Video of the “Big Fat Fiasco” Speech

      119 Comments on Video of the “Big Fat Fiasco” Speech

Took awhile to get Premiere and YouTube to play nicely together, but I finally managed to chop up the speech in an acceptable format and upload it — twice. The first time, it turned out one of the clips exceeded the 15-minute limit, so I had to re-edit and re-upload.

I elected to edit the slides into Premiere for better clarity, but of course some of the text is difficult to read if you’re not viewing the slides on a nice, big screen.  The tape ran out shortly into Q & A, so I’m skipping that.

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119 thoughts on “Video of the “Big Fat Fiasco” Speech

  1. Tracey Butler

    Fantastic Tom – thanks so much. Will send the links out in my client newsletter this week and I’m sure at least some of them will watch – and hopefully they will share it with their own families and friends.

    I too would be keen to purchase a dvd version of this – all the ‘meat’ from FatHead in a nice tidy package. In fact I would purchase a few to have in my library for clients to borrow – it should be compulsory viewing.

    I’ll keep buying the lotto tickets so I can bring you to NZ to speak one day 🙂

    I’ve been inspired to do some fiddling on the video to make it more DVD-worthy. If I can produce a decent DVD, I’ll certainly let everyone know.

  2. Rebecca Latham

    Hi, Tom! Really enjoyed the videos! I wish I could show them to everyone. I do have a question…

    I really struggle with the whole “Calories In Calories Out” thing. I have done enough reading to know it doesn’t hold water, but I know that when I eat too much, I gain weight. But then sometimes I eat too much and lose weight. Once a person has gone whole hog (so to speak) on high fat and low carb, what if weight loss is still a struggle? Hormones are balanced, and yet the belly fat remains, even after 19 months on Atkins. Besides eating less and exercising more, what’s a girl to do?

    To lose weight, you still have to create a calorie deficit. The idea behind low-carb is that the fat cells are open for business, so if you create the need to tap them, you can. Otherwise, simply eating less can encourage your body to slow your metabolism.

  3. Jeanne

    This is the first lecture I’ve sat through for online. I couldn’t stop watching.

    I’ll take that as a very good sign.

  4. Erik Svensson

    Excellent video!

    I’ve been on a low carb/high fat diet for almost a year now and lost over 26 kg’s (still haven’t checked my blood values) but I haven’t felt this good for so long. Everything you talk about makes sense and I hope more people jump on the high fat train soon!

    Great work Tom!

    Thank you.

  5. PJ

    Thanks for this Tom. It’s kinda funny (but not in the ha-ha way) that on the whole, it’s a very complex subject, and yet the basics of what went wrong and how to fix it are actually very simple. It’s just that we’re fighting not just many entrenched industries (agri-chem, agri, megafood, pharma — the circle of death, instead of life), but at this point an entrenched government and entrenched culture on top of that. Videos like this, that package the basic line of information for consumption by people who are definitely not willing or able to sit through Taubes’s book, is really valuable. Thanks for supplying it. It would be great if you could provide a full video in a format people could just download, as there are many formats that play on most computer systems. You’re a good speaker, so thanks for providing this to the public.


    I’ll think about a download format as well. I suspect some people asked for a DVD so they can lend it out.

  6. Glen

    Great presentation Tom. I have to wonder about leptin though. Some seem to think that leptin resistance plays a big part in weight gain as well. What are your thoughts on this?

    Yes, I believe leptin resistance affects appetite. I took a cue from Dr. Lustig; when Jimmy Moore asked him about leptin, he said yes it’s part of the equation, but we need to focus on insulin resistance because that’s where the problems begin.

  7. hmavros

    Hi Tom

    I enjoyed your presentation and your DVD very much.

    Like Taubes, you’re very strong on dismantling the lipid hypothesis, which of itself offers a valuable service to the lay-community…kudos.

    Unfortunately, however, like Taubes, you buy into a simplistic one to one correlation with sugars/refined carbs and the ‘diseases of civilization’. While you may in fact be proven correct, the current science on which your hypothesis is based is every bit as flimsy as the science behind the lipid hypothesis…quite simply, there are far too many potential confounding variables that may connect these ailments and the modern lifestyle.

    Moreover, you set up a risible straw man when you claim that the ‘Bank theory’ (energy balance) implies that modern people have less character than their forebears. What a load of hogswallop!

    The energy balance explanation is based not on changes in people’s character, but in changes in their environment (e.g. high availability of cheap, palatable, energy-dense foods, sugary beverages, sedentary lifestyles etc.). The term for this (as I’m sure you’re aware) is the “obesogenic environment”.

    As a person involved in healping people lose weight, I can assure you (as can many years of metabolic ward studies) that weight loss is exactly a function of energy balance.

    And, while sugars do play a role in metabolic derangement (e.g. insulin resistance, hunger amplification), these derangements do not occur in the context of hypocaloric diets. Please note that Prof Mark Haub has just now completed an experiement wherein he ate nothing but sugary junk for 30 days in negative energy balance…results: improved CVD risk bio-markers and of course, weight loss.

