Mark Sisson

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Hey, sorry about my absence late last week. Wednesday distraction, Thursday drama, Friday crisis, and weekend recovery explains the last 5 days. Good stuff. All is well now though. Where were we? Ah yes, I wanted to continue our discussion of some popular diets/gurus. As promised, today we discuss Mark Sisson of

For starters, I want to make this perfectly clear. Sisson is one of the best health icons on earth – he’s truly the best of the low-carbers. He is running around advocating a nutritious, whole foods-based diet with no truly crippling restrictions – sort of an 80/20 rule approach. The guy drinks coffee at times, eats chocolate, has cheat meals, and otherwise has taken a general health “blueprint” and custom built it into something fairly safe, reasonable, easy to follow, and fun. His exercise advice is great. He encourages good sleep, lots of rest, having fun outdoors, getting natural sunlight – the list of pros goes on and on.

In an honest review of a health guru, you have to admit – he’s really on track with a lot of stuff.

But it’s also important to spell out exactly where Sisson comes up short – not to attack the guy or nitpick his program, but more to provide a resource online for those who are failing miserably following his general guidelines and need to hear the other side of the story. At the end of the day, there are many out there that will be demolished by trying to run sprints, lift heavy things, and go on long walks fueled by less than 150 grams of carbohydrates per day – what Sisson calls the cutoff that leads to “insidious weight gain” if you exceed such levels. Don’t even get me started on that. Well, okay I guess I guess I should take a closer look at that bold statement. That’s what this post is all about…

Yes, you heard that right. In Mark Sisson’s book, The Primal Blueprint, he shows a little chart with carbohydrate levels ideal for weight loss, weight maintenance, and the levels of carbohydrate intake that lead to, in his words, “insidious weight gain.” Get above 150 grams of carbohydrates per day in your diet and you enter the danger zone. I have said this many times and I will say it again – in all the information I’ve ever read on nutrition and health, this could very well be the dumbest and most unsubstantiated tidbit I’ve ever come across. It is downright retarded, with 5 billion…. 5 BILLION living exceptions to the rule that a carbohydrate intake exceeding 150 grams per day triggers insidious weight gain. This is just plain stupid. I couldn’t even believe my eyes when I read it. This guy is, and should be, the laughingstock of anyone who studies obesity or nutritional science. He completely undermines his credibility as an intelligent person with this one uber-knuckleheaded and poorly-thought out conclusion.

Let me tell you how I really feel about it… 99% of the 5 BILLION lean people alive on planet earth right now, most of them living in Africa and Asia, eat far more than 150 grams of carbohydrates per day. Meanwhile, countries like the United States enjoy one of the lowest carbohydrate diets in the world – barely getting 50% of their dietary calories from carbohydrates while everyone else on earth aside from the Masai, Eskimo, and some Europeans that also have serious obesity problems get far more of their dietary calories from carbohydrates. The Chinese eat more than 400 grams of carbohydrates per day. Every species of primate gets 70% or more of their dietary calories from carbohydrates.

150 grams of carbohydrates. Ha. It has been a couple of months since I’ve even eaten a MEAL with fewer than 150 grams of carbohydrates. I’ve got at least 150 grams of carbs in me by 9am each day, and often 400 grams or more by noon.

Okay, that’s enough. Just had to get that out of my system. But here are some other important things that simply must be mentioned before we leave the subject of Sisson…

Consider what I heard on Wednesday during my “distraction” from the computer for a day. I traveled across the state of Florida to meet with a very wealthy man with health problems and a strong desire to restore his vitality. Many years ago this guy had spent time at the Pritikin institute with low-fat guru Nathan Pritikin. Pritikin, according to this guy, was really a portrait of health that lived and breathed his health advice and looked young, lean, and more or less perfect. Of course, on the inside he was dying – committing suicide at 69 and reported to perhaps have leukemia.

He was replaced by some other guy who supposedly looked even more impressive, with absolutely no body fat whatsoever and the picture-perfect body of what, in the modern era, is erroneously used to symbolize health. He died far younger supposedly, of a stroke – typical of someone with low cholesterol.

Professional athletes are looked upon as being physical specimens. Of course, athletes are notorious for long lists of health problems and dying young.

I bring this up, not because it’s all that relevant to Sisson, but because the idea that having a 6-pack is healthy and not having a 6-pack is second best is absolutely stupid. Being lean and attractive by modern standards, if anything, is a sign of terrible health not great health. I think of a supermodel having the worst health, followed by a lean, female collegiate athlete, followed by the morbidly obese, followed by professional athletes, followed by everyone else. Most obese people eating at McDonald’s today can at least reproduce. The same can’t be said about supermodels or say, female distance runners – most of which cannot reproduce. At the very least, seeing someone’s abs because there isn’t enough fat on them to obscure them from view is not a cue to get on your knees and start worshipping.

This also brings up the question – would Sisson be obese and unattractive if he had oatmeal or toast or even Pop Tarts and Fruit Loops with pasteurized milk on them for breakfast? Of course not. I know far more people with abs that eat Pop Tarts than eat a Paleo diet. Tyson Gay eats at McDonald’s and eats ice cream. Should we do that because he has abs and can run real fast? Or should we eat what Sisson says to eat because of his abs? Whose abs determine the composition of your diet? How much of Sisson’s appearance can be attributed to the junk food diet he was raised on and how much can be attributed to the low-carb Paleo diet he has eaten for the last decade or whatever? He was a world class athlete on standard fare. Is it a surprise that he also looks “good” doing lots of smart training while otherwise taking great care of himself and eating a lower carbohydrate diet? Looks are more or less meaningless. Diets of the obese and the lean have been compared. There is almost no difference whatsoever.

But the real reason I wanted to do this post was an email I was sent recently. It was the same old story. Followed Sisson, everything was great, then everything went to hell within a year. This is the same thing that happened to me when I was eating 150 grams per day or less of carbohydrates for an extended period of time. It is very important for everyone who reads this to understand basic human physiology here. This is not a fluke or one in a million response to a low-carbohydrate diet. Low-carb diets are a great stress to most people, increasing the catecholamines, advancing the rate of aging, slowing down thyroid function, increasing inflammation, and reducing many important anti-aging hormones like testosterone, progesterone, and DHEA.

While many low-carb zealots will deny reality and go about searching busily to find evidence that supports low-carb eating – that’s what they do, defend a pre-conceived conclusion – this is the simple biological truth as I understand it…

Glucose is the ultimate source of cellular energy. Short and medium chain saturated fatty acids like butyric acid and lauric acid are the only thing that can compete. If you do not get enough glucose, stress hormones rise. At first this can feel amazing – giving you tireless energy, blunting appetite, and burning up body fat. But over time the wear and tear on the adrenal glands to produce this increased demand for stress hormones catches up with you. When the adrenal energy finally wanes you are left with lower thyroid hormone production – the adrenal hormones oppose the thyroid and even cause the thyroid gland to atrophy (the catecholamines cause the thymus – the epicenter of the immune system to atrophy as well, which would explain my observation that low-carb eating increases proneness to allergies, food allergies, and autoimmune disease).

When the thyroid is negatively impacted, the whole system goes into decline. The thyroid controls the production of hormones like progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone – perhaps the most important anti-aging hormones known. It is no surprise why it is so common for women to have reproductive and menstrual issues on a low-carbohydrate diet, especially if that is paired with a lot of stress or exercise or lack of sleep and so forth. Insulin resistance increases and glycogen storage becomes impaired. Thus, eating carbohydrates can trigger massive hypoglycemic attacks (which, oddly, often reinforces people’s devotion to a low-carb diet). In men, testosterone falls. I for one had some pretty substantial erectile problems on a low-carb diet for example. My athletic performance and recovery was at an all-time low.

The list goes on and on. To think that no health problems could emerge from eating a low carbohydrate diet is absurd. I have had plenty – from chest pains to increased allergies to foul body odor to mood disorders to digestive problems to insomnia. Hundreds of people have gravitated to this site after their health was ravaged by prolonged low-carbohydrate intake.

Lack of carbohydrate intake is just one issue with low-carbohydrate diets. Another is intake of excessive amounts of animal protein, which I have found to be particularly destructive. Animal protein concentrates highly-inflammatory amino acids like tryptophan, methionine, and cysteine. After the growth and development stage of life, unless you are trying to add muscle mass for bodybuilding, there is only a tiny dietary requirement for these amino acids to maintain lean body mass. Any excess is, I believe, a huge detriment. Eating large quantities of protein in general, particularly without complementary carbohydrate, raises the hormone glucagon as well, which triggers the stress hormone and inflammatory chain reaction in the body.

At the end of the day, while there could be some individual exceptions no doubt, a carbohydrate-based diet is vastly superior for health, longevity, and human performance – athletic or otherwise. By carbohydrate-based I don’t mean low-fat, but just 50% of dietary calories or so, maybe drifting towards 60-70% of dietary calories if you are a hard-training athlete.

Anyway, I’m done with this rant. The point of this post is very simple. There are people out there brainwashed into believing that mimicking a caveman by fasting, eating a low-carbohydrate diet with a bunch of meat, etc. is a surefire path to everlasting health and Sisson-like abs. This is false. More than that, some aspects of Sisson’s approach are causing health problems in people, even in those with seemingly-miraculous health benefits initially like those I experienced with a similar approach. Abandoning nonsensical phobias like the fear of insidious weight gain if more than 150 grams of carbohydrates are consumed is very important, and there are literally millions of people out there with low-carb-induced health problems that could be easily overcome if they were able to get past their carbophobic stigma.

For recovering from some of these issues and guru infatuation – Sisson or otherwise, read Diet Recovery on how to recover your metabolism from prolonged restricted dieting of any kind.


  1. First !

    • Mark Sisson is a Dr Atkins on steroids. ‘150g of carbs per day will make you obese!!’


      He makes millions though!

      Telling fat newbies good things about their bad habits.

      • Even if everything that Sisson said was sound, his 150g of carbs per day causes insidious weight gain stance would overshadow it all. It is one of the dumbest statements ever made in this industry.

      • You are all nobs.

        Read things thoroughly- he actively states time and again an intense training individual would require significantly more CHO than he states. The insidious obesity figure applied is for the majority of lazy fat bastards who tap a keyboard day in day out and watch soaps after work while smashing fizzy pop.

    • Nice opinions, but where is the fact-based evidence to back to up?

  2. excellent post matt. it was the info on this website that saved me from the terrible effects of the primal diet: poor sleep, anxiety, allergies, etc. and lately, cutting back on muscle meats, adding a little orange juice and gelatin to my diet has done wonders for my sleep. this blog is a great resource for low carbers, primal/paleo dieters looking to restore their health.

  3. I have heard the the Masai fermented their dairy products, which would reduce the amount of sugar/carbohydrate. However, a diet heavy in dairy, unless you never drink the fresh milk, would contain carbohydrate.

    However, I think it is important to see that a lot of people following the primal diet do not have the issues you speak of in terms of allergies, poor sleep, etc. Many see not only the increase in energy you speak of, but also increased sleep quality, disappearance of allergies, and, here is the big one, increased sex drive. Maybe those were the ones consuming enough carbohydrate. I don't know. Just wanted to keep your eyes open.

  4. Ooh, ooh… do Gary Taubes next!

  5. …and Jordan Rubin!

  6. …and Sally Fallon!

  7. Also, in fairness, Sisson has relaxed his stance on carbs recently with his posts of potatoes and white rice. And not that it is necessarily justified, but he does have some reasoning behind it. He claims that metabolically damaged individuals should not consume too many carbohydrates. Just like how you set absurdly low limits on omega 6 to allow it to clear from tissues (a legitimate approach), Sisson sets low limits on carbohydrates to allow people with metabolic damage to function well. You can criticize the merits of that approach as much as you want, I just wanted to make it clear that he is not just pulling the whole low carb thing out of his ass.

    • Yeah, but as of late (speaking of late, this comment is 2 years in the making…) people are repairing their damaged metabolism WITH carbs. It just takes a while. Mine got screwed by too low carb, which was very unintentional, but easy to do with primal. People shouldn’t limit carbs at all. If you are healthy you will naturally feel the energy to burn them up. And people who don’t, well, they should reduce stress, sleep more and get moderate exercise until their metabolic pathways function well again. And in the mean time, just eat the carbs.

  8. Matt,
    I'm glad you are back. I wondered if you had finally given up on all of this diet stuff.

    It is really kinda funny that you wrote this, because I was just thinking about dropping my carbs back down to 150. This seems to be where my sweet spot is for feeling and functioning good.

    I agree Sisson's statement that anything over 150 grams a day causes insidious weight gain is pretty ridiculous. But, we don't want to make other ridiculous statements in the other extreme. Keeping carbs under 150grams could be good for a lot of people.

    The paleo dogmatism is kinda dumb, but I am sure it is good for a lot of people. Like Theo pointed out above many people have resolved health issues with it. It is not the foods or diet that is necessarily bad, but the fixation on all things paleo.

    You point out how low carb diets can be bad because it raises catecholamine levels, but some people have low catecholamines and need to raise them. In this case it would be a good thing, not a bad thing. Depends on the individual.

  9. Matt,

    You stated:
    "Being lean and attractive by modern standards, if anything, is a sign of terrible health not great health." "Most obese people eating at McDonald’s today can at least reproduce."

    Are you just joking here? You can be too lean and unhealthy, but being lean is not a sign of poor health in itself. There is a very strong correlation between obesity and infertility.

    • He is talking about people who abuse their bodies to achieve lean, by starving themselves of macronutrients and exercising too much too hard etc.

  10. Pritikin did not committ suicide AND have leukemia, he committed suicide BECAUSE he was dying from leukemia, and at autopsy his arteries were as clear as those of a teenager. Tyson Gay does not regularly eat mcdonald's or ice cream.

  11. Isn't it funny that he calls his site "Mark's Daily Apple" yet seems to be fruit-phobic. Well I guess it makes sense, if the title implies that he limits himself to one serving of fruit a day. He probably believes Gary Taubes that fruit makes you fat.

    As for Primal Fuel, I don't understand how whey protein is paleo. Dairy is not paleo. Yet they act like it is, while grains still get the evil "Neolethal" treatment.

  12. I think another common pitfall for modern people attempting to eat paleo is consuming too many pufas. This is caused in part by Mark Sisson and his kind advocating fat as the main source of energy and overall fear of carbs. I used to regularly peruse MDA for over a year or so and really didn't get the idea that some fats are really bad (of course, plenty of posts on the dangers of carbs). This was a major pitfall for me and no doubt others following his blog.

    It is easy to straw man someone when you merely peruse their work so he may have posted on the topic and I've only been to his site a couple of times in the past year or so. I agree that a lot of his stuff is great – and it wouldn't surprise me if he is more ardently warning of this pitfall now.

  13. Oh thank god I thought you had fallen prey to one o' them there gators in FLA! They are so Paleo :)

    I have to say that I have been so wrapped up in my health that I have started to feel like shit. Yep. Shit on a shingle people
    . After getting my good blood test (four years and holding) for my CLL, I asked for a thyroid panel because I felt a lot of symptoms ( probably because I fucking looked them all up and then started nodding my empty head, yeah that's whats wrong with me!) and it is totally normal, my liver and kidney function is normal, all is well in sick ville. Obviously, my biggest health is issue is between my two large ears. :p
    So low carb smo carb, I am upping my veg/fruit, lowering my meat and moving on with my freaking life.
    'obsessing on health is unhealthy'. Me
    I do wish I had some kinda ab pack though but maybe that would be weird on my old lady torso :)

  14. Glad you took some time away from the screen! It's not just the message, it's also the man, and sounds like you have an interesting story there.

    But–great points again that looks don't always tell the whole story. That point about athletes and supermodels having poorer health is a real mind-rabbithole, considering that a lot of debate about how to achieve the best of health tends to get predicated on whether someone can 'last all day' or work out hard, etc (although those kinds of debates also tend to become pissing contests with no real credibility or substance.

    Glad you're back.

  15. "Every species of primate gets 70% or more of their dietary calories from carbohydrates." Every? Gorillas get most of their energy from fat, as probably most herbivores because of gut fermentation.

    "It is downright retarded, with 5 billion…. 5 BILLION living exceptions to the rule that a carbohydrate intake exceeding 150 grams per day triggers insidious weight gain" 5 billion?? Where's the data? Given the numbers in USA and in my country (Colombia), and that in a place like China overweight population may be more than 25% ( I doubt what you said is very correct. It's not too worrysome, but I don't like anyone making statements of that caliber without showing the data (which I couldn't find, BTW).

