When is Junk Food Healthy?

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Many people will answer this question with a simple “NEVER,” but the more you study and tinker with the human body the more you realize that there is a lot more going on than can be explained with a simple nutrition-centric view of health.

By junk food I mean basic, standard, yummy stuff.  Breakfast classics like french toast, waffles, pancakes, and pastries.  Snacks like chips and cheese and crackers.  Lunch bombs like cheeseburgers and fries or pizza.  Dinners like pot pie, pasta, or what have you.  Drinks like bubbly soda, lemonade, chocolate milk.  And rich desserts like ice cream, cheesecake, cookies, and pie.  This is what I’m talking about when I say “junk foods.”  What I should really say is, “the yummiest stuff.”

So when can the yummy stuff actually be used as a health-promoting tool?  In lots of circumstances, and in lots of ways.  This has created much confusion lately for those who are new to the site and have recently read the book, Diet Recovery.  That book is really intended for a mainstream audience (the audience I haven’t been able to attract, but one day hope to figure out how to), not necessarily a group of alternative nutrition cultists and former cultists like most who have congregated here – including myself.  A normal person eating a junk food diet really just needs to eat more nutritious food, and lots of it for it be satisfying enough to compete with modern foods, and to ensure adequate calorie consumption so as not to trigger starvation symptoms and set up a major binge.  Few people that have ventured here so far fit the description of “normal person eating a junk food diet.”

I am becoming more and more open about the use of these highly-palatable foods for the process of increasing metabolism for starters.  I’m now seeing several people increasing body temperature from the 95’s and 96’s to 99 degrees F in as little as 3 weeks by abandoning a spartan whole foods diet and diving straight into the chronic.  The breakfast foods especially seem to be the most useful, as they provide rapid delivery of concentrated calories with a low water content just when people need them the most – in the morning hours.

The morning hours are pivotal as most people tend to be colder, with higher stress hormone levels and lower metabolic rate during the first half of the day than the second half of the day.  Foods like pancakes with tons of maple syrup, a side of some salty, cheesy eggs, washed down with a glass of full-fat chocolate milk – now that will snap your average person out of their morning coldness pretty well, sending an almost uncomfortable rush of warm blood into the hands, feet, nose, and ears (a sign of the adrenal glands relaxing, peripheral circulation increasing and blood vessels in the extremities dilating, and the metabolism powering up).  While you may want to fall back into bed and sleep after a breakfast like this (at first), I do believe this physiological state of warmth and relaxation is powerfully therapeutic and can rebuild metabolic rate and also give the adrenal glands the break they need to build back their strength and restore normal function.  I think of this as the “fast track” to metabolic recovery.  And since it only need last for a few weeks in most cases, it’s hard to think much harm could be done during this time period eating foods that normal Americans eat every day for close to 80 years.  It’s at least worth being open-minded about.

These foods are also lower in water content, which, combined with their high calorie density and often high levels of salt as well (certainly a complete yummy meal will include lots of starch, sugar, salt, and fat), are a godsend for those who are really struggling to rebuild their cellular energy supply.  The best outwardly indicator of this being the concentration of the urine.  Usually urine is very clear when cellular salt and sugar concentrations are too weak.  Truly yummy meals and yummy foods are the ultimate for restoring some color to the urine and keeping the energy levels in the cell from tanking, as a general rule.

It’s also quite therapeutic to eat yummy things when you have a long-standing phobia, particularly about carbohydrates.  Former low-carbers often see dramatic health improvements from eating this kind of fare, especially when used as a kickstart.  Others have lifelong weight struggles and have looked at such foods with fear of weight gain, and have dealt with decades of temptation, discipline, guilt, and other emotions that shouldn’t enter into our relationship with food for best health in the modern eating environment.  Being able to eat these foods, to appetite or even beyond appetite, to the point where body fat levels are stable or are even decreasing is the ultimate feeling of liberation.  I wish it upon all chronic dieters, and don’t really think that anyone is truly free of a weight problem until they can eat whatever they want without gaining an ounce just like someone in an optimal metabolic condition can do.

And while it seems like one of the dangers could be developing addiction to such foods, I find eating beyond appetite of these foods makes them very unappealing and unstimulating very quickly.  If anything, my personal experience is that eating an uncomfortable amount of all these foods is a great way to break the addictive grip that such foods have on you.

And finally, as we will discuss in the next installment – the yummy foods are unmatched when it comes to gaining muscle, which is unanimously agreed upon in the elite portion of the fitness world as an important first step in any attempt to improve the physical appearance of your body.  This may have nothing to do with health, but it certainly works better than anything else for most people.

At the end of the day, the ultimate form of ingestible medicine for many health conditions, especially in the modern dieting, exercise-obsessed, meal-skipping, calorie-counting era is the calorie.  And the tastier the food, the more powerful the dose.

I will be trying to faithfully post a new video on my youtube channel every week on Wednesdays and Saturdays starting this week.  Some, but not all of the videos will be posted here on the blog, so subscribe to the 180DegreeHealth channel on youtube to follow along there.  Here is Saturday’s video on the topic of junk food.


  1. First! Yay!

  2. This was the first of many points Matt used (with his cunning Jedi-food powers) to completely pop my food-religion bubble. There was an audible sizzle. I’m surprised it wasn’t heard world-wide ;)

  3. I guess I just don’t see that the foods you are talking about have to be unhealthy. If you’re a carbophobe then yes, but I can go to the store at buy a package of frozen waffles and high-fructose maple flavored syrup, or I can make some home-made gluten free (or heirloom grain for the not gluten free folk) waffles with farm fresh eggs and milk and use real maple syrup and grass fed butter, and I don’t see how that’s unhealthy and I’m sure I’d get just as much good as from the store bought crap. Everything you mention in the video can be made very healthy and as unprocessed as possible and I think everyone should include those things in their diets. I know that people have got exceedingly scared of carbs/sugar these days but everyone and especially kids really needs some sugar!!!! So, I’m glad you’re getting the word out, but I don’t think we have to eat really unhealthy store bought processed food to get the benefits you’re describing. Oh, and I really have to be gluten free, it gives me migraines, so to get those kinds of carbs, I pretty much have to make it myself.

    • That’s pretty much how I roll with my high-carb food, except for the gluten free part, since I tolerate organic wheat products fine. BUT, a loooooooot of people are not at the place where they will spend that time/money/effort to purchase and prepare such “wholesome” high carb foods. So for those people, going to IHOP and crushing a hungry man breakfast is just what the doctor ordered.

      You and me, though…we’ll be making grass-fed butter from kefir cultured cream (in a food processor, of course) and slathering it on our pancakes, then drowning them in real maple syrup.

      (Honestly though…I gave up on making my own butter, but it was fun while it lasted)

      Peace, Love and IHOP,

      • I think what helps me is that I have been doing the all homemade, sourdough, grass fed, organic, home grown, raw milk, cultured or locally bought food and it gets exhausting. I still love most of if and the taste of say homemade bread fresh out of the oven, over anything store bought is fantastic but I was getting pretty phobic of anything “processed”.

        Matt’s writing has brought me back from the fringe to the middle and its amazing how enjoyable pizza can be. Also I totally agree with Matt that once I have had something I had not eaten in 5 years like Mac and Cheese, it tasted good at first and then I was totally over it, though I had been craving it for years. Thanks Matt

        • Amen! It IS exhausting, mentally, socially, and financially.

    • I agree with you, and find the homemade, whole grain stuff to TASTE so much better! But Matt is probably talking to a lot of people who simply don’t have the money, time, or inclination to go to that much trouble. If I weren’t a stay-at-home homeschooling mom, I would certainly NEVER grind my own grain and soak it overnight to have the best waffles, pancakes or biscuits you ever put in your mouth. Eggos would be a nice convenience if I had to get my kids out the door for school at an ungodly hour. :-)

    • THIS! Nuff said :).

      • Sorry, replied to the wrong post.

    • THIS! Nuff said :).

  4. Hey homey,

    Looking forward to more videos. This point you’ve been making, that junk food can be awesome to get appetite, calories ad energy levels up makes sense to me. Looking forward to more as they come out.

    Cheers amigo

  5. I was able to raise my temperature really quickly eating ice cream, pancakes, danishes, cookies, Jelly Bellys, basically anything and everything I wanted. I didn’t always eat past appetite on these foods. Even still, I haven’t found these foods to be addictive personally. Because I know I can have any of these foods whenever I want since they no longer make me gain weight (liberation!) they have lost that crazy appeal they used to have. After eating them to my heart’s content for 3 weeks, I’m finding I don’t reach for these foods at all now.

  6. Keep in mind that back when people ate mostly at home with whole foods, these “junk foods” were well known for giving people a healthy boost. But just like in Galaxy Quest, “You don’t hold the turbo down, it’s for quick boosts!”

  7. When I felt like crap eating all the foods that I believed were the healthiest, I had no choice but to try something different.

    I’ve been observing how the same foods can make me feel completely different depending on my level of stress at the time of consumption. In the middle of the day, almost everything, except lots of starch, makes me feel like crap, whereas I can eat anything in the evenings and feel fine. I’ve noticed that getting sufficient sleep is one of the biggest factors determining how I feel after my midday meal.

    I should also distinguish between that nice relaxed tiredness that I get after a meal with lots of starch and the stressed tiredness—which is usually accompanied by debilitating emotional and mental effects—after a piece of red meat.

    • Luke – Continuing to really enjoy your comments and your perspective. You’ve got me thinking more and more about such subtle nuances.

    • Luke – I’m so glad you wrote this. As someone with some pretty severe orthorexic thoughts, it’s taken me a lot of time and coaxing (mostly through this site) to admit to myself that I feel better after eating “junk” food than I do whole foods. I don’t know what it is, and neither do my doctors, but there is definitely something wrong with my digester, and 2 years of stringent whole food diets didn’t fix it (um…made it worse), so until I get some sort of conclusive text I’m definitely being more slack with the cheeseburgers – buns and all.

      Two days ago I ate a small cup of organic bone broth with about an oz of boiled chicken, which resulted in, just like always, nausea, cramping, a painful “fullness”. Yesterday i downed half of a large cheese pizza and left the restaurant with a definite “full” feeling, but not an uncomfortable one. My body is a mystery :)

      • I’m in a similar situation. I’ve noticed how my digestion has been much better after pizza, pancakes, or french toast made with white flour. If I try to eat all whole foods, or even a diet with tons of white rice and potatoes, it feels like there is a “on/off” switch for my digestion that moves to the off position, as if my body has just decided to not secrete the necessary digestive juices. There is an empty and weak feeling in my gut. But my body seems to recognize the carb and calorie rich processed foods and go back to “on” mode, which results in a working digestion system. It feels like there is a furnace in my belly, a feeling I haven’t had much since my health went into decline—that feeling that I remember always having as a kid. Eating tons of carbs was an important step, but for I while I assumed white rice and potatoes would work just as well as more processed foods, which doesn’t seem to be true.

        My body definitely prefers the varieties of these foods with real ingredients of course. And I think a prerequisite for success with this type of approach, or an success in the realm of health for that matter, is having a connection with your body’s wants and signals. Without that you could easily screw up your health by eating these foods in the wrong way, even if you body actually wanted them. When unbreakable rules about how to use these foods are in place it guarantees failure.

      • It’s been so liberating for me to return to allowing my body to eat whatever it wants after years of self repression. That was an unthinkable when I was eating based upon all my imposed rules of what I thought was healthy. It’s quite a journey to go full circle, and I commend anyone who has gone to the realm of nutritional repression and returned alive. At this point I’m not afraid to eat any food. That happened pretty quickly after I let myself eat tons of all the foods I was avoiding for years. Learning how to listen to your body’s signals after years of ignoring them takes time, however, and I’m still learning bit by bit.

