Category Archives: Obesity

How To Sleep Your Way To The Top

Champion of the Sun!

“If you’re an average sort of person, 36% of your life will be spent asleep. Which means that if you live to ninety, then thirty-two years—THIRTY-TWO YEARSwill have been spent entirely asleep.”

—Russel Foster, neuroscientist and sleep researcher

Also, if you’re an average sort of person, your response to the above quote was something like this:

Oh. My. God.

Oh. My. God.

I’m going to try to sell you on the idea that you need to make sleep a priority in your life. Over the last few months I’ve been digging through articles, studies, videos, talks, and books that discuss sleep; what happens when we sleep great, and—sometimes even more enlightening—what happens when our sleep sucks.

At the end of the article, I’ll link to some resources for those who would like to delve a bit deeper. For now, though, I realize that if you’re an average sort of person you will ignore those links and read only the article, hoping that I can convince you to make sleep a priority. So here goes.

First, read the opening quote again. Imagine celebrating your ninetieth birthday and realizing that over the course of your life you had been asleep for thirty-two years. That’s fucking insane. That’s longer than many lifetimes, and you were asleep for it! In light of this bit of simple number crunching, it’s pretty obvious that we are not just “on pause” for several hours each night.

The Problem

Here’s what we think is happening each night:

"How do I let them know because of the unfreezing process, I have no inner monologue? I hope I didn't just say that all out loud just now."

“How do I let them know because of the unfreezing process, I have no inner monologue? I hope I didn’t just say that all out loud just now.”

And here’s what’s actually happening each night:

Rube Goldberg

Caution: Blue Balls NOT this fun in real life.

 

Firstly, because of this misconception, it is very, very easy to ignore the importance of sleep. After all, we’re just in some sort of “stasis,” right? Everyone I talk to about sleep agrees verbally that sleep “is important” and that they “need to be sleeping better.” But the conversation never, ever causes any change in their lifestyle or behavior because deep down, they just don’t think sleep is that much of a priority.

Secondly—and even worse—a cultural attitude has developed that belittles sleep and mocks those who value it, often turning sleep deprivation into a badge of honor. You’re probably familiar with the following, usually blurted out with smug, sneering self-satisfaction:

  • “Sleep is for the weak.”
  • “Sleep is for wimps.”
  • “Sleep is a waste of time.”
  • “Money never sleeps.”
  • “There will be plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead.”
  • “I pulled an all-nighter!”
  • “I burn the midnight oil.”

No pain, no gain! When the going gets tough, the tough get going! Early bird gets the worm! Imagine what you could do with all your spare time if you just got up an hour earlier each morning! While you’re sleeping, your competition is hard at work!

Please realize that this rah-rah, tough guy bullshit has no place in a discussion of your optimal health.

It seems well-meaning and harmless, but is actually quite damaging to those who are duped by it. And here’s why.

Why We Need Great Sleep

First, notice I didn’t say “enough” sleep. Great sleep may or may not mean more of it than you’re currently getting. The quality of sleep is far more important than the quantity. Some people have average-quality sleep and should get eight or nine hours. Some people have sleep down to a science—a reproducible, efficient performance—and can make do with five or six.

Also, I didn’t say “good” sleep or “decent” sleep. I said “great” sleep. At the end of the article, I’ll briefly discuss some sleep rules for maximum quality. It won’t be anything innovative or new; Google for more if you’re interested.

What does great, deep sleep look like?

1) You fall asleep quickly.

2) Your sleep is uninterrupted, and if you do happen to wake up, you have no difficulty getting back to sleep.

3) You can wake up without an alarm.

4) When you awake, you feel fresh, ready, and energized.

5) You’re calm, relaxed, focused, and alert all day long.

6) You rarely get sick.

Here’s what great, deep sleep does for you:

1) Allows your body to fully repair and rejuvenate itself.

2) Allows your hormones to be produced and released in the proper order and amounts.

3) Improves your body’s ability to process glucose, stabilizing and normalizing your blood sugar, making you more resistant to diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and metabolic syndrome.

4) Burns off any excess food intake from the previous day as free heat.

5) Permits optimal Leptin signaling, which controls the brain’s oversight of the body’s energy status.

6) Reconstitutes the collagen proteins in your muscles, skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, and organs, allowing the maintenance of structural integrity, elasticity, and resistance to wear-and-tear.

7) Allows your brain to solidify the neural networks that were activated that day, improving learning and memory.

8) Lowers inflammation in the brain and in the periphery, reversing autoimmune disorders and lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer.

9) Regulates dopamine and serotonin, which control the reward centers of your brain.

10) Regulates the chemicals associated with appetite and hunger.

11) Heals any damaged tissue in need of repair.

12) Increases your longevity.

13) Lowers your blood pressure.

14) Improves cognitive function, enhancing your creativity, problem solving, judgement, and critical thinking.

15) Improves athletic performance.

16) Lowers stress levels by modulating your body’s stress response.

17) Improves depression, schizophrenia, and other mental imbalances.

18) Decreases your chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

19) Decreases your chances of becoming obese.

What does shitty sleep look like?

1) You have difficulty falling asleep.

2) You wake up often during the night, and have a hard time getting back to sleep.

3) You wake up hours before the alarm, alert and awake, having only slept for four or five hours.

4) The alarm often doesn’t wake you up.

5) You get to bed after midnight.

6) You awaken in the morning feeling groggy, disoriented, or lethargic.

7) You often crave a midnight snack.

Here’s what shitty sleep does to you:

1) Impairs cognitive function, including memory, reasoning, concentration, and problem solving.

2) Dysregulates daytime energy levels, alternating between excessive lethargy and excessive arousal.

3) Increases your risk of major depression; a history of insomnia has actually been shown to predict future depression.

4) Increases your risk of anxiety and mood disorders.

5) Increases attention lapses and slows reaction time—sleep-deprived drivers have repeatedly exhibited the same level of impairment as drunk drivers.

6) Makes you more likely to show up late for work.

7) Diminishes your enjoyment of family and social life.

8) Makes you more prone to relationship and intimacy issues.

9) Profoundly diminishes the number of immune chemicals produced by your body, compromising its natural defenses and immune response.

10) Increases your blood pressure.

11) Increases your risk of heart disease.

12) Increases your levels of inflammation, as measured by highly-sensitive C-Reactive Protein.

13) Makes you more insulin resistant, reducing your tolerance for glucose and leading to obesity and diabetes.

14) Increases your risk of cancer.

15) Interrupts the function of the endocrine glands (pituitary, adrenal, thyroid, etc.), compromising hormonal production and function throughout the body.

16) Decreases your body’s utilization of body fat for energy.

We Get It

 

The Layman’s Summary

We all have things we’d like to do each day. Realize, though, that each day begins and ends with sleep. If your sleep is not excellent, your days will not be as good as they can be.

You’ll feel better, look better, perform better at work, become more motivated, live longer, have more fun, enjoy a better social life, and have better body composition if you make sleep a priority.

So How Do I Sleep Better?

As I mentioned before, nothing here is new information. You’ve all heard it before, but here are some tips for getting better sleep:

1) No glowing rectangles for one hour before you hit the bed. That means no cell phones, laptops, TV, etc. When your eyes are exposed to artificial light after sundown, especially blue light, the brain responds to that signal by releasing morning/daytime chemicals. These chemicals inhibit the release of the sleep/restoration chemicals that are necessary for a great night of sleep. What should you do before bed? Read, meditate, make love, make love again but with somebody else there this time…the options are plentiful.

