James Krieger on the "Tearing Down" nonsense

For those who don't follow me on Twitter and who may miss James' alert comment here today, I'd like to point your attention to the following post on his Weightology blog:
Why Losing Weight Is Like Trading Stocks, Part 2: Bashers and Pumpers

Thank you James for speaking out about this abominable turn of events.  And while I'm at it, thank you to all who have emailed, commented publicly here, or even risked the consequences of posting and speaking up in the hostile territories.  I think it's a sad commentary on the nature of internet discourse that many seem hesitant to speak out ... if not in my defense, just simply in condemnation for reprehensible and unacceptable behavior.   It speaks to the ultimate motivation of silencing people is all I'll say about that.

You know, it's really bad out there when Tom Naughton can't even get through a comedy routine (roast) without bringing up the fact that Jimmy Moore has come under criticism (not attack Fat Head) of late.  And several days after returning to dry land still saw fit to post erroneous and misleading accounts of Kruisegate to beat the martyrdrum.  Such is the state of Krispdom these days I suppose.

These are the same folks who coo over pictures like this:

Gillian McKeith Nigella Lawson
Remember THIS POST?

Will hurl epithets and smear me if I were to post this:

These two women are around the same age and were around the same weight before embarking their respective  plans to change things.   The woman on the left followed and advocates an ELMM approach of a low fat diet and exercise to go from 175 lbs to the picture in the red dress.  .  The woman on the right went on the Atkins diet for the first time over a decade ago.  To this day she touts her healthy high fat diet with very low carbs as a success.  She began this journey at 177 lbs and has transformed into the woman far right. 

Oops ... I just did post that!  Shame on me!!  You'd think that woman on the right would agree with me that Atkins/LC ought to come with a warning label.   :D


Swede said…
That was a good article.

I never realized James was such a good writer too. That was a great example of using an effective analogy. For some reason I remember that stuff from english class?!
CarbSane said…
James is also a master of Latin phrases for logical fallacies. Me nergo der!
That was one of the best things I've read in the weight-loss blogging world in a while. And I know squat about trading, so especially interesting. :D Anyone sub to Weightology and have a rec or no-rec on it?

Evelyn, I'm not a scientist or trained in such, so I can't add your sort of scrutinizing weight, but at several blogs, I do try to make them think twice when they mischaracterize you. I think you do the weight loss blogging world a favor, and I hope more LC folks will simply LOOK at your science-related posts and think about the INFO you present, and address THAT, the info, not the characterization.

Later, lady.
Mike said…
My wife and I have been watching Biggest Loser for several years. We recently went back and watched the first season, before they started getting in bed with all the sponsors and established their current diet recommendations.

There are scenes of Bob and Jillian lecturing their respective teams on how they should eat. Even though there are some variations in their diet plans, both of them say the exact thing for rule number one:

"Low carb"

My wife and I were both stunned since this advice is never explicitly given in later seasons. My guess is that privately, Bob and Jillian eat and recommend relatively low carb diets. Some in the low carb world have even said that Jillian's "Master Your Metabolism" is "not so bad".

There are glimpses of this on occasion in the show (one time Jillian instructed her team to scoop out most of the bread from their Subway sandwiches to cut out some of the empty carbs). There was also a recent interview with Bob on the Crossfit site where he said that it's important to eat fat to lose fat.