    I believe that your heart is in the right place Tom…please keep looking and researching on this…it would be a shame if a person of your energies was content to stop the journey at Taubes.


    I am of course aware of the controversy. Here’s how I look at it: if people can actually stand to live on hypocaloric diets that are also high in sugar and carbohydrates, they will indeed avoid gaining weight and disrupting other metabolic functions. The trouble is, those diets induce more hunger than most people can tolerate long-term. As you probably know, when Ancel Keys put young men on a 1600-calorie diet, they felt cold all the time, were obsessed with food, and showed signs of mental deterioration. That’s an extreme example, but when I tried low-calorie, low-fat diets, I was ravenously hungry, lethargic, and even depressed, which is not my normal mental state. For people who are already insulin resistant, asking them to eat a diet with a high proportion of carbohydrates but low in calories is a bit like asking a two-pack-per-day smoker to cut down to five cigarettes per day … possible in theory, but requires constantly battling biochemical urges.

    Keep in mind that I don’t (and Taubes doesn’t) dispute that in a closed system, the calories in will balance with the calories out. (Taubes has a degree in physics; he certainly doesn’t believe energy just goes POOF.) What we both believe is that insulin-producing foods will store calories as fat, disrupt the blood-sugar balancing cycle, induce hunger, and eventually lead to more calories in. So yes, it’s still about energy balance — we become fat as a response to insulin resistance specifically to stay in energy balance, and the trick is to adopt a diet that allows us to be in energy balance with less body fat and less food.

    I blame the environment only in terms of providing us with more and more foods that jack up our insulin and produce the effects I described in the speech. But if we’d been warned about sugar instead of fat for 40 years, I don’t think so many people would buy those foods.

  8. Lynda

    Excellent speech – I was telling my niece about this today and she had already watched your DVD and was familiar with all you had to say. She said that when she changed her diet (to low fat and supposedly healthier food) due to high cholesterol levels, her cholesterol went higher!

    I do agree with some other comments that there is more to this than what was in your speech but I also realise that you were on a time limit. Well done on getting this message out.

    Your neice’s experience is pretty common. Some years back New York Times columnist Jane Brody wrote about how she kept cutting more and more fat out of her diet, but her cholesterol kept going up. She of course thought the solution was to cut the fat even more. She finally went on a statin, which she considered a happy ending to the story.

  9. Michelle B.

    Excellent video, Tom. The information that I really got out of it was the top 5 sources of saturated fat in the American diet. When I hear nutrition pundits say that Americans eat too much fat, I always wonder where do Americans get all this fat from from. Now I know, processed junk foods that are high in sugar and grains. Also what exactly are “mixed chicken dishes?”

    You also peaked my interest on bad science by Ben Goldacre and I purchased a book on the topic from Barnes and Noble. You are doing such a great service. Thanks for all that you do!

    I didn’t want to list the entire top 25, but it’s eye-opening … includes junk such as potato/corn/other chips, Mexican dishes, mixed beef dishes, etc. In other words, we’re looking at people who consume lots of processed food and snacks.

  10. Bruce

    I may be mistaken, (I often am) but, at the appx. 11:50 mark of part 3, it sounds like you say that the large fluffy cholesterol is not harmless, and then proceed to say that it has anti viral and anti inflammatory properties. Am I mishearing this?

    Not trying to call you out, just a little confused.

    You heard correctly. My brain was trying to choose between “harmless” and “not harmful” and it came out “hot harmless,” which is of course a mistake. I should probably toss a subtitle in there to correct it.

  11. Jeanne

    I’ll buy several DVDs as soon as they’re out.

    Looks like that DVD burner will be busy for awhile. Thanks.

  12. Linda

    FANTASTIC! Thank you Tom. I really like the “bad science” part – not very many people understand that correlation does not equal causation.

    When they see headlines such as EGGS RAISE DIABETES RISK, we can hardly blame them for confusing the two. Why should they get it if health reporters don’t?

  13. Daniel Highmountain

    This is the truth. Many of the modern diseases come from the high carb intake. LowCarbHighFat is starting the get really big in my country, Sweden.
    Me and my partner switched from HighCarbLowFat to LowCarbHighFat and this is what happened, be aware that we where NOT overweight and I guess had a normal functioning metabolism.

    PollenAllergies – GONE! (can you believe it?.. It took me a long time too..)
    Lactose intolerance – GONE!
    Swollen red and irritated gums – GONE! (Probably no risk of periodontitis anymore)
    Knee problems – GONE!
    Forced to urinate 10-15 times a day – GONE! Now down to 3-4.
    Sugar Cravings – GONE! (I´ve been a sugar-addict all my life – would probably have got diabetes before my 40:th birthday. Now I only eat dark 85% chocolate on saturdays. And its not a problem.
    Constant Hunger – GONE!

    One big difference is when I excercise /go to the gym. Before, when I ate a HIGHCARBLowFat diet my energy was ZERO after 1 hour in the gym and I had to eat or else I felt like I´d starve!

