Southern Style

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Downtown Franklin

Downtown Franklin

We’re finally settled into our new home in Franklin, Tennessee.  My office is now on the ground floor of the house, in what was designed as a bedroom.  Franklin is a charming town, and we already love it here.  I plan to write more about that topic on my other blog later this week.

During the move, I made some mental notes on diet, exercise and obesity based on observations and two articles I read online – both of which were brought to my attention by readers.  So, in no particular order:

Exercising doesn’t make you thinner.

Okay, as Josef Brandenburg pointed out, the right kind of exercise can certainly help by influencing your insulin levels.  But the theory that you can burn off your body fat simply by expending calories just isn’t true.  The guys on the moving crew spent eight hours carrying heavy boxes and furniture out of the house and into a moving van – 12,500 pounds, according to the truck scales.  And we were their second pickup of the trip.  In Tennessee, they did it all again in reverse, including countless trips up the stairs.  These guys were strong as gorillas and worked hard.  They do this all the time.  But a couple of them were also significantly overweight.

Keep in mind, I believe exercising is great for your health and sense of well-being.  I enjoy my long walks, even though I know they’re pretty much useless for losing weight. 

Diet (the right diet, that is) does make you thinner.

By the end of the trip, my clothes were a little looser, even though my only exercise was driving and rolling a couple of suitcases into our hotel room each night.  But I skipped the carbs almost entirely. 

Road food is 90 percent carbohydrates.

Every time we stopped at a gas station/mini-mart to fill up the tank and buy some snacks, I was appalled at the food offerings.  Nearly everything on the shelves was some kind of sugar or starch concoction, often with Frankenstein oils mixed in for good measure:  corn chips, potato chips, candies, ice cream bars, sodas, pastries and pizza by the slice.  We ended up buying a lot of nuts for the girls.

Sugar makes you cranky.

We also let the girls splurge a few times and buy ice cream or cookies.  Bad move.  They were good travelers most of the time, but when they had a meltdown, it was always after eating sugar.

Obesity is regional.

One of the articles someone sent me was a Time magazine piece, Why Are Southerners So Fat?  I definitely saw a disproportionate number of huge bodies as we made stops in the south.  If you’ve seen Fat Head, you’ll recall that in the first scene, I said it took me several hours of shooting in three different locations to find all those big bodies walking by, and that if obesity was such an epidemic, it should’ve taken me ten minutes.

In southern Arkansas, it would’ve taken me five minutes.  We took a side trip there to a state facility where you can prospect for diamonds – a fun little outing for the girls.  At the same facility, there was a water park where the girls went swimming and splashing and sliding.  Sitting near the pool, I tried to spot some adults with well-toned bodies.  (This was purely for research purposes, you understand.)  I didn’t see any – seriously, not one.  The teenage lifeguards were in good shape, and that’s it.  A depressing number of kids were already fat.

So why are southerners fat?  If you read the Time piece, you’ll notice the author chalks it up to a lack of exercise – you know, not enough walking to the bus stop, too many hot days when it’s no fun to play outside and all that.

That’s nonsense.  And if you don’t believe me, perhaps you’ll believe Time magazine – because in a different article titled Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin, they actually get it right.  The author notes that exercise makes him hungrier and even quotes Gary Taubes.

It’s about the food, period.  The earlier Time article mentioned that Tennessee has a high rate of obesity.  That may be true for the state overall, but during the week we’ve spent in Franklin, I’ve hardly seen any rotund people at all.  If not for the modern cars, you’d think you’d stepped into the 1950s.

So what’s different here?  As Gary Taubes pointed out in Good Calories, Bad Calories, obesity and poverty often go together.  Carb-heavy foods are generally the cheapest, so poorer people eat more carbs.

But this is a prosperous area.  We’ve had a few of our new neighbors stop by to offer advice on the local attractions … southern hospitality and all that.  When they got around to recommending restaurants (usually after I confirmed that I will indeed be rooting for the Titans), they all asked the same question:  “Do you like a good steak?”

Yes, I like a good steak.  I also like a good town, and I’m glad to be living in one.

I’ve still got plenty of unpacking ahead of me, but the office is pretty much set up, so I’ll be resuming the twice-weekly posts.

