TXNIP and Obesity Guest Post by Brock Cusick

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Howdy folks, we interrupt Ray May for this highly-anticipated guest blog post by none other than Brock Cusick, frequent 180 commenter, follower since the dawn of http://www.180degreehealth.com/, and author of the blog http://cusickonnutrition.blogspot.com/.  While we can never expect any two people to have identical views, even when those two people grew up watching the movie Condorman on every single sick day, I have allowed Brock to share his views openly – discussing some new research he has come across that identifies yet another important link in the body weight regulation system of the human body.  I hope it triggers some great conversation.  I share some of the thoughts I exchanged with Brock about this in the comments section.  Anyway, thanks Brock – for the post and your inspiration.  Like the time you wrote me, “If do right, no can defense.”      

The Body’s Fatness Regulator Has Been Found
There are moments when a single piece of information falls into your lap and whole new vistas become clear. Many small pieces of information previously formless snap together into a working whole, and what was confusing just moments before, becomes discernible. I had one of those moments on Tuesday, the 26th of April, 2011 – and I would like to share it with you.

This post is about weight loss and diabetes, why we get fat, and how we can lose it.

Researchers at Yeshiva University’s (go Macabees!) Albert Einstein School of Medicine have identified and characterized a curious little protein (link goes to synopsis; full paper costs $30) produced in the hypothalamus (long known to be involved in body fat regulation) called thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP, which I pronounce “ticks-nip”). Unsurprisingly this TXNIP has an influence on “thioredoxins”, a class of proteins found in many tissues throughout the body.

The best way to think of TXNIP is as a graduated signal – like a light on a dimmer switch going from “off” to “barely on” and all the way up to “bright as possible.” The hypothalamus senses certain things about the body’s current condition and then produces the appropriate level of TXNIP so it may instruct all of the thioredoxin-producing tissues of the body how to behave. In this way the diverse tissues of the body (which have no way of communicating directly with each other) act in unison.

Just what TXNIP signals is absolutely incredible. High TXNIP levels cause white fat cells to retain fat, brown fat cells to reduce heat production, and all of the body’s tissues to become insulin and leptin resistant, while low TXNIP levels cause white fat cells to release lipids (lipolysis), brown fat cells to produce heat (thermogenesis), and all other tissues to become insulin and leptin sensitive. In one fell swoop one protein explains obesity, Type II Diabetes and cold feet. Moreover weight gain and diabetes occurred “in the absence of any effect on feeding behavior. Oxygen consumption, respiratory quotient, physical activity, and brown fat temperature were decreased in hTXNIP-expressing mice compared with controls, suggesting that lower energy expenditure in hTXNIP-expressing mice accounted for their higher rate of body weight gain.”

To translation the geek-speak: The mice that got fat didn’t eat any more than the lean mice; their bodies just became insulin resistant, partitioning calories over to the love handles and “paying” for the calorie deficit by throttling down various metabolic activities. If that doesn’t shut up the “calories in/calories out” and “Just eat less! Have discipline!” crowd, they can no longer lay claim to being in any reality-based community.

The paper then goes on to identify the three factors that regulate TXNIP expression, and they are blood sugar, insulin and leptin. High blood sugar, low insulin and low leptin all cause TXNIP expression to increase, while low blood sugar (or, “healthy levels of blood sugar”), high insulin and high leptin all cause TXNIP to fall.

(What’s that, you say? Insulin spikes cause TXNIP to fall, inducing lipolysis? Yessir! I bet those Glycemic Index folks are feeling pretty silly now.)

Of the three signals the paper does not identify which input (sugar, insulin or leptin) has the strongest effect on TXNIP, but I suspect it is blood sugar – diabetics often have high insulin and leptin levels without any reversal in their symptoms. Or perhaps any one input being “out of desired range” is enough to send TXNIP up. At this point it’s an unanswered question.

Despite the uncertainty I just mentioned, this is still fantastic science and quickly leads us to what we have to do if weight loss and diabetes reversal are our goals. Anything we can do to get blood sugar low and keep it there, and anything we can do to get insulin and leptin up and keep them there, is going to work in our favor and possibly lead to weight loss. Below are the strategies I believe will trigger immediate and “effortless” weight loss-

Carbohydrates. Fiber-rich, fresh carbohydrates are the “triple threat” for weight loss (emphasis on the fiber). The fiber will ferment into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the hindgut, turbo-boosting insulin sensitivity and thus lowering blood sugar; the glucose will spike your insulin; and the calories will spike your leptin. Between these three factors TXNIP is toast. Instant leaning out. Make these the basis of your diet – fresh whole grains (brown rice, corn, oats, wheat – whatever) and potato variants with the skins on (the skin is where the fiber is). If you have the means to make fresh flour, chapati it up.

Keep protein and fat low. There’s nothing wrong with protein and fat, but they don’t boost insulin or tame blood sugar as well as carbs. Each calorie of fat or protein you eat is going to be a calorie of carbs you don’t eat before you’re stuffed for the day.

The proteins you do eat should be a mix of “normal” meat and gelatin. Fats should definitely be saturated – especially coconut oil.

Eat the Food. Never skip meals and always eat to appetite. This is about leptin, people! Leptin, leptin, leptin! This woman lost 232 lbs. over two years after switching to a regimen that never skipped meals while making no changes to the quality of her diet whatsoever. I think we can do better.

Also, if you’re really craving something that’s “off diet”, just go for it. The stress of thinking about while you dutifully eat your potatoes just isn’t worth it, and maybe you’re craving it because your body knows you need some vitamin, mineral or other quality. Trust your instincts and just get back on the horse at the next meal. It’s okay, I promise; I won’t come over to your house and berate you for being a bad person.
No Milk. For reasons that aren’t clear to me, but many people have reported this, it is very easy to gain build muscle and lean tissues while drinking milk but damn near impossible to lose weight. Evolutionarily this makes sense – the last thing you want a nursing infant to do is lose weight. So this means that for the duration of your weight-loss effort, keep dairy to a minimum (or none at all, if you can manage). Butter (and especially ghee) is probably alright though since it lacks the proteins and sugars of milk that seem to be so anti-weight-loss.

Frequent Feeding. The TXNIP study found that any sort of fasting caused TXNIP to inexorably rise, while meals immediately quenched TXNIP production (the insulin and leptin signal). Meanwhile other studies on both humans and horses found that frequent meals kept leptin up and blood sugar low the whole day long, while infrequent meals produced wide swings in both. Don’t listen to those leangains guys – frequent little meals (FLM) is the way to go.

Anita Mills (who I linked to above in “Eat the Food”) also ate small frequent meals. Her Doctor’s advice was spot on (if incomplete) for keeping blood sugar lower and leptin higher.

Helpful note: In the last week I have already started making FLMs, and it’s quite convenient. I just make my breakfast as usual but double the amount I make and then divide it into four portions. I then eat one immediately and the other three portions go into tupperware for work. Dinner is eaten with the family normally. No sweat.

Correct Exercise. This is just as important as any dietary change. Lift weights, do bodyweight exercises, and/or Maxercise. Read Matt’s post at the previous link and his post on the PACE system by Al Sears to understand more fully the reasons why this is important, but the short version is – because it lowers cortisol and blood sugar.

Speaking of cortisol …

Lower Cortisol. Straight from Wikipedia, cortisol’s “primary function [is] to increase blood sugar”. Cortisol is bad for weight loss, mm’kay? So meditate, go for walks, do yoga – whatever. Almost anything that reduces cortisol is probably a good thing. Foods that lower cortisol, such as orange juice and ice cream, might also be helpful in moderation.

Ice Cream?? Heh heh. That’s been quite the topic du jour around here, eh? Well actually some amounts of ice cream might be good (or at least “mostly harmless”) for weight loss if you are already very insulin sensitive. Someone who is still diabetic will have increased blood sugar for hours from a bowl of ice cream (or a plate of pasta), but someone with an excellent blood sugar control should see their blood sugars return to normal fairly quickly – while also getting an insulin and leptin boost that quenches TXNIP expression. Until I hear evidence to the contrary, I’m putting this into the “Allowed in moderation” category. The basis for your diet should still be high-fiber starches though, 4 to 5 meals of the day.

Avoid Stimulants. Anything that boosts the adrenal glands is going to boost cortisol as well as adrenaline, causing high blood sugar. Sorry Mr. French-Press, you and I will just have to take a break.

Sleep. It does a body good. Sleep is so important I can’t even summarize it in one paragraph or two. Just get a much as you can. If at all possible, unplug your alarm clock and go to bed early.

And that’s it!

One last point. Let’s call this system something. In honor of the grain-based nature of this diet, the light amounts of protein and fat, the regular exercise and strict diurnal practice of sleeping a lot, I humbly suggest The Neolithic Diet. (Strictly speaking our species has been eating a carb-based diet for 500,000 years (No one tell Art De Vany!), so this diet is actually Paleo. But let’s not confuse people.)

This Neolithic Diet isn’t just theoretical. I put it into practice on April 27, 2011 and will be “live blogging” the results as they come in at my nutrition blog Chicken Soup for the Liver. If you’re interested in how it works you can follow me there. Also, if you choose to try this experimental diet with me PLEASE do two things – (1) email me to let me know, and (2) take some “before” pictures. If this regimen is as successful as I hope some “before and after” shots from people other than just myself would go a long way towards convincing even more people to put this into practice. And then we’ll have really started something.

Special thanks Mark A., a 180 reader and friend, for first alerting me to this research. Super-special thanks to Matt Stone, for letting me contribute to the discussion here.
-Brock Cusick; bmcusick@gmail.com

185 Comments

  1. Masturdebation with Brock sample….

    Oh I know the TXNIP is linked to leptin resistance. But I think cortisol's known ability to trigger insulin and leptin resistance probably stems from its impact on TXNIP. TXNIP gives an explanation for why leptin and insulin resistance go together – along with all the changes in body weight regulation, appetite, fuel partitioning, and metabolism that stem from that. Not negating TXNIP at all, but highlighting how cortisol is still the primary thing to focus on.

    While you may not have "stress," I do think that human bodies in today's day and age are hyperinflammatory – which is what triggers the heightened stress. I don't think PUFA is the sole reason for this hyperinflammatory state either, as Pottenger's cats for example, were also highly inflammatory with allergies, asthma, arthritis, and so on just from a change in diet that didn't include the incorporation of PUFA.

    I sense in myself that, since I"ve been hyperinflammatory since birth (asthma, allergies, appendicitis, tonsilitis, frequent illness and infection and other itis-es), followed by severe pain beginning at age 16 and many health problems stemming from that…

    I, and this holds true for millions of others I presume, have a huge stress response at the slightest provocation.

    The stress could be from anything really – from too much activity to inactivity. From sleep apnea to the stress of the body fat itself once it's already there. You just never know. What I know is that if I eat lots of meat, an old ankle injury will be aching the next day and my nasal passages get inflamed and I can't breath as well. Sure, animal protien contains many inflammatory amino acids, but that seems like hypersensitivity to me, and some think that this is just hereditary programming – like my mom's smoking during pregnancy leading to my body having a hypervigilant immune reaction in preparation to keep toxic airborne molecules out or something.

    I don't know about sugar raising cortisol. Eating sugar before sleep is one of the most powerful sleep aids I know of. That doesn't spell high cortisol to me – like that hyper and irritated feeling you get when you haven't eaten in 10 hours. But you never know. It's my basic understanding that the carbohydrate is the ultimate cortisol-lowering substance assuming adequate protein is available to prevent catabolism like you see in fruitarians. The one catch is that those with impaired glucose metabolism will often run into hypoglycemia and elevated stress hormones in a certain context when ingesting sugar. I think sugar avoidance doesn't get to the root of this problem, and may be a big part of the solution to solving impaired glucose metabolism.

    But you have two camps on this issue – the ones that say you will become hypoglycemic if you don't eat your sugar with fat, and the camp that thinks you won't become hypoglycemic when you eat sugar, UNLESS you eat it with fat. In my experience, eating fat and sugar together is a greater trigger of the hypoglycemic reaction, which can be easily overcome in many cases in a matter of days to weeks on a lower fat diet. But by the same token, eating lots of sugar and fat together is much better at raising body temperature and metabolic rate – perhaps sheerly by the increase in palatability and calorie consumption – perhaps for other reasons, which has powerful anti-cortisol effects.

    I still feel more inclined to recommend eating lots of fat and carbohydrate combined for healing blood sugar disorders, as this was what I used to lower my own blood glucose and increase glucose clearance tremendously. Besides, eating lots of carbs without fats makes your blood sugar go to Jupiter if you do eat fat, which you inevitably will, because low-fat diets are not very sustainable, practical, or enjoyable – or healthy for that matter, as most that I know developed health problems with long-term fat restriction.

    Reply
  2. "Not negating TXNIP at all, but highlighting how cortisol is still the primary thing to focus on."

    Ah, but Matt, cortisol causes blood sugar to rise – and that's only one of the three factors that determine TXNIP expression. Focusing on cortisol is important, but not to the exclusion of other factors.

    "I don't know about sugar raising cortisol. Eating sugar before sleep is one of the most powerful sleep aids I know of. That doesn't spell high cortisol to me"

    Yeah, that's cool. I've tried eating a bit of ice cream before bed and I feels like I'm sleeping better, but I wasn't really sleeping poorly before. My point was just that I haven't seen any science on it one way or the other, and I've been taking your word for it for now. How did you come by this opinion? Is there research, or just your intuition?

    "I still feel more inclined to recommend eating lots of fat and carbohydrate combined for healing blood sugar disorders"

    That's why I think fiber is so important – it turns into fat in the gut, so you get fat and carbs together without any hypoglycemia. A diabetic cannot handle a bowl of ice cream, but get enough fiber in them and their glucose tolerance improves quickly.

    —–

    Thanks again for letting my borrow your bully pulpet for a post here Matt, and I look forward to comments and feedback from my fellow 180 readers.

    Reply
  3. Oh, and before anyone asks – results from the diet have been very promising, but it has only been one week. I want to get at least a month's worth of data before I say whether it's working or not.

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  4. what do you guys think about starch and sugar in the same fairly low fat meal. and would there be a difference in eating sugar and starch in the same food like a pastry or eating them separately. i remember something about sugar doing something to mess with starch digesting enzymes in saliva… or something

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  5. This type of eating sounds very similar to veganmaster concepets covered awhile back. With the exception of not being vegan and allowing your bit of protein to be from an animal source.

    I personally can't eat a lot of starch, unless I add some butter or coco oil, then I can eat the crap out of it!

    Good post, I'm sure it will spark of a debate, especially with it being RayMay and his love for sugar!

    Starch vs. Sugar showdown!

    My 2 cents, starch is key for body comp. Starch with protein seem to be a tough combo to beat for lean mass and low bodyfat.

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  6. Terpol-

    Don't know on that one.

    Brock-

    But cortisol blocks the insulin and leptin signals, creating a functional deficiency of the hormones even when there is a surplus. That's why I'm saying that cortisol is the primary driver of all three of the most-known factors influencing TXNIP expression.

    On cortisol in response to carbohydrates, there is no doubt that insulin lowers cortisol (and calories and carbohydrates raise insulin, and, unlike with protein, do so without stimulating glucagon), and in the presence of sufficient glucose, the body does not have to break down fats and proteins into glucose – or shred muscle tissue or liberate glycogen, all of which supposedly requires a much heavier hand from cortisol to accomplish. I can make myself easily feel calm and relaxed from eating a bunch of carbs, or angry and anxious if I eat a bunch of protein without carbohdyrate, which activates the catabolic response via glucagon stimulation.

    Diabetics-

    In the short-term diabetics can't really tolerate much of anything, but I suspect a diabetic could improve glucose metabolism by leaps and bounds sipping on milkshakes all day long – similar to the milk diet but with a higher ratio of carbs to protein (and thus, presumably, less cortisol). And, at the end of that improvement, be able to eat fat, protein, and carbohydrates together with a more normal glycemic response (whereas a fat-restricted or carbohydrate-restricted attempt at lowering glucose levels, even if successful, would not yield the same capability but a general worsening of the condition in my experience with it).

    There is no question though that fiber is the single-best performing nutrient in improving glucose metabolism in clinical study. But fiber consumption also lowers calorie intake spontaneously. Hard to separate the two.

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  7. This diet is how I have theorized getting lean but very low fat with cheat days. You'll probably find this link interesting if you haven't seen it- http://www.20potatoesaday.com/

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  8. But, complex carbs, high fiber, low fat, frequent small meals, isn't this exactly what has been prescribed to diabetics for decades? How come they're not all cured? Is undereating the main problem or what?

