Why is it never their diet for "Healthy" Low Carbers?

Before I get to the subject of this piece, allow me to remind older readers, and inform newer readers of "where I'm coming from".  I used a VLC diet (with planned cheats) to lose a ton of weight several years ago.  After plateauing out, I wanted to assure myself that the way I was eating was the healthiest for me in the long term.  That way was such second nature to me I truly wanted to find that it was optimal.  Now two and a half years into that inquiry, I still don't have all the answers, but I have become more and more skeptical that a VLC diet is advisable for the long term.  I remain a huge fan for the approach for weight loss.  

I've been criticized for being critical of the weights/appearances of low carb advocates.  While possibly fair, I think these critics don't really get the point here.  If So-and-So is saying "my diet rocks, baybeee!", goes on and on about how they are never hungry, healthy as a horse, etc., etc., I would say looks and results most certainly matter.  I'm also well familiar with the fact that, without surgery, it is almost impossible for someone who has been truly obese to return to a normal weight/size and not have lingering baggage (aka sagging skin and such).  And many of us struggle mightily with weight as we reach middle-agedom regardless of our diets.  I get it.  Really,  I do.  

One need only follow along with some journals and blogs to pull the curtain back just a teensy bit to see that all is not peachy keen with many of the most vocal advocates.  Since early on, I've been interested in the progress of one Dana Carpender, because she is only slightly older than I am.  In 2009 she was again significantly overweight although she has slimmed back down quite a bit since.  Still, while advocating this diet, we now discover she turned to HCG in years past and recently.  And we discover that she has developed issues with her blood sugar levels to where she was once on two diabetic meds, and, at last update, she is alternating 1000 cal/day Atkins fat fasts with regular VLC days to manage the issue.  Could it be that 15 years of eating higher and higher fat has progressed to a pathological degree of hepatic insulin resistance?  Perhaps yes, perhaps no.  But what bothers me is that there is never a consideration that the answer could possibly be yes.  

Another long time low carber who would rather you not connect the dots in his story is the inimitable Jimmy Moore.  He has just posted the first in what is sure to be a series of posts on trying to figure out for once and for all what's going on with his metabolism and weight.  Reading the comments there is painful, really.  Despite a totally normal thyroid test in 2010 (if memory serves, though it is possible it was in 2009), Jimmy got a prescription and took Armour thyroid medication for a while.  Is he perhaps hormonally imbalanced as he is about to turn 40?  First, I find his calling that "old" even in joking fashion, a bit insulting to all of those older folks.  It wouldn't be if he were tackling this issue for the first time, but he's been at this since 1999 (and likely before that) when he registered his first triple digit plus weight loss success -- that would have been when he was 27-28.  Whatever his start and end weights were back then (one gets the idea that they were lower than the 410/230 from his description of his serious rebound), someone who is able to lose 170 lbs in 9 months is not "metabolically deranged" -- or at least their obesity is not caused by some underlying metabolic defect.  Still, five years later, at age 32-33, a metabolically "young" Jimmy lost 180 lbs in 12 months in 2004 on Atkins.  When folks read his blogging back then, it's like a whole different Jimmy.  A Jimmy who would have shunned his current "I'm obese but healthy" argument, and a Jimmy who credited exercise for his weight loss success.  The truth of Jimmy's weight loss, is that he's only maintained it through various crash diets, including where he got to a low weight of 212-213 lbs after KimKins (you can see in the comments Jimmy doesn't like folks to realize he has really regained more than 70 lbs from the low).  One can still scan over three and a half years of Jimmy's menus.  It is plain as day for anyone to see that when Jimmy eats a normal amount, he loses weight like gangbusters, and when he stops his extreme "minor tweak" of the year, he regains it.

Thus, Jimmy finally informs his readers that as 2011 comes to a close, he is back up around the weight he started averaging around 285.  But after 8 years of eating low carb, he has long since declared himself metabolically deranged or broken.  It's a "medical mystery" why he can't lose the weight?  Oh but he can, and I would think that by now even his most ardent fans might get a little tired of his blame game.  But here's where I'm going here.  IF there really is something to this "broken metabolism" of Jimmy's, what caused it??  The first 30-ish years of SAD eating (and then some) didn't break it or he would never have been able to lose 170 and 180 lbs.  So what broke it?  Well, if it is indeed broken, one must look to his diet for the past 8 years ... no?   He bragged in 2005 of being able to eat 100g carb/day, and now he claims he's ultra sensitive to carb.  He had a low fasting insulin level a few years back, now he's hyperinsulinemic?  What could be causing this??  Any objective observer who didn't know the name and whatnot would look at the picture of Jimmy today and think "before" picture.  Someone on his discussion board commented on how his picture on Wikipedia is unflattering and he should see if he could get that changed.  Why?  That IS how Jimmy looks today.  The "intellectual hand on chin" picture is like 6-7 years old!  Why does he keep recycling it??  In addition, any objective observer would look at his lab results he's posted over the years and say that his biomarkers, however imperfect such measures can be, have been getting worse.    Were he Durian Rider, for example, don't you think someone might be blaming the bananas for this metabolic downturn?   Worse yet, Jimmy's current censorship of even well-meaning suggestions leads unknowing new readers to presume his case really is a mystery.  

Jimmy is the quintessential example of someone who keeps doing the same thing expecting a different outcome.  I'm often described as being anti-LC, which isn't true.  I'm anti-dogma, I'm anti-gimmick, and I'm anti-Science Krispies.  If you are reading this shaking your head thinking I'm trying to tell people who are successful and look and feel great on LC to ditch the diet, stop shaking.  I'm not saying that.  What I am saying, however, is that all around us on this internet are examples of LC advocates for whom LC no longer appears to be working.   That they are taking folks along for the ride chasing some "mystery" is ...  (I'll let y'all fill that blank in your own heads).

EDIT after initial publish:

I forgot to address the strawmen (plural) arguments/statements that Jimmy makes in his piece.  I'm not sure whether Jimmy really believes this to be true, or he's so deluded that he can't see the simple solution to his dilemma has been solved many times over the past few years.  But here's what I want to comment on:
Sure, there will be the negative naysayers who will laugh and scoff at your strident dedication to low-carb when you go through a rough patch.
The only thing that some laugh at Jimmy is when after cutting calories and losing weight, then increasing calories and gaining weight, you can still cling to the ridiculous notions that have you proclaiming after all these years things like {paraphrase}:  'I'm still not convinced that calories have anything to do with bodyweight'.  Oh ... and your takehome message from the Swedes on the last LC cruise being to add like 12 pats of butter was quite laughable.  
But let them have their giggles and make their flimsy points about how cutting your carbs is useless citing you as an example of the failure of low-carb diets.
I don't know of anyone who is critical of LC *dogma* who thinks cutting carbs is useless.  It's how I lost a ton of weight, it's how you lost it too.  It is ONE way of reducing one's intake and establishing a caloric deficit.  But it is but one way of doing that.  And as your weight gains over the years have demonstrated, it doesn't always work!  If you consider that a flimsy point to make, so be it.   It hasn't worked in the long haul for many, many people.
You know better because you’ve come so far in your journey. I’m amazed at how easily people forget that although I have gained some of my weight back, I’ve still kept off over 125 pounds for the past seven years! That’s what I call long-term success, baby.
Yes, it is a success to have kept off 125 lbs, and when reminded at every turn, it would be hard for anyone to forget that you were once 410 lbs.  But the wild weight swings involved in doing this are something to consider.  As open as he is when he wants to be, losing and regaining well over 300 lbs in the past seven years is at least a qualified success  
If low-carb isn’t what is helping keep that number from approaching 400+ pounds again, then what is? We all know the answer to that question.
I'd say having your livelihood tied to maintaining some measure of the weight loss may be the biggest factor here. Jimmy can't, and hasn't even tried to take back the subtitle of his first book:  "My Journey From Flabby Fat to Sensationally Skinny in One Year" .   The promoters of LC are not promoting going from morbidly obese to less obese, and perhaps no longer morbidly so (which at this point is Jimmy and Laura Dolson).  They are promoting magical effortless weight loss and now not just comparable health, but supposedly better health adopting a more and more extreme approach as time goes on.  

