Starvation Is NOT Healthy. Stop counting calories & go #SANE w/me at http://SANESolution.com

Exercising Less Does Not Cause Long-Term Fat Gain

 

“It is reasonable to assume that persons with relatively high daily energy expenditures would be less likely to gain weight over time compared with those who have low energy expenditures. So far, datato support this hypothesis are not particularly compelling.” – American Heart Association

The idea that we have an obesity epidemic because people are not exercising enough is a myth. Saffron A. Whitehead at St. George’s University of London reported: “Most studies show that the obese do about the same physical activity as [the] lean.”

Common sense tells us that if exercising less is the cause of our collective weight issues, we must be collectively exercising less. Are we?

Not even close.

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES

The idea of aerobic exercise did not even exist in the mainstream until the 1968 publication of the book Aerobics by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper. Dr. Entin, with the department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, explains the common view before then: “In the 1930’s and 40’s…high volume endurance training was thought to be bad for the heart. Through the ‘50’s and even ‘60’s, exercise was not thought to be useful…and endurance exercise was thought to be harmful to women.” During that same period the percent of obese Americans was dramatically lower than today. Nowadays, Americans exercise more than anyone else in the world and are the sixth heaviest population in the world. How could doing too little of something that we did even less of before the problem existed cause the problem?

Some people claim that we are getting heavier because we are using labor-saving devices. Yet that doesn’t make sense. The vast majority of labor-saving devices became common in households decades before obesity shot up. Use of dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and all the major labor-saving devices increased most between 1945 and 1965. However, obesity increased little during that time period. Use of these devices increased very little between 1978 and 1998 while obesity rates shot up. So how could labor-saving devices be the cause of weight problems?

Reread the quote from the American Heart Association at the start of this chapter. Digging into the data and abandoning assumptions about our activity levels, researchers like New York University’s Marion Nestle tell us, “…the activity levels of Americans appear to have changed little, if at all, from the 1970s to the 1990s.”

What about all the TV watching? That’s got to be the cause, right? That too does not correspond with the facts.  Tsinghua University professor Seth Roberts determined: “Time spent watching TV increased by 45% from 1965 to 1975, yet obesity increased little over that time; from 1975 to 1995, when obesity shot up, TV watching increased only a little.”

Eating lowerquality food creates the clog that causes chronic weight gain. People can be plenty active, and exercise for hours, but if they eat low-quality food, they will get clogged and gain body fat. Long-term weight gain is determined by food and exercise quality, not quantity.


  1. Haskell WL, Lee IM, Pate RR, Powell KE, Blair SN, Franklin BA, Macera CA, Heath GW, Thompson PD, Bauman A; American College of Sports Medicine; American Heart Association. Physical activity and public health: updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2007 Aug 28;116(9):1081-93. Epub 2007 Aug 1. PubMed PMID: 17671237.
  2. Whitehead, Saffron A.; Nussey, Stephen (2001). Endocrinology: an integrated approach. Oxford: BIOS. pp. 122. ISBN 1-85996-252-1.
  3. Dr. Pauline, Entin. “History of Exercise Science.” www2.nau.edu. Northern Arizona University, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2011. <http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/pe/exs190web/exs190history.htm>.
  4. http://apps.who.int/bmi/index.jsp
  5. Nestle M, Jacobson MF. Halting the obesity epidemic: a public health policy approach. Public Health Rep. 2000 Jan-Feb;115(1):12-24. PubMed PMID: 10968581; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1308552.
  6. Roberts, Seth. The Shangri-La Diet: The No Hunger Eat Anything Weight-Loss Plan. Chicago: Perigee Trade, 2007. Print.
Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES
Starvation Is NOT Healthy. Stop counting calories & go #SANE w/me at http://SANESolution.com

eat less, weigh more…for 118,801 folks, at least

Half of going SANE is about eating more, smarter (the other half is exercising less, smarter).

This seems odd since we’ve all been told the more we eat the more we weigh. However, a quick stroll through the studies shows “more food = more fat” is a myth.

For example, Harvard researchers looked at a massive sample of 67,272 women and divided them into fifths according to the quantity of calories they ate. The general trend was the less ladies ate, the more they weighed.

The researchers then divided the women into fifths according to the quality of calories they ate. The lower the quality of their calories the more they weighed.


Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES

The cause of weight gain is too little quality, not too much quantity. And while we’re at it, let’s not forget the studies showing yo-yo dieting—the inevitable result of trying to eat less—increasing our risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, immune system failure, eating disorders, impaired cognitive function, chronic fatigue, and depression. The results are in…studies show blindly eating less doesn’t make us thin. It makes us stocky, sick, and sad.

More surprising science.

The Harvard folks then took 51,529 men and divided them into fifths according to the quantity of calories they ate. The more folks ate the less they weighed.

