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.


If he did say this, Dr. Westman is wrong

Protein Requirements (They aren’t what the Bro’s are telling you)

I hear this so often. It hurts my ears.

“It is very hard to over eat protein and most people actually under eat it.”

It is actually very easy to over eat protein and almost everyone over eats it. I’ve yet to see any client I’ve worked with actual under eat protein. This is non-existent. Unless you are a Vegan you aren’t under eating protein.

Our protein requirement, according to the US government who I know is not all that reliable but.., is 0.8g per KG of ideal body weight. The World Health Organization has since stated that this is grossly over exaggerated. The WHO sets our actual protein needs at 0.45g per KG of ideal body mass. For a 6 foot tall man the ideal weight is 180lbs or 82KG. This would equate to a daily protein requirement of 36.5 g of protein. This is all from my educational support textbooks from my registered Nutritionist certification I am taking. It is also supported by my Certification in Sports nutrition. Nobody, at least nobody that is not in a terrible situation that simply can’t afford to eat enough food in general god forbid, is eating less than 36g of protein a day.

This WHO recommendation also plays right along with the way the body processes and recycles amino acids. We need only select amino acids daily to replensih what we turn over normally. The average person turns over about 20g of protein a day so to maintain lean mass you need roughly that. Any additional you intake will go to amino acid stores, which are small, or go to new tissue growth, building lean mass, or be used as fuel. The last option is the one you dont want as this means you burn less fat.

Yes you need protein, yes you can easily over eat protein, no it is not likely you are under eating it.

Keto on!

Coach Jack

Why not being hungry is not a benefit of Keto! (It is actually very dangerous!)

Everyone thinks that losing your hunger on Keto is some magic benefit so the can eat less and therefore lose weight. Or that you aren’t hungry because you are “Eating your body fat” as those other Keto “Experts” would have you believe. This one is by far the stupidest of the theories which unfortunately has been pushed by some of the leaders in the KetoSphere. It is very unfortunate.

There is actually a very logical and Common Sense reason as to why you stop being hungry and rest assured it is not nearly as non scientific as those reasons the other guys would have you believe.

Lack of hunger is a survival response to starvation. In hunter gather times there were many scenarios where food was simply unavailable. If we were to get more and more hungry as time goes by it would make us crazy and not very effective at hunting. If all you can think about is eating, you won’t be a very effective hunter and you would likely perish without being able to get food. This has to do with leptin and insulin.

There are 2 specific states you tend to lose hunger Fasting and Ketogenic diets:

Lets look at what is happening in Fasting:
1.You have low insulin making Leptin easy to hear
2. You are running on fat (because there is nothing else to run on)
3. Ketones rise in order to feed your brain and keep you alert
4. You lose weight
5. Finally, you aren’t hungry

Now lets look at what happens when we eat a Ketogenic Diet:
1. You have low insulin so Leptin is easy to hear
2. You are running on fat (because that is what you are eating)
3. Ketones rise in order to feed your brain (in the absence of glucose)
4. You lose weight
5. Finally, you aren’t hungry!!!!

Now don’t those scenarios sound familiar. So no, not being hungry while on Keto is not some magic way to make sure you are eating at a deficit without trying. It is a malfunction of a basic survival instinct. Basically we are hacking our body to think it is starving and in order to survive and get food it allows us to go without hunger pangs that would make us crazy and gives us focus to properly hunt our next meal.

What losing your hunger while eating Keto actually does is cause people to unintentionally enter into a severe calorically restricted state for a prolonged amount of time. This can cause adrenal issues, hair loss, Amenorrhea (loss of menstrual cycle), thyroid issues and a severely damaged metabolism making it much harder to lose weight. Part of the reason some of the Keto “Experts” advocate a “Carb-up” or “Re-Feed” is because they don’t understand that their “Eat only when you are hungry” philosophy is actually causing a starvation survival response that isn’t supposed to happen and the “Carb-up” only works because it resets this process. The leptin signal is restored again by the increased insulin levels and the person starts to eat somewhat normally again for a time and this tends to reverse some of the adverse effects of the chronic low caloric state. If we just ate adequately to begin with none of these issues would actually happen.

So next time some tells you “One of the major benefits of the ketogenic diet is that it controls hunger.” You can tell them no sir. My body thinks I am starving.

Fasting Effects on Leptin

Starvation response

Leptin Response to Stavation

Keto On,

Coach Jack

Why am I losing more hair than weight? (Stop starving yourself!)

“I’m not hungry for more than xxxx calories a day”


“I’m only eating xxxx calories a day and I’m stalled. I don’t get it.”

