The Science of Fat-Loss: Why a Calorie Isn't Always a Calorie

Calorie counting can work, but it’s often based on pseudo-science.

I’ve examined before how people can lose 20+ lbs. of bodyfat — or gain 34 lbs. of lean mass — within four weeks, replete with measurements and photographs, but there is still a chorus: “That’s impossible! You’d need to have a 4,000-calorie daily deficit” or “That’s impossible! You’d need to consume 20,000 calories per day!”

Nonsense. Thermodynamics isn’t so simple, and you can accelerate your body optimization results by understanding the real science…

I’ve invited Dr. Michael Eades, one of my favorite bariatric (obesity treatment) doctors in the US and the first to introduce insulin resistance to the mainstream, to explain the facts vs. disinformation. He is author of one of the few research-driven weight-loss books I recommend, Protein Power.

Take it away, Dr. Eades…

Dr. Eades:

I’ve taken some heat for my writing that weight loss or weight gain involves more than a simple accounting for calories.

The entirety of mainstream medicine and nutrition believe that calories are the only thing that counts and that a low-carb diet is nothing more than a clever way to get people to cut calories. Weight loss on low-carb diets, so they say, occurs only because subjects following low-carb diets reduce their caloric intake. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie they say. But is it?

I could argue that this idea isn’t necessarily true because of a number of recent studies that have shown that subjects following low-carb diets actually lose more weight than their counterparts on low-fat, high-carb diets despite the fact that the low-carbers consumed considerably more calories. But instead of going through these modern day studies, let’s go back and look at a couple of earlier famous studies to see what we can learn.


In 1944 Ancel Keys, Ph.D., decided to undertake a long-term study of starvation. It was apparent that WWII was going to be over soon and that much of Europe was starving. Although word of the mass starvation in concentration camps was just starting to filter out into the world, it was well known the Europeans, especially Eastern European, were not getting enough food. Keys wanted to do a study of starvation to see what really happened during the process so that at war’s end the victors would have a better idea of how to deal with the starving masses they were sure to encounter.

Key’s recruited 36 young male volunteers from the cadre of the conscientious objectors. These were healthy, normal weight men, most of whom were working for the Civilian Public Service (CPS), an entity created to provide jobs of national importance for conscientious objectors. The men responded to brochures and bulletins distributed in the various CPS barracks showing a photo of three French toddlers staring at empty bowls over the question: WILL YOU STARVE SO THAT THEY WILL BE BETTER FED?

The subjects came to the University of Minnesota where they were housed in the cavernous area underneath the football stadium for the course of the study. They were basically kept under lock and key for the study so that Keys and his colleagues could ensure compliance. At the start of the experiment the men were fed sumptuously for the first 12 weeks.

A full-time cook, two assistants and a dietitian monitored the food intake to the smallest fraction. According to The Great Starvation Experiment**, an excellent book about this famous study, during this lead-in phase the men ate well. A typical days food would include

a typical lunch… [that] consisted of fricasseed lamb with gravy, peas, and a carrot and raisin salad. For dinner…the men ate roast beef with gravy, whipped potatoes, tomato salad, and ice cream for dessert.

Although the three meals per day the men received added up to around 3,200 calories, which they were told approximated the normal American diet, the men said that they had never eaten better in their lives.

On day one of the starvation portion of the study, February 12, 1945, the rations were cut substantially.

The group shifted overnight from the three relatively generous meals of the control period to only two Spartan meals per day, a breakfast at 8:30 AM and supper at 5:00 PM.

The meals were designed to approximate the food available in European famine areas, with a heavy emphasis on potatoes, cabbage, and whole wheat bread. Meat was provided in quantities so small that most men would swear in later years that none was included at all.

One of the three dinners included the following:


185 grams of bean-and pea soup (made with 5 grams dried peas, 16 grams of dried beans, and 15 grams fresh ham)

255 grams macaroni and cheese (made with 130 grams wet macaroni, 12 grams lard, 108 grams skim milk, 2 grams flour, and 35 grams American cheese)

40 grams rutabagas

100 grams steamed potatoes

100 grams lettuce salad (80 grams lettuce, 10 grams vinegar, 10 grams sugar)

The relatively bulky 255 grams of macaroni made that particular meal an anticipated favorite among the volunteers. The wet macaroni served was roughly the amount required to fill a coffee mug about three-quarters full.

Over the twenty-four week starvation part of the study, the subjects not only lost a considerable percentage of their body weights, but suffered a number of problems as well. As the time wore on the men thought ceaselessly about food, they became lethargic, they were cold all the time, they became depressed, they developed bleeding disorders, their ankles became edematous, and some developed more serious psychological disorders.

Below is a photo of one of the young men in this study (the book shows multiple photographs – this one is typical of all the subjects). The first photo was taken a couple of years prior to the start of the study, the second is with about a month shy of the end of the experiment.


This young man suffered such psychological turmoil from the semi-starvation that he chopped off several fingers of his left hand a month or so after the bottom picture was taken.

The men in this study consumed macronutrients in the following amounts daily: protein 100 gm, fat 30 gm, and carbohydrate 225 gm. If you express these intakes as percentages, you come up with 25.5% protein, 17.2% fat and 57.3% carbohydrate.

Average energy intake of the subjects in the experiment: 1570 calories per day.

Now let’s look at another experiment conducted about 25 years later.


In the late 1960s John Yudkin’s group at the University of London performed a study that is most interesting in view of the Keys’ semi-starvation study. (Click here to get the complete pdf of this study)

For about 15 years Dr. Yudkin and his team had been running a weight loss clinic out of the university hospital using a low-carb dietary approach. Despite the patients’ doing well on the program, he and his staff had received the same criticisms all of us have who treat obese patients by restricting carbohydrates. In addition, because of his academic standing and long list of scientific publications, Yudkin’s peers had given him heat over the fact that his diet didn’t provide enough of all the vitamins and minerals required for health. As a consequence, he decided to do a study to see if there was any substance to their fault-finding.

He recruited 11 subjects aged 21-51 years for his study. He and his staff evaluated the regular diets of these 11 subjects over a two week period. The volunteers were then instructed on the basics of low-carb dieting as it was done in the hospital clinic and followed for two weeks on this regimen. The goal of the study was to determine the dietary intake of the essential nutrients in the low-carb diet to see if there were inadequacies.

