Tom Naughton Wants Jimmy Moore To Have His Cake and Eat It Too

Tom Naughton, of Fat Head documentary fame, is a pretty sharp and clever guy, which makes this post so bizarre.

He’s a former successful stand-up comedian—PG Rated—an entrepreneur software developer, and is tenacious enough to write, film, and produce his own successful documentary which is still relevant in a number of ways.

So what gives, then, with his rather nonsensical and ridiculous defense of jimmy moore’s antics? I’d be fine if he simply said, “Jimmy is a friend of mine, I’m not going to get into it.” Rather, he’s seemingly willing to spend a whole lot of credibility capital on a bullshit line of defense.

…About Fat Head. It’s an interesting film simply for how it seems to be a work in motion, where it evolved over the course of creating it. It begins quite unlike it ends. It begins as an effort to expose the dishonesty of Morgan Spurlock in his own documentary, Super-Size Me. So what do we see? Tom does nothing but fast food for 30 days, drops about 12 pounds, as I recall, and improves his blood work. How? He uses his brain. He counts calories and makes more sensible choices, such as going for the protein-rich sandwiches while eschewing the carb-fat fries, the sugar drinks, and the desserts.

He did it by the numbers. But then he begins to segue into a sort of Paleo/LC view which somewhat undercuts the first half of the film, because what he ate to achieve those results certainly wasn’t paleo (he got plenty of grains and vegetable oils), and not particularly LC by any standards promoted currently.

For those who think this about fat shaming Jimmy, it isn’t. I’ve always liked Jimmy on various levels and still do. I’m not shaming his inability to lose fat and keep it off but rather, his willingness to make a business out of his failure, clearly engaged in being an awful influence for a lot of struggling people.

Here’s Tom’s very less than a brilliant defense of Jimmy in comments on this post.

Sony says:

i’m sorry to say, but your friend jimmy moore is obese again, or at least that’s how he looks. and he has some pretty bad blood results. i’m affraid he’s not a good advertiser for this keto/paleo lifestyle. i respect you both, but i’m honestly curious about your objective opinion on this matter. i mean, i know some whole food plant based people which are still in awesome shape with best blood results, and i personally still don’t know which path to choose, so i’d be glad to have your answer on this matter. regards from transylvania ?

Tom replies:

The proper comparison isn’t Jimmy on his diet to vegetarians (most of whom were never fat) on their diets. The proper comparison is Jimmy on his diet to Jimmy on other diets. He’s battling his genetics. His brother died of heart disease at age 42. His mother had gastric bypass surgery and lost 100 pounds, but it all came back over time — despite having a stomach the size of a tennis ball — because her body was programmed to be fat. That’s the hand he was dealt.

I lived on a vegetarian diet in my 30s, by the way. I got slowly fatter and sicker until I gave it up and went more paleo/low-carb.

Thomas E. says:

Not to beat on this too much, but selection bias can hide a lot of details.

Are there people who will be thin while being vegan or vegetarian, sure. Of course, there are many people who are thin but not healthy? So, just because a vegetarian is thin, does not mean they are healthy, right?

On the flip side, Jimmy may be heavy, but he is healthy. It is kind of funny that we judge health solely on a single metric, waist size.

Our medical world is funny. We measure gain using relative risk, but we measure side effects with absolute risk. Selection bias is king, look too much snow here, thus man made climate change, too much snow there, this global cooling. Look at the massive correlation over there, it must be causation.

At the end of the day we all have to take a huge step backwards, and where possible look at biochemistry and cell biology. Start with what we can demonstrate and go from there.

Genetics and epigenetics can be a real bitch. It is no fair, but that is the hand we are dealt.

Tom replies:

I’ll add two more points: 1) Jimmy used to weigh more than 400 pounds. In diet studies, “success” is defined as losing 10% of the starting weight and keeping it off. He’s kept off WAAAAY more than that. Much of his bulk around the middle is skin that never snapped back after the big weight loss — I know because he’s stayed at our house several times and I’ve seen him without a shirt. 2) When Jimmy visits for a week, we play so much disc golf, we end up walking 25-30 miles up and down the hilly land that makes up my course. I’ve never seen him become fatigued or out of breath, despite his size. Worse that ever happens is his elbow becomes sore from all the throwing.

Thomas, again:

It will be interesting to see if over the years Jimmy’s epi-genetics and skin will catch up. One of the things of interest listening to his podcast with Dr. Nally is the stories of the Doc’s patients who will settle at a set-point (homeostasis) for a year or two, then all of a sudden lose more weight and skin.

Tom, again:

I hope for Jimmy’s sake that happens with him, but he’s accepted he may be at this current size for life. He’s done the smart thing and made being healthy his primary focus.

Charlie says:

Happy to see that you are getting some publicity for the new book Tom. Your movie was one of the first things that introduced me to trying this lifestyle seven years ago.

On jimmy moore, though he seems nice and he helped me get started with this lifestyle almost a decade ago, the advice he is giving is doing more harm than good now. The interviews he does with public personalities like yourself are great, however. You and I were even on a podcast having some Q&A with the Dr. Su guy – whatever happened to him?