Franklin countryside - the picture is obviously from the autumn, but this is what it looks like when we drive about two minutes from the house.

Franklin countryside - the picture is obviously from the autumn, but this is what it looks like when we drive about two minutes from the house.


Guest Post: Exercise Bologna

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(I’m still on the road with the family.  We’re somewhere in Arkansas tonight, and I’ve got internet access for the first time in a couple of days.  That gives me a chance to post a guest column by Josef Brandenburg, who I first heard about when Jimmy Moore interviewed him for a podcast show.  Josef’s column follows …)

Exercise Bologna – The Single Biggest Exercise Myth

by Josef Brandenburg

Pretty much everything that you’ve been told about exercise is bunk.  (Everything beyond the fact that you need to do it.)  It’s this misinformation in your head that is killing your results and probably your motivation too.  Who likes doing something when you don’t actually get rewarded for it?

Tom Naughton Does Something Stupid (Besides Letting Me Write for His Blog)

In the movie Fat Head (which rocks), Tom steps up his workouts by walking for an hour every single day because he thinks that this will actually do something to accelerate his weight loss beyond his reduced carb all fast-food diet.  Tom’s walking was probably a complete waste of time.  Time he could have spent working on his stand up act – which he desperately needs :-).

(Note from Tom:  Mike Eades told me the same thing … the extra walking is fine, but it does diddly for weight loss.  Oh well; I listen to books when I walk, so it was extra reading time.)

When I was a fat guy – 236 pounds (at 5 foot 10) with a 40.25 inch waist, and 26% body-fat (technically obese) I worked out for 11+ hours per week.  (Sorry, I was too embarrassed to have anyone else take this picture.  I had to do it in the mirror.)

I would wake up at 5am, drive to the gym, hop on some machine and go hard for an hour.  Then I would come back at night do some body-builder weight lifting, and another 35 to 45 min of steady state aerobic exercise. (In case you’re wondering, that does NOT leave time for a life.)

The funny thing is that I got fatter doing these twice-a-day workouts, but the whole time I was thinking to myself, “Damnit, you fat bastard, you need to work out more!  You need to burn more calories!”

How could I have possibly exercised any more?

Jogging Is BS

The whole idea that endurance exercise, like jogging, will make you thin came from the observation that elite endurance athletes are thin.  Without any reason for doing so, folks in the exercise “science” community concluded that endurance athletes were thin because they did lots of slow, long distance work.

This kind of “logic” is like Tom’s post about his plan to start playing basketball until he hits 6 foot 5.  You know:  basketball players are tall, so if I play ball long enough I’ll get tall too.

The “endurance exercise makes people thin” is fine as a theory if you plan on testing it and then responding to the actual evidence, but not as religious doctrine.

So, What Does The Research Have To Say?

The USDA came out with their recommendation to do 60-90 minutes of aerobics for fat-loss in 2005. The first ever research study on the efficacy of their advice didn’t come out until late 2007. Do you know what the study said?

Men who did moderate to vigorous (think your target heart rate zone) exercise for over 60 minutes per day, 6 days per week, for an entire year lost only 6.5lbs of body fat! That is a half pound per month, for more than 6 hours of exercise per week.  Women barely lost 4lbs! (1)

So, if you’re a woman with 20lbs to lose, all you’d need is 20 hours of aerobic exercise per week and you’d be set in 12 months!

So, What About Getting Fat Folks To Run Marathons?

The Danish thought of this in 1989 – if 2 hours per week won’t fix ’em, then we’ll make them run a marathon.  After a grueling 18 month training program to get their subjects ready for a marathon (26.2 MILES) here are the results:

•    The men dropped 5 pounds of body fat
•    The women dropped no body fat at all (2)

So, if you’re a man looking to drop 40 pounds, then you just need to work up to a leisurely 210mile run by quitting your job and abandoning your family.  And, if you’re a woman, it just seems hopeless – sorry.  (Actually, it seems ironic, but a good chunk of my female clients come to me after having done a marathon or two.  They usually end up fatter a few months after the event.)

Well, What About Real Life?

How well does endurance exercise work for regular people who are only going to go to the gym three days per week?  How well does “sensible” advice like “do 40 min, 3 days per week in your ‘target heart rate zone’,” work?

