I receive a lot of thank-you emails from people who’ve seen Fat Head. I’ve posted a few here and there, and readers have commented that they enjoy reading them, but frankly the main reason I don’t share more of them is that it feels egotistical.
Despite that, I’m going to post a few today because they serve as examples of This Is What They’re Up Against, the topic of my last post. Unless the people who wrote these emails are hermits, they’re probably talking to friends and family about their success. The so-called experts can recommend lowfat diets and healthywholegrains all they want … when ordinary people see their friends achieving extraordinary results by ignoring that advice, it’s got to make them think.
On to the emails:
After viewing Fat Head, I had what can only be described as a paradigm shift.
Since the age of 10, I had been a chronic dieter. Losing 10 lbs, then going back to eating normal amounts but slowly and consistently gaining the 10 lbs back. Repeat cycle. A strict adherent to the “calories in/calories out” mantra, I could never understand why a healthy, disciplined diet would lead to weight gain. Every 4 weeks or so… for years… I had to drop down to a starvation-level diet just to get back to a “healthy” weight and maintain. An unhealthy cycle, granted. But I didn’t know what to do! I felt my options were (1) be miserable on a diet (2) be fat.
When I saw your movie, I was floored. The facts. The research. The common sense. Something about your argument just rang true. Even as a child, I remember thinking that the Food Pyramid seemed strange. 6-11 servings of bread or cereal a day? But as Dr. Mary Eades so eloquently puts it in your film: I fell into lock-step with the “experts.”
After seeing Fat Head, I immediately made changes. I replaced granola bars and low calorie cereals with almonds, eggs, and delicious, full-fat cheese. I felt good. The constant hunger, irritability and sluggishness started to abate. I even began using real salad dressing (THAT’S real freedom – let me tell you!).
I shared your film with some fellow documentary buffs. One of them has Coeliac Disease. Out of necessity, she has had to figure out how foods actually affect the body. Several times during the film she would throw her arms up and say, “FINALLY! Someone who actually knows what they’re talking about!” The four of us have since begun a high protein, low carbohydrate diet as a group. And we are all felling better!
Thank you eternally for using your own time and money to benefit humanity! (I’ll keep you posted on our progress, too.)
I would like to say thanks so much for making Fat Head 🙂 I started a low-carb diet awhile before watching your movie, and I had my doubts (there were some “reports” that low carb diets are dangerous), but after watching your movie, it set me straight. I’ve been on the diet since mid-March, and I weighed 185lbs. Now I’m at 154lbs(my goal is 130lbs), and it’s the easiest diet to stick to ever (I’ve tried so many and probably spent thousands on gimmicky solutions-Jenny Craig, sensa, Arbonne, herbal life, raw diet, low sodium diet, eDiets, PGX, lots and lots of weight loss exercise dvds from infomercials, paid this internet “trainer” $180 for diet and exercise plans which required me to weigh all the food I ate ). Other people and my family have tried to debunk my diet, but having watched your movie I can defend this diet a lot better. I can’t imagine eating breads or pasta ever again!
Anyways, thanks so much, keep up the good work and take care!
Dear Mr. Naughton,
I don’t use the term “dear” lightly. Though we have never met, I want you to know how much your work has done for me and my family. I watched Fat Head on Netflix some weeks ago for the first time, and found it interesting. Then I watched Big Fat Fiasco on YouTube, and when you got to the explanation of the study with the insulin-injected mice (particularly the picture I have named “Jabba the Mouse”), I was stunned. I went back to Netflix and watched Fat Head again, then again. And then I started making notes, lots of them.
I found your blogs and have read every post on the Fat Head blog. Your work has helped me tremendously. I went starch- and sugar- free a week and a half ago, at 388 pounds, and have lost over a pound a day since. I am not hungry. I have energy, the arthritis in my knees and back are diminishing rapidly, and my blood sugar has completely normalized.
That’s the short version. The long version is below, but I wanted to front-load the good news in case you’re rather too busy to read the whole story. The information you brought to me has quite literally saved my life and improved its quality in ways I cannot begin to explain. Thank you so much for that.
I was a fat baby, a fat toddler, fat kid, teenager, and adult. At age 20, I weighed 484 lbs after 15 years of highly-restrictive diets, including a diet my mother forced me to stay on for a full month that was a 1000 calorie diet, consisting mostly of a horrid cabbage-tomato soup that tasted like, well, over-cooked cabbage and unsalted, unseasoned tomato juice.
At age 22, I stopped drinking regular soda and eating white bread, went semi-vegetarian, wasted tons of money on high-priced “natural, healthy” foods and smoothies that looked like swamp water and didn’t taste much better. After five years of torture, I lost 150 lbs. At 27, I gave up on the flax seed and smoothies, the calorie-counting and starvation, and gained back 50. At age 29, I weighed 388 pounds.
After watching Fat Head and Big Fat Fiasco, I started following the guidelines of no sugars (except for a bit of fresh fruit) and no grains at all. I have working the low-carb/no-sugar/no-grain plan for 11 days and weigh 371 pounds now. That’s 16 pounds! I lost more in a week and a half on this plan than I did in SIX MONTHS on any other plan. But that’s not the best part.
