I tested Fire in a Bottle’s (Brad’s) theory of high saturated fat intake. I have been mired in an incredibly time-consuming house project, and I thought I’d wait to post until that was done. I’m taking a break from that this weekend, so I thought I’d get something up, and I’ll add more later. My project is never-ending…
Before starting this test, I had just gotten into size 34 pants (from 43) and was wearing 34-36 inch waist pants.
I take carvedilol, a beta blocker. As far as I can tell, this has some anti-lipolysis effect, but I can’t figure out how much and also I’d lost 50+ pounds while taking this.
It will be 7 years for me on LC/keto on 1/1/21.
How I tested
I tested Brad’s theory, eating a ton of saturated fat. I typically used ghee + his stearic acid, either by itself or with a 50/50 mix (about) of cacao butter. I also would eat cacao butter, say with yogurt and dark chocolate. I briefly tested a TKD (targeted keto diet), eating higher carb the first meal after exercising. I used mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, and even pasta once (with cream/butter sauce).
My normal meals, however, were to eat my first meal by eating just ghee+stearic acide+cacao butter, and gobbling as much of that as I could.
I usually eat 2MAD, and my first meal is mine. The second meal is made by my wife, so might be chicken thighs + bacon for instance.
If I ate a TON of saturated fat, I could get a good satiety effect, as in I was not hungry at all 8+ hours later.
I got “hot”, as if I was burning up. That helped, since I was getting cold at some points previously.
However, if I didn’t get enough saturated fat, I was still hungry. I never figured out the “threshold”, where I went from being hungry to not being hungry, but it was a high amount of saturated fat.
I gained 15+ pounds. (Don’t weigh myself, but have cardiologist appointments every 6 months, and was shocked to see what happened on the scale. Not pretty.)
I gained ALL of it in my belly. Exactly the opposite of what Brad said would happen.
I could no longer fit in my 34s, and when I started wearing shorts, I couldn’t fit into them.
It’s very difficult to eat high saturated fat if you’re eating low carb. Other than suet and cacao butter or dairy, it’s quite challenging to add saturated fat to your diet. If you’re using starch, that helps, as it sucks up butter/ghee/saturated fat. But if you’re not, you have to rely on dairy or just eat fat.
During this time, I began working out at home, doing a ton more abs. I am sure I gained muscle around my waist, and my overall strength has improved dramatically. Without a pre- and post-DEXA scan, I can’t tell exactly how much muscle I’ve gained, though. And since those cost $150/each and I have to drive an hour there and an hour back to get them, I didn’t do them.
Once I realized I wasn’t fond of the TKD (those plants seemed to cause me issues although higher carb after working out might not be bad), I resorted to more dairy. Inasmuch as “dairy” “causes” “inflammation”, that could be a negative factor. However, the weight gain seemed to occur while not adding dairy too.
I was in a Twitter conversation with other people who gained weight (20+ pounds) using Brad’s techniques. We were all male, all had been doing low carb/keto for a long time (I’m coming up on 7 years), and the theory was maybe we already had low PUFA content in our fat cells, so the blunting effect of saturated fat didn’t work.
As a believer in black swans, I therefore think the Protons theory is not true, at least for some people. (Black swans: if your theory is that “all swans are white”, that is true, until you find one black swan, then the theory isn’t true.)
I also think humans are incredibly complex. Maybe we aren’t mice (which is were most of the Protons thread takes place)?
I also think that looking at the French or some high-carb eating people and saying we have to explain them or it proves it’s not the carbs, is problematic. For instance, Brad follows a woman on Twitter who tries to eat the “French” way. She (1) eats tiny meals, (2) eats the smallest meal as the final meal, and (3) eats the final meal far from sleep. Maybe the French don’t snack, have backlash against overweight people (thereby forcing everyone to calorie control their diets), eat smaller meals and stay hungry? Maybe saturated fat isn’t it or is only part of the reason they’re “thinner” than US people.
I also think the idea that one can only gain weight or get insulin resistant based on PUFAs is incorrect. I got fat going from a very low fat diet, getting depressed, drinking good beer, eating pizza, and then Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Rinse, repeat. That’s low PUFA. I guarantee that anyone who drinks a 6-to-12 pack of good beer daily then have pizza then ice cream WILL get fat and WILL get insulin resistant. I guarantee it.
I also ate PUFAs in meat, such as my wife’s chicken thighs wrapped with bacon. However, I also ate that as much as once per week before and after testing Brad’s theory, and am still losing weight.
I also think there’s something to be said for taste. I know Peter D. from Hyperlipid and Brad both doubt the theory that tastiness causes overeating. I’m not so sure. I make some white chocolate that’s relatively high in saturated fat (main ingredient is cacao butter, followed by coconut milk powder), and I could eat many of these if allowed. We found keto ice cream bars at Costco, high in cream. I could eat at least three of these each time, even if I ate a great dinner. I have eaten two, but try to keep to only one.
And these are all higher in saturated fat, and don’t seem to be blunting my hunger. So, I think taste is a factor that could override fat.
What do I do now?
I went back, mainly, to eating low fat, higher protein. I’m losing weight again and can get back into 36s but still can’t come close to 34s.
I am, nonetheless, still testing this. I’ve been buying suet, cooking it, adding it to meals. Again, though, if I don’t eat much of it, I get no benefit. Or if I get a benefit, it’s small. I have not yet eaten enough suet to get a large satiety effect.
If I know I’m going to fast the next day, I will try to eat higher saturated fat, normally through cacao butter and dark chocolate on some type of small amount of dairy (like ricotta now). I’m going to try another TKD, maybe with stearic acid ghee and spaghetti squash.
But overall, I’m trying to eat less fat.