Not very well. Researchers in Australia had their subjects do 40min of steady-state aerobic exercise, 3 days per week (you know, 40min in your “target heart rate zone”).  Well, they gained a pound of fat on average over the course of 15 weeks. (3)

Is All Exercise Worthless For Weight Loss?

No. The good news is that there is exercise that works really well for improving body composition (less fat, more muscle), and it’s more fun, takes less time, and can actually enhance your ability to move.  Its called metabolic resistance training (MRT).  (Whereas treadmill jogging is actually horrible for your knees, messes up the way your muscles are supposed to function, and reduces flexibility.  But, that is another post.)

10 months after the above picture of me in my parent’s bathroom mirror I looked like this:

* 195 pounds
* 9% body-fat
* 31.5 inch waist
* same pair of blue Nike shorts

In addition to getting on a low-carb diet (on which I ate more calories), I also completely changed my workout program.  I went from aerobic (endurance) exercise twice-a-day to never doing aerobics at all.  My 11+ hours of gym torture turned into only 3 or 4 hours a week of relatively fun MRT workouts.

I know that a lot of you reading this are thinking, “oh, that’s just anecdotal.  What if it was just the low carb diet?  I want references!”

You’re right, it is anecdotal.  I don’t have published references to support this theory.

However, I do have lots and lots of anecdotal experience with clients over many years.  I’d be living with my parents if I couldn’t deliver on my promises, so the fact that I can pay my mortgage has to be good for something.  I also know a lot of other coaches with 10 and 20 years of records with their clients who’ve come to the same conclusions.

For example, Alwyn Cosgrove has owned Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, CA for 10 years.  He’s got 300 members that are all doing MRT workouts based on his system, and he’s been tracking their results the whole time.  That is a lot of data.  If you consider the fact that most University exercise studies are done with 30 people for 12 weeks, its probably better data.

What Is MRT?

An MRT workout would look like this:

First do 12 squats with a weight you could only do 15 reps, then with no rest, go do 12 push-ups (pick a variation you could only do 15 reps of).  Rest 1min.  Repeat for 4 or 5 rounds.  That should take 10 to 13min.

Second do 12 lunges with a weight you could only do 15 reps, then with no rest go do 12 rows with a weight that you could only do 15 reps with.  Rest 1 min.  Repeat for 4 or 5 rounds.  This will take you about 13 to 17min.

Third, finish up with a nice interval workout:  Go outside and run really fast for 30sec, then walk for 1 min.  Repeat for 6 rounds.  This will take you about 10min.

Cool down, stretch, and you’re done.

Here’s my theory on how it works:  It’s not about the calories burned.  Your body is going to put them back by making your hungry, reducing your spontaneous movement, reducing your body temperature, and/or some other means or combination of methods.  (The 24 hour graphs of activity levels of overweight people on exercise programs are really neat – you can see their body compensate by reducing all other movement unconsciously.  Of course the ass@#$% who publish this stuff – who are all thin – interpret this by telling these fat people that they need to exert more conscious effort to move more all day long.)

Its mostly about carbs and hormones.  Your body has three energy sources – super-short, short and long term.  For over-simplification all we care about is the short term – anaerobic glycolysis – that is the zone in which your body just burns carbs for fuel.  Long term burns a lot of fat (not actually useful for fat-loss), and the super-short term uses up the ATP (energy) that your cells have on hand.

We want to do workouts that will drain the carbs (glycogen) out of your muscles.  When we deplete your glycogen stores you will have increased insulin sensitivity for the next 36 hours (or your next high carb meal).  Since body-fat is fundamentally regulated by insulin, if we can get your body to secrete less insulin for a day and a half, you will be leaner.  (4-7)

Short bursts of intense exercise that exhausts you in the 30-90 sec range will maximize glycogen depletion, and thus body-fat lost.

There is also some icing on the cake stuff – like that intense exercise will release fat-burning catecholamines like adrenaline and noradrenalin.  But, if insulin levels are high, then the catecholamines won’t do anything.

Low carb diets work really well alone, but low carb + MRT works really fast.

Josef Brandenburg is the author of The Body You Want and The Body You Want A to Z, and an award-winning Washington, DC based personal trainer who specializes in helping people create the bodies they want in the time that they actually have.  You can get a free copy of his new CD “Why ‘Eat Less and Exercise More’ Is The Worst Advice Ever” right here.


