The human body is an incredibly complex biological organism, as are most biological organisms, and as they are incredibly complex it’s not always entirely evident how they work and interact with their environment. 1) I received a U at A-Level maths or for my American friends, I totally flunked High School math. 2) I am not a professional scientist or doctor and the way that I do things is to engage more people in the discussion of food and health. 3) I’m not trying to disprove the laws of physics, as they are always true, I’m merely trying to understand how our bodies interact with them as it is not entirely evident at this moment in time. In my previous 5,000 calorie experiment I was eating 5,794 calories a day of a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet of real foods.
In my latest 5,000 calorie experiment I was eating 5,793 calories a day of a high carb low fat (CARB) diet of fake foods.
As the title of this conclusion asks, why did I get fat eating 5,000 calories a day of a high carb low fat (CARB) diet from fake foods but not on a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet from real foods? At the end of the CARB experiment I received a mixed response, some of whom said it was inspiring for them to try out a LCHF diet of real foods and then there were those that said I was a complete imbecile.
It’s quite a step for some to move away from just using the energy balance theory for weight loss.
As well as measuring my weight, waist and body fat this time round I also had my blood tested for a multitude of things but the main ones I wanted to look at were blood glucose, cholesterol and thyroid function. Quite a lot of numbers I know but I will go through each one as clearly and concisely as I can. Finally, my thyroid hormone results suggest that my thyroid gland wanted to get my metabolism moving again by stimulating my TSH and free T4 rising. 1) First port of call when it comes to losing weight and being healthy is to eat real food, and if you want a helping hand it’s probably a good idea to restrict carbs in some way! 2) Energy dense foods is a meaningless term as calories are not created equal when it comes to how our bodies interact with food, some are more fattening than others! 3) Portion control is a pointless endeavour when someone’s fat tissue is wanting to grow, stop the growth by eating real foods to biochemically balance yourself! 4) Cholesterol is an essential part of the human body, and a good way to improve it is by replacing cereal and skimmed milk with eggs and bacon cooked in butter!
5) When it comes to helping people lose weight and being healthy we must first and foremost look at the biochemistry of the body, and not physics! Finally, I want to leave you with something that’s useful and if you are struggling with losing weight and being healthy can be a very powerful tool. Hello sam i what to gain weight as im under weight i found that a 5000 calorie diet will help me out but after reading your experiment results im really confused and strucked, can you suggest the macros for the 5000 cal plani mean the amount of carbs,proteins and fats it should contain. I’m trying out a plant-based diet so I will have to up my carb intake and lower my fat intake. Trying to bridge different scientific concepts and principles is extremely difficult, but one worth pursuing to improve our knowledge of how the universe works.
I was primarily eating cereal for breakfast, whole meal sandwiches for lunch and a pasta dish for dinner with 0% fat yoghurt and cans of cola for snacks. I alluded to this in the conclusion of my previous experiment but in essence in the CARB experiment I was not in biochemical balance, where as in the LCHF experiment I was in biochemical balance. However, there were also those that gave me some constructive criticism on a couple of things which were valid objections.
This became blindingly obvious to me at an obesity conference this week where researchers have found that over the past 30 years people in the UK have purchased 20% less calories but obesity has doubled.