I am in countless keto groups online and there are very hard-working people that are constantly having issues losing weight and being told to consume more fat, increase their calorie intake or don’t pay attention to calories at all, and months go by (years in many cases) and they get fatter or don’t lose anything.

I mean I eat ketogenic most of the time, a potato hack every now and then, because I feel good, but the only way I really lose weight is if I cut my calories massively. Even Gary Taubes in his latest book concedes that energy balance is vital if you want to lose weight – but it’s a pointless statement (he compares it to asking how rich people get rich – they saved more money than they spent – obvious point right?).

Richard Nikoley has started writing some damning pieces on JMoore, and I’ve read that Jimmy has gained something like 70 lbs since writing the book with Jason Fung. I don’t really know who or what to believe now – I would love to believe that what you said is all it is – he has bad genetics – but he lost a ton of weight while he was fasting (expending more calories than he was consuming) however apparently he has put it all back on and then some. How do we continue to believe his advice and follow his advice after that?

Either way, it’s really damaging a lot of these health communities I’m in, and the dogma has sort of shifted away from people being practical and pragmatic about it. Any practical person can see that SOMETHING is not right here.

I’m really bad at monitoring, I’m really good at YES/NO, OFF/ON, which is part of the reason keto works for me (YES meat/veggies, NO sugar/flour, etc) and I’m losing a crapload of weight with long-term fasts (OFF eating vs. monitoring exact calories) but I’m practical about it, and I don’t go around telling people to eat MORE to lose weight, or that they are (incorrectly) eating too much protein.

Love everything you have done, Tom. I hope your book is a huge success – I don’t plan on having kids so it’s a bit out of my realm but, all the best.

Tom replies:

Dr. Su passed away some months back, I’m sorry to say.

I don’t know much Jimmy has regained, but of course fasting forever isn’t an option. Your body needs building materials and nutrients to keep from breaking down. Some people will, for reasons scientists have yet to determine, gain weight or fail to lose weight even on ridiculously low-calorie diets. As I’ve mentioned before, Jimmy’s mother lost 100 pounds after bariatric surgery — the supposed slam-dunk cure for obesity — and then gained it all back, despite having a stomach the size of a tennis ball and a severely restricted ability to absorb fats.

Gary Taubes has always maintained that yes, of course losing weight requires burning more calories than you take in. (He has degree in physics, so it’s not as if he’s never heard of thermodynamics.) The part people have a difficult time grasping is that your body can and will dramatically adjust how much energy it expends in order to follow the commands of hormones, so eating more doesn’t necessarily cause weight gain and eating less doesn’t necessarily cause weight loss. In many people, constant calorie restriction will simply reprogram their bodies to survive on very few calories.

In the book, we mention a study in which obese people were locked in a hospital and fed 600 calories per day. They didn’t lose weight. The researchers referred to them as “the resistant obese” and admitted they seemed to be “thermodynamic paradoxes.” In other words, it didn’t seem possible their very large bodies could slow down to the point of burning no more than 600 calories per day, and yet somehow they did.

When I interviewed Dr. Robert Lustig for the film, he mentioned a study in which obese kids were locked in a hospital for a month and fed 500 calories per day. They GAINED weight during that month — on 500 calories per day. I don’t see how any sane person could say they just needed to eat less because, you know, it’s all about calories in vs. calories out. Thermodynamics, doncha know.

What the people who like to treat Jimmy as their favorite whipping-boy don’t seem to realize is that he’s tried everything. You name a diet, he’s tried it — including very low-calorie diets. These internet cowboys are all convinced that, by gosh, if Jimmy would just switch to [insert their preferred diet here], he’d finally get down to 225 or so and stay there.

Pardon my French, but that’s utter bullshit. The internet cowboys don’t know what the @#$% they’re talking about. If “resistant obese” adults can stay fat on 600 calories per day while locked in a metabolic ward, if obese kids can GAIN weight on 500 calories per day, if a woman who’s undergone bariatric surgery can regain 100 pounds, then the obvious fact of the matter is that some people — again, for reasons scientists have yet to identify — are so biologically driven to get fat, nothing will turn them into normal-weight people. They can try this diet or that diet, perhaps lose some weight, but it comes roaring back. The best those unfortunate people can do is choose the diet that (if they’re lucky) causes their weight to stabilize while enhancing their health.

I’m not on a ketogenic diet and as I’ve said in several posts, I don’t believe a ketogenic diet is the ideal diet for everyone. I think for most of us, it’s better to go big on protein when we cut the carbs, then periodically shift into ketosis with some intermittent fasting. I’ve said as much during Q & A on the low-carb cruise.

But posting pictures of Jimmy as proof that a ketogenic diet makes people fat is a cheap, dumbass move. It’s as logical as posting pictures of Jimmy’s mother after she regained the 100 pounds and saying this is proof that bariatric surgery will make you fat.

We could just as easily cherry-pick photos of this guy

… or this guy

… both of whom are on ketogenic diets, as “proof” that a ketogenic diet will make you lean and muscular.