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  9. Brock-

    I agree that a low-fat, high-starch diet will yield excellent body composition improvements. I followed something similar a year ago, only to end up feeling kinda crappy after losing 5-6 pounds of fat and needed to eat a bunch of fat and calories to feel better (which replaced the 5-6 pounds three times as fast as I lost it).

    But my meal frequency was way too low. I do notice now that as soon as I cut fat my body fat goes down. As soon as a add fat body fat goes up.

    But all this can be very misleading, especially considering when I eat fat and sugar together as in ice cream is when I get the biggest improvements in skin softness and clarity, mood, sleep, and body temperature.

    Just playing devil's advocate here. I've had many-a-boner over new ideas in the past, and none of them ever led to losses of body fat without negative recourse. In my experience, incidental weight loss is about all that counts – as a result of eating plenty of food, getting good sleep, and doing smarter exercise. Some get that result with those changes. Some don't.

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  10. I agree with lots of milk making it hard to lose weight. But things like Cottage cheese, yoghurt and some butter for cooking seems to help weight loss in my experience.

    Good post Brock! I have subscribed to your blog, didn't know it was still running….

    Reply
  11. Collden-

    Yes, but most diabetics don't eat truly high-carb, high-fiber, low-fat. Plus, many starve themselves and try to exercise with it when they make any attempt to improve their health. Those that do try the diet run into cravings and binge their health improvements away.

    With real people in the real world it simply isn't and won't ever be that effective. Our senses are programmed to eat in a totally different way – trying to get us to eat foods with as little fiber as possible, and lots of fat and carbohydrate mixed together. Any diet that forces humans to go against their biology will never be effective for a very large percentage of people – for physical, social, and psychological reasons.

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  12. Matt:

    "In my experience, incidental weight loss is about all that counts – as a result of eating plenty of food, getting good sleep, and doing smarter exercise. Some get that result with those changes. Some don't."

    That's not gonna sell a lot of books. :)

    Reply
  13. Frequent feedings with a low fat diet seem to go well together since when I cut back on dietary fat, I am much hungrier sooner and more often. I also notice that if I eat a lower fat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I am racing to the freezer to hit the ice cream…it's like I need a "fat-fix".

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  14. Brock,
    Nice job on the blog post. I don't really understand how this is an experimental diet? Eating frequent meals of mostly whole grains with small amounts of protein is probably the most common dietary recommendation by mainstream nutritionists. Can you clarify how this is different and experimental?

    If calories don't matter, then how do physique competitors and other athletes intentionally drop weight by cutting calories?

    On dairy, you think it prevents weight loss? But then you recommend ice cream? What about all the bodybuilders who get lean eating whey protein powders and low fat cottage cheese, which are common staples?

    You think stimulants prevent weight loss? You do know that almost all successful weight loss drugs are stimulants, and that one of the most common side effects in people who take stimulant medication is major weight loss.

    Reply
  15. kirk "This diet is how I have theorized getting lean but very low fat with cheat days. "

    thats exactly what i've been doing and i'm around 10%bf now, 2 pounds lost per week, all fat and barely any exercise. the occasional calorie spike is the key. i've had no negative effects and haven't gained back any fat when even when eating much more calories for weeks. it takes some getting used to but it gets easier, i can comfortably eat 20g of fat now but i needed 50g when i started. 5-6 meals a day, potatoes and fish. like JT says nothing new but the spike/cheat is the difference.

    i can't think of any other approach that would work better for me than this. the spike meals/days seem to protect against any negatives, and then i go back to eating however i want which atm is similar to this but less restrictive.

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  16. This diet is basically the government food pyramid that every single person who tries to lose weight tries initially and ends up failing on due to out of control hunger. Starch with low fat is the most unappetizing food combination on earth!!
    I really cant see anyone being successful with this diet unless they have a seriously iron will like Matt talks about.
    This site keeps going around in circles.

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  17. To Matt or anyone willing to answer:
    Does coconut products should also be cut down? Doesnt its unique composition makes it an exception?
    20-50 grs of fat is just depressing

    Matt, what do you think about using sticky rice as a carb source, brown rice raped my intestines years ago, dont wanna go in there again, also potatoes doesnt agree with me.

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  18. Two thumbs up!

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  19. TICKS-nip? I don't think so. That is clearly TEX-nip.

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  20. 20-50g of fat temporarily. now i eat 50-100g, sometimes much more. if so little is a problem and i can easily see that it would be for many people here who are recovering from various things then this approach isn't for you. and of course it may work just as well with more than that, that amount suits me.

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  21. Matt, would you elaborate on the diabetic "MilkShake" Diet…. I may be a willing guinea pig… sounds quite tasty!

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  22. OK, whoever posted under the USDA name with the link to the food pyramid is a genius lol.

    That's all.

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  23. That is hilarious, thank you for pointing that out Michael. Maybe Brock is an undercover agent from the USDA acting as a saboteur on contrarian diet websites.

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  24. LOL, I love a good conspiracy theory.

    Here's something people can try that myself and any other physique coach worth a damn uses with new clients. Most people probably won't put in the little bit of effort to try this, but those that do will learn a shit load about themselves and what works.

    The idea is simple:

    Log everything you put into your mouth for a week. Take your weight before, and after.

    Use FitDay.com or HeadsUpEating.com (I prefer the latter).

    Did your weight go up, go down, or stay the same?

    Now adjust your cals slightly either way to reflect the end result you want.

    Take a good look at your macros as well.

    I also like shooting for specific macros within the caloric requirements. 33/33/33, 40p/30c/30f/, 30p/40c/30f, 50c/30p/20f/, whatever you want.

    Try different macronutrient layouts for a few weeks and monitor your weight and body composition (using pictures is best, and don't weigh yourself too often).

    You'll very quickly find out which sort of eating plan works best for you. Both in terms of how you feel, and body composition.

    This is pure common sense stuff but hardly anyone does it. And it's easy.

    And no, it doesn't cause you to obsess over your food. If anything, it allows you to relax because you're actually in control and being PRO-active rather than RE-active for a change.

    Reply
  25. I ate this diet and all I got was bloody stool, lost libido and crippling depression. Sure lost weight tho!!

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  26. Just Like Peat, I read it once and will read it about 67 more times!
    Great post Brockinator, if I may dub you as such?

    I really have now linked my fat/meat consumption to the spare freaking tire I carry around, it's not a big one but it bugs the shit out of me. Have been keeping the muscle meats down, very little chicken, a few eggs.. and yeah, dairy needs to go too :( wish I could eat it and say I lose weight but that would be a big fat lie.
    xo
    deb

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  27. Brock, thanks for the interesting and nicely written post.

    Given it's Ray May, maybe someone should run this paper by the man himself … :-)

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  28. Most people can't eat a lot of starch without fats, unless they are laborers or athletes or obsessive bodybuilders with insane will power. Add whole grains and potato skin, the sickening card-board taste is even stronger. Potatoes don't taste good without butter. They are dry and sickening, even with sour cream and cheese.

    I'm doing great eatng lots of sugar (unrefined as well as sucrose), moderate fat, plenty of variety & occasional cheats. My energy, mood, and sleep is perfect. Low protein makes sense, I would not go over 1g per kg, with high-fat and high-carb to get the palatability and keep up calories. Forget Ray's anti-pufa religious witch hunt. Do avoid industrial rancid vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. Ray Peat is like a religious leader, basing his life on silly and irrelevant rat studies using fractionated or heavily processed heat damaged foods.

    Ray says Haagen Dazs is "too high in fat," as if he has determined the optimal macro-nutrient and diet ratios, as if food is eaten in a vacuum all the time. If it has "too much fat," eat it with juices or add sugar. Adding unrefined zulka cane sugar to the gelato made it taste much better, but I would rather save money and get Haagen-Dazs or even Breyer's for the times I get ice cream.

    As kirk and terpol noted, the occasional cheat is different than USDA. Also, the USDA pushes ufas and bashes saturated fat, animal foods, etc. Matt, why do you push fiber when You don't eat beans and cold resistant starch to get the full effect? We need context and details, not vague statements of how fiber produces bytyrate and speeds up your metabolism. Give examples and measurements,. Maybe you get as much butyric acid from a pat of butter as a whole potato skin.

    Without context, such statements are meaningless speculation. Also, potato skins are nasty and pose a risk for modern people with damaged guts from years of malnutrition. Matt used to be cautious of fiber, see his post diver-tickle-o-sis. If you want to look like a body-builder, maybe their diet advice is best, but how will they feel at age 70-80? Probably poor health, unhealed injuries, digestive problems and accelerated aging from all the protein. Where are the centenarians eating low-fats, high-protein, and lots of unrefined starch carbs?

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  29. It's Ray May, Matt, and this ain't cuttin' it! Two articles a day, three on the weekends. Get movin' if you want to eat tonight!

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  30. terpol said … "what do you guys think about starch and sugar in the same fairly low fat meal."

    Tasty? I don't know anything about the digestive issues you mention. I seem to be fine with it. Sorry.

    Will said… "This type of eating sounds very similar to veganmaster concepets covered awhile back. With the exception of not being vegan "

    Lol. "Sounds vegan, except not vegan."

    That made me laugh.

    Will said… "I personally can't eat a lot of starch, unless I add some butter or coco oil, then I can eat the crap out of it!"

    That's how I ate my oatmeal this morning – with coconut oil, sea salt and honey. Just not too much. It's really the proportions of fiber/carb/sugar I have changed up, not the actual foods I eat.

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  31. Matt Stone said… "But cortisol blocks the insulin and leptin signals … That's wh y I'm saying that cortisol is the primary driver of … TXNIP expression."

    Ah, I get it now. You're arguing that cortisol makes the hypothalmus think there's a shortage of insulin and leptin, thus boosting TXNIP? Hmmm. Interesting theory. My thinking is that cortisol's primary role here was only as a driver of blood sugar, but this does merit further investigation.

    Matt Stone said… "I suspect a diabetic could improve glucose metabolism by leaps and bounds sipping on milkshakes all day long"

    What's the milkshake's mechanism that's reversing their insulin resistance? There are several causes of insulin resistance, so I guess it depends how they got there. I recall you mentioned that endurance exercise causes lean tissues to become coated in a some sort of lipid that blocks insulin action; and TXNIP reduces reponse rates to insulin and leptin; and PUFAs displacing SCFAs in the cellular tissues also causes it.

    Matt Stone said… "But fiber consumption also lowers calorie intake spontaneously. Hard to separate the two."

    In a weight loss situation lipolysis ought to cover any shortage. This isn't a permanent diet. (But even if it were, the Zulu sure ate a whole lot of fiber, eh?)

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  32. kirk said… "You'll probably find this link interesting if you haven't seen it- http://www.20potatoesaday.com/ "

    Yeah, I read about that guy at Whole Health Source. His "diet" was a more extreme one that I'm willing to stick to. But his diet does hit all the points about maximising TXNIP expression. Of course, if he didn't take a Vitamin A supplement he also would have gone blind. Highly restrictive diets have side-effects besides boredom.

    Matt Stone said… "I've had many-a-boner over new ideas in the past, and none of them ever led to losses of body fat without negative recourse."

    Yeah, me too. Hence why I'm only cautiously excited. I remember when I first read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration; that book really spun me and finally broke me out of my low-carb craziness. I thought I had all the answers at that point. Nope …

    Matt Stone said… "In my experience, incidental weight loss is about all that counts – as a result of eating plenty of food, getting good sleep, and doing smarter exercise. Some get that result with those changes. Some don't."

    I can't accept that there isn't a solution. I just can't give up. 180 has been a huge boon for my health in a number of ways (and peace of mind; the mental summersaults of low-carb and paleo were stress-inducing, and the social stigma was unwelcome), but there's still one nut I need to crack.

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  33. Chris said… "I agree with lots of milk making it hard to lose weight. But things like Cottage cheese, yoghurt and some butter for cooking seems to help weight loss in my experience."

    That's useful to know. That suggests it's the milk sugars (which get fermented away) that are the problem, not the proteins. Thanks.

    Pat said… "This diet is basically the government food pyramid that every single person who tries to lose weight tries initially and ends up failing on due to out of control hunger."

    No, it's not. The government does not distinguish between fresh, whole sources of carbohydrates with their fiber, vitamins and minerals intact and boxed spaghetti produced by major campaign contributors. The government thinks that canola oil is good for you. And I've never personally heard any doctor recommend small, frequent meals. (Maybe your doctor is different).

    I have had a number of diabetics in my family (most of them are dead now), and my roommate in college was on a Doctor-instructed diet to lower cholesterol. I know what they look like. This isn't it.

    Pat said… "This site keeps going around in circles."

    Please recall Matt isn't the author of this post and was clear that he doesn't endorse all the points in it. I am the author; Matt was just kind enough to let me guest post here un-edited.

    Marco said… "Does coconut products should also be cut down? Doesnt its unique composition makes it an exception? 20-50 grs of fat is just depressing"

    Coconut oil is definitely the best possible oil you can use, if you're going to use it. I have nothing bad to say about coconut oil. My only point was that coconut oil will only spike leptin and lower blood sugar, but it won't boost insulin. So it's a "double threat", but not the "tripple threat" that fibery starches are.

    If someone really just can't "do" a very low-fat diet for whatever reason, I highly recommend using coconut oil for as much of your dietary needs as possible. Ghee and tallow would be good second choices.

    USDA says said… "Two thumbs up!"

    Funny.

    Michael said… "Now adjust your cals slightly either way to reflect the end result you want."

    That's like saying "Now flap your arms really hard until you fly to the altitude you want to be at."

    You're assuming you can adjust your calories to lose a significant amount of weight (more than 10 lbs or so) in a sustainable and healthy manner. You can't. IMPOSSIBLE. Your attempts will always cause you to harm your metabolism and rebound later.

    Hormones regulate your weight, not calories. You have to regulate the hormone expressions if you want to lose weight sustainably and long-term. It's the only way.

    Reply
  34. JT,

    I have reserved a special comment section for you. I am not going to quote you or even attempt to answer your questions. As you do with Matt's posts you continue to demonstrate no awareness of the difference between short-term, unhealthy weight loss and the sorts of weight loss that anyone with an intact brain would be interested in (of if you are aware, you seem to assume that we are not). Of course you can lose weight by starving yourself – just look at Auschwitz. Of course you can lose weight by taking all sorts of stimulants – just look at drug addicts. But drug addicts, Auschwitz victims and bodybuilders are all very unhealthy people that no one should aspire to be.

    Moreover, you know this. Matt, myself, CHIEF, and other commenters besides have all made these points multiple times, but you continue to ignore them. I might be tempted to believe that you have severe mental handicaps, but your spelling and grammar is too good for me to believe that. After observing you in action for months at a time I'm sure you're just a mendacious troll and I wish I could block your comments from ever appearing again on my computer screen.

    Despite what I just said, I suspect there's a 25% chance you're going to come back and say that I'm being irrational or emotional; or maybe you'll accuse me of misunderstanding your intentions to be helpful. Well I'm not going to fall for it. Your use of the same schtick over and over have made it clear that you do not debate honestly and fairly with the other readers of this site.

    Sayonara, sir.

    Reply
  35. “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.”

    Reply
  36. Brock, that formula and variations of it have been and are used with 1,000's of people in the weight training community with much success. From lean mass gain, to body recomposition, to fat loss. Take your pick.

    And by "weight training community" I don't mean bodybuilders. I agree that they are an unhealthy, freakish bunch. I mean normal people who simply want to gain muscle, lose fat, get strong, be better athletes and look good naked.

    Granted, most of these people are fairly healthy individuals, but even then hormonal issues and eating disorders — not to mention body dismorphia — are all very common in that community. Yet results continue.

    I would also estimate that the average fat loss for someone that has "bulked up" irresponsibly and put on a bunch of extra body fat would be 30-60lbs. Not a small amount. Yet results continue.

    This has been accomplished in many different ways as well…

    Keto diets
    Low carb diets
    Timed-carb diets
    Carb cycling diets
    Zone diets
    Cheat diets
    33/33/33 diets
    50/30/20 diets
    Warrior diets
    Intermittent fasting diets
    And so on.

    Although one way it would NEVER be done, because it's a proven detriment to your muscle mass, is with low protein.

    Having and maintaining muscle mass into old age is a key to active longevity for the average person IMO, not a bane. So even for the average person, they should be concerned with building it and maintaining it.

    Why should people be so ignorant as to think they're different from a community of people that does this successfully, probably to the tune of 1,000's of times per month or week?

