Submitted by Andrew_Ecstatic on
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Summary: Severely dieting while trying to avoid orgasms can give you the advantage of a low sex drive (i.e. less temptation to overcome.)

So I recently purchased--and devoured--Cupid's Poisoned Arrow, and I'm beginning my own experiment with abstaining from orgasms and masturbation (no partner.) At the same time, I am also experimenting with a severely calorie-restricted diet. I have very little work right now, so I have the luxury of allowing myself the subsequent drop in energy.

I actually started my diet almost two weeks ago, and the drop in my sex drive was immediate. Unfortunately, after a week (longer than I've done in years) I felt the uncomfortable itch of excess...it wasn't even general horniness. I finally succumbed to masturbation, not even enjoying it [sad face], and promptly resumed my old habits for 4-5 days.

Now that I've finished the book, I've started abstaining again AND keeping a detailed journal (e.g. of when I felt aroused and what triggered it.) I'm still on the extreme diet, so it should be easy again (although in my experience the first 2-5 days are the hardest...no pun intended.)

I'm really, really excited about this journey on which I've begun to embark, and I look forward to giving updates on my new energy and outlook after, say, two, three, or four weeks.

Details

What kind of diet are you using? How long did it take to get used (physically and from an energy standpoint) to a drastic caloric intake drop? I am asking as I would like to drop about 20 pounds and I think I need to just get used to not eating so much at meal times..... I work out twice a week, but have not lost as much weight as I would like.

I had the same thing happen to me when I stopped masturbating. Once I stopped masturbating while highly aroused (through porn), masturbation / orgasm became only a mechanical task. It never felt the same. It still does not. My orgasms are now flat. I look upon them as more trouble than they are worth. When the thought occasionally runs through my head to do it, I simply do not want to deal with the mess. Also, oddly so, I find my penis feels odd afterwards. Slight burning sensation. Must be that my urethra is not accustomed to the ph of the semen or something anymore. I also hate the sensation of the residual semen leaking out afterwards. I miss the old rush occasionally, but find orgasm to be highly overrated now. Overall, good riddance.

Neil, I'm not so strict

Neil,

I'm not so strict about *what* I eat so much as that I make sure I'm always hungry, or never fully satiated. My diet consists of things like kashi, shredded wheat, carrots, celery, controlled amounts of peanuts (1/4 cup at a time), apples, raisins, an occasional controlled glass of wine (I'll measure out 5oz in a measuring cup first.) But, again, they are very SMALL portions: like, one carrot and 1/4 cup peanuts, and nothing else for 4-6 hours; or ten shredded wheat squares and nothing else for 3-4 hours.

It didn't take me too long to get used to the diet, but again 1) I have few work/family obligations, so I can afford low productivity, and 2) I've gotten to a point in my life where "enough is enough"--giving into temptation just *feels* pointless and more depressing than rewarding; the time is ripe for drastic changes in my lifestyle.

In fact, I would say I took to the diet *instantly.* Now, don't get me wrong: I still have MAD cravings for meats and cheeses. However, when I think or read about them, I'm able to gently push my attention away.

I'm not actually overweight. This is an experiment both in discipline and in exploration of how extreme avoidance of excess will change me. Yes, there is some vanity involved: 8% body fat so I can (supposedly) see my abs is one goal. But the overall end is deeper than that.

I'm not sure I can recommend this process to you, as I don't feel that I've lost any more than 5 pounds in the last two weeks (metabolism drop?) and my exercise consists solely of running--no weightlifting. I don't have a scale, so it's impossible to monitor day-to-day progress. I would, however, encourage you to work out much more than twice a week, as your health and obligations permit.

As for the masturbation thing: in past times when I've been "out of it" for 4-5 days or more, the first session or two of "getting back into it" generally wouldn't be pleasant, but then the pleasure would return after that. And yes, I also would experience that burning sensation you're talking about. Maybe the old semen gets acidic? But right now that's pretty far from my mind...