I see these posts in the various Facebook Groups all day. I’ve been seeing them 10 times a day for the last year. That is 3,650 posts about the same issue. 🙂

Here is why you are losing more hair than weight doing keto!

I have yet to find a person alive that doesn’t have a base metabolic rate of at least 1300 cals. That person is a 90 lb sedentary woman.

A 200 lb man has a base metabolic rate (BMR) of 1875 cals. That means this is the amount of calories that are required to keep him alive. Not to allow him to move. Just to keep him alive. If he slept 24 hours a day and didn’t speak, blink or play with his fidget spinner. Any other movement requires more energy.

How long do we think we can keep eating 1300-1500 cals a day and moving around, working, exercising and basically just doing life when we need 1875 cals just to exist?

Do we think it’s possible to drive our car 1000 miles on 800 miles worth of gas?

Yeah I know, “we can use our fat sores and lose mad weight.”

Yeah for a time. Our fat is emergency fuel not full time fuel. It is there to protect us overnight or for a short time until we find food. Not as a permanent fuel tank. It’s the reserve not the main and the body is not about to let it run dry and risk having to use lean mass or organs for fuel.

This is starvation mode.

When we give our body a budget it will try to work with it. Guess what it will start sacrificing first? Non vital things like hair and finger nails.

Anyone’s hair falling out and have brittle nails? I bet there are a bunch. How many cals a day you eating?

This way of eating is not about calories. It’s about hormone control. If you control insulin you lose weight regardless of caloric intake. The difference is, if you starve yourself your body will start releasing cortisol. This spikes insulin. This reduces hunger. This raises blood sugar.

You cannot starve yourself. If you are you may as well do a low fat diet or join weight watchers. It’s the same thing.

Keto On,

Coach Jack

What is Keto?

What is Keto?

A ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many potential benefits for weight loss, health and performance, but also some potential initial side effects.
A ketogenic diet is similar to other strict low-carb diets, like the Atkins diet or LCHF (low carb, high fat). These diets often end up being ketogenic more or less by accident. The main difference between strict LCHF and keto is that protein is restricted in the latter.

A keto diet is designed specifically to result in ketosis. It’s possible to measure and adapt to reach optimal ketone levels for health, weight loss, or for physical and mental performance. Below, you can learn how to use keto to achieve your personal goals.

Keto On,

Coach Jack

Why CICO (calories in/calories out) Isn’t True and why Insulin/Glucagon Control Weight

Coach Jack’s Sciency thoughts

PSA: All of the Calories in/Calories out (CICO) peeps are going to hate this post.

***Hormones control weight not calories. The human body doesn’t know what a calorie is since they were only discovered in the 1800s. We have been around for a minute longer than that I’m afraid.***

You’ve probably heard these statements again and again;

“Don’t eat high plate fat or you won’t burn your body fat!”
“Protein is a target and fat is a lever!”

Todays sciency thought is all about why both of these statements are not even close to being logical to the human body.

So first let us hit plate fat vs. body fat:

I would like to quote the illustrious Dr. Jason Fung for a second.
“People with more body fat will burn more fat than lean people because there is more fat available to use for fuel.”

That is a truly interesting statement. He is absolutely correct. People with more body fat will burn more fat than lean people and the reason is fuel availability. The body is very smart. It can recognize that it has an abundance of a given fuel source and it can automatically decide to use that fuel preferentially. So if this is the case for people with lots of body fat, why would this be any different for people eating lots of plate fat? What is the difference between body fat and plate fat? Literally nothing. The more fat available for fuel the more fat your body will use preferentially.

Alright so I know what you are thinking. “But if I am eating all these calories from fat won’t we have to use those instead of our bodyfat?” If your body actually cared about calories maybe, but fortunately for us, the body just runs along doing whatever its hormones tell it to and the hormones that control energy output/input are primarily insulin and glucagon. In simplistic terms, insulin is responsible for pushing energy into cells and glucagon is responsible for pushing energy out of cells and for the most part they don’t really concern themselves with energy expenditure. There are some factors involving requirement of energy but for the most part they are more concerned with management of incoming fuels and blood energy levels.

