9

votes

Has Don of Primal Wisdom gone bat guano crazy?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 10, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Just checked in with Don's Primal Wisdom blog and it seems he is disavowing himself of, well, everything. Fat now makes you fat. The lines of evidence being, apparently, a figurine depicting a fat woman, a rat study from 1946, and, of course, "The Kitavans."

I'm open to debate on any number of topics, but it just seems weird to throw the baby out with the bathwater on what amounts to be such oddly uncompelling evidence.

Has he lost his marbles or am I missing something? I always respected the guy so no snark intended. What the hell am I missing here?

http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 14, 2011
at 10:47 PM

Excellent point, Ambimorph. And periodically I see those kinds of questions going around: Can you GET fat eating ZC? The answer seems to be, not if you didn't start out that way. I still agree with his artistic interpretation, though -- I think these aren't "fantasy" images, based on the realism of the adipose tissue (if not the hair). But even if that's the case, the cause of their fatness is mysterious, you're right.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 13, 2011
at 03:27 PM

I would take it one step further and say no one has to *restrict* calories to lose fat. Yes, your calorie level will decline if you are losing fat, but that's not the same.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 13, 2011
at 03:19 PM

I don't really understand alternative 3, but it seems patently obvious that a zc'er has to eat enough protein to cover both protein and glucose needs, and that they would remain driven to eat until that need was met.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 13, 2011
at 03:08 PM

But Rose, the zero carbers you know who didn't lose weight didn't *become* fat while zero carbing.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on May 12, 2011
at 09:18 PM

John, I am sure we all agree. My cat comment was a joke! Nothwtihstanding art has long been used to express an ideal.

Ee1a3fd7d5c4eace610c929c556b895c

(38)

on May 12, 2011
at 06:43 PM

There's a difference from extrapolating based on a depiction of obesity, which can exist, and a depiction of a cat headed person, which can't. Thats sort of like saying you can't extrapolate what medieval knights may have looked like from sculpture, because another culture from a different time period sculpted a minotaur.

Ee1a3fd7d5c4eace610c929c556b895c

(38)

on May 12, 2011
at 06:25 PM

I disagree that it is difficult to eat excess fat without carbohydrate. There's a large difference from forcing oneself to eat a bowl of butter, and eating beyond satiety in a food abundant environment. For me, going VLC, I had little trouble adding 500 calories per day above what I'd normally have eaten. As he states, 2 teaspoons of animal fat is 100 calories. Five bites beyond fullness, and you've got 500 calories. In case this doesn't seem realistic, imagine what you'd normally eat in a day. Imagine adding 2 tablespoons of ghee to that (280 calories). Seem difficult?

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 12, 2011
at 05:13 AM

I don't think there is any question that excess fat calories can be stored as fat (not among any serious defenders of low carb). What's important- and what Don denies- is that it's very difficult to eat excess fat if you're not eating carbohydrate. The cases of people who gain weight after they force themselves to eat bowls of melted butter aren't pertinent.

91219405abedbfd400ce00dea242a00f

(1044)

on May 12, 2011
at 01:58 AM

I think it's ridiculous to change your lifestyle because of one person's blog post and hope that his has not convinced anyone to do so. I'm always so surprised when people try to disprove something that works for little to no reason. His assertion that fat makes you fat isn't going to really swing with me as I'm losing more weight and feeling better than I have on any other diet. Listen to your own bodies, folks, not "ancient wisdom".

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on May 11, 2011
at 10:24 PM

I'm really glad you answered this Travis. This part of your answer " You may have cut carbs down, so your mitochondria aren't forced into an energy substrate substitution as often, but it's really easy to overshoot with something so energy dense" Is what I was trying to get at in my recent post here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/37927/how-much-starch-will-it-take-to-turn-off-fat-adaption#axzz1M545Bcrp

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:35 PM

OMG I have overeaten fat before too.. uggh, NEVER again.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:30 PM

Nice catch about the contradiction!

Medium avatar

(39821)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:24 PM

I guess I don't see where he's saying fat is bad for everyone. He's simply stating a fact, which is that you can store dietary fat in your body's adipocytes and that a surplus of dietary fat with a deficit of fat oxidation over time could lead to an overweight state. It's true because it must be true. We'd not exist were this not true.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:20 PM

There's lots of women stalled on all sorts of diets, sure switching up macros may help some and it's good to not get dogmatic, but he's gone from 'fat is good for everyone' to 'fat is bad for everyone'. Both are probably incorrect.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:06 PM

Dr.K and Patrik--it's one thing to change one's way of thinking (and I've done it before more than once myself) based on new evidence, but there's nothing new here. A fat figurine? Really?

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 11, 2011
at 06:57 PM

I must confess to being something of an oddball in the paleo community insofar that I don't find butter that moreish. Don't get me wrong, I find it plenty tasty, but I never feel any particular urge to eat it and after having some I never feel the urge to eat more (both of which occur in the case of protein, for example). It's certainly the least satisfying of the foods I eat (although it of course fills me up; I'm sure I'd feel substantially different if I cut that 70%+ of my calories from my diet!).

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 11, 2011
at 06:05 PM

My cat goes nuts for butter.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 11, 2011
at 06:04 PM

And what about the fact that untreated type 1 diabetics cannot store fat? Without insulin, you cannot get fat. Carbs are the primary culprit. Eating a lot of fat and carbs, well that's a double whammy!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:05 PM

+1 for Cat-headed people roaming around Cairo! Perfect analogy.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on May 11, 2011
at 03:27 PM

Just to clarify, I don't think ANY healthy organism has to count calories to achieve a healthy BF.

B289fd8670257e77badb0c77709f8572

(10)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:48 PM

My take on these figurines? I think it shows a woman with a wicked starch dependency who trades her ration of meat/fat for loads of roasted tubers. In an all-out effort to warn the children of a future filled with diet-induced-derision, statues are carved and sent out to each tribe. "Eat a healthy diet" was the message; each Venus originally was set upon a pedestal with the equivalent of 'ELMM' inscribed in the base. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it--until I'm presented with empirical evidence to show otherwise.

Medium avatar

(3029)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:47 PM

I don't know Don from primal wisdom, but you get my upvote for the expression bat guano crazy!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:32 PM

Calories don't matter......but if you insists count them. After a few years you will understand. We humans all respond differently to a diet because our cellular homeostasis is all different at different times. This is why some many people can see two opposite ends of an issue And both appear to be right for their current situation. If your fit and hormonally optimal you will have a max effect on a strict paleo diet. If your not you will have an up and down course until your cellulR inflammation lowers and your hormones are optimal. It's all about context of the organism.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:29 PM

LOL............