Now that's not to say that either of them would ever go to the ridiculous fat obsessed extremes that the low carb community seems to be plunging into these days. Their low carb plans are probably far more Sane and would look more like the Perfect Health Diet than anything in the strict low carb circles.
It's not just Jillian and Bob. I've been reading women's magazines and some entertainment style magazines adn articles since, well, forever. I used to be a serious magaine junkie, subscribed to nearly every health/beauty type of mag. Whenever they profiled celebrities that were NON-vegan trying to lose weight, from Anniston to Zeta-Jones (who had chubbed up a bit once), the diet always ended up looking kinda low-carb--lots of lean protein and veggies/salads as the core. I think the whoose of water weight and the appetite suppression of higher protein and less starch (I do notice appetite increases when I eat more starch adn sugars, myself) is part of the "See, didn't I tell you it would work fast" phenomenon of the "gotta get slim fast" diets. Cut carbs and water loss increases, which is a psychological boost for readers of these magazines. I can't tell you how many times i see the cycle of weight loss bloggers who gain, go low carb, whoosh weight, feel triumphant, regain on junk food/carbs. Go on diet, low carb, see the whoose, feel triumphant. It starts to seem like a crazy cycle where the reward of the water loss can only be re-accessed by regaining with carbs. The idea then becomes: carbs made me fat, and when I cut carbs, I lose 8 lbs in a week. Well, carbs made you retain water (and may hyperpalatable-high-food-reward carby foods may have made you crazy hungry without realizing how many calories are ingested), and cutting them makes you lose water fast, but then as the weeks wear on and the loss slows down, the frustration sets in and back to binge/overeating/comfort foods and the water and some weight regain (or lots of weight regain, depending on calories and high food reward meals).

I think lowering carbs is great for binge-ers like I was, because upping protein makes for satiety, lowering carbs means you tend not to eat the traditional junk foods or higher reward foods (potato chips, fries, pizza, mac n cheese,burritos, etc). I think that is why it helped. Plus I was prediabetic and I do think controlling sugars/starches helps in that situation. I saw my sugars and BP go down radically when I controlled carbs. It worked for me.

But I didn't smother everything in bacon fat or coconut oil or butter. I still watched calories.... I'm unconvinced calories don't count. I think they count DIFFERENTLY because we don't all burn as efficiently, we don't all have the same medical issues, etc, but they count. In my experience....
KD said…
These internet fights are mostly about emotion with a healthy dose of anonymity to fuel the fire. I don't blame most scientists for not bothering to step into the public fray. I'd imagine for those of you who do, your colleagues must wonder if you're nuts.

It's really a shame that there's such a poor rate of transmission between what scientists and researchers are doing and the general public. I think that's actually the best part about what you do at this blog. This stuff is so complicated that it's amazingly easy for laymen, even bright ones who try to follow along with the science, to be mislead by some guru who plays fast and lose with one part out of thousands. Your articles couldn't be published in a journal because that's not what you're going for, but I would wager that you've done more good in aggregate by explaining the science to a wider audience than the last five years of peer-reviewed articles put together.

I hope that reads like a compliment because it's certainly meant that way!
James Krieger said…
And in predictable fashion...

Unknown said…

I Guess James Krieger Wants to Fuck With Me. Let’s Go, James.
May 28th, 2012 · Heroes & Villains

My identical comments at his identical postings here (awaiting moderation) and here. I have to draft another post for the morning, 9:30 am EST, and it has to publish precisely to military precision and when you see it, you'll understand why. So, you'll have to read Fuckface Keieger's stupid post yourself, where he tries to impress you with his stock trading prowess by means of overwrought, non-sequitur and just plain stupid analogy. ...Which is no surprise, as he can't even beat himself out of a wet paper sac on the meaning of hypocrisy.

Of course, that moron cunt Evelyn at CarbSane couldn't wait to suck his cock over it.

Look up the word misogynist in the dictionary and you'll see Richard's picture - a person who hates, dislikes, mistrusts, or mistreats women.
Vicki said…
Jillian Michaels doesn't recommend a low fat diet. She recommends counting calories and eating natural, clean, non-processed food, along with exercise. Whenever 'experts' talk of low carb, I don't believe they ever mean that they recommend avoiding the carbs in fruits or vegetables, instead they mean don't eat the carbs that make up cakes, biscuits/cookies, cheap white bread and pasta.
Geoff 99 said…
If you can't think for yourself, value a 'ripping yarn' over the truth, are happy to play the fool to self-proclaimed gurus and believe a mixture of bad science and charisma will solve the world's ills, then perhaps Richard has the answer after all.

from the above post at FTA: "Both good and bad science got us into this mess and both good and bad science will get us out. What's important is personality, drive, sensation, conniving, influence, and a whole list of human attributes people pay attention to" [...] "In the end, the best salesman wins."

