Stop telling newbies to eat more fat!

(Mark) #147

If you train your body to burn protein, what do you think happens when you sleep??? :wink:

(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #148

The body produces ketones during the nightly fast.


I have been ketoing since late last year and doing all the ‘right’ things - not calorie counting, fat to satiety, bacon on tap, eating until comfortably sated.
How much weight have I lost??

So, I cut out dairy - made a small difference for a short while, but the two kilos that left me then came back with a couple of their friends.

Increased the amount of veggies I am eating, no nuts, good quality fatty proteins, and of course fat - lots of fat.
No weight lost.
In fact I am four kilos heavier than when I started late last year!!!

This is enough to drive a girl to drink and in fact I have replaced my evening meal with a glass of dry white wine to see if that helps.
It didnt.

So I have been searching through the interwebs for some answers.
I came across this graph from Virta Health.
I have a huge amount of respect for the folks at Virta Health - people like Sarah Hallberg, Steve Phinney, Jeff Volek, Peter Attia. These guys know what they are talking about and have the runs on the board with T2D reversal results.

image.jpg610x577 57.9 KB

Link to Virta article with this graph 1

If this is correct, then those of us that are not losing weight on this WOE may be eating at the right hand side of the graph rather than the left hand side.
I understand the need to provide fat initially for an energy source, but I think I may have found the reason why I am not losing weight, and I wonder if this resonates with anyone else.

I do recall Eric Westman saying once that if your body is HF your diet only needs to be LC.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #150

Yep. Some people will argue that how much fat you consume doesn’t matter. It certainly, certainly does.

(allie elwell) #151

I am a lean, mean, machine. I have been all my life. I did not go on Keto
to lose weight. I wanted to replace sugar energy with fat energy. I have
done so much research on cholesterol because I have been brainwashed.
It has taken 7 months to get the facts into my brain. So thanks for this
post. It was the last clue I needed.

(allie elwell) #152

I watched your video and read all 159 replies. A really helpful discussion.
But I have LDL-P of 3000 and LDL-C of 261. According the analogy this
is 3000 dump trucks carrying 261 tons of sand. I had the particle test done
and it came back as small. By every indication I should have heart disease.
I do not. I have added protein back into my diet. Like you said no one really
overeats the protein. I did make an appointment with a cardiologist and I am
going to ask him to do the calcium test for the heart artery to see if it is really
clogged. I am 80 and the first cholesterol test was done 33 years ago. I did
not take statins for 23 years and then did take them for 10 years and just
stopped and went on Keto to control triglycerides which were never controlled
very well with the statin drugs. I think I read that in your previous life you loved
sugar. Me too. I have been a desert first person since I was a child and my
parents indulged me. I hated milk, eggs and bread and most healthy foods.
And yet I am extraordinarily healthy. I have done research on body inflammation because I have read that cholesterol repairs cells. And that
the higher the cholesterol the more repairs you need. That does not seem
to be true for me. I have no inflammation except for one foot with mild arthritis
which does not keep me from walking 6 miles a day. I take no medication,
my blood pressure is normal, I never have headaches, nor any kind of stomach problem. I sleep 9 hours a night. I liked what you said about this
being a lifestyle and my major source of entertainment was going out eating
and drinking. And when I do I usually go off the diet. I found your wife’s
cookbook and I see fat bombs. I am addicted to one recipe which is half
coconut oil and half peanut butter. I just modified the recipe using extra crunchy peanut butter which has carbs. They taste just like a Mr. Goodbar.

(MLD) #153

Having just watched this as well as gone back to Part 1, just want to say thanks for posting the link. Strongly recommend it to others.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #154

So I’m the OP and I’ve been beating this drum for a while, and across numerous threads, and I even brought it to Ketofest Down Under in Canberra in September. @richard and @carl seemed surprised that so many people think that calories don’t matter. This idea that you should just eat more and more fat on a keto diet is contra to all the science, contra to all the leading “keto” figures like Phinney and Westman, and just doesn’t make sense. Calories do count – even on a ketogenic diet. But, as Westman says, you don’t have to count them.