Practical and permanent fat loss isn’t about cutting calories. It’s about intelligently increasing the quantity of high quality calories we eat. In the same Harvard study researchers divided the 51,529 guys into fifths according to the quality of calories they ate. The higher the quality of their calories the less they weighed.

The calorie quantity theory is fiction and fails because cutting calorie quantity fights against our basic biology. Our bodies don’t like starving. Crazy…I know. Studies show the only way to drop fat forever is to work with our bodies rather than to fight them. We do that by eating more–higher quality–calories. We eat more, smarter. And that works because a calorie isn’t a calorie…but more on that later.

Sampling of sources

  1. Blackburn GL, Wilson GT, Kanders BS, Stein LJ, Lavin PT, Adler J, Brownell KD. Weight cycling: the experience of human dieters. Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 May;49(5 Suppl):1105-9. PubMed PMID: 2718940.
  2. Blair SN, Shaten J, Brownell K, Collins G, Lissner L. Body weight change, all-cause mortality, and cause-specific mortality in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial. Ann Intern Med. 1993 Oct 1;119(7 Pt 2):749-57. PubMed PMID: 8363210.
  3. Bray GA. Obesity–a state of reduced sympathetic activity and normal or high adrenal activity (the autonomic and adrenal hypothesis revisited). Int J Obes. 1990;14 Suppl 3:77-91; discussion 91-2. Review. PubMed PMID: 2086518.
  4. Brownell KD, Rodin J. Medical, metabolic, and psychological effects of weight cycling. Arch Intern Med. 1994 Jun 27;154(12):1325-30. Review. PubMed PMID: 8002684.
  5. Green MW, Rogers PJ. Impaired cognitive functioning during spontaneous dieting. Psychol Med. 1995 Sep;25(5):1003-10. PubMed PMID: 8587997.
  6. Greene P, Willett W, et al. Pilot 12-week feeding weight loss comparison: low-fat vs. low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets [abstract]. Obes Res. 2003;11:A23.
  7. Hamm P, Shekelle RB, Stamler J. Large fluctuations in body weight during young adulthood and twenty-five-year risk of coronary death in men. Am J Epidemiol. 1989 Feb;129(2):312-8. PubMed PMID: 2912043.
  8. Higgins M, D’Agostino R, Kannel W, Cobb J, Pinsky J. Benefits and adverse effects of weight loss. Observations from the Framingham Study. Ann Intern Med. 1993 Oct 1;119(7 Pt 2):758-63. Erratum in: Ann Intern Med 1993 Nov 15;119(10):1055. PubMed PMID: 8363211.
  9. Hill AJ. Does dieting make you fat? Br J Nutr. 2004 Aug;92 Suppl 1:S15-8. Review. PubMed PMID: 15384316.
  10. Jeffery R. Prevention of Obesity. In: Bray GA, Couchard d, James WP, eds. Handbook of Obesity. New York: Marcel Dekker, 1997: 819-829.
  11. Keen H, Thomas BJ, Jarrett RJ, Fuller JH. Nutrient intake, adiposity, and diabetes. Br Med J. 1979 Mar 10;1(6164):655-8. PubMed PMID: 435710; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1598272.
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  14. Mann T, Tomiyama AJ, Westling E, Lew AM, Samuels B, Chatman J. Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments: diets are not the answer. Am Psychol. 2007 Apr;62(3):220-33. Review. PubMed PMID: 17469900.
  15. McCullough ML, Feskanich D, Rimm EB, Giovannucci EL, Ascherio A, Variyam JN, Spiegelman D, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and risk of major chronic disease in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Nov;72(5):1223-31. PubMed PMID: 11063453.
  16. McCullough ML, Feskanich D, Stampfer MJ, Rosner BA, Hu FB, Hunter DJ, Variyam JN, Colditz GA, Willett WC. Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and risk of major chronic disease in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Nov;72(5):1214-22. PubMed PMID: 11063452.
  17. Phinney SD. Weight cycling and cardiovascular risk in obese men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Oct;56(4):781-2. PubMed PMID: 1414977.
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  20. Sondike, S., et al. “The Ketogenic Diet Increases Weight Loss But Not Cardiovascular Risk: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of Adolescent Health 26: 91, 2000
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Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES
Starvation Is NOT Healthy. Stop counting calories & go #SANE w/me at http://SANESolution.com

Want to Improve Your Cholesterol? Don’t Lower It. There’s a Smarter Approach.

 

“There is a wealth of…evidence that increasing the concentration of HDL cholesterol through diet will lower the risk of coronary artery disease.” –R.P. Mensink, Maastricht University

In the last post we showed how Eating Fat Does Not Hurt Cholesterol & It’s Not About Lowering Cholesterol Anyway. Here’s where the confusion about cholesterol comes from in the first place. There are different types of cholesterol, and most of them are helpful or neutral. The two most commonly discussed are LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein). They are required to produce new cells and hormones. Because of this critical role, even if we never ate any cholesterol, our liver or intestines would produce it.