It's ironic, really, that as the Taubes' v. every other hypothesis debate rages on about the internet, there are fewer and fewer defending the science of the hypothesis itself.  What we're left with are the unverified accounts of folks who credit Taubes for saving their lives because they went LC and lost some weight after reading one of his books.  That's all fine and good, and if true and you want to give credit to a book author, that's fine.  But when did Jimmy's problems with maintenance seem to start?  Oh ... late in 2007.  From then on he started the "up the fat" campaign, the "high fat, moderate protein, low carb" mantra ... oh, and he stopped formal exercise completely despite the need for it all the more changing careers to working from the home in front of a computer.  For the leader of the "Free LC World" to exemplify how Taubes' mangled science can ultimately be detrimental to the *cause* is, indeed, ironic.  Jimmy Moore is the personification of what I'm talking about vis a vis the problems with gimmicks and misrepresentations.  They keep folks stuck in ruts pulling their hair out over mysterious metabolisms and such.  And then you have the Wheat Belly's and Rosedale's and Lustig's and likely Taubes again, scaring the beejeebers out of people who might otherwise try something new because they are convinced that an apple, and especially a banana will harm them, and that eating carbs will cause their insulin resistance (if they even have it) to progress to diabetes and all the complications thereof.

I hope for Jimmy's sake that he can remember what he did in 2004, and I've suggested to him many times that his answers lie in his own words from early blog years.  Yes, Jimmy.  When you ate less and moved more, you were thinner.  If only it were that easy?  


Thomas said…
Unfortunately for Jimmy, he has built a business, maybe even a stable income, based in low carb living. What's the one thing (the largest thing that is) that can keep people in a continuous state of denial and delusion? Money!!! To try something radically different would not be good for his financial bottom line and you know how vitriolic people can bet when you challenge their paradigm. I don't think he is interested in losing his audience and damaging his income.
steve said…
You ask a great question! I have seen pictures of many of these and have wondered:Is the VLC diet really so great, or is it a compliance issue? Also, cannot imagine that unlimited fat will help weight loss; sure, some level of fat, but at some point calories do count; don't they?
I eat what i think is a low carb diet(at least compared to SAD) : only veggies in unlimited quantities with portion size of protein: meat,fish,sometimes poultry not to exceed 75 or so grams in a day. Starch: zero, or i find i generate lots of small LDL and with heart disease that is a no, no. Maybe at times a small sweet potato. Fat: Olive oil, coconut oil, but again in a reasonable amount. Little fruit,no other sweets, and rare dairy.
Age 61, normal weight, family history of heart disease. . I have no weight issue, but do find if i add a fair amount of starch( ie Jaminet) i generate lots of small LDL particles which is a no,no. Do u think this is a healthy eating pattern?
Your question just made me laugh when i read it; it is so spot on in my view!
Amy said…
About 2 years ago, I noticed through reading Jimmy's menus and blogs that he started to gain weight when he stopped being an avid walker and started weight lifting. I am a weight lifter, but for him walking seems to work better than weight lifting. He must have burnt more calories walking. He should have stuck with what was working.

Still not sure that with someone like Jimmy the low food reward system would work. He may have bigger emotional issues with food. It doesn't look like switching to a paleo low-carb diet it working for him. He's at 278 and 6 "3".
Galina L. said…
I am glad that Jimmy is going through the series of tests. It is getting annoying even for me when people declare themselves "metabolically broken" without elaborating details. It is indeed a fact, that after somebody gets at certain point of gained weight, coming back to norm can be close to impossible. Jimmy is a good example, and I hope his doctor has enough sense and knowledge to navigate J.M. through solving his weight problem, because it is clear now he can't do it on his own. If he is leptine deficient, get him leptine, if he is a food addict, block his opiate receptors, may be he needs liposuction. He could be an example of what may be done, or an example of what sometimes nothing could be done with explanations "why".
Of course, you are right - middle age is a middle age. I think it would be much worse for me without LC because I was clearly falling apart 4 years do, while following standard healthy life-style advice. I don't know about things in a future, of course. Also, my diet is probably calorie restricted now. I think there is a different effect from CR LC and from calories excessive LC on the body. I also look at the people who are slightly older than me and how they are doing. Before your previous post on D. Carpenter I didn't know who she was, but I went to check her blog - too much concentrated around cooking. It is also possible, she is in a "change" phase now. Hormones could do a number on her. Since I am older than you, in my case I am watching the Eades. I was disappointed that they had to follow for six weeks their diet with meal substitute smoothies in order to be presentable for their cooking show. I eat real food, and things like smoothies and energy bars for me like taking pills with nutrition instead of dinner. I would rather eat nothing.

You are not perceived as an anti-carb, but rather like the anti-insulin-theory-of-obesity person, and mainly anty-GT, of course. I agree with you when I disagree with the statement that "all you have to do is limiting carbs to lower your weight" position of some LCarbers. Until people start checking their insulin levels before, during and after weight loss, the disagreement will stay among dieters. From my point of view, LC diet is the last resort, I tried everything else (except hormones, surgeries, list of supplements and meal substitutes) during my life, and if it would fail, I have no place to go.
M. said…
Fred Hahn should have been jumping all over Jimmy’s ass sometime in the last 8 years calling him a cheating mofo.

I haven’t really paid too much attention to Jimmy, but he really seems like someone who bought into the Taubes' Kool-aid and really thinks he can eat all he wants as long as he keeps his carbs low. He just enjoys food too much – the whole “Those low-carb (candy) bars have just a few grams of net carbs, so I will eat five”. I have scanned his blog at times and he seems to have an awful lot of desert recipes. Some people can get away with this, and some people just can’t.
Tonus said…
The irony of the situation is that Jimmy could run his site and make money and still pitch LC as an effective weight-loss tool and healthy approach to diet, while maintaining a slimmer and more pleasing physique, if he'd just manage his calories in and calories out.

There is nothing in the concept of a metabolic advantage that claims that calories do not matter at all. As someone who promotes the idea of being flexible as you learn more, he could easily work the CI/CO concept into his lifestyle without seeming as if he's doing a 180.

Sure, embracing CI/CO even on a limited basis would lose the strident crowd that insists that there is a perfect diet or nutrient that controls intake all by itself. But better to lose their support than to remain one of them, IMO. I think he's undermining the effectiveness of LC at this point.
bentleyj74 said…
JM is only in his 30's. He's wasted the last decade of his life on this rabbit trail, hopefully at some point he'll appreciate the finite amount of decades he has and change his goal FROM sanitizing the foods he still overeats TO actually reaching lean and fit.