Here’s the Westman clip that the Dudes just posted from last Ketofest in New London, and I’ve transcribed the relevant part:

“Next mistake I see is that people don’t realize that a zero carb oil has calories in it. So while if you just watch this list of foods or read something you might say, ‘it’s zero carbs, I can have as much as I want, it doesn’t matter,’ well yes, calories DO matter, and the high calorie items like creams and oils and mayonnaise and cheese ARE LIMITED. So that might be a common mistake that you’re doing, you have to limit those, just because calories do matter, and the total amount of calories typically goes down, and that’s why people lose weight compared to what they were eating before.”
Eric Westman, from 19:00 in the below clip

I was ridiculed on these forums (and probably supra, in this thread) for noting the most obvious point – that the reason people lose weight on LCHF diets is really that their appetite goes down. And here you have Westman making exactly this point, and noting that you simply have to limit creams and oils etc. This has always been his prescription. It’s Westman’s version of LCHF that I started doing, and it’s found in the appendix to Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes, and it’s ALWAYS limited the high-calorie items.

So honestly, the next time you hear keto dogma, from these religious types, saying that calories don’t count, and telling newbies to eat more fat if they’re not losing weight, you should knock some sense into them by posting this clip (or a link to this post.) If you really believe in eating unlimited fat then you’re really not being scientific, and honestly you’re no better than the anti-vaxxers and the climate skeptics. Some of the newbies in here who are eating 80% fat are being misinformed and they should be sent clips of Phinney talking about how overweight and obese people eating ad libitum LCHF diets will self-limit to a much lower percentage of fat, and their diet will LOOK like a high protein diet because – remember, the Dudes say this every podcast – they’re eating the fat on their body from the Krispy Kreme donut they ate a decade ago.

TL;DR: If you’re a newbie, don’t listen to people who tell you to eat more fat. In fact, eat less fat, and stop thinking you have to eat to some arbitrary "macros."


(Chris - #155

Love it. Thanks for the rant. Calories absolutely DO matter, the problem for most is that the amount of calories burned in a given time period is different given the context of their diet, activity level, hormones, etc to the point that it’s so complicated most people give up counting. For instance, if you asked your typical gym rat about calories in vs. out, is he/she going to count their own bodyfat into their macro calculation or TDEE? Probably not. But it’s just one of many factors that go into the grand thermodynamic equation.

(Doug) #156

Gabe, agreed that in the long run eating “more” fat can lead to the body burning it, rather than burning stored fat, resulting in less or no weight loss. For newbies, though, eating more fat may get them through the period of fat-adaptation and possibly prevent them from feeling really crappy; it’s later on that the weight loss or not becomes more important.

I do think it’s silly to make blanket statements about “calories not mattering.” Seems like this is a never-ending loop, people not realizing that caloric burn can change (as with a slowing metabolism), and that it’s also storage and excretion on the “out” side (as in ‘calories in/calories out’), not just calories used for energy.

(Diane) #157

I agree. I got very hungry to begin with as my body wasn’t getting the carbohydrate/glucose it was expecting for fuel. It is also really hard for many newbies to figure out HOW to add more fat since we (the public) have been indoctrinated with the low fat dogma for decades. There is a mental shift that has to happen for many of us until we stop fearing fat. I think some of the advice for newbies to “add more fat” is just this.

I might need to state that I don’t disagree with Gabe either (because I don’t want to appear acrimonious). When I want help getting over the hump to start an extended fast, I deliberately up my fat intake for 2 to 4 days until I get to the point that I’m not hungry at all for a day. When I don’t eat breakfast or lunch and don’t feel the least bit hungry at dinner time, I know it’s time to start my fast. My appetite is self adjusting on those occasions.

(carl) #158

There is some subtlety required here… Newbies need to become fat adapted. They need to eat more fat in order to do this. Once you become fat adapted you only need to eat fat to satiety. So, telling a newbie to eat less fat is just as bad as telling a fat-adapted human to eat all the fat they want.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #159

I think we’re all pretty much in agreement!

(Richard Morris) #160

Actually the reason people lose weight is that they are able to use the energy they have stored. Losing appetite is just a side effect, not a lever.

Think of it this way, why does a perfectly functioning human store an extra 100 lbs, and appear to be hungry ALL THE TIME, and lethargic. That is a paradox. If that man is fat, he must have energy. Why does he want more? Why does he just have no energy?

The answer to this paradox is that something in his body is STOPPING him from using that energy. So his body is starving at a cellular level. That is why he is hungry. That is why he has no energy.