What Are Healthy Cholesterol Numbers?

When it comes to predicting heart health, the American Heart Association, International Diabetes Federation, and World Health Organization agree that low HDL cholesterol—not high LDL cholesterol—is what matters. And that low HDL is bad. Looking at disease and death rates at various levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol, researchers have found that people with low HDL run a much greater risk of heart disease.

 

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES

Relative Risk of Heart Disease Given Total Cholesterol

(Total Cholesterol in Parenthesis)

 

There are two things to note about this graphic. First, total cholesterol is irrelevant. If someone tells you their total cholesterol is 185, what is their risk of heart disease? Looking at the preceding table, it is either very low or high, depending on how much of that 185 consists of HDL cholesterol. Similarly, if someone tells you their total cholesterol is 245, they either have a herculean heart or a hemorrhaging heart, depending on their HDL levels.

Second, note how increasing HDL cholesterol is more important for heart health than decreasing LDL cholesterol. High HDL cholesterol protects us from heart problems more than dropping our LDL levels ever could. Heart-healthy diets are not about lowering total cholesterol. They are about raising HDL cholesterol.

“…low HDL-cholesterol levels increase coronary heart disease risk…[programs] resulting in an increase in HDL-cholesterol levels could decrease the incidence of ischemic heart disease.” – J.P. Despres, Laval University

 

How to Raise HDL Cholesterol

The most effective way to raise our HDL levels is to eat more natural fat and less unnatural starch. Fat raises HDL. Starch lowers HDL.

The Impact of Fat and Starch on HDL and LDL Cholesterol and Health

 

A Smarter Science of Heart Healthy Foods

Since lower HDL does more harm than lower LDL does good, any diet which tells us to replace SANE sources of fat with inSANE starch worsens our cholesterol. This is why D. Mozaffarian at Harvard University wrote: “[Focusing] on effects of total and saturated fat on…total and low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol may have failed to reduce coronary heart disease risk and inadvertently worsened…insulin resistance, and weight gain.” Researcher A. Garg wrote the following in the Journal of the American Medical Association: “High-carbohydrate diets…caused persistent deterioration of glycemic control and accentuation of hyperinsulinemia [caused clogs], as well as increased…very-low-density lipoprotein [bad] cholesterol levels.”

Regrettably, under the government’s guidelines, we are supposed to replace natural foods containing fat with low-fat-high-starch products to lower our total cholesterol. Why? Lower total cholesterol is meaningless, and lower HDL cholesterol is terrible for us. Researchers have demonstrated this for decades.

For example, the February 1989 issue of the Diabetes Care journal put out by the American Diabetes Association contained a study comparing the government’s diet with a more SANE way of eating. The study concluded: “VLDL [bad] cholesterol was significantly increased…High-density lipoprotein [good] cholesterol concentrations were significantly decreased after consumption of the 60% carbohydrate diet.”

Comparable results were found with the equally imbalanced U.K. dietary guidelines. In the words of University of Glasgow researcher S.R. Arefhosseini: “Following the U.K. dietary guidelines resulted in changes…more likely to favor an increased risk of coronary heart disease.”

 

What About Saturated Fat and Cholesterol?

Even saturated fats are not cholesterol criminals. The American Heart Association found:

“No adequately designed randomized controlled study in the general population has shown that…decreasing saturated fat…intake significantly decreases coronary heart disease mortality.”

 

Bottom Line: Ways to Improve Cholesterol

What is the bottom line? Studies show that any diet telling you to replace SANE sources of fat with inSANE starches is unhealthy and fattening. M.L. McCullough at Harvard University made this point: “Limiting unsaturated fats, which is usually done by increasing carbohydrates…is detrimental…. Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets provide a higher glycemic load, aggravate hyperinsulinemia [clogging], and may thus increase the risk of diabetes and coronary artery disease.”

Want to improve your cholesterol naturally? Eat more, but smarter.

Sadly, the government’s diet tells us to do exactly what science says we should avoid.

If you think this is troubling, wait until you see what happened when big business jumped on the government bandwagon. We’ll cover that next week.


