Fat is the Regulating Nutrient for Body Composition, Not Protein

I’ve had this on my mind since the Spring of 2010. I even wrote a rough draft of what follows before my travels to Europe.

I have since scrapped that, and have decided to begin anew.

As the title suggests, my working hypothesis is this: fat intake is the defining factor for body composition.

Now, for those neck deep in conventional wisdom, this makes a lot of sense – if taken to mean that fat intake will determine whether or not one is “fat”.

“Eat fat get fat.”

“Eat less fat get skinny.”


Well, for those that are long time readers of this blog, or otherwise aware that fat is a gift from Zeus himself, you know very well that this is not the idea I am supporting or looking to perpetuate in any way.

What I am suggesting more literally is this: (proper) fat intake determines body composition in all senses of the term.

Not only body fat levels, but muscle mass as well – contrary to popular opinion that excessive protein intake is the be all end all for promoting muscular hypertrophy within the limits of your genetic potential.


It should be, but before you grab the pitch fork and torch, let’s think further about this, and reveal how I came to this conclusion.

1. Carbohydrate is an unnecessary nutrient in the diet.

It’s true. Born a normal, healthy human being, you absolutely do not need to ever eat carbohydrate, so far as I am aware. You simply don’t need it.

Some argue you need at least some for optimal health, others argue that only carbohydrate contains certain vitamins and minerals that you won’t find adequate amounts of elsewhere.

While I disagree with both of these ideas – especially the latter – they are aside the point that you do not need carbohydrate in and of itself, from the diet, to survive.

2. Humans evolved, and are adapted as such, to consume mostly cooked animals.

I’ve written about this ad infinitum on TDL before, both here and here. Long story short, I am utterly convinced humans evolved eating animals, lots of them, and mostly cooked over the past few hundred thousand years.

As such, I find the optimal human diet to be one that consists mostly of … you guessed it, cooked animals.

If you disagree, I congratulate you on forming your own opinion. However, this doesn’t change the fact that you’re flat out wrong, or more likely, misinformed and coming to wrong (and perhaps even dangerous) conclusions as a result.

All that said, I don’t think “eating plants” will be the end of you. Some even, by coincidence, over lap pretty well with the nutritional content found in “animals”, in a very general sense of the term.

Common and easy to find examples in today’s food repertoire would include dark chocolate and coconut fat, among others.

3. If we are to accept premises 1 and 2 as listed above, we must then accept the premise that insulin levels were chronically low in (most) humans throughout the vast majority of our evolution.

The only extraordinary spikes in insulin production would come from an exceedingly rare surplus of carbohydrate – fruit in the summer time, finding honey, etc – or alternatively, and perhaps somewhat more commonly, a large kill and/or surplus of meat, for whatever reason.

Considering that for most of our history our ancestors practiced “intermittent fasting” involuntarily – because they were starving half the time – eating till they were blue in the face is an opportunity they probably would not have passed up, when it presented itself.

Now, why would ‘meat’ (or eggs, or any other animal product containing protein) spike insulin?

Well, so far as I am aware – and this seems to be a neglected fact in the low/zero carb community – protein spikes insulin every bit as much as carbohydrate does.

While insulin is not inherently evil, and is in fact necessary, this is interesting to note because even when carbohydrate is dramatically reduced in the diet – or almost entirely eliminated – the first idea people gravitate to – to further lower body fat levels or increase muscle mass – is the idea that protein can and should be consumed in copious amounts, with complete disregard for the insulin release that it promotes.

Which is interesting, because this is the idea commonly practiced by the person who just took very intentional steps to lower insulin levels.

Even more interesting is the idea of whether or not you have the ability to use more protein than is required for the purpose of muscular hypertrophy.

That is, can you suck down protein, and force your muscles to grow, more than they would otherwise from their natural course, and provided stimulus (preferably, properly conducted strength training).

My guess is, no, you can’t, no matter how much we would like to sometimes.

Which means, there is degree of protein intake that equates to a minimum amount necessary for the production of new muscle tissue, various bodily processes, and in the case of a low or very low carbohydrate diet, energy via gluconeogenesis.

As a direct consequence, if you get in the realm of this minimum amount necessary, you are (in combination with a low or very low intake of carbohydrate), stimulating the minimum amount necessary of insulin.

Or, getting close enough to that optimal level that the difference between your intake and the optimal amount for you as an individual, is negligible.

Some would argue that there are other benefits to enormous, or even elevated levels of protein in the diet. While I won’t take the time to debunk these – because I can’t at present, don’t care to, the benefit is real*, or some combination there of – I would encourage you to look at our history as a species with regards to diet, and what could possibly be optimal for producing your ideal and peak body composition, with regards to both body fat and muscle mass.

*Any benefit of elevated levels of protein in the diet has to be immediately weighed against raising insulin levels – insulin being a trump hormone – beyond what is absolutely and minimally necessary.

I would also warn that, so far as I am aware, most of the people supporting these “protein is the essence of all things holy” ideas, are the same people perpetuating ideas like (the conventional view of) cardio – the most mystical, ill devised, irrational, and devoid of logic use of time created within the past 100 years.

Now, if carbohydrate is limited in the diet (or so low it is borderline irrelevant), and there is a minimum amount necessary of protein for health, energy, and the production of new muscle, this leaves us fat as the key and primary nutrient to tinker with.

My hypothesis is this: if you have difficulty gaining muscle, and are naturally thin, you should be eating as much fat as possible (mostly saturated), from the best sources you have available.

In doing so, you provide your body with a calorie (energy) surplus – probably not a bad idea in the process of attempting to stimulate the production of the riskiest investment by your body possible: new skeletal muscle.

The catch here being, by providing those calories via saturated fat – diesel fuel for the body – you do so without stimulating any extra insulin (or, any meaningful amount of it).

In this sense, you are promoting the best hormonal environment possible while simultaneously providing your body with an energy surplus – never mind that saturated fat and cholesterol (often accompanying saturated fat) are the building blocks of testosterone, among other hormones.

With regards to decreasing body fat levels, I believe fat (mostly saturated) to still be the primary and key dietary nutrient to success, not protein as is common opinion.

To clarify the premise: carbohydrate should always remain low, or very low in the human diet, if at all possible, and with your best health in mind.

If we accept this, and we accept that there is a minimum amount necessary of protein for optimal health and maintaining (or even increasing) muscle mass in the face of fat loss, then only fat intake is left to tinker with.

For why would increasing insulin – THE fat storing hormone – levels be desirable during an attempt to lower and then maintain a decreased level of body fat?

As far as I’m concerned, it’s not.

In conclusion, and rare occasions aside, we should all be eating low or very low levels of carbohydrate (with respect for the idea that the maximum tolerable amount for best health and personal preference may differ from individual to individual).

Similarly, the amount of protein we consume – regardless of goals and desires – should remain relatively constant and in the realm of the minimum amount necessary (unlike the highest tolerable amount of carbohydrate, should we choose to eat any significant amount in the first place).

The dietary nutrient that can and should be experimented with, with regards to our individual aims – whatever they may be – is fat (which should always consist of mostly saturated fat, from the best sources available, budget and circumstances permitting).

As such, I believe the idea that protein is the deciding factor (within our control) in body composition, to be faulty – muscle mass and body fat alike.

It’s not protein, it’s fat – saturated fat. Increase it, decrease it, it’s what we have to work with, like it or not, profitable or not.

-Anthony ‘Dream’ Johnson

About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at TheDreamLounge.net and Declarationism.com.

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128 Responses to Fat is the Regulating Nutrient for Body Composition, Not Protein

  1. M.C. August 27, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Whenever you do decide to release that book of yours, I’ll buy a copy, maybe two. Even the paleo community hasn’t mentioned anything like this (from what I’m aware).

    And what you said makes sense. So much sense that I feel your ideas won’t make it to mainstream anytime soon lol

    I have to ask though: A lot of people give out numbers like “eat 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of lean mass to maintain muscle.” Or higher numbers if they talk about adding on muscle. What are your thoughts on that? And would you give any specific amount that would seem about right to aim for, assuming the person is getting good fat intake?

  2. Simon August 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Really interesting thesis Anthony. I have put a lot of thought into maintain good fats in my diet; but I think I might explore it more.

    I have a question: Do you think the protein to fat ratio of well-raised livestock is about right for our nutritional needs? Should people who require more fat eat fatter animals like cold water fish and pork; while those who don’t eat leaner beef cuts and poulty?

    • jaYOST7 September 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

      I think it’s BEST to mix-up our Animals constantly no matter your region, rather than solely consuming mass beef (cows) and chicken.

      The Animal Kingom is vast, there are STRONGER Animals to eat like Elk and Ostrich.

  3. Ben August 27, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    Wow, great thoughts. Lets have some discussion! (Happy belated birthday Anthony, btw)

    Using fat as the controlling variable in bodyweight. This is actually something I’ve thought about but ran into a logical problem. Without hard data, we can only theorize; a clinical trial should be set up, but I don’t have the resources to do so. And I don’t have the finances to self-experiment (maybe soon, though).

