Issue #4.March 2014
This section features new content from 180 founder Matt Stone.
With contributions in this month’s newsletter by Billy Craig and Lianda Ludwig, both on the topic of weight, the topic of weight loss seems to be the unavoidable theme of this month’s newsletter.
I’ve gotta say, when I went through a prolonged period of intentional calorie surplus back in 2012, gorging myself on as many cheeseburgers and pints of ice cream as possible while gaining a frightening 40 pounds or so (much of it lean mass as I was lifting weights pretty heavily during that period), it was very surprising to me, considering the superhuman metabolic characteristics I’displayed at that time, that the weight?didn’t?just magically come off. I thought that’s what should happen, I thought that’s what would happen, and all of the research I’ve done suggests that forced weight gain leads to a subsequent unforced weight loss once returning to normal eating. But for me, that’s not what happened. Still to this day I’m carrying around every ounce of that gained weight.
While it made me a metabolic dynamo with perfect sleep, perfect temp, perfect warm extremities, sexual function that even as a teenager I never experienced (I can hang a kettlebell from the thing), moist babylike skin, and more–all things I’ve maintained since, I was left feeling a little confused. Most of all, I felt like the metabolic work I’ve spent so many years developing, while so useful for so many minor and major health problems, wasn’t really a viable tool for actual fat loss.
But now Eat for Heat (free right now) has been out for 16 months, and Diet Recovery 2 for 9 months. Lately the tales of effortless fat loss of?50 pounds and beyond?have been coming in at a higher rate–stories like this one:
I just wanted to chime in and let you know that I now believe that I’ve really come full circle. I found your work in 2011, and have to say that it has evolved quite a bit since then, only to make more and more sense. My only regret is that I went very hard-core with’the ?over-feeding? and gained around 60 lbs in a very short time. It was quite tough though it did give me a lot of perspective on the perception of the body and societal norms. However, I know that since then, you’ve been encouraging a more ?don’t force anything? approach and I think it’s spot on. Most importantly however, your speculation about healthy metabolism and weight regulation was proven right, as in the past year, I have lost 50 of those 60 pounds, and when people ask me how I did it, I tell them in all honesty that I didn’t do anything special. I’ve had 2-3 relapses of a few weeks each during this time, but they did not affect my weight loss much, simply set me back a little with regards to my energy-warmth. The excess weight simply sort of melted off, and what was underneath was quite surprising. My body is strong and muscular, though I exercised quite sporadically. The exercise I did was some body-weight stuff, and occasional sprints on my bike while I was getting around. I don’t know what did it precisely for the weight loss, but the one thing that is true, is that through this entire ordeal, I have found an unshakable appreciation for the bodily form that carries me through life. I also feel fantastic most of the time. I’ve have regular periods for 1.5 years now, my hair has grown long and strong, I’m never sick and even my digestion is pain-less most of the time.
So, all in all, I just wanted to say thank you! And that your research is actually making a huge difference. Keep it up!
Stories like these have come in periodically for years, but it does seem like’the number of these’that I’ve been receiving has increased in the last month or two. It’s still not as?consistent as we’d all?like it to be, but it?is happening for those who seem to get all the conditions just right: good sleep, occasional exercise, low stress, constant high temperatures for months and months and months on end.
One theme I see is that the timeline on this is extremely long. As you can see in the passage above, this person started metabolic work in 2011 and didn’t lose?an ounce until 2013. Thisuperson is also in her 20’s, so presumably this process went much more quickly for her than for?most older people, although in all fairness she was?recovering from a full-blown?eating disorder.
So it has restored my?dwindling faith that perhaps all this “fix your metabolism and’screw the weight” stuff can really?be a viable fat loss strategy after all.For those who read my old book 180 Degree Metabolism: The Smart Strategy to Fat?Loss, which I recently pulled?due to some incongruencies with my current?work, you’ll remember that I advocated’such an approach for fat loss in particular, but?even then I was very timid and wishy-washy, having to?do one rewrite on the book and later add two addendums (and then pull the whole thing down!).
So, I don’t mean to encourage anyone to recklessly “double down” on whatever metabolism-boosting?approach they’ve been on, nor do I wish to instill some kind of false hope.All I’m doing, as I’ve always done, is be honest and share what’s been on my mind the most, and lately, this is it. Next month it could be?freckles, who knows.Of course I want to believe, as we all do, that I can have my metabolism and abs too. I want to believe that this is’the “right way” to go about things, as this is more or less my life’s work to date, and nothing would make me happier than to know that I’ve solved so many health puzzles AND the weight loss puzzle as well.