Well, what a load of crap, and I’ll tell you why.

Jimmy lost a lot of weight twice, once on a low-fat, calorie controlled diet, then after a rebound, on an Atkins low-carb diet. I believe the figure is 180 pounds lost.

So both methods worked.

Since about 2008 he has consistently regained weight with only brief dips of loss, but consistent upward trends. During that time, he has continued to lower carbohydrate, increase fat, and over the last few years, has lowered and limited protein as well, resulting in a radical recomposition. Compare photos of the old fat Jimmy with the new fat Jimmy. In the former, he clearly had gained lean mass along with fat. In the latter, his lean mass has melted away, leading to the probable explanation that by keeping carbohydrate extremely low and protein severely limited, there’s nothing to spare lean mass, and since glucose is a requirement, he’s been making it with lean mass and not dietary protein for years, with visible results to show for it.

All of Tom’s hand-waving, smoke and mirrors aside (a bunch of silly-ass excuses), what Tom is essentially saying is that Jimmy’s current dietary regime—”nutritional ketosis”—is what “broke his metabolism forever,” since obviously, he had no such serious problem before, being successful in both low-fat calorie limited, and a conventional Atkins low-carbohydrate.


Here’s what’s really going on, Tom.


Seems Dr. Westaman himself is backing off such lunacy.


So, Tom, if Dr. Westaman was being frank and honest and cared to weigh in on the Jimmy phenomenon, what do you want to bet he’s going with Occam’s Razor and not your dubious bullshit?

Now let’s look at what a sensible low-carbohydrate diet used to look like, from da man:


Jimmy needs to do one of two things, after realizing that he’s not following his longstanding advice, “Find a diet plan that works for you and stick with it for life.”

  1. Get out of the Diet Guru business (writing “diet guru” in this context makes me throw up in my mouth a little).
  2. Come to grips, admit he’s been wrong, and turn it around. Read the original Diet Revolution again, start all over, and follow it to the letter—which includes some awareness of “calorie bombs,” in the words of Robert Atkins.

Otherwise, this whole thing is going to get more and more ridiculous, and I hope you don’t keep contributing to it. You’ve done quite enough already.

Update: Out of courtesy, I emailed the link to Tom with a single sentence: “Calling it as I see it.”

Tom replies:

Deleting.  Not going to bother reading it, either.

As I’ve tried to make clear, Richard, I’m really not interested in this kind of shit.  You’re turning into a male version of CarbSane, complete with all the same lovely attack-dog tactics.  In fact, substitute “keto” for “meat,” and your behavior is indistinguishable from the vegan zealots who, not content to merely adopt and promote the diet they prefer, feel the need to show up everywhere the heathens gather to predict and actually root for their demise if they don’t admit the error of their ways and repent.

I hope one of these days you sober up and ask yourself why you can’t go anywhere — in cyberspace or on the actual planet — without making enemies, including enemies you once considered friends.  If the only way to stay on your good side is agree with you 100% on every topic, well, that makes you a self-righteous asshole, doesn’t it?  Very much like our vegan pals indeed.

Jimmy, by contrast, has remained a close friend even though I’ve made it clear on my blog and during Q & A sessions on the cruises that I view a ketogenic diet as a useful tool for some metabolic conditions, but not the ideal diet — or even an advisable diet — for most people.  That’s the difference between you and him.

Goodbye now.

“[V]egan pals?”

The penultimate sentence is particularly curious though: “That’s the difference between you and him.” Indeed. I view the epileptic diet as an intervention for epileptics. Jimmy makes money trying to tout it to everyone. Does misery love company? Or, did you mean that Jimmy has remained a friend? Well, then, aren’t you making your own argument for enabling his behavior?

Elixa Probiotic is a British biotech manufacturer in Oxford, UK. U.S. Demand is now so high they’ve established distribution centers in Illinois, Nevada, and New Jersey.

Still, sell-outs happen regularly, so order now to avoid a waiting list.


  1. thhq on April 28, 2017 at 09:52

    When Yudkin wrote his diet book in 1958 he recommended reducing carbs but he did not recommend increasing fat. He firmly believed in CICO and knew that weight loss resulted from reducing CI. HIs modus operandi in restricting carbs was to reduce carb AND fat calories in the diet:

    “I might perhaps say a word about fat, since I am recommending that you eat as much as you like of this. Let me first repeat that the diet I am suggesting for weight control is in practice going to contain LESS fat than you would ordinarily eat.”

    Yudkin recommended bacon and eggs for breakfast. But because of his belief in CICO he was not arguing for unlimited bacon and eggs. If you total up his sample daily slimming menu it only contains 1000-1200 calories.

    Jimmy, Atkins et al seem to have missed this. For all their love of Yudkin they missed his common sense.

    • thhq on April 28, 2017 at 10:19

      @Richard, I see your highlighted sections from the original Diet Revolution put restrictions on fat, but that was lost from the plan as time went on. Yudkin restricted it much more than Atkins ever did.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 28, 2017 at 10:51

      Yes, but the point is, Jimmy saw good success on classic Atkins.