  1. “Cholesterol : LIPID MAPS–Nature Lipidomics Gateway.” Home : LIPID MAPS–Nature Lipidomics Gateway. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Jan. 2011. <http://www.lipidmaps.org/update/2009/090501/full/lipidmaps.2009.3.html>.
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  11. Haskell WL, Lee IM, Pate RR, Powell KE, Blair SN, Franklin BA, Macera CA, Heath GW, Thompson PD, Bauman A; American College of Sports Medicine; American Heart Association. Physical activity and public health: updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2007 Aug 28;116(9):1081-93. Epub 2007 Aug 1. PubMed PMID: 17671237.
  12. http://www.idf.org/webdata/docs/IDF_Meta_def_final.pdf
  13. Hu FB, Manson JE, Willett WC. Types of dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease: a critical review. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Feb;20(1):5-19. Review. PubMed PMID: 11293467.
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  15. Jump DB, Clarke SD, thelen A, Liimatta M. Coordinate regulation of glycolytic and lipogenic gene expression by polyunsaturated fatty acids. J Lipid Res. 1994 Jun;35(6):1076-84. PubMed PMID: 8077846.
  16. Kersten S. Mechanisms of nutritional and hormonal regulation of lipogenesis. EMBO Rep. 2001 Apr;2(4):282-6. Review. PubMed PMID: 11306547; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1083868.
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  18. Lopez-Garcia E, Schulze MB, Manson JE, Meigs JB, Apoundert CM, Rifai N, Willett WC, Hu FB. Consumption of (n-3) fatty acids is related to plasma biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial activation in women. J Nutr. 2004 Jul;134(7):1806-11. PubMed PMID: 15226473.
  19. Marchioli R, Barzi F, Bomba E, et al, GISSI-Prevenzione Investigators. Early protection against sudden dealth by n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids after myocardial infarction: Time-course analysis of the results of the Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto Miocardico (GISSI)-Prevenzione. Circulation. 2002;105:1897-1903.
  20. McCullough ML, Feskanich D, Stampfer MJ, Rosner BA, Hu FB, Hunter DJ, Variyam JN, Colditz GA, Willett WC. Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and risk of major chronic disease in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Nov;72(5):1214-22. PubMed PMID: 11063452.
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Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES
Starvation Is NOT Healthy. Stop counting calories & go #SANE w/me at http://SANESolution.com

Four Reasons a Calorie Is Not a Calorie

 

“Attacking the obesity epidemic will involve giving up many old ideas that have not been productive. ‘A calorie is a calorie’ might be a good place to start.” – R.D. Feinman, State University of New York

Beyond battling our basic biology, calorie balancing is bound to fail us because a calorie is not a calorie. The difference in calorie quality is really important. That’s because the quality of the calories we eat influences our hormones. Those in turn determine our set-point. We can control our weight, just not the way you have been led to believe.

The Calories In – Calories Out theory of weight control depends on the assumption that our bodies work like balance scales. Balance scales do not measure quality. On a balance scale, a pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of lead. Quality is irrelevant. So on a balance scale, 300 calories of vegetables is the same as 300 calories of pasta. The only problem is that the body is not a balance scale.

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES

Let’s look at the issue another way. Breathing in smoke-filled air for thirty years does something different to our respiratory system than breathing in the same quantity of fresh air. In the same fashion, putting 2,000 calories of low-quality food into our fat metabolism system does something different than putting in the same quantity of high-quality food. Quality counts. Our bodies do not work like balance scales.

The quality of calories depends on four fascinating factors:

  1. Satiety – How quickly calories fill us up and how long they keep us full
  2. Aggression – How likely calories are to be stored as body fat
  3. Nutrition – How many nutrients—aka protein, vitamins, minerals, etc.—calories provide
  4. Efficiency – How many calories can be stored as body fat

The more Satisfying, unAggressive, Nutritious, and inEfficienct a calorie is, the higher its quality. The more SANE it is. The more body-fat-burning hormones it triggers. The more it unclogs our metabolism and prevents overeating.

The more unSatisfying, Aggressive, not Nutritious, and Efficient a calorie is, the lower its quality. The more inSANE it is. The more body-fat-storing hormones it triggers. The more it clogs our metabolism and encourages overeating.

The more we understand the four calorie-quality factors, the more clearly we will see how eating more high-quality SANE food is the only practical way to burn body fat long term. When you stay full of SANE food, you will not have any room for clog-causing inSANE calories. When we are totally full from a super-sized SANE supper, skipping the sundae after isn’t a burden. It’s a blessing in disguise. By staying full of SANE calories, we clear our clog, drop our set-point, and enable our fat metabolism system to burn body fat for us automatically.

“…for the vast majority of people, being overweight is not caused by how much they eat but by what they eat. The idea that people get heavy because they consume a high volume of food is a myth. Eating large amounts of the right food is your key to success…” – Joel Fuhrman, Doctor and Author

Sound too good to be true? More supporting science coming-up shortly.


