Ancel Keys and The Biology of Human Starvation

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What a read. It’s finally over. Returned to the local library and being sent back from whence it came.

As most of you know, I’ve been working hard to get through this 2-volume, 1300 page opus peering into the physiological aspects of human starvation. I did so for two primary reasons:

The first reason is that during starvation the basal body temperature drops, and a long list of health problems encompassing a large spectrum of physiological and emotional issues ensue under such conditions. Since it has been observed that human body temperature is in noticeable decline, and is thought to be a legitimate epidemic by those who study body temperature closely amongst their patients – like Mark Starr or Stephen Langer, I couldn’t think of a better reason to delve into the Godfather of all low metabolism studies. I think as you review some of the quotes I picked up, you will see that many modern humans, even obese modern humans (especially so), are showing many signs and symptoms of starvation to accompany their low basal metabolisms (such as hunger, cravings for “ice cream and pastries,” depression, lethargy, sexual dysfunction, and uncanny ability to store body fat in favor of lean tissue).

This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise when one considers the paradigm-shifting idea that overweight people ARE starving precisely because the food they eat is siphoned off into fat cells instead of used for energy like it is in a healthy person.

The other reason of course, is the human physiological response to a calorie deficit. It has been my observation and experience that creating a calorie deficit through exercise and a restricted diet as is so commonly recommended, despite causing weight loss, invokes a response similar to what these men experienced. It’s called “yo-yo” dieting, which is an incredibly misleading term. A yo-yo goes down and then back up to where it started. No, there is ample evidence to indict calorie restricted dieting for INCREASING body fat.

It shouldn’t be called yo-yo dieting, but more like Check dieting, as this symbol is a close approximation to the typical long-term weight change curve.  My other post on this topic shows some good graphs.
Interestingly, there are many pieces of evidence in Ancel Keys’s The Biology of Human Starvation that point to this same phenomenon outside of weight – such as a check-mark-pattern change in hypertension incidence (it dropped during the Leningrad famine to near zero, then was followed by an epidemic of hypertension shortly thereafter 6 times as prevalent as the pre-famine level), blood sugar levels, and more. In other words – metabolic syndrome is alleviated on a short-term basis by a calorie deficit, and then comes back with a vengeance once the metabolism slows and the hunger trigger is turned on.

Just this simple graph taken from the book shows that subjects allowed to eat to appetite during the first 12 weeks of rehabilitation (bar on the right side of each set of 4) restored 101% of their abdominal fat during that time but roughly 60% of the total body weight lost. This trend continued for nearly 8 months until lean body mass was completely restored and body fat levels, particularly abdominal fat, was much higher (40% higher) than it was at the beginning of the experiment. It was only at this point that fat was lost while eating to appetite over the next several months. (click image to see it larger).

With the clear ties between increased abdominal fat and metabolic syndrome, which includes hypertension, high blood sugars, and excess blood and body fat – it seems pretty clear that creating a calorie deficit, particularly one that induces a severe loss of lean body mass – despite the initial appearance of improvement, causes one to develop metabolic syndrome while eating to appetite afterwards.

Hence a couple of 180DegreeHealth tenets:

1) If you want a long-term worsening of the facets of metabolic syndrome while eating to appetite, then create a calorie deficit through cutting calories and/or overexercising.

2) If you want a long-term improvement of the facets of metabolic syndrome eating to appetite, then create a calorie surplus by increasing calories and underexercising.

Either way, trying to get healthy through manipulating calories seems futile, as the body regulates this kind of thing in ways that we do not consciously control. But one thing is for sure – if you want to have a higher body temperature, fewer hypothyroid symptoms, feel better, have a better outlook on life, and struggle less to be healthy and maintain long-term energy balance while eating to appetite and exercising to the level you find enjoyable – then option 2 is clearly the route to take you there.

Although having excess body fat does change the response to calorie-restriction somewhat (if done correctly) as you will see in the quotes below from Keys (less lean tissue loss and less metabolic reduction), it is still, from a statistical and observational standpoint, a very risky endeavor. Those that do “diet” and keep weight off on a mixed, satisfying diet afterwards are an extreme rarity, and all of the personal testimonials that I receive suggest one thing very clearly – overweight or not, dieting usually increases body weight long-term while simultaneously undermining your health, particularly when started at a young age. The two most overweight people I communicate with for example, if this is any indication, have reported to me that their body temperatures are lower than the men in these photos, who averaged 96.3F (these, however, were oral or rectal temperatures taken mid-afternoon, which makes a huge difference. I can’t imagine these starving men’s basal axillary temps being much higher than 95.5F).

Basically what I’m saying, although we’ll continue to “tweak” and “explore” other ideas on how weight can be dropped without negative consequence – or how the metabolism and lean mass can be increased without fat gain, is…

Duck Fiets!!!

A future 180DegreeHealth t-shirt perhaps?

For the details of my own starvation experiment, and even more colorful language, you simply must read THIS BLOG POST from long ago.

For now, please, in reference to your body temperature, follow the good advice that Kris receives in the following video. Because that’s what you were born to do (although the heavy clothing being worn on the beach hints at a low metabolism, reduced peripheral circulation, etc. – but energy levels and libido appear to be unaffected). 

Kris Kross – Warm It Up (Official Music Video) – Watch more top selected videos about: Kris_Kross

Here are my notes from the book for those who are interested or in case Madmuhh has another paper to write and chooses this as a topic :)

Keys, Ancel et al. The Biology of Human Starvation. The University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis, MN, 1950.

p. xviii

“It is interesting that the obese man or woman can be placed on a diet as low as 600, or even 400, calories without loss of body nitrogen or other ill effects and without depression of the basal metabolic rate. In these respects obese persons and persons of normal weight differ strikingly in their response to a low intake of calories.”

p. xix

“The basal metabolic rate in semi-starvation may fall as much as 50 per cent below normal standards based on energy exchange per square meter of surface area.”

p. xxiii

“And, whether the origin is primary or secondary the presence of undernutrition makes a special kind of person, different morphologically, chemically, physiologically, and psychologically from his well-fed counterpart.”

p. 15

“In the individual the severity of clinical edema is not by itself a reliable guide to his nutritional state. Where the complications of malaria, dysentery, anemia, and vitamin deficiencies exist, the edema appears more readily and in more extreme form.”

p. 23

“The substantial improvement of the diet in 1943 was paralleled by an epidemic incidence of hypertension.”

p. 40 – Table showing before and after recovery weights. Differences ranged from .7 kg above starting to 7.2 kg above starting.

p. 45

“The increased sensitivity to cold was evidenced in several ways in addition to the subjective reports: nearly all the men wore heavier underclothing and overclothing.”

p. 55

“…the red blood cell count dropped from a pre-starvation level of 5.52 to 4.45 million per cu. Mm. during semi-starvation, and the hemoglobin value from 87 to 81 per cent.”

p. 62

“The men were commonly found to be somewhat irritable during the semi-starvation period. All the subjects reported a distinctly decreased sex interest and a reduced frequency of erections while on the restricted diet.”

p. 78

“Extremely high food intakes – as high as 7000-10,000 Cal. per day – were achieved by most of the subjects during the first 2 weeks of ad lib eating, but the intakes tended to level off at more reasonable values of about 3200 to 4500 Cal. per day.”

p. 87

“According to this report the average actual caloric intake in 44 factories in the Tokyo area steadily declined from a level of 3012 Cal. daily in 1938 to an average of 2301 cal daily in 1943. But over these same years the average body weights of the men in these factories declined only .80kg and the women workers gained an average of .45 kg.”

p. 119

“During the first week of uncontrolled rehabilitation (R13) the individual intakes varied from 4400 cal to 5800 cal, with the week’s average of 5219 cal per man per day. Some of the men commented that they were still hungry at the end of the very large meals, even though they were unable to ingest any more food. All of the men ate snacks between meals and in the evenings.”

p. 127

“At R58 the body weight had returned close to the control value while the body fat, on the percentage basis, remained slightly elevated.”

In the undernutrition experiment carried out by Benedict et al. the weight increased very rapidly on the termination of the reduced diet. Six weeks later the men not only regained all the weight lost but exceeded their pre-experimental weight by 3.1 kg.”

p. 128

“…they had very low resistance to eating snacks between meals. Some men had eaten a large meal; subject No. 27 commented at the end of R13 on having ‘an odd sensation of being full yet still hungry.’”

p. 129

“In refeeding, especially when the caloric intake is high, fat deposits tend to increase at a faster rate than the ‘active’ tissues.”

p. 177

“During the subsequent 8 weeks there was further increase in the body fat which brought the fat content of the body in all subjects well above the pre-starvation level. Thirty-three weeks after the end of the semi-starvation period the values for body fat showed a decrease and returned to a near normal level at 58 weeks.”

p. 179

“Anthropometric data support this conclusion and indicate that during rehabilitation the adipose tissue increased in size more rapidly than the muscles. In the highest caloric group the circumferences of the upper arm, calf, and thigh showed an average recovery of 45, 46, and 54 per cent of the starvation decrement, whereas the abdominal circumference exhibited a recovery of 101 per cent [at week 12 of refeeding].”

p. 212

“The evidence is quite consistent that the human thyroid atrophies during starvation.”

p. 217

“Chakrabarty, in a study of famine victims in India, found the islet cells fewer in number than normal and foamy in structure.”

p. 240

“Two reports from Japanese prison camps have indicated that during the periods of serious food restrictions most cases of acne disappeared. After liberation, when the food intake was restored to normal, the acne returned to its pre-starvation form.”

“Ivanovsky reported that the hair grew slowly, fell out prematurely, and rapidly became gray. The growth of the nails was retarded.”

p. 242

“The dry and scaly skin was probably an expression of an altered skin metabolism as a result of a decreased blood flow through the skin. There was indirect evidence that the blood flow through the skin had been decreased during semi-starvation.”

p. 243

“About a third of the subjects remarked that their hair was falling out at an abnormally rapid rate.”

p. 256

“The evidence is overwhelming that anemia develops during prolonged periods of caloric restriction, and the degree of anemia appears to be related to the extent of starvation…The anemia… is not of the iron deficiency type.”

p. 258

“…evidence indicates that a mild leucopenia with a relative lymphocytosis develops.”

p. 267

“A definite leucopenia developed during semi-starvation; the leucocyte count, which was 6346 per cu. Mm. of blood in the control period, dropped to 4129 at S24, a decrease of 34.9 per cent.”

p. 291

“If our calculations are approximately correct, there remains the question as to how much of the reduction in metabolism can be accounted for by the lowered body temperature of the starving organism.”

p. 333

“After 12 weeks of controlled rehabilitation on restricted food intakes, the men in the Minnesota Experiment were allowed to eat what they would. The result was a large increase in food intake, a sudden gain in weight, and an abrupt rise in B.M.R. In some cases the B.M.R. change was startling. For example, subject 126 used 153 cc. of oxygen per minute in basal rest on October 17 and 265 cc. on October 24. October 20 was the last day of restricted feeding, so the rise from 153 to 265 cc. of oxygen per minute occurred in 3 days. In this period of 3 days the subject gained 6 pounds and the basal pulse rate rose from 36 to 60.”

p. 338

“In the Minnesota experiment the total rate of basal metabolism at the end of semi-starvation was almost 40 per cent less than in the control period.”

p. 346

“Schenk claimed that daily intakes of 320 gm. of protein and 7300 cal, as observed among the Olympic athletes, are essential for hard manual work or strenuous exercise.”

p. 359

“In general, at diets of 3000 cal or more, nitrogen equilibrium can be maintained at an intake of 40 gm. of protein or less. At diets below 3000 cal, nitrogen balance is harder to obtain, even at higher nitrogen intakes.”

p. 365

“…spontaneous reduction of physical activity is one of the most prominent features of semi-starvation.”

p. 380

“A more detailed study (Evans and Strang, 1931) was performed on 5 patients with an average initial weight of 157.5 kg. They received first a maintenance diet of 2413 cal containing 69 gm. of protein, which was sufficient for nitrogen equilibrium. On the reducing diet, which contained 59 gm. of protein, 10 gm. of carbohydrate, and 7 gm. of fat, totaling 335 cal., a nitrogen loss occurred, but this was amazingly small (2 gm. of nitrogen in 5.5 weeks). The addition of only 20 gm. of carbohydrate (increasing the total caloric intake to 445 cal. per day) brought these patients into nitrogen equilibrium at an excretion level of 0.15 gm. of nitrogen per kg. of ‘ideal’ weight. Nitrogen equilibrium was maintained in one patient for 260 days, during which time there was a total weight loss of 67.1 kg.”

p. 381

“The loss of fat produces no untoward symptoms such as accompany the weight loss of normal subjects during semi-starvation. Furthermore, no decrease of the B.M.R. below normal standards has been reported in obese patients during the period of weight reduction.”

p. 518

“The behavior of calcium is more difficult to interpret since it tends to be excreted throughout a starvation period at a rate which may be of the order of 10 times that calculated on the basis of the body tissue lost.”