    Now, eating a HIGH FAT low carb diet, I can train and exercise for one hour, and feel like I´ve just getting started, after one hour I feel like I´ve just warmed up. It feels like my energy-engine is just starting up.. (I guess that its the fat burning machinery that is a little slower – but FAR MORE efficient and long term working. Now I can exercise for hours without feeling empty and tired.
    I will NEVER eat refined carbohydrates (pasta, bread, rice, starches, sugar) again.

    Thank you Tom for letting everybody know the truth, keep up the good work!

    You and me both. Sore gums, arthritis, asthma, skin rashes, creeping weight gain, food cravings — all gone.

  14. js290


    why does weight loss have to happen in a caloric deficit intake setting? Since energy is conserved, shouldn’t it also be the case that behaviors leading to excessive caloric expenditure would also cause people to lose weight? It seems to me this is precisely the question Taubes has asked. That is, perhaps the types of calories ingested influences one’s behavior?

    dU=dQ-dW is used to describe a closed thermodynamic system. I’ll let the interested reader find out what a “closed system” means and decide what type of thermodynamic system a human is at the macro and cellular level. It seems like there’s more insight from those describing weight control as a hormonal event than those describing it only on energy balance. Energy will always be conserved, but dQ-dW makes a lot of assumptions about the human body that’s simply isn’t correct thermodynamically. That is to ask, is U only a function of Q and W? And, how many variables is Q and W, respectively, a function of?

  15. hmavros

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you for your reply to my earlier post.

    Well, it would seem that we are in furious agreement on a number of important points; namely, that energy balance determines body mass, and that long-term dietary compliance is the key to sustainable weight management…and therefore, insofar as a low carbohydrate diet encourages an energy deficit for YOU, it is the best diet for YOU (incidentally, about 8 out of 10 of my clients do better on restricted carbohydrates…but 2 out of 10 do not).

    But this leaves us with a number of points on which you and Taubes are factually mistaken. Namely:

    1) You think that insulin secretion is the problem. It’s not. Insulin resistance is the problem. And the aetiology of insulin resistance begins first with obesity, and then progresses to metabolic derangement…you don’t just eat an insulinemic food, and hey presto…you’re insulin resistant.

    [I know type 2 diabetics who are lean, so that simply cannot be true. It is obviously possible to become insulin resistant without becoming obese first.]

    As many high carb diets demonstrate (e.g. Okinawans, competitive athletes a la Michael Phelps), so long as adipose tissue is not inflamed (e.g. lipotoxicity), the tissues will remain sensitive to insulin even in the presence of high levels of carbohydrate.

    [I don’t believe everyone who eats high-carb will become insulin resistant. It’s quite possible that the major culprit is fructose, as Dr. Lustig insists. He has explained, in very precise detail, how fructose produces insulin resistance.

    Competitive athletes who burn 10,000 calories per day are of course an exception. They can eat anything.]

    So again, you’ve got the causality going in the wrong direction (which is why you and Taubes should have heeded your own advice on correlation not implying causation!); obesity comes first (encouraged by obesogenic environment) > then comes insulin resistance > then comes metabolic derangement and disease (including poor glyceamic control, basal hyperinsulinemia and the associated hunger issues with carbohydrate consumption).

    [Once again, if that were the case, we wouldn’t see lean type 2 diabetics, but we do, so your sequence cannot be true in every case.]

    I would strongly recommend that you do some research on lipotoxicity and determine for your own satisfaction that insulin resistance is not caused by insulinemic foods.

    2) On a related point… you and Taubes seem to think that only carbohydrates are insulinemic. This is factually incorrect. Actually, mixed carb and protein meals typically elicit more of an insulin response than carbohydrate alone (and some proteins elicit a strong insulin response all on their own).

    [I’ve read that the biggest insulin spikes are caused by the combination of carbohydrates and saturated fats, making that the killer combo.]

    Are we to then assume that you’d be better off avoiding the steak with the potato and simply eating the potato on its own?! Clearly not, as we know that protein diets promote satiety, and thus weight loss.

    [We agree there. Protein is important for satiety.]

    Again, Tom; it’s not as simple as insulin goes up > bad, insulin stays low > good…there are more factors at play here.

    3) Insulin is not the only hormone that can transport glucose and free fatty acids into fat cells. There are a number of other pro-lipolytic agents, including Acylation Stimulating Protein (ASP) which can do this perfectly well without any insulin load whatsoever (which is why ketogenic dieters can still lay down fat and avoid starvation!). Incidentally, Taubes knows this, but never mentions it in his presentations, during which he consistently implies that insulin alone regulates fat storage and release.
    This fact alone demolished the simplistic argument that carbohydrate drives insulin (it doesn’t, see point above) > insulin alone drives fat storage (it doesn’t, as I’ve just explained) > insulin drives obesity (it doesn’t, as lean high carb athletes and fat ketogenic dieters prove…energy balance is a necesary and sufficient condition for weight loss/gain).

    [I’ll give you an example of why I believe insulin is the root of the problem (not the whole problem): when Dr. Lustig treated a group of kids for cancer, they soon gained weight and became lethargic. He discovered that the cancer drug had produced high insulin levels as a side effect. So he gave them an insulin-suppressing drug. Bingo … they stopped eating as much, lost weight, and became active again. All because the elevated insulin was pushed down. They clearly did not become fat because of an obesogenic environment, and they didn’t become lean again because of discipline, exercise, or a decision to change their diets. They reacted to the change in hormones.]

