Poor Poor Jimmy Moore

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I came across Jimmy Moore’s resolve to eat only eggs, butter, and cheese the other day from someone who had contacted me. They contacted me because they had gone on the Aktins diet, lost some weight, hit a plateau, and had health problems in addition to ballooning in response to the least little bit of carbohydrate that entered their diet.

Jimmy is such a good guy. It really is upsetting to see Jimmy digging himself deeper and deeper into the low-carb dungeon. But Jimmy is trapped. He is the low-carb guy. His websites, business, and life are all dedicated to eating a low-carb diet. How does he escape? What else can he do but perpetually eat fewer and fewer carbohydrates until he’s so severely hypometabolic that the smallest trace of carbohydrate makes him gain weight? He certainly couldn’t take a break to try, say, a high-carbohydrate diet that is making nine out of ten diabetics undiabetic. (Don’t get too big of a boner for what I just linked to though.  It’s just another dead end with good initial results just like low-carb).  The low-carb faithful would turn on him like a Go-Kart.

Jimmy is the perfect embodiment of what I suggest everyone NOT DO. Jimmy has accepted and embraced the fact that he is “hyperinsulinemic.” He feels that this condition “mandates” that he go on an even more extreme low-carb diet. And he is willing to eat any kind of extreme diet to cater to this perceived metabolic weakness. Not much thought is given towards the possibility of there being a strategy that fixes carbohydrate intolerance.

But hyperinsulinemia stems from being resistant to insulin. When your body does not respond to its insulin, the pancreas produces more insulin to compensate – referred to as “compensatory hyperinsulinemia.” While it is true that eating a low-calorie or low-carb diet will certainly lower your insulin levels in the short-term, the core problem, which is being insulin resistant, is actually made worse. There is also strong indication that being resistant to the hormone leptin, which results in Jimmy’s basic condition of having a low body temperature, insulin resistance, and weight problems – is exacerbated by a low-carb diet, especially when that low-carb diet is high in omega 6 polyunsaturated fat, which most low-carb diets are.

Ironically, Jimmy Moore’s greatest hero, the late Robert Atkins, understood as well as anyone that low-carb was not something you could do for life with good odds of success. He understood that it slowed down the metabolism. He understood that the low-carb diet, like other methods of losing weight, was a Catch-22. He also understood that artificial sweeteners were a big no-no. Jimmy’s loss of 180 pounds with a 59-pound regain in the last few years is about the BEST case low-carb scenario I’ve heard thus far. But eventually Jimmy will have to abandon the low-carb diet, and it will be a huge breakthrough for those with low-carb tunnel vision the day that he does.

May you someday heal Jimmy, and not be forced to dig yourself deeper and deeper into the prison of extreme dietary restriction that invariably produces health problems, and makes life progressively less worth living as each day passes.

But don’t say that I, or even Dr. Atkins, didn’t warn you that this fate would befall you:

“…remember that prolonged dieting (this one, low-fat, low-calorie, or a combination) tends to shut down thyroid function. This is usually not a problem with the thyroid gland (therefore blood tests are likely to be normal) but with the liver, which fails to convert T4 into the more active thyroid principle, T3. The diagnosis is made on clinical ground with the presence of fatigue, sluggishness, dry skin, coarse or falling hair, an elevation in cholesterol, or a low body temperature. I ask my patients to take four temperature readings daily before the three meals and near bedtime. If the average of all these temperatures, taken for at least three days, is below 97.8 degrees F (36.5 C), that is usually low enough to point to this form of thyroid problem; lower readings than that are even more convincing. It may be appropriate for those of you who fit these criteria to be prescribed thyroid by your doctor, and if so, a natural form of the hormone, which contains T3, is far superior to the most popular form of prescription thyroid, synthetic T4.

Other possibilities include the use of aspartame, which in large quantities may inhibit weight loss. If you take in three or more servings of aspartame-containing foods or beverages daily, it may be worthwhile to switch to another sweetener to see if weight loss resumes.”

-Robert C. Atkins, M.D.

Jimmy has a very low basal temperature (97 oral), and has consumed lots of aspartame over the years, mostly in the form of diet drinks.

This low-carb fairy tale, like most, is on track for an unhappy ending.


  1. Shouldn't you wait for the unhappy ending to gloat?

  2. Did this post sound like gloating to you? Do you think I'm celebrating seeing a geniune guy eat nothing but eggs in the name of health? Does it seem like I'm rejoicing in the fact that Jimmy suffers from extreme insulin resistance?

    Gaining 59 pounds on a diet of hamburger steaks and diet soda already sounds like an unhappy ending to me.

    This post was written out of concern, and a desire to impart insight to others struggling on a low-carb diet. It wasn't a display of intellectual superiority.

  3. Hey Matt,
    I see where you are coming from and it must be tough to fight against the low-carb crowd but is there any reason as to why someone can't eat mostly non-starchy veggies, high saturated fat, some protein, very little fruit/nuts/processed foods (o-6) and be healthy? I get your point of a healthy metabolism but I just have trouble thinking that you have to eat higher amounts of carbs to get there. If the food quality is good (if you're true Paleo, then it should be) then I assume that leptin would be in order and insulin resistance would be avoided. As long as one eats enough calories (cycling low/high works too I think), I don't see a problem with choosing to eat low-carb. I like low-carb myself but I do believe that some people do better on a higher carb approach as well. Thanks,

  4. I just read about his egg diet the other day. I didn't feel like you were bloating at all. Right on point in my opinion.

    I just found your blog last week. I've learned a lot about leptin and insulin oh here. Thanks for all the info.

  5. THANKS for sharing your thoughts on my situation, Matt. It's easy for someone like yourself to analyze somebody like me through the prism of your own basic philosophy. I can respect that because I have a similar perspective on others through the lens of what I've learned over the past few years. This is a continued journey that will not include the addition of carbohydrates to my diet without a purpose and a reason. I think you'd benefit me and your readers more if you would elaborate on what exactly you think will resolve this issue. Looking forward to reading your response.

    • Has there ever been a more disingenuous-sounding ‘THANKS’ in the history of the world?

      (How’s that ‘paleo’ workin’ out for ya, Jimmy?)

      • You haven’t a clue..

  6. Jimmy Moore is such a great guy. I was so shocked to see the photos of the cruise as he appears almost obese again :( :( I so hope he finds the real healing path for himself, and soon, as I too fear such a low calorie PUFA laden diet is not the answer for him.

  7. Jimmy,
    If you are going to stay low carb, why don't you at least take the basic precautions to prevent down regulation of the metabolism, like getting on thyroid medication? Eliminating PUFAs in your diet, and avoiding artificial sweetners?

    I also developed severe health problems on an extended low carb, and then paleo diet. This happened even though I only ate the highest quality food and I avoided all processed and unnatural foods… The best thing i did for my health was add starch back into my diet. I am now leaner, more muscular, more energy, and a lot happier.

  8. Hey JT, how are you doing? It's been a couple of posts since we talked.

    I plan on including some carbs (yams/white rice) into my higher calorie days (2 times per week) but not always, it might just be higher calorie (I am not working out much at all now due to studying). Granted it would only be about 125g of starch but that will be much more than 0g of starch. I've been getting about 50g to 75g of carbs a day from mostly carrots and other veggies. Most of my diet is meat, eggs, butter, coconut oil, sour cream, and heavy cream. I generally shoot for 1,900 calories on low days (5/wk) and 2,500 on high days (2/wk) at a current 209 lbs going for 180 lbs by October.

    I have a hard time not trusting some very smart people on this approach. One in particular is a PhD student at Harvard studying this stuff and following it. I'm not blind to all Paleo preachings but I just don't see why it's bad if you cycle calories and maintain quality.

    Thanks for your input, I enjoy the discussion.

  9. Matt,

    Sorry for this being semi-off topic, but are you going to review The Gabriel Method book at some point? I saw on your twitter feed that you were reading it.

    I've never had weight to lose or anything like that, but I started reading it because I heard about it and thought it sounded inteleectually interesting. Now I'm thinking that his psychological approach to weight loss and his ideas about obeying your body (in terms of cravings and so on) and working with your body instead of starving it and denying it what it wants probably apply to many more health and diet problems than just obesity.

  10. Oh yah!!

    I was just looking at Jimmys page the other day, and the pictures… low carb sure doesn't seem to be the cure for everlasting weight loss… those pictures are proof. Not saying it all has to do with diet… i am sure alot of people need to be on Thyroid.

    Anyways… good luck Jimmy!!


  11. Seeing Jimmy reminded me of another low-carber I remember from my Atkins days. Has anybody ever seen http://www.sugarfreesheila.com/ ?
    She seems to have kept the weight off for 8 years. I just wonder why some can do this and others (Jimmy and basically everyone else)cannot.

  12. Samuel-
    Gabriel has some great ideas and makes some great points. Like myself, he believes that the body gains fat in response to what we do to it. He puts a huge emphasis on fatty acid balance (although he takes the opposite approach to the omega 6 imbalance), eating nutritious food, and avoiding stressing the body out by depriving it of things it craves, not eating when you are hungry, exercising when you are tired, and generally being at war with oneself. Tying it back into this post – he was a former low-carb diet failure prior to his breakthrough.

    Jimmy Boy-
    It's true I may have a philosophy. An anti extreme diet philosophy. But what I've been led to believe about low-carb doesn't stem from some anti low-carb stance. I, like JT above, did great on low-carb at first and then ran into problems long-term despite being an evangelist in teh beginning. I ate the highest quality foods on the planet at the exlusion of all junk. I was the model low-carber. I lost weight, but did long-term harm to myself. Most can be linked to adrenal torture.

    The problem in advising you comes from the fact that feeding you a bunch of carbs will probably make you gain weight initially. This you would be uncomfortable with. The whole low carb community would be talking about what an idiot I am to suggest you eat carbs with every pound you gained. Your triglycerides would come up. Your blood pressure might rise. You would probably experience all of the things that all people go through post famine. Like the famine in Leningrad leading to a post-famine epidemic of hypertension that didn't exist before the famine.

    But I would advise you precisely how I advise people here that have run into a dead end with any number of restricted diets:

    1) Eat as much food as you possibly can.
    2) Eat lots of unrefined carbohydrates with saturated fat and protein at each feeding. Emphasis on starch and vegetables.
    3) Keep omega 6 sources to a minimum.
    4) Keep refined sugar and artificial sweeteners out of the diet
    5) Continue until body temperature has risen and fat gain stabilizes.

    At that point you may then find yourself not craving anything that you did when carbs were once in your diet – those fattening sodas and other junk. You will also be far less insulin resistant, which is a typical result of raising the metabolism and overfeeding above the body weight set point.

    This is a long-term approach to a core metabolic problem. Your current approach is not sustainable, and I know you have your reservations about it because you suspect that yourself.

  13. Danyelle-
    I think most people can keep the weight off with obession. Sheila is an exercise fanatic to go along with her diet.

    Here's a great quote on those that achieve lasting weight loss from Fat, by Robert Pool:

    "Almost any doctor who works with the obese will tell you that successful long-term losers are a monomaniacal lot, completely obsessed with their weight. Bruce Schneider, a clinical researcher now at the FDA, was working in Hirsch's lab in the early 1980s when Leibel advertised for people who had maintained a weight loss of 100 pounds for at least a year and a half. 'He got six people,' Schneider recalls, 'and all of them were wacked.' One woman had to – HAD to – jog six miles a day. If she didn't, she becamse extremely upset. Another constantly fantasized about food. 'You were basically dealing with chronic starvation,' Schneider says."

  14. Mark, I'm good man, all of the starch and unrefined sugar I eat eat keeps me feeling good!

    If what you are doing is working for you then stick with it. And by working for you, I don't just mean weight loss. It should give you energy, stable happy mood, good sleep, good digestion, compatible with a healthy social life etc… When I was low carb/paleo, I was constantly preaching to others about how great it was, and deceiving myself into believing it, even though I was getting worse and worse. I thought it had to be true because science had proved that the "paleo" diet was what man had evolved to eat, so it had to be best for us.

    Why not add more starch and cals to your spike days, and make it a real spike. No harm in letting loose a little, as long as you are really strict on your diet days.

  15. Matt, good point. The average person has no idea what it takes to maintain a great physique. All of the people I know who have made a major physique transformation are extremely obsessive with their diet and exercise habits. I would even be considered extreme with my diet and exercise by most people, but i am able to maintain it because I enjoy the diet and lifestyle. If you hate what you are doing it will never last, so you better find a way that you enjoy.

  16. re: Sheila

    Yeh, I can see that being the case. She talks about being in an airport for 24 hours, but since she brought a ton of food with her, she's not tempted to go off-plan at all. That kind of thing is not sustainable in my book, especially considering I would have to bring food for five!

    Plus I love it when you use words I have to look up – monomaniacal. Good one. It definitely describes the person that feels like they have to monitor, weigh, analyze and fret over every jot and tittle of food that passes over their lips. I have to say I'm still a little obsessed about food – making sure it's low PUFA, no fructose, not too much carb for now, etc etc etc but I think it's getting better. And at least I'm eating carbs now instead of gaining a pound every time I eat a handful of popcorn.

  17. Matt. so about how many grams of carbs are you eating daily now?

    Do you think your eating about 1lb of meat daily?

    So matt you basically recommend an Argentina style diet ? (beef, potato)

  18. In The Transition, Schwarzbein says something along the lines of – too much carbohydrate increases insulin resistance; too little carbohydrate increases adrenaline/cortisol. It's important to find the balance.

    Man did I ever find that out the hard way. After a year of very low carb/ketosis, I’m still struggling to control my desire to overeat. I wasn’t overweight or unhealthy, just curious to find out what low-carb could do for me.

    During that time, I felt great and looked great but didn’t realize the hormones were running my body down. I’ve regained every pound I lost plus a little more incorporating starches back.

    Best of luck to Jimmy Moore on his health journey He is one super, kindhearted guy.

  19. Also, another couple of points about Sheila: she raised her carb level once she hit maintenance (as Atkins suggests in his book). She eats about 100 g carbs a day, which isn't low-carb, it's moderate carb. That, plus the daily exercise and her very happy and optimistic attitude are, I'm sure, what ensures her continued success.

    Also, I'd like to point out that she was never obese. Her high weight was in the 140's I think! She was hardly fat at all. Just a little plump.

    Jimmy, my heart goes out to you! I know how discouraging this all must be. I'd like to tell you in the most heartfelt way possible (as a former low and then zero-carber for several years) that I've done an egg fast and I lost 15 lbs in a month. I also experienced one of the worst rebound weight gain periods of my life when I was done and returned to regular zero-carb. ZERO CARB! As in no vegetables, no nothing. I totally ballooned on NO CARBS. It was after this weight gain and signs of a destroyed metabolism that I stumbled across some data about VLC being harmful to the thyroid. That eventually led me here.

    Your body is not out to get you. It is not against you. It is doing the best it can with what you're giving it. Think about the bombardment it has undergone. No wonder it's confused. Healing is possible.

    Take care!

  20. Hey JT. I feel pretty good. I've woken up easily the past two mornings, big improvement for me. I just started on this approach Monday. I've done Paleo before but there were a lot more nuts and other stuff in there. My mood is stable and last night I went to bed without dinner because I got home late. I just had a coffee with heavy cream from Starbucks and was fine, no hunger pains. Before bed I decided to do some pull-ups on my doorway bar and I knocked out a bunch, felt real strong. Once I start working out more, I'll eat more calories and carbs but until then I'm going to see how I role with this approach. I plan to let loose at least once a week during social meals with family. Paleo during the week, somewhat Paleo on the weekends.