1. McTiernan, Anne, et. al. Exercise Effect on Weight and Body Fat in Men and Women. Obesity (2007) 15, 1496-1512

2. Janssen, G. M., et al.  Food intake and body composition in novice athletes during a training period to run a marathon. International journal of sports medicine, May 1989; 10(1 suppl.):s17-21

3. Trapp EG and Boucher SH. Fat loss following 15 weeks of high intensity, intermittent cycle training. Fat Loss Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

4. Joslin. Elliot. Et al. Joslin’s Diabetes Mellitus. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 13th edition, 1994

5. Nussey, Stephen. et al. Endocrinology: An Integrated Approach. Informa HealthCare, 1st edition, 2001

6. Kronenberg MD, Henry M. et al. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. Saunders. 11th edition, 2008

7. Lehninger, Albert. Et al. Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry. W. H. Freeman. 5th edition. 2008


Parting Comments About Comments

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This will be my last post before we arrive at our new home in Tennessee and get an internet connection.  If we have online access at hotels along the way, I’ll check comments.  In the meantime, please be patient if your comments don’t show up for a few days.  I’ll get to them when I can.

The other option would be to let all comments go through unmoderated.  If you’ve ever had a blog, you already know why I won’t do that:  the comments section would be filled with ads for Viagra, male “enhancement” pills, and countless other junk products.

Some scam artists pushing these products try to be clever about it and use web crawlers that leave what appear to be genuine comments, with a web address for the user’s handle.  Some of the crawlers are even programmed to pick up the title or some phrases from the blog post.

So just for fun, before I shut down the computers and pack them, I thought I’d share some choice selections (including the spelling errors, but minus the web addresses; I’m not going to advertise for them), along with the title of the post or page where they showed up.  The comments are in italics; my comments on the comments aren’t.

(Jimmy Moore’s Blogiversary, Part Two) you got some good points, but i’m not truly convinced of this. and i got to much confusion in my life at this moment to spend longer on it. i’ll check back to see your postings….

I can see why you wouldn’t be truly convinced about Jimmy Moore’s blogiversary.  He puts out so much material, I’m not sure he’s actually human.  I plan to check his pulse when I finally meet him on the low-carb cruise next March.

(Stretching The Truth) Hi, I just got my third tattoo, it’s a dragon tattoo on my right arm. I took the design from a cool site. It is a tattoo gallery of more than 3 thousands tattoo designs. After a couple of days looking at the tattoos I finally decided on this red dragon. The design was really high quality and the artist tattooed me with no problems. My friends liked it and I thrilled with the outcome.

Yes, I know tattoos are all the rage right now, but here’s some advice: it’s not good to make your generation’s fashions permanent.  Imagine my limited career opportunities today if I’d had a pair of purple bell-bottoms bolted to my legs in high school.  You may look cool now, but when you’re 50, you’ll probably end up as a dishwasher on a shrimping boat.

(Health Prevention) I don’t follow what was just posted.

That’s because it was clear and to the point.  I didn’t realize we had government employees reading the blog.

(Jane Brody’s Cholesterol Headache)  Can you get a hangover when your awake?

If you had a hangover and you weren’t awake, how would you know?   Jane Brody may have a theory about that, but trust me, it will be wrong.

(Weekend Bonus:  King Corn) I’m not sure if i agree with the Rex non potest peccare “Blog Archive.” This topic conslusion, there are so many opinions ..which to beleive?

Well, as a libertarian, here’s my opinion:  The king most definitely can do wrong.  If the king isn’t sleeping, he probably is doing wrong.  The idea that “the king can do no wrong” brings up bad memories of Richard Nixon and his “If the president does it, it’s not a crime” defense.

(Jimmy Moore Interview With Dr. Malcolm Kendrick) You were given some good points, but i’m not really convinced of this. and i got to much confusion in my life at this moment to spend some more time on it. i’ll check back to see your postings.

I’m not convinced Jimmy Moore actually interviewed Dr. Malcolm Kendrick either.  The whole thing sounded too smooth, too informative, too fun to be real.  Dangit, now I’m confused.

(2Blowhards Interview) This is absolutely perfect. Thanks a lot, I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time.