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:16 PM

Dr K will be along soon to tell you to go re-read GCBC! Yes calories count, but NO you shouldn't have to count calories! You 'inner actuary' does all that. What matters is your hormonal response to calorie intake and calorie expenditure. If you eat more calories than usual then you should be able to go longer between meals or eat less at subsequent meals (or else your metabolism might seek to burn off the excess). Your appetite should adjust as long as you have a healthy metabolism, healthy gut flora and are generating the appropriate hormonal signals.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:41 PM

...I binge on tallow sometimes.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:40 PM

I'd wholly agree that although i believe the paleo-base is indeed healthful for all humans, after that we are all individual and if we're talking up or down a few pounds here and there its going to take individual tinkering with fats, proteins, carbs, and overall cals. I can only say that the leanest I've been has been when making an effort to up the carb-content of my daily intake and moderate the fat-intake. Not extreme in any way. Its simply turning the knobs a bit.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:38 PM

So it's not so simple as "an extra two tablespoons" - that makes it sound like I could eat the same amount plus two tablespoons and continue to gain weight forever. That's not the case. The two tablespoons would become part of my normal meal and I'd have to add another two, then another two, and another two forever if I wanted to keep gaining weight.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:36 PM

Of course, it's not like your body undergoes a reset yearly; my body would have compensated for the extra intake over time already and I'd be stable with my extra ounce of fat after a year. So I add another, and my weight gain will be even less efficient - more weight to move, more BMR. But call it even for the sake of argument. After four years, I'd be up to 4 more ounces of fat over my starting intake - daily - just to maintain my new weight. And actually it would be substantially more than that, because the cost of moving that extra weight around an HG lifestyle wouldn't be trivial.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:34 PM

absolutely agreed. I myself can gain or lose poundage as I see fit without the use of carbohydrate. Eat enough fat, enough protein, enough carbohydrate - it doesnt matter (!) - and you will store it as fat. Period

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:33 PM

The keyword in there is "_extra_ two tablespoons". Let's say I weigh 180lbs and have a BMR of 2000kcal, all from fat. That would be about 300 grams of fat to start. I add in an extra ounce (240kcal) at every meal. After doing this for a year, I should, according to the standard wisdom, have gained 25lbs. Except now my BMR has increased to 2100 kcal, and of course I'm an HG who now needs to move more mass around, so I'm going to expend more energy day to day on top of that. My extra ounce of fat will stop adding weight at this point.. so I'd have to add another.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:32 PM

great summary of the whole calorie issue, thanks. It gets silly how so many new people to the paleo thing just refuse to accept that calories still, and always, count. Fat is a (wonderful, healthful, delicious) dense form of calories and should simply be understood as such. Just as carbohydrates are an insulin-affecting form of calories and should not be demonized but simply understood for what they are. These are all simply tools that we can use as we see fit to achieve whatever goal we have.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:19 PM

Thanks SherpaMelissa - I hope if Don reads this he takes it in the spirit it was intended! Seriously though, it is great that he is stirring things up a bit. I can foresee the time when much of the paleo crowd actually line up behind Colpo, Lyle Macdonald, J Kreiger and Carbsane! You read it here first! ;)

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:18 PM

The allergy argument irked us too, because there's no evidence of causation here.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:31 PM

Hahaha, cat headed people! I love it. Great points, Asclepius!

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 11:08 AM

Don appears to be using the logic I quoted as justification for his assertion that the Venus statues (morbidly obese women) are indicative of hunter gatherer body composition on a fat-meat diet. His first two points aren't particularly controversial, but his emphasis (and overarching argument) is on the excessive energy intake - that fat and meat lead to obesity. This seems strikingly contradicted by available observations.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:51 AM

I think there are some Indegenous tribe who had postcontact with civilisation more likely obesity. And that are Native Americans and Inuit. And not all Inuit, the Inuit which are close to the trading point where the whites brought their good this got ill. I recommend the two sites www.isuma.tv and "eyeonarctic" at eye on arctic there is a interview with a saami and a inuit healthcare proffesional. And then another look. Search on the internet or in books for inuit fotos close to contact. And the search for fotos of hunter gatherer people who are on a plant based diet(major plant based diet)

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:49 AM

Yeh, that one quoted bit is about the one bit of his posts that I would agree with, but it should read "if you've not eaten enough carb/PROTEIN." Assuming little carb, if I don't eat enough protein, then I feel astonishingly awful until I do. If I only have foods that contain little protein and more carbs/fat than I need, then I'll tend to eat until I have enough protein (consuming more fat than I need). In the long term though, it seems the body goes the other way and loses appetite for the low protein/glucose foods, as with people/rats on an insufficient protein ketogenic diet.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:16 AM

I think it's confirmation bias. Don already thinks that lots of starches are healthy and very low carb isn't, so even this strangled argument constructed from non-evidence seems convincing to him.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 11, 2011
at 07:47 AM

Thank you! I was worried that his Venus posts were being treated as though they contained any evidence or argument at all. I don't see any evidence in his posts that he's responding to any facts at all.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 11, 2011
at 07:47 AM

Thank you! I was worried that his Venus posts were being treated as though they contained any evidence or argument at all.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:15 AM

@kamal. Been there, done that.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:14 AM

I do the "butter burger" in an attempt to gain weight. but have failed at doing so. I guess we are all different.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:09 AM

"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" -John Maynard Keynes ------ obviously Don feels that the facts as he has seen them, have changed. Doesn't mean he is crazy, by any stretch.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:36 AM

while I disagree with him why do groups of people ostracize some other group because of a change of heart? So he changed......I saw let him explore his new choices. I like people who challenge all dogma. Its pretty healthy really.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:28 AM

I agree that the images could be of unusual or different women, but he's not saying these women were common, just that they existed in a pre-agricultural environment. Therefore, he reasons, it is possible to get fat without grain (he's going way beyond that with some other arguments, I know, and I'm not defending those). I agree with this one point, since I'm acquainted with a few fellow zero-carbers who, unlike me, didn't lose any weight, even after a strict year or more. Carbs --> insulin may not be the only path to fatness.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:19 AM

But since zero carbers eat protein at every meal (you have to unless you're eating straight cream...) perhaps they're hitting their protein requirements under the caloric requirements. Also, meat is good, but it can get boring and then people don't want to eat. That's sortof like Stephan Guyenet's last post.

