Protein-rich Diet (Liver Shrinking Diet) vs PSMF



Say a ketogenic person can fast for 5 days at any given time because of ample body fat stores. They decide to set out on a 5 day fast but change their mind on day 1 due to a family gathering so they just keep eating keto over those 5 days. Wouldn’t any fat they consume over those 5 days be considered “excess”? You already have what you need but you want more, that is what excess means I think.

When you talk about different parts of the elephant I agree, that being said Phinney has a background in performance athletics and not so much in weight loss if I recall correctly. The same cannot be said for Naiman. Or Atkins. I’ll say it, I think Phinney’s idea of satiety is relevant only to those who achieve ideal body weight. During the journey to get there something is missing. Too many keto guru’s are stalled out hard and have no clue why.

(Doug) #22

Very true, Adam. I do think the basics are there - fat, protein, and not many carbs at all. I would extend things to say that there will be a “too much protein” point for all or almost all of us.

Totally agree, and the “erring on the side of too much protein” deal is strong - I don’t see it much on this forum, but among some other communities like keto weight-lifters it’s quite prevalent.

Fat - just recently I’ve noticed some people saying they can eat fat, and eat fat, and eat fat… Others say a couple little pieces of butter satisfies them and really knocks down their hunger.

(Adam Kirby) #23

I absolutely think that eating to satiety is no guarantee of fat loss. What the disagreement seems to be, is whether it’s the actual eating to satiety that is to blame, or your underlying hormones are leaving you stalled out hard. In the former, macro shifting should work, or simply eating less. But if a stall is due to an insulin equilibrium being reached, that has to be addressed before any macros.

And guess what, both of these types of stalls probably exist. We have tons of examples of people switching their macros and having success, and tons of examples of people who try everything and are still stalled. And then we have people like @KetoLikeaLady who appear to have excellent hormones and have also tried protein and fasting strategies, and STILL have had no lasting success! You can’t accuse her of not fasting hard enough, she has tried basically everything.


Are you suggesting they eat no fat? This has been discussed many times already on the forum. I am pretty sure @richard has a wall of text on it somewhere!

I don’t see anything to be gained by worrying about what other people do or should/shouldn’t do. Figure out what works for you and do that.

So the solution to this is to eat below satiety - ie always be hungry?

(G. Andrew Duthie) #25

By definition, such a person would need to have relatively low insulin, or they would not be able to pull off a 5-day fast without fat supplementation.

No, because fasting is not the same as eating, and see above, the context of insulin levels is critical here.

To elaborate. If you’re fasting, even if you supplement with fat, you are consuming nothing that is apt to drive insulin higher. If you’re eating, you are likely getting at least trace carbs, and likely consuming protein, which can itself be insulinogenic (yes, there is disagreement as to the extent, and whether this is true in the context of a low-carb diet). So if your basal insulin is already on the high side, and you are eating rather than fasting, the end result can be less access to your stored body fat while eating. Which means you actually need more plate fat, not less, or your body will respond by dialing back metabolic activity.

Well, I’m not sure any of us have a fool-proof definition of what “ideal body weight” even means. If it’s ripped abs like Naiman seems to enjoy showing off, I’ll pass. While I might like to lose a few more pounds, I also value metabolic flexibility. And my personal n=1 experience is that despite not being at what Naiman might call ideal body weight, I find that when I listen, I know when I’ve had enough to eat.

New Keto Term: "Phinney" Weight

Seeing as Phinney is being mentioned, we could always fall back on “Phinney weight”? :smiley:


@devhammer You’ve made some good points, I still don’t fully agree with or understand everything you’re saying but I appreciate you taking the time nonetheless.

What happens during rabbit starvation where the body is forced to use protein as the body’s main fuel source? You survive just fine until your body fat drops to a very low level! Protein can be a fuel, especially when ample minerals and EFA’s are supplemented or targeted. I just don’t get why it’s fat to satiety and not protein to satiety? Fat is the least satiating macro. I’ve seen a lot of info on protein dilution and/or protein leveraging. I can’t say I’ve seen the same about fat. Sure when carbs replaced fat things got worse but that’s not the same thing. Thoughts?

During extreme calorie restriction the body will slow metabolism, but that varies from person to person. And the body cannot usually drop the metabolic rate fast enough to match a major caloric deficit. I’ve always been a bit puzzled when obese people (I used to do it) say things about not wanting to harm their metabolism/BMR as if their metabolism is anything worth protecting. Sometimes things gotta get worse before they get better. I’m fully willing to risk temporarily dropping my BMR by 500 calories per day if it means losing 20-30 lbs of fat. To me that’s a no-brainer but I guess I can see how others don’t agree.