    Instead, take the following thought experiment: someone wants to gain as much muscle mass as possible in a short amount of time. Under your logic, they simply keep carbohydrates below ~10% of total calories, protein around one gram per pound of bodyweight (or whatever is optimal), and the rest fat. They increase the amount of fat as much as possible in order to increase calories. If fat is the driving factor behind body composition, then the increase of fat coupled with proper hypertrophy-focused strength training would drive protein into the muscles at an uninhibited rate. However, we know this is not the case, because everyone has a genetic set point for the amount of muscle they can gain, hence the optimal amount of dietary protein. This leaves a number of questions unanswered:

    What of the trainee that wants to hack muscle hypertrophy and gain more than is thought possible? We’ve all heard of the Colorado Experiment; it is possible to gain incredible amounts of muscle, but, under this fat-regulating theory, what makes it so? Proteins are the building blocks of muscle, so what happens when the fat-induced hypertrophy outruns the amount of protein available? Does the body take from other protein deposits by atrophying other muscles?

    If the body simply stops hypertropying when it runs out of protein, and the body hits the genetic set point for muscle hypertrophy, what happens to the excess dietary fat that is supposed to be driving growth? Does it get deposited as adipose tissue?

    What is this “optimal amount of protein”? This most definitely varies with every individual, but how do we find this value?

    And most importantly: Do we even know enough to be declaring one macronutrient superior to all other substances? Or, are macronutrients really what we should be so focused on? Many times over the course of medical research history, nutritionists discovered a new nutrient or class of nutrients that they proclaimed to wholely explain some phenomenon—ie. blood cholesterol predicts heart attack (no), antioxidants in wine explain the French Paradox (probably not), vitamins are what you need to be healthy and free of disease (no; antioxidants, minerals, etc are required too), more exercise is better because you can feel the tightness/soreness (no), cardio works the lungs and heart because you can feel the burn (no), dietary protein determines lean mass (probably not), and on and on. How long is this going to go on before we realize we don’t know it all?

    Much of the mainstream medical community, and I think this is something BBS mentions, has fallen prey to the ludic fallacy. You can’t simply stuff protein down your throat and expect to build muscle overnight; there are genetics and other things we don’t quite understand that get in the way. Same with exercise and calories and everything else involving biology.

    One way to combat the ludic fallacy is to understand that you don’t know what you don’t know. Nutritionists should be less worried about making the next big discovery and more worried about recognizing that they won’t know everything in their lifetime and possibly can’t know everything that is operating within our bodies.

    The only way to move past this, I believe, is to better measure our body. By this, I mean finding new metrics on which to track biological changes. In my opinion, this won’t happen for a number of years until synthetic biology matures, but maybe there are new technologies I’m not aware of.

    Shit that turned into a long-ass comment. As always, Anthony, if there is some nugget of information I’m ignorant to, feel free to post a list of books, concepts, clinical trials, etc and I’ll pay my dues and read them all before I make any more conclusions. I’m just going off of what I’ve read in books and blogs. (I’m leaving for college mañana, studying philosophy and medicine, hopefully I’ll learn something.)

    • Nicky Hajal August 28, 2010 at 12:05 am #

      “I’m leaving for college mañana, studying philosophy and medicine, hopefully I’ll learn something.”

      Judging by your interest in self-learning and open-minded pursuit of knowledge, you’ll probably be incredibly bored, frustrated and learn almost nothing.

      But, best of luck! 🙂


      • Ben September 3, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

        Nicky, that’s why I chose philosophy and biomed. Philosophy is (imo) very hard to learn on your own at times, and you need a license to practice medicine, should I decide to go thru med school and residency.

        I definitely won’t stop educating myself. I’ve been studying Robert Greene’s books for this reason—opening an “internal front” by working with the system (ie. conventional nutritionists) rather than against. Dream, just think of me as your man on the inside. Studying logic and philosophy but working in the medical field will give me room to point out logical errors and build influence. I plan on logically challenging everyone, from undergrads to doctors. I don’t believe in titles.

        Yes, it’s idealistic, but maybe there’s room for more than one Fountainhead

        And just incase that doesn’t work, I’m gonna start writing a blog on logic etc, very much like Dream and Ryan Holiday.

        Btw, love the new design. The old one was kinda cluttered. This is very clean.

  4. jaYOST7 August 27, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    People need to stop worrying about macronutrients and FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTAL FOOD GROUPS as a whole. This means- Animals, Full-fat Dairy, Fruit, Vegetables, and some form of Starch.

    THIS ENSURES plenty of food available to eat, grow, and flourish with a complete nutritional-profile, THE MOST complete.

    Limiting oneself on any of these food groups is starvation (=.

    • Anthony 'Dream' Johnson August 27, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

      You complete your diet with golden bread, I’ll starve with my meat, eggs, and cream. Sound fair?


      • jaYOST7 August 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm #


  5. Aaron August 28, 2010 at 12:59 am #

    When eating copious amounts of delicious food (nuts, 5-6 eggs with butter, cream and cheese in them and a large steak [might be considered 2 standard sized ones] is a typical day for me), fat doesn’t seem to be supplied in enough quantity in ratio to protein. What I’m asking is, does that sound like I’d be in the ball park or am I clearly missing that I should be downing a whole avocado in order to spike some fat intake?

    • jaYOST7 September 1, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

      You need MORE Plants, less Dairy and Animals. OR just combine the two.

      • Aaron September 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

        Care to share you specific reasoning behind that suggestion sir?

        • jaYOST7 September 8, 2010 at 12:49 am #

          Being well-rounded (=.

  6. Fred August 28, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    We have to stop discussing amounts of protein since it’s actually all about amino acids and your personal DNA. And the fact that it’s always the most scarce amino acid that limits what you can build with the rest. Even if you get all the essential amino acids, the one you get the least of dictates what the body can do with the others. You can, for example, eat all the methionine you want, it doesn’t help, another amino acids will limit your possible use of the methionine.
    And another thing. We talk about feast or famine and intermittent fasting and the paleo condition of things. But I wonder how we think that paleo man could eat so much fat back in the day. If you think that we should eat very little fruit and small (but smart) amounts of amino acids, where did paleo man get the enormous amounts of fat needed? It would have to be processed fats, right? All oils are processed. Butter is processed. The only unprocessed sources of fat that I can think of are nuts (including coconuts but not coconut oil) and meat, prefereably the organ kind. If you draw the line of food evolution before dairy, it would be hard to experiment that much with fat intake. I guess.
    I can’t do the math? Help me!

    • jaYOST7 September 1, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

      They most likely found cows to milk, ate fatty nuts and seeds, olives, coconuts, avacados, in addition to the fats from Animals they HUNTED.

  7. Nelson August 28, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    What is the set point for de novo lipogenesis ?
    What’s the body’s tendency regarding fat oxidation based on intake , does it increases or decreases ?
    The Okinawan diet has a high % of the macronutrients coming from carbs and they are very healthy , do they ‘believe’ something different about carbs and that’s why it works?
    Humans have spread throughout the globe , we are adapted to survive , however survival doesn’t imply optimal health ….. most paleo people tend to confuse the two , besides how come you are supposed to know what a hunter-gatherer did 300,000 years ago , you can only provide some really good speculations …

    Belief’s are interesting , but not necessarily based on [current] facts….

    • jaYOST7 September 1, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

      Absolutely. I think paleo people (lol, good stuff!) are confused by America’s diminished food supply and refined processed foods, and ssume that are plants which contain carbohydrates for energy are like this WORLDWIDE. It almost seems as paleo ppl have little knowledge of other cultures.

      • jaYOST7 September 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

        *and assume ALL plants with carbohydrates AROUND THE WORLD are poisonous like America’s mess.

        • Zorba August 2, 2017 at 9:26 am #

          Absolutely true. Unfortunately the author supremely confident that nothing less than copious amount of animal protein and fat with zero carb will be good for humans. To top it all, he is self righteous abt it. Pity, really. In his own words, I congratulate him on forming his own opinion but he is flat out wrong. Pseudo philosophizing with fancy words doesn’t hide that.

          As mentioned by you, best is to combine food groups. That ensures that ypu don’t lack some very essential nutrients. Another very important point that you have mentioned is that paleo people confuse between optimal health with surival. Also they display ignorance about other cultures throughout the world. Lot of it. Not on purpose of course (may be) but it’s there. Paleo people believe and do things with good intention but with closed eyes. That’s why I neither believe in, nor eat paleo.

          Is protein important? Hell yes! Is fat important? Hell yes! Are carbs important? Hell YES! All of them are very important and are needed in balance.


  8. Joe August 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm #


    I can’t refute your position, but I wonder if it really matters (and I don’t say that to put you on the defensive)?