  21. Not saying this is what happened to Jimmy, but I think that many reduced carb dieters go through periods of weight gain while experimenting with introducing "new" foods back into their diet and working on new recipes. I know this to be partially to blame for my weight gain but I still consider my story to be a success…. 354 down to below 200 and currently about 224. I'll be back down to 200 by the end of the year if not the end of the summer. I play tennis 2-5 times a week and am also integrating a running program into my routine. I think that a reduced carb lifestyle is by far the healthiest "diet" I have ever been on and the most sustainable. I believe in "refeeds" and taking breaks from the eating plan to increase the carb counts and experiment with finding your body's carb count threshold. I agree with you that keeping sugar, HFCS, and artificial sweeteners to a minimum is crucial for good health and weight loss. I think you'll be surprised to see Jimmy shed quite a few of those gained pounds and move forward Livin' La Vida Low-Carb. Thanks for sharing your views on your blog.. that's what the internet is for!!


  22. I have a question for you Matt:

    Since you espouse a high carb diet with presumably grains, how do you account for the anti-nutrients in those grains? Many of us have problems with not just gluten, but also phytates and lectins. These anti-nutrients are present in virtually all types of grains including rice as well as tubers, beans and some fruits and veggies. (As you probably know, some anti-nutrients suppress thyroid) Cooking doesn't always get rid of the problem either.

    So what is your solution to this if a person is suppose to consume vast quantities of carbs?

    • Don’t get me wrong this guy is still anti-grains due to their lack of nutrient density etc. but he points out the fallacy of stating that you can’t eat grains due to lectins and anti-nutrients since paleo carb sources also contain lectins and other anti-nutrients in similar proportions (though different types to some degree). He also points out that to say there has been no adaption to grains since we statrted eating them is also a fallacy. Though he says that we are most certainly not fully adapted. So there is a place for properly prepared grains in moderate amounts if you can tolerate it and if you must eat them over more nutrient dense sources.

      Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpfs6iT2nDw&list=FLqWU4tZDbX-PmiTw6cIcQzw&feature=mh_lolz

      He’s got at least 2 other very interesting videos on youtube

  23. With any extreme diet eventually most of the leaders will succumb to "failure." I've been studying extreme ways of eating for years & have followed the journey of many such as the raw vegan movement which has seen many of it's gurus realize it's close to impossible to live as a raw vegan. Other's like Doug Graham who devise even more bizarre ways to keep people raw like eating 30 bananas a day. All in all if people want to see what a high carb/low fat whole foods diet can do should go over to cbass.com and see Clarence Bass, who is 70 years young & still has an amazing physique.

    –Chris Robbins

  24. hey mark we have pretty much the SAME diet! i eat about 75-100 carbs a day, coming from a zero carb anorexic background though and no exercising(yet). my carbs come from roots(rutabaga/turnips) and veggies. i do eat more than 1900 calories a day however lol and im a small chick i dunno how you do that. also, lowest PUFA i can, no fructose etc etc.

    i plan to start a high carb day when i think i am "mentally" ready to do it. i have a lot of mental shit going on with recovery and a bridesmaid dress to fit into in 2 months and a too-small dress will send me back to relapse most likely

    back in my anorexic days i did the 'egg fast'…except it was just hard boiled eggs…all i had was coffee with massive artifical sweetner(DaVinci made bank off me) and 2 hardboiled eggs a day for as long as my body would take it.

    i feel incredibly sad for Jimmy following this egg fast thing not for the food itself, but the artifical sweetner consumption. i dont understand how he can be trying to lost weight and wont give up his one vice that is causing him the most problems.

    matt, im curious about the lectins/toxins and your view on them in grains/starch too…

    one question- what's i guess anyones view on goat milk yogurt and fermented stuff in general. i dont handle dairy well at all besides sour cream(thank goodness for thee!) and butter and mascarpone cheese. i guess i mean, is there anything to the healthy gut flora and digestion and anything to help it… i have a lot of pooper problems from starving myself…

  25. Anti-nutrients in rice and tubers? Are you kidding me?
    The amounts of anti-nutrients in those foods are damn small. If you even worry about such small amounts there is probably no kind of vegetable you can eat. There's solanin in nightshades, goitrogens in cruciferous vegetables, oxalic acid in leafy greens, the list goes on and on.
    Almost all plant foods contain some form of toxin. It's not like they WANT to be eaten by us (except for fruit). That's also what cooking is for, to get rid of those toxins. I see your point about most grains, but rice, tubers (and corn too). Come on! Avoiding those foods because of antinutrients is ridiculous.

  26. Malpaz, you should check out my http://lowcarbmenu.blogspot.com to see I've decided to remove the diet sodas. Now what's your issue?

  27. Good idea to add the Atkins quote in there. Everyone knows he was low carb, but like most ideas, his dietary philosophy was more complex than most people think. My brother is still on your HED and thinks he might be starting to see some results. My sister-in-law says its hard to keep up with the cooking sometimes! I'm eager to see how it works out for him.

  28. Madmuhh is right. If you guys are avoiding rice because of the anti-nutrients then you have gone too far into the food obsessive land. If you are worried about the antinutrients in grains, just eat the most refined ones.

  29. Hey malpaz. I'm just eating according to the standard Katch-McCardle formula with a 30% deficit on low day and a 0-10% deficit on high days. I did a mock day of the Zone (adjusting some carbs for fat a la Robb Wolf) and I came in at 2,035 calories for 17 blocks. So I think it makes sense for me to stick here. I took in about 1,500 calories yesterday as I didn't get home to eat dinner and I wasn't very hungry at all. I also felt fine this morning. I'm also not working out much, I bet I'll have to add some more once I do. I'm also not cutting off fruit completely, just a couple of pieces a day. Not worried about a little fructose. Good luck with your dress!

  30. Jimmy, why give up on the diet sodas without discovering why your body craves them so much. I think there is a reason our bodies crave sweet and salty things. This is because we were meant to eat them and they are good for us. I never understand why people say to avoid sweet things because they are so hard to stop eating, maybe people should listen to their bodies cravings.

  31. Dr. Atkins himself says in his first book that one strategy for getting past a plateau is to completely reverse the macro-nutrient profile of your diet, i.e. go from high fat low carb to high carb low fat. Given what we know about some of Dr. Price's groups and the modern Kitavans, that is not such a bad strategy, though no doubt it won't work for everyone. I would produce the quote except I don't have the book in front of me.

    Jimmy, I went to your site to leave a comment but for some reason I can't, so I will just say here I wish you the best. It is clear, at least to me, you know the eggfest is not the ultimate answer, as no severe diet restriction of that sort can ever be.

    I am not going to make any suggestions except one below, since I am sure you are getting plenty of them. I will just say again I wish you well in getting this resolved.

    You are a very good ambassador for the real food movement and I appreciate the work you do and the resources you provide for the community at large through your blog and podcasts.

    My one suggestion to you would be to consider the Milk Cure. I doubt very seriously you will take on Matt's Schwarzbein on steroids approach for all the reasons Matt lists above, but with the Milk Cure you can get the same ultimate benefits w/o the weight gain provided you stick with it long enough.

    It is a dietary restriction in terms of food types but not in terms of macro-nutrients, and it is quite temporary, with none of the rebound characteristics of your typical restriction protocol. In some ways I would call it the Matt Stone approach on steroids. :-) I will be debuting a new website shortly that is devoted entirely to the Milk Cure and Immune Milk Therapy.

    So if your current approach doesn't work out feel free to take a look.

  32. Jackie-
    When I was a vegetarian I developed lots of sensitivities too. I ate beans and grains at every meal. I developed major digestive problems that led me away from a vegetarian diet, as I no longer could eat any of my "healthy" staples.

    But a healthy person has no problems or no sensitivities to such things. Like I mention in the quasi mission statement of 180degreehealth, the goal is not to identify weaknesses and find ways to cater to them, but to overcome them if possible and have a real health breakthrough.

    When the body is running correctly, lectins are no longer a problem. Look at plant poisons girl and her drastic change after bringing her body temperature back up. The rules of the game change when you are healthy.

    Phytates on the other hand, although they are a concern, are probably the most overhyped thing in alternative nutrition today. Cooking removes phytates in most foods. Still, you probably won't catch me eating beans or tons of high-phytate grains like wheat.

    You will see me eating the crap out of some potatoes, rice, and a little corn – as well as tons of vegetables.

    But the point is, you don't always have to be at the mercy of your food sensitivities. They can be greatly improved and even overcome altogether. You need not go at it with a fatalistic approach. There are ways out of these dietary prisons that we get ourselves in. Like me – only 8 months ago I would get sore joints and cracked lips every time I ate too much fruit. This no longer happens, which I attribute to going lower in omega 6, which keeps your body from having a massive inflammatory reaction to benign things (like lectins).

    Congrats on the diet sodas.

    Atkins dietary philosophy was more than complex. In that quote he basically validates everything I've been led to believe in 4 years of research. Diets weaken us, mainly by lowering body temperature, which has nothing to do with the thyroid (and probably stems from stress/cortisol-induced leptin resistance, the mechanism behind the increasing ease of gaining weight over time that almost every dieter experiences).

  33. Michael-
    Great advice. In my last eBook I did in fact call the milk diet "HED on steroids" BTW. That's exactly what it is, and there's no doubt that it's superior (just less practical).

  34. 3 years ago I cut out sugar, grains, and vegetable oils, and minimize any processed food. I lost 30 pounds in 4 months. Went from 6ft 195lbs to 165lbs. I probably average 90 grams of carbs a day. They come from lactose and greens, sometimes starch. I've been at 165 lbs for 2 years 8 months. How long is long term? I'm really quite happy eating this way, even though it's boring to some (I have a grass fed steak every night, just about). Would you consider this unhealthy? For everyone?

  35. The biggest mistake anyone who follows lowcarb makes is to ignore the rules to increase carbohydrate slowly, over time, after the first two weeks of very lowcarb. Staying lowcarb, below 30g a day, does no one any good long-term UNLESS they're diabetic at the start of the diet and glycemic control is erratic upon increasing carbs in the 40 to 60g range (which is where most diabetics can eat without rising HbA1C's).

    Atkin's specifically included rules that the majority of your carbs each day come from vegetables, that one limit dairy and that fake foods, including lowcarb "products" are no good long term. But people read what they want to, they take what they want and discard the rest and think they're following lowcarb correctly when they're not.

    Atkins diet didn't forever bar starches. It didn't forever bar small portions of even higher carb foods. But to read Jimmy Moore, you'd think one must keep eating ridiculously low carb forever when that's not true.

    How do I know? I lost 100 pounds 10 years ago and have not gained back any weight (+/- five pounds now and then) and I do not eat strict lowcarb and haven't since I followed the rules and added in carbs over time as I lost weight. By the time I got to my healthy weight, I was eating what is really moderate carbs. I eat rice, potatoes, yams, etc. but not huge gut busting portions. the portions are small and enough for me.

    Jimmy eats like crap. He eats way too many processed foods, relies too much on supplements instead of eating foods with vitamins and minerals he needs, and does the really stupid thing of thinking the products have net carbs he can somehow subtract from the total carbs, like they don't count.

  36. With nutrition and weight loss, there are many variances in the chemical stew and genetic response of every individual's body, and the body has a tendency to change its response to repetitive stimuli over time.

    Changes in the effects of a diet does not immediately prove that diet to be the wrong answer, nor does it imply that the diet has been detrimental to one's health.

    Jimmy's solution could be as simple as taking a high-carb "break" for a week or two every few months to keep his metabolism guessing. I have discovered for myself that eating low-carb throughout the week and high-carb on Saturday keeps my weight loss consistent. My response to the weekend carbs is nothing like the headaches and dizziness I experienced before I began low-carb which suggests that my insulin resistance has gone down.

    Everyone has to find the right combination of food types that work with their own bodies. Neither Matt nor anyone can know what specific foods Jimmy has been eating, what quantity, what stress he's been under, his body's hormonal balance, etc. It's unfair to paint Jimmy as a victim of some sort of low-carb fallout when the various factors effecting his situation are uniquely his own.

    Equally, it is unfair to paint low-carb diets as "extreme" or detrimental when there is strong evidence to support that low-carb is closer to what we evolved to eat as opposed to the modern "normal" diet.

    Let's all try to stay open-minded and non-dogmatic about our health and well-being. It's a fluid process, and what works for us today may not work for us three years from now.

  37. Sumo wrestlers and bodybuilders get BIG by eating more carbs, not by eating more protein.

  38. @Anonymous:
    1) Sumo wrestlers do a lot of weird things. Isolating one factor won't bring you any further.
    2) Do you have proof to back that up?
    3) There are tons of people eating 70%+ of their calories as carbs (Kitavans) and still stay in the range of low BMI
    4) What exactly is your point anyways.

    Nice to hear about that Milk Diet website. That's gonna be great, I'm really looking forward to it. Been pondering with the ideaof doing a milk diet for quite some time, but in the end, logistic reasons have kept me from doing it so far.

    @everyone who talks about high-carb days: Kinda funny, I've recently experimented with having some low-carb days or low carb meals once or twice. So the exact opposite. Kinda didn't work well until now, didn't feel that good. Too early to tell aynthing though.

  39. I agree that diet sodas, Atkins bars, and other similar items are not really good for anyone – yet there are plenty of people who have sailed smoothly through weight loss, and been in maintenance for a while, who continues to eat and drink them along the way – so clearly they are not the devil for weight loss for everyone!

    Me, I don't touch diet soda, would not be caught dead eating an Atkins bar. I prefer my food to be 'real' – but I do feel best on a lowish carb diet. I'd been experimenting with slightly higher carb including some starches like brown rice and sweet potatoes – but found that even a small serving of starch sent my blood sugar skyrocketing above 200, so I have cut them out for now. So my carbs are probably lower now than they were – but I still feel excellent and am continuing to lose weight (slowly) and inches. 100+ pounds so far over 4 1/2 years so far.

    I was also on the recent cruise with Jimmy and I have to say the photo you posted of him is *extremely* unflattering. Yeah, I could see that Jimmy had put on some weight compared to photos of him at his low, most of it apparently around the middle. But he still didn't look bad. Not nearly as chunky-looking as he does in the photo you posted, which looks so much chunkier than the Jimmy I saw a couple weeks ago on the cruise that I could almost swear it must have been photoshopped! Or else taken at a very bad angle somehow. It doesn't look like the photos I took of Jimmy at any rate. :-)

  40. Matt,
    You said, "Diets weaken us, mainly by lowering body temperature, which has nothing to do with the thyroid".

    What makes you think this? You think that low calorie and low carb diets wont have any affect on the thyroid? You think that a low body temperature has nothing to do with the thyroid?

  41. Matt, you really need a forum. Your posts are starting to average like 100 comments or so (which i think is great!).

    Oh, and I don't know if you have anything planned to change this already, but the design of your blog is in stark contrast to the great content you put up here. So, if you're not planning to do a redesign in the future, I'd offer my help here.

  42. THANKS Michael! I may consider that. The comments on my blog work now.

  43. I feel Jimmy Moore has lost total credibility as a lc advocate. He has written repeatedly that Atkins and/or lc is not a fad diet. The plan he is following now is nothing but a fad diet-it's sad to see how far people will go to lose weight. LC receives such a bad rap and this only fans the flames.

  44. Not "nothing to do with the thyroid." I should have said, "has nothing to do with a flaw in the thyroid gland, but of the body slowing down the metabolism." Of course the thyroid is the mechanism, but that doesn't mean the gland is faulty. Leptin controls the activity of the thyroid. The hypothalamus decides what the thyroid is to do, not the thyroid gland itself.