Imagine a bathtub, with the faucet open and filling the tub - that is energy coming into the system - that’s how much food you are eating. The water going down the drain is energy being used - how much energy you use to do all the things you do during the day, but mostly how much energy you use to do all the things you don’t notice like growing hair, and heating your body, running your immune system, and thousands of other things. The level of water in the tub is how much energy is stored in the system - fat that your body stores for a rainy day.

Let’s say that energy coming into the system is perfectly matched to how much energy is exiting the system. There may be a little stored in the system, but it’s not growing or shrinking, everything is managed by a homeostasis - like temperature in a thermostatically controlled room. That’s the ideal right. It’s how modern humans have fueled themselves for 300,000 years.

Now imagine someone drops a hand washer in the tub and it blocks the drain.
What happens? The energy keeps coming in, but it’s coming in to the tub faster than it’s going out the blocked drain, and now the tub is rapidly filling and eventually it can hold no more water and now it’s overflowing all over the floor.

You have deranged the homeostasis so that the energy entering the system is no longer matched to the energy exiting the system.

That’s type 2 diabetes. The hand washer is insulin. It inhibits your ability to get fatty acids into your mitochondria to be turned into energy.

Eat a low carb diet, and you pull the hand washer from the drain. That is why you lose weight. Not because you turned down the faucet, but because you returned the system to a state where the homeostasis was no longer deranged.

This is why the amount of food you eat (as long as you eat to satiety and not beyond or before), or exercise you do really doesn’t matter, those are just both inputs into the homeostasis.

The problem comes when you say to yourself, I still have too much energy stored in the system so I must put my thumb on the scale and turn down the faucet of energy coming in. What happens in this bathtub, is that when you turn down the faucet the drain get’s smaller. You lose a little body fat when you eat short of satiety, but you also get hungrier and your metabolism drops, and you use lean tissue to make up the arrears. Your body fights back.

That is why “Calories do matter” is a silly statement. It’s like saying that water does matter to our bathtub.

(Vladaar Malane) #161

I would say stop telling people what not to say? This is Murica!

LoL, no you have valid points, but then again each person is different and they might not be keeping track of their macros well. So suggesting they eat more fat, might be a good idea, or just something they can keep in the back of their mind if what they are doing doesn’t work.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #162

@richard that’s Eric Westman’s statement, you can tell him if you like! :laughing:

You make a very good point, and I don’t think there’s any daylight between nearly any of us currently commenting. We all agree. Taubes (and others) have made a similar point to your bathtub analogy. Of course “energy balance” doesn’t explain fat regulation in the body; that’s why we’re all eating low carb.

The devil is in the detail. You parenthetically said “as long as you eat to satiety and not beyond or before.” I think many of us have found that it’s very easy to overconsume fat. Like, I can toss half a stick of butter into a roast, or I can put a couple of pats, and honestly I’ll still eat the same amount of meat – just, in the first instance, with way more butter in the cook.

My point here – and at Ketofest Down Under when I beat this drum during Q&A and you and @carl agreed with me – is that simply telling people to eat more fat is a problem, and I see it way too much, especially now that “keto” has gone mainstream. People need to understand Phinney’s diagram (below), which you’ve discussed on the podcast. Nobody who’s got a substantial amount of fat to lose should be eating 70-90% of their calories as fat right at the beginning; they’re going to reach satiety at a much lower fat “macro,” and their diet is going to look really high protein – again, as Phinney has noted.

That’s really the sum total of what I’m saying, and I think the reason there’s so much contention over this point is that mentioning the word “calorie” triggers us immediately to think of CICO/energy balance and the last few decades of official misinformation on the subject of nutrition.

(Adam Kirby) #163

I think where this whole keto thing has gone off the rails is the whole concept of macros to begin with. It’s done nothing but create neuroses in people. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong but old-school plans like Atkins didn’t talk about macros, they focused on what foods to eat and what foods to avoid. And guess what, the foods to mainly eat were meat and non-starchy vegetables, not fucking bulletproof coffees.

The biohacker contingent definitely has a lot to answer for, for making people obsessed with “hitting their fat macro”. And that nonsense has trickled down to mainstream keto thought.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #164


(Carl Keller) #165

When I first started keto, satiety required lots of fat. I literally had to eat less if I ate a lot of fat. Fat kept me from being hungry for longer. This helped me become fat adapted very quickly and I will not hesitate to recommend the same to hew Ketoers. If you are hungry, eat fat. When you are fat adapted, it’s not that necessary.

(Jane) #166


^^^ THIS is what it’s all about