Are White Flour and White Sugar bad for you?

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white flour white sugarBy Matt Stone

The slow trickle of books in an increasing number of formats continues. That latest is the revised version (put out in September) of the original Diet Recovery now in paperback. You can order that on Amazon HERE. It’s also available as an audiobook in case you missed that announcement as well. Click HERE to listen.

I originally wrote Diet Recovery with a belief that a diet containing refined foods stripped of their nutrients, namely white flour and sweeteners like white sugar and high-fructose corn syrup even more so, was inherently unhealthy. I thought these substances were the primary cause of health problems in the world, and their removal from the diet absolutely mandatory to improve one’s health.

At the same time, my research was leading me towards the incredible physiological significance of metabolic rate. That research, and knowing how vital it was from a metabolic standpoint, to:

  1. Not restrict any macronutrient groups (carbs, fats, protein)
  2. Eat an adequate amount of calories for optimal metabolic rate

…I was left feeling like people needed to stuff themselves silly exclusively with unrefined food. It was not unlike the Whole 30 concept in the book It Starts with Food, only with extra emphasis on carbohydrates and calories.

But as time progressed, and I communicated with more and more people, I began to separate the wheat from the chaff. In other words, the stuff that actively worked to increase metabolic rate and trigger the improvement or disappearance of many health problems that often accompanies a rise in metabolic rate, simply didn’t require much emphasis on the fine details of diet. In fact, trying to eat only “whole foods” was often too boring/mundane or too hard on a weakened person’s digestion to allow a person to eat enough calories to trigger the increase in metabolic rate.

Moreover, as an author of health books with a health website, those who have found me haven’t been the Slurpee and fast food types. People eating a truly low-grade Western swill diet, believe it or not (sarcasm), weren’t spending their time scouring the internet in search for health information. Rather, it was the health obsessives that were landing on my site and picking up my books. The last thing this crowd needed to hear was more bad information on sugar, gluten, or preservatives. They needed to lighten the hell up and have a damn slice of pizza to climb out of their frigid, starved, state. And the focus of my information really shifted to meet the needs of the audience I had attracted.

Thus, Diet Recovery 2 was born–a book less about what is and is not a healthy food and moving beyond the intellectual micromanagement of one’s diet completely. The book was about returning to normalcy and rediscovering hobbies, interests, and pastimes that have nothing to do with food, exercise, or any other health practices. For health reasons!

Anyway, I thought today was a good day to just do a little recapping and reminiscing. Half the visits I get on each article I write are by people who are visiting the site for the first time. How the hell do they make sense of anything without knowing the backstory? Only those along for the ride since the beginning seem to understand each new stage that this site has undergone over the years. And those multi-year lurkers out there are few, because if you’ve followed  along for all those years, you should have moved on to bigger and better things than the constant hunt for the perfect diet or perfect health by now!

Fun 004And it’s timely I’d say. It has been almost exactly 7 years since I published my first blog post online (not too long after this photo was taken of me eating something weird. Not sure what.). I didn’t even have a Facebook account when I started! I hadn’t even heard of Twitter. Little did I know what an adventure I would be in for. Thanks to all you old birds who have stuck around, and welcome newbies. Please share your stories in the comments below…

How did you find me? What phase was the site going through when you arrived? How nuts did you think I was at first? How nuts do you think I am now? What do you think about when you see the word “nuts” used in three consecutive sentences? Is it distracting? And, after all your experiences and study, would you say that white sugar and white flour and other processed foods are bad for you personally? Or has it been a blessing to loosen the f$#% up?

Matt Stone author picMatt Stone is an independent health researcher, author of more than 15 books, and founder of 180DegreeHealth. He is best known for his research on metabolic rate and its central role in many health conditions as well as his criticisms of extreme dieting. You can read more of his work in over 500 free articles on the site or in his books HERE.

129 Comments

  1. Ooh am I first!? If so, where is my effing prize!

    Reply
    • No, I think that I wan the prize!
      However I agree, white sugar and rice are awesome…… but nothing, absolutely nothing, beats ice cream!!!

      Reply
  2. White sugar has been a blessing more so than white flour for me. Also, white rice and white potatoes (so suck that Atkins!).

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  3. First.
    this is a nice recap. Food is food, life is life. Live and eat. Stop obsessing.

    Reply
    • I like that Lucia…

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      • Thanks KarenE.
        Alas, I often say that, but I seldom do that.
        However I hope that keeping saying it will make me behave differently.
        I dream is to be a normal person that eats like a normal person!

        Reply
  4. I have a digestive problem (GERD), and the more refined foods like white sugar and flour are easier for me to digest, as well as white rice and POTATOES and squash. I’ve been on low fat and low carb diets, but was no better than I am now, eating carbs fat and protein with every meal. I have finally begun sleeping better (consistently October and November), after a year of intermittent poor sleep, and trying all the sleep remedies I could find on the Internet. I started reading this forum around the beginning of this year. I stumbled onto it while looking for GERD diets. I’ve read Eat for Heat and Diet Recovery 2, and the forums have helped fill in some information gaps. So Matt, you do sound a little nuts, but I believe that I’m not finding better eat-for-health info anywhere else.

    Reply
    • Never EVER say my name and “little nuts” together in the same sentence. You get one warning BW!

      :)

      Reply
  5. I am pretty sure I first found this site from a Nikoley post or comment in late 2009 or early 2010. I remember at one point trying to eat “golf-ball-sized” servings of rice (which you later admitted was a ridiculous recommendation, I think?) and then later trying the HED.

    White sugar and white flour no longer make me feel bad (though I haven’t quite shaken my irrational fear of gluten). Pizza and ice cream FTW.

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    • I thought New Yorkers only eat “gelato?” Love ya Gazelle!

      Reply
      • Aw. Love you too, Matty.

        I have done extensive self-experimentation (in the U.S. and Italy) to determine that I prefer ice cream to gelato.

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      • No Matt, only Italian New Yorkers eat Gelato, the rest of us New Yorkers eat “eye-scream” :)

        Reply
  6. Dear Matt “Nutter” Stone,

    How did you find me? At the looney bin. Some health search. I was super self righteous for being all paleo even if my hair was falling out and I didn’t lose any weight after the first 6 pounds.

    What phase was the site going through when you arrived? I don’t remember. It was right around the time you had a bromance with Ray Peat.

    How nuts did you think I was at first? Pretty frickin’ nuts.

    How nuts do you think I am now? Pretty frickin’ nuts.

    What do you think about when you see the word “nuts” used in three consecutive sentences? Is it distracting? No Nutter! It’s sooo good I can’t even stand it.

    And, after all your experiences and study, would you say that white sugar and white flour and other processed foods are bad for you personally? White sugar has helped me A LOT. I function better with it in my diet. Especially before 2pm. I digest food more easily and just have more energy. White flour isn’t bad per say, just don’t have it that much.

    Or has it been a blessing to loosen the f$#% up? Toe-tally! And I’m so glad I found ya.

    Reply
    • What’s reassuring to see is that some of the first people to chime in actually had their pee tested by me and are still around. I guess we just bonded in a special way–you, me, and that little plastic cup.

      Reply
  7. I shoot for roughly 4000 calories per day, not excluding white flour or sugar (including pancakes, white bread, donuts, crackers, cookies). After my wt. gain of 16-18 pounds following diet recovery, my weight has been very stable, essentially eating what I desire for the last 3-4 month. I do not have intense cravings and hunger like I had in the past (from going in and out of paleo). I used to crave bread. Now I don’t really care one way or another. My blood sugar is more stable now (eating tons of carbs) than when doing paleo (regularly had reactive hypoglycemia). God bless the white crap!!!

    Reply
  8. I’m a relative newbie here – I was half dead after screwing my system up with 5 trips to Japan in 7 months for work while trying to maintain a Paleo diet. Paleo and Japan, by the way, do NOT mix unless you eat sashimi and seaweed every day all day. A friend suggested Go Kaleo and a group called Eating the Food on Facebook. I dipped a toe in at the beginning of May this year, and found a bunch of people talking about Matt and body temps. I bought a thermometer at the beginning of June, and freaked the hell out with a temp of 94.3. I then came over here and started reading EVERYTHING. Started eating every food that didn’t make me sick, and at the beginning I would get a fever & full on flu symptoms if I ate certain foods, it was terrifying. But now, I can eat everything but wheat and oats. I’m no longer getting fevers, my hair isn’t falling out, no more migraines, I sleep through the night. My temps go up to 99 during the day and I wake up in the 98s every day. And no more Paleo. No more fear of food. Consequently, no more binges either. I’m starting to work on more exercise and spending a lot of time resting and cooking great food with no restricting. Also, Talenti gelato rocks in Old World Eggnog flavor. Ice cream FTW!

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  9. I have been on almost every diet known to man, after suffering my whole life with GI issues. I’ll tell you this, the WORST I’ve ever felt was low carb. Eating meat and vegetables every meal, or snacking on things like almond butter on celery. Worst I’ve ever felt, hands down.

    The best I’ve ever felt has been on a “sort of” Ray Peat diet. But less fluids. His OJ/Milk stuff is just plain weird. I did that and felt like I was in an ice box when I was in a 70 degree room. I eat plenty of coconut oil and gelatin, coffee with LOTS of fat in it (heavy cream or coconut oil), white rice, mashed potatoes (sweet and white), calorie dense fruit (tropical fruit), beef, shrimp, some cheese, gum-free ice cream, stuff like that. But unlike Ray Peat, I’m not drinking 1 quart of milk and 1 quart of OJ a day. I really only drink coffee, occasional Gatorade of sports drink, and Mexican Cokes. Drinking the OJ and Milk made me feel so cold it was ridiculous. I also salt my foods liberally with pink sea salt.

    Eating like that has fixed my body temp issues of 96.9 to 97.1, helped my hair thicken, given me color back in my face, helped me gain much needed weight, got stronger in the gym, more of a sex drive, better mental clarity, feel happier, more stable moods, sleep better. I mean, basically everything. I was on the full-boat Ray Peat diet, but read Diet Recovery 2 and changed my approach to A LOT less fluid. It worked like a charm. Almost overnight I began to warm up. Within a few weeks, I was 98.6 to 99.1. I started being able to go outside in 50 degree weather with just a light sweatshirt on, rather than a winter coat.

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  10. I first came across your work in my early Paleo experiments. I believe it was a blog post on Mark Sisson. I read some of the blog and thought it was rubbish (if only I had listened then!). I didn’t visit the site again for probably another year or so when my health and turned really bad. I was so brainwashed into believing grass fed lamb chops and 6 pack abs were the key to health that I couldn’t see my own health deteriorating. Eventually it did. And that brought me back here.
    It has definitely been wonderful loosening up on the sugar/processed foods, although my pants haven’t exactly loosened up.

    Reply
    • Yeah, no plans for a “Rock Hard Abs” book anytime soon. Sorry brother. But you never know. You may see those badboys again someday. I still have hope for mine against all odds. I can feel ‘em in there so they’re not buried too deep.

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      • Yeah its early days yet. The belly has grown but so has my happiness. That matters so much more than abs. Maybe you can write a book on ‘Love Handle Happyness”? Built for comfort not for speed!