    A forum will appear embedded on the main site this summer if all goes to plan.

    As for blog design, I'd love to get rid of the left margin so that the blog posts are much wider. I tried toying with the template the other day to no avail. You're welcome to tinker with it if you like.

    The whole point is to heal the body to where it does not have blood sugar surges to 200 when you eat starch. That's the final destination I'm in pursuit of.

    Ancel Keys's subjects, prior to starvation for example, were eating 482 grams of carbohydrate per day, with an average height of 5'10" an average weight of 152 pounds, and perfect blood glucose levels.

    Sure, a person with a really screwed up metabolism may feel better on a low-carb diet. But why they can't feel good eating a high carb diet, maintain a healthy weight, and having perfect glucose and insulin response remains a mystery. There is no solid evidence anywhere that suggests that carbohydrates cause this problem. Price, Burkitt, Cleave, Trowell, McCarrison and others didn't come running home to tell everyone "beware of carbohydrates." That's because the carbohydrate content of the diet was irrelevant in whether or not people were in good health.

    Interesting that Sumo's eat more protein than any humans on earth though.

  45. Isn't the thyroid controlled by the pituitary gland not the hypothalamus? TSH is produced by the pituitary gland not the hypothalamus.

  46. Matt and every well-read people,

    Is there any primitive group recorded eating a low-fat diet???

    I have been lowering fat intake lately and never feel satisfied after meals, no matter how much starch and protein I eat.


  47. "Of course the thyroid is the mechanism, but that doesn't mean the gland is faulty"

    Makes sense, and implies that fixing the root cause (slow down of metabolism) is what will really make you healthy, not just applying a remedy to the symptom of the affected gland.

    I've been thinking about this in terms of my low body temp, which is persistent and chronic even though I have taken Armour (or more recently Cytomel) for years now. Every time I mention it to my very open-minded doc (she will test Reverse T3, hormones, cortisol and prescribe adrenal support, etc.) she just shrugs. She also seems to want to make my "high" cholesterol (with extraordinarily high HDL, thank you very much) go down. Grrr.

    So in my case adjusting levels of thyroid hormone to normal blood levels does not automatically remedy my low body temp and the ensuing problems associated with low metabolism….

  48. The problem Matt with your approach is that you think there is a one-size fits all way of eating. There are some people who can do very well on different types of diets. I tend toward the Metbolic Typing solution that takes individual bio-chemistry into account. Certainly, genetic make-up plays a role along with other factors. We know for a fact that people of various indigenous cultures have thrived on particular food groups for centuries. Try telling the Inuit (Eskimos) to eat lots of carbs when their climate does not allow them to grow them. And yet, they are healthy with very few problems.

    I find your "my way or the highway" paradigm a bit frustrating. One thing about Jimmy I admire, is that he doesn't judge others way of eating.

  49. @Jackie

    Many of us have problems with not just gluten, but also phytates and lectins. These anti-nutrients are present in virtually all types of grains including rice as well as tubers, beans and some fruits and veggies. (As you probably know, some anti-nutrients suppress thyroid) Cooking doesn't always get rid of the problem either.

    Jackie, as you probably know, the Weston A Price Foundation has nearly made a cottage industry out of soaking, fermenting, and sprouting grains in order to reduce, remove or transform problematic compounds (which vary from person to person depending on their current health status). Although they take a lot of heat from the paleosphere as a result their techniques are pretty good, though they miss two great techniques which I mention below.

    Tubers don't provide much in the way of anti-nutrients although the preparation method might be an issue (hint: boiling is better than baking).

    Rice can be soaked before consuming. Dr. Stephan Guyenet provides an effective way to do so which is better than the typical soak in my opinion.

    A New Way To Soak Brown Rice

    Still, it is quite possible to eat a high carb diet and not so much as even sniff grains. I did it recently for 40 days using the Kitavans as my model.

    Several other techniques/ways that work which the WAPF doesn't speak about is making sure your grains are very fresh (fresh milled wheat is what Dr. Price used when he was treating children in his Cleveland clinic for tooth decay) or refining them as in white rice (though WAPF does have an article on its site about the Thai and their refining of rice), or eating rice that has the bran removed but the germ intact (Haiga) or grain that is somewhat refined and then fermented (which is what some of Price's African groups did).

    Dr. Sir McCarrison observed very healthy people eating fresh wheat.

    And if need be or such is your desire, you many can do quite well eating grains that have no gluten.

  50. @Jimmy

    THANKS Michael! I may consider that. The comments on my blog work now.

    No problem. I will be back on your blog later tonight after enjoying the beautiful sunshine in the Pacific Northwest.

  51. All my best to Jimmy- you do such good work, and I wish you well in health and happiness.

    Matt- many, many thanks. This is the post I needed- I'm maybe a couple months into a low-carb paleo experiment, and it's not working for me, and I can't sustain it. This idea that poor hormonal health resulting from shitty food is what makes us respond so poorly to real food rings true, as does the idea that we can indeed regain our health and live well on whatever foods make sense to us. I think I've finally begun to understand that a low carb diet may be fine if you're healthy, and certainly we see it among natives like the Masai and Inuit, but provisional high-carb intake seems to, maybe ironically, make us more insulin sensitive and carbohydrate tolerant. Following this through, eating to fullness and really not denying yourself, be it in regards to rest, sedentism, etc. can bring you to a point where you fill up, get healthy as Schwarzbein says, physically and psychologically, and can then work on losing any weight in a healthy and stable way that doesn't exacerbate underlying ailments. And thanks too for responding to the concerns about grain antinutrients- I can see the hype in WAPF's work, even though it makes sense to me. Still, starches exist in all sorts of places beside grains.

    Question about getting healthy again: I'm wondering if you stand by your low-carb rehab post from here http://180degreehealth.blogspot.com/2009/05/low-carb-rehab.html . Or do you
    advocate what you suggest above, the HED right off? Or the Milk Diet maybe? Basically, I want to get healthy and well, and I'm prepared to give this metabolism boost a shot soon, and want to get a plan of action beforehand.

    Again- many thanks!

  52. Gazelle,
    Do you take thyroid medication now? Ray Peat said that high cholesterol is a sign of hypothyroidism.

  53. I started an experiment two days ago.Two dbl cheeseburgers per day.This has now grown into 4 or whatever amount of sandwiches my appetite desires per day.

    Whats weird is I seem to be losing weight since my shirts,while still a bit tight in the waist seem loose up top at the arms and that is always first to go for me.

    Just today I walked around outside for a good 2 hours just cause it was sunny and wanted some VitD.Breakfast was DBL cheese quarter pounder for breakfast.Awhile later I ate a home made cheeseburger.A bit later I had 4 eggs,hamburger roll w/tbsp butter.Just now its 8pm and my stomach was roaring for food.BS was stable all day and I look healthy and like a definitely lost some bodyfat today.So I cooked up another DBL cheeseburger.

    I will keep on this regimen and see where it takes me.Its got a nice amount of protein,small to medium amount of carb and same with fat.Just eat these small type meals when hungry?

    I ask you Matt if this can have the same positives of HED without the weightgain?If I eat just till hunger of balanced quality foods might my metabolism up regulate this way?

    Also what do you recommend for hamburger buns.I know your against refined carbs and you do eat burgers so I wonder what you use?

  54. Just wanna add that I have been taking 5 caps of Nutri-meds everyday and they really seem to be helping.

  55. Let's see here..

    you can be fat or thin or a high carb diet and low carb..

    i have both skinny friends that eat a very high carb diet and fat friends that eat a high carb diet..

    BUT, i have no fat friends that eat a low carb diet, but have very athletic, strong friends that eat a more fat based, low carb diet..

    i think its impossible to become obese eating a low carb diet.

  56. haha wolf,

    when i gave up dieting i was eating Two Double Doubles from IN N Out Burger with out the sauce all the time!!! I miss those Burgers, but my homemade ones are pretty amazing also.

  57. the funny thing is the information and posts matt posts today will probably turn out to be wrong…. as with all things what we know now turns out to be wrong in future

  58. Michael,
    Can you tell us more about your Kitavan diet experiment? I am very interested, as I am thinking of transitioning to something similar.

  59. Does anyone have information on carbos, fats, and protein from the OKinawans?

  60. Its crazy Half.I look in the mirror and I look leaner right now and my skin is glowing.All of a sudden I want to hit the gym and build back all my muscle….at 40 this friday 26th.I feel young and do not look my age at all.My mood is up right now!!

    But I will say my digestion seems wacky.I will ride this out for awhile as I said.I really feel my metabolism is just busted from too many yrs of this dieting crap.

  61. @JT

    Humans were not meant to eat sweet and salty things and they are not good for us.

    Sweetness (and salt desire) is a tolerance that builds up because of the sugars (and salt) we overload ourselves with. If you look up tolerance in Wikipedia you will even see salt used as an example.

    I gave up sweet foods 40 years ago. I can assure you I have no like of sweet foods. They are yucky. Nor do I have any salt cravings, as I stopped adding salt when I went paleo some 14 years ago.

    We have the sweet taste buds so we can tell when fruit is ripe. Today's fruits are bigger and sweeter than the small tart ones that existed back in paleo times. And the only sweet food available, honey, would have been hard to get. Note that African bees are the most agressive. It is clear that we evolved with little sweet foods.

    How long of being sweet free does it take to lose one's sweet cravings? It's been so long I don't remember.

  62. Matt a thought.I understand your ideas on we must not diet and we have to eat properly to elevate the metabolism, ensure little insulin resistance and inflammation is reduced.But you yourself say that its all about calories to lose weight and that lowcarb is beneficial in that less lean mass is lost along the way(you forget to mention that LC eating is very appetite suppressant in itself).Then you say that cutting calories is wrong since it leads to all the bad stuff we don't want to happen,especially metabolism slowdown.

    But we need to cut calories to lose fat.So now we need to find out how one can go low carb to lose bodyfat and then transistion to normal diet for maintenance without the rebound effect taking place.

  63. @Jackie

    The problem Matt with your approach is that you think there is a one-size fits all way of eating.

    Heh. I thought you were looking for a serious answer to your grain/carb question. Looks like it was just a forerunner to write what was really on your mind. :-)

    Try telling the Inuit (Eskimos) to eat lots of carbs when their climate does not allow them to grow them. And yet, they are healthy with very few problems.

    The more I study the more I doubt the supposed very low carb nature of the Inuit/Eskimo diet. I think it was variable depending on the group and that it might be more appropriate to think of them the way we think of the Masai, nearly all animal food but not necessarily low carb.

    The meat itself may have provided close to 60 grams of carbs per day. Dr. Price also noted that they “were able to provide their bodies with all the mineral and vitamin requirements from sea foods, stored greens and berries and plants from the sea" (NAPD, page 72).

    If that is true then they would have had access to carbohydrate foods all year around.

    Not to mention that Stefansson reports the Eskimos he visited made and drank alcohol.

    I find your "my way or the highway" paradigm a bit frustrating. One thing about Jimmy I admire, is that he doesn't judge others way of eating.

    I don't understand this comment. They are both strong proponents of a particular way of eating. Their particular websites are centered around their particular approaches. The implication, at least indirectly, is that those who are eating otherwise are, at best, eating in an less than optimal way. How is one "judgmental" and the other not, or is it the title of this post that is bothering you?

  64. @JT: Yes, I took Armour for several years and recently switched to Cytomel. My cholesterol has always been "high", my HDL has always been ridiculously high, and my body temp has stayed low.

    High cholesterol and hypothyroidism runs in my family. I assume low body temp could too…

  65. Anon

    "Isn't the thyroid controlled by the pituitary gland not the hypothalamus? TSH is produced by the pituitary gland not the hypothalamus."

    The pituitary is controlled by the hypothalamus though. Neurons in the hypothalamus senses circulating plasma leptin concentrations, which controls their release of TRH into the pituitary, which in itself regulates release of TSH.

  66. Looking forward to seeing the data for all those type II diabetics (9 out of 10 diabetics become 'undiabetic') who miraculously attain a cure with a high carb diet.

    Yes, it did sound like gloating.

  67. @Michael:
    "Tubers don't provide much in the way of anti-nutrients although the preparation method might be an issue (hint: boiling is better than baking)."

    Really? For some reason I always thought it was the other was around. Well, always something new to learn. So how do you prepare your tubers/potatoes? Also, do you eat the skin?

  68. matt, consider hiring a web designer to redo your site. PANU can be really annoying (the articles) but on the other hand the design is very soothing and calming. Sisson's site is too busy & pilon is always trying to shove his ebook down your throat with tacky in-your-face ads all over the internet (although when you read his blog he is somewhat reasonable of a guy). anyhow, here are the major problems with your site IMHO:

    1. color scheme – the red, white black thing has gotta go, it is too harsh

    2. font – times new roman is not very professional:

    3. get rid of lefthand margin (you mentioned this)

    4. make the posts "collapsible" so that you can easily scroll through a page of posts and not have to go down down down the entire article to reach the next. this would also make comments more accessible (don't have to scroll scroll scroll everytime you want to check comments on a particular article)

    anyhow, i realize you are a blogger not a webdesigner, but given the amount of fixes needed, i really think you should get a pro to help. it need not cost that much. maybe you should ask the readers what they like in a website (we could even include examples of websites we like). my vote is PaNU, it is soothing and sometimes i go there, even if i am sure to get annoyed by the content ;-).
    ray peat's site is terrible and hard to navigate.
    as i said sisson's is too out there with millions of ads and this that and the other, and photos of him with his creepy dyed hair (ok, that was low and off topic, but the hair alone keeps me away from that site).

    thanks for bearing with me & my opinions!

  69. "extreme" diets certainly were the undoing of the inuit, masai, and tokelauans, eh matt? i guess they'll feel fortunate to get onto a "well-balanced" diet, like you espouse, and finally become civilized (or maybe just start suffering from all the diseases of civilization that they avoided by eating no-carb diets for millenia).

    also, you seem to have some misconceptions about leptin. better read more on how aspartame affects leptin again…at least in mice cause those are the only studies that have been done.

  70. I have to say I'm a little put off by the title and overall tone of this post. People struggling to find health and happiness probably don't like being highlighted as dietary cautionary tales. "Poor Poor Jimmy Moore"? His reply showed a lot of grace and kindness, something frankly I wish were more abundant in this post. Why beat him (or others) down for simply trying what they hope will work? The same message can be stated without the spotlight of shame…

  71. Don,

    Do you eat a zero carb diet? I hope you don't think eating toxin heavy bitter plants is superior to eating low toxin fruits that are sweet. Tropical fruits are very sweet. Wars have been fought over salt, as the importance has been know for a long time.

    Food manufacturers know to add sugar and salt to baby food if they want the babies to eat it, especially the non sweet vegetables that are supposedly "healthy".

  72. @skeeter:
    I agree for the most part. Except the white text on black background thing. While there are just very few websites with such a clour scheme out there and they almost always look like crap, white text on a black background is just so goddamn 180.

    I sent Matt a mail and we will see how this will pan out. I once did webdesign as a hobby, but have unlearned a lot of it by now, but I think I could still help out a bit.

    Here we go again. I really do not see how so many people take the Inuit as a good example. They were losing bone mass as soon as they got 30 or 40 and seemed to age pretty fast in general.