p. 545

“To test this, he reduced his own food intake by one half for 5 days and then for an additional 3 days went completely without food. The increase in his blood sugar level following glucose was much greater after the starvation period than before. Sevringhaus observed the same thing after 2 days of starvation.”

p. 546

“Because of the high fat diet of the Eskimos, Heinbecker studied their glucose tolerance curves both before and after 82 hours of fasting. The basal blood sugar during the starvation decreased from 110-120 mg. per 100 cc. to about 80 mg. The glucose tolerances after the ingestion of about 2 gm. of glucose per kg. of body weight were normal in the control period. After 3.5 days of starvation the glucose tolerance showed blood sugar levels close to 300 mg. per 100cc. These returned only very slowly to normal.”

p. 578

“Along with the increased water consumption, starving persons tend to have a marked salt hunger and will consume several times the normal quota of salt if it is available.”

p. 579

“In some animal forms, at least, chronic undernutrition prolongs the natural life span. It has been suggested that the natural life span is fixed, not in time, but in terms of total metabolism or some function of the rate of living. But in man severe undernutrition makes him look, feel, and act prematurely old. There are also changes in basal metabolism and in sexual function which resemble those produced by age. What is the long-range effect on physiological age and on longevity of the individual?”

p. 581

“…the starving man is weak and cold, both physiologically and subjectively, and his behavior bears this out. On the other hand, his behavior is often misleading. He acts dull and insensitive; he looks and behaves as though he were unaware of or incapable of feeling many of the ordinary stimuli of sound, sight, or touch.”

p. 585

“…in a number of cases among the women the decline in metabolic rate was disproportionately great; only small losses in body weight sufficed to produce large declines in metabolism among these women.”

p. 607

“In any list of the cardinal signs and symptoms of severe undernutrition there will be several items which pertain directly or indirectly to the heart and circulation. These include bradycardia, hypotension, a lowering of the skin temperature, and frequently vertigo and slight cyanosis.”

“Rates as low as 30 to 40 beats per minute were often observed in bed rest…”

p. 612

“The complaint of coldness is very common among undernourished people, and the skin has often been reported as cold to the touch. This might, of course, be attributed to the general reduction in body temperature which is usually observed. Leyton found the average 4 p.m. temperature in 100 men to be 35.7 C (96.3F). But the suggestion that the peripheral circulation is diminished is also supported by the pallor of the skin which is out of proportion to the slight to moderate anemia usually present.”

p. 613

“In 40 persons who received subcutaneous injections of 1 mg. of adrenalin there was extraordinarily little response to the drug.”

p. 620

“Before the war patients with hypertension accounted for about 10 per cent of all admissions to the Therapeutic Clinic of the Pavlov First Medical Institute. This proportion dropped during the period of semi-starvation and increased progressively thereafter through 1943. In January 1943 patients with hypertension constituted 20 per cent of the admissions, and by June of that year the figure had risen to 60 per cent.”

p. 621

“Obviously, many factors may have been involved in this epidemic of hypertension in Leningrad, but the outstanding peculiarity of the period was severe semi-starvation for 6 months, followed by refeeding, with the necessity for hard work at all times.”

p. 638

“An almost universal complaint among the subjects in the Minnesota Experiment was some degree of faintness immediately after standing up from a chair or bed.”

p. 659

“The decrease of the QRS and T wave amplitudes is probably the most remarkable change in the electrocardiogram in starvation. It may be due to the following factors:

1) Decrease of heart size. The decrease of the amplitudes was accompanied by a very marked decrease of the heart size as determined by teleroentgenograms…

2) Myocardial degeneration…

3) Rotation of the heart around a transversal axis…

4) Decreased metabolic rate…

5) Fluid accumulation in chest or pericardium…”

p. 664

“Polyuria and nocturia have been reported by practically every observer of starvation conditions.”

p. 740

“The important question of what part of the respiratory-cardiovascular system was principally responsible for the poor delivery of oxygen to the working muscles cannot be answered directly. The low concentration of hemoglobin at the end of the semi-starvation period undoubtedly contributed to the poor muscular oxygen supply.”

p. 753

“Jaworski found no changes in the vagina in starved Polish women but concluded there was considerable reduction in the size of the ovaries.”

“The majority of investigators have agreed that the testes are reduced in size in semi-starvation, the average percentage change being rather similar to that of the body as a whole.”

p. 755

“The excretion of total, neutral 17-ketosteroids for the 5 men studied after 8 weeks of semi-starvation averaged 7.9 mg. per 24 hours. This is considerably below the mean excretion level of 11.3 mg. observed for normal young men…”

p. 762 – Sperm were motile for an average of 4.8 hours at S24 vs.25.5 at R20

p. 777

“The official daily ration in the Auschwitz concentration camp was one liter of watery soup, 250 gm. of bread, and about 25 gm. of margarine or sausage or imitation honey, providing an estimated maximum intake of 1000 cal. per day.”

p. 797

“Constipation was mentioned as one of the semi-starvation symptoms, bowel movements being reduced from once a day to one or two times a week.”

p. 833

“Food in all its ramifications became the principal topic of conversation, reading, and daydreams for almost all Minnesota subjects. When they read books or attended movies, they were much impressed by the frequency with which food and eating were mentioned. Cookbooks, menus, and information bulletins on food production became intensely interesting to many of the men who previously had had little or no interest in dietetics or agriculture.”

p. 834

“A few planned to become cooks. Halfway through starvation 13 out of 34 men mentioned cooking among their plans following completion of the experiment. The men who took part in Greely’s expedition of 1881 and suffered from prolonged semi-starvation in the Arctic had similar ideas. In the diary entry for November 24, 1883, Brainard wrote: ‘Fredericks is going to run a saloon in Minneapolis. Long wants to open a restaurant at Ann Arbor. Jewell thinks he would like to run the grocery in Ralston’s colony.’”

p. 827-828

“The subjects reported that their nails grew more slowly and that their hair was falling out in large amounts. Shaving was necessary less frequently. The men noted, particularly in shaving, that cuts and wounds bled less than normally and were slower to heal. Physical ability to laugh heartily, sneeze, or blush was reduced or absent during the later stages of semi-starvation. Muscle cramps and particularly muscle soreness were frequently reported. The jarring of knee joints, especially when walking on hard pavements, was an annoyance to some. Pigmentation, thinning, and roughening of the skin occurred. Changes in the sensitivity of the skin, paresthetic and hypesthetic in character, were observed in only three cases, but there were many complaints that the extremities ‘went to sleep.’

Tolerance to heat was increased; for example, subjects could hold hot plates without discomfort. They asked that their food, coffee, and tea be served unusually hot. Conversely, cold temperatures were poorly tolerated. Complains of being cold or of having cold hands and feet were frequent and persistent. In hot summer weather many of the subjects slept under heavy blankets and wore extra clothing during the day. Vertigo, giddiness, and momentary blackouts were experienced on rising from lying or sitting positions by almost all the subjects during the first months and by some subjects throughout the semi-starvation period…

Objective tests revealed no impairment of visual acuity but many subjects complained of transient visual disturbance such as inability to focus, eye-aches, and ‘spots’ before their eyes. Standard measurements of hearing showed a slight but consistent increase in auditory acuity during the period of semi-starvation. It is difficult to determine whether the frequent complaints that ordinary sounds and noises were disturbing and annoying had a direct physiological basis in the ‘improved’ auditory sensitivity or were primarily signs of an increased irritability. Sensations of ringing in the head were primarily signs of an increased irritability. Sensations of ringing in the head were reported. Except for hunger pains and some decrease in the frequency of bowel movements, gastrointestinal symptoms were rare.

The marked decreases in pulse rate and basal metabolism may be regarded as critical indicators of a lowering of speed in the automatic functions of the body…

The marked reduction in strength and endurance was paralleled by a general curtailment of self-initiated, spontaneous activities… They described their increasing weakness, loss of ambition, narrowing of interest, depression, irritability, and loss of libido as a pattern characteristic of ‘growing old…’

During rehabilitation the recovery from dizziness, apathy, and lethargy was most rapid. Tiredness, loss of sex drive, and weakness were slow to improve. Although visible edema tended to disappear, in some men there was little change or even an increase in edema. Cramps, vague aches and pains, and paresthesias were unrelieved from some time. Some of the men had new complaints such as flatus, distention, belching, and stomach-ache. Those subjects who gained the most weight became concerned about their increasing sluggishness, general flabbiness, and the tendency of fat to accumulate in the abdomen and buttocks. At the end of 3 months of rehabilitation, even in those subjects who were maintained on the highest caloric intake the over-all physical condition was considerably inferior to the pre-starvation status. Later reports from the subjects indicated that it was not until after an additional 3 months of ‘normal’ living and supernormal eating that their physical capacity approached pre-experimental levels.”

p. 835

“Satisfaction was also obtained from consumption of coffee and tea, both of which were used in large quantities, presumably for their pharmacological as well as their filling and warming effects. It was generally reported that coffee and tea provide a ‘lift.’ Because some of the men increased their consumption to 15 or more cups daily, it became necessary to limit all subjects to a maximum of 9 cups per day… Heavy gum chewers would take 2 or 3 sticks at a time, chew them until the sweet taste was gone, discard them, and then replace them with fresh sticks in chain fashion. One of the men chewed up to 40 packages of gum per day and developed a sore mouth from such continuous exercise. Thereafter, the use of gum was restricted to 2 packages a day.”

p. 836-837

“Social initiative especially, and sociability in general, underwent a remarkable change. The men became reluctant to plan activities, to make decisions, and to participate in group activities. Their earlier active interest in having a voice in the making of policies and rules for the conduct of the non-scientific aspects of the experiment dwindled. They spent more and more time alone.”

p. 839

“Sexual feeling and expression declined in the Minnesota Experiment until by the end of the semi-starvation period they were virtually extinguished in all but a few subjects. The diminution of the strength of the sex drive was so dramatic that the subjects were struck by the change and used colorful language to describe it.”

p. 846

“During… (R13), of 17 men who made a reference to food cravings, 7 had no specific cravings. The remaining 10 men had a predilection, in about equal proportion, for sweets (ice cream and pastries) and dairy products.”

pp. 852-853

“I’m cold… I’m weak…And now I have edema…Social graces, interests, spontaneous activity and responsibility take second place to concerns of food… I don’t like to sit near guests, for then it is necessary to entertain and talk with them… I am one of about three or four who still go out with girls. I fell in love with a girl during the control period but I see her only occasionally now. It’s almost too much trouble to see her even if she visits me at the Lab. It requires effort to hold her hand. Entertainment must be tame. If we see a show, the most interesting part of it is contained in scenes where people are eating. I couldn’t laugh at the funniest picture in the world, and love scenes are completely dull… Now, eight months after the end of starvation, I am fat and healthy although my muscles have not yet returned to their former tone.”

p. 859

“As semi-starvation progressed in the Minnesota Experiment, complaints of inability to concentrate for any period of time and of difficulty in developing thoughts became numerous.”

pp. 864-865

“There was a statistically highly significant increase in scores on the scales of social introversion, depression, and cycloid tendencies (emotional instability) and a decrease in those on the scales of ascendancy (social leadership), self-confidence, and freedom from nervous tenseness.”

p. 880

“In four subjects the reaction to the semi-starvation regimen took the form of a ‘character neurosis,’ the men being unable to stay on the semi-starvation diet; in two of these subjects the response to the stress was particularly violent and bordered on a psychosis. One man developed a hysteroid reaction that led to self-mutilation.”

p. 968

“At equal degrees of weight loss, anorexia nervosa patients are similar to famine victims in numerous respects: the pulse is slow, averaging about 50; the blood pressure is low, rarely above 120 mm. Hg. Systolic; amenorrhea is almost universal. The basal metabolic rate is reduced to an average of -30 per cent, but values down to o-73 per cent have been obtained…The body temperature is low…”

p. 978

“It has been repeatedly demonstrated in many species of laboratory and domestic animals that certain types of congenital malformations frequently appear in the offspring as a result of maternal nutrition deficiencies.”

p. 979

“Burke et al. observed a correlation between the adequacy of the maternal diet and the pediatric rating of the offspring. Almost all the cases of congenital defects were found among the infants born to mothers whose diet during pregnancy had been severely inadequate.”

p. 1003

“There is reason to believe that the epithelial lining of the gastrointestinal tract becomes more permeable to microorganisms in severe undernutrition. The morphological changes in the intestinal tract would strongly suggest this.”

p. 1041

“There is a fundamental connection between obesity and diabetes. Kisch found that 50 per cent of all the obese persons he examined exhibited some degree of glycosuria.”

p. 1042

“It is proper to suggest that obesity, which first may only resemble diabetes superficially in a tendency to produce glycosuria and abnormal sugar tolerance tests, may slowly produce irreversible changes, even though weight reduction may correct the glycosuria temporarily. Allen supports the general clinical impression that in obese persons in whom glycosuria disappears during dietary reduction, true diabetes is very apt to appear later.”

