Fat does not cause weight loss Stalls – Calories don’t matter (Energy balance matters)

Coach Jack’s Rant of the Day

The idea that fat consumption can slow or stall weight loss.

I’ve seen this Meme more times than I can count. It is the absolute opposite of the whole idea of Ketogenic diets.

It isn’t about the calories and that is where he is wrong. He is correct that you can over consume fat but it has nothing to do with calories because the body doesn’t know what a calorie is and it is so very hard to do.

Fat can be over consumed to the detriment of weight loss but only in the respect of energy balance. If your insulin is low energy will flow unabated from cells. That energy is fat if you’re ketogenic. If fat is coming out of cells and saturates the body with the energy it needs to operate, any incoming fat will be either converted to blood ketones and stored, wasted as heat energy by brown adipose, wasted in the urine as ketones or in the breath as ketones. The issue of it slowing weight loss only comes into effect if you consume so much plate fat that your blood ketones rise to a level that is about 7 times higher than the average. About 7.0 mmol/L is where I suspect that insulin kicks in to lower them since the highest levels I have ever seen was 7.6 mmol/L and it was followed quickly by a subsequent drop in both ketones and glucose levels. This is indicative of an insulin response. I have only seen this level in 3-4 people and it took a massive amount of fat to get them there. Much more than the average person could even tolerate. If insulin kicks in, wether from ketones of glucose, weight loss stops.

This is the only way Dr. Westman is accurate in his statement.

Calories in and calories out is the essence of what has failed us in weight loss for the last 50 years. It has never worked yet even the “experts” in the ketogenic community still push this idea. Putting a pretty bow on caloric restriction is still putting a bow on a turd. No matter how fancy you dress it up it is still a turd.

#noCICOpaths
#KetoCalorieRestircitionIsStillCalorieRestriction
#FatmakesmypantsFalloff

If he did say this, Dr. Westman is wrong

31 Replies to “Fat does not cause weight loss Stalls – Calories don’t matter (Energy balance matters)”

  1. Hello, I am new to your forum. I have read repeatedly that I need to hit my protein macro but fat should be eaten to satiate hunger and meeting my fat macro in non essential. Could you please enlighten me. I am not stalled but my weightloss has slowed and my nails are brittle.

    1. All of these people preaching eat protein and eat fat to satiety fail to realize a couple things.

      1. Protein requirements are dramatically over estimated and the WHO (World Heath Organization) has already stated this repeatedly. Any excess protein we eat will get used as energy primarily over fat and how is this beneficial if your goal is to use fat?
      2. Hunger signals are severely dampered on Ketogenic diets. I have seen people eat 500 cals a day and claim they are not hungry. Does this sound right? Theses people dont understand that this loss of hunger is a hormonal response the the fact that keto mimics starvation. Starvation activates a hormonal response that diminishes hunger to reduce the loss of focus that hunger brings making us more effective at hunting for a meal and keeping us from dying. It is not a magic benefit to help us reduce our calories and it is not because “we are eating out fat”. That is just a fairy tale.

      Read the following:

      Why your nails are brittle and your hair is falling out

      Why Calories don’t matter

      Protein requirements

      Why you’re not hungry and why that is not a benefit

  2. ” If fat is coming out of cells and saturates the body with the energy it needs to operate, any incoming fat will be either converted to blood ketones and stored, wasted …” You mention that ketones are stored. Would you mind explaining that a bit more because I do not recall hearing this before and am eager to learn more.

    Also, would you mind explaining more about loss of body fat and calorie deficits or lack thereof because above it is noted that “Fat can be over consumed to the detriment of weight loss but only in the respect of energy balance. If your insulin is low energy will flow unabated from cells. That energy is fat if you’re ketogenic. If fat is coming out of cells and saturates the body with the energy it needs to operate, …” It seems that based on this, if someone is in ketosis and is keeping insulin levels low, either from eating a high enough percentage of calories from fat to minimize insulin production or perhaps in a fasted state, their body should be releasing fatty acids from fat cells for energy or conversion to ketones (I am not 100% certain of the metabolic pathways here).