No one who tells him he has to settle with his broken metabolism is any friend of his. They are just running their own agenda using him as an expendable asset.
I lost 120 lbs on caloric deficit, but what allowed me to HAVE caloric deficit for 1.5 years (when I could barely manage a day sometimes, or a week, or a month, and at most 2 months in one valiant effort) was lowering carbs to 80 to 100 grams. THAT stopped the crazy appetite and mad binges.

I eat have 20 lbs to go to be at goal weight...and it's the hardest so far. I upped bit by bit to see where I maintain. 1700. For a 180 pound woman, that seems like not a whole lot. Maybe Jimmy needs to track calories and see where he maintains, loses, gains. And then decide at what level he can live with.

I am trying to see if the set point thing has a point..and if I can fix the damage of years of crap, morbid obesity, hypothyroidism, etc. I mean, if a setpoint can be reset, I'm tryinng for it, cause a life time of eating 1200 or 1400 doesn't sound like a whole lotta fun.

BUT..if I have to eat 1400 calories for life to NOT be obese agaiin, then that's what I'll do. I'll find a way to find joy in less. Hey, reality is reality. I continue to guinea pig and tweak...but I don't plan to tweak myself up 50 or 100 pounds.

Jimmy has to understand that trying new stuff, learning, experimenting is FINE...one's body is one's body and individual and worth learning about. BUT...allowing weight to just pile on and on is not responsible. It hurts one's health.

If he wants to do Paleo, then do Paleo at a caloric level that does not regain...and see if that slowly fixes some metabolic issues and lets him eat a BIT more, bit by bit. If not, then accept that caloric limits must be honored...or obesity beckons.

I know this well enough...and set my refeed regain limit at 184. Line in the sand. Then back to whatever I have to do to descend again....

I wish Jimmy well. But he's got to stop looking for ways to justify overfeeding. He's got to. Or 400 pounds are around the corner again....
Oops. make that maintain at 1600. Begin to regain at 1700.

Tracking is a useful tool for me....it's ballparks and all, but useful ballparks.
Sue said…
I wouldn't recommend a VLC diet anymore for weight loss. It would be moderate carb and being aware of caloric amount. Exercise would definitely play a part too.
VLC is not really a way you can eat for life. It's unrealistic and for me caused too many binges. We were sold the idea of eating as much as you want as long as it was low carb, no exercise required, it's not your fault that you are fat it's the carbs and people lapped it up.
We have two long term low carbers as examples that didn't seem to fare that well.
Muata said…
I guess I'll chime in since I've been aware of Jimmy's blog since 2006-7. In addition to what people have already said here, I think his case shows that one must spend some time maintaining (read: learning from) their losses before pressing on to reaching their "target body weight" (which I personally think is a misnomer; I like target body composition).

Yes, a morbidly person can lose a hell of a lot of weight in one year's time, but what have they learned during this time? It's no wonder that most who lose 100 or even 200 pounds in a year, struggle greatly to keep it off, regardless of what diet they are following.

Even though our bodies are "primed" to regain the lost weight, I still believe because it's more psychological than physical, and Jimmy's journey is a perfect example of this. When he tracked his calories, he lost weight. When he was "moving more" on a consistent basis, he lost weight. There's no "mystery weight gain" or "broken metabolism" at work.

I know that "personal responsibility" isn't really a "PC" word in the weight loss blogosphere, but I'm just saying ;)
Sanjeev said…
> Fred Hahn should have been jumping all over Jimmy’s ass sometime in the last 8 years calling him a cheating mofo.
Only stands (Hahns?) to reason - if one can eat infinite calories on low carb without putting on fat mass, if one puts on fat mass one MUST have cheated.

And it's an interesting double standard, isn't it? Telling people they gained weight on low fat because the diet is intrinsically bad, and "blaming" them is unethical, but on low carb, if they gain they must have cheated ...

Hahn you read that self-serving, double-standard "logic" without LOLing? I sure Hahn't.

I'd love to know if this little "good diet guy who never blames vs. bad diet guy who blames" was worked out between Hahn and Taubes.
bentleyj74 said…
I'm really loathe to disagree with Stephan...he's going to put the smack down on me for sure but here goes anyway.

I did do his low reward for several weeks and of course my weight didn't go up or down which is predictable because people who aren't overweight eat to meet their needs even when reward is low however it was uncomfortable and I did give more THOUGHT to food than I really think is fantastic. I find the low reward environment of simply NOT EATING to be not only as good but superior than trying to micro manage WHAT I eat when I do.

I wonder [out loud] whether some of the stress associated with low cal eating might have to do with HOW the cals get lower?

I might feel a little stressed if I skipped breakfast then had a bland brown rice and boiled chicken style lunch that neither satisfied nor pleased me, repeat ad nauseum.

Change it to skip breakfast, avert HUNGER with a 400 cal mini blizzard [midnight truffle is my personal fav] and then eat dinner...let's say a burrito stuffed with rice and beans, meat, salsa, cheese, and lettce. Mine average about 700 cals a shot. That's a daily total of about 1100 that would leave a person physically full at least once a day and also eating something to satisfy that "treat" urge without passive over eating.

I'm going to go hide until the hurricane blows over and forgets the heretic.
Sanjeev said…
and of course it's never explained why anyone would cheat on a diet that's easier to follow than falling off a greased log floating in rapids
Sanjeev said…
> ... if he is a food addict, block his opiate receptors, may be he needs liposuction.
Given Jimmy's up and down, on and off history IMHO liposuction would be a DISASTER.
Harry said…
@ bentleyj74

I think you raise something important that is being missed in many discussions regarding food reward; namely, the FREQUENCY of the reward.

To elicit a good dampening effect on appetite (or to lower setpoint as per Stephan's theory) it's not necessary to remove all rewarding food experiences from the diet (for most people).

It's only necessary to reduce the frequency of the reward. Your 'one rewarding meal/day' protocol still falls under the description of a low reward diet, as there is only one rewarding stimulus per day (compared to the SAD's 3 or more).

Try comparing an isocaloric day's eating between 8 evenly spaced small snacks of hyper-palatble food (e.g. chocolate candy bars) and an intermittent fast followed by a filling hyper-palatable meal (e.g. cheese burger, fries, and a sweet). IME with clients, the latter is far less problematic than the former with respect to 'stoking the fires' of appetite.

So, at least as far as I'm concerned, you're not saying anything that deserves a smack down at all.

One caveat is that people with established eating disorders sometimes need even less exposure to rewarding foods, as even a once daily exposure can lead to bingeing.

Sanjeev said…
I floated the idea of doing a low reward diet on Lyle's forums a long time ago, but I did not have the research chops to get all the details the way Stephan has laid them out.

> loathe to disagree with Stephan...

I've been low FAT (occasionally VERY low fat[0]) for months and after a decade of lipophilia plus glucophobia I'm loving it.

I'm now on week 3 of a low reward trial (still low fat) and it's working out really well for me.

I am however having a lot of fruit (maybe just to spite Lustig/Taubes) ... even with the one big exception to low-reward, like I wrote above, it's going very well so far. Full report in a couple of weeks.