“Mahaux and others have concluded that there was a real increase in diabetes morbidity in Germany immediately following World War I, and that this was associated with an increased food intake following a period of undernutrition.”

p. 1048

“For many years it has been generally believed that yeast may be beneficial to diabetics. The insulin requirement of depancreatized dogs is increased on a diet definitely deficient in B vitamins, and this extra defect may be corrected either with yeast or with a mixture of B vitamins.”


  1. HOLY GOLLY WOW… just listened to the podcast AND read this post… absolutely amazing… i am linking this post in my next blog post. intriguing really… thank you so much. i can relate to everything in this post like 10000000000000000000000000% from the damage anorexia has done to me. like, ALL parts of it. from the wanting to become a cook, to freezing, to unsocialness, paranoia, ex-obsessive gum & coffee addict, libido lack, oh my golly all of it

    Thank You…depressing and sucky for me, but thank you

  2. I did my own starvation experiment years ago as well. I will revisit that soon in a blog post I hope, including pictures of my diary in which I wrote extensive menus and drew pictures of kitchen designs and what not. Be sure to check out the original blog post. It's friggin' sweet.

  3. Wow, you've *almost* made me want pick up that 1,300 page book and dig in. ;) But actually I'm tackling GCBC at this point and that is enough of a read for me!

    But seriously, thanks for posting these very interesting bits for those of us who haven't had the chance to read it for ourselves. There's so many juicy bits I don't even know where to start. Basically I'm just amazed that with all this evidence of how the human body reacts to starvation, so many of us do this to ourselves on purpose.

  4. Excellent research Matt! Thanks for pulling this all together.

    Got me thinking; in times of good, why would the body want to store fat, it doesn't need too. When you restrict calories and tell your body you are starving, it will pack on the pounds to safe you. Millions of years of smarts built in… and we are trying to trick it… don't mess with mother nature!

  5. Yay, I got mentioned, I'm famous now.

    Thanks again, Matt, for making the effort and looking up some nice quotes for me. Unfortunately they were of absolute no use for me, but that's just because I had to restructure the whole thing a bit and there was no space anymore for the whole Pasteur/Bechamp thing.
    Your endeavours weren't completely useless though, I looked up the "scientific debate"-stuff and there's really some intriguing stuff in there.

  6. Matt, this was an incredible post. I wish I had time to read this book. Such a wealth of information that is probably totally unknown to most modern health professionals. Absolutely amazing. When I first read Taubes and encountered the idea the obese people were actually starving, it changed my entire paradigm of weight and health. I'm glad, too, because I now eat more and exercise less while feeling better than ever before!


  7. Matt,

    thank you very much. Now the HED-Concept makes perfect sense to me. And for all those who want to follow a Cyclic Carbohydrate Diet, like the Anabolic Diet by DiPasquale or UD 2.0 by McDonald, i can tell you from personal experience, that those diets made me ill in the first place. VLC for 5 Days = stress followed by 2 Days of ravenous Refeeding = more Stress. I think there is no other way, than a constant No Sugar-high-kcal diet for healing.


  8. Very interesting post Matt. Many are quick to call Keys the devil rather than taking worth out of the work that he did do.

    Anyways, the more I think about it, the more I think a good approach is to cycle things. While it may not work for everyone, I feel really good cycling total calories and carbs (protein and fat staying about the same), matching increased calories and carbs with my workouts. So when I workout, I eat more calories and carbs. When I rest, I eat less and cut back on the carbs. I pair this with IF and it's an approach that I can manage. Due to the intermittent days of eating more, I workout about 3 to 4 days a week, I think the metabolism would be fine. Overall, I think this approach allows one to decrease body weight while keeping lean muscle mass. In my mind, it's the closest thing to the Holy Grail that I have been able to come up with. Thoughts?

  9. @Jay:
    Hear hear! I just did one day of McDonald-esque PSMF after 12 days of HED and I could barely get out of bed this morning. When I did, I spent the entire morning sobbing (very uncharacteristic for me). How did I ever do this for weeks at a time before? I totally relate to the poor men in Keys's study right now…

    That could be close to the Holy Grail. I plan to experiment with keeping protein constant and cycling both fat and carbs. Maybe IFing once in a while. And sleeping. And no working out until my body says it's ready…

    Thank you for this post.

  10. Cycling should probably never be ketogenic, and intermittent fasting probably will cause some lean tissue loss. It would be far better to eat near equal proportions of carbohydrate and starch on a low-carb, fat loss diet. That's what gave Evans and Strang such good results with obese subjects (nitrogen balance and no metabolic slowdown). The extra calories supplied to lean tissues came from body fat. That's the trick – trigger fat release without losing lean body mass.

    Calorie cycling is another matter, and may be an excellent way to get the metabolic boost without any chance of weight gain.

    Thanks for your input Jay. I agree that dieting of any kind, even by very real weight loss pros like McDonald that take lean tissue into consideration, is risky and can do great harm.

    Thanks for the kudos everyone. Glad you liked the post.

    After reading Ancel's book I can tell you that he was a damn good scientist, regardless of what he concluded about fats and heart disease. There is a correlation between fat intake and heart disease mortality worldwide, but it is much less than Keys showed with his 7 countries and there are huge exceptions (Eskimo, Masai, Polynesians, French paradox, etc.).

    Note, non of those exceptions are from people using high sources of omega 6 as their staple fats. Significant? Maybe, maybe not, but interesting nonetheless.

  11. Wow, I felt like he was writing about me.

    Compulsive gum chewer- check
    Excessive caffeine intake- check
    Irritability- check
    Obsession with food- check
    Introversion, social anxiety- check
    High body fat percentage- check

    Thanks you Matt!
    I have been on HED for 3 months now. I have gained some weight, mostly muscle mass it seems, but I feel great. I have a 2 month old and a 20 month old and I'm in grad school, yikes! If it weren't for your research I don't think I could be surviving right now. I know you don't believe in God but I have to tell you that finding your site was an answer to prayer.

  12. I should have clarified. I am not doing a CKD. Carbs on the low days are about 100-125g coming mostly veggies, fruit, and beans. Carbs on the high days throws in lots of starch to the tune of 250-300g. Fat will be a little higher on rest days but it really doesn't differ much, carbs are component that change (making up the difference in calories). Above all, I'm keeping 0-6 to a minimum.

  13. Matt,

    This is definitely one of your better posts, I really enjoyed it. I think you are onto something, and will hopefully have it figured out soon.

    It is funny, but i have had all one of the symptoms that Key's listed for those experiencing starvation. It was when I was on a very low carb diet, which caused my metabolic burnout. It seems to me all of these symptoms point to adrenal burn out, not hypothyroidism, as Schwarzbein has pointed out.

    You are right about the calorie cycling. It is a much better idea than the carb cycling. The average person is much better off doing moderate fat, carbs, and protein with calorie spikes.

  14. Mark,
    If i was you I wouldn't just focus on keeping O6 to a minimum, I would avoid all PUFAs as much as possible. Omega 3s can be just as bad.

  15. Sounds pretty solid to me Mark.

    I may not be a Christian per se, but I certainly humble myself to a higher power. In many ways, I do think that the human being's scientific pursuit of understanding how the body works can be an inquiry into that higher power for sure. I might feel intelligent some days, but I certainly don't know how to turn raw materials into cells and hormones. The wisdom within us and surrounding us is undeniably a source of higher intelligence.

  16. Woah, I could have used this post a long time ago! I have:
    -dizziness upon standing
    -dress warmly, even when hot out
    -can hold hot plates, etc. and not feel anything
    -gum or coffee addiction
    -joint pain
    …basically everything!
    I used to eat a pretty healthy, higher calorie diet with some sweets thrown in and didn't exercise much but was 129 pounds, 5' 9" and 17 percent body fat. Then I decided to "Get healthy" started a program and worked out intensely 2-3 hours a day and really low carb, sometimes VLC. At 5 weeks I lost 3 pounds but the program was ten weeks long, and I could tell it was too much. Still went through it, all my stats were worse after than before and had gained 5 pounds. Started a job after that 8 hours a day of hard work outdoors and went on a very low fat, low calorie, almost vegetarian diet. Was sick with colds and the flu for two months straight after that, gained 20 pounds, and started feeling faint and sick all of the time. Had to quit that and gained even more. When to a bunch of doctors, mainstream ones told me I was just depressed, another one put me on thyroid.
    Trying to get better now, but its so hard when i have all these cravings for bad food. When I let myself eat I just keep getting more hungry and can't keep myself away from junk (even though its not the bulk of what I eat.) When I don't eat I can eat better, but never have an appetite, so I get like 1100 calories a day.
    I'm not gaining weight anymore, but can't seem to lose any, either. Just hope that I can keep doing my best and will eventually start to heal.

    That was kind of pointless, but anyways I wanted to ask- do you think the milk diet would be OK to do if I couldn't get any raw milk? It's very illegal where I live, but I might be able to get a pint or two later this year. However, there is a dairy that sells non homogenized, vat-pasturized milk from grass fed cows by where I live. Could I try the diet with that if I included some fresh citrus fruits, or do you think its better to go raw or not at all?

  17. @Anonymous

    I'm trying a modified milk diet right now using pasteurized organic whole milk. I'm drinking three quarts during the day, and then having a dinner that usually consists of some meat, rice and vegetables. So far, I give it two thumbs up! I have incredible amounts of energy, my metabolism feels very high, and everything is going great so far on day 7.

    I agree that raw milk might be better, but where I live (in CA) it costs $7.99 for a half gallon, vs. $5.99 for a gallon of organic whole milk at Trader Joes. Raw milk might be necessary for people with dairy issues, but I would imagine that for someone who has no problem with dairy, pasteurized milk should be fine. Humans can eat a lot of foods either cooked or raw, I see no reason why milk should be any different.


  18. JT- can you clarify what you mean? i know keeping the BALANCE of omega 6:3 is important, you you should mega dose O3 because you eat O6, but how are O3's necessarily bad? i would think eatting a salmon is better than eating a chicken thigh. actually, i recently listened to a podcast about the dangers of O3 supplementation and how it effects the brain and is VERY bad for diabetics to supplement with. turns out, and i didnt know this, all the "great" studies on fish oil are all sponsored by the companies who promote them(this shouldnt suprise me)and places like John Hopkins who have the money to do the REAL research have come up with very negative effects of supplementation with O3

    what you guys said about the calorie cycling… it works, i have done it before never once wondering about carbs… but i definitely took it to an extreme and ended up with anorexia(long story short) so be very careful to eat ENOUGH if you want to experiment with calorie and carb cycling

  19. Milk dieters,
    I have done this in the past after reading accounts of miraculous healings that occurred in the past. I ended up with a severe ear infection, so bad that my right ear drum busted and I started bleeding all over the place.

    Later I talked to my Ayurvedic Dr about this and he laughed because he thought it was obvious something like that would happen. He said the problem was that i drank it cold, which ended up causing my problems. If you do engage on this diet, make sure you drink it at least slightly warm.

  20. My mistake. I saw FSM on your religious views on FB and assumed that meant you are an atheist.

    "The wisdom within us and surrounding us is undeniably a source of higher intelligence."

    Well put.

  21. JT

    Why did the Ayurvedic doctor recommend drinking the milk warm?
    And why do you think it caused your ear infection?


  22. Malpaz,
    Google Ray Peat, he is physiologist that writes extensively on the dangers of omega 3 and all PUFAs. You are right about these companies who sponsor research with the expectations that it will prove what they want.

    Calorie cycling works, but it needs to be on top of a good diet, which is the most important thing. The cycling provides a psychological break as well. For example I eat really strict 90% of the time 5 meals a day, but 2-3 times a week I eat whatever I want not worrying at all about calories, omega 6, calories or anything else. This is a great way to have a healthy balance lifestyle with flexibilty built in so that I can enjoy social occasions, also prevents food obsession, and metabolic slowdown.

    The real method of cycling is the Cycle Diet, which is really strict and low calorie all week long, and then you take 1 whole day off usually on the weekend to eat whatever you want. This requires more discipline and is less flexible. When you are really lean you can add in a spike midweek like Wednesday night eating whatever you want.

    Since you are recovering from an eating disorder, the first option with more flexibilty is probably the best option for you.

  23. April-
    I do appreciate humor, and FSM delivers on that end. I am not a devout pastafarian and do not dress in pirate regalia either.

    Probably a good tip on the milk diet. Absorption is important, and not everyone can handle ice cold milk chugging. SuperSwede has got it down though. Glug, glug, glug…

    If there are primary differences between raw milk and pasteurized that may not be true of other foods is:

    1) Casein, a unique protein is altered when exposed to heat, making it difficult to digest – plus, undigested casein is a real immune system aggravator.

    2) Lactose – Without enzymes and lactobacillus present in the milk it is difficult to digest for some.