As long as the bad science and personalities all line up with your own world view, you're good to go! If not, just do a Google search ... I'm sure there will be someone out there telling you what you want to hear. Just remain uncritical, fuzzy eyed and willing to tow the party line.

And shame on those who try to alert us to the lies, fraudulent claims, bad science and deceptions of the some of the greatest "salesmen" (oops ... I mean diet gurus) that ever walked the earth.
CarbSane said…
You better publish that comment or else! And for Beezlebub's sake, be more polite when you criticize. :p
CarbSane said…
Welcome Mike! Great comment, I agree with pretty much everything you've said. As for TBL, I looked at the diet once and I recall it being low fat. The meal pictured here http://www.biggestlosermealplan.com/ doesn't look "low carb", nor does the 4-3-2-1 plan here http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/biggest-loser-diet

The book includes one-week sample meal plans for 1,200-, 1,500- and 1,800-calorie diets, along with some recipes. Forty-five percent of the total calories come from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 25% from fat.

The 4-3-2-1 Biggest Loser Pyramid sets the stage for number of servings from each of the food groups:

4 servings of fruits and vegetables
3 servings of protein -- lean, vegetarian, or low-fat dairy
2 servings of whole grains
1 extra of fats, oils, sweets, alcohol, or your choice, equivalent to 200 calories

On Jimmy's podcast, Dr. Dansinger mentioned that some contestants follow a low carb (his diabetes?) diet.

I signed up for a Jillian Michaels free analysis/plan and will post results to Vicki below.
CarbSane said…
Welcome Vicki! I signed up for the free plan on JM's site. Unfortunately you had to choose between cheese & meats and fruits & (? can't recall) while I'm not a craver. It also says we all crave sweets when we're hungry so that's why sugar wasn't an option! So I chose the cheese option. Here's my plan (headlined 2. Science!):

You're a fast oxidizer.

Because you crave salty foods, cheeses, and meats, you may be a fast oxidizer. This is the fancy term for your metabolic rate. It simply means that you burn through the nutrients in your food rapidly and that you therefore produce energy instantly. If the energy is not used immediately, it is stored as fat. Carbs only speed your oxidation and energy production further. So to best serve your metabolism and feel energized both physically and mentally, you require foods with higher percentages of proteins and fats. Make sure that there is protein in everything you eat, including snacks. Your ideal meals and snacks should break down to a ratio of 20% carbs, 50% protein, and 30% fat.

But the bottom line is, you have to burn more calories than you take in. That's it. And to really do this successfully, you have to eat the ideal diet for your body and metabolism. Believe me — I've struggled with this myself. And I've done a lot of research and work to figure out my ideal diet. And now I want to share my findings with you. I have recipes and snacks that will help you eat better for your body type. And I have secrets and tricks to make it easier. (I didn't say "easy.")

So, that is LC but it's also pretty LF as TBL diet I posted to Mike above is. There's room for Special K and potatoes in both plans. I agree that when folks like Jillian talk low carb they generally mean low junk carbs. I think 20% carb is low carb, but most LC'ers don't agree ;-)
CarbSane said…
@Princess: I think what you're describing (water weight cycles) is somehow part of what's behind that "Golden Shot" theory (never really liked that term, sounds a bit off to me!). Once you become a dedicated LC'er, when you cheat you still eat the LC stuff with other junk and somehow the body adjusts to hold onto its glycogen -- like in that IF article recently?
CarbSane said…
Thanks Princess! If there's anything about the net that bothers me it is just that -- the mischaracterization of what I write. The foul mouth rants and insults roll off my back, I may call out the behavior but not because it hurts my feelings or whatever. But when folks say there's no science here ... sigh!