    "Diets of the obese and the lean have been compared. There is almost no difference whatsoever." It would be good if you could show me you reference for that.

    I do believe that your point is valid, and I feel much better on a high carb diet, but it would be AWESOME if you started referencing your articles. Good references are for nutrition researching like a good fat blob of butter is for…, well, for everything. Or in your case, molasses :)

  16. Theo,

    Pretty sure Matt would argue that the initial improvements in allergies, sex drive, etc. comes from the catecholamine high, and the declines come later. So it's no surprise that folks would seem to do better in these areas, but will that last in perpetuity with this low carb diet? Matt says no, probably not. Good point about the idea of lowering carb consumption as a strategy akin to dramatically lowering PUFA consumption for some advocates, at least demonstrating some sophistication and nuance to the reasoning.

    Agree with JT that lean doesn't necessarily mean unhealthy, and continue to believe that, while it often becomes an end in itself, it probably is attractive to us because it is a byproduct of health and vitality. Like lower calories consumption coming as a result of good metabolic health, and not because of it, and certainly not the path for the metabolically compromised to reach ever lasting health.

    Would love more proof about why it is that animal protein (muscle meat, I presume you mean) is inflammatory and a huge detriment. How much of that can be counteracted by consuming comparable quantities of non inflammatory protein like in broths? And what are the dietary recommendations based on that- more grains and legumes as protein sources?

    As for personal experience- feel pretty headache-y today after a couple big servings of ice cream on a mostly empty stomach. My body's just not crying out for sugar much, it seems, so I'm going to honor that.

    In my month or two of really low carb eating, I experienced sleep disturbances, reactive hypoglycemia (would get super light headed with an evening fatty shake), and most prominently, absolutely insane about food. Orthorexia to a crazy degree- always wondering and worrying about whether I'd have the right sort of food around in social settings, wondering whether my food choices were right or optimal, trying to figure out what it was I could eat and obsessing about all the the things I *shouldn't.* It was terrible, though I did lean out a bit and could go hours without food for the first time since I could remember without crazy low blood sugar issues. I found 180 not long into the regime, and am glad that I didn't continue on forever. I still think some sort of cyclical thing like leangains might be able to be done effectively without compromising health, but it does seem really hard to implement, and I'd rather not put that much effort into my diet. The aim of effortless health and vitality, without requiring eternal vigilance, is what I'm after, and I'm cool with some extra fat if that's the cost of that ease.

  17. @Rob A
    The 'honeymoon' is also availble in the Raw Vegan lifestyle.. and yeah, then the wall slams into your face. And all the food obsessions are just as you describe for low carb, only a bit worse. Have to carry fruit and larabars at all times. :(
    Got an email today from a raw vegan, had to cancel a trip due to emergency room visit for…wait for it……..severe anemia.
    Yeah. Short term love, long term torture.

  18. Word up, grass fed momma.

    Makes me so glad that for almost my entire time growing up I was not on a diet. Did start sort of in high school, mainly just cut out junk food and started exercising. Then became vegan (Never raw, though it always was the aspiration, or at least occupied moral high ground as "the way* to go. Of course now I'd tend to think that the inability to actually do it is more than sufficient evidence of its insanity- health should be *easy,* not exhausting).

    Fortunately, I've mainly stuck to a nutritious whole foods paradigm, and that's kept me from too many pitfalls. But the honeymoon phase, followed by dissolution of all gains for all sorts of diet plans, seems so damn tragic, and drives home that idea that dieting is itself detrimental, at least in many cases.

  19. Anemia on a raw vegan diet? I'm shocked. Can't wait to hit that one next. It won't be nearly as polite as this episode.


    Yes I'm aware that gorillas obtain a lot of nutrition from hindgut fermentation. It's interesting that gorillas are the most hypometabolic and low energy primate, while fruit eaters swing around from trees with endless energy. But anyone who has ever tried to do anything athletically-challenging will note that carbohydrate is a superior source of fuel than fat. Still, many are in denial about this for some reason.


    Ice cream is a low-carb food. I still find it to be dramatically inferior to starch, fruit, and juice. But it wasn't the easiest of transitions. I could see a lot of people having serious transition issues.

  20. Matty,

    Good to have you back in the comments. Not sure I'd agree that Ice cream is low carb- here's the one I'm eating mostly:

    Half the calories come from fat, another 10% or so from protein, and the rest from sugar- I'd say that's close to your ~50% mark mentioned in the post.

    With 16g sugar per half cup- I probably had five servings- that's more sugar than I've had in whole weeks at times pas, even when starch loading. Certainly is a change, and the transition apparently is rocky.

  21. Generally good points per usual, Matt. One caveat: although many people likely follow Sisson because of his low body fat and visible abdominal muscles, he himself repudiates the idea that a health guru should be followed merely because they look stunning (conversely, he also says that people who are not of the best appearance should not be disregarded if their tenets are sound).

    Here's the link to his post on the topic:

  22. Good post. I have nothing to add, other than that I hope your trip was profitable.


  23. I feel that there is a flase dichotomy between a high carbohydrate diet and a very low carbohydrate diet with tons of protein. My new favorite book is The Perfect Health Diet (audacious title I know)where they advocate something like 65% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 15% protein (including gelatin) with pretty good reasons for doing so and a very solid holistic basis. I like Mark Sisson a lot and post on his message boards and blog and he's open to anything now, including lower protein intake or more carbohydrates, he just hasn't said much on the topic yet.

    We all agree that he has a lot of great stuff to say. I definitely agree with the 6-pack thing. It is like people get entranced by it. About 2/3 of his forum is female, who would have thought?

  24. I think we can become obsessed with what macro nutrient ratios we put into our bodies. Maybe we should rather focus on what "foods" we omit. There seems to be wide agreement that high PUFAs, high sugar, and if leaky gut or addiction is an issue, dairy and grains, should be eliminated/reduced. As a complement to this, there is no credible evidence that calories don't count and much evidence that the right knd of exercise is healthful, so Sisson is correct on a few counts,as you mentioned. I eat intuitively. Some days high carb, other days low carb, whatever "feels" right. I think most of us instinctively know when we are forcing upon ourself an unnatural macro nutrient ratio. It doesn't "feel right", for good reason.

  25. Matt,do you think that hard athletic training is inherently bad for the body?Are you saying that you can't be a professional athlete and have a high level of health?And that you can't be lean and ripped while being healthy?

  26. You're right Matt. Eating 150grams from carbs causing insidious weight gain is stupid. Quite possibly as stupid as thinking you can over-eat your way to health and weightloss Lol.

  27. Perfect Health Diet is not much better. Too much wheat bashing. You can't eat wheat on the so-called "perfect health" diet, but white rice (a refined grain) is some kind of superfood (wtf?). I believe the term used is "safe starch". Because if you let a molecule of gluten in your body, you'll die. I'm no vegetarian, but I want to eat a big plate of seitan just to freak these pretend-celiacs out.

    I don't how you feel about wheat Matt. But I don't buy that it is evil.

  28. I strongly doubt you can maintain a physique like Mark's unless you're taking a prohormone. There are foods you can eat to elevate testosterone 4 fold but it's hard to say if those levels could be maintained on a low fat diet because of the lowering of hormones in the production of cortisol. Especially for an athletic lifestyle. He's 57 so it's hard to believe he's had a physique like that at his age without prohormones.

    I found this article from Durianryder very interesting:

    Harley says Mark takes HGH and wears a shirt to hide his physique. That the muscular photos he took were from 7 years ago. In Mark's defense I found videos where he still looks muscular from 4 years ago and another from a year ago.

    In my opinion it's not fair to promote such a physique in a low carb diet unless you say you're taking hgh in it if that's what you're doing.

  29. In the above I meant to say it's hard to maintain on a low carbohydrate diet, not a low fat diet.

  30. Were the eskimos found to have a muscular physique before they were influenced by standard american diet? Did they have longer lifespans and age better than modern eskimos? According to an article I read from a 1974 study that eskimos age and become obese because they stop exercising and have the younger kids do all the work when they turn 40 years old:

  31. Here's an interesting article that mentions Matt's name:

    Their were healthy cultures in the past that consumed high levels of cysteine content. But they had a well rounded diet high in amino acids and vitamins from organ meats, raw milk, and cartilage. I had found in a study online that Masai had low cholesterol but can't find it now. Even though they have a high cholesterol intake their cholesterol was low because they have a low bodyfat, ate healthy, and lived active lives. Because of thier calorie deficit to active lifestyle they probably couldn't support weight gain, and so stayed at a very low bodyweight while maintaining a low bodyfat. They took in 7 quarts of raw milk a day when Price studied them. After a percentage of protein was converted to glucose their intake amounted to 50/50 fat to carbohydrate ratio. They had about a 1/5th more fat over carbohydrate. It could have been more fat because their milk content may have had a higher cream content than modern milk. So they weren't a high fat low carbohydrate group, they consumed about 50/50. I don't know if they had atherosclerosis at the time Price studied them. They may have actually had more carbohydrates because they were said to have vegetables and fruits intake in their diet, and only in previous generations had they limited their intake to only animal, milk, and blood. I believe the book was published in 1938. This would have been in a time before their diet was tampored with by modern civilization:

  32. I basically agree that low carb theory and fear of carbohydrates is retarded and can be dangerous, but I'm not sure the idea that the adrenal glands will be "worn out" by increasing production of stress hormones makes any more sense than the low carb theory that the pancreas will be worn out if you eat too many carbohydrates.

    Likewise, why are you not worried that all your attempts to maximally raise metabolism will "wear out" the thyroid and eventually cause a deficiency of thyroid hormone? It seems equally logical (or illogical).

  33. @JT

    No idea where my post in the other thread went. Yes, I'm still on Satyananda's course and don't have any intentions to stop. And no, I'm not on the kitchari diet, I'm currently trying something else, but I haven't forgotten about it.

  34. The Masai Warriors had more than 1.162g of cysteine a day. Maybe more with all the meat and organs they consumed. That's just from the 7 quarts of milk content they consumed a day.

  35. @ Anon re Durianrider

    Durianrider is a pathological liar. He thinks anything goes to support his vegan ideology. I wouldn't believe one word he says.

  36. After looking at it the zebu milk may have had a moderate protein content along with the higher fat intake so the cysteine content may have been that high. If it is 7-10% milkfat as opposed to the 3.25% milkfat then it is very low carbohydrate. So their carbohydrate intake may have been much lower. The Masai would walk on long trails and throw spears at their prey. Their aim was very good. So they went at a very slow pace to maintain their high fat intake lifestyle without hindrances modern civilization or most other primitive cultures would run into. However, they weren't that big. While being well over 6' their bodyweight was only 135 pounds. They likely avoided excess anaerobic activity and instead did mostly aerobic activity. I doubt they could develop a shredded physique on that diet. None of the photos I have seen revealed their physique so I can't truly say.

  37. In all likelihood the Masai could have been taking in a lot more carbohydrates with their fruit and vegetable intake. If not the protein from their animal blood intake would also spare lost muscle tissue. They could have made up for lost muscle proteins on their meat, organ, and cartilage tissue eating days. Eskimos had various nutrition sources:

    "The food of these Eskimos in their native state includes caribou, ground nuts which are gathered by mice and stored in caches, kelp which is gathered in season and stored for winter use, berries including cranberries which are preserved by freezing, blossoms of flowers preserved in seal oil, sorrel grass preserved in seal oil, and quantities of frozen fish. Another important food factor consists of the organs of the large animals of the sea, including certain layers of the skin of one of the species of whale, which has been found to be very high in vitamin C."

  38. I'm really appreciating all this talk about the Masai diet and the Eskimos. Can someone mention the Kitavans too?

    Perfect Health Diet -

    This is health information at its worst. Sorry Paul. I ate such ratios for years and that's what I developed my health problems on.

    Sisson and HGH-

    That's probably BS. I assume Sisson is legit until proven otherwise. Sisson, to me, seems like a pretty fair and levelheaded guy with most of his stuff – covering all of his bases well including going so far as one reader pointed out, as saying that looks can be deceiving when it comes to health.

  39. I agree about the carbs, but I do like Mark Sisson. Unlike some health bloggers, he's cheerful and professional (of course, he is running a business), does not get overheated or dogmatic, and has some nice perspectives on lifestyle and health, including sleep, dancing, and play.

    For some reason, however, I feel more compelled to check what Dr. Davis at Heart Scan is saying on a regular basis, maybe for the same reason that people like to gawk at traffic accidents.

  40. Kitavans

  41. Forget the abs, I want the hair! ;p

    I've always found the > 150g carb = insidious weight gain laughable. He's also a big parrot of the nonsense that excess carbs are turned to fat mantra popularized by Taubes.

    Pass the maltodextrin and whey!

  42. Brock-

    I noticed in your original post you said "Kitivans" not "Kitavans." Is this a different tribe somewhere? What are their macronutrient ratios? Do you know how much cysteine they take in on a daily basis? Is there gluten in their diets? How long is their pre-conception diet ritual? Do they eat bat liver and if so do they eat it raw or cooked?

    Carbsane for prez…

  43. Matt-

    I find your complete villification of lower carb diets like the Perfect Health Diet to be unfounded in science and based only on your own experience. The amount of carbohydrates allowed on that diet is easily enough to supply all the glucose you need, so it should avoid the stress hormone release you talk about. I see other potential problems, but I doubt it was due to the carb intake. For example, such a diet could easily be too high in omega 6, too high in protein, low in calories, and/or low in minerals, all of which could cause health problems.

    And I really have to point this out as other commenters have. It would add soooo much more validity to your arguments if you would cite some sources.

  44. Theo-

    My vilification of high-fat, low-carb diets is based on reality. Glucose is superior to fat unless taken to extremes of fat restriction. There is really no room for debate on this topic as far as I can see. I also suspect that it can be dangerous to eat lots of fat in a low thyroid state (but it's probably dangerous to eat anything in a low-thyroid state so that point is probably moot). Anway, please enlighten me.

  45. so what is te best way to raise metabolism now ????

  46. Interestingly, in that human study 2-week study comparing diets high in sucrose, starch or fat, the people eating the high-fat diet actually had lower catecholamine levels than those on the starch diet. Granted it wasn't really low-carb (40%), but still lower than what Matt is advocating now.

  47. Agree with Theo- Matt, you sound a bit snarky and self-righteous. In an effort to keep your message heard, I have to agree that you ought to provide sources for some of the more controversial claims you make, just so you don't cultivate a guru sensibility among your followers. Like above, the idea that lean and obese people's diets are the same- says who?

    My buddy from home is a good bit overweight, and it's clear to me that we eat different foods, so at the least, it's not universally so. On the other hand, two co-workers I had once would each eat a good bit of fast food and probably not much quality nourishing food, and one was obviously leaner than the other, despite comparable activity levels and diet. So it could be, but follow up questions abound and your not providing a reference doesn't enhance credibility.

    The other point about native diets (here we go again) is humility- people ask about native practices I think in response to a long history of dismissal of indigenous people as backward and stupid, and their practices as foolish, unscientific and irrelevant. But as it turns out, they weren't so damn stupid after all, and there was a logic to their practices that in many cases helped keep them healthy. So wondering what they did and why is a totally legit counter-measure to the haughty presumption that today's science is the final word, and that we know everything we need to know, and anything we don't know yet is most likely irrelevant. Could be, but the trajectory of modern life toward ill health and estrangement from the land, each other and ourselves, will continue to bolster my humility toward folks whose practices seemed more successful than ours.

  48. Matt –

    I'm not arguing that glucose is not a superior form of fuel. Pretty much the only advantage the fat has it that we can store a ton of it and burn it in an emergency way after our glycogen reserves are gone.

    What I am arguing is that it is possible to maintain good health on a lower carb diet. Is the body under more stress? Sure. But if everything else is right, it doesn't necessarily spell metabolic doom. I know you hate it when people bring up the Eskimo and indigenous populations, but they really are the best case studies. And there are enough populations that ate lower carb and had, as far as we can tell, good health, to make me doubt your whole lower carbs are the devil attitude.

  49. Deb -

    Wouldn't you know…I had a normal blood panel recently…and experienced the same epiphany. Previous disorders were hyper-thyroid (mistreated), then years of border-line low (no meds). Now, super-squeeky clean normals.