I agree

I think you are correct on all counts. Always looking for the quick fix! Wink I am adding more aerobic activity into my workouts and am thinking of adding at least one day of that into my routine. That will need to be done outside the gym. Trying to psych myself up for that. I love to be outside, but I hate the extremes between summer and winter when attempting to get a good workout in.

Recently

Gary read some research about how sprinting and walking, alternated, are best for reaching your ideal weight. Marathoners don't lose much weight. Let me know if you can't find it.

Interesting. Could that be

Interesting. Could that be because the extreme contrasts of sprinting and walking jolt your metabolism, while "steady jogging" doesn't force it to change?

On a skeptical note: it seems there is so much contradictory information out there about exercise and diet plans that one could find evidence for nearly any theory or combination of theories by looking hard enough. Previously I had heard that running at a steady pace but for long times and distances was the best way to lose weight, although I did recently read an article by a trainer promoting the method you mention. Modern health science has made an utter skeptic and pragmatist of me.

That said, I am a firm believer in cross-training. I currently mix up my routine of steady running with reps of hill running followed by cool-down periods (perhaps similar to the sprinting thing.) We'll see how well this works now that I'm eating again. (Incidentally, my sex drive is back again, though I think I've developed the necessary habits of mind to overcome it.)

All those confusing exercise opinions

I know what you mean man, there are so many different opinions out there it can be crazy. I know some people like to think of bodybuilders as nasty-looking and crazy but there is a lot of wisdom behind what they say, as long as it isn't motivated as a sales pitch.

I suggest buying a copy of Arnold Schwarzeneggers Bodybuilding Encyclopedia, it has so much information on the history of bodybuilding/exercise, and so many exercises and training plans. Like Arnold says, each bodybuilder has a different approach, but there are proven methods. In pure weightlifting terms there are many different approachs. Low reps - high weight, medium reps medium weight, high reps - low weight, high-intensity/super sets (doing a set of something going right to another exercise), partial reps, negatives, working out with a partner where you each do a set and only rest while the other is lifting, and a whole lot of other techniques.

As for running, and exercise in general, your body WILL ADJUST IN 2 weeks! One of the biggest things most bodybuilding magazines/forums/books recommend now is constantly tricking your body, hit the muscles in new ways. Workout 6 days a week with 1 day of rest, then take a week off, come up with new exercises, always change your workouts, unless you are just starting out. This doesn't mean you don't have a core of exercises that you keep doing just that you change things up.

Weight lifters just starting out, the most important thing is consistency and building a foundation with power-exercises.

As for running, it is different, however, I think a good consensus is, 30 minutes of high-intensity cardio will give your heart and body a great workout, even if you the same thing for 6 months, you will be healthier, make sure you are getting your heart rate up. As for running, slowly build up endurance, if you want to increase speed work on improving your stride, get a personal trainer for advice here, the only way to actually increase your speed is running uphill and running with resistance, at least thats what I've read. I mean your overall speed, not the different between sprinting and jogging. High-intensity cardio can also involve sprinting for 2 minutes jogging/walking for 1 minute in intervals, you can burn a lot of calories this way. Swimming is a great aerobic and cross-training exercise, it burns more calories than anything else and gives the heart and muscles a workout, its just hard to do.

You can get a cardio workout through lifting weights. Though weight lifting is mostly aneorobic, it can be aerobic to an extent, if you go in there and bust your butt i gaurantee you will be struggling for breath and sweating like a monster.

One of the best ways to lose body fat is gaining muscle! Every one pound of muscle you have requires 100 calories a day to maintain. Gain 5 pounds of muscle and thats 500 calories you burn a day. Muscle also weighs more than fat.