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  11. I was a “Heath Nut” when I first came to your site, looking for a change. But at the same time, I could totally identifiy with what you were writing. Everything made sense in my head. The reason why I am not using as much time on your site any longer, is because I took your advice; I rather be busy doing stuff I really love – and it has nothing to do with dieting any longer;-)

    Reply
  12. So, I’ve relaxed my food fanaticism a lot after the whole RBTI era through a wrench in things. Several months ago my husband had a scary bout of urinary retention caused by an enlarged prostate….he had surgery for that…..Now a few weeks ago, my husband was diagnosed by his first colonoscopy (at 64) with a cancerous rectal tumor. We didn’t always eat the same things except mainly dinner unless he was traveling for business. I sure do wish I knew the actual causes….was it genetics, his near daily bacon (and eggs), his 2 big cups of coffee every morning, his love of hot dogs, my too yummy chocolate chip cookies, or was it sitting a lot with his long distant driving for the last few years…or none of the above? I’ve been making and he’s been eating: my homemade sourdough bread, homemade everything, raw dairy, grassfed beef, ‘real food’….etc. for several years. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • Wish we could edit our comments after posting….(threw not through)

      Hi Matt!

      Reply
  13. I found your work through a friend recommending I read Eat for Heat. I was 4 months post partum, my hair was starting to fall out, I had no energy, had to take naps every day (even though my baby slept through the night), I had brain fog and headaches, I was getting super emotional and moody and basically thought I was going crazy. All of this is “normal” 4 months post partum, right? Or is it?

    I read Eat for Heat and decided to give it a shot instead of dieting to get off the last few baby pounds. I gained 5 pounds but the brain fog or “mommy brain” and headaches went away and I feel like a normal person again! My milk supply shot up and I have energy to do daily activities again. Also glad for the extra few pounds, which seem to have just added some muscle to me, as I normally have trouble gaining much weight.

    Reply
    • That’s great Rachel. At least it sounded great from what I gathered. Kind of lost focus when you started talking about breast milk. Damn breast milk gets me every time.

      Reply
      • My milk supply went way up too! and I was nursing a two year old so it really had nothing to do with a growth spurt or anything since he mostly eats solid food. Kind of annoying, actually.

        Reply
      • Somebody get poor Matt some breastmilk to try.

        Reply
  14. I found you when I was doing a zero-carb diet. It wasn’t working and I was frustrating and I kept seeing people in the zero-carb forums post snarky comments about this Matt Stone guy and his zero-carb experiment. So, I checked out your website and got hooked. I did the over feeding thing with only foods and no white sugar or flour. It was hard that way but I did raise my metabolism.

    Reply
    • Damn it! Frustrated not frustrated. And only “whole” foods…

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      • Damn it again! Frustrated not frustrating

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  15. I first found you when I was pretty knee deep in low carb paleo dogma. I thought you were a FDA apologist nutcase. Then I went to europe and found it too expensive and maddening to be paleo so I started eating small amounts of regular old food again and re-read your stuff alongside some ray peat. I thought you were on the right track but that peat must be more correct. Then I discovered that mashed taters, tater chips, and big bowls of salty/meaty pasta warmed me up a lot more than a liter of orange juice and saw the light. I actually was convinced wheat was bad for me because every time I ate my whole grain, sprouted, organic crazy hippie bread, it gave me indigestion. Magically that shitty, white, shelf stable wonder bread crap gives me no issues. I don’t really eat the latter very much but I do like a little white pasta and good white sourdough. It’s all that whole grain stuff that makes me toot. I don’t really see any difference in my health eating white sugar or unrefined rapadura/ maple syrup/ palm sugar etc but I prefer the taste of the unrefined stuff so that’s what I eat. However, i no longer freak out about using the white stuff when we go out to breakfast in my coffee. Nothing counteracts the lovely warming effects of a stack of french toast like a cup of unsweetened coffee so that white sugar goes IN.

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  16. I found this blog, after the GAPS diet had left me with uncontrollable muscle spasms and a sense of impending doom. I’m guessing this was before DR2 came out. It took me 9 months to recover, and now I am far more robust than most people I know. I never thought you were crazy and for the record, I still think you are the sanest author in the diet industry :)

    I use white flour to solve occasional heartburn and eat a lot of sugar on a daily basis. I avoid PUFAs however. With all my reading and research, I am now try to put food matters in the back of my mind and focus my energy on people and ideas that are personally meaningful to me. For this, I am grateful.

    Reply
  17. We eat (mostly) white flour and white sugar here. Digestion has been great. Me and my husband are eating more food and we’re more active. He’s lost about 15 pounds since summer and I’ve lost 17. Our diet is very anti Tim Ferriss, but we’re getting fit like his slow carb followers do. ;-) …on white food.

    I learned about you when I read about you on Cheeseslave. The positive changes from implemeting your ideas were astounding! I’m now working on being more active, building more muscle and getting more sleep.

    I don’t like to eat a lot of legumes, brown rice or whole wheat flour because it all brings on digestion problems.

    Reply
    • Whoa! I want to clarify a bit here…we eat “white” grains and sugar, but with lots of other stuff like meat (I esp love beef and lamb), veggies, cold cereal, fruit, ice cream, butter, cheese, etc. I think the only wholegrain stuff we eat is our Trader Joe’s wheat bread (no crazy ingredients in it and pretty cheap) and oatmeal. We’re eating food that I remember being my healthiest diet…when I felt good and energetic.

      I also supplement with collagen hydrosylate from time to time (I add a little bit to my homemade tapioca pudding, spaghetti sauce, or I add it to broth from a box when I male soups. And….I drank part of a fruit and yogurt smoothie tonight without any crazy, adverse side effects happening!

      Life is much better now…more laughing, more optimism, more energy, etc. I’m nowhere near being “healed”, but I love life more now.

      Reply
  18. I can’t properly digest a meal without some white starch (flour, rice, or potato) in it. Binds me up really nicely too, so I don’t get the runs from too many damn veggies/fruits.

    Reply
  19. When I stumbled onto this site, I was going through some crazy raw diets(vegan). One day I got so tired of diets that didn’t work, I typed fuck diets(or something along those lines) into Google. Low and behold I found the most important site I would need to return back to normal. At first, I was like this guy doesn’t know wtf he is talking about. But the more and more I read and implemented the better I felt and then I was like wow, I can’t believe I have been trying so hard to deny my cravings when all my body was trying to do was to return to balance.

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    • short and sweet. well said.

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  20. Found your site about 18 months ago after my wife asked why I can eat anything and not get any bigger while she and others can’t.

    Was already kind of on the tail end of getting sucked in by all the paleo crap, so when I searched for metabolism and found you a light bulb went off. After I fixed it (guffaw guffaw) and read some of your stuff it made sense to me, and chugging down lots of carbs fixed up my crankiness from a fairly low carb phase I was going through.

    I used to think bread caused my indigestion and dry skin. Turns out the dry skin was from too many long hot showers, and the indigestion was from drinking too many liquids at the same time as eating (eg suck down a whole lotta coke with a pizza). I guess that one gets files under the old “correlation is not causation” file.

    Reply
  21. I discovered your blog also via cheeseslave after a really restrictive four year stint of GAPS. I think this was after your RBTI phase, the gist of which I ferreted out of your older posts. Through RBTI I realized I was extremely sensitive to pork, and was also effected by too much of most fats except olive oil. Also using a refractometer was the only thing that helped me stabilize my sugars. Anyway, the latest dietary benefit I have seen has been in switching to white flour, which has really improved digestion. I still have a ways to go but keep seeing improvements slowly but surely.

    Reply
  22. I found you thanks to the recommendation of a girl who made raw vegan desserts, who was in recovery from her diet.
    Back then, I was trying to live la vida low-carb and I was at the phase of the site where your books suddenly changed from costing 19.99 to what they cost now and there was a “First visit?” link up there, which was very helpful, now that I think about it…

    Now, I love to eat desserts with white flour and white sugar on them. And everything else.

    I think sometimes your style of writing is distracting, but I like it that way. I respect that you don’t care about what people think, even if that seems to put off some kind of persons who would really get benefited from your writing…

    Having found this site is one of the best things that have EVER happened to me, not only in a food / health kind of way, but also as a wannabe writer and researcher myself. You’re an example of how to pursue truth and how to share it with the masses.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  23. I found you while researching the refractometer. Like anyone that finds their health dramatically improving while switching to a whole foods diet, I wanted to cure all that ailed me;-) I have had bouts with hypoglycemia, (no chance in it being low carb, it was present when I was stuffing my face with pizza, donuts, and soda). I think it has more to do with caffeine unfortunately. I was reading on earth clinic about the refractometer. “Ted” frequently writes about the use of the refractometer, PH meter, and conductivity meter. He reminds me a little of you, because when talking about food he states there is no perfect diet or way to eat, you will find serious flaws in all of them. I found you a few months ago, and started reading your posts on RBTI. I have been working with Challen for a few months now, and he does produce results. His theories are definitely a little cray. Since my mind likes to linger on the side of science, but I thought I would give it a try (I like self experimentation too;-P). Now it seems so obvious to me, e.g., eating fruit, and sugar, and restricting water when brix reading is too low. Well duh!!!! haha. I did think you were kinda a fruit cake when I first started reading your articles. Then I read more, and now I think you are amazing. Your research is phenomenal! I still don’t eat a lot of processed junk, and white flour products, but that is probably because I saw such a dramatic turn around in my health when I eliminated them. I have eliminated my wide array of medications I was on, and I haven’t had one hospital stay in the last few years when they were frequent my entire life before changing my diet. I learned quite fast on my adventure not to restrict macronutrients, and it never felt natural anyways. There are a lot of crazy health guru’s out there, but there are also many more people that have no regard for their health at all which is fine too. However, I was at a point where I didn’t want to live a life as sick as I was anymore. Now that I found the refratometer (and useful info on how to successfully apply it) I have found my health problems disappearing.

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  24. I found your site in like 2007 or 2008… you were way into the optimal diet around then. I remember because i was into that crap too at the same time, and you did this funny post about this video showing these two dumb news casters showing you how much fat you eat in a day on the optimal diet. I loaned my Homo Optimus book to my friend around that time, and he left on top of his car and that was that… haha!

    The golden days were during the HED posts in 2009… that was fun talking about how much crap we we’re all eating! I went up to 168 or so during that time… two years later i weighed 147, and to this day still hold homeostasis, and don’t worry about anything.

    You held my pee in a cup too… hehe. I think the most I learned from you was eating the food, and the RBTI posts. I still take the Min Col and try to eat my biggest meal in the afternoon.

    I still lurk…

    Reply
  25. I found your site through my Paleo phase, when i was trying to figure out why I was peeing 24/7, had ridiculously dry eyes, crappy sleep and nails were chipping (this was only 4 months into the diet). Even though I was dropping weight like crazy (35 pounds in 4 months), I just didn’t feel great. I kept at it though because everyone was telling me how great I looked.

    After finding your site, I decided to buy eat for heat. I read it and quickly realized maybe this Paleo diet I was on wasn’t the miracle cure I was looking for. I still didn’t accept your advise 100% though, as I really liked being my high school weight again. I did start drinking less fluid, which helped with the constant urination.

    After beating the potty blues, I decided maybe I should read diet recovery 2. Again, as I read through your book I kept nodding my head. I decided that maybe you weren’t out to just sell books by telling people to eat sugar all day long.

    I slowly started to implement your methods one by one, each with a positive outcome. The last two months I have fully adopted the idea, and my temps are mostly above 98* (low 98’s) and my pulse has gone from low 60’s to high 70’s- low 80’s. Overall I feel much better, although I have gained 15 pounds in the last 2 months.