[0] not because I've become lipophobic plus glucophilic because of the Asian rice story & the Kitavan starch story and so on ... just a trial. I'll raise fat back up because it is needed, for example for testosterone and
Sanjeev said…
> I think you raise something important that is being missed in many discussions regarding food reward; namely, the FREQUENCY of the reward.
yes, I hope Stephan details further how reward intersects with learning (Seth Roberts' ideas).

There's a definite learning curve with a great many rewarding foods ... the common example being bandied about is beer.
Andrew C said…
I would agree that it appears to be an issue with the amount of food.

All that oil, for one, added to already fatty foods, can easily bring up the energy intake to higher than one would think.

My conclusion is that he has literally deluded himself. See the below exchange where he thinks he tried lowering calories to no avail. He really thinks it wouldn't make a difference and that he has already tried it. Despite people in the comments here observing from his own menus that he loses weight when he eats less.

So I guess the solution is to eat as much as he wants and look for "expert" doctors online who will tell him something pseudo-scientific.


Jimmy Moore (LLVLCBlog) wrote:

> I think it goes much deeper than calories, Andrew. I've
> fluctuated my calories, carbs, fat and everything else to
> levels where I should be losing. It's not happening. If
> there was just one easy answer to it all, then metabolic
> derangement wouldn't exist.

Andrew C wrote:

> Wait a second.
> I am trying to understand what "metabolic derangement" is
> defined as, and if it exists.
> You're saying that it does exist because otherwise it
> wouldn't exist?
sixty-five said…
I will be very interested in following this, both here and on LLVLC. I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe, ultimately, in CICO. I think it would be useful if Jimmy returned to posting his menus, including actual amounts consumed.
The experiment I'd beyond love to see Jimmy do is an open food journal one with video and pics. Seriously..like ONE month..pics of all items eaten, or video. A food journal open to the public...and a caloric limit while eating Paleo/Lc. Maybe...1800 calories a day, which is not a lot for a big guy and should produce loss if there is no metabolic derangement. I have hypothyroidism, allergies, autoimmune issues, post-menopausal, and I weight about 100 pounds less than Jimmy...and I can lose at 1400....so he should be able to drop some weight every week at 1800, and moreso with daily exercise.

I'd like the pictures and journal so people can assess calories/input and see what the results are based on them..ie, no cheating. Pics of every bite/meal taken.

That would be an experiment that I'd follow and I'm sure many folks would love to see...because if eating fewer calories of only healthful Paleo style food--fresh, grass-fed, etc--at 1800 cals..then there IS some metabolic derangement. Has to be.

Do it, Jimmy!!!!!!!!!!!!
Swede said…
@ bentleyj74

You are essentially describing Martin Berkhan's "Leangains" method. I use it personally and find it much more useful than low carb. You squeeze your eating into an 8 hour window each day. Many are able to eat high carb and sugary treats while maintaining "ripped" conditioning. You count calories of course, but it is much easier to diet (at least for me) when you can eat larger meals that give the desired sense of fullness that diete's so loathe to leave behind when embarking on a weight loss diet.
P2ZR said…
@bentley, Harry - Do either/both of you have blogs? 2 of my favorite commenters in the blogosphere... :)

@bentley - Stephan did agree with you a while back that fasting is 'the ultimate low-reward diet', so I see no need to worry about heresy! But while it's a very appealing notion to me in theory, I think individual variation can come to bite us in the @$$ if we try to overgeneralize. "Hunger is the best sauce" has been quoted ad nauseam over WHS, and that can be a problem wrt. IF. For me and some others, we can be pretty ace at forgetting about food/hunger while fasting, but the moment we break the fast--DAMNNNN is that food tasty. And a 700kcal burrito? After a fast, honestly, it'll hardly register in my stomach.

"I might feel a little stressed if I skipped breakfast then had [food] that neither satisfied nor pleased me, repeat ad nauseum." I think for those of us not looking to lose weight, it's more about eating food that's not exciting rather than food that we actually dislike? E.g., I could make my diet even lower-reward just by adding any forms of leafy greens (yes, I am like a child and refuse to touch them)--but I don't because I don't want to make my meal unpleasant.

@Harry - So I'm proposing that frequency itself affects the reward values of individual instances of feeding. Meaning, RATHER than something like: [total reward] = [frequency]*[reward of each meal]+[myriad other factors], I'm suggesting INSTEAD: [total reward] = [frequency]*[reward of each meal(freq)]+[other factors]. I.e., the reward of a meal is a function of the frequency of feeding. (My facile abstraction assumes uniform reward value across meals.) I am curious--in your extensive experience, do you not encounter a number of clients for whom IF actually backfires?
Galina L. said…
@ Swede
Some people (like me) are better using several approaches - low-carb+narrow eating window+FR. My best lady friend is eating whatever she likes during her 2 meals inside 8 hours window and is quite surprised it is not working for everyone. The only one solution for a weight loss is - to find what is working in your particular case.
P2ZR said…
@Sanjeev -

"There's a definite learning curve with a great many rewarding foods ... the common example being bandied about is beer."

Could you clarify? Are you talking about acquired tastes? Alcohol and caffeine-containing substances don't technically qualify as food. Not sure we have to 'learn' to like Cheez-Snax or other CAF delicacies.... Or perhaps you could link to a Seth Roberts post that explains? Thanks.
Harry, I don't know that I would want to do the once daily reward meal as a regular thing, but I've done this when traveling which has historically been a huge problem for me (I'm a poster child for binge eating/food addiction).

What I've tried three times in the last few months is to IF, do a paleo lunch that's low-cal (mostly protein and a little fat), and then have whatever dinner is available.

When I'm back home I revert back to my one reward meal a week. Been doing this for almost a year and, knock on wood, so far so good!
Swede said…
@ Galina

I agree 100%. Combining different methods is a wonderful way to fine tune one's dietary approach. Imagine trying to do this before the internet!

@ Sanjeev

Interesting point about alcohol. Our society definitely has a love/hate relationship with alcohol. It tastes absolutely dreadful to children, but once a taste is developed people can dissect flavors to fine detail. My love of beer has become so strong that I have have become a home brewer, and I now make meads (wine fermented with honey rather than grapes) and gruits (beer without hops).
Sanjeev said…
> Not sure we have to 'learn' to like Cheez-Snax or other CAF delicacies.
For all your body knows the first time you have them, cheez-snax could be poisonous, or have zero calories, or could be a one time thing - mastodon flatulence wafting over the village during a normal meal, for example.

That is Seth Roberts' stance. He gives the example of losing weight while vacationing in France, and attributes that to his body not having learned which flavours are associated with which calorie density values.

The learning of food reward values would be analogous to the brain's language circuitry - designed to learn language but no specific one.

food availability changes with geography so for our allegedly nomadic ancestors it would not make sense for the brain to be hard wired for specific foods, it would have to learn what specific flavours - taste, texture, chewiness, crunchiness, smell and so on are associated with what specific calorie densities and compositions.

This type of discussion is all over Dr. Roberts' forums - I don't have the references handy.
Sanjeev said…
> The learning of food reward values would be analogous to the brain's language circuitry - designed to learn language but no specific one.

or IOW capable of learning specifics but not wired up with specifics at birth ... not wired up already knowing how valuable "hickory smoked" or "mastodon dung smoked" pork is, but capable of learning that "mastodon dung smoked pork" is good stuff.
Sanjeev said…
before FRED chimes in with "PROVE THAT !!!"