    Questions:

    1. If this is accurate then what role does total caloric intake play?
    2. Is it because if our overall caloric intake drops our metabolism adjusts accordingly and our energy needs drop?
    3. If that is the case, if we are consuming calories at our TDEE is fat loss accelerated by increasing our activity and or lean body mass?

    Asking out of sincerity to learn more because it seems in the ketogenic community this is not clearly articulated or I have missed the better information out there.

    1. Ketones are stored and wasted. There are 3 ketone bodies:

      1. Beta-hyroxybutyrate – blood ketones that are stored in the blood for later use as fuel
      2. Acetoacitate – waste in the urine
      3. Acetone – waste in the breath

      Questions:

      1. If this is accurate then what role does total caloric intake play?
      Total caloric instake has very little to do with anything. It is more the energy amounts and types that have to be dealt with. If you are eating glucose then insulin is high and fat is stored. If you are eating high protein then the protein has to be either used for repair, be low enough to be stored in teh very small amino acid pools or utilized for energy. If you are eating more than just adequate it will have to be used for energy and you can’t simultaniously use fat and protein for energy unless your demand is extremely high. An athlete may be able to accomplish this but the average person could not. This is why calories matter in higher carb and higher protein scenerios and why the only way to lose weight on these methods is caloric deficits. Too much energy of these types have very few places to go so options are limited. For higher fat diets calories are somewhat insignificant. Since fat doesnt stimulate insulin, fat is being steadily released from cells and used for energy needs of most of the body. Incoming fat from food will come in and fill the rest of the need and any remainder will get converted to keytones, stored and wasted. The only time calories come into play is if you manage to eat enough to overcome the storage level for ketones which is, in my experience, somewhere in the 7.0 mmol/L range and insulin kicks in to lower them before they become unsafe. This level is very hard to achieve in my experience. I ahve been myself and put others through a 5,000 calorie a day high fat diet that resulted in 0.6lbs of fat gain over 21 days for me and resulted in a 2lb weight loss for a female of 139lbs.

      2. Is it because if our overall caloric intake drops our metabolism adjusts accordingly and our energy needs drop?
      The body’s number one goal is protection against death. To do that it plans for times of limited to no food intake. It does this by storing fat. It needs fat to protect the organs from being used up for energy and also to supply fuel to the brain. If you restrict calories it will take from the fat storage for a period of time but as it is doing that it is constantly taking note of incoming energy. If it stays chronically low it knows it needs to start mitigating the outgoing safety net of fat or it will start eventually eating precious lean mass for fuel. In order to reserve fat it starts down regulating less important metabolic functions like heat to extremities and hair and nails etc. It will slowly reduce the energy expenditure and become more and more efficient with its energy until it comes to an equilibrium with what you are eating. Now that youa re using less energy but still consuming the same, the chances are you may actually start gaining weight eating nothing. On keto it is unlikely but possible. On standard diets it is all but gauranteed you will start gaining again.

      3. If that is the case, if we are consuming calories at our TDEE is fat loss accelerated by increasing our activity and or lean body mass?
      Increasing lean mass will always be beneficial as lean mass is very expensive enrgy wise. The more you have the higher your energy expenditure will be and the more fat you will need for fuel. Fat loss is really only increased by light steady state cardio staying under the glycolytic threshold. Anything that jacks your heart rate up will actually slow fat loss. Weight lifting is good because it can increase lean mass which raises your energy expeniture and slow steady state cardio is good becuase it uses fat for fuel but as soon as you get into a heart rate that requires glucose for fuel you are no longer using the high rate of fat but are now utilizing gluconeogenesis to convert protein to glucose to fuel that activity. Not productive for fat loss. There are other health benefits to those types of workouts but they are not fat loss related.

      Asking out of sincerity to learn more because it seems in the ketogenic community this is not clearly articulated or I have missed the better information out there.