    A human being’s capacity to understand is finite and therefore unable to know everything or explain everything. Human nature is such that one desires to know what he/she doesn’t and seeks to explain things he/she may or may not ever truly comprehend. In doing so, we tend to hone in on irrelevant details (mostly because they are they only ones we grasp at the time) which leads to erroneous assumptions and conclusions (which leads to unexplainable behaviors).

    Regarding human nutrition (assuming we don’t know everything yet), we debate how many calories we need, necessity of macronutrients, meat or veggies, percentages of nutrients, what’s best for losing weight, what’s best for hypertrophy, etc, etc. All along the way we fail to ask questions like: What were we intended to eat? What was the intended consequence of eating it? What were the circumstances involved in obtaining these foods? How does all of that translate to our current situation? What (if any) is no longer prudent or within our reasonable abilty to control?

    At the beginning of human existence (whether you believe in evolution or creation), personal vanity was not an intended consequence of nutritional behavior. No human was trying to lose weight or look ripped or push the limits of obtainable muscle hypertrophy. Food was a means of nourishment and sustenance with a goal toward survival and health. Neither humans nor animals counted calories, cared about macronutrient requirements or sought to fulfill the minimum daily requirement for vitamin D. They just ate. They ate the foods available in the amounts they desired (or were available). If you believe in evolution, then these foods were what we adapted to and only available in quantities relative to time of year, ability to hunt, etc. If you believe in creation, then presumably you believe these foods were designed specifically for human consumption and would have been available, originally, in near limitless quantities (paradise). Either scenario presents a similar conclusion; a regulated cycle for consumption/expenditure. Humans ate when they were hungry and their activity level reflected their intake. Neither had to be monitored; they ate and produced a given amount of work, which in turn produced a given amount of hunger, which in turn was reflective of the amount consumed at their next meal (maybe not exact, but we can agree they didn’t intentionally stop short of satiety), and repeat forever . . .

    My long-winded point- if we eat things that were either not designed for us or things that do not coincide with the evoltionary adaptations of our species, then our normal functioning and the intended consequence of our consumptions will get jacked the F up. We feel hungry and lethargic while in caloric excess. Then we gain weight and try to starve our way out of our own fat a$$.

    If we eat the foods we were intended/adapted to eat, I believe calories to be irrelevant, I believe macronutrients to be irrelevant, I believe caloric expenditure to be irrelevant. Those thing work themselves out by way of physiological systems intended/adapted to do so. Our physiques, then, are merely an un-intended consequence of genetics and the cumulative effects of physical activities.


  9. Mario August 28, 2010 at 9:02 pm #


    First off man- I love your thinking here. The world needs thinkers. I’m a biology/ anthropology student turned medical student. I’m just going to add a few things, which I’m sure you’re probably aware of:

    1- insulin gets raised by any meal, regardless of fat or protein. So if you’re trying to limit insulin, then limiting total calories is the idea. Protein isn’t as insulinergenic as carbs are, but you do get a good insulin response. On to the topic of fat-

    Can eating fat make you fat? Yes. Dietary fat affects fat cell metabolism without actually increasing insulin. The presence of fat in the bloodstream decreases fat burning hormones such as Hormone Stimulating Lipase and increases fat storing hormones,specifically Acylation Stimulation Protein (ASP) which is activated by the presence of chylomicrons, or basically packaged triglycerides that are found in the bloodstream after the meal. ASP increases glucose uptake into the fat cell, increases insulin release from the pancreas and has been described as ‘the most potent stimulator of triglyceride storage’ in the fat cells. So your idea of eating what your body was intended and then your physique will turn out fine- the body evolved fat storing abilities for when you eat too much. Drink oils and you will put on fat.

    Now, you bring up coconut oil which has saturated MCT, or medium chain triglycerides. I haven’t looked into it, but the word on the street is that they get burned more preferentially for energy metabolism than for fat storage. By what mechanisms, I couldn’t tell you.

    Now the question of insulin, and humans surviving in a low insulin environment. Whether or not we survived in a low insulin environment, the problems with the body arises when the insulin system gets stress and a pathology arises- ie the tissues can’t recover from the stress imposed. So consider your average pepsi drinker. Studies have shown that drinking only 2 pepsi per week increases your risk of Pancreatitis- I just had a lecture on this haha! The problem with pepsi as apposed to say, an equal amount of carbs in apples, is the immediate insulin load on the body. Bottom line, the system is stressed. Do that for a while, and you have yourself an inflamed pancreas.

    However, I agree that carbs are a redundant pathway and that we can SURVIVE without them, but the key word is survive. I would like you to point to a source saying that the brain can live optimally on ketone bodies- the three fatty acid metabolites that take the place of carbs. As far as I know, the brain can SURVIVE in a ketogenic state, but in order to be optimal needs some carbohydrates, although a minimal amount, say 50 grams per day, but the amount will vary with the individual. Studies have shown that during times of peak MENTAL exertion, such as chess masters playing chess, glucose consumption by the brain can rival that of athletes in competition.

    Athletes in competition- glucose is a faster metabolic pathway than fat, and I’m sure you know about periworkout nutrition and nutrient timing. Stimulating insulin around workouts stimulates recovery and anabolism… ie you build more muscle with more insulin around. I wouldn’t want athletes on my NFL team to guzzle coconut oil on the sidelines- it would stimulate digestion, take longer to enter the bloodstream, and take longer to burn than simple glucose. Unnatural bodybuilders whose number one goal is to build as much muscle as possible inject insulin after workouts to ensure anabolism. Most natural ones adhere to periworkout nutrition for the insulin stimulating affects.

    I’d like to add too that typical ketogenic diets or “no carb” diets don’t let the dieter diet on zero carb for more than a two week induction period. Can it be sustained for longer on 0 carb? I’m not sure, but as I mentioned above, the brain likes glucose more than ketones. After 2 weeks, vegetables are added in to take the carb intake to at least 50 grams, generally. Adding the vegetables does add carbs, which adds insulin, abeit a small amount. The prehistoric man who eats vegetables and nuts will inevitably hit this minimal carb requirement for the brain. As well, humans evolved on regionally dependant diets- the prehistoric people from the amazon in Brazil ate more carbs from plant sources than did arctic peoples. This concept was adapted into a diet called the “Metabolic Typing” diet, and current research on the topic of Nutrigenomics. Ectomorphic people generally have better carbohydrate metabolism due to genetic and therefore hormone status- things such as thyroid hormones floating around.

    I think the take home message is- limit carbs, specifically the fast absorbing carbs, to limit stress on the insulin system of the body, and then you’ll be alright. No diabetes and other associated problems for you. If you have diabetes, different story- go ketogenic, because then you stress the insulin system the least. There have been people cured of diabetes by this type of diet.

    Eat your carbs and or protein around your workouts to stimulate insulin which stimulates protein synthesis in your muscles. The fact is, at least from the metabolic pathways I’ve studied, protein synthesis can’t happen without some insulin. I would love for you to prove me wrong- as you can tell I’m equally as fascinated by the body and nutrition.

    One more thing I’d like to add about protein- I agree with a minimal amount for muscle growth, determined by the amount of muscle stimulus and basal metabolism. But then for putting on muscle while not gaining fat- protein would least likely be converted to fat, because of how thermogenic it is. The entire protein molecule has to be digested, the aminos deaminated, then converted to ketones, converted to fat, and then stored. Factoring in this “thermic effect” of food, protein has the least amount of calories per gram.

    For optimal health you do need some fat for lipid membranes in your body, for brain health, and aborbtion of fat soluble vitamins. And if you’re not training a ton, eat more calories from fat than from carbs for energy.

    Concepts from things like the paleo diet and dietary anthropology have absolute validity for understanding human health and getting us closer to optimal health, but at the end of the day, it all comes back to the basic science and biology. When it comes to fat loss and muscle gain, you’ll get close by following the paleo diets, but to to reach your biological potential you’ll need to optimize the physiology and understand how those processes work.

    But anyway, I’m glad you wrote this post, and I’m going to explore your blog more- you seem like an awesome dude,


    • jaYOST7 August 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

      THIS IS PERFECT! Hey Dream – remember when I said, you still have a lot to learn. And as do I. THIS IS WHY!

      Biology is basically the foregrounds of nutritional complexities. Great to have a knowledgable Biology guy here.

      • Joe August 29, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

        THIS IS FUNNY! A guy refers to himself as a “student” and you willingly accept the info he presents, even labeling him the “knowledgeable Biology guy here”, without possessing yourself the ability to qualify his position.

        Wonder if you would be as excited if the “expert” agreed with Anthony . . .

        BTW, I agree that we all have a lot to learn.

        • jaYOST7 August 30, 2010 at 1:00 am #

          We are ALL students. Thinking anything else is blinding yourself with arrogance.

  10. bob August 29, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    Hi Anthony, what formula determines the minimum amount of protein necessary? I know it varies but i’m guessing the conventional 1-1.5 gram per pound body weight is excessive?

