Results from Others

The other evening I ran into a couple of friends of mine, Kevin & Joseph, and was glad to see a big improvement in both of them. Kevin had contacted me a few month back, had been reading my blog, and expressed frustration at trying for so many years to lose "a measly 15 pounds." We met for breakfast, I gave him a few insights, he picked up The paleo Diet and went to it.

A few weeks back, he emailed to say that he's cut 10 pounds already. What I didn't know is that his partner, Joseph, was apparently following the prescriptions as well.

Well, let me tell you: they both looked great, and Joseph's face, in particular, was markedly leaner and thiner — and shined with health and vitality. His progress, so far? 17 pounds. I asked Joseph how he felt, and he said something quite relevant: "I feel like a normal person, again." I wish the both of them much continued success in their new life way.

Now, keep Joseph's insightful comment in mind as I quote an email from Aaron:

First of all, I just wanted to write thanking you for the work you're
doing on your blog. I forget exactly how I originally became a reader;
probably it was something Billy Beck had linked, back in the Honesty Log
days. But your posts about paleo eating, IF, etc. really convinced me.
I've recently switched to a low-carb, high-fat diet, with intermittent
fasts and occasional intense workouts and I'm amazed: it just works.

If anybody had told me 18 months ago that I could skip meals without
even noticing, I would have laughed—I needed to eat every 4 hours. If
anybody had told me I could go 30 hours without eating—not just once,
but several times a month—I would have thought they were insane. Yet
now I do it all the time. So, again, thank you for the information and
the inspiration.

I recently read Gary Taubes's book, Good Calories, Bad Calories. Even
though I was already in the choir, so to speak, his evidence is so
overwhelming that I'm amazed at how people can still insist on "low-fat,
whole grains." Churchill's quote about "stumbling over the truth" comes
to mind. I did not know the history of the McGovern report. In fact, I
had not considered the political dimension of the thing at all, and I
suppose no ideology has a monopoly on the "it failed, so do it again,
only harder!" mindset. But still, it fits my prejudices to blame this
on the Left-Statists. :)

As a contrast to Taubes, I give you my in-laws: the anti-Taubes. My
father-in-law is a retired pharmacist, and my mother-in-law a retired
nurse. They subscribe to the latest health bulletins from God knows
where. Everything in their kitchen is "low-fat, whole-grain." They use
Country Crock instead of butter. Even their ice cream is "Lite."

And they eat ALL. THE. TIME.

Now, my father-in-law works out just about every day, and he looks fit.
He's a runner, and he's a pretty fast runner for being nearly 70. But
he measures his raisin bran to make sure he's getting exactly One Cup,
and of course it's got skim milk on it. My mother-in-law nibbles all
day long: crackers, fig newtons, etc. (but all Low Fat!). She does not
look fit as fit, but she has bad knees and can't work out as much.

They are convinced, of course, that eating all that animal fat is really
bad for me. They think I'll fall off the wagon eventually, too. I
don't know why I would—I kind of enjoy not being hungry all the time.
That and not being 20lbs overweight like I used to be.

"They eat ALL. THE. TIME." That's not normal, folks. Congratulations to Aaron.

Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.


  1. Natalie on February 14, 2009 at 00:35

    And they eat ALL. THE. TIME.

    Mooooooooo! That's what I think whenever I see people chewing huge amounts of carbohydrates all day long. Cows graze and chew all day long and that's what I think of humans who do the same thing – that they act like cattle.

    That constant carbo-loading is releasing a constant stream of happy chemicals, keeping us stupid and docile. I've absolutely noticed a huge shift in my thought patterns and actions since starting the Paleo diet and even more so since starting IF. An empty belly ameliorates my ability to focus, I'm constantly alert and my movements have become quicker and more precise. On my blog I talk about feeling more like a predator animal than a herd animal while fasting and I honestly believe that has to do with cutting out the contstant grazing.

  2. Andy on February 14, 2009 at 14:39


    I'm glad you have the power of persuation for your friends to give things a chance. I do have a few people ask more more in-depth followup questions regard a paleolithic eating regiment, but I also see quite a bit of eye-rolling, or disbelief. But, all I can control is my own diet and try to set an example to others.

