Livin' La Vida No Food?

If you interact with me at all on social media ... or if you just keep your eye on that Twitter feed over there on the right ... you're probably aware by now that Jimmy Moore is fasting.  Today would be Day 9, I think ....

But first, a little intro from a podcast interview with Abel James -- aka the Fat Burning Man -- taped either shortly before or a day or so into the fast.

For most of the past several months I've oscillated between feeling that five years ago happened just yesterday, and five years ago seeming so much longer ago because it seems so much has happened since. 

In 2010, the low carb community on the whole was still riding the Gary Taubes Good Calories, Bad Calories wave of that era.  Calories didn't count, you could eat as much fat as you wanted, and indeed people were claiming routinely that they could never lose weight on 1000 cal/day of low fat while the pounds melted off on 3000 cal/day of fat and protein.  If you were plateaued out or regaining, the most common advice was to (1) go back to induction (that being Atkins under 20g carb/day) and/or (2) "up the fat" because you weren't eating enough fat and calories.  I do believe that the major impact of The New Atkins (Westman, Phinney & Volek) -- came out right around the time I started this blog -- was the first official rendition of the "some are so carb sensitive they will need to remain under 50g (or less) carbs per day forever".   Folks had basically been ignoring Atkins' protocol for decades, myself included at the time.  When you're losing weight on induction levels of carbs and settle into a grove, upping carbs is not something that you want to do.  But Dr. Atkins NEVER intended for folks to be in perpetual Induction.   

I've mentioned several times here, that Atkins was always a calorie guy.  He was. 


The reason "original" Atkins dieters were visiting the diabetes supply section in the pharmacy and peeing on strips was to detect *calories excreted unused* aka ketones.  Sadly nobody ever did the calculation back then to officially debunk this, or perhaps diet history goes a different way ... not sure ... Taubes is proof of, if nothing else, the seemingly limitless ability to move goal posts on the topic of how LC diets work when they do.

In the first "New" Atkins book, I speak of Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, Atkins shifted his rhetoric some.  Now ketones were indicators of lipolysis which he shamelessly equated with fat burning.    And ...
Lipolysis is one of life's charmed gifts. It's as delightful as sex and sunshine, and it has fewer drawbacks than either of them!
More on this stuff here if you're interested.   In DANDR, Atkins formally discusses a tweak:  The Fat Fast.

The Fat Fast
The rationale behind the Kekwick diet is crystal clear: It forces the body into lipolysis so it burns its stores of fat. Lipolysis cannot take place if there is a significant source of glucose. Since all carbohydrates and some protein convert to energy by way of glucose, eliminating almost everything but fat from the diet forces even the most resistant body into lipolysis. That explains the ninety percent dietary fat component of the Kekwick diet. Lowering the caloric intake accelerates the need to burn up body fat-thus the 1,000calorie limit.
When I wrote the first edition of this book years ago, I realized that a small but intensely suffering segment of my readers would need to know how to overcome metabolic resistance. So I decided to make the Kekwick diet as enjoyable as possible. But no matter how I tried, the quantities were simply too small and the selection too limited to meet the satiety and tastiness criteria that I had been demanding for people following my program.
I gave it the name "Fat Fast" because it contained virtually no food except for fat. I tried it on scores of patients and was not surprised to observe how often it worked for those who were unable to lose in any other safe, drugless way. Nor was I surprised to hear that none of my patients relished the idea of staying on it. But ten more years of experience with the Fat Fast has taught me how to make Kekwick and Pawan's brilliant concept a truly useful technique with which to combat metabolic resistance.
The Fat Fast is one controlled carb program where you do have to count calories, I am afraid. You'll eat 1,000 calories a day, with seventy-five to ninety percent fat. Since frequent "feedings" prevent hunger better than three meals a day, I recommend five feedings, perhaps one every four hours, comprising 200 calories each. Because of the high fat content and frequent feedings, very few people on the Fat Fast experience much hunger. The stumbling block for some people is the absence of meals as we know them. ...[list of "meals"]

When to Do the Fat Fast
Let me make it clear that the Fat Fast is actually dangerous for anyone who is not metabolically resistant. For people who lose weight fairly easily, the rate of weight loss is too rapid to be safe. But it carries very little risk for people who can barely lose on any other regimen. The reason why I ask such people to try the Fat Fast is to let them know that it is possible to lose weight.
I ask them to try the regimen for four or five days to see if they achieve what the Fat Fast is capable of doing-weight loss, curbed appetite, positive lipolysis testing strips and improved well-being. If these results occur, most people are willing to stick with it for a few days, even if the food selections are unfulfilling.