    MacFadden did talk about doing the milk diet with pasteurized milk. He did say that it is still better than not doing it to answer your question specifically, but did say that a little raw citrus with it was mandatory. Sure, raw is probably preferred, but if you could at least get unhomogenized milk that would have to be better.

    It's hard to get too much omega 3 from eating regular foods. A couple portions of salmon per week supplies most of my omega 3, which probably averages around 1-2 grams per day at most (omega 6 I've been trying to keep to about 2 grams also, which takes some diligence for sure).

  24. Swede,
    I know the milk caused my ear infection, and it was all raw, organic, grassfed, etc… I tried with raw goat milk too. I had never had any type of ear infection or problem in my life, then a few weeks into the milk diet drinking cold milk, and my ear exploded. It was one of the worst pains of my life, and the ear specialist thought I had caused permanent hearing loss. Luckily it is better now.

    Ayurveda is actually quite knowledgeable about dairy consumption due to the fact that the whole culture was built up around dairy. They are the experts on it. It is recommended to heat the milk and drink it warm to increase the digestibility to humans.

  25. Some of the symptoms reminded me of my week and half stint in the hospital on drip only. This of course followed an almost year on VLC (read sudo starving/underweight).

    Extreme anxiety, irritability, intense nightmares (when I could sleep), difficulty breathing (due to anxiety?), etc.

    Of course body weight dropped, but the craziest thing was my sense of smell. It was unbelievable. I could tell who came in the room just by their smell. I actually asked that people stop washing their hands because the sent of the soap was driving me crazy.

    Also I couldn't keep my concentration enough to even really read a book.

    Thank you for this information Matt.

  26. Matt,
    You are right about omega 6 being more prevalent than 3. The problem is that so many people try to balance out omega 6 consumption by intentionally getting omega 3 foods. It is big business now with high omega 3 eggs, peanut butter, fish oil, flax, and even candy.

    I just avoid both, except when I am having a cheat meal like a large pizza with the crust made with soybean oil. I used to be so obsessed that i would call restaurants to find out what oils they put in their food. I am glad that I have gotten over that stupidity, and now I don't even worry about it anymore, their is no point anyways because all restaurant food is usually loaded with it.

  27. That it really interesting about the temperature of the milk. As a kid I would always leave my milk out for a little while (instinctively?) before I would drink it. Didn't like it cold.

    On casein, the only dairy that occasionally bothers me is higher protein dairy such as cottage cheese.

  28. Nathan,

    I had the same symptoms as you when I was low carb. The symptoms are actually very common. It is due to increased adrenaline and cortisol levels. After a long period of time on this diet the adrenals will be fried. Unfortunately this is becoming a common story.

  29. Nice work, Sir Stone. Truly a serious inquiry that you're steeped in there! Thanks for diving in and pulling out some valuable pearls from Keys' massive volume.

    Glad to hear that you'll be posting video blogs soon. I'm attempting to do more video on my own blog and am quite the amateur as of of now. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  30. Later I talked to my Ayurvedic Dr about this and he laughed because he thought it was obvious something like that would happen. He said the problem was that i drank it cold, which ended up causing my problems. If you do engage on this diet, make sure you drink it at least slightly warm.

    You should drink your milk at least at room temperature and better if its gently heated to 105 degrees or so. Drinking cold milk is an occidental practice that has no real history at all and can be quite problematic, as you discovered.

  31. Great work Mr. 180! Almost inspires me to read Mr. Keyes myself. Almost, lol! – but one day. :-)

  32. after doing some reading at, i have a question… natural soy is known for its estrogen raising ability in females es those post menopausal. would there be anybenefit to adding some ort of soy(sources?) t my dit to help bring up my estrogen levels…in hopes of helping my menstruation return?

  33. Michael,

    You're right. I have actually found that I digest it better hot, not just warm. According to Ayurveda, you should boil the milk, preferably with spices, and then drink it hot. This treatment will make it more digestable for humans. When I protested to the Ayurvedic doctor that I neededto drink my milk raw because I need the enzymes to make it digestible, he explained that it made it digestible for baby cows, not humans, and that preparing the ayurvedic way makes it suitable for humans. Like I said before they are the experts when it comes to drinking milk, but most people just prefer to dismiss knowledge from traditional cultures.

  34. JT when you talk about calorie cycling, how low calorie are the low days?

  35. Malpaz,

    Have you had any labs done to verify your hormone deficiencies? If you are low in estrogen, then you are probably low on a lot of the other hormones as well. So adding one into the mix without addressing the others may make things worse. If you did need to raise hormone levels, there are better ways of doing it than eating soy.

    Are you still underweight? You are still young and could probably correct many of the imbalances by eating well for a while. Many girls stop menstruating when they are underweight, then start again once they get to a healthy weight.

  36. Vida,

    Calories can be around 10 times lean body mass.

  37. @JT

    You're right. I have actually found that I digest it better hot, not just warm. According to Ayurveda, you should boil the milk, preferably with spices, and then drink it hot. This treatment will make it more digestable for humans. When I protested to the Ayurvedic doctor that I neededto drink my milk raw because I need the enzymes to make it digestible, he explained that it made it digestible for baby cows, not humans, and that preparing the ayurvedic way makes it suitable for humans.

    My hot and lean ayurvedic friend, who turned me on to the warming of milk, said that it should be gently boiled to the point of having light bubbles around the edge. I don't know what that is temperature wise but I might temp some milk just to find out.

    One thing is for sure, if you ever drink milk directly from an animal, you see that it is very warm, almost hot.

    Like I said before they are the experts when it comes to drinking milk, but most people just prefer to dismiss knowledge from traditional cultures.

    Yup, agreed 100%.

  38. JT & Michael

    I'm curious to know more about this milk temperature idea. I have always drank milk cold, I like the taste, and I have no problems with digesting it (being Scandinavian probably helps!). Are there consequences to drinking large amounts of cold milk? I've gone through 5 gallons in the last 7 days, all cold. Prior to that, I drank a gallon in 4 to 5 days. I understand the digestibility justification, but it just seems to me that humans can consume most foods in either a hot or cold state without digestive issues. Maybe warming it makes caesin more digestible for some? Thanks for the interesting discussion.


  39. In regards to the milk diet, I would think bringing it to overly high temperatures is not that desirable. There are probiotics (which may, or may not be that important) and other little details like hormones or anitibodies that may not be heat resistant. That milk is more digestible slightly boiled is not something hard to imagine, as almost all other foods are so when cooked. They also taste better. Pasteurization is not gentle.

    JT, I'll start the milk diet this week, thanks for your story. Lol, I mean, it really seems bad shit. Just imagine the reaction of a conventional doctor if you went to him with that story… Charles Sanford Porter heavily advised against avoiding the details, like not drinking the milk cold, specially if digestion is not good. I have seen several cases on the net of people trying the milk diet, but doing things like chugging down the milk, using ultra fatty milk, kefir, or other deviations, and utterly failing.

    Matt, someone should do a uncyclopedia article of you. Something like: "Spiritual lider of the church of HED. He advises his followers to eat like pigs in order to obey the will of "mother nature" and obtain "enlightment". His second in command, Bruce K, says he has eaten blackholes, and advises others to do so as a way to inmortality. He was suckled by a triceratops. Matt wans't suckled, sadly."

  40. Swede, It is not my idea about the drinking the milk hot. My genetic heritage is scandanavian as well, and I still had that problem. Ayurveda reccomends having all food and drink in a hot state to improve digestibility, not just milk. Cold foods inhibit "Agni" the digestive and metabolic fire. I never drink anything cold anymore except for beer.

    I didn't tell the conventional doctor about me drinking a gallon of raw milk everyday in order to obtain better health. I am sure he would of thought I was nuts, but he probably wouldn't have been surprised with the ear infection being associated with milk consumption.

  41. JT

    If you ever go to Europe, they do serve beer at a warmer temperature. American temp beer is sold as "extra cold." It tastes really good. I must agree, though, a cold beer is extremely refreshing. Speaking of which, there are monks in Belgium that go on a "beer diet" for a period of time, consuming nothing but beer and water.


  42. Matt very educational article, loved the fact you included so many direct quotes for us. Have been feeling like giving up on HED recently and this has spurred me on to continue.

    I also had the following symptoms
    Compulsive gum chewer- check
    Excessive caffeine intake- check
    Irritability- check
    Obsession with food- check
    Introversion, social anxiety- check

    Still have the obsession with food :)

    I have now been on HED for 4 months so here is my update.

    Digestion great
    Sleep Average
    Temps gone up around 1°C (they fluctuate a lot)
    Blood Glucose fluctuates a lot too, fasting is from 83-98
    Weight gained 14 pounds and and none is muscle unlike others, and this has been on an average of 1900 cals per day so my maintenance remains still VERY low
    Psychologically, unlike most, I generally don't feel better due to being fatter than i have ever been as an adult (have cellulite for first time in life), though it is good not being so strict on food.
    Stopped weight lifting and have been walking and doing some hard snowshoeing days. May start weightlifting again soon.

    Have been even more careful of late about Omega 6 as well.

    Also have been supplementing with iodine for about a month.

  43. Matt just wanted to say I totally understand the decision to stop the ezines and focus more on more blogs/videos/podcasts etc… I think you have to go with the best use of your time, getting the best info to the widest audience possible at this stage of the game :)

  44. Re the Milk Diet, anyone drinking large quantities of milk should check out the health implications of A1 vs A2 milk, by reading "The Devil in the Milk".

  45. My acne also essentially went away and then came back after restoring calories… But the question is, WHY does this occur? It's so frustrating! You'd think there'd be a simple answer/cure with such an obvious connection to go on. Is it really the liver's fault as so many alties suggest? I'm so sick of watching people scoff buns bagels and so forth while maintaining clear as can be complexion. Anyone care to let me in on the incredible cosmic secret? There I've had my rant. :)

  46. As someone on day 22 of an all raw milk diet, I'll say I definitely try to drink my milk at room temperature or above. Heating it is kind of a pain, so I only do it sometimes, but otherwise I set my milk out on the counter in the morning and drink it throughout the day like that. I gave my daughter a glass of the room-temp milk and she said it was the best milk she ever had. I have to admit I'm starting to enjoy it much more when it's on the warm side. Cold milk is starting to taste bland to me.

    Scott – A beer diet? Okay, my husband is going to love that one. ;)

  47. Scott, I bet those are some pretty fun monks. Fasting on Belgian beer wouldn't be too bad, it is just like liquid bread. When I was younger I would do a beer fast every year during the holy week of spring break!

  48. @all milk dieters: I only got access to milk from Holstein cows it seems, at least it's raw. Do you peeps know what breed your milk comes from?

    @Swede: Now that sounds like a cool version of the milk diet. Any special reason why you eat rice on the evening (ease of digestion?) or is it just your preferred starch source?

    @JT: Your low-carb/paleo/adrenal fatigue story sounds very similar to mine. What exactly did you do to heal. I think you mentioned Schwarzbein. Any special things you can recommend. So you said exercise actually helped you?

  49. I thought it would be good to update on some general stuff. So I've been consciously doing low refined sugar and low PUFA's for about two weeks now. Since the beginning of this week I started what I outlined in an earlier comment (cycle calories and carbs to match workouts while IF'ing everyday). Here are some things that I noticed without looking for them (noticed by chance and thought, hey that's different):
    1. I shaved yesterday and I could have shaved again this morning. I have always been able to get away with at least 3 days between a shave.
    2. I went out to brush the snow off the cars this morning (while it was snowing) in shoes, pants and just a t-shirt. I noticed that while I was out there for probably about 5 minutes, I wasn't cold at all. I'm usually the one with cold hands and feet for most of the year. They're still kinda cold to the touch but not as bad. The point is that I feel warmer. Walking to the train from work, I have to take off my coat because I have been getting hot.
    3. Body comp-wise, I feel leaner and I can see a difference in muscle definition in multiple areas. Not drastic but it hasn't been that long. I haven't lost any weight, still around 211 pre-dinner (at least 215 post-dinner).
    4. I feel great. Tons of energy and sleeping like a log. Sleep has never been a problem but energy before this was lacking, along with concentration at work.
    5. My lifts in the gym are going fine. I haven't been working out consistently for awhile so I don't really have anything to compare it to. Not terribly sore though, just a little here and there.

    I don't know what's the cause but I like it. One thing that I think is making a difference is my protein intake. I'm getting in around 27 ounces of meat or equivalent (eggs) a day plus a cup of cottage cheese before bed. While this is obviously n=1, I think personal experiences are always worth something to someone. Thanks for keeping the comments board active. It's fun to read them all.

  50. @Anonymous: I would think that it would have to do with higher testosterone levels, which can cause acne. Not sure, just a guess.