    No more chasing a "healing" diet! I don't need healing, tyvm. Might need to move a lil more, sleep better, and keep ETF'ing.



  50. All ~

    A photo book recommendation for dietary nerds:

    What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets. Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio.

    Photos of the global spectrum of daily intakes, based on caloric least to greatest.

    My favs:

    An urban 100 pound lady (already had three children) in Yemen consuming 3,000 + calories daily, lots of fruit, bread, legumes, a little meat (one item was "calf meat on bone" as a snack treat).

    An equally petite woman in the Peruvian Andes (birthed 8 children), still had her straight teeth, eating more than 4,000+ calories…from potatoes, a little meat (lamb or guinea pig), veg, fruit, lots of "barley tea with sugar".

    Anyway, I checked it out of the library and geeked for a couple of days.

  51. I eat about 150 grams of carbs a day for several years with only improvements in health however I like this article because it needs to be said that its not for everybody…I thank my Native American genes.

  52. Eating sugar (non-refined sources) in combination with a whole foods diet works fantastically. Even in real life scenarios, results may include: participation in sports, increased vigor, and enjoyment of life.

    So it seems these comments are filled with arguments from people who either couldn't handle sugar or have too much attachment to their "superior" limited diet.

    ETF= enjoy the food

  53. CarbSane – Have you tried Mark Sisson's system and/or high fat low carbohydrate and how were your results?

    Matt- Does this lead to any health problems? Do people on a low carbohydrate high fat diet get health issues related to enlarged liver? I don't see many old men built like Mark Sisson, not 50, not 57. I'm thinking hgh is a likely factor. Young guys in the old competitive bodybuilding days didn't look like that. As people get older they produce less testosterone. I've read that Clarence Bass still uses steroids to maintain his physique too. So you still thinks it's highly probable their physiques are completely natural. Especially with the testosterone lowering cortisol they'd produce from high fat low carbohydrate intake? You were never built like that when you went high fat low carbohydrate.

    "Inuit studied in the 1970s were found to have abnormally large livers"

  54. I couldn't find Kitavans in any of my books. I looked through Nutrition and Physical Degeneration too. Do they have an alternate tribal name that appear in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration? I can't speak of their dietary choices because I have no information on them. It's obvious from both of the previous tribes intakes that they had a lot more than just protein and fat. They also had a lot more nutritional sources to support their dietary and physical lifestyle. Obviously those two tribes are more intelligent than what people give them credit for, and that they had a reason for everything they did. Crazy being they were a primitive tribe. But you have to read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration to see that. How they came up with this wisdom is beyond my education.

  55. Wow IMO Matt has definitely lowered his credibility recently. Since when is 150g/day low carb? There's nothing wrong with having more than 150g/day but I would not consider it low by any means. And female college athletes have worse health than the morbidly obese? You gotta be kidding me! I know female college athletes and obese people personally. The athletes have no signs of poor health but the obese show almost every sign there is of poor health (they have trouble sleeping, walking, breathing, their metabolism is slow as can be, etc, etc). Please also show some evidence that supermodels and athletes can't reproduce. I'm willing to bet the farm that they reproduce a whole lot better than someone on a mcdonalds daily diet. I can't take Matt seriously anymore after this article coupled with Matt's advocacy of a high sugar diet recently. There's nothing wrong with looking/being athletic and fit. Let's not all become fat and think we're in good health just because our body temp is high!

  56. Fat people's metabolism isn't slow. They just overeat. That's just their excuse so they don't have to cut out the food. If they would just ignore all the fads and simply eat less calories on a daily basis. Otherwise I'd like to hear how a high fat low carbohydrate diet has affected a fat person who tried it.

  57. Psychologically the oatmeal diet would be good. People don't cook it right so it doesn't digest. This way they don't have to be anorexic or bulemic but they still get the same results! Not recommended for males wanting to put on attractive muscle, will become skinny and wimpy beyond belief, much smaller than Mark Sissy. Will have to eat lots of extra protein to rebuild lost muscle. There's probably more science involved and you might die if you ignore it, but hey I don't want to be an extreme perfectionist so I'm over simplyfying it for you. It's like russian roulette, pull the trigger and see what happens. You just might win the prize. What are your odds, do you feel lucky?

  58. "Fat people's metabolism isn't slow. They just overeat. That's just their excuse so they don't have to cut out the food. If they would just ignore all the fads and simply eat less calories on a daily basis."

    That's nonsense. Fat people metabolise much less calories per g of lean body mass. They simply store most of the calories they eat, and burn only a little.
    I know quite a few chubby people who have been eating an auschwitz diet for several weeks or months, because they believe in this stupid dogma that fat people are just lazy and sluggish.
    Some of them were able to maintain their weight for weeks on a 1500-1800 calorie diet, although they weighed more than 80kg or 90kg.

  59. I sense a pattern here….eat an extreme version of a diet,feel better,blog about it,blog about feeling worse,find obscure references to back ideas contrary to what's popular,move on to new thing,blog about how awesome it is because you've done it for 3 weeks,talk smack on others blogs,take supplements to go poopy,drink the Ray Peat Kool-aid,rinse and repeat.

  60. Jannis,
    You really need to read some metabolic ward studies. They all disprove what you are saying. They all lose weight when calories are reduced. the body is not a machine, so it is not as simple as just calories in and calories out, but it does play a big role.
    There are 2 stupid dogmas when it comes to calories:
    1. Calories are everything
    2. Calories don't matter at all.

  61. @Jannis

    Fraid not.

    Energy in = Energy out + Change in Body Stores

    Fat people have been shown to severely underestimate how much they eat. I would be skeptical of anyone self reporting calories.

  62. Matt,
    I am curious about your results with the super high carb diet. You talked about the primates with a high carb diet with lots of energy swinging from the trees, while the low carb gorillas are in a more hypo energetic state.

    Have you noticed the same thing with your own physical performance and exercise tolerance? I know you said you couldn't do the full MET training because it was causing you to burn out, even when you were on a super high carb diet. My experience was different than yours, I could do the full MET programs on a lower carb around 150 grams a day, and I didn't burn out, I actually started to restore my metabolism. Abel has lots of other clients who do MET on with more moderate carb and calorie levels than you promote, but they don't have the same negative response that you had.

    What are your thoughts on this?

  63. Phil,
    How does this equation disprove my argument? Obese people have higher energy in and a lower energy out. That's why they are obese.
    I never said they eat less calories.
    If you don't believe me, read the studies instead of repeating this stupid "obese people are lazy and sluggish and want to be fat" slogan.

    I'm not saying that you won't lose fat when you reduce your calorie intake. You will, if you go low enough. But that normally doesn't fix the problem – the low metabolic rate – unless you eat only high quality food.
    If fat people starve themselves, they normally gain back there weight plus a little more within a few weeks.

  64. @Chris Poopy. hahahahahaha yeah I don't do LOL :)

  65. Veiled Anna!
    Thanks, I already feel about ten thousand lbs lighter. Must be all that emotional eating baggage I left at the curb with the trash. :)
    deb da hag

  66. We still have people believing in calories in/calories out for LONG TERM weight control? That's unfortunate.

    Phil/JT, how do you explain the results of, well, almost everyone that has followed the 180 recommendations of eating shitloads of calories, that have seen weight loss and body composition improvements? How do you explain the fact that the easiest way to predict who is going to be fatter next year is to see who is on a "diet" (any diet) this year?

    No, seriously – how to you explain it? How do you square these observations with your theories? Do you think we are "misreporting" the number of calories we eat, but in the opposite way of believing we are eating more calories than we are? I'd really like to know.

    No one I am aware of disputes the fact that you can starve off some pounds in the short term by restricting calories. That's obvious. The dispute is whether that's an effective strategy for LONG TERM weight loss of more than 10-15 lbs. for the majority of people. I think the evidence is clear that it's not.

    But please, explain these anomalies. We're all ears.

    The Kitivans (an Indonesian tribe with limited contact with the outside world) actually eat a diet based on bat guano. The bats eat the fruits, nuts and seeds that are plentiful on the island and do the hard work of breaking down the nasty phytic acids, estrogen precursors and poisonous fructose, leaving only nutritionally rich, bioavailable goodness behind. This diet is supplemented with monkey head broth and sprouted, fermented coconuts. The islanders display excellent health too, except for moderate to severe halitosis.

    I know what you're thinking – the ammonia has to be a problem. Not so! The faint and chronic seepage of ammonia from all the bodies pores and orifices is actually quite cleansing (like Scrub-N-Bubbles!), and also has the side benefit of driving off poisonous insects and Chinese loggers. Very useful deep in Borneo.

    I tried to follow the diet, but you can't believe how hard it is to get good bat guano in Northern Florida. Especially bat guano from bats that eat dorian flowers, which are an essential part of the diet. Oh well. That's why I had to resort to a two-egg cheese omellete, OJ, and oat groats with halfasses for breakfast this morning, but I did make a concession to the Primal Lifestyle by eating it naked.

  67. Gees! Rob makes the most sense around here lately. If Rob has or starts a website/blog, I'm there.

    Matt is either self-destructing lately or controversy is his new thing.

    Either way, don't count on seeing much of him in the comments. When he has no good arguments for valid points brought up here, that are contrary to his, he just says there's no room for debate… cause you are wrong and he is right, period. Or he conveniently gets "distracted" from the computer. Then posts a new topic… avoiding the comments of the previous one altogether.

    I too have found Matt to be a bit self-righteous lately. And frankly, it's getting real boring.

  68. Hey WTF,

    Thanks for the shout. No blog or website currently- have tried at times, but I don't have the motivation to keep at it. I'll just continue to hang out around here, and if I start anyting, will be glad to mention it.

    And in the midst of all this high level skepticism of Matt, I'll throw it out there again that I trust in his intregity as much as anyone's, and in his intelligence. I think what he's exploring is rich and provocative, and that I want to see more proof and evidence. I want to believe Matt (or at least accept his ideas as legitimate), but need more reason to do so than I've gotten so far. But again, I don't want to be seen as talking shit about the dude- he's a bright and really decent guy, and I have lots of respect for him.

    Word up.

  69. Brock,
    It is not true that most of the people one here have been successful getting lean and healthy on the high calorie HED diet that is promoted here.

    How do ALL the metabolic ward studies effect your theory? Misreporting food intake is a well known fact! Most people have no idea how much they are eating. I weigh my food on a semi regular basis and i still don't know how much I am eating right now. So how are people that don't weigh their food going to know when I don't?

    It is well known that the majority of people fail when attempting to maintain body composition improvements. This is because they can't maintain the diet and lifestyle necessary to do it. Just because they choose the wrong types of diet and exercise doesn't mean that all types are bad. Just because many don't have the self discipline to maintain it doesn't mean it isn't what is needed.

    This doesn't just apply to fat people. Guys trying to bulk up and put on weight have the same problem. It is really hard to get a lot bigger than your natural setpoint. It takes extreme discipline to force yourself to eat enough, and most will fail because it is difficult. But, it is still true that the only way to do it is to eat more.

  70. kgomen said:

    "And female college athletes have worse health than the morbidly obese? You gotta be kidding me! I know female college athletes and obese people personally. The athletes have no signs of poor health but the obese show almost every sign there is of poor health (they have trouble sleeping, walking, breathing, their metabolism is slow as can be, etc, etc). Please also show some evidence that supermodels and athletes can't reproduce. I'm willing to bet the farm that they reproduce a whole lot better than someone on a mcdonalds daily diet."

    All you had to do was a Google search for "female athletes infertility" – but yeah, it's a lot easier to just criticize from a state of ignorance.

    "As early as 1993, the American College of Sports Medicine warned about the reproductive fallout of excessive exercise in women.

    It noted that recreational jogging — only 12 to 18 miles a week — can result in poor follicular development, decreased estrogen and progesterone secretion and absent ovulation.

    Reproductive specialists say they see amenorrhea most frequently in ballet dancers and long-distance runners. Some studies have shown 44 percent of all ballet dancers have no periods."

    "Up to 25 percent of female high school athletes develop amenorrhea, or absence of menstruation, compared with 2 percent to 5 percent in the general population, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found."

    American Academy of Family Physicians: The Female Athlete Triad – Eating Disorders, Amenorrhea & Osteoporosis

  71. JT,
    What does misreporting food intake have to do with the simple fact that obese people have a reduced resting metabolic rate?

    If I undertsand you correctly, you think of a healthy diet as something you have to force by calorie counting, discipline, and exercise. I believe that when people eat the right foods, they will automatically increase their energy expenditure and reduce their food intake to a normal level.

  72. Another point I came across reading Darya Pino ( )-

    "Taubes makes a compelling case that severe calorie restriction is counterproductive in weight management, and I agree. However there is some evidence that a small calorie deficit, on the order of 100-200 calories per day, is within the range of our natural homeostatic mechanisms and can be effective at controlling body weight."

    That's on the range of the 5% calories deficit that Matt has said is all that it takes to trigger fat storage here:

    And Darya also uses language (weigth management, etc.) that is totally not the freeing and empowering language of 'let your body do the accounting' thatJon Gabriel, Matt, Stephen guyenet, etc. are all about.

    Still, it makes me wonder, since we're talking science here- if the evidence doesn't exist (yet) that a small deficit is bad, could that be legit? My gut says no, but then again, it also says not to eat lots of refined sugar or avoid avocados, but maybe the science says to.

    Any thoughts?

  73. I have to agree with WTF.

    Rob, you are my current 180 comment board hero. Go, Rob!

  74. By the way- that last paragraph was me being a little snarky. Sorry- don't mean to be a jerk. It was a legit question, though- is there a difference between modest and dramatic calorie restriction in terms of how it impacts set-point and rebound mechanisms? Is Darya Pino missing something? Is Matt missing something?

    I'd rather not believe that, as Jannis says, healthy diet is something that has to eb forced through calorie counting, discipline and exercise. But maybe that's the wrong approach to focus on set point, and calorie counting is precisely what's necessary. In the spirit of staying open to possibilities, it could be.

  75. Rob, @ what you said regarding my previous comment, word.

    And I didn't mean to imply, nor did I feel that you were trash talking Matt.

    Or even that I don't have great deal of respect for him and his integrity/intelligence. That's what kept me around here for over 2 years. But lately he has been making it really hard. Trust me, I wish it wasn't so.

    But I've stuck around because of great discussions and points brought up in the comments… thanks to you and others here.

  76. "Brock,
    It is not true that most of the people one here have been successful getting lean and healthy on the high calorie HED diet that is promoted here"

    Where's your data to support that assertion? I've heard lots of goods news in these comment forums.

    "How do ALL the metabolic ward studies effect your theory?"

    All? Well, I haven't read them ALL, but here's a funny thing – I just googled metabolic war studies for obesity, and here's the findings from the very first result (with controlled calories):

    Very large variations were observed between individuals. Total weight loss over the three-week study period ranged from 1.6 to 9.8 kg. The best predictor of weight loss in a patient on a strictly controlled diet is the resting metabolic rate.

    Emphasis mind.

    Remind me again – what is it HED is best at? Oh, yeah – raising metabolic rate.

    Also, for the record, I already explained the results for most of the metabolic ward studies I have seen – SHORT TERM. Of course you can starve off a few pounds in a week or three; what about over the course of a year?

    "I weigh my food on a semi regular basis and i still don't know how much I am eating right now. … Just because many don't have the self discipline to maintain it doesn't mean it isn't what is needed."

    Do you see the contradiction in these two sentences? On the one hand, you admit the problem is one of measurement. And on the other hand, you say it's all about discipline.

    The fact is I bet you like to imagine yourself a "discplined" person, so when it suits you to blame others for not being lean it's because they're lazy (unlike you). But when YOU fail to keep track of calories it's because "Measuing food on a scale is hard."

    "Misreporting food intake is a well known fact! Most people have no idea how much they are eating."

    And yet you keep telling us to count calories to lose weight. Haven't you figured it out yet that your advice is bullshit? Even you can't follow it.

  77. Still, it makes me wonder, since we're talking science here- if the evidence doesn't exist (yet) that a small deficit is bad, could that be legit?

    Yes it's legit. The question is- How do you achieve it? As JT is so fond of pointing out, most people cannot measure their caloric intake accurately enough to target a 100 point deficit. They're going to go over (gaining weight!) or too far under (metabolic slow-down!).