2) No food for three to four hours before bed time. Give your body time to finish digesting your dinner. The digestive chemicals that are released in response to food also inhibit the release of the sleep/restoration chemicals that are necessary for a great night of sleep.

3) Make your bedroom a few degrees cooler than the rest of the house. When we sleep, our temperatures must fall. Many of the magical chain reactions that rejuvenate us cannot occur at normal body temperature. Keeping it warm at night is a mistake.

4) Make it pitch black where you sleep; NO light. The eye sees light, tells the brain to wake the hell up, and just like that your sleep is not optimal.

5) Arrange your sleep so that as many hours as possible occur before midnight. A handy rule of thumb is that each hour of sleep that happens before midnight is twice as valuable as each hour that happens after midnight. Your brain knows when the sun has set. This signal initiates the cascade that’s pictured towards the beginning of this article. If you wait too long after sundown, you interrupt your body’s timing and your sleep suffers. Get to bed.

The Day Man

Champion of the Sun!

Champion of the Sun!

You might be wondering: won’t this make me terminally boring? No nights out? No social life? No fun? Not so fast, ye of weak imagination!

Since I implemented these strategies into my own life, my friends and colleagues have taken to calling me the Day Man. I still do everything on my—ahem—social agenda that I’ve always done, only it all happens during the day. With even a little bit of creativity and planning, the switch becomes easy.

Ever throw some bourbon in your coffee at 6:30am following a nine-hour night of badass sleep?

Ever make the time to cook your date dinner and have her over for a 3pm happy hour?

Ever DVR or Netflix your favorite shows and watch them in the morning instead of after dinner?

And then sometimes I go out at night. But it’s the exception, not the rule.

I won’t elaborate any more, but my point is that your work and social life can and will fit around your health requirements. And make no mistake, sleep is a requirement.

Sleep is not a luxury. Sleep is not something that only the lazy or underemployed can afford. It’s essential. If we all spent as much time planning our sleep as we did planning our diet and exercise, we’d be far healthier and less stressed than we currently are.

Think about it.

Some Further Reading

This talk.

This meta-analysis.

This study.

Search for yourself in the SLEEP archives. SLEEP is a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal that compiles all the most pertinent studies on sleep from around the world. Search obesity, depression, glucose regulation, appetite, and schizophrenia for starters.

Hell, just google “Consequences of Insomnia” or “Benefits of Sleep.” Go nuts.

 

 

 

“No More Carbs, Ever” is NOT the Answer

"Mmmm...you smell like the inside-uh mah Momma's purse."

Here’s a quick story:

A woman is driving her car through the countryside late at night. She hears a pop and a bang and pretty soon smoke starts pouring out from under the hood of her car. She pulls over, inspects the damage, and realizes that she’ll need to be towed into town.

After about a half-mile walk, she makes her way to a farm house and starts knocking on the front door. The lights go on inside, there’s some muffled cursing, and finally the farmer opens the door.

She explains her situation and the man replies, “Well, it’s damn-near midnight, and ain’t nobody gonna be open this late. Tell ya what: leave yer car there fer now, sleep on this couch here in the livin’ room, and we’ll getcha on into town tomorrow morning to get yer car all fixed up.” She quickly agrees.

He gives her a blanket, some pillows, and is about to head upstairs when he turns his head sharply. “One thing, Miss. I got two boys upstairs, twin boys. They’re seventeen. They’re my pride and joy and I can’t have some woman messin’ around with ’em, y’understand?!”

“That’s no problem, sir,” she says. “I’ll just get right to sleep and stay down here.” And with that, the farmer makes his way back up to his bedroom.

Well after a little tossing and turning, the woman can’t help herself. She starts thinking about the farmer’s twin sons upstairs, imagining what they might look like

"Mmmm...you smell like the inside-uh mah Momma's purse."

“Mmmm…you smell like the inside-uh mah Momma’s purse.”

and eventually decides that she’ll never get any sleep until she at least goes up there and snoops around.

So she tiptoes upstairs, finds their room, and after a little while things are starting to get hot and heavy. Right before they really get to it, she stops them and pulls two condoms from her pocket.

“You guys know what these are?”

They turn to each other with slack-jawed frowns, then turn back to her and shake their heads.

“You have to wear these,” she explains, “so I don’t get pregnant.” They quickly agree, and off they go.

Forty years later, the two boys—now middle-aged men—are sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch of the house, watching the sun set.

“Say,” says the first brother, “you ‘member that woman ’bout forty years ago come up here with her car broke down and stayed the night?”

A wide grin spreads across the second brother’s face. “Oooohhhh, you ornery devil, I certainly ‘member her. Clear as if it happened yesterday.”

The first brother continues. “Well, do you really care if she gets pregnant?”

“No,” replies the second brother after a moment of reflection, his grin fading. “No, I don’t reckon I do.”

“Well hell, that does it,” says the first brother resolutely. “I’m takin’ this thing off!”

____________________________________________________________________

Now that’s just some old joke, but the lesson is widely applicable. Yes, at the time, it was vital that the two boys throw on some rubbers so the woman wouldn’t get pregnant. Afterwards, it was no longer necessary that they have them on. But, misunderstanding the instructions, they wore the rubbers for forty years.

Similarly, when I tell fat people that excess carbohydrate has made them fat and that they should minimize their intake of carbohydrate, it’s not that they can never eat any carbs again at all, forever. It’s that they need to stop eating carbs now, just for a little bit, as an intervention. Then, when they’re the size they want to be, they should begin reintroducing carbohydrate—from unprocessed starches—being careful to notice if their hunger gets back out of whack, or their energy levels start to dip in the middle of the day, or they start regaining some of the weight. Gradually, they will calibrate themselves to the ideal level of plant carbohydrate for them that results in the desired body composition.

Are carbohydrates bad? Well, shit, I don’t know. I know they’re not necessary for human survival. Fat is. Protein is. Yet there is no such thing as an Essential Carbohydrate. We have Essential Amino Acids and Essential Fatty Acids. But nothing about Essential Carbohydrates of any kind. To be clear: humans do not require carbohydrate. For anything. At the same time, to be clear: the fact that carbohydrates are not essential is not proof that they cannot be beneficial.

Bad, though? Maybe, maybe not. Some people can tolerate them. But as I mentioned in this post, we should not be trying to figure out what we can tolerate; we should instead be more interested in what’s best. The way I put it to my clients is that no, these things are not poisonous, but if you’re interested in losing weight there doesn’t seem to be any GOOD reason to eat them. A sustainable way of eating treats food as medicine and as metabolic/hormonal information for your body. So, everything you eat should have a purpose and be eaten for a reason. And if you hold all the food you eat to this high standard— “is this helping me stay healthy and vital and lean?” —carbohydrates rarely make the cut.

Also, what goes for one person doesn’t necessarily go for another. So a blanket statement of “Carbs Are Always Bad!” is not really helping. If you are one of the people who has gotten fat, though, the very first culprit you should suspect is excess carbohydrate intake. Obesity is seemingly impossible in the absence of carbohydrate.

Yet many have lived long, happy lives eating a wide variety of plants, including starchy, carb-filled ones. And while I will be the first to point out that a fat person needs to severely restrict their carbohydrate intake to become regular-sized, I find it hard to argue against a diet of animals and plants (this unfortunately excludes grains). Some have suggested that carbs are okay so long as they’re in season. I can get behind that.