    Re carb cycling: I lost about 6 inches off my waist from carb cycling, but I NEVER restricted calories…if I was hungry, I ate. I had zero starches (not zero carbs) 3 nonconsecutive days a week, 2 days lower carb and 2 days high carb. I stopped carb cycling not long ago, after being on it for almost 8 months. They tell you to eat good quality protein at every meal but I was having joint pains and the joints in my fingers would burn. I stopped carb cycling, cut my protein way back and the pain is almost completely gone (originally I thought that it was my daily wine intake, LOL!), so I'm thinking that the excessive protein was the culprit. I am eating more volume of food and more often now, but may be actually eating less calories…not sure.

    I have cut out sugar totally now and replaced it with a lesser evil…sourdough pretzels, and am concentrating on keeping my w-6's down low as possible. Cutting my sugar also means no fruit or fruit juice either. As a result, just lost another 3/4 inch off my waist. Also, I had water damage in my basement so my home gym has been out of commission for about a month or so and will probably be down another month, so exercise, other than shoveling snow and home repairs, is nonexistant. Just my 2 cents.

  51. Just drinking a glass of warm (heated it up to 110°F) milk. Now I have to say, this is delicious. Has a slight caramelized note, just like the ghee I made for the first time a few days ago.

    @Mark: IF = intermittent fasting, am I correct there?

  52. To Anon (or anyone else struggling with acne)… I talked to a woman who treats skin disorders and she told me the best way to get rid of acne is to moisturize the skin excessively (creams, oils etc) so that it stops producing excess sebum. She says she never had a case where acne did not go away with this treatment. She herself suffered from really bad acne when young, treating it with antiseptics, antibiotics, cosmetics designed for oily skin etc which only made the problem worse. It was only when she started moisturizing it that her skin improved. I tried her advice for some small blemishes and I have to say it worked just like she said it would, so now I'm using a natural moisturizer before going to bed. And normally I am very reluctant to use any cosmetics :)

    But that being said I believe if you sort out your metabolism acne should go. All doctors using desiccated thyroid report this is one symptom that responds very well.

    And Matt – this is one amazing post! Thanks!

  53. Anyone have any snacking tips? I have been eating pretzels alot lately because I think that it's the lesser of two evils (i.e. white flour and salt vs. dark chocolate with the sugar or high pufa almonds, etc.) I like pretzels because they don't have any sugar, low in fat thus low in pufas, and they taste good. Anyone got any snacks that they can grab quickly. I don't like to be hungry, LOL!

  54. madMUHHH
    Yes, intermittent fasting. I do a 16/8 split. Works out very well for my day.

  55. I'm very curious about this milk diet and would love to try it. Right now my raw milk source is pretty limited though. We might be moving to San Diego next month and I believe raw milk is sold in stores in CA? When we lived in Seattle, it was easy to come by too, here in Memphis we have found only one source and it is a half hour drive to and fro every week, such a pain in the butt. So if we do end up in CA, I will definitely try the milk diet.

    I also want to say that I am not so obsessed with food anymore. Even before doing HED and not restricting calories, but also eating sugar and high omega-6, I was still very obsessed with food. I would always watch food channel or food shows on travel channel. While doing HED I don't even check to see what is on these channels.

  56. Madmuhh,
    The story to adrenal fatigue is a common one. My case was severe, so I had to do more than someone with a mild case. I was lucky enough to find a doc who understood it, and I had an Ayurvedic doc that helped as well. You will have to decide for yourself about the doctor, but I reccomend seeing one if you can find a good one that knows what they are doing. A good one that knows how to treat this will be hard to find. I am glad that I had the tests to know exactly what was going on.

    I would definitely reccomend following Schwarzbein's plan regarding diet and exercise. Diet is to make sure insulin stay higher than adrenaline, and exercise is to help regulate hormone prodction. I do bodybuilding type exercise and yoga. I avoid long slow cardio, except for casual walking. Most people on here don't like exercise, but it worked for me, and Schwarzbein has had good results with her patients. Don't do too much if you are just starting out.

  57. Mark,
    I used to IF when I was low carb. It was very convenient for my lifestyle, and i enjoyed it. But, I think it was another factor that put strain on my adrenal function.

  58. Vida,

    Actually the milk diet has been awesome for curbing my obsession with food. I used to be painfully obsessed with every bite that passed my lips, and this mas improved dramatically since switching over to a balanced real food diet. However, the milk diet really sealed it for me. I don't worry about food at all.

    In fact, I also noticed cooking for my family has become a hugely enjoyable activity for me on the milk diet. I don't really know why. I made a dreamy potato soup last night (with lots of butter, of course), and it was such a pleasure to make it and serve it, even though I wasn't going to eat one bite. A strange feeling for me, really.

  59. So you didn't even taste the soup?
    Well whatever, just dranks some warm (110°F) milk and milk really tastes great that way. It actually had a very mild caramelized note, much like ghee. I think I should make an effort to always drink my milk warm.

  60. @MadMUHHH
    I use rice for its ease of preparation. I'm busy. Potatoes are great but they take longer to prepare than rice, plus rice is overall cheaper. Occasionally I eat fresh ground corn tortillas.

    I live in San Diego. The weather is unbeatable! Raw milk is available in stores, and here's the cost:

    Sprouts: $7.99/ half gallon
    Windmill Farms: $8.99/ half gallon
    Whole Foods: $9.99/ half gallon

    Trader Joes does not sell raw milk, but their organic milk does taste like it is grass fed. So at its cheapest, a gallon a day of raw milk will cost $16!


  61. I don't understand all of the talk about cycling, IF, etc. It seems most of the people here got here because of dieting, and why risk screwing your body up even more? Just eat 3 balanced meals with 1 or 2 balanced snacks (per Schwarzbein) and let your body balance out over time. I'm finally convinced there really are no shortcuts and the only way to get over the food obsession is to let your body eat like it wants to. I think HED makes more sense than anything just for sanity's sake, as well as health. Schwarzbein gained a lot of weight and it took her body something like 4 years to settle out, but look at her now. Perfectly lean.

    re: Acne. I've found chocolate and coffee are major triggers. Also, ever since starting the Schwarzbein way of eating with HED twist (very low omega-6s), my acne has pretty much gone. It's amazing. I think the low inflammation + blood sugar normalization did it. Plus no coffee drinking or chocolate.


  62. MadMUHHH – LOL You caught me. ;) Yes, I tasted the soup a couple times to make sure it was coming out right, but even so it didn't amount to one bite by a long shot.

    I drive well over an hour (round-trip) every week to get raw milk, twice a week now that I'm buying so much. But it's only $5.50 a gallon so I don't argue. Plus my only other source would be a 4-hour round trip, so I consider myself pretty lucky altogether!

  63. Acne seems to get better as cortisol and insulin level out. In the beginning mixed meal throughout the day balance this; Scwharzbein style. Then once the metabolism is blazing I expect it to be taken care of for good. So far the mixed meals is what has been working for me.

    I believe the low O6 approach will help a lot as well.

  64. With acne it seems like sugary foods with fat like ice cream cause the greatest oiliness, while omega 6's cause the greatest inflammatory reaction. When eating high omega 6 on a low carb diet, I couldn't eat anything sugary without getting zits.

    Now that I'm super low omega 6 I can eat whatever the hell I want and my skin has gone from good to ridiculous over the past 60 days. It takes time to clear out omega 6, and doing HED helped me out a lot too despite more skin eruptions for the first month or so.

    Malpaz- The advice you were given above was excellent. Sex hormones usually rise as the metabolism rises, just like sex hormones plummet in starvation, or under low metabolic conditions. Trying to supplement estrogen via soy products is not the issue. In fact, from a comprehensive perspective, it could be harmful as soy is generally anti-metabolic.

    Cycling is a bit of a turn off, but IF is a huge turn off. I suspect it is yet another example of good short-term highs with long-term consequences. Balanced meals and plenty of nutrients and calories is the key, and the big strength builder. Still, I can't help but be curious about doing high-calorie HED a couple days a week with normocaloric HED the rest of the week… calorie cycling that is. Carb cycling could probably be done too if you didn't take it to extremes.

  65. Matt,
    Calorie cycling usually ends up being carb cycling without trying. If someone is doing balanced healthy meals most of the week and then a few times a week lets loose and eats what they want calories and carbs would spike without effort. The best thing about this approach is the psychological break from food obsession.

  66. Despite how much I like it, I may choose to end my IF'ing because of the amount of time that it takes to eat dinner. It literally takes me around an hour to throw down that much food, even after having a meal during the day. I think I will still see benefits by cycling calories and carbs without a daily fast. At least I hope I will.

    I am going to push back breakfast, and having a later lunch. This will make it easier to fit in all that protein. I don't want to make my diet run my social life. A goal I think we all share.

    I will definitely still cycle calories and carbs. By the way, the only difference between the days is that I eat a lot of starch on workout days and none on rest days. Fruit and veggie intake doesn't change.

    The idea of warming milk has me thinking that a warm protein shake might be a good replacement for hot chocolate. I can't wait to try it.

  67. If u try a warm protein shake instead of hot chocolate make sure to mix the powder in a little COLD water before adding the boiling water ;) though real cocoa powder and raw milk would probably be better :)

  68. I'm getting raw milk for 5.$ a half gallon and pastured eggs for only 2.$ a dozen, so I won't complain anymore about the 1/2 hour drive. The milk comes from one single very beautiful Jersey cow named Monique.

    Swede…my husband has a phone interview today for the job in San Diego and then a face to face after this. I am hoping he gets it cause I would much rather end up in sunny San Diego where I could go to the beach everyday, instead of somewhere cold and boring. It's funny that you are talking about fresh ground corn tortillas cause I was wanting just that today and was thinking it would probably be very easy to come by in CA. Maybe this is a "sign" that he will get the job :)

  69. Anyone ever hear of surge training? It is 20 seconds full intensity exercise followed by 20 seconds complete rest, and then repeated 2 more times with 2 minutes rest at the end. This is to be done 3 times per week only.
    I went to this mini seminar at my chiro's the other night and he was explaining all this. It changes the way your body works. Like, during the surge training your body burns up all the glycogen (instead of fat like in a slow/long workout) and the rest of the day your body burns body fat to try and replace the glycogen. Also, he says, it makes your body produce HGH. It is supposed to replace long cardio, but you could do it along with weight training, since weight training is kind of the same thing. He says he has seen many people lose 20-30 pounds in one month by changing nothing else, just exercising in this way.
    Well, I tried my first time yesterday (I did jumping jacks in my bathroom…for TOTAL 1 minute) and now today I am super sore, but he said to expect this because of lactic acid.
    Anyways, just wondering if anyone else has ever tried this.

  70. @Vida

    Sounds like a version of the tabata protocol which in an extreme version of HIIT sprints:

    4 min warmup
    20 sec sprintlikethedickens, 10 sec rest
    Repeat 8 times
    4 min cooldown

    Step off treadmill. Puke.

    The paleo crowd loves this stuff, and I think the mainstream is catching on to the fact that HIIT cardio is more effective than long, slow, steady state/"chronic" cardio.

  71. Going back to JT's comment regarding Omega 3's and googling Ray Peate… I did google Ray Peat, and my heart sank. Not only have I been taking liquid fish oil, I've been giving my son fish oil capsules daily. It's one thing to make a mistake for yourself, but for your child… I didn't sleep too well last night. :-(

    I cook with coconut oil and pasture butter only. Someone please tell me I'm at least on the right track with Vitamin D and Vitamin K2(MK7).

    Many thanks.

  72. Think115,
    Don't worry about past mistakes, I made them too. I used to down tons of fish oil until I found Peat's research. Any damage that may have been done can be reversed quickly by stopping. The media has been promoting the idea of lowering Omega 6 and increasing Omega 3 for a long time as being healthy.

    Be careful with the coconut oil. Many people have problems with it. I cannot tolerate it at all, but I used to force myself to eat it even though it made me sick. I just stick to ghee now, but the coconut oil may be OK for most.

  73. Vida,
    Gazelle is right, that is the Tabata protocol. It is a pretty popular way to train and it works better than slow cardio. All the trainers at my gym use it with their clients, usually with kettlebells, but you can do it with any sort of activity like sprinting, jumping, biking, skating, etc… You have to be intense during the work part or it wont work very well. You also need to be careful if you are out of shape because this could be very demanding, and could be dangerous for someone that is not in shape. Google tabata protocol and you can find a lot of info on it.

  74. Thanks, JT. Feeling somewhat better now. Sometimes it's hard to know what's best. I did low carb for a long time, along with lots of cardio and weights, and ended up weighing more than I ever have in my life (along with chronic exhaustion). Decided to focus on better nutrition combined with minimal cardio (mostly weights and body weight exercises). Still, I feel confused when I commit to something and then later find out about adverse effects.

    Thanks, again.

    P.S. Just saw an article about a lawsuit regarding PCB's in fish oil capsules. Aaargh!

  75. Think115, I'll second what JT has said, better that you know now then never. I was giving my daughter CLO, and stopped about 1month ago. Seems like the best advice all around is to keep all PUFA's very low in the diet.

    I do give my little one Vit D drops (it comes in olive oil) occasionally, during the winter months here instead.