The long and the short of these hormones is this: Insulin is kind of the boss of the two hormones. When there is excess energy in the blood insulin stomps in and says “Nope, too much going on here. Time to get out.” It pushes whatever energy is deemed excess into cells for storage and keeps the blood nice and balanced. When energy in the blood is at acceptable levels, insulin gets to relax. Once it relaxes, glucagon gets louder and starts doling out the stored energy. So long as insulin is all chill, glucagon will keep pushing energy out of cells regardless of demand for energy. It will push any muscle glycogen out of muscles and fat out of fat cells to keep the body running constantly. If there is no glycogen available, in the case of a low carb diet, the glucagon will push fat out steadily for fuel. If you’re eating a ketogenic diet, any incoming fat will not be able to be permanently stored because fat doesn’t spike insulin high enough or long enough to suppress glucagon for long. As the insulin gets quieter, the glucagon gets louder and more fat can flow.

So what happens to the plate fat on a keto diet then? Does it have to be used before bodyfat can be used? Well even fat spikes insulin a small amount but is just enough to shunt the fat temporarily in the fat cells. It has to since fat can’t just hang out in the blood it has to be put somewhere or you have a problem of too much energy in the blood at once.  Such as the high Triglycerides that some people will see in their cholesterol test. This is just a temporary interruption of flow that lasts an incredibly short time. This means that as soon as you eat plate fat it becomes the same fat source as all your body fat. They quickly become one in the same and the body doesn’t have to choose between one or the other.

For comparison, when carbs are consumed it can take up to two hours, or more, for insulin to return to baseline  and have blood levels back to a level low enough for fat usage to be most optimal. For protein it is less of an overall insulin spike. There is still more glucose usage during the spike but there is also some fat usage during period. Eating fat barely elevates insulin enough to ever shut off the outflow of fat so you always have more fat moving out than in. I hope to have a video about this recorded soon for my upcoming youtube channel that will maybe better illustrate the idea. I hope to have the first video up before the end of 2018 with new videos at least once a week. Until then there are some illustrations here. You can see the different levels of insulin for each of the macronutrients.

Think of the effect insulin and glucagon like a dimmer switch rather than a normal on/off light switch:

The on/off switch will only allow two states. Insulin on or insulin off/glucagon on. This would mean you either burn only carbs or only fat and never a combo of the two.

In reality the whole process is more like a dimmer. It is a sliding scale of the amounts of each hormone. At the highest point on the dimmer you have exclusively carbs being used and fat being stored and at the bottom of the dimmer you have exclusively fat being used as fuel and carbs remain in storage.

In between the fat burning state and the carb burning state there is a vast array of variation in fuel source from more carbs and some fat to mostly fat and some carbs. This is the real way fuel usage works in context to insulin and glucagon.

With eating mostly fat you never leave a fat for fuel state completely. You may be taking in fat but more is flowing out than is coming in. Therefore you get a deficit in fat consumed vs fat used. See, that kinda fits the CICO mentality by showing that you are technically using more than you are consuming. It just isn’t more calories. 🙂

You are probably wondering what happens to all that fat energy that is being used? Well the body does a few things like upregulating body temperature or increasing involuntary movement like blinking or fidgeting. Then there is another big energy pool that we can fill up. Ketones!

When there is more fat coming out of cells than the body can really deal with the body will still put this energy into some form. It feeds as much as it can to direct energy expenditure but we have to be compliant with the First Rule of Thermodynamics. The first rule is; energy can be transformed from one form to another, but can be neither created nor destroyed, The remainder of the fat that can’t be directly used can be routed back to the liver to create ketones. That meets the First Rule since nothing is created or destroyed, it just changes from unused fat to unused ketones. We have a fairly high storage capability for ketones and to boot, we generate waste ketones as well that we dispose of through breath and urine. Beta-hydroxybutyrate is the blood ketone that we use for energy while acetoacetate is wasted in urine and acetone is wasted in the breath. Isn’t that cool! We can literally waste energy in the form of ketones.

If you are still unconvinced,  try this:

Eat all your protein from the time you wake up until noon. You can still consume large amounts of fats with these meals.  For the rest of the day have nothing but foods that are at least 90% fat. As close to 100% as possible though. At say 7pm, check your blood ketones. They will be higher than after a 3 day fast. I have raised my ketones from 3.4 mmol/L to 7.1 mmol/L in a matter of hours by doing just this. The reason is because you have not induced enough of an insulin spike from noon on to stop the outflow of fat from cells. Your ketones can raise even higher if you perform no physical activity. Since less fat will be used directly for fuel in the muscles, more of it will be directed to ketone creation.