All I’m trying to do is report on the slight bump in optimism that I’ve had recently when it comes specifically to long-term fat loss post-metabolism improvement. I’ll continue to keep you posted in the future, because I know there are hundreds of you out there that have gained weight but feel kinda stuck as to how it will come off without reverting back to your dieting ways. I understand completely, but don’t give up too quickly. The jury is still out, and when people ask me how they will lose weight after they’ve have gained it I still confidently say, “By doing exactly what you did to gain the weight, or not at all.”
This section features one of the greatest hits from 180D’s seven year blog and its 666 published posts. This month is the most-viewed post in the blog’s 7-year history with over 60,000 views!
10 Inconveniences of a High Metabolism
By Matt Stone
Life was good with a low metabolism. No time of the month. But then you raise that metabolism and uh oh, not again. Freakin? progesterone production goes up, LH and FSH regulate properly, and the next thing you know you’re bleeding, and once again dealing with the embarrassment and expense of buying ?feminine products? and having to ask your boyfriend every time you get out of the car if there are any spots showing through your pants. Sucks.
Life was good with a low metabolism. You could go get in a workout and not even have to change clothes to go out after. Wear the same shirt for a week. Maybe even same socks. Hell, once I even climbed up 2,000 vertical feet with a 50-pound backpack in a half hour without breaking a sweat. Not anymore Schwetty Betty. I work out in a gym with about 50 other people working out around me, and I literally sweat five times as much as the 2nd sweatiest Eddie in there. Everything I lean over I drip on. Thankfully I take the advice of Milli and Vanilli and blame it on the rain.
Life was good with a low metabolism. With no sweating you didn’t have to worry about changing your shirt at all, much less getting that thing totally salt-stained. But damn, now every time you do so much as get up and go to the bathroom you sweat. And when you sweat, it isn’t just some ordinary sweat. The stuff is so full of minerals and salt as the concentration of your extracellular fluid goes up, that now your sweat is like water from the Dead Sea. I used the same black t-shirt (shown right, demonstrating outdoor survival skills being taken to new heights) for a few days on a backpacking trip this summer and even after a half dozen washes it still has crazy mineral stains all over it. Looks like a tie-dye. Hats of course look disgusting. But the worst, by far, has been the crotch rot. I can literally corrode the crotch out of a brand new pair of pants and have franks and beans slipping out in two weeks flat. I’m going to have to start wearing underwear again, which will make me even more uncomfortably hot. Or even worse, a cup.
4) Toilet paper expenses
Life was good with a low metabolism. With one poop every few days that was the consistency of Kingsford charcoal a single roll would last a month. Now look at you. With a drop in bowel transit time to less than 24 hours and a massive bump in stool volume you might as well go ahead and get a part-time job at Costco.
Life was good with a low metabolism. A single Kleenex was enough to clean up after ejaculation for a whole week. That’s a total of one Kleenex per week, or 52 Kleenexes per year. A totally manageable expense. But you’ll be Ancel Keyed when you start needing a beach towel, and other beach gear like a mask and snorkel just to survive orgasm. He was right about the parallels between metabolism and the volume of ?emissions. For women, you better hope Santa stuffs your stocking with undies. You’ll need a dry pair every few hours peri-ovulation.
Life was good with a low metabolism. No more having to trim toenails and fingernails with that super low rate of keratinization. There’s enough to keep us busy without having an additional couple of chores added to the mix. Not now though. Now your nails grow like that creepy old guy in Krull. And to answer Napolean Dynamite’s unanswered question, the size of a chicken’s talons probably relies, in large part, on its rate of metabolism.
Life was good with a low metabolism. Grocery bills were next to nothing. A couple eggs fried in lard with some low sugar berries only ran you a couple bucks in the morning. My girlfriend and I and her 7-year old daughter spent $700 at Publix in September, and only have a couple of Cornish Game Hens in the freezer at the moment to show for it. Please help. Buy an eBook or something while visiting the site today. We don’t want to have to force the 7-year old to have to eat School Lunch Approved sized lunches. She already eats more than the allowable calorie levels for a 200-pound Senior linebacker. No really, she does. She’s on her 5th cookie right now as I type this. I keep hitting the ?refresh? button on my bank account online and wiping tears out of my eyes.