I suspect you’re just one of thousands who spent a lot of time looking for something like my interview with 2Blowhards.  There’s a huge worldwide demand for interviews with unknown rookie filmmakers on arts-and-politics web sites, but sadly, very little supply.

(Calorie-Count Menu Laws – A Load Of Bologna) Hi, I’m from Italy and I have published, it is about pizza bologna, check it.

My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Rome, and we couldn’t find pizza bologna anywhere.  Man, were we disappointed.  I raised hell with our travel agent about it.  I hope your book inspires the Italian chefs to get their act together and start putting bologna in all their creations.

(Fried Food Is Tasteless) I want to say thank you to the post author. I have found this information interesting and very useful, because a have common problems with fungal infection and this way i may solve my problem with health. Thanks again, God bless you!  Best Regards, Kelly.

I knew foods fried in vegetable oils are bland and can cause inflammation, but I didn’t know they cause fungal infections.  Glad I could help.

(And the Lap Band Played On) Yep – I would agree with that.. Thanks for the line.

Feel free to use my line about lap-band surgery any time.  Chicks will find you irresistible.  I’m married, so I’m glad someone will get some use out of it.

(Real Food by the Well Done Chef)  I don’t buy what you just said.

I understand.  Jason warned me that that his recipe for chicken stock is highly controversial.  His in-laws haven’t spoken to him in years, ever since he proposed the recipe at a family reunion.

(Michael Jackson) I am making a report on hiv testing men. Your topic Fat Head Michael Jackson helps me a lot. I have been looking for the information last Saturday but cannot find any.

I could’ve sworn I deleted the paragraphs about HIV testing in my Michael Jackson post.  I should stop my habit of posting after midnight; my editing skills decline pretty seriously.

(Stretching the Truth) är jag helt överens med mig själv.

Strange coincidence … that’s exactly what I said the first time I drank bourbon.  I was 15, and a friend of mine had a key to his neighbors’ house to water the plants while they were out of town.  We stole some bourbon from his mother’s liquor cabinet, let ourselves into the neighbors’ house around midnight, and drank the entire bottle on their screened-in back patio.  After my friend managed to extinguish a fire I ignited on my pant leg when I dropped a cigarette onto the exact spot where I’d slopped some bourbon, I tried to say something like, “I love you, man, in a strictly heterosexual way, of course,” but it came out “är jag helt överens med mig själv.” He said he understood and felt the same way about me.  Then he threw up.

(A Swat at PETA) I want to say thank you to the post author. I have found this information interesting and very useful, because a have common problems with fungal infection and this way i may solve my problem with health. Thanks again, God bless you!  Best Regards, Kelly.

Well, I can see where the vegan diet PETA pushes might cause a fungal infection, but I really thought you had it nailed with the fried-foods connection.  I hope the remission is permanent this time.

(Michael Jackson) When looking for an online dental insurance finder, it is always a good idea to approach companies that have a good reputation and track record in the dental benefits industry. Doing this can ensure that you obtain a reputable dental insurance service.

That was actually my first thought when Michael Jackson died: maybe he didn’t have good dental insurance and was seeing an inferior dentist.  A good dentist would have looked inside his mouth and said, “It looks like you’ve been eating a lot of biscuits.  That’s really bad for you.  Hey, did you know your dark fillings all turned white?  How did that happen?” If only …

(Weekend Bonus:  King Corn) You were given some good points, but i’m not really convinced of this. and i got to much confusion in my life at this moment to spend some more time on it. i’ll check back to see your postings.

I’ll try to clarify: my wife and I watched this movie and I liked it.  You’re just going to have to believe me on that one.  In the meantime, I’d suggest you take a few days off, go somewhere quiet, and try to work through all that confusion.

(Real Food by the Well Done Chef) Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for first aid for a chicken coop and your post looks very interesting for me.

My articles about first aid for a chicken coop draw unbelievable traffic.  I’m thinking of starting a separate blog dedicated to all the ways a chicken coop can be injured, how to distinguish between serious and non-serious chicken coop injuries, how to apply a tourniquet to a chicken coop, and when you should take a chicken coop to the hospital.