All of this is not to say that higher ketones necessarily mean you are losing more weight. There is a tipping point where you will be matching energy in with the bodies capability to let energy out. The fun part is that this level is far higher than most people even dare to eat to and typically does not even mean weight gain, just maybe not weight loss. You can actually eat an insane amount of calories from fat and still not gain weight. You won’t necessarily be losing either but you won’t be gaining. There is a side benefit to this though. As your body is trying to deal with all these low insulin producing calories it is slowly but consistently raising your ability to burn energy. Your metabolism. So while you may not be dropping weight eating 5,000 calories a day, which I and several other members have done, but you won’t be gaining and you will be increasing your metabolism at the same time. When you go back to regular calories you will tend to lose a little faster. This is sort of what I do with clients.

Not that I am recommending anyone do anything crazy like eat 5,000 calories every day. This is an extreme example. A more reasonable thing to do would be to eat 500 cals above your maintenance level of calories (TDEE) for a period of time then return to TDEE for some time. Cycle these patterns. This creates the same effect as extreme calorie restriction but without the negative effects of reduction in thyroid function and a slowed metabolism. Does this not sound like a more sane proposition than cutting calories so low you ruin your metabolism and are likely starving?

Glucagon is the hormone that is responsible for pushing energy out so when your diet is adequate to keep your insulin low, glucagon is pushing fat out. Only when insulin gets stimulated does glucagon slow down on the push. This is evident when you look at a type 1 diabetic. They don’t create insulin at all. Before the advent of insulin, a type 1 diabetic would lose weight uncontrollably. They would feed them and feed them but no matter how many calories they ate they would continue to lose weight until all their muscle and organs had been catabolized for fuel and their body shut down. Without insulin there is nothing controlling glucagon from pushing energy out. This includes glucose and as well as bodyfat. Without insulin they have a constant call for energy from both fat and glucose. The only reason this doesn’t happen in a non diabetic is because we always have some level of insulin. This is referred to as basal insulin levels. Luckily for us we have a functioning pancreas and insulin will come along once energy levels in the blood exceed a safe amount. When it comes to ketones though that reservoir is a hard one to fill. I have yet to reach it and I have gotten as high as 8.1 mmol/DL of ketones.

To show the importance of glucagon I have attached a video explaining an experiment done on mice that have been genetically modified to be type 1 diabetic. Without giving them insulin they excrete energy through urine at an accelerated rate and become very ill, but simply by giving them a glucagon suppressing drug, they are able to survive rather well with almost no adverse effects. How interesting is that.


Now the second statement. “Fat is a lever”

Well I think I have already said enough to show this to be false. I’ll spare you another 2,000 words on top of all of this. 🙂

Fat is not a lever. It’s the key!

So when people tell you that insulin is the main driver in weight loss you can tell them, “Nope! It is important but Glucagon is more important fine sir!”

Keto On,

Coach Jack

If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.

Check the details here:

Personalized Coaching with Coach Jack

What is TDEE (How to figure it out and what is the point)

Coach Jack explains TDEE (how much to eat)

How much do I eat?

The biggest question on everyone’s mind. Second only to “what are my macros?”

This is what I recommend:

Find out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) for maintenance. Yes for Maintenance. A caloric deficit is not required to lose weight. Can it assist in losing weight? Yes it can but only if done properly and not chronically. It is far more healthy to eat at a maintenance with proper Macros in order to keep insulin low enough/glucagon high enough to prompt weight loss.

More about that here: Insulin and Glucagon

Rules for the TDEE Calculator:

1. Use your current weight not your goal weight.
2. Read all the notes on the calculator as well as the notes in the little question marks next to the data entry fields.
3. You can eat to your TDEE and still lose weight. If it is above 2500 for a woman and 3000 for a man you can click the check mark next to “Show me the Max calories I can eat” and it will drop the calcs down to these numbers. I have found that it can be very hard to get above these numbers while still maintaining the proper protein to fat ratios so you can cap the calories there if you wish.

Tdee Calculator here: TDEE Calculator

Once you find your caloric need you need to figure out your macros or how many grams of each you need. Here is what I recommend to all my clients:

20g TOTAL carbohydrates – Not net carbs. Every gram of carb whether it be fiber or sugar has some insulin response. Ask a type one diabetic if they can ignore the effects of fiber and not take insulin after eating fiber. Hint: They can’t.

1.0g of protein per Kilogram of IDEAL BODY WEIGHT (You can find your ideal weight here: Ideal Weight Chart)

Here is an example using myself:
200lbs total bodyweight
6’0″ tall
medium Frame
From the Linked chart above that makes my ideal weight 170lbs
Convert to KG by dividing by 2.2 = 77.3kg

So my ideal protein level would be:

77.3 x 1.0 = 77.3g

For Athletes (an athlete is someone who competes in sport professionally not an average gym goer or recreational athlete):

An athlete, as described above can go higher in protein. Not more than 1g per KG of ideal weight is needed really but you can go as high as 1.5g

The rest of you calories should come from fat.