Modifying the Fat Fast
If increasing the fat-to-carbohydrate ratio and cutting the calorie count works, any dietary change in that direction might get the job done. Next, you can try four meals a day of roughly 300 calories for a total of 1,200 calories. That should work too, and what it allows is definitely more appealing to the taste buds ... [list of "meals"]
Try the 1,200-calorie regimen for a week, then go back to Induction. Or simply follow the concept of increasing the ratio of fat to protein. No one should have to feel that losing weight is hopeless. Sometimes the key to achieving your goal weight permanently is quite difficult to adhere to, but rarely is it simply impossible! With a clear-eyed approach to the factors that may be standing in your way, you should finally be able to slip into clothing a size or two smaller.

Now that's a rather lengthy excerpt, but I include it for a reason.  THIS is the Atkins that nearly all of the current crop of low carbers read, and I had been hearing about doing the FF a few times on the LC boards back then.  I always found it amusing that LCers could accept this *truth* or *tough love* from Atkins -- that they would even consider 1000 cal/day -- so long as it came from their anti-conventional wisdom champion.   I've bolded a particularly interesting statement there in the last paragraph.

Still, the Fat Fast for Atkins was a several-days-at-most thing.  Atkins could put all the shiny spin on it, but ultimately it was severe calorie restriction (for most who tried it).  It wasn't supposed to be engaged in for weeks on end, or even a full week.  If you're already pretty low carb, guess what?  You won't lose phenomenal amounts of weight because your glycogen is already depleted and you are already in the semi-dehydrated state.

What is interesting, to me, is that in 2010, neither ketosis nor the fat fast and its ideas made it into the updated The New Atkins.   And whether or not they meant it when they wrote it, Eric Westman, Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek said the following:
In the past, some individuals made the mistake of thinking that they could stuff themselves with protein and fat and still lose weight.  If the pounds are falling off, forget about calories. But if the scale won’t budge or it seems to be taking you forever to lose, you might want to do a reality check, caloriewise. (See page 107.) You could probably guess that too many calories will slow your weight loss, but here’s a surprise: too few will slow down your metabolism, also threatening your progress.
For some reason, low carbers seized upon the latter.  Here's a newsflash ... An indisputable truth:
If you are not losing weight, or gaining weight, you are NOT eating too few calories.   (~ Me)
It may be the case that doing so in spurts is being countered by binging for a net higher caloric intake, but IF your metabolic rate has slowed, eating more won't fix the calorie imbalance problem.  It just won't.  Sorry.  

So as I mentioned earlier, TNA was the first mainstream book to usher in this idea that many would essentially have to remain semi-ketogenic (< 50g carb per day) in order to realize and maintain their ideal weight.  What was most troublesome about this at the time, was that there were people in the community that were doing just that, had been doing just that for years even, who were not reaping the benefits of this considerable restriction. 

At the end of that year, Why We Get Fat finally came out, and with it a blog for Gary and new rounds of interviews and lectures during which he distanced himself from failed arguments and spun a new version of what I call TWICHOO.  The worst of this sent waves of despair throughout the obese ranks of low carb forums:  that some may be so insulin sensitive that they may not even be able to eat leafy greens or a few blueberries without gaining weight.

In January of 2011, Jimmy Moore weighed 289 lbs.   He was engaged in radical diet regime number three -- of the major ones since 2007.   In 2007 it was the low carb, low fat, low calorie Kimkins diet.  In 2010, a year Jimmy began weighing 279 lbs, it was all eggs (with butter and cheese) for 30 days.   In 2011 it was beef and coconut oil, which soon morphed into a beef, CO & several ounces of dark chocolate a day diet.  This was supposed to go to April 1 but was abandoned without mention.  Later that year the first to-be one week fast was engaged in.  For his health you know.  At the end of that Jimmy weighed just under 250 lbs.  So when in 2012 Jimmy had regained to over 300 lbs, you would think people might catch on.   But Jimmy had a whole new pond to swim in with paleos, most of whom were totally oblivious to his history.  

Then ... Enter Jeff Volek & Stephen Phinny aided and abetted by Peter Attia, cofounder of NuSI.  These two self published their Art and Science of Low Carb books setting off a rush to the diabetic supply outlets -- this time for blood ketone strips and monitors.

Jimmy Moore was desperate.   Where the LC community was forgiving of his weight struggles, the unspoken atmosphere in paleo was less accepting. So he not only adopted "nutritional ketosis", he adopted an extreme version.  And followed it for a full year.  He "spontaneously" intermittently fasted 18 to 24 hours at a time, and longer.   Many others jumped on board because ... Jimmy was losing weight!  Through his patented blend of censorship and lies, Jimmy convinced new followers that his regain had been slow and steady.  