    My last battle will be to come off nexium. I am hopeful that I can still heal enough while taking half my dose. I will eventually try eliminating it all together. Thanks for your site Matt. I may be much fatter, but at least I can make it through a sitcom without going to the bathroom twice, and I can sleep through the night. Now to beat this GERD thing I have been struggling with for 10 years and you’ll be my Hero, haha.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  26. Matt, overall I’m glad I found you, but it’s been a roller-coaster. You made me realize that the weakness I had been feeling after 10 years of a low’ish carb diet was probably due to over-hydration and low salt intake. You also got me eating root vegetables and bone broth regularly and replacing my super high in omega 6 grapeseed cooking oil with coconut oil.

    However, I still believe white sugar and any type of flour other than in extremely low (non-blood-sugar-raising) quantities are like a couple of beers are to an alcoholic for some of us. I started allowing myself to eat high-glycemic carbs after reading articles by you and Ray Peat and I packed 20 lbs onto my 5′ 3″ frame and felt achy, foggy and congested for months. I ended up finding Jenny Ruhl’s book, “The Truth about Low-Carbing”, and through combining her advice with yours I’m slowly losing the weight, feeling better and keeping my body temps not exactly high (they never got high, no matter how many high-glycemic foods I consumed), but not freezing–no more socks in bed.

    Your low carb experience was different from mine. I never had cravings or felt hungry or got terribly sick even after 10 years of it. What did frustrate me was that I stopped being able to keep weight off effortlessly in my 40s. I had an eating disorder in my 20s and avoiding refined carbs in my 30s made it go away for me. Maybe some of us have a greater dopamine response to sugar. Anyway, if eating sugar and flour works for many people who follow you–power to them. If it doesn’t then maybe they might want to check out the book I recommended.

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    • I’m very familiar with Jenny Ruhl. I do think you, and her, are making some errors in your logic.

      I NEVER had cravings or felt hungry on low-carb, which was part of the problem. I wasn’t “terribly” sick either, just not well and slowly deteriorating.

      Reply
  27. I came across the site, and I like the concept. Bodybuilding used to be my hobby. I ate whatever I wanted, and I was very healthy. A few years ago, I was introduced to the idea of eating gluten free. I did this with little to no health improvement. I began down a long path of getting rid of more and more foods, and the result has seemed to be that I am now sensitive to many foods when I try to re-introduce them. I know now that working out, getting sleep, and having a life outside of diets is MUCH more healthy.

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  28. I started reading about nutrition and health back in 2001, after a decline in my health, and I’ve experimented with dozens of different plans since then. My introduction was a book on food intolerances, which inspired me to eat a gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free diet for a couple of years. I then dabbled in food combining, low-carb, low-starch, high-fruit, low[protein, etc., various iterations of paleo, WAPF, organic, free range, carnivore, raw, fermented, and all kinds of other crazy stuff. My wife, who was initially supportive, got very sick of it.

    By about 2007, I got sick of it too, and I started eating a lot more junk food, pizza, beer, and basically whatever I wanted. People who knew me from 2001-2007 knew me as an eccentric health nut, and people who met me afterwards couldn’t believe me when I told them about that phase of my life. However, even after I stopped trying all the crazy diets, I still enjoyed reading and observing the online trends, and it was probably about this time that I first discovered 180 Health (though I can’t remember the exact time).

    At first, 180 seemed like a pretty conventional paleo site, but I liked that it was more open to change than most sites. I appreciated the frequent paradigm shifts, none of which Matt seemed shy about. I also saw something of myself in Matt, and I liked that he didn’t try to conceal the fact that he had changed his mind so many times, just like I had. I have much less respect for people who entrench themselves in a philosophy and avoid all contradictory evidence. I agree with Emerson:

    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.”

    From 2008 until now, I would check in on the site from time to time to see what was changing. During that time, I was pursuing pharmaceutical rather than dietary solutions, but I still had an interest in the online nutrition community, even if my own diet was usually pretty open. Finally, after years of intermittent lurking, I started participating in this forum this spring off-and-on, and I’ve started to recognize many of the other posters here. After all my reading over the last decade, and after all my self-experimentation, I feel like I might have learned something worth sharing, and so I decided to start writing instead of just reading.

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  29. If I remember correctly, I found out about you through a search on metabolic typing. That led me to your posts about metabolism.

    Reply
  30. I found you while researching ‘why should you quit paleo’. I ended up on a blog with a girl who had an ED as well as gluten interloerence, I think. She turned it around using ideas from both you and Ray Peat. At that time, I was still suspicious of how affective my diet was. Of course, I wasn’t paleo per se, or WAPF, but following them just the same generally with suggestions (in my eyes, they’re almost the same thing). The whole stay away from: gluten, potatoes, legumes, etc, etc.

    I am new to the site, relatively. Only like two months, I approximate. But I came here and started reading your stuff on metabolism and it all just really clicked. It’s one of those insanely simple “can’t believe I missed this” things. Of course, all the dieting has put the fear of god, so to speak, about food. But I started eating the food–a little shaky, but I’m doing it, and I can say at least I can stay awake now, focus some more and little signs of improvement.

    Reply
  31. I found this site sometime around 2010, I think. I was trying to solve lingering health issues after ED recovery, after which I tried cutting down on meat to save money. Big mistake, and then I found WAPF, the Eades and Mark Sisson, and thought maybe too many carbs were my problem. I tried moderate low-carb, but fortunately it had been drilled into me from ED therapy that I was not to remove food groups, so I still including some carbs. This was the time when Matt was posting in all those sites’ forums about HED. They hated him, but his strategy worked, at least on me. I decided to check out this site, and it made so much sense that I converted to the dark side. I’ve been here through the milk diet, ray may, RBTI and more. Only one I ever got sucked into was RBTI and that was a disaster. Other than that it’s just been eating the food.

    I eat a mix of white and whole wheat flour, whichever I feel like. In the morning I prefer whole wheat or sprouted grain toast so I eat it. And mostly white rice but sometimes brown. I eat almost no white sugar, but I use succanut (WAPF stuck with me, haha). My personal feeling is some white flour or sugar along with a good diet is fine, but a diet of mostly white flour and sugar is not.

    Reply
    • Somehow I missed out on RBTI completely, and I still have no idea what it means. I’ve obstinately resisted looking it up whenever it gets mentioned, sort of like how my wife obstinately refuses to watch Titanic, because she’s happy that she missed it when it first came out.

      I eat plenty of refined sugar and flour, but I agree they shouldn’t make up the whole diet. People who survive on nothing but refined carbs are going to get very sick very quickly, and I think that’s why the foods get such a bad reputation. But if you add some meat to a diet of white bread and sugar, suddenly it’s very functional. If we look at what soldiers lived on during American wars (which is appropriate, since this is Veteran’s Day!), it’s generally meat and bread. For example, during the Civil War, the mainstays were 20 oz. pork or beef a day, along with 12 oz. to 16 oz. of hard bread, and I guarantee it wasn’t whole grain.

      I was kind of surprised to see how much meat they ate (though it was a bit less during the Revolutionary War, about 16 oz.). I’ve been thinking that animal products are more important than I realized in maintaining robust health.

      Reply
      • Yeah, I don’t recommend you bother looking into RBTI. It’s a set of principles that is supposed to help you re-mineralize, and for me it did exactly the opposite, I only followed the main guidelines (you can get very indepth with testing your ph and stuff), like not consuming too much salt, not eating meat or sweets after 2pm and some other stuff and it screwed my system up totally. I de-mineralized during that time. Only thing I got out of it was realizing that pork does have some real effects on the body, like dropping your PH big time.

        Reply
  32. I was just re-reading my comments in 12 Paleo Myths earlier, where I shared my story. Short version: I was vegan a long time, then went low carb paleo because I was convinced this was right for the world. It kept me awake at night with a racing heart, and I became more neurotic than ever about food.

    Then I found you maybe from the Fat Head guest post. You talked he talk enough that I didn’t immediately dismiss you, and soon realized that you read a lot more than me and I knew to pay attention.

    Fast forward and now I hang out in Florida and eat potatoes and pizza with you, while we make books together. Life is good.

    Reply
  33. I first heard of Matt Stone early in 2010. I was doing super heavy exercising and fasting at the same time – yeah, it sounds crazy, but life was super-intense at the time. This wasn’t about trying to achieve the perfect body. It was about trying to exert control over parts of my life where other parts (money, the economy) were spiralling completely out of control.

    After a breakdown, it took about a year to recover my mental, physical, and emotional state.

    A few months after that I was living on a tropical island, running an internet business and continuing to engage in my passion (physical fitness) in a more balanced way. How I did this is through the reshaping of my beliefs about life and through Yoga. Not twist your legs around your head in 100$ leggings yoga, but a gradual unification (yoga means ‘union’) of body, mind, spirit and anything else that forms our universe.

    I’m not saying I’m 100% healed. Some people say the process never ends.

    But I have learned to listen to myself more carefully. I don’t follow anyone’s doctrine anymore and no one’s belief system except my own. Nothing is ‘fact’ and whenever anyone brings up ‘studies’ touting this claim or that, I laugh.

    After over a decade of severe eating disorders I eat whatever I want today. I seriously don’t care anymore. The 180 philosophy has extended into other areas of my life. I’m not some puppet woman that does what the media tells me to do and I’ve been out of that matrix for long enough that attempts by the media to make me feel small make me laugh now.

    It’s the PHILOSOPHY and critical thinking on this site that keeps me coming back. I don’t do what you all say, that’s insane and every few months I check the latest “trends”. Last time I checked (maybe in September?) raw food is still ‘cleansing’, processed SUGAR was good (hey now…I eat my fair share but you can ‘see’ it…..hahahahahahaha!), and that yellow-haired chick from Australia is still eating bananas and I’m still jealous this chick is making good cash from selling a lifestyle about a diet based on one friggen’ ingredient. Go fruit yourself biatch!

    Anyway, that’s it from me. Thanks for the entertainment everyone, and best of luck in your diet adventures.

    Reply
  34. I was a member at the Mark’s Daily Apple forum, and saw somebody post something about 180 Degree Health. At the time I was starting to get problems from low carb and heavy exercise, especially with ice cold hands and feet. When I found something on here about cold hands and feet that pretty much sealed the deal, and I’ve followed this blog regularly ever since.

    I’m so used to checking here I don’t really think much of it when I’m here, but this is a truly awesome site, and I’m glad to be able to be a part of it in the comments. And if I step back as if I’ve never been here before it’s like, wow this place is awesome.

    One of the best parts is how much ground has been covered even just in the past couple years. I still remember when JT was talking about Kool-Aid and sugar and stuff. Now look where we are.

    On that note, I mostly have sugar these days from orange juice, maple syrup and ice cream. Raw honey once in a while, and I also drink the 365 brand sodas from Whole Foods once in a while. Maple syrup on an egg and cheese omelette has been one of my favorites lately, and it’s a great way to get a big dose of sugar in the morning, which seems to help balance me out.

    As far as white flour goes, cheeseburgers and pizza are the two big ones for me. Outside of those I don’t eat much flour at all. I usually have egg and cheese omelettes, salted and seasoned grilled meat (e.g. lamb, steak/burgers), or seafood like shrimp for animal protein, and orange juice, ice cream, whole fruit and maple syrup for carbs.

    I do feel better on a high sugar vs. high starch diet, and I’ve noticed that my reflux will act up pretty severely after eating sticky rice (e.g. sushi) in particular, although large amounts of any starch will do it. I was trying to slay potatoes for the longest time, but never felt very good doing it, no matter how hard I tried. And I just could never eat enough of them to get enough calories. It felt like I was force feeding myself. And again, the reflux was *horrible*. It would feel like someone lit a match in my esophagus. It was that bad, and it would last a long time unless I took antacids.