    The answer is that the body regulates its own weight and can create a small surplus or deficit at will by altering parameters like digestion, transit speed, body temperature, unconscious fidgiting, and the like. Convince your body to lose weight and the deficit occurs spontaneously.

  78. I have a question Matt.

    When you are speaking of carbohydrates, are you talking mostly about fruit and starches like grains, potatoes etc.?

    I ask this rather dumb question because I was on a diet last fall that defined 'carbs' as vegetables. To me, when I think of carbohydrates, I think of the good ones- pasta, potatoes, bread and so on.

    I have been on three low carb diets in my life. I lost zero weight with them and had no great health improvements. I am around 60-70lbs over my "ideal body weight" according to those wicked charts. Low carb is supposed to melt it off right? Wrongo for me, three times it failed. After the failure, I eat normal food again, and I don't seem to gain any weight…

    The only diet I EVER had success with was higher in carbs and lower fat. The carbs were raw fruit and veggies, cooked veggies and whole grains. Meat, fat etc. were mixed in 2-3 times a week.

    Anyways, just wondering.


  79. Hey man, no doubt WTF. I just wanted to throw that out there mostly for Matt to let him know I still have love for him.

    Also, thanks MadMUHH!

    JT, you wrote:

    "It is well known that the majority of people fail when attempting to maintain body composition improvements. This is because they can't maintain the diet and lifestyle necessary to do it. Just because they choose the wrong types of diet and exercise doesn't mean that all types are bad. Just because many don't have the self discipline to maintain it doesn't mean it isn't what is needed."

    It's precisely that doing the sorts of exercise and dietary changes necessary to maintain body composition changes should make it easier. It's not realistic to fight cravings forever, to eternally feel like you're not getting what you desire, and to continually force yourself to exercise in a way that is not invigorating. To say that people are failing because that's the right way to proceed is like saying they should just learn to sleep less or breathe less. Maybe for some people that's possible, but for the vast majority, it isn't. I think Stephen Guyenet is right- we really don't know how to effectively recalibrate teh setppoint so that our homeostatic mechnisms defend a different fat mass. Matt's RRARF is a speculative way to re-set things, based on the association of a higher fat setpoint with a famine response, and advocating its oipposite. But you're right- it hasn't been universally effective here. We don't know why yet- maybe we need mroe time with it? Maybe the approach itself is flawed. But we're tryign to figure it out.

    What seems clear, though, is that calorie restriction, or on the other end, forced overeating, both don not seem to effectively alter the setpoitn down or up, respectively. On the contrary, calorie deprivation does seem to ratchet things up eating to appetite, even if calorie surplus has not proven itself effective at ratcheting set point down.

    Not to say it has to be a completely smooth ride, and some start up energy to get going might not be valuable, but consigning someone to a life of eternal vigilance about their energy balance, and then blaming them when they drop the ball, is not a terribly effective strategy.

    Will quit the commenting for now- good thing work is slow at the moment. :-)

  80. sirhc,

    'up to' 25% does not equate to 'most' which is what Matt is claiming. And who's to say that the obese person eating mcdonalds every day has a much better shot at reproduction than the athlete (another one of Matt's claims)? I guess it's also easy to criticize from a point of illiteracy…

  81. What the hell- one more.

    Good point Brock that actually measuring that sort of deficit is damn tough, and prone to failure. Agreed that spontaneous deficit is where it's at. And good point about the way sometimes we can all use arguments to help us feel better about ourselves, and may not always be conscious of it.

  82. Is it just me or have avocados really gone downhill in the last few years? I only see ones from mexico now, and they are stringy and nasty and usually have brown spots. Even the ones that look good taste nasty, like almost rancid. I used to love avocados and now I can hardly look at them.

  83. Rob A. said…

    "We don't know why yet- maybe we need more time with it?"

    I've been thinking about this time issue and here's what I got.

    Our minds work much faster than our bodies. Our minds can come up with dietary theories relatively quickly and when we apply these theories to our bodies and expect quick results that the mind wants, our bodies get into trouble.

    However, if we let our bodies adapt to a mostly whole foods lifestyle without the mind getting in the way so much, we should get better long-term results.

    So, I think if you allow your mind to sit back and see how the body really functions over time, your body can teach your mind some incredible things.

  84. Goddammit, why is there always a blogger error whenever I post something with at least some intelectual value. So here my short version of my previous comment:

    Rob A.
    Still, it makes me wonder, since we're talking science here- if the evidence doesn't exist (yet) that a small deficit is bad, could that be legit? My gut says no, but then again, it also says not to eat lots of refined sugar or avoid avocados, but maybe the science says to."

    I don't think so because
    1) I think in reality, you won't be able to achieve a small calorie deficit anyways. The amount of calories you burn will inevitably fluctuate from day to day and I'm not sure whether human hunger is precise enough for that.
    2) If you only starve yourself a little, it might also take longer for a starvation response to occur. So perhaps any studies conducted simply didn't last long enough to take that into account.
    3) Also saying that a small calorie deficit is "within the range of our natural homeostatic mechanisms" seems weird to me. If you consumce less calories than you burn you will sooner or later run into a deficit, which sooner or later would result in death. How can be a prolonged deficit of any kind be within a homeostatic range? Would having your blood glucose level drop 1g/ml (or whatever the measurement is) per day also be within a hoemeostatic range?

    So if our current theory suggests that neither overeating a little or overeating a lot are the cuase for fat gain, why should either undereating a little or a lot solve that?

  85. I like that Brock ate Nekid. Thanks for that Brock. Can you post a picture next time :)?
    Good comments all around!
    I am a bit sad that no one took the bait of my video exercise routine but eh, it was just to insert a bit of silly up in here.

  86. MATT-

    This is by far your best post to date, Matty!! Well done!! Excellent reading!!
    I really enjoyed your blogtalk with the Rubin´s too!

    The blogtalk really made me realize that I am probably closer to a full recovery than I first thought. By that I mean, tweaking my diet, ratio-wise, sugar-wise etc might be the thing that does the trick.. I have not mastered the sugar-thing a 100% yet. While it definitely makes my hands and feet amazingly HOT and my overall temperature rise, I am breaking out terribly -to the point where I actually had to question if warm hands and feet were worth the suffering:-/ On top of that I gained additionally belly fat and my period was about 2 weeks late.
    Is all this temporarily? Should I stick it out or is there something I'm possibly doing wrong, regarding sugar?

  87. Sheila,
    Is your skin moister than usual?
    One of the first things I noticed on a high sugar diet was that my skin wasn't so dry as before. My skin was worse for a few weeks but than cleared up.
    I'm not sure if it works, but Peat recommends vitamin A and or progesterone for skin problems.

  88. JANNIS-

    Thanks for your reply.
    My skin is kinda weird. It's super dry, to the point were it's scaling. I limit my use of lotion to my face only. If I don't use it, my face cracks. My arms and legs was a white-ish dust all over -that's how dry it is. Even though my skin is dry, I break out. My skin didn't really turn more moist during my sugar attempt, just hotter and more uneven. I am breaking out on face, chest and back :-/.
    I have tried Vitamin A and Progesterone. Vitamin A made my skin drier than Sahara's desert! Progesterone made me have my period every 3 weeks instead of 4.

  89. Brock,
    There is no logical contradiction in what I said! You stating that there is shows that your assertions are based on emotion and not reason. You view my beliefs as an attack on your self worth, but that is not the case.

    Putting someone in a calorie controlled environment will cause them to lose weight. Even something as horrible as the biggest loser tv program shows that. But you are right that they will all lose at dicferent rates because they all have different metabolisms. They all lose weight, and the ones who gain it back do so because they can't keep up the diet and exercise necessary to maintain it. It is my belief that the only real solution for most people who want to make the change is to work with someone who is an experienced professional that has done it many times before.
    My whole point was that it is very difficult to know how much one is really eating, so self reporting is not likely to be accurate, especially by someone who doesn't know how. I do know how, and had to do it for a while. Now I can just eyeball it and get pretty close because my natural eating patterns have adjusted. I do not think that calorie counting is the answer. I have stated this many times. I have said most people would be better off just trying to eat whole natural foods and just accept their natural body types. But,, this doesn't mean that calories don't matter at all.

  90. Sheila,
    That's odd. Most of the people I know, got moster skin when they started eating more sugar. How much more sugar do you eat, and what kind of sugar? Did you change anything other than your sugar intake? Do you feel any other beneficial effects than the warmer hands and feet? Mood, sleep?

    You could email Peat and ask him what he thinks about your problem. If the benefits don't outweigh the side effects, you might wanna think about cutting back on sugar, at least for a while.
    I think it's best to observe how you feel in general. Mood, stress levels, and sleep are the best indicators to see whether something works or not, imo.

  91. RobA,
    I'd you want something like a drastic change in your body composition the you need to realize that it will take work and self discipline. The only other way would be through drugs. The hope would be that eating and exercising right become part of your lifestyle so that it is no longer viewed as something difficult. My cravings and desires for foods have completely changed but at first it was difficult, now it isn't. Exercising was not fun when I was out of shape and I had to force myself to do it even when i didn't want to. Now I find it invigorating and I love doing it. My habits, lifestyle and desires have changed and I do not feel deprived because of it.

    But, this doesn't mean everyone should do it. Most people i know aren't willing to live this sort of lifestyle because they would feel deprived. Those peopl should focus on self acceptance and quit worrying about getting in shape by today's standards. Trying to use tricks and fad diets will never work in the long term.

  92. DIF > problem solved. Eat more, but less often.

  93. What does it mean when u get so sleepy that u have take a nap after eating ice cream? It's made only of milk, cream, egg yolk, sugar, and vanilla.

  94. Jannis & Sheila,

    I have the same experience as Sheila. My skin Gets drier with a higher carb/sugar diet too.

  95. Sleepy,
    For me it would mean the ultimate bedtime snack! Milk with vanilla and sugar is an old remedy for insomnia, so I'm not surprised.

  96. How much more sugar do you eat, and what kind of sugar? Did you change anything other than your sugar intake? Do you feel any other beneficial effects than the warmer hands and feet? Mood, sleep?


    I loaded up on pure fruit in the morning, topped it with some black strap molasses. Later during the day, I had more fruit and 2-3 cups of tea with molasses. I also got lots of milk.
    During most of that time I also tried natural thyroid (from grass fed cows) with no success -actually the quite opposite, My resting pulse went from about 60 to 140 bpm! Pretty scary. Thyroid supplement is definitely not for me.
    I didn't notice any other improvement other than feeling warmer.
    I have emailed with Peat before, maybe it's time to send him another mail.

  97. JT-

    Interesting. Do you break out too?

  98. Just some random thoughts:
    Well said Rob A. – ist that an anagram of Jon Gabriel? ;-)
    I have always asked myself how the body decides what to do with the nutrients it is fed. I had a classmate in school who did zero regular exercise and had the body of a bodybuilder. Obviously genetics must play a role. Funny thing is: his brother is not at all like him despite being fed the same diet by their mother.

    Maybe he was just a genetic freak. Or maybe his hypothalamus was more relaxed than his brother's. I suspect that we tend to underestimate the role of the brain in determining body composition. Stress can dramatically alter the way in which the brain views what is a good body composition at a particular point in time. Yes, calories matter. If you don't eat you're gonna lose weight. But once you start eating the picture becomes vastly more complex and there are just too many factors to consider to be able to consciously determine what amount of calories is good for you (you're going to be wrong anyway).

    One of the most succinct thoughts I ever read about weight loss was that it is an "entirely hormonal event". But try to talk to people about that. You could as well talk to a wall – actually I think you're chances would be higher that the wall would nod in consent. It's frustrating…

    PS: Sheila, adding 10 gr of gelatin in the morning and evening and trying to have a good nights sleep helped with my sebhorroic eczema (itchy, dry, scaly skin right in my face – around the nose and the eyebrows extending right to the hairline, it is said to be stress-related). Maybe that is of help to you.

  99. And as to the temperatures: Sugar seems to increase my temps but not always. And the temperature is always lower in my left armpit, hence the profile name. ;-)

  100. Sheila,
    What the heck is natural thyroid from grass fed cows and where did you get it?

    I personally wouldn't eat molasses. As Peat said, the heat might have degenerated the sugar to some undefined starchy material, like in HFCS. OJ and other fruits like mangos, cherries, melons, peaches, or honey are much better.

    Email Peat again, you sometimes have to write him more than once. He told me that he is often unable to answer all the mails he gets.

    Interesting. I only get dry skin when I eat a lot of starches. When I consume more fruit (juices) and milk the opposite happens.

  101. Guys and Gals,
    maybe we are all just different and the only way to heal ourselves is by forking money out to the Rubin's… PSYKE jk, okay I'm only kidding about the whole giving money to the Rubin's which in my opinion aren't really that knowledgeable or have as much "experience" as they claim.

    However, I am starting to believe that not necessarily everybody is different as in everybody has 2 eyes, 1 heart, 1 liver etc… but I think we're all different in the paths our lives have brought us to our current health problems, so trying to emulate somebody else might not be a good idea, if for example that person fixed a thyroid problem when you're problem might be due to gut dysbiosis or hyperinsulinemia or maybe underractive adrenal glands etc…

    I guess my point is, that like JT says we should probably get checked and tested by doctors/holistic doctors that actually have quite a bit of experience on measuring different type of hormones and stuff because body temperature may well not be everything for perfect health.

  102. Sheila,

    No, sugar does not cause me to have any acne. I have been doing the Peat sugar thing for a long time. The only benefit I have noticed really is the taste!

  103. rosenfeltc,
    Good point, we might all be very similar. But, we all have different issues. Giving blood pressure medication to somebody in a severe hypertensive crisis might be a good idea to prevent a stroke. But giving the same medicine to a person who is already hypo may kill them. Same thing with diets, any diet may be poisonous or therapeutic depending on the state of the individual.

  104. What causes obesity?

    It has already been discovered. It is not simply PUFAs. It is not simply fructose. It is a phenomena that happens when there is a combination of those two.

    Read how they make these monkeys obese.

    Here is a scientific study on rats.…7238a.html

    Childhood obesity? 27% of children's calories are now coming from snacks. PUFAs and fructose. Remember this theme.

    Lisa Sellers is 630 lbs. She eats over 9000 calories a day. Here is a video showing her diet. Notice the PUFAs and fructose theme in her foods.

    Michael Phelps is an Olympic swimmer and is very lean. He eats over 12,000 calories a day. Here is a video of the foods he eats. Compare his foods to those of Lisa Sellers. Notice the difference in the levels of PUFAs?

    Michael Phelps stays lean eating GIGANTIC amounts of fructose. But without enough PUFAs he cannot get obese.

  105. Charles,
    Michael Phelps stays lean because he is an Olympic athlete. Not because he avoids PUFAs.

    People don't get fat because of fructose and PUFAs. They get fat because they eat too much and don't exercise.

  106. I avoided sugar for the longest time for many of the usual reasons but also that Mercola was saying that sugar causes insulin spikes which cause acne. What I really needed to do was heal my gut with gelatin and fermentable fiber.

    Chances are acne can be fixed in everyone without having to avoid nearly every food on the face of the earth.

  107. Okay, then by your logic the obese monkeys got fat because they ate too much and didn't exercise like the other monkeys?

  108. JT-
    Im just curious what you typically eat. You mentioned how you were gonna drop carbs to 150g and that higher carbs give you dry skin but you have also always had a low fat diet with lots of rice and lean meat. How does you new diet work because I dont think you can go lower carbs and lower fat without running into issues.

  109. @Sideways: Yes & no. If one goes by Mark's sample menu, nix the sugar in the coffee, eat like 2 of those meals sans wine, no fruit, and that's pretty much what I ate to lose my weight.

    I think most would agree the "carbs" on that menu – if he ate all of them – hardly amount to much starch or fructose.

    Grilled chicken, salmon, a pat of butter in eggs, 2T oil for 5+ cups of veggies. Ummm … hardly the high fat fare some tout.

    I did try VHF with IF and lost around 10 lbs. I was also pushing to eat more than 800 cal/day. If I eat fatty meats regularly and such, I would gain these days. So I don't.

    I have a hard time envisioning Grok foraging for fibery starch free foods. That seemed to be his standard for dubbing a food Primal or not back in 2009 when I first read his blog.