        • Luke, you thoughts are like mine almost exactly. I also went full circle, enjoying health as a teenager eating mostly processed carbs and only when i ventured down the “health food” hole did my health deteriorate. I have in the last two years started adding back in the “junk” foods and experimenting with what my body does and doesn’t digest. This is what i have found…

          Foods that irritate my gut and cause sharp pains/cramping and full body inflammation.
          – Meats, white meat and fatty meat in particular.
          – Fats, mostly meat and oil fat, dairy fat seems fine.
          – Vegetables, amazingly almost all kinds except carrots and potatoes cause digestive problems no matter how cooked. Soups with meat and veggies in particular cause extreme upset.
          – Whole grains, whole wheat bread is death for me.

          Foods that i have found to digest almost completely and easily, decrease inflammation and give the most energy and muscle strength.
          – Fruit, citrus in particular has helped tremendously with inflammation
          – Dairy, mainly cheese, yogart and ice cream, milk still causes some problems.
          – White flour products, once my biggest fear and become a staple food at every meal. Bagels, and Lebanese bread have been my go to breads.
          – eggs, allthough i limit them to under four a day, they do not cause the same problems as meat. Most likely because they are much easier to digest when cooked softly.
          – Beans, a weird one but for me, black beans are a amazing food.

          Looking at those lists, the first looks eerily close to the paleo diet which completely destroyed my health. The second although still healthy, looks much more like a typical SAD diet but used thoughtfully and combined with exercise i feel is far superior for regaining and maybe even keeping health.

          • Luke and Zach,
            I’m feeling a lot less crazy. My digestive symptoms have been so mysterious at times I’ve literally thought it’s in my head. I could have a week of painstakingly preparing and eating a stringent Paleo diet, fasting and using measuring spoons and ensuring I had the correct macronutrient ratios and making all my own condiments. Yet I’d still be constipated, bloated, exhausted, have stomach/intestinal pain, ect ect. But going out to the local diner once every other month and it’s a different story – massive amounts of eggs, american cheese, hashbrowns, bacon, slices of whitebread french toast slathered with butter and maple syrup and – ta dah!!! – no pain, only pleasant sensations of fullness. Son of a bitch.

            I’m stressed because I, like Luke, have tried to add the carbs back in with good amounts of white rice and potatoes, but that gives me pain as well. And every fantasy of making something wholesome (sprouting my own flour and making cashew milk and sourdough bread for french toast!!!) just ends up with sickness, which is ridiculous considering I could probably scarf down a couple toaster strudels with no problem. I’ll just continue rocking back and forth in the corner of my bedroom, telling myself that getting a little chubby isn’t the worst thing in the world haha

          • Have you tried a diet that is highly dIgestable? Fruit, white breads, eggs, dairy? You could try this for a couple weeks. Also weight gain still has to do with calories so certain foods are not necessarily fattening. Do you exercise?

          • My digestive problems were a mystery to me too, but only at the time when I was so sure there was no way my whole foods diet could be the cause. At the time I got the sickest I was eating nothing but pastured animal products, eggs, raw dairy, local vegetables, fruit picked from the trees in my area, etc.—pretty much the “perfect” diet right? And so when my health started declining I thought the answer would be to become even more strict with my diet and I did things like eat nothing but meat, eggs, saturated fat, and vegetables for a month, which worked very well to improve my digestion temporarily, but left my body even weaker in the long run and also gave me heart palpitations and other strange things and on my second attempt of that spartan diet I had no improvement and only worsening of my digestion and health.

            I second Zach’s comments about the fruit, white breads, eggs, and dairy. That’s at least a good starting point for experimentation. I think the most important thing is to eat ONLY what your body truly wants. Don’t go eating veggies or meat because you think it’s a good idea. Eat only want your body wants! Weight gain should be the least of your concerns with digestion like that, and honestly I haven’t noticed any change in my weight since eating more easily digested and palatable foods (we are all unique, of course), but I have noticed better digestion, better energy, more mental clarity and focus, and the like. How healthy something is should only be judged on those things, not what someone else has claimed is healthy or unhealthy.

          • Luke: “I think the most important thing is to eat ONLY what your body truly wants. Don’t go eating veggies or meat because you think it’s a good idea. Eat only want your body wants!”

            That’s a great point. These diet gurus want to give you a list of food to eat and push certain foods to a pathological, obsessive degree, as if everybody was the same and there was some one-size-fits-all solution and nobody could ever change or heal. Nonsense. I think your diet is very similar to the “low-residue” diet, used to treat some conditions. It’s the only “diet” that encourages foods like white bread, pasta, noodles, sugar, maple syrup, etc.

            I eat both sprouted flourless bread (Trader Joe’s) and white bagels (unbleached unenriched & with NO oil or HFCS, ex: Meijer’s) from time to time. I would not gamble with any bread that or packaged foods that contain vegetable oil, bleached or enriched flour, or HFCS. For junk I occasionally eat butter cookies, dark chocolate, simply lemonade raspberry, Snapple green & black tea (peach or raspberry), premium ice cream, TJ’s tiramisu, etc. I won’t touch them if they list PUFA oils, HFCS, hydrogenated oils, or bleached (alloxan) flour. I’m not fanatical, I just don’t feel good eating things that contain crappy ingredients and I’ve noticed that time after time. (I see unbleached unenriched flour as OK, in moderation.)

            Question everything. Take what works from every approach. Discard what doesn’t. Listen to your body. Be your own guru. Do your own thinking and research. (Danny Roddy has a similar disclaimer at the bottom of his blog posts which I like.)

          • Also, I should make it clear that I too am still in the process of healing my body, and I am only in the very early stages of experimenting with highly digestible, processed foods. This is not some new ideal diet, just something that is helping me at this moment in time.

  8. Hey there!
    I’m hoping you can shed some light on my situation here. First, so thankful for what you are doing. I’ve raised my temps from 96 to low 98’s by RRARFING for 6 weeks. No change in the chronic fatigue, cold hands, adrenal fatigue yet. I tried to add daily icecream and other yummies but my mast cells are throwing a fit releasing a bunch of histamine and making me itchy all over. I know that an allergic reaction is stressful to the body and I need my body/adrenals to rest so I can heal. What do you think, Matt?

    • Matt: My reaction to dairy is similar to the one Veronica describes — histamine hell with massive itching all over, usually after a delay. All kinds of dairy produce the reaction. Would love to hear your suggestions for overcoming this problem.

      Veronica: Sorry to hear about your histamine problem. I hope you find a solution that lets you munch ice cream to your heart’s content. (And if you do, please tell the rest of us.)

      Sir Eat-a-Lot,
      The tater’s worst nightmare

      • Veronica and Sir eat a lot…I too have been experiencing itchyness over a lot of my body…it is mostly at night and again in the morning….I can’t stand the itching, and my doctor of course does not think that it is not a problem. I know there is an answer to this itching and I am determined to alleviate it. Can’t wait to hear too how your symptoms disappear.

      • Veronica’s question sounds like a good one for Ray Peat.

        I look at a lot of allergy problems as weaknesses of the adrenal cortex, with things that raise catecholamines providing temporary relief, but potentially fatiguing the adrenals even more and leading to worse problems. That’s what I think happens to a lot of people when they start intermittent fasting or restricting carbs. Short-term gain, long-term pain.

        For example, after low-carbing, I ate a bunch of ice cream and had a cat-induced allergy attack that almost sent me to the hospital. Even sleepiong in a room the cat hardly ever went in with no signs of cat fur anywhere in the room. But now I can eat ice cream and hung out in a house with 8 cats the other day and was fine. Our allergic reactions can dramatically change and improve. Taking basic care of oneself with plenty of food, sleep, rest, sunlight, play, etc. seems to be the best bet – but there are no gauranteed results taking that route of course.

        • Thanks for the explanation and encouragement, Matt. It’s good to hear that alleviating stress and fixing the metabolism can help manage even some pretty severe allergies.

          Sir Eat-a-Lot
          “Don’t worry. Just keep your hands and feet away from his mouth.”

        • Thank you, Sir. I appreciate your insights :)

    • After most of my adult years in some sort of diet (15+ years)–gluten free, dairy free, and finally paleo and then GAPS, I had bad reactions trying to introduce dairy. I would get wheezy to the point of pain, terrible ichiness all over, dandruff, etc. etc. Someone mentioned an increase in salt was helping with some issue, so at my lunch meal I add approximately one-half teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt in about half a cup of water and drink that before anything else. I’ve been doing that for about a week or two and most the itchiness is gone (some itchiness in my scalp at night, but not bad), plus most of the wheeziness is gone. I just thought I’d mention what seems to be working for me. I feel for you! :)

      • Thanks for the tip, Kim.

        • …And, glad you are feeling better.

      • I was going to suggest the same thing, salt has anti histamine action.

  9. Thanks for this post; it does clarify a bit. BTW, pretty much all of the “yummy” foods you listed don’t resonate as “junk” food to me, since they still have some sense of wholesomeness, especially if they’re homemade. Except for soda, maybe just a few sips, otherwise that has the potential to push my fluid intake way overboard.
    My idea of “junk” would be the (HFCS + vegetable oil) concoctions that are frequently given to children as treats.

  10. I’ve got a buddy that will NOT eat “anything that doesn’t come straight from the earth” and refuses to eat any sort of “pasta and bread”. He’s lost about 60 lbs from dieting and excessive training which has resulted in his testosterone levels being that of a 10 year old girl’s. He’s taking prescribed roids now. By gosh he ain’t eating no pasta or bread though. If something doesn’t change I’ll be introducing him to my right heel and force feed him some pancakes so he can consummate his soon to be marriage.

    • That sounds just about right Mr. Lawrence. Yet I’m sure this guy could be a seductive testimonial somewhere with before and after pics. The low T is just “hereditary” or something and deleted from the testimonial. Wait, get it… TESTimonial. I like it.

  11. Wow Matt, we’ve totally taken different roads. Maybe it’s because I don’t see things like you do, all the way down to you saying most people have trouble with cold hands and feet in the AM. In my experience and that of everyone I work with, the hours of 2-4pm are actually the cold hands and feet; the “crash”; the brix divebombing time…I’ve had everyone respond to more whole foods in their diet, especially at lunchtime, when eating anything in sight as part of “the big lunch.” i wish you the best in your endeavors and i will continue to lurk, but unfortunately i cannot advocate the lifestyle you do, even in the short term.

    I’m finding that the body temp is regulated in people i work with naturally, as they change their eating habits to be conducive to daily rhythms. Big lunches regulate that body temp throughout the rest of the day, and hearty breakfasts are a good start for bringing the temp up in the AM. Rearranging the size and substance of the meals works wonders.

    Maybe one day if I run into a lot of folks with failing health and other modalities won’t work, I can suggest junkfood. But there’s even “healthier” ways to prepare “junk food”. It’s all semantics.

    • Morning is not the only divebombing time. The times, from what I’ve noticed, are most frequently 10am, 3pm, and 4am. I agree that the majority of people need to eat cleaner, more whole-foodsy diets. That’s why Diet Recovery is written the way that it is, and probably won’t be changed anytime soon to extoll the virtues of ice cream and waffles. But I’m finding in one-on-one work that there are many more convenient and easy ways to still achieve some metabolic enhancement.

  12. What other barometers do you use to determine health is improving besides the temperatures? Do you take into consideration biochemical individuality? Sorry I haven’t perused the rest of the site. I am just curious.

    • Sure. Individuality is highly stressed. Our nutritional needs change every hour. Flexibility and close attention to one’s individual biofeedback is incredibly important. What is healthy for breakfast may be highly detrimental at dinner time. I would say this site goes far beyond biochemical individuality, which was just a rudimentary concept developed by Roger J. Williams. Meant to be recognized and built upon.

