Questions & Answers …

      63 Comments on Questions & Answers …

I frequently receive emails or comments from people who’ve seen Fat Head, asking me to provide information which, as it so happens, is often already available on this blog. I’m not complaining, mind you; I don’t click every link on every blog I visit either. But since these are common questions, I thought I’d answer them here and point out some links many readers may not have noticed.

I’d like to see the food log from your fast-food diet.  Is it available?

If I had a top-ten questions list, this would definitely be number one. Yes, my food log is available. It’s been over there in the Helpful Links section since day one. Unlike certain other documentary filmmakers (ahem, ahem), I’m not afraid to show you what I actually ate.

At the end of Fat Head, you went on a saturated-fat pigout diet for a month, but you didn’t say if you lost any weight. Did you gain or lose?

My bad. The purpose of that month was to see what effect pigging out on saturated fat while eliminating sugar and starch would have on my cholesterol. It was a sort of challenge put to me by Dr. Mike Eades, who told me off-camera I could prove for myself that the Lipid Hypothesis was wrong. I ate a lot of food, didn’t count calories, and didn’t exercise much at all because I was traveling quite a bit for business. But to answer the question, I lost another two pounds. I didn’t mention that in the film because it was the cholesterol score that mattered, at least to me. (If you haven’t seen the film — and why the heck not?! — my total cholesterol and LDL dropped, while my HDL went up. Just what Dr. Mike predicted.)

Have you kept the weight off that you lost while filming Fat Head?

Nope. I’ve kept the fat off. There’s a difference. I went down to 194 lbs. on the fast-food diet, then down to 192 after the saturated-fat pigout diet. Once I started lifting weights using Fred Hahn’s Slow Burn method, I went back up over 200 even as my pants got a little looser. At the end of the 6-Week Cure diet, I weighed 195. Now I’m at 200, but my waist is the same size as when I weighed 195 in November. As long as I keep lifting weights and watching my diet, I’m not really concerned with reaching some magical number on the scale.

Do you have any sources for your claim that there’s no real scientific proof saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease? (I get that one a lot, sometimes phrased in not-very-polite terms that involve references to bovine droppings.)

Naw, I made it up. Seemed like a cool idea for a film. Yes, yes, yes, there’s a ton of literature out there supporting the claim. If you’re not up to reading Good Calories, Bad Calories, you can at least check the Recommended Reading links over there in the sidebar. A few of my favorites are:

Gary Taubes: The Soft Science of Dietary Fat
Gary Taubes: What If It’s All Been A Big Fat Lie?
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick on the Cholesterol Myths
What if “bad” fat is really good for you?

Those are some of the articles I stumbled across when I first started doing research for the film. Up until then, I hadn’t really planned for Fat Head to delve into what’s wrong with the standard nutrition advice. After reading the articles, I went a little nuts ordering books and downloading articles.

Where do you find low-carb recipes? Why don’t you post recipes?

I’m not really a recipe guy. I’m a seat-of-the-pants cook. I cook, taste, and add flavors as I go. (So does my five-year-old. She recently tasted some homemade soup and informed my wife it needed a bit more salt and some cumin.)

But there are good recipes on other sites I have linked:

NZ Low Carb Info and Recipes
Low-Carb Cooking (New Zealand)
Well Done Chef!

If anyone out there knows of other sites with good low-carb recipes, do tell. I don’t have them linked, but I’d also highly recommend a couple of low-carb cookbooks that my wife uses frequently. The biggest complaint I hear about low-carb diets is the lack of variety. Well, sure, if you do nothing but rotate eggs, steaks and cheeseburgers, it’s going to get boring. So don’t. Get these books and go to town.

Carb Wars, by Judy Barnes Baker (The moussaka is awesome.)

1001 Low-Carb Recipes, by Dana Carpender (Two words: barbeque sauce! Seriously, if you can’t find something you like in a book that contains a thousand recipes, it’s time to just give up and go back to killing yourself with sugar.)

How did you manage to marry that woman? (Yes, people have actually emailed to ask me that question. Maybe I should feel insulted …)

The short answer: no idea. But a friend and former co-worker named Amy once offered an explanation:  Amy knew me when I was engaged to another woman I’ll call Melanie. To put it mildly, the engagement didn’t work out well … mostly because just about the time I thought I was finished dealing with all the baggage Melanie was carrying around from childhood, it turned out she owned an entire storage facility I knew nothing about. So when I met my wife a couple of years later and wondered how I got so lucky, Amy said, “I think it’s God apologizing for Melanie.”

