Coach Jack gets real about Common Sense

So many people come into the group and read some of the recommendations and posts and think I am out of my mind. I can assure everyone that I am in some respects. Not because I don’t know what I am talking about but because I can’t believe what goes on in the world of nutrition and it causes me to lose it. 🙂

Today I am going to lay it all out for everyone as to what my goal is and what my overall view of nutrition is. Some of this will shock people but it will hopefully all make sense and let people see that I am not cray cray. I’m in fact a very open minded person and very rational. I don’t even think that keto is the only way for everyone to be healthy!!! Yes I said it. Stay tuned. 🙂

The basic principles of the CSK (Common Sense Keto) protocol is for those people that need to lose weight. It is not necessarily for the general public who just wants to eat healthier or for the athlete who wants to get ripped and be the best at your sport. Not to say that these people can’t implement some of my ideas but those are not the people that this whole thing is aimed at.

When I tell people to eat lower protein and much higher fat and no veggies I am speaking to people who are looking to lose weight and do so in a manner that will not wreck their metabolism and thyroid function. It is aimed at the people that are stuck from years of listening to people tell them to eat less and less and workout more and more and have gibbled up their metabolism to a point where nothing works anymore. All the supplements I recommend are so people can eat a certain way that will allow weight loss to happen while still getting optimal nutrition. I am not saying this is how you must live for the rest of your life. I am not saying that one cannot eat this way for the rest of their life either. I still eat this way despite being at a very healthy weight and being an athlete.

With all that being said, here is what I really believe about nutrition and humans.

We are all one species but we come from very different places. Everyone evolved from a certain environment. Some people came from a place where it was cold and very little plants could grow and some evolved from a place where there were an abundance of plants. This resulted in a given set of genetic traits that makes humans have a great deal of variation in what they can live on. That being said, we are still the same species and we can all eat one thing without any difficulty. Animals. Every human on the planet no matter where they come from can eat meat with no issue. The same can’t be said for plants. There are some people who have great difficulty eating plants. I am one of them. Does this mean plants are not for anyone? Nope, not at all. Those that evolved in a place where there was constant availability of plants will be very well adapted to this and can handle lots of plants. Now a person that doesn’t handle plants well could supplement with man made supplements like probiotics to force a state of false adaptation to allow them to handle plants but the fact of the matter is that meat is more nutrient dense than any plant and this is not debatable. You can compare any meat to any veg gram for gram and see that this is true. Meat is also more readily absorbed by the human body. This is pretty basic.

My real opinion on this is that if you have no problem eating plants and have no problem with weight then it is likely fine that you eat lots of plants. It is apparent that cultures like the Okinawan’s ate a very high amount of plants and they are lean and live long lives. It has to be possible. This is commons sense. On the other side of the coin, it is clear that people like the Inuit and the Maasai are cultures of people that ate little to no plants and also live very long lives and are free of disease. Both instances are true so it is clear that there is no one right way. The big difference is that these people evolved in very different places and each have a set of genetic adaptations that allow them to adapt to these ways of eating.

Alot of what I do is study people and what their stature looks like on their natural diet and use this as a measure of how I want to live. Look at the Okinawan’s.

The average height of an Okinawan is 4’9″. They are tiny people. Not very robust. They also have poor dental health with 72% of people going to dental clinics having severe periodontal disease and most with narrowed jaws and crowded teeth. The average lifespan is 90 for women and 84 for men. This number is declining with the westernization of their diet.

Now compare this to a culture eating little to no plants. Like the Maasai.

The average height of the Maasai is 6’3″ tall. That is a difference of 1 and 1/2 feet in average height! These are large and robust people. Their dental health is exceptional. Their dental health is exceptional especially considering they do not brush their teeth. There are some that use sugar cane tooth brushes but even at that it tends to be a couple times a month. There is currently a rising trend of cavities in children and this is accounted to tourists giving them candy. Because nobody does census reports on the Maasai it is not known what the average age truly is. The life expectancy of Tanzania is low at 44 for women and 42 for men but this is a result of primitive life, lack of medical treatment and infant mortality rates. It is not uncommon to see Maasai live well above 90.

Interview with 95 year old Maasai

So the message here is that people can live long and relatively healthy lives on high plant diets and on little to no plant diets. There are markable differences in their size and robustness but they both live well. Alot of it is to with evolution to the diet they eat as well but just to say that carbs are not 100% evil and many many can live healthy with consuming carbs.

With my own experiments I’ve see that you can lose weight on a high carb diet therefore you can easily maintain weight on a high carb diet. The issue with that is that in this case caloric intake does matter alot. In order to do this you have to eat less and that is what makes it less sustainable. If a person was completely metabolically healthy they could likely eat a lower fat diet and little to no trouble as long as they get adequate protein from animal sources if they only stay away from sugar and grains and processed foods but for those that are metabolically damaged from years of poor diet this is simply not doable and thus the reason I think the keto diet is best for these folks.