I will admit I have no personal knowledge that mastodon flatulence smells of cheez-snax.
Sanjeev said…
analogous to the brain's language circuitry - designed to learn language but no specific one.
further clarification - designed to learn language but not born knowing English or Chinese (or sign languages ... sign languages that have had a good time to evolve and grow (or that develop de novo in deaf communities) have all the features of verbal languages, including adults not being able to learn them completely).
Harry said…
@ Sarah Barracuda

Thanks for the kind comment!

Yes, I have had some clients who tried IF and found that it provoked bingeing. These clients did have previous problems with disordered eating, however. I found that such clients do better with uniform reward diets (low-low-low) for the initial phase, and then we can introduce limited exposure to indulgence foods under formal conditions (e.g. 1 meal on a Saturday).

In general, I think it's preferable to limit exposure to rewarding events, if you're wanting to reduce reward-seeking impulses. So, I wouldn't recommend the consumption of hyper-palatable foods more than once per week for most folk. However, as with all things, context matters. If someone finds that small exposures once per day is sustainable (as per bentleyj74), then this is still preferable to the 3 meals and 2 snacks (totalling 5 exposures) that typify the SAD!


Your approach is eminently sensible, and I'm not at all surprised that it's working for you. The key thing for you is that you deliberately apply some intelligence to strategising your exposure to rewarding foods (e.g. IF and paleo-meal preceding the anything-that's-available meal). People go wrong when they just 'let it all hang out' (as per cruise ship eating) and all of the cue-stimulus-reward patterns just sweep aside cognition, good intentions, and will power.

A little planning goes a long way!

Anonymous said…
This will never happen, but I'd love to see Jimmy Moore flip his diet for one month, to low fat, highish protein, high carb, and use an online counter to log every calorie, keeping below 2000. And not weigh himself for at least two weeks to avoid a freak out over water weight.

CS, thank you for this post, it is just wrong that when folks in the LC community regain or have serious health issues, it's never the fault of the LC diet. I'm fully in the Anthony Colpo camp right now: get the carbs and protein, the rest of the calories are your fat, don't eat junk, and move.
Lerner said…
Speaking of health, which is what I see as the real Achilles Heel of VLC: One of the vaunted benefits of LC is the resulting "large fluffy" LDL. That started out being correctly described as having a correlation with less atherogenicity. Then large fuffy LDL quickly progressed into being claimed as proven that it is protective. However, a MESA substudy says that it is really the particle number, not the size:


(from Samia Mora, M.D., M.H.S., Brigham and Women’s)

That would seem to me to indicate that overeating on LC is still dangerous. In fact, it might also mean that eating HC and having pattern B LDL is not dangerous, if the LDL-P (particle number) is not high.

Anybody have any comments on that?
bentleyj74 said…

I get the impression that overeating is the single known universal equalizer. Bad no matter what you eat or how you eat it.

A person could walk away from that information pretty confident that the right diet for them is the one that they eat a calorie deficit on rather than having what they eat become their identity.

It's the bondage of "this food is RIGHT and GOOD and this food is BAD and WRONG" that I object to. If a person is already struggling with compulsive behaviors I really don't think adding a religion on top of it is at all advisable. Having an occasional blizzard/cigarette/beer/starbucks coffee/insert sin here isn't going to make or break anyone purely because it is inherently evil all by itself.

JM could walk into any gas station in the country and buy a regular snickers bar and gobble the whole thing and have exactly nothing happen as a direct result. Not a weight gain, not a diabetic come, nuthin'. The 5 or so LC candy bars he downs every day on top of his other over eating though? Those are gonna put him in the ground regardless of their nutrition status and whether they are made with organic virgin coconut oil and goji berries. It's all relative.
bentleyj74 said…
Should have read diabetic "coma" :-)
Lerner said…
quote E: "It's ironic, really, that as the Taubes' v. every other hypothesis debate rages on about the internet, there are fewer and fewer defending the science of the hypothesis itself."

Hey, good to hear. On August 25, 2011 (yep, I looked it up :), I'd asked here, "what would the end of Taubes' house of cards be like?" So it's probably not with a bang, but a fizzle - at least it is beginning.

Still, I'd expect Gary to soon jump on the vit D hype. Sure, it has value in some circumstances but everybody taking high doses is not going to cure everything on the planet, as is hyped. Then, there is the awful specter of possibly seeing a new book, "Why we get heart disease" botched Taubes-style.

Bentley's comment about adding religion to compulsion made me laugh... and there will always be the new fad anyway. But only Taubes' run as current fad irritated me - because everywhere I'd go online I'd see someone saying. "you have to read GCBC, he is so brilliant and is history's greatest researcher. He has 1000s of references!"

And you know, I haven't seen that in a while...
bentleyj74 said…

@bentley, Harry - Do either/both of you have blogs? 2 of my favorite commenters in the blogosphere... :)

@bentley - Stephan did agree with you a while back that fasting is 'the ultimate low-reward diet', so I see no need to worry about heresy! But while it's a very appealing notion to me in theory, I think individual variation can come to bite us in the @$$ if we try to overgeneralize. "Hunger is the best sauce" has been quoted ad nauseam over WHS, and that can be a problem wrt. IF. For me and some others, we can be pretty ace at forgetting about food/hunger while fasting, but the moment we break the fast--DAMNNNN is that food tasty. And a 700kcal burrito? After a fast, honestly, it'll hardly register in my stomach.

Nope, no blog but thanks!

I know he did agree that you can't get lower than zero [heh, still funny] but he is very interested in the "what" of it all and it comes across as superceding the importance of the caloric deficit. I'm not concerned that he's wrong [he probably isn't wrong] I'm concerned that for people already having obsessive food tendencies that could be a problem that outweighs the benefit of potentially improved nutrition.

I tend to find that eating makes me hungry as well which is part of the reason that I like to have that one big meal rather than several small ones. After not eating all day I will feel that sucker like a lead brick especially if I toss some extra fiber from sliced fruit etc on top of it. At 5'4 and 110 [my upper range if I'm carrying decent amounts of muscle] I don't require a lot of food but I will still be sort of turned on and interested which is part of the reason why I like the clear and obvious distinction between hunger and interest that an empty stomach provides.
Galina L. said…
@ Lerner,
I think overeating is dangerous, period. From my point of view, the great advantage of LC diet is in the promoting better ability for a person who is on that diet, to listen to satiety signals. Provided, the person wants to listen and not creative in overriding such signals.

Do you want to discuss, is it better to over-eat on LC as opposite to not over-eating on HC? Well, over-eating on HC is super easy.