(Bonus Footage:  Frankenstein Fats) On the injured, not mean successful? Why yourself Ask, to da computerman Best Answer of, importance of this.With the federal-aid Phuket Properties, to its popularity consume relatively a.closed shoulders.

I tried to warn you that eating too many processed vegetable oils is bad for your brain.  You’ve got no one to blame but yourself.

(Michael Jackson) I want to say thank you to the post author. I have found this information interesting and very useful, because a have common problems with fungal infection and this way i may solve my problem with health. Thanks again, God bless you!  Best Regards, Kelly.

Kelly, I’m no doctor, but I seriously doubt my opinions about Michael Jackson will have any therapeutic effect at all.  You really should stop reading my blog and go get that fungus looked at by a professional.

Before I go, I want to mention how much fun I’ve been having with this blog.  After finishing the film and taking a much-needed breather, I realized there was still so much I wanted say, so I’m saying it.  Plus I look forward to reading the comments and insights from all of you.  You’re the conversation I enjoy with my morning coffee.

See y’all in Tennessee.  (I have to get used to saying that.)



More Bologna About Carbs

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A couple of readers sent me links to this article, titled “Why You Should Get Over Your Fear of Carbs.” Naturally, it’s all about the wonders of carbohydrates — you know, the only macronutrient we eat more of now than we did 30 years ago.  Boy, we sure got slim and healthy in the meantime, didn’t we? 

Here are some excerpts:

Combine carbs with a protein. Combining a protein with a carb not only fills you up, but it lowers the overall glycemic index (the GI, a popular way to measure the speed that carbs enter the bloodstream in the form of glucose or blood sugar).

Of course combining a carbohydrate with a protein lowers the overall glycemic index!  That’s because most protein foods have a low glycemic index.  Newsflash … diluting scotch with water lowers the overall alcohol percentage, too.

If the choice is between a large plate of pasta or a small portion of pasta and some meat, the pasta-meat combo will have a lower glyemic index.  But here’s a better option:  skip the pasta and eat your meat with a salad or some green vegetables.  Then you won’t have to worry about the glycemic index.

Eat carbs more often!  While the conventional approach to dieting teaches you how to omit meals, the smarter approach is to make sure you do not miss meals. And it gets better. Eating a carb-protein meal 4 times per day rather than 3 helps keep blood sugar levels stabilized.

Well, yeah, after the carbs you had at your last meal spike your insulin and lead to a drop in blood sugar, eating again will in fact raise your blood sugar.  That’s why people who eat sugar and starch end up craving between-meal snacks.  Eating those snacks is treating the symptom, not the cause … kind of like the drunks who keep drinking to avoid a hangover.

Research has demonstrated that regulating blood sugar levels regulates hormonal secretions which results in optimal fat burning.

Which is exactly why you shouldn’t be eating carbs and sending your blood sugar on a roller-coaster ride, you (expletive deleted … another expletive deleted … wow, that one surprised even us censors)!  If you skip the carbs, your body will make blood sugar from protein on an as-needed basis, which keeps it naturally regulated.

Not only this, but carbs must be present in the system for the chemical process of fat-burning to work.

I’m trying to find the perfect word to describe my reaction to this one … got it:  AAAAAAAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!  What the heck is she basing this on?!  Carbs raise insulin, and insulin blocks the fat-burning process.  When you burn carbs for fuel, you also release the glycerol molecules that combine with fatty acids to form triglycerides — the only form in which fat can be stored in your adipose tissue.

If you believe her, try this interesting experiment:  don’t eat anything for two weeks.  See if the total lack of carbohydrates in your system prevents you from burning any fat.  By the way, I knew some body-builders in high school and college, and every Jack one of them went on a zero-carb diet to get cut before a tournament — and it worked.

Eat carbs at every meal.  Believe it or not, this is a healthier approach because you will stabilize blood sugar and prevent the urge to binge later. Skipping carbs at a meal almost always leads you to make up for it later; usually in the form of late-night cookies.

At the risk of repeating myself, what the heck is she basing this on? Skipping carbs at a meal means you’ll produce less insulin and enable your body to burn fat for fuel.  You’ll be less hungry, not more.  I sometimes go eight hours without eating after a fat-and-protein meal because I’m just not hungry.  Even the fat-phobic “eat your grains” nutritionists admit that people on low-carb diets usually end up eating less.  That’s why they came up with the “Sure, you’ll lose weight, but you’ll die of a heart attack” defense.