If you are really wanting to hit the fat-cells hard, you need a low-card diet like South Beach/Atkins/whatever, eat a ton of vegetables and lean meats, and add in fruit in 2 weeks, also eat a lot of eggs/sausage, and even a little bacon if you want, lots of salads, 0-calorie dressings, low-sodium nuts, low-fat cheese/milk, check labels and look at fat percentage, abs are 90% diet, if you want to lose weight make sure the calories of fat to total fat calories is very low, 10% is nice. You should be able to eat AS MUCH as you want on a diet!

On a diet, instead of focusing on dieting, focus on eating the way our bodies are designs to eat, eat all day in very small meals, 5-6 meals a day, no eating 4-6 hours before bed-time, ALWAYS EAT A BIG BREAKFEAST, this gets the metabolism going, you have to overcome morning sickness.

If you want to target fat, do cardio first thing in the morning, you may burn a little muscle, but this will target fat, after 2 weeks of low/no carb your body will enter I think whats called Ketosis, where it has to create its own version of glucose/sugar, where it starts processing things correctly, here your body will start burning its own fat. It takes 2 weeks for your body and metabolism to correct itself, after 2 weeks you can add in fruits, and limited carbs, the goal is to keep out sugar until your body rebuilds its ability to process insulin/sugar.

After cardio in the morning you will need some carbohydrates, this is the best time to eat carbs, or for a snack between breakfeast/lunch or right after a workout. Make sure you do not eat an hour to half an hour before a workout, and half an hour after a workout, you can take post-workout supplements/drink a lot of water, and have a protein shake, but give you muscles some time to recover. Your muscles need to rebuild glycogen cells after a workout so this is also another time to have some carbs. It also depends on your body type, ectomorphs (tall, skinny, cant gain any weight, especially muscle) should eat a lot and can eat carbohydrates as long as they keep a balanced and healthy diet, mesopmorphs (low body fat but gain muscle easily) can eat a lot of carbs to but can gain fat if they eat too many, endomorphs (high body fat but can gain muscle) need to watch the fat/carb intake.

Have a cheat-day where you eat whatever you want one day. Set an average calorie intact but not a constant calorie intake or you metabolism will adjust, one day take in 2000 calories and another 3000.

It is very hard to gain muscle and lose fat unelss you are just starting out. The whole idea of bulking up and gaining a lot of fat is self-defeating because when you try to cut fat you will lose some muscle. I say target the fat and get it down as you gain some muscle, then concentrate on maintaining a diet where you take in 100-200 calories more than what you need so you slowly gain weight preferably in the form of muscle.

Can You Get Fit in Six Minutes a Week?

Hi - I think this relates to the above discussion.

June 24, 2009, 12:26 pm
Can You Get Fit in Six Minutes a Week?
By Gretchen Reynolds
NEW YORK TIMES

A few years ago, researchers at the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Japan put rats through a series of swim tests with surprising results. They had one group of rodents paddle in a small pool for six hours, this long workout broken into two sessions of three hours each. A second group of rats were made to stroke furiously through short, intense bouts of swimming, while carrying ballast to increase their workload. After 20 seconds, the weighted rats were scooped out of the water and allowed to rest for 10 seconds, before being placed back in the pool for another 20 seconds of exertion. The scientists had the rats repeat these brief, strenuous swims 14 times, for a total of about four-and-a-half minutes of swimming. Afterward, the researchers tested each rat’s muscle fibers and found that, as expected, the rats that had gone for the six-hour swim showed preliminary molecular changes that would increase endurance. But the second rodent group, which exercised for less than five minutes also showed the same molecular changes.

The potency of interval training is nothing new. Many athletes have been straining through interval sessions once or twice a week along with their regular workout for years. But what researchers have been looking at recently is whether humans, like that second group of rats, can increase endurance with only a few minutes of strenuous exercise, instead of hours? Could it be that most of us are spending more time than we need to trying to get fit?

The answer, a growing number of these sports scientists believe, may be yes.