    • Anthony 'Dream' Johnson August 30, 2010 at 8:08 am #

      Based on what you posted as conventional – one to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight – I would have to consume 39+ eggs per day to get an adequate amount of protein as an average of that range, and assuming I was only eating eggs.

      I don’t know about you, but I’m a pretty big eater, and I’m not even sure I could eat half of that on a daily basis without throwing up – and I like eggs.

      Food for thought.

  11. Zach August 30, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    Either I misinterpreted what you are trying to say or else you have a few holes in your theory. Here’s what I’m having trouble figuring out:

    1) You mention that if you are having trouble trying to gain muscle, fat would be good, because you would be consuming a caloric surplus without causing insulin to be released in significant quantities, creating a “favorable hormonal profile”. This makes no sense whatsoever. Insulin is an anabolic hormone, which means if you are trying to gain muscle, insulin is doing you a huge favor. Thus, I would think protein would be great, since it will provide the amino acids necessary for muscle growth as well as spiking insulin, creating an anabolic environment. In fact, since insulin has a positive effect on muscle gain, then I think carbs should be consumed as well. And if you are suggesting that someone attempt to focus on both building muscle and losing fat at the same time, you clearly have no experience in the fitness industry.

    2) What is so advantageous about saturated fat? Sure, pregnenelone is necessary for the production of androgens, but there’s a limit to how much you can get out of it. At some point, no matter how much saturated fat you consume, you won’t be able to make any more testosterone naturally

    Since protein is necessary to build muscle, protein is the least likely to be stored as fat, protein can prevent muscle breakdown when dieting, protein is extremely satiating, and many other reasons, id definitely say that protein intake, not fat intake, is the defining feature of body composition

    • James Steele II August 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

      @ Zach & Mario

      Yes insulin is an anabolic hormone, however your equating anabolic with producing hypertrophy. There is plenty of evidence to show that hyperinsulinemia causes excess body fat and these people tend to have considerably atrophied organs and muscle. Based on this you would think that although insulin is anabolic, its the wrong type of anabolic process being achieved. Insulin promotes de novo lipogenesis which is an anabolic process, but you wouldn’t confuse that with promoting skeletal muscle growth when it is put in those terms. Coming back to the hyperinsulinemia comment. Yes insulin is involved in regulation of mRNA translation and a wide range of both upstream and downstream mTOR regulators that promote protein synthesis:


      But your making an assumption that the more of it in vitro the more protein synthesis occurs. Based upon the fact that guys who are hyperinsulinemic don’t tend to be ‘ripped’ and are quite the oposite I would say that its pretty unlikely that more insulin means more protein synthesis. Even when on a zero carb/ketogenic diet the pancreas produces insulin. Insulin is needed, even ketones makes use of insulin receptor cellular transport, thats why type 1 diabetics still need exogenous insulin even when on ketogenic diets. However, it just might be the case that the basal level of insulin produced by the pancreas when blood glucose is relatively stable is enough to regulate the various steps explained in the paper I linked.

      More insulin isn’t going to mean more muscle but it will mean more adipose tissue.

      • Zach September 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

        “There is plenty of evidence to show that hyperinsulinemia causes excess body fat”

        That’s not true. Excess calories causes excess body fat, not excess insulin. More insulin will not mean more adipose tissue if you are consuming a caloric deficit. In fact, since insulin seems to have an effect on leptin, it can be beneficial in the management of body fat. You should read some of james krieger’s articles on insulin before you start blaming it for fat gain:


        “More insulin isn’t going to mean more muscle”

        Yes, in certain circumstances, it will. Have you not read any of the massive amounts of research surrounding peri-workout nutrition? Spiking insulin before, during, and after a workout is extremely beneficial, as weight-lifting has a huge effect on GLUT4 and other gluocose transporters, and causes a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity. Even hardcore paleo guys such as Rob Wolf recommend consuming high-glycemic carbohydrates such as dextrose and maltodextrin during a weight-lifting workout

        To say that protein needs to be avoided solely because it spikes insulin is extremely flawed and misses the point completely. Insulin is not the cause of fat gain, excess calories are

        • James Steele II September 3, 2010 at 4:22 am #

          “Spiking insulin before, during, and after a workout is extremely beneficial, as weight-lifting has a huge effect on GLUT4 and other gluocose transporters, and causes a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity”

          This is true and at no point did I aim to refute it. But I don’t how this has any implication on hypertrophy. Yes insulin sensitivity is improved acutely during exercise and chronic resistance exercise also improves it more longer term. But in the context of the evidence portrayed in my previous comment this has no implication on hypertrophy.

          Kriegers articles are interesting, however I haven’t seen him mention anything about alpha glycerol phosphate. Alpha glycerol phosphate increases when eating carbs and its is needed to esterify free fatty acids into tryglicerides. If you’ve not got much of it then the triglycerides from diet are going to be transported to the adipocites, broken down by lipoprotein lipase but then cant be re-esterified in tryglycerides for storage. Taubes hypothesis is not based soley upon insulin. It’s not called the insulin hypothesis its called the carbohydrate hypothesis. So instead i’ll reclarify. Hyperinsulinemia, and by that I mean chronic hyperinsulinemia, not just AUC post prandial, is caused by excessive carbohydrate consumption. People who have chronically elevated insulin levels caused by carbohydrate consumption are fat, have atrophied muscle and atrophied organs.

          “To say that protein needs to be avoided solely because it spikes insulin is extremely flawed and misses the point completely. Insulin is not the cause of fat gain, excess calories are”

          Actually you got me thinking. So for arguments sake lets not explicitally say insulin causes fat gain. Its a proximate causative factor but the ultimate cause is essentially excess carbohydrate consumption. If this is the case then insulin stimulation caused by protein might not neccesarily have an impact upon body fat, or certainly not a profound one unless it is also exclusively being used for gluconeogenesis and also spiking blood glucose. However none of this implies that we should eat more protein, and unfortunately I have to say it also neither means that we should eat less for fear of us getting fat. What Krieger presents regarding dairy goes towards demonstrating that protein and the subsequent insulin spike doesn’t seem to have an effect upon body fat.

          All else withstanding what I demonstrated in my previous comment was that its in no way not conclusive that elevated insulin, whether raised by protein or carbs, is necessary for increasing hypertrophy.

          • James Steele II September 3, 2010 at 5:37 am #

            *its in no way conclusive

            sorry quick typing and thinking 😛

  12. jaYOST7 August 30, 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    It’s foolish to think that JUST Fat, OR JUST Protein, is what determines our complex body structers and compositions. There are so many variables and undiscovered “nutrients” in our foods, which influence growth, direct appearancem and metabolism, thinking only 1 OR 2 determinants make-up our appearance is BEYOND ignorance.


    • Joe August 31, 2010 at 8:03 am #

      Ignorant is holding a belief or opinion without knowing why; not having the ability to explain it. Beyond ignorant is criticizing another person for not accepting that which you yourself are ignorant of.

      You have no basis for the above claim (or at least you didn’t present it). In all fairness, Anthony’s post is a theory, which he cannot yet prove (and presents it as such). At least he gives supporting evidence.


      • jaYOST7 August 31, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

        1) Carbohydrate is unnecessary in our diets to Survive.
        You’d be hard-pressed to find at least 1 Whole food which contains ZERO Carbohydrates. And it is near-impossible to COMPLETELY remove them from the diet.

        I think what Dream is actually referring to is limiting simple carbs found in Fruit and Vegetables to a bare minimum, and completely limiting Starches (complex-carbohydrates). He is implying that we don’t need LARGE amount of Carbohydrate, I am implying his ignorance. THERE ARE ONLY THREE MACRONUTRIENTS, I eat about 200-300 grams of each PER DAY.

        I could literally “Survive” by Dream’s standards by fasting, but who wants to do that? No need to torture yourself, guys. Eat up, feed well. Conclusion: could I survive w/ just eating Animals & Dairy? Duh. Would I shine bright, and love my life? No. What a shitty way of life, sorry Dream.

        2) Read my article titled, “SINCE the DAWN of MAN”, about the Ecosystem. Plants Animals and Decomposers. The Ecosystem provides a MUCH more MACRO view of Nutrition as a whole. As a Carnivore like Dream, I would eat few Plants. I would therefore REQUIRE to eat massive amounts of Animal and Dairy per day (which I already do, also!). Needless to say, I would lose A LOT of weight, due to lack of food available, WHICH IS NOT GOOD. I’ve struggled to keep my weight up ALL my Life. Dream is saying let’s all be starving carnivores. I’m saying NO. I’m a well-fed Herbivore. And i maintain and/ore gain weight flawlessly, 2 this point. Cheers,

        • jaYOST7 August 31, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

          *CORRECTION: I’m a WELL-FED OMNIVORE, like Human-beings are INTENDED to be. And I maintain and/or gain weight flawlessly, @ this point.