    • thhq on April 28, 2017 at 13:28

      Atkins is great to lose weight because it restricts calories. Taking out carbs almost always always takes fat out too. People don’t usually overeat candy canes.

  2. Tim Steele on April 28, 2017 at 09:56

    Like Tom, I am not a fan of keto diets. The keto advocates seem to think that since it’s good for kids with epilepsy, or called for in certain medical treatments, that it’s good for everyone, all the time. But Tom also is saying that Jimmy has a medical condition keeping him obese, a little-studied genetic condition of some sort. Yet Jimmy is selling this diet as a cure for obesity to everyone. Perhaps he should only target it to people with the same genetic defect that he has, of course, then his target audience would drop to around 50 people world-wide.

    • hap on April 28, 2017 at 11:52

      I absolutely agree with you…and Tom

      “I’m not on a ketogenic diet and as I’ve said in several posts, I don’t believe a ketogenic diet is the ideal diet for everyone. I think for most of us, it’s better to go big on protein when we cut the carbs, then periodically shift into ketosis with some intermittent fasting. I’ve said as much during Q & A on the low-carb cruise.”

      I am coming around to the idea that ketosis, although a feature of famine and irregular food supplies in human history, should not be touted as a “lifestyle”. Since there is no shortage of food around here, then ketosis, viewed in context as exercise for metabolic machinery, should be intermittent and dose limited. Ketosis may be favorable for medical reasons but need not be severely prolonged. I haven’t figured out if better for medical reasons to consider an intense ketosis or a mild/moderate ketosis. I suspect if a medical condition is to respond, then get your ass into ketosis as much as possible, then taper off or adopt some other modest ketogenic strategy under supervision.

      The research of Dr Longo has boiled down to two conclusions…..IMO….. fasting (ie some ketosis) should by cycled in to the monthly energy equation, but never dominant, and FMD (I still don’t quite believe that mimicking = fasting) could substitute partly for the beneficial effects, at least enough to make a difference. The rest of the time, common sense should prevail.

      I don’t know what Jimmy has or does not have…..claiming he has a genetic disease but failing to identify is about as good as saying Einsteins theories do not explain galactic orbits perfectly, so there must be “dark matter”…ie we don’t know wha the fuck is going on. And people buy that shit. What I suspect is that he must have a good personality, substantial energy and drive, and a way with people… combination of PT Barnum and a TV evangelist.

      Fat bombs suck.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 28, 2017 at 12:04

      I’ve always just considered “ketosis” an effect, where people erroneously attribute cause.

      What fasting causes is autophagic housekeeping at a cellular level. I doubt ketones play much of a role in that, just that you can tell when ketones are present that the expected effect of periodic starvation is functioning.

    • Hap on April 28, 2017 at 12:20

      That’s why I used the term exercise of metabolic machinery….in association with a diet (or lack) of producing ketone bodies.

      Ketones, however, are not just metabolic products and innocent bystanders.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 28, 2017 at 12:26

      “Ketones, however, are not just metabolic products and innocent bystanders.”

      That’s why it’s a clinical intervention beyond simple everyday, like you go 12-18 hours without any calories. You’ll have elevated ketones rising in that frame, then easing out to a new rate of production, signalling fat oxidation.

      There are proven neurological benefits to this for folks with neurological issues, like epilepsy. In what wat does that mean it’s some sort of brain rocket fuel, rather than something that mitigates problems in the abnormal?

    • thhq on April 28, 2017 at 13:22

      Maybe it comes from being a dietary drama queen.

    • thhq on April 28, 2017 at 13:23

      Wups. Wrong spot. And no, they didn’t air it….

    • Hap on April 28, 2017 at 13:57

      Ketosis is not an effect in the strict sense. It is part of a complex metabolic adaptation that is the other side of the energy buffer coin. Good times….store fat. Bad times….lipolysis. However, in good times glucose is turned into fat. In bad times fat is turned into ketones and FFA, two different fuels from glucose and metabolized in the same machinery but different chemical pathways.

      Ketones can certainly be used to generate ATP to power metabolic processes. However, Ketones also have primary effects on many other pathways, producing hormones, stimulating antifinflammatory cascades, neuroprotective processes, and even changing gene expression…for instance ketones inhibit histone deacetylases…. Generating ketones is a potent epigenetic driver. Without going on….this is one reason why folks are interested in exoogenous ketones to target processes, that might be targeted with a drug. I think that is sort of foolish for the masses and another scam in the health food business.

      But that brings us back to Jimmy’s ketones……he’s just selling ketones, kind of making himself a ketone factory. the vast energy sensing molecules in the body see the ketones, but they don’t see the energy deficits. “Wont get fooled again….”

    • Richard Nikoley on April 28, 2017 at 15:19

      “in good times glucose is turned into fat.”

      In preference of the GNG pathway?

    • Richard Nikoley on April 28, 2017 at 15:24

      As for the rest of it, Hap, you can get all that through IF, by which I mean going a good solid day very now and then.

      That so many cower in fear over the notion is testament to the underlying problem.

      “Please, tell me what to eat to do all this.”