  1. Feinman RD, Fine EJ. “A calorie is a calorie” violates the second law of thermodynamics. Nutr J. 2004 Jul 28;3:9.
  2. Fuhrman, Joel. Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. London: Little, Brown and Company, 2005. Print.
  3. Ludwig DS. The glycemic index: physiological mechanisms relating to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. JAMA. 2002 May 8;287(18):2414-23. Review. PubMed PMID: 11988062.    &    Miller WC. Diet composition, energy intake, and nutritional status in relation to obesity in men and women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991 Mar;23(3):280-4. Review.  PubMed PMID: 2020264.
  4. Manninen AH. Is a calorie really a calorie? Metabolic advantage of low-carbohydrate diets. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2004 Dec 31;1(2):21-6. PubMed PMID: 18500946; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2129158.
  5. Powell JJ, Tucker L, Seafooder AG, Wilcox K. The effects of different percentages of dietary fat intake, exercise, and calorie restriction on body composition and body weight in obese females. Am J Health Promot. 1994 Jul-Aug;8(6):442-8. PubMed PMID: 10161100.     &     Kekwick A, Pawan GL. Calorie intake in relation to body-weight changes in the obese. Lancet. 1956 Jul 28;271(6935):155-61. PubMed PMID: 13347103.
Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES
Starvation Is NOT Healthy. Stop counting calories & go #SANE w/me at http://SANESolution.com

Calories Aren’t All That Matter…Ask Anyone Taking Insulin

 

“Insulin has profound metabolic effects in the determination of body weight…” – B. Dokken, University of Arizona

The critical effect hormones have on body fat has been well known in scientific circles for a long time. Especially the hormone insulin. Three quick examples:

  • A study in the journal Diabetic Medicine found that giving patients the hormone insulin “is associated with weight gain,” specifically, “an increase in trunk [belly] fat mass.
  • The journal Diabetes and Metabolism reports: “Most studies report an average 13.2 lb. weight gain during the first year following the initiation of insulin therapy.” The journal went on to conclude that when it comes to taking shots of the hormone insulin “weight gain seems mandatory.”
  • In the journal Diabetes an aptly title study “Intensive Insulin Therapy and Weight Gain in IDDM (type 1 diabetes)” revealed that after only two months, “Body weight increased ~6 lbs. with intensive insulin therapy as a result of an increase in fat mass.”
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Note that there’s no mention of “eating too much” or “exercising too little.” That’s because calories aren’t all that matter. Hormones matter a lot. Hundreds of millions of diabetics have proven this for years. And that’s why long-term fat loss and robust health isn’t about eating less of a hormonally-poor traditional diet and doing more hormonally-irrelevant traditional exercise. These techniques may mask our hormonal breakdown, but they do not fix it.

Long-term fat loss and robust health isn’t about eating less of a hormonally-poor traditional diet and doing more hormonally-irrelevant traditional exercise.

Forget counting calories. Focus on eating more hormonally-helpful SANE foods, and doing less, but hormonally-helpful eccentric exercise. Eat more and exercising less–smarter. Sure that seems like the opposite of what we’ve been told to do, but isn’t it about time to get the opposite of what we’ve gotten?


  1. Carlson MG & Campbell PJ. Intensive insulin therapy and weight gain in IDDM. Diabetes 1993 42 1700–1707.
  2. Laville M, Andreelli F. [Mechanisms for weight gain during blood glucose normalization]. Diabetes Metab. 2000 Jun;26 Suppl 3:42-5. Review. French. PubMed PMID: 10945152.
  3. From Research to Practice/The Art and Science of Obesity Management: Betsy B. Dokken and Tsu-Shuen Tsao the Physiology of Body Weight Regulation: Are We Too Efficient for Our Own Good? Diabetes Spectrum July 2007 20:166-170; doi:10.2337/diaspect.20.3.166
  4. Sinha A, Formica C, Tsalamandris C, Panagiotopoulos S, Hendrich E, DeLuise M, Seeman E, Jerums G. Effects of insulin on body composition in patients with insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Diabet Med. 1996 Jan;13(1):40-6. PubMed PMID: 8741811.
Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES
Starvation Is NOT Healthy. Stop counting calories & go #SANE w/me at http://SANESolution.com

Studies Show It’s InSANE To Claim “A Calorie Is A Calorie”

A few posts ago we covered the four factors that prove a calorie isn’t a calorie when it comes to how much they help us burn fat and boost our health:Satiety, Aggression, Nutrition, and Efficiency.  Satiety is how quickly calories fill us up. Aggression is how likely calories are to be stored as body fat. Nutrition is how many vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, etc., calories provide. Efficiency is how easily calories are converted into body fat. Whether a calorie is high-quality or low-quality depends on where it fits on the SANEity spectrum.

High-quality calories are on the healthy end of the SANEity spectrum. They are Satisfying, unAggressive, Nutritious, and inEfficient. They fill us up quickly and keep us full for a long time. They provide a lot of nutrients, and few of them can be converted into body fat. Even better, they trigger the release of body-fat-burning hormones, clear clogs, and lower our set-point. In short, they are SANE.

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES

Low-quality calories are just the opposite. They are on the unhealthy end of the SANEity spectrum. They are unSatisfying, Aggressive, non-Nutritious, and Efficient. They trigger the release of body-fat-storing hormones, cause clogs, and raise our set-point. In short, they are inSANE.