    And yes, it is very possible to live well on an extreme diet. There are just so many factors to consider that pretty much any try to imitate such a diet will be sub-optimal at best. Do you drink blood? Do you use all kinda herbs for medical purposes to balance imbalances that might occur on such a diet (more on this here)? You don't? Then stop using them as a reference. I really isn't that simple. The single reason why those tribes did and do well on such diets is what is generally called "primitive wisdom".
    We are way out of touch with the nature around us by now. Going on a Masai/Eskimo style diet without paying close attention to your body and being able to access information that was collected over generation by doing exaclty that (observing, that is), will not bring you very far. I can guarantee you that most of the people that first decided to live in the arctic regions with such a limited (or extreme if you wanna call it like that) diet almost all died! (I am not saying that low-carb will make you die here)

  73. Madmuhh,
    Good post concerning the primitive wisdom that was used. As mentioned before I nearly killed myself maintaining a low carb/paleo diet for several years. But, I wonder if I had access to the right type of herbal medicines if I could have been healthy on the diet. If I ever tried it again I would get a really good TCM or Ayurvedic doc to suply me with the herbs to maintain balance.

  74. Concerning the superiority of low carb/ paleo diets. Most of the low carb people I know who workout are weak and scrawny compared to their high carb counterparts. If this were in nature, the high carb tribe would easily kill off all of their low carb competitors and breed with their women, thus passing on their high carb eating DNA.

  75. matt, i'd paypal 20 bucks right now if that'd help expedite the forum.

    i bet others would donate a few bucks as well.

  76. Hey JT.
    I hit the wall last night. After training my clients, I was exhausted from demonstrating exercises and such. I slept heavy and then was still fatigued this morning. A banana helped to get the day going. I know it takes time to adapt to low carb but I don't want to live in ketosis land. So after getting advice from Martin Berkhan, I'm going to throw in more sweet potatoes and fruit. So, still paleo but just not low carb (now 200g instead of 75g before). I'm sticking with similar calorie levels, just shifting some fat to carbs while keeping protein moderate. Just thought I'd update you as I said I was doing fine the other day.

  77. I want a forum too, but NOT if it delays the new metabolism book. Keep working Matt. Plus I thought the background of the blog is black so that it doesn't mess up our sleep pattern if we read it at night, although it also fits the whole 180 degrees different idea.

  78. Jackie-
    My way or the highway? You are welcome to criticize me all you like, but get familiar with 180 first. 180 is a site dedicated to open-experimentation and an ever-evolving understanding. I rare give dogmatic advice on how to eat. And I'm all about overcoming your metabolic type, not catering to it – in the pursuit of creating the strongest and most healthy metabolic type. That's the idea here. We can avoid what we don't tolerate all day long, but that rarely leads anywhere but dietary prison. 180 is about breaking free. And eskimo breast milk is still 50% carbohydrate. If they could find carbs up there, they would eat them, because doing so is advantageous to all humans. They were very healthy, even if they did age rapidly. Carbs are not a requirement for health as they've shown. But there have been people eating 70% of their calories as carbs with health that is just as good – perhaps even better by some yardsticks. It's not about the macronutrients, but if you have a low metabolism, dietary restriction is not the way to fix that generally. Atkins was right about that.

    I still stand by the idea of going nuts on carbs for a few days when trying to come off of low-carb. Just a few days though. Then an unrestricted diet is probably best. I do think that the milk diet is one very potent strategy to heal the metabolism, bring body temperature up, and address the negatives in which restricted dieting often leads.

    Anonymous with no fat low-carb friends-

    Jimmy gained 59 pounds on a low-carb diet in the last couple of years. And, eating a low-carb diet will certainly increase your chances of obesity if you come off of it after a long time on it. Finally – being lean on low-carb doesn't make you healthy. I was much leaner on low carb than I am now, and much more unhealthy with all kinds of minor problems that are now gone (indigestion, emotionality, body odor, insomnia, etc.).

  79. " Danyelle said…
    I want a forum too, but NOT if it delays the new metabolism book. Keep working Matt. "

    sigh, you're right. i was being selfish. *blush*

  80. Mark, Glad to see you are figuring out works best for you, instead of catering to some dogma of what is healthy. Next mental block to overcome is the whole paleo is superior idea. If I was you I wouldn't worry so much about being paleo, find out what works best for you. I would get sick eating lots of sweet potatoes and fruit, what works best for me is rice, especially basmati and sushi. Maybe you will do best on white potatoes, or red potatoes, or bread, sugar cane, or beets. My point is you need to find out what works best for you, not what some guru preaches.
    If you ever get a chance, read some of H.L. Newbolds work. He tested thousand of people to find the optimal diet was very individualized.

  81. Wolf-
    I've gotten lean eating primarily burgers too. Yes, I think refined buns, long-term is probably a bad idea – but I've never had much of a short-term negative response to burger buns. Maybe that's just me.

    The Masai diet isn't extreme. Milk is rich in all vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients. The Tokelauan diet? How is that extreme?

    Thanks for the link. Low thyroid is certainly mysterious and manifests in many ways due to many different reasons. I have proposed that IL-6, because it triggers SOCS-3 release, interferes with leptin and slows down the thyroid. So I could see a connection there.

    Low metabolism has a huge hereditary connection. Good luck in overcoming it. There's no doubt the high cholesterol levels/low temp. are related to thyroid activity.

    On the forum-
    You guys are going to give me an anxiety attack. One thing at a time right now.

    On site design-
    Another anxiety attack. Hopefully Madmuhh will be able to help. White on black is here to stay though I think. More people seem to like it than dislike it, and I certainly like the screen being darker.

    Collden- Thanks for the hypothalamus/pituitary explanation

    Don Wiss-
    I admit that I have been delighted to have lost my taste for sweets quite a bit over the past 3 years as well.

    This post wasn't meant to be a cheap shot at Jimmy. He brought up his problems and his strategy for dealing with it at his blog. 180 is a great place to discuss potential outcomes of that strategy, whereas at his site everyone is cheering him on and congratulating him. I wrote this post because I was literally fighting off tears when I read Jimmy's post. I may not help him with such a post, but low-carb diets harm a lot of people long-term, and I hope this helps some people 'snap out of it' instead of blindly following the foolish oversimplification of carbs = hyperinsulinemia = death

    I have no regrets about this post. Low-carb religion, just like low-fat religion, food-combining religion, exercise religion, vegan religion, raw religion and more must stop – and intelligent discussion that takes a broader overview needs to replace it.

  82. Matt,
    What about the anti-sugar, anti-fructose religion out there? Shouldn't we overcome this as well? The dogmatism is strong and the church is growing at a rapid pace, with new converts daily.

  83. JT,

    "I think there is a reason our bodies crave sweet and salty things. This is because we were meant to eat them and they are good for us. I never understand why people say to avoid sweet things because they are so hard to stop eating, maybe people should listen to their bodies cravings."

    Yes, brilliant. You should give heroin addicts the same advice.

  84. What is exactly considered to be "low carb"

    for some 10g is low carb for others 150g is?

  85. Hey Matt, so would you say these are reasonable conclusions:

    Evil Stuff: Excess refined omega-6 oils, excess refined sugar….and everything else is up for debate?

    Fat Loss: It would be ideal to heal the metabolism by eating a lot of food as long as you don't have a ton of sugar or omega-6. Otherwise if you're impatient and don't want to deal with potentially some short term weight gain, then the best way to lose weight is to watch calories and eat foods of whatever combination suits you best but just don't eat those o-6's or refined sugars.

    How am I doing?

  86. Well stated Matt. Tough love works man. An expression of true concern is never through enabling. An "egg" diet I mean come on.

    There is no valor in "going down with the ship", only death.

    Good point about the sugar JT (though there is a lot of "observational" evidence against it). Though I will always be dogmatic about HFCS, that shit just ain't natural and is not good for anyone.

    kilton9 are you seriously equating an addiction to heroin to the necessity of blood sugar, and trace minerals to life?

  87. Pretty close Mark. I hope the new eBook brings some clarification.

    Harmful long-term low-carb would probably be anything under 50 grams per day. But I had plenty of problems on 100g per day after a couple years.

    Good point. When something is known to be addictive the rules of the game change a bit.

    As you know, I don't equate fruit with white sugar or HFCS for the most part. This too is another case in point in listening to the subteties of the anti-fructose clergymen.

    Lustig says fruit is fine – not to be equated with refined sugar.

    Johnson says eat no fructose for 2 weeks, then you can eat 30 grams per day after that.

    These are not extremists. But many of their followers will no doubt become extremists but developing fructose-phobia. While Johnson and Lustig are hanging out slurping mangoes on vacation.

  88. so the ideal carb intake would be like 150-250 for say average 175lb male?

  89. JT you made me crack up with this one :

    "If this were in nature, the high carb tribe would easily kill off all of their low carb competitors and breed with their women, thus passing on their high carb eating DNA."

    Mr Kurt PaNU and Nikolay would freak if they saw that…..

    As for the blog redesign I would keep the current white on black, just neaten up the design. Nothing profound is needed all this blog is doing is getting out information…. And as for a forum? This is an area not to be rushed and I am not even sure if it is appropriate yet as Matt's posts are random and his ideology is evolving. The discussion on posts is great and something to look forward to….

    @ Mark: If you are adamant on keeping with Paleo I would increase the yams and sweet potatoes a load and just eat to satiety (forget calories). Keeping more starches and less fruit sugar. For breakfast try mashed up sweet potato w /coconut oil with some berries…. beats a banana

  90. What's wrong with mark sissons diet then? he recommends 150-200g as a maintenance phase?

  91. Kilton9,
    Good point, heroin and unrefined sugars are the same thing. We should also be against water, as we all know that there are many water addicts (thirsty people) out there who crave it to the point where they are even willing to drink dirty polluted water to get their fix.

    Is the optimal diet one that completely blunts our appetite for more? Maybe this is the bodies way of telling us not to keep eating it.

  92. matt, seems you need to read up on the maasai, inuit, and tokealuans. to start with, the traditional masaai diet is high fat, low-carb. try this: http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/44/2/121.abstract. you ignored the inuit reference; i can guess why. and you really don't know about the tokelaun diet? come on, dude. do you at least know where tokelau is? an island with nothing but the sea and coconuts. how much CHO do you think they had access to? you're lost bro!

  93. Concerning the superiority of low carb/ paleo diets. Most of the low carb people I know who workout are weak and scrawny compared to their high carb counterparts.

    Yup. I think it is very hard to deny that being in ketosis will mess up your workout performance (except for endurance activities, that's something different). The scientific proof behind that is very solid.

    1) Did anyone ever say anything against Sissonint his post?
    2) I do not wanna sound like a douchebag, especially since I'm not a native speaker, but you should read the comments more carefully. Matt did not say the he does not know the tokeluans (I don't btw), he just said that he doesn't think their diet is extreme. Major difference.

    Oh and another thing. I'm finding it very hard to get a discussion going with you if you just jump from one point to another. I think this is the first time you ever responded to a comment to your comment. And I would really urge you to keep that up. I really think we can get a nice, decent discussion going, but changing subjects with every post will only make that harder.

    About the design:
    If anyone has a specific issue with the design or wants to see a certain thing, shoot me a mail (madMUHHH@gmx.net). I might play around with Matt's design a bit today and some good ideas are always welcome.

  94. JT

    "I think there is a reason our bodies crave sweet and salty things."

    Yeah, I think that reason is starvation, same reason those cravings typically disappear after some time on a HED diet.

    I still think one of the most significant effects of going on this HED diet is the fact that I can now look at a delicious homemade birthday cake with relative disinterest, and usually feel no desire whatsoever to take a second slice. And it's nothing like when you're a low carber and you think you've mastered your sugar addiction because it has become easier to resist temptations since you managed to convince yourself that sugar is a deadly poison (but if you have one cookie your resolve dissolves in a second…).

    I don't think moderate sugar consumption is harmful in the least now, I simply don't want it, there is no temptation any more. This is a complete break from the obsessional relationship with sugar that I've had basically my entire life, so much for "sweet tooth" being genetic.

    About the forum, I think one of the more important reasons to get one would be to make it easier for people to report on their progress with the HED, and for others to follow these reports. It would also be great if all the old comment threads could somehow be transferred to that forum, to make them searchable.

  95. In general, the human species will find sweet things pleasant. Food scientists know that adding sweetness and saltiness too foods will stimulate the appetite. They add these things to baby foods so that the babies will eat it. If we were not meant to consume sweet things, I would think that this characteristic would have died off by now. So, I would say your sweet tooth is genetic, because you are a human!

    Of course you cold come up with ways to suppress natural instincts. Like constantly overfeeding yourself so that you have no appetite. Or constantly feeding yourself one type of food until your body learns to desire it instead. Same thing with Sex, you could suppress this natural urge too, just masturbate a lot so that you don't actually feel like having sex with a real person. By doing this you are replacing the natural desire to reproduce with an unnatural desire to spank it while watching porn.

  96. Matt have you seen the new study that seems convincing in that its HFCS and not sucrose.They tested rats with rat chow and a sweet drink.One group got rat chow and sucrose drink and the other got rat chow and the HFCS based drink.The HFCS rats gained alot of fat while the sugar based rats didn't.To top it off the HFCS drinks were only half as strong compared to the sucrose drinks.Kinda weird that they would do that but either way its very confusing times for us.


  97. Matt said: "I think most people can keep the weight off with obession. Sheila is an exercise fanatic to go along with her diet."

    Hmm, I had never been to sugarfreesheila's website until this thread. But her own story sounds a little different. Some of the quotes from her page:

    "Never was I able to lose weight by restricting calories and/or fat grams – even with regular treadmill-walking exercise, which I have done consistently since the age of 10. I had attempted a multitude of programs, each for months at a time; every possible variation of calories under 2,000 with every possible variation of cardio yielded no results for me." (so even prior to Atkins she was an exercise fanatic, without dropping an ounce).

    "Amazingly enough, I found on Atkins that I actually almost doubled my caloric intake – while keeping the same treadmill-walking exercise regime I had always done – and that it ultimately took only the elimination of unhealthy starches and sugars to finally get the 30+ pounds" (so she doubled her caloric intake while keeping up the same exercise program that she had always done).

    So yes, she exercises, but she did the same before Atkins also, without any weight loss.

    Also, at having lost 35 pounds, she was only moderately chubby before – totally unlike someone like Jimmy and his 180-pound weight loss. I don't think the metabolic issues of someone weighing 140 pounds are quite the same as for a person weighing 410 pounds!

  98. *Jackie-
    My way or the highway? You are welcome to criticize me all you like, but get familiar with 180 first. 180 is a site dedicated to open-experimentation and an ever-evolving understanding. I rare give dogmatic advice on how to eat. And I'm all about overcoming your metabolic type, not catering to it – in the pursuit of creating the strongest and most healthy metabolic type. That's the idea here. We can avoid what we don't tolerate all day long, but that rarely leads anywhere but dietary prison. 180 is about breaking free.*

    So Matt, your solution to gluten intolerance is to eat lots of it? This will help the body heal itself and overcome the problem? Can you show me from medical science how this works?

    *And eskimo breast milk is still 50% carbohydrate*

    So you assume that it comes from carbo consumption? Of course, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with gluconeogenesis from eating a low-carb diet, could it?

    *Carbs are not a requirement for health as they've shown. But there have been people eating 70% of their calories as carbs with health that is just as good*

    Which is exactly the point I was trying to make. Different strokes for different folks. Different races and climates impact what foods are naturally available and suitable for various peoples. If your system worked for you and others, great. But just try being a bit more charitable when judging others.