    Now I eat way more salt, will add baking soda to my orange juice on a regular basis to carbonate it and help balance out the potassium with some sodium, and am becoming a born-again fan of maple syrup. I heard Ray Peat doesn’t recommend it because it can have toxins from heating it or something but once I got past that, I saw it as a great source of highly concentrated sugar. I also found some place that sells “Maple in the Raw”, where it’s cloudy because they don’t filter out the minerals from the sap to make it clear. So that’s cool.

    But yeah. I do feel a lot better on a sugar-heavy diet compared to a starch-heavy diet. The reflux on the starch-heavy diet was unbearable and I also had a lot of fatigue and exhaustion. I still deal with the fatigue and exhaustion but to a lesser extent, and a lot of times that has to do with overworking and not eating enough or not eating on time.

    Reply
  35. This site was huge for me. I found it 2 years ago when I was coming off paleo and 10 years of orthorexia and starting my own site about inspiring people to NEVER diet again. When I needed inspiration, this was the site for me.

    Eating should be easy.

    Reply
    • I like your site Caroline- thanks for saying hi!

      Reply
  36. This site kicks ass. It makes me laugh a lot. Not to sound crazy spiritual, but I am so whatever, I came across it when I was so sick of so many rules about food and what not to eat and when to eat, I was like “God please tell me what is the best way”. I felt like I should let go of all the rules and stop obsessing about food and how to be healthy or skinny. The next day I found this site and it was like a huge cosmic confirmation.
    I still eat pretty clean. I do not eat very much processed food. I love white jasmine rice and butter. And coconut ice cream with almond butter and cocoa sauce that i make with maple syrup. I eat whatever I want whenever, which has actually totally flipped my eating schedule from fasting mornings and eating a big meal at night to eating consistently throughout the day. I am still adjusting my mind to the freedom mode. I was so restrictive for so long that I have to consciously tell myself “stop f’ing obsessing. Have another f’ing brownie with cream if you want it!!!” I have to be firm with myself. My mind will sometimes try to count calories, which I have not done for years. It really tries to screw up my chi.
    I am uncertain about refined foods. I don’t eat much of them. I will say that I have used fermented fish oil and a shitload of yogurt ( calcium I suppose) to help re-mineralize my daughters teeth. She was born really sick, took lots of antibiotics, and some of her teeth are just not there. One had a huge hole and was only half there. It is now almost full size and the hole is almost completely gone.SO this makes me believe that while legalism in regards to food is bad, one should have some boundaries

    Reply
    • Completely agree with your last sentence Kaycee!

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  37. Started poking my head in here and lurking around about a year and a half ago after a very rough ride on GAPS which was supposed to cure all my ails, but instead left me totally wiped out and neurotic about food. I think I was searching the net for information on GAPS failures and ended up here via cheese slave. Took me a while to come around to actually re-feeding, though I did loosen up a bit before that which was helpful.

    When I really cut lose and started refeeding, I was surprised at how much of a relief it was to tell my inner orthorexic to STFU. I just wanted to eat mostly carbs with quite a bit of fat and some protein. You could hardly interest me in a vegetable, broth seemed distasteful and meat was of only mild interest. Then I lost interest in food generally and wondered if I could ever get my previous interest in fine cooking and eating back. I did. Now I eat more broadly. I love bone broth again, regular meat eating, more vegetables and generally just balanced meals most of the time. I’m cooking tasty stuff and enjoying it again. I do eat sugary stuff when I feel like it, but it’s not nearly as appealing as it was for a while there. I eat what I want, when I want and as much as I want and don’t give it a lot of thought. I eat white rice and rice noodles a lot, and they are really appealing to me as a staple lately. For flour I use whatever I prefer, whole wheat or white depending on what I’m making. Same with sugar. I don’t see any reason to freak over which sugar I use. I tend to gravitate a little toward maple syrup, brown sugar and sucanat or honey where they actually will harmonize better with the flavor of whatever I’m making. Otherwise, I use the refined stuff. Granulated sugar is often very convenient to use. I think it’s probably really a matter of quantity in the context of the rest of the diet and lifestyle. For me, I see little reason to worry about refined products in my otherwise pretty nutritious diet.

    Now I have excess body fat for the first time ever, but seem to be slowly losing some weight. I ended up pretty weak and out of shape for a while, but I’m feeling much stronger and more functional now. I’m warmer with temps in the 99’s most evenings, in a way better mood, more emotionally stable, have more stable blood sugar/energy. Heart palpitations, common through the last 15 years or so, are completely gone. A recent trip to the dentist found no cavities and not much tartar build up in spite of having poor oral hygiene during a lot of the past year… to the point that my girlfriend complained. In the past week or so I’m, having better dreams, waking up with wood more often, happier, starting to sleep better and more energetic. I really feel like I might actually get enough momentum to carry me out of the 15 year slump I’ve been in related to chronic Lyme disease and general stress junky behavior, and start to put the large amount of hard won knowledge and experience I possess to good use. A good indicator is that I’m starting to feel like I can make plans without thinking I might not be able to carry them out. I have thought I was doing better at various times in the past, but I think those were probably times when i managed to jump start my adrenals enough to have a life for a month or so before crashing and burning again. This feels different. It’s all an experiment, so we’ll see what the future holds, but I feel hopeful and that’s worth a lot. Thanks for being able to view things from the sides enough to figure some important stuff out, and cultivating the skills to communicate it all to the rest of us.

    Reply
  38. I’m beginning to notice a pattern here. First, you’re on SAD so you’re overweight and prediabetic. Then you discover low-carbing, courtesy of Gary Taubes, Bob Atkins, or Richard Bernstein. Then you lose a ton of weight and normalize your blood sugar. So you get real excited and tell everyone within earshot how great low-carbing is. You think you’ve cornered the market on dietary wisdom. You ignore all warnings thrown at you. Health = BMI + Blood Sugar. Done.

    Then your thyroid tanks. Then your skin atrophies. Your constipation becomes well, er, constant. And you develop all kinds of food allergies that you never had before. So you go gluten-free. Then dairy-free. Then nightshade-free. Then egg-white and soy-free. But that ain’t enough. You have to go legume free (except lentils). And then nut free (except Brazil nuts, which give you Selenium). Then avoid FODMAPS. But you still have to keep your PUFA under 4%, lest inflammation engulfs you unawares.

    So then you have to go see a naturopath (say, Chris Kresser or Dan Kalish) for $300 for a 30 minute Skype session. These acupuncturists tell you have to start taking Molybdenum to clear your candida. Plus you’re MTHFR C677T double homozygous so take sublingual B12.

    So that’s how it all got rolling. It started with SAD, then a VLC train wreck, then restrictive and nit-picking diets like GAPS, SCD or the Wahls Autoimmune Protocol to repair your leaky gut, gut dysbiosis or SIBO.

    Then you run into your 86 year old neighbor who’s carrying her groceries. You see Quaker Oatmeal, Wonder Bread, skim milk. The SAD isn’t that bad, folks. It’s actually infinitely superior to VLCing.

    Reply
    • That pretty much sums it up. Actually i did Zone between SAD and low carb. Zone is actually a good diet in general terms – always getting carbs, protein and fats.

      Reply
    • I’ve done just about every diet, except for Vegan, Fruitarian, and the rotten meat diet.

      I love your comment, by the way. Soooo true!

      Reply
  39. I found this website in April 2011, after Elizabeth Walling linked to a post of Matt’s about ‘traditional’ diets. Coming from low carb’ish eating by way of Julia Ross’ “The Mood Cure” (depression/arthritis) – which had me looking into thyroid issues – and then WAPF.
    Before, I had been venturing into the green smoothie – omega 3 – no grains world and felt GREAT at first, lost some post-baby weight, full of energy and *awareness*. For a while.

    A gallon a day of raw kale – celery – OJ – megadose of “healthy oils” in a frozen smoothie IN JANUARY, IN SCANDINAVIA?? Gosh I was cold. And developed serious mold allergies and asthma. Our electric bill was soaring b/c of all the electric blankets I had plugged in everywhere. I was also obsessing about getting gluten free, grain free stuff, avoiding sugar at all costs – and longing for steak and gravy and potatoes and pie.

    So reading Matt was liberating (sugar and refined flour was still not ‘en vogue’ here at 180D). I’ve been reading the blog ever since and like the way things are thoroughly presented to make one think, and draw conclusions based on the research compilations and reflections. Reading Ray Peat has been an eye opener.

    RBTI was … well, weird … (thought Matt had gone insane because of some girl) and the comment section was horrible during that phase, so I left for a while :-)

    Post-RBTI I’ve been very happy with the eat for heat approach and especially the kids angle on eating. And my kids like it too!!
    I had to teach them NOT to say too often to their friends “My mom lets us have corn flakes with lots of sugar for breakfast if we want it” – because I know the ‘eating police’ will come after me and ask why I don’t use diet margarine for cooking, and why the kids have cookies and hot chocolate for their afternoon snack and not ‘a nice plate of raw veggies and tofu dip’ (in November!)
    They’re skinny and happy and warm, and getting less and less picky.
    So thanks Matt & Co., especially Julia Gumm, writer of deep and wonderful things.

    Reply
    • Replying to myself: I forgot the most important part – all the stress of sourcing *just* the right grass-fed organic beef, THE one brand of unhomogenized pastured whole milk, THE small farm that would still sell freshly stoneground buckwheat etc. – not to mention the array of SUPPLEMENTS.

      Now, we just buy regular food at the store. Organic if it looks nice and is not too expensive or nearing the sell-by-date. The money we save!

      But of course we can’t join the hipsters talking about their food budget and sourcing forays.

      Reply
  40. I first heard about you and about RRARF via the GoKaleo blog.

    I’m a 34yo female weighing 120lbs, for about 2-3 years I’ve had chronically low energy and was starting to think I either had adrenal fatigue or that life just sucks after age 30 and there’s not much that can be done about it (since that is what so many people say!).

    At the weekend I came across a post on the GoKaleo blog about how adrenal fatigue symptoms are very similar to starvation symptoms (anxiety, fatigue, mood swings, menstrual problems etc.). The author basically asked the question, do you really have adrenal fatigue or are you just not eating enough?

    A bit of web surfing later I came across various people’s experiences with RRARF, started reading your Diet recovery ebook, and essentially had a revelation that for years I’d been struggling with low energy because I just don’t eat enough (DUH!).

    So on Sunday I decided to eat fully to appetite (I normally try to do the 80% full thing with occasional intermittent fasting), get lots of rest and see what happens. After 1 day I felt so much better. Yesterday, I did the same and actually had all the energy I needed to do a full day’s work.

    After having such a good day yesterday, I feel that I should stick with this and that even if I gain 10lbs it will be worth it to have a life again and have the energy to do things.

    In your ebook you said “Your body knows what it needs. It is not a lazy pile of junk that sabotages itself.” and I think that was the main message I needed to hear!

    Reply
    • Replying to myself here. Just thought I’d add if anyone’s interested (I certainly like reading the various personal experiences / anecdotes), I’ve now been eating really well for 1 week and getting 9 hours sleep per night most nights.

      I’ve not intentionally overeaten exactly, but have made an effort to really eat until fully satisfied each time I eat, which usually means at most meals I need to go for seconds and sometimes thirds, unless I put an unladylike mountain of food on my plate to start with LOL

      I still feel really good, had all the energy for work and other commitments. I also already feel like my body composition is improving, I look a bit less “skinny fat”, more solid and less cellulitey. Still the same size and weight and no bloated belly from all the food amazingly.