Life was good with a low metabolism. You could enjoy the tenderness of snuggling with a loved one. Forget that now Buster. If you can’t sleep with even a sheet on top of you, a warm arm or leg draped over you starts to feel like a plastic bag in 20 seconds. And worst of all, if you are the only one in bed with a high metabolism the coldies won’t get off of you. Fortunately, their hands and feet will cool you down somewhat at first. But after they fall asleep you have to either wake them up and throw them off of you, or bite your arm off and slip away (the ?coyote?) to keep from dying of heat stroke in your sleep.
Life was good with a low metabolism. You could stay out late. Save your money. Go on vacation. Do drugs. Sleep until noon. Watch Terminator 2 at 7pm every night. You only had to see poop voluntarily, out of your own curiosity. Now you’re watching Blue’s Clues at 7, you’re face to face with a bowel explosion every few hours, and there’s another on the way. But you do learn some cool things watching Blue’s Clues, like what the hell colors Vermillion and Chartreuse are.
Life was good with a low metabolism. You could live in Tropical Paradise like a runaway 80-10-10 raw vegan. It was never too hot. 85 degrees felt like heaven. Now you’ve gotta live in the God-forsaken ?country? of Canada. Those people never shut up, and their sense of humor is light years away from being funny. They probably don’t even know who Dave Chappelle is up there. They are all pale as marshmallows and embroider red Maple Leafs on their backpacks to travel so that no one will confuse them for being cool, athletic, funny, and good-looking (I love messing with Canadians, precisely because their sense of humor is so damn good).
Anyway, don’t get too excited about having your cells produce energy properly, and your body’s systems function the way they were intended to function. It’s not a walk in the park. It’s a hole in the wallet, the crotch of your pants, and some other kind of hole that I couldn’t cleverly think of.
- Droopy balls. They stretch out a damn mile away from your body to try to keep cool. And they are more exposed to injury, such as getting them caught in the spokes of your bicycle wheel.
- Oily skin. Dry skin is a common feature of a low metabolism. Raising metabolism restores the oils to your skin and then some. Could wring out your pillowcase and solve the energy crisis.
This section features recipes, cooking tips, and food discussion by Matt Stone.
One of the most common questions that I am asked goes something like this:
“You say to avoid foods high in PUFA, but then you recommend things like potato chips as snacks which are invariably fried in vegetable oil and full of PUFA. If there are such foods low in PUFA, what are they?”
First of all, it’s a matter of priority. I don’t want people focusing on too many things at once with their health practices or it leads to a paranoid, neurotic outlook on things. That’s not necessary or desirable. You pick a few battles and focus on those priorities above all else. For those with a tendency to have really strong, acute crash symptoms (“adrenergic surges” if you read my latest lil’ book), PUFA is very secondary. Reducing PUFA intake is a long-term metabolism preserving strategy. It has little to no short-term impact on metabolic rate. Cleaning up the diet in that sense can probably come later once a person has halted some of their nastiest symptoms and brought their body temperature up a degree or two.
But, for those at a place to manage the minutiae, here are?my top 10?low-PUFA packaged convenience?foods that I could see making for good, rapidly-absorbed snacks when you feel a’sudden dip in metabolic rate or a surge of stress hormones (resulting in cold hands and feet, mood changes,’sudden urge to urinate, and other telltale signs of stress):
- Bugles: These little feeter-heater corn chip crisps are fried in coconut oil and salty enough to burn a hole through your tongue.
- Pretzels: Hardly any fat in them and lots of fast-absorbing?carbs and salt.
- Saltine Crackers: Ditto.
- Breakfast cereal: Just pack it in a bag and carry it with you.
- Dried fruit, especially dates: If this isn’t salty enough, you can have it with some cheese or salty jerky.
- Candy: Say what you will, but a 4-pack of Mamba chews or gummi candies?make me uncomfortably hot.
- Chocolate or chocolate candies: Cocoa butter, the fat in chocolate, is very low in PUFA.
- Real butter cookies/shortbread cookies: Sometimes even store-bought versions are made with real butter.
- Oreos: Most of the oil used is high-oleic oil or palm oil, both of which are low in PUFA.
- Rice cakes: Kind of a throwback to the 80’s, but I’m not shy about resurrecting the 80’s. This we know.