  13. Since this is a post mainly for the noobs and I am a noob I thought I would post some RRARF results so far after ~ month.

    I have gained 9 lbs. I’m 5’9 191lbs today. Everything “came together” for me after week 3. So that includes my sleep normalizing no more nightmares and waking up refreshed.
    My mood is better, I feel like going out and socializing which I had no urge to do last month. I’m not so worried about my future , money , etc. And I seem to handle stress at work better. My energy is up . My main measure of this is that I feel like MOVING around all day and iv got the urge to lift weights again (used to train in powerlifting but BURNT out in December).
    I no longer get up to urinate more than once a night. No longer have chronic thirst. My temps are consistent for a week 97.5 am and 98.6 pm for a week straight and I don’t feel overly cold extremitites ( I work at a plant nursery NO heat even in winter its 100% outside 9.5 hours 5 days a week). The only foods I seem to not tolerate well are legumes and raw veggies except carrot. My tongue no longer has a white coat on it . My gums aren’t sore. My skin broke out but the addition of LIVER twice a week clears it up (it seems that I have to “reload vitamin a A LOT” . Im not suffering from food cravings like i did when I first started. When i first started it was like I opened pandoras box for real! My appetite is steering me towards what I need I.e. salt or sweet foods.

    As far as what I ate, mostly the foods Matt listed in this article. I didn’t try to each extra protein or anything like that I would say I was 50% Carbs 40% fat 10% protein. I wanna get even more Carbs but ill work on that later. I did add liver on top of baked potato as I said above. I ate until I was over full as much as I could eating a smaller dinner usually. I drank only a few glasses of water the whole time. This was just personal preference to show myself I wasn’t going to die if I didn’t have 8 glasses a day. In fact the limited fluid intake was KEY. I only drank with meals as a rule I was pretty strict about that.

    LONG post I know but I have gleaned so much info from the comments section here and it looks like there are a few new people who are looking at these comments too. Lets learn from each other!

    • Very helpful, thanks :)

    • My experience has been almost identical. Took about ten days for me.

  14. I saw this guy on the Dr Oz show. A personal trainer who went from a muscly and lean 193 lbs to 260+lbs in 6 months by eating junk food, and seemingly nothing ‘healthy’ at all. Before this diet he was eating very cleanly and on the weekends eating ‘cheat’ things in moderation. His goal now is to follow his own plan to lose all the fat. What do you think he should do instead of exercising heaps and eating 5 meals a day of presummably clean restricted calorie meals?

    • Yes, I mention this http://www.fit2fat2fit.com/ in Diet Recovery actually. Whatever he does to lose the weight shouldn’t be hard. Force-feeding above your set point makes it typically very easy to lose the fat after, as overfeeding studies show.

  15. Right on point, Matt!!!
    180 Degree Health has now come full circle, right back to the type of diet you should be preaching against. Your definition of HEALTH is now having high body temperature instead of a good wholesome, nutrient dense diet. I think it’s important to let someone express their own opinion but not when they are selling e-books and the like for profit. You’re telling people to continue to eat the SAD even though you’ve found a program in RBTI that you have yet to share your numbers because I’m assuming it was too difficult for you to follow but certainly not too difficult to make some profit by writing an e-book on it. SHAME ON YOU, MATT STONE!!

    • Yes, definitely have come full circle. A good, wholesome, nutrient dense diet is meaningless if your body is not performing basic functions properly. It’s more important to get the body operating properly, and do so with the minimum amount of effort, social constraints, and do so without eating unenjoyable foods. I did learn a lot from RBTI. For example, having your urine brix at 1.5 can really suck and destroy your health. So can eating pork.

      • RBTI answers your “feeling cold” problem by a malfunctioning pancreas from creating it’s own alcohol.

        -“The body burns fats by converting them to carbohydrate, that is fats to sugar, and the pancreas converts sugar to alcohol and the alcohol makes heat in the body by the action of the frequency of the particles rubbing together, creating anions of heat by friction.”

        Alcohol in excess is the greatest enemy of calcium!!!!!

        Now I believe it’s important to eat the right things at the right time in order to be healthy and perhaps some of these junky foods can help a certain individual at a certain time, but it’s silly to advise anyone of this without understanding their body as a whole. This is exactly where RBTI needs to be implemented to get the whole picture. I wish you would provide more than just a brix reading because it’s such a small part of the RBTI, and that is why I was critical of you, because I felt that you just used the refractometer and left out the pH readings, salts, albumin, and ureas.

        • I’m sure every dietary religion out there would have an answer. But most would be the wrong answer, no matter how cool and sciency and sure it sounded.

      • @Matt Stone,
        What’s wrong with pork?

    • Ya, shame on you Matt. I mean c’mon like what about that one lady who like had insulin resistance and stuff and now she doesn’t what’s up with that? Your a total……..

  16. I am on the mend from Paleo and developed incredible cravings to what Matt cites as junk food. I had the willpower and discpline to shun these foods for almost a year…even developing a “snobby” attitude toward people eating junk and grains…but my body eventually pushed me over the edge. I was cold, dizzy, and had no sex drive. Sure, I lost weight…but at what cost? I now eat a ton of healthy carbs and two cheat dinners a week trying to restore my health and the junk food has been so beneficial. I am warm again…sometimes I feel almost too hot…never dizzy and my sex drive is through the roof. I just finished a quart of junky ice cream complete with candy in it and I am burning up right now and couldn’t be happier. Sure, I’ve gained some weight back, but I’ll take it. :)

    • I think I’m finally hitting the point to where I can’t eat as much as I usually do. It’s getting increasingly difficult to muster down my feasts. I don’t want to speak too soon though. I suppose it could involve other factors. I accidentally left my bowl of ice cream melting for a little bit yesterday. Shows you how much I was craving it. But nevertheless I remembered I was suppose to eat it, and did. You know cuz uhh…I’m still kinda over eating on purpose =) Maybe that’s not good for me, who knows, but I don’t care, I’m sure the stress involved with giving a shit is worse.

      • Funny you mentioned that Bob…I also can’t handle my usual feasts anymore. I eat two meals a day…a moderate lunch at noon and a huge dinner around 6pm. I am finding my huge dinners less appetitzing and I get full faster. I also don’t get as warm afterwards…when I started this journey I would actually be sweating toward the end of my dinner. Not anymore!

        • Same here!

    • I also just ate a ‘crap-load’ of ice-cream and I’m burning up right now. VERY interesting.

      I am 5’9″ and pushing 170 lbs. When watching my food intake and working out, I started to get to 163 and then shot RIGHT back up to 170, even above. You know how frustrating it is to have that happen???!!! Uggh.

      I stumbled upon Matt’s videos on YouTube after a former fitness competitor mentioned that my high cortisol levels and stalled weight loss is from a damaged metabolism after years of Yo-Yoing between low fat and now low-carb.

      I am highly sensitive to gluten, so this new approach is going to be tough, but it all makes incredible sense when matched with my current situation.

      I am now not fearing the potatoes, the brown rice (although arsenic is in brown rice at high levels and I have arsenic and mercury poisoning!!!) and I am ESPECIALLY not being a ‘fruit-fear-monger’ any more!

      I just moved to So. Cal. and the effort to lose this excess flab and cellulite by summer is VERY real (it sucks to not want to wear shorts because of fluffy cottage cheese thighs when it is soaring over 100 degrees and everyone is stripping down to their bathing suits), but, alas, if I need to take 3 weeks during Spring to get my body back on track, I’ll do what it takes.

      I’ve got Thyroid and hormonal issues, along with leaky gut, so SOMETHING’s gotta give. My poor Paleo doctor just didn’t see the correlation of my low-carb diet causing stress on my adrenals and causing me to pump out high levels of Cortisol and Testosterone (I’m a girl).

      I am now also coming around full circle…BUT, Paleo taught me a LOT about REAL food and a lot about certain aspects of nutrition, so I can’t be upset at that.

      It’s time for a paradigm shift people!

  17. Good post for the noobs, Matt. You’re bustin outta that tee, so I see training is going well.

    In the many months since I opened carb-dora’s box and attempted to eat all the pancakes and ice cream that came out of it, everything is better. Literally. Everything.

    Ok, except for one thing…

    Yea, it’s bodyfat.

    It’s not extreme, but it’s higher than I would like. Other than that, I mean it when I say everything is better. Sleep, energy levels, mental acuity, physical output, testosterone levels (measured in terms of the weight room and libido), mood, etc. Every single marker for true health is better, and continues to improve from including plenty of carbs and sugars in my diet.

    I like to eat to organic as much as possible, so I can testify that “junk food” can be done in a pretty healthy way. Examples: grass-fed hot dogs on organic buns are a big favorite right now. So are a big glasses of grass-fed raw milk warmed up with a couple teaspoons of organic sugar.

    I’m not at the “light dinner” stage yet, and I still find that a small snack before bed helps me sleep through the night. Other than that, embracing the carbs has been one of the best diet experiments I’ve ever done.


    • Same here Cameron. I think if you just follow that where it leads, and focus on your health, your body composition will be better than it would have been otherwise 10 years down the road. Of that I am pretty damn sure.

      • Cameron you gotta love your body fat. Not only is it a message that you’ve done something your body doesn’t like, it’s protecting you from yourself, and it’s smarter than you. So stop hating it and you’ll get along better.

        • Oh I’m definitely cool with my bodyfat, don’t get me wrong. I just wanted to be totally honest in my report that every single marker for health has improved with a mostly organic high-carb diet, but bodyfat did go up.

          I just had a huge pancake breakfast, and I have no plans to cancel this glorious food experiment any time soon.

          In giving the bodyfat “issue” some serious thought, the answer to lowering the fat without restricting calories or carbs was actually pretty easy: Move more! (But not excessively…)

          For the most part I have been piloting a computer desk all day long, lifting weights 3 times per week, taking a few short walks, and not doing very much else physical activity. That’s a recipe for stagnant lymph and bodyfat accrual, no matter what the diet looks like. (I don’t like steady-state cardio)

          So I revived some old yoga moves for lymph flow, modified them to be done while standing, sprinkled in a few jump training movements, and I’m on my way. 5 days of doing these easy but powerful movements as often as possible throughout the day and already the belly is visibly tightening up.

          I don’t want super low bodyfat or a 6-pack. I just want my body to be healthy, energized, powerful, flexible, explosive and highly mobile. I think I have put some of the final pieces into place to make that happen in a way that flows naturally and honors my body’s needs as well as its capabilities.

          • short n sweet sprints a couple a times a week? I wish I could remember a fellows youtube channel, but he was a bodybuilder model dude an thats all he did was pump with iron, some really short high intensity sprints and he ate peanut butter sandwiches and gatorade powder stuff for recovery is what I remember. Six pack he had. What his body temp was who knows, and I’m not like recommending peanut butter sandwiches for a post work out meal or anything.

          • I just remembered, I actually came across this guy because he was arguing with low carbers in the comments from a Gary Taubes video. LOL

          • Six weeks of Rarrfing and I am feeling pretty good and have gained 5-10 lbs. I did no exercise, did alot of laying around and napping until last week when running sounded fun. I now up to 3 miles, which is so much quicker than ever before from starting from no running. It feels so great and I have energy and strength!!!

          • I’m slowly working sprints into the equation, too. :-)

  18. I disagree on one point. The food you are talking about is not junk food! It’s wholesome fare. I know you use the term for shock value, but I now when I think junk food I think processed, colored and shaped foods…like mcribs or cheetos, mountain dew and the like. I hate to malign the mighty pancake with the term “junk”. And don’t get my started on french toast….

    • OMG how amazing is French toast! The perfect meal! It’s toast and eggs and butter AND you get to slather it in fruit and maple syrup! All these ingredients on their own don’t do it for me, but together – phwoar.