  99. On the Inuits, this is from a lady who lived with them for almost 30 years (not exactly zero carb)…

    "The second major food that was gathered was berries. Anore said that this area had massive amounts of many varieties of berries and during berry season the entire area was like a thick carpet of berries. This harvest was so critical to the community that each and every individual was expected to help. If someone was too old then they were babysitting so the other adults could pick with no interruptions. From the pictures and her descriptions it seems that they brought in an enormous berry harvest. Most of it was preserved for later use. This is when they used the sour dock mash described above. Berries that are stored in sour dock mash will not ferment themselves, but will remain perfectly fresh and preserved. They took large 5 gallon plastic buckets filled with berries and completely covered them with sour dock mash. These were then stored at room temperature. She said that it was very important that when they ate the berries that they eat them with seal oil or else the berries would cause them all to get constipated. Their favorite way to eat these berries was to take blueberries served with trout livers that had been cooked and mashed. (Mmm….that sounds tasty! Lol)"

  100. JT

    Uh, exactly what are the dietary equivalents of masturbating and having sex, respectively?

  101. @Jimmy Moore…

    Just a few things to share with you.

    1. Tom Venuto and Lyle McDonald both write that metabolism will slow down after 3 days of reduced calories. (I lost 6 inches off my waist since the beginning of June last year doing carb cycling). I would AT LEAST include some type of caloric cycling.

    2. Someone mentioned Clarence Bass who looks great at 70, but also don't forget Jack LaLanne. Jack is just shy of 100 years old and he eats mostly a plant based diet.

    3. At the risk of getting a cyber bitch slap upside my head, The Bear, who is a meat eating kind of guy, has had a heart attack and throat cancer. Not that his diet caused his medical conditions, but they did not provide him protections either.

    Not that you have to do what I did or what anyone else did, but if what you are doing now isn't working, it may be time to experiment with something new. Best of luck to you.

  102. Collden, We have a natural instinct to consume sweet things, just like we have a natural instinct to have sex with a person. There are dietary strategies to eliminate the desire for sweet things, just like there are strategies to eliminate the desire for sex with an actual person.

    Going on a low carb diet is a good way to eliminate both of these natural instincts!

  103. *1.The second major food that was gathered was berries…2.She said that it was very important that when they ate the berries that they eat them with seal oil or else the berries would cause them all to get constipated…3.Their favorite way to eat these berries was to take blueberries served with trout livers that had been cooked and mashed*

    1. Great! I eat berries, too. They're lower in sugar than many other fruits. Based on how long they must last and how they eat them, it looks like the Inuit only consume a small amount daily, perhaps.

    2. If I eat too many berries, I get the opposite! Not good.

    3. So they primarily eat fish products with small amounts of other things as condiments. Good for them.

    Sadly, things have changed for these aboriginals. Here's a recent article:

    Moving away from high protein/fat to more carbs and junk food has caused a lot of disease amongst these peoples.

  104. We have to be careful comparing ourselves to others who have lived in extreme conditions. The Inuit ate a low carb diet and thrived on it because all of the ones who couldn't died off. The ones who could passed on their genes, so they ended up with a comparatively small group of people that were well suited to this diet. Unless you are Inuit, you should not look to them as an example of what you should do.

  105. jackie,

    "So you assume that it comes from carbo consumption? Of course, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with gluconeogenesis from eating a low-carb diet, could it?"

    Maybe I am misunderstanding the point you are trying to argue, but I wouldn't "assume" that the carbs in breast milk are created from the mothers dietary carbohydrate intake. Especially if the mother is "low-carb". I understand that the body has many "secondary" "less efficient" ways to provide itself with glucose. The question is then why does the mothers body do the work of gluconeogenesis so that the infants does not? Could it be that gluconeogenesis is seen as a stress and in order to continue the species the female body will do everything in its power to provide high quality nutrition to the child?

  106. I understand why you said aspartame is bad but what about Splenda? How do you feel about that. I'm not on a super strict egg diet but do try and limit carbs like chips, white bread, rice, pasta, etc. (the white stuff)

    I do however still drink 4-6 Pepsi One drinks a week. They are made with splenda.

    In the end Jimmy is still better off at 275 compared to 400+



  107. JT,

    "We should also be against water, as we all know that there are many water addicts (thirsty people) out there who crave it to the point where they are even willing to drink dirty polluted water to get their fix."

    Swing-and-a-miss. Consuming water is required for life, consuming sugar isn't.

    Given the option, rats and mice will consume sugar and become overweight. I guess their cravings aren't always in their best interest. You think humans are different?

  108. JT

    I don't agree that low carb diets are effective at eliminating the desire for sweets. Many low carbers are addicted to artificial sweeteners, and tales of "sinning" with sweets are almost as numerous as among weight watchers and other chronic dieters. I think following a principle to avoid carbohydrates makes it psychologically much easier to resist temptations to eat sweets in everyday life, but it doesn't actually kill the intense reward response you derive from sugar, when you do eat it. Most low carbers would totally kill a home made birthday cake if they thought they could do it without repercussions.

    What HED does in my experience is something completely different, that is toning down the exaggerated reward response to sugar, making it seem no more and no less appealing than food in general, the same way that semi starvation will greatly intensify that reward response. Thus I think having intense cravings for sugar is a sign that your body is nutritionally deficient in some manner. I don't think there's anything suspect about how eating a nutritious whole foods diet with ample fats and carbs to satiety "kills" your desire for sugar – it simply corrects the nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalance at the root of these exaggerated cravings for sweets.

  109. Collden,
    I am not talking about just sugar, humans get pleasure from sweet things in general. When I was low carb, I did not ever have sweet cravings, and I did not ever have any hunger at all. But, you are right that many low carb people have strong desire for something sweet, which is why I said their body is telling them what it needs.

    You are right that eating a diet with plenty of carbs and fats will produce satiety, and because this you wont have a craving for sugar, but it will also kill your craving for all other food too. Just because it is possible to eliminate a desire for a food, doesn't mean that the food is bad.

  110. Kilton9,
    "Consuming water is required for life, consuming sugar isn't."

    Consuming food is required for life, and the fact that the body wants sweet things leads me to think it is good. Your body does need sugars to survive, it needs them so much that it is willing to tear down your lean tissue and organs to make its own sugar!

  111. Sugar is important to the human body yes!But come on we have close to one teaspoon in the whole body of glucose at a normal blood sugar level.We can live without it JT…..question is….is it optimal??

  112. Concerning the Inuit..

    - An oil researcher[0] spent 100 days eating what he considered to be the "Eskimo diet," seal blubber and mackerel paste. He observed that his blood lipid peroxides (measured as malondialdehyde, MDA) reached a level 50 times higher than normal, and although MDA is teratogenic, he said he wasn't worried about fathering deformed children, because his sperm count had gone to zero. Evidently, he didn't have a very thorough understanding of the Eskimo way of life. In most traditional cultures, the whole animal is used for food, including the brain and the endocrine glands. Since unsaturated fats inhibit thyroid function, and since Eskimos usually have a high caloric intake but are not typically obese, it seems that` their metabolic rate is being promoted by something in their diet, which might also be responsible for protecting them from the effects experienced by the oil researcher. (According to G. W. Crile, the basal metabolic rate of Eskimos was 125% of that of people in the United States.)

    People who eat fish heads (or other animal heads) generally consume the thyroid gland, as well as the brain. The brain is the body's richest source of cholesterol, which, with adequate thyroid hormone and vitamin A, is converted into the steroid hormones pregnenolone, progesterone, and DHEA, in proportion to the quantity circulating in blood in low-density lipoproteins. The brain is also the richest source of these very water-insoluble (hydrophobic) steroid hormones; it has a concentration about 20 times higher than the serum, for example. The active thyroid hormone is also concentrated many-fold in the brain. -

    Ray Peat

  113. Weak JT, weak. But I digress.

  114. This is lame, but the straw man method is how Matt rolls. This method really ends up drowning out anything interesting Matt has to say.

    Rest assured, there will never be a "poor, poor Keith Norris" article.

    This is sloppy, offensive opportunism and degrades this site to tabloid status. Kurt Harris said it well: 180 + 180 = 360

  115. Wolf,
    glucose is absolutely crucial for your energy production hence your survival. It is necessary for ATP production. You have amylase in your saliva to break down starch and so on… Using protein and fat as the main sources of energy production is just a compromise your body's forced to do when there is not enough glucose. Glucose is what your body prefers, There is a lot of evidence for that.
    Low-carbing is possible but not preferable!

  116. I just wanna say that it seems like everyone assumes that very low carb/no starch will give automatic weight loss to any person who does it. I've tried several low carb diets and none have made me lose weight. I tried Atkins diet, candida diet (under 30g total carbs) with no sugar, starch, or dairy, I've also tried Mercola's body type diet with no starch and very low carb and low calorie. I did not lose any weight with any of these. I would lose a couple pounds initially and then regain it even while still continuing with the diets. Also, if I eat very high carb, high starch (even with some white bread, pasta, and sugar,) I don't gain any weight. I start these diets from already eating a very clean and healthy diet, so I'm thinking many people that go from SAD to low carb lose weight because they are eliminating a lot of junk food and the huge chemical/toxic burden that comes with it. I just don't think low carb is as wonderful as it is made out to be. It doesn't work for everyone and it seems for most who it does work for, they struggle with it.
    When I do low carb I have no cravings…for a short while. Then heck yeah I have cravings…you always want what you can't have. Not sure if those cravings are physical or mental, but what difference does it make. Not dieting gives me no cravings ever. Because if I want something, I eat it, rather than craving it. I find that I really don't want the very yummy (but very unhealthy) foods anymore (the ones that I do crave while low carbing.) Why would I want cupcakes and donuts when I can have my fill of spaghetti with tomato sauce or buttery mashed potatoes.
    I think that wanting something and not getting it is a very dangerous thing.

  117. Well 6 years later and at goal +-10 pounds depending on marathon / lifting season, and I am still doing awesome. 211 pounds down never to to return. But then again, actually looking for successful low carb'ers (which there are plenty of us) might actually confuse your preconceived hypotheses.

  118. Kilton9, Didn't mean to offend you, it definitely wasn't my intention, but many people are very emotionally attached to their diet beliefs. I know, I was one of the most adamant preachers of low carb/paleo diets.

  119. Kent, Congratulations on your dietary success! I hope that you are now to the point where you can put a little flexibility into your diet. No need to lock yourself into a dietary prison when it is not necessary. But, if you love your diet and lifestyle, then there is no need to change.

  120. Wolf, Jannis is right, glucose is very important. The body doesn't have to keep much sugar in the blood, as it has other ways of storing it in the body.

  121. JT – For me flexibility in my diet is the same thing is the same as my alcohol drinking. I am free to eat as I like, but what I crave or urge for is not the same as others. I'll drink a couple times a year where my friends might drink 4-7 days a week. Not drinking alcohol or having a treat a coworker brought into today is not a prison I have locked myself in any more than not going to the symphony this weekend. If you don't care either way, you just keep going.

    My goal personally is just to say what is possible. If my way of eating doesn't work for anybody else, that's OK. I just react when others say it isn't reasonable or realistic to think a low carber can't succeed long term.

    I agree, though, if you feel consistently that you are in prison or impinged upon by the way you are living or eating that you should definitely change. The same applies to marathon training or lifting weights at the gym — if it all becomes torture, you are headed down the wrong path. Short-term deprivation is understandable towards a goal (like running 20-milers may seem torture), but if you hate running after 4 weeks, I'd suggest picking a different sport. If you hate eating 50g of carbs per day, then I'd suggest finding some other way to eat as well.

  122. JT — No one's offended. I just find your argument extremely unconvincing. I know you know the difference between sugar and blood glucose — you're just grasping.

  123. Collden said:
    " Most low carbers would totally kill a home made birthday cake if they thought they could do it without repercussions."

    I have *no* idea where you get silly statements like this from, but I know low carbers by the hundreds, and I would say this is almost never true for any of them – maybe a few. We are all different after all. But one of the things most of them love about low carb is that it turns off cravings of that sort. Sure did for me. I could have eaten my way through an entire dessert buffet table in the past, but these days I might enjoy looking at one – but purely as a work of art, and I have no more desire to consume what is on the table than I would the Mona Lisa.

    Do some people still crave cake? I'm sure some do, but I feel I more accurate statement would be to say that *many* low carbers find that their cravings are reduced to almost nonexistant. But there are always some who will fight their cravings.

  124. Kilton9,

    It seems like you are trying to nitpick about unimportant things because you have been offended, and like I said, I am sorry about that.

    What straws am I grasping at?

    Could you give us your own personal story so that we can see where you are coming from? I have given mine in great detail here.

  125. JT:
    Shoot me an email – castsomelight@hotmail.com or you comment on my blog. I am wanting to discuss some ideas with you on weight training/bodybuilding.

  126. Scott said

    First of all Matt tell us when you have lost 100 lbs.

    You are a tool, owned by LC food compnany's.
    That being said you have some great interviews.

    Bottom line

    I nwould not take dietary advice from from either of you morons.

    By the way I have hit my goal of 185 lbs from 300 lbs in 2007, you will have to buy my book to see how I did it.

    Best regards
    Formally LC Scott

  127. Fun reading all these comments.

    As for the website, can I suggest taking a look at Squarespace.com? It's a service like WordPress.com, only (IMHO) easier and better. Very easy to create (and modify) quite an extensive website, with many different kinds of pages — with sidebars, without, image pages, blogs, links, forums … I've been using them for a number of years, and the price is reasonable, and the service is tremendous. I'm surprised they aren't a lot better know than they are.

  128. I am getting a lot of self-entitled "I told you so's" which I think is completely immature and uncalled for. We are not cookie-cutter people and one diet wont work for everyone. I can ONLY lose and keep my hormones (and moods) steady on LC. Jimmy had some issues causing weight gain, but he is working on it. I don't think it is really your business to smugly say he is failing due to his lifestyle. LC Scott is just trying to plug a book, which is again stupid.

    LC has saved thousands of people from lives of obesity and disease as well as joint pain, arthritis, allergy issues, insulin issues, the list goes on and on. Many of your replies don't read a real book on LC and just post their "opinion" and that is fine, but LC is not unhealthy.

    This will be the last time I ever read this blog and will do my best to make sure my followers boycott it.

    Have a nice life.

  129. WOW, seems like those LC diet failures are complaining it didn't work for them. Maybe you didn't do it right? Just like Weight Watchers naysayers say it doesn't work, because they couldn't handle it?


  130. This is one of the few nutrition sites I read anymore. Matt's ideas pretty much match my own ideas based on my experiences. I laugh whenever I see low carbers explaining their position these days. Reminds me of the idiotic way I used to think – trying to emulate Masai and Innuit LOL.

    I have never had a weight problem, but got into low carb thinking it would increase my athletic performance, ended up VLC eating huge amounts of red meat and fat.

    Started adding starches back in last year and immediately noticed an improvement. Last 6 months have moved to heaps of starch and much less protein and performance has kept getting better and better. Although body comp is not my biggest concern (always been lean and muscular) it has also markedly increaesd, gained a bit of fat from doing VLC.

    Used to read Bruce K's stuff and got into minimising PUFAs 2 years ago. However if you eat high fat, even if it is butter and coconut oil, it is not going to be low PUFA. Obvious to me now, not then.

    I was so convinced in my VLC days that what I was doing was better that I did not even have the common sense to realise the reason I was tired midway through a game of football was because I didn't have enough glucose to power my muscles. I kick myself over the wasted 3 years, but that's life.