Many folks do great eating “lazy” keto and not tracking and eating all kinds of sweeteners and fake carb keto versions of bad foods and treats. I admit that this is true and possible. My message is that this will likely catch up to you in one way or another. Some people it will cause them to stall and when you stall it becomes hard to get out of. Some people can get to their goal by doing this. Those people may be lucky enough to eat this way forever and never have a problem. Is it optimal? No but not everyone wants to be optimal and this is fine. If you are having trouble these things need to go. They do have an effect and if you are lucky enough to eat them and get away then so be it but because you can does not mean anyone should. I also feel that if you constantly chase the bad foods that got you to the bad place you will be more likely to return to the bad stuff. Everyone knows that no matter how good that keto treat is you are always slightly disappointed that it is not a real cheesecake. This is always going to leave you on the edge of eating that real cheesecake just out of sheer disappointment with the fake one. You will never be truly satisfied with real, natural whole foods like meat, veg and water if you continually have yourself in a place of disappointment. Just my opinion. If you want to lose weight and be healthy and happy in the most optimal way cut out that junk. Can you still have them? Sure. It is up to you. You’re an adult. Just don’t get mad at me for saying it is not optimal. It isn’t. I’m not telling you that you can’t have anything. I’m just telling you it isn’t good for you.

My number one biggest thing with nutrition is that calorie restriction is detrimental to those that need to lose weight. If you want to lose weight you need to eat enough calories to not slow your metabolism. It is well documented that restriction of calories slows metabolism. mainly through reduction to thyroid function. If you are at a healthy weight and you want to eat one meal a day or eat low calories then by all means you can do this and there is even evidence that you might live longer. For someone who wants to remain robust and have the ability to lose weight for a long time to come don’t slow down your metabolism. A high fat keto diet that is adequately low in carbs and has the right amount of protein will not result in weight gain no matter how many calories you eat within reason. There is a point where that will not be true but this level of calories does not make sense to eat. Nobody will naturally eat this much. I know as I’ve tried and it is not doable long term or even for more than a week. Anybody eating until they are satisfied or even abnormally stuffed will not consume enough calories to gain weight on my protocols. I’m also not saying that it is healthy to eat crazy high calories. There are downsides. I had inflammation, elevated heart rate and constant feelings of being over stuffed when I ate 5,000 cals for 21 days. I did this twice and both times I gained essentially no weight and lost at least 5lbs after stopping. I would never consume this much naturally. You don’t have to worry about eating too much and gaining fat when eating to your TDEE. Not going to happen. If you do it is only fluid retention and will come off eventually.

Gaining weight on TDEE? Why and it will stop.

Caloric restriction lowers metabolic rate and thyroid function

I’ve rambled on a bit so let me drill this down to my overall points:

1. Carbs are not the devil. Some people do very well eating carbs. People with weight problems need to avoid.
2. Low fat and high carb diets can work to lose weight. Just not for long and not sustainably.
3. Nutrition is complex but one thing is evident. Everyone is best designed to eat meat more so than plants. But you can eat plants if you want. You just don’t have to.
4. People are differently adapted to different diets based on where they evolved from.
5. People with weight to lose have different dietary needs than athletes and the already lean.
6. Junk food is junk food regardless of carb content.
7. In the context of a diet that keeps insulin low calories don’t matter. That doesn’t mean you need to eat double your metabolic rate. You likely can but there are down sides.

I think that is about it. If you have any more questions or think I’ve left anything out comment.

Keto ON!

Coach Jack

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What fats to eat to increase your mitochondria/metabolic rate

Coach Jack talks increasing metabolism and mitochondria

With recent developments in the understanding of how fats affect mitochondria I have been working on a plan that will focus on the fats that increase mitochondria fusion. This makes mitochondria more effective in using fat for fuel which will increase the amount of fat you can burn. Everyone wants this!

Here is a great video of Dr. Eades reviewing how this works. If you skip to 21 minutes he gets into the thick of it.

The short story is that there are two saturated fats that will increase mitochondrial biosynthesis and therefore increase metabolism. Palmitic Acid and Stearic Acid. Stearic acid being the best. It is also pretty well documented that stearic acid foods have less of an impact on cholesterol, if that matters to you, and also has a positive effect on blood pressure. If you can focus on foods that have these fats you will increase your metabolism.
Here are a list of the foods highest in these fats.

It is not a list of approved keto foods. It is just a list of foods high in these fatty acids.