  76. Undertow, part of the reason the Weston A. Price foundation recommends cod liver oil is because it's an excellent source of vitamins A and D while not being too high in Omega 3s (which fish oil is). CLO is associated with good development in children (i.e., proper face development) and has a very long safety record. Just make sure you have a good brand -i.e., blue ice.

  77. I'm struggling with snack ideas too. Nuts were just great I thought: perfect Schwarzbein snack with protein carb and fat in one little 'capsule' … but now it seems they are too high in Omega 6. And, since we're talking about skin, mine was doing really badly on the nuts which was why I stopped them before even reading all this bad stuff about Omega 6. Its hard thinking of original snacks that combine protein and carbs and don't involve dairy … I wish I could get enough down me at lunchtime to last me through until dinner … but I seem to always need something to eat mid afternoon.

    By the way I don't know about that moisturising tip for acne … I was using a really rich moisturiser when I developed acne in my early 20s – although I was eating all the wrong things at the time plus in the sun a lot without sunscreen so perhaps it wasn't related to the mosituriser – but the moisturiser certainly didn't stop me from developing dreadful acne.

  78. Re: Acne/Moisturizing – I've had acne-prone skin when I was 12, and tried heavy moisturizing creams to no avail. BUT I've found coconut oil and/or sweet almond oil are perfect for my skin and don't make me break out. Sometimes I use these daily, very lightly, but I take a day off if my skin doesn't feel like it needs it. Overall my skin has been much softer and more supple, and didn't break out like I thought it would (except maybe a bit in the very beginning). I've been using these exclusively for several months now. This totally changed my perception that my oily skin couldn't benefit from moisturizing. Using coconut oil is really convenient since I always keep it around anyway. Plus, overall it's a pretty inexpensive, all-natural, additive-free moisturizer… you know, the kind you might pay $20/oz for if you were trying to buy a conventional product with the same merits.

    On a side note: I don't use soap to cleanse my face anymore, either (another thing I thought I *had* to do because I was acne-prone). Some days I just go over my face with coconut oil and wipe it off with a warm washcloth (it removes make-up, too), but most days I use diluted vinegar or milk (yes, milk) as a cleanser. Again, these are things I keep around the house anyway so it eliminates the need for buying a medicine cabinet full of fancy facial products that are expensive and full of chemicals anyway.

  79. Emu oil is a great moisturizer too.


  80. Dinosaur, I know what you mean about the snacks. To really eat three meals and two snacks a day, and get protein, fat, starch, and non-starchy vegetables Schwarzbein-style into each one of those, it seems like you'd spend all day preparing food or eating it. I'm doing better on the meals, but my snacks still tend to be unbalanced.

    JT, I was glad to read your comments regarding adrenals, as I'm dealing with that myself. About twenty years ago, I hammered my adrenals about every way possible: working 70+ hours a week on my feet, heavy caffeine intake to keep me awake (cold pills with a Mountain Dew chaser), living on junk food, a stressful relationship, a fairly serious bout of mono, etc. I was diagnosed with adrenal exhaustion, and told to stay off the "white" foods — refined flour, sugar, etc. — which helped, but I never felt really healed. Years later, when I learned about low-carb, that helped for a while too, and I lost a lot of the weight, but the extra energy didn't last there either, and now I'm back to feeling too tired to do anything unless I'm absolutely forced to.

    I've upped my starches for the past couple weeks, and haven't noticed any change in energy yet, but the old high-sugar symptoms like acid reflux and headaches haven't come back either, so that's good. My morning temp is running about 96.8, so I've got a ways to go. I'd like to start some weight lifting, but you know how hard that can be when you barely have the energy to get out of bed in the morning. So for now, my main focus is on eating plenty from all the food groups.

  81. Hey Matt,

    Did keys mention cigarette use among the men? I suspect they work a lot like coffee and tea when you're hypo/starving/whatever.

  82. Aaron,
    Low carb will make you feel better temporarily because you will produce more adrenaline and cortisol, but then this just makes it worse in the long run. I would suggest going to see a doc that specializes in this that can test you to find out what all you are low on. Mabye you will need a prescription for hydrocortisone until you are healed. If you have a real adrenal insufficiency you will be low on a lot of other hormones too, and maybe HRT will be needed. Problem is finding a doc, that actually knows how to do this, very rare. I was lucky enough to find some of the best.

    I eat 5 meals a day every day and it isn't that hard. Most bodybuilders do it no problem. I cook a bunch of meat and veggies on sundays and keep it in the fridge. I have a rice cooker that keeps my rice hot 24 hours a day. If i am gone during the day I just divide up my meals and take them with me. There is always canned tuna, people in the office will love the smell when you crack open a can every afternoon.

  83. JT is 5 meals a day necessary? Byron Richards (leptin researcher) thinks 3 meals a day no snacking is the way to boost leptin and increase metabolism.

  84. Carroll,
    It probably isn't necessary, you are still digesting the food you ate from the meal before when you eat your next meal. But, they are wanting to follow Schwarzbein's plan which is 5 meals a day. She found that this was better for most people to control insulin and adrenaline levels, and I always put experience in practice ahead of research and theory. Bodybuilders have been using the frequent feedings with good results for a long time as well.

  85. @Elizabeth Walling

    On a side note: I don't use soap to cleanse my face anymore, either (another thing I thought I *had* to do because I was acne-prone). …it eliminates the need for buying a medicine cabinet full of fancy facial products that are expensive and full of chemicals anyway.

    Heck yes!!! Dermatologists would probably freak at the fact that I have almost no acne on my face or back anymore, and almost never use soap on those places (almost out of spite). I always thought the scrubbing thing was bogus, because 1)some people have perfect skin with no care and 2)acne seems to form deep under the skin.

    Funny how sidetracked these comments get. Anyways, related to the post, I'm intrigued with Ancel Keys. If he really got those results, why didn't he come to Matt's conclusions about the calories?

  86. I have no idea if this woman's advice for acne will really work for everyone. I guess also my acne is not bad enough (it's not visible, just a few very small spots) to really be able to say it improved considerably, but my skin definitely is smoother and better looking now, kind of like Elizabeth said. This woman also said something about most people having dry skin now (and I was thinking low metabolism) that is constantly trying to produce enough sebum in a wrong way or something, which leads to acne. So basically that you can have skin that looks oily when it really is too dry. Who knows, but maybe it's worth trying out…

    I use a cream with natural ingredients (jojoba oil, cocoa butter, lanolin) they mix at the pharmacy. But I want to try out coconut oil as well, and I've heard good things about Kukui nut oil and Emu oil.

    Sorry if we strayed too far from the original topic :-)

  87. Good question, Jared. Although I don't think Ancel was ever against calories?

  88. Has anyone ever heard of Hcg injections for weight loss and what do you think about it?

  89. Vida,
    I have known quite few people that have done the HCG diet. It works, but most people end up gaining the weight back just like on every other extreme diet.

  90. Has anyone ever tried the Tabata protocol with any success? And without negative effects in the long wrong? I'm considering trying it out for the last five pounds that I can't seem to lose. I know its recommended to do it three times per week but I'd probably only do it once or twice with yoga and walking in between.

    I haven't really been working out at all this winter except for walking outside for about 10-15 minutes each day and maybe some crunches or push ups here and there. I just did a workout DVD (some Hip Hop Abs with Shaun T!) this week though and it reminded me of how much I love to exercise and get a sweat up.

  91. I was just curious and decided to look up what the daily caloric need for a comatose patient was. The following came from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition…

    "The basic minimum daily requirement of the average adult at bed rest consists of a diet containing approximately 70 g protein and 2400 calories, 30 per cent as fat."

    Break that down and its, 12% protein, 30% fat, and 58% carbs.

    Maybe I am missing something here, but if a non moving, very low functioning human needs 2400 calories to stay alive, wtf do we need.

    Somebody above said they had been on HED for 4 months and were thinking about quitting. Then stated they were taking in 1900 calories a day. Hope they realize this isn't HED and that maybe if a coma patient needs 2400 cals a day, they should probably double theirs and then see what happens.

    Here is the rest of the report if anyone is interested. Hope this doesn't get buried in the comments, and hope you can use this Matt, even for a quick post or video.

  92. Ya I was surprised when I read somebody said they were doing HED at 1900 calories, cause I've been doing HED averaging out like 4500 calories a day and you don't even want to know how much I eat on a day that I play soccer… Worse part of all is I think JT scared the shit out of everybody into controlling their daily caloric intake to lose weight.

    On a side note, my acne seems to be getting worse and so is the color/thrush on my tongue so I'm still wondering If candida really exists and If I do have it. I hope your candida blog post comes soon Matt

  93. Dermatend, interesting stuff. I recommend others check out the link.

    I was curious by the statement "Although it is possible to maintain a patient in positive nitrogen balance for a short period of time by intravenous feeding, more than twice as much nitrogen is required with the same caloric intake.”

    It seems that a coma patient needs HEAPS of protein as demonstrated by the case study at the end of the article
    - Initially the guy received an average of only 650 calories a day.
    - 2 weeks after admission nasogastric formula feeding was started – 126g protein, 14g fat, 336g carbohydrate, 3000 calories.
    - 4.5 months after admission, a liquefied general diet was started (100 to 200 ml every hour)2400 calories, 20-25% fat, 70g protein, and 3000 ml of fluid.

  94. Re previous post – for 4 months (the majority of time)in coma the patient needed 3000 calories

  95. Matt wrote….."This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise when one considers the paradigm-shifting idea that overweight people ARE starving precisely because the food they eat is siphoned off into fat cells instead of used for energy like it is in a healthy person."

    Can someone explain this to me?

  96. p. 638

    “An almost universal complaint among the subjects in the Minnesota Experiment was some degree of faintness immediately after standing up from a chair or bed.”

    I'd nearly forgotten about this, when, during my undernourished 20s, I suffered from dizzy spells which accompanied my standing up not from a sitting but a crouching position.

    During those times, I was, as I understand you once were, RIPPED TO SHREDS. It was not worth it.

    I also used to read cookbooks like a motherfucker, planning a week's worth of meals at a time, very few of which I got around to eating.

    On more than one occasion I actually passed out after quickly standing, in one case sustaining a head injury which required emergent care.

    Today I eat five pounds of potatoes per week, more often than not fried in tallow or coconut oil. Occasional bread, many servings of rice and beans, always with butter. Two gallons of milk, several pints of unadulterated cream. Enough meat to meet my protein needs. Calories- check.

    I'm trim ( 5'9", 160 lbs, good body composition), and weigh a whopping 40 lbs more than I did five years ago.

    I'd like to spend a day listlessly (and lustlessly) shuffling about at 120 lbs, shivering from the cold, just as a reminder to EAT.

    Next on the list: sleep.

  97. I am the one eating approx 1900 cals per day (actually varies from around 1700-2200). I started out doing what Matt says in his original ebook on metabolism which was more schwarzbein than HED. As i understand it HED is eat three good meals a day and eat until you are full. Avoid all sugar, caffeine, sweetners, low fructose and low PUFAs etc. This is what I do. I am 5'6 and 142 now, up from 128. I am glad you have good body comp, Kevin, I no longer have but hope to again in the future. If I eat to fullness it turns out eat around what most would predict my maintenance calories to be.

  98. Jedi,

    I've found to comfortably eat more than 2200 calories per day I have to eat more than three meals. Four seems to do the trick. I was actually able to take in 3600 calories from milk yesterday, but of course the milk is taken throughout the day so it wasn't too hard… plus I don't do that every day. I just did it to make sure my metabolism keeps heading in the right direction.

    Anyway, I won't tell you to eat more than you're comfortable eating, I know it's really uncomfortable to gain weight and it's hard to eat more if you know it will make you gain weight. But I think to really supercharge your metabolism, it might be helpful to raise your food intake a little more.

    I've personally noticed a major difference myself. I leveled off around 142 lbs after working for a few weeks to get my calories above 2400 on most days, and now I've dropped a couple lbs on the milk diet (still consuming 2400-3000 calories most days on average). I don't like the extra weight, but honestly it's not looking too bad anymore, it seems like my body composition is improving well and now I'm just pleasantly curvy. ;)

  99. Anonymous:
    What Matt is implying is that, in obese people, their lean tissue (muscles & organs) is being starved of calories. Thus, the bulk of those calories are feeding the fat tissue to maintain its current level leaving little to provide for the lean tissues. This is caused by improper hormonal balance.

    I liked that comatose study. I wonder if the first 4 months the protein was higher because they determined he needed 3000 cals and he was being fed a fixed-ratio formula.
    It is also funny how the homogenized whole food liquid diet caused less negative symptoms then a formula.

  100. So how does one change their body so that the calories they eat feed their muscles and organs rather than their fat?

  101. I hope no one else was as scared as Roseneltc when I mentioned the metabolic war studies that proved calories will determine body mass.
    Of course the current blog post by Matt also shows that lowering calorie intake will decrease body mass, and if it is done too low for too long then there will be negative consequences.