    I now eat high starch, medium protein (egg whites, lean beef) and low fat. Amazingly similar to mainstream recommendations for athletes, except I put a high priority on minimising PUFAs and fructose (JT has me thinking about the fructose). Actually when I think of my childhood (grew up on a farm) my diet was lots of home grown vegetables (always spuds), lots of grains (baked things), plenty of milk, medium amount of meat (usually red meat and the fat cooked out of it), bit of fruit, very little sweets. Would have been high carb low fat and very low PUFA, and low fructose. My family are all very lean and athletic and have plenty of relatives that have reached the 90's.

  131. Scalloway, you wrote:
    " Most low carbers would totally kill a home made birthday cake if they thought they could do it without repercussions."

    I have *no* idea where you get silly statements like this from, but I know low carbers by the hundreds, and I would say this is almost never true for any of them – maybe a few.

    Well, you really seem to have an extraordinary cirle of friends. I happen to be in contact with quite a few paleo/low-carb peeps via twitter, some of them are quite famous in the paleo scene and I can tell you that I've got a very different picture than you.
    Metusaleh from paynowlivelater CastleGrok both are kinda famous for their huge carb-binges, which might very well last more than a day. That girl from bestself.com is unwillingly cheating every now and then to afaik. There are quite a few more low-carb peeps that I tweet with that fall off the wagon regularly (I won't post those names here, shoot me a mail and I might share some selected tweets, but personally, I'm not very fond of that idea. After all, those guys/gals are kind of my buddies and I don't wanna share any personal details concerning them. That's why I am only using "famous" examples here of people who have an own blog so you can look that up for yourself). #
    That guy from "At Darwin's Table" and the poster child of the primal blueprint himself, Son of Grok, just recently got completely off the track and gave up their low-carb lifestyle for several months.

    I admit that this may not be the case for everyone, but just as you posted your personal impressions, I posted mine (and I got some blogs to back that up, take a look at any of the blogs of the peeps I mentioned and you'll see that what I'm saying is true).

    Also, at this point I'd like to share my very own low-carb anecdote. I was paleo/low-carb myself for almost a year, generally ate some high quality food (not in the first 2,3 months perhaps, but after that definitely) and NEVER ever craved sweet foods. But once I did eat some more sweets I went totally beserk. I binged so hard on sweets (and alcohol) that I felt like crap pretty much the whole week after and I think this is one of the reasons why I ultimately ended up in the hospital for THREE WEEKS and got some antibiotic treatment that didn't do a thing for me. But that's another story.

  132. Oh, and ignore that bestself.com thing. I think I mixed something up there. That girl doesn't have a blog afaik. That doesn't change anything though. What I said was still true.

  133. This post and all the comments made me realize we weren't really low carb on our brief anti-candida diet after all. When I put in what we ate on fitday.com, I came up with 100-150g a day… and a lot of people are calling that moderate? I can't see how we could have gotten below without giving up all vegetables but leaves – bell peppers have got major carbs! Since yesterday I've been trying to do the Schwarzbein 4 square meal for every meal. I'm winging it really, I hate putting everything we eat into a calculator to figure out the grams of everything. But an approximately equal amount of meat and starch by volume, and then a whole lotta fat – at least it seems like it. Plus vegetables. Today I don't feel hungry. The kids still complained of hunger, but I swear it's psychological, they're packing some food away!

    I especially like Matt's comment to a LCer today that his goal is to FIX problems, not cater to them. No wonder I've been spending all my free time at this site, that's exactly what I'm trying to do! I know I can fix everything that's wrong with me and the kidlets if I can just figure out what the keystone is. You know, the one thing that, once fixed, allows everything else to heal. When I first got sick, I spent weeks researching all the links between my various problems, but could never figure out what was the chicken and what was the egg. If Matt's conclusions are right, I think basal temp/adrenals/metabolism might be it.

    I don't need to lose any weight at least, the way we've been eating for the last year has kept me at a great weight (except for the holidays when I made a lot more sweet treats), and I, a little 5'4" girl, tend to eat 3000+ calories a day with loads of fat. But nuts were a big part of our diet, and I want to change that. And we've stopped using honey, maple syrup and dates, or eating nearly as much fruit, those were a major part of our diet too. So we lower the PUFAs and the fructose and see what happens.

    Matt, was it only 8 months ago you were in HI and couldn't eat fruit? Have you healed yourself that much then? And what island were you on?

    What do you know about iodine supplementation? After I ran out of Armour, I really noticed a difference, even though I was on the lowest dose. But I couldn't get more because of the shortage, so after weeks of debate, I started Iodoral. I was taking 50mg a day for about 3 months, and it didn't seem to affect me one way or the other… I just stopped taking it last week since I'm not convinced it's the safest thing to do. Anyhow, I couldn't find anything much on your website about it, so I thought I'd ask.

    Somebody's tip about putting the olive oil in the fridge to see if it's 100% – I'd forgotten about that. I tried the super organic EV first cold pressed Kirkland olive oil from Costco, and sorry folks, it's a loser. I told my hubby there was a reason it's so much cheaper and not to get on me for choosing carefully anymore… I gave in to try to cut costs, but it's back to my foo-foo olive oil.

  134. Anyone who wants to see a "live demo" of what I'm doing with Matt's site should check out this link. I haven't done much yet and still have to figure some stuff out. The site may look weird every now and then, it's still a work in progress.

    Any comments suggestions are greatly appreciated, the best thing would probably be to comment at the adress I linked, so this comment section doesn't get flooded even more.

  135. JT,

    "It seems like you are trying to nitpick about unimportant things because you have been offended, and like I said, I am sorry about that."

    I like how something becomes unimportant the moment you're called out on it. You made a nonsensical statement about sugar & cravings that doesn't stand up to the slightest bit of analysis. You could have accepted that and moved on, but instead tried to weasle out of it by a bizzare claim that you offended me. Speaks volumes. :-)

  136. Mac said: Used to read Bruce K's stuff and got into minimising PUFAs 2 years ago. However if you eat high fat, even if it is butter and coconut oil, it is not going to be low PUFA. Obvious to me now, not then.

    Is this true?

    @MadMUHHH nice work! a lot less scrolling for us, in any case.

  137. Matt, do you recommend just raising the daily intake of carbs to avoid the health problems you see with low-carb? Can any type of carbs do this, or are there certain kinds of carbohydrates, like starches, that you believe are necessary?

    Also, how many carbs a day should we consume?

  138. everyone should go check out what MadMUHHH is doing with the site design, it looks awesome.

    Danyelle, all fats are a blend of different fatty acids, the ones we call saturated simply contain a higher percentage of saturated fatty acids. thus, if you eat super high fat & only butter, you will be eating 2.6% PUFAs, & if you eat canola oil, you are getting 24.8% PUFA, 64.3% mono, 5.3% saturated. so, it is not as simple as what people are portraying, BUT the percentages are still low. in addition, there are many different saturated (& PUFA) fatty acids, and they have different effects on the body. I think Mac is implying that if you eat enough butter, the PUFAs will add up, even though it is a low concentration.

    i recommend everyone (well, at least those who aren't up on this topic already) read this:


    and this:

    for a better understanding of what fatty acids are & how the body uses them…….

  139. Kilton,
    Which statement did I try to weasel out of? Lets examine how you analyzed my arguments.

    I stated, "Your body does need sugars to survive, it needs them so much that it is willing to tear down your lean tissue and organs to make its own sugar!

    Your response was "I know you know the difference between sugar and blood glucose — you're just grasping."

    Actually, glucose is a sugar, it is a monosaccharide, so there is nothing incorrect in what I said. But, you just wanted to nitpick unimportant words in my argument instead of trying to evaluate whether or not it was true. This is a sign that you are emotionally attached to your beliefs, and are offended if someone questions them.

    I still stand by what I said. I think that we should pay attention to our natural instincts, as I think it gives us a clue on what is good for us.

  140. Note, this adds nothing to this conversation, but Matt you sure did rile up some tater haters with this post man!!!

  141. Hi buddies,
    I've toyed around a bit and this is what i ultimately came up with. Link.

    But to be honest. I think the sidebar looks kinda odd with all those pics. My personal suggestion would be to either replace it with text like in the "180 Mailing List" example at the site I linked, but I think the amount of text might be a little overwhelming then. One could also replace those sections with five "text buttons" that together have the same height as the header. This would look the neatest in my opinion, but maybe wouldn't generate as many clicks. of course you could also combine those two options.

    This picture will give you an idea what exactly I mean.

  142. JT,

    So you're seriously suggesting that the body's need for glucose in the blood means we should consume dietary sucrose? And that sugar craving can be equated to water craving? Wow. Sounds to me like you're playing the devil's advocate for purely its own sake.

  143. Danyelle,
    Yes, Mac is right. If you want to maintain a really low PUFA diet it will have to be pretty low in fat overall. I have stated before that this is one of the reasons I have kept on increasing the carbs and decreasing the fat in my diet.

  144. madMUHHH Keep the cat :)

  145. Kilton9, I never said we should consume dietary sucrose. I said we should take seriously the natural instincts. Like thirst, hunger, desire for sex, etc… The fact that humans find sweet tastes pleasant, could be telling us something. I think this is because we are best suited to a tropical environment where we would have access to tropical fruits. I personally consume sucrose as a replacement because most of the fruit they sell at the store is horrible quality and when i try to eat it I feel bad. When I am in the tropics I eat the fruit and feel great.

    I know that this is contradictory to the conventional view that preaches how evil sugar is, but I don't care about the conventional view, I care about what works. I spent many years as a dogmatic low carbist, and now I just want good results.

  146. Kilton,
    how do you explain all the healthy tribes in the world that consume mostly carbohydrates from plant sources? They all have in common that carbs are their main source of calories.
    Even the massai are not really lowcarb. They get around 80-1xx carbs a day depending on which particular massaigroup you're looking at.

    And how do you explain the arguments I already provided. Amylase, glucose for ATP…

  147. JT,

    I see. Fruit I don't have a major issue with, as long as it hasn't been genetically engineered to be sweeter than anything that would have existed naturally (e.g., apples). I think this is where a "follow your instincts" philosophy can get a person into trouble.

    We also have to consider the possibility that our sweet-tooth, despite being nearly universal, isn't "natural" per se. It's something that could develop after repeated exposure to sweet things, perhaps even in the womb.


    I haven't said anything about carbs in general. I'm aware that many healthy tribes thrive on them. I've specifically been talking about sugar.

  148. Go MadMUHHH! I think your mock-up looks great!

  149. Forums are so '08. Get with it people. Commenting on blogs is the new black. Also blogs that are black with white writing are the new black.

    "If they could find carbs up there, they would eat them, because doing so is advantageous to all humans. "

    A while ago I bought a book called Hungry Planet where they visit people all over the world and followed what they ate for a week and photographed them with their food. The eskimos who hunted for a living were eating carbs because they could…pasta, rice, crackers…not much fresh fruit or veg though.

  150. Madmuh your mock up rocks. I like the font a lot and I think the organization is clean. It still feels like 180 only better!

  151. so what do you guys think?

    will humans evolve to handle plant oils and sweeteners made in the laboratories?

    in a few generations will there be a new wave of metabolically perfect babies that are meant to subsist off of pufa's and HFCS?

  152. @Crazy Mothers:
    A few generations? Evolution is much slower than this, espcially if you consider that even many sick people reach reproductive age and may very well able to give birth to a child.

    And besides, who cares? My body certainly isn't fit for that stuff, so I'm gonna avoid that stuff no matter what.

    About the design: So, I did that menu thing and I think I'm pretty much done now. In the end, Matt can easily decide whether he wants to keep that thing or do that menu thing + the pictures he currently has. That will all be very easy to set up for him. Btw, what do you think about that design, Matt?

  153. @madMUHHH: Design is off the hook. Like 180 just nice and neat, font is cool. Hopefully the refresh can go Live before long!

  154. Have you noticed that the people who have no problem making lots of babies, are the same people you see shopping at walmart to buy the cheapest stuff, laden with PUFAs and HFCS?

    It seems like the people who have a hard time conceiving are the upper middle class yuppie types. They are usually the same people who are extremely health conscious, and avoid things like HFCS.

    So, it looks like you may be right crazy mother. Maybe the human species will evolve to thrive on this type of diet very rapidly.

  155. "Have you noticed that the people who have no problem making lots of babies, are the same people you see shopping at walmart to buy the cheapest stuff, laden with PUFAs and HFCS?

    It seems like the people who have a hard time conceiving are the upper middle class yuppie types. They are usually the same people who are extremely health conscious, and avoid things like HFCS.

    So, it looks like you may be right crazy mother. Maybe the human species will evolve to thrive on this type of diet very rapidly."

    You don't watch much TLC do ya JT? Watch a show called "A Baby Story" and tell me if there aren't some Walmart eatin' non Yuppie types on there trying to get pregnant. The CDC says infertility affects 12% of the reproductive age population. Maybe it's only yuppies who have the education and money to seek treatment…

  156. Jenny,
    I don't watch much TV, but I'll try and check it out, but my experience has been that this is the case. Yuppie "healthy" types are also more likely to supplement with extra omega 3 like fish oil and flax, which could be very damaging. They are also more likely to consume less calories overall. More likely to be paleo or low carb. All of this could hurt fertility.

    Look at the diets of the countries with the highest birth rate. Most of them are poor countries in africa. Their diets consist mostly of refined grains, very high carb, and definitely low protein consumption as the cost is so prohibitive to have much.

    I think Matt is right about the whole paleo for population control thing. If you didn't want to have babies, then you should go on a paleo/low carb diet, and supplement with "healthy" oils, and extra omega 3s. Would probably work better than birth control pills.

  157. Maybe it would help to interject a bit of fact in here.

    The French recently discovered that sugar and foods that quickly convert to sugar are 4X more addictive than cocaine. And like all addictions, if you feed it, you perpetuate it. If you abstain from it and allow the body to detox from it, then once again consume it….you're back to being an addict.

    They did studies that found the addiction was even worse after previous recovery. Sugar creates pleasure pathways in the brain that effect mood and behaviour. Sugar also impacts adrenaline, blood sugar, insulin and cortisol among other things. How anyone can think that sugars including many carbs could be beneficial is beyond me.

    Also, humans have not been farming for that long. Agriculture began in the Middle East around 10,000 years ago and gradually over thousands of years migrated to Europe. Scientists have long wondered what led man to involve himself in back-breaking labor for "piss poor nutrition" (Lierre Keith). Well, guess what? The latest reseach has led scientists to conclude that it was probably nothing other than…..addiction.

    The first products of grain farming were fermented alcholic drinks. They'd been doing this for thousands of years using fruit, now they used grain. Secondly, glutenous grains have opiod-like substances that effect the opiod receptors in the brain. Thus reinforcing the addiction. This is why people crave most carbs. They are addicted. And feeding the addiction might make you happy, but it doesn't make you healthy.

  158. New 180, like that. About the adaptation argument to Satanic Arrival of Destruction, I don't see as impossible. At least not a certain degree of functional adaptation. However, I also don't necessrily think of it as beneficial. A low metabolism may be the first adaptation to thrive in a shitty and deficient diet as ours, and for most that's already done, and it is also good to remember the case of the panda that, having a bear physiology, adapts to a shitty diet, but pays the price, being a slow, no-sex drive, unsocial, sleepy animal.

  159. JT, you are leaving out a major factor – more educated, yuppie women often wait until their 30's or 40's to conceive, while poorer people often have children much much younger. your eggs are all there when you are born, so as you get older they are not as viable, & it is harder to get pregnant.

    Jackie, you use the word "fact" a little too freely. I am not saying that studies have not shown that sugar is addictive, but i am sure there are others that show it is not. so, the jury is still out on that. as far as human history, even anthropologists do not agree on many of the issues you bring up. not saying i agree or disagree with you on the points you made, but your statement is stronger without calling these ideas facts.

    how about "inject a bit of theory from the latest studies" instead???