  19. For the females, I would recommend NOT starting ETF late in the cycle if you have a lot of digestive problems with carbs! The combination of my digestive system adapting to the carbs, and trying to get rid of estrogen/pms= chaos that is causing my veins to bulge/leg to painfully swell. Hopefully this gets better, but scary for sure. The holes we dig ourselves into! My sibo was getting better, but the whole female cycle definitely threw a wrench in my progress.

    • Louise – I found I had trouble with large amounts of carbs in the form of “whole foods” (such as potatoes, rice, sweet potato, carrot, beans) after low-carbing, but it was easier to adapt to things like raw sugar and honey and maple syrup. Don’t know if that’d work for you, just putting it out there. I found it easier to control how much I was having, too, because I could just add a little more or less depending on how I was going (think maple syrup and honey to yogurt or coconut cream, and raw sugar to hot drinks.)

    • Salt and vitamin E help with that.

  20. Hey, I just realized something. I am fully into the no/low dinner thing and I didn’t even really realize it. I’m just not hungry for dinner. And I eat homemade pizza and ice cream for lunch. My abdominal swelling seems better too. Plus I’m not actively RRARFing anymore, so even my breakfasts and lunches are a bit smaller, naturally (I just get full and I stop, no obsessing anymore about cramming more ice cream in or more cookies or whatever). This is pretty sweet. And I’ve been in a pretty great mood too. And the sex drive is up (though it can be hard to feel sexy when you’re fatter; though even that is just another opportunity to love me as I am!)

    • I’ve also had good results with a simple vegan dinner, and nothing else during the afternoon and evening.

    • Kendahl- I’m trying to love me just the way I am, but when there is two times the amount of me, it becomes discouraging. The theory is hard to embrace when you feel like Shamu. And even though my sex drive is improving I would hate for my husband to see me like this because I am so very different than the size 6 he married. I often wonder when he looks at me if he thinks of that old joke: What do a Moped and a fat chick have in common? You wouldn’t want your friends seeing you ride either one!

      Ugh! I guess I’ll go eat some ice cream!

      • You left the important part of the joke out. The joke is actually, “What do a moped and a fat chick have in common?” “They are both fun to ride until your friends see you doing it.”

        The point is that you’re husband will have all kinds of fun with you in the bedroom. What society thinks of fat women is the problem, not what your husband thinks of you.

        • Interesting that renaissance masters depicted the ideal female form as voluptuous. Contrast that to western notions of “heroin chic”. Maybe intuitively people in the 16th century knew that you needed some body fat to maintain fertility, to carry a child to term, to have the strength and stamina to parent the child. When my husband used to tease me for the (modest) weight I had gained after marriage, I’d shoot back with, “I have to maintain my child-bearing physique.”. Not let them eat cake….Let ME eat cake.

        • I love you Matt.

        • Here! Here! I’ve been thinking about why I feel horrible about myself and it’s because of what society says…everyone is so god damned obsessed with weight and dieting, and i let that affect me. That’s the most important thing I’ve gotten from all of this; I need to stop worrying about what everyone else things and to start loving myself. It’s not always easy, and I don’t like the bulge that is developing, and I wasn’t small to begin with, but it’s hard not to feel that way when someone who is a size 8 feels fat. Sad….

        • I’m feeling a bit more thick but happier. That comment is sooo sweet. It made my evening. Buenas Noches. Hugs!

  21. Hi-
    I’ve only discovered your site in the past week so please forgive my “newness.” I was searching for posts on endurance athletes and everything that I have read seemed to put endurance activities in a very negative light. The “junk food” you are talking about in this post can have a real place in recovery eating for athletes trying to rebuild glycogen stores… (which obviously you know already :). Anyways, do you have advice for people who are actively engaged in endurance sports and would like to see their body composition improve? I’ve seen so many people gain weight while marathon training or increasing their weekly mileage. Do you suggest “refeeding” for a brief period after competition? Is it possible to readjust your food intake more slightly upwards over time so that the increased metabolism will offset the increased calories so that you will not gain weight? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  22. Kendahl..I love your confidence about your body! Right on. We are definitely on the “road less traveled” here :)

  23. Matt,
    Love, love, love your site. Thank you :-)

    Now that you are going to aim for more frequent video communication, I sure hope you won’t be writing less.
    Some of us need the written word to really grasp things at our own pace. I always skip videos and never listen to radio talkshows; just can’t stand waiting for the good points and filtering out all the small talk!

    • No no. I’m still planning on posting twice a week on average. 2 videos. 2 posts. That will be a “normal” week.

  24. I haven’t been able to string together two nights of a decent sleep in almost 2 years now. Its been 6 months since I start eating normally again, I’ve gained a ton of weight(was 165, now 211). “Junk” food helps some nights. Easy carbs and sugar, at the very least, seem to calm my heart rate at night time. But honestly I can’t tell whats working or not. My cycle has absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. Some nights I’ll fall asleep at 11 or 12, other nights(like tonight) I never fall asleep. Some days I’ll fall asleep around 4 am and wake up at noon. I’m falling asleep at work during the day, and wide awake at night. It is without a doubt the most mentally and physically exhausting experience of my life.

    I had some short term success combining lovely processed junk cereal and kefir this week. Nothing seems to work long term. Hell, lets make it a double stack of pancakes for breakfast tomorrow. Couldn’t fuck things up any worse than eating “healthy” did. It is nice being able to eat ice cream again, it works wonders in the morning when I don’t have time to make breakfast.

    • Have you tried salt and/or gelatin before bed?

  25. Dear Matt,
    I was skeptical of all this but inadvertently started eating quite a bit of “junk” recently while studying for an exam. Pizza, pasta, pastries, cookies, bread, juice etc. Prior to that I guess I was orthorexic to some extent and tried to stick to a whole-foods diet (albeit vegetarian, to the wrath of many, I’m sure). After “relaxing” my diet, my digestion improved a lot (it wasn’t great previously) and I lost some of the unhealthily paranoid attitudes I had towards highly palatable foods etc. Stepping on the scales after eating like this for 2-3 weeks I expected to have gained weight but nay, I’d maybe lost half a kilo. My muscles looked more defined too. It freaked me out in a good way.
    I think it’s great that you encourage people to let go of their neuroses about food – so often this can be the cause of disordered eating. Once you relax about it and see that the foods you’re so desperately avoiding might actually help some markers of health, then the problem has the potential to solve itself.
    It’s pizza for dinner tonight!

    • Great stuff Will. That’s how it was for me too. I had convinced myself on an intellectual level that such foods were pure evil, and then had my world rocked hard when I noticed many improvements from eating them in short phases like this – like over the holidays or when visiting friends or family members. It’s taken me a long time to finally ease up about them, and even openly advocate them – especially when so many others that read health blogs have also convinced themselves so thoroughly that such foods are “poison.” People love to hate me for it, but it would be dishonest of me to continue to support their beliefs and continue to cheer them on about avoiding evil, villainous white sugar and other forms of rocket fuel.

  26. The pancakes or sweetened oatmeal I eat for breakfast on alternating days, plus the cookies or slice of cake I always have after lunch, are certainly not “junk food” for me in the bad sense. My body feels less inflamed, my energy is better, and yes, the numbers on the scale are going down. The lemonade I drink daily isn’t junk either, as that is so beneficial to my liver.

  27. Matt, looking back at all the “junk” food macros, i’ve developped a pretty interesting theory that fits with metabolism.
    It seems that the MORE salt,sugar (more than starch i find) and fats (saturated ones and omega 6 ones seem the better) and moreover the LESS protein and fiber the food have, the yummiest it is and the greatest impact on metabolism it has.
    Like look at what the health gurus have in common when wanting you to shed bodyfat.
    They want you to eat FIBROUS veggies and LEAN meat.
    So basically you’ll eat the LESS efficient fuel for your body, protein and fiber.
    Of course a minimum of protein is necessary and recommanded, but on you’ve reached this minimum like ,1g/kg, go nuts on the fat and carbs and you’ll be warmer than you were when you were eating healthy.
    I remembered once when i was starving, i wanted to binge but there was nothing processed left in the fridge so I naturally took some white flour, cooked it with a butload of whatever fat i found (olive oil even if hated that) and added up enormous amount of sugar and salt.
    As a result, that food looked like nothing because i was a noob in cooking but DAMN it was so yummy, and it was almost purely FATS and CARBS with something like 6-7 % protein and traces of fiber.
    So basically, the price of theses processed cookies or whatever is just justified by the packaging because you can feed your metabolism with the income of a Kenyan farmer.
    Any thoughts on this ?

    • Yes, that’s accurate. Most health gurus have you eat foods that decrease appetite and decrease calorie absorption. The high water content, low calorie density foods + lots of lean protein, which is horrible for use as a fuel. We are hardwired to find this type of food less rewarding than the calorie dense stuff. When you switch to more calorie dense stuff you eat mroe of it, and absorb more of it, and get more of a metabolic boost – generally speaking. It’s also more fattening in the short-term. But can also be more stimulating to muscle growth in the short-term as well, especially if you are weight training.

      • They are fattening in the VERY SHORT term for me, like a week after introducing them and after they completely loose their emergency food aura and on a daily basis you eat fewer of them and it becomes so hard to overeat them but they still warm you even when underteating a bit because of this satisfied feeling.
        Recently, i was RRAFING on carbs only because of your old MNP thing but know that i begin to introduce fat, the calorie density ramps up even more(like +400cal/ 100g) and the metabolism and so weight loss are going on a lot better (someone said butter over there ?!!).
        I’m just struggling with the kind of polyinsaturated stuff right now.
        Do you still think, the less polyinsatured, the more saturated fats the better, or did you just put this mindblowing shit away and eat what the hell of crap you find under you hand ?

        • I personally found that restricting polyunsaturated fats was not the panacea I had hoped it would be after reading Ray Peat’s work. I would rather say that I favor the saturated fats over the unsaturated fats, sure. But I don’t think those who are the most extreme with it are the one’s who are going to be rewarded with everlasting health or anything like that.

          • Thanks Matt, as always you’re information is higly valuable.
            You’re the only health blog that i follow and i’ts not going to end soon.
            By the way, I smoke occasionnally and i find that every time i smoke in a fasted state, it gives me cold hands and lightheadness, in an almost identical way that alcohol and “raw” cofee do.

          • I agree with Matt that the polyunsaturated fat is way over hyped. Once you steer clear of the biggest contributor (oils) then it is pretty hard to have an overabundance of unsaturated fat in your diet anyway. I stay away from a lot of meat, veggies, oils and nuts/seeds in my diet so even though i dont specifically limit my fats, im still getting a very small amount of pufa.

            I do think omega-6 was one of the main culprits of my inflammation so if you are prone to inflammation then you might want to limit pufa as much as you can without becoming overly restrictive.

          • I was more concern about the cookies and all other highly palatable processed stuff that i gullet down on a daily basis. I guess i don’t have to worry that much about it maybe.
            I found that Ray Peat has made a lot of people orthorexic instead of healing their metabolism.
            Like if you’re eating out with your friends and always push away wheat or whatever grain, avoiding meat and always have a bottle of orange juice with you.
            In fact, it looks like one of the most restrictive diet i’ve ever seen.

          • I try to go by a rule that as long as the food is not completely devoid of nutrients like little debbies and candy then its fair game. Eating a ton of cookies is probably not going to help much in the long run, limit the snacks to something that is highly palatable but also pretty nutritious. Cheese and crackers or chips and salsa, ice cream and fruit.

            Depending on how extreme you take Peats diet, you are certainly right that it is pretty restricting. There is a guy over on a certain forum that drinks 6 liters a day of milk and OJ. Besides being ridiculous, that has to be one of the most expensive diets. When i experimented with Peat, some parts i liked (OJ/fruit, dairy, salt) and some parts didnt have an effect (gelatin, table sugar, daily carrot, coconut oil). In the long run, it was not sustainable.