If your TDEE is 2,000 calories this is how it would break down for a lightly active woman:

20g total carbs = 20×4(4 calories per gram of carb) = 80 cals
55g protein = 55×4(4 cals per gram of protein) = 220 cals
That leaves 1700 cals for fat. There are 9 calories per gram of fat so:
1700/9= 189g of fat

Macros for a lightly active woman with a TDEE of 2,000 calories:
20g total carbs or 4% of calories
55g Protein or 11% of calories
189g of fat or 85% of calories

Funny story. 10% protein is actually directly in line with what a staunch anti-protein advocate, Colin T. Campbell author of The China Study, says is the optimal level of protein for human beings and is the basis of his argument why low carb diets are bad. Being that they are too high in protein. 

This is what works for my clients. If you gain weight on this method, this is a major red flag that you have some serious metabolic derangement. Considering that this method uses a maintenance level of calories even according to calories in vs calories out mentality, you should bare minimum maintain weight not gain. Also considering that this would promote an optimal state of low insulin, there is definitely an issue. All the more reason to work on eating more to get your metabolism and hormones in check. Sometimes you have to rebuild before you can move forward.

Now that we know what TDEE is, on to what is the point of it exactly.

Pretty much everyone knows that eventually you stop losing weight at some point. This is pretty much a guarantee.
Here is the truth about weight loss.

Caloric restriction works. The problem is that while it is working it is slowing your metabolism and damaging your natural levels of hormones. Eventually you are eating 1,000 cals a day and you are losing more hair than weight. It takes longer for some than others to get there but it happens to everyone. The true problem with CICO (calories in/calories out) is that as you reduce calories in, the body also reduces the calories out to compensate. The body always wants to stay where it is. Equilibrium.

Will eating to your TDEE immediately fix your problems? Sometimes it will and sometimes it won’t. Some people gain weight. I have yet to see substantial gain. I think the most was 5-6lbs. Some people lose right away.
What we need to realsize is that this gain should not be happening at this level. This is your maintenance caloric level. Meaning you should maintain at this weight. This is direct evidence that you have a slowed metabolism. If your metabolism was not slowed you wouldn’t gain even at a normal diet containing higher carbs.

While this minor weight gain or maintenance of weight is going on while eating TDEE what we also need to realize is that you are raising your metabolism. Multiple studies have shown that metabolism drops much faster in restriction than it raises when eating normally. In other words it gets damaged easy yet is hard to repair.

Theoretically, if you were to never have calorie restricted at all and ate to TDEE from day one, you would lose weight until you hit your ideal weight.

A better way to approach a safer and faster weight loss is to cycle calories.
Eat to TDEE for 2 or three days then cut 300-400 cals out for 3-4 days and repeat. This will keep your body from thinking energy is at a constant low supply and lowering metabolism.

Now that we know what TDEE is and what is the point of it, we can get to Keto’ing. The Common sense way.

Keto On,

Coach Jack

What is Common Sense Keto

As the name suggests, we are about one of the most elusive things in the diet world. Common Sense.

First What is Keto? Read more about the Ketogenic Diet here: What is Keto?

Calorie restriction has not worked in the last 50 years and never will. We have been restricting more and moving more than we ever have yet we are more sick and more fat. Fitness and diet are a $3.7 TRILLION Dollar a year industry yet nearly 1/3 of the worlds population is obese or overweight compared to 13% in 1970. Guess how much the fitness industry was making in 1970? Not enough to even be able to find any info on.

We believe that health comes from giving the body what it needs to thrive and that is adequate energy and real food. What we call eating adequate energy is eating to your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). You can read more about how to figure out your TDEE here: What is TDEE?

We believe that the majority of that energy should come from Healthy Fats.

The current science points towards the idea that hormones dictate weight loss and not a magic number called a calorie. We don’t “burn” food. We break it down chemically and metabolize it into energy of various forms. We can actually waste energy if we take in more than we need We are not a closed loop machine. We are a complex organism. A great video here about how insulin allows us to waste energy: How Insulin can allow energy waste

If you have no interest in broadening your perspective and losing your dogma, kindly move along. There are many other blogs out there for you. No need to be here. We will gladly let you speak so long as it is in good will and not demeaning to anyone. We expect the same from you in return.

Welcome to Common Sense Keto,

Coach Jack