Josh and Jeanne Rubin
This video is short and doesn’t contain much information, but there are a few important snippets that everyone should hear. Josh and Jeanne have made metabolic work the focus of their health information and practice just as I have, and they too have found that function and fatness are unrelated–perhaps even inversely related in the short-term when people go through metabolic rehab. I couldn’t agree more that a person’s outward appearance is insignificant compared to how a person is functioning, and only that individual knows how they are functioning (as well as their own personal history). It’s a good reminder that for many of us, doing what it takes to “look healthier” in the short-term can compromise the proper function of many more important things such as libido, sleep, mood, and beyond…
This section features an article by one of the leading minds in health each month.
I love Billy and have always been fascinated by his yearlong overfeeding experiment in which he became extremely hypermetabolic and ended up underweight by the end of the year. But I never knew many details about it until now. Billy is living proof that it is possible to not only thrive on a higher calorie diet, but even lose body fat doing it once the body responds to the?constant and relentless supply of food…
6,000 Calorie Weight Loss
By Billy Craig
When Matt asked me to write something for his?newsletter my mind started wandering onto all sorts of complicated topics, but I kept falling back onto my favourite–eating and not dieting.
I’ve written tonnes about diets, calories, and other forms of stupidity, yet it never ceases to amaze me that people would rather engage in some complicated punishment rather than follow logic. Rest assured that like Matt, I don’t just write about or preach without testing and have used myself as a human Guinea Pig for many years.
Anyone who knows me will know that I’m passionate about avoiding diets and unnecessary exercise. By unnecessary I mean anything pointless and badly prescribed such as aerobics classes, jogging, etc.
I blame Dr. Lulu Hunt Peters who is largely responsible for our obsession with cutting back on calories, but she’s also guilty of creating feelings of guilt amongst those who simply cannot SURVIVE?on meager amounts of food/energy.So I hate diets, but I do think calorie counting has its place, as long as you don’t get caught up in the desire to cut down on calories.
Matt initially wanted to know the breakdown of my 6000 calorie a day diet, which I did for a year. Sadly there weren’t any specific macro requirements, but that’s the point, and it’s the point which many fail to register. When I set out to eat so much, I did it for one reason and one reason only–to prove to a bunch of female clients in a globogym that it was all about the pattern, the routine, and the message that you send to your body to say that food will arrive every day from now till forever.
One thing matters in the game of fixing your metabolism, and that is repetition. It is essential that you eat enough each day, and in similar amounts, so I practice positive calorie counting with my clients initially. Yes this does sound a little obsessive ,but if you’ve dug yourself into a big diet hole of under eating, then you need to do some work to undo the damage. I’ve consulted with countless under eaters…
- Healthy eaters who just don’t realise they under eat.
- Ex junk food eaters who simply can’t digest foods well enough and therefore technically under eat.
- The binge/fast eaters who calorie cycle.
They all arrive stating that they over eat, so as long as they’re happy to monitor their intake I use it to prove to them how they eat.
That’s the very same reason that I tracked myself eating 6000 calories a day for a year. So what did I eat during this pre-Paleo binge fest? Mainly carbs and most of the carbs were highly processed. A typical day would start with 1/2 a box of bran flakes and 2 litres of skimmed milk (pasteurised naturally as this was pre-WAPF). From there I’d eat toast with jam, cheese spreads, or anything else that was quick, easy, and simple to keep track of calorie consumption. In a day I could easily consume a whole loaf of bread. Once at work I’d make my way through an 8-pack of cinnamon and raisin bagels. Lunch would consist of something quick and easy, probably yet more toast with baked beans on it. By the time it came to my evening meal I usually had some sort of microwave meal followed by 3 or 4 cadbury chocolate desserts. Then comes the surprise’to most people–my 2am meal would be another huge bowl of some cereal or oatmeal.
So during this period I hadn’t heard of Peat, didn’t care about grass fed beef, and probably led a more carefree life than at any time during my WAPF years.
So the diet that got me super lean isn’t a diet. Yes it was super high in carbs, but that wasn’t by design. Do I eat that way now? Nah, but it was an enjoyable year.
In a future?installment, we’ll look at how Lilly, my client from 2003, ate more, lost body fat, and still maintains it over a decade later with no concern for food plans and diets.
This section features some thoughts and experiences shared by a 180 reader. If you would like to contribute, send an email to rob@180degreehealth, and you can be the next featured reader.
180 Reader Lianda Ludwig
Lianda is a former 180DegreeHealth site author, and has recently written a book which you can download for free HERE.