May be you question is about, on which diet is more safer to overeat, because the abnormal lipid panel is a mark of overeating. On the VLC diet my blood tests results got much better(even though I had nothing abnormal before), but I was loosing weight and eating less than before.
Galina L. said…
I found out that Dana Crpender indeed have a health condition that is highly correlated with a weight gain - PSOS. With such condition VLC is a way to go.
CarbSane said…
Some general thoughts re: logging and experimenting: I think this is where Jimmy has gone wrong in the past few years. I too would love to see him try a high carb paleo diet (I've been quite amazed to find the number of carbophiles on PaleoHacks!) for an extended period of time. It would have to be under supervision, however. Although he claims to have tried tweaking it all with no success, that is just bullshit. (Yes deliberately spelled out). He lost weight cutting out all sweets, halving portions, eating only eggs and butter (because these items are so easily portioned, I think it had to do with the fact that when he reported eating 1500 cal, he was actually doing so!), eating only beef/CO/eggs and then even a little chocolate (again, you buy beef by pound so portions can't be that off)... the list could go on. When he's reported calories they very often didn't mesh. He's only ever estimated portions, and you know where that gets you with salad dressings and the like. Jimmy added back in veggies after his beef/egg/CO spree (lost a ton of weight!) and stopped losing weight. His conclusion was that he's ultra carb sensitive. I would say it was more likely due to adding 2T butter to 1/2c of cauliflower. Then one week all of a sudden bread and sweet potato fries showed up on his menus. Oh! THAT was just a little experiment ... see? Carbs will cause weight gain ... Experiment over! He declared. Maybe Jimmy needs to go to Free the Animal Self Experimentation boot camp.

Jimmy's been down this metabolic testing rabbit hole before. He was all about his "reactive hypoglycemia" in 2008 that must have been the cause of his sudden 30 lb weight gain when he started weight lifting. Nah ... didn't have anything to do with eating thousands of calories and protein stuffs that even an olympic weight lifter wouldn't require, must be something else.

Princess, if only he would listen to you!

As regards the career motive/pressure to stay this path, that's what is puzzling to me, because he has enough influence and his many "experts" would have backed him transitioning to at least a PHD-style LC diet. A LLVLC-your way approach would have widened his audience. Instead he seems to have gone more extreme. Maybe the winds shifted away from VLC in the paleo movement a little too late, but since he didn't embrace it personally until August, that would be a difficult claim to pull off.

Couple of specifics:

Thanks Steph for *getting* the major point here which is: if one gets XYZ eating low fat high carb, it's the carb that caused it. But if it happens eating low carb high fat, it's not the fat ... it can't be ... I must be metabolically deranged from decades of abusing my pancreas!!

@Sarah: And we get to see Harry's back in his avatar a lot ;p

@bentley: glad you're able to post here again!

@Amy: I think exercise has a lot to do with it. Heck, if only because it will lower his insulin ;)

More later gang ...
Sanjeev said…
> Stephan did agree with you a while back that fasting is 'the ultimate low-reward diet',
Maybe Stephan did not think it all the way through.

The immediate sensation of hunger goes away

but ...

Fasting raises the setpoint doesn't it? Makes people think about food all the time, something Stephan believes the low reward diet suppresses.

And when one comes off a fast there's that huge rebound gain, indicative of a raised setpoint (according to the reward/setpoint theory).
bentleyj74 said…

Thanks, agree, and complaint re Harry and his magnificent back. If you are going to post a half nekkid pic of yourself flexing it better expand like it promises to when you click on it. What a let down. Pffft. May as well go be productive. ;-P
bentleyj74 said…
"Fasting raises the setpoint doesn't it? Makes people think about food all the time, something Stephan believes the low reward diet suppresses. "

No idea but I only think about food when I'm eating or just about to. That's probably why I like it so much.
Lerner said…
@Galina: I also think the CVD danger is mostly about the overeating. In fact, I hope I don't antagonize anybody but I've never really had to lose weight. I ended up here because this was the only place I happened upon that dared to criticize the nonsense of Taubes, instead of revering him. It was refreshing :)

My specific interest at the moment is about lipoprotein particle sizes, especially wrt the MESA results. But I do find myself being interested in all the comments here. In fact, I there exists here a body of knowledge and experience that you don't find on advocate sites.

Galina said, "On the VLC diet my blood tests results got much better(even though I had nothing abnormal before), but I was loosing weight and eating less than before."

Once upon a time I was reading Eades' site, and someone made the comment that everybody's lipids improve when they're losing weight. That was perhaps the most insightful thing I'd read there - and of course it went completely unnoticed. C'est la vie.
Muata said…
bentleyj74 said, "A person could walk away from that information pretty confident that the right diet for them is the one that they eat a calorie deficit on rather than having what they eat become their identity."

Like Lerner I laughed too when I read this, but then I stopped because this is exactly what's wrong with the online "diet" community.

It's no longer about finding a "style of eating" that causes you to consume less (without starving yourself), yet provide your body with a variety of nutrients ... no, it's about whose latest and greatest diet (or research) is now THE way, THE truth, and THE light!

The problem with this myopic approach is that how we eat (and train) changes as we get older. Which means that we are going to have to consistently experiment and get to know our bodies and what works best on an individual basis.

Unfortunately, when, as bentleyj74 notes, a person places their "self-worth/identity" into following a particular diet plan, then there is no room for mistakes, and no room for growth.
CarbSane said…
@Galina: Jimmy is not a victim of his whacked out metabolism or anything of the sort. The man has classic eating disordered behavior. He's lost 30 lbs in a month probably a half dozen times since he started blogging. Most recently in Jan of this year.
CarbSane said…
Hi Lerner: Regarding LDL particle size and number, I so hear you! I recall -- perhaps in late 09 or 2010 Jimmy posted his NMR results. His particle number was off the charts, but he was boasting how it was all the good kind. As if that was settled science (and somehow the "protective" snuck into the jargon too). I posted a study showing that risk correlated more with number than size for men and was ignored if I recall. I don't know what all there is to these various biomarkers, but I do know you can't make up your own interpretations!
CarbSane said…
Hi Steve, Welcome! After reading a bit about what causes high trigs (fasting), I'm not sure that outside the context of an overfed SAD they have much meaning. IOW they are a biomarker but I don't think there's anything directly atherogenic about them. Much like LDL doesn't "clog arteries", I've not seen much indicating VLDL/trigs do anything directly either. There are cultures eating 80%carb with high trigs and no CVD.

@Galina re: Dana and PCOS -- This was a recent diagnosis after 15 years of eating low carb. PCOS is an insulin-resistance related phenomenon. Could it possibly be that her 75% fat diet all of these years caused/contributed to this? For sure if she were eating LF she'd be blaming it on the carbs!
P2ZR said…
@Evelyn - LOL, but I tend to tune out avatars unless they look like they're looking at me. Think PHD blog mentioned our tendency to pay attention to faces?

@Sanjeev - mastodon flatulence and mastodon dung smoked pork? You are hands-down my favorite commenter. Too bad you said somewhere that you don't blog. Well, off to SR's blog, now that you've convinced me I have some poking around to do....
Lerner said…
E says: "There are cultures eating 80% carb with high trigs and no CVD."

Thanks for relaying that. I'd immediately presume that they do not overeat and are very lean. For others, I'd point to the Homburg Cream and Sugar study, where pp TAG is predictive in normoglycemics, even morso than fasting TAG. I'd think that might apply to those doing a massive feeding in a short, limited IF eating window.

Wrt TAG being causative to CVD, IIRC a possible mechanism is that TAG inhibits HDL creation, maybe because it uses some of the same surface proteins as HDL. Something like that.

@steve: to complicate things more, lookee here on genetic variety leading to variety in response:

"For patients who started out with the pattern B cholesterol profile, the study by Krauss and his research group showed that an extreme low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet can reduce the number of circulating small LDL particles which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease."