    Reply
  37. So we're encouraging lipolysis through lowering TXNIP during "Ray May"? I get that it's a guest post but still–blasphemy.

    Doesn't matter though, because this time we've found the ultimate master chemical!!! I use to know it was insulin…I mean leptin…I mean cortisol…whatever…what's important is that we all now know it's TXNIP–finally!!! I just finished peeling 20 potatoes…I'm going to nibble on the skins throughout the day tomorrow while sipping on orange juice to keep my metabolism burning like a rocket!!!

    Reply
  38. “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.”

    awesome

    Reply
  39. Brock,
    How does what you wrote have anything to do with my comment? I just pointed out a few questions I had concerning your recommendations. I didn't even point out all of the errors i saw because I didn't want to hurt your feelings. Can you honestly point out anything in my comment that was unfair?

    You think bodybuilders are the most unhealthy people? Haven't you ever hear of Jack Lalanne? He was probably the most healthy guy this century. How many 90 year olds could do what he did?

    Reply
  40. Mercury said… "Most people can't eat a lot of starch without fats, unless they are laborers or athletes or obsessive bodybuilders with insane will power. Add whole grains and potato skin, the sickening card-board taste is even stronger. Potatoes don't taste good without butter."

    I agree with this statement 100%. I didn't say "No fat, never ever". I said "low fat." Maybe only low compared to what I'm used to? Maybe my low is your normal? Anyway, I still put butter on my potatoes and cook my veggies in coconut oil; I just use the minimum to make it taste good, rather than really slather it on. Slathering is tasty and not unhealthy, but I don't think it will maximise TXNIP expression which is the point of this protocol.

    Michael said… "Brock, that formula and variations of it have been and are used with 1,000's of people in the weight training community with much success. From lean mass gain, to body recomposition, to fat loss. Take your pick."

    I actually believe you. I believe that can work; just not for the reasons you think (if you think calories matter). If you collect enough data, turn enough levers, etc. eventually you'll stumble onto something that works for you. I'm trying to skip the experimental step and jump right to the combinations that work for maximizing fat loss for anyone with a more-or-less normal metabolism.

    Michael said… "This has been accomplished in many different ways as well…"

    Yeah, I know. I've tried some of those. They work for fat loss in the short term by mangling your thyroid and stressing your adrenals. Not all fat loss is created equal. It's only the hormonally correct, keeps-your-health-intact fat loss that I'm interested in. Some people manage it, but no one has ever been able to figure out how they're actually doing it. Folks like Jon Gabriel think it's all about Omega 3 Fish Oil and adding whey protein to stuff; but that's crazy talk.

    Michael said… "Although one way it would NEVER be done, because it's a proven detriment to your muscle mass, is with low protein. Having and maintaining muscle mass into old age is a key to active longevity for the average person IMO, not a bane."

    I agree with these statements too, depending on your definition of "low protein". You really don't need much protein at all to maintain nitrogen balance. An average-muscled man can maintain his musculature even under hard labor indefinitely eating nothing by potatoes. Three chicken breasts/day just isn't necessary.

    For the record, I have red meat, pork or eggs nearly day. I just don't have 12 oz. ribeyes for dinner. Maybe a 1/3rd of one. It's enough. Fill up on the carbs.

    If I was trying to put on a lot of muscle I would eat more. But that's not my goal at the moment.

    Reply
  41. john said… "Doesn't matter though, because this time we've found the ultimate master chemical!!! I use to know it was insulin…I mean leptin…I mean cortisol…whatever…what's important is that we all now know it's TXNIP–finally!!!"

    Heh. In my original draft I had something in the post addressing this, but left it out. Obviously this could amount to nothing; another dry lead searching for El Dorado.

    On the other hand, SOMETHING'S gotta work eventually. Maybe this is the one? Only one way to find out.

    Reply
  42. To be clear, when I say bodybuilder I don't mean the freaks with all the unhealthy practices. I'm using the term in a general since, and am referring to people who use resistance training and diet to improve body composition.

    Reply
  43. This is similar how I eat, naturally. But lower in fat does not mean no fat. I absolutely add butter to my grains and potatoes. But a pat, not half a stick. Sometimes I eat more, whatever I feel like but usually just need a moderate amount. Let's say low to moderate fat. I could see people being dogmatic about this and eating carbs without any fat, which is not sustainable or enjoyable. I've mentioned it before but the book French Women Don't Get Fat explains all of this very well. You don't give up butter, you just use it in moderation.

    I agree on eating regular meals being key. I also agree with Chris, drinking milk seems fattening but cheese and yogurt seem to promote weight loss, in my experience. I think it tends to be more appealing for adults to eat cheese and yogurt, certainly is for me, rather than drinking milk.

    Matt, what do you think causes diabetes? I don't think I've ever seen you assign a real cause? or maybe I've missed it.

    I mentioned in another post, we should appreciate that JT plays devil's advocate. If you can't take someone arguing against you, then you can't prove your point very well.

    Reply
  44. Amy, thank you for your input. I values yours especially if you've been eating like this for a while and found yogurt and cheese to be helpful.

    Regarding JT and the ability to argue – I'm a lawyer. I can argue a point without getting my emotions involved, and argue it well (even if I don't believe it myself!). But JT isn't an honest and fair opponent. He doesn't play devil's advocate; it repeatedly misinterprets and misrepresents positions, and then claims innocence (or tries to say he "really meant X") when you call him on it. Check out Princess' comments on the matter in 2011 Summary thread two posts back.

    Reply
  45. Brock, what do you think are the best carbs for producing the most SCFAs?

    PS. I've been boiling diced potatoes in bone broth, reducing it down to chunky mashed potatoes and gravy. It's delicious with no fat but you can add whatever of course, just an easy recipe I recommend.

    Reply
  46. I think a big part of this is the lowering of the fat setpoint without rebounding. IMO, this can be done gradually through under-stimulation of the food reward system on this type of diet, having a cheat when you really need it.

    The 20 potatoes/day guy lost a lot of fat and reportedly has kept it off. I think it's because it was a (temporarily) non damaging way to lower the fat setpoint through monotonous eating.

    I'm thinking that cheating with dense, tasty (preferably real) foods when you start to feel it will prevent your body from going into storage mode when you go back to a diet with no restrictions.

    Reply
  47. kirk said… "Brock, what do you think are the best carbs for producing the most SCFAs?"

    I'm not sure. Whatever has the most fiber? Good question, although I expect any whole grain or potato will produce "enough".

    kirk said… "I think a big part of this is the lowering of the fat setpoint without rebounding."

    That is indeed the holy grail. If you could put that in a pill you'd be a billionaire.

    kirk said… "IMO, this can be done gradually through under-stimulation of the food reward system on this type of diet, having a cheat when you really need it.

    The 20 potatoes/day guy lost a lot of fat and reportedly has kept it off. I think it's because it was a (temporarily) non damaging way to lower the fat setpoint through monotonous eating.

    I'm thinking that cheating with dense, tasty (preferably real) foods when you start to feel it will prevent your body from going into storage mode when you go back to a diet with no restrictions."

    If that is indeed the mechanism then I guess my program will work, but not for the reasons I layed out. :)

    PS. Thanks for the tip on the mashed potatoes. I'll add them to my repetoire.

    Reply
  48. JT,

    The diet would be experimental because Brock is recommending high-GI foods, which goes contrary to most dietary advice. (Not experimental in the sense of 180 per se.)

    Check out his comment about insulin spikes down-regulating TXNIP. It's an interesting idea and if true would be a revelation. I personally didn't get that from the paper, but Brock read it more carefully than I did. (The abstract of the paper says that chronic high blood sugar as well as "acute" high blood sugar up-regulates TXNIP.)

    I encourage you to read the paper yourself. I confess it's somewhat over my head.

    Reply
  49. @Kirk: I don't know about YOUR bone broth but mine has plenty of good saturated fats in it. I don't skim the fat off, I mix it right in. Not sure if you can make bone broth with zero/low fat though.
    Your tato/broth deal sounds yummy and I will try it!

    Go Brockinator! Answer all those questions, you are doing great at moderating.. keep the spark alive!

    Matt: do not get jealous and think that I like Brock more than you now. Also, do not try and get Brock's mom involved, it's just wrong. :) kidding of course xoxo
    deb

    Reply
  50. OMG, so much smart talk going on in here… I can't wait to see how these ideas may interact with Ray Peat's!

    Reply
  51. Deb, maybe I meant stock. I get marrow bones with only some cartilage left on them and use the bones to make stock after I pop out the marrow

    Reply
  52. Brock, don't get me wrong, I applaud you for putting this out there. The article was well thought out and covered some new ground, so thank you. I look forward to seeing how this works for you.

    You said:

    "Yeah, I know. I've tried some of those. They work for fat loss in the short term by mangling your thyroid and stressing your adrenals."

    Much of the fat loss is done just the way you're describing. By constantly monitoring body temperature and taking measures to keep the thyroid strong throughout.

    Just because something stresses the thyroid or adrenals for a short time to achieve a result like significant fat loss or body recomposition doesn't necessarily mean it should be condemned.

    I think a lot of people are going off the deep end with the "stress hormones" thing. Stress is good for you, to a certain point. it's necessary.

    It's more like a 1 step back, 2 steps forward type of scenario.

    Also, my original post to get people to try this was as much or even more so about macronutrient ratios than calorie manipulation.

    Many people in the physique and nutrition industry know that a change in macros can be the fastest way to changing how you look and feel. So I strongly encourage people to experiment with that, and *track it*.

    And finally, I'm all about real-world experience and results. I'll take that 1,000 times to 1 over science. Because so far, most of the science seems to constantly contradict itself anyways. As do many of the "gurus" *cough cough*.

    To use the weight training community to make a point:

    It's always the skinny kids with 13" arms spouting all the science know-it-all. Meanwhile the big guys stick to what they know works based off of years of experience training themselves and 1,000's of others in many cases, while the skinny kids stick to their science and stay skinny know-it-alls year after year.

    All I'm trying to do is offer another point of view here. Because honestly, I think the bodybuilding/weight training/whatever-label-you-wanna-put-on-it industry already has a lot of this shit figured out.

    Keep up the good work, Brock! Kaizen.

    Reply
  53. Brock,

    Obviously I was being sarcastic above, but seriously, there are too many factors to consider to base a nutrition plan off the changes in TXNIP. We see somewhat similar things with chemicals like leptin, SIRT, adiponectin (and usually insulin). How do you know that insulin's downregulation of TXNIP counteracts the acute upregulation by the sugar-rich meal (and the same logic can be used for the theoretical idea [with which I don't agree] to cheat in order to raise leptin). According to your post, it seems we would want high free fatty acids with maximal peripheral insulin resistance so that we could spike insulin (with salicylates, dairy protein, short chain fats) without large increases in blood sugar. What happens when you frequently spike insulin in a long term low carber…I don't know, but I'd guess it's not positive.

    Reply
  54. Hey Michael,

    Good point about the value of empiricism in some of this body recomposition stuff. Don Matesz had a point in one of his article about protein, that people in the weight training world began and continued to eat more protein because it seemed to work at building and maintaining muscle mass.

    Is there more to the story? I'm sure. What types of protein? What collateral damage is there, if any? Is this in the context of calorie scarcity or abundance? Etc.

    But I now that for me, I've struggled with building lean mass, even when trying at times, and I've always had a low protein consumption. I also never had any of the inflammatory issues Matt talks about getting when he has a bunch of chicken or muscle meat. Maybe because I just never dove headfirst into that way of eating. Dunno. But at least a part of me believes that if I did want to build some real lean mass, I would do well to do something like the serious protein-loading like Tim Ferris and lots of other bodybuilders talk about.

    As it stands, it's not that important to me- dietary freedom is more a priority, and I'm not at this time willing to chase any chimeras in hopes of banishing insecurities about my appearance. The point still stands, though- my sense is, despite the talk about protein's inconsequentiality, that it might be important.

    Reply
  55. Dude! You take the marrow out??? I let it melt into the stock/ broth! may account for your less fatty
    Brew.

    Reply
  56. Brock,

    I'm reading up on that study on TXNP and I'm a bit confused about where your recommendations come from.

    Can you please cite parts of the study that support each of your dietary recommendations?

    That would be extremely helpful.

    Reply
  57. Deb, I'm pretty sure a lot of the fat in marrow is unsaturated so I don't want to cook it too much. I also don't want to kill the nutrients, so to speak.

    Reply
  58. I would love it if people would try this out and take some before shots. Til then, I still have more faith in the Lean Gains method for lean gaining. Man those guys are cut on that site. I wish we could see all the failures who don't benefit from martin's training.

    Reply
  59. Rodney said… "I'm reading up on that study on TXNP and I'm a bit confused about where your recommendations come from. Can you please cite parts of the study that support each of your dietary recommendations?"

    Rodney, the diet recommendations aren't in the study itself. The study simply found that low (or "healthy") blood sugar levels, high insulin and high leptin all down-regulated TXNIP. So I just said to myself "Okay, how do I do make those conditions happen?" And the recommendations fall out from there.

    Michael…, on the benefits of Empiricism.

    Really not a whole lot to argue with there. Results matter.

    Except … I tried stuff like that years ago, and it didn't work. But then, nothing worked. Exercise produced no result for me, other than just making me exhausted. The problem was that my metabolism was just permanently stuck on famine-mode, and the simplistic understanding of how metabolism worked that the bodybuilders had to offer did not know how to change that. The wrong variables were being measured and considered.

    Eventually I fixed that on 180 by considering the science and finally figuring out what the problem was. Now exercise makes me more energetic, and produces body composition changes (mostly adding more lean tissue – not losing weight). So in science vs. bodybuilder wisdom, it's 1-nothing for me.

    If this diet is a big failure and three months from now I'm as fat as ever, maybe I'll give your method a shot.

    Reply
  60. What about using plantains or sushi rice or basmati as a carb source? I got terrible bloating from potatoes and never could digest brown rice, gluten is out so what chances are that your diet could be successful using those carb sources, its their glycemic index totally screw the plan?
    BTW Bruce Lee always had lot of white rice and pork as a staple, so I dont think fiber-less rice could prevent good body composition.

    Reply
  61. I'm a simple man with a small brain and a deadly roundhouse kick. This is what I know:

    1.) eating lots of starch raised my body temperature
    2.) raising my body temperature stabilized my weight no matter what I ate or how much I ate
    3.) I conquer anything, anyone and everything. No one can beat me
    4.) I got tired of not being able to button my size 33 pants, only zip up
    5.) There is one man here that, if I were a female, I would have a crush on. I don't want to embarrass him or anything so I won't say his name. But his initials are Matt Stone
    6.) I did zero exercise after my temps and weight stabilized but started hill sprints on march 22
    7.) since march 22 I have done a total of 23 sprints averaging ~20 seconds each for a total of about 8 minutes of exercise.
    8.) I have lost 7 lbs and I can button every pair of pants I own
    9.) I have eaten WTCIWWIWI (whatever the crap I want when I wanted it). On my trip to TN to visit the 5 year old sugar addict I ate nothing but chicken & dumplings, sweet tea, cokes, #3 from Mcdonalds, and at least 25 chocolate chip cookies from subway, eat fresh.
    10.) I look awesome
    11.) I drank milk the whole time during this as well, at least a pint a day

    This worked for me. If it doesn't for you then you can try this TXNIP junk.

    Reply
  62. Brock,
    Now you are just being dishonest. Name 1 point that I misinterpreted or misrepresented. You can't, but you prefer to call names and attack my character instead of sticking to the strength of the arguments.

    Mark,
    High GI carbs are not experimental. 90% of the world lives on high GI carbs and stays lean. Look at Asia where white rice is a the staple. Bodybuilders have been using rice cakes for years.

    But, I don't think Brock is recommending hi GI carbs, he is trying to recommend low GI carbs like whole grains. Kind of like a Macrobiotic diet.

    Michael,
    Good point on how adjusting macros can have a big effect on body composition. I have an immediate effect when I adjust my protein up, getting leaner and stronger, even when total calories are the same. Maybe you could write a guest post for Matt on this topic. I think your advice would be a very useful tool to help people figure out what works best for them.

    Also, I am curious what your views on protein intake is.

    Reply
  63. @Johnny Lawrence
    HA HA HA HA HA
    and if there is one man here that I could have a crush on, his initials would be …. Johnny Lawrence.
    You better post a picture though just in case you are actually a cyclops.
    Now don't go sending me hate mail all you one eyed geeks out there.
    :)
    made my day JL
    xo

    Reply
  64. Mercury-

    Great comment.

