Setting up an N=1 test of Ted Naiman versus Amber O'Hearn's protein theories

(Bob M) #1

Hi All,

I have been using higher protein keto diet for a while now, ever since I bought a CGM to prove Ted Naiman wrong, intending to prove that protein causes a blood sugar rise. I not only did not prove him wrong (no BS rise I could find), I decided I liked higher protein overall.

I, however, am not as religious as he is about it. He said on Twitter that he eats more protein in grams than in fat+carbs. I do not. For instance, I’ll eat a very high amount of protein for my lunches, particularly after lifting, but will eat whatever we have for dinner. If my wife makes bacon-wrapped chicken thighs, I eat those. I’m sure this doesn’t meet Ted’s P:E (protein:energy) ratio, or at least is “bad” on this chart:

Let’s do some calculations. His P:E of 2.5 (barely into the “fat loss” spectrum) is about 2.5g protein to 1g fat.

By comparison, Amber O’Hearn and others are advocating 1g protein to 2g fat. That’s about 0.5 P:E on Ted’s scale which puts one into the “fat gain” spectrum.

I’m thinking two weeks, one week of high P:E and one week of low P:E (high fat). I was originally thinking two weeks, with a one week washout period between them, but I realize that this is too long. For me to do this, I basically have to make all my meals myself. I typically make about 30% of the meals, and my wife makes the other 70%. This N=1 test would require making those myself and also eating completely differently from what the family eats. I also have to weigh everything, both food and myself. I currently do not test anything. No scale either for food or me, no ketones, no blood sugar, no nothing.

Here is what I plan to test:

  1. Blood sugar, probably using a FreeStyle Libre CGM, with pinprick blood strips too (the US model of FSL requires calibration with strips).
  2. Ketones using Keto Mojo, maybe 3-4 times per day.
  3. Scale weight
  4. Some official blood tests, one starting on Monday of the first protocol, one the next Monday when starting the second protocol, one the final Monday when ending the second protocol
  5. I may have a “diary” to record things such as constipation, overall feeling of hunger/fullness, or anything else

I was planning on being carnivore without dairy to remove possible complications.

My questions:

a) What blood tests should I get? I was thinking blood sugar, insulin. Not sure what else. I don’t think lipids would be useful.
b) Should I randomize selection of the two protocols? I currently eat some plants, so I was thinking if carnivore causes a benefit, and that benefit occurs the second week, then it could be carnivore, not the protocol.
c) How the heck do you get a 1g protein to 2g fat meal? A rib eye is only 1g protein to 1.26g fat, which means I’d need to get more fat:

Even pork shoulder, which I’ve always thought was very fatty, only has 17.5g protein and 12g fat in 100g:

d) How do I factor in the quality of food, or can I? For instance, to eat high protein, I will often eat beef liver, beef heart, shrimp, mussels, etc. Those are very nutrient dense and more dense than, say, rib eye. In other words, if I ate beef liver when trying to get high fat, I really have to add a lot of fat.

e) I typically try to get in one 36 hour fast and one 22 hour fast (basically OMAD, though sometimes this turns into a time range and not a single meal), and then two meals a day on all other days. I follow my body and eat when hungry. I was planning on doing this during both tests, but I’m not sure whether this would be helpful, as then the tests are going to be 6 days instead of 7. However, these plans also have to fit into my lifestyle, and this is currently my lifestyle. Do I drop the 36/22 hour fasts.

Here’s what I guess will happen: I won’t like either one. I think Ted’s high protein is too restrictive for most people. In the past when I’ve eaten high fat, I have had digestive issues, and I think the lack of protein is troubling to me.

I’ll update this with calculations for a 2,500 calorie a day diet for both the above, though right now, I’m having difficulty calculating that. :grinning: I think my run this morning is getting to me, as I’m getting hungry. I may not come back to this for a while, as we have a busy weekend (painting patches on walls, closing the pool, seeing a movie, going to an amusement park, church…).

(Erin Macfarland ) #2

Oh can’t wait to hear the results!!

(Cancer Fighting Ketovore :)) #3


My new FSL does NOT require fingersticks for calibration. I have a US 14-day one, instead of the 10. They just recommend fingersicks during the first 12 hours. I’ve been experimenting with cutting out veggies, but not going full carnivore (still drinking cream and eating cheese, and sauces).

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #4

FWIW. My fat:protein gram ratio is currently 2.93, which puts me at 0.32 on Naiman’s scale. I have been at this ratio for about 8 months. I have not gained any fat during that time. In fact I have lost fat slowly but steadily over the last 2.5 years with fat:protein gram ratios within Naiman’s ‘Fat Gain’ range. Not working for me. My current body fat is approx 13-14% and fat/lean mass 20/124 pounds.

(mole person) #5

Yup. I’m the same as @amwassil. The higher my fat ratio the more I lose fat (which I’m actively trying not to at this point).

(Karen) #6

Ditto. Love to hear your results. Wish you were an older female though. :joy::stuck_out_tongue::rofl:

(Cancer Fighting Ketovore :)) #7

I’m wondering if you should have some kind of short fast before the first week and then between the first and second weeks. I feel, from my experience, that what I’ve been doing right before I eat/fast effects the results, so perhaps some kind of “rest/reset” should happen. For the purpose of a clean slate, of sorts.

(L. Amber O'Hearn) #8

Bob, for the record, I do not advocate 2:1. I don’t eat that way myself. I eat ad libitum, and it’s usually 1:1, but it varies a lot. I advocate for finding your own sweet spot, and I’m actually pretty much against rigid macro rules, unless you have a strong medical reason for them. I am pro listening to your body and responding by eating protein when you need protein, fat when you need fat, not eating when you aren’t hungry, and gorging when you are ravenous.