          • I still kinda got this soybean oil phobia…I don’t use mayonaise (want to make my own with macadamia oil someday..), and when I eat pizza or use spaghetti sauce, it pisses me off. hahahaha, really though, I don’t like it -_- hahaha an I still gotta omega ratio phobia too. Like I only eat free range eggs, even though I’m kinda poor =)

  28. Great post as always. Great comments as always.

    Matt, did you ever do a post on non-virtues of having fruit as the primary source of carbs? I can’t find anything, but I could have just not searched properly. After 4+ months doing RRARF, ice cream and pizza aplenty, I felt great, albeit with the acceptable gain in weight which eventually made me feel quite lethargic and tired. The only thing I found annoying was that I was full way past meal times, so my meal patterns became irregular and antisocial. Since then, I had kept very high carb but have lowered fat and increased carbs, mainly bananas and dates, oranges, greens, potatoes, rice. I still occasionally eat ‘junk food’, and never say no to friend’s offerings, but I will admit to gravitating to the higher carbohydrate (e.g. sugar cereals), rather than the fattier things, simply cos they digest better for me. Losing the dairy products made some annoying pimples I got on RRAFF go away. I am aggressively keeping to 3-4000 kcals a day, and I reckon I’ve lost a bit of body fat along the way, but I don’t look at the scales. It is oddly cheaper for me because I eat more simply this way, can buy in bulk and still feel satisfied. I am maintaining a high body heat in my extremities- maybe not burning like before, but still lovely and warm, good temperature readings, good sleep, etc etc. I feel like I am bouncing off the walls with a genuine sense of clarity after doing this for about 3-4 weeks now. But, I am keeping vigilant for any signs of ill health that this wholefoodsy, low fat (most of the time) approach might create.

    I don’t mean to get all Durianrider on you, but would love your ideas about whether you think it is sustainable. I am actually kinda bumped that I feel better on this, because I am wary that I am falling back into old patterns of restriction. Truth is, this time it feels as if I have finally learnt something Reckon it is worth pursuing until I see signs of trouble? Or should I EJECT EJECT EJECT!

    • I think eating very high-carb like that can be sustainable. Many use it to lower body temperature specifically, which makes for better endurance performance, especially in the heat. I have spent a lot of time eating that way. The only problem is that eating “normal” can be pretty fattening when eating that way. And eating normal at social and family gatherings is inevitable. But it sounds like it’s working. I would follow it where it leads. You know how to spot signs of it failing now, and you are not blindly following it but doing it with caution, so you’ll be fine.

  29. While I defnitely agree that the combo of sugar, starch, fat, protein and salt and calories will boost one’s metabolism very well (and this is how I like to eat myself … except with mostly whole foods or at least home-cooked foods) I personally find that certain food additives and certain foods will drop my temperature (especially in the extremities) extremely quickly, negating the above benefits. This seems to happen even on a surplus of calories. That said, I feel absolutely fantastic and warm eating a surplus of mostly whole foods, with the occasional junk food thrown in the mix.

  30. For all you ITCHY people….I experienced this for about four months not long after I started RBTI. I believe in my case, it was high uric acid levels. Same thing with timing, mostly in the evening with getting worse until bedtime and in the morning slightly. It finally disappeared with time and drinking distilled water, albeit limited amounts for me b/c I’m a crasher.

  31. I understand this is directed to a specific crowd with food phobias and what-not, but I still don’t buy it.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t given up junk food and doubt I ever will. But I do try to limit the occasions. If you eat them on an unstructured, free-for-all basis, you’ll end up in trouble.

    I work with tons of people who chips, Little Debbies, etc. to appetite (and beyond) every day. Never once has one of them said “Well that’s enough. I’m tired of Lays and Snickers. I’m going to make fresh fruits, vegetables, grass-feed beef, etc., my staples and limit this junk. And I’m going to work off this extra 120 pounds I’ve put on over the years.”

    The stuff they eat is highly addictive. Many of them can’t even enjoy real food any longer. They can’t even appreciate a well-prepared dish or non-American food unless it’s been Americanized to the max (Taco Bell, strip mall Chinese buffet, etc.).

    • Yes, my brain tells me that revving up metabolism in a short time period and then switching over to a more unrefined type of diet is the best for most people – but a relaxed approach of course, where one can still go out and eat a normal restaurant meal without thinking they are killing themselves or some nonsense. The popularity in the fitness industry of eating “clean” 6 days per week and then eating high-calorie foods to deliver a little spike in metabolism is not a bad approach, but it all depends on a person’s individual relationship with food. For me personally, I can talk about structure all day long. But eating in a structured was is something I know is not realistic for me on a long-term basis. I think many people are in that same boat.

  32. Matt, I have a simple solution to your problem with selling your book. Lower the price. C’mon, this is an e-book- a hard cover would cost little more than what you are charging. I’m betting that if you lowered the price to half what it is, say $9.99, you would sell books. However, attempting to sell people on eating high-carb and high-fat foods which flies in the face of “conventional wisdom”, ain’t gonna work if you don’t make the price more commensurate with an e-book pricing level.

    And for me, who is over-weight, over-fat, on thyroid medication and anti-depressants, and who has lost a few pounds on a low-carb diet, but who gains weight at the drop of a hat (and yes, I exercise – swim (hard for an hour – 2000 meters or more twice a week), walk fast for an hour or longer about five times a week, you have yet to convince me that adding carbs to my diet is going to help me. And I’m never cold, either. I mean our bedroom is at 16 degrees celsius at night and I have to stick my feet and arms outside the blankets because it’s too warm. Right now at 9:45 am, I feel so warm I’d think I had a fever if I didn’t know better.

    And I do read your blog – I have it on my subscription list. I’m just waiting to hear something that will convince me I need to change my diet to eat foods I love with a passion – like french toast and bread pudding, lol.

    • I don’t have any problems selling my books.

      • I was responding to this statement in your blog post:

        “This has created much confusion lately for those who are new to the site and have recently read the book, Diet Recovery. That book is really intended for a mainstream audience (the audience I haven’t been able to attract, but one day hope to figure out how to)”

      • Seriously…. Matt’s books are cheap.

        • And you misunderstood what he was saying .

          • If you are living in fear of adding carbs to your diet and you have not yet felt “convinced” to give it a try, there is probably nothing anyone can say to you. It is experiential. If you are eating low carb and exercising the way you are and not seeing results, then, it is, perhaps, worth a try. Give the RRARF thing a try. If you gain a few pounds, not a big deal, you can always go back to your plan.
            You mentioned not having a problem with your temps, but you did not mention that you actually took your temps.
            It is worth shaking up your beliefs and routine and just seeing how your body responds…also, beliefs and thoughts about health and the body are more important than what you are putting in it. I got a lot of help from Jon Gabriel with this.

          • The best way I can describe it is like bitter metalic armpit taste in your mouth. Sorry for the nasty description

          • This post above was suppose to be much further down.

  33. In honor of this post I just went to Del Taco…

    4 tacos and 2 burritos – they tasted great and I feel great!

  34. Lately,I’ve come to think that men can get away in the long run with more ‘cheating/junkfood’ than women. Anyway…..hack my weird symptoms,mood etc…..

    I’m not pleased with myself,as I ate lots of bad stuff for me (lots of whipped cream,some icecream,pizza) Stimulating foods,or junk foods,make me completely derail for all my meals,I can’t keep balance.

    There are some contrasting symptoms I experience though….
    Eating a Paleo meal makes my body feel more stable,but especially with the couple of days of higher temps lately,I just want to be in the sun and feel like eating nothing specifically&am not hungry. (The last of not craving something after a couple of days is quite common and it gets quite tiring to eat the same meals week after weeks bc I just don’t know what else to eat.Thinking up dinner is already a chore,so I usually don’t eat or not much during the day,also bc I’m not hungry and bc I still feel all the prepping is such a hassle,though I really want to eat nutritious&be able to live life in a stable healthy way. Lately Sophie Dahl’s weight story inspired me.) After a Paleo meal I can get this warm rush,which makes me mentally feel quite lethargic&sometimes anxious,until after about an hour my mood starts to lift a bit in the evening and I slowly start to feel like doing certain ‘creative stuff’ though it’s usually too close to bedtime to do so. Every day when I wake up I also get anxious and feel like I should be moving,so I usually think of lots of stuff where I can walk or bike to,though I usually don’t feel like exercising but I fantasize about it.
    I tried to go higher carb by eating an entire small/medium pumpkin with lots of cinnamon,some sauteed spinach and some ground beef,initially it makes me feel a bit sluggish&lethargic which slowly disappears.(I also seem to dream very vividly after that meal and once the warmth&lethargy fades am able to think more creatively) I actually like this meal,BUT…..whenever I eat something like pumpkin or another purple veggie like carrot twice a week,my skin immediately turns orange! (I think bc of the beta-carroteen?).

    Today however eating all the bad stuff,led me immediately to certain symptoms such as; feeling I’m about to pass out,very blurry vision,pain in my knee joints,feeling like a junk looking for ‘more of a fix’ despite these awkward symptoms I’m already experiencing. When I finished the pizza,my mind actually felt like ordering another one and/or order one again tomorrow preferrably even the family-size one just for myself,which I could eat entirely in one sitting:s. (Come to think of it…..I think it’s the accompanying sauce that is so delicious,thus addictive to me,bc ordering the pizza on it’s own isn’t really appealing to me….however being able to order the sauce on it’s own is another story! Though the combination is still what’s the ultimate food!)
    But the thing is……it makes me want to&feel excited to start exercising..go to the gym, (though I can’t afford one,which still is kind of a problem to me),lifting heavy,do HIT etc. Yet I actually can’t bc of all these awkward symptoms.
    My feet mostly burned the afternoon after eating the whipped cream&icecream,which felt a bit too hot to me,almost as if sweat would start to pour out underneath my armpits(which rarely happened during the last couple of years even during summer. My sister on the other hand has a sweating problem and gets dizzy easily when it’s warm),I’m actually walking barefoot in house now. After eating the pizza tonight,my hands&feet are just nicely warm,no lethargic heatwaves……but I’m kinda anxious how I’ll wake up tomorrow,I typically wake-up tired,feeling sluggish,pain in knee-joints after eating a night of pizza/gluten. (Though this time I ordered from another pizzeria with a more original Italian style pizza,one with flatter crust so I guess less dough and with other toppings(cheese,ham,arugola lettuce&mushrooms),but with the same kinda sauce. The one from the other pizza place has a slightly thicker crust& I used to order one with other toppings(cheese,ground beef&iceberg lettuce) topped with the same kinda sauce.)

    Does anyone recognize these contrasting things and/or has some similar experiences?…..or am I the only freakin’ weirdo here who’s bound to stick to whole foods 1000%? :s

  35. You are a gdamn retard. encouraging ppl to eat MORE hyperpalatable junk food when they’re obese and dying? gtfo u quack

    • I was just talking shit to professor Haub on Twitter last night, asking him if he wanted me to deconstruct his temporary, transient improvements in his lipids from calorie restriction.

  36. Matt Stone, where the FUCK did you get those guns?

  37. Matt, did those muscles all come from MAXercising or are you pumping some iron too?

    • No interval training. Just from doing weights. Will be talking about this tomorrow.

    • that Jack dudes comment sounds awesome…haha. With my once a day rarrfing I’m having more random chubs than ever before. In fact, I had to get a full physical today, and they left me in the exam room for like 25 minutes alone, and I was just in a gown, and I had to keep like reciting the months of the year from this calendar on the wall cuz my mind kept wondering, if you catch my drift.