The first time I heard Matt Stone was when I was trying yet another diet, this time the Paleo plan. I was so gung-ho that I paid to listen to the Paleo Summit. I’d listen to the recordings while going on long walks that were part of my exercise component of the diet.
When I first listened to Matt’s interview I thought: wow, this?is different. This guy is contradicting so much of what I thought was going to be the final diet plan I’d ever need. Honestly, at that time I thought he was pretty impertinent (but Matt would probably prefer if I described him as cocksure! See Matt, even us older generation ladies?can be sophomoric). But at this point, I was realizing that Paleo didn’t work for me either! Matt’s talk was my breakthrough in understanding that there was nothing wrong with me- it was the very concept of dieting that was at fault.
I’m in the older range of readers on the 180DegreeHealth site?(early 60’s). I had started dieting back in my 20’s when I was slender and athletic. I was unhappy with certain parts of my body, and thought that dieting would slenderize my feminine posterior. But the fact is, that’s just what my butt looked like, and no amount of dieting, other than being put into a place like? Guantanamo Prison would have taken off enough fat to change my natural shape. But I didn’t think that way back then. I needed to look different ? better ? more like other young women.
I was on a life-long ?losing battle? quest trying one diet after another; and failing at every one of them. I lost a little weight on most, but it stopped pretty quickly. And then the weight would slowly re-appear and bring along extra pounds. I couldn’t imagine why this was happening to me. After all, I was normally eating very little: I’d skip breakfast, just have some coffee, a yogurt for lunch and small dinner. I was mystified. My best friend Yolanda, ate every meal with gusto and never gained an ounce. We?d exercise together, but she stayed slim and ate at least twice as much as me.
After each diet failure I’d find something wrong with me: I didn’t exercise enough, I didn’t weigh the food accurately, I cheated and had a cookie. I was convinced that there was something wrong with my body, and my thyroid gland wasn’t working. My negative focus on myself and my body was incredibly stressful. I strongly believe in a Mind/Body connection that creates our health conditions. Looking back over years of dieting and my negative mindset, I can see how it created my overweight and eventual auto-immune disease of my thyroid gland (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis). ?I’ve learned how stress can set off over or under-eating, and even cause a change in your metabolism and weight without changing anything you’ve been eating!
If you’re reading on 180 Degree Health, you are undoubtedly ready to consider a different viewpoint. With so much diet information available on the internet, despite being an avid reader I didn’t realize that I was just finding the Diet Industry dogma: the ?eat less and exercise more? myth. Matt’s talk jettisoned me into finding the ?alternative? dieting world. It’s almost like entering the world of ?The Matrix. The Mattrix, I guess I should say. :)
I’ve met and spoken with so many women who have lived this same experience, and have found that weight is a very complex issue. Genetics, epigenetics, socio-economic factors, and stress hold many of the answers to your weight challenge. And it turns out that lowering the BMI to include what was previously considered a normal weight, was encouraged by a Diet Industry, thus creating a false obesity ?epidemic. This industry, which does its own research and skews much of the results, is populated by diet clinics that make a handsome living by scaring people into dieting to prevent diseases that have not been proven to be affected by weight!
Weight problems for most women are probably the result of dieting and calorie/food restriction. If we never started dieting, we would never have yo-yo?d our weights higher, and begun a vicious cycle. Women’s body obsession, to fit ourselves into society’s standards of beauty and acceptability of the day, is now starting in girls as young as six years old! And the truth is, more women are dieting because of the importance of their appearance rather than a desire to be healthy.
One of the most tragic things I’ve read was the answer to this question:
If you could take a pill that would guarantee you would be able to maintain whatever weight you wanted, would you take the pill if it lowered your life expectancy? If so, how many years are you willing to trade?
78% of 273 dieters (mostly women) said yes, with the average number agreeing to subtract 5.7 years off their life.
What has happened to us when we have forgotten that our purpose in life is more than focusing on our appearance? These are some of the issues that I discuss in my book, Diet Industry Lies That Make You Gain Weight: How Eat Less and Exercise More is a Hoax Designed to Keep You Coming Back.
I’ve made this a free download on Amazon from Feb. 26- March 2nd to encourage 180 D readers to use their open minds to discover more very enlightening information that can be life changing and life affirming. I’ll also be presenting a free webinar, so be sure to sign up for the details. www.MakeItSoMindset.com/