Why does this matter?

In all of the studies that follow, everyone ate the exact same quantityof calories, but one group’s calories were of much higher quality (were much more SANE) than the other groups’:

  • University of Florida researcher J.W. Krieger analyzed eighty-seven studies and found that those people who ate SANEcalories lost an average of twelve more pounds of body fat compared to those who ate an equal quantity of inSANEcalories.
  • C.M. Young at Cornell University split people into three groups, each eating 1,800 calories per day, but at different levels of SANEity. The most SANE group lost 86.5% more body fat than the least SANEgroup.
  • In the Annals of Internal Medicine, F.L. Benoît compared a reduced-calorie inSANE diet to a reduced-calorieSANE diet. After ten days the SANE diet burned twice as much body fat.
  • Additional studies by researchers U. Rabast (1978,1981), P. Greene (2003), N.H. Baba (1999), A. Golay (1996), M.E. Lean (1997), C.M. Young (1971), and D.K. Layman (2003) all show that people who ate SANEcalorieslost an average of 22% more weight than those who ate the exact same quantity of inSANEcalories.

In next week’s posts, we’ll begin looking at each of the four factors of SANE eating, starting with Satiety. By the way, if the word seems oddly familiar, it comes from the same root as satisfying.


  1. Baba NH, Sawaya S, Torbay N, Habbal Z, Azar S, Hashim SA: High protein vs high carbohydrate hypoenergetic diet for the treatment of obese hyperinsulinemic subjects. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1999, 23:1202-6.
  2. Benoit FL, Martin RL, Watten RH. Changes in body composition during weight reduction in obesity. Balance studies comparing effects of fasting and a ketogenic diet. Ann Intern Med. 1965 Oct;63(4):604-12. PubMed PMID: 5838326.
  3. Fine EJ, Feinman RD. Thermodynamics of weight loss diets. Nutr Metab (Lond).2004 Dec 8;1(1):15. PubMed PMID: 15588283; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC543577.
  4. Golay A, Allaz AF, Morel Y, de Tonnac N, Tankova S, Reaven G: Similar weight loss with low- or high-carbohydrate diets. Am J Clin Nutr 1996, 63:174-8.
  5. Golay A, Eigenheer C, Morel Y, Kujawski P, Lehmann T, de Tonnac N: Weight-loss with low or high carbohydrate diet? Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1996, 20:1067-72.
  6. Greene P, Willett W, Devecis J, Skaf A: Pilot 12-Week Feeding Weight-Loss Comparison: Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate (Ketogenic) Diets. Obesity Research 2003, 11:A23.
  7. Krieger JW, Sitren HS, Daniels MJ, Langkamp-Henken B. Effects of variation in protein and carbohydrate intake on body mass and composition during energy restriction: a meta-regression 1. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):260-74. PubMed PMID: 16469983.
  8. Layman DK, Boileau RA, Erickson DJ, Painter JE, Shiue H, Sather C, Christou DD: A reduced ratio of dietary carbohydrate to protein improves body composition and blood lipid profiles during weight loss in adult women. J Nutr 2003, 133:411-7.
  9. Lean ME, Han TS, Prvan T, Richmond PR, Avenell A: Weight loss with high and low carbohydrate 1200 kcal diets in free living women. Eur J Clin Nutr 1997, 51:243-8.
  10. ML Piatti PM, Magni F, Fermo I, Baruffaldi L, Nasser R, Santambrogia G, Librenti MC, Galli-Kienle M, Pontiroli AE, Pozza G: Hypocaloric High-Protein Diet Improves Glucose Oxidation and Spares Lean Body Mass: Comparison to High-Carbohydrate Diet. Metabolism 1994, 43:1481-87.
  11. Rabast U, Hahn A, Reiners C, Ehl M: Thyroid hormone changes in obese subjects during fasting and a very-low-calorie diet. Int J Obes 1981, 5:305-11.
  12. Rabast U, Kasper H, Schonborn J: Comparative studies in obese subjects fed carbohydrate-restricted and high carbohydrate 1,000-calorie formula diets. Nutr Metab 1978, 22:269-77.
  13. Young CM, Scanlan SS, Im HS, Lutwak L. Effect of body composition and other parameters in obese young men of carbohydrate level of reduction diet. Am J Clin Nutr. 1971 Mar;24(3):290-6. PubMed PMID: 5548734.
Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES
Starvation Is NOT Healthy. Stop counting calories & go #SANE w/me at http://SANESolution.com

Is obesity a disease? My 2 cents…would love to hear yours.

Recently recorded a wonderful bonus podcast with the lovely Carole Carson (http://www.fromfat2fit.com) who asked for my two cents on the recent debate about calling obesity a disease. Given the timeliness of this, wanted to share the clip now, and be sure to stay tuned for the delightful entire show with Carole in the coming months.