    He totally lost me with the Primal Fuel. Primal my …

  110. @Jannis
    How does this equation disprove my argument? Obese people have higher energy in and a lower energy out. That's why they are obese.
    I never said they eat less calories.
    If you don't believe me, read the studies instead of repeating this stupid "obese people are lazy and sluggish and want to be fat" slogan.

    It was disproving your silly anecdotes implying that people cannot lose weight counting calories.

    Phil/JT, how do you explain the results of, well, almost everyone that has followed the 180 recommendations of eating shitloads of calories, that have seen weight loss and body composition improvements? How do you explain the fact that the easiest way to predict who is going to be fatter next year is to see who is on a "diet" (any diet) this year?
    Uh….The burden of proof is on you my friend to prove people can lose weight by eating a calorie surplus. Looking for favourable self reports on a blog forum doesn't cut it.

    Fat people over estimate caloric intake as shown by studies . If they happend to lose weight 180 degree style they were simply in a caloric deficit.

    How do I explain diet as a predictor of fat gain? Simple.

    1. Fat people diet more than skinny people.
    2. People who "diet" often have no clue how to do it. When they fail they put back on more weight.

  111. Phil,

    Feel free to keep posting these counter-points because some people probably are wondering the same thing. But Matt has repeatedly addressed some of these points, especially at the now inactive 180metaboism blog. For example, a post about the Junkfood Science blog, quoting that blog's author ( ):

    "In other words, in real life, balancing energy includes a lot more than just the calories we eat and the calories we burn according to those exercise charts. The energy parts of the equation include: calories consumed; calories converted to energy and used in involuntary movement; calories used for heat generation and in response to external environmental exposures and temperatures; calories used with inflammatory and infectious processes; calories used in growth, tissue restoration and numerous metabolic processes; calories used in voluntary movement; calories not absorbed in the digestive tract and matter expelled; calories stored as fat, and fat converted in the liver to glucose; and more. Add to that, to put it simply, each variable affects the others, varies with mass and age, involves complex hormonal and enzyme regulatory influences, and differs in efficiency.

    Calories eaten and calories used in voluntary movement are only two small parts of energy balance and are meaningless by themselves, unless all of the other variables are controlled for, as our metabolism… which they can never be as they aren’t under our control.

    About how to reach a caloric deficit, which Matt and just about everyone here would argue is ultimately necessary to lose weight, he posts the Appetite to Metabolism ratio: Here he argues that it's not a simple low number of calories consumed that matters, but whether your body actually wants fewer calories each day than it expends. You can eat 4000 calories and day, but your body could burn 4200 and you can shed fat. or you can eat 1500 calories per day, and your body down regulates metabolism so that you actually expend 1300 calories, and you put on fat. Bottom line- there's huge variability in how much you expend unconsciously, and without addressing that, long term just about every diet fails in keeping fat off.

    Really- poke around that old blog. That will give you at least some passing familiarity with why it is so many of us here have a hard time accepting your assertions.

  112. JT, I don't believe everyone needs much exercise to have a great body composition. People are usually shocked when they hear I don't go to the gym. I'm a size zero, with a very thin mid-section. My only exercise is walking and climbing stairs as part of my day (I live in NYC so prob. 30-40 min/day total). I'm not skinny-fat either.

    On the causes of obesity, I think an overlooked part of it is under-nutrition. Yes, the obese get calories but they generally don't get enough nutrients. It's all empty food. It's really hard to be obese on a nutrient-dense diet. Jon Gabriel pointed out somewhere that the blood profiles of obese people are very similar to the profiles of starving people. Stephen Guynet highlighted a study where the obese lost more weight if they took a multi-vitamin.

    Sheila, my skin looks great on a high-starch diet. I think potatoes help. I actually find I do best on a high-starch, low-to-moderate fat (mostly saturated) diet with some fruit. I keep gravitating back to this. I think we probably all do better on slightly different diets, though there are some non-negotiables (i.e., getting enough carbs, not having too much protein, etc.). I feel in my gut I wouldn't do well on a high-sugar diet, though more than anything I don't want to try because I wouldn't enjoy it. I don't have a huge sweet tooth anymore.

  113. Charles,
    I'm sick of calorie denial. Why must you believe that people don't get fat for those reasons, but instead of something they eat? It's DELUSIONAL.

    I've seen the huge amount Michael Phelps eats when he is training. No lack of PUFAs or fructose or whatever would keep him from becoming morbidly obese, if he didn't exercise constantly.

    I've seen it time and time again, someone eats ad libitum (as much as they want) on low-carb/high fat paleo and then posts about their weight gain, and many people come to defend the diet by blaming PUFAs, or fructose, or telling the person to lower carbs even more.

    Just stop. Stop. Stop with the BS. Come back to reality. Now.

  114. Your responses are illogical.

    You are suggesting that Michael Phelps is lean because he burns off the calories instead of storing them as fat.

    The evidence is that Michael Phelps is lean because he does not store the calories as fat so he burns them off. His metabolism will compensate and burn the excess off.

    The evidence is the obese monkeys are obese because they DO store the calories as fat so they do NOT burn them off. Their metabolism will compensate and prevent them from burning calories.

    It is a logical conclusion.

  115. Yeah, because obese monkeys in cages are comparable to Michael Phelps, an Olympic athlete. Those monkeys are not physically active, aside from walking around their cage a few times. Oh what a workout that must be…

    What is your point? That you can gorge on tubs of butter and not get fat because it's lower in PUFAs? Isn't that it? You believe that?

  116. Stabby

    You said:

    "What I really needed to do was heal my gut with gelatin and fermentable fiber".

    Could you please outline how you implemented gelatin into your diet and what foods did you use for the fermentable fibre?

    Also, how long did it take for your gut to heal and did this alone clear the acne?

    Sorry for the interrogation!!

  117. Stancel,

    The evidence is that excess consumption of PUFAs when combined with fructose causes obesity. Period.

    I do NOT know how to cure obesity and NEVER suggested that I did.

  118. Phil,
    I will repeat it for you again. I'm not saying that you can't lose weight if you restrict your calories.
    My point is that obese people have a lower metabolism and that that's reason they gain weight.

  119. They are obese because they take in more calories than they expend.

  120. Exactely!

  121. First of, I just want to chime in on this statement. I could not have said it any better myself!

    "In other words, in real life, balancing energy includes a lot more than just the calories we eat and the calories we burn according to those exercise charts. The energy parts of the equation include: calories consumed; calories converted to energy and used in involuntary movement; calories used for heat generation and in response to external environmental exposures and temperatures; calories used with inflammatory and infectious processes; calories used in growth, tissue restoration and numerous metabolic processes; calories used in voluntary movement; calories not absorbed in the digestive tract and matter expelled; calories stored as fat, and fat converted in the liver to glucose; and more. Add to that, to put it simply, each variable affects the others, varies with mass and age, involves complex hormonal and enzyme regulatory influences, and differs in efficiency."

    It IS about calorie deficit yes, BUT that deficit can be made within the body by faster transit time, unregulated metabolism etc… When that is the case, it happens spontaneously, effortless, without dieting or exercising.

    As for me, as soon as I cut my calories, my hands and feet turn cold. I drop almost an entire 1 degree in temperature!


    Ha ha. Here is the site I bought it from:

    Check it out. It worked really strong on me. Only 2 capsules made my heart go crazy. Thyroid is not the cause of my problems. Glad to have written that off the list.


    My skin looked a lot better on starch but my hands and feet were ice cold. Right now I am trying to find the right balance between starch and sugar.
    Last year my doctor told that I had an impaired glucose metabolism and that I would be better off just sticking to veggies. I don't want to "medicate" my problem, I want to fix it. When I was younger I did not have problems with sugar, it is something I have created by doing my body wrong in my adult life.

  122. Correction: It should of course have said UPregulated metabolism instead of UNregulated ;-)

  123. @EL 66K, RE: "Gorillas get most of their energy from fat, as probably most herbivores because of gut fermentation."

    This is a misnomer of sorts. The short chain carboxylic acids produced in gut fermentation are not "fats" in the same way as mammals metabolize long chain fatty acids for energy. I blogged on this here:

    My understanding is that butyrate delivered straight to the gut cells (e.g. fermented in our guts, "on location") is important for health.

  124. Good point Sheila. From the end of the Junkfood Science article quoted there:

    'There is not more to “calories in = calories out” than the first Law of Thermodynamics — there is more to the first Law of Thermodynamics than "diet and exercise," popularly referred to as “calories in = calories out.” '

    I don't say calories are irrelevant-obviously they count. But they count in myriad ways beside ingested and expended through exercise.

  125. @Sheila: Seems so little we can consciously do about metabolism. :(

    Having finally reached weight stability after decades of yo yoing and reaching true obesity, I'm not keen on risking anything experimenting with overeating!

  126. CarbSane,

    Nothing against you, but the idea of 'overeating' is precisely what 180 is about overturning (in my view). Calories and food are not your enemy, and not what you ought to be eternally vigilant about succumbing to. The idea is to get to a place where your body simply won't let you pack on much extra weight, so that no matter how hard you try to overeat, you can't hold on to those extra calories.

    Again, from the Junkfood Science post- she recounts the story of a prison experiment where folks tried to get fat. This one dude, no matter how much he tried, could not possibly get above 145lbs from a starting weight of 133. If we lived in a society valuing obesity the way we value leanness, we might look at this person's efforts and call him weak willed, lazy, just not willing to do what it takes to get the where he should be. And that's equally off the mark from those who struggle with losing weight.

    Where's Chief these days? He might have some thoughts on the craziness of the idea of 'over-eating.' That it implies our bodies are too dumb to know when to stop (else they'd blunt our appetite, or increase our energy levels to compensate), and that our heads, not bodily cues, need to be the smart ones in the scenario. And man, that seems exhausting!

    Again, no disrespect toward you, and congrats on reaching a good place. Just want to throw that out there for others to consider.

  127. Matt, are you bipolar? Sometimes your unpredictable changes and the stuff you write strongly suggest that you are. We'll see what diet you're going to be recommending a year from now…

  128. Hi Rob A: Yeah, I get that. I'm just not willing to gain weight at this point. When I eat more I gain, when I eat less I lose. It's really just that simple for me. I have a history of eating disorders. I've been weight stable/slowly losing for going on 3 years now for a total loss now almost definitely exceeding 100 lbs. Still I enjoy reading Matt's takes on things and experiences.

  129. No doubt CarbSane. Thanks for writing back, and appreciate your response. And again, much love and support for your journey, and congrats on finding something hat works for you!

  130. @Rob A (hit post too soon): I was once 110 lbs lean. I had no problem overeating myself to 165 in a matter of 4 months or so.

    Mostly these days my body is in (stubborn) homeostasis. Size is pleasing, weight not so much. I'm not willing to restrict intake further to any great extent. Where does that leave me? My experimenting these days on this n=1 subject involve swapping out fats back for carbs. Baby steps ;)

  131. Narendra,

    I'm really interested to hear more about the way you changed your diet and what the proportions of starch to sugar are, if you mixed both of them during a meal, how many meals you eat etc…

    The reason why, is because after a year and a half of low carb, I did the original HED which helped me gain muscle and a few other improvements but ever since eating carbs again I have had one nostril always plugged up. I don't think it's a deviated septum since the actual nostril changes throughout the day but no matter which one I can breathe through it's a guarantee that the other side is plugged up. So I'd appreciate it if you could share some info

  132. Pat,
    I don't think 150 grams is low carb. It is moderate carb. I have maintained a low fat, low calorie diet with this amount of carbs while maintaining a very demanding exercise routine with no problems. My diet is mostly lean meats and starch with some sugar and occasional high calorie treats.

    I agree, and I have brought this up a few times in the past. But, if you are not naturally lean and muscular you will have to make an effort. If you are naturally skinny and want to be big it will take lots of effort, just like someone who is naturally big and wants to be skinny.

    Some people don't need diet or exercise to maintain a good physique. I know quite a few people like this, and they are usually the genetic elite when it comes to body comp and athletic ability. My best friend eats a 100% junk food diet, doesn't exercise regularly and still is extremely, muscular, strong and lean.

  133. RobA,
    You quote the studies showing that it is hard for a skinny person to overeat and gain weight. This just proves that it can take a lot of effort to change your naturl physique. It doesn't mean that other people who gain weight easily cannot overeat and get fat.

    There has really been no proof at all that what you are claiming is possible. I have known many people who have changed and maintained their body comp, and they ALL did it the same way. They switched to a healthy diet and exercised.

    Even John Gabriel who you promote had the same experience. He eats an extremely restrictive diet. I listened to an interview with him and I was shocked at how obsessed he was with his diet and eating right. From reading this blog I had thought he was more along the lines of what is being promoted here, but this is not true.

  134. @Sheila did you try to cut out milk products for your breakout-problem?

    It helped me, and no I have no problem with lactose. Further I think I get breakouts from saturated fat, even if I eat Virgin Coconut Oil I get pimples so wtf?!

    I eat now mostly MUFAs and even peanut butter and feel better, I know PUFA blah, but I think that it's not the devil at all…

    @Phelps discussion He don't get fat because he burns all the calories exercising so much blah.

    The secret is the WATER, NOT the swimming alone or his metabolism (to some degree of course)!

    If you are 3-6 hours in water the body have to rise the body temperature because it's fuckin' cold. Mainly that's what burns the most calories of phelps and not the swimming.
    For the quick fix at home:
    You can lose pure fat if you lay back in your water tub filled with ice cubes or go outside in the winter topless for 30 minutes/day.

  135. RobA,
    I see that you quote a lot of the old blog posts here as verification of the theories being promoted, but this doesn't really provide us with any real verification of the claims. Matt doesn't even believe many of the things that he wrote in the past. He has even said that the overeating is only supposed to be short term to help the person rest and recover. He doesn't believe anymore that the people will lose weight while eating the high everything diet.

  136. JT,

    I don't know exactly what Matt believes these days, but I quote those posts because they make sense to me, and present compelling arguments. If Matt or someone else disagrees, I'd like to have a counter-argument presented, not just 'Matt doesn't believe that anymore.' I do my best not to turn him into a guru, so whether an idea gets his seal of approval or not these days isn't sufficient to change my mind when it comes to earlier ideas of his that made sense to me.

  137. Ronaldo

    Same here with one blocked nostril that changes throughout the day, but it goes away if I'm outside. I have had mine since end of high school (4 years ago), thats when I stopped eating sugars and under ate starches.

    No way in hell I could tell you my exact starch:sugar ratio, most days I eat typical Indian cuisine which has too many ingredients. Here's the basic breakdown of meals in starch and sugars -You can go figure at nutritiondata

    1 tbl blackstrap 11g sugar
    1 tbl chawanprash 11g sugar
    1 bowl white rice

    1.5 cup whole wheat flour

    Afternoon/Evening Snack:
    1-2 bananas
    another fruit
    1 cup more grains
    2-3 egg omelettes
    pancakes (1 cup flour,1 egg, milk )
    + 1/2 cup maple syrup

    1.5 cup whole wheat flour

    Before bed:
    banana or another fruit or ice cream

    As a general rule of thumb sugars and fruits are eaten first before eating a more "solid" meal/dish.

    The biggest energy and longest time of nose cleared experienced was on the fruit and pancake snack.

    Also my nose stuffiness gets worse between 11-2am then any other time. Is that same for you?

  138. Sylwester,

    I wanted to argue with you about the cold water approach. But your suggestion to go outside topless in the winter for 30 minutes each day instantly shut me up.

    I am now wide-eyed and hopeful.

  139. I was going to vote for CarbSane for prez, but if Sylwester's suggestion catches on then I'm changing parties.

  140. Hey Gang
    Thought I would throw this against the 180 wall and see if it sticks with any of you.. I did an interview recently with Sweet Peas Podcast. they are a real food family in Maine.. former raw vegans like I was :p
    It's about 35 mins long, take a listen if you want to 'know me' better and the crazy that is my life.

    @Catty: Could not agree more, watching Poprah's new channel on the eating disorder camp, wow, even the bulimics cannot look in the mirror without crying. Emotional eating is a very serious thing.