The best part of this is that I am feeling good for the first time in years. The crippling pain in my joints, in my very bones, has almost completely disappeared. I track everything I eat, and despite having a “huge” fat intake percentage-wise, I eat half the calories that I was eating when I was on a high-carb/low-fat diet. And I’m not hungry. I’m not tracking my calories because I’m worried about them, but rather to have a record to show people that when you eat nutrient-dense real food, you wind up–by accident–cutting your calories significantly.
What really kills me about this whole thing is the number of doctors I went to over the years, one after another, who told me that my problem was a lack of willpower. They told me I had no self-control. They made me feel worthless, which only made the problem worse! I believed them when they said I couldn’t be “that hungry” and walking couldn’t hurt “that bad.” I believed them when they told me I was being a wuss, a whiner, a lazy gluttonous slob. I took it all, year after year. And I shouldn’t have. I shouldn’t have had to. I should have been allowed the chance to grow up healthy. But you can be damn sure I’m going give my kids (if I ever have any) a better shot at it than I had.
Thank you again for your work. I appreciate it more than I can say. I’m sure you get that a lot, but I still needed to say it.
Of course you’ve received thousands of contacts with glowing reviews for the positive change you’ve helped engender in their lives! Or scathing ridicule, but it’s nice to be noticed, right?
I say thank you for using your brain, for sharing your experience, for continuing the edutainment!!
My blood sugar is under control, I’m losing weight and enjoying life so much more since I’ve modified my diet. Walks with my 9-year-old daughter, laughing again after so long feeling angry and depressed because I had cut out fat and was eating more and more whole grains!!
I hope you wanted to change peoples lives for the better, because we’re going to let you know the good you’ve done whether you like it or not!
[Note from Tom: Yes, I get scathing emails now and then too. As soon as I realize what they are, I delete them without reading them. I’m not interested in absorbing negative energy from angry dolts.]
I saw your documentary Fat Head this past July. I am 35 years old, 6’8″ tall and weighed about 330lbs. I have struggled with my weight since early childhood. In fact, I remember a teacher in the third grade making a joke about me weighing “as much as a full grown tiger” I think I weighed 100lbs back then. I don’t know why I brought that up, probably because it was a sad moment.
I have always been confused about different diet fads and have been temporarily successful at getting down to a healthy weight, only to watch it jump back up.
After seeing your movie, I felt like “diet” finally makes sense to me. There is so much noise coming from different experts, it was a relief to finally hear something that makes sense. I have been able to shed some significant weight, changing nothing but some of my eating habits. I’ve cut out the french fries, and usually go ‘bunless’ when I get a burger, but I have learned to actually avoid the “fat free” or “fat reduced” options when eating and find myself able to manage my hunger much better.
At this point, it has been a little over 3 months since I made the changes, and I have lost 63 lbs and still losing. I’m hoping to get down to 230lbs (or close to it).
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for putting this documentary together. I don’t think you designed it to necessarily help people lose weight, but it was inspiring for me and has made a huge difference in my life, as well as my family’s life.
I know you probably get this a lot. But you know what, dammit? I’m gonna say it anyways. I first saw your movie about 5 months ago and thought the way you approached the subject with comedy and real scientists and doctors giving real facts, I found it very interesting. Since then I have consulted with some firefighter buddies who are also professional bodybuilders. They confirmed every word you said, so I decided to give it a go.
I can tell you that in 3 months after beginning the diet, I have lost 29 lbs, going from 210 lbs to 181 lbs. And the ease that the weight melted off was staggering. I barely increased my exercise regimen although I am a semi active person. The results speak for themselves.
Some other changes that I have noticed in my body are: I used to have savage allergies but I haven’t even blown my nose in at least 2 months. Also I used to down water like it was running out, the thirst I had was enormous, now I barely drink 64 ounces a day. My energy level is through the roof, and I am not as tired as I used to be (sleep wise). I just thought that I should write you a letter letting you know that you at least changed 2 lives because of your common sense and lack of tolerance for stupidity. Keep up the good work, son.
I just saw Fat Head and it was the best documentary I’ve seen in about a thousand years. It dovetails with the books my wife and I have been reading and the research we’ve been doing.
No need to reply; I just wanted to say THANK YOU!
You are my new god. I’m sacrificing a goat to your magnificence (and eating its fatty meat in an orgy of rationality). Incidentally, I’ve cut out (most of) my carbs and dropped from 217 to 206 in about two weeks, all while dining on steak, chicken, fish, bacon, sausage, cheese and veggies.
I will recommend your documentary to one and all. I work in a school, a place where your perspective is sorely needed.
I’ve promoted Sen. McGovern to my list of “The Five People You’ll Meet in Hell.”
Thank you all for writing, and thank you to everyone else whose kind emails I didn’t post. Hearing your success stories means a lot to me.
This is what they’re up against: all of you.
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