Anywho, hubs rarely reads my own work let alone anyone else's. I had him read James' piece last night as we were waiting for (shhh don't tell anyone) our pizza to be ready. He enjoyed it!

As for Weightology subscription, I didn't subscribe when he went to the pay model because I didn't want to risk copy-catting, and it seemed from the titles that still popped into my reader, we were on similar tacks when he switched over.
CarbSane said…
Hey AH, I'll leave this up this last time, but I really prefer we don't C&P vulgarity here. If his readers are into that, fine. No need to subject mine to it. That said at least it saves them a trip there to read the Cliff Notes version!

I find this all so hysterical that he thinks he's in a position to advise me on the proper way to politely criticize someone. You can't say anything negative about their BS "science" without sucking up first! LOL!!
CarbSane said…
What's important is personality, drive, sensation, conniving, influence, and a whole list of human attributes people pay attention to.

I think I *get it* now! ;)
Mike said…
Yeah. I don't know where the LC'ers started to think that you're not really LC unless you're on Atkins Induction levels. Even the "late, great" doctor recommended upping them slowly after a few months.
CarbSane said…
Also the low-fat phobia -- as if eating chicken breast without skin once in a while w/o smothering it in a creamy buttery sauce is going to kill you! Although I at least see where that came from in some circles -- KimKins overreaction -- the more fat you eat, the less net body fat you'll burn.
Tonus said…
The money quote: "Evelyn and others like her, who have largely built whatever attention they have on the backs of people like Taubes, Naughton, Moore, Lustig, still haven't figured out that "bad science" is not really what it's all about if you care about people dropping the weight and improving health. Both good and bad science got us into this mess and both good and bad science will get us out. What's important is personality, drive, sensation, conniving, influence, and a whole list of human attributes people pay attention to, in the end."

I read that as: the science doesn't matter; the salesmanship does. Charisma trumps truth, I guess.
Mike said…
What surprises me most about JM's recommendations above is that 50% protein. Crikey, that's a lot. I rarely hit more than 30%. Have you looked at much research studying the effects of high protein diets?

I've heard it bandied about that over 40% is borderline toxic and I doubt JM would recommend more than that if it really was.
CarbSane said…
A woman of my height, age and reproductive status would probably maintain a reasonable goal weight of 130 lbs (I'll never weigh that little, 150 was the goal I put in) probably maintains on 1300-1500 cal/day. So that's high protein for maintenance but 1200 cal/day is the most I can eat and lose weight at any noticeable rate -- so 600/4 = 150g/day. Yeah, that is high, but nowhere near the upper limit of at least 250 g/day. I don't know that % is what matters as much as total amount. No calorie level was suggested. I guess I needed to sign up for her paid support to get that info :D
Janet said…
The woman on the right is NOT an example of healthy low carb living. She is a yo yo dieter and would be just as much of a mess whether she was low fat; low cal, weight watchers etc..
Sanjeev said…
> bandied about that over 40% is borderline toxic

percent or fractional is not a good way to specify this.

40% of the calories of a fast?
Of a starvation diet?
Of a binge?

As to the other alleged "toxic effects" of excess protein, I have not found any non-anecdotal corroboration. There are papers that allege human liver cannot process some amount of urea but they don't document toxicity.

Kurt Harris apparently also did his own search and wrote on the high fatters' favourite hobby horse, "rabbit starvation disease" - Kurt couldn't find corroboration that it even exists.
Lesley Scott said…
the first time I read about the "rabbit starvation" thing was in the Loren Cordain "Paleo Diet" book, and he's definitely not a high-fatter. I got rid of my copy of that book ages ago on Paperbackswap so I can't check if he has citations for that - did he fabricate it?
ProudDaddy said…
Some bodybuilders get a little nervous when their protein intake exceeds 250 grams. I never worry about it because it's almost impossible to eat that much and still enjoy it. I could never find studies showing a problem at ANY level, provided normally functioning kidneys.
Sanjeev said…
> Charisma trumps truth, I guess

is the inability to see his own real ("truth") qualities (instead of imagined "special qualities"[0]) part of his charisntma
Sanjeev said…
> I can't check if he has citations for that - did he fabricate it

I don't doubt he heard it from someone & invented a justification.