      There are tons of misconceptions in the ketogenic community. Doing my best to interject some common sense. 🙂

      1. Wow! Thanks for that!! I’ve been in the gym walking/running on the treadmill for a few weeks thinking that if I was to run and get a higher level cardio workout, it’d be more beneficial… I wondered why, when going into the fat burn option on the treadmill, it only advised me to have a Target Heart Rate of 119.. I’d been skipping that and keeping a rate of 147 or so.. Again, thanks so much for the insight!

      2. Excellent. Thank you very much. My apologies for the delayed thanks. I must have missed the email notification for it.

        Sincere Thanks,
        Bryan

  3. Wow. Makes sense esp the bit about exercise. Glad i saw link to your group today. Always knew restricting calories slows metabolism but reading your answers makes it more real and is not only informative but inspiring. Thank you.

  4. I’ve been keto for 13 months. I’ve lost 65 lbs. I’m down to 155. At 5’8” female age 61. I wish to be 145. However. No matter how hard I walk at 1 hour/130 hear rate 5 days a week. I don’t loose. I eat 1400 calories per day. Should I increase my fat! I keep carbs at 20 g, protein 65g fat 65-79g. ?

    1. at 155 you should be eating 1950 cals a day. You are in starvation moe and hav slowed your metabolism down to an ungodly low level. You base metabolic rate is 1400 cals so you are trying to make your body do all it’s daily activities plus exercising on the amount of calories that it needs just to keep you breathing.

      This is typical caloric restriction and has never worked in the entire history of dieting.

      This is what you need:

      20g carbs
      50g protein
      185g fat

  5. Hi,
    There is some great info here!! I have always though to restrict calories, I’ve learned that my whole life. I’ve been doing keto but only eating 1100 cals a day. Ive been following the other rules of keto that I know of, drinking 1/2 my body weight in water. Doing 80/15/5 on my macros, that comes to 16 carbs, 44 protein, & 97 fat. Currently I weigh 243 (largest I’ve been in my life, and it’s only came on in the last 6 years). I’m 40, female, and goal weight is 150. Can you tell me Cals, fat, protein, and fat I should be consuming please. Thank you 😊

  6. What is BPC? I have cerebellar ataxia. I am 63, 5’8 and weigh 124 so no weight loss please. I need to reverse brain shrinkage and am finding out about neuroprotections that ketones give the brain and how to penetrate the BBB. I have only been in ketosis for 2 weeks. I know exogenous ketones are a taboo subject but do you suppose they might be useful? And do you think I am on the right path? Thanks in advance, Katie.

    1. BPC is bulletproof coffee. Typically coffee blended with either MCT oil or coconut oil and butter.

      If you do keto correctly there is no need for exogenous ketones and taking them has been shown to inhibit both endogenous ketone production as well as fat oxidization.

  7. What is the approximate time it may take to start seeing weight loss again? I have been “keto” for 10 months and in down 70 pounds but stalled pour for 2. After reading your info, I adjusted my macros and calories according to the tools you provided. I was 5%, 20%, 75% and esting around 1600 cal. I’m currently 227, goal 198 and 60 years old. I’m now at 5%, 15% and 80% and bumped my calories to the 2250 range. Only have been here for about 5 days. The scale had not moved, but I “feel” bigger. Not as boney. Lol. Obviously the higher fat and cals are not negatively affecting me. Just wonder about how long it takes for the body to get back into releasing fat stores again? TIA

    1. Impossible to know. Everyone is very different with different levels of metabolic damage to repair.

  8. I have just started keto 2 weeks ago and am totally confuse with the different information. I am 66 yrs old, do light exercise at the gym 3-4 times a week. I am 5’7″, starting weight 152, current weight 150 and goal is 140. When I use a TDEE calculator it says 2054 calories a day, What I can’t figure out is the macronutrient. Should maintenance, cutting or bulking. Not sure what the cutting means, but if I chose it, it puts me at 1554 calories, 155 protein, 69 fat and 78 carbs. Is this actually what I should be eating?
    I thought I was supposed to go low on the carbs under 20 a day? Have I been doing this all wrong. Help!

