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The evolutionary psychology of fat gain and metabolism

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    Hi, I’m new here.

    I’m also new to Matt Stone’s work, but I have been implementing it for a couple of months, with mixed results. But some of the results I did get were enough for me to convince me of his stuff being the real deal.

    I too have read about every health book/blog on the internet, and for the couple of months I’ve been synthesising knowledge in my head and came to the following conclusion.

    First: each organism has two basic functions: survive and replicate. Without survival, replication is impossible. When survival is endangered, energy directed towards replication is put on hold and used for survival. This is when you become a sloth and go in pseudo-hibernation: you become fatigued and have zero energy.

    Fat gain occurs at low body temperatures. What is the rationale behind that? Well, when starving, the body tries to preserve energy and increases fat stores. This has two major purposes.

    First of all, it increases energy reserves in famine. You’ll be able to survive longer with more calories stored as fat. But secondly, and this is linked to the first, but more of an A-HA moment: your body insulates itself against the cold. Because of the increased risk of hypothermia due to decreased body temperature, the body compensates for this by creating homemade ‘clothing’, being a layer of fat. The human body is not aware of something as central heating or pants being in existence. Therefore it has other ways of keeping the body warm: fat, and in some people a lot of body hair.

    My hypothesis is that the body responds to a less than ideal body temperature by increasing clothing (fat), preparing itself for winter. Low calorie intakes by themselves indicate that food is lessening, so in prehistoric times this would have meant that ‘winter is coming’, and with it cold.

    Now, how to use this in your advantage? An optimal body temperature is defined by Matt Stone as somewhere around 99 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius (I’m European). It therefore would make sense that you keep this temperature at all times, so the body knows it doesn’t have to insulate itself further. Also, keeping your body mass at such high temperatures costs an enormous amount of energy, which is why weight loss will stall anyway. The heat by itself is also a side-effect of lots of chemical reactions taking place in the body, which means lots of neurotransmitters and hormones being made, like testosterone and dopamine and whatnot. The body will also make better use of micronutrients such as vitamins, because there is now enough energy to create enzymes to process these micronutrients. As a result you will also become more social and feel better because this is reproduction-specific behaviour. You will have more energy and be more motivated to do stuff, because there is now enough energy to replicate and procreate.

    It is now more practical to eat for heat. But eating for heat is objectifiable. You should strive for a certain optimal body temperature, say 99 degrees Fahrenheit. I use 37.2 Celsius as my set point. Keep a thermometer at your side at all times, as well as some food. Whenever your temperature is lower than this temperature, eat until it has reached the ideal temperature again. The body will then know it is warm enough and will stop making fat. I think working in this way is a lot more flexible than choosing a certain number of calories per day you should eat.

    For instance, you could calculate that you’re gonna eat 4000 calories per day. You eat a breakfast of 1500 calories, but your temperature could still be suboptimal after, say 98 degrees Fahrenheit. You could then wait until noon to eat again, but your metabolism is still suboptimal until that time, and since keeping your body at 99 degrees uses more energy than 98. Because of suboptimal temperature, the body still perceives limited famine, thereby keeping fat gain increasing, albeit at a lower level, but still. Or you could eat more snacks until the ideal temperature is reached and burn more energy.

    My point being that temperature is a measurable criterium that can be influenced by just eating some more, with noticeable results. Now I know Matt doesn’t approve of neurotically measuring your temperature 24/7, but at least trying to keep temperature as optimal as possible could definitely keep metabolism up without increasing fat gain all too much.

    Now, all this is just a hypothesis, but I feel that this is all quite in line with what Matt says and so it’s the method I’m gonna use in my recovery.


    Oh, by the way, to increase metabolism, bulletproof coffee is awesome. Coffee + MCT-oil (which is very warming) + grassfed butter (contains lots of butyric acid which is also very metabolically stimulating). It also packs a ton of calories and is easy to digest due to it being a liquid. I know coffee is cooling by itself, but the butter and MCT-oil should more than make up for that.

    If you really wanted to, you could add salt to it to make it a bit more Stone-y, i guess.


    I like your logic, and it makes it simple…. and if it works for you – GREAT!

    But… unfortunately, the human body is not simple. So, if someone else tries this, and it doesn’t work – don’t fret! It could be for a variety of reasons –

    Like, you need salt, not calories, or need to stop obsessively sipping water.

    I took my temperature at the following times for a few months:
    Upon awakening
    Before breakfast
    Before lunch
    Before quitting time
    Before bedtime

    And averaged those to get my “basal metabolic rate”… once I could keep that above 98F, I was happy. I would hit 99F after eating and after exercise, but after sitting for a long time, it would drop.

    I go by hand & feet comfort now. When I get cold, I make myself a snack. :)

    I’m about 3 hours post-breakfast right now (one with tasty hashbrowns, bacon & eggs), and been sitting at the PC for over an hour, still (slowly) sipping coffee. Temp is at 99.3F. WhooHoo!

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