That, and, at least he had his health, and that his was a particularly intransigent insulin resistance that required drastic measures.  And it worked.  And his severe restriction paid off.  In one year he dipped for a few days into the upper 220's just below his "goal" of 230 lbs.   He sure showed me and all his detractors!  LOL.  And then .....  {Note:  It is a total farce that I or others root for bad things for Jimmy.  Many of us tried to help him many times and discourage these radical "experiments" that can only lead to short term losses, followed by the predictable gains.   I did not expect Jimmy to last out the NuttyK long enough to regain the 2005 weight, but his success was shorter lived than even I would have anticipated.   Carbohydrates and insulin are NOT Jimmy Moore's problem.}

Well you know.  Regain was evident already by AHS 2013 in August, only 3 or so months after the official "experiment" ended.  Jimmy claims the eating pattern didn't change though.  And he weight steadily climbed, attributed to stress of book writing and mean people who dared notice.  He downplayed the amounts which made matters worse when eventually he'd sort of have to acknowledge the obvious.   Well into the regain, Jimmy was appearing at conferences, in online summits and other interviews with a re-packaged weight loss story.  His 2004-2005 180 lb weight loss on Atkins + copious cardio somehow morphed into a weight loss on keto with no mention of the issues in between.  From interviews on the 700 Club to Examiner articles by Samantha Chang, Jimmy's secret was 80+% fat diet!  Nevermind that by the time Keto Clarity hit the market, Jimmy was well on his way back to 300 lbs.

The restriction of Jimmy's extreme keto diet cannot be understated.  It is also antithetical to the purported spirit of the paleo movement (real, whole-foods based) whether or not you're a rule bender.   But the paleo types played along, and many continue to do so, because he has a podcast and a mailing list.  Jimmy is so insulin resistant, he claims, even leafy greens may cause weight gain.   Keto melds well with the #LCHF Banting scam spearheaded by Tim Noakes in South Africa.  

Jimmy Moore at AHS August 2014
But it really boggles the mind that Jimmy was out there promoting Keto Clarity and keto for weight loss when he had regained significant weight by the time the book was released in August of 2014.  

You have to hand it to him because he has spun the fantasy that he is healthy enough to keep up sales and soldier on.  Seriously peeps, the man is going to be headlining a *Health* event in the UK next month:  Health Unplugged.    

His bio picture differs considerably, though at least potential attendees see a semi-current picture of who will be speaking.  This man has innumerable health issues, and there is almost no denying at this point that his extreme dieting has contributed TO these issues, not mitigated them despite his weight.   As if that wasn't enough, his wife has developed a myriad of issues since adopting his eating disorder including significant weight gain, "adrenal fatigue", Hashimoto's thyroiditis, vertigo, kidney stones, and several long lasting illnesses (e.g. colds that just don't go away).  The solution?  Diet harder!

Both of the Moores are seeing elevated fasting blood sugars and insulin levels.  When you consume almost no carb and restrict protein, as Jimmy does, and you see these parameters worsen, it's time to wake up and realize that dietary carb is NOT responsible.  But Jimmy will not re-evaluate.  He can't.

So now, Dr. Eric Westman suggests perhaps he is just eating too often.  Because eating daily isn't normal I guess?  See how far we've come?  The original plan was to go 2 days fast, 1 day eat.  And Dr. Jason Fung is in on the advice wagon too.  Any and everybody but, apparently, Jimmy's actual primary care doctor who is being kept in the dark about his eating disorder and depth of how his dietary shenanigans are negatively impacting his health.  In a recent video, Jimmy discusses some concerning biomarkers from before this now week long fast.  What is going to happen?  Fasting is extreme.  Westman and Fung are "treating" Jimmy improperly as they are not privy to his full health history and profile.   If eating an extremely restrictive diet is not a solution, how is not eating at all going to solve anything?   Here's what happened after the last week long attempt. (full video link)

He will eventually have to eat.  What then?  So you go back to the beginning, and really this is the same beginning for many low carbers.  They tried other diets but were unsuccessful.  Or perhaps like me they were successful but gained weight back eventually.  Perhaps those diets were too restrictive.  For many women starting out, 1200 calories is a drastic cut in intake and unnecessary calorie deficit to achieve weight loss.  If structured at 15% protein that's only 45 grams which is going to be a serious cut for most women.  But NOW ... after all the restriction ... LC eventually comes back around to calorie restriction.   But on top of already restricted diets?  Then fasting?  Not just intermittently but for days on end?    How is THAT sustainable?  

Jimmy Moore is not (yet?) a diabetic.  By all accounts of numerous experiments -- even ones he thinks showed the opposite -- he has always had a pretty healthy metabolism from a metabolic rate standpoint, an ability to lose weight standpoint and a carbohydrate handling standpoint.   That he is seemingly unable to process carbohydrate is an illusion.  A delusion.    His experiments demonstrate that ketosis or carbohydrate restriction is not always effective for weight and fat loss, but more than that, he is not fooling anyone by using that terminology -- something akin to "not experiencing fat loss".    This is a lie.  He has been GAINING fat, and his health markers are horrible.  

There are many who speculate over whether he cheats or not.  I say it doesn't matter.  He's a liar no matter the truth.  Is he now Livin' La Vida No Food. 

  Because fasting is not restriction!