  3. Bill on February 14, 2009 at 13:19

    Richard, i have a question, i know weight lose is all about the insulin the lower you get it the more and faster you lose correct? does a person secrete insulin when they eat non starchey veggies.Because i read the only thing that does not spike insulin is fat even a lot of protein does,whats your thoughts.

  4. Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2009 at 20:09


    You just keep it up, dear. Looked a bit at your blog. Keep blogging, and keep it up.

    Please report back often. Feel free to link to your entries here, when you think it's relevant and important.

  5. Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2009 at 20:42


    My understanding is that at baseline insulin levels (low), fat can be released, and hence, loss of weight if you don't keep spiking it chronically, driving fat back in.

    As to veggies, I think probably green leafy are the best an lowest in carbs. However, for someone trying to lose weight, I'd keep it pretty minimal, under 30g per day of carbs. Lots of fat, but also a good 100 g of protein or more, and do lots and lots of squats and pushups, 2-3 times per week.

    And fast 1-2 times per week, 24-30 hours.

    Get good sleep.

    So, it;s not just about low insulin, but also things that promote hGH release, which contributes to body recomposition, i.e., the _replacement_ of fat weight with lean mass, continually getting closer to tipping the balance.

    I had planned a post on recomposition but didn't get to it before leaving on my trip. I will get to it soon, however.

  6. Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2009 at 20:45

    Oh, yea. I have conversations with fat, pot-bellied morons and ignoramuses all the time. It's uproariously funny, as they try to tell my how they're right with their mega-roughage diet and I'm wrong.

    They must see themselves as ruminants; must be why their bellies are so bloated. Steer clear. The farts are going to be enormous.

  7. J on February 15, 2009 at 19:28


    What are your thoughts on training, say 5 days a week as opposed to 2? Super Mike in Devany's blog, pretty much works out all the time. He is jacked to shreds, but what are your thoughts on working out harder than 2 days a week?

  8. J on February 15, 2009 at 19:33

    fasting is important too in upping hGH response. Brad Pilon makes it clear that exercise and fasting are the two biggest triggers of hGH. human growth hormone does its biggest dance when the insulin are very low, so I think that if you work out intensely while carrying an extended fast…you are a guaranteed fat burner. I think when your are not fasting, you should fuel muscle growth by eating a lot of fat and protein. In the grander scheme of things if you eat foods that promote a low glycemic load, you are nearly maximizing leanness, changing body comp.

  9. Chris - on February 16, 2009 at 10:23

    Jay – I don't want to stop on Richard's toes here, but I wanted to address what you mentioned about training.

    I eat fairly paleo and workout around 5 days a week. sometimes more, if you count skill work for my sport as a workout. I also occasionally do 2-3 hours weight circuits than burn several thousand calories to train recover from mountains.

    My point is that I train with significantly more volume than is commonly recommended in Paleo circles and have managed just fine. I do eat higher carbs on workout days in the form of fruit and sweet potatoes.

    My performance is better than it ever was before. I'm not suggesting you train this way. Unless you're after performance in a given sport I don't think they is any real reason for you to – you can probably get most of the health benefits with much lower time and volume commitments. However, if you have a need or desire to workout more, the diet will support it.

  10. madmax on February 16, 2009 at 12:02


    This is tangentially related to this post but I am really curious of what you make of this:

    Is it me or does McDonald just not get it?

  11. Richard Nikoley on February 16, 2009 at 07:23

    Not my cup of tea, not in a million years. I really don't like working out all that much, because it's focussed around the gym. But, that's what I have available to me now, living downtown.

    But as long as the workouts are brief, I don't see any harm in working out more.

  12. money mom on February 17, 2009 at 12:57

    Wow this is a real encouragement to me! i gave birth to my son almost 2 years ago. i gained 70 pds. so i'm gonna work even harder. thank you!

  13. Rachel on February 17, 2009 at 15:01

    Richard, I wish you could have seen the look my coworker gave me when he saw I was having slices of salami for breakfast. Meanwhile, he's pouring himself a nice bowl of cereal with skim milk and having a banana on the side and probably priding himself for being ever so much healthier than I am. I'm sure you would have appreciated the moment :)

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