    John-

    Hilarious. If anything, I look at TXNIP as yet another massive signpost on the auto-regulation of body weight. Of course, this should already be obvious, but TXNIP just piles on more. We have autoregulatory mechanisms for sodium and potassium, oxygen and carbon dioxide, water in/water out, and dozens of others. To think that our calories in/out equation is left entirely to our conscious minds and willpower is simply wrong.

    Michael-

    One can alter their weight. I do think the key is weight training and exercise, but there is still only a minority of people that can use this approach without negative recourse. Plus, it's hard. Not many are willing to train hard and go hungry. It will never be a solution for the masses.

    Anyway, training encourages the body to lose fat for greater speed, endurance, or whatever. So while you may be encouraging the body to store fat with calorie restriction, you encourage it to lose fat with the right exercise. This all translates to hormonal changes, which is why body fat set point, in some cases, can be lowered by the weight training approach.

    Just cutting calories is unabated catabolism.

    It might be of interest to you that when two sets of leptin-deficient lab rats are given the same low-calorie levels to induce weight loss, those getting leptin injections, even with very low calorie intakes and massive weight loss, maintain nitrogen balance and do not lose an ounce of muscle mass during weight loss.

    To me this speaks volumes about how much more powerful hormones are than our will, if we can only find effective ways to alter them consistently.

    Ultimately, it is not useful to tell people to lift weights and cut calories. There are already thousands of sites and hundreds of thousands of trainers doing that. This site is about finding a superior method, or at the very least an alternative method.

    Danimal-

    I think many probably fail on leangains just as with other methods that appear to be successful. Ultimately what the elite, metabolically-resilient can achieve is very different from those who are not in that category. I could go throw baseballs all day and eat like El Duce, but it will never make me pitch like him. I think people sometimes forget how small the percentage of successful long-term body recomposition stories is.

    Cause of type 2 Diabetes –

    In most cases, excessive stress hormone production/catabolism. This causes insulin and leptin resistance, which lowers metabolism, raises appetite, decreases insulin spikes in response to food and raises blood sugar levels. Thus my belief that the stress mechanism is the primary driver of TXNIP expression.

    Monotony-

    All things considered, this is still the best known way to achieve spontaneous weight loss eating to appetite. And it seems to be more long-lasting than calorie restriction of overexercising. I would be very curious to find out what effects dopamine (the reward neurotransmitter – lowered during monotony or with less scientifically "palatable" food) has on TXNIP expression.

    Reply
  65. On eating potato skins, I heard a radio show that said that they spray potatoes with a chemical to prevent them from sprouting. So if you want to eat potato skins, make sure that they are organic. Just my 2 cents.

    Reply
  66. Matt,
    I think the thoughts you expressed in your reply to Michael are pretty much consistent with mine. I agree that hormones are the primary power in determining body composition.

    I also agree with you that There will be an alternative for the masses who cannot maintain lifestyle necessary to achieve their physique goals. Im pretty sure the only hope for this is through medical intervention. Hopefully the science in hormone modulation will increase rapidly and develop some great new medical treatments.

    Reply
  67. Real Will-

    Great article. In both humans and lab animals, calorie-restriction-induced weight loss (intentional weight loss) increases mortality and morbidity. While everyone feels like weight loss HAS to be healthy, in reality the data does not support this conclusion at all.

    Then again, this body fat they were losing is probably 100% corn oil, which probably has all kinds of detrimental health effects. Ultimately though, when you lose weight through calorie restriction metabolism falls, and metabolism is the great postponer of aging.

    Johnny Lawrence-

    Hilarious. Brock had a similar experience as we know, but his weight loss didn't seem to go too far beyond 7 pounds – and he was not starting with 33-inch pantalones.

    Of course, Brock was eating much "healthier" which could have been part of the problem. I feel like the money eating a diet similar to what you described and my afternoon butthole temp (yeah I know, but it is the most consistent and accurate place to get a reading – plus it kinda tickles) was 99.7 degrees yesterday (my first temperature reading I've taken in over 6 months, when my body temperature was well over 1 degree lower).

    Eat fresh.

    WTCIWWIWI

    Reply
  68. I'm thinking of getting the Catching Fire book Brock links to in his post. Brock stated that this book proves that humans have been eating a Neolithic diet for 500,000 years, but it seems to be focused on cooking.

    Has anyone read this book, and if so, does he mention the Neolithinc diet, or just cooking?

    Reply
  69. @Johnny Lawrence:
    :D Great comment!

    Also, I have always wanted to incorporate some sprints in my exercise regimen, maybe I should finally start that, now that spring is in full swing here.

    Just curious, for how long did you rest inbetween sprints? 10 seconds (Tabata-style?) Until you caught your breath/felt like you could pull of another high intensity sprint? Something completely different from that?

    Reply
  70. Speaking of sprinting I just read that weight lifting reduces glycogen stores by 25 to 40% while a 30 second sprint reduces glycogen stores by 47%.

    High intensity cardiovascular exercise (you know, sparring, running fast, riding your bike up steep hills and using it to chase trucks up and down Portrush Road) reduces muscle glycogen stores to a much greater degree than weight training. In controlled studies, muscle glycogen levels typically fall 25-40% in response to a bout of weight training[12,13]. Meanwhile, a single thirty-second sprint can reduce thigh muscle glycogen by a third, while two 30-second sprints can produce a 47% drop (glycogen depletion tapers off significantly after the second sprint)[14-16].

    Found in this article:

    http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=1535

    Reply
  71. madMUHHH, as far as HIIT intervals go, from what I have read, if the rest interval is shorter than the work interval, it will result in greater performance gains (like the Tabata protocol). BUT, if the rest interval is longer (I think it was either 50% or 100%) longer than the work interval, it resulted in better fat burning. I believe that the total interval time was pretty short, like 6s work and 9s rest, or 10s and 20s. I believe that this would be more in line with something like PACE style training.

    Also, for the people trying to lose fat from intervals, I have also read, (but not tried it myself) that the HIIT work releases fatty acids from the fat cells into the bloodstream, but if they are not burned, they just get redeposited back into the fat cells. So if you follow your HIIT work with about 15 or 20 minutes of slow cardio (gasp!), it can burn those freed fatty acids before they get redeposited. Again, this isn't going from experience so I make no guarantees, but I plan on trying this at some point.

    Reply
  72. To Anonymous, that is good info. Alwyn Cosgrove says to reduce bodyfat, you have to burn glycogen, so that is really good to know.

    Reply
  73. 12.) My temps were never over 98 before starting the hill sprints. I took them starting last Saturday (the first time in a couple months) and only two days were under 98.
    13.) I don't alternate butthole to mouth with my temp readings

    Reply
  74. A bit off topic: carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, fruit, in larger quantities give me foot and leg cramps which a large amount of magnesium relieves. Cause, mechanism???

    Reply
  75. No Milk. For reasons that aren’t clear to me, but many people have reported this, it is very easy to gain build muscle and lean tissues while drinking milk but damn near impossible to lose weight. Evolutionarily this makes sense – the last thing you want a nursing infant to do is lose weight. So this means that for the duration of your weight-loss effort, keep dairy to a minimum (or none at all, if you can manage). Butter (and especially ghee) is probably alright though since it lacks the proteins and sugars of milk that seem to be so anti-weight-loss."

    It's easy to become a lactophobe, but I doubt this is true. If someone is gaining fat because they drink too much milk it is probably because (a) they drink too much (b) it is whole milk which contains nearly twice as much calories as skim milk. It is not because of the dairy specific protein or sugar (lactose). I don't think butter is better. I try to minimize butter intake because it is very calorie dense.

    If we want to argue over which is healthier, butter is obviously empty calories (despite a small amount of Vitamin A you could easily get from eggs), butter contains no calcium or protein. Milk, yogurt and cheese are thus better.

    Milk is BLAND anyway. I prefer to eat cereal with milk (and I often add cereal to yogurt). That doesn't mean I think a dairy centric diet is great. I'd rather get a lot of my protein from meat (leaner meat preferred).

    Reply
  76. " butter is obviously empty calories"

    lol

    Reply
  77. @MADD

    I rested just long enough till I was able to complete another sprint. As bad of shape as I was/am in, it normally took 2-3 minutes of rest, sometimes longer. I never did more than 3 sprints per day because that's all I could handle. I think there was only a total of 2 times that I actually did more than 3 sprints per day and one of those I made myself sick, had to lay down to keep from passing out, arms and legs tingling all over, wife laughing at me.

    Reply
  78. Kirk,
    I think Stancel's point is that there is much more life sustaining nutrition in the non fat portion the milk than in the butter. He is correct, someone could like indefinitely on a pure nonfat milk diet. They could not do this on butter alone.

    Stancel,
    I'm interested in your personal experience. I saw on you blog that you have lost 100 pounds controlling caloric intake. Many calorie deniers on here would claim that your result is not possible.

    Reply
  79. Johnny, what was the distance you were sprinting? My experience is that high intensity sprints must have a long rest period if you want quality. Its sort of like going for a max lift in powerlifting. Olympic sprinters rest for a long time.

    Reply
  80. JT,
    Thanks for looking at my blog.

    I'm quite the lazy blogger, though, I've only posted a few entries. But it might eventually become a regular thing.

    My experience is simply that eating too much calories results in fat gain.

    Butter is a very sensitive issue for me, simply because when I was obese I was addicted to it. I loved the buttery taste. I could barely eat anything without adding a lot of butter.

    I don't think butter is bad, in moderation. But low-carbers tend to believe they can eat as much high-fat, low-carb food they want and lose weight. That is delusional. I'm being real, I don't want to pander to WAPFers. If you really want to lose weight, covering your food in lots of butter is NOT the way to go. For the same reason people shouldn't drink sugary sodas all day long. It's not about carb vs. fat for me. It's about keeping calories low enough to lose weight, and at least trying to keep lots of nutrient density (without becoming orthorexic).

    When I was a child we went through a poorer time period where we lived in a trailer (with no hot water…imagine getting used to taking cold showers, which believe it or not I did get used to after a while). So "split pea soup" (with potatoes) (which is a cheap thing to eat) was a regular dish. You'd think I'd lose weight eating meals like that (I was already fat). But I'd take the tub of butter, and add so much butter to it, that the amount of calories would be quadrupled. That's just one example.

    This is why I get so annoyed by calorie denial. When I was a fat kid, I had legendary binges. I remember devouring a whole giant bag of Salt & Vinegar chips in a sitting. But the low-carbers would believe it was the carbs in the chips that was the issue, not the extreme amount of calories that comes from eating a whole bag.

    Calorie deniers believe in "quantum calories" that come from a certain macronutrient. For example, low-carbers often act like insulin spikes (supposedly caused by carbs) pull calories out of a wormhole and store it as fat, but you could eat 12000 calories of pure fat and the wormhole would open and those calories would disappear and you'd be skinny. That is just too ridiculous. Although they don't exactly phrase it that way, that's what their theories amount to (not being unfair to low-carbers, 30BADers think the same way too)

    Reply
  81. Matt, how many accounts of IF failures have you seen that didn't include some other dumb shit like low-carbing, eating nothing but protein, extreme calorie restriction or getting no sleep? The Real Will is the only person I've seen who had a really bad experience while doing IF, but he was regularly getting like 1 hour freaking hour of sleep per night at the same time, something that is guaranteed to mess you up regardless of diet.

    Personally I effortlessly lost 45 pounds doing IF without restricting calories or macronutrients and without any negative repercussions what so ever, and I'm clearly not part of some kind of genetic elite in terms of body weight regulation.

    About catecholamines and weight loss, I've stated before that I seriously doubt that its possible to lose weight without raising catecholamines and I've still not seen any compelling arguments to the contrary. The vast majority of all "naturally" lean people I know, even if they are seemingly not having to make a conscious effort to stay lean, they all have a considerable amount of catecholamine-stimulating activities going on in their lives. Either they exercise and play a lot, or are hooked on a stimulant like tobacco, or they simply don't eat much food, either they eat a little at every meal, or they go long periods of times without eating at all, most naturally lean people I know do a combination of these things.

    I'm not sure I know even one really lean person who follows the principles of 180 degree health, lead zero-stress lives and always eat a lot of food. Does anyone else?

    Reply
  82. JT said, "I saw on you blog that you have lost 100 pounds controlling caloric intake. Many calorie deniers on here would claim that your result is not possible."

    Are you serious dude? Nobody in this comment section denies that you can lose weight restricting calories. We might say that ultimately it is unsustainable, undesirable, and unhealthy. Like Brock said, you misrepresent people's comments and then attack attack attack. JT, you are a funny dude indeed.

    Reply
  83. Goodness gracious- obviously calories matter. But the question is about how they are partitioned by the body- do they get used for heat production, muscle building, fat storage, etc?

    Stancel, you said:
    'My experience is simply that eating too much calories results in fat gain.'

    How do you explain someone like Tim Ferris who ate shit tons of calories but improved body composition during a 28 day bulking experiment. http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/04/29/from-geek-to-freak-how-i-gained-34-lbs-of-muscle-in-4-weeks/

    Calories ingested don't *only* go to increasing fat mass, though obviously they do sometimes (such as in your case). But why it is that they go toward fat rather than lean tissue, and how to do the reverse- that's the question folks around here are toying with.

    JT- that Catching Fire book doesn't actually argue against a paleo diet, as far as I understand. Just says that we've been eating and cooking carbohydrates for a real long time. Only some paleos subscribe to the low-carb view of human history. As far as I know, no evidence has come up showing that humans have been cultivating and cooking grains specifically for half a million years.

    Reply
  84. Good point, TJ- JT asked for one example of a mis-representation he makes. Who specifically are the calorie deniers who say what Stancel has done is impossible, JT?

    I know that every time this issue comes up, I make it clear that calories obviously do matter in some sense, but not necessarily in the way people typically think about it.

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  85. Matt, I agree with what you're saying about hormonal changes in the body being paramount for body composition.

    But my main point is that you don't have to negatively impact your hormones, and in many cases you can positively alter them if you do things right, while losing body fat.

    Also, consider losing fat and building muscle at the same time. Very possible to do, unlike what most people think. Changes just come slower, and things need to be dialed in more than the average fat loss or mass gain diet approach.

    But how is going from say 200lbs at 18% body fat to 200lbs at 10% bodyfat a bad thing?

    It is well known in the industry that the best muscle gains come when bodyfat levels for men are around 10-15%. Why? Because hormonally you're the healthiest in this range.

    Lower than that and things can turn more catabolic, with lower testosterone levels, etc. Higher than that and your body tends to partition more fat and less muscle from the food you eat – because of things like higher estrogen levels and so on.

    What this translates into to me is this: Most people's hormonal levels will be optimized just from being in this range of body composition. For women, roughly 15-20% bodyfat seems to be the spot.

    Are you saying these methods are invaluable because people are too lazy to log their food for 5 minutes a day? Or have too little will power to not eat ice cream and sweets all the time? Or they can't take a couple months to experiment with macronutrient ratios to find what works for them?

    Finding your true caloric maintenance needs with the method I posted, and going into a very slight caloric deficit is not going to be highly catabolic. Especially when you include strategic cheat days as I would lay out in this situation. By very slight I mean like 200 cals.

    Or take for example a carb cycling diet, which I have also done very successfully. Some days you'll be losing fat, others you'll be building muscle.

    What's more, the body doesn't work on a set 24/7 schedule and you can even lose fat and build muscle in the same day.

    Bottom line: I'm not talking about anything even close to massive calorie deprivation here like you seem to be suggesting. That is stupid. Bad mojo. A recipe for failure.

    I'm suggesting people look beyond their own world of massive calorie deprivation, starvation diets and bad exercise choices, into one that does this stuff successfully every day. If most people would give this stuff a try they'd be amazed.

    Reply
  86. Interesting post but Im not sure I would have gone so far as to add..

    "Don’t listen to those leangains guys"

    There's no denying Martin and the other leangains clients get fantastic results.

    Reply
  87. JT, I'm considering picking up that book as well. Would also be interested in anyone's opinions/reviews on it.

    Anonymous on glycogen,

    In one study on carb loading, it was found that just ONE 3-minute bout of intense cycling was effective for glycogen depletion. That was followed up by a 24 hours of carb loading.

    Despite the low volume of exercise, athletes were still able to almost DOUBLE their glycogen levels above normal levels.

    Stated another way, exercising intensely, slightly depleting glycogen stores, and following that up with eating high carbohydrates stimulates a good anabolic rebound effect in glycogen storage.