  160. JT – another correlation – "rich" folk wait till they're older and naturally less fertile to start having kids, usually, and poorer people tend to start right away, even in high school. Generally speaking, of course.

    Jackie, I agree that wheat may have an addictive opiod effect, but I don't find tubers and veggies to. I think Matt promotes them more, but I could be wrong.

  161. who is to say the panda eats a shitty diet? it adapted to a niche & thrived quite nicely until humans came & encroached on its habitat. do you want to be a panda? i would guess no. does the panda want to be a human? probably not. would i rather be a panda in the wild or a human in the city? panda in the wild. wild = good. i guess human in the wild would be cool, too ;-)

    or sloth, preferably 3-toed.

  162. Jackie, are whole comment is completely asinine!

    "sugar also impacts adrenaline, blood sugar, insulin and cortisol among other things."
    - So does every food that is consumed.

    "Scientists have long wondered what led man to involve himself in back-breaking labor for "piss poor nutrition" (Lierre Keith)"
    - So all these cultures that thrive and reproduce on a diet staple of carbohydrates are doing so because they are not eating a nutritious diet?

    "The latest reseach has led scientists to conclude that it was probably nothing other than…..addiction."
    - An addiction to living.

    "The first products of grain farming were fermented alcholic drinks"
    - This was done to allow for maximum storage potential of all the grains harvested

    "This is why people crave most carbs. They are addicted. And feeding the addiction might make you happy, but it doesn't make you healthy."
    - People crave carbs because it is the body's most easily used and preferred fuels

  163. Jackie, I have to agree with Skeeter, you are definitely using the word fact too freely. Much of the historical dietary "facts" are speculation. I know where you are coming from though, I used to be a low carb/paleo idealogue and I used the same arguments you are using as well. It wasn't until I almost killed myself sticking to this dietary ideology that i began to question it and started to experiment to see what worked for me.

  164. Riles,
    Great points. It is also interesting that many of the indigenous tribes go to great links to obtain carbs. When I was a lowcarbist I was surpised to see the tribes in south america that went to great lengths to process the toxic manioc in order to have a plentiful source of starch. This was the main food in their diets.

  165. @Riles
    "The latest research has led scientists to conclude that it was probably nothing other than…..addiction."

    - An addiction to living.

    that cracked me up.

  166. i find myself strongly addicted to oxygen lately. it all started when i moved from denver to vermont, for a net elevation loss of a few thousand feet. i found that i felt SOOO much better, and eventually, after several moves, i found myself living at sea level in seattle, where i could inhale lungfuls of the stuff with ease. when i had to quit my job because they would not allow me to bring my oxygen tanks in to work with me, i finally sought help through OA (oxyaholics anonymous). per their teachings, i have managed to decrease my usage by moving to ever higher altitudes. alas, i can't seem to kick it entirely….

  167. Okay, this is kind of off topic, but
    I really need some advice.

    I'm a recently reformed PaNu (reformed from MDA and Douglas Graham) follower dealing with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and potential adrenal fatigue.. and lots of cystic/hormonal acne to boot. I cut way back on PUFA's and fructose a couple months ago after going nut butter & apple crazy when I discovered MDA, which made my acne sooo much worse. Things had calmed down a bit when I tried the PaNu approach, but decided it probably wasn't the best way for a young girl with no weight issues to restore her period/hormones!

    Anyways, with the recent upping of my starches (sweet potatoes and rice) and newfound love of macadamia nuts, I'm getting really bad forehead acne (usually associated with the liver, and my liver is already burdened by my excessive testosterone.) And my back is breaking out, and it's been virtually clear for a year.

    I guess I'm just looking for some other reader's accounts on food uptake and acne, just so I don't feel like I'm completely at the end of my rope! Do things get better?

  168. Katerina -
    Are you taking in much/any sugar? My son's acne cleared up within a week when he stopped sugar. When he started back with a few sugary drinks here and there, his acne was back within three days.

  169. Nope, no sugar at all. I'm just wondering if the glycemic index pertains to me in my case, because the elevated blood sugar effects androgen levels? This is just stuff I've heard in regards to PCOS. The usually say to eat low GI foods for this reason.

  170. I could come back in 10 years and people will still be debating about the same stuff and people will still be trying to lose weight on all types of diets.. hasn't changed a bit in the last 15 years… really gets old. I need to give these diet forums up once and for all.

  171. Anonymous, good idea! You should give up following fad diets and gurus. The only way you will find success is to find out what works for you.

  172. Katerina, I had "backne" for years while low carbing, which was really disturbing because I never had skin problems as a teen or young adult (I'm 43). It finally cleared up (and my adrenal fatigue got a little better) after a couple of months on Schwarzbein. I continued on Schwarzbein's plan for about 4 months, but more recently have switched to more of an HED/180 diet, and my skin is still clear. Any explanation as to exactly what cured my years-long "backne" problem would be pure conjecture, but I think adding back food groups I'd been avoiding for years may have helped. Years of uncritically ingesting lowcarb dogma left me terrified of carbs and convinced I was lactose intolerant and possibly gluten sensitive. In fact, I've found that I actually *can* digest bread, milk, fruit, and tubers and feel pretty good eating them! Whatever you try, I would give it some time. I was not trying to cure my acne, but noticed it was one of many positive changes that occured after a few months of eating a more varied diet.

  173. Jeez-

    Thanks for all the comments everyone. I was MIA yesterday getting ready for a rather large party last night.

    You missed my point about carbs in Eskimo milk. It's hard to villianize something that comprises half of human milk. Human milk is actually higher in carbohydrate than that of most other mammals. If it was optimal to be low-carb, breast milk would be pure fat and protein, but it's not. Not even close.

    But to think that carbs are pathological is a total denial of reality, history, epidemiology, and much more.

    Thanks so much for all your hard work. I owe you big time. The tabs look great, but of course the more attention I can draw to the fact that I have another site the better. Your call on how to achieve that.

    "Tater hater." I can't believe after writing thousands of pages that I've never thought of this phrase. It's incredible. I'm totally plagiarizing it.

  174. Thanks for the link Anonymus!

    I love all these little paleo fellas! It's just so cute when the become upset with something that doesn't fit into their little world

  175. Matt, not sure if you caught Nikoley's blog post from yesterday


    It was pretty funny. The best part IMO is that he chastises you for taking a shot at Jimmy, then proceeds to take a shot at you for your "carb face".

    This is all so childish.


  176. scall0way

    "I have *no* idea where you get silly statements like this from, but I know low carbers by the hundreds, and I would say this is almost never true for any of them – maybe a few. We are all different after all. But one of the things most of them love about low carb is that it turns off cravings of that sort."

    Why then is "Sweet treats" the food category with the single most popular sub forum on the Low Carber Recipe forums?

    I was a low carber myself for 8 months and know that it did absolutely nothing to tone down the addictive quality of sugar. My experience is like madMUUUHs, low carb put my sugar cravings to sleep in everyday situations, only to come back with an outrageous vengeance whenever I did permit myself some sweets.

    Since going on the HED is the only time in my life that I can remember having a relaxed relation to sugar. I don't crave it when I don't have it, and I don't lose control when I do have some.

  177. I did see Nikoley's post. Nikoley has obviously chosen to go to war with me. Sure, I indulged it with my satirical Paleo for Population Control post, but hopefully I will be able to take a permanent siesta from Nikoley quarrels. I love being made fun of for clearing up my health problems and living a happy life without a restricted diet – oh wait, I was made fun of for gaining weight, which was attributable to NOT following my general provisions (overexercising for 5 months, which dropped my basal temperature by 1.7 degrees, followed by 2 weeks on an experimental vegan diet where I lost lean body mass). Before this I couldn't get more than 5 pounds heavier on the HED. After these escapades, I gained 20. Fortunately I've lost 6 pounds so far this year, and am getting steadily leaner. And still free of the health problems I had while 15 pounds lighter.

    What I don't get is why so many feel that this post is an example of me "taking a shot" at Jimmy Moore. Even a long-time 180 follower sent me an e-mail to tell me how disappointed she was with me. I'm trying to help Jimmy out here, not take a shot. But hey, even little old ladies get upset if you try to help them cross the street as if you're being demeaning by trying to help. It's a natural human reaction.

    But Atkins is clear in his warning. Over the long haul, low-carb diets can lower the metabolism, which is diagnosed based on having a low body temperature, which Jimmy says he has. Every low-carber needs to be aware of this. Every low-carber needs to know that this is a potential pitfall and danger of the diet. It is a common side effect, and my studies have led me to believe that most health problems stem from this low metabolic state. It is not something to take lightly or ignore by going to an even more extreme diet.

    Atkins warned people about this. I feel that everyone deserves to know that he did. My apologies to Jimmy if he feels disrespected by what I wrote, by my presentation of it, or whatever. But this site is dedicated to being a refuge for people who have done themselves harm on highly restricted diets. Jimmy's egg-scapade is a great example for people to see and say, "thank god I'm not trapped in that vicious cycle anymore."

  178. Scalloway-

    Thanks for commenting. A semi-low carb diet (100-ish grams per day) was the first thing I ever found to free me from true sugar addiction. I had some health benefits from it in the short-term as well, and still believe that low-carbohydrate eating has a place and purpose with temporary benefits that can be taken advantage of by some. But blind faith in it is dangerous. Low-carb diets, or any diet needs to be examined and understood so that it can be used in the right situations, with the right person, for the right amount of time.

    I had some skin breakouts in the early going on HED. Many others did too. It's common at first. But then my skin got clearer and is excellent right now – unless I eat a lot of PUFA and sugar together. Going low-PUFA made a huge difference for me.

    Low-carb was the opposite. For 4 months my skin was the clearest it had ever been. Crystal clear. Then I had a few mysterious back zits appear. Then, when I touched sugar of any kind I'd get massive breakouts across my forehead. Eventually, after 2 years of low-carb, I seemed to get a zit or two here and there no matter how little sugar I ate (especially after going zero carb for a month, despite my skin being flawless during that month).

    It's this kind of experience that puts my focus on achieving true healing and getting better at metabolizing anything and everything without skin problems. That's obviously a greater destination. The irony of course that what makes your skin worse in the short-term (like HED) can make it much better in the long-term and vice versa.

  179. @Katerina I will second what Lieta has posted. Following Scwharzbein/180 has been bringing my acne under control. It takes time for it to work, as your hormones start to stabilize, and there most likely will be flares up along the way, but they get less frequent and heal faster. I am at 6months following high unrefined carbs, moderate protein, moderate SFA, low PUFA, low fructose and my skin has never looked better, but it is *far* from completely being healed. I have said this many times, healing from years and years of refined foods and high PUFA's doesn't happen overnight or for some over 6months or a year. It took Scwharzbein 7yrs to say she was completely healed from all her health woes. It has taken 6months to get my basal from 96.8 to around 97.3, so I suspect that I will be at a near nominal basal temp of ~98.0 after about a year or so. So my hope is that I will have much more normal skin in the next couple years.

    I have had backne, armne, chestne, neckne, facene, you get the picture, ever since I was a teen. I also have had extremely oily skin, we are talking buckets here, pores ozooing amounts that you could cook fries in…. but at the same time, dry as hell and flaky. I went low-carb for 3months, then zero-carbish for 9 months, this didn't exacerbate my acne, but my skin wasn't healing like it is now.

    Lets see what else didn't work from teens until present:
    Retinoic acid cream
    Rub-on antibiotic liquid
    Accutane (First treatment)
    Benzoyl peroxide
    High dose Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic acid
    Accutane (Second Treatment)
    Low-carb – zero-carb

    But I grew up with white flour, refined sugar, seed oils/margarine, pasteurized skim milk, low Saturated fat and boozing from a young age, so of course none of the above worked, as my metabolism was burned out. Since my temps are climbing with stability now, I am most likely healing a burned out thyroid stack, and have semi-healthy adrenals. Low-carb, high fat(which means high PUFA) combined with lots of fasting, interval sprints, and heavy squat / dead-lifting, just burned them out more (ala MDA, PANU, FTA, which I followed as well).

    Diet is what works, just takes time, and it appears to me for now that very low PUFA's and small amounts of sucrose or fructose are helping along with good carbs, good fats, lots of sleep, sleep, sleep, and no exercise other then walking 45mins most days.

    2.5yrs old affect sleeping patterns though!

    Lets us know how it goes.

  180. Matt, there's even talk in the Nikoley thread of the paleo community getting together and shunning you. It's like I've been teleported back to high school.

  181. So, I've been wondering, besides Schwarzbein, has anybody else gotten to the point where they consider themselves cured with the Schwarzbein or the 180-HED diet? And how long it took? Undertow says 7 years for Dr. S – I have her books on request at the library, so I don't know the details yet. Was she "fat" for 7 years? That's a bit daunting… I don't have any problems with weight now and don't want to! What about anybody else?

    I was telling my hubby about all the comments re carbs are good vs carbs are addictive, ditto sugar, ditto drugs, water and oxygen (that cracked me up!). I was musing how you could tell the difference between a craving for something your body needs versus an addiction. He said the most obvious thing – it depends on whether what you're craving is beneficial for your body or not! Of course, the debate rages on the beneficiality (my word) of carbs and sugar.

    And just to add flames to the fire – this article about the benefits of growing sweet potatoes was in my inbox. One part caught my eye: "Animal feed. Leaves and vines are maintenance food for hogs. The storage roots serve as food for final fattening."

    So sweet potatoes make pigs fat. Dang it, and we've just started eating them with about every meal.

  182. "So sweet potatoes make pigs fat. Dang it, and we've just started eating them with about every meal."

    I don't think that eating sweet potatoes automatically makes you fat. Sweet potatoes, yams and similiar tubers are staple foods of the Kitavans and they still are anything but fat.

  183. "But Atkins is clear in his warning. Over the long haul, low-carb diets can lower the metabolism"

    You know, I don't really care all that much what diet people eat. Whatever they feel good on – that's what they should eat, IMHO. I guess that's why I hate all this low carb bashing. Lots of people feel excellent on low carb and have followed it for years. The fact that not everyone does doesn't mean it's not right for others.

    I'm perfectly fine with people who say "low carb was not right for *me*". Heck, I could say the same thing about low-fat, vegetarianism, etc. But my sister does GREAT on a basically vegetarian diet which she has followed for 40 years. Just not for me, but I won't diss her way of eating.

    Which is why I also hate this frequent mis-quoting of Atkins from the statement above.

    What Atkins said was that *all* diets, including his own, eventually could depress the thyroid. He never singled out low carb as the one diet that did this. He pointed out that *all* diets do.

    Heck, I was recently diagnosed has being hypothyroid. I'm sure critics would be quick to jump on the band wagon and blame the pretty low carb diet I have been on for 4 1/2 years. But my sister the vegetarian was also just diagnosed with hypothyroidism. And both my parents, who both ate carbs until they were coming out of their ears, probably 70% carb diets, also were both hypothyroid. So cause-and-effect is not always all that simple.

  184. I think you've got the wrong idea about me Scalloway. What I'm trying to educate people about is that ALL restricted diets have inherent risks. That's why information out there preaching the gospel of one type of eating without acknowledging the hidden risks and dangers is capable of harming people so severely. But read the propaganda of any diet and one becomes easily convinced that a particular diet will somehow give them health superiority if they follow it with enough dedication and diligence. That's dangerous. I've had great initial success on many diets. But each led to a dead end of its own. Each created its own weakness or imbalance long-term.