    4) Taubes (and yourself) concede that energy balance explains why people get fat when they eat too many carbs (i.e. the carbs perversely stimulate the appetite, you overeat calories, the excess calories bring about weight gain). But he also holds the position that we get fat in the first place because of metabolic derangement..?! So, let me get this straight…eating more does cause fat accumulation AFTER fat has accumulated? But doesn’t cause fat to accumulate in the first place? Huh? Perhaps the same reason we get fat-ter (excess calories) is the same reason why we got fat in the first place (excess calories)?

    [You’re not representing the position correctly. Stuff yourself — of course you’d get fat. The issue is what drives the hunger that causes you to stuff yourself. If your body is storing calories, you will run short of fuel at the cellular level, driving hunger, which drives appetite.]

    5) Low carb diets don’t work any better than other protocols in the long term…I speak from a lot of experience on this one Tom!

    [In the Gardner study, he found that insulin-resistant people did indeed lose significantly more weight on the Atkins diet. I speak from experience on this one too. Since restricting my carbs, I’m no longer battling my appetite. I stopped a years-long slow progression of weight gain and reversed it to a significant degree … all without going hungry, which was never the case in previous diets.]

    The fact is, most people will tend to back-slide on every attempt to restrict their calories (whether this be directly, by calorie counting, or indirectly, by restricting a food group). Bottom line, your hypothalmus ‘knows’ how much energy you’re taking in, and will down-regulate metabolism and up-regulate hunger cues depending on the severity of the calorie restriction (all dieters get cold at severely restricted calorie levels, irrespective of macronutrient composition).

    [Giving up foods we love is tough, no doubt.]

    Yes, protein does promote satiety; yes, fat does delay gastric emptying; and yes, these things do help most people. But there are no magic cures here Tom…the trials show this beyond all doubt…95% of all dieters regain weight.

    When you live in a society where you can blow your calorie allotment very easily (highly palatable, cheap, accessible junk food) and where food is now an adjunct to almost every social function, you don’t need an “ingredient X” to explain the diseases of civilisation…it’s just excess, pure and simple.

    [The diseases of civilization don’t show up in populations that don’t consume sugar and white flour. Now, making too much sugar and white flour available may tempt people to eat more of it, but surely you’re not denying cancer, heart disease and diabetes were quite rare in societies that didn’t consume those foods?

    Taubes wrote frequently in GCBC about the availability of cheap, refined carbs. Those are the “highly palatable, cheap, accessible” junk foods you just described, and we’re clearly eating more of them, so I don’t see the source of the disagreement. Simply saying that people eat too much doesn’t explain why they eat too much. We don’t pig out on hard-boiled eggs no matter how many of them you make available, we don’t eat three steaks at a sitting, and we don’t eat three sticks of butter … but we’ll consume an entire bag of chips, which has to mean there’s something about those foods that affects appetite in a different way.]

    And no, we’re not worse characters than our forefathers; had they have had a McDonalds and a Krispy Kreme on every corner, they would have got chubby too.

    [My grandparents always had plenty of food in the house. They weren’t lean because they didn’t have the opportunity to overeat. They were lean because their appetites weren’t perverted.]

    Cheers, and thank you for your time (and I acknowledge that we agree on may things, including the weakness of the case against lipids…I just hope that you are more cautious prosecuting the positive case against carbs…lest you fall foul of the same errors of hasty judgement that McGovern and Co. demonstrated!)

    [I don’t think we should ever stop questioning.]

  16. js290

    There does seem to be a discipline aspect to all this. The doctor/nurse/nutritionist/trainer can’t monitor their patients at all times. And, it can probably be reasonably expected that the patient is not always telling the entire truth. It’s possible that people who struggle to have a healthy relationship with food, even knowing the best available facts on macro nutrients and hormones and exercise, will still succumb to food temptations.

    When one says, “8 out of 10 of my clients do better on restricted carbohydrates…but 2 out of 10 do not,” it doesn’t tell us what’s actually going on with any of the ten. Ultimately, nobody can escape the biochemistry. If I was a betting man, I’d say the 2 were “cheating” on their diets rather than they being biochemical mutants from the other 8.

    The other point to consider is that weight and body composition alone may not be the best indicators of health. Just as it’s likely that you’ll encounter a lean type 2 diabetic, it’s also possible to find a 450lb man with great blood metrics.

    As Dr. Mary Vernon said in a lecture during the cruise, “I don’t care how much you weigh; I care what you’re burning for fuel.” There are fat healthy people and thin people with type 2 diabetes who die of heart attacks.

  17. Ross

    Lovely, thanks for your work!

    Folks interested in the biochemistry and a bit more of the intertwined
    history will really enjoy Dr. Robert Lustig’s talk. (search “sugar bitter truth” for video.)