Eat strictly and optimally to quickly reach your desired body composition. But then what? Sometimes you have to embrace your modern life. Optimal? Maybe not. But so long as I am able to maintain my ideal shape, I’m going to have some bourbon, some delicious beers, and some occasional desserts. Might take a few years off the back end of my life, but I plan on living a looooong time. No sweat!

To get less fat: cut carbs. Once you’re regular-sized, eat animals and plants, including starches. Great for your gut microbiome, full of beneficial nutrients, and helps control hunger.

Sugar and Grain: NO

Potatoes, carrots, beets, rice, beans: YES.

Several thousands of generations of our ancestors lived through Ice Ages and innumerable hardships without any carbohydrate at all, and we are perfectly equipped to lead full and healthy lives without them. But in the 21st century, don’t be the person who, having maintained the desired body composition for decades through strict elimination of carbohydrate, realizes that he could have been enjoying reasonable amounts of starchy carbohydrate foods this whole time and finally exclaims, “That does it; I’m takin’ this thing off!”

The Genetic Royalty

Like this fellow.

I mentioned something in one of my previous posts that evoked a strong response from several readers. So after getting several questions about it, I’d like to expand on it a bit more here.

If you’ve read my posts up until this point, you might assume that I believe everyone is really, really fat. They all have a Carbohydrate Allergy. Everyone has this affliction, it’s a world-wide (emphasis on wide) problem, and it’s an emergency.

Well, the truth is that there is a huge portion of the population, almost half, in fact, to whom this blog will be of no practical use. These people—who number in the hundreds of millions—have never been fat, aren’t currently getting fat, and will very likely remain thin for the rest of their lives. That’s right; even as they eat pasta, bread, sugar, and pretty much anything else that they like, they will maintain their completely normal and acceptable levels of body fat.

I call these people Assholes The Genetic Royalty.

A member of the Genetic Royalty, pictured here in his natural habitat, about to eat a jar of nutella and stare at his abs.

A member of the Genetic Royalty, pictured here in his natural habitat. He’s about to eat a jar of nutella, fill his bathtub with Nilla Wafers, and stare at his abs while he takes his cookie bath and burns calories for fun.

The Genetic Royalty have special privileges. They may eat, with impunity, the types of foods that would aggressively alter the appetite and fat cell regulation of an individual who was allergic to carbohydrate.

There is a vast constellation of hormones and neurotransmitters—”brain messengers”—that regulate all the body’s processes, including fat storage and processing. The starting levels of these hormones at birth and as you grow up are set genetically by your choice of ancestors (choose wisely!). After that, they are altered epigenetically by your environment, including the food you eat, your lifestyle, your behavior, your circadian rhythm, the social interactions you have, your location on the Earth, and even the technology you use, to name a few. Many people have a regulatory process that has broken down. The Genetic Royalty are those in whom the process still works, even in the face of bad choices, because they have not yet managed to fuck up their impeccable selection of ancestors with their current environment. Naturally, these people will attribute their good health, leanness, longevity, and anything else they can think of to their lifestyle choices, many of which are not even under their conscious control.

The Genetic Royalty do not binge. It never crosses their minds to eat when they’re not actually hungry.

If the Genetic Royalty temporarily override their natural inclinations and eat a large amount for fun, say at a wing-eating contest or a Holiday Weekend, they will effortlessly and subconsciously reduce their intake during the following days to compensate. And when you ask them if they’re “making up for” their weekend by purposely “cutting back” the following week, they’ll shake their heads.

“No,” they’ll say, “I just haven’t been that hungry lately.”

What a bunch of Assholes Genetic Royalty!

The Genetic Royalty cannot understand what the big deal is with fat people struggling to become regular-sized people. Truth be told, even though they’re perfectly nice people a small part of them can’t help but think of fat people as second-class citizens, their over-weight being a lifestyle choice that is under complete conscious control.

The vast majority of the Genetic Royalty are part of the calories in/calories out crowd; and really, who can blame them?

If you’ve been thin your whole life, have never had any difficulty controlling hunger, have always been able to stop eating when you approach satiety, and have been repeatedly told that fat people are fat “because they eat too much,” you could come to no other conclusion about your fellow Americans who are—inexplicably—super fat.

Keep in mind that I’m talking about the vast majority of the Genetic Royalty. I know several of them that are fully aware of the actual causes of obesity.

I’m talking about the person who was always in great shape, decided to make a career out of it, got a college degree in kinesiology or physical therapy or athletic training or physiology or something, and now thinks that he knows something about why people get fat.

I’m talking about your well-meaning but misinformed skinny family member telling you that “skipping breakfast isn’t good for you, bro.”

I’m talking about the ripped guy working at GNC who earnestly informs you that you shouldn’t cut out carbs because “they give you quick energy” and “you should eat a balanced diet.”

I’m talking about your friend who gives fat loss advice, unsolicited, on Facebook.

I’m talking about the person who tells you you’re getting “too skinny” when you finally begin to lose your excess fat. No no no no, Fuck YOU.

Unfortunately, it’s only when something no longer works that you begin looking for answers. With enough time and enough of the wrong choices, even members of the Genetic Royalty can begin to get fat. When this happens, they begin to….[drum roll please]….Eat Less and Exercise More!!

Even Optimus Prime thinks you're fucking up.

Even Optimus Prime thinks you’re fucking up.

Not so Royal now, are you? Weird, right? You’re hungry, huh. What’s that? It worked for a couple months but then your sleep started to suck, you got depressed, you had weird binges, and you got plantar fasciitis from all the cardio? I thought all you had to do was Eat Less and Exercise More! Well I’ve got great news—there’s a better way.

This blog—and the Fat Loss Map—is not for those who effortlessly maintain their perfect shape and size. Good for you guys, but you don’t need my help and so I have a different demographic to reach.

If you are fat, you are not part of the Genetic Royalty. You suffer from a Carbohydrate Allergy and should not pay any attention to anything that they have to say about it. Not because they can’t relate, but because they’re fucking clueless. They literally do not know what they’re talking about, yet have the balls to talk to you like they’re experts.

What a bunch of Genetic Royalty Assholes.

There’s a silver lining, though. Since I became regular-sized, I’ve gotten many, many comments from people I’ve just met that imply that I have “lucky genes” or that it “must be nice” to not have to struggle with my weight. This makes me smile, and when I take out my phone and show them what I used to look like, they are often at a loss. “That’s called ‘Cognitive Dissonance,'” I tell them. “Trying to hold two mutually exclusive ideas in your mind at the same time. On one hand, you think I can only be thin like this—and you can only be fat like that—because of genetics or other things that are out of your control. And on the other hand, I’ve just proven to you that it is completely under your control.”

That’s my point: it is completely under your control. Epigenetics (google it) is how your behaviors and thoughts affect your genes, and it is far more powerful than the genetics you were born with. In other words, everyone is given different cards, but not only can you skillfully play the cards you were dealt, you can change them into different cards altogether.

Like this fellow.

Like this fellow.

There is a way to get from wherever you are to wherever you want to be. The only person you should ever compare yourself to is your previous self. As long as you’re doing better than that guy or gal, you’re moving in the right direction. Now get off your ass and go make some meat.

How To Get Taller

Because it's funny to me, that's why.

Imagine clicking on this link, being directed to this page, and actually being given advice for becoming taller. Sounds absurd, right?