      Ketosis is survival adaptation, not a dietary hack. Perhaps exogenous ketones might be very therapeutic for the neuro issues. I sure hope so.

    • Hap on April 28, 2017 at 18:52

      Gluconeogenesis……is another alternative pathway. IN reality, we use a number of pathways simultaneously, but one can become dominant. GNG , and I could be wrong, is a minor pathway mainly because it is potentially even more severe than ketosis….which at least can use fat, GNG tends to go for amino acids…ie your muscles.

      there are scenarios in diabetes, where a liver full of fat under conditions of lipolysis due to increasing insulin resistance(and increasing inflammation of fat stroma) will resort to GNG in an attempt to export that shit out…..into the bloodstream. GNG can use glycerol which is a glucose backbone, but it has to be made de novo .

      Everything is a survival adaptation… least as I think about it. Ketosis kicked in plenty of times under “selection pressure”……one of which is sleep. Some ketones get made during sleep. Our gut bacteria make the stuff. It all seems to be a matter of balance.

      I think I was clear…ketosis from fasting (or more likely lack of food for a while) did not develop as a dietary hack….but in this day and age that’s what it kind of is.

      Frankly, I do not think exogenous ketones will be useful…..especially in the brain. If there is glucose around the brain will always suck it up. Ketones will go in the toilet. I just went through this with one of my buddies at UCLA who is Chief of Molecular Neuroimging. He finally had to concede that in diseases, particularly AD, that PET is showing that ketones will take up much of the slack when brain cells lose their ability to respire using glucose and cognitive scores improve or at least stabilize. It’s actually kind of cool. You do dual isotope brain PET with 18FDG and 11C-acetate under various conditions and see which substrate is preferred. This is where it gets tricky about exogenous ketones. I’ll be “scanning ” my journals to see whta is being done.

      In the meantime, I go with your metabolic cycling metaphor. It only makes sense to engage in IF, especially when the stakes are high and risk is almost nonexistant for most. It would be helpful to some, who cannot do it, who are completely hornswaggled by the fasting “myths”, might be persuaded to empty their wallet for Prolon. I’d like to try it for five days…..actually, just to see if it is palatable. They put a lot of effort into making it so.

      It might be interesting if exogenous ketones are useful for anything….like say pre chemo?

  3. Charlie Shaughnessy on April 28, 2017 at 10:24

    I really like Tom Naughton’s work, and I’m sure lots of people will benefit from his new book like I said in the thing I commented on his blog (I’m in the camp planning to avoid having children myself). I think Moore’s podcast will be good for him getting more publicity out of it.

    I believe the paragraph you quoted from the Atkins book is pretty spot on with some of the lunacy that is happening in these diet guru circles – yes, fat is your friend, but be sensible. Yes, there’s more to the equation than just calories, but to pretend that the whole CICO model is completely wrong in every way because it’s not “completely” accurate is ridiculous.

  4. Jennifer Wilson on April 28, 2017 at 12:28

    I wish links had been provided for the studies which supposedly proved overweight people don’t lose weight, even when consuming 800 calories a day. I just don’t see how that’s possible.

    Anyway, these low-carb gurus are dropping like flies. That Robert Su guy died at 71. That’s earlier than the national average, and the plant-based gurus they like to talk crap to are still kickin’ around at much older.

    • Tim Steele on April 28, 2017 at 12:44

      Here is a link to the Minnesota Starvation Experiment. This was conducted during WWII so that we could understand the real-life experience of starvation. What’s incredible, most of the test subjects GAINED weight. They were starved of food, but packed on fat like there was no end of calories.

      Oh, wait…that was the Jimmy Moore Experience. In the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, the volunteers were starved and they all LOST weight. Lots of weight. How much starvation was required? 1575cal/day. Meals included “potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, dark bread, and macaroni,” with very little protein.

    • thhq on April 28, 2017 at 13:20

      Crap is cut in both directions. For every Atkins there is a Pritikin.

      I think that just being a diet guruhood imparts shortened longevity. Rodale for instance….

      “Jerome Rodale said that he intended to live until the ripe old age of 102, so that he could say that he had lived in three different centuries (he was born in 1898). He insisted that his healthy lifestyle would allow him to achieve this goal. Alas, he suffered a massive heart attack, in 1971, while he was being interviewed on the Dick Cavett Show.”

    • Richard Nikoley on April 28, 2017 at 12:33

      I never ever listened to the guy. Of course, a death is an anecdote.

      But I recall when Jimmmy was so excited about it. “Carbs Can Kill,” as I recall.

      Just struck me as bullshit right off. What carbs? And Su was Asian. Asians are some of the most carb consuming but long-lived on the planet.

      Your bullshit is falsified.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 28, 2017 at 13:16

      But wait. That’s a high-carb starvation experiment. Jimmy’s is an overfeeding high-fat experiment.

      Appears that both are successful in terms of achieving predicted results.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 28, 2017 at 13:21

      And it never got aired.

  5. Z-man on April 28, 2017 at 18:59

    Richard, what does the Bible say about gluttony? 30 fucking slices of pizza in one sitting does not sound like God’s work.