  13. jaYOST7 August 31, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    EXACTLY, my point. More research is needed on food substances. My theory:

    There are FIVE Food Groups (see previous posts). I am yet to find ANY other sources of energy. If ANY one knows some (good luck!) I would be open to hearing it. I eat ALL 5. sidenote: muts, seeds, avacados, coconuts, and olives often find themselves on the outside. These are technically Fruit.

    Moving on, Water, Sunshine (Vitamin D), Level of Activity, Beliefs, Healthy Emotion, Clear and Strong Mind, and a sense of Spirituality are what entail Health AS A WHOLE in addition to food.

    It is likely that all of these come together in equilibrium to determine our body composition. However, if one wanted to solely argue the Nutritional aspect of Health– which seems to be a recurring theme here on TDL–

    I practice ALL of the aformentioned principles of Health, in addition to eating an TON of the Five Fundamental Food Groups. I look and feel amazing. I am healthier than ANYONE I’ve met in my life. I’M ALIVE. And I would NEVER cut out Starch or any other Food group for that matter, EVER.

    Finding the BALANCE

    God Bless (:

    • M.C. August 31, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

      I think you’re on the wrong blog. If you start your own you might be able to site resources, show us your results, and actually have something beyond an opinion. And have you thought that maybe the reason you have so much trouble gaining weight is that your body likes the weight it’s naturally supposed to be at rather then the one you want it to be?

      • jaYOST7 August 31, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

        The reason I’ve had trouble in the past gaining weight is from limiting beliefs. WE HAVE TO REALLY SEE OURSELVES AS WHO WE WANT TO BE, IN ORDER TO REACH IT.

        • M.C. August 31, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

          Then believe on a carnivorous diet.

          • James Steele II September 1, 2010 at 3:54 am #

            This is beyond ridiculous. So let me get this straight Jeff, your now saying that if we really try and visualise what we want, really wish hard for it, have faith, then it will happen? Even in spite of what we already know to be true due to objective, verifiable evidence? I thought it was just a little idiosyncrasy coming through when you ended a previous comment with ‘god bless’, but based upon this I would have to assume that your beliefs regarding nutrition amount to little more than blind faith aka religion. What your essentially suggesting is that even if we can show that what we know is indeed so through the scientific method, that amounts to shit because as long as you believe hard in something it will eventually happen. Well I’m afraid your world of flux and change where nothing is what it seems and things can change purely by whim is a world that any rational man would be unable to live in.

            I’m going to suggest, as Anthony has, that you go back and re-read my previous comments regarding faith, dogma etc. and try to fully understand that they accurately describe the position you are holding and the manner with which you portray it here.

            • jaYOST7 September 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

              LOL James if only you were right and BELIEF is ALL that it took. Ha, anyways, any bulking man REQUIRES loads of calories and foods regularly, much more than what he is likely used to.

              As for your ‘evidence’, dude I still have NO clue what your comments mean. IF YOU WANT TO BE A GOOD EDUCATOR LET ALONE COMMUNICATOR, you can’t talk in Science.

              Pick 1 OR 2 topics per post to focus on, and EXPLAIN THEM THOROUGHLY in terms ANYONE could understand. Rather than just rambling non-sense. THEN, I may be able to make sense of what you’re saying.

              • James Steele II September 1, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

                ” IF YOU WANT TO BE A GOOD EDUCATOR LET ALONE COMMUNICATOR, you can’t talk in Science”

                I’m sorry what? And what other method do you suppose we use to observe reality and then draw conclusions regarding its nature?

                Thats it, I have to concede to the apparent fact that you are a completely irrational person and as such will not be attempting to explain anything on such topics as scientific method, epistemology or rational thought to you anymore. It appears as though it is not worth my time.

                I am beginning to understand now what Arthur Jones meant when he said that if you could explain something rationally to an irrational person then they wouldn’t be irrational.

                Last tip and thats it, if the choice of language used in a particular comment is beyond your current understanding then look up the definitions of particular words or indeed ask for them from the commenter. Don’t try to belittle the commenter by saying they aren’t communicating well because your making yourself out to be a dumbass by clearly demonstrating a lack of understanding of the topics being discussed (Though you still continue to provide your opinion which continues to baffle me).

                I may continue to reply to your comments on specific topics aside from those aforementioned as I assume you either can’t or simply dont want to understand rational thought.

                • jaYOST7 September 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

                  James– I would absolutely LOVE to understand what you’re saying.

                  I am a FULLY rational person when the reason being presented is worthwhile and understandable. However, what you say in regards to Nutrition just doesn’t seem reasonable.

                  If you could explain it in terms I could understand, I would be open to hearing it. Like, give a few reasons WHY we should OR should not eat carbohydrates.

                  Because I’m 110% convinced we should. AND my real-life experience seems to outweigh anything you say. But if you could describe these scientific processes better, more clearer, fluent, and understandably, I would love to hear what you have to say. OR link to another who can explain it a bit better

                  • James Steele II September 2, 2010 at 3:29 am #

                    Jeff, if you haven’t been able to understand the explanations up until now from me then I don’t think it is worth getting someone else to just repeat what I have said. Myself, Anthony and various other commenter have been constantly giving reasons for why carbohydrates are not essential, heck I’ve posted links to various research articles for you to check out that support the reasons. This is the evidence you can’t seem to conceptualise. I stand by my previous comment. Just because you think something doesn’t ‘seem’ reasonable does not imply it is not. You can’t subjectively measure reason. I think that you have a preconceived idea and won’t alter that belief. You believe it’s founded upon reason, maybe it was originally based upon the use of reason with the observations you had made from your our experiences, however despite it being systematically explained to you that nearly all the research refutes your ‘black swan’ observations you continue to believe what you want to believe instead of what has been demonstrated to you to be true. That is nothing more than religion.

                    • jaYOST7 September 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

                      Lol, ACTUALLY, I don’t believe in ‘religion’,

                      James, your ‘evidence’ has ZERO merit in ANYTHING related to Nutrition and carbohydrate. It simply has NO proof.

  14. jaYOST7 August 31, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    Human carnivores are simply incomplete.

    • M.C. September 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

      That’s like one of the biggest reasons we are human along with the use of fire to cook that meat.

      If I were to drop you off in some wild location in Africa right now, how long do you plan to wait before you grow some golden bread? How much foraging for plant foods do you plan on doing before you can put together a decent snack let alone a meal?

      I think your first thought would be, “I better start hunting.”

      • jaYOST7 September 1, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

        I would most likely SPEAR a badass Ostrich, continue on my way of grinding and sampling leaves and then find a GIANT-ass berry bush to pound while I cook my hunt w/ wood fire (=.

        UNTIL– Day 2

        Where I would search for the greatest Starch around, probably find some bomb teff plant in Africa. Then start a NEW camp w/ my remaining hunt and collected berries and leaves. Dairy? I’d be hard-pressed to find a cow out there (:, but I’d locate one and milk that guy! COMPLETE DIET AND NUTRITION!

  15. Ryan September 1, 2010 at 1:31 pm #


    Thought provoking post (as usual). Any references to back up your bold ideas? Although I would like to take your word for it, I know others have influenced your thoughts and I want to check it out for myself. I know you understand 🙂



    • jaYOST7 September 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

      I agree bro, these ideas they present just don’t seem real.

      All he says is don’t eat plants. GIVE 1 GOOD REASON, or proof of why we should starve!

      • Ryan September 2, 2010 at 9:59 am #

        I’m not saying I don’t agree with him, I just want to research this idea on my own and form my own opinion.

        By plants, he means high starch/carbohydrate plants such as soybeans, corn, potatoes, etc. In my opinion I do not see much harm in eating vegetables that do not contain large amounts of carbohydrate. I do however agree that these plants should not make up the bulk of a diet. For one, we would be hungry all the time and two, our bodies need fat, cholesterol and protein (I think lol) in order to survive.

        Who is saying that we are going to starve by not eating a diet centered around plants? The opposite is true. Food from animals give us much more energy (in the form of fat) than plants could ever do.

        I think you should check your emotions before commenting. Judging by your other comments you seem to have tunnel vision when discussing nutrition and proper health.


        • jaYOST7 September 2, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

          Our diets should consist of Plants AND Animals. Like Mine, like Dream’s, like 98% of the World.

          I NEVER said to center your diet around Plants. You’ve obviously misconstrued my words. Balance it.


  16. jaYOST7 September 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    OOOO forgot Water. I’d find a FRESH Spring. Plenty of Sunshine in Africa, as well! Hunting would be MORE than enough Exercise to keep me fit and sexy.


    Lookin forward to hearing James explain his concepts in English!

    • mannik September 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

      Can I ask if you’ve been to Africa?

      Seriously, your arrogance is disgusting.

      • jaYOST7 September 1, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

        Just REAL and HONEST! Nope, would be incredible, and I plan on it in the FUTURE.