In this follow up experiment I decided I would go back on to my regular low carb high fat diet of real foods but eating at calorie maintenance, meaning that I would precisely eat how ever much the calorie formula said I should be eating to maintain my weight. In the calculations of my calorie maintenance I compensated for the thermic effect of protein, the calorie loss from dietary fibre and the 2 weights workouts I did in the last week of the 21 days, by reverse engineering what I mentioned earlier.
Again quite a lot of numbers but I will go through each one as clearly and concisely as I can.
However, as I explained before the type of LDL you have in your blood is dependent on your triglycerides to HDL ratio. The decrease in my free T3 suggests that my body was trying to balance out my T4 to T3 ratio to a healthy range from my decrease in free T4 in the CARB experiment.
42 days of calorie craziness, now I am back to eating the way I normally do which is pretty much just the REHAB diet but just listening to my body’s needs and on workout days I add either some sweet potato or rice to my lunch time meal to get the most out of a weights workout a few hours later.
A couple of months ago I created The Lifestyle Diary, which is a 90 day diary geared to helping you live a healthy lifestyle as easily, simply and effectively as possible! I’ll be doing another 5,000 calorie experiment in January 2014 where I’ll be doing high carb low fat again but with real foods! It does seem to work for some people, but if it doesn’t for me I’ll follow this advice!
Not exactly congruent with the linear +7.3kg weight gain and the inevitable waist increase the calorie formula predicted. The video and diagram below uses a metaphor in an attempt to explain simply how the body interacts with food to gain or lose weight. The 2 most common were firstly the difference in protein between the 2 diets, as when consuming protein about 30% of calories are lost in the process of digestion. This doesn’t tell us much, apart from that I had a little bit more sugar in my blood after eating copious amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates for 21 days. Firstly, my blood glucose almost dropped back down to it’s starting point which is of no surprise because of the small amount of carbohydrates I was eating as well as the fact that I went from eating fake foods to real foods.
Firstly, my HDL has started to go back up, not quite as much as I would have liked but the damage from the CARB experiment will take longer than 3 weeks to repair. This is nothing to worry about as everything is still well with in the healthy ranges but again I look forward to seeing my blood work in a few months to see if it goes back to my exceedingly good initial results. This has been another enlightening experience for me, I hope for you too, and has helped me to understand how my body reacts to different foods and not to the total amount of calories I ingest.
Feel free to read my conclusion from that experiment and check out the diet details after you’ve finished this one by clicking here. I followed with a suggestion that they should also take into account the rise in temperature due to climate change. However, just for your own information high levels of blood glucose over a sustained period of time end up damaging blood vessels, which can lead to diabetes, heart disease and even alzheimer’s. More on that later, but if you’d like to check out my diet details from the fake food REHAB experiment click here. As you can see below in the breakdown of my REHAB measurements I didn’t get back to my initial starting points, but it was close and overall the weight loss comes to a -43,750 calorie total deficit or -2,083 calorie a day deficit over the 21 day REHAB experiment. Quite a difference in comparison to my previous experiment, and assuming that a calorie is calorie when it comes to how our body regulates it’s weight one would assume that the weight and waist gain or loss would be similar to previous one.
Surprisingly there was a third more fibre in the CARB experiment compared to the LCHF experiment.
I got a few laughs but then a few shocked sighs as I went on to say that the suggestion was ridiculous, and that the focus of solving the obesity epidemic should be one focused on biochemistry and not physics or even psychology to a certain extent.


With that in mind blaming cholesterol for heart disease is like being angry at fireman when they’re the ones putting out the fire.
So according to the standard calorie formula my calorie maintenance should have been at around 5,583 calories.
To add insult to injury on this, my body fat was considerably different on the 2 experiments. When both of these factors are accounted for there is a difference of 63 calories between the 2 diets. For me believing a calorie is a calorie when it comes to food is just like saying it doesn’t matter whether you take an aspirin or a cyanide pill for a headache. As I just mentioned lower doesn’t mean better, we need to look at the breakdown of the cholesterol profile. Almost back up to what I was eating in both the LCHF and CARB experiments, however one diet was fattening and the other was not fattening despite the net calorie surplus having a difference of 63 calories…QED. On the previous LCHF experiment unfortunately I didn’t do a starting BodPod assessment, the apparatus we used to calculate my body fat.
On the low carb high fat diet of real foods I was in a 47,175 calorie net surplus and on the high carb low fat diet of fake foods I was in a 47,238 calorie net surplus, putting both diets on level pegging when it comes to those 2 valid objections. Going back to my biochemical balance metaphor, this low carb high fat diet of real foods allowed my body to go back into biochemical balance and return to it’s natural weight of approximately 90kg. With my HDL going up a bit and my triglycerides nearly halving it gave me a much better ratio of 2.6, which is nearly back in the healthy range but is back in the normal range and out of the high risk range of >4. However, we did do one at the end giving me a finishing body fat of 12.6% in the LCHF experiment. Another common objection was about exercise, however as I have mentioned throughout both experiments I was doing precisely the same amount of exercise in each so this is not a valid objection or concern. The reason we want HDL to be high is because it is incredibly protective and is basically like a clean up crew. Taking this lower ratio into account my LDL would have started to transform from those small dense and damaging particles to the large buoyant and benign ones. In essence the one thing I want you to takeaway from this part of the experiment is that if you want to improve, NOT LOWER, your cholesterol profile replace the cereal and skimmed milk in the morning with eggs and bacon cooked in butter!
Well one thing you might not know is that LDL can be transformed into 2 different kinds of particles.
One which is large buoyant and not associated with heart disease but then there are small dense particles which are associated with heart disease. In the UK we don’t currently have the technology to work this out properly but one technique that appears to be accurate is by looking at your triglycerides, fat in the blood, to HDL ratio. If you’re not sure the thyroid is a gland that is in your neck and controls how quickly your body uses energy. The first thyroid marker I had measured is TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone, which stimulates the metabolism of almost every tissue in the body. The other 2 thyroid hormones measured are free T4 or thyroxine and free T3 or triiodothyronine, which are both intertwined with metabolism as well as growth, body temperature and heart rate. The lowering of my free T4, nearing the lower end of the healthy range, suggests that again my metabolism was slowing down some what.



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