    A long term proponent of these ideas (i.e. clarity on cholesterol history) and
    the person who sent me here, is Dr. Uffe Ravnskov. Look up

    Again, this is a GREAT talk…despite the fact that I’d already read/heard all
    of the information, the PRESENTATION was excellent. I hope to find a
    movie/DVD to buy and loan/recommend to friends…

    One thing I’d add to the talk — a cognitive ‘dessert’ if you will — talk a bit
    more about insulin resistance strategies. How to get it down, how long to
    expect it to take, and the knock-on benefits of leptin-sensitivity.

    Thanks again!

    That was one of the first questions someone asked: how do you overcome insulin resistance?

  18. gallier2

    Obesity is not a cause of anything, it is a sympton. The insulin resistance, the inflamation and a lot of other things. As Tom pointed out, you have DM2 cases who are not obese and a lot of obese have no trace of DM2. In fact one can even make the point that as long as you’re gaining weight, all is ok, but when that compensation mechanism doesn’t work anymore, your metabolism is screwd and breaks apart giving DM2.
    The causes of this insulin resistance involves lot more than only carbohydrates (fructose, artificial fats, gluten and other phytotoxins, other) and that’s also the point of Gary Taubes. He puts the focus on them not because they are the most obvious culprit, but to show a how big a thing the nutrition professional missed. He shows that the case to indict carbs as the bad guys is enormously bigger and better backed by experiment than saturated fat and cholesterole who gt the bad rap. Short thinking knowitalls like Lyle McDonald have completely misunderstood Gary’s point.

  19. Don

    Thank you so much for posting this video. I have been poring over your archives here for a few weeks now and your speech really helped sum it all up. But now that I understand how I got where I am, what do I need to do to get back? Is it enough that I have severely limited sugar and carbs in my diet? Will my insulin eventually start working correctly again all on it’s own (I’m not diabetic by the way) or do I need to do something else to repair it? Thanks again!

    If you restrict carbs and exercise — especially exercise that works your muscles hard, like sprints and weight-lifting — you should recover some of your insulin sensitivity. Other than that, it’s a matter of not forcing your body to rely on big doses of insulin by adjusting your diet.

  20. KimBooSan

    Thanks for this great talk! You really present the whole topic understandably and with deft humor that keeps it interesting. I am especially pleased now to be able to point nay-sayers to a resource like this; too often I’m reduced to “well this clinical study says…” and everyone in the room is asleep. 😉

    It also helped me conceptualize why I am not *hungry* all the time, now that I’m following the paleolithic diet – my body is getting all the fuel it needs, the way it needs it. Makes sense! I’ll definitely be passing the word around and sharing the link.

  21. Marc

    I finally found the time to sit down and watch your speech. You did an amazing job. Congratulations! I think making a DVD out of it is a super idea and I will tell my friends and family about it. (I’ve already told them all about Fat Head, but unfortunately, it is hard to find in Canada, so almost none of them have seen it yet).

    Thank you. Our international distributor is in Canada, but can’t seem to get much done for us. Looks like still has the film, though.

  22. Scott

    Do you have a transcript? We would like to talk with you about printing your research.

    All the best,
    Scott Miners, editor
    Well Being Journal

    I wrote a script for the speech, yes. With some tweaking, it would work for print.

  23. Rebecca Latham

    You said, “To lose weight, you still have to create a calorie deficit. The idea behind low-carb is that the fat cells are open for business, so if you create the need to tap them, you can. Otherwise, simply eating less can encourage your body to slow your metabolism.”

    I’m confused. How is “creating a calorie deficit” different than “calories in calories out”?

    “Calories in / calories out” assumes the number of calories you burn stays more or less constant. It ignores adaptive thermogenesis, the process by which your body can dramatically raise or lower your metabolism in response to the foods you eat, hormones, etc. So according to the “calories in / calories out” crowd, if you simply eat less, you’ll automatically lose weight matching the equation 3500 calories = 1 lb. fat. However, if your fat cells aren’t open for business and you simply eat less, your body will respond to starvation at the cellular level by slowing your metabolism. That’s part of the reason so many diets fail, and also the reason some people who try to grit it out end up losing muscle instead of fat. Likewise, people who literally can’t seem to gain weight (my son, for one) have metabolisms that ramp up if they eat more.

    If your fat cells are open for business, your body can make up for a fuel shortage by burning body fat, so it won’t experience cellular starvation and won’t slow your metabolism. But any way you slice it, you need to give your body a reason to tap those fat cells. I’ve seen people accuse the low-carb doctors of either denying the need for a calorie deficit or just now admitting to it, but Drs. Eades & Eades wrote about the need to create a calorie deficit way back with their first Protein Power book, which was published in 1997.

    Research has shown that people who go on low-carb diets often end up eating less spontaneously. There’s a reason for that: once the fat cells are opened up, they supply a bigger share of your energy, so you don’t feel the need to eat as much.

    The newest Atkins book has good advice for keeping the weight loss on track. It’s a good read, too.

  24. Casey

    As an ex-overweight person and current anorexic, I’m confused about the fat mice dying with untapped fat stores. I’m skeptical that the body chemistry crosses over, I guess? While I’ve certainly sacrificed some lean muscle mass, most visible fat has melted away from my body. I would never back what you call the lazy slob theory as it drove me to this hell in the first place, but if you string together enough 0 calorie days, you’re going to lose a lot of fat before, erm, starving to death. I suppose this will come off as entirely tasteless, but there weren’t any overweight concentration camp victims.