      About refined flour and sugar, I don’t have any craving for either so never really eat it. If I’m out I’ll eat the odd piece of cake though

      Reply
  41. Yay for context!!! It is so hard to give blanket advice, because everyone has different genetics and probably more importantly is coming from different places in life. The paleo health nut is different from the vegan health nut is different than the competitive athlete is different from the anorexic dude. I guess the trick now is making sure to mention context along with advice. Although sometimes 180 degree health does come off as a bit crazy for promoting white flour and sugar, in the end I think the site is necessary to balance out all of the other gurus recommending a “super clean diet.” Though I am sure some folks get confused by all of the mixed messages out there in the nutrition and health world, hopefully more and more people will adopt a more balanced and reasonable philosophy. I think 180 degree health is a step towards that :-)

    Reply
    • Hey Ben, you know I’m all about confusing people. If you ain’t confused…. :)

      Reply
  42. Jury is still out for me. I have stopped bingeing and stopped gaining weight over a year since I came to Diet Recovery. BUT I am still eating way too much sugary food for my likingl, and still about 150lbs overweight and not losing anything. I came in as a health obsessive, from 18mo on paleo, but maybe not the typical as I gained weight on paleo, and came here at about 260lbs, having dealt with what I at the time considered to be compulsive eating. On paleo I craved and binged on carbs and sugar- sensible body huh! But did mean I came in kind of starved and over-stuffed with sugar at the same time. Additional issue of a chronic illness that restricts how active I can be and possible affects regulation of blood sugar, appetite etc. Not sure what to do next. Gentically weak joints not loving carrying this much weight!

    Reply
  43. I came here between 3 and 4 years ago when I had just about fallen off the deep end of an eating disorder after losing 50 pounds and finding that because I couldn’t get under a healthy bmi my insurance was putting me in an obesity program(I had a bmi of 26) The eat more but not processed stuff resonated with me as I had gone from sinus infections requiring steroids every other month to only seeing the dr for check ups and injury by doing just that. When you went on the trip to WV(?) where you were testing your urine all the time I backed away as that was just odd to me and eventually you moved away from that. I like some of the new format, many of the guest posters included, I like your stories of trips, your girlfriend and her daughter. Some of the posts about tapping(?) and things like that just sound like religion substitute to me. I already have a faith I am satisfied with, so, not so much interested. My personal expeerience with refined sugar is that, while it is hardly evil, it really effects my health and weight. Limiting desserts, as in much smaller portions, brought my weight down another 10 pounds, so I think gentle warnings are still in order. I would like to see more posts on using our personal data to figure out what the feedback we get from our bodies means.

    Reply
  44. I found your site when I was in the depths of SCD hell, post vlc paleo and cutting out more and more foods every day, and adding more and more supplements. I didn’t believe anything you said, and I thought you were crazy. Of course I was the crazy, orthorexic one. I gradually progressed to worse and worse health, candida diet, clumps of hair falling out, milk supply for my 5mo dwindling…. And really, honestly, feeling like I just wanted to die.

    And then I came back to your site, March this year. Rationality somehow prevailed, and I’ve been a staunch defender and propagator of your work ever since. I’ve even converted a few mum friends. I think you’re a beacon of sanity in an otherwise faith-based “movement”, and you’d be top of my list of dinner guests!

    Reply
    • Oh and I also do way better on refined flour than unrefined. I eat all types of sugar but don’t crave sugary stuff since I started eating enough.

      Reply
  45. 39yr old male, 5’11”, 195 pounds. I’m pretty healthy except that I don’t sleep well which keeps me from being my old, high energy self (you can see my posts on Honey and Ice Cream in the forums for more info about trying to get better sleep). I started experimenting with low carb in 1996 after reading Mauro DiPasquale’s book The Anabolic Diet which was a zero carb diet during the week and then a 2-day carb refeed on the weekends. I did the Zone through my 20’s (1997-2003) and limited PUFAs after reading Good Fats Bad Fats, and then in 2003 started low-carb/Paleo which I struggled through until summer of 2012 when I read Paleo Myths and then read the rest of Matt’s books. 180DH has helped me see 1) the importance of carbs 2) the importance of calories 3) the importance of sugar(although I flip flop on this issue the most) and 4) the importance of high metabolic rate. At this point, I believe if I can solve my sleep issues (waking up at 4am each morning), I will be doing great but sleep is still a big hurdle (I have not sleep through the night in 10 yrs). My current diet strategy is don’t ever get hungry and limit PUFAs but I change strategies monthly.

    Reply
    • Sleep is the one thing I can’t seem to fix either. I have a similar story as well, my sleep has been crappy every since trying a zero carb diet, which lasted for about a year(2008). Been waking up a 4am every day since then, but recently been able to fall asleep lightly after. Stumbled on 180 in the Fall of 2008 and been following Matt since then, and reading Danny as well. I have had improvements in the last 5yrs following their posts, but last two things I still hope to improve are my sleep, and skin.

      If you ever find the secret to sleeping in, post it :)

      Reply
      • undertow, you can check my posts on the forum (one in the articles section on Honey and one in the Eat the Food section on ice cream) and you can see a few tricks that helped others. They have not solved my sleep issues but they seem to help. good news is that they involve eating before bed – not exactly punishment. haha

        Reply
        • I tried the ice cream, sugar, honey, mega carbs before bed, loooong ago :) They don’t work for me either. I have stable body temp, above 98.2 all the time, stable body weight, good energy levels during the day, fall asleep easily before 10pm. Just my sleep – 4am wakings and skin which is a weird dry/mega oily combo, that doesn’t seem to want to resolve…

          Reply
          • Intersting undertow. I bought the Hibernation Diet book (it appears to be a sleep book) and i’ll post if i find anything interesting. Health is a long journey, but sometimes you uncover nuggests.

            Have you ever tried Sleep Restriction Therapy? There is a good article about it over on gettingstronger.org Also, they teach you the reverse for kids. My wife and i have a 12-month old daughter and we have found that if your kid wakes up in the night, put them to bed earlier and they will sleep longer. Sounds counterintuitive but i think the extra sleep keeps stress hormones lower which increases sleep. We’ve had other parents have the same success.

          • Thanks David199, Yep same here, my 6yr old will sleep less if she goes to bed late, and sleep in late, if in bed early! and she is very consistent with that!

            If I restrict sleep I feel wired, but will look into it.

          • undertow, Sleep Resriction Therapy is a short-term strategy that forces you to sleep through the normal 4am wake up period. Once you break the habit you gradually increase your time in bed until you max out how long you can sleep without waking. I had a friend and this strategy worked very well for her. You may also want to try the Shuti.me program which i have just started. I am currently working with a sleep professional and had a sleeep study done so i am curreintly in the middle of looking at all forms of relief.

      • I got results from supplementing with Gelatin – a deeper, more consistent sleep. It’s probably because of the amino acid Glycine. Most protein sources are low in glycine, but gelatin has a lot of it. Mix two heaping tablespoons of gelatin in water before bed.

        And gelatin can help with your skin tone as well, because it supports healthy collagen.

        Reply
        • Not discrediting what you are saying Joel, because that is true. But it’s funny to hear you say that because someone contacted me last week that developed major insomnia after adding lots of gelatin to his diet. Tis the nature of substances interacting with real people. The results are always inconsistent.

          Reply
          • Hey Matt, do you have any thoughts on why some people feel worse while taking gelatin?

            I ask this because taking gelatin makes me feel horrible!!!! Even taking as little as a 1/8 tsp a day will give me a horrible headache, cause tiredness, “brain fog” and cause me not to sleep well. I have tried the Great Lakes gelatin… even the hydrolyzed version and for whatever reason I just can not tolerate gelatin at all. Even small amounts of gelatin will cause me to feel bad for several days.

          • Just a guess, Kevin: Maybe it’s just me, but when I started on the gelatin, it felt as if I was settling into my body, feeling more 3D, and everything felt curiously slowed down. That felt a bit odd, at first. It was shifting me from a hyper state where my mind was buzzed, to what seemed like a more balanced, parasympathetic state – something that was frankly unfamiliar, yet seemed like a good shift.

            I would imagine, though, that this “slow as molasses” shift would feel strange if you were referenced to adrenalin; more acclimated to brain buzz. This description may or may not refer to your situation, but it’s worth mentioning.

            My guess about the insomnia from glycine is that the blocked emotions are becoming more available for review, and that the emotions and mind are flooded with long suppressed data. Modern people are becoming more and more hyper, so this reaction may be an explanation. I’ve no way to prove this notion, so either the info fits, or it doesn’t.

          • I really don’t know Kevin. What I do know is that the reviews I get from people on supplementing with additional gelatin are extremely mixed. How do you do if you eat something like, say, chicken soup with gelatin in that form? Perhaps it’s something about Great Lakes specifically that rubs you the wrong way.

          • Matt,

            When I eat chicken soup and chicken dumplings made from a whole chicken I do tend to feel worse after eating it. Though, eating gelatin in the chicken soup or chicken dumpling form does not make me feel nearly as bad as when I take a gelatin supplement.

            But eating chicken soup or chicken dumplings does usually make me feel a little worse than usual. Even as kid, when my mom would make chicken soup or chicken dumplings I always noticed that if I eat either one of those foods it would make me feel bad for a few days afterward. So, I rarely eat chicken soup or chicken dumplings when it is made from whole chicken. But I can eat skinless/ boneless chicken meat just fine without any apparent ill effects. Though, when I eat skinless chicken I almost always eat it with bread, rice or some type of carbohydrate.

            Eating butter is also something that makes me feel worse. But eating cream cheese or sour cream can make me feel like superman.

          • Interesting Kevin. Thanks for sharing.

  46. Found your site around 4 years ago. Can’t remember how. You were very much plugging Schwarzbein. I bought the book you offered, and ate so much fat it was awesome.

    I had been a chronic starver all my adult life. In late 2009 I had a “catastrophic lumbar disc herniation” (doctor’s words, not mine) that gave me agonizing pain. I noticed by eating according to your book, my pained lessened – significantly. I was ultimately able to stop taking narcotic pain meds. Highly unusual for a middle-aged man.

    Fast forward to this year. Revisited your site. Again I don’t know why. Purchased Eat for Heat. In September 2013 I started a ravenous, glorious festival of eating every type of processed food created by the ‘mercan food industry. I gained about ten pounds. But I now have enough energy to complete my day, my sex drive is back, and here’s the biggest win for me.

    I used to have the shittiest mood swings. Bastard, one minute; Sweetheart, the next. I was having one late last week on a morning when I didn’t eat breakfast. Oh, boy. Everybody was fodder for my temper. Then I finally ate. Within minutes I was no longer angry and had no desire to get angry.

    That feedback was good enough for me. My temps have gone up a degree since September (though still not steadily in the 98s). I’ve gained some weight but boy can I beat the squat into submission. I’ve never been able to do that. Ever. I always ran out of gas within two weeks of starting any lifting program.

    I’ve been eating to fullness since Sunday. Today some co-workers had a breakfast plate. I saw it and thought, “Meh. Not interested.” I’m also passing on sugar sometimes. Mostly because I don’t want it. Fruits and vegetables taste better, too!

    Unbelievable. I’m finally taking care of myself. Amazing what feeding a starving body will do.

    I know you are frickin crazy. Every time I mention your theories to others, they attack me with stupid science and a laughable lack of understanding how the human body works. But I have gotten my wife to eat breakfast. And even though I’m suffer from “chronic obesity” (again, doctor’s diagnosis, not mine) the mere thought of reducing my food intake makes me convulse in fear.