  38. So,after yesterday,I expected to get up with the regular pizza/sugar-joint pain., but this time no joint pain and the feeling of sluggishness wasn’t too bad either.
    However the thing I don’t like is that I woke up,already thinking about ‘what pizza I’d like to order tonight’/wanting more icecream etc.
    I guess I can count my blessings,that it didn’t turn out that bad this time and go straight back to a wholesome meal tonight,not robbing it from all the minerals such as zink/magnesium (That is if I get some kind of craving of what I might like,but that’s another thing these bad foods do…..they make me crave for more and shut down my appetite/hunches when it comes to whole foods. I guess diet-recovery will never be helpful for me:( )

    I also wonder if the lesser jointpain has to do with the fact that I’ve spent the last couple of days in the sun with more uncovered skin (wearing a tshirt) bc of the higher temps?

    • Dutchie – your thought-process sounds a lot like mine was a few months ago (and still is from time to time). I would gently suggest that, although your many health problems and feelings and experiences with the effects of foods are very real just like mine were, the main problem is actually how obsessive and neurotic those thoughts can get. Even trying to “listen to your body” gets obsessive. For me it got to the point where I just flat did not know what to think or feel or believe because I had read so much and experimented so much and I had so many *beliefs* about what was good and bad, that even though I was trying to listen to my body, I couldn’t hear it – I would feel a little joint pain or I’d feel sluggish and I would PANIC, it’d be straight back to the “whole, clean” staple foods, then I’d crave something more, fight with myself, have it, then feel like shit – and I would physically feel like shit, but looking back I know it was mostly induced by my mental state. The mind IS powerful, it can make you feel physically like crap.

      Also, Matt’s had a ton of reports of people feeling sluggish and crappy on the first couple of weeks of re-feeding, and then coming good. That was my experience. Partly it’s because you overdo it when you’re told you can eat whatever, but that’s just part of the process – what’s harder for us to do is give ourselves permission, and eat like maybe a pastry or cookie after breakfast and lunch, or have a few slices of pizza every day, rather than telling ourselves we can’t have any and inevitably eating our own bodyweight in the stuff. It gets easier.

      • Thanx for your advice Neesha,I wish it were true for me but it unfortunately isn’t. That stuff really has addictive powers over me and causes lots of pains/emotional&hormonal disturbances,joint pains,fatigue etc. It is actually indicated/predicted a couple of times,by independent individuals,to me that I must avoid ‘stimulating foods’ (sugars,MSG, and especially fructose!). These stimulating foods,by my own experience cause addictiveness/opiate-like feelings while leading my health rapidly in a downward spiral towards T2 Diabetes etc.
        Well white flour also happens to be one of the foods that convert to fructose as well as robbing the body of many minerals&vitamins. Wheat&all that stuff also causes Estrogen Dominance,so I could exercise,HIT,Lift etc. and still lose lean muscle. Back in the day when I used to exercise daily and ate lowfat products&lots of salads with sugary-dressings,I also ate lots of bread,pasta&pizza….yet I had to always drag myself to the gym with painful joints & after mostly couchhang bc of the tiredness.
        I guess eating 3square meals a day,is probably gonna help a lot but I can’t…I’m actually too scared,feeling anxious that I’m gonna gain so much and still having all these weird issues/symptoms&cravings,have no clue what to eat or what I feel like etc.

        Than there’s the Lyme&Co,bad gut bacteria etc. who love to feast on all these foods.

        Like I said…it’s not so much the pizza in itself I crave,but the combination of the pizza with the dressing. (I don’t know the ingredients,bc they don’t give away their secret sauce recipe even when indicating that I deal with “allergies”,though I’m certain it involves at least sugar&mayo…which I estimate is just storebought Mayo)

        I really envy you all and sometimes think it’d be better for me to not visit so much here anymore,as it is too temptive for me…..but on the other hand I also like reading all your comments bc you seem to be nice people. Too bad,no one lives near me bc I’d love to get to see how you guys are transforming and all.

        • Dutchie, if you don’t eat, you will gain weight, maybe not next week but further down the track. Seriously, if you are having all these weird food issues AND not eating for fear of gaining weight, that sounds a hell of a lot like disordered eating. Please, eat three meals a day! A good guideline I go with when I’m feeling really confused is just to make sure I have a roughly equal amount of protein, fat, and carbs at each meal – even if the meals are small, because I’m getting scared of weight-gain. Stick to foods you know don’t give you too much trouble, three meals a day of roughly the same protein/fat/carb ratio even if they’re very small meals, and then maybe try to deal with the bigger issues once you’ve achieved stability.

          • Thanx 4 the advice Neesha,however that’s one of my problems….I’m just regularly bored and/or clueless about what to eat of stuff that doesn’t do my body any harm.
            I just want&am starting to become addicted again to all foods,that cause me lots of symptoms I guess mostly leading me towards T2 Diabetis path….Mostly out of anger/hurt that I can’t/don’t feel like I have a normal life anymore…or can keep balance for that matter.
            I actually need to gain a bit of weight,since I’m a bit underweight and I know I can only ‘do it right’ by eating the right kinds of nutritious foods with some good exercise…..but somehow I can’t seem to get that on track.:(

            I read about a lot of people here eating homemade/whole ‘junk foods”….I just wonder how you all seem to manage that?….I mean are you all working from home or something?

          • Dutchie low metabolism is the reason you react to so many things. You actually have to go through the pain and discomfort and get your temps up, not eating is only going to perpetuate the low metabolism situation which is causing your issues. I had over 30 sensitivities to all kinds of foods and other elements which have gone away by raising metabolism. I used to be knocked out for a day if ever I ate gluten, so depressed exhausted emotional and my face would puff up and look totally different. I thought that was just something I had to avoid forever, but now I eat it and I am fine no symptoms! I am so happy to be able to eat without fear and I think you are going to have to push through that wall. Your body is going to tell you ‘no’ because your body is not operating optimally – its not an accurate indicator of what you need to be doing. As for msg, its awful for anyone I am not advocating eating it.

          • addiction is much more common when your body is deprived of what it needs and that messes up your brain chemicals such as serotonin. addiction doesnt lie so much with the substance as the state of your body and metabolism, fix the root cause and those things wont have the power. by the way sensitivities to foods can make you crave them and behave like an addict with them. again choosing to eat and raise the temps will help change that. i am not saying to eat junk do whole foods rrarf until your temps are your temps are up and you can handle the other foods.

          • Thanx Callie…..Actually from what I’ve read addiction is root cause of amongst others adrenal stress/fatigue. And I guess combining these bad foods with lots of Himalayan salt&sometimes fatty fish/O3 can balance it more,though all the sugar and whiteflour still depletes the body.
            Though I am warmer,sometimes almost sweating,it still doesn’t do wonders for my digestion and I guess still leaves and might increase leaky gut.
            I’ve found the last week when I ate pizza at night twice,my knee joints didn’t hurt when waking up….might’ve something to do with me adding lots of H.Salt to it?…still though I drink a lot,I guess it leaves me dehydrated…which might be some of the causes of dehydration too? It seems like I can handle real sugary stuff easier during the day,in the evening it leaves my heart pounding like crazy. Though whiteflour does this too,it’s actually less if I don’t keep sitting on the couch but stand behind my standing desk or move around and drink green tea with it.
            Though the normal size pizza’s still leave me “wanting more&bigger” if I don’t finish the dish with some Green Tea.:s

            I’d love to RRARF using whole foods,however like I said I just don’t know how to do it……bc dairy/milk is actually still bad for me.Fructose is my main nemesis for life!so can’t have fruit&it leaves out sweet potatoe,can’t have chocolate/cacao at the moment,I don’t like legumes,corn,potatoe (apart from the occasional fries but only bc of accompanying sauces like mayo)&rice.
            Like I mentioned I’d love to become someone happy,healthy&fit/female muscular burning-machine like Sophie Dahl and lots of others you see for instance on tv-programs like dinner date,masterchef etc. I just don’t know how to go about it,where to start,etc.
            I have actually been told by several people,who don’t know eachother,that a Lacto-Paleo way of eating with no fructose/fruit&sweet potatoe,with exception of a little honey, is beneficial for my health in the long run……though I’m still not sure where that leaves me or what it entails exactly (only veggies?)

        • How the h*ll does starch, (C6 H10 O5)n, convert to fructose, C6 H7 O(OH)5 ????? Please do explain that to me!

          • @Beth Glucose doesn’t convert into fructose. I never said any thing like that.:)

  39. When I’m at my best, I typically eat pretty low-carb paleo-“esque” through the week, and then have a Sunday breakfast of biscuits, extra sausage gravy, eggs, cheesy hasbrowns, orange juice, and 1/2 of a pancake with syrup.
    This seems to boost my metabolism to burn off calories for the rest of the week. Thanks for discussing this topic.

    • 1/2 a pancake??? Why not the whole thing?

  40. does the junk food affect insulin resistance or just temps?

  41. Matt- I have been eating per your suggestions, kidney’s are feeling better, but my husband commented that I have keto-breath. I have done vlc/high fat so he knows what keto-breath is. I do not eat much fats, mostly high carb now, would there be a reason for this? I have not lost any weight maybe gained 5 pnds, and still working on the sleep. Thanks, and am loving your articles.

    • I’ve noticed keto breath on my kids too, since starting the ice cream and sugar…Would like to know what that’s about

      • Sorry if this is a weird question, but what is keto breath? Thanks! : )

        • My comment went a few posts above, about keto breath. Sorry not sure why it did that.

          • That’s really weird because I had a crazy metallic weird taste in my mouth like that for the first time yesterday. Wasn’t sure what it was but it did not last long so I don’t know if it was that or not.

          • I have that weird metallic taste too.. Anyone know what that might be?

  42. Hi Matt,

    I just wanted to thank you for writing this posting. I am going through a really stressful time with my work and personal life and all of these lovely carbs are the only thing keeping me steady throughout the whole experience. Even eating large amounts of food seems to be just enough to keep my temps up lately (I had a huge plate of pancakes with maple syrup this morning, lots of pasta for lunch and I came home and devoured the rest of the pasta with a bit of soup and rice for supper–lots of salt added in there too). I am just hoping my food budget can weather the stress too! I am feeling pretty good despite everything going on–warm and relaxed. Thanks again.

  43. Whenever my kid starts to get picky about eating his meals (which are home-made whole foods) I go to the regular grocery store, not the co-op, with him and let him buy whatever he wants and then eat it at his own pace at home. He usually loads up on it the first day or two and then it tapers off into disinterest. Then an amazing thing happens. He starts eating everything that isn’t nailed down at meals. I don’t have any fear that he’s going to become a junk food addict, ballooning up to hundreds of pounds. He’s one of the few kids I know who will eat vegetables (cauliflower and broccoli are among his favorite foods.) For a long time he wouldn’t drink milk unless it was chocolate. I let him have as much juice and chocolate milk as he wanted and a couple of weeks ago he just started drinking milk again like a fiend. Last week he was craving jello. He didn’t want me to make my healthy gelatin with plain gelatin and fruit juice. He wanted the stuff from the store in the little plastic cups that make baby otters cry. So I bought him a bunch of those and his digestion has been just rocking this week. Digestion has always been an issue. Maybe Ray Ray is onto something with his gelatin thing. Something that the boy picked up on his own. Anyway, I continue to enjoy cooking whole food meals, and continue to that for the family, but it is nice to be able to travel, visit relatives and friends and just relax about all my orthorexia.

    • I’ve been contemplating doing something similar with my son. He’s a picky eater and he has bowel issues. He’s been constipated for at least four years. He’s on miralax now, but last week after an abdominal x-ray, he was still backed up with “extensive fecal matter”. He had pooped twice that day, have you. Also, his poop has almost never been solid.
      I proposed the idea to my husband that we let him eat whatever he wants with the idea that he will eventually gravitate toward what he needs. My husband seems to like the idea, but I need to know where exactly to start. Thoughts?