    BTW, on sprinting. It is very much a max effort type of exercise and one would do best with longer rest periods. That will allow ATP to recover and do the subsequent sprints justice. Plus, most people will need that long to recover from the jacked heart rate and gasping for breath anyhow lol.

    If anyone wants to try a killer workout that rips the fat off you and builds muscle and strength at the same time (and actually is very easy on recovery because it's low impact and concentric-only movement), try sled pulling or pushing a prowler. (Hell, you could even push a car or very heavy wheel-barrow if it's all you had).

    Reply
  88. Rob, I wish Tim Ferris didn't get mentioned. Many people, and I'm one of them, don't believe anything in that article.

    34lbs in 28 days is NOT possible, even on $1,000's of dollars in drugs. Even with muscle memory for a small guy like Tim. I've been doing this stuff for years, and also know many of the best trainers out there, and no-one has seen anything like that in the real world.

    Plus, his whole plan is based off of the Casey Viator Colorado experiment which is also bunk. Casey is said to have to best genetics of ALL-TIME for bodybuilding. Also, his results were based on massive muscle memory. Plus, chances are about 99.9% that he was on massive amounts of drugs.

    Neither the diet nor the 1 set to failure junk routine Tim promotes in that article is of any value.

    For what it's worth…

    Reply
  89. Great information Michael. BTW if you don't have a sled to pull or a prowler you could just get a sprinting parachute.

    http://www.competitiveedgeproducts.com/detail.aspx?ID=476

    BTW I wonder how short bursts of exercise like sprinting would affect the bodies ability to fully oxidize glucose, producing CO2. It would seem that the adaptive response to such training would increase the bodies ability to do that.

    Reply
  90. Fair enough, Michael. I probably don't care enough to research it further myself, but I'm curious about why you're so convinced it's bunk. He seems like a guy of decent integrity, and coupled with the accompanying data and images, I at this point have no reason to dis-believe him. The principle makes sense to me- massive hyper-caloric intake with a modest amount of resistance training to trigger the hormonal changes necessary to shuttle those calories into lean tissue building.

    Seems like he didn't maintain that mass, so maybe it's not a long-term change, but again, I have no reason now to doubt him.

    Again, though, it sounds like you have a good bit of experience with this, so maybe it is bull. I'm open to being persuaded.

    Reply
  91. Dang! I was typing these comments in response to what JT said, and TJ and Rob beat me to it lol! Great points, guys! Oh well, here's my *poke at the bear* anyway :-)

    JT's comments were PERFECT *case in point* (thanks, JT lol!) that Brock, Joe Blow, Princess, and others pointed out about JT misrepresenting positions. And I'm sure he will be back to deny it in his special way that he does — and prove the other point people made of his claiming innocence. Don't take that personally, JT, I'm just pokin ya :-)

    Calorie deniers don't believe it's impossible, they believe it's not sustainable–big difference! Nor do they (we) believe it's necessary! The body will regulate calories on its own if a person stops fuckin around with it. And that is to say, it's not sustainable with long term, enjoyable, results… like eating *whatever-the-crap-I-want-when-I-want-it* and letting my body regulate the rest, naturally — the way it's designed to. And mine does so very well, I might add, cause I stopped fuckin with it (an *stressing* about it) and I'm no longer in denial… just sayin :-)

    Don't confuse calorie deniers with in-denial-ers — or low-carbers, or 30BADers, or any of them, for that matter :-)

    P.S. Johnny, I'm totally crushin on you too! Sorry, Deb :-)

    Johnny, thanks for sharing your "dietary secrets" — awesome! And hilarious! Those principles work very well for me too :-)

    Reply
  92. Rob,

    Besides the points I made earlier, you simply can't build muscle that quickly. Even if 1/2 of his results were from increased glycogen and holding more water weight from supplements like creatine and taurine (ie sarcoplasmic hypertrophy), the body simply can't produce new muscle tissue that fast.

    Take a brand new beginner trainee for example. Have him do everything right that he possibly can – his training is optimal, diet is perfect, he sleeps great for 8+ hours a night, his life is very low stress and work outside the gym is non-existent or very easy, etc.

    Even in the best case scenarios, 30lbs in the first 3 MONTHS is terrific progress, and the best I've ever seen or heard of — even in very malnourished, super-skinny trainees that could add weight just looking at a cheesecake.

    And this is when gains are by far the fastest.

    I struggled with this when I first read Tim's article a few years ago on his blog, too. He seems to have integrity.

    But unfortunately his plan has too many holes:

    The original premise is based on a bunk study from Arthur Jones.

    The diet sucks for this purpose.

    The training sucks for this purpose, and has never worked great for many people in this context.

    Tim is too small for muscle memory to have accounted for the gains.

    No one else has seen gains like this in the history of the sport, as far as I know. Even with perfect genetics, perfect conditions and using drugs.

    It's all just too far from reality to be believable.

    Hope that helps shed some light :)

    BTW Anonymous, I forgot about the good 'ol parachute – that'd work great. Thanks for putting that out there.

    Reply
  93. JT,

    I didn't say that the whole world didn't do high GI. (Which, by the way, the whole world doesn't do high GI. Ever eat in Japan? It's low carb. The bowl of white rice is tiny. The rest is fish and vegetables.)

    My point is that in the United States, current dietary dogma recommends low glycemic carbs. Brock is recommending high-glycemic carbs.

    Reply
  94. With respect to calories, I find it amusing that numerous posts and comments appear to support the following contradictory propositions:

    1) Ray Peat is a genius
    2) You can eat "to appetite" and calories don't matter all in the long run because your body will adjust your appetite

    Unfortunately, it does not appear that Ray Peat supports proposition #2. His interviews (eluv, eastwest healing) have repeatedly stated that calorie consumption has increased over the past 50 years. Yes, damaged thyroid matters, to an extent. But Peat argues against starch consumption because it causes an insulin surge which promotes fat gain. Listen to his April 27th interview with the Rubins. Peat is saying that certain foods make you fatter than others, yes. But he isn't saying that you can eat whatever you want to appetite.)

    Peat has repeatedly said that weight loss requires a "moderate" reduction in calories (but not a large reduction, which causes the body to slow its metabolism).

    Reply
  95. Tim Ferriss, lol.

    I did that for a month and gained ZERO pounds.

    On muscle memory…

    Don't underestimate the power of muscle memory. My friend Aaron got a hold of his strung out heroin addict buddy and put him on a mass-gaining regimen with the intent of documenting it and selling an ebook or something along those lines revealing the "secrets."

    He put 55 pounds on the guy in 5 weeks, most of it muscle. The gains in his biceps and chest measurement and what not were phenomenal. But that's what happens when you used to be big and muscular, lose it all on drugs, and then binge on peanut butter, jelly, and cream cheese-filled honey buns ("burritos") washed down with half and half.

    This guy, like Ferriss, also had a good build and good genetics.

    Ferriss stated in his original blog post that the picture of him as the "geek" was after losing a bunch of weight tango dancing, undereating, and not doing any weightlifting. I would imagine 90% of those gains were gains he got the old-fashioned way prior to his amazing HIT!

    I guarantee you I could fast away 34 pounds in a month right now and gain every ounce of it back in the month following. Anyone want to volunteer to do this? Not it!

    Reply
  96. Another thing about Tim Ferriss' experiment. Before he started his weight gaining protocol, he LOST a bunch of weight, so a good bit of that weight was just weight regain, as was the case with Casey Viator as well.

    Reply
  97. Matt Stone said: "In the short-term diabetics can't really tolerate much of anything, but I suspect a diabetic could improve glucose metabolism by leaps and bounds sipping on milkshakes all day long – similar to the milk diet but with a higher ratio of carbs to protein (and thus, presumably, less cortisol). And, at the end of that improvement, be able to eat fat, protein, and carbohydrates together with a more normal glycemic response (whereas a fat-restricted or carbohydrate-restricted attempt at lowering glucose levels, even if successful, would not yield the same capability but a general worsening of the condition in my experience with it)."

    I don't think so, and here's why: The program you describe might improve insulin resistance, but Type II diabetes is insulin resistance *plus* some other part of the glucose-insulin system being broken, usually because of a genetic defect. If that part can't sense or respond to fatty acids with insulin sensitivity or an insulin response, or if another part can't do that with glucose, that's when you run into trouble. I'm not just talking about beta cell death. There are numerous mutations connected with Type II diabetes and it's likely many different disorders leading to the same result – hyperglycemia – usually in tandem with insulin resistance, as insulin resistance becomes the straw that breaks the camel's back, or because the insulin resistance itself is the result of a genetic flaw.

    So if you give more fat to a person who simply lacks an enzyme, chemical messenger, or receptor for fatty acids, it is not going to help.

    I think your program might help people with impaired glucose tolerance short of diabetes, if the impaired glucose tolerance is solely the result of acquired insulin resistance, but if it were that easy to cure Type II diabetes, people would be doing it all the time. People with Type II aren't necessarily eating too much or too little or the wrong things. Some gear in the works for processing it is simply gummed up. When that's the case an unnatural-seeming diet (low-carb or low-fat) might be the best treatment, and even that may not spell a complete remission of hyperglycemia.

    Reply
  98. On the 'Catching Fire' book, I read it, obsessed on it, and wrote about six posts on it just over a year ago. On my blog, ulteriorharmony dot blogspot, around Feb/March 2010. I can pull up the links if anyone wants. But he doesn't really talk about Paleo- vs Neolithic, just that cooking had been in use for way longer than had been assumed, and that its creation of a storable source of carbs when other sources of food weren't in season had all kinds of ramifications for human development.

    Reply
  99. I'm interested in Michael's suggestions of trial by experiment to adjust macro ratios, etc, but is one week enough to know? It seems like an awfully short window.

    Really interesting post. One more question for Brock: why do you recommend focus on grains, rather than eg sweet potatoes and starchy veggies, and beans? Aren't the latter higher in fiber than grains?

    Reply
  100. @JT, the hated one

    I stepped it off and I counted 102. It should be about 100 yards because I have short legs.

    Reply
  101. Ela,
    Yes please post your links, I'm very interested in what you wrote.

    Mark,
    Yes I have eaten in Japan, and other Asian countries as well. I have spent about a year in various parts of Asia. The average persons diet is based on white rice,'there is no question about this.

    TJ,
    I'm not sure if your comment was a joke, but the majority on here ARE in denial that counting calories can be an effective long term solution. I don't care enough to sift through previous comments, but feel free to check.

    Stancel,
    Great input. Please keep providing us with more of your insight and experiences.

    RobA,
    You gotta check out the Colorado experiment. I was suckered in by this as a teen. Ferris is just copying this. It's only marketing hype, what Matt and Michael are saying is correct.

    Reply
  102. My old posts on Wrangham's 'Catching Fire,' for what it's worth. My background as a longtime raw-foodist explains some of my emphases but I try to cover it all…

    ulteriorharmony.blogspot.com/2010/03/on-catching-fire-part-1-summary-of.html

    ulteriorharmony.blogspot.com/2010/03/on-catching-fire-part-21-implications.html

    ulteriorharmony.blogspot.com/2010/03/on-catching-fire-part-22-implications.html

    ulteriorharmony.blogspot.com/2010/03/on-catching-fire-part-23-implications.html

    Reply
  103. Ela, thanks for the links on Catching Fire – I appreciate it.

    BTW, on your question about is 1 week long enough…

    That is just to track your eating for a week to get a baseline. We always need a baseline first and foremost to know where we're coming from.

    2 weeks here would be better, but I've gotten into the habit of just suggesting 1 week because for some reason the thought of tracking everything you put into your mouth sounds daunting to many people. So this helps get them over the hump and doing it. (It's really easy though, and only takes a few mins per day)

    If you want to experiment with different macro ratios, I'd do that for a month or so each time. Preferably keeping other variables in your life fairly constant to get the best results. Things like amount of sleep, how often and type of exercise, etc.

    I can't impress the value of trying this experiment enough. You'll learn a ton about yourself, and about nutrition.

    Reply
  104. Thanks, Michael–yes, one month makes lots more sense to me as an experiment baseline. It can be so hard to keep other variables constant!

    The other trick would be to maintain 'scientific detachment' throughout the experiment: I've tried so many different woe's but each time with a belief that this was somehow 'better,' denial when it wasn't, etc.

    Also wondering how strict you have to be about recording what you ate. There was an uncomfortably long period of my life (in the depths of anorexia) when I physically couldn't put anything in my mouth without having first weighed it and written down its calorie amount. _Not_ recording what I ate in precise detail has been something of a lifesaver in years since…

    Reply
  105. JT, Michael and Matt,

    Did look into that Colorado experiment a bit, and it does seem plausible that much of the gains have to do with muscle memory. Whether that means Ferris is a straight up huckster or not, I can't say. I can accept that those gains wouldn't be possible without some previous conditioning that subsequently atrophied, though. Fair enough.

    Also, just to keep with this, JT. There is a difference between what you said above:

    "I saw on you blog that you have lost 100 pounds controlling caloric intake. Many calorie deniers on here would claim that your result is not possible."

    and what you're defending to TJ.:

    "the majority on here ARE in denial that counting calories can be an effective long term solution. I don't care enough to sift through previous comments, but feel free to check. "

    So I ask again for one individual who says that what Stancel has done is not possible. Please don't evade the question, use nebulous terms like 'the majority on here,' etc.

    You asked for one example of an argument you misrepresented or misinterpreted. You were given what you requested- one example of a position you misrepresented or misinterpreted. And yet rather than respond 'rationally,' you say 'I don't care enough to sift through previous comments' to substantiate your claim.

    Do you see how this can be interpreted as as insincere argumentation? How that might motivate Brock to say 'that you do not debate honestly and fairly with the other readers of this site'?

    Straight up dude, I appreciate your contributions often, but I too have a hard time interpreting some of your responses as something other than willful instigation.

    Reply
  106. I might give Neolithic a try. I remember when IF was becoming popular, there were complaints about rising blood sugar levels. I’ll just use ½ cup milk on my cereal in the morning. Brock should provide more detail about meat quantity, and fruit/veggies. But I thought eating unfermented wheat (chapattis) would cause mineral deficiencies.

    I agree with JL. Wrecktal temp monitoring seems more reliable than armpits, urethra, or nasal.

    Reply
  107. john,

    The one advantage a diet based around TXNIP control has is that TXNIP is the first bodily system shown in a laboratory setting to directly and linearly control the body's fuel partioning, direction and rate of lipolysis, thermogenesis, insulin sensitivity and leptin sensitiviy. It's the locus of which all the other hormones we have studied before are merely inputs.

    Now your points about which (sugar, leptin, or insulin) trumps the others in terms of TXNIP expression is a fair one. The science is not in on that. We are making some educated guesses here, informed both by our (limited) understanding of the biology and what diets have worked before.

    Johnny Lawrence, you're too funny man. And hill sprints kick ass. I was able to fit into my pants better too after them, but no actual weight was lost. Improvements in muscle tone didn't result in lipolysis.

    JT, your comment at MAY 5, 2011 8:55:00 AM MDT is your "one example" of misrepresentations/misinterpreting you'll get from me. If you actually read my post again for what it says (rather than what you want it to say to make me look wrong), it says that humans have been eating a "carb based" diet for at least 500,000 years. Not Neolithic. Carb.

    It's long past time anyone give you the benefit of the doubt. No one could "honestly" get it wrong as often as you do, which leaves only dishonesty.

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  108. Regarding sprints, I recommend everyone sprint on an eliptical machine, rowing machine, stationary bike, or the like. Actual sprints will be the most challenging, but also most likely to result in an injury. Eliptical machines are pretty hard to injure yourself with.

    Also, on the topic of exercise for fat loss, the only reason to do exercise is to change your hormonal state and blood sugar regulation. It's not about the fat you release or burn during exercise; that's chump change. You'd have to train like an Olympic athlete to actually "burn off" a meaningful amount of calories. So don't worry about whether fatty acids get released or reabsorbed; that's just distracting nonsense. For best results focus on how a workout affects testosterone production, HGH, insulin senstivity, etc.

    glutewalker, I'd be happy to provide more details – send me an email! This isn't my site after all, so I can't just blog updates and more details.

    Urethral? I hope that's a bad joke.

    kirk & terpol,

    I would really like to know more about your cheat concept. How do you know when to cheat? What sort of signals or urges do you look for? Do you try to stave it off with some potatoes or whatnot first to see how "real" the urge is, or do you just dive in? What sort of cheats do you like? How often would you say you do this?