    So I’ll take the bigger waist and neck and shoulders and better mood and sleep. I look forward to your next round of crazy theories. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  47. since I started eating refined sugar and flour post vlc paleo, I have gained 17 pounds (up from 142 at 5’10”) with little increase in my waist size. digestion is normalized and sleep is deep and long. skin has cleared up better than ever and my hair grows like a weed. my metabolism is so much improved that I have to keep eating extra just to keep from losing weight (a good problem to have)!

    its no joke. thanks Matt!!

    Reply
  48. Where did the link to the testimonials page go?

    Reply
    • It’s still there, but under Matt’s section of the Site Authors tab.

      Reply
      • Thank you!

        Reply
  49. I found your site in June. After years of eating very low calories (typically under 1000/day during the week) bingeing at weekends and plenty of cardio exercise, I had successfully lost muscle tone and added plenty fat while maintaining a top end of BMI weight. I finally realised what I was doing and over a year I slowly increased calories and started more weight based exercise. I felt better but still felt like I was missing something which sent me searching the internet for something to back up my gut feeling that I needed to eat like I did when I was a child. I found you!! The missing link turned out to be switching back to whole milk. I feel satisfied by my diet. I maintain weight on about 2200 cals (43 yr old woman, desk job, modest exercise). That is a rough guess because I haven’t weighed, measured or recorded food in months!!! My skin looks better than it has in years but most telling is that my nails are now growing and are strong, something that I haven’t had in my whole adult life. Eat the food!

    Reply
  50. Matt, you have succeeded. I am confused. I found you on cheeseslave.com some time ago when she did an interview with you. All I remember about it was you holding a pig head. I looked at your blog but didn’t stick with it. Then last year she talked about low metabolism and efh. Have you noticed how everyone is talking about low metabolism lately? That’s when I started following you regularly. That post you wrote about sugar really messed me up. Everyone else is preaching how bad sugar is, I already believed it and was trying to reduce it, and there you are saying it is good for us, we need it. I don’t feel any different or better when I have it. Still trying to figure out what works for me and have mixed feeling about sugar.
    By the way I am having trouble logging on to the forum. This happened one time before, but then got resolved. I haven’t logged on lately, but wanted to this morning. I keep getting error so what do I do?

    Reply
    • Linda,

      Just emailed you. If you’re still having trouble getting on to the forums, let me know and I can look into it.

      Reply
  51. I found this site in October 2010 through a Google Reader recommendation of Elizabeth Walling’s site “Nourishing Traditions” titled “3rd Day RRARFing”. I was intrigued, hmmm, what’s RRARFing, so I went to 180D. WOW, talk about liberating! I was just coming off of my 3rd round of HCG (altho’ was still overweight), had definitely been overexercising, and couldn’t understand why having a normal meal caused me to gain weight. Well, after being on diets since 3rd grade, (thanks Mom)…did the “Sego” diet in 4th grade (the Slimfast of the time), Atkins in 7th grade, then the following 36 years on mostly low-fat calorie restriction, then low-carb (under 60g recommended by Naturopath) & overexercising around the time I found 180D where what I read sounded so much like the truth and made so much sense that I jumped in w/both feet! By then I was seeing the Naturopath mostly because of massive mood swings and thinking it was perimenopause so on to thyroid meds (Armour) because of questionable numbers, helped the moods a little but didn’t see the improvement I expected/hoped for until RRARF. Dropped the thyroid meds soon after, was and am convinced just eating normally w/o all the guilt could be enough for the body to heal my ‘minor’ problems.
    Matt was very anti-fructose at the time (so then, so was I ;>) and Schwarzbein although he stated he thought she went too low carb. I stopped dieting entirely, even made a promise to my body that no matter what I would NEVER diet again! Did gain a bunch of weight which I’m still struggling with but am so much more at peace with life, my temps are usually 97.8, sometime 98, sleep issues started improving most recently, and am starting to consider some walking. So the physical issues are taking their time but the big deal for me has been the improvements in moods, outlook on life, and overall day-to-day living! I don’t worry anymore about white or wheat, have sugar in my tea or decaf coffee or drink fruit juice, don’t have cravings for anything but if I want something I have it. And that felt the hardest, going against the previous orthorexic mindset that I couldn’t have something because it was “fattening”. Man sometimes it was like 2 voices in my head arguing! So, to quote Matt, “It’s been a blessing to loosen the f$#% up”. End of my life story, haha!

    Reply
  52. I am so f*cking confused..

    Reply
  53. It looks like you are eating a Ferrero Rocher, but it could be something healthy disguised as a delicious chocolate candy with a hazelnut in the middle.

    I don’t know when I found you first, but I don’t think it stuck for me, probably quite a few years ago. Most recently I found you just before Diet Recovery 2 was published. Around the Eat for Heat time–so I’m a newb. I have since quit dieting after a couple of decades on and off various diets, most recently the dreaded SCD/GAPS type stuff. Wow. I can’t believe the things I ate for a few months of that diet. After 8 months of eating to appetite and gaining too much weight, I am experimenting with tracking calories and a very modest deficit (10% ish) to get the scale to start creeping downwards. So far my temps are still much better than where I started. I can be in the upper 99s in the afternoon. It’s been a strange year. I can’t imagine 7 years! I love eating the things I was convinced that I was intolerant to. It’s very freeing! I have more body acceptance than ever, even though I am bigger than ever. It’s nice not to feel desperate urgency to lose weight. I can just take my time and lose some or not worry too much either way so long as I feel good.

    Reply
  54. It’s been a little over a year since I first discovered your blog via the Just Eat Real Food summit. I made sure to listen to your presentation because of the title/ description saying something like, “Who can benefit from junk food.” Obviously intriguing.. junk food, beneficial? Whuuut???? At the time I was roughly 48 hours into what was origionally intended to be a week long bout of zero carb madness. I had resorted to this out of desperation over some pretty minor digestive problems come to think of it. But, despite a year and a half of the “perfect” diet (aka paleo) and gorging myself on potatoes and fruit daily, I was extremely underweight (95 lbs, 5′ 61/2″), cold all the time, had no sex drive whatsoever, hadn’t menstruated since going off the pill over a year prior, suffered from frequent urination and excessive thirst, slept like shit, had dry skin, and was constipated. I had no idea all of these things were related until I began reading some of the content here. After just a few articles I frantically went out and bought some white rice, afraid to spend another minute damaging myself even more. Not long after, I read diet recovery and began working with Matt and implemented more forbiddens like fruit juice, dried fruit, white potatoes, raw milk, ice cream, cheese, oatmeal, and popcorn. Within 4 months, I was back at my old weight of 120 lbs and most of my problems had resolved if I remember correctly. I continued to RRARF because I knew I had more healing to do. I tried re-introducing gluten several times but on every occasion I got a headache just like I used to everyday, before paleo. But then I tried once more with some pizza, and I noticed nothing. I decided to just go with it and bought some bread and noodles next time I went to the store and I have been going with it ever since. That was 5 months ago. I’ve had like maybe two headaches since and both were due to something else. Then I started going out to eat and just avoiding foods I know contain a lot of vegetable oil like fried foods and some condiments and dressings. Sometimes just bringing my own mayonaisse or whatever which I actually love doing because the homemade version tastes better anyway. And *brace yourself* as of 3 weeks ago I eat conventional fried foods. My boyfriend and I were eating out and he really wanted me to try his cheesy fries so I did and then ended up finishing them for him. Since that day, I have eaten cheese puffs at a friends house, and finished a bag of organic potato chips that I bought for myself. A year ago I’d have shuddered at just the thought of eating these things. But I am soo proud of myself for overcoming my lingering fear of vegetable oil. Clearly, it has taken me a long time to get to this place but that’s only because of what a perfectionist I started out as and you know it’s been fun getting my life back.

    Results: I now weigh 140 lbs, and all of my symptoms of a low metabolism are either completely gone or have improved greatly. I’m happy and I’m more open minded. My boyfriend is also happier. I still eat lots of healthy homemade foods because that’s just what I like to do but I’m not a freak about it. The only downside is that I now have a slight bit of cellulite on the backs of my upper thighs. That’s something that I’ve never had before but I’m certain it’s because of malnourishment not because of RRARF. My plan is to start excersizing soon to hopefully clear that up but even if that doesn’t help that’s okay I’m happier with my body now than I used to be partly because I’ve grown as a person but also I actally have womanly curves now. I’m 19 by the way.

    Other complaints: I do get bloated when I eat a lot but I always have. Also, I suffer from mild hormonal cyclical acne and that I’ve had since I was 13 except when I was on the pill and I didn’t get a period. I took estroblock for 5 months and that solved the acne problem. It’s just a bit expensive to take indefinitely. So, 2 months ago I started taking vitex instead, which is a bit cheaper. I haven’t noticed anything yet but I’m going to stick with it for another month or 2. I also now take probiotics which have really helped and all of the supplements included in the iodine protocol which I just started last month because according to the iodine loading test that I took I am deficient in iodine. Anyway, I guess that’s it! Whoohoo! Thank you Matt Stone!!!!

    Reply
  55. I found you so long ago that I can’t even really remember. I think it was shortly after your first diet recovery book. I do remember you going on the milk diet and wondering why the hell you would do something so dumb. But then I was glad you took that bullet for the rest of us. :-) I hadn’t grown out of my “diet fad” phase, but a bout with “intermittent fasting”, major fat loss and eventual fat rebound a few years back combined with your admonishments to avoid all that kind of crap has finally done its job.

    Now I’m fat and happy, and strong like bull. :-)

    Reply
  56. I can’t be 100% sure but I think I first discovered you when you first did an interview with Sean Croxton however many years ago that was. As I’ve stated before, you sort of saved my life. I don’t know where I’d be without the kind of information you’ve given me over the years.

    Is white flour, white sugar etc…bad for us? I think that’s a very complicated question and I would say yes and no. I don’t remember if it was you or someone else that posted a study done with mice, that when they gave mice a shitty diet, those that got supplemented with butter died faster. So the butter revved their metabs in a higher gear while they were being deprived of vital nutrients. This makes sense to me, and I would say for each person there is a threshold between barren calories and getting what you need.

    For exaaample….My brother in law is like a hyper active kind of dude. Has been skinny, but strong and always on the go his whole life. He is picky about what he eats. He can eat a whole bag of reese cups for example or a whole pizza etc…He lost most of his teeth at a young age. It seems to me that perhaps because his metabolism is so high, and maybe he doesn’t always choose the best meals with enough minerals etc…for him so that’s why he ended up losing his teeth early.

    I’ve said things here and there on this blog for years and a lot of the time I don’t even go back and check if someone has responded! I am sorry for that, and it sucks for myself too because I know I could learn a lot. But it’s also a good thing that I don’t come back all of the time. I was better at coming back and checking using ctrl+f and bob all of the time, when I was more obsessive =)

    Thank you for everything Matt, and maybe one day when I’m not a pussy I’ll skype you ;)

    Reply
  57. Discovered you a while back, as a result of all my obsessive “paleo research”.
    My initial reaction was “this guy is a fucking douchebag, how can PIZZA be GOOD for you?!”, but then about 2 months later I caved and ate a whole pizza and felt fantastic. I literally emailed Paul Jaminet about this because I was so confused/dismayed. Previously I was eating a shitload of white rice, sweet potatoes, steak, bacon and greens. Somehow (I know how now) that just wasn’t enough.
    I think I googled something like “why would pizza make you feel better on paleo” and I found your site again, and I decided to just read Diet Recovery 2. Then I understood the sarcasm of some of the posts here, and that I should just eat whatever the fuck I’m craving.
    I feel a lot better in general now, though I’m still going through some weird appetite flux, trying to get back in the swing of eating the right shit at the right times. I think I’ve been eating mostly steak and pesto pizza, croissants, sea-salt-caramel gelato, various greens, sourdough bread (usually with berry jam, mmmm), and some fruit. Thinking about getting whatever that contraption you use to test urine brix with so I can figure out some patterns to this weird shit. Sometimes I will crave fruit (like a real kiwi, nothing dried) and nothing else will be palatable, and then I will have cold hands and feet again.
    Whatever, I’ll get the hang of this just like I got the hang of dumb-ass paleo.
    Haha, I’m going off on a tangent.
    I read Eat for Heat and 180 Kitchen too, those were cool. EFH was the perfect question-answering followup to DR2.
    Having way more boners and laughs now, so thanks for that! Maybe we’ll talk in-depth when I have $195 to spare, haha.