If one feels bad while eating high protein, one might look for a reason. Looking for it, one could find that protein metabolism uses Vitamin A (just one justification I've read), so ... a feeling plus a plausible sounding mechanism and voila, a disease is born.

Fabrication not needed.
Christopher said…

Jimmy's new n=1: testing ketones. Sigh. Seems he will try (and re-try) ANYTHING - except, that is, radically alter his paradigm/approach. If there's a better example of entrenched thinking out there, I've never seen it.
Christopher said…
Oh...and his silence on Kruse is deafening.
Galina L. said…
I feel like being slightly naughty right now, and in order to tease everybody here I want to say that Richard seemed more reasonable before he started to eat more potatoes.
Mike said…
Jimmy's total cholesterol is 386.

Anonymous said…
Hi Sanjeev

You said: "Kurt Harris apparently also did his own search and wrote on the high fatters' favourite hobby horse, "rabbit starvation disease" - Kurt couldn't find corroboration that it even exists."

Unless my memory is failing me, I think you are confusing me with someone else. I never wrote specifically on rabbit starvation.

FWIW, Rabbit starvation makes sense as a phenomenon where the ability to process excess amino acids into glucose hits a limit, and it makes sense to me there is such a limit, but I agree that we don't know what it is exactly. So if rabbit starvation means you can only utilize so much excess protein a day for caloric needs, then it's just a form of caloric starvation. There are plenty of historical accounts from the 17th through 19th century that support that there is such a thing.

Conversely, I have written briefly in comments that protein needs are lower than most people, especially bodybuilders, think they are. And I firmly believe that eating all your protein at one meal each day is perfectly fine. I seem to be able to add muscle mass, maintain strength, and not waste away doing so and have been eating most of my protein with the evening meal for years now.
Sanjeev said…
thanks for the correction Dr. Harris, I'll go back and search for the source I mis-remembered
Sanjeev said…
my excuse

(or copy this & paste to your "url" box)

The excess part adds a twist for me - one my own past trains of thought was about the liquid protein diets. Granted people had lots of negative effects but for the really low fat ones there did not seem to be the type of thing I read about rabbit starvation.

The comparison's biggest flaw is probably that the liquid protein users are usually at a severe calorie deficit and while very high in protein as a fraction, low in absolute mass of protein.
Sanjeev said…
good one. ZING

; )

But personally, I thought he was much more mellow before he was conceived
Anonymous said…
Yeah, the liquid calorie folks are losing weight on purpose whereas the north american explorers are lean and hungry and have eaten their horses long before they get to the point of eating nothing but rabbits - they are starting the "rabbit diet" with no reserves...
Sanjeev said…
besides everyone knows they only grow potatoes in poor countries that don't have enough water to grow rice - RN should have gone with the rice.
Galina L. said…
Give him that suggestion. I wonder what kind of endearment word he would choose for guys.
julianne said…
There are definitely studies that show toxic effects of high protein diets - in normal people, I've just done an assignment on high protein diets. Once you get over a certain amount (3.8g/ kg / day) the liver has difficulty clearing urea. However over time enzymes are upregulated. Rabbit starvation is real. There are many accounts of it.
ItsTheWooo said…
50% protein is not excessive if you are on a calorie/energy deprived diet (i.e. no calories from fat/carbohydrate). 50% protein in this case is enough to spare muscle and hair loss and finger nail splitting and thinning of the skin. It won't completely stop it (that won't stop until your insulin / IGF-1 is sufficient i.e. you are not chronically atrophying your tissue by undereating)... but it will MINIMIZE it.