    So many questions! Really, just any details – as much as you like. I love this stuff. Thanks!

    Reply
  109. Kalahari bushmen eat lots of tubers. The only thing is, they chew on it until their amylase breaks down the sugars and starches, then they spit out the fiber.

    Body comp of populations on wheat and other grain based diets will ALWAYS, with age, be suboptimal.

    The reason the Asians are so healthful (provided their rice based diet is supplemented well with nutrient dense foods such as fruits and organ meats,) is because white rice is a benign carb source.

    Historically the most robust humans were West Africans and Polynesians. Magellan's crew (wheat eaters) got their asses whipped by Polynesians (tuber eaters) in hand to hand combat. The Polynesians commandeered the boat, because they were simply larger and stronger.

    The worlds most healthy populations eat heavily processed starches. I'm going to follow their lead.

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  110. Also, I think it is funny how you pick and choose features of different ecosystems and diets. You say that whole grained unleavened bread is good, but coconut oil is the best oil. Well, the Polynesians/Micronesians/Melanesians and their ancestors are believed to be the ones largely responsible for spreading coconut across the pacific. They also ate their tubers with the skin off. I think they had ample fiber and nutrients in their diet without having to include the skins.

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  111. Ela,
    That is great, Thanks!

    Rob,
    Are you serious! Here is a quote from Brocks post:
    "If that doesn’t shut up the “calories in/calories out” and “Just eat less! Have discipline!” crowd, they can no longer lay claim to being in any reality-based community."

    This is what I am referring to, but Stancel and everyone else that I have ever known who made a change did it this way. Look at how many times I have been attacked in the past for daring to believe that calorie control could be a viable approach to sustained weight loss. Even your girlfriend above says that they believe it is not a sustainable option, and this is what I was referring to. I know that nobody on here is so stupid as to not even believe that calories don't exist. I know everyone here believes you would starve to death without enough calories. You guys are just trying to twist words around.

    Look at my critiques of Brock's arguments as a whole instead of tryng to catch me in a statement where I made have been linguistically vague.

    What about the other things I pointed out? He stated dairy and stimulants prevent weight loss. This is not true, especially with stimulants, even though they raise cortisol levels it still causes people to lose weight rapidly. If cortisol is the key then why are drugs that raise cortisol levels the most effective weight loss drugs?

    Reply
  112. Mark wrote:
    "Peat is saying that certain foods make you fatter than others, yes. But he isn't saying that you can eat whatever you want to appetite. Peat has repeatedly said that weight loss requires a "moderate" reduction in calories (but not a large reduction, which causes the body to slow its metabolism)."

    This is *still* a misrepresentation, or perhaps misinterpretation (whichever applies here) of the deliberate calorie restriction opposition.

    No one – not me anyway – is saying that a "reduction" in calories is NOT required for weight loss. What I am saying is that the body can and does naturally regulate that "reduction" on its own, with hunger, cravings, appetite (and natural suppression thereof), and "waste management" of surplus calories — so long as it senses there is no *need* to store fat. So, provided their body is functioning under no *perceived* need to store fat, if a person does allow their body to regulate calories on its own, a person CAN have long term sustainable weight loss — without rebound weight gain (like what happens when you finally give up and stop *deliberately* restricting calories).

    I've seen this (apparent phenomenon?), not only with my own body, but with many others. That's pretty overwhelming *real life* evidence to me. It would take a whole hellava lot of evidence to the contrary to convince me otherwise. Hey, maybe a bunch of corrupt, biased, self-serving studies might do it? Nah, I would be nuts to stop doing what I'm doing, cause it works for me and I'm loving life — and my food freedom! :-)

    P.S. And, Johnny, I don't "hate" JT. I've just lost a lot of respect for him lately. He makes it increasingly difficult to put any faith in ANYTHING he says anymore — even when I think he might be making a good point.

    Just being honest, JT. Wish it wasn't so.

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  113. Brock wrote: "I humbly suggest The Neolithic Diet. (Strictly speaking our species has been eating a carb-based diet for 500,000 years"

    If someone suggests a diet and then links to a book in the next sentence in parentheses, it is reasonable to assume that the book has something to do with the diet that was suggested. Be more clear in your writing if you dont want to be misinterpreted!

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  114. Matt, this is a hell of a blog you’ve got going, and it’s opened my eyes to so many things health-wise. Thank you. You’re the man. Gold nunchakus for you.

    Brock, excellent guest post, sir! Well done. You get a gold star.

    Michael, your real-world experience is invaluable. It is this kind of empiricism that I think will ultimately lead the scientists to ask the right questions regarding “health.” You get a leather boxing glove.

    Rob A, you get the Socrates Award for being thoughtful, well-written, even-keeled and probing in your treatises. Well done, sir.

    JT, O resident gadfly, once again you’re throwing down and winning my heart and mind by speaking your truth to the 180 conventionals here. You get a medallion of pyrite wrapped lapis lazuli for your efforts. Keep up the good work.

    Winner: Johnny Lawrence.

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  115. @ Mark

    "I didn't say that the whole world didn't do high GI. (Which, by the way, the whole world doesn't do high GI. Ever eat in Japan? It's low carb. The bowl of white rice is tiny. The rest is fish and vegetables.)"

    Japanese eat low-carb? That's about the funniest thing I've ever read. As far away from reality as possible. Is that what happens when you get all your info from reading low-carb blogs?

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  116. Brock-

    when i first did this i just binged whenever i felt like it, usually on ice cream/sweets especially at night if i couldn't sleep. now i aim for a refeed (better word) meal during the week and a refeed halfday at the end of the week, eating whatever and as much as i want. you have to make your own routine to suit yourself.

    it takes a while to understand the difference between wanting to eat and needing to. my feeling most of the time is that i could eat more, even a lot more, but i'm okay with this smaller amount. and when you have a regular refeed its no problem being a little hungry some of the time.

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  117. The topic of 'calorie restriction' continues to rear its stubborn head. And for good reason. Clearly no one on here doubts that weight loss through calorie restriction is possible. So can we put that one to bed please?!

    ‘But at what cost!’ say the doubters. ‘All your doing is disrupting the delicate balance of hormones that you have already ravaged through years of stress and yo yo dieting.’

    ‘You'll burn your adrenals to a crisp!’
    ‘You'll 'mangle' your thyroid!!’

    Not to mention all the emotional distress you wreak on yourself. According to the doubters you'll inevitably become an unhappy, neurotic mess with an eating disorder. And don’t forget the inevitable rebound effect! Remember how fat and depressed you were before calorie restriction? Well add those numbers up and multiply by 17 and that’s what you are heading for dumbass!!

    Well the testimonials of MANY highly intelligent and experienced commentators on this site paint a different story. Add my name to the list

    Having worked as a personal trainer for a good few years now, having worked one to one with hundreds of clients and seen thousands of food diary entries my experience is as follows:

    1) Most people eat emotionally I.e responding to external cues, or unconscious emotional habit (boredom, reward, medicate etc.) rather than a conscious response to genuine hunger

    2) This results is a large percentage of people OVEREATING (yes I know this may come as a shock, but a LARGE percentage of people who are trying to lose weight OVEREAT)

    So this is what has worked for me:

    1) Coach people to eat CONSCIOUSLY (responding to genuine hunger rather than medicating their emotional distress with food)

    2) A byproduct of eating consciously is that most people instinctively end up REDUCING calories (note this is NOT the end in itself).

    3) When people follow the programme they end up feeling EMPOWWERED (not miserable and deprived) as are acting PROACTIVELY, no longer the servant of their emotions and impulses.

    4) People can lose large amounts of weight long term before their weights loss eventually peters out.

    I am not saying that this method is foolproof or even effective or necessary but it does work for many people. And the idea that calorie restriction (no matter how small or how its framed) results in enivatble failiure and misery is completely misguided.

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  118. Hans,

    I don't read low carb blogs. I eat a high carb diet and have my whole life. However, my neighbor and best friend growing up was from Japan. I ate at their house every day. Their diets contained FAR fewer starches and sugars than an American house. When I stayed at their house, I was dying for my french toast, coca-cola, spaghetti…bread, bread, bread was all I could think about.

    Breakfast – small bowl of white rice, raw shrimp.

    Lunch – salty soup with fish…perhaps an egg. Small bowl of white rice. Tons of vegetables.

    Dinner – sushi…fish…seaweed. Vegetables. Small bowl of white rice.

    No desserts. No big glasses of O.J. No bags of chips. No bread.

    3 small bowls of white rice IS low carb when you compare it to a relative diet. It's all relative. Nobody on this planet wolfs down starch like a bunch of fat Americans. Nobody.

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  119. I meant to say:

    3 small bowls of white rice IS low carb when you compare it to an American diet.

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  120. I lost a 5000 word comment. Dammit Blogspot.

    Whatever- Catty, Stancel, JT- you're right. Conscious calorie restriction works. When it fails, it's because the fatty couldn't stick with it. Why couldn't they stick with it? Lack of willpower mostly. If we can just kick them into shape and get em that willpower, we can solve the obesity question.

    Done- solved. Thanks for straightening me out.

    (I'm being a douche here, but I'm sick of this debate, especially after losing a half hour of sincere thoughtful, persuasive writing).

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  121. Mark,
    When speaking of a diet being low or high carb, fat, or protein we are talking of ratios in comparison to the other macronutrients.

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  122. I just lost a comment, too, Rob.

    It was to clarify my posts to spare the haters their time.

    In sum, I do agree that certain foods make us hungry. I believe fat is required to tame appetite (google CCK).

    However, I ate a very nice breakfast this morning. But I could've easily walked into the new Krispy Kreme store on the way into work. I chose not to.

    As the Russians used to say, "appetite begets appetite."

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  123. Thanks, JT. Perhaps I should have said "starch" instead of "carb." I don't think anyone in the world is getting fat from eating too many fruits and vegetables.

    But comparing starch consumption between the US and Japan? No comparison at all. US wins hands down.

    The bottom line is that Americans are wolfing down starch and junk food like no other. It explains most of the obesity epidemic. I believe junk food works on the same brain receptors as heroin. There is a study out there showing it.

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  124. Rob,
    Where did Cathy, stancel, or myself ever say that? First you accuse me of being dishonest in my representation of other arguments, I provide evidence that this is not the case, you ignore my proof, and then you give a dishonest representation of what we are saying.

    I'm very disappointed in how you have changed from being a voice of reason into someone who slanders others in order to win approval from their new "friends". Don't worry, it won't be too long before you express too much critical thinking and they turn on you too.

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  125. Matt,

    give us the meat balls recipe !!

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  126. Rob A -

    That's a massive shame because you are my favourite poster on this site and a 5000 word comment would have been a real treat!! (plus you wrote 5000 words in half an hour…are you kidding me!!)Having lost a few posts myself I always save it on word 1st ;)

    I'm sad to hear you are sick of this topic as a) I think this is absolutely fundamental to all discussion here and b) i would be really interested to hear ur ideas.

    Just to be clear i'm not particularly interested in this topic (calorie restriction) and find many of the other issues here more fascinating BUT i'm getting sick of how any discussion treated as old news, completely pointless, beyond consideration, and generally the work of ill-informed, inexperienced, ignoramous trolls!!

    Many intelligent and experienced people have found an approach that includes some form of small calorie restriciton to work long term, including not only JT and Stancel but also John and Collden and thats just the people commenting on this one thread!

    I totally understand that Matt doesn't want to talk about it, and many 180 heads have spent a lot of time considering the topic and aren't interested in discussing it. But lets be clear, this idea that hormonal and metabolic breakdown/mental illness/ having an iron will/ leading a miserable life/ as the inevitable byproduct of any long term calorie restriction is completely misleading! Its like of the few remaining dogmas here: Calorie restiction in any form is unhealthy and stupid!!!

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  127. JT, Rob has "friends" here because he treats everyone here with respect, whilst being a critically thinking voice of reason. Yet remaining open minded and even at times conceding to the other "voices of reason" here. Unlike you are ever willing to do. In fact, even "twisting" comments/positions in every effort to avoid it or simply saying, "I was wrong." And because of that, I personally, for one, no longer consider you in the category of "critical thinkers" nor "voices of reason" here – of which there are quite a few here.

    That's just my personal opinion — formed from observing you since you've been back. Just a look at how you've come across to some people — use it for whatever it's worth to you. Learn from it, reject it, twist it, whatever, your choice. And these are my final comments to you on that matter.

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  128. Some of us aren't as "well-behaved" as Rob (myself included) when we get pushed past our limit lol! :-)

    Rob wrote:
    "(I'm being a douche here, but I'm sick of this debate, especially after losing a half hour of sincere thoughtful, persuasive writing)."

    Dang it! I was looking forward to it. And was especially curious what you were going to say about the twisting of words — that only one person here seems to do, that I've seen.

    But, I agree, I'm sick of that debate too :-)

    I'd much rather use this outlet for learning from each other — and sharing laughs and 80s-movie references too, of course(!) — than belittling each other.

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  129. BTW, it was the "half hour of sincere thoughtful, persuasive writing" that I meant I was looking forward to :-)

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  130. @The Judge
    What, you don't like the ladies? Seems most of your awards were for dudes.
    See Ray Peat quote on the next post re:penises.
    :)
    hag

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  131. CATTY,

    You stated:

    "remaining dogmas here: Calorie restiction in any form is unhealthy and stupid!!!"

    This is one of the best comments ever on this blog, and you were able to get to the point of it all in one sentence. Awesome! I have spent so much time and effort trying to point out the falsity of this dogma, but you do put it much better than me. I hope you don't mind if I borrow this quote occasionally.

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  132. Whoops- probably more like 5000 characters, based on the ~4000 character limit in a single reply. 5000 words in a half hour would be a feat! :-)

    The gist of my reply was that some form of conscious calorie restriction, if it induces hunger, lethargy and general misery, is not sustainable or effective. And at the very least, calorie counters have to contend with the fact that attempts at conscious control of calorie consumption very typically end in failure and rebound weight gain.

    I also had some points in there about how small a lever exercise can be in calorie expenditure versus increasing unconscious energy expenditure, and the most effective way to do that seems to be to make the body reduce its set point and want to mobilize those stored calories and expend them.

    A few weeks ago I even asked, based on a comment by Darya Pino, whether a modest calorie reduction of 100-200 calories/day might not avoid some of the rebound effects associated withs starvation. Some people swear by it. What's tricky is that it can be exceedingly hard to precisely quantify calorie expenditures, even if calorie labels were accurate (which they may not be). At the same time, it seems plausible that the body could easily make up that 200 calorie deficit if it was defending a higher fat mass by doing unconscious things like reducing heat production, slowing transit time to absorb more calories from the food ingested, decreasing the amount of incidental calorie burning fidgeting, etc.

    So can we restrict calories effectively? Maybe. Can we reduce the setpoint through calorie restriction? Maybe. But it's not clear to me that we can, especially based on the many many examples of yo-yo (or check) dieting. At the very least, we can say that it doesn't seem to work for everyone, and that this inquiry is, for me, about expanding the number of people for whom a fat loss strategy works.

    But I concede that an unsophisticated iteration of 'calorie restriction in any form is unhealthy and stupid' is probably just the pendulum swinging the other way, and balance may lie somewhere short of that bold a proclamation. Because really, I don't know, and though it makes sense intuitively to me that transformation need not and should not be grueling, maybe there is a role here for deliberate and mindful intervention.

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  133. Grass Fed Momma, you receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for your always clever and sharp-tongued rejoinders. For this, of course you get a platinum and memory-foam warm dream — soft and firm, you see.

    I noticed too that I was singling out the boys in my post — just seemed where the "action" was in this thread. Sorry.

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  134. Okay, brief interruption in my playtime (worth it!), to say…

    Rob, as usual, very well said. We can always count on you to give it to us straight- respectfully so. And clearly (from others' comments here) I'm not the only one who appreciates your input here. Not to leave out the other great contributors here(!), but I like how you and Matt keep things in check around here, at least for me anyway :-)

    Have a great weekend!!

    P.S. That's the fair & honest way to play devil's advocate. Thank you, Rob!

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  135. Congrats to Deb (the Grass Fed Momma) on her WELL-DESERVED award!! :-)

    But…

    Judge, Your Honor, just for future reference, "memory-foam" ain't gonna cut it — it won't get the job done ;-)

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  136. @ the Judge
    I accept my award and plan to keep it in under my bed in a secret place where the kids won't find it :)
    deep bows of gratitude for the props,
    deb xo

    Reply
  137. Catty, I agree that was well said. And again I'll take the collective results of trainers who train sometimes many 1,000's of people over a lifetime vs a few scientific studies any day.