But wait! It turns out that the advice is legit because the person giving the advice is this guy on the right:

"Seriously, give me back my fucking beans."

“Seriously, give me back my fucking beans.”

There. You feel better now, right? You’ll dutifully go about all of the various activities that you now know—based on his advice—are required in order to become taller.

What’s wrong with the above scenario? Consider this quote from Arthur Jones:

“The fact that somebody else can produce a certain degree of results does not mean that you can do the same…and it does not mean that the method used to produce those results was the best method, or even a good method.”

If you see two guys who got from Rhode Island to Colorado, and you want to go from Rhode Island to Colorado, you’ll do exactly what they did, right? After all, their way was 100% effective because they got there. And you’ll listen to every piece of advice they have to offer about the journey.

"I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this." "I was thinking the same thing. That John Denver's full of shit."

“I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this.” “I was thinking the same thing. That John Denver’s full of shit.”

But, as stated above, the fact that they made it from Rhode Island to Colorado does not necessarily mean that the method used was the best method, or even a good method. Maybe they took a horse and buggy, maybe it took them six months, and maybe they almost starved to death during the journey. I’ve got a better way. Here are some car keys and a map. You’re welcome. Turns out that the “successful” travelers weren’t actually a success after all, even though they got to where they were going.

In other words, the fact that the guy in the first picture is super tall does not necessarily mean that he knows what made him tall, and does not necessarily mean that he can be effective in helping other people get tall as well. Maybe he’s an endocrinologist, maybe he’s a researcher, maybe he actually does know all about why he’s so tall—but the fact that he’s tall, all by itself, does not necessarily mean that he knows how he got that way.

Now, with this bit of background out of the way, let me tell you about an experience I had recently that highlights an equally absurd mistake that millions of people make every day.

I have worked on theatre tours since 2008. On each of these tours, there is a group of dancers, and for the most part they are all part of what can be called the Genetic Royalty. In fact, the audition process ensures that this is the case. They’re attractive, symmetrical, have good skin, have great bone structure, and so forth. Those who are not Genetic Royalty do not even get into the singing/dancing/acting thing in the first place, because from a young age they are not encouraged like their Royal counterparts (kind of like how short people aren’t strongly encouraged to get into professional basketball). Then, out of the members of the Genetic Royalty that do enter the field, those that have worked the hardest and developed themselves the best get selected to be part of a show. It is the combination of lucky genes and incredibly hard work that succeeds; both are necessary, but neither is sufficient by itself. It is these people with whom I have worked for the past five years.

What inspired me to write this post was a conversation I had with a female colleague about one of the female dancers who was a mutual friend of ours (not any of the dancers on my current tour—settle down, girls). This colleague was telling me about some nutrition and fitness advice that she had gotten from our dancer friend. Among these gems were:

  • Be sure to eat a good breakfast to kick-start your metabolism for the day.
  • Instead of three squares, eat five or six small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism “revved-up.”
  • Switch up your exercise routine every month or so to keep your body guessing and give it something new to adapt to.
  • Tennis, frisbee, parking far away from doors, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator are all great forms of exercise. It’s better than nothing, you know?!
  • The girl can’t get pregnant if she’s on top.

Okay, that last one I just made up, but it’s no less reasonable than the others. Before I go on with my story, realize that each piece of advice is bullshit. False. Not the way it is. Sometimes this is just fine, like when someone is wrong but is still helping. Like, maybe some of the details are wrong, but overall they’re still doing a good thing and benefitting people. However, in this case, the advice is not helping.

It turns out that neither breakfast nor frequent feedings are necessary or beneficial, “muscle confusion” is not a real thing, and something is not always better than nothing when it comes to exercise.

So there I was, listening to all this “advice” that my colleague had been given from our well-meaning yet misinformed friend. In retrospect, I really should have said, “Everything she told you is bullshit.” But apparently I forgot to bring my ball bag with me that day, so instead I said something like, “Actually, that’s what a lot of people used to think, but the latest stuff that’s coming out is pointing to the fact that some of that isn’t quite 100% true.”

Her response? “I don’t know. She’s ripped, though.”

To which I replied:

"It's a damn good thing you're cute."

“It’s a damn good thing you’re cute.”

The fact that somebody is in great shape does not mean that they know how to get you into great shape. The fact that someone is tall does not mean that they know how to make you tall. There are bald barbers who can give you a great cut, skinny chefs who can make a delicious meal, and fat guys who coach Olympic athletes. Pat Riley can’t dunk and Tom Coughlin couldn’t tackle a warm cup of piss, but you’d be a fool to ignore their advice on basketball or football.

The point here is to think for yourself. Accepting a piece of advice as true and reasonable based solely on its source is not only wrong, but worse yet: it doesn’t even make any sense. It’s Non-Sense. And it’s lazy. It’s saying, “I’m going to assume that you know what you’re talking about so that I don’t have to do any work thinking about this. That’s right; I’m going to let you do my thinking for me, and just because you have abs.”

On the Home Page of this website, there is a before/after picture of me. The truth is, 95% of what I now know about how to turn fat people into regular-sized people is stuff that the guy on the left knew also. Which is obvious, because if I didn’t know it, how would I have known what to do? You can’t start applying things you don’t know. To be clear: the advice I would have given ninety pounds ago is not different in any major way from the advice that’s in the Fat Loss Map, which has been working like a goddamn magic charm.

"Let me show you how to get thin!"

“Let me show you how to get thin!”

But because I know about this cognitive blind spot that we all have, I had to become the guy on the right before anyone would take me seriously. Am I better able to help people become regular-sized now than I would have been three or four years ago? Maybe, maybe not. My point is that you would not be able to determine that based solely on my before/after picture.

The most muscular guy in your gym probably doesn’t know shit about lifting weights. For whatever reason—genetics and Epi-genetics play a large role in this—he’s a mesomorph, has long muscle bellies, a large proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers, poor neuromuscular efficiency (requiring more muscle mass for the same force output), a favorable fat cell distribution, ideal shoulder-width/pelvis-width ratio, and on and on and on and on and on. Because of all these factors, and thousands that we don’t know about yet, when he first stepped into a weight room and began his first routine—which may or may not have been a good one—he packed on muscle quickly and easily. Naturally, he attributed 100% of his success to his routine and his “hard work” in the gym, even though almost any routine would have given him similar results. So when you go up to him and say, “Hey, you look fantastic, how can I be like you?” he’s not going to point out his advantages and suggest a wiser selection of ancestors. He’s not going to tell you he woke up on third and thought he hit a Triple. Instead, he’s going to give you a bunch of bullshit advice that’s not going to work. And you’ll believe every word of it, because fuck, just look at this guy! But these are not the things he did to become ripped and huge.

They are the things he did while becoming ripped and huge. Maybe they helped, maybe they didn’t; but it is a mistake to assume they did just because he thinks they did.

You are making the same mistake as asking the guy at the beginning of this post how to get tall. The things he did while becoming tall are not necessarily the things that he did to become tall. Did he have to eat a lot? Sure. But eating a lot won’t make you taller. He also wore a bigger pair of shoes every several months, but buying a bigger pair of shoes won’t make you taller. Get it?

My colleague believed every bit of advice from our dancer friend. Relieved of the responsibility of thinking for herself, she could comfortably adjust her own “knowledge” to accommodate this new “information.” This is how bullshit spreads.

Stop believing everything you’re told from someone who is where you’d like to be. Think. Really think. There’s no harder work in the world, but it’s worth it.