  141. I am episode 91 on Sweet Peas Podcast. It is on itunes too.

    I too like to go topless in the winter but my damn neighbors are always complaining ;)

  142. Nostril Pluggage-

    I have paid very close attention myself to what plugs my nose. Dairy and meat are the primary nose plugs for me. Eating more sugar and starch and less meat and fat and dairy works like a charm. Warmer air makes a big difference too. My nostrils were the most plugged on Zero carb and the milk diet (even though I was in Maui and Santa Barbara in warm weather respectively) – although the pluggage on the milk diet was due to congestion whereas on zero carb I had no mucous or nasal drip – just straight pluggage. My notrils have gotten really clear lately. A few have even commented on the change in my voice in my most recent videos, to which I would agree.

    Rob –
    Thanks for bringing up the 180 Metabolism blog. Having to re-explain some of the easily disprovable theories (like cutting calories leading to long-term weight loss, which doesn't work for more than 1% of people) is annoying. That blog touched on many important topics, and goes into the great complexity surrounding weight regulation. Those who think it is a simple matter are insane.

    Losing weight has to be done in a way that works with human physiology and not fight against it. Eating less and exercising more, if it makes you more hungry and tired, will never succeed long-term without developing an eating disorder, which is much more unhealthy than being fat.

    This of course gets back to one of the controversial and accurate points made in this post, that models and hard-training female athletes almost invariably fail to menstruate regularly or menstruate at all (which is infertility, the ultimate sign of poor health)…

    In one report I've come across in my studies, 75% of college female distance runners failed to menstruate. Sure, estrogen excess with being overweight can start to cause fertility problems as well. But there are millions of lean people eating at McDonald's today too.

    Here is what most people in the modern world would call the healthiest woman in the world….

    In a self-righteous tone (for fun), I say get on your knees and suck this you fitness worshippers…,0,3207916.story


    Yeah, sugar is a tricky thing. It's taken me a couple of months to figure out how to take advantage of it without negatives (such as tooth pain, which has now gone away). I have to get good sleep, can't eat much PUFA at all or too much total fat for starters.

    But I'm pretty much eating whatever and feeling fine now, without some of the initial drawbacks. So I guess pay attention to those warm hands and feet and keep playing around with it to see if you can sort things out.

  143. I thought many organs of the body (like the heart) could be shown to run more efficiently on ketones…? Isn't this relevant to the discussion of low carb diets? I would think the healthiest diet would take advantage of ketones by eating lots of fat, restrict protein somewhat, and supply a little bit of glucose that the brain needs (around 30 grams) plus whatever one needs for physical activity (this would vary WIDELY depending on the type of duration of exercise). So, although I agree that the 150 gram limit is somewhat arbitrary, and many athletes will have to far exceed this – the efficiency of ketones still leads me to believe that a lower carb is healthy. Why not take advantage of fat as fuel, especially if many organs prefer this, and it seems to be the way in which the body stores energy?

  144. Matt,
    Could you answer my question above concerning your new high carb\ sugar diet and your exercise tolerance?

  145. "Some people don't need diet or exercise to maintain a good physique. I know quite a few people like this, and they are usually the genetic elite when it comes to body comp and athletic ability. My best friend eats a 100% junk food diet, doesn't exercise regularly and still is extremely, muscular, strong and lean." -JT

    That is what people like to say, "it's genetics" to explain it away, when they see for themselves, real life proof, that contradicts their beliefs to the contrary. It's not genetics. It's that 'some' peoples bodies are functioning in a state allowing their body to naturally self regulate. And 'some' peoples bodies are not in such a state. For any number of reasons. Poor/nutrient deficient diet, toxins, dieting, calorie restriction, chronic physical/mental stresses, and so on.

    Someone here even said (pointing out a real life example)…
    "I had a classmate in school who did zero regular exercise and had the body of a bodybuilder. Obviously genetics must play a role. Funny thing is: his brother is not at all like him despite being fed the same diet by their mother. Maybe he was just a genetic freak. Or maybe his hypothalamus was more relaxed than his brother's."

    One brother probably had a more stressful life than the other (mentally and/or physically) – OR possibly one was exposed to more/harsher toxins, and so forth. But clearly, in this case, it is NOT genetics, as they have the same genes.

    You quote the studies showing that it is hard for a skinny person to overeat and gain weight. This just proves that it can take a lot of effort to change your naturl physique. It doesn't mean that other people who gain weight easily cannot overeat and get fat." -JT

    Rob doesn't need my help and surely has his own thoughts on this, but here are the thoughts that came to mind when I read that statement of JT's.

    That study actually strongly suggests that it's NOT genetics. But rather for those who could not overeat their way to weight gain (no matter how hard they tried), it is because their bodies were functioning in such a state that allowed their bodies to naturally self regulate – no matter their efforts – and had nothing to do with how much effort they put in.

    "There has really been no proof at all that what you are claiming is possible." -JT

    There absolutely is proof. Look around. We can all see "living proof" of it.

    JT, just to be clear, I'm not picking on you. I just don't agree that it's about fighting your body with willpower, calorie restriction, and exercise. And certainly don't believe that it's necessary, to be healthy or maintain a lean physique. As evidenced over and over again with real world examples – that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US have seen for ourselves. You know, those people that we all know and secretly hate. But some of us use the "must be genetics" excuse to explain it away.

  146. @Charles L. Peden

    I try to make it short. It's all about the thermal load of the water. Water is 24 times more thermally conductive than air. Phelps spends 3-5 hours a day in water.
    The effect is the same as pouring hot coffee into a metal cup (training in water) instead of a ceramic mug (training out of water). The former loses calories (heat) much faster.

    Even the people who climb the everest are losing up to 20 pounds at each attempt. They are eating lard and sticks of butter to prevent this "fat" weight loss :)

  147. Sylwester,
    So swimming actually doesn't burn calories? I can just float around in water for a few hours and burn as many calories as Michael Phelps?

    Don't be ridiculous. God, I don't even know what to say anymore without constantly sounding like an angry jerk. Because I'm astounded by these calorie denial theories.

  148. WTF,
    Have you spent much time around elite athletes? Seriously, there is a HUGE difference between them and the average person. Wether it is genetics, epigenetics, or environmental exposures in the womb, there is a huge difference between them and the average person. This isn't just in humans, you will see it in all species, there can be a variations, some in the litter are naturally bigger, stronger, and more fit. There are St bernards, pit bulls, and chihuahuas all in the same species of dog.

    So no, looking around to see people who naturally have one body type or another does not offer any proof to the claims made here. If you are naturally lean and skinny, then you will have a really hard time forcing yourself to eat enough to become a sumo. Just like u will have a really hard time getting skinny if u are naturally a bigger person/
    The fact that people naturally have different body types should not even be a point of debate.

    I NEVER said one should fight against their body, or use will power to force a change. But, unless you want to use drugs, the only other way is to eat healthy and engage in the right type of exercise and this takes some self discipline. Hopefully some day in the future their will be some scientific discovers and they will figure out how to reprogram the endocrine system so that you will naturally have the body you want.

    Overeating as promoted here has never produced one verifiable case of a major total body composition change where the person went from obese to lean.

  149. "I'm astounded by these calorie denial theories." -Stancel

    How do you explain the people that can eat and eat, not exercise, yet not gain an ounce? Chances are that you even know at least one person like that yourself. If you are one of the people who uses the excuse "it must be genetics" to explain it away, you are in denial.


    For some reason you often seem to miss the point. Maybe you do it on purpose because you don't have a good argument?? But this…

    "So no, looking around to see people who naturally have one body type or another does not offer any proof to the claims made here." -JT

    …is not what I was even talking about. I didn't say anything about body types. I was talking about calories NOT body types. I said look around for living proof of how many people can eat and eat, not exercise, and not gain weight – no matter their body type – we ALL know people like that. Even you. And nothing you said disproves that.

    So yes…

    "The fact that people naturally have different body types should not even be a point of debate." -JT

    Body types has nothing to do with what I was talking about so I don't know why you even brought it up. Unless that's the best you could come up with?? Talking in circles to detract from the fact that you had no good counter-arguments??

  150. Those people usually eat enough to maintain but not gain. They eat to satiety, but it only seems like a lot because they're eating "the wrong foods".

    You see a skinny person eating a donut, you think how can they eat that and not get fat? But they're not eating a whole box of donuts, unlike obese people.

    It's a misconception, that there are skinny people that overeat past their maintenance and don't get fat. There was a British documentary on this, they put all the "naturally thin" people on a diet where they really overate and didn't exercise, and most of them gained fat.

    But I don't think genetics doesn't play a role in SOME people. Or some people just unconsciously move around more. Perhaps a different kind of diet can help boost your metabolism slightly (but only slightly).

    This doesn't change the underlying fact, that taking in more calories than you expend is responsible for body fat being stored.

  151. Lets compare me 18 months ago to me 6 weeks ago, each point right before I was to embark on an overfeeding experiment

    18 months ago I weighed 130 pounds and wore pant size 31, I was weight stable at approximately 1800 kcal per day. When I began RRARF style overfeeding I increased my calorie intake by about 2200 kcal, I gained 44 pounds in six weeks and went up to pant size 36. The change in my visual appearance was so drastic that people began to comment on my weight gain after only three weeks.

    6 weeks ago I weighed 161 pounds and wore pant size 32, I ate approximately 2300 kcal per day and was still losing weight at that calorie intake. When I began doing this sugar binging experiment, my daily calorie intake increased by about 1500 kcal for the first four weeks and by 2500 kcal for the last two weeks. After these six weeks I'm not only wearing the same size pants, my waistline hasn't budged even a tenth of an inch. I look exactly the same as I did six weeks ago.

    I clearly had a very different response to excess calories 18 months ago than I did 6 weeks ago, reflecting a different metabolic state. "Calories in = calories out" simply isn't relevant here because it can't predict how "calories out" is affected by metabolic status, nor what the body does with "calories in".

  152. WTF,
    I'm sorry, but talking about body types does apply to you point. You mentioned people that eat a lot and don't gain weight. This is a specific body type. There will be a variation in different metabolic setpoints between individuals. Some people are more efficient than others when it comes to storing body fat. Those individuals will have to work harder than the person who is naturally lean.

    I never said it is all about calories. The endocrine system and hormone profile of the individual will make a HUGE difference on how the calories are utilized and stored.

    Just because you are not able to see the relevance doesn't mean I missed your point.

  153. Stancel,
    I saw the same documentary. I wish everyone here would watch it. Skinny people always overestimate how much they eat. I have seen so many skinny guys say they eat big and can't understand why they don't gain. Then when I take a look at what they actually eat it is small.

    That is a good point. It is not just about calories even though it plays a huge role. The hormonal status of the body will determine how those calories are stored.

    Just like I mentioned with my friend, he will get bigger when he eats more, but not fat. His hormonal status is different from a normal person, with extremely high natural androgen levels his body stores the extr calories as muscle.

  154. Stancel said… "It's a misconception, that there are skinny people that overeat past their maintenance and don't get fat. There was a British documentary on this, they put all the "naturally thin" people on a diet where they really overate and didn't exercise, and most of them gained fat."

    Did you notice the Asian guy who boosted his metabolism and actually built muscles despite not excercising?

  155. Subcalva
    That is a good point. Most people do build lots of muscle when they overeat even when they don't exercise. Obese people usually have much higher muscle than the average person, but it is covered in fat. Go to a feed lot where they RRARF the cows. They overeat and rest and they all gain weight rapidly, including lots of muscle meat even though they are sedentary.

    Colden and that guy in the documentary were probably similar.'both too skinny, underweight, and undernourished. Because of this their body responded positively to the extra calories that it needed.

  156. Now you say…

    "I'm sorry, but talking about body types does apply to you point." -JT

    Before you said…

    "The fact that people naturally have different body types should not even be a point of debate."

    Which is it?

    Either way, it's still irrelevant to my points.

    You said…
    "You mentioned people that eat a lot and don't gain weight. This is a specific body type." -JT

    I just pointed out in my previous post that I disagree. It is NOT body type specific. Cause for people who eat a lot and don't gain, it has nothing to do with body type – as I said before. I see people of different body types not gain weight eating this way and not exercise. And I have seen people who can't, reverse this. That is another reason I don't buy the "it's genetics" theory or the "it's about calories" theory.

    "hormone profile of the individual will make a HUGE difference on how the calories are utilized and stored." -JT

    In terms of hormonal imbalances (among and caused by any number of things), I agree with that statement. So we agree.

    So not sure why you felt the need to debate it. I think you sometimes take things personally, and go on the defensive, rather than just consider the points made. I even said I wasn't picking on you (in my first comments). I was just saying this is the way I see it. It's nothing personal.

  157. two things everybody:

    What is the name of the British doc you guys are talking about?
    And on naturally skinny people. My sister is one of them, she is now 48.
    She shot up at around ten, she is 5'9" tall ( I am 5 ' 6" and never shot up and have not been 'naturally' skinny since around 6th grade.
    She eats everything, prefers fat laden items,loves meat/fish, NEVER has dieted, only gained weight one time when she decided to (TAKE NOTE MATT) eat Hagen Daz coffe ice cream daily and gained about ten lbs which she lost by, shocking! not eating ice cream daily. She also does next to no exercise and has not for many years. She weighs about 125 most of the time. What I remember most about her eating as a kid is:
    1. I got hamburgers, she ordered lobster at Sizzler.
    2. She would eat a bunch, then just did not eat much the next day or two, naturally, no attempt to not eat. I was super picky and hated everything, she ate some of most everything my mom made.
    3. She did not 'develop' at puberty, meaning she is straight up and down, no boobs not much butt etc. although she still has a cycle and has never 'lost' her period.
    4. She has an active life, but it comes in spurts as she is a freelancer and does not always work.

    So I have to confess, most of my life I was totally focused on looking like my sister, thought she was so much better looking than me, so much thinner. But unless I got down to around 110 (yeah, that's gonna happen) I could never be 'her size' as I have boobs and butt action going on. I am really happy I have had my daughter, that I am who I am.. trying to see the beauty of not being like my sis. She never married, never had kids and has not had a serious bf for many years.


  158. That sounds interesting, Colldén. So what did you change between those two experiments? What in your opinion caused that change in metabolic states? And by the way: How do you manage to eat an additional 1500 cal a day? Isn't that like 400 gr of table sugar?

  159. i haven't made it thru all the comments yet so maybe this has been addressed, but what about blood sugar regulation? the only way i can keep my fasting glucose down is by restricting carbs-definitely below 150.

  160. As someone most people would consider "naturally thin" I agree with both sides of the calorie argument. When I had an eating disorder I definitely ate less than I do now, but then I would have binges (which maybe evened up the calories). And my metabolism was all screwed up. When I began eating to appetite I put on a lot of weight (never got to overweight though, just average). I'm now thinner than my highest point, lost the extra effortlessly…it took 4 years for my metabolism to really recover though.

    I now eat what I want but try to be intelligent about it. I give into cravings, but most people would say I am MUCH more healthy than an average person, eating fruits/veggies/organic food, etc. I probably eat much less than an obese person, though I eat to appetite. Just to give an example, I ate really poorly today (not my usual), having a bagel for breakfast, 2 slices of pizza for lunch (one veggie in an attempt to be healthy, the other bacon – yes, PUFA!). So, for dinner, I ate a small salad and a mango – it was what I wanted and craved. I think a lot of thin people do this balance naturally, and honestly my day was probably not that many calories if you actually wanted to add it up. Maybe an obese person would be hungry on a day like this. But I ate as much as I wanted and did not feel deprived in any way (actually I feel really full, like I could not eat another thing).

    In recovering from my eating disorder I learned "intuitive eating" and I think it's really key. Your body learns to neither under nor over eat. Once you tune in, sometimes you want pizza but other times you want a banana. Mostly you just want whole foods.

  161. Amy,
    good for you, you have a wonderful story.
    The body does have an incredible ability to adapt.
    Once one can start to 'heal' some of the beliefs one holds true about oneself, the body – in time – can readily adapt to eating possibilities, that with old perspectives, seemed simply impossible.
    kind wishes, J

  162. Love the idea of intuitive eating- I do my best to get out of the way of myself sometimes. What you wrote Amy, sounds about right- sometimes you crave junky food- mostly you just want whole foods. That's my experience. In giving myself permission to eat candy or ice cream or whatever, I find I don't actually want that stuff mostly. I had ice cream again tonight, and quickly felt gnarly, and couldn't wait for my chana masalsa over jasmine rice. That sounded like just the most delicious food I could think of.