    Rob, good post. I have a couple comments:

    On exercise for increasing calorie expenditure: That seems to be the only thing people heavily vested in the "science" boat tend to focus on.

    Sure a hard weight lifting session for 30-45 minutes might only burn 300-500 calories during the workout, but it's the after effect that really matters. Al Sears calls it the afterburn effect. The metabolism is highly elevated for at least the next 24 hours. Protein synthesis goes way up. The body's nutrient partitioning leans more to building more muscle, and storing less fat. Insulin sensitivity increases. And so on.

    People also tend to forget the fact that calorie restriction has a huge anabolic rebound effect. Meaning that the temporary calorie restriction causes a good environment for muscle growth once you start eating normally again. So more of the nutrients you eat will be directed, or partitioned towards building new muscle tissue.

    The same is true of increased fat loss from prior overfeeding.

    My point is that there is much more to this than most consider. It's not all Atkin's diets for 6 months straight, 1,000 calorie deficits, fasting and cabbage soup diets. That's the kind of crap most people try, and then say you can't possibly lose any fat in a sustainable way.

    Besides, if what you're doing is effective *and properly addresses a healthy hormonal state* then it shouldn't take that long to lose most or all of that fat you need to lose. So there's no reason to sustain anything, you're finished.

    Now, if a person loses a ton of fat and goes from 250lbs to 200lbs, obviously returning to their old eating habits is a recipe for disaster. But that's what a lot of people do and wonder why it didn't work for them.

    A quick word on weight set points:

    In the bodybuilding world, it has been found that it becomes much easier to hold a new weight permanently once the body has been there for a few months.

    I believe this is a key to both fat loss and muscle gain. If you want to reset your weight set point, hold that new weight for a few months so your body becomes accustomed to it. It will adapt.

    I keep emphasizing muscle mass and muscle gain because there's no better way IMO to ensure a high metabolism with little to no effort. Ask anyone with a good amount of muscle mass, we're usually burning up with internal heat from jacking up our metabolisms. This goes a long way to living a long, healthy life as well.

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  138. Oops, I forgot to comment on the 100-200 cal restriction.

    Rob said:

    "What's tricky is that it can be exceedingly hard to precisely quantify calorie expenditures, even if calorie labels were accurate (which they may not be)."

    It doesn't need to be so complicated, as most people eat mostly the same things over and over every day. That makes tracking things pretty easy, and pretty accurate.

    No need to be so OCD about all this stuff. That's probably why a lot of people are stuck. OCD and analysis paralysis.

    Oh, and Ela, if you can't disconnect from your food emotionally, or are worried about possible negative ramifications from tracking what you eat, then maybe in your case you'd be better off to pass.

    However, people usually find it very liberating. It allows you to be really honest with yourself and take responsibility.

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  139. Michael, you present really good insights too. I can see how what both you and Catty have shared can be a viable strategy for some. Like you said, as long as people don't over-think it and take it to extremes.

    Michael wrote:
    "On exercise for increasing calorie expenditure: That seems to be the only thing people heavily vested in the "science" boat tend to focus on. Sure a hard weight lifting session for 30-45 minutes might only burn 300-500 calories during the workout, but it's the after effect that really matters."

    I know this wasn't really your point, but just adding this… I do believe that regular activity (of any kind) has it's benefits (in terms of sustaining leanness), as it encourages the body to shed extra fat deposits and not store extra fat, as a result of it *perceiving the need* to stay lean AND strong (build/retain muscle) to keep up with your regular activity demands. For that reason, at least, exercise, and other (um, more enjoyable-wink!) activities, in general, makes good sense to me :-)

    Michael wrote:
    "it becomes much easier to hold a new weight permanently once the body has been there for a few months. I believe this is a key to both fat loss and muscle gain. If you want to reset your weight set point, hold that new weight for a few months so your body becomes accustomed to it. It will adapt."

    I can totally agree with that. In my research and experience, I've seen this happen even in as little as 3-4 weeks — when stabilizing and holding steady the new weight.

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  140. BTW, I volunteered at a not-for-profit alternative health improvement center for several years (one of the most eye-opening amazing experiences for me), and I continue to remain involved–trying to help people who feel that it's a hopeless cause. And I guess that's part of what makes me so passionate about it. Cause I know it's not hopeless and it's hugely gratifying to help & show them that it's not :-)

    Anyway, that is where my real life examples come from, outside of my own personal experience. I've seen hundreds of life-changing transformations — in health and body composition. The main focus was on the connection between stress, and lack of enjoyment/fulfillment, and poor health. How stress impacts health (and weight) and causes health issues. Anyway, I'm not going to ramble on about it (cause it's Friday and I have fun things to get ready for lol!). But once these people focused less on "trying to lose weight" and more on, yep, finding and focusing on their passions and enjoyable things in life — combined with *intuitively eating* a dietarily-free-yet-nutritionally-sufficient diet — their health improved dramatically and their body followed suit by shedding extra body fat — with NO deliberate calorie restriction whatsoever. To my surprise. And when I went back to that way of living (like I did BEFORE my brief struggle with weight-gain/body image) myself, the same happened for me. I gave up the battles (with my body) and I won the war, so to speak :-)

    But, I know that approach wouldn't work for everyone, especially for those who have a difficult time finding their passions, or living a more care-free lifestyle. I know that some people *need* a more structured and disciplined way of life, and like feeling more in control. Not saying that's true for anyone here specifically, just generally speaking. But, at least for those reasons, I can see how calorie restriction approaches, like what Michal & Catty presented, would work better for some people. Hey, if that's what works for a person, long term, great!

    And now I'm gonna shut up about it :-)

    Happy Friday all!!

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  141. Rob A and Mike,

    ppl have put up good points on the Tim Ferris situation. While I do think he has integrity, people have pointed out the little deceptions of losing weight and taking those pictures to compare the before and after pictures. Many other forums have pointed out the effect of muscle memory on Tim's physique. Also, i read almost every comment of that post and tim mentions that he had to consume about 6000 calories a day under his diet plan, which made it difficult to sustain since it was a full time effort, so he dropped the weight really fast.

    As for Matt who claims he followed this regimen, I really doubt it since it'd take such a fulltime effort and also for the fact that Matt said he tried the Masai diet when he did the milk diet.

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  142. Gabriel, do you have a blog? Or can you point me to more information on what you're talking about? Thanks mate.

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  143. Part of the problem in this calorie restriction argument is the phrase itself.

    Calorie restriction – the word restrict means to limit or control; a secondary definition is to deprive.

    I assumed (but correct me if I'm wrong) that the most common interpretation of the phrase was to deprive or deny yourself of food to some degree – to feel hungry, but choose not to eat.

    When people here say calorie restriction is "always stupid and unhealthy" I think that is what they're talking about – and I agree with them.

    What Catty described was a calorie reduction that occurred when people stopped emotional eating – which was eating when not even hungry – but that's a totally different concept.

    One side of the debate should probably use a different phrase.

    One side thinks 'calorie restriction' means food/nourishment deprivation and the other side seems to be arguing for a 'calorie restriction' that means calorie reduction without food/nourishment deprivation.

    I will try to state this in the clearest way possible and we will see if we still disagree:

    Given that: While food is anything you can eat, 'nourishment' is the food your body needs to be healthy and function properly.

    Nourishment deprivation is unhealthy and ineffective as a strategy for a permanent change in body fat composition.

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  144. SirHC, I like what you're saying.

    I guess I could sum up what I've been talking about in 2 words:

    Calorie control.

    Much different as you stated than restriction or deprivation.

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  145. collden said " I'm not sure I know even one really lean person who follows the principles of 180 degree health, lead zero-stress lives and always eat a lot of food. Does anyone else?"

    I'd have to say that I generally follow the principles of 180 degree of eating fresh and high starch, low pufas. I don't know if I eat a ton per day but I do eat a lot per meal usually twice a day. Besides the fact that I sleep pretty late every night, I'd say I lead a pretty stress-free life since I havent worked and wasn't trying to work in the past 5 months. I'm quite lean too. Not as lean as I was when i was low carbing but nevertheless ab definition is still there if i flex.

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  146. I haven't read everything JT has written in the past, but there seems to be too much hating on him here when I think his comments help stimulate discussions. I know I seem one-sided here, but from the top of my memory, JT has asked Matt specific questions before in previous posts and not been given a response and he's also posed questions in this thread and not received response.

    The way I see it, JT takes an individualized approach so he says seek an expert, while Brock takes a one-size-fits-all approach.

    That's why the Internet is an inferior place for arguing. I'm sure most of y'all would be more amiable if you were debating live or over the phone where you could clarify your points more easily instead of spending so much time writing a response and then making a slight error or inconsistency and then getting berated for it. I mean most of you confuse others by using words that nobody knows what they precisely mean like calorie restriction, or when someone says carbs, is that starch, or starch+sugar? And then subjective terms like low-carb, high-carb, low or high fat? And what does lean mean to people? Brad Pitt lean? Matt Stone lean?or Obama lean?

    You all should talk it out to figure out where your true differences lie. Maybe you'll realize you actually agree on most points and let semantics waste a bunch of your time.

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  147. danimal, eating twice a day would fall into the "infrequent eating" type I described, I did the same when I was losing 45 pounds without restricting anything. Its not very 180 degree since Matt is currently into eating 10 times a day to minimize stress, what you're doing is probably a lot closer to Leangains.

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  148. Michael & SirHC,

    SirHC basically said what I've been meaning to say for the last day or so (but none of my comments have gone through – here's hoping). Catty Placid's approach really isn't that different from my own; in the words of Inigo Montoya …

    "You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means."

    We're talking past each other. I advise eating to appetite every day and not deliberately restricting yourself and feeling hungry; but I don't recommend making yourself sick eating like an emotional eater or a sumo wrestler.

    Rob's point about measuring calories actually consumed is important. You cannot control how many calories you are even going to absorb from a given piece of food. Two people given identical diets will extract different amounts of calories from it because of differences in bowel transit speed, gut flora, etc. You also can't consciously control your burn rate from oxygenation and thermogenesis, which can vary up to 40% from day to day based on hormone expression.

    So I say measuring calories is a lost cause and you ought to focus controlling stuff you actually can control (quality ingredients, meal frequency, exercise) and on the signals your body is giving you instead.

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  149. "I believe this is a key to both fat loss and muscle gain. If you want to reset your weight set point, hold that new weight for a few months so your body becomes accustomed to it. It will adapt."

    It has been my experience as well. When I went down to 66kg and stayed there for a while (it just happened when I stopped exercising), it became my new natural weight and no matter what I did, I would stay there. Then I did some bodybuilding, went up to 78kg, and stayed there (through bodybuilding) for a good year. Now I find that pretty much no matter what I do, I stay at 78kg, with a similar fat mass.

    I pointed out an article to Matt about this a while ago. But he said he would find it unlikely if it was true (that the secret is to maintain a new weight for 6months)

    Martin V.

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  150. "I believe this is a key to both fat loss and muscle gain. If you want to reset your weight set point, hold that new weight for a few months so your body becomes accustomed to it. It will adapt."

    It has been my experience as well. When I went down to 66kg and stayed there for a while (it just happened when I stopped exercising), it became my new natural weight and no matter what I did, I would stay there. Then I did some bodybuilding, went up to 78kg, and stayed there (through bodybuilding) for a good year. Now I find that pretty much no matter what I do, I stay at 78kg, with a similar fat mass.

    I pointed out an article to Matt about this a while ago. But he said he would find it unlikely if it was true (that the secret is to maintain a new weight for 6months)

    Martin V.

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  151. Brock, I thought my posts demonstrated pretty clearly that measuring and controlling calories and macronutrients DOES WORK. The empirical evidence is overwhelming. 'Just depends what you do and how you do it.

    The biggest problem I have with this whole mindset of "dietary freedom leading to resetting natural body weight set points and losing fat" is that it doesn't seem to really work in reality. There are some success stories, but they are few and far between.

    Why aren't more people successful with this approach?

    IMO, it's because people need to control what they're doing to see any results.

    You simply can't manage and improve what you can't measure.

    People also seem to be blurring the line between health and fat loss. Yes, once you improve your health fat loss can and should come more naturally and easily to you. But what's optimal for one goal is not optimal for another. Hence people trying to use RRARF to lose weight, everyone gets fat and then wonders why. Doh!

    What RRARF is very good for is nourishing and healing the body so you can lose fat more naturally and easily, after you've healed.

    Martin, you read my mind. I was just gonna ask if you had a link to that article. Then I saw your next post and… poof! There it was. Thanks man.

    That strategy outlined in the article is pretty intelligent, too. Letting the body adapt to it's new set point flat out works.

    Reply
  152. Letting this one too fly with typos, cause no time to proof…

    Danimal, thank you for your thoughts. I have felt uneasy about this whole JT thing, myself. I was feeling bad that what I said directly to JT may have been hurtful to him. And, before I saw your comments, I was coming here to let him know that I don't hate him, of course–if you knew me personally, you would see that I don't hate on people–I'm usually the peacemaker :-) But, I don't let people disrespect me either. Nor do I sit quietly by while other people are being disrespected. I have learned that a person basically trains people how to treat them–by allowing people to treat you poorly or not AND treating people poorly, ain't gonna get you any friends. While I don't allow people to treat me with disrespect, I don't *intentionally* disrespect others either. However, I will definitely tell them how I "honestly" feel. And they may not like hearing my honest feelings. But to me, that's not disrespect, that's being honest. Like I told JT, he can use what I said to him however he wishes. I personally would want to know if I was coming across as anything but sincere, fair, and honest.

    Danimal Larusso wrote:
    "I haven't read everything JT has written in the past, but there seems to be too much hating on him here when I think his comments help stimulate discussions. I know I seem one-sided here, but from the top of my memory, JT has asked Matt specific questions before in previous posts and not been given a response and he's also posed questions in this thread and not received response."

    First of all, yes perhaps you haven't read everything JT has written (a lot of us have). And yes, I agree that at times JT has stimulated some good conversations with his comments. I liked it when he did that. I was one of the people who welcomed him back. And I have even been one of the ones to say, "good points." to JT. But I wish he just didn't take things so far sometimes. Like Brock and others have pointed out, JT doesn't always debate honestly and fairly. At times, misrepresenting arguments to avoid saying that he might have been wrong, or that he might have misunderstood, etc. Instead sometimes he attacks people, takes cheap shots, or twists their words, etc. Anyway, everyone who's been here even just since JT has been back AND have read ALL of his comments, can see that he doesn't always debate fairly and honestly. And I won't speak for Matt, but this is probably why he, like Brock and others did, has given up even trying to debate with JT anymore — because he doesn't seem to want to debate fairly and honestly. That is not a personal attack on JT. That is just the impression I get from observing him. And clearly I'm not the only one who got that impression, as others have commented.

    Continued…

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  153. Danimal Larusso wrote:
    "The way I see it, JT takes an individualized approach so he says seek an expert, while Brock takes a one-size-fits-all approach."

    Interesting how we all "see" things differently. The way I see it is Brock is *experimenting* with yet another approach. And he is sharing it with us, and inviting us to follow along (if we wish) with his results — and maybe even try it for ourselves if we want to. Much like what Matt does here — experimenting, researching, learning, pursuing truth (rather than just fiercely sticking to & accepting only what proves his theories), being open-minded, and sometimes learning that he was wrong about an earlier belief, growing, and learning more, and sharing it all with the world — and how lucky for us. And we have the choice to come here and learn with him, and everyone else here, or not.

    It may not happen right when a person tells him their insights — everyone gets there at their own pace — through experimentation, trial and error, learning — not just cause someone says something is so. But Matt openly admits and gladly shares the things he continues to learn. Even sometimes from people here. And even those things that are sometimes contrary to a past belief of his, and therefore, changes his position, as a result. That's impressive. That's admirable. And, for that (but not exclusively for that), I have a great deal (no, shit tons!) of respect for him.

    JT, however (the way I see it), *seems* to feel the need to constantly undermine it all and people here (again just being honest about how it looks to me–from observing him). Constantly saying things like, no people don't do that, don't believe this, don't try it, cause I already know that none of it works, cause I have already been there, done that, I've tried it all, and so I know all, listen to me, do what I do, the answer is to eat less, move more. And my favorite one, sorry but if you want to make real changes you must be self-disciplined. And I know for a fact that he said that cause he said it to me (for one) recently. To which I replied something like, I have already made real changes (in body comp, health, etc.) and it happened only after I stopped being so self-disciplined. So, no what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. I don't believe that it's because we are all that different biologically/genetically, as that we are so different psychologically speaking — our beliefs, tendencies, personalities, preferences, tastes, habits, lifestyles, mindsets, stress factors, and so on. I think those things have more to do with why certain approaches work for some and not others. For example, a more disciplined approach seems to work for JT. Where a more care-free approach works for me — as it fits with my personality and my conscious efforts to live a high in pursuits of passions/dreams and low-stress lifestyle.