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:18 AM

My thoughts exactly.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:16 AM

I think this is really what he's trying to assert, and he maybe just went a little too far. There is a tendency to go to extremes in the nutrition community, which bugs me quite a bit. Maybe it's easier to lose weight with lower fat and moderate carbs, assuming you're not diabetic. It seems like a good explanation for why some women will stall on paleo.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:15 AM

Yeah, that shit sucks. Pun intended.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:07 AM

I suppose number 4 could be that he is genuinely right, but some of these arguments just seem a little silly. I think he -might- be right about the whole large amounts of tryptophan, cysteine and methionine containing protein thing and that large amounts of muscle protein impair metabolism. I have yet to see that notion thoroughly refuted. But the arguments for more carbs and less fats...not so much.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:00 AM

Ah right number 3. The love of the lunatic fringe. I can empathize.

8f4ff12a53a98f3b5814cfe242de0daa

(1075)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:57 AM

It seems like kind of a tradition to swing between the extremes. Kind of like how there are a lot of vegetarians (and a surprising number of vegans) who go paleo to improve health. An interesting phenomena at any rate, should be fascinating to see how it shakes out long term.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:53 AM

It's not impossible, it's just not in line with most of the n=1s I've read. Typically, dedicated zero carbers end up pretty skinny (healthy or not). And by dedicated, I'm talking the year plus sort of people who really stick with it. My own n=1 in that regard indicated chronic undereating if anything, but then I was eating mostly meat without (much) additional dairy. I consciously attempted to overeat for a while and gained plenty of weight, but when I stopped force-feeding myself I effortlessly fell back down to where I was before.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:52 AM

Inuit on their traditional diet do not have a tendency towards obesity. They, like virtually all observed HG groups undergoing nutritional transition, balloon on a western diet. The statue is the Venus statue logic Don used to kick off this particular kerfluffle - that the Venus statues are indicative of hunter gatherer body composition.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:50 AM

It's not impossible, it's just not in line with most of the n=1s I've read. Typically, dedicated zero carbers end up pretty skinny (healthy or not). And by dedicated, I'm talking the year plus sort of people who really stick with it. My own n=1 in that regard indicated chronic undereating if anything, but then I was eating mostly meat without (much) additional dairy.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:49 AM

It's not impossible, it's just not in line with most of the n=1s I've read. Typically, dedicated zero carbers end up pretty skinny (healthy or not). Your experience (5 weeks, huge amounts of butter) isn't quite comparable to the year(s) on meat diets other's have completed. Nor is it very applicable to Don's argument, since it's unlikely that paleolithic mammoth hunters were dousing their mammoth burgers in butter.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:48 AM

It's not impossible, it's just not in line with most of the n=1s I've read. Typically, dedicated zero carbers end up pretty skinny. Your experience (5 weeks, huge amounts of butter) isn't quite comparable to the year(s) on meat diets other's have completed. Nor is it very applicable to Don's argument, since it's unlikely that paleolithic mammoth hunters were dousing their mammoth burgers in butter.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:28 AM

I think this is a wise experiment you did. Sounds like you adopted a classic 40-40-20 that less extreme bodybuilders sometimes opt for. 40 protein 40 carb with only 20% fat. On lifting days I opt for this too, and I'd agree that I have more energy and have a more positive mental outlook. I have really come around to feeling that good carbohydrates are good for emotional and mental wellbeing.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:26 AM

It does seem the classic devil's advocate. Or more precisely, rebelling against the rebels yknow? Always staying one step ahead - paleo was anti-mainstream initially and all so he's down with it and then it gets to big so now one has to question that to stay too cool for school kinda vibe.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:23 AM

Firstly I HAVE NOT read don's post. However, I would not disagree with the section you quoted. I have found through my own n=1 that those three assertions are pretty close to what happens.

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:10 AM

Laurie, that was my husband's explanation, as well - someone made an image of her because she was different.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 10, 2011
at 11:46 PM

"it's that a random statue is a meaningful indicator of what happens when you eat a high fat diet." Can you simplify this sentence? Idont understand.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 10, 2011
at 11:44 PM

inuit have a tendency to obesity.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 10, 2011
at 11:29 PM

+1 on stirring the pot. That's the only thing that makes sense to me.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 10, 2011
at 11:25 PM

So why aren't Inuit whale hunters all 100lbs overweight? His point isn't just that fat is a rewarding food to eat, it's that a random statue is a meaningful indicator of what happens when you eat a high fat diet.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 10, 2011
at 11:11 PM

Kamal: If you don't crap half of it out later, you have an amazing gallbladder capacity. The problem with overeating a lot of fat is that unless it's well emulsified, you're in for a hell of a night on the toilet.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 10, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Have you tried coconut cream? It's pretty easy to eat 1000 calories of that in about two minutes, if you like coconut.

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on May 10, 2011
at 10:40 PM

THANK YOU! I was so disgusted over his assertion that the Venus of Willendorf was proof that too much animal fat would make one obese that I unsubscribed from his blog.

Fff58a1fd1e29d93fd6a25d3fdebbade

(400)

on May 10, 2011
at 10:30 PM

It's pretty easy to eat a lot of Heavy Cream though. At least it is for me, yum.

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on May 10, 2011
at 10:24 PM

Yes, a bag of Doritos has done me in before.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 10, 2011
at 10:06 PM

I'm glad you asked. I'm still shaking my head over this one. I couldn't make heads nor tails out of his last two posts. I'll be interested to read everyone's opinion on this one.

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14 Answers

12
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 11, 2011
at 09:22 AM

Thanks, I've been waiting for an excuse to discuss the Venus posts.

The basic argument of the posts seems to be that:

  • It only takes a couple of spoons of extra fat a day to become obese.
  • Eating an extra couple of spoons of fat is easy.
  • Therefore, becoming obese eating just fat (and protein) is easy.

But this line of argument completely ignores all the discussions in the paleosphere about caloric intake/expenditure regulation. For any-one who's heard of leptin (and I'm sure Don has), this argument just doesn't seem compelling at all. Why don't animals (or human animals) in the wild, commonly become obese without access to scales and a calorie count, if all it requires is half a mouthful of extra fat per day? (Notably, modern people living a pre-industrial lifestyle, don't seem to be afflicted by such obesity, so the very data that Don seems to be trying to explain seems dubious). The idea that becoming obese is easy, over a long period of time, because all you need to do is eat slightly more than you need regularly assumes that eating slightly more than you need all the time, even as you gain substantial amount of body fat, is easy. This in itself assumes that our bodies don't naturally respond to increased fat mass, making it harder to eat more (which in healthy circumstances they do). The interesting question then (complete ignored) is whether meat and fat are likely to fundamentally disorder your energy regulation, which seems implausible.

As for Don's comparison of fat-based to carb-based meals. I have to report the precise opposite to his claim. In an immediately obvious sense, over-eating low carb, high fat foods seems far harder than over-eating carbs, in my experience. Fat might be 'tasty,' but in my experience it doesn't have the moreish quality that carbs do. However nice a stick of butter might taste, most people find it difficult to eat a lot of it, whereas most people have experienced an urge to eat lots of carbs, once they've started, even if they aren't particularly intrinsically tasty. I'm open, incidentally, to the possibility that some safe paleo carbs, like plain boiled potatoes or white rice, don't have the appetite stimulating effect of bread/pasta- but suffice to say the claim that fat is tastier, doesn't suggest that it's easier to eat a lot of it.