Because it's funny to me, that's why.

Because it’s funny to me, that’s why.

 

 

“People of Size” is Horseshit.

Call him what you want; ManBearPig must be stopped.

Just heard fat people referred to as “People of Size.”

My first thought: “What the fuck?”

My second thought: I see what you did here. “Fat People” sounds, at first blush, a little bit offensive. Fat people have been stigmatized in the past several decades to the point where the term “fat” doesn’t just mean that a person has accumulated an excessive amount of adipose tissue. To the ignorant, it can connote laziness, gluttony, irresponsibility, and a whole laundry list of moral and social defects that are, of course, meant to be roundly condemned and frowned upon. Quite in fact, I have had more than a few people express to me their discomfort about this website’s tag line: “I turn fat people into regular-sized people.”

Here's a screen shot of me telling you that you're kind of fat.

Here’s a screen shot of me telling you that you’re kind of fat.

Luckily, what those people think of this website’s tag line is none of my business, and so the line stays like it is: direct, honest, and simple. If you are fat (which, if you’ll remember, means only that you’ve accumulated an excessive amount of adipose tissue) I can make you regular-sized. Direct, honest, and simple.

Not only is it wrong to call fat people “People of Size,” but worse yet, it doesn’t even make any sense. It’s Non-Sense. Anyone who has any mass at all is a “person of size.” Every human is also a person of height, a person of color, a person of carbon, and whole list of things that do not even begin to usefully describe the person about whom you’re talking.

Call him what you want; ManBearPig must be stopped.

Call him what you want; ManBearPig must be stopped.

So in an honest, well-meaning-yet-misguided attempt to de-stigmatize the people referred to as “fat,” you’ve stigmatized them even more by drawing even more attention to their condition. Yes, you’re being sensitive and appropriate; no, you’re not helping anyone. Yes, you’re sparing people’s feelings; no, you’re not helping anyone. Yes, you’re being correct; no you’re not helping.

Yet the term “fat” is avoided because, as I mentioned before, it carries many negative connotations.

Here’s the problem: If you don’t know where you are, you will have a hard time getting to where you’re going. Nobody would use a euphemism for a physical location and expect good results. If I’m at 1604 E University street in Bloomington, IN (shout-out to the college house!), I know exactly where I am, and that’s a literal, direct, honest assessment of my current location. From this starting point, I can easily use a map to get where I want to go.

Better stock up; those amateurs don't sell on Sundays.

Better stock up; those amateurs don’t sell on Sundays.

But imagine if I referred to my location using euphemisms. If I’m “Bloomington-centered” or “A member of the Indiana region,” I have no clue exactly where I am, no way to get on the right roads, will drive around in circles for a while, and will very quickly decide to just stay where I am and try to perform mental gymnastics to feel good about it, mumbling something about how Big Red Liquors was “probably closed anyway.”

If you’re “broke,” well, okay, that’s not so bad. That’s not really something you are, that’s a circumstance, and circumstances can readily be altered and improved. You begin to correctly imagine that this is temporary and make a plan to get out of debt or increase your income. If you’re “disadvantaged” or “poor,” that’s something that you are, regardless of circumstances. Something you are is not readily changed; you identify with it, you lose your motivation, and you feel sorry for yourself. You begin to wrongly imagine that this is permanent while insisting that others not call attention to your condition.

If you’re “a heavy drinker,” well, okay, that’s not so bad. That’s not really something you are, that’s a circumstance, and circumstances can readily be altered and improved. You begin to correctly imagine that this is temporary and make a plan to take a break from drinking, or at least stop drinking before noon. If you’re “an alcoholic” or “a bum,” that’s something that you are, regardless of circumstances. Something you are is not readily changed; you identify with it, you lose your motivation, and you feel sorry for yourself. You begin to wrongly imagine that this is permanent while insisting that others not call attention to your condition.

If you’re “fat,” well, okay, that’s not so bad. That’s not really something you are, that’s a circumstance, and circumstances can readily be altered and improved. You begin to correctly imagine that this is temporary and make a plan to get “not-fat;” to become “regular-sized.” If you’re “Husky,” “Big-Boned,” or “A Person of Size,” that’s something that you are, regardless of circumstances. Something you are is not readily changed; you identify with it, you lose your motivation, and you feel sorry for yourself. You begin to wrongly imagine that this is permanent while insisting that others not call attention to your condition.

And even if you’re a heavy drinker who’s fat and broke, that’s way better than being a Disadvantaged Alcoholic of Size:

 

"I'm the Devil!"

“I’m the Devil!”

Honesty is important—not just in theory, but also in practice. We must always call things by their names, even when it’s socially uncomfortable. We must tell the truth. We must not become so concerned about people’s precious feelings that we allow ourselves to be dishonest and misleading.

Not only is it wrong, but worse yet: it doesn’t even make any sense.

The Lung Cancer Analogy

"Yeah, it's me again. You'd better come over here. This stuff is EVERYWHERE."

A good analogy that I like to use to help explain the cause of obesity is that of smoking and lung cancer. Usually, I have to explain this when someone says something like, “Processed carbohydrates don’t cause obesity; my cousin eats muffins and pancakes and pizza and all sorts of pasta and he’s thin as a rail!”

Think of smoking. Statistically, more than half of habitual smokers will not develop lung cancer. That’s right; more than half of lifetime smokers will be lung-cancer-free. They will suffer from bad breath, yellow teeth, and cars you don’t want to ride in, but the majority will not get lung cancer. We all know some old, grizzled coot who has smoked two packs a day for 50 years yet remains as healthy as a mule and as sharp as a whip.

Okay, fine, sharp as a marble. Or a chair. He, ah—h-he doesn't have lung cancer is what I'm getting at.

Okay, fine, sharp as a marble. Or a chair. He, ah—h-he doesn’t have lung cancer is what I’m getting at.

However, out of those who have gotten lung cancer, the vast majority of them are currently smokers or have smoked for a large portion of their lives. So smoking doesn’t cause the cancer in everyone, everywhere, every time, forever, and always. But out of those who have contracted the cancer, smoking is the cause.

In the same way, excess processed carbohydrate intake does not cause the accumulation of body fat in everyone, everywhere, every time, forever, and always. But out of those who have become fat, excess processed carbohydrate intake is almost certainly the cause.

Many who dismiss the Carbohydrate-Obesity paradigm like to point out populations that eat plenty of carbohydrate but have low rates of obesity and modern diseases. So obviously it’s not the carbs, otherwise they’d be fat, right? Case closed. These are the same type of people who use a floating balloon and a flying bird to disprove gravity. Turns out there’s other stuff going on.

This is the same as saying that since France has one of the highest rates of smoking per capita, yet one of the lowest rates of heart disease and lung cancer (both true), smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer. Case closed. Except the cause of most lung cancer is smoking. So what the fuck?

"Yeah, it's me again. You'd better come over here. This stuff is EVERYWHERE."

“Yeah, it’s me again. You’d better come over here. This stuff is EVERYWHERE.”

A good way to think about it is that excess processed carbohydrate intake does not always cause obesity, but where obesity has occurred, excess processed carbohydrate intake is the culprit. Smoking does not always cause lung cancer, but where lung cancer has occurred, smoking is the culprit.

For both of these disorders, the above causes were identified as part of the “null hypotheses”—the hypotheses that, based on observation, seem to be the case, and that we can consider true until they are disproven. This is very similar to the theory of gravity. If anything heavier and denser than air ever falls up, now you’ve got something.