    Don’t forget, the mice were injected with insulin as they were starving. If you’re eating next to nothing — whether as a dieter or a concentration-camp victim — you’re not going to be pumping out insulin. But if you’re eating Weight Watchers Smart Ones with 45 grams of carbohydrate, you could definitely get an insulin spike.

  25. Rita

    Excellent talk. We would love to present it to a college level “Current Topics in Health” next semester. DVD form would be best, so am requesting a DVD once you get that burner going.

    It’s burning. Lots of orders to fulfill.

  26. Anders

    Great speech, but some of the logic used by the bad scientists made me pull out some of my hair. So I’ll guess I’ll suffer from a heart attack soon ;(

    That may explain my current hairline.

  27. Sherry

    Tom, I watched The Big Fat Fiasco all the way through and would actually have watched your 90 minute original, something I would not do on most internet speaches. I have been battling my weight from my 30s to present day (62). I’ve found that the only way I can lose weight is on a low carb diet, but what was most fascinating to me was that my medically treated) acid reflux completely disappeared after the first week. I lost 40 pounds in a few short months and kept it off for six years. About four years ago I had to quit work and with deminished income came cut backs on grocery money. That meant cheap foods… you’ve probably guessed it… rice, beans, potatoes, breads and cheap refined foods. Within a year the 40 pounds was back, my cholesterol was up, blood pressure was up, and I tested for type 2 diabetes. My doctor put me on meds for the cholesterol and high blood pressure and started me on a diabetic diet; I gained four pounds in eight days. That was six weeks ago. I’ve gone back to low carb. When I went back to him 2 weeks ago (a month after my last visit) I’d lost 10 pounds plus the 4 I’d gained on the diabetic diet. My cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels are at or below normal.

    I am a complete believer in what you have discovered, as many of us who’ve tried it are. It’s true that maybe this type diet wouldn’t work for all people, just the same as aprin isn’t beneficial to all people, but I believe that the greater majority would benefit.

    Keep up the good work. And thank you for this extremely educational video.

    Here’s to your continued success in regaining your health. I also found that all my digestive ailments went away when I gave up the starches. I suspect grains were the real culprit there.

  28. Rebecca Latham

    Thanks for your reply! I’m still trying to make sense of the whole calorie deficit. ‘

    You said, “The newest Atkins book has good advice for keeping the weight loss on track. It’s a good read, too.

    I know. I am one of the six people that are profiled in the book as success stories. :0}

    I take it you don’t feel successful at the moment? Bottom line for me: as Dr. Eades explained when I first met him, there’s no getting around the fact that if you want to lose weight, you must create a need to tap the stored fuel. The reason he recommends a low-carb diet is that reducing carbs — especially if you’re insulin-resistant — keeps the fat cells open. I also find that on a low-carb diet, my weight is remarkably stable, whereas I used to get a little heavier every year.

  29. Patrik Hägglund

    Wow! Your intellectual abilities and precision is almost as good as Gary Taubes, and your presentation skills are much better. This is the number one presentation on this topic!

    Gary’s in a league of his own. Without his work, this speech wouldn’t exist.

  30. Ellex

    That thing about the mice really hit home for me. For about ten years now I’ve been hyperthyroid. One of the really “fun” things about running hot is that my body will digest muscle tissue (including heart tissue) in the effort to get more food. Generally this happens after losing a lot of fat (and I wouldn’t call it a healthy skinny)

    But my last flare up was not accompanied by much fat loss, just weight loss. I chalked it up to being hungry enough to eat drywall. I know I was not eating right, not anywhere close. It seems pretty evident now that there were even more hormone issues at work.

    Amazingly, many people still don’t believe hormones have much to do with it.

  31. Brian

    Excellent work. Although many of your sources are well-known and, in my opinion, over-used, in the pro fat community, they are still very important. Would be awesome to see some stuff that goes into more detail. And too bad there isn’t a Q & A clip!

    I was actually fortunate the tape lasted for the whole speech. Our camera takes one-hour tapes, but they usually make it to 1:05.

  32. Spacewoman

    Thanks so much for sharing the speech video, Tom.

    I love your sense of humor (Fat Head cracks me up) and it’s so great to have all of this explained so clearly. When you blogged about working on your slides, I had no idea how detailed and imaginative they would be. Watching this was an interesting and entertaining way to reinforce all that I’ve learned from reading GCBC and all of the great low carb/whole foods books out there.

    Thank you. I’m lucky to be married to a Photoshop wiz; I make requests, she draws ’em.

  33. Dana

    So here’s what I’m thinking about the whole calorie thing so far. I think it’s way oversimplified. We assume that every calorie we intake must either be burned as energy or stored as fat. But it’s not that simple. Food is not fuel, it’s nourishment–just so happens some of that nourishment behaves as fuel. We’re organisms, not bomb calorimeters.

    So. Any protein that goes into muscles is calories not burned. Fat that goes into hormones or nerve cells is calories not burned. It doesn’t just go “poof” when it goes into the body–but it’s not burned, and not stored as fat.