    I don't understand why there is so much confusion on the issue. We know that if you starve yourself and overexercise for too long you will have problems. We know that if you overeat and under-exercise for too long you will get fat and develop other health problems. Why not find balance? Eat the right amount of calories and do the right amount of exercise.

  102. The calories you eat do feed your muscles and organs. Obese people have large organs and more muscle mass than the average person. Only in the rare case of Sarcopenia do we see obese people with low amounts of lean tissue. So, starving your lean tissues while feeding the fat is not something you have to worry about unless you have a serious disease.

    If you want bigger muscles then you need to place demands on the body through exercise so that it will respond by increasing muscle mass.

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  104. JT, you are the voice of reason…….

  105. "We know that if you overeat and under-exercise for too long you will get fat and develop other health problems."

    Do we? What data points to that? This particular study indicates the opposite – after 33 weeks of overeating the subjects started to lose fat without any significant change in total body weight. Personally, I have gained very little fat in the past three months of overeating 4500 calories a day.

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  107. Yes Collden, we do know that. How do you know that you were eating 4500 calories a day? Do you weigh and measure all of your food? What are your current stats like body weight, body fat percent, exercise habits and history?

    You should have quoted my entire statement so that it could be understood properly. I said, "We know that if you starve yourself and overexercise for too long you will have problems. We know that if you overeat and under-exercise for too long you will get fat and develop other health problems. Why not find balance? Eat the right amount of calories and do the right amount of exercise."

    I advocate balance and treating people according to their current condition. If I have someone that is exercising too much and under eating, then I would tell them to eat and rest more. If I had someone that was eating too much and sedentary, I would tell them to eat less and exercise more. It all depends on the individuals current state, and what is good for one person may be bad for another. I recommend learning a little bit about some of the traditional healing systems like TCM or Ayurveda where the emphasis is on balancing the the person as a way to find health.

    This is not difficult to understand and their is no "magical" diet or "secret" exercise programs that will overcome the basic principles. A little effort and self discipline is required unless you are one of the genetic elite. If you don't believe this, then you have been brainwashed by marketing campaigns from those in the industry trying to sell books and supplements.

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  109. JT, I think the problem with your advice is people have been trying this "I would tell them to eat less and exercise more. " and it seems not to working. You could be a guest on Oprah, she'd eat that shit up! Ok I kid, but really… Eating less and exercising more would tend to make someone hungrier? no? So they just end up getting fatter, it drives the metabolism down… the checkmark curve.

    In those prison studies were the inmates were eating 10K cals a day, and some could not get over 18% weight gain even after a year (if I remember correctly), the weight gain halted, the body just raised the metabolism and temp on the furnace to burn through the cals.

    The higher the metabolism is, the harder it will be to gain weight whether you are not exercising or overeating or both. As your body will constantly strive for homeostasis. And the better your metabolic state, the easier the homeostasis comes. This is what I am sticking too, and I am giving myself a year, and see how it goes. Although it may take longer, I recall Scwharzbein took 7yrs to get back to health.

  110. hmmm sounds like me, most of my health problems listed here. so what and how much should I eat to get my strength/vitality back? around how many grams proteins fats and carbs i'm 130lbs at 5'9? I was 120 at my lowest so i'm gaining some weight…

  111. The HED is based on the premise that malnutrition is at the heart of obesity issues, and that given abundant calories/nutrition eventually things will come right. The subject of Ancel Keys starvation experiments were clearly malnourished and had a low metabolism because of incredibly insufficient calories. Whether or not Matt Stone's followers are malnorished on a cellular level is another matter. It may be that they will raise their metabolism at the expense of being quite a bit heavier than they'd like, and maybe this isn't so bad if good health is the result. Our society is fixated on ultra-slim. However maybe they will end up more overweight and unhealthy. I'm skeptical of HED but look forward to seeing how things pan out.

  112. The HED is based on the premise that malnutrition is at the heart of obesity issues, and that given abundant calories/nutrition eventually things will come right.

    The subject of Ancel Keys starvation experiments were clearly malnourished and had a low metabolism because of incredibly insufficient calories. Whether or not Matt Stone's followers are malnorished on a cellular level is another matter.

    It may be that they will raise their metabolism at the expense of being quite a bit heavier than they'd like, and maybe this isn't so bad if good health is the result. Our society is fixated on ultra-slim.

    However maybe they will end up more overweight and unhealthy. I'm skeptical of HED but look forward to seeing how things pan out.

  113. I think you are right undertow, it is more complicated than eat less and exercise more. But, that is a big part of the puzzle. What do you think of the new epidemic of obese children? Do you think this is because they are eating to little, and exercising too much? Or do you think it is because they sit around and play video games all day instead of getting exercise, and eat a lot of high calorie foods?

    What the prison study shows is that we all have metabolic setpoints, and it is difficult to change them. The average body has a range of about 10-20 pounds that it will stay within. But, over time the setpoints can change, but you have to get to that weight and hold it for long enough for the body to readjust. If the people in the prison study would have maintained the high calorie intake over several years, they would have changed their setpoint. Bodybuilders do this all the time when they "bulk" up and gain a lot of extra weight (including fat) in order to put on as much muscle as possible. This only works if they hold the weight long enough to change the metabolic setpoint. If they try to cut before they have held the weight long enough then they will just go back to where they were before. This happens all the time with normal people too. Lots of people gain weight slowly over time and find that 10 years down the road they are 100 pounds heavier than they used to be, with a new metabolic setpoint.

  114. JT wrote:

    I think you are right undertow, it is more complicated than eat less and exercise more. But, that is a big part of the puzzle. What do you think of the new epidemic of obese children? Do you think this is because they are eating to little, and exercising too much? Or do you think it is because they sit around and play video games all day instead of getting exercise, and eat a lot of high calorie foods?


    They eat a lot of BAD calories. Sugar and refined flour + processed convenience foods.

    If they ate "high" calories, but it was real food, would we have an obesity epidemic in children? I don't think so.

  115. You also have to look at what children's mothers were eating before, during pregnancy, and after. Was it garbage food. Did they breastfeed or put the poor child on soy infant formula, which is a metobolic death sentence…. then when they start eating, are they downing sodas, chips, and cereal, or eating real whole foods.


  116. You guys are wasting your time, JT has a set mindset that all calories are created equal. He believes that a bag of doritos is the same as a potato with butter as long as they both are the caloric equivalent. He thinks that our problem is just too many calories but he doesn't ask why? Why are people eating more calories? He thinks that it's just impossible to eat many calories of natural foods and that obviously people today are just a bunch of overeating sloths.
    Unfortunately he doesn't realize that many civilizations have been healthy and slim (I'm not saying muscle bound since I agree that one has to work out to look like a football player) even with little to no exercise.
    A tiger, a monkey or even a giraffe don't have to go on fitday to track their daily meals and see if they need to eat less or workout more tomorrow to burn off the extra calories and us humans don't either.
    The hypothalamus regulates, among many autonomic bodily functions, hunger, and the leptin hormone plays an important role in its communication. However, if there is leptin resistance then everything can get out of whack and that autonomic system isn't performing where it should so a person eats more than what the body needs.
    But you can't use your mind or "willpower" because all you are going to do is be in a constant struggle with your body, which will ultimately result in hunger, lower metabolism and more weight gain.
    We should be worried about what part of our environment is causing the human system to not work properly and trying to fix it, in my belief it's excess fructose, excess omega 6 and just overall processed food that is so far beyond its natural state that the body probably doesn't even recognize what it is.
    However, for JT a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, so in this last century people have just had more food and they just decided to be a bunch of lazy gluttons.

  117. Rosenfeltc,

    I agree with your assessment that sugar, fructose and excess omega 6 has got us where we are now.

    However something else that Matt has touched on elsewhere is our acquired genes.

    An unintended consequence of getting rid of infectious disease has been proliferation of chronic disease. It's no longer survival of the fittest. Since the days when TB and influenza wiped out a huge portion of the child-bearing population there's been a huge increase in sub-optimal thyroid function, with all of its attendant ills.

  118. JT

    "Yes Collden, we do know that."

    How do we know that?

    "How do you know that you were eating 4500 calories a day? Do you weigh and measure all of your food? What are your current stats like body weight, body fat percent, exercise habits and history?"

    I measure my caloric intake from time to time and I eat very similarly from one day to another, this past Thursday I clocked in at 4650 calories. I know I have gained very little fat by looking in the mirror and feeling how my clothes fit. Not a scientific measurement I know, but the Minnesota starvation study did take very careful measurements. How do you explain that the subjects stopped gaining fat, and in fact started to lose fat without losing weight, after 7 months of overfeeding?

    "I advocate balance and treating people according to their current condition. If I have someone that is exercising too much and under eating, then I would tell them to eat and rest more. If I had someone that was eating too much and sedentary, I would tell them to eat less and exercise more. It all depends on the individuals current state, and what is good for one person may be bad for another. I recommend learning a little bit about some of the traditional healing systems like TCM or Ayurveda where the emphasis is on balancing the the person as a way to find health."

    This is meaningless because you don't define your terms, someone who is "eating too much" should by definition eat less, but what is too much? That's the relevant question. Matt would, I think, agree that eating until you feel like throwing up every day is too much, and that eating whole foods to satiety is not, regardless of whether it lands above some mathematical formula of energy requirements or makes you gain weight temporarily.

    "A little effort and self discipline is required unless you are one of the genetic elite."

    The "genetic elite" is more like the norm, obesity has been exceptionally rare in the entire human species throughout history. Modern day USA and Australia are still like the only places in the world where there are more overweight than normal weight individuals

  119. Rosenfeltc, now you are just being dishonest and intentionally misrepresenting my position. I never said that a calorie is the only thing that matters. I mentioned numerous times that the type of food you eat is important and that is what people should focus on for health, not calories.

    Collden, what the overfeeding study and the starvation study showed is that we all have metabolic setpoints. Our bodies will stay within a certain weight range, and when something throws it out of that range it will fight to go back to it. Some people are naturally skinny and some people are naturally fatter, if you are a scrawny guy that wants to get big you are going to have to really struggle if you want to be big, just like the naturally fat person who wants to be skinny due to societal pressures.

    If you think the genetic elite is more like the norm then you have not been around many professional athletes. When I say genetic elite, I am talking about the people who are on the extreme end of leanness and muscularity no matter what they eat, including junk food.

    Also, you people are wrong if you think that think that obesity never existed until modern times with excess omega 6 and fructose. Many societies of the past have had fat people. Yes, it is more prevelant now that we have more processed foods and people have lower energy expenditures. My great grandparents lived on small farms their whole life, almost never eating sugar or vegetable oils, and they were very large. Everything they ate was organic, fresh, free range,etc… But, they ate the HED, so they got larger.

  120. JT i am sorry but the few fatties of the past does not compare with the prevalence of OBESE (ie the many, significantly overweight) of recent years you mentioned the obesity epidemic amongst kids yourself. This did not exist when i was young.

  121. @JT: You argue that the 10.000 calorie prisoners did not get fat because the time they got fed such big amounts of food wasn't enough to drastically move up their body mass fat point.
    Because of this you are implying, or at least that's how I understand it, that the HED will eventually will make you fat.
    Just for your information. HED is not supposed to be an eternal high-calorie diet. This is a quote from Matt's 180 introductory post:

    "And don’t worry, this is not a lifetime force-feeding ritual. Appetite usually falls dramatically over time after body temperature rises to healthy levels – and the HED ends up being an incidental low-calorie diet by comparison to national averages."

  122. "The diminution of the strength of the sex drive was so dramatic that the subjects were struck by the change and used colorful language to describe it.”

    Best Ancel Keys quote ever.

    What a great post. Can you explain nitrogen balance and why its so important. Sorry to be stoopid.

    Also combining Kris Kross and Ancel Keys…Matt you made my day.

  123. Hi Matt,

    I just visited your blog for the first time last week, when I saw on Anne Marie's blog she'd done a podcast with you.

    I love your approach to all of this and am so on board with you. I have to say I am really, just, floored I guess. I've been struggling with weight for a good 7 years since the birth of my first child, and I am now wondering if the diet I was on before she was born, set me up for this obese thing.

    I have always been heavier than most, even when I was in track and a solid rock muscle, I was 190lbs. (5'9 tall) I still felt that I should be thinner, and even though I managed to get a man interested enough in me to marry me, I still felt that I should lose weight. I started a diet plan that was 70% raw food- fruits and veggies- and did food combining. (starches and veggies, OR protein and veggies, never proteins and starches together) I did eat real fats, but in very small amounts because the majority of my diet was raw. I only ate meat 2-3 times a week if that.

    So anyways, I lost about 40lbs, then immediately conceived. Prior to that, we had been 'trying' to conceive for a few months, but no luck. Only when I went on a cruise and ate to my heart's content did I get pregnant. Hmmm…

    So, this baby had some problems, and I had to be on bedrest and was told to EAT! So I did, and gained a good 60lbs of fat. After her birth, I didn't lose much, and I was starving. I was so hungry all the time and was CRAVING sugar. Wow. I just couldn't seem to get back on my eating plan. Then three months after birth, I conceived again. Gained another 30+lbs, had that one, then was stressed out because I had two babies in the same year!! I was getting pretty fat at this point.