  6. Robert on April 28, 2017 at 19:20

    Tom refers to Dr. Ted Naiman as proof one can look ripped on keto. I follow Ted on Twitter, and he often makes the same point as Dr. Westman: If you need to lose weight, CUT DOWN on fat. The fat should come from your own body.

    He basically favors a very high protein diet and strength exercise. Not the same as “nutritional ketosis”. In fact, I’ve never seen him talking about measuring ketones.

  7. Bret on April 28, 2017 at 20:07

    I think you need to let Tom’s email soak in a bit.

    Review. You’ve taken occasional shots at Jimmy over the past couple of years and have been hardly subtle about it, all of it unprovoked on a personal level, best I can tell. Jimmy finally fires back in his own style recently, and you go into full pit bull mode. Look at some of the things you’ve written since then. “Want to get uber fat? Jimmy Moore can help.”

    If that wasn’t enough, you’re now actively name dropping Tom, despite patently clear signals that he wanted to stay out of the personal feud. Your point about enabling is appreciated, but what do you expect by dragging Tom into this vitriolic spat? Your actions are signaling intent to drive a wedge between them, whether you actually intended to or not.

    Don’t know if you’ll remember this, but you gave me a good slap on the hand a year and a half ago because I was being unreasonably aggressive and vitriolic towards gabkad on some silly little argument. You told me I was out on my can if I insisted on driving a wedge. You were right to say so. Even though driving a wedge was never my conscious intent, that’s what my actions communicated.

    I owe you the same perspective in return here, because the only reasonable explanation I can come to is that you’re not seeing the obvious.

    Richard, you are one unique individual, smart as hell, and an impressive logician, and I respect you immensely for all of that. Your brain works on different levels from most anyone I’ve never met. I’ve learned hands down my best political and dietary perspectives from you. But you can rebut Jimmy’s evangelism without using nasty, hurtful language. I think it would be a real god damn shame if you and Tom stopped being friends over this.

    I get that you’re forcing the issue, and I believe your intent is genuine. But is it worth driving good people away?

    • Richard Nikoley on April 28, 2017 at 20:35

      Tom and I haven’t been friends for a year and a half, when his wife (whom I have never met) kicked me off “her” Fathead Facebook group and Tom lied to me that it was his decision.

      Update: Tom has emailed me to dispute my account of things, providing convincing background about the situation and insisting that while monitoring the group was not his forte, his wife did check with him prior to the ban and he made the call. I believe him, so consider this a retraction.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 29, 2017 at 07:33

      …So, Bret, I have been very, very longsuffering with Jimmy (incidentally, I’ve got people on Facebook telling me I’m not going at Jimmy and Tom hard enough…striking a balance?) over many years, defending him as outrage grew.

      Here’s how I look at this. I have friends in the community, like real friends…face-to-face, email, phone calls, and I don’t air those differences publicly. There are three such people with names everyone knows. I try to persuade behind the scenes and have been quite effective over time. Little by little nudges.

      Then there are others, acquaintances, friendship light, etc. That’s what Tom and Jimmy were. I even had Tom as a guest when I guest-hosted Jimmy’s podcast.

      …Anyway, in terms of Jimmy, I have spoken out a number of times since this whole “protein is chocolate cake” “nutritional ketosis” BS since day one, but focussed mostly on the science, not character. But it has persisted, no letup in sight. Doubling down and intransigence, and a growing “ketosis” community where in forums, people get banned if they say a discouraging word.

      And then there’s the insanity of Jimmy actually leading this as someone who has lost weight, now regained over 100 pounds easy on it, and he switches the goal post to “this is not a weight loss journey, it’s a health gain journey.” Yet, his blood labs are totally fucked. It ought to be pretty intuitively obvious that you don’t “gain health” packing on 100+ pounds…yet that is the Kool Aid being passed around by Tom, above.

      So, now I have to focus in on character, because I care, and I write shit in my style. Obviously some won’t like it, while some think it’s not enough.

      As for Tom, here’s how things go in his blog comments, which he moderates, and I’m there.

      Pretty damn tame for such a controversial topic, wouldn’t you say?

      So then, perhaps a month or so later I stumbled on his Facebook group, which he told me directly he never engages in, doesn’t even look at, it’s his wife’s gig.

      Someone posts some article about someone doing a potato only diet. The laughter and ridicule was uproarious, and 100% lock step. “Paleo 2008.”

      So I politely interject that hey, attitudes have changed, yada yada, and provide various links covering that…nutrition, results here, even ketosis on potatos only, and so on.

      And the uproar only intensified, only directed at me, even personally, and so on. Which apparently was fine with Tom’s wife. There’s group doctrine and I was being shouted down for not reciting it to the letter.

      Went on maybe a week or so, being ridiculed. So, the moment I start shooting back? BANNED.

      So I email Tom, like what the hell, you guys are opposed to debate now? How come your wife blocked me.

      “I did that, and I don’t need you to tell me how to run things.”

      Well, so Tom went into my dishonest file and if you look above, nothing has changed. Judge for yourselves, but that’s how I see it.