    If you drop your insulin levels and are releasing fatty acids into your bloodstream, that’s the same as eating fuel, metabolically speaking. If you happen to be on a 1500-calorie-a-day diet but are releasing and burning 500 calories of fatty acids a day, you’re really eating 2000 calories.

    If some of the ketones you make are not burned all the way, but excreted into urine and breath and sweat, you’ve “lost” calories rather than burned them. They’re still not going “poof,” but they’re not accounted for in calorie theory, either.

    There seem to be so many things that can mess with insulin sensitivity, too. I read the other day that wheat has a substance in it that is capable of plugging up insulin receptors. Researchers are suspicious it may be able to plug up leptin receptors as well. It’s not gluten sensitivity, this is another issue entirely. Possibly something to do with the lectins in wheat, I can’t remember. (A lectin is a protein with a sugar on one end. The receptors on cells are also sugars, so a lectin that matches a cell receptor can fit into it like a key into a lock. This can play havoc with body systems, as I’m sure you can imagine.) Someone having trouble losing on a low-carb diet might be well served to examine their wheat gluten consumption. Once you’ve plugged up those receptors there aren’t many substances that can get them open again; for most people only time will heal them.

    Another possible issue with slowed fat loss is sleep. I still haven’t kicked this one in my own life, but two major changes I experienced as an adult were the hormonal changes that come with the Pill and pregnancy (one after the other, thank goodness, not at the same time), as well as near-chronic sleep deprivation. It is a rare night that I get enough sleep. I have come to find out that not only sleep deprivation, but sleeping in too well-lighted a room, can screw up one’s hormones and neurotransmitters, and they play off one another in the body. Not a good scene.

    So. Lots of stuff going on and I suspect I’ve only scratched the surface. Oh, did I mention polyunsaturated oils? Yeah, they’re implicated in bad health too. If you’ve cut your carbs but you’re still eating canola and soybean oil, get off ’em *now* and learn to love coconut oil, butter, tallow, and lard. Your body will thank you. I find that if I keep my sat-fat intake up, even if I’m eating like crap otherwise, my body weathers the insults a lot better. Not that I *want* to always eat like crap, but once in a while doesn’t kill anybody. The one polyunsaturated oil I go after is cod liver oil because of its vitamin content. I’m trying to weed out everything else, even considering making my own salad dressings at this point, since *none* of them are based on olive oil as far as I know.

    Interesting about the wheat. Dr. William Davis often refers to “wheat belly.” I know the stuff puts weight on me pretty quickly.

  34. Marc

    Thanks Tom. Great stuff. Although my this case you were preaching to the converted.

    I have a question. In the bodybuilding world it is standard procedure to raise the proportion of carbs drastically when cutting down to a super lean appearance. Calories are reduced way down as well (maybe to half maintenance) and it is a known that the subject will feel ravenously hungry and sometimes quite depressed during this time. But it is effective at stripping the last few pounds of fat from the body. So how could this happen if the insulin produced would stop fat releasing back into the blood supply?

    That must be new. When I was in college, I knew some bodybuilders who went zero carb when they were getting cut. If you reduce calories enough, you’re also reducing insulin output. But as you noted, you’ll be ravenous.

  35. Kenny

    Bravo, Tom.

    I’ve recently been introduced to the WAP principles and have been gathering lots and lots of info on this subject. I stumbled on your videos by accident this morning while looking for Fathead the Movie (which i still can’t find!). Wife and I watched them and were floored by all the information you gave. I’ve passed it along to family members who have “poopoo’ed” my insistence that saturated fats and low carbohydrates are a better way of eating. I’ve been eating like this for three months and have never felt better and have dropped and redistributed weight.

    It’s a difficult job to influcence people who have been taught one thing for so long. I truly believe in what you’re saying, as well as that the industrial food industry is causing more death and disease in the US than any terrorist ever could. I wish there was a way to cause more outrage – if people only knew what Monsanto, etc. were doing to the food supply, and how complicit the FDA/USDA are, there would be a revolution – I’m convinced of that. I wish there was a way to widely distribute this knowledge to the masses. If you decide to form an ‘army’ of people to get the message out, sign me up. Until then, I’ll keep talking to anyone who’ll listen.

    Thank you for the information and inspiration. Keep up the good work!
    Kenny F., Long Island, NY

    All the best to you

    Best to you too, Kenny. As far as I know, Fat Head should still be available on Amazon, unless you’re not in the U.S. … we’re working on that, too.

  36. TonyNZ

    It’s been said before here, but I believe this is, in fact, better than the Fat Head documentary for getting the point across (though I do enjoy Spurlock getting put down a notch).

    The biggest question I encounter when talking to people about this topic is “but why do all the doctors and health magazines and research say fat is bad”. I’ll be (and have) sending them here. Best summary of this that I’ve seen.

    Again, said here before and again, you’ve explained it, but I would have liked to have seen something on PUFA = evil and corn/grain subsidies. Maybe you could have Big Fat Fiasco II: A Corny Catastrophe.