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES

ObesityADisease

Starvation Is NOT Healthy. Stop counting calories & go #SANE w/me at http://SANESolution.com

Q&A: What about alcohol?

Calories provided by the vast majority of alcoholic beverages are inSANE. That doesn’t mean we must avoid all alcoholic beverages. It means that given our goal of minimizing inSANE calories, the best alcoholic beverages are those with the least calories.

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES

Starvation Is NOT Healthy. Stop counting calories & go #SANE w/me at http://SANESolution.com

Calorie Quality Factor 2: Aggression (The “A” in SANE)

“The crucial factor is not how much is eaten…or how much is expended, but how…those calories are utilized and made available when needed.” – Gary Taubes, in Good Calories, Bad Calories

A calorie is not a calorie when it comes to how likely it is to be stored as body fat. We can think about human biology like this: When we eat, a traffic cop tells calories where to go. How Aggressively calories approach this traffic cop determines their chances of being stored as body fat.

The traffic cop directs calories to repair, fuel, or fatten us—in that order. It first makes sure we have enough fuel to rebuild anything that has broken down. Next, it keeps us doing whatever we are doing. Last, it seeks to protect us from starving. As long as we have a calm and consistent flow of calories coming into our system, the cop does a great job directing them.

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES

However, when calories approach the traffic cop Aggressively, it gets angry, throws its clipboard down, and sends those calories to fat cells. Our body is fine with a lot of food. It is Aggressive food that aggravates it. Five hundred calm calories creeping into the bloodstream over many hours are less likely to be stored as body fat than five hundred Aggressive calories rushing in all at once. Like the rest of us, our body does not do its best work when dealing with a bunch of Aggressive requests all at once.

To best understand calories’ Aggression we first need to understand how our body fuels itself. It does not run on the food we eat. It runs primarily on glucose, a sugar our body creates from the food we eat. That may seem like a meaningless distinction, but it is not.

Storing body fat is not caused by eating a lot of food. Storing body fat is about a response to eating food that causes us to have more glucose in our bloodstream than we can use at one time. That is why calories’ Aggression matters so much. The more Aggressive calories are, the faster they increase the levels of glucose in our bloodstream. The faster calories increase our glucose levels, the more likely we are to have more glucose than the body can deal with at one time. That’s when it shuttles the excess into our fat cells.

The distinction between “a lot of food” and “a lot of glucose right now” is important. We can eat all the food we want and never gain body fat if the glucose the food generates does not exceed the glucose level we can deal with right then. Fortunately, SANE foods prevent excess glucose from getting into our bloodstream. If we simply focus on increasing the amount of water-, fiber-, and protein-packed high-Satiety foods we are eating, we will automatically avoid Aggressive calories and store less body fat.


  1. Augustin LS, Franceschi S, Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, La Vecchia C. Glycemic index in chronic disease: a review. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;56(11):1049-71.Review. PubMed PMID: 12428171.
  2. Chandalia M, Garg A, Lutjohann D, von Bergmann K, Grundy SM, Brinkley LJ. Beneficial effects of high dietary fiber intake in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med. 2000 May 11;342(19):1392-8. PubMed PMID: 10805824.
  3. Colagiuri S, Brand Miller J. The ‘carnivore connection’–evolutionary aspects of insulin resistance. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Mar;56 Suppl 1:S30-5. Review. PubMed PMID: 11965520.
  4. Cordain L, Eaton SB, Sebastian A, Mann N, Lindeberg S, Watkins BA, O’Keefe JH, Brand-Miller J. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Feb;81(2):341-54. Review. PubMed PMID: 15699220.
  5. Foster-Powell K, Holt SH, Brand-Miller JC. International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jul;76(1):5-56. PubMed PMID: 12081815.
  6. Haber GB, Heaton KW, Murphy D, Burroughs LF. (1977). Depletion and disruption of dietary fibre. Effects on satiety, plasma-glucose, and serum-insulin. Lancet, 2: 679-682.
  7. Holt S, Brand J, Soveny C, Hansky J. (1992). Relationship of satiety to postprandial glycaemic, insulin and cholecystokinin responses. Appetite, 18: 129-141.
  8. Holt SH, Miller JB. (1994). Particle size, satiety and the glycaemic response. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr., 48: 496-502.
  9. Holt SH, Miller JC, Petocz P. An insulin index of foods: The insulin demand generated by 1000-kJ portions of common foods. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Nov;66(5):1264-76. PubMed PMID: 9356547.
  10. Jenkins DJ, Jenkins AL. Dietary fiber and the glycemic response. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1985;180:422-431.
  11. Leathwood P, Pollet P. (1988). Effects of slow release carbohydrates in the form of bean flakes on the evolution of hunger and satiety in man. Appetite, 10: 1-11.
  12. Liljeberg HG, Akerberg AK, Bjorck IM.  (1999). Effect of the glycemic index and content of indigestible carbohydrates of cereal-based breakfast meals on glucose tolerance at lunch in healthy subjects. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 69: 647-655.
  13. Ludwig DS, Majzoub JA, Al-Zahrani A, Dallal GE, Blanco I, Roberts SB. High glycemic index foods, overeating, and obesity. Pediatrics. 1999 Mar;103(3):E26. PubMed PMID: 10049982.
  14. Obesity and leanness. Basic aspects. Stock, M., Rothwell, N., Author Affiliation: Dep. Physiology, St. George’s Hospital Medical School, London Univ., London, UK.
  15. Potter JG, Coffman KP, Reid RL, Krall JM, Apoundrink MJ. Effect of test meals of varying dietary fiber content on plasma insulin and glucose response. Am J Clin Nutr. 1981;34:328-334.
  16. Roberts SB. High-glycemic index foods, hunger, and obesity: is there a connection? Nutr Rev. 2000 Jun;58(6):163-9. Review. PubMed PMID: 10885323.
  17. Rodin J, Reed D, Jamner L. (1988). Metabolic effects of fructose and glucose: implications for food intake. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 47: 683-689.
  18. Taubes, Gary. Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbohydrates, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health (Vintage). New York: Anchor, 2008. Print.
  19. Trout DL, Behall KM, Osilesi O. Prediction of glycemic index for starchy foods. Am J Clin Nutr. 1993;58:873-878.
  20. van Amelsvoort JM, Weststrate JA. (1992). Amylose-amylopectin ratio in a meal affects postprandial variables in male volunteers. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 55: 712-718.
  21. Welch IM, Bruce C, Hill SE, Read NW.  (1987). Duodenal and ileal lipid suppresses postprandial blood glucose and insulin responses in man: possible implications for the dietary management of diabetes mellitus. Clin. Sci. (Lond), 72: 209-216.
Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES
Starvation Is NOT Healthy. Stop counting calories & go #SANE w/me at http://SANESolution.com