Here were the low-carb instructions:

The instructions relating to the low carbohydrate diet were identical to those given to patients attending a hospital overweight clinic under our supervision. Essentially, the subjects were asked to take between 10 and 20 oz milk daily (about 300-600 ml), and as much meat, fish, eggs, cheese, butter, margarine, cream and leafy vegetables as they wished. The amount of carbohydrate in other food was listed in “units” with each unit consisting of 5 g carbohydrate; the subjects were told to limit these foods to not more than 10 units (or 50 g) carbohydrate daily.

As the low-carb portion of the study was progressing, Yudkin and his staff evaluated not only the intake of these subjects, but their mental status as well.

In conformity with our experience with this diet during the last 15 years, none of our subjects complained of hunger or any other ill effects; on the other hand, several volunteered statements to the effect that they had increased feeling of well-being and decreased lassitude. The average intake of calories and of protein, fat, and carbohydrate for the 11 subjects…were remarkably similar to those obtained for the six subjects of the previous study. [Yudkin had published a study in The Lancet in 1960 looking at the caloric and macronutrient intake of subjects on low-carb diets.]

Here is the chart from Yudkin’s paper showing the caloric and macronutrient changes when the subjects shifted from their regular diet to the low-carbohydrate diet.


The macronutrient consumption was 83 grams of protein, 105 grams of fat and 67 grams of carbohydrate. Putting this into percentages of overall intake, we find that diet was 21.3% protein, 60.6% fat and 17.1% carbohydrate. The energy intake was 1560 calories per day, almost exactly the same as the Keys study described above.

And, remember, these people were given all the food they wanted to eat. They weren’t forced to drop their calories to 1560 per day – they did it spontaneously because they had eaten until sated.

Here is the data in tabular form.


As you can see, the big difference is in the carbohydrate intake and fat intake. They are just about the reverse of one another in the two studies.

Both studies provided between 1500 and 1600 kcal per day, but with huge differences in outcome. In the Key’s semi-starvation study (high-carb, low-fat) the subjects starved and obsessed on food constantly. In the Yudkin study (low-carb, high-fat), the subjects, who had no restriction on the amount of food they ate, volitionally consumed the same number of calories that the semi-starvation group did, yet reported that they had “an increases feeling of well-being.” Instead of lethargy and depression reported by the Keys subjects on their low-fat, high-carb 1570 calories, those on the same number of low-carb, high-fat calories experienced “decreased lassitude.”

Both groups of subjects were consuming the same number of calories, but one group starved while the other did just fine. One group had to be locked down to ensure they didn’t eat more than their alloted 1570 calories; the other group voluntarily dropped their intake to 1560 calories and felt great. What was the difference? Subjects in both groups ate the same number of calories.

Maybe, just maybe it’s not the number of calories that makes the difference, but the composition of the calories instead.

I know that I’m not truly comparing apples to apples with the Keys and the Yudkin studies. But the Yudkin study does confirm Yudkin’s 15 years of experience before he wrote his paper and they confirm my 20 plus years of experience taking care of patients on low-carb diets. I’ve had many, many patients who have stayed on low-carb diets for much, much longer than the men in Keys’ experiment stayed on their diets of roughly the same number of calories. Most of the papers in the medical literature on low-carb diets show a spontaneous drop in caloric intake that’s about what Yudkin documented when people switch over to low-carb diets. It stands to reason that if someone had replicated Keys’ experiment using the same number of calories, but with much more fat and a lot less carbohydrate, that the outcome would have been much different.

Yet the calories would have been the same.

So, I’ll say it again. It’s not simply a matter of calories, and anyone who says it is should perhaps give the issue a little more thought.

** Gary Taubes’ book Good Calories, Bad Calories devotes a couple of pages to this semi-starvation study as well.

Enter Tim: This is just one of several topics I’d like to explore within the real-world science of body redesign — anything in particular you’d like to hear about?


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251 Replies to “The Science of Fat-Loss: Why a Calorie Isn't Always a Calorie”

  1. Great article.

    Most researchers and reporters refer to low-carb diets as being ‘high-fat’.

    But I was surprised to notice that Dr. Yudkin’s fully-satiated diet from the 60’s was low-carb but was definately NOT higher fat.

    I see that Dr. Yudkin listed in Table 1 his test subject’s regular diet, consisting of

    2316 calories, including:

    84 grams of protein,

    216 grams of carbohydrate, and

    124 grams of fat.

    I recognize that this resembles an average American diet.

    On the Yudkin diet, his subjects ate essentially the same amount of

    protein: 83 grams per day,

    low amounts of carbohydrates: 67 grams, and

    15% LESS fat than normal: only 105 grams!!

    And yet even with their reduced grams of fat, no one was hungry.

    I think I will cringe from now on when I see someone

    automatically labelling a low-carb diet as ‘high in fat’

    By comparison, the Keys starvation diet

    severely restricted ONLY the person’s FAT intake.

    The starvation victims still got 100 grams of protein per day which is MORE than the Yudkin subjects ate regulary.

    The starvation victims also got 225 grams of carbs, which

    again, is ALSO more than the Yudkin subjects ate regularly!

    So it is restricting fat, that causes hunger. And IMHO, it also causes disease(*)

    *according to many, such as the international

    fats expert: Mary Enig, PhD,

    brain expert: Larry McCleary, MD,

    diabetes expert: Mary Vernon, MD,

    heart disease expert: Malcolm Kendrick, MD,

    obesity and nutrition expert: Michael Eades, MD,

    Nutrition handbook: Good Calories Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes.

  2. I’m with Chris. I enjoy drinking mercury, and while it has, in fact, been ruinous to my health, and is trivially demonstrated as toxic to human beings, nonetheless my pro-mercury-drinking position is just as valid as anyone’s anti-mercury-drinking stance.

    Time and again, when the topic comes up at parties, family dinners, the hospital, etc, people become intolerably rude and aggressive – they just can’t stand that somebody holds a different opinion. This really pisses me off. As far as I’m concerned, if you can’t have a civil discourse on some topic, you should keep your mouth shut. Nobody knows everything, and we should keep that in mind.

    My two cents.

  3. Hey Tim, I’d love to see you hang out with the CrossFit crowd ( ); the HQ is in Santa Cruz, and there are some fabulous people there, very knowledgeable about things like this.

    I have a feeling you’d get along like peas in a pod… and wouldn’t it be fun to get whupped by a bunch of (gorgeous) women, too?


    Hi Adam,

    I know CrossFit really well. There are a lot of fans in the MMA and BJJ crowds. I might comment more on it soon. Good for puking, that’s for sure 🙂


  4. Hi Tim,

    Great job on the blog, man. It’s great to follow your tracks from Brazil.

