How to Dex+ Hack

The Rules:

Mandatory:

  1. Match every four grams of sugar* with 1 gram of fiber.**
  2. Don't eat artificial sweeteners.
  3. Drink plenty of water; don't go around thirsty.

Enhancements, for the win:

  1. Burn more energy with Thermogenex (adds 7 minutes to your shower every day).
  2. Work towards matching every 100 calories with 1.5 grams of fiber per US Dietary Guidelines pg 41. (If this is less than the amount needed to balance the sugar, go with the higher number. Approach this level slowly to avoid "digestive discomfort".)
*This assumes that the sugar is 50% fructose, which is typical. The goal is actually 1 g fiber per two grams fructose. Find where the fructose hides, on the sugar page. Most "natural" and "unprocessed" sweeteners still have fructose.

**Fiber must be consumed at the same time as the fructose and calories in order to achieve desired results. When supplementing, soluble fiber is preferable. 

Do this, and it's really really hard to eat too much, plus gain an extra fat-burning boost. Some people are capable of simply increasing fiber, cutting out all the sugar and reducing their food intake through force of will, and can loose weight much faster. The rest of us like our comfort foods too much to do that, and so need to dex+ our foods. We will become healthier too, and simply loose weight at a slower rate.

Dex+ hack in practice:

First Step:

  • Avoid all sweet drinks, even the "zero calorie" kind, and even fruit juice. Replace them with Dex+ drinks, water, milk, tea, coffee, etc.

At a restaurant:

  • Avoid foods like honey chicken, and meats glazed with bbq sauce. These are basically "candied" food.
  • Think about how sweet the food tastes. If it tastes like sugar was added, try to eat less of it, favoring other things instead. 
  • Mix Benefiber Sticks into drinks for meals that are low in fiber or may contain fructose. Perhaps bring along some Dex+ sugar to mix into your tea.

Store-bought food:

The "best practice" is to fiber-balance each food independently, rather than relying on a fiber-enriched drink or other food to make up the difference. Fiber cannot be reasonably added to a food that cannot be stirred, such as a muffin. If this kind of food is short on fiber, put it back.

The Hack:
Example: baked beans. 
  1. Check the ingredient list: 
    1. If there are artificial sweeteners, put it back.
    2. If there are fructose carriers, put it back and look for a brand that doesn't have any, if possible. Note that "corn syrup" actually does not contain fructose; only the kind called "high fructose" does. Agave and honey, while considered "less processed", are loaded with fructose.
    Baked Bean example: Fructose balance
    • Baked Beans example: Looking at the label reveals, per serving:
      •     Dietary Fiber = 5g
      •     Sugars = 16 g
      •     Calories = 160
      •     Ingredients include brown sugar and sugar.
    • First assessment of Baked Beans: This has brown sugar as an ingredient, which is undesirable. However, it also has a significant amount of fiber. Also, fiber can be stirred into the beans fairly easily. Look for the variety with the least grams of sugar.
  2. Balance the fructose: 1 g fiber for every 2 g fructose.   
    1. Assume that "sugar" listed on a nutrition label is half fructose.
    2. Multiply the fiber grams by four.
      1. If this is greater than the grams of sugar, then it is already "fructose balanced". This is an ok food to eat.
      2. If the sugar exceeds four times the fiber, there are two questions:
        • Is the difference more than 12? If it is, put it back. 
        • Can fiber be stirred into the food? If not, put it back.
        • If it passes #1 and #2, get it. Make sure to add enough fiber PER SERVING to achieve the balance, 1 g fiber per 4 g sugar.
    • Baked beans example:
    • Baked Bean example: Calorie balance
      • 5 g fiber x 4 = 20
      • 20 > 16 g sugar
      • The fructose is already balanced.
  3. Balance the calories, 1 1/2 g fiber per every 100 calories. (Optional, but very beneficial. At least look and see how close it is.)
    1. Round the calories up to the nearest 100, and divide by 100. 
    2. Multiply this by 1 1/2.
    3. If the number is less than or equal to grams of fiber, the calories are balanced. If not, consider adding fiber into the food, or eat/drink some fiber-rich foods with the item.
    • Baked beans example:
      • 160 calories rounds up to 200. 
      • 1 1/2 g fiber per 100 calories -> 
      • Need 2 x 1 1/2 = 3 g fiber
      • 5 g in beans > 3 g
      • The calories are also balanced.
The beans are good as-is. Get extra credit for balancing fructose with soluble fiber. Soluble has the more significant benefits for Dex+ purposes, so is preferred.