    Reply
  58. A little background: about 8 months ago I moved to a new apartment and, for whatever reason, stopped eating food. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but rather a product of these factors:

    1. I thought that refined foods are bad
    2. I can’t cook at all
    3. My work requires a very high level of concentration, so I sometimes forgot to eat

    For a while, I could get away with it. I also read in an article by an author who I respect, that intermittent fasting is “good” for you, so I didn’t make a big deal out of skipping a meal (lol).

    So, here I was, 6 months later, unable to produce any work, dissatisfied with life, wanting to shoot myself in the face (firearms are strictly regulated in my country). I also never felt fully rested, always wanted to sleep, but when I tried to, I couldn’t.

    I tried different things to fix that: supplemental D3, frequent air ventilation, eating only protein for breakfast and carbs for dinner, ketogenic diet.

    Then I tried paleo. What’s funny, on the Amazon page of the first paleo book I read, they recommend your “12 paleo myths” book, but I dismissed it because I just wanted to believe. But I noted your name because well, that other Matt Stone is just damn hilarious.

    Two weeks of constipation later, Paleohacks sent me their ad about “paleo bundle” or something. I noted that one of the books was by you (Vegan solution), found it ironic, and downloaded a sample. So I read that book and then all the other recent books (turns out you’re.

    For three weeks now, I’ve been trying to increase my metabolic rate. It seems that equal percentages of protein, carbs and fat work best for me, but I’m still at loss as to how do I consume the amount of salt you recommend.

    Reply
  59. I believe i was reading MDA forum, someone has asked what the folks around there thinks
    Of certain Matt Stone and the nicest comment qualified you as a douchebag, the rest were more strong worded i believe. Curious to meet the person who incites such a undivided loathing and fear i checked you out and i i’ve been around for the last 3 years.
    I have learned a lot or if i have to be exact i have unlearned loads of crippling stuff.
    As a ” health” journey mine has been gentler ride then others. is it because of chance, genes
    or else, i don’t know. The really nice thing about today is the lack of stress concerning food,
    the mental space freed for more creative work instead eternal meal planning and the mild irony that i am exactly where i was before i started, a bit older and wiser..

    Reply
  60. I guess the first time for me here was when Kurt Harris linked to you and said that you are clever, entertaining and wrong. Somehow I liked KH for being such a bamf and still would like to hear his opinion (has he been commenting recently somewhere?), because he wasn’t attached – well, at least not too much – to any one book or eating style and was able to change his views. As you do, Matt. 180DH has been one of my most favorite places on the Internet for more than two years.

    Reply
  61. It’s been just over a year since I came here. At the time, I was confused (can’t remember what was going on here at that point), so I went back and tried my best to read the back story so I could understand where you were coming from. And about 8 or 9 months in, I did begin to move on because I’d internalized the idea that you don’t need to obess about health to be healthy, no foods are “bad” foods, and calories are king. That’s what I came away with in a nutshell and I’ve been living that way ever since. I’ve not been in perfect health and I did gain a bit of weight, but am more active, CRAVE good, whole, healthy, foods instead of the junk I craved at first, and I don’t obsess anymore. I enjoy all kinds of foods without guilt.

    Reply
  62. I found your website when a blogger on livejournal I enjoy reading mentioned she was having adrenal issues and was interested in your work. That must’ve been a couple years ago. I keep up with the website in spurts and don’t comment much.

    I’m glad I found 180 degree health because although I never went down the orthorexic route, I was coming pretty close to restrictive eating and over exercising (stemming from a very unhealthy tendency to perfectionism) and reading this website felt like permission to just eat and relax. I had just moved from Canada to the Las Vegas to get married to my husband and was very frustrated with the state of grocery stores and fast food here. My diet went from almost 100% whole grain full of fiber low fat low sugar to In N Out Burger and fried chicken. It was quite a shock and I felt massively guilty and considered returning to my old ways. But reading 180 degree health reminded me that it was more important to eat a sufficient amount of food and get rest than torture myself in an effort to look the same way I did when I was 17. Like SarahD said, I came away with knowing the no foods are “bad” or “good” and now I eat without guilt. Gained some weight, but it’s extremely stable and I crave more fruits and veggies now and don’t obsess.

    Personally, I don’t find white flour to affect me negatively. I eat it when I need easily absorbed energy, like when I’m at work (my job is active.) When I ate all whole grain and high fiber all the time I felt weak (not to mention constipated…)

    White sugar, on the other hand, can make me nauseous but I think that’s cause there’s just SO MUCH of it in sweets here. Krispy Kreme doughnuts are not like the fresh hand made doughnuts at the coffee shop where I used to work- they are a ticket to feeling like shit! But a couple teaspoons of sugar in my coffee, or a lightly sweetened pastry from an artisinal bakery don’t affect me badly.

    Reply
  63. I was a f*cked up mess when I first found 180D probably 3 years ago, although I didn’t realise it.
    It’s been a slow and steady journey from my severely orthorexic, exercise obsessed self, to the free person I am today. Free to eat what I enjoy and exercise when I crave it.

    I have come to realise that I am quite a picky eater too.. I used to think I was just one of those with a huge apetite and flavor wasn’t necessary, if it was food, I ate it. But not so. Heck, I’m even picky with bananas now, if they taste a certain way (which is too sweet, some brands are that way) I won’t eat them. And I also crave veggies (mostly green peas and carrots, cooked) daily, but some days I need white baguettes stuffed with juicy dates and washed down with milk. Some weeks I eat insane amounts of haagen dasz..

    Anything diet realted now makes me sick and ticks me off. It reminds me of the prison I used to live in. Besides, I have come to understand now that it’s really unattractive to obsess about food/protein/exercise/whatnot. I used to want to meet someone like me, who understood the importance of “healthy food and living”. Now, if a man count calories, prioritise exercise, or obsess about protein, that just turns me off, right away!!

    And wow, how much time I have to do other things now that I don’t train 20+ hours a week… Sadly, I’ve lost 10+ years of my life, and many friends, because of my fucked up obsessions.

    They say life begins at 30. In my case, it’s so true. 31 now and for the past year, I have finally come to grasp what life really is about :)

    Thank you Matt Stone, and commenters, for partaking im ny journey towards a new, healthy life :)

    Reply
    • Oh, and one more thing… I eat what I crave, every day, in quantities I feel like.
      I exercise (weights, running) probably about 2 times a week on average.

      I’m weight stable, slowly losing fat (not that I need it). I’m in the same excellent condition I was when I trained/Starved the most. But with a sex drive (I’ve never had before) and in excellent mood.

      I did gain the first year, after coming of low carb, stuffing my never filling hole we call stomach with carbs, freaking out, crying, wanting badly to go back to the way I used to live. But I took one day at a time, and well, just hang in there, all you sufferers. Don’t force feed yourself, but don’t restrict. Listen to your body, make active choices, be PATIENT and love yourself. Your body is doing the best it can. Focus on other things than weight, food and exercise. And one day you’ll look back and see how far you’ve come.

      Don’t waste more time in that prison like I did. You only have one life. Make the most of it! :)

      Reply
  64. I discovered the site a few months ago, I was on my way to become an orthorexic – low carbs, low sugar, high fiber, and feeling like crap. I started eating the food and trying to sleep the sleep, and gained some weight, I think I’m at my highest weight ever now, but feel more energetic, better, and slowly, but steadily, happier. I still wait to see if I’ll need to buy bigger size clothes or my body will return to the size I had before dieting and being sedentary.

    For the first time in my life I wish my breasts wouldn’t become bigger than they are (went from B cup size to D). I never thought I’d feel that way, after a stupid ex made me feel like crap because of being “small”. He used to say “Don’t worry, there are people with smaller breasts. Me, for example.” And I was also too fat for him, although my proportions were towards the normal-skinny type. And no, he wasn’t perfect (but I never mentioned his physical imperfections and only suggested I was aware about the other ones after we broke up). Surprisingly, right? Even so, years after I kicked him out of my life I still have he feeling that I’m not good enough. Still working on that.

    Anyway, long story short, there’s a lot of misinformation in the health/nutrition jungle, so I’m very glad I arrived at this place where things seem to make sense. One of the many valuable discoveries made here was hearing about Ray Peat for the first time.

    I got here by accident, looking for real solutions to hormonal imbalance, not just birth control pills too many doctors too easily prescribe.

    I’m happy I got here, thank you for existing.

    Reply
  65. I’ve been doing 180D for exactly 1 year.

    I have been restrictive/yoyo dieting since 1990 so that was 22 years of up and down hell. First it was low fat, then vegetarian, then low carb, then cyclical low carb, then calorie counting, then celebrity diets, bodybuilding cutting diets, then paleo, then intermittent fasting, then paleo/low carb/intermittent fasting, hell, hell, hell, hell….

    When I met my wife 17 years ago I was on a diet, big surprise, and 15 years later I was still fat and out of shape but I constantly dieted and worked out. EVERY time we had to go to a wedding or funeral she would have to buy me some nice clothes because if I bought clothes myself I always would buy something smaller than I needed because “I AM GOING TO LOSE WEIGHT, JUST GIVE ME SOME TIME blah blah blah…”

    She is the most excited about 180DegreeHealth (only she wont say it) because I eat whatever she puts in front of my face now. Up until now EVERY meal was pure torture because there was something I couldn’t eat and she had to make special food for me or I made it myself.

    I would like to say I’ve lost weight over the past year but the truth is I’ve slipped into old habits so many times that I’ve totally screwed everything up several times over. I would just wake up gung ho to work out and diet and I’d just trash my body until I was burnt out again. I’m an idiot! (Don’t be like me)

    However I have officially been diet free for 1 month (give or take who knows) and I’m down 1 pound HAHAHAHA. It really does work when you don’t diet, but it happens very slowly. I am eating NO whole grains, lots of high fructose corn syrup, plenty of trans fats and lots of ordinary food also. I’m just an ordinary ***hole now and all I can say is just quit dieting. Don’t think about it. I’m still only beginning.

    Reply
  66. I found your blog after reading eat for heat through a health ebook download special.. I have spent so many hours reading health blogs-paleo, vegetarian, gaps etc.. A naturopath told me I had leaky gut so I searched the Internet trying to find a solution.. One year later and I am the worst I have ever been.. I think I have always had gut issues but I have a history of yoyo dieting as well as bulimia.. I did the autoimmune paleo for a while but was miserable and lost my period.. A few weeks ago I tried your advice and started to eat cheese on toast, ice cream, rice etc.. I had some inflammation but had more energy and my periods came back within 2 days!! But then a few days into it I started to get inflammation/pain throughout my entire body which I have never had cm before so I went back to basic paleo with some non gluten carbs.. I still experience inflammation so I really don’t know what the fuck to eat!! I remember when I ate lite n easy and exercised that I felt good so I don’t know why I can’t handle grains now..I really don’t know what to do now my adrenals are fucked, my temp is a steady 35.4-5 so my metabolism is stuffed.. What would you suggest if grains get things moving in your body but also cause inflammation??