That’s as good an explanation as any other.

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63 thoughts on “Questions & Answers …

  1. eddie watts

    as for the comment about other governments trying the same thing as the US government, the uk generally follow the US guidelines. takes a few years to filter through but they do end up on the same page.
    thankfully over here the government came clean on eggs being no threat and being good for you.
    sadly i have found HFCS products on some shelves

    Not a fair trade for the UK. We get all those good BBC programs, and you end up with lousy nutrition guidelines and U.S.-subsidized corn syrup.

    Reply
  2. eddie watts

    as for the comment about other governments trying the same thing as the US government, the uk generally follow the US guidelines. takes a few years to filter through but they do end up on the same page.
    thankfully over here the government came clean on eggs being no threat and being good for you.
    sadly i have found HFCS products on some shelves

    Not a fair trade for the UK. We get all those good BBC programs, and you end up with lousy nutrition guidelines and U.S.-subsidized corn syrup.

    Reply
  3. Lizzy

    Question!!!!!!!! How to get my obese sister to go on Atkins? She refuses, even though my mom and I have been trying and trying and trying to get her to lose weight. She doesn’t exercise at all, and is really addicted to sugar. She doesn’t even bother to try. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You can’t get her to adopt a diet she doesn’t want to try. Show her Fat Head, give her a copy of “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes. Then let her go.

    Reply
  4. Lizzy

    Btw I totally agree BMI is bogus. My BMI says I should be skinny yet guess what? I’m not. Although I am sort of confused about it because I do have muscle yet at 5’2 and 115 I’m still chubby but the point is, the mirror is a better scale than the scale.

    Reply
  5. C

    How come I felt great restricting my calories to 1,200 and occasionally saturated fat to about 15 grams, but got depressed on a low carb diet? I’m not saying 15 grams of saturated fat is a good thing, I was totally ignorant then, but I’ve been doing low carb high-fat high-protein for a couple weeks and I feel really depressed a lot of the time…

    Don’t restrict your calories quite so much. When you go low-carb, your body must make the transition from relying on regular infusions of glucose for fuel to relying on fatty acids. It can take a couple of weeks, and during that time, you may feel foggy or tired. If you’re also going very low on calories, you may create a situation where you’re running low on available fuel.

    Reply
  6. Lizzy

    Question!!!!!!!! How to get my obese sister to go on Atkins? She refuses, even though my mom and I have been trying and trying and trying to get her to lose weight. She doesn’t exercise at all, and is really addicted to sugar. She doesn’t even bother to try. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You can’t get her to adopt a diet she doesn’t want to try. Show her Fat Head, give her a copy of “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes. Then let her go.

    Reply
  7. Lizzy

    Btw I totally agree BMI is bogus. My BMI says I should be skinny yet guess what? I’m not. Although I am sort of confused about it because I do have muscle yet at 5’2 and 115 I’m still chubby but the point is, the mirror is a better scale than the scale.

    Reply
  8. C

    How come I felt great restricting my calories to 1,200 and occasionally saturated fat to about 15 grams, but got depressed on a low carb diet? I’m not saying 15 grams of saturated fat is a good thing, I was totally ignorant then, but I’ve been doing low carb high-fat high-protein for a couple weeks and I feel really depressed a lot of the time…

    Don’t restrict your calories quite so much. When you go low-carb, your body must make the transition from relying on regular infusions of glucose for fuel to relying on fatty acids. It can take a couple of weeks, and during that time, you may feel foggy or tired. If you’re also going very low on calories, you may create a situation where you’re running low on available fuel.

    Reply
  9. Roy GA

    The reasons I’ve yet to find a woman like Chareva to marry is because I was fat and ugly. Well, over the last five years, I’ve lost a lot of weight on low-carb, real food eating. One obstacle down, one to go!

    Reply
  10. Roy GA

    The reasons I’ve yet to find a woman like Chareva to marry is because I was fat and ugly. Well, over the last five years, I’ve lost a lot of weight on low-carb, real food eating. One obstacle down, one to go!

    Reply

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