  44. Question to all here……am I the only one,who’s suffering addiction from these foods?:( Reading all your comments it seems like you all naturally had enough of it and want to cook&eat healthy.
    However with me it seems the opposite…..I only want more&more&bigger&bigger and totally unhealthy whiteflour&sugary stuff and I seem to really fall for sauces/condiments,especially the ones based on mayonaise which is filled with rancid vegetable oils and I don’t feel like cooking&preparing anymore at all!

    I think,next to the addictive/opiate experience of all the wrong foods,preparing&cooking is the biggest problem. During the time of my excessive exercising,I lived off pre-prepared&packaged food,dining out,take out etc. From home I never got a steady base regarding cooking&spending time preparing stuff….or even a love for cooking/preparing ones own stuff.
    I’d so love to be someone who loves to prepare (&experiment) food from scratch and don’t have a foodgroup phobia/binge anymore and just exercise healthily,cause that seems to be the key-factor within healthy people&weightbalance/maintenance and/or maybe even loss.They all almost eat only fresh homemade food&dine and when they do,leave half of it on the plate bc it doesn’t taste good to them. (not being affected by triggerfoods,MSG etc.)
    At least that’s how Sophie Dahl claimed to have lost her weight without leaving out certain foodgroups like carbs,fat,proteine.
    Apart from that,I really lack ‘inspiration’ when it comes to food,which I think is also key to ever being able to eat intuitively.Bc now I can’t ‘hear’ the cravings of my body anymore….I now just eat something habitual and the foods steered by the wrong organisms&stimuli.
    But it also seems that people eating home-cooked/healthy foods all are working independently from their own home….which is another stressfull thought for me,bc at the moment I don’t have a job or even an indication of one,or what I’d like to do. I do however do voluntary work 2 to 3days a week….and I just don’t eat anything while being there bc it’s not so much of a hassle.

    Are there more people who went through a similar process and came out the other way?…any advice would be very helpful! pretty please…. (cooking&living/lifestyle-wise:))

    • Dutchie- I have cooking&Living/Lifestyle advice for you: If you quit typing these long and whingy posts you’d have more time to cook yourself an easy, nutritious and delicious meal, eat it happily and do the dishes afterwards. You’re starting to sound like a troll (I hope I’m wrong about that).

      Stay away from the computer, stop worrying about Sophie Dahl, go for a walk, read a book, be happy. And if you get hungry whilst doing that, eat a banana.


  45. So,this evening I ate an entire pumpkin (weighing about 900grams) stuffed with stirred spinach&ground beef. I was satiated when done,and didn’t feel something ‘junk-like’ as with the pizza&sauce,however I’m not as warm and immediately after I finished I got this sudden rush of very anxious feelings…..like I want to crawl into a corner as a scared child.

    I wonder if there is truth in die-off….as long as you feed your bad gut bacteria&other parasites they’ll give you “happy,warm&fuzzy feelings” while leading you down a downward spiral of obesity,diabetes etc.?

    Though I guess the pizza/icecream/crap eating is a crux too,cause I have to take extra Vit.C (&sometimes O3)pills afterwards&always with mod/high proteine(preferrably high in O3,like fatty fish),or eat lemon with it,in order to keep my adrenals relaxed bc I’m actually depleting my body. That can not be healthy,though it is relieving/fun,but doesn’t take me anywhere I guess,leaves me building more toxins within the body…

    Seriously?!….What’s that about?! (I also wonder if I’ll look more orange again tomorrow from the pumpkin…)

    I’m wondering if I’m screwing up my body even more,mixing nutritious/good&depleting/bad foods…..cause whatever I ‘feel like’ eating (this picture I see in my head…yeah sounds schizo) changes within a second,even when I’m not hungry,which makes it very hard to prepare proper food.
    I wonder if I’ll ever get over these weird things and be able to eat,3meals, that ‘nourishes my body,soul&mind’….without feeling deprived,yet being a lean-mean-exercising-burning machine! (….though sometimes the heat flashes give lethargic&anxious feelings)

    Are you all never scared you’ll end up,whether RRARFing or not,like that guy in from fit2fat?

    • I totally see where you’re coming from. When I eat sweets, I feel like my body gets “addicted” to sugar. One donut never stays one donut. The more sweets I eat, the more I want and then I feel like garbage. I do believe things in moderation, but what if I can’t moderate reasonably?

      I do cook most of my own foods, as cooking and baking is one of my passions. All in all, a cookie is still a cookie. I want to believe in the RRARFing thing, but it doesn’t seem to make sense. I want to believe it because it seems so freeing.

      • @Jill I really recognise your problem as to moderation….I’m not good at that either. Keeping balance overall in regards to everything.
        I really want to believe it too…I guess by wanting to shut my eyes and be like the rest,however at the same time I know what I’m doing is a crutch and actually not helping….though it is indeed freeing and the culprit of it all is that it makes me ‘feel good&wanting to exercise’.

        On another note…white flour/white bread is bad in lots of nutritional diets&views,however pasta is sometimes preferred over white flour and sometimes even entitled as healthy (look at the Italians…and then there are the French with their croissants&baguettes). Why is this?…I mean,pasta is also made of white flour,what’s the difference?:s

        Today I came about this mention from an article,I recognise it a lot (actually happens with all the stuff that’s bad for me.:(

        “Dr. Sanjay Gupta: So far be it for people to realize this ’cause sugar is everywhere, but you’re saying this is one of the most addictive substances possibly that we have?

        Eric Stice: It certainly is very good at firing the reward regions in our brain.

        Eric Stice says by scanning hundreds of volunteers, he’s learned that people who frequently drink sodas or eat ice cream or other sweet foods may be building up a tolerance, much like drug users do. As strange as it sounds, that means the more you eat, the less you feel the reward. The result: you eat more than ever.

        Eric Stice: If you overeat these on a regular basis it causes changes in the brain that basically it blunts your reward region response to the food, so then you eat more and more to achieve the same satisfaction you felt originally. “

    • I said eff it, and ate the food!
      Followed my widely varied cravings and didn’t feel bad about it! Ate like a fiend for a few months and then started noticing that cravings went away, and now food doesn’t interest me one bit. Have had ice cream and pastry in the freezer for ages, don’t feel like eating it. Cheese sandwhiches doesn’t do it for me anymore, and pizza doesn’t make my mouth water. The thought of chocolate makes me gag most days.

      You’ve got some serious ED you need to let go of. Stop analysing and Eat the food! ^_^
      The grass IS greaner on the other side.

      • That’s the typical response Beth. But it definitely takes a while to get there, and the key is in fact to NOT FEEL BAD ABOUT IT. For sure.

  46. @Beth I can imagine people judging me&writing me off as ‘having an ED’ however it’s way more complicated and you don’t know anything about my previous history.
    I’d love nothing more than to be able and enjoy and get the benefits most people are experiencing over here,but I know what I’m doing is a crutch….

    I really don’t know what to make of it anymore…..Iast week when I ate a lot of the bad junk foods and didn’t experience (much) negative side-effects,it was very sunny over here. Now the weather’s more cloudy&grey,I bought a Belgian waffle to eat with my fish for breakfast in the city….and today I felt like passing out again,emotions all over the place mostly feeling stressed&very anxious wanting to crawl somewhere in a corner and some other Diabetic T2 symptoms.
    I seems I can only ‘cheat’ a bit if I even it out with being outside in the sun a lot&for a long time…though I supplement everyday with Vit.D3.

    • i don’t think anyone is judging you or writing you off. people here care about each other and pipe up with their own experiences to offer support. best wishes on your healing journey, matt’s info here is awesome and it can take a while to sink in and work its changes. i re-read things off and on and it’s starting to make more sense, and i’m doing things as he suggests, mainly by just EATING THE FOOD and not thinking too hard about it.

    • You’re not diabetic, you’re hypochondriac. Seriously, you need to get out more.

  47. @Kattheraw Reading my comment back now,I guess it does come off a bit hostile which I didn’t meant to. (Sorry if I offended you Beth:))
    It’s just that I wish it wasn’t that complicated and that I could “join in on all the fun”,but I experience otherwise yet it’s getting incredible more difficult to kick the habit everytime bc it at first gives me these happy,positive feelings wanting to partake in society&do things. Yet the payoff comes later in various forms; jointpaints,mood instabillity (sometimes extreme anxiety,anger,depression),stressed adrenals,disregulated hormones,insatiable hunger/addiction,Diabetes T2 symptoms etc.
    I used to be&eat like this,what I felt like though I kicked the fried McD stuff&such long ago) and Cardio’d my brains out 5 to 6days a week on a fairly high pace though I had to increase it more&more. I was fairly skinny,though had more a malish contour as in skinny arms&legs and a big belly,puffy face,hairgrow in a male pattern. This was all before I knew anything about my health status and/or nutrition yet I was unknowingly,amongst other stuff, bordering on the Diabetic side,feeding the wrong organisms etc. So ‘feeling good&happy’,intuitive eating etc. still isn’t a proper indicator for some people.
    I ‘feel good’ too eating these foods and it becomes more&more quantitywise,people writing it off as “it’s bc you’re underweight” but I guess if I’ll eat whatever. I’ll end up eventually depressed/sluggish/not wanting to exercise at all anymore while keep on gaining like that guy from fit2fat2fit.
    (I’m really amazed that most here aren’t scared to,in the long run,end up with the same/other health issues again as what lead them to whole foods.)

    Then I came by a dietician where my ‘anxiety of food&quantity/macronutrients vs exercising began’. My symptoms suddenly got very strong on his diet,then I learned about my medical condition&many food intolerances and stumbled upon Paleo where I also got scared of macronutrient-ratio’s vs exercise,IFing etc.
    (I don’t want to diss Paleo people,bc I do think Paleo has some very real good dietary points they make,which I all know about/experienced&yet can’t kick the habit of……but I sometimes get the feeling that a lot of Paleo-peeps in the community really got/OCD?Body Dismorphic Disorders,which only strenghtened my issues of ‘feeling I never do enough vs food vs weightgain’ even more:( .)

    • Alright Dutchie, I’ll be honest with you. This is going to sound blunt and a little harsh, but just hear (read?) me out…

      You seriously need to stop thinking so much. You are absolutley obsessing over food. It’s unhealthy. It’s unhealthier than eating poptarts for breakfast, McDonalds for lunch and hotpockets for dinner. Seriously. By the length of your posts I can tell this is all extremly stessful and is taking over your life.

      Here’s what I think about nutrition: Nobody knows what the fudge their talking about. There’s so much contradicting information out there, so many lies, so many people in it for profit, so much dogma….it’s confusing and stressful…for every study you find supporting one thing there’s 5 more refuting it and visa-sersa.

      Screw it all. My whole life I was able to eat whatever I wanted without thinking about it and I was ALWAYS lean. It was only until I started thinking about nutrition and micromanaging that I starting running into problems. (weight gain, mood problems, energy problems, ect.)

      Conversly, it was only when I realized that just letting go of it all that crap fixed everything! Of course there was an initial period of stuffing my face that lasted a few days to a week. And it felt weird and guilty at first. But soon I started realizing that I don’t need to stuff my face because I’m going to eat whatever I want in a few hours. After that I had the best of all worlds: I could eat whatever I want. I didn’t have to think about food. I could enjoy social situations without stress. I felt good all day every day. And, combined with my solid training routine (jiu-jitsu and lifting) I’m slowly becoming sexier and sexier. And not deprived looking either, i’m talking lean and muscular.

      So seriously, just let go. Forget about food-reward and nutrients and this and that, just f*cking eat!

      • @Kevin I get what you’re trying to say. However it’s not entirely just about staying lean. In my OCD high Cardio days,I ate&enjoyed whatever&whenever (which still is mostly in the evening in front of some good show,bc it relaxes me) too and was fairly lean…..though my bodycomp already showed symptoms of hormonal disregulations,I was on the verge of diabetes&stroke,low energy,bad digestive system/constipation,moodswings etc. yet while being addicted to lots of whiteflour,sweet & pastry foods.