"For patients who started out with the pattern A cholesterol profile, however, Krauss and his research group found that an extreme low- fat/high-carbohydrate diet worked to reduce the cholesterol content of the LDL particles circulating in the blood. This depletion in the composition of the LDL particles resulted in a downsizing that in turn led to a conversion from the pattern A to the pattern B profile."


year 2000

Lawrence Berkley Lab
P2ZR said…
@Evelyn - Do you have a cite handy for fasting causing high trigs? Just curious. Recent test came out a very low 28mg/dl; no macro/caloric restriction whatsoever, and eating whenever hungry and not too busy (3 square meals + possibly snacks). Was it actually experimental, or correlational? I'm thinking that perhaps those of us with low trigs might for some reason have poor tolerance of fasting.
Lerner said…
Sarah said: "I'm thinking that perhaps those of us with low trigs might for some reason have poor tolerance of fasting."

Wouldn't the poor tolerance of fasting more likely be due to impaired liver function causing lowered gluconeogenesis, and maybe also whatever would cause impaired release of FFAs?

E.g., looking at it in a minimalist approach: if a person overeats every day for years, then --> "use it or lose it" as far as one's liver being able to actually release energy during fasts.

That'd relate to the existence of fasting hypoglycemia in people who overeat. I've seen that happen, replete with amnesia. But I've more heard of tremors (from adrenalin) in reactive hypoglycemia - so the mechanism might be different between those two cases.
Lerner said…
@Sarah: e.g., the Kitavans or other primitive-living peoples probably had low TAG but also fasted very well ny necessity.
Galina L. said…
@ Lerner,
Dr Davis writes a lot about particle size. For example

I am not sure you would enjoy his blog, but you may try to check what is there.

@ Sara B.
I think I read on a Doctor Davis blog not long time ago how a very successful diet in terms of a weight loss could temporary make blood test results looking worse because of intense mobilization of fat from the fat tissue. I didn't give it much thoughts because a rapid weight loss was never my problem. Dr. Davis sometimes writes something strange on his blog but on another side, he professionally treats people for marker of CVD and suppose to have plenty of experience.
Lerner said…
thanks, Galina. I know I'd been to 'track your plaque' before, but then encountered something unexpected, like Taubes-worshipping or something. And is he somehow connected with the NMR measuring machines for particle size? Anyway, I'll look again.

wrt rapid fat loss, it's probably been mentioned to death but maybe new readers aren't aware of the possibility that fat-soluble toxins stored in adipocytes might get released and so cause symptoms.
P2ZR said…
@Lerner - Not sure what you're implying, but I don't overeat. I'm about bentleyj74's size and eat probably the same amount--just more frequently, as trying IF religiously did not work for me. I do get hypoglycemia from it, and it's bad enough that even when I'm completely occupied with work and not thinking at all about food, it affects my cognitive performance and makes me insanely cold. And it doesn't get better after months of continual IF.

FWIW I also have a crazy low fasting insulin of 1.6Uiu/ml, which was 1.0 a few years back (but that was when BMI was a few std dev's below normal).
Lerner said…
@Sanjeev: I suppose I'm in the minority (an understatement), but just to give another divergent datapoint: I actually like the way I feel when not eating for some hours. It's like being set for action, concentrated and alert. On top of that, when I do feel the groaning hunger pangs, I can generally disregard that. Hunger is just a feeling, not a command. You can feel hot or cold, feel the wind on your face, or feel hunger... Just a feeling.

Ah well, I also kinda like the niacin flush, too - though that's always described as a major negative side-effect. I like it because I think/feel that it's a good thing that's happening.
P2ZR said…
@Galina - Oh no, you've opened that can of worms again--now we have to operationally define "a very successful diet in terms of a weight loss"! Kidding. I hope you're not implying the inverse--that a very unsuccessful diet (wrt. ___?) could make blood test results oddly 'good' by conventional definitions!
Lerner said…
sorry Sarah, I didn't mean at all to imply anything about you. I've developed the habit of talking clinically... like "House" on tv. Also, I was speaking generally, and mainly because I have experience with an overeater (my father) who just wouldn't give up the sweets and had those 'spells'.

And in line with that: as a not-overeater that doesn't do well with fasting, that's an interesting case. Do you work out? Ifd you like, I'd compare experiences. I did happen to out-diagnose 4 MDs on that.

also btw I just learned today that bentley is a girl :) Yes, I'm kinda new here. And this darned Opera browser doesn't show avatars, usually.

P.S. Sorry, no offense intended.
bentleyj74 said…

There's nothing magical about fasting, just a convenient [for me] method of intake.


"@Sanjeev: I suppose I'm in the minority (an understatement), but just to give another divergent datapoint: I actually like the way I feel when not eating for some hours. It's like being set for action, concentrated and alert. On top of that, when I do feel the groaning hunger pangs, I can generally disregard that. Hunger is just a feeling, not a command. You can feel hot or cold, feel the wind on your face, or feel hunger... Just a feeling."

Likewise. If it was unpleasant I wouldn't do it.
Lerner said…
I can't quite concur there about unpleasant, Ms Bentley. E.g., what would happen if a person was out hiking near a frozen lake, yet there was a lead of unfrozen water near the shore and... they thought it would be cool to take off their boots and socks and stand in it?
CarbSane said…
@Sarah: I don't have anything onhand, but check out the Todd Becker link on my Twitter feed. This is something I plan to look into a bit more.

@Lerner: Actually the Kitivans were one of those 80% cultures I was thinking of with high fasting trigs. I think the postprandial thing is going to come out as a more important indicator of risk when this all settles out. That's where Frayn seemed to be going in his latest paper (still working on that blog post). I think this is the second or third time you've had nice things to say about the comments here. To which I say thanks, but moreso a shout out to the awesome contributors here! My readers ROCK!! I'm amazed that I don't get much noise here either ... I don't think I've had to delete a comment in over 6 months and aside from an infamous trollie, not had any issues here.
P2ZR said…
@Lerner - Yes, I do work out, with a focus on strength and as little attention to 'programming' (which IMHO sounds a bit pretentious in the context of exercising) as I can get away with. Was a skinny-weak kid who did distance back in the day; now I like repping out on dead-hang pullups. Because I'm not obsessed with volume, I don't think the training takes a toll that makes fasting suck so terribly (besides the fact that guys like Berkhan train swimmingly fasted)--but I do experience an insufferable loss of strength if I miss a meal and then train. HOWEVER, I do like to train right before eating (e.g., lunch break or after work), as I feel a non-empty stomach interferes with working out. Just that if I miss breakfast or lunch, I can forget about a non-shitty gym performance.

I do not discount the possibility that I am physiologically strange.
Lerner said…
Sarah, interesting case study.

"programming" smacks of Crossfit aka promise of freedom yet = orthodoxy haha

dead-hang = blades separated, just for bona fides :)

hey, you can be sympatico: once on paleohacks, somebody was repeatedly insisting that pullups were a great exercise for erector spinae... when the crowd said that was true, that's when I left there

anyway, I do pullups not chins now but I chin way above the bar now just for the heck of it

don't you think Martin's on gear? I dunno......