        • mannik September 1, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

          Yeah, there is nothing REAL or HONEST about talking about how easy living off the land in Africa is. It’s rather STUPID and IGNORANT.

          In Kenya 90% of what the kids get to eat is just this really shit maize meal, Ugali. Guess what, one third of all kids in Sub-Saharan Africa are malnourished. Why don’t they just go out and pick berries, it’s really easy right? No, just no.

          Oh and your ‘fresh springs’. Last year in Eastern Africa, they had such a severe drought that crops were ruined, livestock killed and thousands of people died.

          On the other hand maybe you should go and visit so you can live off the land. At least then you will come back with some humility.

          • jaYOST7 September 1, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

            Africa probably wasn’t the BEST example, you get the hint though. Although I’m sure I could venture and make my way to an area of the Continent w/ food supply as mentioned above. Teff is a Staple, in certain parts. I’m sure I could locate some type of fruit and greens. And eventually find an Ostrich, probably more like Day 14. WOULD BE A RUSH!

            Lack of food in Africa is DEFINITELY a concern, and I plan on lending a hand and donating A LOT in my lfetime towards development and advancements in the Food Supply.

            • Anthony 'Dream' Johnson September 1, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

              You live in the United States Jeff. While I sympathize with your interest in wanting to voluntarily help others who live abroad, you’ll be in no position to help anyone if the republic collapses (don’t worry about the empire, thankfully, it’s beyond a state of repair for our lifetime).

              • jaYOST7 September 1, 2010 at 8:57 pm #


                • jaYOST7 September 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

                  Dude I don’t know what “republic” and “empire” refer to.

                  • mannik September 3, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

                    Man, you are fucking retarded. Screw actually trying to bother formulating an argument against you. You’re just an arrogant idiot who is obsessed with MMA, your not even unique in this sense.

                    • jaYOST7 September 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

                      I’m a Retired Fighter, actually (:

                    • jaYOST7 September 3, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

                      AND calling someone “retarded” is NOT ONLY EXTEMELY IMMATURE, BUT UNNECESSARY.

                      Please think in the future.

  17. Jared September 2, 2010 at 4:42 am #

    I like this article and some of the discussions so far on the comments, but at the end, you propose tinkering with fat levels to get the premium or best desired build for your body.

    Would you then say that get the best quality of fat, being saturated fat and tinker with that to get the best result? What do you think is an acceptable amount of protein or how much do you eat on a daily basis. I know the typical norm is .7 to 1 gram of protein per body of lean body mass, is that what you follow or does protein intake not matter much as far as you are concerned?

  18. Oliver September 2, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    I enjoy my vegetables way too much to give them up. Perfect with meat too.

    • jaYOST7 September 2, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

      Ditto. People seem to gravitate towards extremes. Most people don’t realize that Dream actually eats Plants, also. And I eat Animals, as well. However, our diets should be centered on BOTH.


      • M.C. September 2, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

        We all know Dream eats plants, but he’s probably not eating more then 100 grams a day. Being in balance does not mean eating a lot of everything.

        I don’t see any reason why one would have to go above 150 grams of carbohydrate, and even if they absolutely needed to, there’s no reason that they have to get carbohydrate from excessive grains and legumes.

  19. jaYOST7 September 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    PROOF OF EVIDENCE: MMA is a modern-day sport which has changed the World, consisting of action standing-up, in addition to ground-based scenarios.

    Fighters who compete in this sport are ELITE, strong, and disciplined.

    In order to reach a certain weight-class, the majority of professional fighter’s cut weight by dehydrating themselves. This is done usually over a period of 5-7 days by:

    1) eliminating the carbohydrate frome the diet, as they retain water. (Retaining Water is Normally a GOOD thing, but not for a weight-cut. THINK ABOUT IT– Carbo HYDRATE).

    2) eliminating sodium from the diet, as this mineral ALSO retains water.

    Needless to say ask any fighter who performs this process (several times in his career), and he is MISERABLE during the cut. The extreme DEHYDRATIOn experienced when low on carbohydrate is numbing, and debilitating. Maybe why Dream never smiles in his pics? LOL

    I personally have cut weight, and I can 110% vouch of the misery experienced in this process. So the point I’m getting to is: Why dehydrate yourselves, guys? Make sure your fat, protein and carbohydrate level are ALL at safe-levels, don’t risk dehydration death. THOSE WHO SPEND A LOT OF TIME IN THE SUN ARE ESPECIALLY AT RISK!

    • M.C. September 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

      You do realize the reason why they experience those effects.

      1. Going from a high carbohydrate diet, to a sudden no carbohydrate diet is obviously going to cause some issue for the 5-7 days they cut.

      2. They run on tread mills, or exercise to exhaustion while wearing garbage bags to sweat like crazy.

      3. They can spend large amounts of time in the sauna to sweat even more.

      They purposely try and dehydrate themselves as much as possible. If they wanted to rehydrate themselves, it could be done with water, or the water retained in food. They could have a salad if they want to, but I don’t think anyone downs a loaf of bread to quench their thirst.

      • jaYOST7 September 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

        1 Yes, and then these issues (lethargic, tired, weak, DEHYDRATED) don’t clear up on their own until carbohydrate is re-introduced.

        2 Stereotype.

        3 Stereotype.

        By JUST dieting w/o carbs and sodium, not even mentioning the rigorous Exercise, fighters are miserable in this process. OBVIOUSLY, it is done intentionally. But only for a short period of time, for safety reasons. Paleo and low carb diets are prone to death from dehydration (if active), BE CAREFUL!

        • M.C. September 2, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

          Stereotype? I’ve seen real fighters do this all the time. Usually those fighters are trying to cut all their weight in a shorter period of time then 5-7 days that you mentioned, but it happens plenty.

          And you missed the point completely. Let me re-state what I said: “Going from a high carbohydrate diet, to a sudden no carbohydrate diet is obviously going to cause some issue for the 5-7 days they cut.”

          If they aren’t used to eating low carbohydrate, and suddenly change their diet that drastically, then YES it’s going to make them feel weak and tired initially. If they were to stick with a low carbohydrate diet however, they would adapt to a diet their body is meant to be on, and I guarantee you they would feel better then they ever have.

          • jaYOST7 September 2, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

            It IS a stereotype, because it is NOT required of fighters, and NOT all fighters put themselves in trashbags. However, many DO Exercise in the sauna, but this is only IN THE FINAL HOURS OF TEH FINAL DAY, before the actual weigh-in, to get those last few lbs. off.

            As for fighters feeling better on a ‘low varb diet’, ask any PROFESSIONAL fighter, and see what he says. He will most likely not be able to hold back a smile w/ laughter (=.

            • jaYOST7 September 2, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

              *THE, carb

              • M.C. September 2, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

                They’d laugh in a similar way a marathon runner would laugh if I told them to eat low carbohydrate to feel better so I wouldn’t be very bothered by it.

                The kind of work they do isn’t necessarily normal for somebody to be doing. If your diet really does require you to eat 5000 calories a day, then you’re an exception to the rule, not a normal person looking to get in the best shape of their life. You’re an athlete competing in a sport that’s trying to bulk up massively and then cut water weight before a fight.

                And again, 5-7 days of cutting weight by going low carbohydrate, while exercising entirely too much is going to leave anybody feeling tired if they are used to eating a high carb diet.

  20. jaYOST7 September 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    @ THIS POINT, Dream’s belief that carbohydrate is unnecessary has been resolved. As he himself eats several carbohydrates, and therefore also eats plants. IT IS LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE to avoid carb in entirety.

    With that said, a more realistic idea would be determining the proper amount of grams of protein, carbohydrate, and fat reccomended per day. Use my above posted sample diet for average guidelines, and try EVERY possible macronutrient ratio to see what works BEST FOR YOU. As we are ALL unique and require different needs. Take care

    • Anthony 'Dream' Johnson September 2, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

      Carbohydrate is unnecessary in the human diet. This is not a belief, but fact, so far as I am aware. This now the 90th time I’ve stated this. Do you have a single shred of evidence to the contrary?

      • jaYOST7 September 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

        Do you have a SINGLE scratch of evidence? Becasue I am YET to read anything on TDL considered “evidence”, from ANYONE, for your side.

        Carbohydrate in BOTH forms (simple, complex) are REQUIRED in Human diet. Done.

        • James Steele II September 3, 2010 at 5:34 am #

          What do you understand to constitute evidence then Jeff?

          • jaYOST7 September 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

            At this point, it is unlikely such evidence EXISTS, but I’m all ears.

            • James Steele II September 3, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

              I’d appreciate you just answering the question Jeff. What in your opinion counts as evidence? What do you think provides proof for an argument, any argument?

              • jaYOST7 September 3, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

                As for proving a point in argument, listing a reason of WHY we shouldn’t eat Carbohydrate is a good start.