Stearic Acid

Palmitic Acid

To summarize the way this works:

When fats are broken down for use in the mitochondria they are broken apart at carbon bonds. The longer the chain of carbon bonds they more high energy electrons they create. These high energy electrons enter the Electron Transport Chain of the mitochondria and as they move through it there is one part that has a limit of electrons it can accept. If they carbon chain is long enough it will provide enough electrons to hit the limiter in the cell and at that point it bounces back anything else. This means no more energy can enter the cell and it cannot continue to grow (fat cells for example). This also means that the body has excess electrons to deal with. The length of the chain that seems to do this is 16 carbons long. The fatty acid Palmitic acid has 16 carbons and is referred to as C16. Stearic acid has 18 carbons and is referred to as C18. Stearic acid would be better for this process as it has more carbons and will create more of the high energy electrons needed to overcome the cell and pop off the signalling molecules.

These electrons that get kicked out of the cell function as signalling molecules to increase mitochondria to better deal with the excess. This is how you increase metabolism.

Note that this only works with saturated fats as unsaturated fats have additional hydrogen bonds in the chain so it stops the process of creating the high energy electrons and the limit is never reached in the Electron Transport chain and you never create the signalling molecules needed to create more mitochondria. An example of this is Palmitoleic acid which is a 16 carbon monounsaturated fatty acid. This means it has 16 carbons but it has 1 extra hydrogen bond in the chain. This hydrogen bond breaks the cycle of creating the high energy electrons that go into the mitochondria so it does not create enough to overcome the flow into the mitochondria and create the signalling molecules. Dr. Eades goes over this in depth in the video above.

A great example of how the change from using these fats in cooking has increased our weight was given in the video above.

French fries cooked in beef tallow vs french fries cooked in veggie oil.

Fries in beef tallow are high in stearic acid so the energy from the carbs in the fries is free to get in the cell as it never hits the threshold of the ETC but the stearic acid does hit the threshold and kicks back the energy so the cell does not continue to grow and new mitochondria are created. We get a little fat but not obese. 🙂

Fries in veggie oil are full of unsaturated fat that cannot trigger the kick back of molecules in the ETC so all of the energy is going into the cell and no new mitochondria are created. We have a slower metabolism and the cells are free to get fat. We have a slow metabolism and we become obese.

I thought this was very interesting and I will be testing it shortly.

Here is another study showing the effects of these fats on mitochondria.

See: Regulation of mitochondrial morphology and function by Stearoylation of TfR1 — “We find that animal cells are poised to respond to both increases and decreases in C18:0 levels, with increased C18:0 dietary intake boosting mitochondrial fusion in vivo.”

This is the fat breakdown of some of the discussed fats as well as coconut oil. You can see the difference in the length of the carbon chains.

Coconut oil:

You can see that it has very little of the long chain fatty acids that increase mitochondria. Very little palmitic Acid and no Stearic. It has some Oleic acid but that produces minimal amounts of the signalling molecules.

Palm Oil:

You can see this is very high in Palmitic acid so it will be great at the desired effect. It is also very high in Oleic which is the primary fatty acid in olive oil and is the reason so many believe it to be so healthy. This is a mix of great mitochondria generating and the believed health benefits of olive oil.


You can see now that tallow has far more stearic acid than ay of them. Stearic acid being an 18 carbon chain has the best effect on the process. It is also again, very high in Oleic which is the believed to be the best part of olive oil.

Now and interesting one that people will like, Raw Cacao Butter:

This is actually much higher than almost anything in stearic acid while still being reasonable high in palmitic and Oleic. A very good combo.  I approve of raw Cacao. Make sure it has no sweeteners or other junk in it. Just raw Cacao Butter.

I hope this makes sense but if not feel free to ask lots of questions. I have inquired with a friend that has a supplement company about the possibility of creating a stearic acid supplement but I am still waiting on it. I have actually found a few supplements that are just Palm oil in a capsule but the are too expensive and the dose is far too small to be effective. Just to show that I am not the only nut looking at this stuff in depth and it is a real thing. Hopefully we can make something happen with this. Very interesting stuff.

If you want some help with dialing all this in or breaking a stall I have spots open for personal coaching.
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Caloric Restriction is PROVEN to lower thyroid function which lowers metabolism!!!!

I have been screaming about this for a year straight now. Any diet that restricts calories will reduce metabolic rate. This is not even debatable at this point in my eyes. The bigger thing now to show is that not only does it lower metabolic rate and that makes it not work long term but now I have found that it reduces thyroid function to accomplish this and we have know this for some time. Why are people still promoting this. The science on this is solid and clear. I am about to show you.

We have the already seen one very definitive study on the most well know example of caloric restriction. The Biggest loser. The NIH did a 6 year follow up of the contestants and it was clearly demonstrated that they all had a dramatic reduction in metabolic rate after 6 years. It was also well documented that they all gained the majority of the weight back despite still doing a pile of exercise and eating a caloric restricted diet. They gained the weight back because once you have decreased metabolic rate and you follow the calories in and calories out model, if you even eat slightly more than the impossibly low amount of calories you were using to lose weight, you gain weight again. It is a system built to fail.