Don's specific arguments for it being easier to overeat fat than carbs also seem astonishingly weak.

???Which do you enjoy more, one 4-ounce boiled potato (about 100 kcal), or two tablespoons of cream (also about 100 kcal).???

Sure, but it also seems that the cream is far more satisfying than the equal quantity of potato. I know that I was hungrier eating lots of potatoes (the bulk of virtually every family meal), than I was eating a smaller amount of fat.

???Its obvious which has the higher caloric density.???

I've always been struck by how people (typically mainstream obesity researchers) can cite caloric density as though it's actually meaningful, without exploration. Yes, there's evidence that caloric density is a factor in appetite control, (sheer bulk filling you up, for one), but no reason to think that caloric density is intrinsically important. No-one sits down to a fixed meal of '100g of food' (whatever the caloric density). If this were an over-riding factor, then the obesity problem would be solved by handing out fibre supplements and glasses of water. There are also importantly different sorts of hunger. Eating non-caloric bulk can stop one sort of hunger (probably ghrelin-related), but can't stop sheer my-cells-have-got-no-energy hunger. Back when I was eating lots of plants and few calories, I was full all the time, but over the long term the body isn't fooled and you want to actually consume some macronutrients.

And yes, there is a slight metabolic advantage, in the sense he discusses, from eating carbohydrate. The interesting question therefore is whether there are any other factors advantaging fat intake- for example, slower digestion, lower insulin. My general suspicion is that our bodies aren't so easily I fooled. Knowing that carbs have this 10% advantage, it seems implausible that our bodies haven't evolved to take this into account in deciding how much food we need. If so, we should not expect that people find it intrinsically easier to overeat fat than carbs.

???I've never met a person who binges on boiled potatoes.???

Actually, I thought it was widely acknowledged that carbs were the primary binge food. I don't know any-one who binges on tallow either. I'm sure boiled potatoes specifically aren't a common binge food, but see no reason to think that people wouldn't binge on plain carbs, rather than carbs+fat.

I'm not interested in contesting Don's denial that ???carbohydrates make people fat,??? since no-one, not even Taubes, claims that carbohydrates necessarily make people fat. What is being contested here, is the idea that it's very difficult to get substantially fat eating just meat and fat.

Of course, the other major assumption of Don's post is that the Venus actually represents an obese, solely meat-eating woman, who needs to be explained. It seems perfectly plausible that the sculpture serves some other purpose- the sculpture just looks like an exaggeration rather than an attempt to accurately capture an actual woman's body shape.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:33 PM

The keyword in there is "_extra_ two tablespoons". Let's say I weigh 180lbs and have a BMR of 2000kcal, all from fat. That would be about 300 grams of fat to start. I add in an extra ounce (240kcal) at every meal. After doing this for a year, I should, according to the standard wisdom, have gained 25lbs. Except now my BMR has increased to 2100 kcal, and of course I'm an HG who now needs to move more mass around, so I'm going to expend more energy day to day on top of that. My extra ounce of fat will stop adding weight at this point.. so I'd have to add another.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:38 PM

So it's not so simple as "an extra two tablespoons" - that makes it sound like I could eat the same amount plus two tablespoons and continue to gain weight forever. That's not the case. The two tablespoons would become part of my normal meal and I'd have to add another two, then another two, and another two forever if I wanted to keep gaining weight.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:41 PM

...I binge on tallow sometimes.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:36 PM

Of course, it's not like your body undergoes a reset yearly; my body would have compensated for the extra intake over time already and I'd be stable with my extra ounce of fat after a year. So I add another, and my weight gain will be even less efficient - more weight to move, more BMR. But call it even for the sake of argument. After four years, I'd be up to 4 more ounces of fat over my starting intake - daily - just to maintain my new weight. And actually it would be substantially more than that, because the cost of moving that extra weight around an HG lifestyle wouldn't be trivial.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 11, 2011
at 06:05 PM

My cat goes nuts for butter.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 11, 2011
at 06:57 PM

I must confess to being something of an oddball in the paleo community insofar that I don't find butter that moreish. Don't get me wrong, I find it plenty tasty, but I never feel any particular urge to eat it and after having some I never feel the urge to eat more (both of which occur in the case of protein, for example). It's certainly the least satisfying of the foods I eat (although it of course fills me up; I'm sure I'd feel substantially different if I cut that 70%+ of my calories from my diet!).

8
F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

on May 11, 2011
at 11:11 AM

He seems to extrapolate heavily from the shape of the Venus of Willendorf, but there is a danger that in doing so, based upon Egyption art, you could make a case for cat-headed people roaming around Cairo 3000 years ago.

A few thoughts:

1) I have read that some cultures revere fat women. We have no idea how exaggerated these Venus figures actually are. Maybe they are exaggerated the way modern Warcraft novels exaggerate muscularity in men. It is 'Art' after all.

2) If we are to believe that very fat individuals existed all those years ago, can we attribute the obesity to the consumption of fat and protein or could it be that wild honey, fruits, and milk (where available from a kill), were not preferentially given to revered women within a tribe?

3) One thing ADV makes a point of is the importance of hormonal 'signalling'. Our body seems to pick up signals as to what season it for example by exposure to light and from macronutrient composition - particularly carbohydrates and fructose (hence the idea from TS Wiley's 'Light Out' that our bodies believe we exist in an eternal summer, preparing for a winter that never comes').

'Signalling' is manifest from fasting. HGs would likely have experienced periods of fasting over the course of a week, and over the course of a year, so when Don Matesz says the following:

"Let's say she ate only 100 excess fat calories every day...about two teaspoons of pure fat."

I'd question whether HGs actually ate every day particularly over the course of a year. The signalling from fasting seems to express leaness.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:31 PM

Hahaha, cat headed people! I love it. Great points, Asclepius!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 11, 2011
at 04:05 PM

+1 for Cat-headed people roaming around Cairo! Perfect analogy.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:19 PM

Thanks SherpaMelissa - I hope if Don reads this he takes it in the spirit it was intended! Seriously though, it is great that he is stirring things up a bit. I can foresee the time when much of the paleo crowd actually line up behind Colpo, Lyle Macdonald, J Kreiger and Carbsane! You read it here first! ;)

Ee1a3fd7d5c4eace610c929c556b895c

(38)

on May 12, 2011
at 06:43 PM

There's a difference from extrapolating based on a depiction of obesity, which can exist, and a depiction of a cat headed person, which can't. Thats sort of like saying you can't extrapolate what medieval knights may have looked like from sculpture, because another culture from a different time period sculpted a minotaur.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on May 12, 2011
at 09:18 PM

John, I am sure we all agree. My cat comment was a joke! Nothwtihstanding art has long been used to express an ideal.