      Update: Tom has emailed me to dispute my account of things, providing convincing background about the situation and insisting that while monitoring the group was not his forte, his wife did check with him prior to the ban and he made the call. I believe him, so consider this a retraction.

      Further, he also claims the reason for the ban was not the discussion, per se, but my awful language.

      While that may be true, I just am not given to making grand distinctions over words used in the English language, especially in a written forum where there is no fear of physical hostility breaking out. Moreover, it sets a standard of culture where people get to treat reasonable argument with ridicule and personal mocking, so long as magic words are not used. So, I tend to treat the cause, not the symptoms. I treat people in kind, even if they don’t use magic words to convey.

    • Bret on April 29, 2017 at 10:44

      That is illuminating indeed; builds a lot of context. Really weird how the switch just flipped suddenly.

      I appreciate that others have the opposite take on the Jimmy issue, and I’m sure they’ve got their reasons. My concern, though, is that people who are unfamiliar with much of this context will zoom in on the ad hominem nature of your delivery, the fat shaming angle especially, and that this will blot out your underlying dietary message. For this reason principally, I don’t think you’re currently reaching anyone who doesn’t already agree with you.

      I think it’s also worth considering that blind followers of Jimmy Moore probably aren’t too sharp in general. It’s a pretty basic litmus test to judge dietary advice against its adviser. If they can’t figure out how to do that, they’re not likely playing with a full deck. If it isn’t Jimmy Moore, it’ll be somebody else with a too-good-to-be-true claim…sheep naturally seek shepherds.

      I’ve said my piece, and I’ll step off the soapbox now. I am not judging you, and my motive is neither to interfere nor to defend other people’s feelings. Really. Just offering my take FWIW.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 29, 2017 at 10:52

      My next post will be a value add. Offering an alternative angle, one that will actually work.

      I’ve been hinting at it, but now I have three weeks of data.

  8. Walter on April 29, 2017 at 08:24


    I like your style, mainly because I never have to sit back and wonder what you really mean. And I do not quit your blog because of comments you may have made about Christians, my wife being a Catholic one. As a None, I completely understand. See, I know you would really like my wife and would love to have her as a neighbor. Unlike Jimmy, she does not evangelize.

    It is tough to stay away when Moore’s recommendations are for all his readers. Tom could just say that he has tried to get Jimmy back on a balanced diet, but was ignored. If you saw a college picture of my now overweight sister-in-law, it would make you sick. She will not ask me for diet advice, so maybe I should intervene.

    I once saw a video, which I guess Jimmy would like, of how to scramble an egg in a stainless pan. There was half a stick of melted butter in the pan just for one egg. I might use that much butter for a dozen. I stopped it because it was too hard to watch. And I love butter or bacon grease with my egg.

    Thanks for your Carlin video on Earth Day. It is such a classic.

  9. Robert on April 29, 2017 at 13:04

    The methods can be debated, but I certainly have no right to judge.

    What is true though, is that it’s important to provide an intelligent and sharp critique of keto extremism. This is what FTA has done, and it has certainly helped me. And probably many others. A registered dietician claiming all the butter will give heart attacks won’t help, it’s stupid and blunt critique.

    Let me relate an experience from a couple of days ago: a 74 year old guy was commenting on a Swedish LCHF blog. He is trying to control a small tumor by keeping blood sugar low, and went low carb. He went as low as 20 g carbs a day, but slowly fasting BG started creeping up, until it was worse than before the intervention. Then, he for some reason upped carbs to 100 g a day, and fasting BG plummeted , and he’s now doing great. But he was dumbfounded, asked how is it possible that upping carbs leads to lower FBG? It shouldn’t be possible!

    I let him know about physiological insulin resistance. He was very relieved to finally get an answer, and grateful. He wrote he is now googling and reading more about it.

    I’ve spent a couple of year on low carb sites, and I never came across this. Only here did I learn this. And it felt good to pass on the information.

    Honestly, when first coming here for info on resistant starch, and reading that many had problems on low carb being solved by PHD and RS, I thought it was an exaggeration. If so many had problems, why hadn’t I heard more about it?

    Not that I believe there’s an evil conspiracy to cover it up, I’m just saying it’s easy to miss the negative sides when you are inside it.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 29, 2017 at 13:55

      Hey Robert.

      Ha, because in so many ways, LCHF and low-protein Keto are at the other extreme from veganism, and they behave similarly.

      First, they are reluctant to talk about problems within their own cloistered circles, because since the diet is without flaw, how can anyone have a problem caused by the diet? Thus, people who claim problems are misidentifying cause (’cause it can’t be the diet, since the diet is without flaw), or “they aren’t doing it right,” and likely just need to cut carbs more, make sure they are limiting protein under 10%, and increase fat until they feel full.

      …Incidentally, since you’re on the Swedish LCHF site, you must have been aware of Per Wikholm. We used to correspond regularly beginning I believe in the RS days and then later when deconstructing the Inuit myths, and he commented here from time to time.

      It was only the other day I learned that he had died in late 2015. I subsequently learned of the tragic circumstances, via a mutual friend of his wife.