Gravity will always tend to make things fall; when something doesn’t fall like it should, there is something else going on that is resisting its effects.

Smoking will always tend to cause cancer; when someone smokes and doesn’t get cancer, there is something else going on that is resisting its effects.

Excessive processed carbohydrate intake will always tend to make people fatter; when someone eats a ton of processed carbohydrates and doesn’t get fatter, there is something else going on that is resisting its effects.

So those are the null hypotheses that must be disproven through rigorous experimentation. So far they haven’t been. We’ve discovered plausible mechanisms that govern these phenomena and nobody has been able to show that they’re not sufficient.

Some have pointed out various instances where the effects of gravity in deep space are not behaving as Newton’s model would predict. But if those people have got a better explanation for why things fall towards the center of the Earth, I’d love to hear it.

Similarly, many have pointed out compounds in the body like Acylation Stimulating Protein, or ASP, which helps shuttle nutrients into fat cells. Rest assured there are still others that function in a similar way. The body is full of awesome redundant systems. The shrill calls of “You can still get fat without Insulin!” can be heard reverberating around the internet even today. Unfortunately, this is not the whole story.

You're not helping.

You’re not helping.

 

Dig this: if you ever find evidence, anywhere, of any society, country, or group of people at any point in our recorded history who had high levels of obesity in the absence of dietary carbohydrate….WHAMMY!! Now you’ve disproven the null hypothesis; now you’ve got some ground to stand on. High rates of obesity in the absence of carbohydrate would be provocative. So would high rates of lung cancer in a population that didn’t smoke. Obesity didn’t even used to be a real thing, is not a real thing in the animal kingdom, and has only recently become widespread. Same with lung cancer.

The only way to disprove the processed-carbohydrate-makes-you-fat theory or the smoking-causes-lung-cancer theory is to find large groups of people who got fat without carbs or got lung cancer without smoking.

And while you’re at it you can tell me all about how babies don’t come from fucking since some people fuck all the time without making any.

Bert:Ernie

“Girls, Girls! Stop it. You’re BOTH Pretty!”

Now Kith

“Weight Loss Success: Natt Smith Became A Vegan And Lost More Than 75 Pounds.”

–headline from the Huffington Post, 4/27/12.

“All of my health issues are gone! I feel like I have a new lease on life. I look forward to every morning and cherish every day. Because honestly, when I was at my worst I didn’t know how many days I had left. We now have a second child, and I am able to play with them as much as I want, roll on the floor with them, and just be there for them. I truly have a life I never thought possible. I went from feeling like I was dying every minute of every day, to living the life I have always dreamed! It is truly a gift that I cherish every day.”

–excerpt from the testimonial written by “Brent” on marksdailyapple.com. Brent went from 291 pounds down to 180 and corrected his elevated blood lipids, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and panic attacks by eating a Paleo diet consisting of meat, fish, fowl, eggs, and vegetables.

“It’s because vegan diets—especially raw vegan diets—are so short on calories and basic nutritional needs, that during those early stages, the new vegan’s body is eating itself! It’s a metabolically delicious meal of fatty human meat, high in saturated fat and complete protein—and it’s the most nutritious meal you can eat. Of course it’s what your body needs: it is your body! The more restrictive your vegan diet, the more delicious, fatty MEAT you are eating…your own. That’s the reason you had so much energy when you first started your vegan diet. What you were really eating was a paleo diet of your own flesh.”

–J. Stanton at gnolls.org providing a technically-accurate, if grisly, explanation for the “high” that is experienced during the initial stages of going vegan.

“Ever since I adopted a nutrient-dense, plant-based eating style I am a changed woman. I have accomplished so much, have so much more energy, and a whole new outlook on life. I’ve lost 72 lbs so far, too!”

–Isabel P, Ontario, Canada, extolling the virtues of vegetarianism.

"Yeah, it's me again. That stain remover didn't work for shit."

“Yeah, it’s me again. That stain remover didn’t work for shit.”

What the fuck is going on here?

Only in the areas of religion and politics are more automatic, visceral reactions elicited in response to an opposing viewpoint than in the area of nutrition. Everyone’s a dietician and everyone knows, for sure, how they should eat. And just like politics and religion, there is an extremely prevalent attitude on all sides of, “Don’t confuse me with the facts; this is what I believe!” I am not exempt from this, and neither are you. We claim to be rational, logical, and level-headed, but we will dig our heels in when our viewpoints are challenged.

In this area, you cannot easily convince someone. They do not respond to logic. An error will always be found. Your “facts,” correct or otherwise, will somehow be found wanting.

And it’s not just Plant Eaters and Animal Eaters. Within the Plant Eaters there are vegans, vegetarians, raw vegans, pescatarians, and just people who merely abstain from red meat. Within the Animal Eaters you’ve got the Atkins folks, Paleo, Primal, and myriad variations thereof. And they all disagree with each other on various things, concluding that the “other guys” are somehow base, immoral, or irredeemably ignorant of simple, basic facts (you idiots).

The million-dollar question: given that each one of the above dietary permutations has to its credit thousands (if not millions) of positive, life-changing, health-enhancing testimonials and case studies, and given that they are so apparently different, how can they all be “right?”

“I’m prettier than you!”

“No you’re not! I’ve got better bangs!”

“I’ve got cute dimples!”

“I’m blonde, and blonde is prettier!”

“I’m taller!”

“GIRLS!” the Dad will say at this point. “Stop it. You’re BOTH pretty!”

"And THAT'S why Daddy drinks!"

“And THAT’S why Daddy drinks!”

The Floating Cork Analogy

Imagine a wine cork floating in the ocean. Left on its own, it will float; it will bob on the surface of the water effortlessly and naturally. This is the cork’s nature. Cork floats in water. It does not have to do anything special to float. It does not require a plan, a scheme, or a special recipe. The cork cannot get higher than the surface of the water, nor does it need or “want” to.

Human health is like this. Left to our own devices, in our natural habitat, we humans are healthy. We “float to the surface,” if you will, and this “floating” is natural and requires no particular intervention or special plan. We feel fine, there is nothing wrong, and all is well. There is no “Super Health,” nothing we can do to become “very” healthy or “extra” healthy, in the same way that the cork cannot maintain a position above the surface of the water. We cannot maintain a condition above “healthy,” nor do we need to.

Aboriginal tribes and ancestral populations, not yet exposed to modern lifestyles, have been observed to thrive perfectly wherever and whenever they have been studied. Some eat mostly tubers, roots, foraged seeds, and seasonal fruit. Some eat only goat meat and milk. Others eat mostly whale and seal blubber. Some live in cold climates, some hot, some dry, some wet, yet they all thrive; they all “float to the surface” quite effortlessly.

The reason they are all floating is that they do not have anything holding them down.

The only way the wine cork can become submerged is if it’s forced down somehow. And when that restriction is released, it once again returns, quite effortlessly, to the surface. If you hold the cork under the water and release it, what happens? If a boat forces the cork down momentarily, what happens once the boat passes? The important point is that when the thing that was holding the cork under the water is removed, whatever it was, the cork regains its natural balance.

You can't imagine how proud I am of myself for not writing anything about soaking corks, cork soaking, cork soakers, or soaked corks. Or blowjobs.

You can’t imagine how proud I am of myself for not writing anything about soaking corks, cork soaking, cork soakers, or soaked corks. Or blowjobs.