8
3f5bbb444498a24f1a9720d75fa7c903

on May 11, 2011
at 12:02 AM

I've always wondered about the conclusions people come to when trying to interpret the meaning of artifacts from an ancient culture. My guess is that when they find the dozens of buried soup bones in my side yard, they will assume the people that lived here slaughtered cows and cut up the legs bones in some sort of religious ritual. Fact is that my dog likes to bury his bones there. That simple. Maybe the Venus is just a representation of the tribe's fat lady and nothing else. Maybe she gluttoned out on local roots and fruits and because she was different, someone made an image of her. Maybe she had a thyroid issue. I've seen tall skinny images as well. Can we derive dietary preferences from either of these types? Probably not. My guess is that someone made an image of them because they were unusual or different and that is all.

91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

(2081)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:10 AM

Laurie, that was my husband's explanation, as well - someone made an image of her because she was different.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:28 AM

I agree that the images could be of unusual or different women, but he's not saying these women were common, just that they existed in a pre-agricultural environment. Therefore, he reasons, it is possible to get fat without grain (he's going way beyond that with some other arguments, I know, and I'm not defending those). I agree with this one point, since I'm acquainted with a few fellow zero-carbers who, unlike me, didn't lose any weight, even after a strict year or more. Carbs --> insulin may not be the only path to fatness.

B289fd8670257e77badb0c77709f8572

(10)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:48 PM

My take on these figurines? I think it shows a woman with a wicked starch dependency who trades her ration of meat/fat for loads of roasted tubers. In an all-out effort to warn the children of a future filled with diet-induced-derision, statues are carved and sent out to each tribe. "Eat a healthy diet" was the message; each Venus originally was set upon a pedestal with the equivalent of 'ELMM' inscribed in the base. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it--until I'm presented with empirical evidence to show otherwise.

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:18 AM

My thoughts exactly.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 13, 2011
at 03:08 PM

But Rose, the zero carbers you know who didn't lose weight didn't *become* fat while zero carbing.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 14, 2011
at 10:47 PM

Excellent point, Ambimorph. And periodically I see those kinds of questions going around: Can you GET fat eating ZC? The answer seems to be, not if you didn't start out that way. I still agree with his artistic interpretation, though -- I think these aren't "fantasy" images, based on the realism of the adipose tissue (if not the hair). But even if that's the case, the cause of their fatness is mysterious, you're right.

6
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 10, 2011
at 10:20 PM

No, not crazy. I don't think he's really saying that fat makes you fat, just that it's easy to overeat fat if there's a lot of it around.

Although...I don't see the point in his last two posts. Paleo often helps with weight loss because it restricts the number of energy dense super-palatable foods you can eat. Very few of us are at risk of eating jars of coconut oil (well, maybe some of us), but a bag of Doritos is a sitting duck for an overeater. He seems to be throwing around some pretty weak-sauce correlations (Japan having low obesity rates). Nor does he touch on the umpteen reasons that restricting carbs can curb overeating.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:15 AM

Yeah, that shit sucks. Pun intended.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 10, 2011
at 11:11 PM

Kamal: If you don't crap half of it out later, you have an amazing gallbladder capacity. The problem with overeating a lot of fat is that unless it's well emulsified, you're in for a hell of a night on the toilet.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 10, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Have you tried coconut cream? It's pretty easy to eat 1000 calories of that in about two minutes, if you like coconut.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:29 PM

LOL............

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on May 10, 2011
at 10:24 PM

Yes, a bag of Doritos has done me in before.

Fff58a1fd1e29d93fd6a25d3fdebbade

(400)

on May 10, 2011
at 10:30 PM

It's pretty easy to eat a lot of Heavy Cream though. At least it is for me, yum.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:15 AM

@kamal. Been there, done that.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:35 PM

OMG I have overeaten fat before too.. uggh, NEVER again.

5
3b803506ca7d7b5796bc16ee5b9f11d3

on May 10, 2011
at 10:58 PM

It did confuse me when these came right after a post where he basically says that meat/fat could not have been a large part of the "real" paleolithic diet. He then goes on to say that a figurine from the period means that fat makes you fat. That provoked some cognitive dissonance for me. Then I read he came to question his previous ideas because he had a bad allergy season right when he was consuming more fat, which is when I thought "he's gone off the rails". I mean, maybe his neighbors planted more flowers this Spring and there's more pollen around? Like him, I also live in the Phoenix AZ area, and yeah, I've seen around me quite a few people suffering allergies but, anecdotally and thankfully, they haven't affected me, high fat and all, and it's been a lot better for my wife who normally has bad allergies and not so much this time around, when she's starting to eat paleo.

After all, wasn't it all more about what not to eat? rather than macro-nutrient ratios?

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:18 PM

The allergy argument irked us too, because there's no evidence of causation here.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:30 PM

Nice catch about the contradiction!

5
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on May 10, 2011
at 10:52 PM

Heh, well I don't want to comment on the science except that I think fat accumulation is a more complex issue than he is making it out to be. Thermogenic effect, pff. Uncoupling proteins burn excess fat in the absence of leptin resistance. Venus stuff and whatnot is also odd. I think there might be some arguments in favor of -some- more carbs than very low carb diets but not to the degree he wishes to take it. Also the stuff about Japan and Kitava is invalid too, since they demonstrate a lack of omega 6 over-abundance. We can really only take that argument as far as "some carbs don't necessarily make you fat".

My first observation was that Don is a philosopher which could mean either 1. He is playing devil's advocate, stirring the pot and challenging the general common belief in the spirit of skepticism and progress. 2. He has gone waaaaaaaaaay off the deep end.

I have no definitive answers at this time.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:00 AM

Ah right number 3. The love of the lunatic fringe. I can empathize.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 10, 2011
at 11:29 PM

+1 on stirring the pot. That's the only thing that makes sense to me.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:16 AM

I think it's confirmation bias. Don already thinks that lots of starches are healthy and very low carb isn't, so even this strangled argument constructed from non-evidence seems convincing to him.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:26 AM

It does seem the classic devil's advocate. Or more precisely, rebelling against the rebels yknow? Always staying one step ahead - paleo was anti-mainstream initially and all so he's down with it and then it gets to big so now one has to question that to stay too cool for school kinda vibe.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:07 AM

I suppose number 4 could be that he is genuinely right, but some of these arguments just seem a little silly. I think he -might- be right about the whole large amounts of tryptophan, cysteine and methionine containing protein thing and that large amounts of muscle protein impair metabolism. I have yet to see that notion thoroughly refuted. But the arguments for more carbs and less fats...not so much.