        These are typical symptoms for HSPers for which I meet all the symptom/requirements.(According to various tests I’d also be a fast oxidizer?)So it’s not all about ‘just staying lean’. I’d love to be able to exercise,live life….whatever that means that also changes depending on what I eat & eat (3)nutritious meals however I just don’t know what to eat,where to start,how to keep balance etc. I still feel the best on an empty stomach(probably autophagy kicking in to get rid of the bad gut bacteria,cause my leaky gut is probably getting leakier by eating these wrong foods&my liver&adrenals getting more stressed). And I also lack the will to exercise….

        I know all the facts,most people would be happy to save their health&life with this knowledge….however I currently feel I’d rather die in half a year of a diabetic heart-attack returning to my OCD exercising/Cardio days (which I never much enjoyed) while being ‘opiated’ by all the wrong foods.

        • Are you self diagnosing? Be honest. You ever read a wikipedia article on something like social anxiety and think, “Wow, I get nervous around people!” and label yourself like that? You could start beliving you have things when really things might not be as bad as you think.

          So once again I just say eat whole foods. Tonight for dinner I want you to have some rice/potatos/whole grains, 2 different kinds of veggies of your choice and a little meat of your choice. Consume as much as you want of the carbs/veggies but go easy on the meat. (You’re body don’t need that much meat.)

          and thats it, after dinner go about your day

          for breakfast have some oats or some cerial and milk or some eggs or whatever…eat and go about your day.

          maybe your at lunch for work? Get a soup and a sandwhich. Boom, lunch.

          Snacks? Carry around fruit. I like bananas and apples and sometimes pears.

  48. After peeking at everyones plates in the dining halls on campus, I noticed absolutly NO pattern between amount or “quality” of food on the persons plate compared to their weight or apparent healthiness (Quality foods being whole foods or foods commonly reguarded as healthy)

    My buddy steve’s plates consists of pizza, macaroni and cheese, and brocolli with a side of fruit juice.

    My cousin slept over my house the other day. For breakfast he had buttered Entimins pound cake, a bagle, a glass of whole milk and a cinnomon bun.

    Neither of the two cleaned their plates. They are both very lean. They both have slight acne problems which i speculate is due to any toxins or additives to the food they eat.

    Bottom line, i’m starting to think whole foods dont matter. If we’re talking long term, your body is going to know if it’s getting enough food or not. You can’t trick it by eating bulkier foods.

    In fact when I do indulge in “junk” foods I usually get tired of eating them before i’m finished, as opposed to eating as you said a “Sparten Whole Foods Diet” where I tend to always clean my plate and then some.

    Could it be that whole foods take longer to digest therefore delaying the “fullness” signals?

    Idk man, I’m starting to think the only important aspects to a good diet is adequate nutrition and minimal toxins.

    But what about someone like myself who’s already relativly lean and far from overweight but wants to lean out a bit more? I wanna see my abs god-damnit!!!

    • I’m where you are Kevin – I’m already relatively lean and far from overweight. I’m active but not a marathoner – I workout 5 days a week 30-60 min and I’m active at work. I want to be super lean. I can see my abs but not all the time, they don’t show up obviously in pictures and videos. That’s what I want!

  49. Hey Matt,
    I see you still haven’t changed your wicked ways.

    This site is a heaping pile of gibberish and a bunch of fools being deluded by a charlatan and going into all kinds of contortions to rationalize that junk food isn’t that bad for you after all despite rising rates of every disease known to man going on everywhere.

  50. Matt,
    What about the idea that with a leaky gut, proteins such as gluten and casein will get into the bloodstream, acting as gluteomorphins and caseopmorphins (opiates), making the body feel very good temporarily, but ultimately blocking the body’s endogenous opiate/endorphin response, and meanwhile being tagged with antibodies, thus cascading an autoimmune response. Just wondering if this could be why so many people feel really good for a while after eating pancakes and such. I’ve experienced this; feeling really good a few days following thanksgiving dinner, followed by 10 days of feeling like I have the flu.
    So curious to hear your thoughts, thanks,

  51. Matt, what is the approach you would advise for a bodybuilder (100% natural and no joke) like me? I have a “balanced” diet (Yes, I’ve went through it all, keto, low carb, paleo, eating like a pig, etc). My diet consists of good fats, all sources of carbs (tons of veggies and lots of fruit), I eat lots of bread, oats, pasta, etc, post-workout. I feel good with my diet, and I don’t really have cravings at all, the problem is the discipline you know. Sometimes I really want to have this dessert. Or to have that ice cream. But since I am so disciplined, I don’t! Can you help me? What you think I should do? Mantaining my diet as a base, and then throw some junk food here and there?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Having a big splurge every 3-7 days or so is probably great, keeping metabolism upregulated but without a junk food lifestyle becoming your normal day-to-day eating pattern. Think of them as “calorie spikes,” and an integral part of your overall health and body composition approach.

  52. I am very glad that I could find this blog and found abour rrarfing and so on. After a year of putting myself into crazy diets, low carb, famine mode… I was so tired of feeling low energy, dizzy, bad mood, I even developed bingeing problems and became scared of eating all foods thinking that everything will make me fat, that carbs were evil and so on… I gained weight around my belly area and I was so shocked that I could not lose it even if I was on diet ALL THE TIME… when I have been always so slim and could eat everything in any amount without gaining more than 1 or 2 pounds which I could lose easily…

    So, my question is this. I am tracking my body temperature these days, trying to take it 3 times a day (7 am, 10 am, 3 pm). Two days ago I had 2 eggs and zucchini and onion for dinner with a piece of Milner cheese (rich in protein low in fat). I ate enough and was not hungry (but I do have strong cravings for sweets at evening night which i try to ignore). I woke up with very low temperature (96.6) and had low temperature all the morning, feeling moody, headache all day, shaking, sleepy and weak.
    Yesterday I went out at night and had ice cream, chips, 2 lamb chops, salad, butter cookies, orange and chocolate cookies and bread with olive oil. I woke up at 7 with a beautiful 97.34…
    Does it means junk food, especially sweet, makes my metabolism go faster and increase my temp??
    I have to say, I am experimenting with eating high carb breakfast, like cereals, soaked oatmeal, even whole gran bread (commercial one,,). For now, breakfast cereals with skimmed milk and a bit of unsweetened pure cocoa powder made me super warm and energetic in the morning,,, since oatmeal and bread makes me neutral or cold,,, I wonder why?
    And also… since I went into ths crazy dieting mode I became a constipated person… before i used to go once a day or every other day but now.. even increasing my carbs didnt improved it yet… I have been around 10 days in rrarfing mode and still constipated… junk food kind of alleviate it but I am so scared of gaining weight and lose my health if I rely on it…
    I am female, 28, 64 inches and 110 pounds.

    Any opinion and advice are very welcome!!

    • Hey Eri,

      Welcome! Sometimes folks who have worked too hard on trying to eat healthy have a hard time absorbing calories and nutrients, and for them, palatable, easily absorbed ‘junk food’ is just what they need. If you feel good eating it, if it helps warm you up, if it helps increase your appetite and overall energy levels, have some more and see how it goes.

      I know the prospect of gaining weight and losing health is scary, but they’re not as tightly related as people think, and if eating junk food for a little while helps get your overall energy levels, body temperature, digestive ability, etc. up, it’s well worth it. You don’t need to eat Fritos and cookies and ice cream (or whatever) for ever and ever. But they might be used as a targeted strategy to get you in better shape.

      Give it a shot- see how it goes. Good luck!

  53. Thank you Rob,

    I kept doing this, eating A LOT and including some junk food sometimes and definitely it helps me so much to keep my temps high and overall energy and mood and so on… I have been so long time forbidding those foods (ice creams, pizza, breadm chocolates, chips…) that now I feel like I am in heaven haha… it might sound stupid but my body feels really happy everytime I go out and I allow myself to eat all the things my body wants to eat!! No more avoiding the bread when It is the real thing I want…

    Today i ate oatmeals and orange juice for breakfast and 2 hours later I am starving.. yesterday i ate commercial hige and super sweet butter cookies and oatmeal and I was okay for 4 hours… definitely junk food is what i need for now… i hope I won’t become and addict :/,,,

    • I wouldn’t worry about addiction- what many people have found is that eating as much as they want of junk food makes it unappetizing. It varies on how long it takes for each person, and that’s often impacted by how much energy you’ve put into forbidding it. But you’ll probably find with time that not giving it a charge by making it ‘bad,’ will lessen its power over you.

      For now, eat, enjoy, savor being in food heaven and don’t stress. Just keep paying attention to those bodily cues.

      And here’s a recent 180D post about addiction and the power of taking care of yourself in breaking those patterns: http://180degreehealth.com/2012/07/1811-eastlake-revolutionary-addiction-treatment

  54. You are very right!
    I was reading the article and I have to say these days, even though I enjoyed a lot and I still kind of binged on all the things which were forbidden before… I didnt ate all I expected, I mean, I am becoming more calm and I dont feel the urge and the anxiety I used to feel before, when I was in a super restrictive diet and I literaly dreamed about eating tons of doughnuts and pancackes and so on… now I can do it, so it’s okay, I don’t feel that urge and huge hunger for them anymore. I think, knowing they were “bad and dirty food” made them more appealing and also, I was starving… now I am not starving anymore, and I allow myself to eat almost whatever.
    I am so happy. Really, I was living in a hell for too long time, many people will never understand what is it… commit yourself and force yourself to do some diet because you think is the good thing for you, it can be paleo, low carb, GASP, whatever… and then, losing your health and feeling so lost and frustrated and hungry… when all we need is just listening to our bodies and following them!
    I know I am still not healed 100%. Whenever I get a bit of stress, my temps decrease and I get this dizzyness in my head and weakness and sleepyness… but at least I can feed myself and give my body the energ it needs, I am done with self beating and starving myself!

  55. I meant “GAPS” not GASP :P

  56. First off, I just want to say thanks for all the information you provide on your site – a lot of your points 100% correspond with my own theories and beliefs about food (yeah, like you, I’m fascinated by nutrition and can’t seem to stay away from health-oriented books and sites). I actually found your blog whilst looking for others who agree that the whole “paleo” craze is a complete joke…but anyway, enough about that :)

    I skimmed through your free e-book on the RRARF plan and I’d like to give it a go – I think my metabolism is off. No thermometer confirmation yet, but just a hunch. There were a few things I got confused about though – one is carbs. There you suggest that the carbs be wholesome and healthy, with no sweeteners, and based mostly on non-glutinous grains, starchy vegetables, etc. but I’ve also read that you recommend refined foods, even refined sugars, to boost metabolism. Is this based on the needs of the individual?

    If it helps, I’m not trying to lose weight or anything…I just want to get past my low energy/chronic fatigue type symptoms. My TSH is slightly elevated but all other numbers are normal, so my guess is that my adrenals are taxed and throwing my system out of whack. I’m not a paleo-tard or anything like that – I like my 4 food groups – are there any basics you could suggest to me? Should I go full-out no flour/sugar/polyunsaturated fats while doing this RRARF thingee or just eat an abundance of high-calorie deliciousness?

    Any help would be appreciated – and my apologies if this s the wrong thread to be asking for detailed advice – if there’s a link to a contact or a better thread, please let me know – thanks!

  57. Cheese grits get me almost sweating. It also gives me terrible acid reflux. Will this go away once my metabolism is repaired? Most breakfast foods do this to me.

    • Perhaps. I had reflux problems with oatmeal and grits for a while too. But not anymore.

  58. There might be exceptions, but it is very difficult to find healthy junk food.



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