What your intuition on not fasting well? An unusual?
Galina L. said…
It is almost funny how much people are different. After I got adjusted to fasting, my blood sugar never drops below 85, and I have more stamina in physical exercises then before. The key - "got adjusted". Lerner, I also feel better now when I am hungry - clear minded, very emotionally stable, good level of energy. Higher than normal FBS is the only downside. I also used Tod Becker blog http://gettingstronger.org/2010/11/learning-to-fast/ for guidance. Nowadays I fast strategically when travel, when I feel like I am getting a flue or a migraine, around days with holiday overeating occurs, I also try to limit eating window. The result - more control and more freedom. It was very different before - it happened from time to time that I could get migraines from not eating for longer than 3 - 4 hours, I had to keep some emergency snack handy, I remember feeling shaky, than eating and experiencing huge energy drop.
Galina L. said…
@ Eveline,
Sorry for bringing back something what people drooped discussing, but I still don't think Dana Capender is a good example if she has PSOS. That condition is not among possible VLC diet complication. It was never associated with LC, unlike mucus deficiency among Dr. Kwashnevsky followers, or in cultures eating LC. Inuits were very physiologically IR, but without PSOS. Her blog looks suspiciously too centered around cooking, but it is a different story. Probably, she is a LCarber who uses LC diet not as a tool to eat less, but as an excuse to eat too much without feeling it is the wrong thing to do.
CarbSane said…
@Galina: I think you're missing my point. Dana has been doing LC for 15 years. Over the past year or so, she was seeing her fasting blood glucose levels go up. She found a new doctor who diagnosed her with ADHD and PCOS and put her on Wellbutrin for the ADHD and metformin (and later Victoza) for the PCOS/fasting glucose issue. IF Dana were, say, a popular vegan cookbook author who boasted following that diet and "fighting the animal protein lie" for 15 years (Dana used to have the slogan "fighting the low fat lie" on her website), people would have been looking to her diet as to why her health was apparently deteriorating. Surely you can't blame sugar for her ADHD or sugar/carbs for the PCOS. I'm aware that LC is often used for the treatment of PCOS, but this may again be a relic of the carbs → high insulin → insulin resistance myth. Her identity is so tied to her diet she would never even consider changing it. I think a diet of potatoes, veggies and lean proteins may well be much better for some of these folks. Maybe not too. But they'll never know if they don't even consider it.
CarbSane said…
Here's the discussion on Jimmy's forum about his 2009 NMR results (I'm the "unregistered" aka banned Low Carb Cheater): http://www.livinlowcarbdiscussion.com/showthread.php?tid=3952
Kilton provided the link to the study I was referring to. After his eggfast he published partial numbers on his menus blog that didn't look good. I don't know that he's provided this info since. Not that he's obligated to, but he keeps referring to his zero heartscan results from before these yo-yo's = ultimate significant regain, etc. Either you're going to provide updated results or not. But don't do it both ways which is what he seems to be doing ....
CarbSane said…
FWIW, here's the "Purity pizza" episode I was talking about: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mhe2Y9CikrA
Ha! Now from his n=1 experiments we know it was the insulin spikes from that Purity bread from Julian Bakery that was the problem!
Quarrel said…
Ah, that Purity Pizza episode is worth it alone for Jimmy's comment:

"Some carbs don't have gluten in them, but all gluten is a carbohydrate."

Just, well, wow.

Anonymous said…
Hm...if they eat a lot of that Purity Bread, I'd be concerned about the millet. I guess JM's thyroid is in good shape, but what about the Mrs.? Millet is a goitrogen, and I've read in a couple places (can't confirm yet) that unlike most goitrogenic foods, millet becomes more potently goitrogenic when cooked.
bentleyj74 said…
" IF Dana were, say, a popular vegan cookbook author who boasted following that diet and "fighting the animal protein lie" for 15 years (Dana used to have the slogan "fighting the low fat lie" on her website), people would have been looking to her diet as to why her health was apparently deteriorating."

You mean like Victoria Boutenko for example? Interestingly enough what distinguishes her from the OTHER emaciated raw vegan banana islanders is how much she embraces FAT. Raw, vegan, organic fat of course.
Anonymous said…
Ugh, held my nose and watched the pizza video. How about some pizza with that butter? That bread looks nasty. I make similar yet so different pizza at home. I use whatever looks pizza shaped at the local halal store, usually whole wheat pitas. Next time I go in, I'll request extra wheat, gluten, yeast in my bread. :-) I make my own sauce, add cheese and pepperoni and mushrooms and broccoli and garlic and peppers and onions. No butter.

I'm glad to hear you don't have to delete many comments. I figured some rabid low-carbers would be here to FSU. Perhaps they realize that you might have actual science to counter their food-religion.
CarbSane said…
Wow folks, I have a trifecta of Jimmy food blogs/videos that I feel encapsulate the problem with LLVLC. It's been a while since I watched this Purity one, but now I know why I remember it so!

jjb you cracked me up with the extra gluten and yeast! Personally, I'm a NY-style pizza girl. If I want pizza, it's going to be the real deal period. I just don't have it often. I've never understood the just eating the topping crowd either.
Sanjeev said…
> jjb you cracked me up with the extra gluten and yeast!

I wish a cheap and easy test were available for gluten sensitivity or outright immune/neurological response. I have a strong suspicion that when I eat wheat I'm hyper alert for the "symptoms of living" and blame them on the wheat, but when I've not had the wheat I don't pay much attention.

I get SOMEthing crappy from wheat but I just can't be sure it's not a coincidence with something else or that I'm fooling myself (like I fooled myself about my real state on Atkins/LC for years). Turns out some of my relatives in India have full blown celiac ... discovered after living 40 or 50 years on high wheat diets.

Feels like I have one foot in orthorexia-land and the other foot on a Jimmy-style buttered up low carb banana peel.
Sanjeev said…
> distinguishes her from the OTHER emaciated raw vegan banana islanders is how much she embraces FAT. Raw, vegan, organic fat of course
The single most obese person I've personally known was vegetarian.

Everything he cooked was drenched in vegetable oil ... he was a southern US gentleman working in Toronto and his cooking was Indian style (fried onions on everything, as much butter as the food could soak up)

I swear on a stack of bibles that he looked like Humpty Dumpty. His IQ was EASILY past genius level, but he had very little skepticism ... he successfully fooled himself he was doing his heart a favour.
gwarm said…
"Someone on his discussion board commented on how his picture on Wikipedia is unflattering and he should see if he could get that changed. Why? That IS how Jimmy looks today. "

This picture no longer exists. Do you have a direct link to the image.

And what do you attribute your double-chin picture to? (to be blunt and serious topic to address). Vegetable oils at "dive" bars and inflammation, an affinity for eating saturated fat to increase HDL and Large LDL lab targets because a machine tells us it's healthy (instead of fasting to just lower these small particle LDL -- reminds me of the high omega-3 debate), or just Calories? What determines where the fat goes and what makes subcutaneous face fat.

I have noticed Jimmy's brow is protruding quite a bit:
http://huntgatherlove.com/content/deep-nutrition#comment-307667833 May be some kind of Acromegaly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acromegaly ctrl+f 'Brow'
gwarm said…
And Gary Taubes looks just like "Mandibular overgrowth leads to prognathism, maxillary widening, teeth separation and jaw malocclusion." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Acromegaly_prognathism.JPEG in the Acromegaly link.
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