4
4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 10, 2011
at 11:10 PM

He's making some rather odd assertions in the comments.

I forward the rather radical idea that if you don't eat enough carbohydrate, your brain will drive you to continue eating protein and fat until you either 1) ingest enough carbohydrate, 2) ingest enough protein to meet the carbohydrate drive, or 3) max out your ability to metabolize protein and fat, EVEN if this lead to excessive energy intake.

This seems contradicted by most anecdotal evidence. Certainly there might be some people out there who manage to zero-carb themselves into obesity, but zero-carb seems to generate chronic undereating more than anything else (at least going by anecdotes available online and my own personal experience)

He seems to have an anti-zero carb bias which leads him into weird overreaction. If anyone credible were asserting the things he's seeking to debunk, then maybe his blog posts would make more sense, but he seems to be setting himself up as a crusader against a movement which isn't big enough to matter.

edit: Reading some more, he seems to have a pretty confrontational tone and writing style. He's really trying to pick a fight with someone here, but I just can't figure out who.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:48 AM

It's not impossible, it's just not in line with most of the n=1s I've read. Typically, dedicated zero carbers end up pretty skinny. Your experience (5 weeks, huge amounts of butter) isn't quite comparable to the year(s) on meat diets other's have completed. Nor is it very applicable to Don's argument, since it's unlikely that paleolithic mammoth hunters were dousing their mammoth burgers in butter.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:23 AM

Firstly I HAVE NOT read don's post. However, I would not disagree with the section you quoted. I have found through my own n=1 that those three assertions are pretty close to what happens.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:50 AM

It's not impossible, it's just not in line with most of the n=1s I've read. Typically, dedicated zero carbers end up pretty skinny (healthy or not). And by dedicated, I'm talking the year plus sort of people who really stick with it. My own n=1 in that regard indicated chronic undereating if anything, but then I was eating mostly meat without (much) additional dairy.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:19 AM

But since zero carbers eat protein at every meal (you have to unless you're eating straight cream...) perhaps they're hitting their protein requirements under the caloric requirements. Also, meat is good, but it can get boring and then people don't want to eat. That's sortof like Stephan Guyenet's last post.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:49 AM

Yeh, that one quoted bit is about the one bit of his posts that I would agree with, but it should read "if you've not eaten enough carb/PROTEIN." Assuming little carb, if I don't eat enough protein, then I feel astonishingly awful until I do. If I only have foods that contain little protein and more carbs/fat than I need, then I'll tend to eat until I have enough protein (consuming more fat than I need). In the long term though, it seems the body goes the other way and loses appetite for the low protein/glucose foods, as with people/rats on an insufficient protein ketogenic diet.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:49 AM

It's not impossible, it's just not in line with most of the n=1s I've read. Typically, dedicated zero carbers end up pretty skinny (healthy or not). Your experience (5 weeks, huge amounts of butter) isn't quite comparable to the year(s) on meat diets other's have completed. Nor is it very applicable to Don's argument, since it's unlikely that paleolithic mammoth hunters were dousing their mammoth burgers in butter.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:53 AM

It's not impossible, it's just not in line with most of the n=1s I've read. Typically, dedicated zero carbers end up pretty skinny (healthy or not). And by dedicated, I'm talking the year plus sort of people who really stick with it. My own n=1 in that regard indicated chronic undereating if anything, but then I was eating mostly meat without (much) additional dairy. I consciously attempted to overeat for a while and gained plenty of weight, but when I stopped force-feeding myself I effortlessly fell back down to where I was before.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 11:08 AM

Don appears to be using the logic I quoted as justification for his assertion that the Venus statues (morbidly obese women) are indicative of hunter gatherer body composition on a fat-meat diet. His first two points aren't particularly controversial, but his emphasis (and overarching argument) is on the excessive energy intake - that fat and meat lead to obesity. This seems strikingly contradicted by available observations.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 13, 2011
at 03:19 PM

I don't really understand alternative 3, but it seems patently obvious that a zc'er has to eat enough protein to cover both protein and glucose needs, and that they would remain driven to eat until that need was met.

3
Fd504de9b242f4cd7009db70af5e2121

(558)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:41 PM

No matter the intent of his post,I find it very hard to believe that someone can reach that level of obesity in the absence of refined/processed foods without extraordinary effort(over feeding ritual)....a couple hundred extra calories of fat a day aint gonna do it IMHO

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 10, 2011
at 11:17 PM

"I've never met a person who binges on boiled potatoes."

i remember some times i binged on boiled potatos cause they were so sweet and delicous.

If carbohydrates make people fat, then why does Japan have an obesity rate of only 3.2%, in comparison to the Grecian 22%? Seven times more obesity in Greece, than in Japan.

Grecian diet: About 40% energy from fat, 45% from carbohydrate Japanese diet: About 60% energy from carbohydrate (mostly white rice), 25% from fat

thats clear.

I simply do not find compelling any attempt to explain Venus by force-feeding rituals, potato or honey binges, or similar scenarios. People do not get obese like this in a month, and ice age Europe most likely did not supply any carbohydrate-rich foods in quantities necessary to make them responsible for this level of obesity.

true point....no nasty fruits... :( sweet delicous fruits:)

i think he does a good mind game. In the brain you have a part which reward you. so far i know it dopamin release. So people feel reward when eating fatty foods. Cause in famine and extreme tie it was surival to find fatty foods. today we dont have closely the stressfull life of a caveman in iceage in europe. Still we feel the reward. That can lead to obesity. And thats not a worse thing its good cause it shows that you surive hard iceages. this are my thoughts. We still have this part in our brain which reward us. So to dont get in this trap we have to reward us for non food thing to be more free from binges. To the why japanese are less obesity than greek. Don shows the the data that japanese eat more carbs in form of rice and other vegetables. In greek there is fatty cheeses, olive oil in mass, fish, animalfat, dairy sheep(5%fat). The japanese have fish rice seafood, some sweetpotatos or other excotic vegetables, seaweed, sake.

Its up to everyone to make his her point.

Lso in greek are different people. There is a monestary where people live vegan and vegetarian and they are very healthy. also cause they dont eat much and work asnd praise the whole day in community. Also tere is one bluezone in greece.