    And yet my co-workers probably think I need an iron will to eat this sort of home cooked goodness on the regular. So not true! :-)

  163. The Swedish professor has done several studies and here is a summary of them. One in particular is interesting where they have done a follow up on his Swedish study and found that they have put on more weight than expected two years after the experiment.
    Summary here:

    The study Long-term increase of fat mass after a four week intervention with fast food based hyper-alimentation and limitation of physical activity can be found here and then you click on "Ladda ner: fulltext" to get the PDF.

  164. @Stancel

    "So swimming actually doesn't burn calories?"

    Where did I say that huh?
    "The secret is the WATER, [>>>NOT the swimming alone<<<] or his metabolism (to some degree of course)!"

    So this means that swimming burns a total of 0 kcal for you? Ouhkay…

    "I can just float around in water for a few hours and burn as many calories as Michael Phelps?"

    Not exactly. You know, I hate people like you, is it really that hard to understand with some logic?

    Okay… listen.
    Phelps burns 12.000kcal.
    Let's say he has a RMR of 2500kcal.
    Per hour of swimming he burns 800kcal let's say if he swims high quality butterflies for 4 hours = 3.200kcal.

    So angry jerk, that's a total of 5.700kcal right?
    12.000kcal – 5.700kcal = so there's 6.300kcal left.

    You really think he burns the 6.300kcal that are left through swimming?? Don't be ridiculous. God, I don't blah…

    I hope that's enough for an explanation…

    So if you are floating around in water, (the colder the better), you WILL lose a significant amount of fat. But rather you will be undercooled and in the worst case you die if you wanna float for 3-4 hours, so better swim.

    "Don't be ridiculous. God, I don't even know what to say anymore without constantly sounding like an angry jerk. Because I'm astounded by these calorie denial theories."

    Read the comments carefully so you will not transform to an angry jerk… denial theories…ts…

  165. that's why i don't even bother to debate people like that. no common sense or delusional or both. so i don't waste my time. some people are just so convinced by their beliefs (narrow-minded) that they will grasp at anything to (try to) prove they're right. even debate points you make that they do agree with. they just want to be right no matter what. who cares about the truth?

    i seek out the truth. whatever it may be. and even if it means i was wrong.

  166. WTF,
    Read what was written again and maybe you will understand a little better.

    Great find with that study! Matt and his followers definitely need to read that since it is a published study in a legitimate journal about the effects of RRARF.

  167. myleftarmpit

    I'm pretty sure there was nothing more to it than eating completely without calorie or macronutrient restrictions. My body was starving 18 months ago, 7 months of heavy starch and fat overfeeding fixed that, and then doing a simple lifestyle change (reducing number of meals from 4 to 2) allowed me to drop calorie intake by half while still eating mixed meals to fullness, so I lost a lot of weight without ever seeing a surge in appetite. Though I'm sure there are better ways to get yourself out of famine mode than what I did.

    Adding 1500 kcals of sugar in the morning was easy, it actually increased my appetite later in the day compared to when fasting.

  168. I'm done debating it with you.

    There's nothing that anyone can say on a blog, or any study they can point to, that will convince me that what I see with my own eyes on a regular basis every day is wrong. Real life reveals more truth than so-called scientific studies (most of which are corrupt or self-serving in some way).

    Not just my own experiences or isolated "special" cases. I work with underweight, overweight and obese people (with all different body types) who consistently go from people who seemed to gain weight just looking at food, to losing weight and being able to eat as much as they want without gaining – after healing to the point that their body can self regulate properly again. All without exercise.

    And those people don't underestimate how much they eat. Because in trying to prove that it can't be true that they can overeat without gaining weight – because their "calories in calories out" conditioned mind just can't believe it – they stuff themselves, hoping to prove that they're right. But then so happy to see that they no longer have to exercise and deprive themselves of calories or foods to stay healthy and lean.

    Best wishes.

  169. ROB A-

    "If we lived in a society valuing obesity the way we value leanness, we might look at this person's efforts and call him weak willed, lazy, just not willing to do what it takes to get the where he should be. And that's equally off the mark from those who struggle with losing weight."

    Well written! This is very true!


    No, I have not tried ditching milk as I don't have problems with it. I might give it a shot (at least try to cut it down a bit) to see if i makes a difference. For me, it really seems to be the sugar that is causing it, but who knows.


    I have always been "genetically thin". People got blown away when they saw the amount of food I could put away without gaining. Somehow my "genetics" magically disappeared when I introduced my body to calorie restriction.

  170. thanks collden. What i meant to ask was: what is 1500cal for you in real food? I mean you don't eat a pound of table sugar, do you? Armpit

  171. Sheila,
    I never said genetics is the only thing that matters. I would say it only half the picture. I know many people who have damaged themselves with extreme diets, drugs, and lifestyle.

    But, just because a woman starts to gain weight easily as she gets older isn't always due to damage. Most women I know gain weight much easier after their early twenties, even the ones that were skinny and never tried a diet. The hormones shift as we age. Same thing with men who want to gain muscle, because of hormones you can gain muscle much easier when you are a teenager and early twenties.

  172. To the point about whether or not people gain on HED, I think Matt addressed this in the past, and it depends pretty consistently on past diet history. Low-carb (like myself), raw-vegan, etc., you will gain. Overweight middle-age women will probably lose.

    But even if you are gaining, it was pretty clear to me from the comments that most people were seeing a lot of health improvements, and that weight wasn't a big indicator of health.

    As far as the weight loss, that's tough. I think it's possible for the weight to come off naturally after everything is healed, but there is no guarantee it will. I'm wondering what the sample size is of people that truly attempted HED. I know that I was pinballing around for a while, so you can't say I really count.

    There's Collden, and from Amy's description, I'm gonna say she counts, although it sounds like she started before HED was a concept. So both initially gained and then lost at least some excess eating to appetite. That's how I would imagine it should work.

    In addition to not having a good sample size, I would also say it's too early to ascertain any results regarding weight loss. Amy says she took 4 years to heal after eating normally again.

    Even though I pinballed for a while, I would say I did start healing about 14 months ago when I stopped low-carbing. The physically crappy feeling I would feel very regularly and attribute to insomnia is now mostly gone, but not completely. It was obviously not related to insomnia (although poor sleep exacerbated it) but nutrition. So over a year and I'm still not feeling like I used to. Obviously it takes a long time.

  173. good post, aaronf. I think you are probably right. I gained 20 pounds after I stopped low-carbing. Right now, gaining has stopped even though I continue to eat to appetite and maybe more. The body is a really weird thing. Somrtimes a calorie surplus makes you gain fat, at other times it doesn't matter at all. Armpit

  174. Sylwester,
    I'm not taking a stance on your debate, but would like you to question your assumption that Phelps's RMR is 2500. Where does that number even come from? i mean i remember the outdated guidelines saying how they come up with those numers but I feel that's way too simplified as this blog has made it very clear. Explain how Gal Sone and Kobayashi and the other asian competitive eaters who aren't swimming aren't fat?

  175. they aren't fat because they don't eat like that everyday. after reading about Scott Abels Cycle Diet i think competitive eaters probably use a similar method. undereating for a while, eating just enough to satisfy, a small calorie deficit. kind of like building up your appetite. and then 1 day of huge 10k+ calories overeating, your body will want all those calories, you can just eat and eat. and then undereating again until next time. in Abels method your weight can go up 10-20lbs in that 1 day but comes down and maybe even goes lower than it was before after a few days.

  176. @danimal

    -.-' does "Let's say he has a RMR of 2500kcal." means that he actually burns exactly 2,5k kcal?
    Of course NOT!
    This was just an example. Nobody really knows, maybe 3000kcal I don't know…

    The point is to show you that he isn't burning all his calories through swimming ALONE.

    @comp-eaters see terpol's comment (thanks btw)
    And once I read a post where it says that after a competition the competitors puke that shit out.
    If it's true? Maybe and maybe not.
    I think there are both possibilities.

  177. actually after some more thought i don't think competitive eaters use that method, based on what i've read anyway. Abels method is about getting the body to want to eat all those calories with exercise and some calorie restriciton whereas most competitive eaters seem to force the food down, training by expanding their stomach with water or vegetables and trying to ignore the gag reflex etc. Gal Sone looks like she could happily eat all day though so they each have their methods

  178. There exists research that support what Sylwester says about cold exposure and energy metabolism. Research led by Wouter D. van Marken Lichtenbelt at the Maastricht University, have carried out experiments demonstrating that overfeeding and exposure to cold can increase the total daily energy expenditure. In the paper, “Individual Thermogenic Responses to Mild Cold and Overfeeding Are Closely Related” (PMID: 17785356), they present a controlled experiment where the participants were placed in respiration chambers and measured their CO2 expiration when they were overfed by 160 % calories and when they were exposed to mild cold (16 degrees Celsius). They found that the subjects on average burned 140 more kcal when exposed to mild cold and the individual that burned the most, burned 370 extra kcal. The results for overfeeding was similar to this.
    Some quotes from the paper:
    “We hypothesized that the individual responses in energy expenditure during mild cold exposure and during short-time overfeeding are related. The results showed that there are indeed significant relations.”

    “During overfeeding, core temperature, skin temperature, proximal skin temperature, and distal skin temperature increased”

    “Some subjects dissipated none of the extra energy ingested, whereas others dissipated up to 23% of this excess. This difference can lead to a considerable variation in weight gain after overfeeding and might therefore be a factor in the development of obesity. The large variation in weight gain has been shown by several groups (2, 3, 4). Our results show similar interindividual differences in energy expenditure.”

    “Correlations of the changes of fasting plasma insulin, adiponectin, active ghrelin, and FFA after overfeeding and mild cold exposure underline the role of the sympathetic nervous system in adaptive thermogenesis.”

    “In small mammals, brown adipose tissue serves as a thermogenic organ, which uncouples mitochondrial respiration using an uncoupling protein (UCP)-1. … The relevance of brown adipose tissue is believed to be marginal in most adult humans (39), although recent data indicate cold-induced activity of brown adipose tissue in adults (40).”

    “Mild cold exposure per se might also work as a prevention method or cure for obesity, because it is easy to decrease home temperature slightly (19).”

    Also in the US there is research on this topic. Professor Leslie Kozak at Pennington Biomedical Research Center have exposed some men to a daily cold shock at 15 minutes for one week, and after this cold training the men had increased their body heat production at normal room temperatures.

    One of the explanations that exposure to cold can lead to weight loss, is that it can activate the metabolism of brown fat.

    There are also studies showing that exposure too high altitude can lead to weight loss. Some German scientists sent 20 obese men to the research station Schneefernerhaus, which lies at 2650 meters altitude right below the summit of Germans highest mountain, the Zugspitze. The participants were free to eat as much food as they wanted, but they were told to not be more physical active than normal. When the study ended after one week, the participants had on average lost three pounds of weight. The explanation for the weight loss is that the lower oxygen level in the air increases the pulse rate and the basal metabolic rate, and also increases the leptin levels. The weight loss was sustained by the men four weeks after they had returned from the mountain.

  179. @Fjoraro interesting stuff, thanks for that!

  180. in the book Around the World in 80 Diets people in cold places and altitude seem eat more calories.

    "45-year-old Tibetan head monk, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 158 lbs, typical daily caloric intake: 4,900 calories. Some food staples: Butter tea, dried cheese curds, barley flour cake, noodle soup with potato."

    there was also i think someone from finland or somewhere eating 6k+ calories while not being very active.

  181. You'd need to take in more carbohydrates if you are running. That's a huge problem area because people get hurt and lose their results because they don't eat right for running. It's retarded that people are running on an empty stomach. You need carbs. I like that there's a system out there that doesn't involve running but you can still lose a rapid amount of weight on. It's more useful for people this way.

  182. Yeah so if they eat fruit and wait an hour for it to digest they can go and run or exercise. If it's a whole food starchy food they'll have to wait a couple hours after eating before they can exercise. That or run without glycogen being loaded, but you'll lose lots of muscle tissue doing it this way. Most people don't eat enough protein to make up for it. They end up getting sick and their results reverse. Even if they take glutamine to alleviate or prevent sickness it probably won't rebuild the lost muscle. Their metabolism will slow down and they won't get that quality figure. That's why most people don't look like the people on the cover of Men's Health magazine.

  183. I know that this Markie Mark post is dead as a paleo steak but I wanted to say that I read his wife's info and she is super ripped and 53 and in the 'pause'. (all male and young female readers groan and delete)
    She is eating eggs, fish, veg, fruit, cheese, yogurt and nuts.So NOT Robb Wolf "no dairy, grains or legumes." She did admit to taking HRT but I think the way she does shit would probably work for my fat ass. To narrow the wide load so to speak. Her name is Carrie, here is the link:
    Sorry everyone who is doing ETFF, starching up like a laundry worker and getting sweet as all get out. That stuff seems to just make my flab grow. At this point, I am in no way ready for summer bikini time. It's more like flowing caftan time ;(

  184. I am not a paleo person nor do I believe that carbing up is the way to go, and it seems like you know a bit about what you're talking about – you certainly have the passion- but I have to ask how in the world you consume the equivalent of 6 large baked potatoes by 9am??? Or 4 POUNDS of Pasta? 400 grams of carbs? By 9am? Really?? That is about ~2,400 calories!! Are you sure you meant 400 grams? Just checking… If you're questioning my source:

    2 oz of pasta = 14 grams of carbs. 16 0z = 1 lb. 14*8 = 112 grams/lb. 112 * 4 =448 grams of carbs. 4 lbs. of pasta.

    calories: 75 per 2 oz. 1 pound of pasta =600 calories. 4 lbs of pasta = 2400

    Are you a marathon runner? I can't imagine anyone eating that much BY NOON and not needing a crane to get them out of the house. You'd need to run 24 miles to burn it off. Everyday.

    Are the 50% of your total calories carbs person or the 70%?

    Also – as I said I am not a paleo person, but the people that read this blog really do need to read Sisson's blog and then they can speak. You only adressed a MINOR point of his entire diet plan. He believes in eating FRUITS and VEGETABLES as a base of his diet. He doesn't believe in white bread, processed food, and sugar. Added sugar – as found in snacks, cakes, pies, and most items found in Dunkin Donuts.

    If anyone is actual interested in knowing what he proposes, his idea of the food pyramid can be found here:

    I personally do not wish to eat all the red meat that he proposes nor all of the animal protein, however it is a basically sound and healthy diet that excludes foods that most every diet in the world says that you should avoid and includes some that the low fat diet people advocate. He doesn't believe in "fake" food (artificial eggs, anything in a box or carton) and like many think that dairy is overrated (though he does like Greek yogurt).

    Anyway – I went on longer than I thought i would. It just seems like many people want to come to blogs to bash and I don't understand why it's more acceptable to be ignorant online than anywhere else.

  185. Anonymous-

    No matter how healthy or nutritious or devoid of white flour and white sugar a diet is, if it contains less than 150 grams of carbohydrates it can do serious damage. It damaged me tremendously in the 3 or so years that I ate at Sisson's recommended carbohydrate levels. I ate all organic, mostly farmer's market food direct from growers.

    I do eat 400 grams of carbs often by noon, and have for most of the year thus far. I do not eat mostly pasta, potatoes, oats, etc. to get there. I consume mostly fruit, juice, and dried fruit to get there. That usually comes up to me more like 1,800 calories by noon. I tend to eat more than half of my calories in the first 4 hours after waking. I eat 3,000 to 3,500 calories per day on average and get moderate levels of exercise. I do no jogging at all.

    In the last 10 days for example, I consumed an entire case of bananas (36 pounds), a couple gallons of orange juice, a half gallon of grape juice, several pounds of dried mango, a couple cups of raisins, several pounds of grapes, about 5 pounds of blackberries, a few apples, 5 pounds of peaches, 5 pounds of grapefruit, 3 canteloupes, and more in addition to quite a bit of starchy foods such as oatmeal, rice, and potatoes.

    The result, in the words of Kung Fu Panda, has been pure awesomeness. In fact, I've lost about 4 pounds in the last 15 days eating like this, and still went out for beer, burritos, and chips and queso last night – and had an 8-ounce ribeye a week ago.

  186. Matt-

    You are a fortunate person to be able to consume that many calories! I only consume half of that – really less than half but I am rather small and I SO happy that you found a diet that works for you.

    My issue is that you call it dangerous. Your diet would be dangerous to many people as well. The bottom line is that what works for one person will not work for someone else and to call a diet dangerous is irresponsible.

    Based on your explanation of your diet, you are NOT the norm. I know someone 6'3" 215 and he doesn't eat as much as you and he is extremely healthy.