Weight loss diets should *always* be very high protein. It's not for satiety, it's for health. Protein is wasted in starvation.

And, yes, JM like all other successful weight reducers prioritizes protein and minimizes carbs, meanwhile the woman on the right did not get to that size by following a controlled carb diet I promise you.
ProudDaddy said…
Dr H: Your explanation makes the most sense I've yet read. Thanks for that. While bodybuilders may overestimate the amount of protein they need, the standard recommendations underestimate the amount we old folks need. And the studies show that seniors need their protein in larger single doses, so your practice would have you well on the road to avoiding sarcopenia!
ProudDaddy said…
So that would be about 250 grams, 1000 kcal. 100% protein on a 1000 calorie diet would be handled - of course, you'd probably get gallstones, but that's another subject.
Tonus said…
I can remember that in some bodybuilding magazines (90s/2000s) the upper bound for daily protein intake for a pro bodybuilder could reach 400 grams. As far as I know, the general recommendation is between 1 and 1.5 grams per pound of lean body mass, which for some bodybuilders would be in the 300-375 gram range.

The thing to keep in mind whenever discussing the diets of bodybuilders is that they're a very specific outlier. The extreme ranges are probably the ones who use anabolic steroids along with a cornucopia of additional substances, some of questionable value. Steroids are often the first thing mentioned whenever a pro bodybuilder suffers from health problems, particularly kidney failure. But could it be that kidney problems amongst a population that ingests upwards of 300-400 grams of protein every day are due more to that, than to other causes?
bentleyj74 said…
Depends on the size and proximity of the guy ;) In a lot of cases I'm thinking "Sir".
CarbSane said…

Weight loss diets should *always* be very high protein. It's not for satiety, it's for health. Protein is wasted in starvation.

Agree with the first statement, but I think it's for both satiety and to prevent catabolism -- especially on "crash" diets. The problem with your typical CRD suggested in the late 70's for women (when I started dieting) was that 15% protein for 1200 cals amounts to 45g protein. IMO protein should be kept to maintenance levels of the baseline diet and indeed this is what has been shown to happen -- absolute gram wise -- in at least two studies I've seen where calories were spontaneously reduced on LC or HP/LF.

meanwhile the woman on the right did not get to that size by following a controlled carb diet I promise you

I agree, but that is not always the point. There are cases where people have gained weight on LC. The sad thing about Amy is that going LC and wedding herself to the lifestyle and the dogma has ended her more obese than when she started. She's discussed many times how she's had periods of adhering, trying to adhere, etc. This is the result. Yo-yo dieting with LC instead of whatever. This is the case for far too many who remain wedded to LC because it worked for them once. Just a month or so ago Amy finally removed her woefully outdated 2001-3 before/after from her website. How she can promote Healthy Low Carb Living and present her "success story" on the recent cruise is beyond me!
Craig said…
Just got back from skimming that profanity laced hissy fit. Wow! Not sure what he is hoping to accomplish there, but it hardly seems like a platform for professional success. Do others in the paleo/LC world really think this fellow has any credibility?

Years ago, if you went on a diet and lost some weight, it was only your friends, work colleagues and family that had to suffer if your dieting success made you an annoying and insufferable boor. Now, thanks to the internet and blogging, you can embarrass yourself before millions. Progress????
Lesley Scott said…
oh I meant to add to this & just remembered - I get so sick of the way Ignatius keeps dissing Weight Watchers, especially given the way he looks compared with David Kirchoff, the CEO of Weight Watchers - who is also a lifetime Weight Watchers member. I'd love if you added an additional comparison pic of Ignatius and Kirchoff like you did with Jillian & the LC chick
Anonymous said…
I subscribe. He posts good stuff, most of it very technical, and though I'm a scientist, over my head.
James Krieger said…
My response to Richard:

LeonRover said…
Well debated and written, James.

(I read you regularly before pay-wall, so it nice to read the freebies!!)

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