by drinking water.
    –My personal observation: When I pressure wash a house my performance is extended allowing me to work more hours and to accomplish, with ease, a seemingly impossible amount of work in a day.

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