    As I said – you are blessed. For the rest of us humans, we need to watch the sugar and calories….

    I'd have to go out of my way to eat 300 grams of carbs a day- literally. Even with a bowl of fiber one cereal and milk- with berries – every morning.

  187. It's not being fortunate. It's having a high metabolic rate. My metabolic rate isn't even that high, but falls in the average ranges for someone of my age, gender, and size. Metabolic rate is one of the greatest determinants of long-term health and disease resistance. It's drop during aging is one of the primary reasons degenerative disease risk increases exponentially with aging.

    I know someone who shoots up heroin and has had drug problems for a decade – but he's far more muscular, lean, attractive, and disease-proof than I am. That doesn't mean that it's not dangerous, it is dangerous.

    I'm not saying that how I eat isn't dangerous for some people as well. It is. All diets and all foods can be dangerous. Drinking water can be deadly as I pointed out. I know two people who have almost died from water consumption.

    But the fact of the matter is that consuming low levels of carbohydrates is very dangerous and comes with risk. When people consider it to be the only way and fear eating more than 150 grams of carbohdyrates for fear of insidious weight gain, it becomes a problem. They ignore internal signs of distress and press through the pain with the belief that they couldn't possibly be doing harm.

    In reality, they may very well be lowering metabolic rate, increasing uric acid levels, increasing urea and albumin levels, increasing their exposure to glucocorticoids, ruining their gut flora, and so on. My biggest concern is the chest pains that I and several others developed on a low-carbohydrate diet. This is a common side effect.

    You need to "watch your sugar and calories" because your metabolism is faulty. You can run from carbs and calories but you can't hide. For optimal health, one has to fix their faulty metabolism – the root cause of a large percentage of common health problems.

    If you do go out of your way and consume 300+ grams of carbohydrates per day (not eating cereal with milk and berries, which is not nearly as high in carbohydrates as fruit), you will likely have a rise in energy levels and metabolism over time, not to mention other benefits with exercise performance, exercise recovery, and more.

  188. Um- No. I have had more carbs a day. Lots more. I am 45 this year. A high carb diet and I don't get along. I have been at a healthy weight for 10 years – not eating low carb, but eating what I want and I want I like- which just happens to not include lots of fruit juice (which I can't drink actually because it gives me heartburn and I think it tastes disgustingly sweet – probably because I wasn't ever able to drink it), pasta potatoes, rice etc..I eat bread. All the time. Fruit all the time. Vegetables. Even Beer. Yup. Beer. Again- everyone is different. I'm guessing that you are NOT a perimenopausal 45 year old woman and we might have different nutritional needs. Just maybe.

  189. Latly –
    Since you were concerned about percentage of carbs comprising your diet- I range between 50-60% and still stay below 150 carbs.

    Carbs 50
    Protein 20
    Fat 30

    For the record- I agree that what many people consider to be low carb diets are insane. And I am not condoning slaughtering a herd of cattle (I dont even eat red meat). What I do think people should do is to pay attention to the source of their carbs.

    I'm officially stepping off the soap box now. Thank you for your indulgence and engaging a conversation with someone who's option differed.

  190. Studies repeatedly show that weight and health have no association with one another except at extremes. In fact, active fat people outlive people in the "ideal" weight range that are not active – increased activity of course being a side effect of having a high metabolic rate (no one ever forced a young child to exercise – they do it spontaneously due to superior cellular energy production capacity).

    The Framingham study showed that heart disease rates were lowest in those that ate the most calories for example.

    If anything, health and vitality are more linked to the number of calories your body burns at rest than anything – not weight. The compiled NHANES data showed that BMI of 26-35 was ideal depending on your age (the older you get, the more protective obesity becomes).

    If you are weight stable eating 1,200 calories per day, then you suffer from a severely low metabolic rate – and keeping your weight down is not going to protect you from the ravages of having a low metabolic rate.

    The animal with the lowest metabolic rate is the tree sloth. If you want to be thin and free of energy and vitality like a tree sloth, then you should maintain the metabolism of a tree sloth.

    In reality, metabolic rate is highly mutable. I've been weight stable at 2,500 calories per day with 5 hours of hard daily exercise, and I've been weight stable at over 4,000 calories per day with no voluntary exercise at all.

    A person's maximal vitality is achieved at higher metabolic rates. Eat more, and you will increase your metabolism and increase your energy levels, desire for exercise, recovery from exercise, and fitness levels. At any age.

    If you accept that you are a metabolic cripple because you are a 45-year old woman, you are doomed. Young males are healthier, stronger, and more vital than old women precisely because their cells produce more energy. Healthy aging is achieved by fighting hard to keep our energy production as high as we possibly can for as long as we can.

    I help people in your demographic to nearly double calorie intake all the time, and they often even find themslves losing body fat over the long-term by doing this.

  191. where did you get the idea that I only eat 1200 calories a day? Wow. Did I say that I was a metabolic cripple? A tree sloth?

    Maybe I don't need to stuff my face 24/7. I don't feel like I'm denying myself of anything.

    Tree sloth.

    The doubling of calories in APES study? Where they cut the sugar from their diet and gave them more protein? Tree sloths and apes.

    So much for pleasant conversation.

    Assumptions and insults. Not cool.

  192. You said you eat no more than 150 grams of carbohydrates per day and that comprises 50-60% of your daily calorie intake. 150 grams of carbs has 600 calories. I estimated on the high side that you were eating 1,200 calories.

    An adult living off of 1,200 calories per day is extremely hypometabolic, like that of a tree sloth.

    That was not an insult. Just encouragement for you to increase your metabolic rate to enjoy a higher level of energy production and vitality, and a slower degradation of health and functionality as you age.

  193. Of course, Matt is doing 180 degrees opposite of Mark Sisson because he wanted a piece of the pie… meaning Mark's profit!

    I have been on Mark's program for a long time now and I feel wonderful.

    150gm of carb is NOT low by a long shot. I sleep wonderfully, sex couldn't be better, gained 15 to 20 pounds of muscle and loss fat body % down to 9%.

    Matt, you are trying to make yourself sound different from Mark,but I see more faults in you.

    You have a slight negative attitude toward others. Mark says positive things even if he doesn't agree with them. That is a quality you don't have.

  194. " My biggest concern is the chest pains that I and several others developed on a low-carbohydrate diet. This is a common side effect. "

    I work in an ER, and deal with people suffering from active myocardial infarction on a weekly, if not daily basis.

    What is your medical explanation for your chest pain?

  195. I've found the most success following the under 150 grams of carbohydrate rule. I sleep much better than when I was adding a little orange juice, more fruit, carrots and dairy. My blood sugar was out of control and I gained about 10 pounds of fat.

    Eating less than 150 g of carbohydrate just means having 1 meal with a starchy carb, lots of vegetables and 1 or 2 pieces of fruit. It means no drinking juice or eating carbohydrate (sugar) – rich foods. With the increased fat intake, there aren't any blood sugar swings. When people follow low carb without the added fats, they will make themselves sick and fuel-inefficient.

    I grew up around a lot of Asians and dated one. I'm familiar with their traditional foods. They weren't eating a lot of carbohydrates! Sure, they ate rice. But they weren't eating loads of it plus lots of sugar. In fact their sweets were more bitter or sour than they were sweet. Similar deal with my African friends and people from the tropics. They eat fruit, of course but they don't overeat it the way many "health-conscious" Americans do. Have you travelled to the islands or South America? The regular people do not overconsume carbohydrates! The wealthy who travel often DO because they've been American-ized. And their bodies make that evident.

    I know you're pro carbohydrate and what I've found is that the people who have never had abs and enjoy speak about nutrition in the public eye tend to be critical of people who are lean. Abdominal fat is not a sign of health.

    Thyroid health isn't that simplistic.

  196. Your critic would be fine except there is no such thing as a low carb diet. our bodies need a consistant amount of glucose in the blood to initiate fat burning. in healthy people eating tons of carbs doesn't change this much thanks to insulin any excess carb is quickly stored as glycogen or fat.

    Chronic high intensity exercise or 12 hour a day manual labour jobs are the only instances where ample carbs are necessary.

    A desk jockey, retail clerk, librarian does no where near enough anaerobic activity to need tons of sugar.

  197. I was a fan of this blog at first, but then I started to question why Mr. Stone only posts stories of losing weight. If he really did lose four pounds in ten days (or whatever the many weight loss claims say) he'd be nothing but skin and bones right now. Don't know how he never gains the weight back… and although I'm no carbophobe (250+ carbs on workout days from beets, potatoes and rice, less than 100 on non-workout), his claims are slowly becoming more ridiculous. He also acts as if his opinions are the only one that matters.

    Oh, and I'm Asian. 150-200 grams of carbs seems right about where most people eat, although that number is slowly rising along with the number of total calories and obesity rate.

  198. Sorry, Mark is dead on accurate about carbs. Cut the carbs and you will lose weight, period.

    • What are you retarded? Seriously.

      • This is a nice, intelligent, respectful response!

  199. so what about increasing fat? it seems like a lot of people have a ton of success going low carb more than in the paleo world, like the 4 hour body and bullet proof executive crowd. they simply advocate huge fat intake like 50% at least. if you are fuel sufficient is that detrimental (not overdoing protein)? so many different angles, so confusing!

    • Yes, getting more than 50% of your calories as fat can have some detriments. I had amazing results on a 70% fat diet at first but this turned out to be really detrimental long-term, even at calorie intakes of up to 4,000 per day. One of the biggest is that exercise performance and recovery is really impaired by getting most of your calories from fat vs. carbohydrate. Carbohydrate is superior.

  200. Could you post some links to references that back up your comments? I’d be interested to read the science behind it,since it’s always fun to see the data.

  201. Low carb = Insomnia, low libido, anxiety, reduced appetite, fatigue, hair loss/thinning, reduced exercise intensity, inability to gain muscle mass…trust me these effects are all very real. Great work Matt please spread the word as far and wide as you possibly can

  202. I have spent the afternoon reading Matts blog and also watching his videos on you tube. For a moment I was intrigued and also quite excited to think that the way forward wasn’t to deprive myself of the much loved carb! I have also spent a fair bit of time reading Marks Daily Apple which filled me with equal excitement when I discovered that I could eat red meat and eggs without feeling guilty!
    I do find it interesting, that although Matt isn’t selling anything, he has a ‘store’ button on his web page – intriguing….oh and thanks for the free you tube info about your $20 book. I almost bought it until I read this blog. Your credibility goes completely out of the window when you refer to someone eating McDonalds as being healthy and that what someon looks like has no bearing on their health. Whilst I agree that you don’t have to have a 6 pack I think most people would agree that a 20 stone man is NOT a healthy specimen.
    Since you seem to find it easy to basically slag off everything to do with diet and health that already exists and proport to give a 180 degree about turn without any charge maybe you’d like to put your money where your mouth is and do exactly that.
    What exactly do you suggest we do to get healthy and remain healthy? Stuff in as many carbs as we can; pop tarts, McDonalds, ice cream etc. and then take our temperature every day?
    I’d be very interested to know what you suggest for Free.
    FYI Marks Daily Apple is free with many useful and informative articles….with very little slagging off of individuals….
    And also, 150mg of carbs….is a lot.

    • My suggestion is to go follow Mark Sisson’s advice. And come back and see me when your health is in the shitter from eating that way. Right now you are too far away from understanding what I’m talking about here. Guess you got to go through with it first and see what I mean. It is funny that you are criticizing me for being a money swindler, and Mark as being some kind of altruistic Ghandi-like giver of free stuff. Meanwhile, I’m writing this from the floor of 400 square foot apartment that I share with two other people, and Mark is kicking it in a giant palace in Malibu. Yeah baby, I’m raking it in huge here! And I don’t give anything away for free! Just 150 videos and over 500 articles!

      • Okay, I have to admit, that one was very tempting. But then I read the last sentence of their comment… “And also, 150mg of carbs….is a lot.”

        …and thought, “Oh geez this person is no where near ready to “hear” the truth.

        Great suggestion Matt. Was thinkin’ along the same lines. Yep, a person’s gotta go through something to get to the other side — before they’ll really get it for themselves. This goes for most things in life, of course.

  203. This blog is full of opinions and guesses.
    Not much science going on here.

    • I will take that as a compliment, as science is usually wrong about everything. Dangerously wrong.

  204. There are so many caveats in your arguments, your use of statistics is misleading and this article has poor, selective scientific evidence backing it up. Having a six pack does not put you in the same area as the obese, that is more retarded than saying 150 grams of carbs a day will lead to insidious weight gain.

    • Wow. 4 weeks. Very meaningful research.

  205. I do not eat a lots of carbs (I had psoriasis before and my stomach swells up with products like bread): I now basically eat once or twice a week sushi of white rice or butter mochi. I do have high daily intake of short and medium chain saturated fat like butyrate from grass-fed butter (I eat about 150 grams a day) and MCT oil (both combined add up to about 1500 calories total daily). Am I safe? ;)

  206. I think it is pretty interesting that your blog comes up every time I search for info on paleo/primal etc. And yet, when I was vegan/raw vegan for a year, I never came across you. You might want to think about why it is that rather than positively promoting a vegan diet (Kris Carr anyone) you are instead profiting off of bashing the paleo/primal diet. I was disappointed yet again to find your blog come up for me today. If I had to pick between Mark Sisson and you I would choose Mark Sisson any day. I would suggest thinking about how you got into such a narrow, negative mindset and if holistically, that is who you want to be.

    • Yes, I wish I would come in more searches for other stupid diets and villainous dietary gurus.

  207. I would like to see you post your picture next to Sissons and then we shall decide who we think is right about fats and carbs…

    • Or I could get the guy at my local gym who eats a half dozen doughnuts with Mountain Dew for breakfast every day and looks way more impressive than Sisson to pose next to him. I think he can barely spell carbohydrates. What someone looks like isn’t an indicator of right or wrongness. Sisson was an Olympic caliber athlete. I grew up overweight and in the hospital with all kinds of health problems. It’s unfortunate that this is your indicator of whether someone is right or wrong, because my mastery at dealing with specific health problems using dietary and lifestyle interventions greatly exceeds his.

  208. i just do what u do.. not doing what u ask me to do… show me your body..

  209. If you eat a regular diet in whole foods (veggies and fruits), and cut out the processed crap like breads, cereals, grains etc.. (what many experts will tell you to do anyways, you’ll be very hard pressed to reach 150g of carbs in a day. It’s next to impossible.

    If you like to indulge in the processed garbage on a daily basis (breads, cereals, grains, rice etc..), then you will be in dire straights for weight gain.

    There is something to be said with eating in moderation.. that means everything. If your eating the processed grains in moderation.. where are you getting your carbs then? Fruits and veggies of course.. which brings up the old point, you’ll be very hard pressed to reach 150g of carbs.

    Case and point people, if your eating in excess of 150g of carbs a day on a daily basis, your diet will have to include a lot of processed food, which every nutritionist or expert out there will tell you is bad.

    A little common sense goes a long way, eat a diet with variety and in moderation (animal proteins/fats, fruits, veggies, and mixed in their healthier choices of processed grains once in a while (or when you need them like during intense workouts). Do this, and most of the time, you’ll be hard pressed to ever reach 150g in a day.

  210. Matt Stone.

    I’m not on the Atkins / VLC wagon at all, and it’s not something I’d recommend my clients, but please show some proof that LC in itself is downright dangerous as you claim.

    Btw, people have different opinions of what’s considered LC, but most will agree that it’s below 150 grams per day.

    At least define what you consider “Low Carb” and when it becomes dangerous and when it becomes a “great stress for most people”…

    A couch potato obviously don’t have the same need as far as carbs goes, compared to an Olympian or other top athlete. To say less than 150 grams is dangerous, sounds very generalized and ungrounded, almost as if you were trying to push an agenda (the opposite of the agenda Sisson is pushing).

    Again, please provide proof that this is a dangerous way of living (as a general thing, which is what your article + comments indicate), taking your word for it, unfortunately isn’t good enough, after all this blog is about real science, right.

    And we’re NOT talking about VLC (0-25 g or whatever craziness makes up a VLC diet), let’s stay within the 100-150 grams per day, which most will consider LC. How exactly would this be considered dangerous for “most people”?



  1. 180 Degrees | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page - [...] Degrees Ran across this blogger this today. Read his thoughts about Mark's PD. …
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