    More tips:

    It's important to eat fiber, even in a zero-fructose diet.

    Dex+ your favorite foods; this is not a food-denial program. I can attempt to Dex+ a recipe for you, if there's something you really want. Just ask! :)

    Eat a good breakfast. Eggs, toast, ham; it's all good! Add some Dex+ cinnamon, maybe Dex+ some jam. Once adjusted to Dex+, a good breakfast can last until early afternoon, eliminating the desire to snack.

    Keep plenty of good savory snacks around, like toasted nuts, goldfish crackers, and popcorn. Many savory foods will begin to taste sweeter after the first week or two of eating Dex+ hacked food.

    Also have some good sweet snacks available; smarties and sweet tarts have no fructose. Fruit is generally good. Check out the fruit to fiber ratios; best to avoid the grapes. Use fructose-free corn syrup, Sugar Dex+, and Simple Syrup Dex+ to replace sugar in coffee, tea, and other foods. Have a jar of Chocolate Syrup Dex+ ready for chocolate milk and mocha.

    Check the grocery. We've found Emerald cinnamon almonds and Quaker chewy less-sugar granola bars are good.

    cinnamon almonds
    Drink water when thirsty. Serve Dex+ drinks to savor, but don't expect them to be thirst-quenching.

    Strategize. Ask the kids what sweet things they are eating at school. Ask what they would eat instead, and send them to school with Dex+ hacked snacks and lunches. Make sure they eat a filling breakfast.

    Keep tabs on health stats. Use a scale and blood pressure cuff, and record the measurements. Even better, get one that records automatically, like the Withings cuff, and Withings scale, or the really fancy model that has more features. Keeping records is helpful in the long run, no matter the current readings. Weight loss may be very gradual, around 1/2 to 3/4 lb per week. Take the long view, as daily fluctuation may vary by more than that, masking progress. Consider, though, that reducing fructose leads to a healthier body, and that weight loss is actually a side effect, and the rate may vary.
    Brezeln: always was Dex+

    Create a Dex+ hacked recipe

    Hack your food! This is a low fructose dessert.
    I anticipate going into more detail about the process I use to create a Dex+ recipe.  Here's what I do, in a nutshell:

    • Try to replace 4/5ths of the sucrose with glucose-based sugars, keeping the overall number of sugar grams the same. This ratio tastes to me about the same as sugar alone. 
    • Choose the replacement sugar based on how the water content affects the recipe. For example, a cookie recipe is much more sensitive to water content than a frozen yogurt recipe. Adding a lot of syrup to a cookie recipe may not produce a cookie at all, while the yogurt is just fine. 
    • Check that there is one gram of soluble fiber for every two grams of fructose still in the recipe. Do consider the fiber already in the other ingredients. For example, beans and unsweetened chocolate a lot of natural fiber. However, blueberries bring fiber and fructose; don't count either, as they already balance.


    What's the thinking behind this?

    I've taken control of fructose in my life. I'm not willing to give up all the wonderful sweet foods that I love just because they contain too much fructose. Instead, I've become a food hacker, and Dex+ is the tag I'm putting on my hacked recipes. In a Dex+ recipe, the sugars are mostly dextrose. The "+" is for the fructose that I've left in to give that "high sweet" boost, and the soluble fiber that is included to balance.

    Why fiber? Dr Lustig, in his video Sugar: The Bitter Truth, suggests that fruit is still fine to eat, despite containing fructose. This is because the soluble fiber in the fruit slows down uptake of the fructose. This is the basis of the Dex+ hack: add soluble fiber to compensate for fructose in foods. I compared the fructose-to-fiber ratio of a list of fruits, and found that blueberries were about average, 1 gram fiber to every 2 grams fructose. Dex+ recipes are designed to have that ratio. If food labels listed grams of fructose and grams of soluble fiber, Dex+ hacking would be pretty straight forward.

    You're not a nutritionist, why should I consider this?

    I've tested this scheme myself for >12 months. As long as my sugars are Dex+ hacked, I eat what I want without calorie counting, cutting fats, or cutting carbs. After the first few weeks of adjusting, I now find that food is more satisfying; I don't wish I could eat more, and I feel full, while actually eating less. My health has improved: my weight, blood pressure and cholesterol are all lower. I have more energy, and don't get sleepy in the afternoons.

    My Year of Dex+, as recorded on my scales. Dark lines are every ten pounds, light lines are every two. Might need to click the picture to see better. The "average" line diverges from the data points when I started Thermogenex showers. I guess the graph software can't believe my rate of weight loss is real, lol.

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