    Tim, I think it’d be interesting to get your take on Dr. Douglas Graham’s work on health in general — not just fat loss. Also, I’d appreciate getting your take on Dr. Robert Young approach. Both disagree with the idea that a high protein diet, especially from animal sources, is the way to go in order to maximize health.

    What do you think?


  5. Chris:

    A quarter pound of beef raises insulin levels in diabetics as much as a quarter pound of straight sugar.

    No, 50g of protein raises insulin as much as 50g of straight sugar. Beef is only 20% (raw) or 30% (cooked) protein by weight.

    meat, compared to the amount of blood sugar it releases, causes the most insulin secretion of any food tested.

    Well…yeah. It has protein, so it results in some insulin secretion, but it has no carbohydrates, so it releases no blood sugar. Since the denominator’s zero, the ratio’s going to be off the charts. But why do you think this ratio is meaningful?

    Human breast milk (the ideal food for a growing infant who doubles his birth weight 5-6 months after delivery) is only 6% protein.

    It’s also 56% fat, about half of which is saturated. To which you will respond, no doubt, that adults have different nutritional needs than babies. Fine, but then why did you bring it up in the first place?

    I like contrarians, and I guess that’s why I don’t like see the usual low-carb, high-fat Atkins diet being promoted.

    You’re joking, right? There’s been some progress in recent years, but the low-fat high-carbohydrate orthodoxy is still very much in the mainstream.

  6. Hi Brandon. I think the high-fat diet is mainstream. Most Americans eat a very high percentage of fat on a daily basis (saturated fats, hydrogenated fats). “A quarter pound of beef raises insulin levels in diabetics as much as a quarter pound of straight sugar.” This statistic was taken from Diabetes Care, a journal published by The American Diabetes Association. Beef is high in protein and fat, both of which spike insulin levels significantly. As for breast milk, according to Wikipedia, the fat content fluctuates on a daily basis, and depends on the stage of feeding.

    Foremilk (the milk released at the beginning of a feed) is watery, low in fat and high in carbs. Meanwhile, the creamier hindmilk is released as the feed progresses. Hindmilk is higher in fat and lower in carbs.

    I second Martin’s suggestion. I would love to see Tim’s take on Dr. Douglas Graham’s work. Steve Pavlina (pro-blogger and personal development guru) just finished a 30-day trial following a pretty extreme version of the 80/10/10 diet. It was really interesting watching Steve’s diet through the blog.

  7. Dr Eades

    Is it ok to go low carb (50g or less a day) if you are doing 100 min of high impact aerobics a day, six days a week? Do I need to eat a little more carbs or not?

  8. Chris:

    “A quarter pound of beef raises insulin levels in diabetics as much as a quarter pound of straight sugar.” This statistic was taken from Diabetes Care, a journal published by The American Diabetes Association.

    No it wasn’t. Dr. Eades linked to the abstract of the study you cited, and it was a comparison between a meal containing 50g of protein and a meal containing 50g of glucose, not between a quarter pound of beef and a quarter pound of straight sugar. A quarter pound of sugar has about 55g of glucose (and 55g of sugar) compared to about 20-30g of protein in a quarter pound of beef.

    Beef is high in protein and fat, both of which spike insulin levels significantly.

    Do you have a source for this? I’m aware that insulin is needed to store protein, but I’m not aware that it’s needed to store fat. Some Googling suggests that there’s a synergistic effect between fat and carbohydrates–i.e., that fat carbohydrates is more insulinogenic than the carbohydrates alone (note the high insulinogenicity of things like potato chips and ice cream in the second paper you cited). But I haven’t been able to find anything regarding high-fat, low-carbohydrate, moderate- or low-protein foods. The three such foods in the second paper you cited–peanuts, eggs, and cheese–were among the least insulinogenic of any of the foods tested.

    Also, it’s worth noting that protein is essential, and carbohydrates are not. If you want to minimize insulin production while meeting nutritional requirements, the way to do so would appear to be to follow a low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, high-fat diet.

  9. Tim,

    I agree not all calories are the same, and one of the other commenters noted that not all fats are the same.

    I urge you to realize this applies to carbohydrates as well, not all carbohydrates are the same! There is a big difference in whether you get those carbs from fresh fruit or from another source. Carbohydrates from fresh fruit provide much more energy than carbohydrates from refined grains (breads and pastas). Many people will say that overconsumption of fresh fruits is dangerous because of the high sugar content, and to that I say that not all sugars are created the same either. That laboratory created white sugar or corn syrup affects your body much differently than the natural sugars in fresh, ripe, fruit.

    For more information on this concept I recommend reading Dr. Douglas Graham (

  10. I gave up sugar for good a few years ago because sugar was literally making me crazy: crazy as in painful bouts of depression, low self esteem, and extreme mood swings. Giving up sugar, and other refined carbohydrates, gave me back my life.

    Not only do I feel better, but I look better: my weight stabilized (I was constantly losing and regaining the same 10 to 15 pounds) and my cravings for sugar, starch and general food obsession disappeared. My depression, moods, and mental health stabilized. I feel like a different person.

    I agree on the concept of fat; I eat ample amounts of fat, and find it makes me both satiated and satisfied.

    I encourage anyone who wants to regain their health to rethink their relationship with sugar. Sugar abstinence is possible and achievable: if I can give up sugar after a lifelong sugar addiction, anyone can. In fact, I have a 120 page ebook that explains how to give up sugar for good that will be released next week. To serve the highest good of all, I’ll be offering my ebook for free at

    Here’s to abundant health…

    Karly Pitman

  11. I concur with comment #116 by ‘First ourselves.’ Two years ago I was a mess, in and out of depression, unstable moods, low energy. I was a sugar fiend.

    When I heard that sugar might be a problem, I stopped eating it as much as possible and from that point forward whenever I got hungry I would eat something fatty like bread and butter, or eggs. Within a couple of weeks I got skinnier (though I was already skinny). I got a natural six-pack and veins popping out on my biceps even though I was not working out. Also I had a much more stable mood and no longer had sweet cravings, I could comfortably go hours without eating. Foods that used to taste ordinary are now wayy too sweet, and I’m one of those food snobs who says “Oh my, I can’t eat that, it’s full of sugar!” It’s worth it though.

