If you believe reducing energy stored is a matter of reducing the fat on your plate and doing more exercise, then why even bother to be in ketosis - just “suck it up buttercup” eat less of everything and get off the couch and you’ll lose weight. Just takes a little discipline.
… or at least that is the premise of TV Show “The Biggest Loser”. It is also what all the contestants, and the trainers and most of the audience of that show believe. It was also what metabolic researcher Kevin Hall of the NIH believed until he studied a class of contestants and followed them for 6 years and what he found truly shocked him.
I went into the details of the study in this post …
The TL;DR version is that satiety is an important signal that you ignore at your peril. If you stop eating SHORT of satiation then you are giving your body a signal that it doesn’t have ready access to energy … it will make cuts, it will increase hunger, it will increase lethargy, it will lower your metabolic rate. That is what the biggest loser participants do … and then because there are hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line they “suck it up” and … their resting metabolic rates drop from 2600 to under 2000 and 6 years later when they have regained all their lost weight their RMR is an additional 100 kCal/day lower still. Why? Because they reduced the energy on their plate hoping that would increase the amount they burned.
The other thing I will observe from this study (because I’ll come back to it) is the participants started with a HOMA:IR of 2.5 - meaning they were 2.5x as insulin resiustant as a 35 year old man with no metabolic disease, by the end of the show they had a HOMA:IR of 3.6 (3.6x more IR than a sensitive 35 year old) - so they had done significant metabolic damage to themselves. And you can see this reflected in their fasting insulin, at the start they had a fasting insulin of 10.4 mIU/L and by the end of the 6 month follow up their fasted insulin was 12.1 mIU/l. Why? because they had become significantly more insulin resistant and had to make so much insulin just to cover their basal load of glucose.
BTW these participants were still eating their high protein low calorie diet 6 year later (according to their Respiratory quotients) and still exercising at close to the level they were at the conclusion of the competition … and they all gained most of their weight back. Why? Because their metabolic rates plummeted. It had nothing to do with them restricting the fat on their plate.
Fat to satiety is the definition of the fueling strategy of a well formulated ketogenic diet - the technical definition is an ad libitum diet.
Dr Phinney: “The primary driver here is satiety”
Actually you breath out all the fat you absorb, or you take it to your grave. The question you have to ask yourself is what would make you turn MORE fat into CO2, given that Kevin Hall has already shown that caloric restriction and exercise would make you turn LESS fat into CO2.
The answer can be found in a series of overfeeding studies done by researcher Ethan Sims in Vermont where he tried to overfeed volunteer prisoners as many calories as he could stuff into them, in order to force them to gain 25% of their body fat. With extreme difficulty most of the participants were eventually able to gain a quarter of their body fat, but one guy would not budge past 11% no matter how much fatty carby food they fed him. The took his caloric load up from 2000kCal/day to over 10,000 kCal/day and he could not add any more body fat. So that guy was able to increase his metabolic rate 5x in response to energy being available.
When they stopped the study everyone went back to their original weight very quickly because their metabolic rates were so high, and then as they got to their normal weight their metabolic rates dropped back to normal … all except 2 guys who saw their metabolic rate drop as soon as the overfeeding stopped and they had trouble losing all the weight they gained.
So what makes these 2 hard losers different? Both of them had a family history of type 2 Diabetes. They likely were easily able to raise insulin and had a hard time getting it off.
How about the guy who couldn’t get past 11%? Well that hard gainer was unable to get his insulin up high enough.
Want to burn more energy, lower insulin. Want to store more, raise insulin.
That’s a pretty ignorant comment.
Ted has mentioned that he has a fasted insulin below 2 mIU/L - even when he was fluffy, he admits he was eating a hard core seventh day Adventist high grain vegetarian diet and couldn’t gain weight - and photos of him show he was thin and fat, not big and fat. He is a hard gainer. Ted probably couldn’t fast more than 18 hours, and would be weak as a kitten at the end of an extended fast.
I don’t know what Jimmy’s fasted insulin is, but I do know mine. Mine a year ago was 29.3 mIU/L, today it is 13.7 mIU/L. In case you aren’t sure what that means - this is a chart from Ted’s low carb cruise 2016 presentation on how much energy a person can get from body fat based on their insulin level - I have just added mIU/l units along the top of the chart.
See where someone with a fasted insulin is at 2 mIU/L? Someone like Ted who has a low fasted insulin has access to 100% of the possible energy from his body fat.
See where I am at 13.7 mIU/L? I have access to 0%. To get into a normal range I have to fast for 5 days then do a 3 hour cycle.
But here’s 2 things about that
- Ted couldn’t do that - just can’t store the energy to do something like that
- Time spent at a lower level of insulin is slowly reducing my fasted insulin. My HOMA:IR 15 months ago was 6.9, it is currently 3.1.
So in a choice between Ted’s body and mine I would chose mine every day because I have more options.
Besides who wants to be on a really high protein diet if you outgass volatile byproducts of protein metabolism from the surface of your lungs including ammonia, hydrogen sulphide (rotten egg gas) and methyl amine (rotten fish).
Wasting protein for energy offsets using fat for energy which is the whole point of a well formulated ketogenic diet. And once you get to more than 3.3g/kg LBM you start getting into the range of Ammonium intoxication, and rabbit starvation.
So that is not for me.
But y’know if a PSMF gets you into ketosis and it is meeting your goals then good luck to you.