    I do have some suggestions for tweaking the speech that would, in my opinion make it better, as I felt it fell flat in a couple of places (in the same way that the Scottish Highlands are flat compared to the Himilayas). I may post this if I find time to watch it again and take notes. It took me a week just to get it all watched (in part due to my horrendously slow internet, but I have it loaded now >:)).

    Good work, we all appreciate it.

    The speech was certainly more focused on one topic than Fat Head was. Plus I’ve had another couple of years to think about how to explain the fat-sugar cycle.

  37. eddie watts

    @ Marc

    i know some competing bodybuilders here in the uk (all purporting to be drug free, i assume they are)

    all of them reduce carbs when they cut down for a show, tend to up fats slightly and protein is really high. might end up with P300 C50 F50 towards end

    @ Tom glad i got to see those, they were great and i learned some new stuff too, mostly more studies i had not heard of. thanks

    I plan to create a page someday with easy access to studies.

  38. Gita

    Hi Tom,

    Great speech, I loved the humor and the clear explanations. Congratulations on a job well done. I hope you get lots of speaking engagements!


    I hope so too, thanks.

  39. @CriticalMass63

    Great video clips. Humorous while making a point and getting the message out there. Keep at it! You have a talent and a good message.

    Thank you.

  40. Mr. Crow

    Hi Tom,

    I know you’ve been asked before but I’ve recently searched for the Fat Head DVD in Israel and they said it only aired on national TV (which I saw) but is not available on DVD.

    You have any idea if we can get a version of it too?

    Our overseas distributor has been a huge disappointment — they’ve sold some TV rights, but haven’t managed to negotiate a single DVD deal outside North America. So we are currently working on setting up our own replication/distribution. I will make it available — soon I hope.

  41. Mr. Crow

    Thanks for your reply, hopefully you’ll succeed.

    I’m eager to show the film to my friends and family, which are otherwise too lazy to read Taube’s book.

    I’m going to get it done even if I have to burn the DVDs myself. So many people overseas have asked how they can buy the film, and I’m tired of telling them they can’t.

  42. Sigi

    Great job, Tom – informative, interesting and persuasive (and what an engaging and well-spoken presenter you are too, young man!).

    Thank you very much – and keep at it! It’s important to have voices like yours out there, combating the idiocies of conventional nutritional “wisdom”.

    All the best,

    Thank you, Sigi.

  43. Damien

    Its times like this when i am actually glad that I became a type 1 diabetic almost a year ago becuase it has led me to the truth which this video explains – so well and so well i might add…!
    I really feel that there is actaully a chance that I may live a healthier and longer life now that I have discovered carbs are the enemy and fat is a friend :o)


    That’s a very positive way of looking at it.

  44. Ted Hutchinson

    Re the interesting points raised in the above debate with hmavros

    I note hmavros says “so long as adipose tissue is not inflamed (e.g. lipotoxicity), the tissues will remain sensitive to insulin even in the presence of high levels of carbohydrate.”
    and later
    “we’re not worse characters than our forefathers; had they have had a McDonalds and a Krispy Kreme on every corner, they would have got chubby too.”

    In fact there have been major changes both in the pro-inflammatory nature of the foods we eat and to our environment that makes our bodies more inflamed than our forefathers and with less resources to deal with that extra inflammation.

    Concentrations of zinc, iron, copper and magnesium decreased significantly with the introduction of semi-dwarf, high-yielding cultivars. and here is a report showing similar declines in nutrient density in vegetables and fruit with most of the decrease since 1978, 20%~25% reductions of copper in fruits and meatsBoth magnesium and copper deficiency impair glucose tolerance.

    We are different from our forefathers in other ways that make us less able to deal with inflammatory foods Vitamin D status gets lower because of ozone pollution both in urban envioronments and as a result of Industrialized agriculture

    It is also important to remember the effect of changes in the increase in ratio of pro inflammatory omega 6 in relation to reduced anti-inflammatory omega 3 levels

    The difference therefore between us and our forefathers is we now have a lower anti-inflammatory status but the nutrient deficient foods we are eating more of (grains, omega 6 oils, caloric sweeteners) are all more pro-inflammatory.

    So once again, it’s about chemistry, not character.

  45. Tim

    Very well done Tom! Surely this lipid hypothesis exposure would hugely benefit the broadcasting company willing to publicise the topic. Yet they never do. Wouldn’t the media get a lot more attention with this topic than to continually publish bad science supporting the bad science?

    More attention, perhaps, but nowhere near as many advertising dollars.

  46. Humaira Aziz

    I am a medical doctor and i was wondering how to make a presentation to show my family, friends and colleagues all this information dumping the fat cholesterol hypothesis. this was really great. i’m really interested in anything you have to tell us about leptin and weight loss. i have personally used HCG for weight loss and find it extremely effective and i think that it may be stimulating the leptin. i was wondering what testing could i do to check leptin levels during the HCG program?

    thanks a lot and would really appreciate a response to this

    I’ve never looked into leptin testing, so I’m not sure how it’s done. For the Lipid Hypothesis, if you order the books by Uffe Ravnskov and Malcolm Kendrick, you’ll have a lot of evidence to share.

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