    I still have the six pack and veins today. I eat plenty of eggs (a dozen a week) and butter (about a pound every week) and I am still just as skinny. A friend got concerned about my health (since butter and eggs are supposedly bad for you) so I got a blood test and my doc called my cholesterol levels “excellent.” (the cholesterol “ratio” is 2.3, and 3.5 or lower is generally considered good) Hmm well that is inconclusive, since it might get worse one of these days. I suppose I’d better monitor that… 😉

  12. I too would like to hear more about your Mom’s discovery of her food allergies. After many year of misinformation and lack of knowledge on my part I have finally uncovered most, if not all of the food items I am allergic to. Now that I have cut those allergens out (for the most part anyway) I feel human again for the first time in 20 years. My “depression” is gone and I’m sure I will lose weight finally. I truly think many of the illnesses and conditions facing people in our nation are caused by food allergies or sensitivities.

  13. Tim, thanks for a fantastic post. Asolutely excellent!

    A question for Dr. Eades:

    Where does coffeine feature in this discussion. I’ve read somewhere that even small amounts of coffee will make the body produce large amounts of glucogen and totally destroy any effects of a low carb diet. Any comments on this?



  14. Protein + Fat + Fruits + Vegetables + No Grains = Health!

    Funny how that whole Paleo diet approach just works wonders…and you just have to play with the amount of fat and post workout paleo carbs to achieve more muscle.

    All those autoimmune disorders, brain disorders, blood sugar disorders…..started when grain consumption increased…and fat in the diets went down.

    Want to know what the body really wants? Do a water fast for 24 hours….you will be amazed at how you first craved sugar….but then craved fats and protein. The body knows what is best….we just need to listen to it once in a while.

  15. I did this “metabolic testing” at a natural medicine place. (I went in complaining that I was fat-I would like to lose 20 lbs!)

    Was curious if you ever did testing like that? They told me I’m a ” slow oxidizer” and that my digestion works pretty much like a snake–really slow. You remember the visual when the snake is eating the mouse?

    They gave me a list of foods to avoid and eat a lot of. Some were based on my blood type.

    Just wondering if you have done any research on this and what your comments are. Thanks!

  16. Chris,

    Generally attacking another personally in a debate is reserved for when someone cannot back their arguement sufficiently with fact.

    Or for when a dissenting evidence might interfere with hawking a book.

  17. Hey Tim & Dr Eades,

    Great work in general, but you need to be a little cautious. I have been doing this research for nearly 25 years.

    While a higher protein/fat lower carb diet may be quite good for many, it certainly would NOT apply to people whose dietary heritage consists primarily of fruits and vegitables.

    In fact this kind of diet for, lets say equatorial islanders, would probably kill them.

    The real issue is NOT calories and is is NOT low fat vs low carb etc.

    Instead it is actually about understanding an individual’s genetic heritage and creating a nutritional plan that aligns not just priotein, fats, and carbs, but also the specific sources of these nutrients for ideal health and fitness.

    For example, as a competitive bodybuilder who understannds the effects my genetic heritage has on critical characteristics like cellular oxidaton, by eating a diet which aligns with my metabolic type, I can maintain extremely high caloric consumption (6000 plus), mainitain maximal lean mass, AND reduce body fat all at once.

    This while my less informed competitors lean down painfully through brutal caloric restriction and show up sickly weak and ematiated.

    So contending that high protein / higher fat diets are better for everyone is just as bad as claiming low cal / low fat diets are.

    If you want to learn more about this visit y web site and read the articles I have there about Metabolic Type Diets.


  18. Um, no. Generally, personal attacks are used when someone feels threatened by opposing viewpoints, insecure about himself (thus the need to elevate himself by putting others down), or when someone lacks sufficient evidence.

    Try convincing someone of your viewpoint by insulting him first. It rarely works. This is Dale Carnegie 101 (How to Win Friends & Influence People). Stick to the facts and you might win more supporters.

  19. Hi Tim,

    i am very interested in weight loss research and have been looking into various ways to loss weight, on Monday i will start the loss 20lbs in 30 days, do you have any advice and any other meal suggestions? i would also like to know what data i should record before and after?

    great website and book

    Best Regards


  20. Tim,

    The federal government recently announced the United States is going to stop obesity by the year 2015. This is in response to the average of 25% of the children in the U.S. are overweight. According to World Health Organization overwieght and obesity is becoming a problem in many countries in the world. So much for the USDA Food Pyramid they teach children in U.S. schools in 3rd grade. In Canada, it is the Food Rainbow. Some U.S. National Footbal League athletes have websites against the nutrition education taught and foods served in U.S. schools. The U.S. also recommends for adults 30 minutes of physical activity 5 – 7 days per week and for children one hour of physical activity 5-7 days per week.

    Thanks for bringing to national attention, present nutrition and physical activity education for community residents is not working, why it is not working, and how to fix the problem.

    Healthy times.

  21. Great post! Very interesting stuff. I did a 12 week program eating 6 quality meals a day (or meal replacements) and found it worked great. I was in the gym 6 days a week, 3 for cardio. I gained 7 pounds of muscle and lost 22 pounds of fats and dropped my body fat % by 50%. Quality food is key. as is hitting the gym.

  22. This article fails to detail the amount of weight the subjects in the Yudkin low-carb diet lost. Obviously in the Great Starvation Experiment the subjects lost a lot of weight (as well as had pschyological and health problems), however, if I wanted to lose a lot of weight quick it seems Ancel Keys had the right idea to do so – low fat. Yes, low-carb, high-protein makes a person feel more full than a high-carb, low-fat , but is it as effective in losing weight?

  23. Chris: Depends on what you want to achieve. The subjects in the Keys study probably lost a lot of muscle mass as well as body fat. I also wonder how fast they regained the weight they lost (also, how quickly did they recover from health and psychological problems caused by malnutrition). A diet with sufficient protein prevents muscle loss, and muscle tissue pushes metabolism up.

    My opinion, dieting-wise, is that you want a moderately calorie-restricted diet, with high nutritional content, enough fat to absorb the oil-soluble nutrients and meet your body’s fat-based nutritional needs, and enough protein to maintain / build muscle mass. Getting the most nutritional value out of each calorie is as important as reducing the number of calories.

  24. My opinion on dieting is that you just need to keep trying and testing until you find something that works. What worked for me was a protein bar for breakfast, eggs and vegetables for lunch, and a decent size dinner. It won’t work for everyone, but it worked for me.

  25. Tim,

    I just recently started seeing an acupuncturist for various ailments–soreness in feet, stress, headaches, sinus troubles, excessive tiredness, etc. etc.

    Basically, I’m a mess. Well, she gave me a diagnosis of “Damp Spleen” and told me to stay away from diary, soy, wheat, fatty meat, sugar, butter, nuts, seeds, chocolate and any kind of fruit. I followed the diet for about two days and started to feel better. My problem now is that I need more information. I want to know what the unifying element is in all these foods that was making my body sick. I’m not trying to knock Traditional Chinese Medicine, because I’m a believer, but I’m thinking there’s probably a present day scientific explanation.

    I’ve been implementing your “20 pounds in 30 days” diet this week. Problem is, I’m tired all of the time and I’ve doubled my workout routine. Any suggestions on supplements or foods to eat before/after working out? I used to have a piece of fruit, but TCM says my spleen can’t take it 🙂

    Thanks again,


  26. @Rachel,

    I would go see a traditional allergist if I were you. It seems like the TCM practitioner just eliminated a load of common problem foods.

    Alternately, you could add one at a time back in until you figure out which is causing the problem.

    Good luck!


  27. Is it just me, or does this article fail to acknowledge that one study was conducted over 24 weeks, and another over only 2 weeks?? And one was tightly controlled and the other just “guided”? I don’t think you can possibly draw any sort of conclusions by comparing two completely different studies as there are too many variables. Speaking from my own experience, following a low carb calorie restricted diet for two months has made me crave carbs and obsess about food constantly – just like any other diet.

  28. well i am indian …i have tried losing weight on low carb diet but quit after two days on it. i think this worked for me…with just little exercise about 20 minutes.


    1 bowl of oats with saffron and little honey and almonds / pancakes with lentils / bowl of porridge


    1 cup of vegetable

    2 chappatis

    1/2 bowl rice

    1/2 bowl yoghurt

    1 piece of chicken


    same as lunch except no rice

    i went from 70 kg to 58 kg in a matter of 1 year. try it

  29. hi, i just found your blog and looks very nice with very informative topics. i ll keep coming back here coz i know i will learn a lot here. Just a quick note, diet and exercise should be equal.

  30. The funny thing is that you can actually lose weight without having to do any dieting at all!

    As you know, most people don’t like the idea of starving themselves to lose those unsightly love handles so they look for other ways to eat until their tummies are satisfied.

    In reference to counting calories, most of these low-calorie foods should probably be accompanied by a label that says “Warning: Consuming these foods will be hazardous to your health!”

    You see, low-calorie substitutes are chock full with chemicals and artificial sweeteners – never mind, what is involved to try to get the processed mish-mash of ingredients to actually taste like real food!

    Additionally, artificial sweeteners and heavy processing can have deadly toxic effects on the body and may cause certain cancers, heart disease, liver, kidney disorders, weight gain and much more!

    Research indicates that heavy toxicity tends to increase the acidity of our body and, in order to protect our organs and tissues from a dangerous bodily environment, the body packs on fat and cholesterol to neutralize these acids.

    So, another way to rid fat – reduce your acid intake. It’s that easy.

    Thank you, Tim, for allowing me to share.

  31. Great observation, I would like to see more.

    Is the calorie a good measurement food digestion and metabolism?

    Calories are a measure of heat when food is burned at temperatures above 470 degrees.

    Does the body release this energy at body temp of 98.6 degrees?

    In the lab, the energy is not released at 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, or even 400 degrees.

    In the lab, the end result is ash which has no calories left.

    In the body, the end result is waste which is still rich in calories.

    That being a fact, digestion and metabolism does not release all the caloric energy at body temperature.

    So, why use Calories as the end all measurement of food?

    If you did, there would be thousands of different results.

    Confusion would abound.

    Whole industries would be created to explain the unexplainable.

    People would be reading this because they just can’t figure out the Calorie and how it relates to human digestion and metabolism.

  32. […] Broccoli and cauliflower, two of the acceptable vegetables on the Atkins program, also have appetite-suppressing effects. These vegetables are very bulky and they help make your stomach feel full. When your stomach feels full, it will actually create a chemical response in your body […]

  33. Just started following Chuck Norris on Twitter. Tim – I think you should make an exception to your low information diet for him. ; )

  34. I recommend reading “Rethinking Thin” by Gina Kolata, science writer for the NY Times. She also examines the starvation study and questions the thesis that weight maintenance is just a matter of calories in, calories out. In particular, she looks at the behavior of the men after the study – how they obsessed on food, read lots of cookbooks, ate constantly without ever being satisfied. Like Americans today, on a starve-binge cycle, watching the Food network. She also looks at some other very interesting studies.

  35. Hello all and especially Tim and Michael Eades;

    wow…it is a great article that I just found today and i’m getting fan of as I did when i first read “How to lose fat in 30 days”.

    Well, after trying to read most of the posts and the another article i mentioned before, I would like you to suggest what kind of breakfast, for ex, we should have if we are going to give up bread (which is typical for breakfast, at least here in South America) … ok…u may mention whole grains, but for ex if i have my cereal (whole grain) and i’m planing to avoid milk too…so….what can i have for breakfast? do u have any diet plan (menus/examples) to follow???? where u mention what products eat? not only for breakfast but for lunch, dinner and so on…

    thanks for yr help and regards from beautiful Guayaquil, Ecuador 🙂

    ps: any tip to dissapear sugar cravings??

  36. Tim,

    I’m in the process of P90X. I have changed my diet in 2 small ways. 1 – I eat apples or carrots instead of potato chips and 2 – I drink more vodka and less beer. The process after 6 weeks is amazing. My body is changing nicely. What I don’t like about the program is the time commitment. 80 to 90 minutes quite often and 6 days per week.

    I will complete the process and measure results, but I must admit your plan is far more appealing! Once complete, I will test your methods and let you know. Although I have far more time to work out since implementing strategies from your book, I’m still not loving 10 hard core hours of work out a week. I’d like to get these results with 5-6 hours.

    1. Were I you, I’d ditch the P90 and just adopt a sound strength training program. You only need to lift weights 2X per week, and you don’t need ANY cardio.

  37. Tim,

    I just recently purshased your book and I am halfway through reading it, only due to the fact i’m working 40 hours a week (yeah, yeah i know it sounds bad…i bartend pool-side at one of MGM’s busiest resorts, give me a break please). Anyway, after years of believing in 2 hrs a day of mass training and having a so called “bodybuilding” physique is a practical way of living, about 8 months ago I had an epiphany. After experimenting with numerous OTC and illegal supplements, I realized that being strong doesn’t mean being big. A year ago I was 250lbs of straight fat and couldn’t do a single pullup. I am now 190lbs(6’0 tall), run 3 miles in 20min and rep pullups with ease.

  38. Tim,

    cont,… Anyway, I after just recently reading about your diet online, I am starting it this week…I love meat and beans and it sound delicious. My workouts consists of some distance running, sprints, pullups, blurpees, med ball slams, etc. I have a few questions… 1) I hate eggs, any subs for breakfast? 2) I work 10am-6:30am at the pool, any suggestions for an eating schedule(i usually take lunch around 1 or 2)? 3) I refuse to do any weight training at a gym anymore, are my workouts ok? 4) Last one: I really want to learn to surf, any suggestions on that? Thanks for your time Tim.

  39. Very interesting studies but would the same hold true for women as instead of men. The second study didn't say whether it was a mixed group. I would be interested to know. Good information though

  40. It’s always shocked me at how controversial Dr. Eades work is. I am very passionate about fitness. And when my friends and I want to lean out, regardless of whether we are weekend warriors, power lifters getting ready for a meet, or bodybuilders prepping for shows, we all just drop carbs and focus on protein/fat consumption. Personally I use High GI carbs perri-workout (before, after, during), and then one moderate low GI carb meal within an hour of training.

    In staying above or around 7 or 8% bodyfat most people will not even experience muscle loss OR a strength deficit. So what is there to lose? The only exception might be bodybuilders looking to drop between 3-5% BF for a show — no reason for the ordinary individual to this! Charles Poliquin advocates that 9.8% BF (measured on DEXA, no inaccurate calipers) will yield six pack abs.

    Also, I consume a lot more calories than all of the ‘dieters’ i know. I get more fibre as well.

    It’s a great way to eat without being miserable!!

    For further reading, check out for an interview with Joseph Brandenburg. He also has a book available on!

    The interview examines the teleology set up by academia in supporting certain nutritional ‘facts’ over others. As Brandenburg explains, however, these ‘facts’ are quite tenuous!

    It’s a great article for anyone seeking to understand the truth about weight loss, and is very much in line with Dr. Eades.

    Take care!

    PS I’m surprised to see Nate Green on here. Everyone check out his book and articles at I particularly like the interview with Dave Tate .

  41. Very interesting article. When I was a personal trainer it amazed me how many people still buy into the theory that eating fat makes them fat. I think many people miss the point of the fact that fat makes food taste good. When they eat low fat the flavor has to replaced with something or people won’t eat. Thus added sugar and simple carbohydrates. Much worse than fat in terms of weight loss. This of course applies to processed foods, which we shouldn’t be eating away.

  42. It is still not clear whether the studies lasted the same amount of time. Awesome–for two weeks the high fat group felt great! Um, what about several months later? This article seems to compare the mental and physical state of men who have been dieting for months, and those who have been dieting for a couple weeks. Huge variable right there.

  43. Tim, Very interesting. I’m reading Gary Taubes’ book now and just read Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas, who fills in some of the gaps on the macronutrient composition vs calorie counting approaches. Namely, protein, fats and carbohydrates have different effects on hormones in the body that control most body processes: insulin, leptin and others (Dr. Schwarzbein also pointed this out in her books). Aside from differences in satiety and nutrient density between different food sources, they also have differing effects on our hormones, and hormones are extremely powerful. In a nutshell, moderate protein (high protein not needed), low carb (mainly useful as a source of phytonutrients and antioxidants etc) and ample healthy fats, as needed for satiety and sufficient energy. Nutrient-dense, real foods that our paleolithic ancestors would recognize as food.

    Turns out the brain can run on ketones all the time, doesn’t need glucose to function optimally, contrary to popular misconception (babies are born burning ketones and only switch to glucose metabolism as they’re fed carbs). Glucose is so damaging to most body tissues that it is used up preferentially to get rid of it. And if you’re eating sugar you’re generally not burning much fat. The one exception: red blood cells need a tiny bit of glucose so they can spare oxygen, as their duty is to transport oxygen around the body (wouldn’t make sense for them to use up their cargo as fuel now would it?). But the average person needs no more than a teaspoon of glucose in the bloodstream so there is no metabolic need to be scarfing carbs every 3 hours to keep blood sugar up, especially considering that glucose can be made from fats and proteins in the diet. A high-fat diet and switching over to fat-burning allows hunters to hunt all day without fainting… I highly recommend Primal Body, Primal Mind.

  44. I have tried so many diet regimens but because I felt deprived, I was never able to follow them. I just started out with the no-diet approach to losing weight. And so far, I am loving the results. Plus, I do not feel deprived because I am able to eat the food that I like.

  45. Tim, I have two questions for you. One, it seems as though the Yudkin Study was a forerunner of the Atkin’s Diet. Do you percieve this as well? Two, this study was only performed for two weeks. Would you anticipate a deregulation in BMR if carried forward with no systematic increases in carbohydrates?

  46. This was a great article and i used it to convince my friend that calories don’t matter as a matter of number…you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to convince some people calories are a unit of energy measurement…not a THING.

    We don’t have a literal fire in our stomach that powers us. We work on chemical reactions and its what chemicals we intake (fats, proteins, minerals, ect) that mater.

    Thanks for providing the tools to prove this 🙂

    1. The only real way to convince people is to shock them out of the belief. Eat loads of bacon. Eat loads of eggs. Loads of things that people will deem unhealthy and then show people how lean and/or healthy you are.

  47. One author/blogger who has great, logical, scientifically-backed info on this sort of diet is Mark Sisson from marksdailyapple.

    Best nutritional resource that I know of.

  48. Amen, Matt. After my above comment recommending Nora Gedgaudas’s book, Primal Body Primal Mind, I bought and read Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint. Also excellent, in fact even better than Nora’s book in some ways. Now sticking to it is a challenge, especially with a partner who insists on having bread, rice, chocolate etc around all the time.

  49. Tim,

    Great book, great ideas.

    I started following your diet about a month ago, and then finally began reading a book I had on my shelf for over a year and the ideas melded perfectly.

    Life Without Bread:

    I had been one of the ‘mis-informed’ and had had a high-carbohydrate diet all my life. This did not seem to cause much problems as I was very active; running marathons, snowboarding, climbing,etc. But as I’ve gotten older and less active the effects really began to show in weight gain, and decreased energy and stamina. Since reducing the carbs I feel much more energized and have lost a good amount of weight so far.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas.


  50. First question – were the subjects in study #1 on any kind of resistance training? No resistance training always leads to muscle atrophy.

    Second question – I see that Keys’s study was 24 weeks long while Yudkin’s study was only 2 weeks long. How can a 2 week study be accurate, let alone compare with a 24 week long study on physiological changes that are best measured monthly rather than weekly?

    Third question – Do we have any more details on this 1944 study by Ancel Keys?

  51. First question – were the subjects in study #1 on any kind of resistance training? No resistance training always leads to muscle atrophy.

    Second question – I see that Keys’s study was 24 weeks long while Yudkin’s study was only 2 weeks long. How can a 2 week study be accurate, let alone compare with a 24 week study on physiological changes that are best measured monthly rather than weekly?

    Third question – Do we have any more details on this 1944 study by Ancel Keys?

  52. This is psuedo science, both studies cannot be compared to draw any meaningful conclusions — especially the second study being only two weeks long, and loosely controlled — no way to know for sure what those people were eating — hate to break this to you but when it comes to weight loss a calorie is a calorie — energy in versus energy out, to claim otherwise you might as well believe in magic or fairy tales.

    Not to discount the health benifits of certain foods over others, but it would be possible to get ripped eating bacon grease milkshakes if you worked out enough to cut fat and build muscle.

    1. So you think that when you eat something, it just goes straight into your blood? no other processes take place? Digestion rates are all the same? You believe that ingestion = digestion?

      Do some research please.

  53. I looked up the 1944 study by Ancel Keys. Here’s why the subjects literally starved:

    They were in a caloric deficit for far too long. Their body fat levels dropped to dangerously low levels, hence why the body atrophied. At one point in the study, the men had a great, low body fat percentage, but Ancel wanted them to keep going for the sake of science. After all, the purpose of the study was to study the effect of STARVATION.

    Your conclusions based on these 2 studies is flawed.

  54. Another thing suggestion that often gets touted as “pseudo science” is the multiple small meals per day. Personally, in my practice, I have seen a lot of success especially from people who “binge eat” their calories at meal times.

    When people binge eat (esp carb’s!!) there is a much more dramatic insulin spike, and when this occurs we shift to a highly anabolic metabolism… unfortunately if your calories are primarily (simpler) carb’s, these are readily converted into fat.

    Multiple smaller meals (and emphasizing higher protein, fat, and fibre) blunts this insulin spike. Even if the same amount of carb:fat:protein were to be consumed over the course of the day in more frequent, smaller, snack-size portions this would be the case and people wouldn’t pack on quite as many lbs of fat.

    I actually have produced a rough cut of a weight loss and detox video where I go through a lot of the science behind these two subjects, please feel free to direct friends, family, patients to this!

    Great post, BTW!

  55. I essentially agree with the message conveyed from this post, but I am a bit disappointed that the article doesn’t explain about the micronutrients and minerals in the Yudkin diet, especially as that was the initial criticism. I find that the criticism goes completely unanswered here. This becomes an especially critical question seeing as a lot of our micronutrition can only come from vegetables, poor soil quality allegedly decreases mineral content, and many modern citizens of the Western world suffer from malnutrition. Leafy greens are extremely important, but what about variety in the vegetable/fruit/berry world?

  56. Great article. Thanks for the post. I think that too many people focus on the number of calories they consume these days. I find that people are obsessed with reading the nutritional information on the back of a highly processed food box rather than just sticking to natures own fresh food.

  57. Saw some of your very thought provoking posts by accident…they make sense and have me rethinking nutrition and what I thought I already knew.

    I love that you endorse wine! Cab franc is a nightly beverage for me. Just one question…How do you feel about dark chocolate consumption? I am unable to give that up, it pairs so well with the wine, and keeps me happy. Please don’t tell me it is a bad thing! and how much is the right amount per day?

  58. Hi Tim,

    I’d really like to know if you’ve done any research/self-experimentation with “intermittent fasting”?


  59. Interesting article! I personally do not like the whole: a calories is a calorie statement. 500 calories of pizza is not the same of 500 calories of chicken.

    On an unrelated note: those photos of the guy in the study are scary. I would probably try to eat my fingers rather than chop them off, if I looked like that. :o)

  60. @tferriss I’d love to hear more of your take regarding binge day (cheat day) and Eades – Taubes research/journalism.

    I’ve been on board with 4HB, but my recent reading of Taubes latest (Why We Get Fat) has me in a quandary over binge day.

    I couldn’t find posts specific to this topic on your blog. This is as close as I could find.

  61. Hello Tim (and any professionals out there). I would want to know if it is possible to use a slightly low (50-80g) carb intake with moderate fat and high protein diet to lose my last few pounds around the belly? I am an average guy, 165lbs, 21y and around 13-16% body fat. abs aren’t really showing so I am not sure if this diet will fit what I want to acheive (8-10% bodyfat)

  62. Hi everyone,

    Lots of points of view here. I like it. Keep up the good work.

    What’s my post about? It’s not about nutrition, but more about personal choice as a result of years of eating red meats and poultry and the way they were prepared. I have stopped eating all red meats and poultry, simply due to the negative emotional triggers it has on me. I have managed to replace them with fish and eggs here and there and have been so for 20 years now. That thing about too easy to pick up a burger, so very true. Anyways, that’s my thing. I probably have some screw loose but I can’t help eating the way I am now. I bench 250lbs, versaclimb 8500 feet in under 80 minutes and I’m by no account a ballerina type body, more like a gorilla, probably due to an excess of carbs. will I live to be 90? dunno. If red meats will prolong my life, will I be tempted to eat it again, I doubt it. In my case, it’s a personal choice I’ve made. I can’t nor will I force it upon anyone else. But it’s really good to read people debate about different diets. Ciao for now.

  63. Hey Tim,

    not sure where else I’d post this question but i’ve been doing some research on the CKD and realized there’s a lot of contradiction on macronutrient goals/timing of the diet. I was wondering if you’d let me know which CKD you followed (macronutrient make up, total calories etc)


  64. F*ckin? amazing things here. I am very glad to peer your post. Thanks so much and i am having a look forward to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  65. WOW, that was definitely informative! Those pictures can definitely give a harsh wake up call to the extent that some will go in achieving a certain goal. My personal goal was always to try to find the truth in things; health, spiritually, mentally. For a long time I have found that trying to go “around” the cravings of certain foods (being extra busy to keep your attention off of it, getting more sleep so there are less hours in the day to be aware of it, forbidding these certain foods to be in the house, etc) was stupid and ridiculous to do. Especially since finding the honest truth about WHY we crave those foods. Something to remember is that as long as you can still ask WHY? to a situation then you haven’t found the real reason of problem. Check this out –

  66. Calorific values are determined by burning stuff in a lab, and I suppose in reality that has very little to do with how an organism (like a human) deals with foods. It is flawed from the start I think.