    1. There is no bulking or cutting or anything. Just maintenance.

      2000 cals

      20g carbs
      50g protein
      200g fat

  9. Hello and huge thanks for the information provided! I have been reading all the articles on a row from the pinned post and all the comments that follow!
    Decided to give the Keto a try but wanted to be prepared and do it properly!
    Perhaps this is not the proper place to ask but I would be very grateful if you can verify my TDEE data as tried to be as close as possible, when choosing the exercises! I am 43 years old, medium frame female, stand at 5’3”and I am 82.5 kg as current weight! Ideal weight 61.2 kg…..ahhhhh a dream 🙂
    I am not a cross fitter….but I do exercise weight resistance 6/7 with Cardio Axcelleration for a minute between each set. Usually my weight programs are up to 2.5 hours daily. I swim twice weekly with a coach for speed and endurance and try to fit at least twice jogging with cooper style sprints! I did choose 5 days exercise intensive training in the TDEE calculator and that puts me at 2375 Cal!
    Carbs are 20 gr. …proteins 1.0-1.5 gr per kg. ideal weight ? And the rest has to come from fat, correct?
    If you have the time to correct my data …please do…how do I start deciding how to fit the macros ? Having help with “my fitnes pal”l? Or other database that gives guidance about macros ?
    I will keep reading everything you have posted but I really hope you take a minute to check “on me”!

    Thank you,
    Yuliyana

  10. Your blog is really remarkable. A mine of precise and useful information. I would like to testimony here.
    For most the last 15 years, I have been under incredible (almost unhuman) amounts of stress (cortisol skyrocket). I have been always a small eater, my family is like that, so was eating very little, no fat almost at all. As a preadolescent my body started to do produce a lot of ketones. For 2 years, I was not feeling too well, constant stomach ache, dizzy etc. The pediatrician put me in a fat interdiction to force me back to normal I guess. I lost a lot of weight at that time . From this episode I and my family thought I should not eat fat and 30 years I ate super low to no fat. But with time and going through a super high stress work life (I believed I coped well with stress) I have started having all sorts of inflammatory issues. Plus even if I was not eating much (actually probably much too little..) i became chubby, cellulitis prone and my flesh is very watery (if I press my fingers it leaves white marks). I have started (modestly) following a keto diet now 5 months. While I have produced pretty rapidly ketones (wasted in the urine) and felt from the very beginning a gain in energy and the like, I made quite a few mistakes (the ketogenic diet is pretty complex). I have no problems with the protein amounts, probably eating too little… (I thought it was 36-48gr of meat and not of protein.. but 36 gr of protein units would be 150 gr of meat).By upping the fats, as much as I can absorb,i am eating at least double the calories that i was before the diet.. i am feeling better, but interestingly not lost a cm of fat. I had a period of hair loss& heart palpitations, a month ago but this receded as I figured out the metabolites etc.. I seem to produce less urine ketones, and feel generally well.. but am now slightly afraid to be doing it all wrong. The no fat loss is probably an indicator that I am doing some/many things wrong.. where should I start ( of course I am not extremely hungry under this program- but hunger has always been an issue for the last 18 years…)… do you have any insight on where I should be looking… I suspect i have started with high metabolic damage and was naive in thinking that the HFLC approach would help cure it… the weird is that I am really feeling well and full of energy.. am I just indeed healing?

  11. Yes I realize, I’ve experienced 30 years on starvation-style. Thank you, I will read all your posts, and will subscribe on fb.

  12. I’m 52 yrs old 5’6″ and my TDEE says 1863. I need to lose 50+ lbs! I’ve been doing KEto for 5weeks. Only 8lb loss!

    How would my macros be?

    I’ve been trying The IF but I feel like I’m doing this all wrong! Do you feel stevia is a bad sweetener as well?
    Thanks

    1. All sweeteners are bad. They either spike insulin or send mixed signals to the brain and cause ill effects. Sweet taste tells the brain sugar is coming and it expects it. When it doesn’t come this triggers further cravings. Not in your best interest.

      I don’t recommend IF as most people don’t understand how to do it properly.

      Macros would be:

      20g or less total carbs
      50g protein
      180g fat

  13. I read somewhere in your comments that nutritional yeast is a no no. Did I read that right as now I can’t find it.

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