I have been talking about 2:1 because it has a different physiological result in many people, for reasons that are backed by science experiments dating back decades, and I think it’s very important that Ted’s followers realise that more protein isn’t always better for fat loss. Many people have reported trying higher fat and getting better results and saying they had no idea that they should even try it. My whole point is to let people know it’s an option, and that Ted’s rules don’t necessarily apply to everyone.

However, there are other people who really do feel better and lose more fat on higher protein. They tend to be very lean already, and male, and lifting heavy, but this is not always the case. For example, Less Antman was already lean and a very active dancer, and he lost weight by going 2:1 for a little while.

One important thing to know about 2:1 is that it usually makes you satiated at way lower calorie levels, so I think trying to eat the same calories on 2:1 as on 1:1 will make you feel awful. The experiment I’d encourage is to eat ad libitum both ways and see (a) how many calories you eat and (b) if your body composition changes.

(Bob M) #9

This is a quick update. I plan on doing this as soon as I can. I may try getting a lean cut of beef (top round, say), then adding fat to it to either get low or high P:E ratios. I need a source of beef fat/suet, and I have not had time to research this (and the local farm hasn’t said they have my fat ready for me yet).

Unfortunately, I chose the time my wife and I decided to paint our kid’s rooms and to finish a door project. So, each past weekend, I’ve been working the entire weekend, then falling into bed exhausted. Today (Monday), I have to drill into a door to install a bottom sound-deadening device, carry that door up, install it, then take off another door, put it in the garage and onto the saw horses, and paint both doors that are in the garage. And that’s after I get home at 7:15pm. And I’ll continue to do this each night until all 5 doors are painted from the kid’s bedrooms.

The good news is we have a 3-day weekend coming up, and I hope we are finished painting.

One reason I’m looking into this is because I have been getting cold again while fasting. In fact, I couldn’t fast because I was too cold. I went to a Polish Deli and got some “bacon”, which is basically lunch meat that’s not as fatty as true bacon as we know it, but is quite fatty. I had a “snack” of this (unusual for me to eat more than 2 meals a day) – And I suddenly got warm. Hmmm…by eating super high protein, maybe I’m actually starving myself of fuel, if protein is used for repair and fat for fuel.

(Bob M) #10

Still working on painting. See the “after” shot of one room below:

If someone says you can paint a room in a weekend, don’t let them fool you. We started last weekend with (major and minor) patching, then had to fill in nail holes in the quarter round (put in over wood floors we had installed when we moved in), sanding, kilz, then we started on the ceiling. We bought some Home Depot ceiling paint that was like water. We had previously accidentally bought some Benjamore Moore “Chatilly Lace” in Matte, which was for the walls but was an accident (it doesn’t clean well). The salesman told us to use that on the ceiling, and use the same color but in eggshell on the walls. This was a great idea, as you don’t have to be concerned as much with the transition between walls and ceiling. But after painting the walls, ceiling, trim, closets, in a house that’s over 20 years old and has never been painted since the first crappy paint was installed, it’s a tough paint job. The original paint was so bad that the kids used tape to tape things to the wall. When we removed the tape, this took off all the paint to the drywall’s paper, which had to be patched. We had tons of those to patch.

Anyway, I might be done this week and start getting my supplies (strips, GCM, beef fat, etc.) this week or maybe next week.

(Bunny) #11


Taking into account The Placebo Effect? (An Open Dialogue with Alan Levinovitz on Miracle Cures - Amber O’Hearn )


[1] “…Another useful – but underused – blood sugar marker is fructosamine. Fructosamine is a compound that results from a reaction between fructose and ammonia or an amine. Like A1c, it’s a measure of average blood sugar concentrations. But instead of measuring the previous 12 weeks like A1c, fructosamine measures the previous 2-3 weeks. And unlike A1c, fructosamine is not affected by the varying length of red blood cell lifespans in different individuals. Fructosamine is especially useful in people who are anemic, or during pregnancy, when hormonal changes cause greater short-term fluctuations in blood glucose levels.

To put the most accurate picture together, I like to have all four: fasting blood glucose, A1c, post-meal glucose and fructosamine. But if I only had to choose one, it would definitely be post-meal glucose? …” …More

(Bob M) #12

I have thought about getting a fructosomine level for a while, so I can add that.

Based on my testing of eating just meat, post-meal glucose will be useless. I’ve eaten a pound of ground meat, for instance, with zero blood sugar change. I’ve eaten massive amounts of protein in single meals, with nary a change (within limits of the CGM).

I think where glucose might come in is an overall raised (or lowered) level of glucose, but then, we’d have to determine what that means and if it’s “bad” or “good”. Thus, most assume higher protein = higher glucose overall, but at least with respect to my morning blood glucose, this does not seem to be valid.

(Bob M) #13

I haven’t forgotten about this. I’m still mired each weekend on home projects. Yesterday’s project, fit three closets with LED lighting:

The way these work is when you open the right door, you trip a magnetic switch (see black switch protruding downward from upper right of the closet opening), which turns on the lights. This closet is wired so you have to open the right door. So, you don’t need to turn anything on or off. My daughter has a similar closet, but I wired hers so that if she opens the right door, the right set of lights come on, and if she opens the left door, the left set of lights come on. I also did a closet in our kitchen, which is the closet where we keep our non-refrigerated food. Then, I had to help get ready for company.

Today, I installed two outlets that I could control using Alexa, so my daughter could control some things and I could control a small heater. I then removed an old pull-out trash container in our kitchen and installed a new one.

I did get some ketone strips and blood sugar strips though. I also tested eating fat by itself (will be very hard to do).


@ctviggen Did you end up experimenting these two approached and document your results and measurements? Iw ould be very interested in seeing it.