This is because the brain needs the glucose from carbs for fuel and if it doesn’t get more within 4 or 5 hours, your body has no choice but to break down lean body tissues (like muscles) for fuel.

Hmmm, I guess that explains how I managed to gain several pounds of muscle after starting a weight-lifting regimen while skipping carbs almost entirely. 

The brain does in fact need some glucose.  But it doesn’t need to get any of it from dietary carbohydrates.  Your body can easily convert dietary protein to glucose as needed.  And of course, your brain will happily run largely on the ketones that are produced when you burn fat for fuel.  So eat your protein and fat, and don’t worry about your brain treating your muscles like a 24-hour diner.

Eat carbs late at night. Yes this is just as important as the rest of your meals. And go ahead and eat dinner even if it is late. Starving yourself or skipping meals slows the metabolism and let’s face it — it isn’t fun to starve!

Everybody sing along:  sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening, sugar at supper time.  Eating carbs all day long — including late at night — is how we became a nation of type II diabetics.  And restricting carbs is the most effective way to treat type II diabetics.  Many can even live without insulin injections if they give up the carbs.

She’s right in saying that starving yourself will slow your metabolism.  But skipping the carbs isn’t starving yourself — and eating too many carbs stores calories as fat, which starves your cells of fuel even if you have eaten.  That’s why people eat more these days; they’re storing too many calories.

Don’t overdo it at one time. Your body isn’t a cash register. It doesn’t add up your total at the end of the day. It only cares how much you eat at a single meal. If you eat one entire large deep-dish pizza, your body converts the carb overload to fat storage. However if you only eat two light slices now and two slices for dinner 4 hours later, you won’t overload the bloodstream with glucose at one time, thus you will keep your fat-burning going.

Okay, let’s see … 1) carbs turn to glucose and overloading the bloodstream with glucose leads to fat storage, but 2) without carbs, you can’t burn fat.  Somebody with a degree in biochemistry please explain to me how these two statements can both be true.

Yes, I agree that overloading the body with carbs will cause a major insulin spike and signal the body to store fat.  If you’re going to eat 300 grams of carbohydrates in a day, by all means, spread them out.  But feeding your body a cup and a half of sugar over the course of a day simply isn’t necessary. 

The author is, of course, a professional nutritionist.  But there’s hope:  I scanned the comments posted in response to her article, and a lot of people called her on this nonsense.  Nutritionists are still feeding us a load of bologna, but plenty of people are simply refusing to swallow it anymore.


On Sirius XM’s Doctor Radio Show

      7 Comments on On Sirius XM’s Doctor Radio Show

On Tuesday, July 28th, I’ll be interviewed by Dr. Kimberly DeOre on Doctor Radio on the Sirius network.  I’m due to call in at 9:30 a.m. Eastern.  (That’s 6:30 a.m. in California.  I should’ve moved to Tennessee a month ago.)

I haven’t seen any questions, so I don’t know the exact topic, but I’m pretty sure she’s not going to ask my opinion on whether the Cubs can win their division this season.


Bonus Footage: Sugar and Starch

      16 Comments on Bonus Footage: Sugar and Starch

It’s a busy week, so I decided to put together some extra video footage from my interviews instead of writing a full post.  This series of clips deals with sugar and starch, and how they’re pretty much the same.

We covered this territory in Fat Head pretty extensively, but not everyone who reads this blog has seen the film, and I believe it’s a message that bears repeating early and often — like voting in Chicago.  My wife tells me she knows other mommies from her mommy group who won’t give their kids candy, but believe a lunch consisting of jam sandwiches with a side of fruit is just great — it’s lowfat, you see.

When I went through all the interview footage during editing, I of course had to choose from among many takes … I usually asked the same question a few different ways to make sure I’d have plenty of choices.  So it’s kind of fun (for me at least) to hear the medical experts offering different explanations of the same ideas.  Enjoy.


I’ll be spending a chunk of this week in Tennessee looking for a house, since it now looks as if we’ll finish up our house sale and hit the road within two weeks.  I probably won’t have time to write another post this week, but I’ll check comments as often as I can.