Here’s Why All Those Diets Work

Many of you, even after reading this, will be tempted at this point to say that all these diets work because they all, some way or another, cause a person to “eat less” or “consume fewer calories than they expend.” Which is like saying that someone got rich because they earned more money than they spent. Well, both of these ideas are technically true, yet demonstrably use-less. Why use-less? Because advising someone to “eat less” or “consume fewer calories” has never, doesn’t, and will never result in sustained, long-term fat loss. Doctors have been telling people seeking fat loss to “eat less” since the 50’s—before that they were told to limit carbohydrates—and not only have we not ceased to become fatter, which would mean there is no benefit to that advice, but we are now fatter than ever, which reveals that advice to be an emphatic failure.

Oh, and Calories-In-vs.-Calories-Out folks, be sure to tell the next bum you meet: “You’re broke because you’re spending more than you’re earning. Now get out of my way, Raggy.” That’s a good way to get mugged for sweatpants money.

"You really shouldn't talk to the Devil like that! rrrRRRAAAAHAHAHHHHH!!! NOT SO TOUGH TONIGHT, ARE YOU, BATMAN?!"

“You really shouldn’t talk to the Devil like that! rrrRRRAAAAHAHAHHHHH!!! NOT SO TOUGH TONIGHT, ARE YOU, BATMAN?!”

HAHA, um, Onward!

People find success with Plant and Animal diets because there was something they were eating previously that was “holding them under the water.” The new way of eating wasn’t “magic” or “super-healthy,” it’s just that they stopped eating the things that were keeping them down.

In other words, the health benefit derived from any way of eating is due mainly to what you are no longer eating.

It’s not that plants are “healthy,” it’s that you’re no longer eating industrially-processed bullshit.

It’s not that meat is “good for you,” it’s that you’re no longer eating chips and Oreos.

It’s not that your diet now is “anti-acidic” or “cleansing” or has a lot of “anti-oxidants,” it’s that you’re no longer drinking pop and eating cheesecakes.

It’s what you’re no longer eating that is the “active ingredient” here; it’s the exclusion of certain elements that is what’s good about your new way of eating. Not the things that you have begun to eat.

Are plants good for you? What about meat? Fish? Eggs? Potatoes? Wrong question; animals and plants will always be just fine for human animals.

What any dietary plan should identify is: what are the foods that keep me from “floating to the surface?”

For some it’s sugar, flour, or wheat. Some can handle those things just fine, but they’re lactose intolerant and milk is what’s causing them trouble. Some have a Carbohydrate Allergy but can handle dairy just fine.

Whatever your particular situation, any health benefit derived from your new diet will be in direct proportion to the success with which you can eliminate the elements of your current diet that are preventing you from “floating” up and regaining the effortless, natural health that is your birthright.

The best plan is somewhere in the middle: Eat Animals and Plants. Stop eating modern things that are neither plants nor animals.

More Similarities Than Differences

Strange as it seems at first, Plant Eaters and Meat Eaters are actually on the same side here. Both stress the importance of natural foods as close to their natural states as possible. Both attempt to avoid the processed bullshit foods that have become staples of the Western Diet. In their own ways, both seek to remove those modern lifestyle factors that can degrade human health.

So vegetarians, carnivores: Stop it. You’re BOTH pretty!

Now Kith

 

Except for you vegans; you’re being ridiculous and you need to get your lives together. Countless thousands of generations of our ancestors didn’t claw their way to the top of the food chain so you could order a goddamn salad with bird seed on it and then fart uncontrollably for the next six hours.

 

 

 

Carbohydrate Allergy

This is what happens, Larry.

Doctor: “You have a shellfish allergy.”

Patient: “So, I shouldn’t eat any shellfish?”

Doctor: “No no no, you shouldn’t eliminate an entire food group like that. It’s important to eat a balanced diet. Tell you what—here’s a bucket of EpiPens and some Benedryl. You can keep eating shellfish, just administer these immediately afterwards.”

Sounds stupid, right? The obvious answer is: no more shellfish. You’re allergic. Sorry.

Yet this is the exact same advice given to millions of those who have demonstrated one or more of the symptoms of a Carbohydate Allergy.

Now, for the purists and medical professionals: I’m not saying that people literally have an allergy to carbohydrate. From Wikipedia:

“An allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. Allergic reactions occur when a person’s immune system reacts to normally harmless substances in the environment. A substance that causes a reaction is called an allergen. These reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is formally called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity. Allergic reactions are distinctive because of excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by a type of antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). This reaction results in an inflammatory response which can range from uncomfortable to dangerous.”

A Useful Model

What I’m talking about is more accurately called a “hypersensitivity,” but I will use the word “allergy” because although it’s not technically accurate it’s an extremely useful model that helps people fit the information they’re given into an already-existing framework.

A model is a way of thinking about something that may or may not accurately represent that thing in a literal sense. Like when you’re giving directions using North, South, East, and West; it might not literally be North, but if someone is going towards the sun at 4pm and turns right because of your instruction to “head North,” then “North” was a useful model to use.

Onward: If you have a shellfish, peanut, or other food allergy, you experience its symptoms following the consumption of that food. These symptoms happen to include—but are not limited to—hives, inflammation, swelling, redness, or an asthma attack. The symptoms are usually quite immediate and therefore easy to notice.

When a non-susceptible person eats these foods, there are no symptoms. Everything is normal. They do not have the allergy.

If you have a Carbohydrate Allergy, you experience its symptoms following the excessive consumption of high-carbohydrate foods. These symptoms happen to include—but are not limited to—dips in energy levels (you become “lazy”), disregulation of satiety signals (you become “hungry”), elevated blood pressure, widespread inflammation, the excessive accumulation of body fat, and eventually Type-II Diabetes. The symptoms are usually quite gradual and therefore difficult to notice.

When a non-susceptible person eats these foods, there are no symptoms. Everything is normal. They do not have the allergy. I’d note that the majority of people do not have a Carbohydrate Allergy.

Do You Have a Carbohydrate Allergy?

To help you decide for yourself, I’ve constructed this handy and impressive flow chart:

Don't act like you're not impressed.

Don’t act like you’re not impressed.

Having been told they have a shellfish allergy, no reasonable person would have a problem quickly coming to grips with the fact that unless they want to endure the symptoms of the allergy, they’re going to have to drastically reduce—maybe down to zero—their shellfish intake. And no doctor would hesitate to give them the news and recommend this reduction in intake.

Yet when it’s a Carbohydrate Allergy, the doctor behaves just like the doctor at the beginning of this article.

"Don't stop eating the thing you're allergic to! Just take some of this medicine afterwards. That way, you don't have to take control of your health and I can make some money."

“Don’t stop eating the thing you’re allergic to! Just take some of this medicine afterwards. That way, you don’t have to take control of your health and I can make some money.”

 

Even today, in 2013, the officially-recommended diet for people diagnosed with Diabetes—which is curable—includes carbohydrate, which directly exacerbates the condition.

One more time: Even today, in twenty-fucking-thirteen, the officially-recommended diet for people who are allergic to carbohydrate includes carbohydrate, THE VERY FUCKING THING TO WHICH THEY ARE ALLERGIC.

This is what happens, Larry.

This is what happens, Larry.

The process of gaining fat, unlike some of the acute symptoms of actual allergies, is not immediately painful or life-threatening. It’s easy to take it lightly. I know several diabetics who will have “just a slice” of cheesecake or a couple of muffins that “looked really good” at breakfast. When I point out that they “have fucking Diabetes,” they mumble something about how they “know it’s bad” but “just one or two” won’t kill them.