They didn't eat grain-based diets, and they didn't have refined grains, high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, or omega-6 rich seed oils. Thus, we couldn't blame it on so-called neolithic agents of disease, could we?

this is a good point.just immagine you kill a bluewhale or two big hales. it so nutrucious such things we cant imagine. Espacially whales had nutrient which are high nourishing. Probably Mamut was similiar. Maybe it was like binges on ben and jerry icecreams. Just to imagine high fat . Realy special fat. i remember when i first had wildboar fat. it was so special and i was this time in the norwegian mountains with people together. you can look at wildmoon.eu >>immages. It was so different how i digested this animal stuff than usual. actually i have been vegetarian before(with high raw vegan precentage, not strict!). Its different being in a flat doing a diet and being outdoors in surival real setting and having a diet. the body craves and reward different. In the civilisation you always have to force youself to train. in wilderness and cold you need to move and train to keep alive and comfort. in civilisation its comfort without moving.

According to the Pleistocene Overkill hypothesis, during this time that, possibly, humans in Eurasia were intensively killing the very large, fat wild game animals, like mammoths, rhinos, and enormous elk, possibly contributing to the Quarternary Extinctions.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 10, 2011
at 11:44 PM

inuit have a tendency to obesity.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 11, 2011
at 06:04 PM

And what about the fact that untreated type 1 diabetics cannot store fat? Without insulin, you cannot get fat. Carbs are the primary culprit. Eating a lot of fat and carbs, well that's a double whammy!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 10, 2011
at 11:46 PM

"it's that a random statue is a meaningful indicator of what happens when you eat a high fat diet." Can you simplify this sentence? Idont understand.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 10, 2011
at 11:25 PM

So why aren't Inuit whale hunters all 100lbs overweight? His point isn't just that fat is a rewarding food to eat, it's that a random statue is a meaningful indicator of what happens when you eat a high fat diet.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:52 AM

Inuit on their traditional diet do not have a tendency towards obesity. They, like virtually all observed HG groups undergoing nutritional transition, balloon on a western diet. The statue is the Venus statue logic Don used to kick off this particular kerfluffle - that the Venus statues are indicative of hunter gatherer body composition.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:51 AM

I think there are some Indegenous tribe who had postcontact with civilisation more likely obesity. And that are Native Americans and Inuit. And not all Inuit, the Inuit which are close to the trading point where the whites brought their good this got ill. I recommend the two sites www.isuma.tv and "eyeonarctic" at eye on arctic there is a interview with a saami and a inuit healthcare proffesional. And then another look. Search on the internet or in books for inuit fotos close to contact. And the search for fotos of hunter gatherer people who are on a plant based diet(major plant based diet)

3
6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on May 10, 2011
at 10:45 PM

For what it's worth, I've got around 30-40 pounds of extra fat. I tried going high fat, low carb for a while. My favorite meal was a "butter burger". I'd cook a grassfed burger up in about 5 tablespoons of grassfed butter, pour the butter over the burger, and eat it all up. My favorite part was eating the leftover butter burger juice. I could eat that stuff all day - and did. Guess what, I didn't lose much fat, and I felt tired and sluggish. I did this for four or five weeks. I came to the conclusion that fat does not satiate me. I can overeat it very easily, especially delicious butter.

So, I switched to eating a fairly high protein, moderate carb (100 - 200 grams of mainly boiled potatoes), and moderate to low fat diet. On this diet (roughly 35% fat / 35% protein / 30% carb), I can EASILY restrict my calories pretty dramatically, without much hunger or fatigue. My strength is going up, and my weight is going down. Go figure.

I predict this is just the beginning of a swing away from the high fat, paleo diets. In the end, people are just going to have to figure out what macros work for them.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 11, 2011
at 12:28 AM

I think this is a wise experiment you did. Sounds like you adopted a classic 40-40-20 that less extreme bodybuilders sometimes opt for. 40 protein 40 carb with only 20% fat. On lifting days I opt for this too, and I'd agree that I have more energy and have a more positive mental outlook. I have really come around to feeling that good carbohydrates are good for emotional and mental wellbeing.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:14 AM

I do the "butter burger" in an attempt to gain weight. but have failed at doing so. I guess we are all different.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:16 AM

I think this is really what he's trying to assert, and he maybe just went a little too far. There is a tendency to go to extremes in the nutrition community, which bugs me quite a bit. Maybe it's easier to lose weight with lower fat and moderate carbs, assuming you're not diabetic. It seems like a good explanation for why some women will stall on paleo.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:40 PM

I'd wholly agree that although i believe the paleo-base is indeed healthful for all humans, after that we are all individual and if we're talking up or down a few pounds here and there its going to take individual tinkering with fats, proteins, carbs, and overall cals. I can only say that the leanest I've been has been when making an effort to up the carb-content of my daily intake and moderate the fat-intake. Not extreme in any way. Its simply turning the knobs a bit.

2
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 11, 2011
at 01:27 PM

Fat is a dense form of calories, and if you are indiscriminately eating large quantities of oil and cream, you are eating a lot of calories. I don't understand some advice which suggests eating more calories to lose weight. You have to burn it off or eliminate it somehow or it's going to cause you to retain or gain weight.

Mark Sisson constantly talks about how much fat he is eating, but has also said that he eats 600-1000 calories less per day than he did on his non-Paleo diet. Calorie counts do matter even if it's a pain in the butt to count them. It might be fine to eat 80% of your calories in fat, but your overall calorie intake has to be lower or you won't lose weight.

Fat has more than 2x calories per gram than carbs and protein, so switching from low fat to high fat and reducing calories means you'll eat less than half the weight of food that you did. I think a lot of people don't realize how much smaller portions have to be in order to fit into this. If you're used to covering your plate with carbs, and you cover your plate with fat and protein, you're probably eating a lot more calories. This is one thing about "nutrient dense" foods on the paleo diet -- there isn't any "filler", so you can eat a much smaller volume of food and stay nourished.

All this is to say, fat doesn't make you fat and fat doesn't make you skinny, but I think fat is better to eat than carbs, but your overall calorie intake still has to be restricted if you're going to lose weight.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:32 PM

great summary of the whole calorie issue, thanks. It gets silly how so many new people to the paleo thing just refuse to accept that calories still, and always, count. Fat is a (wonderful, healthful, delicious) dense form of calories and should simply be understood as such. Just as carbohydrates are an insulin-affecting form of calories and should not be demonized but simply understood for what they are. These are all simply tools that we can use as we see fit to achieve whatever goal we have.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:16 PM

Dr K will be along soon to tell you to go re-read GCBC! Yes calories count, but NO you shouldn't have to count calories! You 'inner actuary' does all that. What matters is your hormonal response to calorie intake and calorie expenditure. If you eat more calories than usual then you should be able to go longer between meals or eat less at subsequent meals (or else your metabolism might seek to burn off the excess). Your appetite should adjust as long as you have a healthy metabolism, healthy gut flora and are generating the appropriate hormonal signals.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on May 11, 2011
at 03:27 PM

Just to clarify, I don't think ANY healthy organism has to count calories to achieve a healthy BF.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on May 11, 2011
at 02:32 PM

Calories don't matter......but if you insists count them. After a few years you will understand. We humans all respond differently to a diet because our cellular homeostasis is all different at different times. This is why some many people can see two opposite ends of an issue And both appear to be right for their current situation. If your fit and hormonally optimal you will have a max effect on a strict paleo diet. If your not you will have an up and down course until your cellulR inflammation lowers and your hormones are optimal. It's all about context of the organism.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 13, 2011
at 03:27 PM

I would take it one step further and say no one has to *restrict* calories to lose fat. Yes, your calorie level will decline if you are losing fat, but that's not the same.

