Carb Face & Wheat Belly

Art had a post up on his private blog this morning and I was then glad to find he had put it on the public site as well. Go see how awful some of these Hollywood actors have aged. [Later: Well, Art took the post down, but, not before Google cached it. For as long as it lasts.] The face is the biggie for me, and in fact, I think Alec Baldwin has gotta be my touchstone for that, in terms of comparison.


I hadn't realized that Val Kilmer had let himself go so badly.


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  1. on May 7, 2009 at 14:22

    Personal anecdote.

    I was working at a cafe in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada and the local ski hill had an event called the JFK Jr Celebrity something.

    So Alec Baldwin comes into our cafe and orders……. a soy mocha! No wonder he's melting. Sugar AND soy.

  2. Tom on May 7, 2009 at 12:51

    Also, the photography for the last shot (probably a webcam) is the worst of the three, so you've improved even more than is obvious at first glance.

    Going forward, you might consider having photos taken to show the real improvement.

  3. Andy on May 7, 2009 at 19:57

    Those images of Balwin and Pitt are horrific.

  4. Erin in Flagstaff on May 7, 2009 at 13:14

    Wow. You are a great example that one doesn't have to get bloated as we get older. You've really leaned out.

  5. John on May 7, 2009 at 13:49

    For me, the "Carb Face" is hard to get rid of. My double chin seems to be the last to go. My Wheat Belly is long gone!

  6. Anna on May 7, 2009 at 15:22

    Al Gore is another victim of Wheat Bloat.

  7. Jeff on May 7, 2009 at 16:19

    Glad to see you, for one, are dropping the carb face, not like those celebs. Great job.

  8. Cord on May 7, 2009 at 17:24

    Did you also break your nose and part your hair in the opposite direction, in that last pic?

  9. Amy Wagner on May 8, 2009 at 02:30

    Wow, you should maybe give them a lesson on how to do things they have really let themselves go and not for the better, were as you have done so for the better a big thumbs up to you keep up the great work, its really great.

  10. boudica on May 8, 2009 at 04:16

    I wonder how much of a factor "booze bloat" plays, especially in Baldwin's case,

  11. Christina on May 7, 2009 at 22:02

    I hate how those men (and a few others) have let themselves go…just because you got older doesn't mean you have to get fatter and just plain don't care about your looks.

  12. Monica on May 7, 2009 at 15:37

    Wheat Bloat, LOL.

  13. Anna on May 7, 2009 at 23:07

    I'm sure the Hollywood types DO care about their looks; after all, their looks are part of their image, work opportunities, and paycheck in a big way – otherwise they become "character actors" instead of remaining heart-throbs. But they take bad advice (soy mochas, indeed!), and reap results that include Wheat Bloat, Wehat Bellies, and Carb Face (think about Oprah and her group-think band of "experts" – all the Queen's horse and all the Queens men can't put Oprah in a size 8 again – or a 10 for that matter – she thinks low carb is wrong and soy and whole grain are her salvation – her loss, eh?).

  14. Chris on May 7, 2009 at 23:14

    Looking good Richard.

  15. Beastie Girl on May 8, 2009 at 00:27

    Yes, but men are *allowed* to slip, didn't you know that? A man doesn't get fat and wrinkly, he gets "husky" and "rugged". Only women get fat (after they hit about size 2) and wrinkly (once they hit about 29).

    Men and women are judged on a different standard, but Val is looking bad by anyone's. Alec Baldwin can just about get away with it in my opinion…

    You know I think we should go back to the 20s, 30s and 40s when men were also expected to dress well and groom. Carb face or not.

    *Goes off to contemplate her own stubborn wheat belly*

  16. onewaypockets on May 7, 2009 at 21:34

    One of the worst was Gil Gerard. Back in the 70's he was the stud in the lame TV show "Buck Rogers". Recently he wasn't looking too good…here he is at an autograph signing…

    He did have lap band surgery after this shot and lost a ton of weight…

  17. Tim on May 8, 2009 at 04:51

    Hmm, it appears this malady can be reversed! Good work, I was just flipping through some old photos of myself, and have managed a drastic reversal myself. Glad I caught it in time! Great shots.

    Just think of all the public figures you can easily find the bloat creeping in by going over old photos. Is it the carbs? As we don't *know* the star's diets, we do know they likely eat the Standard American Diet, so MY money is on grains/carbs being the culprit.

  18. Aaron Blaisdell on May 8, 2009 at 06:48

    I think Paul Newman was one of the few Hollywood male stars who did not suffer from wheat/carb bloat at any time in his career. I just spent the last few minutes searching his name on Google.Images and couldn't find a single example. He did happen to have a product line of organic foods, so perhaps he knew something the other actors didn't.

  19. Marisa on May 8, 2009 at 09:10

    You're looking Great!