I’m attempting to learn from the experiences of others, if that fits your definition of worrying then so be it.

(Scott Cavendish) #29

I did Lyle McDonalds PSMF from the Rapid Fat Loss ebook. Dropped about 50 lbs in about 3 months. That part was amazing, but the diet itself SUCKED except for the carb refeed days. Had to limit myself to about 800 cal/day super low carb and low fat. Ate a lot of chicken breast and dry salads. Keto is soooo much better WOE.


I don’t doubt that one bit, but 50lbs in 3-months ain’t nothing to sneeze at. If you’re the kind of person who can withstand short-term misery for the sake of long term gain then I’m convinced PSMF is a good option. It’s not for everyone though, I can see that as well.

(Adam Kirby) #31

Did you keep off the fat you lost when you went back to eating normally?

(Scott Cavendish) #32

For about 2 years then it slowly started creeping back up. Used the concept to shed the weight when I really wanted, but only for 10-15 lbs or so. Eventually gained it all back until my wife found keto in Nov 2016 and been eating that way since.


This is an interesting question. I was listening to Lyle McDonald on SSD podcast and he was talking about how there isn’t enough research about maintenance. He claims losing is easy, but keeping it off after PSMF or any other diet is where the real challenge lies. Depending on how you lose the weight there is certainly a BMR issue to some degree. But there also seems to be some serious psychological issues at play.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #34

That’s why I like keto. Starving myself just doesn’t work for me, and I couldn’t keep the weight off long-term if I had to restrict my calories permanently. I like the concept of a well-formulated ketogenic diet as described by Dr. Phinney: moderate protein, carbohydrate below the level that triggers high insulin, and fat to satiety. I can well believe that as my body fat is metabolized, my dietary fat will increase, so that my energy intake remains constant. That seems so easy that even I might be able to manage it! I am terrible at calorie-counting, and eating fat to satiety renders it unnecessary.

The one challenge in this way of eating is the carbohydrate cravings. I get them even when I am clearly not hungry. Fortunately, these forums have taught me ways of dealing with the cravings.

There is also a factor not being mentioned in this discussion, and that is our reasons for eating a ketogenic diet in the first place. We usually approach keto primarily from the point of view of weight loss, but it is important to remember that obesity is not the cause of heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and fatty liver disease, it is as much a result of metabolic disfunction as they are. Those of us who are in need of metabolic health have to approach our food intake from a quite different perspective from those who are primarily or only interested in fat loss.

I admit I have been seduced by loosening pants and ribs that almost show again, but my reason for starting to eat low-carb, high-fat was to avoid metabolic syndrome, or worse, type II diabetes, which runs in my family. I seem to have staved it off, but only in the nick of time. As much as I am interested in tweaking my diet to lose a further fifty pounds or so, I have already achieved my primary goal, so I have to remember that anything I do with my diet must not compromise my metabolic health. If all I were interested in were the weight loss, that might be different.


As for an insulin level high enough to block the burning of body fat, @richard has posted many, many times on this forum a simple chart that illustrates the phenomenon, and has mentioned in most if not all of those posts that his basal insulin level sits at a level too high to allow substantial access to body fat. That obviously doesn’t speak to how “common” it is, but for those who have IR and/or T2DM, I suspect it’s higher than you might think. But that’s just a guess.

But Richard also talks about biking all day, sometimes fasted, and being able to maintain good energy without needing to refuel. He couldn’t do that if his insulin was so high that he had no access to body fat.

(G. Andrew Duthie) #36

There’s a difference between no access and limited access. It’s likely that between fasting and the intense exercise, he is able to drive the insulin level low enough to get sufficient access to fuel the ride.

In other words, while his basal insulin may turn the valve to (or close to) off, that doesn’t mean he can’t turn it on through fasting and/or exercise. In the short term, anyway.

(Solomom A) #37

Or the need for all the excess protein. You choose your energy.

(Adam Kirby) #38

I believe Richard would do his long bike rides at the end of a multi-day fast. He has spoken often about how it used to take him 2-3 days into a fast to stop feeling like crap and start having energy.

(Adam Kirby) #39

That’s the primary issue for me, how to lose body fat in a way that is easily sustainable. I’m sure with my low fasting insulin I could do a PSMF fairly effectively but it just isn’t appealing to me for a result that might not stick around. Others may not mind cutting cycles but it’s not for me. I am lean enough where I would like additional fat loss but don’t mind if it takes a long time. For others a PSMF might be exactly what they need to get where they want.


I’m just getting sick of buying new clothes every 4 months. I want to get to the end already and be done with it lol