                • James Steele II September 4, 2010 at 8:39 am #

                  Once again please just answer the question. What do you consider to count as evidence?

                  I’ll take it that if you do not answer this question this time that you have no idea of what constitutes evidence (p.s. heres a hint Joe’s just given you an example 😉 )

                  • jaYOST7 September 4, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

                    Read your article. SO Carbohydrates promote fat gain? I disagree. Too many calories (no matter the source) not enough activity, promotes fat gain.

                    If you ONLY eat fat & protein, and DON’T work out, THIS promotes fat gain also. It’s not the carbs, dude, it’s the caloric surplus w/ lack of exercise.

                    After all, why are ATHLETES, AND BODYBUILDERS who eat TONS of Carb, so ripped. Faults, in your logic. P.S. Evidence is anything that proves a point wrong.

                    • James Steele II September 4, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

                      “After all, why are ATHLETES, AND BODYBUILDERS who eat TONS of Carb, so ripped. Faults, in your logic.”

                      The issue with using a population like athletes is that their genetics favour a low body fat. Thats doesn’t prove carbs do not cause fat gain. If you took a 1000 people for example fed them all very high carb diets, most of them would get fat. But a small sample of them wouldn’t. I’m not going to get into the various regulators of body fat set point now as I don’t have the time. But you should look into it and also stop envoking outliers as being ‘evidence’ to disprove something.

                    • jaYOST7 September 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

                      Carbs and Fat are burned as energy. Unless you eat too much, then, it’s body fat. (OR muscle, if you work-out).

      • In July 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

        Like you I used to be convinced that high fat was the best most natural diet that we evolved to eat. However like so many others, I have quit paleo (and my health improved) and the case for high fat became increasingly anemic upon a more detailed examination of the facts.

        The low carb idea is seductive because, well it makes sense that modern ills are due to something like a drastic change in macro nutrients in the diet. But if you look more closely you might realize that so much more has changed that could weaken health.

        Anyways Don Matesz is a health professional that used to believe in the low carb/paleo dogma, but now no longer. You ought to check his posts out.


        Also here are just a few of the facts that suggest to me the high fat/low carb idea is rubbish:

        1. Most of the world eats and has eaten a high carb diet without “insidious weight gain”. Obesity is something new to modern western and westernizing peoples. Carbs are older than civilization. High fat is not the norm.

        2. Everyone reading this’ ancestors for many generations have been eating a high carb diet. Epigenetic effects persist over multiple generations. We all grew up adapted to be sugar (glucose) burners. Is it not possible that we really can’t “reprogram” our genes completely after we are fully grown? I don’t think you can prove that we can. There is too much we don’t know. But we do know that it is possible to produce excellent health not eating a high fat diet.

        3. As argued in “10,000 Year Explosion”, a lot of genetic change can happen in a small period. It is plausible that most modern people are descended from those who could tolerate grains/carbs better than those who couldn’t.

        4. I think most of the information we have on what prehistoric people eaten has been lost. I don’t think we know that most HG ate a high fat diet. It may not be physiologically optimal for us even if we weren’t descended from starch eaters. Wild bears (another omnivore) for example get most of their calories from plants.

        5. I think the benefits people experience eating lower carb are short term effects due to re-balancing. The longer term testimonials I hear tend to be negative.

        6. It is impractical.

        7. Glucose is the basic fuel for cellular respiration. That really is the reason that cultures gravitate towards starch when it is available. That suggests that it is healthier. Furthermore the body has mechanisms to regulate glucose in the body – leptin signaling, amalyse enzymes, storing glucose in the liver, etc, etc.

        This is merely scratching the surface. I could go on and on. The bottom line is that there are major theoretical and practical holes in the thinking of those advocating a high fat diet.

    • M.C. September 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

      I said once before, no one is hating on plants. They’re just suggesting you don’t need a shit load of them no matter who you are, and it’s best to get them from good sources like vegetables over ancient grain products or whatever you call it.

      • jaYOST7 September 2, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

        This diet neglects Complex-carbohydrates (not found in vegetables). For this reason, this way of eating will NEVER become accepted, nor practiced mainstream.

  21. jaYOST7 September 2, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    THIS sums it up, in ENTIRETY.


    • Joe September 3, 2010 at 1:03 pm #


      Quoting your source, “According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA, 45% – 65% of calories should come from carbohydrate.”

      Now, take a look at what the DRI really has to say:


      Page 275:
      “The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life apparently
      is zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed.”

      Their recommendation of 45-65% carbs in the diet is completely arbitrary. It is an opinon paper, not actual evidence of your stance.


      • jaYOST7 September 3, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

        ACTUALLY, that is clearly a quote from the usda, whom I LARGELY disagree with.

        The input by the Mckinley Health Center, however, is SPOT-ON.

        “Besides carbohydrate, protein, and fat the only other substance that provides calories is alcohol. Alcohol provides 7 calories per gram. Alcohol, however, is not a macronutrient because we do not need it for survival.”

        P.S. Lovin the NEW site, Dream! (: Ultra-Professional.

        • Joe September 3, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

          You make no sense whatsoever. First, just because you “LARGELY disagree” with something doesn’t change the fact that the statement is accurate. Second, McKinley bases it’s opinon/recommendation on the USDA (they site their source). If USDA is not credible, then logically McKinley would no longer be a credible source. How can call them spot-on?????

          “Alcohol, however, is not a macronutrient because we do not need it for survival”

          If this is the determination for identifying macronutrients, then carbohydrates must be excluded as well. In that case, when you say “we need to eat all of the macronutrients,” Anthony may agree with you (b/c that only leaves fat and protein).

        • jaYOST7 September 4, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

          It is FULLY possible to SURVIVE on a ZERO fat diet, also. Does this mean I’m going to strut around saying “Fats are unnecessary in the Human Diet.” OF COURSE NOT!

          • Anthony 'Dream' Johnson September 4, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

            No, it’s not. You’ll die.

            • jaYOST7 September 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

              I’m LIVING proof. (=

              • Anthony 'Dream' Johnson September 4, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

                Then go do an n=1 experiment – no dietary fat for the next 30 days – and let us know how it goes. Might want medical supervision though as youll probably end up in the hospital if you actually attempt to pull this off.

      • jaYOST7 September 3, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

        I checked this source, and page 275 does NOT contain the information presented. IN OTHER WORDS, this is plagiarism, WHICH IS NOT TOLERATED.

        • Joe September 3, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

          Reading is a skill developed over time, with practice. So, you get the benefit of the doubt; maybe you’re new to it?

          Check again. Page 275 of the DRI publication (which coresponds with page 301 of that PDF) contains the quote vebatim.

  22. James Steele II September 4, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    A quick post if anyone wants to check it out.


  23. jaYOST7 September 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    Grains would be acceptable if they weren’t over-processed like America’s, or void of micronutrients like rice. There are SOO many bomb non-grain sources of Starch eaten ALL around the World.

    Jerusalem Artichokes

    Jame’s is trying to tell me that these foods make me fat, HA.

    • James Steele II September 4, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

      I’m not trying to tell you that any one particular food in its entirety makes you fat. I’m explaining how the ingestion of particular macronutrients and the subsequent metabolic processess that occurs as a result combine to make your body store fat. You can say that starchy veg is great all you want. There’s no proof of it. Sure there may be a few isolated populations eating such diets without much negative health implications and with low rates of obesity. Like the Okinawans, but then they also eat a lot of pork and lard. The problems is that the examples of high carb diets without presence of obeisity or any diseases of civillisation are the exception not the rule. They are always observational studies and as such cannot control for confounding variables. Perhaps eating a relatively high carb diet is fine as long as your consuming a lot of animal fat with it. But at the same time other populations such as the inuit, eat almost exclusively animal meat and fat with no negative health implications. If you can show me a randomised trial where a diet high in starchy veg is consumed and compared with a diet high in animal fats, then perhaps one with the two combined, oh and don’t forget the control group, then we might be able to see whether to not they make you fat and whether or not animal fats can ameliorate this effect. Or you never know we might be proved otherwise and it be the opposite way round. Let me know when you find the study.

  24. Oliver September 7, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    Bottom line

    We don’t NEED carbs to survive, we can get by just FINE without them, yes, but if you want to eat “good” carbs go for it, eat as many as you want.

    Balance is the key here. Eat meat with some veg on the side! How complicated was that? Even treat yourself to a nice bowl of fresh fruit every few days.

    People that argue the above are getting little “too much” involved in diet in my opinion and should take a step back.

    • jaYOST7 September 8, 2010 at 1:13 am #

      Actually Oliver, vegetables have LITTLE amounts of carbohydrate and fruit ONLY has simple carbohydrate.

      What you’re forgetting is complex-carbohydrate (Starches), as mentioned above. (=

  25. DH September 19, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    One of the students in my lab actually emailed me this article and asked for my thoughts. I have somewhat of an internet addiction and when I end up on websites like this I inadvertently read compulsively, so I’ve taken a look at several other articles you have written.