    I'm silent celiacs, and when I went wheat/gluten-free, I was surprised that the first thing to go was the puffiness in my face. I still have a "round" face (still have about 20 lbs to go), but there was a bloatedness that diseappeared. I've always said that I could tell a gluten intolerance in someone by the pudginess of their face – even thin people.

    Love the post!!

  20. xtremum on May 8, 2009 at 09:56

    You know before he took it down I read a comment that said that whoever posted this (at Art's site) must be like 40 and doesn't understand that these people are just aging. Or something like that. Pretty funny!

  21. Shana on May 8, 2009 at 09:51

    You look Great. Keep up the good work on your journey and continue to "Lose To Live Life Now".

  22. goldilocks on May 8, 2009 at 19:40

    You look great!! Dang, if I could look that good at 50, then I'm excited to see another 20-some years go by.

    Booze is a factor, too. Man, that stuff is bad for you if you let it get to you.

    Best thing about cutting my carbs has been seeing MY face in the mirror again, instead of pudgy-mommy-face.

    My driver's license photo, taken last summer, shows the clear beginnings of some serious double-chinnage. :(

    But it's gone now! :D

  23. Jonathan Selwood on May 8, 2009 at 15:36

    In addition to face bloat, these photos show some serious "neck bloat" (or neck de-bloat in your case).

    I lost two inches off my neck after eating paleo for just a few months. Not only that, but the snoring stopped.

  24. Sue on May 10, 2009 at 03:06

    Kilmer has that ruddy complexion of a boozer.

    Jonathan,oh yeh the neck looks de-bloated in Richard. I tend to put on weight in the face and neck and when I lose weight it all slims down.

  25. Pam Maltzman on May 10, 2009 at 16:15

    Not just booze and/or bad diet–I'd imagine that some entertainment types are seriously into recreational drugs of one sort or another.

  26. Patrik on May 11, 2009 at 19:03

    Why did Art take the post down?

    Art is getting weird with old age.

  27. Tim on May 11, 2009 at 20:00 you can search a few famous folks and track down a lot of photos to see how vegetarian living is treating them, (like our friend Alec Baldwin as a "rumored" vegetarian)

  28. Patrik on May 12, 2009 at 14:28

    BTW your photos are looking great. I too witnessed a transformation when it came to my carb face.

    Aside from less or no inflammation, I also observed that my face became more symmetrical, meaning more attractive and photogenic.

    While Paleo isn't a panacea for everything (and shouldn't be sold as such), it sure as hell covers a lot of ground when it comes to health. Sort of the 80/20 rule in effect for healthcare

  29. Richard Nikoley on May 12, 2009 at 08:22

    I'm not sure specifically, but in a subsequent post on his private blog he said something to the effect that he didn't want to hurt anyone.

  30. Richard Nikoley on May 12, 2009 at 14:50

    I think the inflammation factor is huge. I've mentioned a number of times that I took myself off nasal allergy meds quite some time ago, now. Last year was a breeze, and though this year is worse because of more frequent winds, late heavy rains, etc., it's still very tolerable without meds. I sneeze from time to time, but without the itch and congestion. It's just like you're going to sneeze if you get a whiff of sawdust or cough with a lung full of campfire smoke. Uncomfortable but not debilitating as it was before.

  31. Chris on September 5, 2009 at 11:31

    Point taken, although you have to take into consideration the effect some drugs can have as well–antidepressants, antipsychotics, etc. My guess is that Alec Baldwin has been medicated for a while.

  32. Christoph Dollis on September 22, 2009 at 01:10

    Yeah. I agree.

  33. arlojeremy on March 6, 2010 at 22:55

    I just wanted to point out that, yeah, Val Kilmer got freaking fat, but look what the wonders of Hollywood can do to a face like that:

    Still fat, but very polished.

  34. Sally Anne on September 23, 2010 at 08:03

    I would love to know what the research is that proves there is such a thing as “Wheat Belly” and “Carb Face” I am interested

    • Richard Nikoley on September 23, 2010 at 08:48

      Sally, just do your own. When you see an inflamed face and / or belly, ask about their diet. Not calories, but what they eat, specifically. Ask about grains and sugar.

      Google Dr William Davis of the Heartscan blog. He has a lot of stuff about wheat belly.

  35. Sally Anne on September 23, 2010 at 09:02

    I will do my own. I am aware of the heartscan blog, have been looking at it for weeks. I dont think I feel comfortable walking up to people with big bellies and inflamed faces and asking them what they eat. I have been using frozen wheat grass for a couple weeks from my health food store and wonder if that is in the same category of the wheat you refer like the wheat in bread. This is a grass so I am not sure. I will research this further. The problem I have found with looking at tons and tons of sites of so-called “experts” with constantly conflicting “studies” and information, it almost seems like one tries to cancel the other out.

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