    Reply
    • I am no expert, but I would say try sweet potatoes or regular potatoes for starch instead of grains.

      Reply
  67. I think white sugar is great and fruit is even better. I think white flour is fine but I feel better if I have it just once a day usually. I am happy to have found Ray Peat through you and the commenters because his stuff is really helping (with some tweaks from time to time) and I enjoy reading his articles. I’m also glad that while I follow his principles I am no fanatic (and I used to be – anyone who can do 7 years on vlc and 500c on hcg knows how to be fanatical!) I’m glad I learned about hormones. I’m glad I found my way out of the dieting trap and look forward to the best health in my adult life, BUT …
    I very much regret that I went from trim and pretty to very large, tired, and matronly. I’m not talking about the protracted ups and downs of refeeding because they did subside, I’m talking about a couple of problems that got worse and are still with me – not just weight gain but loss of strength. My muscles vanished, I struggled ( and still kind of do) to get out of a chair. I ached, I felt 80. My 85 year old dad feels much better than I do. Honestly. I realize now I had some kind of thyroid and cortisol backlash. But why would I lose my strength so completely? – I want to know. My poor sleep went downhill to terrible sleep too, and it’s been over 2 years.

    I do want my life back and I don’t have it yet. Slowly I have rebuilt most of my strength and I am a confirmed believer in finding exercise you enjoy and staying active and outdoors because that gave me a big improvement in quality of life which was terrible by then. I still look like sh1t though, the main problem is my big stomach, and given the stats it will be kind of a miracle if I can get back to more or less where I was or to any realistic and acceptable state (no idealism, no perfectionism). I’m trying to, with hormone balancing, gentle regular exercise, and continuing to eat to appetite, which happens to be quite low. I’m glad I’m not facing osteoporosis and weight creep anymore, and that my moods are better and my energy so much smoother, and that migraines are now a rarity. But I’ve been left with some intractable problems and no solutions, which is why I read the posts and comment, because I get some important support from other people here.

    Reply
    • Try some magnesium. I had a time in my life (nearly 10 years ago) when I felt aged and weak…and literally was. Magnesium corrected that in a few hours. Yes, a few hours.
      (I also took potassium, progesterone (Ray Peat’s), pregnenolone, etc. Anything that supported the magnesium and me) Then I supplemented for the next weeks daily, and as time went by I slacked off.
      Took Mg with B-Complex when my head said have some more and emotional stresses made me shake.
      I finally quit dieting October 2012. My head rarely asks for any now. Loud noises don’t bother me much anymore either. And emotional stresses, those people are just written off as jerks and/or I take action. No more whining.

      Reply
      • Ann, what type of magnesium do you take? I’ve tried taking it in the past but the usual mg is not especially absorbable and can be tough on the stomach, too.

        Reply
        • Look for magnesium in the angstrom form or pico ionic form. Both of these are highly absorb-able especially the pico ionic form. I have recently discovered magnesium from reading the book the Magnesium Miracle by Dr. Carolyn Dean.

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          • Thanks!

      • Hey Ann, I take mag – have tried a few including mag chloride powder. Currently mag glycinate. Not sure it’s ever done anything though except for twitches. Pregnenolone is helping, so is vit b (complex and 6 and niacinamide ). Vitex did that instant thing with me too and no more pms or migraines! I take too many vits I sometimes think but I get deficiency symptoms when I stop ,so i take those and the ones I feel a difference from. Magnesium mostly just in hope…

        Reply
  68. Hi, Matt & people!

    I’ve just found out about 180DH and started doing the 180metabolism protocol where I first refeed and get my metabolism up to optimal levels (hopefully also leptin levels) and then start cutting. I’m probably about 30-40 lbs. overweight and I have a history of abusing my body with nothing but fast food, candy, chocolate, alcohol, drugs and soda. After that I went thorough a health-craze-phase where I started consuming all sorts of super foods, doing IF, low carbing even going to the point of doing the bulletproof diet so that I could go a whole day with just coffee and less than 500 calories of butter.

    Well, that shit finally caught up with me and after a turbulent month of stressing about the optimal diet, I came across the 180 metabolism. So far, (less than 2 weeks) it’s been great! I’ love eating coconut oil, starchy tubers and shrimp or meat or fish. It’s actually kinda weird since I was resigned to gaining even more fat due to the refeed but my energy levels are seem to be better since I no longer need coffee to stay awake during working hours. Also am starting to regain my libido, which I lost low carbing and starving myself. I haven’t weighed myself and will not do so but caught a look of myself shirtless in the mirror today and my body looked different, like more muscular or lean.

    Haven’t measured my blood glucose for a couple of days but I feel like the mood swings associated are lessening even though I eat larger piles of carbs than ever.

    I don’t know what’s coming but I like not obsessing about food (except trying to maintain a constant state of not being hungry and sleeping enough, two habits that are still pretty unfamiliar to me) and just eating the food. Funnily it gives me a sense of pride to eat healthy plates of food while almost everyone around me are eating the kind of miniscule amounts that I used to do while dieting.

    Thanks for the site and all this,

    Vesa

    Reply
  69. Found your blog after I googled “loss of sex drive paleo diet”

    Go figure.

    Reply
  70. Few natural foods are good or bad. The trick is meeting your needs. And the physiological needs of the human body are many.

    Beside not providing nutrients, white flour and sugar actually consume nutrients. Amylase for example is an enzyme with a calcium ion at the core. When you consume white flour and sugar your body has to produce amylase else these simple carbs ferment in the large intestine. Plus their calories will be lost and the body generally tries to make the most of what you eat–it’s basic survival.

    So the amount of white flour and sugar you can eat is a function of calcium (there are others like this too) intake and utilization all the way to the production of amylase. (Complex pathway from mouth to enzyme).

    Also, while I agree with you that metabolism is critical, you can’t let the pursuit of it throw other things out of balance. So for example, I believe it’s possible to eat too much white flour and sugar. And while your metabolism may be fine, if you’re getting cavities or osteoporosis, you’re simply trading one health benefit (metabolism) for another (tooth/bone health).

    You also have to wonder what’s really going on with the American diet. Americans eat a huge amount of white flour and sugar and metabolic dysfunction is very common. Of course I’m not saying that removing white flour and sugar will cure their metabolic problems. The disease processes at work are far too complex.

    So while white flour and sugar may be useful tools for supporting a health metabolism, I think their benefit is not without some detriment. The key is to make sure the benefits outweigh the detriments.

    Dr. Schweitzer observed the introduction of white flour and sugar to the native populations he was treating and he saw first hand epidemics of cancer, appendicitis and many other novel diseases.

    The Japanese generally believe that the more rice you eat (they only eat white rice), the worse your dental health. This is because rice is the last thing to cut back on in the diet. Richer people eat more meat and vegetables and poorer people eat more rice.

    Anthony’s post about whole grains has made me reconsider the ‘whole grain’ thing. I’m contemplating at least switching to white rice because of the arsenic and fragility of rice bran oil. Also fermented brown rice is just not as palatable as white rice. The counter to Anthony’s argument is that whole grains have been widely consumed for a very long time. But they have always been processed with fermentation which very may well blunt most of the arguments Anthony makes. Unfortunately there is very little research along these lines and I don’t expect any soon. Clearly the modern convention of eating un-fermented whole grains is not only new, but is very likely not a good nutritional practice.

    Reply
    • I think you make a lot of good points here. I am of the belief that a varied, balanced diet is the best route to avoid all nutrient deficiencies/toxicities. I agree too much white flour or sugar is probably bad, but I doubt it’s bad in a balanced diet. For example, lunch today, I had a burrito bowl with white rice, but it also had beans, cheese, veggies and sour cream, which I’m guessing add back a lot if what is missing in the rice. I do not think a bowl of white rice alone would be helpful for the body in most instances.

      Something that is interesting, at least with Dr. Price (I’ve never heard of Dr. Schweitzer so not sure what he observed), is when natives switched to white flour, they did it big time. Dr. Price’s populations went from eating a healthy diet to one of almost all white bread, margarine, jam, canned meat, etc. He was able to rehabilitate kids with 1 very nutritious meal/day (while they ate the other stuff for their other two meals at home). I would be interested to see what happened if people just introduced some white flour in the context of an otherwise native diet.

      Reply
  71. I found your site through butterbelievers blog post and multiple mentions of you. I had become so lost, upset and stressed with my current state of health. I have been on every diet out there…paleo, autoimmune paleo, vegan, ayurvedic, raw, low carb, lots of yo-yo’ing. I also have a history of anorexia and tend to be an perfectionist with lots of body issues. Being born with an autoimmune skin condition that manifested at the age of 9 ( I am now 29) I was determined to find the ultimate perfect diet to “fix” myself. I wanted to cry (and laugh) when I started reading Diet Recovery 2. It all rang so true.I realized how much my quest for health had been wrecking every area of my life including my health. My body and mind were so confused and caught up in the guilt and stress of it all, I had been letting my life pass me by. Literally 24 hours into eating food again (without sprouting, fermenting, and ordering it from Nepal) and my frozen body is warming up. I even have color in my cheeks so that I don’t need makeup to look alive. I spent the day relaxing in a hammock in the sun staring up at the trees instead of obsessively meal planning while my dogs ran around. I took some deep breaths and reflected a lot. Drinking a glass of full fat grassfed milk with a chocolate croissant nearly brought tears to my eyes. My view on white flour right is this: For those who have been literally starving themselves most of their lives(whether anorexic or orthorexic), it is incredibly liberating to enjoy food to that extent again. I may not continue to eat croissants everyday, in fact I doubt it. I feel so stuffed after 24 hours of eggs, cheese, meat, dairy, sugar, and sweets that I am actually so satiated I could just have fish and a salad tonight and enjoy it just as much. I am excited to have found a way to balance. To be social, I had a horrible time at a friends wedding this summer because nothing on the menu fit into my diet, so I literally ate a pack of almonds and dried apricots! How sad :( I am excited to stop spending so much time focused on health without having it. Health encompasses all aspects of our lives..physical, social, mental, sexual wellbeing, and yes white flour/sugar when necessary. So I thank you for opening the door to that balance. You are my hero right now.

    Reply
    • Just…+1 to the above comment by Caroline. Recent discover…recent “recoverer” from the death-grasp of anorexia… Thanks…indeed…for “opening the door to that balance”…I could not have said it better myself.

      This is truly a recovery blog for anyone searching for what it truly means to eat for health. Thank you Matt Stone….You are, most decidedly, hero material.

      Reply
  72. I discovered you about 18 months ago because another blogger I follow shared on of your posts. I began to read your articles and then purchased your books and had a consult with you. If I had encountered you 10 years ago I would have thought you were an ignorant, stupid, insane person. That is because i was a crazy raw-food vegan. Even if I had discovered you 5 years ago I would have written you off. But after 10+ years of being on a quest to improve my very bad health (and completing a degree in nutrition as well as becoming an acupuncturists and herbalist), I knew that you weren’t crazy because you were saying something that I had not heard before.

    If it weren’t for you I would never have been able to get pregnant. I was actually surprised by how quickly that happened…. I thought I still had a lot of work to do on my health before that would happen. You also turned me on to Ray Peat and because of what I have learned from him I have been able to really help my clients who come to me with terrible health problems. I no longer spout random health mythology and dogma, I actually understand physiology.I still have a lot to learn but I am re-inspired to continue to work in the health field.

    Reply

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