I see fat people, every single day, eating the allergen to which they are allergic even as they are suffering from the allergy.

Stop it. Get your shit together.

This is like our shellfish allergy sufferer sitting at Red Lobster, red-eyed, barely breathing, covered in hives, shoveling forkfuls of shrimp scampi into his puffy, swollen face.

The task of educating everyone is made harder by the Calories-In-vs.-Calories-Out proponents, who insist that the guy can still enjoy shellfish, just not so much. Guys: you’re not helping. A person who’s allergic to cats is not allergic because more snot is leaving his face than coming in; he’s sneezing like that because he’s allergic. It’s important not to mistake the real cause/effect relationship.

Wrapping Up

If you do not have excess fat and are regular-sized, there is no good reason to restrict, on purpose, your intake of carbohydrate. You do not have a Carbohydrate Allergy. Go to town.

If you have excess fat, a useful model that’s easy to understand is that you have a Carbohydrate Allergy. To reduce the symptoms, you must drastically reduce—or eliminate—your exposure to the allergen.

How People Get Fat

No Shit

“You’re fat because you eat too much.”

True of False? Through the continuous repetition of a very natural cognitive error, the above quote has come to encapsulate the popular notion, extremely prevalent in our culture, that obesity is caused by eating too much.

It’ll make sense to you, too, so long as you promise not to think too hard about it. Just observe fat people; look at how much fucking food they’re eating!

True story: I was in line at a CVS a few weeks ago and witnessed a morbidly obese man purchasing one of those big packages of Oreos. You know, the ones with three columns, maybe 15-20 cookies per column.

Bon Appétit, you sloppy bastards!

Bon Appétit, you sloppy bastards!

He was about six spots ahead of me in line. He paid, left, and took a seat on a bench right outside the store. By the time I had paid for my merchandise and exited, he had finished two full columns of the cookies and was ambitiously eyeing the third column of now-quite-nervous-looking treats. This guy was in it to win it!

Most people who are stuck in the “you’re fat because you eat too much” paradigm would witness this and find irrefutable confirmation of their beliefs. No wonder this dude is so fat! Look at how many calories he just ate in one sitting!

However, just because 1) he’s fat and 2) he eats a ton of food does not necessarily mean that he’s fat because he eats a ton of food.

There’s surely a fancy latin name for this fallacy, and you bet your sweet ass I spent the 45 seconds to Google that shit! It’s “cum hoc, ergo propter hoc,” which literally means, “I’m too drunk to taste these olives.”

Just kidding.

Seriously, it means “with this, therefore because of this.” A classic example is:

“A high concentration of police cars causes crime.” It’s obvious, really. If you flew a helicopter over a low-crime area, you would quickly see that there are almost no police cars anywhere. But if you flew over a high-crime, bad part of town, you would notice a whole lot of police cars; one on almost every block, in fact. Having concluded that police cars cause crime, you’d think, “No wonder there’s so much crime here; just look at all those police cars!” It’s consistent, repeatable, and therefore must be true. But, as we know, just because there is 1) high crime and 2) a lot of squad cars does not necessarily mean that there’s high crime because there are a lot of squad cars. By concluding that the police presence is causing the crime, you have committed the same mental error as the person who thinks that the overeating is causing the obesity.

It’s equally as silly as, “Playing basketball makes you taller,” “Becoming a professional racehorse jockey makes you thinner,” and “Getting a job in porn will make your Crank huge, bro.”

It’s a mistake of cause and effect.

The mistake: “You’re fat because you eat too much.”

The truth: “You eat too much because you’re getting fatter.”

What actually happens in an otherwise-healthy person with a Carbohydrate Allergy is this: they eat chronically-excessive amounts of carbohydrate. This causes a hormonal situation, primarily mediated through the actions of the hormone Insulin, that causes the person’s fat tissue to begin absorbing energy and increasing its stores while simultaneously keeping any energy already stored from being released for use by the rest of the body. In effect, the fat tissue is “hogging” the energy that’s coming in.

So the energy (food) is intended for its End Users (muscles, bones, organs, connective tissues, etc.) but in the presence of elevated Insulin levels gets shunted instead into the fat tissue. The End Users, having not received any food energy and unable to access existing body fat reserves (because Insulin inhibits this process), send out signals that they still need food. The person experiences these signals as “hunger,” becomes “hungry,” and eats more. But some of this food is also, in the presence of elevated insulin, shunted into the fat tissue instead of going where it’s needed.

How Someone With A Carbohydrate Allergy Gets Fat

  1. The fat tissue hogs food energy intended for End Users and increases in size; you become fatter.
  2. The End Users cannot access your own body fat stores to make up the difference.
  3. Because the End Users have not received sufficient energy, you become ravenous.
  4. Because you are ravenous, you (over)eat.
  5. Because not all that energy gets to your End Users (see #3), and they still cannot access your own body fat, you remain ravenous.
  6. Because you are still ravenous, you (over)eat.

#1, or “becoming fatter,” causes you to overeat. You overeat because you’re getting fatter.

So what causes #1? High levels of insulin. What causes that? Carbohydrate, primarily.

Obesity researchers in Europe had discovered this over a hundred years ago.

Obesity researchers in Europe had discovered this over a hundred years ago.

Keep in mind that this process only takes place in those with a Carbohydrate Allergy. Looking at our nationwide obesity numbers, I would put this at just over half the population, maybe 60% or so. So this whole process doesn’t really apply to those without a Carbohydrate Allergy, like your skinny friends, or you if you’ve always been thin.

The obese do not suffer from a moral defect. Being lazy and overeating are the effects of their obesity. They have vast stores of energy that they cannot access in the presence of elevated insulin levels. So their bodies lower their energy output (“sloth”) and increase their hunger signals (“gluttony”) to compensate for this energy deficit. The obese eat like they do because they are starving on the inside.

Berating, harassing, and condemning a starving person for eating a lot of food is not only wrong, but even worse: it doesn’t even make any sense.

As I watched this fat guy destroy the third and final column of Oreos, I did not judge him as morally weak, a glutton, or someone who just didn’t care. Just like all of us, he’s a human animal. And he was literally starving. His End Users were calling out powerfully for him to eat more. He couldn’t have used his willpower to deny himself food any more than you or I can use our willpower to hold in our piss for ten days or hold our breath for ten minutes. Eventually, you’re gonna pee. Eventually, you’re gonna exhale. And eventually, the hunger wins. Every time.

You’re not fat because you eat too much; you eat too much because you’re getting fatter.

A Cure For Obesity

“Chickens.”

–William “Refrigerator” Perry, when asked by an interviewer what he eats for dinner to achieve his impressive size

Holy shit are we fat.

Holy shit are we fat.

Welcome to The Keen Physique! On this blog I will be discussing the cure for obesity, which exists. In fact, obesity shouldn’t even be a real thing, is not a real thing in the animal kingdom, and was not a real thing for more than 99% of human history.

The good news: it’s easily preventable, easily reversible, is not due to some moral defect such as sloth or gluttony, and has been almost fully understood by the research community for over half a century.

Since early 2012 I’ve been helping people become regular-sized. My recommendations have worked far better than I expected, in fact, and that success has inspired me to start this blog. Here you will find education, inspiration, motivation, entertainment, and access to my products and services.

My name is Jim Keen, and I turn fat people into regular-sized people.