    I would do all kinds of things to lose weight, like Weight Watchers and low carb and so on. My body didn't lose more than 10lbs, then gain it back. I finally just gave up and then we had a third baby. It was then I learned about nourishing traditional foods, and even though I didn't lose pounds, my body seemed to somehow rearrange itself. I looked slimmer. Now that I've had the 4th baby, I am the same size, just uh, still fat. And things have DEFINITELY rearranged :(

    I have been digging and searching for THE way to get my body healthy and at a normal weight. I eat GREAT and still have not lost weight at all. I have a busy household to take care of and do no formal exercise, although I would like to pump iron just for the fun of it.

    I just don't know what to do. I really want to change, but my weight just won't budge. It did after birth, like 22 lbs in two weeks, but slowly crept back up to it's happy 240lbs. I am not willing to get on a crazy diet and hurt myself. Still, I'm wondering if my body was starving all the time I was on the raw-ish diet and that's why it is the way it is now, even though it's getting real food.

    Darn it!

  124. @Anonymous: you said…

    In the blue corner,'Will' otherwise known as 'Prudence'.
    In the red corner, 'Stasis'."

    Uhhhh, OK…

    I did a quick search on this and a few other comments sections and didn't see any 'Prudence' or 'Stasis' anywhere, so, uhhh, have fun with that little inside joke there.

  125. Jedi, the people of the past who were obese were the upper class that had unlimited access to food, and led very sedentary lifestyles. The poor people had to work very hard for their food, and the amount was limited by financial constraints, so the poor were rarely obese. The average person today has the lifestyle of the rich people in the past.

    Madmuhh, your quote of Matt shows that he know the importance of a caloric deficit over long term if one is going to have sustained weight loss. I have already stated that I like calorie cycling, and that this would be the only way that HED would work. I don't think I misunderstand HED, Bruce K is the founder of HED, and he said that it means eating a high EVERYTHING diet.

  126. Speaking of Bruce K, does anyone know how we can get him back here? He is a genius.

  127. Madmuhh, your quote of Matt shows that he knows the importance of a caloric deficit over long term if one is going to have sustained weight loss.

    Umm, sorry but where does that quote show that?

    Well, whatever, you certainly are right with the HED thing. You probably know more about the origin of it than I do, I just wanted to point out that when most people here are talking about the HED, they're not necessarily talking about a permanent HED.
    I'm not even sure what point I'm trying to make here, but well, whatever. ;-)

  128. Anneatheart,
    Your story is very much like many women struggling with their weight in today's society. The problem is more a mental one than a physical one. You have been brainwashed by the media into thinking that you need to be a body type that is unnatural for you. You don't have to be skinny to be healthy, but forcing yourself to stay skinnier than what is natural for your body, can be unhealthy. Why not just eat moderate amounts of healthy unprocessed foods, exercise moderately, and enjoy your life without obsessing over food and body fat.

    One thing that I have observed again and again with naturally larger people is that carbs, and sweet foods in particular (except for fruits) will make things worse. I would shoot for a moderate carb intake schwarzbein style if I was naturally fatter, and almost completely eliminate sweets.

    If you get a chance check out Ayurveda and the different body types of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. This might help you understand that there are different body types, and that it is OK.

  129. Anneatheart,

    Your problems are a long time in the making, so it will take quite a while to come right.

    Whatever else you do I recommend a high-protein, high-fat low carb breakfast. It will set up your blood sugar response for the day.

    Personally I find a high fat diet has taken away my craving for sugar. You may be very sensitive to fructose, so be very cautious with fruit.

    Finally, check your body temps 4 mornings in a row toward the end of your period. This should be done first thing in the morning before eating, drinking or getting up. I check hard under the back of my tongue. If your basal temp is 97F or lower you could be hypothyroid. If so you should read Broda Barnes, Mike Starr and Stephen Langer. All the best

  130. @CarrollJ16:

    BBT is higher post-ovulation, right? So your suggestion to measure at the end of one's period is when BBT would presumably be lower. Is that the number women should be concerned about WRT low metabolism? I assume so.

    I think my temps hover around 96.3 at the beginning of my cycle, and get up to 97.4 or so at the end. This is with Armour or Cytomel.

  131. Hi Gazelle

    Yes I think the lower temperature should be taken. After menopause there is no temperature shift because no ovulation. I was wondering the other day if this fact alone (not estrogen level) is the reason pre-menopausal women have less heart disease – the raised metabolism during ovulation gives a protective health boost.

    My lowest resting temp is 97F so at this stage I don't think I need thryoid. For now I'm interested in non-thyroid ways to boost metabolism.

    As 60% of hypothryroids are overweight, I wonder at Matt's strategy of eating abundantly. Hydrotherapy (cold showers) and coconut oil look promising but may be more hype than substance.

    Sometimes when you eat can have an effect. Sumo wrestlers slow their metabolism to gain weight. They do this by (1) doing a 5 hour work-out before any food (2) eating really large meals only 2x a day and (3) having a long nap after lunch. Rest is good, but not straight after food. My take on this is that we should always eat before exercise, eat 3 meals a day not too large, eat dinner earliy in the evening.

  132. BBT for cycling females should be taken on second or third day of cycle.

    For males, & non-cycling females, anytime.

  133. 'BBT for cycling females should be taken on second or third day of cycle'

    Anytime from then yes, but also up to ovulation – at least a 12 day window. The key is to establish the trend, so temps over a number of mornings is necessary, probably 4 minimum. If temps swing up and down there could be adrenal fatigue.

  134. 'BBT for cycling females should be taken on second or third day of cycle'

    Anytime from then yes, but also up to ovulation – at least a 12 day window. The key is to establish the trend, so temps over a number of mornings is necessary, probably 4 minimum. If temps swing up and down there could be adrenal fatigue.

  135. Anneatheart:

    Nice to see you at 180. :) I think Matt is really onto something here, and more importantly, he's continuing to research and test new theories. There's no "absolute" dogma here (except perhaps that starving yourself is no good!).

    I think one theory that rings true is that the deeper you've dug your metabolic hole, the longer it takes to get out of it. Pregnancy combined with dieting (and also the myriad of stresses involved w/ mothering children) can really send your metabolism and hormones through the ringer. It takes a lot to heal from that. I believe part of the reason my own healing process has been extensive is mainly because I'm a mother of young children who can't just stop everything to rest and recover. BUT I've gone lengths to reduce stress in any way I can, and I believe that's been a major factor in my recovery.

  136. Ok, well, I've just done a small 2 week experiment. Week 1 I had two full days of vlc, no more than 30g per day and my calorie totals were around 1500 per day. On the other days I did a moderate HED and my calorie totals were around 2000-2200 per day. Second week, Same calories with the HED days, but instead of 2 vlc days I did two low calorie days, around 1100-1200 calories per day. Yesterday was a low cal day and I felt very tired, I even went to bed around 10 and didn't wake up this morning until 8, which is quite late for me. My body temps during the two weeks were pretty stable, but slightly lower the second week and my total weight loss was .8 pounds, which is most likely just a fluctuation anyways. These two weeks also, I did a lot of physical activity. I went swimming 4 times, played tennis 3 times, played outside with my son a lot (we got really beautiful weather the last 2 weeks,) and I even did the surge training 3 times.
    I don't know what to think since doing full HED, eating much more calories and exercising much less gave me the exact same results.
    Maybe it is a hormonal problem, but I recently got all my blood work and doc said everything is normal.
    This is so frustrating! I don't want to ruin my metabolism any more, but I want to lose weight while healing. I'm doing more research on hcg diet (using homeopathic drops,) but will not try it until I am convinced it will not be more damaging.

  137. Hey Vida, it really seems to me you need to just keep on with the HED. I couldnt immediately find how long you have been doing HED, but I got from comments on this blog post alone (I didnt go check previous posts) that HED has, at the very least, cured your food obsession. That alone is pretty huge. Truthfully it seems like you are wanting to get healthy but also lose weight, have your cake and eat it too at the same time. But as Im sure you know from reading everything here, you will have weight and gain more weight doing this for awhile until your body heals and then weight will go down. I think you need to just keep eating HED until your body heals and then looses weight on its own. It may take awhile (and maybe you are still lacking something) and Im sure it sucks having weight you dont want, but you'll be alive for quite a long time. What does a year to get healthy matter?

    How much sleep are you getting? Ive been doing HED for about a year now. Temps went up to begin with but havent gone anywhere in the last six months, despite me even supplementing with some dessicated thyroid (Ive since stopped). In the last couple months I have been trying really hard to get more sleep (though that often means getting 7 or 7.5 hours instead of just 6, rarely 8 except on weekends) and my temperature has finally started creeping up a little again. I dont want to say Im in the clear or anything, but the extra sleep I think is finally paying off. To be honest at the beginning it actually seemed to make me more tired but that slowly went away and I feel fine now and now my temps are going up. Its been bouncing between 97.5 and 98.1, but I just got a 98.4 this morning (this is all under the tongue.).

  138. "edi, the people of the past who were obese were the upper class that had unlimited access to food, and led very sedentary lifestyles. The poor people had to work very hard for their food, and the amount was limited by financial constraints, so the poor were rarely obese. The average person today has the lifestyle of the rich people in the past."

    This is true to a certain degree, but by saying "food" you are leaving out the fact that many sources of calories like sugar, alcohol and caffeine were luxury goods. The rich did not have unlimited access to food in the same way we do. Seasonal constraints, refrigeration etc. put limits on what even kings could eat at any given time. In England pre industrial revolution the average person ate a very poor diet that was expected to support hard labor even though it was limited in the amount of animal protein and fat. Also I would argue that we have nothing near the ideal lifestyle of the rich of a few hundred years ago. If you were rich you didn't work, period. You exercised but mostly for fun or to get around your local neighborhood. Stress was pretty minimal. Possibly only trophy wives know the level of stressless living the wealthy of the past. Also obesity wasn't that common. There are some famous fat people: Henry VIII, the Prince Regent (George IV). All those fat women painted by the great masters were chosen for their extraordinary shapes, not because of their similarity to the general population.

  139. Hey Drooo, glad to hear the sleep is working.

  140. Hi Vida, I was sorta in the same boat as you are now. Although not exactly Matt's plan, I did the HED thing for about 3 or 4 months, my waist bloated up to almost 40 inches (which is ALOT for a 5' 9" guy) and almost 200lbs. It got to the point where I had trouble tying my shoes and I had difficulty breathing, so I HAD to stop. I used carb cycling to lose weight and over the course of about 7 months, lost about 6 inches off my waist. Christmas had me backslide some and then I was stuck. I stopped carb-cycling a few weeks ago and went higher carb, lower protein, not overboard on the fat and I started losing again and now my waist almost down to 33" and I weight just over 170. Some of Matt's ideas that I just incorporated when I stopped carb cycling was lowering the protein, and cutting out sugar except for half the day on Saturdays…when I say sugar, I mean no fruit or juice either. I think that cycling, whether it's carbs or calories or whatever, it seems like having the best of both worlds…I don't know whether the higher days allow the body to not feel threatened (Lyle Macdonald says that the body will downregulate the metabolism after 3 days of reduced calories). I'm not saying that this is the right way or the best way, but it is A way. My thryoid and adrenals were smoked…low body temps, losing part of my eyebrows, unable to stay awake through a whole day, I felt completely whooped. I feel 1000% better right now and Matt's ideas played a big part in that…he may not be 100% on board with it, but there are a lot of his concepts in there. Good luck.

  141. late to the show here.. but Matt, when I was going through the exerts from Key's study, something jumped out at me.. when I was doing hard core 100% raw with enemas (yes, TMI, every other day) 2 colonics a month (nevermore sayeth the butt sore raven!) I suddenly saw SPOTS all around the place, thought they were gnats.. spots before my eyes. Not sure why it happened, but I get it now. And yeah, I was dreaming of being a raw chef. Now there is an oxymoron for ya.
    xoxo deb

  142. The fantasizing about becoming a chef thing was the most comical thing for me when I was calorie restricted. I filled notebooks with kitchen layout sketches, menu ideas, and restaurant concepts.

    So hilarious.

  143. This was some of the best information that I got from your blog. My friend suggested me to visit this blog. Really good one!

    College Research Papers

  144. The Ancel Keys and The Biology of Human Starvation is really good thing to read I think that the given information has so much to read and to get know about it.

  145. Thank you, it's unbelievable, and they have very interesting emonstrations on the site.

  146. Food was essential to keep the bodily fluids in balance and to maintain harmony with the world of nature. In the Greek system, which dominated medical philosophy in the West until the seventeenth century, the distinction between food and medicine was never clear.

  147. Wow you really have alot of information on your blog. Good job. This is also very educational. Thanks.


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