    People do fine smoking for 40 years, drinking a 6-pack every night, and Don Gorske has maintained health eating nothing but food from McDonald's since 1972. But there are clearly risks involved with those pursuits. One person's apparent health with a certain way of living cannot be used as proof that it's safe for everyone. That's the point of this article, and the many articles I've written attacking ALL forms of diets, so that people get another perspective on the many ways of eating that are touted for good health. Few are what they are touted to be.

  185. I don't think Schwarzbein is as great as some seem to think. After all her maximum approved carbohydrate intake seems to be 150g and having found this website I am learning after 4 years of following her and slowly feeling worse – that I need more carbs than that to function properly. I have never had weight issues but I do suffer badly with hypoglycemia and now I have hypothyroid symptoms. Her writing is very dogmatic … which just produces more tension around food.
    Matt, are you going to do some daily menu suggestions in your new book? I hope so … I'm not very imaginative when it comes to meal planning and any new ideas would be welcome. I'm finding that low PUFA means lower fat which isn't so good for fun and tasty cooking.
    Finally, do you know of any good criticism of Ray Peat out there? I find his work fascinating and am tempted to follow it (apart from anything else lots of fruit appeals to my tastebuds much more than lots of boring old rice/potatoes, etc. which HED seems to be – those things need a ton of butter to be palatable to me!. I'm hoping you will do a critique of his writing – but are there any others out there who write good criticisms of his work – I'd like to know both sides of the argument before pulling the trigger.

  186. Dinosaur-
    Don't know of any real critiques of Peat's work. I will do one someday once I've had a better chance to thoroughly review everything he has done.

    On Schwarzbein you'll notice that she gradually keeps upping the carb content throughout her books, each one allowing more than the next with an even more stern warning about going too low than the last.

    I think she just fell for low-carb science that's all. If she only knew that overcoming insulin resistance is much more efficient with more carbohydrate and less fat with the same general "gag it down" mindset, she would have really found something special. My experiences were exactly the same. Amazing for 4 months, then each day was better than the next. I think a massive fruit binge would probably do excellent things for you. I craved sugar towards the end of my Schwarzbein phase as well (despite using her approach to overcome sugar cravings initially). Just letting loose and having some did wonders for me. Any carb will do you good right now, so have at it. Eat what sounds the tastiest. I'd still feel safer sticking to the more natural stuff, and keeping starch in the diet for some blood sugar stability. Let us know how it goes.

  187. "You missed my point about carbs in Eskimo milk. It's hard to villianize something that comprises half of human milk. Human milk is actually higher in carbohydrate than that of most other mammals. If it was optimal to be low-carb, breast milk would be pure fat and protein, but it's not. Not even close. "

    This statement needs to be reexamined.

    Mother's milk is heavy in sugar for a very good reason: Humans have no effective body hair of fur and there fore no built in protection for loss of body heat through the skin. An adult has a much smaller mass-to-surface area, therefore loses less heat. A tiny baby is very vulnerable to chilling. Add to this the large body and head of a newborn, you see that a fatty baby is going to have a lot of difficulty negotiating the mother's narrow pelvic opening during birth. The lean baby after birth needs to gain a significant fat cover as quickly as possible to survive. Recognition of this basic human necessity is the basis for nearly all cultures adoring fat babies, and classing them as 'healthy', while exhibiting great concern for skinny ones and regarding them as 'sickly' or dangerously undernourished. Nature also provides a first set of disposable teeth ('milk teeth'), not only because of the small size of the baby's mouth, but also so that the permanent teeth are not damaged by the milk diet of infancy. We are the exquisite end result of a very long period of evolution.

    Fat baby = Safe and sound.
    Skinny baby = Cause for concern.
    Fat child: = Sometimes good, sometimes of concern depending on the society.
    Fat adult = Not considered a good thing in most cultures.

  188. Also, natural carnivores breast milk has plenty of lactose in it

    "Milk was obtained from two captive bred cheetahs. The nutrient content was 99.6 g protein; 64.8 g fat; and 40.21 g lactose per kg milk"


  189. I guess I don't get it. One low-carb eater puts some weight back on and it's a "fact" that low-carb doesn't work. I have eaten low-cab "paleo" for a year and have never felt better my entire life (1000's share the same views) I also have less body fat than ever and find it very easy to maintain my leanness without compulsive exercise. People who can't handle low carbs are ones who are truly ADDICTED to carbs! Thats all there is to it.

  190. "People who can't handle low carbs are ones who are truly ADDICTED to carbs! Thats all there is to it."

    Just because it works for you, doesn't mean it works for everyone. I failed miserably on low-carb and I am not and never were "carb addicted" and there are a lot of similar examples out there.
    Saying that low-carb will work for everyone is just ignorant (there, I used that word again ^^).

    Oh and yes, I was able to maintin leanness without exercise as well on low-carb, but felt absolutely terrible. Totally not worth it if you ask me.

  191. "Saying that low-carb will work for everyone is just ignorant (there, I used that word again ^^)."
    I never said that….who said that?
    How long did you go low carb….did you eat plenty of fat? It takes a while to adjust to low carb because we have been brainwashed since the age of 2 to eat carbs….it's a load of crap….we do not need carbs "for energy". The bottom line is every body is different, yet every human is programmed the same.

  192. Ok, you didn't say that low-carb works for everyone, but basically you said that low-carb works for everyone who is not carb-addicted. Which isn't too much of a difference for me tbh.

    How long? Almost a year.
    Enough fat? Maybe not in the beginning, but yes, I definitely got most of my cals from fat, perhaps 65%.

  193. Aaron-

    I had the exact same experience that you did during my first year of low-carb. Thought I had found the holy grail. But then I developed health problems that were immediately alleviated by eating carbohydrates – even shitty ones. I was low-carb for nearly 3 years and ate anywhere from 60-80% of my calories as fat. Never a day below 200 grams of fat.

  194. I agree Aaron. The ones who lay out the diatribes are the quickest ones to turn me off, especially when their diatribes are proven wrong by many other experience. The low carbers who run marathons must be lying since there is no way they could do that without carbs for energy. Or they must certainly be in last place not in the upper percentile in a major race… Or they may be able to be endurance runners, but can they sprint? Or lift weights?

    I have heard it all but have multiple accounts of it being wrong. I am happy those that did low carb and failed, have moved on to something else more successful for them. It however keeps succeeding year after year for me and lots of others.

  195. You won't hear that from me Kent. My girlfriend was an excellent marathon runner eating nothing but hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and peanut butter.

    And she lost tons of weight. Her set point is signficantly lower than it was when she graduated high school.

    But note, even after she developed an autoimmune disease, stopped having her period, and developed deadly allergies to several foods – she still thought that low-carb was the greatest thing since sliced bread – I mean beef.

    I thought low-carb was the greatest thing ever even though my athletic performance was worse, the intial benefits had left, my indigestion had returned, and my breath and body odor was foul.

    The point I'm making is that there are RISKS involved in pursuing a low-carb diet (and any diet, I'm not just picking on low-carb), and one should not be blinded to those risks by thinking that they are benefitting themsevles from cutting down on carbs.

    Is that a turn off to you? Do you understand that my girlfriend almost died from complications that were alleviated by stopping marathon running and eating more carbs?

  196. i became addicted to carbs when i went lowcarb/paleo…


  197. @Matt

    Obviously your girlfriend had issues that exhibited themselves, and I think you would agree she was not following any known low carb diet in eating only eggs, cheese, and peanut butter. I mean you could review all the diets listed in the Johnny Bowden's compendium of low carb diets, and each of them recommend vegetables in varying degrees. If your girlfriend's personal diet didn't work for her, I think there is only one person to blame.

    The same applies to Jimmy's eggfest — if the diet demonstrates negative results or less optimum performance, I'd suggest changing it. I am not going defend his choice as his results will largely be based upon his actions. If however he loses the excess weight, lives more than 5 years at goal, has excellent routine blood work and diagnostic tests, and athletic performance keeps improving, I would not say he's on track for an unhappy ending. Low carb success or failure can't be extracted by one's success of failure.

    "The point I'm making is that there are RISKS involved in pursuing a low-carb diet"

    There are risks with any food you put into your body or any choice you make. Over-dramatization of an entire way of eating what one person's choice is a bit much. Your girlfriend made choices and apparently they weren't the right ones for her. Having run multiple marathons and having zero negative health effects (lots of positive ones) after 6 years says otherwise for me. People with heart defects have issues with marathon running or exercise in general too, but does that mean no one should exercise? People with peanut allergies shouldn't eat peanuts or eggs, but does that mean peanuts or eggs are off-limits for everyone?

    "one should not be blinded to those risks by thinking that they are benefitting themsevles from cutting down on carbs"

    One should be cognizant of one's choices and the effects of those choices (positively or negatively). It would seem your personal effects have jaded your opinions more than scientific studies have educated them.

    PS – BTW my breath and body odor are fine…

  198. That's exactly why I don't recommend relying on "studies" to create a diet and lifestyle geared for health. Studies could make you want to go low-fat vegetarian. They could make you try to restrict calories or exercise against your will. They could make you cut carbs even though you have a half dozen signs screaming to you that doing so is counterproductive to your health (like I did given sufficient time, despite eating a "perfect" low-carb diet).

    Or I could've watched my blood glucose dropping on a vegan diet and decided that it was good for me.

    There are ways to becoming easily misled. I'm trying to promote a much broader comprehension of how food and lifestyle impacts the human body – not simple-mindededly demonizing a type of food consumed by the healthiest people ever documented (like the Kitavans) because a study said so.

    Having to eat no carbs and run marathons is not practical for most people. It is not a solution. And it does not answer the question:

    Why does Kent have to run marathons on a low-carb diet to remain lean and healthy when a Kitavan can sit around smoking cigarrettes eating 69% of calories as carbohydrate with excellent health and not an ounce of body fat, high blood sugars, heart disease, etc.?

  199. Perhaps because it is a false question… There is no "have to" in anything you do or anything I do. I don't have to lift or run marathons or 5k or be volunteer fire fighter or serve 10 years in the military to be in top shape. The fact that I do it is not prescriptive of someone having to do it. I also post on this blog; surely that is not mandatory part to my health either. There are tons of logical fallacies in that "have to" comment.

    "Having to eat no carbs and run marathons is not practical for most people. It is not a solution."

    I agree with you running marathons is not likely in most people's view, but then again doing low carb and exercising is practical for most people. In fact I know thousands who do just that. Whether that be simply light cardio and resistance training or HIIT. The fact that my proclivities have led me to be fire fighter / system engineer does not mean all low carbers have to start learning virtualization and how to fight fully-engulfed fire to be successful.

    One of my inspirations to lose weight was a 50-something woman with RA who could simply do aqua aerobics. She is still successful 6 years later, and yet I have never once done water aerobics. I have however modeled her decision of being active, so I question why you would pose a diatribe about specifics being a "have to" unless it is simply a weakness of your POV.

    FYI – as for no carbs, I really begin to understand why you might have failed on low carb. There's no a single phase of my diet or lifestyle that was zero carb. There is no demonizing of a single food — it is understanding what the place from macro-nutrient perspective in your decision or food choice.

  200. Kent-

    Clearly you have done something to lose that weight. That's my point. You didn't lose the weight sitting around doing nothing and eating tons of rice swimming in saturated fat like a lean Thai person does. You "had to" restrict your diet and exercise a lot to lose weight. Most lean people don't have to do such things to lose weight, much less stay lean. I want to know the fundamental difference between people that become fat and those who do not, and address that at the core. That's what I'm trying to do.

    I degenerated on 150 grams of carbohydrates a day. When I went lower I degenerated faster. When I tried zero for a month I went Kuckoo in la cabeza. That was eating raw fats, all organic, grassfed this, pastured that, farmer's market produce, and zero refined carbohydrate – sometimes for months at a time.

    I was about the cleanest-eating low-carber on the planet. I got tons of exercise. Tons of sunlight. My life wasn't stressful, etc. It just didn't work out. It didn't work out for hundreds who have flocked here trying to understand why they became infertile on Paleo, depressed on low-carb, etc. We're trying to figure that out, while throwing lifelines to others out there who've had the same experiences, but became carbophobic due to low-carb psuedo science (carbohydrate consumption does NOT raise basal insulin or glucose levels for starters).

    Do you see where I'm coming from?

  201. all of you fools got the answers. Listen to no one else do research and above all do what works for you.
    Jimmy is regaining weight so morons jump on low carb? Please! So is 70% of Everyone else. Get Real you religous tools. I know low fat, carb, pro, bal, veg people who have won or loss.Get REal

  202. Very eloquent response Steve. May it inspire and enlighten all of us for decades to come. I have tears of inspiration running down my cheeks this very moment.

    I've been jumping on low-carb long before Jimmy gained weight, mostly since people kept telling me how it ruined their health and were looking for insights as to why that might be from someone who is neither a fat or a carb basher. I'm one of the few, sadly.

  203. my last comment was a little harsh. what i am saying is each of us is different and genetic developments (and each persons individual accomplishments etc) show that different people do better on different mixes of calories. To use extremes u cant expect an inland Chinese person to thrive on all meat or an Inuit to thrive on all rice.
    What I'm saying is people are confused because there IS NO right diet, only whats right for u. But people feel that if one diet let them down then its no good for anyone. They get religous about one diet. They defend one diet. They bash other diets. This helps their ego but not the dieter. If I was eating low fat and it was working (meaning much more than weight) I would continue. If not I would try something else. If you feel great, are losing weight, and are healthy, its working. If not change it. It do not matter what diet it is. Anyways hope this make a little sense.

  204. Commenting on an old thread here I know, but I have just discovered this blog and finding it very interesting.
    In regards to the sugar/sweet carbs question I am surprised no one has talked about scarcity and "drives."

    Yes, of course we are "driven" towards high carb, sugary foods – they are calorie dense and more likely to promote survival – in an environment where said foods are relatively scarce. In a "wild" environment sugary carbs would be ripe fruit and berries – seasonal, and honey – scare and somewhat dangerous.
    The problems come where we are placed in an environment where these sweet foods are omnipresent – then our drives actually work against us as we have no built-in "limiter" to stop us eating when we have had enough for our needs. People who have reported scornfully about low-carbers going on carb binges are simply seeing a person giving in to a drive that no longer has the correct environment to function in. It does NOT mean that there is something wrong with the diet path they have chosen.

  205. When I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get four emails with
    the exact same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove
    me from that service? Thank you!

  206. “remember that prolonged dieting (this one, low-fat, low-calorie, or a combination) tends to shut down thyroid function”

    How has this quote got anything to do with lowering carbohydrate intake? I actually see it as evidence AGAINST your support of high carb diets, which in the most part are LOW in fat.

    The paleo diet is high in fat and low in carbs which means it will actually protect you from the thyroid problems mentioned in this except.

    You are marketing expert not a health expert.

  207. Consider re-reading that quote from Atkins. “This one” refers to low carb diets. But he’s pointing out that prolonged dieting of any sort (and he lists several variants) tend toward the same metabolic outcome.

    Take your tater-hating elsewhere, amigo.

  208. Didn’t Dr. Atkins have heart disease? A plant based diet with minimal meat and dairy is definitely the way to go IMO for health and longevity. Dr John Mcdougall, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Dean Ornish…these guys have it right when it comes to the diet. Look at these guys from a purely physical standpoint. They not only talk the talk, they also walk the talk. These guys are all slim and healthy and have remained that way for many years by eating the diets they advocate. Eat nothing but meat and diary and you are setting yourself up for cardiovascular disease later in life unless you are lucky enough to have really good genetics.


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