Calorie Quality Factor 3: Nutrition Part 1 (The “N” in SANE)

“Low energy density [high Nutrition] is not an inevitable characteristic of low-fat diets; as many of the low-fat foods presently being promoted in our commercial food supply are based on sugar or highly refined carbohydrates.” – W.C. Willett, Harvard University

Two hundred and fifty calories of Twinkies are not the same as 250 calories of broccoli. Clearly a calorie is not a calorie when we are discussing the Nutrition we need to burn body fat and be healthy. So what is nutritious? Like everything else, the key to Nutrition is quality, but all we are ever told about is quantity—aka the Nutrition facts labels on food.

The information found on food labels tells us half of what determines Nutrition: the quantity of nutrients in the food. The other half is the quality of the calories we are getting along with those nutrients.

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES

Talking merely about the quantity of nutrients in food leads to a very fattening view of Nutrition. Consider the American Heart Association’s endorsement logos on boxes of sugar-stuffed cereal because the cereal was “enriched.” A high quantity of nutrients combined with low-quality calories is not nutritious.

Most people already know that thinking about the quantity of nutrients in food is not sufficient. We know that ten doughnuts are not ten times as nutritious as one doughnut. We have to consider nutrients relative to calories, or Nutrition quality.

Determining Nutrition quality is simple. We take the nutrient quantity information provided on Nutrition labels and divide it by the number of calories in a serving of the food. This provides the food’s Nutrition per calorie. Many nutrients per calorie—provided by non-starchy vegetables, seafood, lean meats, select dairy, and fruits—means high Nutrition. Few nutrients per calorie—see starches and sweets—means low Nutrition.

For example, here’s how one cup of enriched wheat flour compares to one cup of spinach in terms of nutrient quantity. I’ve shaded the cell of the food with more of the given nutrient when we measure by the cup.

 

Looking at quantity, enriched wheat flour seems more nutritious than spinach. Here’s why that’s misleading:

One cup of enriched wheat flour contains 495 calories. One cup of spinach contains 7 calories.

Looking at quality—nutrients per calorie—we see something much different—and more useful.

 

 

When we make a fair comparison—comparing 250 calories of enriched wheat flour against 250 calories of spinach, instead of comparing 495 calories of enriched wheat flour against 7 calories of spinach—we see that spinach is dramatically more nutritious than enriched wheat flour.

Looking at Nutrition this way is useful for two reasons we’ll cover in the next post.


  1. Willett WC. Is dietary fat a major determinant of body fat? Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Mar;67(3 Suppl):556S-562S. Review. Erratum in: Am J Clin Nutr 1999 Aug;70(2):304. PubMed PMID: 9497170.
  2. Nestle, Marion. What to Eat. 1 ed. New York: North Point Press, 2007. Print.
  3. USDA SR-21
Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES