The Wonderful World of Fat

My god.

Is this ever a very long way from this. That was tough, yesterday: day one of my excursion into Lyle McDonald's Rapid Fat Loss Protocol. What work to stuff down 1,000 calories without the benefit of much fat — 10 grams of which came from fish oil capsules. Plus, worrying about — of all things — being hungry at night, I saved nearly 100 protein grams for the evening meal and just couldn't do it. Humongous lean ground beef burger on the grill, cooked to medium-well and pressed to get out as much fat as possible (it was 96/4 anyway), and it was tough to get all down, and I only ate half of the cottage cheese, salsa and cucumbers on the side.

Note to low-fat paleo types: here's how to do really lean ground beef so it tastes great. I chopped up some onion, then spiced with salt, pepper, garlic, and above all, quite a bit of cumin and paprika. Mix it all up in the meat, then press the patties. The cumin especially. Very, very tasty. I always get the fattiest ground beef I can, for taste, but I've got to admit that was very good — though 11 ounces (cooked) was a tall order. It was HUGE.

And I thought I was going to be hungry. I got off to a much better start today. I should eat a can of tuna just now, 12:30 pm or so, but I'm just not hungry.

At any rate, this is an interesting education in the very large importance of fat in the diet and how it would nearly be impossible to get sufficient maintenance calories without it, provided one isn't prepared to dive into high carbohydrates via grains and starches.

Later: I've taken away the FitDay access because I'm only using it to keep track of my intake for the short period on the diet, it's incomplete in terms of the veggies (negligible impact macro-nutrient wise) and a few other things, so I don't want to lead anyone astray.

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  1. B. Dietz on June 10, 2008 at 13:13

    I wonder what your opinion of Lyle Macdonald is? He is definitely not Art Devanny. Also, you are making such good progress with EvFit, why would you want to use a low fat, low calorie system to lose weight?

  2. Richard Nikoley on June 10, 2008 at 22:22

    I searched both his website and forum and came up with nothing, so I don't know.

    Of all the meds I've gotten off of, the one for heartburn has been the most problematic. That is, I still get it, sometimes, only far less nuclear than before. Usually, Tums does the trick. Well, since yesterday: zero. I'm hoping that the time spent without any will reset the system, so to speak, so that when I go back to getting 40-60% of cals from fat and 20 or so from carbs, mostly fruit, and the rest protein, that I'll be good to go.

    There is the alcohol connection, too. It could be just that. There's no alcohol on this diet, but the chances of me giving up single malt scotch are pretty minimal. :)

  3. Richard Nikoley on June 10, 2008 at 13:31

    Yea, I know: Lyle is an asshole. Kinda like me in some areas. I guess I get him.

    I think he's agnostic about a lot of the macro nutrient ratios, and he's hostile to anything that smacks of a magic bullet. I think he misrepresents Taubes (on his forum) to some extent.

    Anyway, this is short term. I just don't want to wait another 6 months + to get to full maintenance mode. Rest assured I will be back to EvFit/Paleo in terms of diet as soon as I can.

  4. B. Dietz on June 10, 2008 at 21:42

    I agree about Lyle. I haven't checked his site for years though, I wonder does he know of Art and if he does what does he say about him? Knowing Lyle it would be something snarky.

    Good luck with the diet. I'm curious to see how your system responds to it.

  5. Richard Nikoley on June 11, 2008 at 07:55

    Let's just hope it's all fat. Great workout, yesterday, so indications are I'll be just fine on that score.

    I'm banking on adding even more lean, at a 2k kCal deficit per day. I've really got my trainer laughing. Though he didn't have all the pieces, he's been telling people forever that they don't need to spend so much time in the gym, and most overtrain. I'm living proof. Never more than an hour total per week (2 sessions) and I've gained far more in strength and mass than any of his other clients.

    And the ones who look "big?" They're also fat.

  6. cj on June 11, 2008 at 07:10

    hi richard, the more I think about diet the more I begin to think its all about shocking and fooling your body (probably true for exercise as well). My guess is your going to lose a pile of weight fast. I suppose my view is in agreement with Art and Nassim's thoughts on randomness.
    Good luck

  7. Chris H on June 11, 2008 at 16:06

    I like Lyle. Don't always agree with him or his style but I like his stuff and he tends to have the science to back him up. He does stress that we are all different genetically and that different approaches are sometimes needed – some people cope with carbs and some don't for example.

    If you read his stuff you will certainly get a decent grounding in nutrition.

  8. Matt on June 11, 2008 at 16:45

    I'm sure you don't want an even bigger burger right now, but I usually add some very finely chopped mushrooms to the ground beef along with most of the other ingredients you mentioned before pressing into patties. Delicious.

  9. Richard Nikoley on June 16, 2008 at 17:14

    "…choking down five more slices of turkey breast at 9 PM."


    You know, this would be no problem at all if I could dip the turkey in clarified butter, or even munch it down with some sharp cheddar.

    Fat is everything!

  10. Tony K on June 16, 2008 at 17:07

    I hope your diet is going well. I just wanted to give some words of encouragement and mention something that helped me too.