Biggest Loser Study

Now we have to look at how the body lowers metabolic rate. What controls metabolic rate? Thyroid hormones!!!! I am about to lay out multiple studies for you that show that caloric restriction not only lowers thyroid levels and increases Reverse T3 levels, which block active thyroid hormone receptors so the hormone can’t get into cells, but that we have known this as fact for some time and that we know that this is how the body conserves energy to avoid death from starvation. How this cannot infuriate you is beyond me. Yet more evidence that we know that the eat less move more movement is harmfull and yet it is still pushed as the gold standard.

This first study is one looking at iodine supplementation to see if it will help reduce the effect of caloric restriction on thyroid function. The first line from the study:

“It is well recognized that starvation and malnutrition are associated with a low-T3 syndrome in man.”

It is well known??? To who? Not anyone that I have ever spoken to.

They continue on to say that the same effect has been seen in hypocaloric carb restricted diets. Well duh. Caloric restriction is the same no matter what macros you cut to do it. 800 calories is starvation no matter where that energy comes from. What their point is here I am unsure. Just another way to dig at carb restriction I guess.

So the end result of the study was that, of course, the 800 calorie diet killed thyroid function but also that iodine had no effect on the most important of results.

“The intake of the hypocaloric low carbohydrate diet resulted in a striking decrease in both total and free T3 and an increase of rT3 irrespective of iodine supplementation. T4 and fT4 were not affected in either group.”

Effects of Iodine on thyroid function in caloric restriction

This next one also states it as fact that caloric restriction lowers thyroid function and that fasting does this even faster. They also show it as a function of reducing energy expenditure to save lean mass. They go into more depth on the mechanism behind what causes it even. When they genetically modify mice to not be receptive to the CAR receptor that seems to control the lowering of thyroid levels and calorically restrict them they do not see a reduction in thyroid function and the lose significantly more weight than in the non altered mice on the same calorie restricted diet.

This clearly shows that if we can maintain out metabolism we will lose weight faster. This is the reason I make people eat to TDEE and then if we want to move weight faster we can play with short bursts of other strategies but the main goal is to maintain metabolism or weight loss stops.

Effect of CAR on thyroid Function

This study shows yet again that caloric restriction lowers thyroid function but also that zinc deficiency can have a similar impact regardless of restriction or not. Imagine now if you are both zinc deficient and restricting calories which I am sure many are.

They took rats and starved one group but had their zinc levels correct and another group that were adequately fed and found that both groups had significantly reduced thyroid hormone levels.

Effect of Zinc deficiency compared to caloric restriction on thyroid hormones

This one actually shoots holes in the ketogains theory that as long as you get adequate protein you will be fine to caloric restrict.

They took humans and divided them into groups of either calorie restricted, sedentary eating at maintenance or exercising and eating at maintenance. They ensured the calorie restricted group was getting adequate protein and all other micronutrients as compared to the other groups.

Calorie restricted group had an average caloric intake of 1,779 calories.

Sedentary maintenance group had an average intake of 2,433 calories.

Exercising group had an average intake of 2,811 calories.

The end result was that the only group to have reduced serum levels of the active Thyroid hormone was the calorie restricted group. End of story there. How can we debate this?

Effect of Long-Term Calorie Restriction with Adequate Protein and Micronutrients on Thyroid Hormones

Finally I want to stress that the only thing worse for thyroid function than restricting calories is fasting. I wrote this piece the other day about a doctor who showed his blood work after a week of fasting and it was blatantly clear that he tanked not only his thyroid function but also his testosterone. This is not healthy and the number one reason I tell people not to fast. Any weight you do lose in fasting is going to be only water weight and will only serve to further damage your hormones. It is not worth it.

Fasting wrecked Doctors thyroid function

There are actually plenty more of the same thing that are available to anyone that searches yet this is not something we ever hear about. Thyroid issues are such a huge issue today and it is pretty clear to me that the dieting industry that is dominated by caloric restriction is the reason. It is not a coincidence that the vast majority of people with this issue are women who have dieted most of their life. What more do we need to say about this? Why when the evidence is so clear and so easy to find that no one is talking about this and everyone, even the keto community as a whole, is still stressing that eating less is the way to go.

This is why I hate it that the keto community is hung on the idea that your hunger going away so you can eat less is such a great benefit. It isn’t. If as a community we truly believe that it is not about calories and that insulin is the driving factor then we need to stop with all this eat less bullshit. We need to fuel our bodies to make them work. Stop starving and start thriving. Feed your Thyroid.

If you want to get your thyroid function back as well as your total health but still want to lose weight I can help.

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