    • Robert on April 29, 2017 at 23:16

      Yes, Per Wikholm was really influential in the community, and it was certainly sad for him to go at such young age. There were posts about it on several blogs when he passed, acknowledging his contributions. He had his own blog, but it unfortunately disappeared when he died, and with it most of his wisdom. In fact, even today when there is talk about resistant starch on forums, people lament that Per had a guide in Swedish, but it was lost with his blog.

      Regarding his death, it has never been made public what happened. This was a bit of an issue maybe, low carbers are sensitive to someone dying like that, since dieticians and professors alike all prophesied that Per and the other early adopters would die of heart attacks. But I remember reading a comment he made at Dietdoctor some time before his death, when he mentioned he was recovering at hospital from an open fracture to his leg. I thought maybe this was related, but that’s all I know.

      When starting to research resistant starch is when I became aware more of Per specifically, but that was already after his death unfortunately. I was proud and surprised to find his contributions here at FTA. Sharp, honest, open-minded. Also I have come across many old comments on Dietdoctor and other blogs regarding resistant starch, and he was always humble, kind and friendly. Always taking time to answer questions.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 30, 2017 at 06:40

      I can’t imagine it wasn’t in the news.

      His wife ended their marriage. In fact, the last email Duck Dodgers got from him mentioned that, and how he was taking it hard.

      He hung himself to death in a public place.

    • Robert on April 30, 2017 at 13:47

      I’m very shocked and sad to hear that, such a gentle and kind soul devoted to help others. A tragedy.

      But then it makes sense to me now why no info was known about his death. There’s a strict policy in Sweden not reporting about suicides. If someone is reported to have died, or that they have found his body, but nothing more, no cause of death, you can assume it’s suicide.

  10. Ed R. on April 29, 2017 at 18:34

    Even on the Diet Doctor website, the advice given for failing to lose weight or cholesterol going out of wack on LCHF is to cut back a bit on fat intake and quit the fat bombs.

  11. Justin Watts on April 29, 2017 at 19:24

    I wonder if Jimmy appeals to many because they hunk, “He’s just like me! He’s trying and still struggles.” It makes sense for someone with weight issues to look for someone to identify with, and maybe even provide an out – “It’s okay that I can’t lose the weight, Guru X is having trouble too, and he’s a professional.”

    And the ‘personal’ attack stuff is utter bullshit. Of course it’s personal… everything in life is. If I do something, and someone informs me they think it’s wrong, that’s personal on two fronts – I personally did a deed and someone told my person it was wrong. Not sure how that basic concept is being missed by so many.

    As a public figure, Jimmy is being held to a higher standard because of his influence. If he ever chooses to do meth in the privacy of his own home, that is a far cry from becoming the guru of meth and proclaiming it to the masses as something they should also do. I applaud Richard and think he has done a great job of shooting holes in Jimmys approach and laying out alternatives. There seem to be a lot of people that think Jimmy’s current philosophy should be stopped, but not many are actually taking him on. Good on you, Richard.

    BUT at the end of the day there is also personal responsibility on his followers. If someone is getting less and less healthy following Jimmy’s diet and don’t quit, that’s on them. It’s like the Indian tribes that have sued the government and corporations saying they should have stopped alcohol and opioids from being available to tribe members. Like those people were pinned down and force-fed drugs.

  12. Evolutionarily on May 1, 2017 at 19:19

    I’d bet a million Bitcoins* he reads the entire post and every comment, and comes back to check daily.

    * Last time you posted on Bitcoin was 2014 and it was ~$500, it’s now $1,400, would love another update!

    • Richard Nikoley on May 1, 2017 at 19:33

      Yea, well I guess I’ve made a few bucks. Haven’t checked in forever.

      The thing is cool and all, but until it becomes actual money (commonly recognized medium of exchange), I’m just watching.

  13. James on May 7, 2017 at 03:26

    I can’t believe people are still arguing about whether or not calories still matter on a keto diet or if keto diets are healthy for the average person long term. What is this, 2010? Didn’t we settle this argument back them?

    I hardly ever read paleo/low carb blogs but I check in on Freetheanimal from time to time.
    This is so depressing. Every single day, in this day and age people are still reading Good calories Bad Calories for the first time and being sucked into believing cutting out all carbs is some magic weight loss tool.

    • Bret on May 7, 2017 at 07:43

      “Every single day, in this day and age people are still reading Good calories Bad Calories for the first time and being sucked into believing cutting out all carbs is some magic weight loss tool.”

      Or heaping praise on it as though it were a bible, years later.

      Cato Daily Podcast interviewed Gary recently, and host Caleb Brown practically jizzed in his pants when proclaiming “what a great book” it is.

      The rest of the interview wasn’t bad, but I suspect dozens of people will crack that book due to Brown’s praise of it, and a significant chunk of them will fall in love with the snake oil.

  14. Utsav Srinet on May 9, 2017 at 07:07

    Thank you!
    I knew that ketosis and ketoacidodis were different already (I got here through Gary Taubes’ blog), but this explains very clearly how they are different, and not just quantitatively but qualitatively.

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