    Like you, I found it really hard to get the requisite 200 or so grams of protein in. It's brutal.

    At GNC they have these tubes with 42 grams of whey protein. I would ocassionally slam one of those when I was having trouble getting my protein. They cost about $3.50 each, but it beats choking down five more slices of turkey breast at 9 PM.

  11. Sean Corali on July 26, 2009 at 11:07

    This is just a test

  12. Sean Corali on July 26, 2009 at 11:53

    You’re right about Lyle McDonald. He is off putting many times. Real genuine scientists admit uncertainties and unknowns. Lyle is far too sure of himself.

    As far as Art DeVany, he considers him on of the “paleotards”. I used to be on his forum. He says he babbles. I don’t agree but that is his opinion.

    Here is something about obesity written by an intelligent friend of mine given to me by email. You can use this as fodder to counter the “calories are everything” misled guys:

    The criticism directed by Gary Taubes against “conventional wisdom” is well founded. I’ll invite you to Google “Gary Taubes” . Near the top of the list of links, you’ll find a video explaining some of the ways the caloric/behavioral model of obesity fails. It’s just too simplistic and explains too little. Taubes, by the way, is the science writer for the peer reviewed science journal “Science”.

    Pay particular attention to the photos of the victims of lipodystrophy which Taubes shows. Fat accumulates differentially in al obese persons; cells in some regions more than others. In lipodystrophy the tendency is pronounced. Looking at these photos ; it’s impossible to escape the conclusion that differential fat accumulation CANNOT be explained by total caloric intake.

    I feel compelled to say that while Gary Taubes has done a thorough and laudable job of breaking the caloric model of obesity , the model he offers in its place is almost certainly too simplistic. He is zooming in on only one piece of the puzzle.

    In fact, he’s ignoring some of the data from his own lecture. You saw the photos he showed of those who have extremely odd distributions of bodyfat. But it’s not possible that the insulin level in blood is markedly different than another part of the body. Blood simply does’t work that way.

    Some of the cells in the body are clearly more lipophillic than others. The question is , what makes one fat cell more lipophillic than another in the same person? It’s not insulin. Something else is going on, and that something else is not explained by his insulin transport hypothesis.

    In other words, the proof he uses that the caloric model of obesity is untrue is equally proof that his insulin model is untrue.

    A “true” model of obesity in humans is going to be much more complex. ( Occam’s razor doesn’t preclude complex hypotheses; it merely requires acceptance of the hypothesis which best fits the facts , and in the presence of two or more which do, the simplest explanation is “preferred”.)

    None of this is to detract from the journalistic effort
    which Taubes has put forth . He has provided a solid basis for disproving the conventional caloric model of obesity. But the need for a replacement model has not been satisfied, either by Taubes, or by the scientific community at large. Nor by myself of course.

    The sad thing is I’m afraid that in this point in time, we do not have any scientists who possess the rigor or expertise to do it either. The proof of that is how thoroughly science remains enmesshed in the caloric hypothesis, which cannot taken by itself, be true.

    Obesity is a diseases involving the disregulation of adipose (fat) cells. Researchers have found many. many causes that have nothing to do with morality. Effects are often localized, rather than general ; for an extreme example , look up lipodystrophy.

    Disregulated fat cells will hoard lipid molecules tenaciously. In many cases, starvation will shrivel muscle, organ and connective tissues without inducing adipose cells to give up their hoard.

    For many , if not most obese people, regions of adipose cells do not respond correctly to the input of restricted calories and exercise that work for a healthy person . These cells are disregulated. We can try and re-establish regulation through healthful lifestyles, but we’re still discovering causes. We need to finish doing that , and we need better therapies which take them into account.

    Adipose cell disregulation is a hypothesis for which there is scientific evidence- much more evidence than exists for a moral/behavioral explanation ,a hypothesis whose prediction power is very poor and for which much contradictory evidence abounds.

    There are many examples of non – behavioral factors which have been found to affect lipid cycling in fat cells .

    We do not yet understand the regulatory mechanism by which adipose cells are controlled in the body. But we do know factors that appear to disregulate them, and are discovering more every year. Those are the factors that cause obesity .

    Solving obesity is not a simple problem.

    Lyle and other ” internet calorie theory gurus” can’t explain all of this and they know it. He also can’t explain the point Taubes brought up about animal husbandry and breeding certain cows to be fat while others lean. Was the cow who was bred to be fat , bred to eat more grass all day? LOL!

    Here is the best Taubes video yet, lecturing to a bunch of doctors:

    I hope this information was helpful to your readers, Richard.

    Take Care


    • Richard Nikoley on July 26, 2009 at 16:52


      Are you sure you put this comment where you wanted it? It turned up on one of my old entries I linked. Fine, if that’s all you wanted, but feel free to post also to the top entry, i.e., my car binge.

      Good info.

  13. Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2009 at 05:10

    Hi Richard :)

    You can move it to the other post if you feel it would be more viewed and informative to readers.

    Whichever you feel is best.



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