“There was a time when the scientific literature suggested that the only way to achieve endurance was through endurance-type activities,” such as long runs or bike rides or, perhaps, six-hour swims, says Martin Gibala, PhD, chairman of the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. But ongoing research from Gibala’s lab is turning that idea on its head. In one of the group’s recent studies, Gibala and his colleagues had a group of college students, who were healthy but not athletes, ride a stationary bike at a sustainable pace for between 90 and 120 minutes. Another set of students grunted through a series of short, strenuous intervals: 20 to 30 seconds of cycling at the highest intensity the riders could stand. After resting for four minutes, the students pedaled hard again for another 20 to 30 seconds, repeating the cycle four to six times (depending on how much each person could stand), “for a total of two to three minutes of very intense exercise per training session,” Gibala says.

Each of the two groups exercised three times a week. After two weeks, both groups showed almost identical increases in their endurance (as measured in a stationary bicycle time trial), even though the one group had exercised for six to nine minutes per week, and the other about five hours. Additionally, molecular changes that signal increased fitness were evident equally in both groups. “The number and size of the mitochondria within the muscles” of the students had increased significantly, Gibala says, a change that, before this work, had been associated almost exclusively with prolonged endurance training. Since mitochondria enable muscle cells to use oxygen to create energy, “changes in the volume of the mitochondria can have a big impact on endurance performance.” In other words, six minutes or so a week of hard exercise (plus the time spent warming up, cooling down, and resting between the bouts of intense work) had proven to be as good as multiple hours of working out for achieving fitness. The short, intense workouts aided in weight loss, too, although Gibala hadn’t been studying that effect. “The rate of energy expenditure remains higher longer into recovery” after brief, high-intensity exercise than after longer, easier workouts, Gibala says. Other researchers have found that similar, intense, brief sessions of exercise improve cardiac health, even among people with heart disease.

There’s a catch, though. Those six minutes, if they’re to be effective, must hurt. “We describe it as an ‘all-out’ effort,” Gibala says. You’ll be straying “well out of your comfort zone.” That level of discomfort makes some activities better-suited to intense training than others. “We haven’t studied runners,” Gibala says. The pounding involved in repeated sprinting could lead to injuries, depending on a runner’s experience and stride mechanics. But cycling and swimming work well. “I’m a terrible swimmer,” Gibala says, “so every session for me is intense, just because my technique is so awful.”
Meanwhile, his lab is studying whether people could telescope their workouts into even less time. Could a single, two- to three-minute bout of intense exercise confer the same endurance and health benefits as those six minutes of multiple intervals? Gibala is hopeful. “I’m 41, with two young children,” he says. “I don’t have time to go out and exercise for hours.” The results should be available this fall.

The Phys Ed column will appear here in Well every Wednesday and also in print once a month, in the Sunday magazine. In it, Gretchen Reynolds, who is working on a book about the frontiers of fitness, will write about what the latest science can tell us about how to make ourselves stronger, more flexible, less prone to pain and generally fitter and healthier. We want to hear what you think, so stay tuned and offer your comments and questions.

Thank you for posting this.

Thank you for posting this. After reading the section of CPA that discusses the effects of cortisol, I've come to the conclusion that I've probably been living on a steady stream of the "stress hormone" for about, mmm, say, 28 years or so. I know that there are still lifestyle changes I could make that would create better health, and I'm working on that slowly, but I've come to realize that probably the best possible thing I could add to my "diet" is regular meditation, hot baths, and anything else that aids in relaxation - something I apparently never learned how to do! I feel confident, also, that relaxation techniques leading to less cortisol might also be the key to creating a stronger immune system, and healing my body of some annoying chronic illnesses.

I have been turned off to the idea that weight loss only occurs when you eat less and workout more, because I know that in my life weight loss occurs most often when I am HAPPY and FEELING GOOD. It is just a natural occurrence. So, I'm sure the interval training method works great, but I kinda like my 45 minute power walks, too, because they really lift my mood. I guess it just depends on what works best for the individual and their personal goals.