    But, to me, it *seems* like JT is the one here who pushes *his* approach only. And constantly implies that everyone else is naive (sounds nicer than "stupid" lol!) for simply trying, or experimenting with other approaches. That's just the way he comes across to me. And, again, I'm not saying that JT doesn't sometimes bring up good points that make for good debate. But if only he would stick to being fair and honest in debates. And be open-minded to other possibilities and other points-of-view — like just because something worked OR didn't work for him, doesn't make it so for others. But oftentimes, he goes on the defensive, or will even twist it around, or misses the point(?). Perhaps to avoid admitting he might have been wrong (gasp!!). It's not so bad to be wrong sometimes. I, personally, learn more from my "wrongs" than my "rights" :-)

    Continued (again lol!)…

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  154. Danimal Larusso wrote:
    "You all should talk it out to figure out where your true differences lie. Maybe you'll realize you actually agree on most points and let semantics waste a bunch of your time."

    Soooo true!! And I have actually tried/suggested that approach with JT about his "debates" with people, but it never seems to get through(??). It seems like he just can't agree to disagree or even agree that he agrees lol! And he certainly never wants to admit that he may have been wrong. Again, JT, this is not a personal attack on you. I am just being honest about how it *looks* to me. That's the way your comments oftentimes come across. But…

    Danimal Larusso wrote:
    "I'm sure most of y'all would be more amiable if you were debating live or over the phone where you could clarify your points more easily instead of spending so much time writing a response and then making a slight error or inconsistency and then getting berated for it. I mean most of you confuse others by using words that nobody knows what they precisely mean…"

    I totally agree there. I'm sure that a lot of that is going on, even in the case of JT. I do believe that sometimes he does honestly misunderstand, or misinterpret, or mis-word or mis-state something. But, AT TIMES, it does *seem* that this is a convenient ruse (sometimes) and he deliberately misrepresents things just to (try to) make or prove his points. But, yes, I agree that we all misinterpret and misunderstand things and then misrepresent things as a result.

    For example, what Catty presented (in my view anyway), isn't so much "calorie restriction" as it is "eating intuitively" and listening to your body (hunger, appetite, etc.) — rather than emotional or mindless eating, etc. That approach certainly results in less calories consumed overall (listening to your *real* hunger cues), but isn't deliberately restricting calories. Much of Catty's comments seemed to be arguing in favor of deliberate calorie restriction, so I took it as such. Perhaps I misunderstood?

    Anyway, all this (5000 words lol!) was just to explain where I was coming from, with regard to JT, at least how he *seems* to come across to me. Again, I don't hate JT, I have just become disappointed by some of his debating tactics here. Disappointed because I used to think that he brought up good points for further debate. I just wish he would do it in a sincere way. So we can all learn something.

    However, (yep, continued again lol!)…

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  155. After giving it some thought, maybe JT was feeling like the black sheep — causing him to become so testy and jaded? And my (can only speak for me) recent comments to him have surely only added to that. That makes me feel badly.

    Anyway, whatever the case, I personally would like to offer JT my apology. I have tried to be fair in giving my honest point-of-view. And I have tried to remain respectful in doing so. Being honest about how you feel about something, and being *sincere* in the reasons for saying so (even if someone doesn't like what they hear), isn't being disrespectful, to me, it's honesty. Sometimes the truth hurts. But I'll take *honesty* any day, even if it hurts to hear it. Sometimes, it makes us look at ourselves. And sometimes, we get to learn from it. And some of us benefit from it, by applying it to our lives, and grow from it. I know I do. So, again, I personally would want to know if I was coming across as anything but sincere, fair, and honest. That is why I said to JT that he can use that information for whatever it's worth to him and however he wishes.

    But if anything I have said has been disrespectful or seemed intentionally hurtful to JT, then I sincerely apologize to you, JT :-) And (if you have read this far lol!) I would like to make peace with you and start over, okay? And I welcome the opportunity to learn from your insights, as well as everyone else's here. I only ask that you be sincere in sharing your insights and in debates with others. And, like Princess (and some others) have said very well, please let us all experiment with and learn from the insights of EVERYONE here (including yours) for ourselves — like you got to do for yourself. Deal?

    Now I, for one, am ready to get back to learning! And, of course, 80s-movie (and music) references and sexual innuendos too — of course!! :-)

    O:)

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  156. tl;dr

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  157. Eating a high fiber, moderate fat vegetarian diet has helped me maintain a healthy weight. I really think if you get all your carbs from candy, cupcakes, chips, white bread and these type of things that will definitely cause you to gain weight, basically empty calories. If you eat oatmeal, brown rice, things of that nature you won't have too many problems. Just watch your calories to make sure you're not overeating a lot.

    Reply
  158. Thanks AS- well said.

    I'd love for us to have a lively, spirited and also safe and comfortable place for us to exchange ideas and information here. Here's to hoping we can experience more of that!

    Reply
  159. Kirk wrote:
    " tl;dr "

    LOL! I know, it was way too long! Sorry. That's what happens whenever I gotta post and run with my first draft–no time to make it shorter lol! I don't have Matt or Rob kinda writing talent–they got skills! No more marathon rambling posts for me :-)

    BTW, I had to google it to make sure that's what you meant. Cause when you look at it like a smiley/emoticon it looks like Charlie Chaplin or Sherlock Holmes lol! Really, tell me it doesn't look like a man with a hat and pipe lol! Tilt your head :-)

    Rob, thanks. You're probably the only one who read it lol! Thank you :-)

    .

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  160. AS & Danimal,
    Thanks for the input and trying to understand where i am coming from. I think my biggest problem is that my writing style, and that i am typing reading from my phone which can cause slip ups. Sometimes I am just not clear enough and it comes across harsh. What seems like an attack, is just meant to help me and others clarify what is really being said. This is why I try to logically extrapolate on how far a certain belief can go before any sort of logical contradictions pop up. This is where others view me as misrepresenting a view.

    As for other approaches, I am all for it. My main belief concerning diets is that they all work, but not for everyone. This is why I always try to persuade people to test it out and learn how to interpret their body's feedback.

    Anyways, I apologize to those I have offended, not my intention. I will try to be more clear in my writing style.

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  161. AS,

    I read your comment entirely too!

    I agree with a lot of your points on psychology and on earning respect. Again, stern comments (maybe not from you but others) usually comes across as mean-spirited on the Internet.

    Again as JT proved my point, it takes a lot of effort to write something without offending anyone especially when it's not your job but a hobby your doing in your free time. People don't want to edit and revise their comments; they typically want to hit send!

    AS wrote,
    "Constantly saying things like, no people don't do that, don't believe this, don't try it, cause I already know that none of it works, cause I have already been there, done that, I've tried it all, and so I know all, listen to me, do what I do, the answer is to eat less, move more."

    I like Matt and this blog, but that comment sounds a bit like Matt, except the presentation is completely different, and Matt has a whole blog and devotes his livelihood to writing. In this world, presentation seems like one of the most important facets. I mean many people cultishly follow what Matt says and does but he's gone through a variety of changes throughout the years when he thought he knew the optimal and tried to argue stuff against it. JT was there when Matt was trying these things and saying beware it might not work, essentially maybe being one step ahead of Matt, but due to presentation and the effect of being Matt's blog, his message wasn't heard as strongly perhaps. Matt's current Peat favorite quote on knowledge is essentially what JT was saying. So yea im not really saying much more than presentation is huge in a person's message.

    Reply
  162. JT & Danimal, thanks to both of you for actually reading my long-winded rant lol!

    JT, thank you for your response. I appreciate it, really :-)

    JT wrote:
    "My main belief concerning diets is that they all work, but not for everyone. This is why I always try to persuade people to test it out and learn how to interpret their body's feedback."

    I didn't know that about you. Good to know :-)

    Danimal, thanks for your response too. My point-of-view on Matt is different than yours, but we all have different views, right? And that's a good thing. If we all agreed about everything, we couldn't learn from one another, or learn anything new, right? :-)

    But I do agree with the rest of your points. The internet definitely can never compare to real *face time* for communicating. Words and intentions do get misinterpreted online. That's why I'm always sticking so many dang smileys and lol's in my comments. So people will (hopefully) know that I'm joking, laughing, being light-hearted, or just smiling as I usually do :-) See? lol!

    Group hug! I love it when a plan comes together :-) Okay, the A-Team wasn't a *movie* (well, not until 2010-ha!), but A-Team was 80s, that counts lol! Also, because it was one of my favorite shows that I watched with my dad — good memories :-)
    .

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  163. JT you are alright by me. Keep on giving us your Insights, fresh ideas are good IMO.

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  164. I finally finished reading all the comments in this post, and the one thing that stuck out to me was Matt saying that monotony is the best way to spontaneously lose weight. If anyone is still following this thread, how monotonous is enough? Same breakfast lunch and dinner? Or eggs with different veggies for breakfast, salad with different veggies for lunch, but keeping it the same general meal? Would that be enough? I'm really needing to try something new and I'd love to hear if anyone has ideas on this!!

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  165. p.s. I usually have the same snacks- carrots and hummus in the am (lots) and apples and p.b./ yogurt in the afternoon.

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  166. Chanelle,

    I think it probably depends on where you started from. In other words, if you're eating a highly spiced, flavor enhanced, varied, refined diet, just stepping back to whole foods with less seasoning would likely do it. But if you're already there, probably something more monotonous yet. That guy who ate nothing but potatoes for a couple months comes to mind (sorry I don't know the link).

    From my own restrictive tendencies, I'm learning (I'm trying out a 'limited' diet too) that it's important to emphasize the 'eat to appetite' part as well as the 'limited choice of foods' part: if I'm only eating yams and carrots, I'm going to need to eat more of them than I usually do! I've had a couple days where I felt like I was starving, and that's definitely not the point.
    Hope this is some help.

    Reply
  167. Ela, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Are you really cutting your choices down that much? Only yams and carrots, or is that just an example? And do you eat a regular dinner with the family or stick to your limited choices? I remember someone posting the potato thing- I'll go back and find the link so I can get more details.

    Reply
  168. Hi Chanelle,

    My husband and I eat completely different foods, so I always fix us food separately anyway (so whatever weird kick I'm currently on doesn't have to affect him! I'm wanting to be _done_ with 'weird kicks' and get in a groove, though).

    Carrots and yams was 'an example' but it's also what I'm mostly eating right now. I live in AK, and we're just starting to get nettles, so I'm eating nettles too, and homemade coconut kefir. Coconut oil if I need it (haven't really yet). And that's mostly it, but I'm having other veggies and am going to insist on a 'cheat day' per week too–otherwise it gets too close to enticing back into anorexic behaviors.
    I'm getting ready to reincorporate fruit, have noticed some wonderful effects from increasing carb and dropping fat (but also some negatives if I have no fat at all, which I should have known from past experience).

    I'd be interested to hear what you decide and how it goes for you.

    Reply
  169. To me, getting that monotonous- 20 potatoes a day, or even as-many-as-I-want of only two foods a day, sounds like a diet. And , like you, I struggled with disordered eating in the past (although not as severe) and I get really worried that I'll start down that slippery slope from dieting to worse, because for me it's all part of the same mental game.
    On the other hand, just eating to appetite is keeping me right at the same weight, and I'm really unhappy with it. I probably need to do something different to get a different result! I'd be interested to know your results with limiting your food options so much. You can email me chanelle30 at juno dot com or post here!

    Reply
  170. What happened to that very interesting 'Anonymous' comment about his wife that came through to my email but isn't here?

    @Chanelle–thanks so much, and it's a good thing to be wary of. I know that my therapist would say that restricting choices to that point is danger territory. However, I'm not being super-strict like I used to be with anything like that. I'm committed to the 'cheat day' and am eating other veggies and stuff, especially in company. I'm really intending to be embodying the awareness that it's what you do _most_ of the time that makes the difference.

    Seems like a few of us are trying this (limiting options), maybe we can compare notes as we go along. I don't want to talk about it much at home, but having folks to check in with about it will also help avoid it becoming the slippery slope to ED mentality…

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  171. What happened to that very interesting 'Anonymous' comment about his wife that came through to my email but isn't here?

    @Chanelle–thanks so much, and it's a good thing to be wary of. I know that my therapist would say that restricting choices to that point is danger territory. However, I'm not being super-strict like I used to be with anything like that. I'm committed to the 'cheat day' and am eating other veggies and stuff, especially in company. I'm really intending to be embodying the awareness that it's what you do _most_ of the time that makes the difference.

    Seems like a few of us are trying this (limiting options), maybe we can compare notes as we go along. I don't want to talk about it much at home, but having folks to check in with about it will also help avoid it becoming the slippery slope to ED mentality…

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  172. I'm the one that posted the comments about my wife. I'm wondering what happened to the comment myself. Do you have a copy of the comment Ela?

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  173. I have been thinking about how TXNIP is supposed to work when insulin and leptin are high and blood sugar is low. That doesn't make sense.

    If a person is obese they are probably insulin resistant and leptin resistant and therefore already have high insulin and leptin. Unless they are diabetic they probably have normal blood sugar.

    This describes me perfectly. High insulin and leptin with normal blood sugar. So why isn't my TXNIP low? I should be anorexic but quite the opposite has happened. What am I not understanding?

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  174. I have been thinking about how this TXNIP is supposed to work. If it burns fat by having high insulin and high leptin but normal blood sugar then I should be anorexic. But quite the opposite has happened.

    Insulin resistance means high insulin levels. Leptin resistance means high leptin levels. If you are not diabetic you will probably have normal blood sugar.

    High insulin and high leptin and low blood sugar creates low TXNIP and therefore burns fat? It isn't happening like that at all.

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  175. < Also, do not try and get Brock's mom involved, it's just wrong. :) kidding of course xoxo>

    HaHa, I sure *hope* you are kidding. I don't agree with Brock on all things dietary, but I have to keep checking. :-)

    (Brock's mom, also a Deb)

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  176. Ela, how goes it with the monotonous eating? I have been at it for 5 days. Lost 3 pounds the first two days, and then gained back 2 the second two days! But it's still early days, so I'll keep at it. It's not hard so far.

    I just heard back from the 20-potatoes-a-day guy that he's gained back 10 pounds since he stopped his potato diet. He finished at the end of November, so that's a little less than 2 pounds a month. Do you think his body is reacting as if it were calorie restricted? I don't want post-diet results (ie, gaining it all back!).

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  177. Hey Chanelle–glad that it sounds like it's been going ok for you. I've been eating just yams/carrots/nettles/little coconut kefir for going on two weeks now. I'm planning to keep going for one more week and then transition into mostly fruit for a while.

    I'm not weighing myself (as I think I mentioned before) and I'm also doing a ton more exercise, so it's hard to say what's due to the monotonous diet and what to something else. But I definitely feel leaner and more slender, clothes somewhat looser, and my energy is really good. Last year, if I tried to tweak my diet at all, my energy would crash real fast, and I couldn't exercise either.
    cheers,
    Ela

    Reply
  178. New article on txnip and diabetes and meds reversing diabetes at the university of alabama birmingham. Http:/blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/03/uab_study_finds_common_drug_sh.html

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  179. The diet youre describing here is the main reason most people got to be as fat and unhealthy as they are today. Loads of grains,low fat,low protein. I have agreed with Matt about eating higher amts of carbs, but theres huge amounts of evidence going against carbs being this gigantic part of the diet. I dont think any macro should take over half the diet except if youre some psychotic athlete just looking for performance and even then its irrational. I think for a very active person 40-30-30(carb,fat,protein) or for someone who is active but sticking more to short heavy lifting sessions you can even go 30-40-30. but even then thats arrogant of me because im not taking into account individuality. And reintroducing junk food is just idiocy, if theres one thing in health i will never put into debate is that nutrient dead food is useless and LONG TERM will fuck you over. this whole bullshit of you reintroducing wheat and feeling dandy is ridiculous, many ppl dont feel any symptoms for YEARS because its such a low level inflammation. thats why gluten is considered so bad, not because people necessarily eat it and die the next day but because of its long term damage to the body.

    Reply
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    Reply
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