    First, I wish to tell you that I am very impressed with your ambition — your commitment to what seems like a huge undertaking with the establishment of this convention is great to see!

    I’d like to continue by addressing what I feel is a theme in many of your articles, if only sparsely woven through some. It is the notion that the medical and federal authorities that exist are non-trustworthy. Without wasting your time in explaining myself too thoroughly, I do agree with your belief that federal agencies that recommend, for instance, daily intake ranges are often slow to respond to the ever-changing status quo and cutting edge of the research world. However, while clearly a fault in this system, it is the lesser evil; imagine the reverse, a system where recommendations change as quickly new scientific literature becomes available. In that situation, recommendations would become obsolete in weeks, if not days. You must understand that the recommendations provided are not based purely on results from the medical and scientific realm, but also on socioeconomics and the like. As good as “organic” food is, for example, it is simply unfeasible to recommend against eating non-organic foods because many families simply could not afford to follow those new recommendations. Similarly, the now-extinct “food-pyramid” was based on a similar rationalization: it was more or less based on what general medical research deemed acceptable, while also being optimized for the resources available to the general citizen. As for the non-trustworthiness of medical institutions, my only comment is that our direct findings wholly supported by evidence, and by statistical analysis of that evidence. It is not our data or our findings or our subsequent conclusions that are questionable; it is the application of those findings to a scale or model for which they were unmade that deserves the doubt and mistrust that you may have misplaced.

    For example, the extrapolation of data from Arthur Jones’ “Colorado Experiment” seems to be mentioned quite extensively in discussions such as this. Now, the experiment itself is not questionable — the subject likely had the results the article claimed. But to extrapolate his results and scale them to a one-size-fits-all solution to weightlifters’ workout woes is simply baseless when considering the population’s genetic diversity. Subjects in experiments on muscle growth typically have different responses to different types of stimuli, be it exercise intensity, duration, or frequency. And so on, and so forth.

    Another phenomena in the misinterpretation of data is incorrect scaling. Typically when engineers, doctors, economists, and so on create models, they use various methods to fit a model to existing data throughout the range in which it was collected. Anything above or below this range is an extrapolation and is at best an informed estimate. A similar method of estimation occurs through the use of a simple model to explain a much more sophisticated and complex entity, which is the case when quantifiable results like overall blood-insulin responses to the consumption of various types of foods is applied to much more complex phenomena like fat storage. Although the simple model may dictate what should or should not happen, the results may drastically differ from this estimate due to the added complexity of its new target.

    Do not get me wrong Anthony, your path of logic is very clear in your articles. You’re a gifted writer in that your message is obvious and your writing is quite informative. However, I do not think you have as clear an understanding of not only the biological, but also the anatomical, physiological, mechanical, and chemical basis of the human body as is required to make such “unconventional” claims as you do, and be taken seriously by the majority of the academic medical community. You are headed in the right direction, but it takes years upon years of research and practice to not only develop a basic understanding of the hundreds of main pathways and cycles in the human body, but also to develop a unified model that allows you to critically examine the consequences of a change in ONE of those pathways on all of the rest. Establishing this “unified-model” paradigm of critical thinking is something even we as medical institutions struggle to instill in our students (i.e. we have no problem raising students that can brilliantly explain the causes, symptoms, outcomes, risks etc. of a disease, but show them a patient with the disease a few minutes later and half won’t identify it — that’s why they become residents for a couple of years, but that’s besides the point).

    This may surprise you after all I have seemingly said against the contrary, but I more or less hold somewhat similar beliefs to yours (although based on much different reasoning). However, and this goes for anyone reading articles such as these, I very, very strongly encourage you to look for strong evidence when presented with (or presenting) any claims about new insights or reasoning behind functions of the human body.


    M.D., Ph.D.
    Harvard M.S.

    • jaYOST7 September 19, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

      I LOVE a good-mix of healthy saturated and unsaturated fats, healthy plant AND animal proteins, and healthy simple and complex carbohydrates!


  26. Spencer September 20, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    Hey bud, long time no see (or talk).

    Let’s make this short and simple, because that’s what I am about. In order to gain muscle, you need complete proteins (proteins from meat are by far the best), in order to lose fat you need to be in a caloric deficit. In order to maintain or build muscle while in a caloric deficit, you need a well balanced diet. Body recomposition is about building muscle and losing fat, simultaneously.

    My question to you is, why cut out or even attempt to lower the intake of a certain macronutrient? Such as carbohydrates? Who doesn’t like a plate of pasta? 🙂

    And then you say a high protein diet is not necessary to build muscle. Hmm, show me a vegetarian that isn’t struggling in building muscle.

    I don’t understand the logic behind having to always choose a favorite. When have you had signifcant strength gains or

    • Spencer September 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

      Lol well that posted before I was finished sooo ill just keep going.

      When have you had significant strength gains or an increase in weight?? I’m sure you were eating your ass off, with all types of foods. You got people in here searching for high fat foods, lol wtf.

      I’m sitting at 7.5% bodyfat, weighing 191 lbs. Which I achieved in about 5 months, my strength is sky rocketing, and my bodyfat is stabilized..this results in a full body recomp. If my strength continues to raise, I will continue to gain muscle and if I continue to gain muscle and my bodyfat is sitting at the same percentage, I am only gaining a little fat if any while I gain muscle. I eat hmm let’s see….meat, eggs, poultry, pasta, bread, rice, oils, fruits, veggies, should i keep going?

      Point is, why even discuss eliminating or not needing a certain nutrient when it is perfectly fine to consume. Stay balanced, watch your calories and let your body do the magic. Man, people obsessing over shit like this is what creates those diet manics that question every little thing that hits their tongue.

    • Anthony 'Dream' Johnson September 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

      Fat loss is primarily a hormonal event. A calorie deficit, while great after the fact, is secondary.

      Anyway good to hear from you again man. Gotta hang out when I get back in Orlando, however long that will be. Btw I keep getting spam mails from your e-mail account.

      • Spencer September 22, 2010 at 12:26 am #

        Definitely man, let me know when you’re back. My email addy is defixon@gmail.com, check to see if it matches.

        Anyway, answer a few questions for me since I believe your article is partially incorrect.

        In your conclusion, you believe if you are consuming just the exact amount of protein that your body needs, then continually raising your fat intake will generate continual strength gains? Because as you’re gaining new muscle tissue, you will have to add more calories to your diet so you do not hit a plateau. Would you say it’s smart to raise protein AND fat in order to stay in your caloric surplus?

        For me, someone with excellent results, I would not only raise fat since I have never heard of that as a diet in order to gain strength and muscle.

  27. Peter M. May 2, 2014 at 3:58 am #

    This is a strong chain of reasoning, however I see no biochemical evidence to back up this claim. This seems to me to be rationalism. This would be the start of a proof, but some form of physical evidence would be needed to test this idea. This is more of a hypothesis. It could be that insulin in the absence of carbohydrates has a different biological affect on fat storage. It skips over looking at the underlying biochemistry which is a bit of a problem. Rationalism is a problem amongst Objectivists and I too still struggle with this. The way the fat cell works, in basic terms, to keep fat in the fat cell requires alpha glycerol phosphate without which FFAs cannot be re-esterified into triglycerides – the storage form of fat -, so in the absence of a raise in blood sugar, the FFAs that are shunted into the fat cells are not trapped. Once insulin falls they fall straight back out. This makes sense since insulin also acts to make muscle cells uptake amino acids. There are indeed studies showing maximum protein synthesis increasing until around 140g of protein intake. About 1.5g per kg. Well that might cause some fat storage too, but depending on one’s goals, it might be worth it to pack on muscle then maintain it at a low intake and lose the fat gained.

    So the theory of the fattening carbohydrate might really be the fattening carbohydrate rather than the fattening insulin spike. Of course, chronic protein intake might flip the switch too since it will raise the blood sugar considerably. I agree strongly that there is bound to be an optimal point of protein intake.
    In addition, on a low carbohydrate diet, you are producing your own glucose from protein, so it makes sense that there would be a higher requirement.

    Reasoning simply from ideas about evolution is not very strong and is an example of rationalism. Evolutionary theory is more of a guiding principle to help point us in the right direction than a point from which we can deduce all the principles of human health. That’s not scientific, and it isn’t acceptable under a rational epistemology either. I think Ayn would shake her finger at us and say, “existence exists!”.

    “[Philosophers came to be divided] into two camps: those who claimed that man obtains his knowledge of the world by deducing it exclusively from concepts, which come from inside his head and are not derived from the perception of physical facts (the Rationalists)—and those who claimed that man obtains his knowledge from experience, which was held to mean: by direct perception of immediate facts, with no recourse to concepts (the Empiricists). To put it more simply: those who joined the [mystics] by abandoning reality—and those who clung to reality, by abandoning their mind.” – Ayn Rand


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