  67. Tim, because you’re so smart, would you please check out 80/10/10 diet and the girl i found it through at 30bananasaday website? I agree with the second research, and had read a book by the editor of Men’s Health where they also say the best way to loose fat is by going slow and low carbs, higher quantity and quality protein, veggies, smoothies. Well, i’m off track. I want to see if 80/10/10 is still a good idea because the two studies compare regular foods and the calorie restriction – of course small but high in fat and protein meal will sustain, satisfy, and work for you better than the example in the first research. Agreed. Deal. But for those who are raw vegans (who are not going to tell the world to not eat meat but just doing it for their own highest quality intake for many reasons), would you give a blessing after reading that girls FAQ? loading up on organic fruits and making sure you get at least 2000 or way more a day seems to work great. To me it looks like this one and the second research are both great ways to loose fat judging by the results. And the beauty is that there is no concrete amount of protein that is needed – our bodies adapt to anything – had read it in Personal Power by t. Robbins.

  68. oh, and it is not a sarcasm, i really meant the part about smart. you have such a curious mind and tenacity for great work.

  69. I am 44 years old and have tried every known diet imaginable. What work for me and my clients? Higher fat/moderate protein and minimal STARCH(including rice). No one is talking immune function and disease prevention. Story: I have a client who’s total cholesterol INCREASED 70 pts and now feels and looks better than ever. She’s hardly ever sick anymore and all allergies and stomach issues disappeared. her doc is frantic over her cholesterol numbers but I know better. She had major inflammation, common with carb diets, and now that’s down to almost nil. The GI is totally “more than meets the eye”. read Dr. Greg Ellis thoughts on that.

  70. Low-carb diet is good for losing weight,

    but would you really recommend someone to replace complex carbs with more meat and call that healthy eating?

    I wouldn’t.

    1. Yes, Tina, replace carbs with meat. You get healthy fats for hormone, brain eye and nerve health, iron, zinc, riboflavin and many other important nutrients.

      All carbs complex or simple will effect blood sugar and can trigger an eating frenzie for some people.

      Keeping carbs low increases the nutrient density of the diet. If you are open minded, try flipping through the menus in my book, “The Stubborn Fat Fix”.

      My menus, range from about 30 grams of carbs to 100/125g. As I upped the complex carbs, the calories increased but nutrients were diluted with the high caloric value of the carbs.

      Jeff Volek has detailed research on very low carb diets and performance and weight loss while increasing LBM.

    2. Based on what information? You have made such a series of assumptions that have no basis in research. Red meat is not bad for you. Usually, when someone develops a sensitivity to red meat it’s because of the hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and herbicides found therein, not the meat itself. Complex carbohydrates have their own set of problems–ask anyone with IBS. I personally can’t consume them without intestinal pain being the result. Complex carbs, all carbs, break down into glucose which is handled by insulin created in the pancreas, or fructose which is processed by the liver, both situations are harmful on a prolonged basis. The human body was not made to process as much carb as most people are eating nowadays.

  71. These research studies were echoed all the time by Dr. Atkins and I’m glad they are still being told. I have never heard them in such detail and the pictures are amazing.

    Thank you for this Tim!!!!

  72. In this post there are two studies. In both studies a significant caloric restriction takes place.

    In the first study subjects are lean young men. They do not have a lot energy stored as fat mass.

    When you take a lean person and make him eat 500 kcal under his BMR for 24 weeks, starvation occurs and he is going to encounter a lot of physiological and psychological problems.

    The second study was done with subjects who were OBESE. That means they had a lot of energy stored as fat mass. When these people are deprived from food they get the amount of energy needed from their energy stores.

    Also they were on the diet for only TWO WEEKS, they could’ve gone without food altogether for that long.

    It’s totally misleading to enforce a point with these two studies and the conclusions that were drawn from these studies are completely biased.

    I’m not saying that eating a lot of steak doesn’t fill you up.

    All I’m saying is that there are a lot of healthy and balanced ways to diet down and every single time it comes down to caloric restriction.

    For more sensible and referenced information check out the work of John Barban, Brad Pilon, Alan Aragon, Lyle Mcdonald, Martin Berkhan and don’t trust information just because it sounds cool.


  73. Completely unrelated question – are you a fan of hurling tim? I ask this because your holding a hurl in your hand in the photo above. Greatest sport on earth!

  74. Love the book read it in a matter of, well less than my average work day. I want to try this but I am a running/workout junkie- I do it for my mental health, love running half/full marathons and can not will not stop. Im fit, 14% BF, 124#, 5’6”…. But something is missing- Hope I can find it using 4HB.

    Right off the bat on PG 23 I became baffled. In the GA (gray box) Tim says. “107 calories you burned during that kick ass hour-long Stairmaster session?”

    Really? Being an avid ‘Stair Master’ I know for the average person that can’t be true. Can it? Is my ridiculously over priced Sunnto HRM lying to me (I know it’s not completely error proof)? In one hour on a stairclimber I burn more like 500+ kcal with an avg HR of 170ish. I never trust the machines but my watch knows more stats about me than the avg person knows about herself… Can anybody clarify me, or pg 23?

    Thanks Tim for providing fitness junkies like me ‘potato chips for the mind’ your book excites me like a fat kid in a combo candy/doughnut shop!

    1. I’ll give it a shot. This whole example is probably a “typo” of sorts. If you read Tim’s previous book Four Hour Work Week, you will remember that Tim is a big proponent of outsourcing almost everything that actually can be outsourced. A lot of writers do this these days, especially if they don’t have a writing background and/or enjoy it. I’m pretty sure Tim did research for the book, put together the outline, and gave another writer instructions such as “In this section, comment on the idea that calories lost during exercise aren’t as impressive as they seem since you burn 100 cals doing nothing. Just for example sake, say you lost 107 calories doing some exercise, factoring the 100 doing nothing, the exercise only made a 7 cal difference. You fill in the section with a better example.” But Tim’s writer probably just used the numbers Tim provided.

      I think that is what happened because anyone who has every been on a stairmaster or treadmill (and Tim has) would know that the only way to burn only 107 cals on it is if it were broken.