2
8a8129d053df7365c6529b0c2ac95efb

(284)

on May 11, 2011
at 05:40 AM

I always thought that all that dumping butter and coconut fat over everything is too much...i try to stick with lean meat, veggies and fruit...

1
Ee1a3fd7d5c4eace610c929c556b895c

on May 11, 2011
at 11:49 AM

Is there any question that fat can make you fat at this point? There's certainly people capable of putting away large quantities of it with no problem whatsoever, and it is stored very efficiently. I can't be the only one thats gone <50g of carbs a day, and averaged 3500+ calories a day from meat and butter, while never feeling very full (and while watching midsection softness develop). It seems totally plausible that if an ancient culture had access to a large surplus of food all the time, some might become overweight, regardless of what they were eating. I tried pretending that fat doesn't make me fat, which turned out to reverse some hard earned progress (8% bf jumped to 12% or so very quickly).

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 11, 2011
at 01:34 PM

absolutely agreed. I myself can gain or lose poundage as I see fit without the use of carbohydrate. Eat enough fat, enough protein, enough carbohydrate - it doesnt matter (!) - and you will store it as fat. Period

Ee1a3fd7d5c4eace610c929c556b895c

(38)

on May 12, 2011
at 06:25 PM

I disagree that it is difficult to eat excess fat without carbohydrate. There's a large difference from forcing oneself to eat a bowl of butter, and eating beyond satiety in a food abundant environment. For me, going VLC, I had little trouble adding 500 calories per day above what I'd normally have eaten. As he states, 2 teaspoons of animal fat is 100 calories. Five bites beyond fullness, and you've got 500 calories. In case this doesn't seem realistic, imagine what you'd normally eat in a day. Imagine adding 2 tablespoons of ghee to that (280 calories). Seem difficult?

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 12, 2011
at 05:13 AM

I don't think there is any question that excess fat calories can be stored as fat (not among any serious defenders of low carb). What's important- and what Don denies- is that it's very difficult to eat excess fat if you're not eating carbohydrate. The cases of people who gain weight after they force themselves to eat bowls of melted butter aren't pertinent.

0
Medium avatar

on May 11, 2011
at 07:59 PM

I read the responses here and then expected him to be making unequivocal claims, but he says "maybe" a bunch of times. He's presenting low-fat food for thought, which is in stark contrast to the characterizations made here. The statue inference is a huge stretch, but there certainly are a lot of paleo people with weight stalls. I see a lot of posts about it anywhere I see paleo.

Once again, I think we've glossed over the huge amount of nuance present and created a dietary fat monolith. We say that as long as it's not trans fat, PUFAs etc., eat as much of it as you want/can. In much the same way that individual fatty acids have markedly different effects on a person's lipid profile, different fats are transported/oxidized/stored with different preference based on type and other conditions present.

If you pull dairy fat (for example) out of your diet and replace it with an equivalent amount of coconut oil, you will be decreasing your ingestion of long chain triglycerides by almost 20%. Those are the ones taken up by chylomicrons and largely sent to adipocytes. If you keep eating dairy and then eat a ton of coconut oil on top of that, even though your MCFA intake has increased, your LCFA has also increased, so you're likely packing even more fat into your fat cells. You may have cut carbs down, so your mitochondria aren't forced into an energy substrate substitution as often, but it's really easy to overshoot with something so energy dense.

Calories in/out is overly simplistic and really a mess to talk about, but fatty acid lipolysis/reesterification in adipocytes is a particular accounting that obviously does matter. If you rarely utilize your muscles and thus don't oxidize fatty acids with your muscle mitochondria and eat a ton of LCFAs, you will be at best spinning your wheels. The fat never leaves the adipocytes but there is a steady stream of it being added. You can get fatter this way; I've done it myself. You may not be able to get obese this way, but you can get fatter and you can easily stop yourself from getting leaner.

I'm personally of the opinion that there is no obesity without fructose, but every obese person you see has packed dietary fat into their fat cells. That is largely why they are fat. Sure, their liver has converted fructose directly into fat and they've stored this, and they've also had a near-constant substrate change that has forced their mitochondria to burn glucose to try to keep them from being totally poisoned by it, but the actual tryglycerides in their adipocytes were from LCFAs in their food. The soda deranged them metabolically, the bread and frenchfries attenuated that substrate change, but it was the cooking oil on the fries and the fat in the burger that actually got shunted to the adipocytes. We paleo types have hopefully addressed the first part, but you can definitely eat enough fat to create the latter situation.

The other side of it is that dietary fat can be too low. For a male trying to get leaner, it's tempting to just go high protein/low fat, but the problem is that you end up rate-limiting testosterone production to whatever your saturated fat intake is. As you lower testosterone, you move the goal posts farther and farther away and your fat loss will stall. There's some threshold for everyone where they are maximizing testosterone production while minimizing LCFA ingestion. That would be the sweet spot. It's necessary to address any micronutrient deficiencies that might be interfering as well. If at that point you're not getting leaner, then it's time to get off the couch and be a lot more active.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:24 PM

I guess I don't see where he's saying fat is bad for everyone. He's simply stating a fact, which is that you can store dietary fat in your body's adipocytes and that a surplus of dietary fat with a deficit of fat oxidation over time could lead to an overweight state. It's true because it must be true. We'd not exist were this not true.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on May 11, 2011
at 08:20 PM

There's lots of women stalled on all sorts of diets, sure switching up macros may help some and it's good to not get dogmatic, but he's gone from 'fat is good for everyone' to 'fat is bad for everyone'. Both are probably incorrect.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on May 11, 2011
at 10:24 PM

I'm really glad you answered this Travis. This part of your answer " You may have cut carbs down, so your mitochondria aren't forced into an energy substrate substitution as often, but it's really easy to overshoot with something so energy dense" Is what I was trying to get at in my recent post here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/37927/how-much-starch-will-it-take-to-turn-off-fat-adaption#axzz1M545Bcrp

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